"Official" Version of Battle?

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

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George Elder
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Not much has been resolved...

Post by George Elder » Tue Mar 01, 2005 1:36 pm

Some very noble attempts were made, but I, for one, am not about to make any conclusions untill Bill completes his exercise in determining the distance between the PE and Bismarck. Once this is verified, then we have something to discuss. And without the origional movie sequence, or an exact copy, we sure don't have much to go on in that arena.
It seems to me that there has been a general rush to judgement on many issues, and that the more we reflect upon the nature of our data and methodlogy -- the greater should be our caution before making any grand pronoucements about the debate being over. Indeed, we recently learned how dangerous this can be with regard to speed estimations.
As of now, I am not sure what course machinations the Bismarck made, nor what the ship's speed was. I have some details of various course changes the PE made and her reported speed. I am curious as to what Rob thinks about all this, and look forward to his responce.


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Antonio Bonomi
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Distances and speed

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Tue Mar 01, 2005 4:36 pm

Ciao George and all,

here you can find some references on the initial Nh 69722 photo ( Bismarck first salvo to Hood ) distance estimations :

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/imag ... h69722.jpg

http://www.bismarck-class.dk/forum/view ... c&start=90

and here :

http://www.bismarck-class.dk/forum/view ... 1690#11690

at the end of this second post you will find Mr. Winklareth position about his evaluation on Bismarck versus Prinz Eugen distance showed on Nh 69722, you will read he thinks it was 900-1000 yards ( because he needs that to sustain his theory ).

From Mr. Winklareth post :
Regarding the distance between the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen throughout the engagement, I use the established rate of 100 yards per minute at which the Bismarck could gain on the Prinz Eugen as a result of the difference in their speeds, 30.0 knots versus 27.0 knots. I place the time of the broadside view at about 0604-0605, which would indicate that the Bismarck was 400-500 yards astern of the Prinz Eugen at 0601 and 900-1000 yards astern at 0556.

Since the Bismarck was off the port quarter of the Prinz Eugen at 0601, the lateral separation between the two ships of about 400 yards would put the Bismarck about 600-700 yards diagonally away from the Prinz Eugen at 0601. In the case of NH69722, there was no lateral separation between the two ships, making the distance truly 900-1000 yards.

It is conceivable that the Bismarck could have been 3200 yards astern of the Prinz Eugen at 0535 when the German squadron was first sighted by the British force. Allowing a couple of minutes to get up to full speed, the Bismarck could have closed the distance to 900-1000 yards in the 21 minutes to 0556. A distance of 3200 yards at 0556 is clearly impossible.
So as you have read Mr. Winklareth has established Bismarck distance showed on photo Nh 69722 based on his theory needs of 900 yards :shock: .

Problem for Mr. Winklareth is that Nh 69722 shows Bismarck at least at 2000 meters back ( my evaluation ) or even a bit more distant ( we will see Bill Jurens evaluation soon ), some even think 3200 yards.

That of course makes Mr Winklareth theory impossible as logic consequence, since as you have read yourself he mandatory needs only 900-1000 yards Bismarck back from Prinz Eugen at 05.56 when Bismarck fired her first salvo.

Now lets see were the distances and bearings place the 4 ships involved when German ships opened fire at 05.55 ( data are all taken from official documents ), since I played with those data a bit :

http://hmshood.com/cgi-bin/i/denmarkstr ... re-map.jpg

WHOW !! what a combination :D , Bismarck ends up been at 2000 meters back on Prinz Eugen due to distances and bearings reported, exactly were Nh 69722 shows her to be and were I have calculated her to be with different methodologies.

Now if you take in account what Bismarck can gain on Prinz Eugen due to speed difference ( 27 vs 30 or more knots ) you will realize that Bismarck can gain only 900-1100 meters in 10 minutes from 05.55 till 06.04 ( when PG film starts and Nh 69728 shows Bismarck at 1000 meters more or less still back and on Prinz Eugen starboard side ) as very easily noticeable by looking at the 2 photos and evaluate Bismarck size.

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/imag ... h69728.jpg

Please note on Nh 69728 both Bismarck A turret guns on port side ( consequently this photo cannot be reversed otherwise Bismarck will be firing to Greenland ) and the big wave on her bow due to high speed at the moment.

