Photo Nh 69729 Evaluation

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

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Robert J. Winklareth
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Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:52 am

Hi Antonio,

I would very much like to see additional photographs to confirm that the aft twin 105mm AA gun mounts had fixed tubular railings and not the fold-away type. This is critical to our joint analysis of the situation.

My reference to NH69730 was only incidental to my remarks concerning NH69729. Do you still maintain that the Bismarck was coming toward the Prinz Eugen at almost a 90 degree angle when NH69729 was taken?

As I pointed out, it is hardly likely in view of the speed of the Bismarck (30 knots or 1000 yards per minute) and the distance of only 650 yards between the two ships. In just 40 seconds, the Bismarck would have been upon the Prinz Eugen. What explanation can you offer?

Bob

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Antonio Bonomi
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Prinz Eugen fixed railings

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:51 am

Ciao Bob and all,

here some as starters :


Image

Image

Image

Image

than I will send you privately some more.

Ok, for the Nh 69730, no problems we will take care of that on the other post.

Now just concentrate your analysis on those railings and were they could only have been on Prinz Eugen.

After we will jointly analyze were Bismarck was, which speed and direction, were Prinz Eugen was and so on.

You are now analyzing a clear evidence ( the foldable railing in horizontal on the photo just ahead of the camera ) and you must understand what it means first.

Than we will see how many photso we have with this detail, from which side of Prinz Eugen, what they show and so on.

You are doing well, and I applaud :clap: your fresh willingness to deeply understand.

I will be sending you some more photso of fixed railings.

Ciao Antonio :D

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Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Thu Mar 16, 2006 7:52 pm

Hi Antonio,

I Have seen all of the photographs on the Prinz Eugen website, but they are inconclusive regarding the type of railing used on the aft edge of the platform for the aft twin 105mm AA gun mounts on either side of the Prinz Eugen.

I acknowledge that there are fixed railings around the forward and side edges of the platform, but I still have not seen any solid evidence that the railing along the aft edge of the platform was also fixed.

I believe that NH59729 was taken toward the rear and not toward the side of the Prinz Eugen. That leaves only two possibilities: The section of railing from the barbette of turret Caesar to the side railing, both of which were of the foldable type, and the railing along the aft edge of the platform which could be either fixed or folding.

Bob

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Antonio Bonomi
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Prinz Eugen railings

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Thu Mar 16, 2006 8:53 pm

Ciao Bob and all,

be patient :wink:

You only started looking at the railing details.

Now I am sending you more photos.

Very soon you will know everything about those railings.

I see you realized that talking the aft position of the 105 mm gun :

1) all the railings on the forward from the platform end ( toward midship ) till the rangefinder base cylinder were all fixed.

2) All the side platform railings ( all around the 3 sides of the platform ) were fixed and metal tubolar lightly coloured.

Very Good !

It is exact and I agree :clap:

Now soon you will realize that :

A) moving aft from the 105 mm platform end till the C turret barbette there were various pieces of railings.

B) Only the first one was fixed, all the other ones were foldable.

C) Of course only the first one was up ( reference Nh 69722 photo that does show the end of it ).

D) All the other ones were folded down to the deck all the way from the fixed one end till C turret barbette.

E ) You can see this detail both on Nh 69722, on PG Rheinubung film, on other F.O. Busch book photos as well as the after battle various photos.

Just wait some more details photos I am sending you.

Do your homework and verifications and let us know your opinion.

Than we will together try to think were the photo could have been taken based on the above.

Ciao Antonio :D

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Sound Collision Stations!!

Post by wadinga » Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:06 pm

Bob, Antonio and All,
As I pointed out, it is hardly likely in view of the speed of the Bismarck (30 knots or 1000 yards per minute) and the distance of only 650 yards between the two ships. In just 40 seconds, the Bismarck would have been upon the Prinz Eugen. What explanation can you offer?
That the German squadron did not proceed in organised, parallel, straight lines, but in a chaotic unsynchronized zigzag that saw the ships come very close to colliding, and resulted in one blocking the fire of the other, quite a piece of Admiralship with only two ships. (The only worse Admiralship option would have been to get one ship in the way of the other, if they had been on parallel courses, as in "A New Light""). Of course PG was also travelling at a similar speed, so would have been 650 yards away from this crossing point by the time Bismarck got there- but still this was far too close for comfort.

The line of sight from lens to Bismarck crosses the railing at right angles, and there are very few locations anywhere in PG where the railings are anything but parallel to the ship's side. Also the foldable railings at the extreme aft end of the upper deck close to Cesar are flat to the deck. As Antonio suggests, somewhere amidships, where some piece of gear requires direct access to outboard, is a place where the foldable rail is not lowered for action stations, and so remains in place for the picture.

