The Plot

Discussions about the history of the ship, technical details, etc.
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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: The Plot

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Thu Oct 01, 2015 12:50 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Herr Nilsson,

I see ... but it is very hard to read that 7 with a line in the middle ... being an F ... :think:

That bearing should be one of the D/F by Ltnt Kelburn, ... that RearAdm Wake-Walker declared on his report being crucial for him to keep " contact " and control of HMS Suffolk positioning.

Unfortunately we do NOT have the HMS Suffolk tactical plot's ... as well as the HMS Norfolk ones ... neither Ltnt Kelbun report with all the Norfolk RDF bearings he took all the way thru, ... from where that bearing most likely was taken by Pinchin in my opinion.

Did you realize by looking at my map that sailing at around 30 knots from 05.00 until 05.41 the HMS Suffolk will be exactly matching that point ?

Of course respecting the 04.47, ... 04.56 ... and 05.20 bearings too ... :wink:

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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Herr Nilsson
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Re: The Plot

Postby Herr Nilsson » Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:05 pm

Hello Antonio,

have a look at the F in Norfolk in "Track of Norfolk" and the word "Norfolk" between 0600 and 0612.

:oops: To be honest I wasn't looking at your map anymore, because the speed of the German ships is wrong and the Busch bearing and distance is at the wrong place.
Regards

Marc

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: The Plot

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:23 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Herr Nilsson,

:clap: :clap: :clap:

I agree with you on the " F ", ... of course you are right.

Now look at the " e " on the statement : " Hood Opened Fire " ...and " enemy " ... :wink:

So we have to look for : D/F and D/e ... meaning now ... :think: ... more research fun ... :wink:

OK, I see your point about what you do not like on my map ... but what about this bearing now ?

Do you agree it is the right one at 05.41 between Norfolk and Suffolk ?

What do you think between 318° and 320° being the closer to reality ?

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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Herr Nilsson
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Re: The Plot

Postby Herr Nilsson » Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:43 pm

Impossible to say. All the copies of the plot I know a are slightly distorted.
Regards

Marc

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Re: The Plot

Postby Cag » Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:29 pm

Hi All,
Just a few thoughts on the 'plot'. I again applaude all attempts to create a better map of the battle, however I would humbly advise that it will be difficult to resolve the bearings ranges etc as we cannot take these as precise, Suffolks 284 RDF had a theoretical range of 26,000 yds I believe so the 15 mile (30,000yds approx) must have been a visual estimation. The RDF range error was, I think, around 250yds? Therefore we have to have a +/- error (Rangefinder/human etc) on the bearing and a similar +/- error on the range. Now imagine this on each and every bearing and range we have reference to!
In the case of a willfull alteration of the plot by Pinchin or incompetance of Pinchin in making errors in the plot maybe there is a third option? Unintentional error due to unknown (By us) cause. Do we know the origional scale of the Suffolks diagrams? Do we know for sure that these are what they used? If they were of a differing scale were they re-scaled properly? As Mr Jurens states (A far more experienced man than I) to modify such things is inherantly problematic, all we really know is that the 'Plot' has errors, and really if we're honest why shouldn't it? We are not talking about a document that had the benefit of measurements down to picsals, it was done from tracings from seperate sources to give an idea to the 2nd board the relative positions of the witnesses they were interviewing, and for those witnesses to also have an idea where each other were. Expecting the tracks to be exact is a little too much to expect, we do not have the knowledge of what Pinchin was asked to achieve, with what he was furnished to achieve this end, and how accurate these unknown things were as similarily we cannot really expect those things to be 'exact' (And then blame Pinchin for that). I am in awe of Antonio's work and the time and effort put into this by all those who contribute, and would never wish to be defeatist, but to try to create an exact map with inaccurate documents and signals and witness testimony is going to be hard!
If the purpose of this thread has become one to try and prove a cover up that the Norfolk and Suffolk were capable of participation in the battle but refrained from doing so for dubious reasons I again humbly and with deference to those with greater knowledge ask three questions, did Suffolk or Norfolk ever signal to anyone that the PG was in the lead and BS was at the rear of the German column? Did Holland know in his planning for Norfolk and Suffolk to engage the PG that the cruiser was the lead ship and that both British cruisers would have to break off shadowing to reach a position in which to attack PG prior to BCS 1 making contact to achive the most favourable result? And finally how would the two British cruisers achieve this (If they did have the excessive speed to do so) manoeuvre so as to keep out of range of the guns of the BS while both circumvented her (Without the BS attacking), whilst still keeping a shadowing contact, and at the same time being close enough to be in a position to quickly close to be within their gunnery range of the PG as BCS 1 made contact and without being fired on by the BS or PG and without any signal contact between Norfolk and Suffolk, and then Norfolk and Hood?
Again I have no wish to offend or belittle anyone's theory, it is just that these sort of things need to be checked whether it was possible that this could have been achieved before finding evidence of deliberate action to cover something up that was almost impossible to make happen?
Cag.

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wadinga
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Re: The Plot

Postby wadinga » Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:41 pm

All,

Can we stop and think before going mad with over-analysis. :cool:

Has anyone tried to provide a logic of those speed changes by Suffolk, especially between 05.20 and 05.42 ?


What navigation system exactly do you think is guaranteeing the precision of the tracks and the ticks at 10 or 12 minute intervals? GPS won't be invented for another half century. Primitive radio navigation (Oboe, Gee) over Germany is just being experimented with just to get bombs within 5 miles of a city.

