Reverse into Bay of Biscay?

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

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wadinga
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If seven knots with a jammed rudder were possible

Post by wadinga » Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:42 pm

It would have created even more problems for Larcom and his membership of the Reciprocal Club.

PS Try lip reading the actor who plays him in Sink the Bismarck! He definitely says F***ing B*st*rds as the Swordfish attack his ship.

Rudder angle plus speed equals turn. Rudder angle plus no speed equals no turn.

Tiornu, you nutshelled it.

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Post by foeth » Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:30 am

Karl wrote:Are you sure it was movie 6? That was the one in which the Klingons and the Federation make peace.
Yes, I'm sure. It's the fight above Kithomer with Christopher Plummer at the helm.

This isn't off topic, as this topic is about going nowhere at all.

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:59 pm

foeth:
Karl wrote:
Are you sure it was movie 6? That was the one in which the Klingons and the Federation make peace.


Yes, I'm sure. It's the fight above Kithomer with Christopher Plummer at the helm.

This isn't off topic, as this topic is about going nowhere at all.
Yeah, I agree 100% (which is rare between us)... about both things: the battle over Kithomer when Christopher Plummer was quoting Shakespeare and about this topic... :clap:
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

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Re: Reverse into Bay of Biscay?

Post by raymaciain@yahoo.com » Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:52 pm

One of the options that always intrigued me in the question of saving Bismarck was why the ship's commanders did not attempt to use the anchors as a counter drag to the hard over rudders. Both of the anchors could have been let out and pulled back to a midship position on the opposite side of the ship and held by their chains adjacent to the hull at an optimum depth.The anchor chains would need to be attached to a substantial fitting such as a secondary armament turret amidships. The leverage produced by the drag of both anchors at the side of the 120 foot wide hull might have gone a long way to counteract the leverage of the jammed rudders. Coupled by the use of all three propellors running either forward, reversed or stopped in some combination to make up the balance of the necessary steering leverage, it seems that the ship could have been steered towards France. Taking the idea a little bit further, metal plates could have been attached to the anchors to achieve the requisite amount of drag. Any comments?

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Re: Reverse into Bay of Biscay?

Post by RNfanDan » Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:43 pm

I believe the ship was anchor and cable-free, except for its stern anchor, not long after sustaining damage from Prince of Wales on the 24th. IIRC, all three bowers were slipped to help ease the trim angle Bismarck developed after her bow compartments were flooded.

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Re: Reverse into Bay of Biscay?

Post by wadinga » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:45 pm

All,

Is there is no end to the bizarre ingenuity Bismarck's admirers will envisage to imagine how the "Death Star" could be saved from her/his/its inevitable fate? Why can't they just accept that there was nothing to be done beyond what her crew tried? On another thread it has been suggested she/he/it could have raced around in high speed circles, being such a difficult target that the exasperated Tommies would have fired off all their ammunition, allowing unarmed tugs to tow her home without interference from the RN.

This dangling anchor suggestion might work fine in the bath, but the following details of the REAL WORLD from the excellent information on this very site shows what a waste of time such speculation by those with far less sea-time than those who tried and tried and tried and finally gave up, really is.
Anchor weight (including the shackle ring): 9,500 kg.
Weight of 25 meter chain length: 2,806 kg.
Chain thickness (diameter): 72 mm.
Permitted load strain on the chains: 99,751 kg
So who is going to haul two times 12,306 kg back to midships and up over a turret just to try this daft idea out? On a rolling ship in a North Atlantic seaway? :lol:

(Yes alright they are lighter underwater, but let's stay in the real world.)

The thrust of the props over the jammed rudder would far outweigh any other balancing force that could be applied. Only external assistance via a tow in the calmest weather could stand the slightest possible chance of success, and I don't think Admiral Tovey would stand for that.

Nothing short of blasting away the rudder area completely offered any hope at all, and that might destroy the props as well or possibly sink the ship instead and save Tovey the trouble.

