Battle Reconstruction

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

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Robert J. Winklareth
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Battle Reconstruction

Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:27 am

Hi all,

On 9 February, I posted a summation of factual evidence that supported my concept of the Battle of the Denmark Strait. I invited Antonio and others to present their contrary views so that all members could evaluate both sides of the issue and make up their own minds as to which version best represented what actually happened during the battle. It appears that after over 100 postings on both websites, discussion on my side of the story has been exhausted.

Antonio has avoided presenting his case on the basis that his perfect reconstruction has been accepted as the one and only official version of the battle by the three webmasters and therefore it is not subject to any further review. I believe that it is only fair that his reconstruction receive the same level of scrutiny as my concept of the battle, so I am hereby initiating a review and discussion of Antonio's reconstruction.

Antonio's reconstruction and my concept of the battle are substantially the same for Phase I of the battle, leading up to the sinking of the Hood. We both agree that the Bismarck was coming up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen, at least until 0602. The only real difference that we have in Phase I is the separation between the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen at 0556 when the Bismarck opened fire on the Hood. Antonio believes that the separation was 2,000 meters (2,200 yards) while I believe that the separation was only about 1,000 yards.

In Phase II, when the Bismarck switched targets over to the Prince of Wales, I believe that the Bismarck continued on the same divergent course of 215 degrees, 5 degrees to port of the Prinz Eugen, which was on a course of 220 degrees. Antonio, on the other hand, believes that the Bismarck precipitously turned to starboard away from the Prince of Wales at about 0602, the same time that the Prince of Wales began her withdrawal from the scene of battle.

Antonio's reconstruction then has the Bismarck crossing the track of the Prinz Eugen at about 0603-0604, sailing several hundred yards west on a course of 265 degrees, and then swinging in a wide arc behind the Prinz Eugen, leaving the cruiser exposed to enemy fire in violation of German naval operating procedures. Several minutes later, the Bismarck crossed back to port again at 0608 and came abreast of the Prinz Eugen at 0609, when the battle ended.

Despite my posting of 9 February, Jose still feels that Antonio's reconstruction is mostly in accordance with official records and first-hand accounts and that my version of the battle is not. I believe that John may be of the same opinion. While I did not have the original materials on the battle when I wrote my book "The Bismarck Chase," my current analysis is now based entirely on official records and first-hand accounts provided by others, especially Frank Allen and Jose, and for which I am very thankful.

I believe that everyone would agree that the most significant first-hand account of the battle from the German side would have to be that of the Baron who closely monitored the action as a gunnery officer in the aft fire control station of the Bismarck. The Baron makes no mention in his book "Battleship Bismarck" of any turn being made by the Bismarck during the battle. The Baron's first-hand account of the battle therefore does not support Antonio's reconstruction, but it is consistent with my concept of the battle.

Now let's go to the Prinz Eugen Logbook, or War Diary, which is of course the official record of the Prinz Eugen's participation in the Bismarck operation. Captain Brinkmann makes no mention of the Bismarck turning abruptly to starboard at 0602, passing to the rear of the Prinz Eugen, and swinging in a wide arc behind the cruiser, leaving the Prinz Eugen exposed to enemy fire in direct violation of German naval procedures then in effect. Brinkmann's account further contradicts Antonio's reconstruction.

More compelling, however, are the first-hand accounts by other eyewitnesses on the scene, namely Jasper and Schmalenbach, both of whom reported having the Bismarck in their sights as the Bismarck moved up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen during Phase II of the battle. First Gunnery Officer Jasper reported that the Bismarck came directly into his line of fire during the third hard turn made by the Prinz Eugen, which would have been about 0607, according to the Prinz Eugen's Battle Sketch.

The Bismarck didn't just appear in Jasper's sights by magic. She had to have been coming up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen for several minutes until her bow actually came into view in Jasper's sights. This was then followed by the command for the Prinz Eugen not to shoot over the Bismarck. Jasper's observations completely refute Antonio's reconstruction, but supports my own concept of the battle.

Second Gunnery Officer Schmalenbach mentioned that he looked several times at the Bismarck, but had nothing to report. That obviously meant that everything was quite normal with the Bismarck coming up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen, only a few degrees to the left of the target, Prince of Wales, and therefore the Bismarck was easy to keep track of. Schmalenbach's original battle diagram, showing the Bismarck on the port side of the Prinz Eugen during Phase II of the battle, further reinforces his narrative description of events.

Fritz Otto Busch, in his book "Prinz Eugen im ersten Gefecht" writes about the Prince of Wales turning away from the scene of battle under a hail of gunfire, but makes no mention of the Bismarck also turning away to starboard at the same time. None of these first-hand accounts of the battle by eyewitnesses at the scene support Antonio's reconstruction, but they do support my concept of the battle.

Flight Lieutenant Vaughn, of the RAF Sunderland flying boat that flew over the scene during the Battle of the Denmark Strait, reported that the Bismarck continued to fire at the Prince of Wales after the British battleship had reversed course and laid a light smoke screen. Again no mention is made of the Bismarck turning away at the same time, leaving little credibility to the notion held by Antonio and a very few others that she had.

With all of the first-hand accounts supporting my concept of the battle, Antonio must now resort to secondary sources, like the Admiral Schmundt Report, to support his reconstruction. The Admiral Schmundt Report, which, although an official document, reflects only the opinions of Admiral Schmundt and his staff as to what happened based on an examination of the limited evidence on hand at the time. Antonio just doesn't seem to realize that the report itself cannot be considered as prima facie evidence that the Bismarck ever turned away from the Prince of Wales in the heart of battle.

The endorsement of Admiral Scmundt's report by Admiral Carls and Admiral Schniewind cannot add any further credibility to the report beyond its inherent accuracy. Even the seal of approval by Adolf Hitler himself, or even the blessing by the Pope, cannot impart any more validity to a report which is basically flawed to begin with. To think otherwise is totally inane.

Just look at the facts. The Prinz Eugen returned to Brest for engine repairs on Sunday, 1 June 1941. Brinkmann undoubtedly went to Kiel as soon as possible to brief his boss, Admiral Schmundt, and other staff members on the operation. He brought along the War Diary, Battle Sketch and the photographs taken during the operation, which he left there for Admiral Schmundt and his staff to review.

Admiral Schmundt and his staff had only two weeks to review the documents and prepare his report, which was submitted it to the German Naval High Command on 16 June 1941. The report was strictly a critique on the performance of the Prinz Eugen during the operation, and it is doubtful that Brinkmann ever had the opportunity to review the report or comment upon it before it was finalized and submitted to higher headquarters.

