Victorious and its involvement

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

Re: Victorious and its involvement

Postby jason spurr » Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:21 pm

Good point Paul, Ironically the Bismarck is sitting upright in the mud on the bottom of the ocean, concealing any sign of damage below the waterline. During the final battle the British ships hit Bismarck in the hull many times, above and below the waterline.. They have virtually explored every square inch of the hull that they can see and they have found a number of torpedos and shells hits, but the impacts didn't seem to damage the inner skin of the Bismarck. Explorers to the wreck believe she could have been capable of staying afloat for half a day or so if her fate had not already been sealed. The fact the Germans were jumping from the ship must of been obvious to the British they'd surrendered. A white flag or a black flag? Your right tommy a white flag would be the correct color to fly. Whatever color the flag was, or ended up being, it was amazing they managed to hoist a one at all.. From early on the ship was engulfed with fire and smoke, many men experienced carnage aboard, a flag was hoisted, signals were given from lamps, right down to germans waving there arms in the air. So when was the line crossed, when did it get to the point when enough was enough. A lot of good British men witnessed things that day that went on to haunt them there whole lives.

jason spurr

Re: Victorious and its involvement

Postby jason spurr » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:51 pm

I think you all need to see a number of photos in this collection. Am i able to attach photos for you all to see? I think once they have been seen some constructive criticism can be given.

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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Postby lwd » Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:17 pm

jason spurr wrote:... During the final battle the British ships hit Bismarck in the hull many times, above and below the waterline.

While there is ample evidence of many hits above the water line I would like to see your evidence for multiple hits below the water line.
They have virtually explored every square inch of the hull that they can see

While the exploration has indeed been "virtual" I doubt it has been as extensive as you imply.
and they have found a number of torpedos and shells hits, but the impacts didn't seem to damage the inner skin of the Bismarck.

That seems at odds with: http://www.navweaps.com/index_inro/INRO_Bismarck_p3.htm
There is persuasive evidence that there were some penetrations of the 320mm main side belt ...

And of course there was always PoW underwater hit.
Explorers to the wreck believe she could have been capable of staying afloat for half a day or so if her fate had not already been sealed.

Indeed but it's also been pointed out that the scuttling may actually have delayed the sinking by keeping her on an even keel. Many possibilities here and no way of knowing what would actually have happened. Except of course that Bismarck was going down.
The fact the Germans were jumping from the ship must of been obvious to the British they'd surrendered.

The fact that some are abandoning ship doesn't mean that a ship has surrendered, Indeed there are a fair number of examples to the contrary.
A white flag or a black flag? Your right tommy a white flag would be the correct color to fly. Whatever color the flag was, or ended up being, it was amazing they managed to hoist a one at all.

There was no report of a white flag. Indeed there are only vague reports of flags at all (except for the standard flags a battleship would be flying) and it's not at all clear that if they existed they were hoisted as a surrender token. Even if someone did see something black flapping in the wind it could have been many things and certainly there would be little reason to suggest it was a surrender signal.
... a flag was hoisted,

Was it? When? Where? What did it mean?
signals were given from lamps,

Were they? Again where, when, and what signals?
right down to germans waving there arms in the air.

Again when and how should this be interpreted.

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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Postby lwd » Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:19 pm

jason spurr wrote:I think you all need to see a number of photos in this collection. Am i able to attach photos for you all to see? I think once they have been seen some constructive criticism can be given.

No photos appeared but it would be a start if they are relevant to your points. So far you have been very short on providing good references to support your position.

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RF
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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Postby RF » Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:05 pm

I agree with the comments made by lwd.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

jason spurr

Re: Victorious and its involvement

Postby jason spurr » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:32 pm

I welcome your opinion RF and i apologise men if i have been short on references. There is just so much information out there that supports each side of the story, sunk or scuttled? The majority of the people that have explored the wreck lean towards the latter. Just recently an elderly gentleman from Glasgow talked of the horror he witnessed and how it still haunts him to this day. Come on guys, the order was given," Sink the Bismarck" wasn't that the war cry.. But why does a ship have to be sunk to be destroyed? But that was the order! I believe the Bismarck was destroyed long before she was sunk. She had a severe list to port and had taken on a lot of water, been heavily shelled for an hour and a half and then hit by a number of torpedoes at close range.. Yes she sank. Weather her fate was hurried along with scuttling charges or she had just for come to the relentless onslaught of the British, she was destroyed. Around a thousand men abandoned the Bismarck that day... Wouldn't that take awhile? Did they start abandoning the ship from the very start? I suppose we will never know exactly the number of men that managed to get into the water, the British censor has made sure of that! If i am correct the Bismarck was showing signs of listing to port early on in the battle. Why was this? Did she suffer serious damage at the very start that sealed her fate ? The large hole on the port side of the catapult would be a good place to start looking and please don't tell me the story how a torpedo from Dorsetshire landed up on the deck. Maybe things will make more sense once the photos have been seen.