Here a table of speed differences I made to make easy calculations :

http://hmshood.com/cgi-bin/i/denmarkstr ... _speed.jpg

Currently there are no other photos nor film sequences in between those 2 photos.

One was taken at 05.55 ( Nh 69722 ) and the other at 06.04 ( Nh 69728 ), 10 minutes after ( all the photos people is used to put in between those 2 are wrongly placed due to evident photo details present on the photos, like PG side railings, PG guns, PG wake etc etc ).

The sequence of film and the photo I am using to evaluate Bismarck speed was taken a minute after Nh 69728, at 06.05 and apparently Bismarck was still '' flying '' at 30+ knots.

This is the current situation under our eyes to be better evaluated werever possible of course.

Please do not get confused and do not add too much meat on the fireplace here.
Prinz Eugen started the series of turns just after 06.04 ( when turned to starboard due to the torpedo ALARM ) and you know I have explained in full details that battle parts as well with all references on documents, film and photos.

On this initial battle part Prinz Eugen only went straight on course 220° degrees at 27 knots as clearly demonstrated by his own battle map and speed chart all available.



Bismarck consequently to be at 1000 meters ( starting from more than 2000 meters back ) as Nh 69728 shows, could ONLY have run faster than Prinz Eugen following straight the Heavy Cruiser on the course 220° degrees, maybe on her wake, maybe slightly on starboard or port, but basically straight on her back.

Just look those 3 examples I made :

http://hmshood.com/cgi-bin/i/denmarkstr ... ns_map.jpg

The series of avoidance turns started after this initial one at 06.04 showed by Nh 69728.

It seems easy and elementary to me, and Nh 69728 shows clearly the GAIN of Bismarck at 06.04 from the Nh 69722 position at 05.55, and it was only due to delta speed.

Hope my explanation was clear enough.

Ciao Antonio :D

Randy Stone
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I disagree with...

Post by Randy Stone » Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:44 pm

...the assertion that not much has been resolved or that there has been a general rush to judgment, George.
George Elder wrote:"Not much has been resolved...Some very noble attempts were made, but I, for one, am not about to make any conclusions... (it) seems to me that there has been a general rush to judgement on many issues..."George
Our entire exercise has illuminated a great deal and the data which has been obtained allows us to constructively weed out a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding.

Of course, by your own admission, you are not privy to a great deal of information and such a position would rightfully cause even a skeptic such as myself to withhold judgment, so I understand your hesitation to make any conclusions. Fortunately, I labor under fewer such restrictions.

Given my position, I am willing to outline conclusions and looking at what has been written by Mr. Winklareth, I can see the handwriting on the wall, as it were. As you pointed out there has been some rushing to judgment, as in reversing photography or asserting Bismark was steaming a mere 900 - 1000 yards astern of Prinz Eugen.

There is, of course, no basis for making such claims either from prior record or from subsequent research. In fact, as my analysis of the photography has shown, there is no possibility the photography has been reversed. As for the distance behind the Prinz my experienced eye had determined a 2000 yard interval, an interval which some well informed folks are now convincing me I have substantially understated.

As we have seen from our review of Bismarck's speed capabilities, she is simply unable to cover even my understated 2000 yards in the timeframe dictated by the Winklareth Theory. As Antonio has submitted the required evidence below, I'll allow you to review the numbers, but the math is quite straightforward and there's simply no way of getting around it.

Thus, there is little question in my mind that Antonio has recorded the Battle of Denmark Strait in sufficient factual detail as to impeach the Winklareth Theory and what lies about now is to polish up that which he chooses.

In my opinion -- and I've stated this before -- I would point out that Antonio's methodical and incremental approach in this matter is a very suitable model for anyone wishing to revisit a given historical question.

His analysis of the Denmark Strait is a fine example of how research is conducted and how such research leads to well established and proper conclusions. I heartily congratulate him on his work and would note that we owe him a debt of gratitude for the efforts he has extended on behalf of the community.


George Elder
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Nice summary Antonio...

Post by George Elder » Wed Mar 02, 2005 3:51 am

Hi Antonio:

I am well aware of what Rob has to answer, as I am of the work that remains for you to do. I suspect that course alterations will play a very large part in this, but what we need now is some input from Rob. Your position has been clear for some time, and parts of your case are certainly compelling. It now falls to Rob to answer them, and it does no good for proponents of either view to simply repeat what has already been articulated. So as I said before, I look forward to Rob's responce to the points you have presented above.


