Bismarck Final Moments

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José M. Rico
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Bismarck Final Moments

Postby José M. Rico » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:44 pm

Hello all,

Let's begin at 1020 hours on 27 May, the Bismarck is a floating wreck and Tovey is leaving the battlefield. At this time the Dorsetshire, which had remained on Bismarck's starboard quarter during the whole gunnery engagement, closed the range and fired two 21-in. MK VII torpedoes from about 3,500 yards at the starboard side of the German battleship. Then, she turned around, and at 1036 hours fired another torpedo from 2,500 yards against the port side. The Bismarck rolled over and sank at 1039.

Now, the following picture supposedly shows Bismarck about to capsize sinking by the stern as seen from the heavy cruiser Dorsetshire shortly before 1039, after the final torpedo was fired. We can see the ship's foremast and the bow begins to project out of the water.

Image

A higher resolution version is available at navweaps, right here:

http://www.navweaps.com/index_inro/INRO_Bismarck_p3.htm

Everything OK, except for the fact the we are looking at Bismarck's starboard side.

How can you guys explain that? :think: I look forward to your comments.

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Re: Bismarck Final Moments

Postby dougieo » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:31 am

Picture flip is possible, papers/books seem to do this quite a lot but if its a private photo this is unlikely.

Timing could be all wrong of course.

or

Your heading in the direction that Bismarck was scuttled before Dorsetshire fired.

from one of the sites lurkers as we are called.

Dougie

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Re: Bismarck Final Moments

Postby Nearchus » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:11 pm

The DORSETSHIRE torpedoed BISMARCK at 1010 and 1025. As the BISMARCK sank at 1040 there was time for DORSETSHIRE to have got around to the starboard side again. She would certainly have kept moving, probably circling the German ship.

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Re: Bismarck Final Moments

Postby Djoser » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:44 am

I'd say it could be the picture flip thing, I have seen this many times with photographs in history books. The print might have been made that way for all we know, maybe the developer liked it that way better.

Or maybe the cruiser did have time to steam in a circle around to the other side, god knows that ship was in no hurry to sink. How long would it take? I doubt the cruiser is steaming full speed. 20 knots maybe? How many miles long would the line of a semicircle around the Bismarck at that distance be? I need to find my drawing compass and plot it, that might be fun.

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Re: Bismarck Final Moments

Postby Nearchus » Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:20 am

Djoser wrote:I'd say it could be the picture flip thing, I have seen this many times with photographs in history books. The print might have been made that way for all we know, maybe the developer liked it that way better.

Or maybe the cruiser did have time to steam in a circle around to the other side, god knows that ship was in no hurry to sink. How long would it take? I doubt the cruiser is steaming full speed. 20 knots maybe? How many miles long would the line of a semicircle around the Bismarck at that distance be? I need to find my drawing compass and plot it, that might be fun.



I think 20 kts would be an underestimate.

The way to resolve this is for someone to check the DORSETSHIRE's log at the National Archives.

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Re: Bismarck Final Moments

Postby Djoser » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:05 pm

Nearchus wrote:
I think 20 kts would be an underestimate.

The way to resolve this is for someone to check the DORSETSHIRE's log at the National Archives.


Good idea. I don't know if 20 knots is low. They certainly didn't cruise around at all times full tilt, this was extremely bad on fuel consumption, wear on engines, etc. If top speed with engines in perfect running order is 32.5, would 'All ahead 2/3' be an unreasonable order for a weathered ship at the conclusion of an exhaustive chase and battle, possibly l;ow on fuel? But I am not an expert on average cruising speed for cruisers lol!

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Re: Bismarck Final Moments

Postby Bgile » Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:19 pm

Djoser wrote:Good idea. I don't know if 20 knots is low. They certainly didn't cruise around at all times full tilt, this was extremely bad on fuel consumption, wear on engines, etc. If top speed with engines in perfect running order is 32.5, would 'All ahead 2/3' be an unreasonable order for a weathered ship at the conclusion of an exhaustive chase and battle, possibly l;ow on fuel? But I am not an expert on average cruising speed for cruisers lol!


Wiki gives range at 8,000 nm at 10 kts and 2,500 nm at 30 kts.

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Re: Bismarck Final Moments

Postby VeenenbergR » Mon Apr 12, 2010 3:19 pm

Question to all:

On the last picture of the sinking Bismarck, she claerly sinks by the Stern raising her bow (where Lindemann was supposed have standing).

How on Earth then could some survivors state that they have wittnessed:

- all 3 propellors turning slowly....
- the sections near the rudders intact........
- no signs of damage to the hull.......
- the port rudder gone and starboard rudder in place not obstructing the propellors........

Ok, I can believe that all turret tops were ... grey!

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Re: Bismarck Final Moments

Postby Bgile » Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:03 pm

I think that photo gives the wrong impression of the angle of the ship. All accounts I've seen involve the ship capsizing before going under stern first. with respect to one or two of the other things, they were ... wrong.

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Re: Bismarck Final Moments

Postby VeenenbergR » Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:47 pm

Bgile: Bruno Rzonca told:

Bruno: Otherwise I wouldn’t be alive. I was there to the last moment you know, and even so when I was swimming in the water, I was 100 feet away there was not a hole in the hull from all the torpedoes. They shot 71 torpedoes and 12 hits. Not one came through. Dorsetshire shot the torpedoes during the last part I was on the ship and I didn’t notice these torpedoes.

I can say that Bruno never could have seen the whole hull, only the side he was swimming and what he heard from others which became "the story" as they saw it.

The Bismarck capsized to Port (where the big hole in the Deck near the capatapult was). The picture gives the impression that she sank by the Stern.

How about the 3 propellors and 2 rudders? One is gone (port) and the other twisted into a propellor, perhaps because of hitting the bottom.
There is extensive damage where the torpedo struck.

Right?

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Re: Bismarck Final Moments

Postby Bgile » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:28 pm

I agree, and obviously if a torpedo hits a ship other than on the armor belt itself there is going to be a hole.

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Re: Bismarck Final Moments

Postby Legend » Fri May 21, 2010 3:10 pm

What about wind direction? It appears that the wind is traveling to the starboard of Bismarck... wasn't the wind going northeast that day?
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Re: Bismarck Final Moments

Postby RF » Fri May 21, 2010 4:07 pm

Depends on the angle Bismarck is actually pointing at that time.......
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Re: Bismarck Final Moments

Postby Patrick McWilliams » Sun May 23, 2010 11:08 am

dougieo wrote:Picture flip is possible, papers/books seem to do this quite a lot but if its a private photo this is unlikely


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