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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Postby Pandora » Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:29 pm

I would like to see those photos!

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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Postby lwd » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:28 pm

jason spurr wrote:...There is just so much information out there that supports each side of the story,

Not really for instance:
sunk or scuttled?

The problem here is you are viewing them as mutually exclusive and they are not. The British clearly reduced Bismarck to a sinking condition and in the abscence of scuttling would have sunk her (for instance a fair number of torpedo bombers were in range if she hadn't been sunk by the time the battleships had to leave). On the other hand the evidence for the Germans initiating scuttling procedures is also very strong.
The majority of the people that have explored the wreck lean towards the latter.

I'd like to see some evidence of that. Indeed a fair number from what I've read don't consider the two possibilities as mutually exclusive and indeed accept the combined theory.
But why does a ship have to be sunk to be destroyed?

What an absurd question. The Bismarck was clearly not going to just surrender was it? That was the only other way to prevent it from returning to German controled Europe. So sinking was the obvious goal.
I believe the Bismarck was destroyed long before she was sunk.

Well she was obviously no longer combat effective for some time before she sunk but if you're possition was that she wasn't in skinking condition until scuttled then the RN needed to do all they could to render her in such a condition or the Germans might have salvaged her.
Around a thousand men abandoned the Bismarck that day... Wouldn't that take awhile?

What do you mean by "a while" a few minutes? Certainly that. 10's of minutes? probably not.
Did they start abandoning the ship from the very start?

Almost certainly not. For one thing to do so was almost certain death. For another I've read of no evidence for it at all either form German or British sources.
I suppose we will never know exactly the number of men that managed to get into the water, the British censor has made sure of that!

How could they? They had no way of knowing.
If i am correct the Bismarck was showing signs of listing to port early on in the battle. Why was this? Did she suffer serious damage at the very start that sealed her fate ? The large hole on the port side of the catapult would be a good place to start looking and please don't tell me the story how a torpedo from Dorsetshire landed up on the deck. Maybe things will make more sense once the photos have been seen.

It's not at all clear what you are talking about here.

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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Postby tommy303 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:56 pm

I think you do not give the board members enough credit. Some on this board, such as Bill Jurens, have actually been on the expeditions to the Bismarck and been down to the wreck; others have professionally or otherwise poured over footage and photos taken of the wreck by those same expeditions. Others are marine architects, professional historians and the like who have amassed a tremendous amount of knowledge and data.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned these defended;
And saved the sum of things for pay.

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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Postby lwd » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:08 pm

Indeed if he had spent much time reading the various threads on this forum he would see that many/most of the issues he's raised have already been discussed to some depth.

jason spurr

Re: Victorious and its involvement

Postby jason spurr » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:41 pm

I am more then happy to show you the photos i have in this collection, photos that are relevant to my claim that the Victorious was present and played a crucial part in the Bismarck's demise.. But to be honest i am unsure how i go about attaching them, can i have some assistance please? But first i need to address some of lwd's comments. I have easily found reports from men that were there and saw the enemy jumping into the water as well as the ship showing signs of surrender. I agree the British reduced the Bismarck to sinking condition, they did this in the first few minutes. Im not sure we are reading reports from the same wreck here tho. An article published in the NY times on the 3rd of september 2002 by William J Broad reads. There is just one problem ." New evidence, detailed in interviews, videotapes and photographs, suggests that the story is wrong." "We conclusively proved there was no way the British sank that ship," said Dr Alfred S McLaren, a naval expert who studied the wreck on two expeditions, this year and last. "It was scuttled." You agree that the Bismarck was no longer combat effective for some time before she sunk. I also agree, but for how long? Almost the entire Battle? This is what a photo in my collection suggests. There was estimated to be around a thousand men in the water after Bismarck went down. For some reason the British censor has blotted out most of the faces on the one photo that could prove this. Funny that! Finally you say it is unclear on what i am talking about here. I am talking about the hugh hole on the port side of the catapult, how and from whom was it delivered and how long did she carry this wound? I think i have given the board members the same credit as they have given my grandfather, he was there and they were not!

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RF
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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Postby RF » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:01 am

jason spurr wrote:....my claim that the Victorious was present and played a crucial part in the Bismarck's demise..