An analysis of the report indicates that certain conclusions were drawn from the photographs rather than from the War Diary or Battle Sketch. For example, Brinkmann's report in the War Diary does not make any mention of the Bismarck turning to starboard and sailing behind the Prinz Eugen, leaving the cruiser exposed to enemy fire. It is also rather apparent that Brinkmann did not mention this purported circumstance when he briefed Admiral Schmundt, else Schmundt would not have assigned all the blame to Brinkmann for failing to place the Prinz Eugen on the lee side of fire when it was obviously Admiral Lutjens fault.

Admiral Schmundt's staff, in going over the material left by Brinkmann, couldn't help but notice that six of the photographs showed the Bismarck on the starboard side of the Prinz Eugen instead of the port (lee) side. This was strictly in violation of German Naval Operating Procedures in effect at the time, so it had to be addressed. Not realizing that the photographs had been printed in reverse, Brinkmann was admonished in the report for this infraction of the rules of naval engagement.

This actually reinforces my contention that the Bismarck never turned and the Prinz Eugen was on the lee side of fire, at least while the Bismarck was directly between the Prinz Eugen and the Prince of Wales during the last stage of the battle. Why would Brinkmann not report that fact if it had actually occurred rather than take all of the blame for something he did not do? It just didn't happen!

It is hard for me to understand why Antonio would strongly defend the Schmundt Report which blamed Brinkmann for keeping the Prinz Eugen in line with the Bismarck during Phase I of the battle. What choice did Brinkmann have when the Prinz Eugen was some 1,000 yards or more ahead of the Bismarck at the time? Was he supposed to slow down to allow the Bismarck to catch up with him, or even turn around to close the gap more quickly? Ridiculous!

During Phase I of the battle, the Prinz Eugen, being so far ahead of the Bismarck, was clearly exposed to enemy fire. In fact the first two salvos fired by the Hood were directed against the Prinz Eugen in the mistaken belief that she was the Bismarck. However, Admiral Lutjens was attempting to correct that situation by moving up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen where he could eventually shield the Prinz Eugen from enemy fire.

I don't believe that it was Admiral Lutjens intent to keep the Prinz Eugen in the line of battle, as Antonio suggests. If that had been the case, Admiral Lutjens would have kept the Bismarck in line with the Prinz Eugen instead of coming up on the port side of the cruiser. By 0601, the Bismarck had already moved up to being just off the port quarter of the Prinz Eugen. In a few more minutes, the Bismarck would have placed herself directly between the Prinz Eugen and Prince of Wales, leaving the Prinz Eugen on the lee side of fire, as required.

Neither can I understand why Antonio would support Admiral Schmundt's report blaming Brinkmann for not placing the Prinz Eugen on the lee side of fire during Phase II when his own reconstruction shows that it was Admiral Lutjens' action of precipitously turning to starboard one minute earlier that put the Prinz Eugen in that predicament. It just doesn't make any sense, but the same is true of other aspects of Antonio's reconstruction.

If Admiral Lutjens had turned away from the Prince of Wales at the same time that the British battleship retreated from the scene of battle, as Antonio would have us believe, he would have been guilty of sheer stupidity and gross cowardness, neither of which he was. Nor was Brinkmann guilty of placing the Prinz Eugen in the line of battle or failing to place the Prinz Eugen on the lee side of fire. It just didn't happen that way!

Obviously, Admiral Schmundt and his staff were misled by the photographs showing the Bismarck on the starboard side of the Prinz Eugen. Since Admiral Schmundt's criticism was not all that severe, Brinkmann probably just shrugged it off his shoulders, even if he believed that the report may have contained some significant errors. Brinkmann remained as Captain of the Prinz Eugen for another year until 31 July 1942.

Without those six photographs, which had been printed in reverse, what proof does Antonio have that the Bismarck was ever on the starboard side of the Prinz Eugen during the battle? In the past, Antonio has tried to use captions of photographs showing the Bismarck on the starboard side of the Prinz Eugen as proof that this was actually the case. He even conducted polls to see if others could visualize front mantlets and gun tubes on half tone printed photographs taken of the Bismarck during the battle when high resolution glossy prints revealed nothing of substance.

What we need here are some good first-hand eyewitness accounts of the battle and irrefutable cold hard facts to support Antonio's reconstruction. What do you have to offer?

Bob

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Antonio Bonomi
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Comparison

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Thu Mar 31, 2005 11:39 pm

Ciao Bob and all,

we were all waiting you to allow the post of your version of the map as I recall correctly.

Please read again were we left :

viewtopic.php?p=1127#1127

Once we will be in the same situation with you allowing John and Jose to post the map I have prepared for you to do the comparison, than we can start all the discussion that you want on the details with clear references.
As you well know I have already posted my version of the battle weeks ago with no problems.

I am sure you are not afraid to show what your theory is in details and how that translates into a battle map for everybody to understand it and after do the comparison.

Ciao Antonio :D

Robert J. Winklareth
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Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Fri Apr 01, 2005 1:32 am

Hi all,

In reviewing Antonio's latest revised reconstruction of the battle diagram and photo sequence theory, I noted a number of discrepancies which need to be addressed by Antonio. I offer these disclosures in a spirit of constructive criticism intended to improve Antonio's reconstruction and further our common goal to resolve our differences and achieve a final solution in he matter.

Antonio now claims that the separation between the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen was 2,000 meters (2,200 yards) at 0556 when the Bismarck opened fire on the Hood, as shown in NH69722. His reconstruction shows the Bismarck crossing the track of the Prinz Eugen at 0604. The Bismarck traveled 8,000 yards in the 8 minutes between 0556 and 0604 at a speed of 30.0 knots (1,000 yards per minute), and the Prinz Eugen traveled 7,200 yards during that same period of time at a speed of 27.0 knots (900 yards per minute).

The separation between the two ships was 750 yards at 0604, according to Antonio's own Battle Diagram. When this figure is added to the difference in distances traveled by the two ships from 0556 to 0604, you get the total 1,550 yards, which represents the separation at 0556, not the 2,200 yards as now claimed by Antonio. This is a significant discrepancy of 42 percent. Which figure is correct?

