The Bismarck thread got me thinking about this. The combination of Bismarck's own damage and the strength of the British forces converging on her left her with no realistic chance of surviving her last battle, which her admiral, captain, and crew must have known however reluctant they were to acknowledge it. In the days of sail, it would have been acceptable for a ship in this situation to surrender, perhaps when the opposing capital ships closed to gun range and fired a few shots. Captains and crews were rarely punished as long as they had made a reasonable effort to fight or escape. No one was expected to fight to the death without hope. This was true even though a damaged ship would often be taken into service by the victor. Although there were differences between countries' ships, the basics were the same; offices and sailors could operate a foreign ship as well as one of their own. Captured ships often had distinguished careers under their new owners; some ships changed hands multiple times. ironically by WWII it was less feasible to make use of a captured warship. There were cases of destroyers and smaller being captured in port and put to use, but an odd battleship with completely different weapons, systems, machinery, and other characteristics would be of minimal value to a navy, other than as a trophy. In Bismarck's case, with the ship unmaneuverable, the seas heavy, and the danger of Luftwaffe or U-boat attack, the British would not even attempt to salvage her, just take off the crew, snap a few photos for propaganda, and finish her off with torpedos just as they did historically.