"Official" Version of Battle?

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

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Robert J. Winklareth
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Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Thu Mar 03, 2005 7:47 pm

Hi all,

I want to thank Antonio for his presentation of my case, especially since I am not able to do this myself. With my gradious Macintosh Power Mac 4, System X, version 10.3, and Brother HL-5040 printer, I can't even print out what Antonio sent to me.

I have not as yet finalized any diagram of my concept of the battle because I am not sure of the specific distances either. I gave you the data coincerning my concept only for comparison purposes.

My main point is that the arithmetic doesn't add up to support a separation of 3000 meters at 0556 or anything like that even using Antonio's diagram in addition to the Prinz Eugen Battle Sketch. This has little to do with the graphics, just plain aritmetic. If you all can't see my point, just forget it.

Bob

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Antonio Bonomi
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Post by Antonio Bonomi » Thu Mar 03, 2005 8:47 pm

Ciao George, Bob and all,

Thanks !

The credit for this goes to Bill Jurens and George Elder for the suggestion to do it with all the details needed clearly explained.

As I wrote recently I was offering to Bob ( Mr. Winklareth ) all the support he needed to understand with me privately all the differences between our works.

So it was relatively easy for me to make this one.

I have no problems now to support off-line Bob for any type of graphic he want to realize ( including of course changes on his call ) to show what he wants, hoping that this will help him and the whole community to move some steps forward.

to Bob,

on this work I only will do what you want to show.

So I will not make anything without you blessing it first.

So please feel free to tell me any modification, small correction, wording etc etc you would like me to make or change.

When you feel it is OK to be showed than it will be your prerogative to do it.

I will not use anything I made for you as reference for discussion unless you post it in public first.

Of course the spirit is of cooperation to understand, nothing else as I was sure many persons did not have an idea of what your theory translates into a map.

Forget the 3000 meters, that is not real, mathematic and trigonometry will never support that calculation, and those are laws and not opinions.

The distance of Bismarck from Prinz Eugen showed on Nh 69722 at 05.56 was between 1800 and 2500 meters, but more close to the 2000 range.

Trust me on this as the map I have made from Official distances and bearings at open fire from German ship do confirm this as well, and you have that too from me earlier, now everybody can see it as I have posted it.

But on this lets us wait for Bill Jurens photo assesment first, that is a very good job done too.

Ciao Antonio :D

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Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Fri Mar 04, 2005 10:44 pm

Hi all,

I would like to respond to some of the points raised by Antonio in his two postings of 2 March. In one of those postings, Antonio stated: "I personally doubt that Lagemann (PG photographer) and the Camera man were not taking any photos or film, what I highly suspect is that material was intentionally censored and never showed so far."

There is no evidence to support Antonio's point of view. On the contrary, I have personally accounted for all of the time available for Lagemann to take his photographs. He took a total of at least 18 photographs that we are aware of during the battle that lasted 16 minutes from o553, when the Prince of Wales opened fire, to 0609, when the Bismarck ceased fire. That's better than an average of one photograph per minute. Part of the time can be accounted for when Lagemann devoted his attention to the target area.

I believe that there is no question regarding the photographs taken during Phase I of the battle leading up to the destruction of the Hood. I myself found a gap in the photographs during the four minutes from 0601, when NH69730 was taken, and 0605, when the broadside view of the Bismarck was taken as the Bismarck passed the Prinz Eugen off the port beam of the cruiser. At 0602, Lagemann undoubtedly saw the Prince of Wales begin her retreat under a smoke screen, obscuring any further view of the target area.

At 0603, the Prinz Eugen began her series of three hard turns, which would not have been ideal for picture taking as she first swung to starboard. By 0605, the Prinz Eugen had turned back to port again, giving Lagemann the opportunity to capture the broadside view of the Bismarck before making another hard turn to starboard. When the Prinz Eugen finally settled down after completing her last turn at about 0606, Lagemann began taking the series of infamous six photographs that were subsequently printed in reverse.

Lagemann took those last six photographs in the three minutes between 0607 and 0609, when the Bismarck ceased fire. Antonio himself grouped all of those six photographs in the two-minute time frame from 0505 to 0507, but of course with the photographs in their reverse orientation. Antonio cannot make the photographs fit as they are, so he must make up the excuse that some are missing due to censorship or they were just lost.

Bob

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Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Sat Mar 05, 2005 12:01 am

Hi all,

In another posting of 2 March, Antonio stated: "I am used to Mr. Winklareth intentionally ignoring my responses when they prove him wrong, but not you usually." He was of course referring to George's request for Antonio to resolve the issue I raised regarding the order for the Prinz Eugen not to shoot over the Bismarck proved that the Bismarck was coming up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen during Phase II of the battle.

