Hit on POW compass platform

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wadinga
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby wadinga » Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:48 pm

Hello Antonio,

back on the thread subject


I agree. The other argument belongs elsewhere (Incidentally if you want to find things in the Long Thread use "search" eg search hernia. Very quick and effective)

Do you accept Woods' account that the shell exploded? Blinding flash, Burned flesh, Acrid smell, blast wave picking up a human being and finally, tattered uniform. How could the shockwave of an unexploded shell be worse out in the open air than in the Compass Platform? The dockyard evaluation is wrong, the shell exploded. Agreed?

Do you also agree that there are no 15" and no 8" diameter holes as there are in other parts of the ship? All the holes are irregular shapes far larger than 15" in diameter. They are not definitive that the shell was 15".

Anybody else with an opinion?

All the best

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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby RNfanDan » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:16 am

If it WAS an 8-inch shell, then there will be some further work needed on the chart. The difference in angle of incoming fire between Bismarck and Prinz Eugen, would mean that PoW's aspect toward the striking shell has to be shifted.

NOW what happens to the split-second calculus? :think:
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:49 am

@Wadinga and RNfanDan:
hi, the damage report (posted by Antonio on this same thread) says clearly that the shell n.1 was a 15" one, that it did not explode within ship and that no splinter from a shell were found on the open bridges just outside. IF it exploded leaving the ship not projecting any splinter behind its trajectory, this was not considered at all.

I tend to trust the experts analysis more than the witness (Wood) account. Wood could have confused the shell devastating the plating and its passage shockwave with an explosion sound. Also he could have been confused by the hit n.2 that passed at the same time over his head.
The dockyard experts were very precise and they were doing these analysis even during WWI when they were able to identify the calibre of the majority of the hits received by HMS Warspite at Jutland (ref. Tarrant book) in a very worse damage situation for the ship (29 hits received, with whole areas ravaged by exploding 11" and 12" German shells).

Therefore, I don't understand how we can imagine now that this shell exploded or that it was a 8" one.

BTW a 8" AP shell (and not a 8" HE shell that PG was not firing anymore against PoW) would not explode as well not founding any real obstacle except the thin compass platform plating.

Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby alecsandros » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:52 am

... And a 8", 122kg shell explosion in such a confined space would destroy the space completely, and kill everybody inside.

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wadinga
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby wadinga » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:07 am

All,

8" shell fuse performance was very variable eg the one that got into the 5.25" working chamber without exploding, so it quite possible this shell did not explode until outboard. A 15" shell fused to penetrate belt armour would not have gone off at all.

I have not suggested it exploded inside the Compass Platform.

Dismissing Woods' detailed description of an explosion is not justifiable. He had to bandage wounds afterwards so he knew what happened. The other shell went through the HA DCT support not the LA DCT support so the impact was not above him but well aft.

He was sucked through the hatch, airborne for some time and crashed to the deck some yards away? Alberto, look at your diagram and tell me how far away he was, compared with the unhurt unaffected Leach, who was less then 3m from the shell path, inside a box.

All the best

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:23 am

... and IF a 15" or a 8" exploded just outside the compass platform, it would not have left just a circular hole on the Splinter Shield of the Upper Bridge Searchlight Sights position.......

Please refer to this photo of the OUTER SIDE of the splinter shield (just behind the compass platform) where it is clear the projectile was still unexploded when leaving the ship.

Upper Bridge.jpg
Upper Bridge.jpg (28.36 KiB) Viewed 831 times

BTW, in the same photo we see the LA director support (at top right of image) where Wood was..... so no explosion close to him.

Bye, Alberto
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:54 am

@Wadinga:
Hi Sean, from my PoW plans + Antonio's shell path you see that Wood was at the same distance from BS shell n.1 than Leach (if he was in his port side sight position) or even less if Leach was in the port fore corner of the compass, position F.

PoW_path_hit_Nr_1_Compass_Platform_bridge_03.jpg
PoW_path_hit_Nr_1_Compass_Platform_bridge_03.jpg (150.77 KiB) Viewed 828 times

I have added : in green the hole visible in my previous post photo (external view of the splinter shield) , in violet Wood position, in black the hit n.2 APPROXIMATE trajectory (albeit it was one level above compared with this view).