The distances plotted for the Prinz Eugen on Antonio's battle diagram appeared to be a bit irregular, so I measured them very carefully and compared them with those of the Bismarck, using the distance between minute tick marks on the Bismarck's track to be 1000 yards. From that, I calculated the speed of the Prinz Eugen to be as follows:

a. 0604-0605. Speed: 27.5 knots.

b 0605-0606. Speed: 27.5 knots

c. 0606-0607. Speed: 35.0 knots

d. 0607-0608. Speed: 35.0 knots

e. 0608-0609. Speed: 32.0 knots

While the speed indicated for the two minute period from 0604-0606 ("a" and "b" above) is well within the tolerance level for such measurements, the speeds shown from 0606-0609 ("c", "d" and "e") are far out of line. The Prinz Eugen Speed Chart shows that the Prinz Eugen maintained a constant speed of 27.0 knots throughout the engagement, and her maximum speed was only 32.5 knots. I believe that some explanation might be in order.

At 0608, the time that the Bismarck crossed over the track of the Prinz Eugen, the separation between the two ships was only 600 yards. That seems to be rather short and unnecessarily dangerous, especially when the Prinz Eugen was sailing directly across the path of the oncoming Bismarck, which was nearly 300 yards long. If Antonio had used the correct speed of the Prinz Eugen during that time frame, the battle diagram would probably have shown the Prinz Eugen colliding with the Bismarck.

It appears that Antonio may have done a little fudging in elongating the distance traveled by the Prinz Eugen from 0606-0609 to achieve the purpose of showing the Bismarck cross the track of the Prinz Eugen at 0608 and still come abreast of the Prinz Eugen at 0609, just one minute later. If not, perhaps Antonio may have another explanation for that discrepancy.

Antonio claims that the order for the Prinz Eugen not to fire over the Bismarck was given at 0608, in which case the Bismarck would have already been moving up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen. Antonio's reconstruction shows the Bismarck as just crossing over the track of the Prinz Eugen at 0608.6, so how could the order for the Prinz Eugen not to shoot over the Bismarck have been given as early as 0608?

I hope that Antonio can resolve these inconsistencies so that we can move on with our efforts to establish a scenario of the battle that we can all agree on.

Bob

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Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:55 pm

Hi all,

I have given my approval for the posting of a diagram representing my concept of the battle that shows a straight-line course of 215 degrees for the entire 17 minute period of the battle from 0552, just before the Hood opened fire, to 0609 when the Bismarck ceased fire. The track of the Bismarck intersects that of the Prinz Eugen at a point 900 yards astern of the position of the Prinz Eugen at 0556.

Now that we have that settled, we can get back to a discussion of Antonio's latest revised reconstruction of the battle. Specifically, are there any first-hand eyewitness accounts that describe the Bismarck turning to starboard away from the Prince of Wales at about the same time that the British battleship was retreating from the scene of battle? I know of no one who reported such a turn by the Bismarck, not even the crew of the RAF Sunderland flying boat that flew over the area for several minutes.

What proof is there, other than the six photographs that had been printed in reverse, that the Bismarck was ever on the starboard side of the Prinz Eugen during the battle? Both Jasper and Schmalenbach reported seeing the Bismarck in their sights as the German battleship came up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen. Schmalenbach's original battle diagram confirms that the Bismarck was on the port side of the Prinz Eugen during all of Phase II of the battle.

What is Antonio's explanation for the several inconsistencies and plotting errors specified in my preceding posting? It is easy to understand how one could be off 1/16-inch in placing minute tick marks on the track of a ship, but to be 3/8-inch off in two successive measurements and 1/4-inch off in the very next measurement is far too great to be purely accidental. That represents a plotting error of 600 yards over a 3-minute period.

Hopefully we can resolve these issues quickly and get on with our analysis. I would be most happy to address any concerns regarding my own concept of the battle as portrayed in the diagram prepared for me by Antonio, for which I am profoundly grateful.

Bob

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Antonio Bonomi
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Your post answers

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sat Apr 02, 2005 6:33 pm

Ciao Bob and all,

following my responses to your latest questions contained on the above 3 post's, you wrote :

On 9 February, I posted a summation of factual evidence that supported my concept of the Battle of the Denmark Strait. I invited Antonio and others to present their contrary views so that all members could evaluate both sides of the issue and make up their own minds as to which version best represented what actually happened during the battle.
It appears that after over 100 postings on both websites, discussion on my side of the story has been exhausted.

Answer :
Wrong evaluation !
I have never started yet .
I was waiting for an acceptable map of your theory to become available before comparing and consequently showing better were and why it is clearly impossible.
Now that this seems to be the case thanking my last work on the maps, once you are ready to post your one in public we can start discussing about it with correct references and hopefully in an analytical and pragmatic way.
Than you will see how easily I will demonstrate to you how that work cannot stand on his feet no matter what.
Antonio has avoided presenting his case on the basis that his perfect reconstruction has been accepted as the one and only official version of the battle by the three webmasters and therefore it is not subject to any further review. I believe that it is only fair that his reconstruction receive the same level of scrutiny as my concept of the battle, so I am hereby initiating a review and discussion of Antonio's reconstruction.


Answer :
You are right when you say that my work is the version that currently all 3 main websites show as the historical supported version.
That is what history and evidence support since almost 64 years.
Anybody that wants to change it must demonstrate this been wrong first and after a new theory been right.
Nobody has been able yet to do it, including you.
I seriously doubt it will be ever possible with today available material, there are too many evidences to prove it been right.
I have no problems having my work under any scrutiny by anybody as it is there available for everybody to see.
In case of any better evidence becoming available I will change my work, just like already happened.

Antonio's reconstruction and my concept of the battle are substantially the same for Phase I of the battle, leading up to the sinking of the Hood. We both agree that the Bismarck was coming up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen, at least until 0602. The only real difference that we have in Phase I is the separation between the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen at 0556 when the Bismarck opened fire on the Hood. Antonio believes that the separation was 2,000 meters (2,200 yards) while I believe that the separation was only about 1,000 yards.

Answer :
The differences are both at the starting point at 05.55 as you described and also at 06.03 where we are assuming phase I ends.
At that point you have Bismarck in parallel to Prinz Eugen port side and I still have Bismarck 1000 meters back on Prinz Eugen before she turned to starboard.
You are having Bismarck running a straight 215 degree line on port while I only use the Official PoW salvo plot and PoW battle map Bismarck track’s to determine Bismarck track and position on this timeslot.
Photo Nh 69722 analysis clearly demonstrate I have the right distance at 05.56 evaluated and your one not been realistic.
You should resolve this problem as you cannot sustain that Bismarck shadow on this photo is 2-3 times smaller than on last photo you propose at 06.09, because according to your proposed map Nh 69722 shows Bismarck at 850 meters and last photo you are proposing shows Bismarck at 3000 meters.
How can be that Bismarck shadow is 3 times smaller when she is more than 3 times closer, this is clearly impossible and wrong.
In Phase II, when the Bismarck switched targets over to the Prince of Wales, I believe that the Bismarck continued on the same divergent course of 215 degrees, 5 degrees to port of the Prinz Eugen, which was on a course of 220 degrees. Antonio, on the other hand, believes that the Bismarck precipitously turned to starboard away from the Prince of Wales at about 0602, the same time that the Prince of Wales began her withdrawal from the scene of battle.

