Victorious and its involvement

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

Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by jason spurr » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:18 pm

Come on RF, I thought that would be obvious. Once again does anyone wish to comment on my questions about photos 0007, 0008, 0010 and who is walking with the King in photo 0003?

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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by tommy303 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:36 pm

Jason,

Are you referring to the photo in the the link below?

http://www.bismarck-class.dk/bismarck/h ... attle6.jpg

That shot I believe is a still from a film shot during the battle, and may have been towards the end of the fight shortly before Dorsetshire fired torpedoes from Bismarck's starboard side. The shell splashes appear, to me at least to actually be between the Bismarck and the photographer, and not precisely astern of the Bismarck. In addition, the size of the splashes seem to indicate the shells are possibly 8-in rather than 14-in or 16-in (which might have come from Norfolk, as Dorsetshire ceased fire after a short time since she could not tell the difference between her salvos and Norfolks). Compare to the much larger splashes created by battleship shells:

http://www.kbismarck.com/photo045.jpg

You will note in comparing the two, that in the first, the Bismarck is giving off a large amount of smoke which is blowing astern, while in the second, which was probably much earlier in the fight, the only smoke appears to be from Bismarck's funnel. This photo may have been taken from HMS Tartar, but I will have to double check on that. Tartar at any rate had to break off action due to low fuel before Bismarck was sunk and so was not present at the very end.
Last edited by tommy303 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by wadinga » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:45 pm

All,

Once again we have a nefarious attempt to place Victorious somewhere near the Bismarck on her last morning, but of course it is wrong. Wohlfarth in U-556 saw Ark Royal with Renown because Victorious was somewhere between Greenland and the Clyde, having lost a Swordfish 150 miles east of Cape Farewell. That aircraft would have to have flown a long, long, long way to crash in the sea near Greenland if the "Vic" was near the Bismarck. Of course U-556 reported a "carrier" but did not state "a Victorious" at all. :negative:

I always wonder exactly how, through the lens of a periscope, frequently submerged on that blustery morning, a U-Boat commander could tell that the bedraggled oil-soaked wretches being dragged aboard were German and not from some sunken British ship. If they were British then their stopped rescuer would be a legitimate target and would be torpedoed as so many were during humanitarian work. (Aboukir, Cressy, Hogue) However since the survivors were German, Captain Martin could have relied on the good judgement of the sea-wolf knowing his ship and crew were safe to continue their good work. Of course, later the well-informed Luftwaffe knew absolutely that the destroyer they sank had no Bismarck survivors on board. :clap:
I am sorry if some of you think I am repeatedly raking up such issues
I think I smell Troll......... :cool:

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RF
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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by RF » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:34 am

jason spurr wrote:Come on RF, I thought that would be obvious. Once again does anyone wish to comment on my questions about photos 0007, 0008, 0010 and who is walking with the King in photo 0003?
Yes it is pretty obvious, though you only make insinuation of British war crimes without the guts to spell out your defamation and possibly face action in the courts.
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jason spurr

Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by jason spurr » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:57 pm

I am referring to your 2nd link Tommy, the one that is stated to be taken from the Dorsetshire in Robert Ballards book. The Bismarck no matter how much smoke it is showing is closer then it is in my photo 0010! This distance you worked out to be 2 miles or less, which I agree! The British started firing a around 20 km away and found there range very quickly, so this image does not make sense.. To put it bluntly for the 2 previous posts who profoundly don't seem to agree with this logic and only wish to criticize me and make threats.

The Dorsetshire is less then 2 miles away from the Bismarck in this photo.. There is a large concentration of shells exploding in the water some distance behind the Bismarck.. :quiet: I find smilies childish, so that one's for you wadinga...

I get the impression that you are all avoiding my questions about photos 0007, 0008, 0010 and 0003???? I would appreciate your input Tommy.

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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by tommy303 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:48 am

I see. I was referring to the photo of Bismarck emitting a large cloud of smoke and which I felt was taken on the 24th from a Swordfish as it wave hopped away after releasing its torpedo. I will see what I can do about the one from Ballard's book if I get a chance in the next day or so. As to the pictures you posted, I don't see why they couldn't be published. However, one would have to do a copyright search. They appear to have been printed up as postcards, possibly on Victorious? I am not sure how the law works in the UK, but they might be copyrighted by the Imperial War Museum or some other agency. You might want to contact the IWM to see if they have them in their collection already, as the negatives were probably turned over to the authorities at the time.

It is interesting, but the Germans seemed of the opinion, at least Muellenheim-Rechberg, that it took KGV and Rodney some time to find the range, although once they did, they began to hit regularly.