Also, anywhere looking astern will see PG's high speed wake- but it's not there, because we are not looking astern, but out to the beam at Bismarck thundering toward us.

All the Best
wadinga
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Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:50 pm

Hi Wadinga,

I was merely pointing out that Antonio's statement that the Bismarck was coming at the Prinz Eugen at nearly a 90 degree angle could not possibly be true because at that angle the Bismarck would be approaching the Prinz Eugen at a rate of closure of 1000 yards per minute. Surw the Prinz Eugen was traveling at a rate of 900 yards direction, but on a perpendicular path heading in the same direction as the Bismarck.

Photo NH69722 was taken in the direction directly astern of the Prinz Eugen. From that point, Bismarck advanced on the Prinz Eugen at an angle of about 8 degrees off the port side of the cruiser and at a rate of closures of 100 yards per minute since they were traveking in the same general direction and not perpendicular to each other.

Photo NH69729 was taken not directly astern of the Prinz Eugen but somewhat to the right off the port quarter of the Prinz Eugen, and therefore the Prinz Eugen's wake would no longer come within the scope of the picture. By the time NH69730 was taken, the Bismarck was at about a 45 degree angle off the port quarter of the Prinz Eugen.

Hope that clarifies it for you.

Bob

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Antonio Bonomi
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Photo Nh 69729

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:07 pm

Ciao Wadinga, Bob and all,

I think we need to proceed by the agreed evidences and than reach our logic conclusions.

That is the only way we can provide value add to our analysis and the other readers :wink:

@ Bob,

you now should be able with latest photos I have sent you of Prinz Eugen details to confirm that from the C turret barbette to the mainmast of Prinz Eugen there were no foldable railings that could have been possibly taken into that photo on the upper deck.

The only foldable ones were down on the deck and were the ones from C turret barbette to the aft 105 mm platform.

All the others starting one element before the aft 105 mm flak gun platform till a couple of elements after the cylinder of the rangefinder directly below the mainmast of Prinz Eugen were fixed tubolar type.

This confirmation you have in your hands now with many photo evidences is fundamental.

Please confirm back you understood and agreed .... Thanks :wink: .

@ Wadinga,

YES, I agree about the perpendicular angle of the camera lens to the railing itself.

Both this detail as well as the Bismarck coming course are self evident on the photos.

Once Bob will have finally realized were that foldable railing could only be on the ship on that moment than I think the conclusion is logic and unique.

Than we will associate the position of this railing that is unique with all the photos were we can see those railings, one side or the other of Prinz Eugen.

I can anticipate that according to my current researches the position is exactly below the ARADO 196 airplane catapult.

It is the only side area with foldable railing still up during the engagement and the overall mission were he could have taken those photos without taking into the photo the crane arm, or the 105mm center ship flak gun or the boat ahead.

If one looks carefully he will realize that just on that position there is the possibility before the funnel to move from port to starboard very easily thru an aisle.

No disturb to the flak gun crew in action ( very important :wink: ) and full visibility with no obstructions, both sides of Prinz Eugen.

.... a smart photographer looks like,.... he knew were to go :wink:

.. but to take those photos he had to stay ' down' as the railing height is 1.2 meters only, so now we know a bit more of were it was and ... that is was not standing up tall, ...

Ciao Antonio :D

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Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Sat Mar 18, 2006 8:41 pm

Hi all,

As you know from reading the postings under this topic that Antonio and I have been examining photographs and diagrams of the Prinz Eugen to determine what railing is shown at the bottom of NH69729. This is necessary so that we can establish the orientation of the Bismarck in relation to the Prinz Eugen when that photograph was taken. Photographs taken at the time do not clearly establish this, so we must rely on photographs taken at the end of the war when the Prinz Eugen was in American hands.

I totally reject Antonio’s thought that NH69729 shows the Bismarck bearing down on the Prinz Eugen at nearly a 90-degree angle. As I said earlier, this would close the gap between the two ships in only 40 seconds, which is clearly not feasible. The sequence of photos from BA 90/61/27 to NH69729 and NH69730 is far more consistent with the Bismarck coming up from the rear at a rate of closure of 100 yards per minute.

From looking at the various photographs, it is certain that the aft 105mm AA gun mounts on the Prinz Eugen were surrounded on the front, outside, and back by fixed tubular railings, at least in the 1945-1946 time frame. If those were the original railings on the ship, and there is no evidence to indicate otherwise, then NH69749 could not have been taken from behind that railing and the section of railing seen at the bottom of NH69749 could not have been from the railing surrounding the aft 105mm AA gun mount.

