Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

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

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RF
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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by RF » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:03 am

Antonio Bonomi wrote: I am just curious to see how many will have the courage to say 06.13 now.
Antonio, it is not a matter of courage but of historical accuracy - whether 6.01 and thirty seconds or exactly 6.03. It is now clear that 6.13 is incorrect but in revising the timing there is nothing I can see to change the reasoning for breaking off the action.
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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by Wordy » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:54 am

Ignore
Last edited by Wordy on Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by Wordy » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:57 am

Antonio Bonomi wrote:Hello everybody,

@ Wadinga & Wordy and everybody else interested on it,

lets make things very easy and avoid loosing my and your time in the future.

Please tell me and yourself between those 2 statements which one is correct and which one is incorrect :

1 ) PoW continued the action and a hit was seen on her and at 06.13 she turned away and made smoke. The enemy continued firing and salvoes were seen to fall very close to Prince of Wales on her wake for some time while she was on her retiring course.

Written by RearAdmiral W.F. Wake-Walker on June 5th, 1941, accepted and used by Adm J.Tovey on his July 1941 dispatches.

2 ) It was decided temporarily to discontinue the action and at 06.03 PoW turned away to 160 degrees behind a smoke screen.

Written by the Royal Navy Admiralty into Battle Summary Nr. 5 on 1947/48

Just one single answer, which one of the 2 you consider being the CORRECT one : 1 or 2 ?

Many thanks.


NOTE : With the Latin expression " SUPER PARTES " (beyond the parties) refers to the ability to rise above the parties, or take a neutral position.

Bye Antonio :D
No 1 is a typo

This my view of the engagement and withdrawal of POW:
POW had to manoeuvre around HMS hood so her FC was have compensate for the rapid course change and re-calculate the firing solution, whereas both German ships were still on the same course and had to make minute changes in there firing solutions in order to hit the POW(eveidenced by the rapidity of hits landing aboard POW. Also POW was inside it's immune zone and therefore vulnerable. Both ships were on a converging course, which is why a turn to port, to open range was ordered, the bridge hit was received shortly after the turn was ordered and not countermanded due to Capt Leach being thoroughly shaken up and dazed.

Image

The image the APROXIMATE angels of the hits, so there is no way to determine exactly what course the POW was on at that second.So it isn't pissible to determine weather the hit was before or after the turn to port was ordered.nNt that it matters, as I don't believe his intention was to end the engagement, instead to open the range and move his ship from such a vunerable position.

Having just been hit in the face by a 15 inch shell travelling at 820 metres a second which killed everyone on the bridge apart from him and one other, and despite the book’s (and some on here) inference that he had the best chin in history, he will have been thoroughly shook up and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was suffering a concussion, burst eardrums, nausea. At about 06:03 he regains his senses enough and orders the wheel amidships to stop the turn and continue to open the range. It was his intention to return to a parallel course and continue the engagement but the motion of the ship caused Y turret to jam. Knowing this and the trouble the other guns were having he made the correct decision to continue to withdraw and reform with Wake-Walker.
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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:28 pm

Wordy wrote: "......It was his intention to return to a parallel course and continue the engagement but the motion of the ship caused Y turret to jam......"
Hi, this would have been a possibility BUT it is not what Capt .Leach himself said about the reasons for disengaging (see Alecsandros posts above) and as he was well aware that such a decision is ALWAYS strictly scrutinised in the Royal Navy, we must assume that it is not what happened.

The hit in compass platform just retarded the turn away of some seconds, decision rose in Leach's mind just after Hood exploded as he was not confident in his ship.

Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:55 pm

Hello everybody,

very good ! Everybody answering so far agreed with me on the fact that 06.03 is the right PoW disengagement approx. time and 06.13 is surely NOT correct.

So we have :

06.03 = 100 % ( 13 out of 13 )
and
06.13 = 0 % ( no one )

I think we can declare now definitively dead the 06.13 PoW retreat timing option.

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:03 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Wordy,

you wrote :
The image the APPROXIMATE angles of the hits, so there is no way to determine exactly what course the POW was on at that second.
Your statement is incorrect.

The angles of entry of the majority of the shells have been evaluated by Royal Navy and were object of a dedicated report we shared months ago, it is available on this thread previous post.

From the exact hit on the compass platform entry angle, knowing also the angle the shell came from, it is possible to determine that PoW was on course 280 degrees when she received that hit on her fixed structure.

Than we can realize all the other hits moment by moment during her retreat semi circle of 160 degrees to port, for reference you can use the map Sean ( Wadinga ) asked me.
Pow_revisited_03 (2).jpg
Pow_revisited_03 (2).jpg (82.32 KiB) Viewed 1192 times
Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by dunmunro » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:40 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote:Hello everybody,

very good ! Everybody answering so far agreed with me on the fact that 06.03 is the right PoW disengagement approx. time and 06.13 is surely NOT correct.