George Elder
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 4:23 pm

More input for Antonio...

Post by George Elder » Wed Mar 02, 2005 4:00 am

Hi Antonio:

I spoke at length with Dr. SF, who works for the Navy in hull designs. He had serious problems with the shell splash methodology for many of the reasons already articulated, but he quite independantly and spontaneously suggested using the hull waveform method -- if the profile can be seen. He said the noise might still be high, and that we would need to get the trial diagrams. But he seemed to think this was our best bet. Dr. F knows his stuff. For example, he spotted an error in a model's underwater hull profile immediately, and that was no easy task given the problem. I'll gather a few more views, but I think we will get far more out of the hull wave form than we will the shell splash -- at least that is what the guys with lots of letters after their name seem to think. Much to do, however.


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Antonio Bonomi
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Speed, distances and wave

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:39 am

Ciao George, Randy and all,

to George,

of course I do know that now it is up to Mr Winklareth to explain in clear details his position about this initial part of the battle.

Lets see if this time you will be able to get a satisfactory response and mostly having him accepting the evidences.

What everybody should have realized is that for 10 minutes there is nothing in photos and film of this battle part.

You are talking about turns on this part of the battle, but as PG battle map shows the German heavy cruiser did not made any turn till 06.04, sailing straight on course 220° degrees at 27 knots and the only thing we have are the 2 PoW battle maps that shows Bismarck run track here in :

http://hmshood.com/cgi-bin/i/denmarkstr ... w_maps.jpg

and some official reports like the Sunderland airplane AIR 14-415 that was confirming the 2 German ships sailing '' in line '' :
At this juncture no engaged ships had been identified and I instructed the pilot to proceed towards the starboard column of ships. The second ship of this line (BISMARCK) was making a considerable amount of smoke which appeared to come from near the mainmast on the port side. Oil was also escaping and leaving a broad streak in the water behind her.
and after Hood was sunk still from the Sunderland Pilot :
The second enemy (BISMARCK) then fired a salvo at the ship which had reversed course (later identified as PRINCE OF WALES) and this was a very near miss, with perhaps 1 hit near the stern. This was the most accurate I had observed during the action, the previous bursts from the enemy appearing to be well ahead, but with range correct and those from our units seemed to be either under or over, although in most cases line appeared to be to good.
The leading ship (PRINZ EUGEN) of the enemy line had also been firing and the salvos also fell well ahead of our leading ship but range again appeared to be correct. After emerging from cloud we flew over the wreckage of the sunken warship( HOOD), observing one large red raft and a considerable amount of wreckage amidst a huge patch of oil. From the height we were flying, no survivors could actually be seen. . .
Please note that the Sunderland Pilot is saying clearly that Bismarck was still the '' second enemy ship in the German line '' when she fired to PoW which had reversed course already so at 06.03 more or less :D
More, after the Pilot is saying that Prinz Eugen was still ''The leading ship (PRINZ EUGEN) of the enemy line '' .

just as Adm Schmundt report confirms :
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".
as well as various other German documents.

So as you can see it seems that from a perfect '' in line '' position on Prinz Eugen wake at 05.55 on course 220 ° degrees ( showed by Nh 69722 ) Bismarck moved a bit on the port side ( referencing the 2 PoW maps ) when hit from 6th salvo from PoW and changed course too after been hit after 9th salvo as well, than we have some difference between the 2 PoW maps between salvo 9th and 13th, one is straight the other is making a semi-circle.

Both PoW official maps after 06.03 clearly show the turn to starboard made by Bismarck on course 270 ° degrees west due to the Torpedo warning issued by Prinz Eugen GHG room.

I think evidences are irrefutable here too and you will easily agree with above clearly written and well reported facts :D .

I personally doubt that Lagemann ( PG photographer ) and the Camera man were not taking any photo or film, what I highly suspect is that this material was intentionally censored and never showed so far.

I hope it is still somewhere in some Archives or maybe private collections ( like the few photos I saw of the last part of the battle that are not known ) because to me they did take photos and film too.

Moving to the speed determination what I can do is to take out from all the photos available the wave on Bismarck bow and realize a '' collage '' of them thru the battle.