That only leaves the angled section of foldaway railing from the barbette of turret Caesar to the longitudinal section of foldaway railing, which connects to the fixed section of tubular railing around the 105mm AA gun mount. On the starboard side of the ship, this angled section of railing is folded down as shown in NH68722. I know of no logical reason why this section on the port side of the Prinz Eugen should have been raised in the upright position while the same section is folded down on the starboard side of the ship.

There is a ladder from the main deck to the upper deck at the center of this section of the upper deck on both sides of the ship, which would make it desirable to have the railings upright along that edge of the upper deck. However, it would seem that the same conditions would apply to both sides, not just to the port side. Does anyone else have any thoughts on the matter? If not, perhaps we should leave it at that for the moment and move on.

Bob

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Antonio Bonomi
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Photo Nh 69729

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sat Mar 18, 2006 11:34 pm

Ciao Bob and all,

I see all your points Bob and I am glad you are finally able to realize that what I was telling you about the fixed railings was correct.

Thanks for your fairness :clap:

As you know instead of providing personal opinion and push for it, now I preffer to give you the solid evidences, you can take it or remain of your opinion.

It is only your prerogative and I am glad lately about your fairness as said. :wink: .

Lets continue this way :wink:

So summarizing either the foldable railings from C turret barbette to the 105 mm aft platform were up on the port side as you think or the photo was taken midship starboard side as we ( me, Wadinga and others ) think.

Lucky us I have some photos and the PG film to demonstate also that the foldable railings from C turret barbette to the aft 105 mm platform on port side were down on the upper deck as well as the one's on starboard side, as obvious.

The photos are printed on F.O. Busch book on pages 76-77 and 83-85 showing exactly the details we are looking for.

Same thing can be verifyied on the PG Rheinubung film were you can see exactly that position and even a sailor climbing the ladder and reach the upper deck without any foldable railing obstruction as hey were all down on the deck.

So we can conclude that the foldable railings from C turret barbette to the aft 105 mm flak gun on port side aft were all down on the deck.
Just as on the other side :wink: .

If you do not have it I can send it to you.

I told you that the railings were the ' key ' to understand :wink:

Now I know you are on the right track and you have understood the concept very well :clap:

There were no foldable railings up from the mainmast aft toward the stern on Prinz Eugen during the battle, both sides of the upper deck.

This is the conclusion and it is well demonstrated and documented.

Prinz Eugen railing configuration never changed during the war on the area we are focusing.
They were exactly the same showed on Americans post war photos.

I have dozenz of photos to demonstrate this as well.

The post war American photos are only better and shows more details, the details we need for our analysis.

So, what do you think now ?

Were was Lagemann when the photos ( many and not only Nh 69729 ) were taken on both sides of Prinz Eugen showing the foldable railings ?

The answer is now unique and well supported.

Ciao Antonio :D

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Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:59 pm

Hi all,

The exercise that Antonio and I just went through of examining photographs and diagrams of the Prinz Eugen to determine the location of the railing seen in NH69829 did prove a point, but unfortunately, it did not resolve the basic issue as to the orientation of the Prinz Eugen when that photograph was taken. The exercise did, however, demonstrated the value of looking closely at the details in an attempt to gain some intelligence beyond establishing a simple fact.

I would propose that Antonio, as a senior member of this forum, initiate a similar analysis of NH69726. While other photographs in the group of six starboard views of the Bismarck are too indistinct to allow for a detailed analysis, the flash from the Bismarck firing her guns has sharply illuminated certain structural features of the ship that can be readily identified in NH69726.

Therefore NH69726 is capable of providing important clues as to the orientation of the Bismarck in the photograph as well as the direction in which she is firing. Antonio believes that NH69726 shows a port bow view of the Bismarck firing to port while I believe that the photograph shows a port quarter view of the Bismarck firing to starboard.

There is sufficient detail shown in NH69726 to make a clear-cut determination as to which interpretation of that photograph is correct. If Antonio can prove that NH69726 is a port bow view of the Bismarck firing to port, then he will also have proven that my concept of the battle is clearly wrong and that my reversed photo theory is nothing more than bologna.

This would settle the matter once and for all, and if proven to be wrong, I will of course just fade away, never more to speak or write about reversed photographs. Here's Antonio's best opportunity to silence forever the strongest opposition to his reconstruction. Will he take it?

Bob

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Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Mon Mar 20, 2006 5:36 pm

Hi all,

For the benefit of our members, I will repeat what I told Antonio privately to close out this discussion of railings. Antonio made a point about the fixed railing around the twin 105mm AA gun mount, and after examining all the photogrphs, I agreed with his conclusion.

