The battleship Bismarck was named in honour of Otto Fürst von Bismarck, the architect of German unification and the arbiter of European politics during the second half of the 19th century. Bismarck, also known as the "Iron Chancellor", was the founder and first chancellor of the German Empire, and through his diplomatic skills, he managed to maintain the peace in Europe for a generation. EARLY LIFE AND CAREER
Otto von Bismarck was born on 1 April 1815 at Schönhausen in Brandenburg, Prussia. His father, Ferdinand von Bismarck-Schönhausen, was of the Old Prussian nobility. His mother, Wilhelmine Mencken, from the upper bourgeoisie. He studied law at the University of Gottingen in Hanover, and obtained his degree in 1837 and then entered the Prussian civil service. After leaving the service he helped manage the family estates. He entered politics & married Johanna von Puttkammer in 1847. During the revolutions of 1848, Bismarck favored suppression of revolt and opposed any concessions to the liberals, staying loyal to the monarchy & was determined to free the states from Austrian domination and to unite them under Prussian rule. In 1849, he was elected to the Prussian Chamber of Deputies (the lower chamber of the Prussian Diet). In 1851, Frederick William IV appointed Bismarck as the Prussian representative to the federal Diet in Frankfurt. In 1859, Bismarck was sent to Russia as Prussian ambassador to St. Petersburg, and in May 1862, he moved to Paris as ambassador to the court of Napoleon III. Soon after he returned to Berlin, on 22 September 1862, Bismarck became minister president and foreign minister for the Prussian king William I (Wilhelm I).
In 1864 Prussia allied with Austria to provoke war with Denmark. The victorious allies won the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, but two years later quarrels over the duchies led to war between Prussia and Austria. The defeat of Austria gave Prussia control over the states north...