I did same thing for Bismarck shadow profile to study the Nh 69722.

This way one can analyze them and see what comes out.

Let me know if this can help, as I can do it in 5 minutes.

to Randy,

I am honored of your words, sincerely many thanks !

Ciao Antonio :D

George Elder
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Not just the Bow wave...

Post by George Elder » Wed Mar 02, 2005 3:04 pm

Hi Antonio:

You needn't spend time trying to persuade me. I know your case because I have heard it many, many times before. I am awaiting Rob's answer, and that is all. One point he keeps bringing up is:

"When I challenged Antonio to reconcile the order for the Prinz Eugen not to fire over the Bismarck with his claim that the Bismarck was on the starboard side of the Prinz Eugen at the time, you prodded Antonio to respond. Was his response acceptable in your eyes, and if so, why, and if not, why not? Instead, the ball was dropped and the issue was never resolved by the group as a whole."

Please resolve this issue, Antonio, and then we can move on. As for the hull wave form, the bow wave is just one element. As a ship moves through the water, it creates peaks in troughs that run along its entire length. These peaks and troughs are correlated with various speeds, and are drawn via superimposing the wave-form on profiles of the ship's hull. The bow wave alone will not suffice. We must see the pattern along the whole side of the ship. I hope that I am being clear here.


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Antonio Bonomi
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End of the battle of DS

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Wed Mar 02, 2005 5:18 pm

Ciao George and all,

I am really surprised from you request George :shock: :
One point he ( Mr. Winklareth ) keeps bringing up is:

"When I challenged Antonio to reconcile the order for the Prinz Eugen not to fire over the Bismarck with his claim that the Bismarck was on the starboard side of the Prinz Eugen at the time, you prodded Antonio to respond. Was his response acceptable in your eyes, and if so, why, and if not, why not? Instead, the ball was dropped and the issue was never resolved by the group as a whole."

Please resolve this issue, Antonio, and then we can move on.
I suppose this request here in is based on the fact that I responded on another forum, since you even congratulate me for the very complete and satisfactory response provided on October 2004.

I am used to see Mr. Winklareth intentionally ignoring my responses when they prove him wrong, but not you usually.

I was sure you got the point right since you wrote me :

Posted: Sat 16 Oct, 2004 8:06 pm Post subject: Very plausible
Hi Antonio:

What I like about your notion is that you do not try to explain away the warning that was given about the range being fouled. Instead, you embrace the warning as a point of support in your PE plot diagram -- and the the warning would be a tactical need given the situation you envision. A less careful and educated observer would simply try to explain away the battle diary textual evidence as a petty precautionary note or as something of little importance. I think you have done a very good job here, and it now falls to Bob to explain why the plot diagram you have ascribed to the PE cannot accopunt for the available record and observations.


anyway here it is again for everybody to read here in as well :
Ciao all,

well, .. many of those questions were just on the spot I am currently working with, so it is relatively easy for me to respond, .. it is a ''piece of cake ''.

As George underlined I like to use evidences werever I can and in this case I was working with them of course, so here they are.

I have no intimate associations nor hidden agendas with anybody, only several good friends I am sharing my passion for historical research with, so lets proceed with my latest analysis, hoping you will find some answers as I did lately.

to Bob :

Old maps story is well known to me, all of them starts from F.O. Busch of 1943, than 1947, progress with Schmalenbach 1971, 1978, .. than find their ultimate version with Baron/Rohwer of 1980 that I consider the best ever made as a book rough map.

The one you refer to, Schmalenbach 1971 and Baron 1990 and 1999 were just coming back with the initial F.O. Busch maps logic of tracks and events, to try to find solution for some photos that were not perfectly associated with Baron / Rohwer 1980 map, still showing roughly the events.

You found room in this area too issuing your book because of this not correct association, and here we are.

But initial Busch 1943 and 1947 maps were better than those ones, so I suggest you not to waste to much time on them.

Herzog/Koop/Schmolke etc etc, .. I will not comment, .. too low of a quality for them like for several other maps I saw by them.

Schmalenbach was maybe a bit confused and initially had few evidences, but he progressively improved till the 1978 map.

Now everything is much more clear and a lot more infos are available, so we can finish up the work and put the whole things togheter more precisely and definitively ( and my Re-Construction made a huge step forward in this direction).