I was well aware of Antonio's position in the matter, and I was actually referring to George himself when I asked if Antonio's response was acceptable in his (George's) eyes, and if so, why, and if not, why not. I thought that George, being neutral in our dispute, could use his analytic skills to assist in resolving the issue and seeking the truth in the matter, but I guess I was wrong. I was as surprised as Antonio was when George turned around and asked Antonio to resolve the issue, which I thought to be inappropriate under the circumstances.

I resent Antonio's allegation that I intentionally ignored his responses when they prove me wrong. Some responses may have required additional research and thought, but I believe that I had responded to all of them even though not immediately at times. I summarized my responses to him in my original posting under "Summation of the Battle," but if there is anything I omitted, I would be happy to rectify the matter. To date, none of Antonio's responses has proven me to be wrong in my concept of the Battle of the Denmark Strait.

Bob

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Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Sat Mar 05, 2005 1:04 am

Hi all,

In still another posting on 2 March, Antonio stated: "Herzog, Koop/Schmolke, etc. etc. I will not comment - - - too low of a quality factor for them like for several other maps I saw by them." That statement is completely outrageous, especially as it pertains to Herzog. The diagrams in Elfrath & Herzog's book "Battleship Bismarck" are the finest, most detailed and comprehensive of Bismarck related diagrams that I have ever seen, and I believe that most would agree with me.

To demean the quality of those maps merely because they correctly portray the Bismarck on the port side of the Prinz Eugen during the second phase of the battle is truly reprehensible and it does not serve our purpose of seeking the truth in the matter. Perhaps Marc and others who are familiar with the diagrams in Elfrath & Herzog's book would care to express their own views on the matter.

Antonio goes on to say: "Schmalenbach was maybe a bit confused and initially had few evidences, but he progressively improved till the 1978 map." On the contrary, Schmalenbach was not confused at all about seeing the Bismarck gradually move up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen, as his diagram portrays. He himself reported in the Prinz Eugen War Diary that he often looked at the Bismarck as she approached before coming into the Prinz Eugen's line of fire and the order was given for the cruiser not to shoot over the Bismarck.

Schmalenbach was obviously under some pressure to account for the photographs that showed the Bismarck on the starboard side of the Prinz Eugen, even though he had no recollection of that ever happening. At first, he relegated those photographs to Phase I of the battle, showing crossover points at 0554 and 0600. In a later diagram, he placed the crossover points at 0545 and 0610. In 1978, he came up with a third different version showing the crossover points at 0603 and 0608.

In 1990, when Schmalenbach was asked to furnish a battle diagram for an updated version of the Baron's book, he reverted back to what was essentially his original version showing the Bismarck on the port side of the Prinz Eugen during Phase II of the battle. That is the only version of Schmalenbach's diagram currently in print, and it is consistent with the diagrams of Elfrath & Herzog, Koop& Schmolke, and incidentally, my own book, "The Bismarck Chase."

Bob

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And what about the map?

Post by George Elder » Sat Mar 05, 2005 12:55 pm

Hi Rob:

I think you would be well served by modifying the map Antonio made to best represent your position. It seems to me that this current exercise would do more to get at the heart of things than all the rehashing of the past.
As for my view on how Antonio resolved the order from Bismarck to PE to avoid fouling the range, the range shifts he places on his rendition of the battle addresses this point. I am currently striving to fit a similar resolution into the PE course machinations that you propose.
In order to fully address this issue, I need to know what your final position on this matter is, as in what changes are needed to your course map to fit the situation as you envision it. It seems to me that you cannot ask me to make a judgement without fully detailing the alternative position as you see it.

George

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Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Sat Mar 05, 2005 4:26 pm

Hi all,

There is one last point regarding Antonio's postings of 2 March that I would like to address. I have no disagreement with Antonio regarding the track of the Prinz Eugen during the battle since that is very well documented by the Prinz Eugen Battle Sketch and her War Diary. I do, however, take exception with Antonio's portrayal of the Bismarck sailing all over the place without any evidence to substantiate those maneuvers.

In his posting, Antonio states that the order for the Prinz Eugen not to fire over the Bismarck was given at 0608. That means that the Bismarck had to have been coming up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen for several minutes already for that order to make any sense at that time. How is this possible if the Bismarck was crossing the wake of the Prinz Eugen at that very same time of 0608, according to Antonio's latest reconstruction.

If Antonio's reconstruction is correct, the Bismarck must have been several hundred yards astern of the Prinz Eugen at 0608, so how could the order be given at 0608 under those circumstances? If the Bismarck was several hundred yards astern of the Prinz Eugen at 0608, how could she come abreast of the Prinz Eugen just one minute later at 0609, It would have taken the Bismarck several minutes to accomplish that with a rate of closure of only 100 yards per minute.

Besides words, Antonio is also playing foot-loose and fancy-free with the photographs here, relocating NH69730 from second position at 0601 and placing it in tenth position (next to last) at 0608.3. The preceding photograph, NH69729, is timed at 0607.6, and the following photograph (broadside view) is timed at 0609.0. A time-distance analysis of those photographs clearly shows that this is impossible.

