An admiral of the Fleet is one of the highest ranking officers in the armed forces. He is already a Captain and has had command of many vessels large and small. Commanding a Battleship is a job any captain can do, though specialism in gunnery is probably a good bet.
When I was at sea, the Captain could always give us a pretty good general picture of the world political situation, though coloured to suit British foreign policy of course. The Admiral of the Fleet is not only a naval position, but is also a political position and it is a position from which World military strategy can be worked out. World Economic strategy and also domestic strategy is considered, so that a task force can be directed to give aid, assist militarily and even get involved politically in the event that a general strike needed to be put down. This is why Lutjens had such a large staff. Bismarck had everything aboard and was seen to be in fine working order, so she could do all she was designed to do, fight with other battleships, steam at high speed, destroy convoys and intervene in landings and all of it under the command of a single man - the Captain. Even the ship's Captain often acts as an envoy, a diplomat and he must know what he is talking about when his ship flies the flag. He must know how to apply a sensitive touch when dealing with foreign national leaders. Many officers who reach flag rank serve time in the diplomatic service, Mullenheim Rechberg being one.
Admiral Lutjens had demonstrated all the necessary capabilities of a fighting naval Captain. Now that he had command of the German fleet he was also in a high political position - though unelected. Bismarck was not just a battleship, she was an international Command Center, able to direct the operations of the whole fleet in any action which the world situation demanded and in any location.
Those here who chuckle and smirk about this do not know a tenth part of the spread of strategy, tactics and world political and economic perspectives, which were being considered, by high ranking Naval, Army and Luftwaffe Officers.
In Bismarck's KTB there is a four part signal from Group West to Fleet, sent at 1144 on the 26th, outlining the world political developments exactly as I presented them in my previous post. That was addressed to Lutjens. In addition, Lutjens would also be party to all signals sent to various military and political units, wherever the German Reich was intervening and also where it was not.
A major consideration is the attitude of the USA, in foreign policy and developments domestically. The sinking of HMS Hood will have sent a serious ripple of doubt among the mass population, which could even bring the USA on side, or at least strengthen US neutrality. Roosevelt was having to play a very tricky game giving aid to Britain when US foreign policy was supposed to be isolationist. It may well be that the loss of Hood will have strengthened determination among the Brits, but it would do nothing of the sort in the USA and might just demonstrate sufficient incapacity in British military strategy to finally cut the ties and let Britain sink. Churchill had built enormous trust with Roosevelt and his Generals and Admirals and if Britain did not continue to demonstrate determination, those Military chiefs could turn against him and undermine Roosevelt. If Britain came under the jackboot, the USA would want to make a new trading partner very quickly. The 1930s depression was still very fresh in the memory. And Germany now had a very powerful economy.
In the colonies which had been dominated by Britain for centuries, there was a ripple of hope that the tyranny would finally end. It should be remembered that many eastern leaders initially welcomed news of the Japanese invasions as liberation. Ghandi being one of them. Nazi Germany would certainly want to share in any such development, especially if it was the result of action by one of her own battleships. Nazi Germany was now a major player on the world market, with control of most of Europe and with much potential to spread further.
Lutjens had a great deal more than simple commerce raiding on his mind. Any Cruiser Captain could handle that and a quick glimpse at PG's KTB shows that Brinkmann had a considerable grasp of world events too. He probably had his eye on moving up to flag rank too.
Never underestimate the probing fingers of the military. They get those fingers into every pie and are ever ready to exploit any development in furtherance of their power and influence.