So we have :

06.03 = 100 % ( 13 out of 13 )
and
06.13 = 0 % ( no one )

I think we can declare now definitively dead the 06.13 PoW retreat timing option.

Bye Antonio :D
No...I agreed that 0613 was wrong (based upon ~0600 as loss of Hood) But even your own map shows PoW disengaging at ~0605.

Brooke, who should know, puts the time for the end of the battle as 0610.
Last edited by dunmunro on Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by RNfanDan » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:45 pm

Hi, Antonio;

Just in case you may believe I am one who refuses to answer your previous question re: 06:0_(?) vs. 06:13, note that I have little doubt that 06:13 is the wrong timing for PoW's turnaway.

I think however, that 06:01:30 is a little TOO precise, even with the evidence, and I still consider there is some "wiggle room" available within the framework of the "black box" that represents all events between Hood's opening salvo and PoW BEGINNING the turn away (meaning the difference between retreat vs. evading Hood's wreckage). There's just too much "fog of war" surrounding these complex movements, timings, and decisions.

But I cannot dismiss Geoffrey Brooke's account out of hand, regarding PoW's hard wreckage-avoiding turns, first to starboard then and then back to port. I still maintain that if Leach had made up his mind to break off the engagement from the moment he saw Hood in two large pieces (as suggested by at least two posters here), he would have simply held his ship in a starboard turn, crossing his own wake in the process, and get out of Dodge. But he (Leach) didn't.

My position on this has yet to be influenced by anything presented here, since.

Good stuff overall, and thank you Antonio, for sharing your trip's resultant discoveries!

--Dan
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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by Steve Crandell » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:46 pm

Actually I've been thinking that continuing the starboard turn would have been a good idea because the Germans would have been forced to turn around as well if they wanted to continue the engagement and it would have immediately added the two British cruisers to the fight.

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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by dunmunro » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:27 am

Steve Crandell wrote:Actually I've been thinking that continuing the starboard turn would have been a good idea because the Germans would have been forced to turn around as well if they wanted to continue the engagement and it would have immediately added the two British cruisers to the fight.
I think you mean the turn to Port? It would have been logical for Leach to have continued turning to a course of ~090d to open the range at the fastest rate and at the same time close the range to Norfolk. That Leach didn't do this shows that he didn't intend to disengage at ~0603.

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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by Steve Crandell » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:00 am

No, that would work as well, but I was referring to the turn to starboard to avoid the wreckage of Hood. It would have put PoW and Bismarck very quickly on reciprocal courses and would have made Bismarck's fire control solution more difficult than it was in the actual event. Suffolk in particular would be much closer than in the actual event.

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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by alecsandros » Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:38 am

@all
Antonio's map above "PoW_revisited_03" pretty much sums up all the problems. Prince of Wales WAS a continous disengagement course since 6:01

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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by wadinga » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:01 am

Hi Alecsandros,

Since you have revealed your particular insight that Leach was mentally retreating even before Hood exploded, the information that he was still closing the range at an average of 500 yds min right up until 06:02 in the real physical world, even by Antonio's reckoning, is presumably of no interest. :stubborn:

For everybody else
To my mind, Antonio's map here is fatally flawed by slavishly sticking to one of the two different maps produced in PoW by a traumatised man, who admitted the timing might be up to two minutes out, and after the actual plot was ruined and action notes probably destroyed as they were never produced, whilst ignoring significant occurences reported by witnesses not suffering such injuries. The first error is in having no trace of the turn to port to follow Hood. We know from the Hood wreck that the rudder is significantly set for a turn to port. We know from Brooke's account that PoW Fire Control was warned there would be a turn to port, and as a man staring through his glasses at Bismarck he saw the turn being made. None of Rowell's maps show this and therefore Antonio's map does not show this. This turn may have been more than ten degrees up to close to the ordered course from Hood. Witnesses in poW midships saw the burning Hood hidden from view by PoW's forward superstructure as PoW turned to follow her.

This is significant because according to Antonio's map there is no need for PoW to turn to starboard at all. Extrapolating her course takes her well clear of Hood. There is no need to frustrate McMullen with another course change, no need to close A arcs again and no need to increase the closing rate at this suicidal range even more. However we know PoW turned to starboard, hard to starboard as described by the gunnery officers aboard Prinz Eugen. Hard to starboard as described by Brooke. Rowell and hence Antonio have minimised this second turn to a mere ten degrees which would be a minimal target inclination difference to the Germans and barely noticeable.

The actual bridge hit time is not clearly recorded, but the angle does suggest PoW was on about 280T when the shell passed through. This either happened instants after Hood exploded as PoW was turning to starboard in which case she might well have kept on turning, or some time later.