Answer :
You are correct about your track reference descriptions, but not with my ones.
On my current map Bismarck turn started at 06.03 ( just to be precise, after the Prinz Eugen GHG warning that triggered the occurrence ) as you can double check yourself.

Antonio's reconstruction then has the Bismarck crossing the track of the Prinz Eugen at about 0603-0604, sailing several hundred yards west on a course of 265 degrees, and then swinging in a wide arc behind the Prinz Eugen, leaving the cruiser exposed to enemy fire in violation of German naval operating procedures. Several minutes later, the Bismarck crossed back to port again at 0608 and came abreast of the Prinz Eugen at 0609, when the battle ended.

Answer :
You are now correct with the timing about the first cross-over of Prinz Eugen wake, but wrong with the course that was 270 degrees to west as you can check on my map.
Than Bismarck turned to south starting at 06.06 and the second Prinz Eugen wake re-cross occurred between 06.08 and 06.09, just after the ‘’‘ Flash effect ‘’ photo NH 69730 clearly showing this occurrence.

Despite my posting of 9 February, Jose still feels that Antonio's reconstruction is mostly in accordance with official records and first-hand accounts and that my version of the battle is not. I believe that John may be of the same opinion. While I did not have the original materials on the battle when I wrote my book "The Bismarck Chase," my current analysis is now based entirely on official records and first-hand accounts provided by others, especially Frank Allen and Jose, and for which I am very thankful.

Answer :
I leave this first set of statements to Jose and John.
YES, of course all the new Official available evidences must be taken in consideration and I am glad you are finally starting referencing to them.

I believe that everyone would agree that the most significant first-hand account of the battle from the German side would have to be that of the Baron who closely monitored the action as a gunnery officer in the aft fire control station of the Bismarck. The Baron makes no mention in his book "Battleship Bismarck" of any turn being made by the Bismarck during the battle. The Baron's first-hand account of the battle therefore does not support Antonio's reconstruction, but it is consistent with my concept of the battle.

Answer :
I disagree with your last statement.
I will not rank the documents or books about this battle, all of them are important to me for various reasons.
I do not think F.O. Busch book about this battle is less detailed or important than the Baron one for example.
Have you ever read thru it ?? There are 2 books available were you can read a very good battle overall description.

Now let's go to the Prinz Eugen Logbook, or War Diary, which is of course the official record of the Prinz Eugen's participation in the Bismarck operation. Captain Brinkmann makes no mention of the Bismarck turning abruptly to starboard at 0602, passing to the rear of the Prinz Eugen, and swinging in a wide arc behind the cruiser, leaving the Prinz Eugen exposed to enemy fire in direct violation of German naval procedures then in effect. Brinkmann's account further contradicts Antonio's reconstruction.

Answer :
I disagree with your statements as PrinzEugen log book and war diary perfectly support my work.
Can you tell me more precisely were according to you Brinkmann’s account contradict my work ??
What is really important is the fact that those documenst do contain the GHG torpedo warning issued by Prinz Eugen at 06.03 very clearly.

More compelling, however, are the first-hand accounts by other eyewitnesses on the scene, namely Jasper and Schmalenbach, both of whom reported having the Bismarck in their sights as the Bismarck moved up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen during Phase II of the battle. First Gunnery Officer Jasper reported that the Bismarck came directly into his line of fire during the third hard turn made by the Prinz Eugen, which would have been about 0607, according to the Prinz Eugen's Battle Sketch.

The Bismarck didn't just appear in Jasper's sights by magic. She had to have been coming up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen for several minutes until her bow actually came into view in Jasper's sights. This was then followed by the command for the Prinz Eugen not to shoot over the Bismarck. Jasper's observations completely refute Antonio's reconstruction, but supports my own concept of the battle.

Answer :
I disagree with your statements.
I have already clearly demonstrated to you how that part of the battle went in detail and how Bismarck came under Prinz Eugen fire lane after last turn at 06.08 and immediately before Prinz Eugen was ordered not to overshoot the Bismarck first and immediately after to cease fire at 06.09, just as Jasper wrote.
Your current way to propose Jasper report is partial and wrong and it is not the only document your are proposing in this way as I can see.
But the documents are complete and well written and you must use the whole content and read them correctly and not only use the part that may fit your needs avoiding to mention the part that is in clear opposition and demonstrate something been impossible.
We will talk a lot more about this one for sure better referencing to all the available evidences.

Second Gunnery Officer Schmalenbach mentioned that he looked several times at the Bismarck, but had nothing to report. That obviously meant that everything was quite normal with the Bismarck coming up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen, only a few degrees to the left of the target, Prince of Wales, and therefore the Bismarck was easy to keep track of. Schmalenbach's original battle diagram, showing the Bismarck on the port side of the Prinz Eugen during Phase II of the battle, further reinforces his narrative
description of events.

Answer :
I disagree with your statements.
The notes Schmalenbach wrote on his book ( Prinz Eugen under 3 flags ) battle map ( the one were he wrote clearly been done with photo’s and film analysis made on PG official battle battle map ) are self explanatory.
That battle map is the one used on the Baron book too and the best map done on books.
This map is very similar ( although it is very simple ) to my re-construction work and clearly disprove your work.

Fritz Otto Busch, in his book "Prinz Eugen im ersten Gefecht" writes about the Prince of Wales turning away from the scene of battle under a hail of gunfire, but makes no mention of the Bismarck also turning away to starboard at the same time. None of these first-hand accounts of the battle by eyewitnesses at the scene support Antonio's reconstruction, but they do support my concept of the battle.

Answer :
I disagree with your statements.
Do not forget on that book is clearly written that Bismarck was on Prinz Eugen starboard side after Hood blew up and this is very important.
Again, how come you forget to mention this statement ?

Flight Lieutenant Vaughn, of the RAF Sunderland flying boat that flew over the scene during the Battle of the Denmark Strait, reported that the Bismarck continued to fire at the Prince of Wales after the British battleship had reversed course and laid a light smoke screen. Again no mention is made of the Bismarck turning away at the same time, leaving little credibility to the notion held by Antonio and a very few others that she had.