In a time-distance analysis of my own concept of the battle, I place NH69729 at 0559.0, NH69730 at 0601.0, and the broadside view at 0605.0, a total of six full minutes, which I believe to be more realistic. Antonio has compressed this time frame down to only 1.4 minutes in his latest reconstruction. The most that the Bismarck could gain on the Prinz Eugen during that period was only 140 yards, half a ship length, and the amount of lateral movement by both ships during that period, as shown in Antonio's reconstruction, would not change that appreciably.

Antonio's placement of the photographs shows wide gaps between those successive views of the Bismarck, yet his timing allows for only a half ship length advance by the Bismarck over the Prinz Eugen. I'm afraid that the pieces just don't seem fit together here, but perhaps Antonio could clarify the situation for us all.

Bob

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Instead of attacking, it might be better...

Post by George Elder » Sat Mar 05, 2005 8:23 pm

....to modify the map Antonio made to best represent your position. Then we can compare and contrast. This seems like a reasonable way to proceed.

George

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Antonio Bonomi
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Denmark Strait battle maps

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sun Mar 06, 2005 11:16 pm

Ciao Bob, George and all,

well I agree with George on this one.

You Bob better study and correlate the 2 maps I have sent you ( one with your theory translated into a detailed map and my one made on same style so 100 % comparable very easily ) before restarting a discussion that we already made several times.

Hopefully with this new approach we can move some steps forward.

So I will avoid re-entering the old discussions until we can talk about that.

Take it easy I am not in a hurry as I have lots of other things to do.

Please let me know if you need any help of course.

Ciao Antonio :D

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Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Mon Mar 07, 2005 7:16 pm

Hi George,

Your recent postings seem to indicate that you may not fully appreciate the purpose of my initial summation of the evidence supporting my concept of the battle as opposed to Antonio's reconstruction. The issue is really quite simple, and it does not require determining the exact speed of the Bismarck nor a precise determination of the separation between the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen at any one time. Neither is the solution dependent upon my "final position" on the course map, as you requested.

All that we are trying to do here is determine whether the Bismarck remained on the port side of the Prinz Eugen during Phase II of the battle, as I have contended. Antonio, on the other hand, believes that the Bismarck, then several hundred yards off the port quarter of the Prinz Eugen, turned to starboard away from the Prince of Wales at 0602, about the same time that the Prince of Wales broke off the fight and retreated under her own smoke screen to avoid any further damage to herself.

Antonio then has the Bismarck crossing the wake of the Prinz Eugen at 0603, sailing out several hundred yards to starboard of the Prinz Eugen, and swinging in a wide arc behind the Prtinz Eugen, leaving the cruiser exposed to heavy enemy gunfire in direct violation of German naval tactical procedures. Antonio then has the Bismarck turning to port again, re-crossing the wake of the Prinz Eugen at 0608, and arriving off the port beam of the Prinz Eugen just one minute later at 0609.

There is more than sufficient evidence to make a reasonable determination as to which concept of the battle is best supported by the facts. We have the descriptions of the battle by the Baron and Vice-Admiral B.B. Schofield, the accounts of Jasper and Schmalenbach in the Prinz Eugen War Diary, the battle diagrams of Schmalenbach, Elfrath & Herzog, and Koop & Schmolke, the endorsements by Dr. Rohwer and the German Office of Military History Research, and the photographic evidence in still pictures and the battle film.

One key photograph shows the Bismarck passing the Prinz Eugen directly off the port beam of the cruiser and there is evidence that the six still photographs and the battle film showing the Bismarck on the starboard side of the Prinz Eugen had been printed in reverse. Such evidence includes scenes of the Bismarck silhouetted by the flash of her guns, leaving the port side of the ship in the shadow of the fireball. Scenes showing the flash disappearing to the far (starboard) side of the Bismarck and the lack of smoke and blast effect on the near (port) side of the ship also provide key photographic evidence.

The introduction of side issues, as has been done so often in the past, serves only to divert attention from the primary issue under discussion. While obviously not intended as such, those diversions can actually impede and obstruct honest efforts by others who wish to seek the truth as to what actually happened during the battle. The recent excursion into the field of fluid dynamics and "bubbles" is a prime example of such side issues that do not really contribute to the solution of the main issue at hand and break the thread of more serious discussions.

As for my "final position," I accept the Prinz Eugen Battle Sketch as reflecting the track of the Prinz Eugen during the battle. I also accept the Prince of Wales Salvo Plot as reflecting the track of both the Prince of Wales and the Bismarck during Phase I of the battle up to the time of 0601.

