Victorious and its involvement

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

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tommy303
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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by tommy303 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:59 pm

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.
Was your grandfather in one of the Swordfish or was he on the Victorious?. If the latter it would be highly unlikely that the carrier would have closed to within filming range of the battle; Glorious and Gambier Bay are two examples of what can happen to carriers if they venture into gun range of an enemy surface ship, and air strikes are normally launched from outside of visual range--and most often several hundred miles from the enemy.

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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by RF » Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:14 am

jason spurr wrote: ....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" s..
This comment is ambiguous as to meaning. Victorious certainly was involved in operations against the Bismarck, so it was ''there'' in that context. But it wasn't present at the final battle on 27 May.
As for helping to sink Bismarck, well it did make a contribution, albeit not a decisive one.

I think this is a matter of interpretation, as the comment in itself isn't actually wrong. The problem is the hyperbole within the comment.
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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by RF » Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:24 am

I think as a conclusion it is likely that the ''we was there'' has been mis-remembered, possibly fuelled by the feeling that Victorious' actual role was downplayed in favour of Ark Royal and the likes of Dorsetshire.

There are too many people involved in the operations against Bismarck, not just on the Victorious itself, but also on the cruiser/destroyer escorts accompanying the carrier, to keep any ''cover up'' quiet. Remember that Victorious, from the point it was detached from KGV by Tovey, was given a considerable escort screen of cruisers/destroyers because of a risk of the carrier encountering Prinz Eugen, which the British knew had just detached from Bismarck and they didn't know where she was.
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jason spurr

Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by jason spurr » Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:37 pm

If you say a torpedo has to run for several hundred yards before it is armed, i believe you.. Although didn't Ark Royal have some problems with it's torpedos that were armed with magnetic firing pistons? These torpedos detonated on contact with the water, so wouldn't they detonate on contact with the steel? I think it very unlikely that 6,7 hundred kg's of tnt going a 100 mph would not explode when it hit a brick wall.. If you look around the hugh hole on the port-side of the catapult you will notice all the steel is flared inwards, if a shell had penetrated here it would have went straight through the tunnels and passageways and left a shell size hole, much the same as what sealed Bruno's fate.. The torpedo didn't have to penetrate into the heart of the ship, it would have done irreparable damage above deck. Not only would it have taken out the bridge and all the command posts, it would have sent the ship into utter chaos.. Very few senior officers survived, there chain of command was broken from the start. You can see two identical explosion hitting the Tirpitz during operation tungsten on the 3rd april 1944. I have original copies of these two aerial photographs... The Bismarck got hit in exactly the same places as the Tirpitz, there's proof on the wreck.. It was over before it begun!. Rodney and King Goerge had there sights set on Bismarck for a long time, they were closing range and wanted to make the first rounds count! You know how the story goes, at 8.47 Rodney fired first, shortly followed by King George V. They waited, then orange flashes could be seen From Bismarck's forward turrets. The British thought Bismarck had fired back, no, one of there initial shells pieced Bruno's rim. Then in a matter of seconds, just like the Tirpitz, she suffered a fatal torpedo hit on the port side. It was all over.. I appreciate all your comments, especially yours lwd, but i think it's time for me to lay the cards on the table, discuss each relevant image and come to a conclusion.. If we can i will bother you gentleman no more.

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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by RF » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:08 am

jason spurr wrote: Rodney and King Goerge had there sights set on Bismarck for a long time, they were closing range and wanted to make the first rounds count! You know how the story goes, at 8.47 Rodney fired first, shortly followed by King George V. They waited, then orange flashes could be seen From Bismarck's forward turrets. The British thought Bismarck had fired back, no, one of there initial shells pieced Bruno's rim. Then in a matter of seconds, just like the Tirpitz, she suffered a fatal torpedo hit on the port side. It was all over.. I appreciate all your comments, especially yours lwd, but i think it's time for me to lay the cards on the table, discuss each relevant image and come to a conclusion.. If we can i will bother you gentleman no more.
This ''fatal torpedo hit on the port side'' is at odds with all of the other accounts of the final battle. Now why should that be? If there is any actual evidence to this event then lets see it, otherwise we really are going round in circles.
This thread does remind me of another on this website some time ago about Hood being sunk at the Denmark Strait battle by a torpedo fired from a U-boat instead of a shell from Bismarck. The alleged U-boat was even identified - a blunder because it could then be proved that there was no possibility of that sub being in that position on that day.
Then there was also the conspiracy theory about HMAS Sydney being sunk by a Japanese submarine (before Japan entered the war against Britain and the US) instead of the hilfskreuzer Kormoran. The sub was even identified - as the same sub that sank USS Indianapolis in 1945. The fact that this sub was only laid down on 8 December 1942, whereas HMAS Sydney was lost on 19 November 1941, rather discredited this conspiracy theory.