Answer :
I disagree with your statements.
You only reported partially what Vaughn wrote, once again like you did with Jasper and Busch.
He wrote also that Prinz Eugen was still on the lead firing at PoW after Hood blew up and when Hood was almost gone, so at 06.03.
He wrote also that Bismarck was still the second in the line ship and this confirms my phase one evaluation of distances and prove you wrong as Bismarck was not side by side to Prinz Eugen very clearly.
Again, how come you only reported only partially what is written ?

With all of the first-hand accounts supporting my concept of the battle, Antonio must now resort to secondary sources, like the Admiral Schmundt Report, to support his reconstruction. The Admiral Schmundt Report, which, although an official document, reflects only the opinions of Admiral Schmundt and his staff as to what happened based on an examination of the limited evidence on hand at the time. Antonio just doesn't seem to realize that the report itself cannot be considered as prima facie evidence that the Bismarck ever turned away from the Prince of Wales in the heart of battle.

Answer :
I disagree with your statements.
All documents are important and here you are referencing to Kriegsmarine High Command official documents that you cannot avoid to consider as primary source of infos.

The endorsement of Admiral Scmundt's report by Admiral Carls and Admiral Schniewind cannot add any further credibility to the report beyond its inherent accuracy. Even the seal of approval by Adolf Hitler himself, or even the blessing by the Pope, cannot impart any more validity to a report which is basically flawed to begin with. To think otherwise is totally inane.

Answer :
I disagree with your statements.
Those as said are all German source Official documents we have and are all proving you wrong.
You simply cannot refute to assume Oberkommando of Kriegsmarine as primary source documents.
Just look at the facts. The Prinz Eugen returned to Brest for engine repairs on Sunday, 1 June 1941. Brinkmann undoubtedly went to Kiel as soon as possible to brief his boss, Admiral Schmundt, and other staff members on the operation. He brought along the War Diary, Battle Sketch and the photographs taken during the operation, which he left there for Admiral Schmundt and his staff to review.

Admiral Schmundt and his staff had only two weeks to review the documents and prepare his report, which was submitted it to the German Naval High Command on 16 June 1941. The report was strictly a critique on the performance of the Prinz Eugen during the operation, and it is doubtful that Brinkmann ever had the opportunity to review the report or comment upon it before it was finalized and submitted to higher headquarters.


Answer :
I disagree with your statements.
No one knows well how it went between Adm Schmundt and Kpt Brinkmann, with Ltnt Reimann ( PG torpedo officer ) involvement.
No one knows well how it went between Adm Schmundt and Adm Carls, Adm Schniewind and after Adm Reader while they were preparing the report to be submitted to Hitler after.
Surely Adm Reader briefed Hitler on June 6th, 1941 at Berghof as there are available Official documents available about this occurrence.
Those are again, as previously said, Oberkommando of Kriegsmarine German primary source documents.
Have you ever read what they say ?
Do you have them ?

An analysis of the report indicates that certain conclusions were drawn from the photographs rather than from the War Diary or Battle Sketch. For example, Brinkmann's report in the War Diary does not make any mention of the Bismarck turning to starboard and sailing behind the Prinz Eugen, leaving the cruiser exposed to enemy fire. It is also rather apparent that Brinkmann did not mention this purported circumstance when he briefed Admiral Schmundt, else Schmundt would not have assigned all the blame to Brinkmann for failing to place the Prinz Eugen on the lee side of fire when it was obviously Admiral Lutjens fault.

Admiral Schmundt's staff, in going over the material left by Brinkmann, couldn't help but notice that six of the photographs showed the Bismarck on the starboard side of the Prinz Eugen instead of the port (lee) side. This was strictly in violation of German Naval Operating Procedures in effect at the time, so it had to be addressed. Not realizing that the photographs had been printed in reverse, Brinkmann was admonished in the report for this infraction of the rules of naval engagement.

Answer :
I disagree with your statements.
You do not know anything about the discussion Adm Schmundt and Kpt Brinkmann had, as said before.
It is at least superficial to accept that an officer like Kpt Brinkimann was going to accept been admonished for something that did not happen.
Your theory above is simply not believable.

This actually reinforces my contention that the Bismarck never turned and the Prinz Eugen was on the lee side of fire, at least while the Bismarck was directly between the Prinz Eugen and the Prince of Wales during the last stage of the battle. Why would Brinkmann not report that fact if it had actually occurred rather than take all of the blame for something he did not do? It just didn't happen!

Answer :
I disagree with your statements.
In no way on this world you can assume or turn Adm Schmundt report supporting your work.
Just reference my above answer, your theory is not believable.
It is hard for me to understand why Antonio would strongly defend the Schmundt Report which blamed Brinkmann for keeping the Prinz Eugen in line with the Bismarck during Phase I of the battle. What choice did Brinkmann have when the Prinz Eugen was some 1,000 yards or more ahead of the Bismarck at the time? Was he supposed to slow down to allow the Bismarck to catch up with him, or even turn around to close the gap more quickly? Ridiculous!


Answer :
According to Adm Schmundt report Kpt Brinkmann should have done that at the beginning of the battle already.
What saved Kpt Brinkmann was the fact that he received clear orders from Adm Lutjens to stay in line of battle and he got assigned a target first at 05.55 ( Hood ) and changed after at 05.59 ( PoW ).
You can find this ridiculous but it is the historical reported truth well written on Adm Schmundt report, it is clear and irrefutable.
The overall scenario that comes out of those German OKM of KM official reports clearly prove my work been correct and your one been impossible.

During Phase I of the battle, the Prinz Eugen, being so far ahead of the Bismarck, was clearly exposed to enemy fire. In fact the first two salvos fired by the Hood were directed against the Prinz Eugen in the mistaken belief that she was the Bismarck. However, Admiral Lutjens was attempting to correct that situation by moving up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen where he could eventually shield the Prinz Eugen from enemy fire.

I don't believe that it was Admiral Lutjens intent to keep the Prinz Eugen in the line of battle, as Antonio suggests. If that had been the case, Admiral Lutjens would have kept the Bismarck in line with the Prinz Eugen instead of coming up on the port side of the cruiser. By 0601, the Bismarck had already moved up to being just off the port quarter of the Prinz Eugen. In a few more minutes, the Bismarck would have placed herself directly between the Prinz Eugen and Prince of Wales, leaving the Prinz Eugen on the lee side of fire, as required.