I know from Photo NH69722 that the Bismarck was directly astern of the Bismarck at 0556 when the Bismarck opened fire on the Hood. However, I don't know for sure the exact distance between the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen at that point in time. Some believe it to be as high as 3000 meters (3300 yards). I believe it to be around 900-1000 yards. Others have different figures ranging in between those two extremes.

I know that the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen were sailing on divergent courses during the initial phase of the battle. I believe that there is general agreement that the Prinz Eugen was traveling on a course of 220 degrees during that time. The Prince of Wales Salvo Plot estimates the course of the Bismarck to be 212 degrees during Phase I of the battle. My own graphical analysis of the situation shows that the angle of divergence between the two ships was probably between 5-10 degrees, indicating that the 212 degree figure may be reasonably close to the actual course of the Bismarck during Phase I of the battle. Antonio used 217 degrees in his depiction of my position, which is incorrect.

The divergent course of the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen clearly places the Bismarck coming up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen during Phase I. I know that the Bismarck was off the port quarter of the Prinz Eugen at 0601, but I don't know exactly how far away she was. That of course is dependent upon the separation between the two ships at 0556. Once these relatively minor secondary issues have been resolved, I can come up with a "final position" in the matter, but this in no way is a prerequisite to resolving the primary issue addressed above.

We are beginning to make progress with Antonio finally presenting some of his views in his postings of 2 March. Hopefully he will provide us a summary of his key points as I did in my original "Summation of the Battle" so that the rest of the forum members can examine the evidence on both sides and make up their own minds as to which concept of the battle most represents the truth as to what actually happened during the battle.

Whatever Antonio and I say about each other's concept of the battle should not be categorized as "attacks," as you have done, but merely responses to our respective points of view. I don't mind being challenged on what I write, as long as it is not personal. If we can all respect the integrity of the evidence and each other's points of view and present our cases in a truly professional and scholarly manner, we should be able to resolve the primary issue in short order and then go on to tackle some of the side issues which still need to be resolved.

Bob

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I wonder about this view...

Post by George Elder » Tue Mar 08, 2005 3:07 am

Hi Rob:

You note:

Antonio then has the Bismarck crossing the wake of the Prinz Eugen at 0603, sailing out several hundred yards to starboard of the Prinz Eugen, and swinging in a wide arc behind the Prtinz Eugen, leaving the cruiser exposed to heavy enemy gunfire in direct violation of German naval tactical procedures.

I am not at all sure that in a two ship column that it is possible to avopid leaving any vessel exposed to enemy fire. More later.

George

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Antonio Bonomi
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Initial evaluations of DS maps differences

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Tue Mar 08, 2005 1:28 pm

Ciao Bob, George and all,

Ok now I see we can start adding some value to the discussion.

No more ''attacks'' old style ! AGREED !

We will exchange our opinions on the key facts and provide evidences to support either case and at the end I expect that a reasonable agreement can be hopefully reached among fair persons.

So with this attitude and approach let me provide some value add to try to resolve your doubts Bob :

1 ) This statement from your side is key !
As for my "final position," I accept the Prinz Eugen Battle Sketch as reflecting the track of the Prinz Eugen during the battle.

I also accept the Prince of Wales Salvo Plot as reflecting the track of both the Prince of Wales and the Bismarck during Phase I of the battle up to the time of 06.01.
OK, we will see after togheter what happened to Bismarck after 06.01.

So based on the above we do have clear maps, distances and bearings to determine relative positions of the ships listed above ( BS, PG and PoW and by correlation with PoW also HOOD ) from the beginning of the battle till the 06.01.
Same apply of course to Norfolk and Suffolk out of their maps.

STATUS : I fully agree with it and we should move forward from this one.


2) Photo Nh 69722 analysis by Bill Jurens will confirm that Bismarck was between 2000 and 2500 meters at 05.56.
That is exactly the position coming out of the 2 maps listed above that you agreed upon.
More, you know I have translated into a detailed map ( that you have and I have posted too recently ) the exact position of all the key 4 ships ( BS, PG, PoW and HOOD ) at 05.56 when that photo was taken, when German ships opened fire.
On his report Brinkmann and Schmundt talk about '' average '' distance PG vs BS on the battle of 3000 meters, but we know and evidence demonstrate clearly this is not true all the way thru the battle, as the ships were much closer during some key events.

So summarizing at 05.56 distance between BS and PG :

a) I have around 2000 meters with maps, distances, bearings and photo analysis ( soon at high professional level from Bill Jurens ) to prove it.
b) You are saying 900-1000 yards
c) Brinkmann-Schmundt wrote 3000 meters '' average '' interval on the battle between BS and PG
d) Schamlenbach wrote 1600 meters '' average '' due to Radar coverage needs.
e) Suffolk reported 1500 meters but earlier on.

STATUS : We still need to agree about a correct distance range on this point and you should tell me if you want to change it on your map too.
Please remember that if you trust as you said the 2 maps listed above on point 1 than the distance coming out as said is 2000 meters at 05.56, so let me know your position on this one.