A ship's captain who has made an emergency turn to avoid a 42,000 obstacle right in front of him has to make enough of a turn to actually avoid the thing otherwise there is no point. There is no point in changing your mind 30 seconds later because the ship has hardly displaced her course laterally clear at all. Antonio wishes to minimise the length of time spent in such a turn and its correction in order to maintain his timetable and honour Rowell's admittedly shaky timescale. However this a 35,000 battleship not a jet-ski, and significant turns take time. So maybe a minute or so after intitiating the hard turn to starboard, PoW is turning back to port again, passing through 280T again. German witnesses saw all these avoidance manouevres around the man in front.

Which could be when the Bridge hit is made, by Bismarck, a realistic time after the fatal salvo on Hood. Antonio's timetable allows only 50 seconds between the Hood's destruction and the Compass Platform hit on a different, hard turning target. Someone, presumably Lutjens, had to be sure that the tower of flame emiited from Hood actually signified the end of her fighting value. Seydlitz had emitted a tower of flame at Dogger Bank but survived to be taken into captivity years later.. Not until the two halves of Hood seperated could she be abandoned as a target, and guns switched to PoW. Where the shell flight time was still 15-20 seconds. The Baron says the cheering German fire control team had to be put back to work.

Out of this ludicrously accelerated timetable has come the revelation of the "unhurt" captain who ran away after only one hit. If I had the computer cartographic skill I would have a go at at a map myself. I can only hope Antonio is prepared to redraw an alternate scenario honouring the first turn to port and the oversteer reported by the Germans and see what that does to the timetable.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by alecsandros » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:54 am

wadinga wrote:Hi Alecsandros,

Since you have revealed your particular insight that Leach was mentally retreating even before Hood exploded, the information that he was still closing the range at an average of 500 yds min right up until 06:02 in the real physical world, even by Antonio's reckoning, is presumably of no interest. :stubborn:
I don't know if you read what I wrote ? Or perhaps I wasn't clear enough.

I said the decision came immediately after Hood blew up, and this is what we can read in Leach's own words.

And, again, a ship has a turning radius, so it is natural for it to follow a certain trajectory while turning.

I don't know what you realy want to say about this, as the phenomenon is pretty simple...

Antonio's map is excellent, and just because it doesn't fit with your fabricated version of events doesn't change that.

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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by Wordy » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:24 am

Antonio Bonomi wrote:Hello everybody,

@ Wordy,

you wrote :
The image the APPROXIMATE angles of the hits, so there is no way to determine exactly what course the POW was on at that second.
Your statement is incorrect.
Bye Antonio :D
No it isn't an incorrect statement. It's impossible to say that POW was course the POW down to the exact compas point, it could've a number of degrees either side of 280, I think it was about 280, but due to the inerta on a 35,000 warship the course and times of the hit are impossible to determine down to the exact timescale you have drawn up.

Also that map you have drawn is incorrect, it shows that POW had to make no course adjustment to avoid the wreckage of the Hood. It was reported by a number of people on both side that POW made a hard starboad turn to avoid the wreckage.
wadinga wrote:Hi Alecsandros....

For everybody else....

All the best

wadinga
Good post :clap:


Right, I’m bored on being on the defensive so I’m going to ask Antonio, Alberto and Alecsandros some questions now.

1. You have just seen HMS Hood blow up, now you are heading straight for the wreckage of this ship at 30 knots. What do you?

2. On your present course you are converging with your enemy, closing on average about 500 yards a minute, your ship is out of its immune zone and the enemy has an accurate firing solution on your ship. What would you do?

3. Immediately(as in seconds after) after a 15 inch, 800kg(1,800Ib) shell travelling at 800 metres a second has just hit less than a few metres away from where you are standing and turned everyone apart from one other into red mist, what do you do?

4. You are in a position facing away from your enemy, and you’ve just been informed that Y turret has jammed and the Greenies don’t know how long it’s going to take to un-jam. What do you do?

5. Given that Y turret has jammed and turning to re-engage will mean that you have 40% less firepower than you should have, then add the trouble in A Turret into that equation and you have to find a new firing solution on an enemy that already has one on you. What do you do?

To accurately as possible mimic the conditions Capt Leach was in. Before answering these questions get someone to kill a large number of people right in front of you, then before answering questions 3-5 drink an absolute skin full of alcohol and wait for the hangover to kick in. Then get someone to bang a pair of symbols as loudly as possible right next to your head. Then get someone else to shake and push you around violently every 30 seconds or so. Then get some other people to start giving you life-threateningly bad news in rapid succession. Then get back to us. :ok:
In the Highest Tradition of the Royal Navy - Captain John Leach MVO DSO

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