Billy wrote:Thank you Paul for your well researched info. Just wanted to add or point out the potential value of rapid fire capability within an actual battle. The question I would like to ask is was Bismarck firing full 8 gun salvos or was was she ranging with only 4 at a time? The other thing was that once the range was found as in the case of Hood, she had a rapid burst from the 4th and 5th salvos, evidenced by the fact that Hood was encompassed by shell splashes as she was blowing up,after the hits of the 4th salvo. I don't think that the Bismarck would intentionally fire at an already vanquished or blowing up foe, and given the time of flight at that range that would seem to rule out that possibility. However if you do compare the amount of rounds gotten off potential or actual between P.E. and Bismarck, this
would definetly support the value of a higher rate of fire weapon in battle and would go some way to explain the high proportion of hits from the little 8 in gun cruiser.
Bismarck fired 8 guns per salvo but, based on footage and eyewitnesses, each was split into 2 half salvoes from the forward and aft groups separated by 2 or 3 seconds.
It was the 5th salvo that destroyed Hood, not the 4th which was short. I'm not sure where you got the info that Hood was surrounded by splashes as she blew up because none of the eyewitness testimony I've read suggests that. Some (e.g. Captain Leach) saw a straddle with the up-rush of flame occurring in a couple seconds, while others never noticed splashes at all. (see: http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... _intro.htm
) The 6th salvo would have landed somewhere ahead of Hood's position since the ship rapidly lost forward speed.
As for the Prinz, she did not score a "high proportion of hits" - in fact quite the opposite, comparatively! She scored one known hit on Hood (possibly two, IF she scored the hit at the base of the bridge as that could have been Bismarck), and 3 hits on PoW totaling 5 out of 157 shells fired - a hit rate of 3.2% at the most, compared to Bismarck's 6 (2 on Hood - could have been 3 - , 4 on PoW) from 93 or at the least 6.5%! PoW's hit rate too - 3/55 or about 5.5% was better!