3) I see your point about 217° degrees versus 212° degrees.

I took 217° degrees from you own Excel file, that is why.
You now are referring to PoW salvo map initial BS course evaluation and would like to change that course from 217° to 212° degrees.
No problems for me at all, easy change to make and nothing will change dramatically on your map as that will only open the angle of the tracks ( divergent course ) between Prinz Eugen and Bismarck.
But the important point here is NOT the course of 217 °or 212°, but the fact that you kept that course straight till 06.09.

In fact you wrote :
The divergent course of the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen clearly places the Bismarck coming up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen during Phase I. I know that the Bismarck was off the port quarter of the Prinz Eugen at 06.01, but I don't know exactly how far away she was.

That of course is dependent upon the separation between the two ships at 05.56.

Once these relatively minor secondary issues have been resolved, I can come up with a "final position" in the matter, but this in no way is a prerequisite to resolving the primary issue addressed above.
Now you should first evaluate and agree about that separation at 05.56 and after keeping Bismarck at 30 knots straight on the new course of 212 ° degrees ( that you would like now to have plotted ) everything will easily come out on the map.

From my side I can tell you that the course on PoW salvo plot is NOT always 212 ° degree as they wrote on top of the map.

You agreed to use that one as reference on point 1 above, but that does not show a course 212 ° degrees all the way thru for Bismarck, the sequence of course changes for Bismarck showed on that map is 212°, than 197°, than 227° and finally 270° degrees to west.

Just control and verify yourself ( I can send you my study on the bearings and the course made on that map were I have calculated all those precise course of Bismarck on the PoW salvo map with full details ).

So to me that 212° degrees was just the initial evaluations they made at 05.55 on PoW and was probably wrong, more they have also evaluated Bismarck speed been 28 knots on same moment ( is written just aside as '' suggested '' ) and now we know that is probably wrong too.

We do have evidences on other documents telling us how '' troubled '' was initial PoW evaluations of Bismarck, so be careful to trust 100 % those data.

Read in here please :

http://hmshood.com/denmarkstrait/McMullen_letter.html

and

http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... 9guns.html

STATUS : So let me know if you want me to draw a new map of your theory with 212° degrees and starting from which distance at 05.56.


4) Now lets move on one of the key issue here, as you wrote :
Antonio then has the Bismarck crossing the wake of the Prinz Eugen at 0603, sailing out several hundred yards to starboard of the Prinz Eugen, and swinging in a wide arc behind the Prinz Eugen, leaving the cruiser exposed to heavy enemy gunfire in direct violation of German naval tactical procedures.
That is a very important statement that was just analized and scrutinized by the German Fleet High command ( OberKommando of KriegsMarine - OKM of KM ) and it is exactly what happened as you will read on the following Official documents.

I already provided to you the explanation of the Sunderland Airplane pilot describing the line of battle of the German ships at 06.03 ( when PoW turned away ) confirming that Prinz Eugen was ahead ( leading ship ) and Bismarck was still back ( second in the line of battle ) while she was firing to the retreating PoW.
So we have eyewitness reported evidences on the AIR 15-415 about the '' IN-LINE '' position of the 2 German ships at 06.03 early from British side.

http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... 5-415.html

Now lets analize togheter the German high command point of view about what happened and the fact that Bismarck/Adm Lutjens were '' leaving the cruiser ( Prinz Eugen ) exposed to heavy enemy gunfire in direct violation of German naval tactical procedures ''.

From Vize-Adm Schmundt official report :
Position Statement of the Commander of Cruisers (B.d.K.), Vizeadmiral Schmundt, regarding the War Diary of the cruiser "Prinz Eugen".
(Translated from the original German by Ulrich H. Rudofsky)


Commander of Cruisers [B.d.K.]
Log No. Gkdos. 37
Commander Station, 16 June 1941.
To the Supreme Command of the Navy [OKM], Office of Naval Operations [SKL]
Subject: War Diary Cruiser "Prinz Eugen" of 18.5 – 1.6.41.
Transaction: "Prinz Eugen" Gkdos 400 of 2.6.41.

Attached is the position statement taken by the Commander of Cruisers [B.d.K] to the war Diary of "Prinz Eugen" for the period of 18.5 – 1.6.41


Position Statement of the Commander of Cruisers [B.d.K.] regarding the War Diary of the cruiser "Prinz Eugen" for the period of 18.5. – 1.6.1941.