Answer :
Adm Lutjens orders were clear and well reported, especially the change target to PoW at 05.59 for Prinz Eugen.
As Adm Schmundt wrote I cannot imagine the thought processes of the Flottenchef ( Adm Lutjens ) but that is what really happened and Prinz Eugen was kept in-line ahead against Hood as well as against PoW after.
It is clearly written on Adm Schmundt report as well as confirmed by Adm Carls and Adm Schniewind reports after.
This fact saved Kpt Brinkmann direct responsibilities for Adm Schmundt and KM Senior Officers.
These circumstances and situation are also confirmed by the Sunderland Pilot report, as well as by the Norfolk map at 06.00.
Do not forget about those please as these are British Official sources on top of several German ones.


Neither can I understand why Antonio would support Admiral Schmundt's report blaming Brinkmann for not placing the Prinz Eugen on the lee side of fire during Phase II when his own reconstruction shows that it was Admiral Lutjens' action of precipitously turning to starboard one minute earlier that put the Prinz Eugen in that predicament. It just doesn't make any sense, but the same is true of other aspects of Antonio's reconstruction.

Answer :
Reference above answers.
Remember that as you seems to have correctly understood Adm Lutjens was probably thinking that the engagement would have rested longer and that his speeding up Prinz Eugen ( 30 vs 27 knots) with Bismarck would have fixed the lee side positioning of Prinz Eugen pretty soon.
Meanwhile he was using Prinz Eugen in line of battle with clear assigned orders and targets, running calculated necessary risks for the moment given the situation they were in.
Unfortunately just while he was coming close to Prinz Eugen and have reduced the distance to a half ( from 2000 meters to 1000 meters ) the Prinz Eugen GHG torpedo warning was issued by Kpt Brinkmann and Adm Lutjens and Bismarck - Kpt Lindemann had no choice but turning away combing the tracks with Prinz Eugen, just as was reported by L. Kennedy, R. Greenfell and Capt Leach ( HMS PoW ) as well.

If Admiral Lutjens had turned away from the Prince of Wales at the same time that the British battleship retreated from the scene of battle, as Antonio would have us believe, he would have been guilty of sheer stupidity and gross cowardness, neither of which he was. Nor was Brinkmann guilty of placing the Prinz Eugen in the line of battle or failing to place the Prinz Eugen on the lee side of fire. It just didn't happen that way!

Answer :
I disagree with your statements.
Adm Lutjens once received the GHG Torpedo warning from Prinz Eugen had no other choice but to turn away exactly as Capt. Leach ( PoW commander ) reported and PoW salvo plot and battle map shows.
As you can see I have several written Official evidences about all this happened , in the opposite you have nothing but your theory that is totally unsupported so far.

Obviously, Admiral Schmundt and his staff were misled by the photographs showing the Bismarck on the starboard side of the Prinz Eugen. Since Admiral Schmundt's criticism was not all that severe, Brinkmann probably just shrugged it off his shoulders, even if he believed that the report may have contained some significant errors. Brinkmann remained as Captain of the Prinz Eugen for another year until 31 July 1942.

Answer :
I disagree with your statements.
I have explained you what saved Brinkmann.
You are only still trying to explain what you cannot explain in any other way without admitting your theory been wrong.
If only Brinkmann could have said what you believe ( photo been reversed ) that was to be the most easy answer he could have used.
But he clearly cannot do that as it was impossible and wrong, his Officers were going immediately to tell Adm Schmundt the truth, and mostly Adm Schmundt eyes would have recognized what you are having difficulties to do, as some photos cannot be reversed due to Bismarck mechanical details.
If Adm Schmundt saw the PG film too as I suppose and believe that was going to resolve the whole matter for him, again as it should do to you as well.


Without those six photographs, which had been printed in reverse, what proof does Antonio have that the Bismarck was ever on the starboard side of the Prinz Eugen during the battle? In the past, Antonio has tried to use captions of photographs showing the Bismarck on the starboard side of the Prinz Eugen as proof that this was actually the case. He even conducted polls to see if others could visualize front mantlets and gun tubes on half tone printed photographs taken of the Bismarck during the battle when high resolution glossy prints revealed nothing of substance.

Answer :
I disagree with your statement.

The 6 photos are not printed in reverse and you cannot demonstrate this as it is clearly impossible for some of them to be reversed.
This obviously support Bismarck been on Prinz Eugen starboard only when those photos were taken.

Than I have the PG film sequences too, from were most ( probably all ) of the photos were taken from, the film cannot be reversed as well.

I have a clear written statement on Busch book of 1943 saying Bismarck was on the starboard side of Prinz Eugen on that moment.

I have the SIGNAL article by Ltnt Schmitz-Westerholt supported by prints signed by Kpt Brinkmann clearly showing Bismarck to starboard of Prinz Eugen when photo Nh 69728 was taken.

I have the 5 British ships taken photos of Prinz Eugen port side and Bismarck never there as you would like to sustain, so she was to starboard not been on port.

I have the PG film 2 sequence of British ships from Prinz Eugen port side showing the same situation as described above.

I have the Prinz Eugen torpedo launch missed opportunity from 06.02 till 06.04 and Bismarck cannot be there on the Prinz Eugen torpedo firing lane as you sustain.
Consequently she was exactly were I have determined she was from the other evidences as it is the only valid option for the above situation to be possible, with your theory this is clearly impossible.

I have Capt Leach ( HMS Pow ) commander statement of Bismarck turning away from PoW ( so to starboard ) as same time PoW did, so at 06.03 more or less.

I have 2 PoW Official maps ( salvo plot and battle map ) both showing Bismarck turn to starboard and initial run on 270 cousre to west.

I have L. Kennedy and R. Grenfell books statements of Bismarck turning away and combing the track with Prinz Eugen to come back later to engage PoW.

Last but not least now I have the Nh 69730 Flash effect photo were Prinz Eugen wake is clearly visible and Bismarck is coming into the second re-cross of Prinz Eugen wake, so she is to starboard confirming all the above.

Those are just the main ones.

Please can you tell me what do you have to show to us or to refer to demonstrating that Bismarck surpassed to port ?


What we need here are some good first-hand eyewitness accounts of the battle and irrefutable cold hard facts to support Antonio's reconstruction. What do you have to offer?

Bob

and also :

Hi all,

In reviewing Antonio's latest revised reconstruction of the battle diagram and photo sequence theory, I noted a number of discrepancies which need to be addressed by Antonio. I offer these disclosures in a spirit of constructive criticism intended to improve Antonio's reconstruction and further our common goal to resolve our differences and achieve a final solution in he matter.

