Bismarck Motor Launches

Discussions about the history of the ship, technical details, etc.

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30knots
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Bismarck Motor Launches

Post by 30knots » Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:29 pm

Hi all,

The Bismarck had a number of smaller craft which were stowed above the aircraft hangers.

Did none of these 'float away' upon the sinking? If they were secured down, why is there no evidence of them ?

Also makes me think about the Tirpitz boats.

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Post by paulcadogan » Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:55 pm

Well we know that one of these was taken out in the DS by Prince of Wales....

But I would think the rest were very likely destroyed in the final cannonade (direct hits, blast, shrapnel, fire) and their remnants are scattered thoughout Bismarck's debris field....

Paul
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Post by 30knots » Sat Dec 08, 2007 10:36 pm

Thanks Paul

Your probably right, I like the use of the word 'cannonade'

i could be wrong, but i think the Bismarck had around as much as 19 other smaller boats.

All 19 smashed to smithereens ?

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Post by Tiornu » Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:28 am

3 barges
4 picket boats
1 launch
2 cutters
2 dinghies
2 yawls

versus

300-400 shell hits
The ship's boats wouldn't be much use, even if intact, once the cranes were knocked out.

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Post by 30knots » Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:53 pm

Thanks Tiornu.

It wasn't so much if they were of any use, just if any had survived albeit in a damaged condition.

Actually, i guess there was a considerable amount of floating debris. Was any of this recovered at the time or 'washed up' anywere ?

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Post by paulcadogan » Mon Dec 10, 2007 3:55 am

The photos that show Bismarck's survivors in the water are here:

http://www.kbismarck.com/photo048.html

http://www.kbismarck.com/photo031.html

In the one taken beside Dorsetshire (031), there is some floating debris that survivors were clinging to. The other is at a distance and is more dificult to discern.

However, I'm sure the two British ships that remained on the scene(Dorsetshire & Maori) put priority on rescuing the men rather than debris until they so unfortunately withdrew because of a phantom u-boat "sighting" leaving so so many behind. I don't know if any u-boats or other German vessels found anything later, besides the five very lucky men.

I have read somewhere that a piece of debris from Hood washed ashore in Norway at some point, though. I'll try to find the reference.

Paul
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Post by 30knots » Sat Dec 15, 2007 12:51 am

I have read somewhere that a piece of debris from Hood washed ashore in Norway at some point, though. I'll try to find the reference.
That is interesting. I just watched a TV documentary (in the UK) about the oceans and their current flows etc. and it was going on about some sort of 'conveyor belt' - a constant flow of hot and cold currents across the oceans of the globe - which can deposit items from shipwrecks thousands of miles away.

Any idea what the piece of debris was ?

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Debris from Hood

Post by wadinga » Sat Dec 15, 2007 12:46 pm

Gents

Go to http://www.hmshood.com/hoodtoday/today1.htm to the seat back from one of Hood's boats, and on display at the National Maritime Museum Greenwich
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Post by 30knots » Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:49 pm

Thanks wadinga.

Excellent reply.

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Post by 30knots » Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:59 pm

i still have this feeling that one of these boats must have survived.

oh, maybe not.

All the best.

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Antonio Bonomi
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Bismarck motor boats

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:05 am

Ciao all,

does anybody knows for sure the boat configuration of Bismarck during Op. Rheinubung ?

I doubt it has been a bit changed,....compared to what Tiornu wrote,... but very difficult to find photos of that area during the mission.

Anybody knows more ??

Ciao Antonio :D

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Post by 30knots » Sat Jan 05, 2008 8:43 pm

Hi Antonio and all,

I have seen another post or info somewhere which said the boats were removed for Op Rhein - why i don't know.

If they were removed, where are they ?

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Bismarck boats

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sun Jan 06, 2008 6:38 pm

Ciao all,

well the overall weight of the Bismarck and her sea keeping possibilities with everything she had to carry on during Op. Rheinubung were carefully evaluated by Adm Lutjens and his staff.

They had the previous mission exeprience into the Atlantic Ocean already with Scharnhorst and Gneisenau during Op. Berlin.

That is why the bow anchor was removed and the motor boat launches reduced as well.

Now we have to find more evidences,......

Ciao Antonio :D

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Post by 30knots » Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:36 pm

Hi all,

So maybe the number of launches was reduced. I can't imagine that would be the first priority in weight saving but someone probably could easily advise otherwise.

If they were reduced, my mind is boggling at the thought of the history of the removed ones.

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Post by 30knots » Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:34 pm


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