I take the following position to the explanations by the commander [Kapitän zur See Brinkmann]:

4. Conduct of Prinz Eugen during the battle.

a. Although the conduct of "Prinz Eugen" during the battle against 2 heavy enemy ships is indeed very courageous, it does not meet the common [tactical] views presently in force, according to which, already during the assembly for battle, the cruisers and torpedo boats are to post themselves in the fire-lee of the main body – here undoubtedly "Bismarck".
Although the cruiser had an armament of 20cm guns, with which the artillery officer fired remarkably well and also achieved damaging the opponent, this ship is so poorly armoured that it belongs to the light units despite its designation as "heavy cruiser". Every 35 cm or 38 cm hit would have made this ship probably a prize of the pursuing English units or would have forced "Bismarck" to assume extremely unwanted responsibilities for protecting the heavily damaged ship.
In fact, the ship fired a closed salvo, which according to the commander would have hit without fail, but the ship had to manoeuvre coincidentally to avoid a torpedo from "Hood". Although the ship did not receive an order from the chief of fleet to position itself into the lee side of fire [of "Bismarck"], he should have and must have done this on his own, according to the valid tactical procedures in force, by reporting his intention to the chief of fleet, since at this stage there was no battle and the cruiser had not been fully engaged.
I do not know the thought processes of the Chief of Fleet ( Adm Lutjens ) here either for holding the cruiser in the line of battle, not only to engage "Hood" but also against the "Prince of Wales".

b. The cruiser did not receive a signal for fire division – indeed no battle signals were given at all – although this is unusual, it can be explained that the Chief of Fleet either considered the placing of the cruiser into the fire lee as self-evident and did not feel a fire division signal was not required or that the situation was so clear that a fire division signal was superfluous.
But I do agree also with the commander that a directive could be expected by him, particularly, since this is customarily always done when sailing in the line of battle.

c. A still unexplained question concerns the failure of the cruiser's deployment of torpedoes.
The chief of fleet had reserved this for himself (compare with page 1, item 4). However, I believe this reservation is related only to the deployment against merchant ships, for whose sinking the ships had sailed in the first place.
But in battle, every offered advantageous opportunity must be exploited. The ships sailed [in line] at an interval of 3,000 meters. It is impossible for the leader to supervise with certainty the torpedo-tactical situation of a ship sailing 3,000 meter distant.
The binding order of page 1, item 4, therefore, cannot have any validity in this particular situation, if an opportunity for a torpedo launch had occurred.
According to the report by the commander, he was not within reaching range of "Hood", that is, shortly before the intended torpedo launch, he had to evade a torpedo from "Hood" and, therefore, the launch had to be aborted. On the contrary, however, an opportunity for a launch against "Prince of Wales", who stood behind "Hood" and who was not at flank speed as he passed her, did indeed occur, since at that time ["PoW"] transited "Prinz Eugen" at a distance of 140 hectometers; furthermore, at that time even the heavy Flak of the ship was deployed.

The position of "Prinz Eugen" in relation to "Prince of Wales" cannot be derived from the battle sketch. It is useless and worthless. The ship is herewith directed to resubmit a new battle sketch that is based on the actual data provided by the computing station, and in the future, [PG is admonished] to pay greater attention to the preparation of battle sketches. Furthermore, the question is to be resolved, why the torpedo installations, which really had to be up and running since the time of the sighting of the opponent, took such a long time to report "all clear and ready", as is evident from the War Diary on page 23.

[Signed]
Schmundt
and after the confirmation from Adm Carls :

Cruiser "Prinz Eugen" torpedo related matters regarding the naval engagement on 24 May 1941.
(Translated from the original German by Ulrich H. Rudofsky)


Naval Group Command North
Command Post, 7 July 1941
To the High Command of the Kriegsmarine – Office of Naval Operations (SKL)

Attached, the position of the Commander of Cruisers (B.d.K.) regarding the War Diary (KTB) of the Cruiser "Prinz Eugen" from 18.5 to 1.6. 1941 is presented.
It is noted:

At page 1 – 1.) 3rd sentence.

The conclusion is too far-fetched, and appears to have been drawn in retrospect. At Group, this certainty was not at hand in similar form.
Regarding the judgment of the situation, there were further options:
c. the choice of a rapid break-through south of Iceland,
d. evasion to the North [Arctic] Ocean for a waiting period with the inherent danger of being found and engaged.

At page 2 – 4.) Ref. 4. Conduct of Prinz Eugen during the battle.


a. "Prinz Eugen" presumed to engage first of all heavy cruisers not battleships.

b. The engagement of "Prinz Eugen's" artillery in this battle was in any case correct.
"Prinz Eugen" achieved strikes and incendiary effects.
This could have been very important.
She forced the opponent to divide his fire.
This could have been a decisive action.
One cannot think only according to rule and must take chances in the exposure to danger.
Dangers here do not always refer to incurring losses or annihilation.
Of primary effect was the deployment of "Prinz Eugen's" torpedoes.
This failed, and it was a serious [bad] shortcoming!

At page 5 – 8.)

The criticism of the assumption by the 1st Artillery Officer [Korvettenkapitän Jasper] is not warranted, namely, that at very far distances of the opponent, particularly at sharp angles, the identity of a ship's type, even with the most accurate knowledge, cannot be demanded with absolute certainty.