Antonio now claims that the separation between the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen was 2,000 meters (2,200 yards) at 0556 when the Bismarck opened fire on the Hood, as shown in NH69722. His reconstruction shows the Bismarck crossing the track of the Prinz Eugen at 0604. The Bismarck traveled 8,000 yards in the 8 minutes between 0556 and 0604 at a speed of 30.0 knots (1,000 yards per minute), and the Prinz Eugen traveled 7,200 yards during that same period of time at a speed of 27.0 knots (900 yards per minute).

The separation between the two ships was 750 yards at 0604, according to Antonio's own Battle Diagram. When this figure is added to the difference in distances traveled by the two ships from 0556 to 0604, you get the total 1,550 yards, which represents the separation at 0556, not the 2,200 yards as now claimed by Antonio. This is a significant discrepancy of 42 percent. Which figure is correct?

Answer :
As written several times and showed on my map the 2 separation distances between Prinz Eugen and Bismarck following her were around 2000 meters at 05.55 and 1000 meters at 06.04.
With acceptable graphic tolerances this is what my map currently shows too.
The above is fully supported as you know by Bismarck versus Prinz Eugen delta speed of 30 vs 27 knots difference according to a speed-distance table I posted time ago.

The distances plotted for the Prinz Eugen on Antonio's battle diagram appeared to be a bit irregular, so I measured them very carefully and compared them with those of the Bismarck, using the distance between minute tick marks on the Bismarck's track to be 1000 yards. From that, I calculated the speed of the Prinz Eugen to be as follows:

a. 0604-0605. Speed: 27.5 knots

b 0605-0606. Speed: 27.5 knots

c. 0606-0607. Speed: 35.0 knots

d. 0607-0608. Speed: 35.0 knots

e. 0608-0609. Speed: 32.0 knots

While the speed indicated for the two minute period from 0604-0606 ("a" and "b" above) is well within the tolerance level for such measurements, the speeds shown from 0606-0609 ("c", "d" and "e") are far out of line. The Prinz Eugen Speed Chart shows that the Prinz Eugen maintained a constant speed of 27.0 knots throughout the engagement, and her maximum speed was only 32.5 knots. I believe that some explanation might be in order.


Answer :
That Prinz Eugen track segments you refer to is the Prinz Eugen Official battle map we agreed to use as common base, you should have realized it pretty easily I suppose.
I have noticed myself what you said but I did not wanted to use a map version corrected by me at this point in time as I wanted to realize our 2 comparison maps ( were Bismarck track is the most important thing ) based on something we all agreed upon and the Prinz Eugen Offical battle map was the best base to be used so far, despite those minor problems.
This is the reason why there are this errors you found that on an ultimate map must be resolved and corrected from the graphic stand point.
Also on the previous segments there are similar problems on the Prinz Eugen track just for you to know, as I limited myself on making the map references only more visible and with the proper timetable for the moment.


At 0608, the time that the Bismarck crossed over the track of the Prinz Eugen, the separation between the two ships was only 600 yards. That seems to be rather short and unnecessarily dangerous, especially when the Prinz Eugen was sailing directly across the path of the oncoming Bismarck, which was nearly 300 yards long. If Antonio had used the correct speed of the Prinz Eugen during that time frame, the battle diagram would probably have shown the Prinz Eugen colliding with the Bismarck.

Answer :
The correct distance between Prinz Eugen and Bismarck immediately before the second cross over at 06.08 is clearly showed by the photo Nh 69730.
This photo was taken after the Nh 69729 showing you Bismarck coming, so one can determine the Bismarck correct distances using 3 sequential photos when better analyzed.

It appears that Antonio may have done a little fudging in elongating the distance traveled by the Prinz Eugen from 0606-0609 to achieve the purpose of showing the Bismarck cross the track of the Prinz Eugen at 0608 and still come abreast of the Prinz Eugen at 0609, just one minute later. If not, perhaps Antonio may have another explanation for that discrepancy.

Answer :
As said I have not touched the Prinz Eugen Official battle map not on my map as well as on your one to have a common official reference base.
I have no need to modify anything on that area because no matter what you do that Bismarck turn to south and coming for the re-crossing of Prinz Eugen track is going to be well within the tolerances as you should realize pretty easily, no collision is going to be necessary to be avoided.
Differently than for your theory that do have those problems that never will be possible to be resolved or explained, my work do have lots of tolerances provided from the fact that I am very, very close to the real events now.

Antonio claims that the order for the Prinz Eugen not to fire over the Bismarck was given at 0608, in which case the Bismarck would have already been moving up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen. Antonio's reconstruction shows the Bismarck as just crossing over the track of the Prinz Eugen at 0608.6, so how could the order for the Prinz Eugen not to shoot over the Bismarck have been given as early as 0608?

Answer :
As you should realize easily, once Bismarck turned to south at 06.06 and was coming to re-cross the Prinz Eugen wake for the second time, they saw Prinz Eugen still running a west course while shooting with only the aft turrets group to HMS PoW ( se Jasper report and both Kennedy and Busch book's about Ltnt Albrecht at that point directing from the Prinz Eugen aft rangefinder the cruiser fire ).
So Prinz Eugen crossed Bismarck bow horizontally as you can see on my map.
Everybody on board Bismarck immediately realized that due to the 2 German ships relative courses within a couple of minutes Bismarck was going to enter the Prinz Eugen firelane.
That is the reason why to anticipate the occurrence from Bismarck they issued the order to Prinz Eugen not to overshoot the Bismarck at 06.08, and immediately after to cease fire at 06.09.

I hope that Antonio can resolve these inconsistencies so that we can move on with our efforts to establish a scenario of the battle that we can all agree on.

Bob


and also :

Hi all,

I have given my approval for the posting of a diagram representing my concept of the battle that shows a straight-line course of 215 degrees for the entire 17 minute period of the battle from 0552, just before the Hood opened fire, to 0609 when the Bismarck ceased fire. The track of the Bismarck intersects that of the Prinz Eugen at a point 900 yards astern of the position of the Prinz Eugen at 0556.

Answer :
Well done ! I congratulate your fairness.

I hope that now with the help of as many readers as possible you will be able to better evaluate all the events and by leveraging on the possibility to correlate and compare to see things differently.

