Wadinga wrote: "Since Rodney's log clearly states she was not hit, it is obvious the only reason to state this is because she was"
Good news was made to seem better; bad news was toned down, delayed or sometimes suppressed.
Antonio Bonomi wrote:Hello everybody,
I am sure that also in this case they followed Sir W. Churchill directions to Adm Godfrey ( Naval Intelligence Department - NID ) about how to manage the information :Good news was made to seem better; bad news was toned down, delayed or sometimes suppressed.
Nothing that will surprise me at all ...
Statement of Chief Petty Officer Miller, USN.(35)
The ship received four (4) hits—all 5.9" shells.
Damage from these hits were very minor, no structural damage being sustained
One (1) hit in H.A. Director, causing a small hole in the bulkhead—no damage.
One (1) hit in the starboard Marine compartment, causing a 6" hole in the starboard
side of the ship—above water line—no damage.
One (1) hit in a stateroom just abaft of the conning tower, causing a small hole by
One (1) hit in the CPO mess, starboard side, causing a 6" hole, above the water
line—no damage other than to three lockers containing personal clothing.
(35)Miller was a passenger in H.M.S. Rodney returning to the United States.
Alberto Virtuani wrote:Hi Duncan,
thanks for posting this new info!
I see on Wellings book that Miller was a USN chief petty officer, passenger on board Rodney.
how could an experienced sailor attribute to 5,9" shells and not to splinters ALL these damages, describing two of them as 6" holes ?
Why are these damages not accounted in the "official reports" ?
How could splinters from a shell exploding underwater been projected up to the HA director and to the stateroom abaft the conning (20 to 30 meters high), retaining still enough energy to penetrate the (albeit very light) bulkheads of the ship ?
I agree the "above water" ones may have been splinters or duds (it looks like too many German shells did not explode on May 24 as well), but the HA and the stateroom ones may have passed by the thin bulkhead without exploding within the ship , e.g. the 8" of PG (if it was not a 5,9" from BS) on the support of the HALA directors on PoW, that ricocheted over the roof of the chart house and then passed through quite heavy structures not exploding in the ship).....
Personal Diary, 27 May 1941
. . . DD's attacked (3 DD's made independent attacks) 2 hits claimed. At sunrise—
weather cloudy. DD's still shadowing. At 0708 we headed (or Bismarck. Sighted Bis at
0843 At 0847 we opened fire. 1-15" later K.G.V. opened fire. Bismarck & ourselves
closed 27 minutes later Bismarck's fire erratic. We closed to 2750 yds. & continued to
fire silencing Bismarck. At 1039 Bismarck sank. K.G.V. & ourselves headed north—
Big show over. Second Bismarck salvo fractured hull above armor plate and at
superstructure just forward of bridge particularly the forward anti-aircraft control area.
Fortunately no one injured. How lucky we were if the second salvo landed about 20 yds.
further aft our entire bridge structure would have been pierced & probably wrecked with
the captain and other key personnel . . . .(33) The executive officer would be CO. &
yours truly . . . would assist him in accordance with Capt. Dalrymple-Hamiltons
(33)Immediately after the Bismarck sank I inspected the damage from the shell fragments of the Bismarck's
second salvo when two 15" shells landed in the water about twenty yards short of the Rodney on our starboard
bow. I was certain we were indeed most fortunate to have received so little damage from these two 15"
shells . . . . " JHW MS. Reminiscences, p. 233
"Enclosure "E" to JHW's Report, serial Fl; x-27 dated 1 July 1941.
Alberto Virtuani wrote:Hi Duncan,
thanks, to me as well the damages look inconsistent with 4 direct hits exploding in the ship.
However, the fact that the holes are exactly 6" ones, that the position of 2 hits is very high over the water (I agree a 15"shell fragment can be projected at very high heights, but almost vertically, unable to penetrate even a thin bulkhead, or at least not leaving a "perfect" 6" hole) makes a bit uncertain that they can all be splinters......
Miller description, albeit mentioning too light damages, is very detailed and precise. He seems to be sure about the "direct hits". Also we cannot discount the fact that many German hits of 15" and 8" on May 24 did not explode at all. Were the HA directors in Rodney similar to the KGV's ones? I mean covered by a canvas and with a bulkhead only on the rear side ?
My initial question arose from the fact that precisely the secondary armament of Bismarck fired quite for a long time (compared to the "problems" of the main armament). At distances progressively down to 3000 / 4000 meters, I find quite unconceivable that not a single 5.9" hit was scored, even accounting for the erratic course of the ship and the state of the sea.
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