[Signed]
Carls
So as you can read above very clearly and irrefutably from KM High Command written Official reports Prinz Eugen DID NOT follow the '' German naval tactical procedures '' in place, it is clearly written and justified too by the KM senior Officers.

STATUS : I think you should just accept what was analized and well established by them soon after the events as a matter of fact.

Let me have your comments of the above 4 points please.

Ciao Antonio :D

Robert J. Winklareth
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Location: Woodbridge, VA USA
Contact:

Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Thu Mar 10, 2005 2:12 am

Hi all,

Some time ago, Antonio turned down my offer to work together to seek the truth in the matter since I admittedly did not have all of the answers. Instead of working, he rejected my points of view completely and began developing his own reconstruction in an apparent attept to prove me wrong. He then ridiculed my points of view and attacked me personally.

Not wanting to get into a heated debate with Antonio on the forum, I took a lot of abuse from him, which some of you can attest to, but avoided any retaliatory attacks in kind. I was chagrined to learn that he even attacked and threatened John Asmussen, as reflected in John's responses to him on his forum. I have since avoided any direct contact with Antonio, and I do not intend to go through that ordeal again with him.

My original postings under Summation of Battle Phase I and Phase II were intended for the consumption of other members of the forum. Under Phase II, I presented 25 items of evidence that supported my concept of the battle and addressed 14 arguments used by Antonio to justify his theory of the battle. I had hoped that Antonio would have stepped up to the plate and done likewise so that all members of the forum could weigh both sides and determine which best represented the truth as to what happened during the Battle of the Denmarck Strait.

Instead we now have over 100 postings under both this and the other topic, many of which were on side issues that are not directly related to the basic issue at hand. I will continue to monitor Antonio's postings, and I will respond to his points of view as I deem necessary, but I will not be subject to any demands on his part for any response. I would prefer if Antonio would address his remarks to the forum and noi to me personally.

As I have said on previous occasions, I do have obligations in other areas and I cannot spend as much time as I would like on this pasttime. Antonio has used this as a weapon against me, even calling me a coward at times, but I ask for your indulgence. I will respond as necessary in good time.

Bob

WGarzke
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Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 1:12 am
Location: Montclair, Virginia, USA

Post by WGarzke » Thu Mar 10, 2005 4:54 am

I have been unable to follw the discussions on the Bismarck website for some time now as my wife of 40 years passed away in November 2004. I read with interest Robert Winklareth's discussion, "The Controversy is Over!" I must say that I frankly agree with George Elder's comment that the contriversy is not over! I have researched the Bismarck saga for over 46 years and one thing that gas impressed me is the amount on new data and reports on this ship that have surfaced in recent years.

I firmly believe that Robert Winklareth's argument that Bismarck was always to port of Prinz Eugen is totally false! I have bolden the word false for special emphasis. When Bob Dulin and I met with Robert in his home in July 2002, we showed him portions of the Langemann film of the opening moments of the Denmark Strait battle in which Bismarck is clearly to starboard of Prinz Eugen before Hood succumbed to a deflagration in her aft magazines. There is much sense to this location because in my written correspondence with senior officers of the Prince of Wales, Bismarck was the more distant ship. CDR McMullen wrote me that he was not deceived by which ship was Bismarck when he was given the order to open fire by Captain Leach. He knew that the trailing ship was Bismarck and withheld open fire with his 356-mm guns. Captain Leach went along with this decision of his leading gunnery officer. Now Mr. Winklareth tells us that the battle film could also be reversed. That is nonsense. He wants to maintain that his philosophy on the reverse still photopgraphy is sound. Without the knowledge of when these still phtos were taken one cannot conclusively conclude that the still photographs were taken after 0600 on 24 May when Hood began her deflagration process. After Hood sank the Bismarck moved to the port side of Prinz Eugen.

It is very important to realize that Langemann had two cameras during this battle to work with - one a movie camera and the other a still camera. Once the Hood was sunk, the Bismarck began to slowly overtake Prinz Eugen to her port side. Between 0605-0615 excellent still photographs could have been taken with Bismarck at close range. In fact this was when the over-exposed picture of Bismarck firing at Prince of Wales was taken.

As to the battle film, it is most unlikely that this film was reversed. It clearly shows that Prince of Wales and Hood were to port of the German squadron. If we are to believe Robert Winklareth, then the two British capital ships would have been to starboard. This cannot be. The black smoke to starboard of Prince of Wales is Norfolk that was to port of the German ships. Suffolk was starboard. Cleary this still photograph taken from the battle film was not reversed. "We showed Robert Winklareth that film in his home. No mention was made at the time that it was reversed.