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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by RF » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:35 am

tommy303 wrote: It is interesting, but the Germans seemed of the opinion, at least Muellenheim-Rechberg, that it took KGV and Rodney some time to find the range, although once they did, they began to hit regularly.
But don't overlook the fact that virtually all the survivors picked up served in the midships to stern areas of Bismarck and below main deck. There were no survivors at all from Anton or Bruno turrets or from the main command and gunnery control areas or damage control parties and few from the flak batteries and secondary turrets. Of course we don't know whether that same pattern is reflected in the 300 or so other survivors left behind in the water by Dorsetshire and Maori but I suspect it probably does. The evidence is that the initial hits on Bismarck were on the forward areas, in other words those areas away from the survivors. Therefore when the survivors state that it took some time for the British to get Bismarcks' range and start hitting I would suggest that what they actually mean is the part of the ship they were serving in.They may on the most part be oblivious to the damage and havoc being wrought further forward because they didn't witness it directly or get reports or eye-witness accounts from others. Only two officers survived and they both attested to the heavy damage further forward from indirect evidence of smoke obstruction to visibility, loss of communication with the main command centres etc.

The British were also very careful in selecting survivors for interrogation about not so much military secrets but about life in the KM and in Nazi Germany in general and they were particulary interested in officers and others whoose duties took them around the ship - this is clearly evidenced in the de-breifing reports on the German survivors. To this end the British would need to net as many survivors as possible, to give them the chance of finding senior officers and members of Admiral Lutjens staff. Leaving survivors in the water would thus not be taken lightly, as this is not said from a humanitarian point of view. Any attempt at deliberately killing survivors in the water - anathema to virtually all navies, including most of the KM - would be even more defeating of this objective.
This isn't an insignificant point as military intelligence gained a very detailed knowledge of the workings of the KM from the subtle interviewing of survivors. I recently came across the Australian reports on the interrogation of Kormorans' crew - the Australians came out with as much knowledge about Kormaran, its cruise, ships sunk and about German supply ships that they could have written Detmers book ''The Raider Kormoran'' for him.
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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by tommy303 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:04 pm

I think, besides the perception on the part of the Baron and a few others, part of the testimony about a delay in the British finding the range came from at least one survivor of Commander Oels' team in command central which directed damage control operations. At any rate, Rodney had problems early on with her gunnery due to a difficulty in obtaining accurate ranges, but it has been so long since I have read about it that I can no longer recall the details. The British opened fire at about 0848, but did not begin to obtain hits until after 0900, so it is possible the Baron's perception was not wrong. I do seem to recall that after a few initial salvos, Rodney ceased fire due to course changes and did not resume fire until about 0918.

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.

jason spurr

Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by jason spurr » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:58 pm

300 hundred or so survivors left behind!.. They estimated around 800 to 1000 survivors were in the water after the Bismarck went down.. It seems like the British didn't want the rest of the world knowing how many men were left in the water to die. This is quite obvious as the British censor has blotted out most of the faces in a photo Im sure you are all familiar with. Why did the censor do this?

Im glad you agree RF that the british found there range on the forward part of the ship reasonably quickly. This just reemphasises my point. Why were all the British shells well off target at this stage in the battle where the Dorsetshire was less then 2 miles away.. To me this only means one thing, after well and truly putting the bismarck out of action they changed there aim to the survivors in the water.. Maybe if the Bismarck hadn't taken the lives of so many of there fellow countrymen 3 day before they would have concentrated more on rescuing men to gather intelligence like you said rather then making the Germans pay for all there mates that were lost.. Thats just my opinion..

Anyway this is not why I have come to this Forum. The reason why is to try and make sense of what my Grandfather said to me before he died, "Don't believe the stories you hear about the Bismarck, we were there and we helped sink it" and to share with you the photos that were left to me.. I have been enlightened by all your comments stating that the Victorious was somewhere else and not present on that final day and that photo 0010 was taken from a plane and not the Victorious itself. However as you believe this photo was taken on the 24Th it should so rightly take its place in the history books as well as photo 0007 and 0008.

For me the hugh hole on the port side of the catapult still seems to be a mystery. I don't believe it was caused by one of the Dorsetshire's final torpedos. Something just doesn't seem right with this whole Bismarck story. Even one web master said to me, they will never tell it how it happened...