No, I think that my previous two posts above sum up the position here.
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jason spurr

Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by jason spurr » Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:45 pm

Yes this "Fatal torpedo hit on the port side", it did happen, proof on the wreck! So when did it happen? Did the British destroy a ship and then go on to use it as target practice, disspite many sightings of the men jumping into the water. I would go as far as saying the British pounded the ship for longer enough and then changed there aim to the hundreds of abandoned sailors that were in Bismarck's wake. I see evidence of this in a photo taken from Dorsetshire, tight groupings of shells in the ocean behind the ship. They are not misses! Serious, yes i agree, serious enough to leave it out and write the story in a more glorified victors manner.. If i could have the Boards permission i would like to make these photographs public? Then everyone can comment ..

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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by tommy303 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:15 pm

Dorsetshire, when she closed Bismarck on the starboard side after Tovey had broken off the gunnery battle, fired torpedoes, then circled around the Bismarck and fired a final torpedo from port. By the time the Dorsetshire was in position to fire her final torpedo from about a mile away, it was noted that Bismarck had already taken on a severe list to port--this is in keeping with other witness reports that Bismarck was in the process of capsizing. When the torpedo struck about two minutes later, Bismarck had listed over far enough for the torpedo to strike the Aufbaudeck in the region of the aircraft catapult. As Bismarck's eventual sinking was only moments away before the torpedo hit, this last torpedo hit contributed little to actually speeding up the process.

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 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:37 pm

The Bismarck had already taken on a severe list to port, yes this was witnessed a number of times during the battle. So obviously she had already sustained this fatal hit and taken on a lot of water on the port side. I find it possible, but very unlikely that this torpedo from Dorsetshire did this damage, especially when the damage had already been done.. Until know they have been studying the hull for the answers, the answers lay on the deck and the damage she ultimately sustained. When did it become inhumane to carry on with this order! Sink the Bismarck?? Or were the British just quenching there thirst for revenge.. I was asked by Mr Rico to bring this topic here to be discussed with all of you. So i hope with his permission i am allowed to attach these photos.

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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by tommy303 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:55 pm

The order to execute Measure V, that is the order to scuttle the ship, was given at 0930 by Fregattenkapitän Oels. Bismarck at this time had a slight list to port and indeed most of the damage done to the hull during the battle had been on the port side as that was the side engaged by KGV and, part of the time, by Rodney. Flooding in the starboard turbine room effectively prohibited scuttling charges from being placed or sea valves opened, but charges were set in the center turbine room and the after port generator rooms. In other spaces, pumps which had been used to control flooding were reversed. By the time the British had ceased fire and Dorsetshire closed to fire torpedoes, Bismarck was listing heavily to port as a result of the scuttling charges. Ironically, the two torpedoes which hit the starboard side may have actually slowed up Bismarck's sinking by offsetting the flooding from damage and scuttling taking place on the port side of the ship. Nevertheless, the ship was capsizing at the time the torpedo fired from port hit.

Even had the damage on the Aufbaudeck around the port side of the catapult been inflicted earlier as you suggest, it in no way would have doomed the ship. If an air dropped torpedo struck in that place, and if the warhead detonated, it would have cause considerable damage to superstructure in the area of the hit in much the same way as a large general purpose bomb would have, but much as was the case with hits on Tirpitz during Operation Tungsten, the damage would not have doomed or otherwise endangered the ship. There were no command control positions in that area, and the damage would probably not have spread below the armoured weather deck below the Aufbaudeck. It certainly would not have spread to the ship's vitals below the Panzerdeck some four levels below the point of detonation. In any event, a hit as you theorize would have let in air, not water, and would not have caused flooding.