Now that we have that settled, we can get back to a discussion of Antonio's latest revised reconstruction of the battle. Specifically, are there any first-hand eyewitness accounts that describe the Bismarck turning to starboard away from the Prince of Wales at about the same time that the British battleship was retreating from the scene of battle? I know of no one who reported such a turn by the Bismarck, not even the crew of the RAF Sunderland flying boat that flew over the area for several minutes.

Answer :
I have responded above.

What proof is there, other than the six photographs that had been printed in reverse, that the Bismarck was ever on the starboard side of the Prinz Eugen during the battle? Both Jasper and Schmalenbach reported seeing the Bismarck in their sights as the German battleship came up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen. Schmalenbach's original battle diagram confirms that the Bismarck was on the port side of the Prinz Eugen during all of Phase II of the battle.

Answer :
I have responded above.



What is Antonio's explanation for the several inconsistencies and plotting errors specified in my preceding posting? It is easy to understand how one could be off 1/16-inch in placing minute tick marks on the track of a ship, but to be 3/8-inch off in two successive measurements and 1/4-inch off in the very next measurement is far too great to be purely accidental. That represents a plotting error of 600 yards over a 3-minute period.

Answer :
I have responded above.
Hopefully we can resolve these issues quickly and get on with our analysis.

I would be most happy to address any concerns regarding my own concept of the battle as portrayed in the diagram prepared for me by Antonio, for which I am profoundly grateful.

Bob


Thanks Bob !

Now that our 2 maps are comparable I hope many other persons will be able to enter the discussion and I hope that the level of discussion among us all will remain pragmatically analytical and well educated as we should only be looking to search for the truth and the best realization on what really happened.

I will open a new post about the Denmark Strait battle and I will post now the 2 battle maps, I am kindly asking everybody including me and Bob to write there in from now on only, so we can keep the number of post to the minimum and avoid confusion.

Please Bob and all avoid to open new ones about same subject and continue there in only. Thanks


Ciao Antonio :D

Robert J. Winklareth
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Location: Woodbridge, VA USA
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Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Mon Apr 04, 2005 5:12 pm

Hi all,

Apparently there are no first-hand accounts by eyewitnesses on the scene that can support Antonio's reconstruction of the battle, else Antonio would have surely posted them by now. That should come as no surprise since the six first-hand accounts that I am aware of, including those of the Baron, Captain Brinkmann, Jasper, Schmalenbach, Busch, and even Vaughn, all support my contention that the Bismarck remained on the port side of the Prinz Eugen throughout the battle.

Instead, Antonio has reverted to the usual tactic used by him and his cabal in the past of overwhelming the topic with an overabundance of verbiage on minutia in an attempt to divert attention from the primary issues and obscure the facts of the matter. Here he has now devoted no less than 18 printed pages in trying to undermine the writings of eyewitnesses on the spot and promoting secondary sources of information.

For example, when I pointed out that the Baron made no mention of any turn by the Bismarck during the battle, he disputed my statement that the Baron's description of events was perhaps the most credible account of the battle. He then pointed out that there were many other books published on the subject. So what? His response merely "begs the question."

Antonio asked if I could point out where Brinkmann's account of the battle contradicted his reconstruction. In my original posting under "Summation of the Battle Phase II" I quoted Brinkmann as writing: "0601. Both ships concentrate fire on King George V. This ship steers between us and the sinking Hood, and after swinging around Hood, makes smoke and breaks off the fight. 0620. Ceased fire." How does Brinkmann's account of the battle correspond in any way to Antonio's reconstruction? It doesn't, pure and simple!

The key to what actually happened during the battle rests with the first-hand accounts by Jasper and Schmalenbach, as reported in the Prinz Eugen Logbook (War Diary). Both describe the Bismarck as coming up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen and eventually leading to the command for the Prinz Eugen not to shoot over the Bismarck. Antonio's response was merely that my presentation of Jasper's report was partial and wrong. As with the other eyewitness accounts, I quoted the essence of Jasper's writings in his exact words verbatim.

Antonio completely disregards the statement made by Schmalenbach that he looked at the Bismarck several times as the German battleship moved up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen. Instead he rambles on about Schmalenbach's book and a battle map which he used in his reconstruction. When I had earlier pointed out that Schmalenbach's original battle map was consistent with his description of the battle, he dismissed that by saying Schmalenbach was "confused."

Antonio disagrees with my presentation of Lieutenant Vaughn's observations of the battle from his RAF Sunderland flying boat. Why? Because I failed to mention that the Prinz Eugen was in the lead of the German squadron after the Hood had blown up and that the Bismarck was not side by side with the Prinz Eugen at the time. That part of the report was not in contention and it was not germane to the question of whether the Bismarck turned away during the battle.

In the absence of any first-hand accounts that support his reconstruction, Antonio has to rely on secondary sources of information that might contain some snippet to support his point of view. Antonio apparently feels that the primary justification for his reconstruction is the Admiral Schmundt Report, so he now devotes four full pages to its defense. It's pretty sad to think that the one and only official version of the battle is refuted by all of the first-hand accounts of the battle and is supported only by the likes of the Admiral Schmundt Report.

Antonio continues to concur with Admiral Schmundt's criticism of Brinkmann for placing the Prinz Eugen in the line of battle when it was Admiral Lutjens who ordered the Prinz Eugen to take the lead of the German squadron when the Bismarck's radar was damaged. Antonio also continues to concur with Admiral Scmundt's criticism of Brinkmann for not placing the Prinz Eugen in the lee of fire when it was Admiral Lutjens who purportedly precluded Brinkmann from taking such action by precipitously turning to starboard one minute earlier.

Admiral Schmundt does raise an interesting point in his report. He said that at no time during the battle did the Prinz Eugen receive any battle signals from the flagship. Surely if Lutjens had intended to turn to starboard behind the Prinz Eugen, he would have made this known to Brinkmann, if for no other reason than to preclude the possibility of a collision. This just reinforces Schmalenbach's account that he looked at the Bismarck a few times but had nothing to report.

If Lutjens had intended to come up on the port side of the Prinz Eugen and continue on the same course for the remainder of the battle, there would have been no need to send any battle signals to the Prinz Eugen, and there would have been nothing out of the ordinary for Schmalenbach to report. These are just further indications that the Bismarck never turned to starboard, as claimed by Antonio, but which is consistent with my concept of the battle.

I leave you with one final thought. When all of the hard-core evidence in a case points in just one direction, you might justifiably conclude that you are on the pathway leading to the truth. Just review again my initial posting under the topic "Summation of the Battle Phase II" and I'll let you all be the judge as to which direction the hard-core evidence points.

Bob

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