If this was the case then the whole ships company of HMS Victorious plus the other British forces led by Tovey and also the British Admiralty and Winston Churchill would be aware of that fact. So also would German Naval Group West.

It appears that none of them were aware, perhaps that is because HMS Victorious wasn't there.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

jason spurr

Re: Victorious and its involvement

Postby jason spurr » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:39 pm

I understand the point you are making RF, although i believe there could be a reasonable explanation for all this. One photo i have in this collection suggests that the Victorious was on the opposite side of the Bismarck when the battle started. It would have been very easy for her to leave the scene undetected. As you know the Ark Royal sent in an air-strike that morning but it was called back because the battleships were about to engage and there was a chance of her planes being caught up in the crossfire. Well the Victorious didn't face this dilemma on the other side and her air-strike went ahead. After the strike on the 24Th the pilots knew there torpedos were ineffective against the Bismarck's armor belt. So they were left with no option but to dive bomb there target to inflict any sort of major damage. But profoundly while executing this maneuver the battleships fired there first rounds. I truly believe one of those initial shells pieced the aft port side of Bruno gun turret, followed seconds later by a torpedo landing on the port side of the catapult. Two major explosions in the matter of seconds. You will see evidence on the wreck of these two impacts, not surprisingly my grandfather captured them on film. You are all probably thinking, tall tale. I don't blame you! But please walk in my shoes briefly. Before joining the Australian Army in 1989 i visited my grandparents to say farewell. It was during this visit my grandfather jumped from his chair, pointed his finger at me and said " Don't believe the stories you hear about the Bismarck, because they are not true! We were there and we helped sink it" This was the last thing he ever said to me, how was i suppose to interpret this. Unfortunately he passed away during my service and i never got the chance to ask him to elaborate on what he had said. A number of years later i was called around to my grandmothers house to receive this collection that my grandfather had left me. It didn't take me long to realize after studying these photos that there was only one way i could interpret what my grandfather said, he was telling the truth! It has been a long hard road for me the past 20 years, carrying this collection has been a true burden. But i will not give up, despite what the official records state. Not until someone can give me a reasonable and logical explanation to one of these photographs. Until now, no one has..

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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Postby alecsandros » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:16 am

@Jason
What would have been the reason for such a cover up ?

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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Postby tommy303 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:05 pm

As you know the Ark Royal sent in an air-strike that morning but it was called back because the battleships were about to engage and there was a chance of her planes being caught up in the crossfire. Well the Victorious didn't face this dilemma on the other side and her air-strike went ahead. After the strike on the 24Th the pilots knew there torpedos were ineffective against the Bismarck's armor belt. So they were left with no option but to dive bomb there target to inflict any sort of major damage. But profoundly while executing this maneuver the battleships fired there first rounds. I truly believe one of those initial shells pieced the aft port side of Bruno gun turret, followed seconds later by a torpedo landing on the port side of the catapult.


I am afraid torpedoes do not work in the fashion you suggest. To arm, the torpedo must run several hundred yards before the impact pistol can be triggered and set off the warhead. Dropping a torpedo directly onto the target from above will probably not result in an explosion, and in any event, even if it did, a hit adjacent to the catapult will encounter 50mm of armour. While an explosion of that size will hole the armour, it will not penetrate to the ship's vitals which are several decks below and protected by the main armour deck. There is also the fact that torpedoes are not designed to attack armour, like the belt or armoured decks. Victorious' hit on the 24th was a surface runner and impacted the belt instead of the hull plating deeper down where it should have hit. The idea is to get the torpedo deep enough to strike below the armour. At the time Ark Royal launched her attack on the 27th, Bismarck's final battle had already begun and when the planes arrived she was already under heavy fire from both sides. Victorious' planes would have faced the same problem, no matter which way the came in from and in any event, she would have launched from well outside of visual range, just as Ark Royal had.

Another minor point, the British battleships took some time to find the range and begin landing hits. There would have been no really good reason for the British to cover up Victorious' involvement in the final battle had she actually participated in it. One seriously has to ask why would Tovey or anyone else have wanted to. There is the suggestion that Tovey wanted Home Fleet to sink the Bismarck, and some suggest that was the reason that Tovey did not hold fire long enough to allow Ark Royal's air group to attack, but Victorious, unlike Ark Royal, was part of Home Fleet at the moment so Home Fleet would still have gotten the credit. Most likely though, Tovey knew his ships were low on fuel and wanted to get on with the job before he would have to break off action.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned these defended;
And saved the sum of things for pay.


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