Bismarck ammunition before last battle

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

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Burner
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Post by Burner » Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:43 pm

paulcadogan Thanks for chering the information about the British board of inquri.

the proplem thid the baron is that i was lock in thid his camrates being debrieft by the british intelligens (4 years)
Any policeofficer would tell you that Herbert. Maus . Höntzsch .George.Walter testemoni has a very high value!

Im now gone try to make a calculation jusing the British(Mullenheim)report.

4 turrets 19 min=125.4 shells
2 turrets 13 min=42.9 shells
1 turrets 10 min=16.5

Sudenly the first 2 towers ho had been destroyd started to work and fierd 4 shells.

The maximum of shell that could been fierd by Bismarck 188 shells

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Post by lwd » Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:55 pm

Burner wrote:...Sudenly the first 2 towers ho had been destroyd started to work and fierd 4 shells....
I'm pretty sure only one of them fired again and it's been speculated that it was shells cooking off rather than intentional targeted fire.

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Post by Burner » Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:08 pm

Since nobody is calling me an idiot...i take it what this higly proffessinal calculation :lol: is as god as any.

Now im gone need some help....sekundary artilleri ( mutch harder)
I read some where that Bismarck sekondary artilleri should be abel to land 2-3%at distances 18000-20000meters in normal combat.??

I dont recall reading anywhere how fast they could reload and fire .somebody???

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tommy303
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Post by tommy303 » Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:40 pm

Hallo Burner,

the 15cm SKC/28 had a rate of fire of about 6 to 8 rounds per minute although firing was generally much slower than this for the simple reason to conserve ammunition. Ammunition stowage was 105 to 150 rounds per gun depending on what source you look at. Ammunition normally carried at sea was base-detonating and point-detonating HE, and starshell for night actions. APC was not normally carried as part of the outfit. Range was about
22 000m but effective range was closer to 16 000m

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Post by Burner » Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:55 pm

Jesus tommy you are fast.
Starting to think it would be better that you did the calculations.
Thanks.

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Post by lwd » Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:59 pm

Note that main battery effective rate of fire is often range dependent.

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tommy303
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Post by tommy303 » Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:09 pm

Note that main battery effective rate of fire is often range dependent.
Very much so!

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They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
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Post by Burner » Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:47 pm

That why im using the the numbers 93shells 14min. In the the first fight Pow Hood range 15000-17500 meters ?thats about the same as in the last battel.
6-8 shells/min seams a bit high?for the sekondary artillery. even thouge its a (german product)

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Post by Burner » Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:26 pm

Im gone use the louest number 6shells/min
Im gone asume that al the turrets worked for 44 min.Using camerons pictures.One of the turrets was put out of action of small caliber ammonition?
spekulation that its was knockt out of action then the british closed in for the final kill (bismarck had already stopt shoting at this time?)
6*8*44min=2112 shells
Gone cut this number i half.Thats because bismarck thoud haved tried to make the main gunes barre (i have to take a class in english)that means that two out of four turrets would had nothing to shot at?
2112*0.5=1056shells.
Now i gone give the crew a long time to aim the gun(tommy 33?)
1105 *0.5= 528shells..Please fell free too help me. Burner

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tommy303
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Post by tommy303 » Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:47 pm

There is little reason to suppose that Bismarck's rate of fire would be any higher in her last battle as in her first one. 93 shells in 14 minutes is just slightly over one round per gun/per minute. There were times she fired faster, yes, but on the average the rate of fire did not approach the potential.

During the last action, the main battery remained under control of Schneider in the foretop until his station was knocked out and command of the armament transferred to the after fire control station. During a fair portion of the time Schneider retained command of the main battery, the after turrets could not bear upon the designated target and so were not firing. When Muellenheim-Rechberg took control, he selected KGV as his target and succeeeded in bracketing her, but then his station was put out of action and the guns ordered to fire under local control

Under local control, the rate of fire might have dropped, as it is the visibility from the turrets might not be good to begin with and must certainly have been even worse during that stage of the action with smoke from fires, shell splashes all around, and the ship rolling heavily and unable to hold a set course. It was almost certainly the same for the secondary armament after the fore fire control station was knocked out as well. Unfortunately, there is less evidence of when different secondary battery turrets went silent. However I seem to recall there may have been several which exhausted their ammunition.

