Bismarck speed during last battle

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costas
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Bismarck speed during last battle

Post by costas » Tue Apr 08, 2008 9:17 pm

During the last battle Bismarck's speed was aprox. 7 knots, 'ahead slow'.
What are the advantages (if any) or the disadvantages (if any) for fighting the battle at such a low speed?
I think that by being so slow (practically motionless) is like inviting hits. (IMHO)

If BS's speed was a safe (safe for the matting over the holes in XXI) 22-24 knots, would the battle last longer?

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Re: BS speed - last battle

Post by Ramius » Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:18 pm

:think: Now that I think about it again, that seems very, very strange. Was there shaft damage, or was Lutjens saving fuel for the return trip to Germany :lol: Bismarck would have probable lasted longer if she had been at higher speed due to the circling the jammed rudder would cause :think:

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Re: BS speed - last battle

Post by dougieo » Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:45 pm

maybe he was thinking about the adversve effect it would have on Bismarcks gunnery

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Re: BS speed - last battle

Post by Ramius » Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:18 pm

:think: Hmmm... Good point, although I think it would have been better to be moving around partially blind rather than being able to see and having a quarter of the time to destroy the enemy before they start holing you up :think: But yes, Lutjens was probably thinking about the gunnery aim (athough they probably would have had more time to aim if they had been moving since the gunnery director was blown to smithereens along with the rest of the superstructure while she was a sitting duck at 7 knots)

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Re: BS speed - last battle

Post by dougieo » Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:29 pm

Ramius wrote::think: Hmmm... Good point, although I think it would have been better to be moving around partially blind rather than being able to see and having a quarter of the time to destroy the enemy before they start holing you up :think: But yes, Lutjens was probably thinking about the gunnery aim (athough they probably would have had more time to aim if they had been moving since the gunnery director was blown to smithereens along with the rest of the superstructure while she was a sitting duck at 7 knots)

good point aboit the director but if Bismarck was on an unconrtollable course wouldnt every salvo be like aiming at a target first time?

Likelyhood of first time hits will be very small I think

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Re: BS speed - last battle

Post by Ramius » Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:36 am

dougieo wrote:good point aboit the director but if Bismarck was on an unconrtollable course wouldnt every salvo be like aiming at a target first time?
Likelyhood of first time hits will be very small I think
:negative: Yes, for both sides (although first time hits are not very common). If there is a tactical edge I would give it to the Bismarck, superior targeting and training of the German 15in gun crews and the erradical swerving (that makes targeting either way harder). Although it was outnumbered 2-1, the numerical advantage of the British overtakes the tactical one of the Germans. But if we were to make Lutjens say,"Full possible speed", then I would have to say Bismarck would last significantly longer and very possibly pump some lead into the KGV and Rodney before being reduced to the wreck she is now :think:

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Re: BS speed - last battle

Post by lwd » Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:22 am

Ramius wrote: ..., superior targeting and training of the German 15in gun crews ...
These are debatable. RN crews were usually very well trained. From what I've read the German fire control system was better for getting on target quickly but caused more strain on the crew and so it degraded over time. Given that the German crew was tired going into the battle i doubt you can really credit them with superior targeting. That said the British did appear to have some problems early in the battle getting on target.

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Re: BS speed - last battle

Post by RF » Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:28 am

Bismarck would have to go at slow speed to be able to shoot properly, in view of the fact she was not able to maintain a straight enough line at higher speeds.

A stern chase battle? Could have been possible, but I think the end result would have been the same.
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Re: BS speed - last battle

Post by Tiornu » Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:17 am

maybe he was thinking about the adversve effect it would have on Bismarcks gunnery
The Baron's account of the fight with Vian's destroyers is instructive. Bismarck was slewing back and forth so rapidly that 15cm gun mounts could not stay trained on their targets.

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Re: BS speed - last battle

Post by Ramius » Wed Apr 09, 2008 2:01 pm

Tiornu wrote:
maybe he was thinking about the adversve effect it would have on Bismarcks gunnery
The Baron's account of the fight with Vian's destroyers is instructive. Bismarck was slewing back and forth so rapidly that 15cm gun mounts could not stay trained on their targets.
:stubborn: Which is why I think Bismarck would have probably lasted longer, making the gunnery accuracy a moot variable...

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Re: BS speed - last battle

Post by Tiornu » Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:30 pm

You are theorizing that the failure to hit the enemy will result in a longer fight. And what does this accomplish?

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Re: BS speed - last battle

Post by costas » Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:33 pm

RF wrote:Bismarck would have to go at slow speed to be able to shoot properly, in view of the fact she was not able to maintain a straight enough line at higher speeds.
A stern chase battle? Could have been possible, but I think the end result would have been the same.
I tend to agree: in general the end result would have been the same, though I think it would take much longer.
Not exactly a stern chase: should BS speed was 22 knots her course (due to the wind and jammed rudders) would look like a helix towards somewhere W-NW or N-NW.
Tovey's forces could keep up with that (combined speed) easily.
However, fire control then would be more difficult for both sides and not only for Bismarck.

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Re: BS speed - last battle

Post by costas » Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:01 pm

Tiornu wrote:
maybe he was thinking about the adversve effect it would have on Bismarcks gunnery
The Baron's account of the fight with Vian's destroyers is instructive. Bismarck was slewing back and forth so rapidly that 15cm gun mounts could not stay trained on their targets.
Indeed: due to Bismarck's erratic movement the gunners had great difficulty in correcting direction.
Regarding speeds, the 22 knots option doesn't seem (IMHO) to be any worse than the 7 knots as far as the gunners are concerned. (please correct me if I am wrong)

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Re: BS speed - last battle

Post by dougieo » Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:04 pm

Tiornu wrote:You are theorizing that the failure to hit the enemy will result in a longer fight. And what does this accomplish?
Hes trying to say that if the Bismarck steamed as fast as she could, eratic course and all she would have survived longer than she did steaming a steady course at 7 knots as she would be a harder target.

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Re: BS speed - last battle

Post by Tiornu » Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:36 pm

Yes, that's the theory. Even if it's right, what does it accomplish?

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