As to the war log of Bismarck, this was a recreated log made by an officer from Prinz Eugen. Pne cannot assume that this log is 100% accurate as it was drawn from German archives of copies of data and transcripts to and from Bismarck. The officer who wrote this report of the events while Prinz Eugen was in company would be influenced on what he saw from Prinz Eugen and events he witnessed.

I have been intrigued by the reports of torpedo noises and tracks from those aboard Prinz Eugen. Captain Brinkmann claimed in his report of the battle that he spotted torpedo tracks around 0605. No one on board Prince of Wales saw the torpedo mantlets of Hood open on the starboard side. Captain Brinkmann ordered a starboard turn around 0605 and that maneuver definitely helped to put his ship to starboard of Bismarck. It is also the position that German Naval doctrine wanted a cruiser to be - to the lee side of the battleship. The noises that the hydrophine operators heard may well have been the implosion-explosion process going on with Hood as she sank to the seabed below. It would have taken at least five or more minutes for Hood to reach the ocean bottom.

The only starboard turn that Bismarck would have made was to dodge salvos from Prince of Wales. However, shortly after taking this British battleship under fire with her 380-mm guns, she managed three hits in rather quick succession. This also tracks with the official British report on the damage to Prince of Wales as well as the testimony of the senior officers that I have interviewed. Prinz Eugen scored her three hits before Bismarck and while Hood was blowing up. Bismarck's port 150-mm guns were firing at Prince of Wales, but did not register any hits. The 105-mm guns of Prinz Eugen opened fire around 0605 when the range between the German ships and Prince of Wales closed to about 14,000 meters.

After 0602 the gunfire of Prince of Wales became erratic due to hits in the superstructure and the inexperience of the gun crews. There were also problems with guns not able to fire. Prince of Wales did managed three hits on Bismarck between her sixth and thirteenth salvos. After that shells fell way short of their target.

There is also a naval architectural point to me made. Bismarck was trailing Prinz Eugen about 1,000 to 1,500 meters before the battle began. The Germans did not know what ships they were fighting until 0554. The two senior gunnery officers were debating on what the lead ship was. We also know that a Prince of Wales 356-mm shell struck the bow of Bismarck before Hood sank slowing her top speed to 26-28 knots. The Prinz Eugen would have had to slow to 17-19 knots to allow Bismarck to puill abreast of her by 0605. That slower speed does not appear in the speed log of Prinz Eugen. Mr. Winklareth and it went over that log in August 2002.

Mr. Winklareth must prove the time at when each photo he claimed are reverwed were taken. That will be a difficult point to prove as Mr. Elder has already intimated in his reply.

Sincerely

Bill Garzke
William H. Garzke, Jr.

George Elder
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My deepest sympathy goes to you...

Post by George Elder » Thu Mar 10, 2005 5:00 pm

... for the loss of one so dear. People keep telling me that such things get better with time, although I am not quite sure I believe it. But it seems that you are becoming involved again, and that is a good thing. My problem with this course exercise is that if we do the graphics, in Rob's proposal we have the PE assuming movements relative to the flag ship and enemy vessels that do not seem very likily given the tactical situation. Antonio's proposals more or less fit what we know, although there are some distance/time problems that remain unresolved.
But what realley bothers me is that this whole discussion invariably gets nasty, and I don't understand why this must be the case. I know what it like to hold strong views, and I can be as dogged and nasty as anyone in defending and attacking positions. Yet at the end of the day, the data and sources must guide our judgements, and all the angst and insistance doesn't matter a bit. It is the data that must guide us, and in that respect I still see very little evidence to support the reversed photo notion. And if I accept the course that Rob has the PE following, the ship behaves in a fashion relative to the flagship that that has me pondering what tactical needs would warrant such an approach.
Now it may well be the case that I am simply not seeing Rob's points on his map as clearly as I should, and thus I keep asking him to work with Antonio in adjusting his version of the map to better approximate what he thinks happened. Antonio has said that he would modify the map to suit Rob's needs, and this is as good as we can ask if we are to at long last end this fray. I thus ask that all the negativity stop, and that Rob avail himself of what Antomio has offered.
Lasty, I strongly agree with Bill that new "old" information keeps coming to the forefront, as is evidenced by the outstanding research Dave Saxton is now doing in WWII era welding and metalurgy. Thanks to some leads he has come up with, I'm on a happy hunt as to how homogeneous plate properties (e.g., BRN, UTS, etc., etc.) influence shell trajectory and yaw changes -- with crh being a neat factor here. And let us not forget that it was only a year ago that Ulrich finished translating an official overview of the Bismarck's gunnery status. This contained a gold mine of new information.
But the task to hand is not overly complex and need not be lengthy. It only involves Rob making whatever changes that he deems are needed in his current map. That is all. After this exercise is done, and when the distances are determined, the most likily scenerio will reveal itself. So I ask you Rob, please complete the exercise. These graphics help a feeble mind such as mine to grasp differences and to make more reasoned conclusions.

George

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