The only possible battle scenario ( the traditional with the figure 8 ) is well know and now secured forever, we just need to make it as precise as we can.

Prinz Eugen battle sketch and PoW plot and battle map are the base, the rest is taken from various sources when proved right with other evidences.

By the way, here the first F.O. Busch map of 1943 from the book '' Prinz Eugen im ersten Gefecht '' published on 1943 I have in original Book in my hands :

http://www.bismarck-class.dk/forum_imag ... 943_01.jpg

and his translation :

http://www.bismarck-class.dk/forum_imag ... _trans.jpg

I suggest you to read carefully all the statements Busch wrote, because they are very good and almost perfect for a 1943 made map.

His memory ( or the suggestion he can still have from PG crew on 1943 ) at the time he made the book was still very good.

Read the references of PG fire and cease fire, were Bismarck was at 06.09 and the references about the British ships and Hood been hit, sinking and still making smoke from the wreckages ( very important reference for the 5 British ship photos !! ).

to Bob and George :

now moving to the question you asked me and George reinforced about the order received by Kpt Ltnt Paulus Jasper on board Prinz Eugen to hold fire not to overshoot the Bismarck and soon after to cease fire.
Just one question, Antonio: How can you reconcile the command "Don't shoot over the Bismarck" if the Bismarck was off the starboard side of the Prinz Eugen and the Prince of Wales was to port of the Bismarck, especially in view of the fact that the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen were traveling in the same general direction and the Bismarck could advance on the Prinz Eugen at a rate of only 100 yards per minute?

and :

How can you reconcile the command "Don't shoot over the Bismarck" if the Bismarck was off the starboard side of the Prinz Eugen and the Prince of Wales was to port of the Bismarck, especially in view of the fact that the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen were traveling in the same general direction and the Bismarck could advance on the Prinz Eugen at a rate of only 100 yards per minute?

I look forward to opinions on this observation.

Now I am going to drive you on the explanation of the second cross-over of Bismarck on Prinz Eugen wake closing the so called '' Figure 8 '' with official available evidences, because that was the moment this occurred.

YES, Bismarck was on Prinz Eugen starboard side and was coming to him, while Prinz Eugen was sailing west on course 290° passing horizontally in front of her coming bow.
So the rate of closure for speed difference does not count here too much, we are talking tracks that crossed each others.
The 2 ships on this moment were NOT traveling on the same general direction.

Lets start with the Kpt Ltnt P. Jasper precise words :
.... The minimum distance at this time point was about 140 hectometers. This was (at) 05.02 - 05.03. At this point even the heavy anti-aircraft guns attempted to participate in the battle. Then, the distance increased steadily up to 180 - 190 hectometers. Observation from the foretop was intermittently prevented by (gun) smoke from the forward turret group. In these cases, we brought in [ranging data from] auxiliary observation (station).
At the twenty eighth salvo, the ship had turned so far (away) that [our view] of the target from the foretop was obscured by stack (exhaust) fumes. Simultaneously, the forward turrets were in their extreme turning position (at maximal rotation). I gave the order to transfer [fire control] to 1st Lieutenant Albrecht in the aft (gunnery) position, who continued to fire well-placed, rapid, and partial salvos while keeping the battery on target with minor range corrections until cease-fire.
During the battle our own ship turned sharply thrice. Firing continued during these turning manoeuvres. The battery was twice temporarily and laterally dislodged from the target in this context (connection). "Bismarck" came directly into the line of fire after the third avoidance manoeuvre. Accordingly, I received the order from the ship's command: "Do not fire over Bismarck; and immediately thereafter, "cease fire". Firing ceased at 05.09 hours.........
So now you know that Prinz Eugen turned sharply, and that the forward guns cannot bear at the end of the battle when Jasper passed fire control to Albrecht on the aft control, he fired well with aft turrets and immediately after ceased fire.
Bismarck came under Prinz Eugen firing lane after the 3rd avoidance manoeuvre.

So lets go and take a close look at when this happened using Prinz Eugen official battle map :

http://www.bismarck-class.dk/forum_imag ... n_demo.jpg

You can count the tuns at 06.04, 06.06, 06.07 and 06.08, after this last avoidance manoeuvre Bismarck was coming directly under the Prinz Eugen line of fire.
You can notice how after 06.07 the forward guns of Prinz Eugen cannot fire anymore ( See Jasper report ) and this is the moment he passed the fire control to Albrecth that fired them during the course on 290° from 06.07 till after 06.08, but only the aft turrets as Jasper reported.