The photographs in the Busch book were taken several days after the battle when the sailors on the Prinz Eugen were lying on the afterdeck relaxing and taking in the sun. Whether the railings on the upper deck were up or down at that time has absolutely nothing to do with the status of the railings on the day of the battle.

In the Busch photographs, the railing along the edge of the main deck is clearly in the upright position, so there is no reason for the railings on the upper deck to be down at that time. Due to the pattern of dots associated with half-tone printing of photographs and the varied background, I found it impossible to tell whether the railing on the upper deck was up or down. Persons with vivid imaginations could see it either way. I can't.

So let's now proceed with an analysis of NH69726 which I am sure will be far more productive in achieving an end result.

Bob

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Nh 69729

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:45 pm

Ciao Bob and all,

you are right, as we do not have photos of the port side upper deck aft on same position during the battle.

We do have the photos on starboard side during the battle ( the Nh 69722 ) and soon after the battle ( the photo with the used cartridges ) and over there the railings were all down on the deck for sure.

Than we have both side ( port and starboard ) aft positions after the battle on Busch book and on PG film and both sides they were down for sure.

Now someone should tell and explain me why they should have been up during the battle and on port side only :negative:

In my personal opinion nobody changed the railing configuration established for the mission, as they made that railing configuration on Norway at Grimstad Fjord and did not changed it till Brest approaching.

It was the same used on Prinz Eugen gunnery training on the Baltic Sea, and I have dozens of photos about it too.

As I told you I respect your opinion.

But my opinion is very different than your one on this topic.

To me the photos were taken on midship between the catapult and the crane arm, both sides.

So, not only the photo Nh 69729 but also all the other ones showing foldable railings.
When they show the Bismarck they are taken from starboard side.
When they show the British ships the photos are taken from port side.
Been taken on same timeframe more or less of course they cannot show different subjects on same side.

Anyway, I respect your opinion and the story is closed here for me.

You and our readers now know everything was needed about it.

Everybody can make his own opinion.

I think the guy that did the best work on Nh 69726 is '' Herr Nilsson '', with a spectacular perfect re-construction.

I think it is due to ask him to cover that photo :wink:.
What I can anticipate is that the photo is showed also into the PG film sequence.

What about Nh 69730, were you able to see the wake of Prinz Eugen on that photo ? Just curious as you jumped now on Nh 69726.

Ciao Antonio :D

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Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Wed Mar 22, 2006 1:48 am

Hi Antonio,

Idid not say that discussion on NH69729 should be ended permanently. We still don't have an answer that we can all agree on, so let's move on for now and come back to it later. Do you still claim that the Bismarck was coming at the Prinz Eugen at nearly a 90 degree angle? We can still discuss that concept if you want to.

Regarding NH69730, I do not see a distinct wake of the Prinz Eugen in the picture. I sent you and quite a few others a diagram showing the exact position where lagemann was standing to take NH69730. There is only one location that would capture the muzzles of the twin 105mm AA guns seen in the upper right corner of the picture. That clearly establishes the relative location of the Bismarck to the Prinz Eugen and the orientation of the cruiser.

I know of Herr Neilson's position on NH69726, but i haven't heard yours yet. Why are you so reluctant to take the oppotunity to prove me wrong with the clear cut evidence contained in NH69726? If you are so confident that your reconstruction represents the true story about the battle, you should have noi difficulty proving it with NH69726.

Bob

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Post by Robert J. Winklareth » Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:49 pm

Hi Antonio,

When you were providing positive evidence to support your point of view, I stayed with you to its ultimate conclusion. When you had proven your point with concrete evidence, I readily acknowledged the fact that you had been correct in claiming that the railings around the fore and aft twin 105mm AA gun mounts were fixed tubular railings and not foldable railings as I had thought possible.

But when you tried to prove a point by introducing the Busch photographs which were taken a few days later and under completely different circumstances when even the railings along the edge of the main desk were raised, I felt that you had digressed too far from the basic issue to make further discussion along those lines to be productive. I don't have the time to waste on pure speculation in view of the many other activities that I am involved in.

We just have one phone line here, and it is usually quite busy throughout the day and evening so I can spend little time on-line. When I do go on-line, I make a copy of the preceding postings and then prepare thoughtful replies when I find the time to do so. I post my replies a day or two later, but by that time some new thoughts may have been generated that make my replies less than current. For that I must apologize.