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Re: Reverse into Bay of Biscay?

Post by tommy303 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:02 am

And blasting away the rudders might have made things even worse as far as control went: see reports on USS Intrepid, page two paragraph 4:

http://www.researcheratlarge.com/Ships/ ... ering.html

When her rudder was removed and an attempt was made to sail her stateside using props alone, the ship was virtually uncontrollable and had to return to Pearl Harbour for further work. Bismarck also had little dead wood which would help stabilize the ship without rudders, so even if the rudders were cut or blasted away, she might have been in just as bad or worse circumstances. Like Wadinga, I feel that everything that could have been done was tried. Perhaps some other solutions might have been possible with a less extreme sea state and without interference from Vian and other units, but under the circumstances as they existed that night, I would say no.

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Re: Reverse into Bay of Biscay?

Post by RF » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:25 am

wadinga wrote:
Is there is no end to the bizarre ingenuity Bismarck's admirers will envisage to imagine how the "Death Star" could be saved from her/his/its inevitable fate? Why can't they just accept that there was nothing to be done beyond what her crew tried?
wadinga
The great New Zealand cricketer Richard Hadlee, at the start of his Test Match career, had a mentor who gave him a memorable cliche: ''winners make it happen and losers let it happen.''

Well, Richard Hadlee used his skills to make himself New Zealands' finest ever cricketer and one of the worlds great cricketing allrounders.

The same cliche surely is applicable to a wartime position such as that faced by the crew of Bismarck, or for that matter Britain faced in June 1940 - never ever give up and see it through. Defeatism inevitably leads to one thing: defeat.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: Reverse into Bay of Biscay?

Post by wadinga » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:35 pm

RF

You are absolutely right, it is a cliche, of the glibbest possible sort. Presumably if this mentor had given this advice to somebody who had their legs blown off, they could have become a world class sprinter- just by believing it was possible. But then even Pastorious didn't have to make his own legs from a very limited stock of materials available, whilst being beaten up by Vian, thrown about on a trampoline and rhythmically submerged in freezing water and with the prospect of a major fight with Mike Tyson in the next few hours :D .

I read your 6 year old post and your opinion evidently remains unchanged, Bismarck's crew just didn't try hard enough and others would have tried harder.

I would concur with Tiornu's pithy comment: anything going round in circles momentarily points in the right direction, but for the other 359 moments it doesn't. Personally I believe her/he/its damage control crews did all they could possibly do and finally concluded they were absolutely Donald D*cked.

Tommy, :ok: You are keeping mighty quiet on the possibility of secret signals from Raeder :wink:

All the best
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Re: Reverse into Bay of Biscay?

Post by RF » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:46 am

wadinga wrote:RF

You are absolutely right, it is a cliche, of the glibbest possible sort. Presumably if this mentor had given this advice to somebody who had their legs blown off, they could have become a world class sprinter- just by believing it was possible.
It isn't glib, otherwise I wouldn't have made the comment. It certainly worked for Richard Hadlee.

Yes, a person using artificial legs could be trained to sprint, given the tools and atitude. Just look at paralympic sport, such as the Games held this year in Britain.

My view on Bismarck is that more could have been tried by Lutjens and his staff; the crew generally were left in the dark. Whether it would have worked isn't clear but it is better than to do nothing. That doesn't require them to be superhuman, it requires full excercise of the command function. The same choice a student has in passing an exam - either revise for it, or don't bother and fail as a result.
My view is evtdently shared by other people and goes back to an article published in the 1970's by Ltn-Cmdr Kemp in Purnells History of the Second World War, where he expressed the same view.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: Reverse into Bay of Biscay?

Post by ede144 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:32 pm

RF wrote:
wadinga wrote:RF

You are absolutely right, it is a cliche, of the glibbest possible sort. Presumably if this mentor had given this advice to somebody who had their legs blown off, they could have become a world class sprinter- just by believing it was possible.
It isn't glib, otherwise I wouldn't have made the comment. It certainly worked for Richard Hadlee.