Bye, Alberto
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby Byron Angel » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:00 am

..... Don't discount the effect of atmospheric shock wave alone. There were cases in the age of sail of untouched men being killed by the close passage of a heavy smoothbore shot. Such a shot would have been travelling in the 1000 - 1400 ft/sec range. As to the question of singed flesh, etc, I can only speculate; but it is worth keeping in mind that the projectile itself would have been extremely hot.

B

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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby wadinga » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:27 am

Hi Alberto,

See Jasper in the KTB- PG fired HE throughout. The fuse type changed nose to base but no AP at all.

Woods was inside the main DCT trunk (was that armoured? and had not actually reached the Upper Deck when the blast happened. Was there a dogged hatch on the DCT trunk?

There is a roof overall, but otherwise it is open air so shockwave effects will be much worse in the Compass Platform which had a shut door presumably.

Oh BTW I left out "pocket of searing heat" in my list of Woods' experiences. Whereas Leach is unhurt/unaffected by his experience and saunters over the perhaps undamaged voice pipes to coolly give the ORDER for a turn which nobody actually ever recorded. We know the ship turned, we don't know what the order was.

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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:07 pm

Byron Angel wrote: " As to the question of singed flesh, etc, I can only speculate; but it is worth keeping in mind that the projectile itself would have been extremely hot."

Hi Byron, thanks for this info. I never thought about that, especially to the fact that the poor remains of the people killed directly by the shell would have been burnt as well. :clap:



Wadinga wrote: "The fuse type changed nose to base but no AP at all. "

Hi Sean, a base fused shell is not intended anyway to explode immediately after touching the thin plate of the compass.
I can suppose the 8" shells from PG were the equivalent of the Semi-Armour Piercing shells (as per British naming) but, not being an expert of German ammunition, I'm not sure at all. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BL_8_inch_Mk_VIII_naval_gun#Ammunition. British Semi AP shell however seems to have both nose and base fuse in it......

In any case, the photo in my above post demonstrates that the shell did not explode inside the ship and did not leave any sign of splinters on the outer side of the SLS splinter shield of the upper bridge.

However, I don't see any reason why the technicians that inspected the ship should have been wrong classifying for sure the shell as a 15" shell. They mentioned the shell lost its ballistic cap. Perhaps they found its fragments, thus allowing a 100% reliable classification.

Hit n.2 is the only one where the damage report says it was probably a 15" but possibly an 8" that did not explode as well within the ship......


Wadinga wrote: "Woods was inside the main DCT trunk (was that armoured? and had not actually reached the Upper Deck when the blast happened. Was there a dogged hatch on the DCT trunk?"

No armour at this level (upper bridge) as in my drawings all the armour is highlighted with a different line width.
No hatch over (to 14" DCT) or below as they are as well always represented on the drawings. Just a sliding door on the DCT tower side (you see it in Antonio posted drawing earlier in this thread, it is partially covered by the green circle in my post) and a ladder down (to Admiral Bridge).


Wafdinga wrote: "............Compass Platform which had a shut door presumably."

The detail damage report says that the door was already open and could not be subsequently closed after the hit passed through (not a big surprise looking at the photos...).


Wadinga wrote: "Whereas Leach is unhurt/unaffected by his experience and saunters over the perhaps undamaged voice pipes to coolly give the ORDER for a turn which nobody actually ever recorded. We know the ship turned, we don't know what the order was."

Sorry Sean, here I really think that you can't accept the fact that Leach himself said in his reports that he decided to disengage. Therefore this point is closed if you don't have any evidence that can support the speculation regarding someone else who might have given the order.

Bye, Alberto
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby wadinga » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:18 pm

Hello Alberto,

And Byron. Even if the shell was glowing white hot, since it is travelling at hundreds of metres a second past you, it is in "toasting range" only for a millisecond or two. No time to burn you. Woods is describing explosion flash, pure and simple, with a much longer duration.

You will obviously have viewed the link I posted, showing the splinter distribution of an airburst, where hardly anything goes back along the path. However the explosive gases will have expanded spheroidally, leaving no splinter damage on the ship, except for those from the mechanical impact of the shell. The explosion gases sucked Woods through the hatch (open?), ripped up his uniform, burnt his exposed skin and stunned him.