There is testimony of witnesses of the third torpedo from Dorsetshire hitting in that region as Bismarck capsized, but no corroborating accounts, German or British, of an air attack at any time during the battle.

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

Post by RF » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:22 pm

jason spurr wrote:Yes this "Fatal torpedo hit on the port side", it did happen, proof on the wreck! So when did it happen?
This is apparently answered in the above post.
Did the British destroy a ship and then go on to use it as target practice, disspite many sightings of the men jumping into the water. I would go as far as saying the British pounded the ship for longer enough and then changed there aim to the hundreds of abandoned sailors that were in Bismarck's wake. I see evidence of this in a photo taken from Dorsetshire, tight groupings of shells in the ocean behind the ship. They are not misses! Serious, yes i agree, serious enough to leave it out and write the story in a more glorified victors manner.. If i could have the Boards permission i would like to make these photographs public? Then everyone can comment ..
I will comment now.

This post is a disgrace in its insinuations that the RN deliberatly commited war crimes. Had there been a grain of truth to this then it would have been exposed long before now by the crews involved.
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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by tommy303 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:04 pm

I would go as far as saying the British pounded the ship for longer enough and then changed there aim to the hundreds of abandoned sailors that were in Bismarck's wake. I see evidence of this in a photo taken from Dorsetshire, tight groupings of shells in the ocean behind the ship. They are not misses!
Don't you think simply abandoning the men to their fate and leaving them in the water would be as effective and far less expensive a way to kill the German crew? And if that was the intent, why did Dorsetshire and Maori stop to pick up survivors?

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

Post by RF » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:09 am

Maori and Dorsetshire stopped to pick up survivors out of common humanity, the unwritten law of the sea, which most seamen followed.

In pure military terms there are advantages in picking up survivors. Handled properly, survivors can be a very rich source of intelligence and useful information. Including artifacts such as U-boat enigma machine rotor wheels which went quickly to Bletchley Park....
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

jason spurr

Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by jason spurr » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:31 pm

The order to scuttle the ship was given at 09.30, yes, so why did the British not give the order to cease fire until 10.16am? You say by 09.30 she already had a slight list to port, so why did she already have a list to port? She must of suffered this blow before 09.30 to be already showing signs of displacement. Tones of water would have entered the ship in those rough seas.. You suggest this explosion alone would not have been enough to doom the ship.. Well maybe not, but as you said, it would have done considerable damage to the superstructure and the midship area.. I believe the range finders siting on top of the command posts would have also been deemed inoperative, leaving the remaining guns to rely on there 10.5-meter based rangefinders. But as i have said previously, it was one of two major explosions that hit the Bismarck, within seconds of each other, sometime at the start of the battle. A shell took out Anton & Bruno and then a torpedo landed on the port side of the catapult. I have a photo of these two explosions hitting the Bismarck and one explosion is stated to be from the Victorious..

I am sorry if the insinuations of war crimes has enraged you RF.. Do you believe the good British people are not capable of such things? You are probably aware the British are facing claims at the moment over torturing POW's. We dont live in a perfect world RF, mistakes were made and covered up! You can spend your entire life studying a lie and never learn the truth...

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Re: Victorious and its involvement

Post by tommy303 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:10 pm

You say by 09.30 she already had a slight list to port, so why did she already have a list to port? She must of suffered this blow before 09.30 to be already showing signs of displacement.
Two battleships had been engaging her port side and it was this side that was suffering the heaviest damage from hits and near misses. Additionally, there was a slight list to port before the battle began due to hits by Prince of Wales on the 24th and made worse by a hit from Victorious on the same day. There had been counterflooding to correct it but a slight list remained. In the final action a number of near misses may have caused underwater damage to port and as the list increased holes in the main belt and citadel belt probably allowed more flooding to take place. Once scuttling was instituted, the list increased until the ship capsized. There was no way the British would have known that Measure V had been instituted, so they maintained fire until it became evident the ship was indeed sinking.

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

Post by Herr Nilsson » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:39 pm

According to Müllenheim-Rechberg Bismarck had a slight list to port at 8:00 am. I think it was from Ark Royals second torpedo hit the evening before.
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Marc

"Thank God we blow up and sink more easily." (unknown officer from HMS Norfolk)

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