Than Prinz Eugen turned before 06.09 and now Bismarck was coming from her starboard to re-cross her wake.

They saw Bismarck coming ( 2 photos do exist of this and are correctly allocated with timetable on the last photo of SIGNAL Article of September 1941 ) showing Bismarck coming for the re-cross at 06.08 and Prinz Eugen railings sailing away to west confirming the whole scenario.

Of course from Bismarck they saw as well the Prinz Eugen sailing horizontally on course 290° in front of them ( Bismarck was coming on course 230° south-west more or less ) and passing from port to starboard on the Bismarck bow while shooting with aft turrets only.

That is why they issued the order to them at 06.08 :

Do not fire over the Bismarck !

Just look at last photo and related caption ( this is one of the 2 photos taken of Bismarck at 06.07 and 06.08 ) :


or into my work referencing photo 9 and 10 ( please note Prinz Eugen lateral railings and the absence of Prinz Eugen wake, just to confirm Prinz Eugen sailing direction to west on course 290°, with Bismarck coming bow on and firing at bearing 270° to PoW as it must be ) :

http://www.bismarck-class.dk/bismarck/d ... onomi.html

and correlate it with this map I am currently working on to make my Bismarck track more precise ( first disclosure of my current work ).

Bismarck track is in RED, Prinz Eugen one in BLACK, you should look at time of event 06.07 and 06.08 for both ships and their course directions, always referencing with the enemy PoW for firing solutions :

http://www.bismarck-class.dk/forum_imag ... uation.jpg

So summarizing :

1) The order was given at 06.08 more or less as it was obvious were the 2 ships were going to be one to the other very well, and very soon.

2) Bismarck was coming to close the figure 8 at 06.08, she was going to be for the first time on Prinz Eugen port side in between Prinz Eugen and the enemy ( PoW ) and into her firelane, so that is why the order was given only at that time and never before.

3) Prinz Eugen position and firing situation is well reported and demonstrated with no doubts, as well as Jasper report that lucky us referenced well to Bismarck on those crucial moments.

4) We have a lot of evidences to demonstrate all the above been correct and well proven, even 2 photos of which one on a September 1941 German Official magazine like SIGNAL with proper timetable of event signed by an eyewitness of the event like Kpt Ltnt J.C. Schmitz-Westerholt.

Hope I have been clear enough and that you have liked my work on this.

As said,... '' piece of cake '' for me now.

I am sure everybody as understood clearly when both Bismarck and Prinz Eugen ceased fire, at 06.09 after those events.

But please go back on that old 1943 map F.O. Busch draw that I have attached on top of this post, .. you can see and read when that happened according to Busch as well,.. exactly at 06.09 of course ( please add 1 hour to the DZT - Deutschland Zeit Time ).

Did you noticed he draw also Bismarck and referenced her to Prinz Eugen at 06.09 precisely,.. she was coming under the firelane, .. but not passing the cruiser yet as Busch draw Bismarck still way back to Prinz Eugen,.. very interesting indeed,.. it was done on 1943.

Ciao Antonio

the full post is available here in :

http://www.bismarck-class.dk/forum/view ... c&start=30

and another piece of importance about Nh 69730 ( the flash effect photo ) is here in :


So summarizing this statement is not correct and fair :
Instead, the ball was dropped and the issue was never resolved by the group as a whole.
As you can read I have '' overkilled '' the point and nobody in fairness can say I have not explained satisfactorly the point.

Now I have explained the beginning of the battle, the intermediate and the end of it supporting everything with complete irrefutable evidences.

Please let me know if you need more :D .

Now I am curious to see what Mr. Winklareth will be able to explain to refuse those evidences and really support his inventions listed on his 2 post's recently.

Still we have the Prinz Eugen torpedo missed attack to Prince of Wales ( at 06.02 ) to explain ( well supported by Official evidences ), but we can do it later on.