The dockyard report Antonio supplied speculates that splinters of the ballistic cap caused injuries, but clearly says the estimate of it being 15" is based only on the damage, ie not on a single scrap of recovered shell was found. The report says there was no evidence of fire or flash, but Woods was there and he clearly says there was. Whereas some other holes in the ship are cookie cutter type and clearly deliniate calibre, the Compass platform ones don't. I can't see anything in what Antonio posted to suggest the Compass Platform door was open. The shockwave and pressure rise in an enclosed box, when an 8" (or 15" shell) came in the window, must have been like being smashed in the face with a cricket bat. James A Willey, wherever he was , was permanently deafened and the others must have been lucky their eardrums weren't perforated.

Whether a shell is semi armour piercing or not depends on its armour piercing head. An HE shell does not have an armour piercing head. Base fused HE is obviously less sensitive than nose fused and this shell, if it exploded close overboard as Brooke says it did, performed close to specification.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby Dave Saxton » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:00 pm

RNfanDan wrote:If it WAS an 8-inch shell, then there will be some further work needed on the chart. The difference in angle of incoming fire between Bismarck and Prinz Eugen, would mean that PoW's aspect toward the striking shell has to be shifted.

NOW what happens to the split-second calculus? :think:

Good point. The POW would have had to been on a more southernly course at the time. This also works against a slight jink to starboard to avoid Hood-unless it was already on a much more southernly course beforehand. Was not BS 's 6" firing HE?
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:12 pm

Hello everybody,

the shell was NOT an 8 inches ( 203 mm ) shell from Prinz Eugen.

The shell was a 15 inches ( 381 mm ) fired by Bismarck main artillery; the PoW damage report leaves NO DOUBTS about it.

Please, unless you have real evidences of the opposite, ... avoid to include the 8 inches ( 203 mm ) of Prinz Eugen or even the 150 mm ( 6 inches ) of Bismarck secondary into the possibilities.

I have attached above the full page about this shell just to avoid it ... but apparently few ones has read it.

Bye Antonio :D
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby RNfanDan » Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:02 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:... and IF a 15" or a 8" exploded just outside the compass platform, it would not have left just a circular hole on the Splinter Shield of the Upper Bridge Searchlight Sights position.....
Bye, Alberto

This is incorrect. There are a number of examples of AP shells piercing thin structures without exploding, or delayed in their explosion for long enough to burst clear of such surfaces. The shell will be delayed in its explosion after a triggering impact for a certain amount of time, to allow the shell to travel deeper inside the target, once it strikes the armor.

This is to allow the shell, now traveling considerably SLOWER than its strike velocity at the instant of impact, to continue deeper inside the target before exploding. Thin steel and other objects might trigger the fuze, but the shell--in these cases-- does NOT lose much velocity. The time delay WILL allow a shell to travel farther than is "expected" by the fuze setting, even to the point of passing clear through.

This is clearly what happened to the shell which passed through the compass platform, and there is absolutely NOTHING unusual about it exiting the structure fully intact, leaving a "clean" puncture in the bulwark. Further, it was noted that other shells which struck PoW, detonated only mildly or partially. The possibility that a defective shell with such characteristics struck the compass platform, also applies.

To verify the effects of AP shells behaving in this way, look no further than the skirmish off Stromvaer by HMS Renown against Scharnhorst & Gneisenau; another example is Scharnhorst vs. Duke of York at North Cape. In both examples, the British ships were struck in their masts by German shells passing clean-through, and in the case of Renown, a shell entered one side of the ship and exited out the other side--- a considerably further distance between entry and exit, than any mast tube represents.

Lastly, it must be remembered that the performance of German 8-inch and 15-inch AP shells was anything but satisfactory (from the German view, of course!), the 15-inch performance even giving rise to the whole question of what triggered Hood's explosion in subsequent theoretical discussions.

"Bye", Dan
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby tommy303 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:30 pm

A word on 20,3cm base fuzed HE. These were essentially a semi-AP shell similar to British uncapped Common Pointed with windscreen. The base fuze was the same as used in AP (BdZ C/38).

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