Yes, a person using artificial legs could be trained to sprint, given the tools and atitude. Just look at paralympic sport, such as the Games held this year in Britain.

My view on Bismarck is that more could have been tried by Lutjens and his staff; the crew generally were left in the dark. Whether it would have worked isn't clear but it is better than to do nothing. That doesn't require them to be superhuman, it requires full excercise of the command function. The same choice a student has in passing an exam - either revise for it, or don't bother and fail as a result.
My view is evtdently shared by other people and goes back to an article published in the 1970's by Ltn-Cmdr Kemp in Purnells History of the Second World War, where he expressed the same view.
Yes there would possible things which were not done. Even the Baron mentioned the lack of training and equipment. The Baron layed the blame on the drastically shortend training. So the lack of diving equipment made it nearly impossible to work on the rudder machines.

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Re: Reverse into Bay of Biscay?

Post by tommy303 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:27 pm

I think that Luetjens and his staff, or at least the Fleet Engineer would have had some input, but the main responsibility falls not on the Fleet Commander, on whose shoulders lies the execution of the mission, but on Lindemann who actually commands the ship and is repsonsible for its operation. The ultimate decision to send Bismarck out, in spite of the shortened training times, falls on Raeder.

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They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned these defended;
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Re: Reverse into Bay of Biscay?

Post by RF » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:10 pm

ede144 wrote: ....the Baron mentioned the lack of training and equipment. The Baron layed the blame on the drastically shortend training. So the lack of diving equipment made it nearly impossible to work on the rudder machines.
There was another specific problem here - the rough seas made it unsafe to send divers down to conduct an external examination of the rudder and screws.
Last edited by RF on Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reverse into Bay of Biscay?

Post by RF » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:12 pm

tommy303 wrote:I think that Luetjens and his staff, or at least the Fleet Engineer would have had some input, but the main responsibility falls not on the Fleet Commander, on whose shoulders lies the execution of the mission, but on Lindemann who actually commands the ship and is repsonsible for its operation. The ultimate decision to send Bismarck out, in spite of the shortened training times, falls on Raeder.
This is a significant point, especially when you consider the alleged mental state of Lindemann evidenced by some of the senior survivors, in that he appeared, perhaps through strain and mental exhaustion, to give up on trying to get out of a tight situation.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: Reverse into Bay of Biscay?

Post by paul.mercer » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:25 pm

ede144 wrote:
RF wrote:
wadinga wrote:RF

You are absolutely right, it is a cliche, of the glibbest possible sort. Presumably if this mentor had given this advice to somebody who had their legs blown off, they could have become a world class sprinter- just by believing it was possible.
It isn't glib, otherwise I wouldn't have made the comment. It certainly worked for Richard Hadlee.

Yes, a person using artificial legs could be trained to sprint, given the tools and atitude. Just look at paralympic sport, such as the Games held this year in Britain.

My view on Bismarck is that more could have been tried by Lutjens and his staff; the crew generally were left in the dark. Whether it would have worked isn't clear but it is better than to do nothing. That doesn't require them to be superhuman, it requires full excercise of the command function. The same choice a student has in passing an exam - either revise for it, or don't bother and fail as a result.
My view is evtdently shared by other people and goes back to an article published in the 1970's by Ltn-Cmdr Kemp in Purnells History of the Second World War, where he expressed the same view.
Yes there would possible things which were not done. Even the Baron mentioned the lack of training and equipment. The Baron layed the blame on the drastically shortend training. So the lack of diving equipment made it nearly impossible to work on the rudder machines.
Gentlemen,
I think that I read someware in one of the many books on Bismarck that divers could not have been sent down due to the water surging in and out of the steering compartment making it too dangerous for them to get in.

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