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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by RF » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:07 am

jason spurr wrote:300 hundred or so survivors left behind!.. They estimated around 800 to 1000 survivors were in the water after the Bismarck went down.. It seems like the British didn't want the rest of the world knowing how many men were left in the water to die. This is quite obvious as the British censor has blotted out most of the faces in a photo Im sure you are all familiar with. Why did the censor do this?
This estimation of 800 to 1000 is exactly that, and likely to be inflated. Nobody really knows and 300 or possibly slightly more is more likely.
The censor will blot out the faces of those about to die because of the effects of emotional reaction on the part of those who see the unedited pictures and its effect on morale. The German press was expressly forbidden to show pictures of dead German soldiers on the Russian Front for the same reason. No conspiracy there.
Im glad you agree RF that the british found there range on the forward part of the ship reasonably quickly. This just reemphasises my point. Why were all the British shells well off target at this stage in the battle where the Dorsetshire was less then 2 miles away.. To me this only means one thing, after well and truly putting the bismarck out of action they changed there aim to the survivors in the water.. Maybe if the Bismarck hadn't taken the lives of so many of there fellow countrymen 3 day before they would have concentrated more on rescuing men to gather intelligence like you said rather then making the Germans pay for all there mates that were lost.. Thats just my opinion.
Tes it is opinion, and it is plain wrong. In all battles shells and bullets will fall off target. British gunnery on the 24th and 27th wasn't particulary good but that wasn't because they were trying to miss and hit the water!
This ''argument'' about trying to kill survivors in the water is an absurdity. If you want no survivors, why stop to pick up any at all, especially when there are U-boats about? On 1 December 1941 Dorsetshire sank the U-boat supply ship Python and made no attempt to pick up any of the 500 odd German survivors because two U-boats were in company. So why pick up survivors on 27th May?
Last edited by RF on Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by RF » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:14 am

jason spurr wrote:
Anyway this is not why I have come to this Forum. The reason why is to try and make sense of what my Grandfather said to me before he died, "Don't believe the stories you hear about the Bismarck, we were there and we helped sink it" and to share with you the photos that were left to me.. I have been enlightened by all your comments stating that the Victorious was somewhere else and not present on that final day and that photo 0010 was taken from a plane and not the Victorious itself. However as you believe this photo was taken on the 24Th it should so rightly take its place in the history books as well as photo 0007 and 0008.
This has all been politely answered by other membersof the forum. Victoious did indeed help to sink the Bismarck. But it wasn't there at the actual sinking on the 27th.

I think that what all this boils down to is that your grandfather has misrembered over time and because of that you have your own axe to grind.
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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by RF » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:25 am

jason spurr wrote:
For me the hugh hole on the port side of the catapult still seems to be a mystery. I don't believe it was caused by one of the Dorsetshire's final torpedos. Something just doesn't seem right with this whole Bismarck story. Even one web master said to me, they will never tell it how it happened...
That is because you don't want to believe it and are in denial of any contradictory evidence. Conspiracy theory always likes to fight shy of the likes of Karl Popper and the falsification methodology because it doesn't like being exposed as wrong.
Even after the discovery of the wreck of HMAS Sydney the ''stories'' about the Japanese submarine still continue. Perhaps you would like to get your teeth into that, as it has proved most lucrative to various Australian writers with an axe to grind.
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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by Dave Saxton » Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:34 pm

jason spurr wrote:Why were all the British shells well off target at this stage in the battle where the Dorsetshire was less then 2 miles away.. ...
At very short ranges very small variations in the elevation of the guns, or the angle of departure, can produce wide variations to where the shells fall. A shell that passes over the Bismarck by a few meters may well travel some distance before it hits the water. Also at short ranges the amount of scatter for range can be very great. Shells falling within a couple of hundred yards of Bismarck is well within the margin of error for the range and the shooting conditions at that stage of the battle.

The British accounts and accounts by observers on the Rodney agree with the Baron that it took Approx. 10 minutes for Rodney to start hitting.
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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by RF » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:33 am

Dave Saxton wrote:
At very short ranges very small variations in the elevation of the guns, or the angle of departure, can produce wide variations to where the shells fall. A shell that passes over the Bismarck by a few meters may well travel some distance before it hits the water. Also at short ranges the amount of scatter for range can be very great. Shells falling within a couple of hundred yards of Bismarck is well within the margin of error for the range and the shooting conditions at that stage of the battle.
This was also demonstrated during the Kormoran/Sydney battle; starting at almost point blank range, gradually opening up to some 6,000 yards, Kormoran fired somee 550 shells at Sydney with only some 150 direct hits. That was against an almost stationery, drifting target, as indeed Bismarck almost was.
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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by Herr Nilsson » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:06 am

0003 and 0004 were probably taken during a visit of King George in Scapa Flow in May 1944. At least 0004 was definitely taken after February 7th 1944.
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