Ciao Antonio :D

Robert J. Winklareth
Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Woodbridge, VA USA

Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Wed Mar 02, 2005 5:22 pm

Hi Jose,

Sorry, but I have been having a hard time keeping up with the postings on this and related topics. I nearly missed your note to me of 24 February in which you suggested that I may be the one who is ignoring the facts. That could very well be true, and I would certainly not want to be guilty of anything like that.

I am always eager to be enlightened by the facts in our common quest for the truth as to what actually happened during the Battle of the Denmark Strait. Would you be so kind as to advise me of the specific facts that you believe I am ignoring which would support Antonio's reconstruction and contradict the evidence that I have presented under the topic "Summation of the Battle."

Thank you, and best regards as always.


Robert J. Winklareth
Posts: 116
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Location: Woodbridge, VA USA

Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Wed Mar 02, 2005 7:21 pm

Hi all,

I want to thank George for inviting me to comment on the subject under discussion regarding the effects of current and wind on the speed of the Bismarck. I have not been participating in these discussions because frankly the technical aspects of fluid mechanics are unfortunately way over my head.

The thought did occur to me, however, that since we are comparing the speed of the Bismarck with that of the Prinz Eugen, perhaps the factors being considered are not all that significant. After all, the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen were both traveling in the same general southwesterly direction at near the same speed, so wouldn't those factors apply more or less equally to both ships? Would it really make any difference considering the tolerances we are working with here?

I wish that Antonio would learn to refrain from making provocative comments such as "because he needs that to sustain his theory" in referring to the 900-1000 yard separation figure that I came up with. The implication that I would conjure up some phony figure just to support my point of view is repugnant. I go where the facts lead me in my quest to seek the truth of the matter, which is more than I can say for some contributors to this forum.

I feel somewhat honored that my point of view on the issue of the separation between the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen at 0556 has been dignified by the use of the word "theory." I hate to disappoint you all, but my position on the matter is not really a theory at all, but just a matter of simple arithmetic, as I shall explain.

Using Antonio's latest reconstruction, he places the Bismarck abreast of the Prinz Eugen at 0609, exactly the time when the Bismarck ceased fire on the Prince of Wales. The Prinz Eugen Speed Chart shows that the cruiser maintained a steady speed of 27.0 knots throughout the battle and up to 0610when she increased her speed to 32.5 knots. I have used the maximum sustained speed of the Bismarck as being 30.0 knots even though I recognize that there is some disagreement with that figure.

The speed differential between the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen was therefore 3.0 knots (100 yards per minute), but this may have been decreased due to flooding of the bow in the latter phase of the battle. The Bismarck participated in the battle for only 13 minutes from 0556, when she opened fire on the Prince of Wales, until 0609, when she ceased fire on the British battleship. That is not a very long time for the German ships to have engaged in any fanciful maneuvers.

If the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen were sailing on parallel courses at the relative speeds indicated above, the Bismarck would have had to be 1300 yards astern of the Prinz Eugen at 0556 to come abreast of the cruiser at exactly 0609, 13 minutes later. This is the baseline for further calculations.

The Prinz Eugen Battle Sketch shows that the cruiser actually traveled about 4900 yards longitudinally from 0603 to 0609 instead of the 5400 yards she could have traveled in a straight line during that 6 minute period at 900 yards per minute. If you add the 500-yard difference to the 1300-yard baseline figure, you get 1800 yards as the maximum possible separation between the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen with the Bismarck sailing at full speed in a straight line.

Antonio's latest reconstruction shows that the Bismarck traveled about 6100 yards longitudinally instead of the 7000 yards she could have traveled by sailing in a straight line at 1000 yards per minute. When you subtract the difference of 900 yards from the previous 1800-yard figure from above, you get 900 yards as the separation between the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen at 0556.

I am sure that any of you who measure the distances on the Prinz Eugen Battle Sketch and Antonio's reconstruction will come up with a slightly different figure, which may even be more accurate than mine, but it should be in the same ballpark. I don't know what the actual figure is, but I know that it can't be as much as 3000 yards as some claim, unless of course I made a really gross error in my calculations.

Based on my analysis of NH69730, which I believe was taken at 0601, I placed the broadside view of the Bismarck at the time of 0605. Working backwards from there, I arrived at a figure of 900 yards separation between the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen at 0556. This is based on the Bismarck traveling in a straight line with a rate of gain of 100 yards per minute in the 9-minutes from 0556 to 0605.