After having studied all of the photographic evidence for some time now, I found that NH69722, NH69729, NH69730, and NH69726 were the most valuable for analytic purposes. Since you had already initiated separate topics for discussion on NH69722, NH69729, and NH69739, it seemed appropriate for you to also initiate a topic for discussion on NH69726, especially in view of its high potential for resolving certain key issues.

You, however, apparently still want to discuss NH69729, which is perfectly all right with me as long as we adhere to the set of circumstances hat existed when NH69729 was taken and not dwell on irrelevant arguments such as on the Busch photographs. Getting back to your theory about NH69729, perhaps the answers to the following questions would help the rest of us to better understand your position:

a. Based on NH69722, it would appear that all of the foldable railings along the edge of the main deck and upper deck of the Prinz Eugen had been stowed in the down position. Why would any foldable railings be left in the upright position amidships if they had been put down in the forward and aft parts of the ship?

b. You said that NH69729 showed the Bismarck coming directly at the Prinz Eugen amidships at nearly 90 degrees. How is this possible if the rate of closure of the Bismarck was 1000 yards per minute and she could have closed the 650-yard gap between the two ships in just 40 seconds. NH69730, taken a minute later, shows the Bismarck still 500 yards away from the Prinz Eugen. How do you explain that.

c. In your reconstruction map, you show the Bismarck off the starboard quarter of the Prinz Eugen at 0607 when NH69729 was taken. Both ships are traveling in the same direction, from right to left. NH69729, however, shows the Bismarck traveling from left to right, presumably in the same direction as the Prinz Eugen as evidenced in the sequence of photographs from BA 90/61/27 to NH69730. How do you explain that discrepancy? Did both ships make U-turns?

Bob

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The Killer Photograph

Post by wadinga » Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:49 pm

All,
It would be very convenient to drift off this photograph "move on for now, come back later", into a discussion of others, because this is the very shot which disproves in one single frame the "parallel lines theory".

Bismarck is heading directly at right angles to the rail. There are virtually no rails aboard the entire vessel (PG) which are at 45 degrees (or 90) to the centre line, to allow this to be a view looking aft. Some that were, can be seen in NH 69722, where in the bottom right of the photo, those at the very after end of the upper deck are folded down. They are folded down for action stations because every few seconds two 8" cartridge cases will drop out of the back of Cesar, and they need to roll away clear. Their equivalent, on the port side are folded down because they will be swept by blast from Cesar's muzzles, and this gunnery also makes the after end of this deck a very unpleasant (deadly) place for photography. Better to stay close to the after 4.1" mount. Antonio's other examples just document railing types aboard the ship, there is a smokescreen at work here, trying to confuse the issue.

To address particular points:
Why would any foldable railings be left in the upright position amidships if they had been put down in the forward and aft parts of the ship?
The rails are there to save people's lives, but they may need to be lowered in a particular location at some times, because for instance that is where the gangplank is placed when in harbour. Mooring lines under considerable load may need access to outboard, so rails in their vicinity must be lowered. At other times they stop sailors tumbling down to lower decks or even over the side.

When a warship goes into action, her guns and torpedo tubes need to train in an unobstructed fashion, and blast from the former might rip up rails into an obstructing tangle, so they are stowed flat. The other foldable rails don't need to be folded flat for Action Stations- so they aren't.


You said that NH69729 showed the Bismarck coming directly at the Prinz Eugen amidships at nearly 90 degrees. How is this possible if the rate of closure of the Bismarck was 1000 yards per minute and she could have closed the 650-yard gap between the two ships in just 40 seconds.
What is so hard to accept about this? It might be unwise, it might be irresponsible, it might be a tactical blunder, but the photo shows it happening. Mikuma and Mogami collided while manoeuvring under air attack at Midway, it happens!


NH69730, taken a minute later, shows the Bismarck still 500 yards away from the Prinz Eugen. How do you explain that.
I'm sorry I can't see the timestamp on the picture! It takes half a second to advance 35mm film one frame and cock the shutter. If you had a 50,000 battleship headed straight at you, you would probably get two shots, just to be sure of getting a good one. Boy, talk about exciting! It could be two views of the same Bismarck salvo, seconds apart. The aspect change on Bismarck shows how fast PG travelled across her bows.
NH69729, however, shows the Bismarck traveling from left to right, presumably in the same direction as the Prinz Eugen as
No it doesn't, it shows them travelling at right angles to one another. Brinkmann has just made an emergency turn to starboard, across the bows of the flagship to avoid some imaginary torpedoes which his GHG operator has told him about. Chaos is ensuing, and during it P o W will get away. Lutjens will win the battle because of his crew's gunnery, not through his tactics or poor control of the situation.

All the Best
wadinga
"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"

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