The 15cm had been heavily engaged during the night fending off attacks by Vian's destroyers and their ammunition expenditure might have been quite high, leaving them with a smaller percentage of ammunition with which to fight the final battle than the main guns. Additionally, the port side guns had also been engaged during the action in the Denmark Straits.

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30knots
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Post by 30knots » Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:15 am

Sorry to go slightly o/t but,

One of the reported 'last salvos' from HOOD, was when the bow was reported upright and sinking fast, this surely can't have been from the actions of the crew in the turret, as they would presumably be 90 degrees to their surroundings ?

Thanks for any replies

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Post by paulcadogan » Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:14 am

Hi 30knots,

Yes off topic, but no prob.

The observation of Hood's fwd guns firing a last "salvo" came from German observers - including the Baron himself. It is virtually impossible that this was an actual controlled firing of the guns. It could have been shells "cooking off" as mentioned in an earlier post, or possibly an electrical short that set off the firing mechanism with the guns having been loaded and ready.

Survivor Bob Tilburn reported seeing a flash of flame between B-turret and the conning tower as he went into the water (with the ships bows rising out of the water). This flash could have been what was seen by the Germans and interpreted as the guns firing. To me, this is the most likely scenario.

And sort of back on topic - for the DS battle, I've always wondered why Bismarck's rate of fire was so slow - 5 salvos (20 shells or 40?) between 0555 and 0600, when she could have done almost twice that - especially after the straddle with the 400 m bracket after which the Baron reported Schneider as calling for "full salvoes good rapid". Subsequently there were only 3 salvoes in 3 minutes. Could it be that Admiral Holland's course changes were being carefully observed and incorporated into the firing solution? Could explain how Hood got straddled and hit so perfectly while executing a turn.

Paul
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Post by RF » Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:39 pm

A slow rate of fire by Bismarck puzzles me.

Surely if you are outnumbered (in ships) you would want to fire as quickly as possible in order to mitigate the other sides superior combined weight of fire, particulary if you are firing on one target only, and to eliminate/disable that target as fast as possible so you can then fire on the next target. Obviously shooting very fast will degrade accuracy per salvo and accelerate ammunition consumption but destruction of the targetted ship should be faster, or at least give you a better chance of landing a devastating hit first.

I have raised in another thread some months ago about what could have happened if on 27 May Bismarck had hit Rodney first before the British ships had found Bismarck's range.

The rate of fire quoted by tommy303 for the 15 cm guns seems very slow to me. By comparison the hilfskreuzers Thor and Kormoran both achieved 10 salvoes per minute, firing every six seconds, in engaging equal/superior opposition. Further, according to David Woodward the hilfskreuzer Stier managed 17 rounds per minute in gunnery practice, but accuracy was very poor. It certainly was not replicated in the action against Stephen Hopkins.
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Post by Bgile » Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:20 pm

With respect to the 5.9" guns, the rate of fire Tommy quoted is similar to that achieved by other navies with similar guns.

It's the 17 rounds/min that stretches the limits of credibility. Those shells weighed about 100 lbs and were loaded by hand on the AMCs. All one has to do is watch an army 155mm howitzer being fired to find that rate of fire hard to believe.

I don't know how your source got a rate of fire for Bismarck from a specific time period, but there were periods when she stopped firing completely and that all gets averaged in.

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Post by Burner » Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:55 pm

Here is burners answer to monitors question.

1 cenario (brittsh)mullenheim report.

main guns 185 shells (ammo left)
sekudary 526 shells (out of ammo)


2 cenario trying to make somthing out of the dibrifing reports.

main guns 693 shells (out of ammo)
sekundary (out of ammo)

Answer "maybe" :lol:


I now that 93shells 14min is slow but i cant find any indication that it was higher. But a lot that it was much lower.

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