Using Excel, I prepared a set of tables on the separation between the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen using different speeds of the Bismarck in 0.1 knot intervals and varying separation distances beginning at 0535 when the German ships were first sighted. The one set of figures that seemed to fit in with the overall scheme of things, at least from my point of view, was the one that had the speed of the Bismarck at 30.0 knots and the separation of 3000 yards at 0535.

That set of figures included the following subsequent points:

a. 0556. Bismarck opens fire (NH69722). Separation 900 yards.

b. 0659. Bismarck moving up (NH69729). Separation 600 yards.

c. 0601. Bismarck off port quarter of Prinz Eugen (NH69730). Separation 400 yards.

d. 0605. Bismarck abreast of Prinz Eugen (broadside view). Separation 0 yards (longitudinally).

Of course, the figures can be adjusted in the early time frame to accommodate the acceleration of the Bismarck from 27.0 knots to 30.0 knots. One scenario might be:

a. 0535. Separation 2800 yards.

b. 0536. Separation 2750 yards.

c. 0537. Separation 2700 yards.

d. 0538. Separation 2650 yards.

e. 0539. Separation 2600 yards.

And then we are back on track again with 100-yard intervals after that.

Hope that clarifies the matter.


George Elder
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 4:23 pm

Antonio, the point is for you and Rob to...

Post by George Elder » Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:24 pm

... engage one another over this key issue here and in the present thread -- which is my intention. You postulate a number of course shifts by the PE, and have some backing from the record. Rob takes a somewhat different approach as to what these shifts imply, and seems to believe they were not radical changes in course. However, we know they were acute enough shifts to disrupt fire control procedures. We also know that shifts in course can reduce distances in fashions that go well beyound simple velocity differences. So it falls to Rob to show that your proposed figure 8 PE course is:

1. Not the only possible course given the data.

2. Is not supported by evidence.

As I said, this is a task for Rob. We know the PE turned three times, and let us see what he comes up with. What I am trying to do is deliniate the key point of difference.


Bill Jurens
Posts: 761
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 4:21 am
Location: USA

A suggestion...

Post by Bill Jurens » Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:04 pm

I think part of the problem here is that both parties are (at least to a certain extent) discussing what is essentially a geometric problem in verbal form. Mr. Bonomi has already provided a number of scaled diagrams to supplement his interpretation -- essentially an adaptation of the most widely accepted version -- of the action with the positions of all of the involved ships visible (and measurable) on a minute-by-minute basis, preferably with the position of each photograph located as well. A scaled track chart is inherently self-checking and I myself, being graphically inclined, find this sort of presentation much easier to evaluate (and compare) than a purely written description. I looked in "The Bismarck Chase" last night and found the (highly schematic) track charts and diagrams there fairly (actually entirely) impossible to completely understand.

In that regard, I think some meaningful progress could be made if Mr. Winklareth could provide a detailed to-scale track chart of his proposed scenario similar to those provided by Mr. Bonomi, so that readers might lay them side by side and compare them directly. If this has not already been done, I wonder if Mr. Winklareth would be willing to prepare (and provide) one of these to help the discussion along. In this case a picture -- i.e. a to-scale track chart picture -- may well be worth considerably more than a thousand words.

Bill Jurens

George Elder
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 4:23 pm

Excellent idea.

Post by George Elder » Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:15 am

This does seem like the best way to go. But Rob may not have expertise using the program needed to make a map that is akin to what Antonio has crafted -- which is very usefil indeed. However, it would be very good for Rob and Antonio to be on the same page here with regard to graphics.


User avatar
Antonio Bonomi
Senior Member
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Location: Vimercate ( Milano ) - Italy

DS battle diagrams

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Thu Mar 03, 2005 5:17 pm

Ciao Bill, George and all,

I will help Bob, .... no problems for me :D

Ciao Antonio :D

George Elder
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 4:23 pm

Thank you very much!

Post by George Elder » Thu Mar 03, 2005 6:20 pm

Hi Antonio:

I have seen the map you created for Rob, and I am very grateful for your help in moving this project along. If Rob has any changes he wants made, he should advise you as soon as possible. Once both maps are made available, I think all concerned will be better able to see the differences. Once again, we owe you a great debt of gratitude for taking the time and energy needed to create this map. This is an excellent example of how scholars should work to help resolve issues.