There is no requirement for precise navigation out here several hundred miles from Greenland and we know Suffolk has already accumulated an absolute error of 20 miles plus. It may be that the original, now lost, tactical plots were created with the earliest plotter, an electromechanical "crab" which used gyro and shaft revs as its input, and walked about on a chart, drawing a track. Far more likely was a man with a pencil, drawing approximate radii for turns and a tick every ten minutes or so. Antonio has already identified timing errors of a minute or more in event logging in the Ship's Log, why should these ticks be any different?

Pinchin's plot says it is "traced" and this is either from the missing tactical plots of Norfolk and Suffolk, or less likely created from the Strategical Maps.

Marc has provided Suffolk's logged speed for the relevant period, and when dealing with a 10,000 ton heavy cruiser powered by steam generated in boilers heated by sprayed burning oil, it is unrealistic to imagine speed varying frequently and by significant amounts. If chart analysis indicates this, it is wrong.

For instance, having dissipated a huge chunk of speed doing a tight 360 degree turn at a high entry speed (check some of the videos of modern warships doing this on U-Tube) Suffolk somehow instantaneously accelerates to cover more distance in 05:50 - 06:00 (6cm on my screen, compared with 5cm in 12 minutes before the turn). It is quite likely the 06:00 was logged a little late, giving this longer distance, they were busy watching 1400 men die. :(

I have sent references explaining the basics of ship's hull hydrodynamics for Antonio's interest before. A full helm high speed turn through 360 degrees might well have dropped Suffolk's speed to half what it was before.

Besides, what are we discussing here?

(of course Ellis autobiography categorically denies this turn
Errr, I believe it only omitted to mention it, in a two page discussion of the Bismarck Chase.

The Prosecution are assigning an order of magnitude more accuracy than the Plot has, and deriving a Conspiracy Theory based on determination to discover corruption via a biased interpretation of its shortcomings.


The "D" lines. What are they? Antonio has showed a thumbnail of a section of the Norfolk Strategical Map with a cross for Suffolk's "position" and claimed this indicates d/fing. He has never explained how one bearing from a D/F would make such a cross, since there is nothing to intersect it, and there is apparently no annotation anywhere on maps or plots that it was a D/F measurement. He has confirmed it is not just a plotted position for Suffolk, based on her radio reports.

At the end, "The Plot" is simply wrong (even for the part concerning JUST the CS1 ships for which surely he had available ALL information, thus leaving just 2 options: 1) intentional modifications of the truth, 2) incompetence of Pinchin.....) and this is the only possible conclusion, that I hope everybody now share in this forum.


All information....All information :?: ............Alberto, you are an ex-mariner. It is YOU should be ashamed to push these unjust alternatives based on distortion of the reality. :negative: There are excuses for those with no sea-time, they know no better. No absolute positions for either ship, but a certainty of a huge navigational bust between them. One bearing only, based on gunflashes at 06:20. This was the best Pinchin could do with what he had, and did all the Enquiry required.

After all, David Mearns found Hood using it. :clap: :clap: :clap:


Antonio, please post the relevant bits of the Strategical maps you have in your possession but have refused up to now, to show.

All the best

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

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: The Plot

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:46 pm

Wadinga wrote: "....All information....All information :?: ............Alberto, you are an ex-mariner."

Hi Sean,
I obviously accept that Pinchin was not aware of the PG track of Germans, I can possibly accept he was unable to ask for Rowell map in advance, but are you saying that, being the Operation Responsible in W-W staff, he had no access to all the available information of CS1 squadron, including the now "missing" tactical plots of both ships) ? (please note that I wrote "all available info JUST for CS1 ships)" :negative:

Despite that, he was unable to connect the bearings D/x and D/y to Suffolk track and used inconsistent speeds.... No, tthe result was not the best he could do, as you suggest....

I'm not ashamed, and I stay with my 2 options regarding his work: 1) an intentional modifications of the truth, 2) incompetence of Pinchin as navigating officer.



you wrote: "Errr, I believe it only omitted to mention it, in a two page discussion of the Bismarck Chase. "

Omitting it, having in front of him his "official report" (as demonstrated) and stating that distance at 5:53 was around 18000 yards (from where he took the decision not to open fire), means that he implicitly denied such a turn to north at 5:41..... don't you think so ?


Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

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Re: The Plot

Postby Bill Jurens » Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:11 pm

There has been a lot of discussion here on whether or not "The Plot" is incorrect. Of course it's incorrect. The technology of the time simply did not permit more precision than shown, and -- perhaps more importantly -- it is clear from the full transcript of the Board hearings that it was considered only of general interest to begin with. The purpose of the Board(s) was not to reconstruct the tactical development of the Bismarck Chase, it was to determine the cause of the loss of HMS Hood. In that regard, nobody really cared about the exact positions of ships much prior to the action -- it was not of real concern because clearly the British tactical maneuvers were able to keep track of Bismarck's position during the time leading up to the engagement, and that was really the important thing. Contact was obtained and maintained so that Hood and POW could arrange an interception. The details of previous activity, though of auxiliary interest, were not of primary concern.

In that regard, my guess was that Pinchin, and perhaps a few others were given the task of quickly putting together some sort of rough plot which would give the members of the Board some sort of perspective on how the tactical situation developed, in fairly broad terms, before the engagement began, and to present some idea of where, approximately, various observers of the explosion, etc. were likely to have been. In that regard, it's not surprising that The Plot did not match actual testimony exactly -- it just wasn't seen to be more than a rough general guideline in the first place. There was no need to produce a complete and accurate plot because there were, apparently, no significant problems taking place during the hours leading up to the final action, i.e. the British forces engaged, by whatever means, clearly had been doing their job of shadowing properly. The precise details of exactly HOW they were shadowing were simply not of interest.

Bill Jurens.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: The Plot

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:58 pm

Hi Mr.Jurens,
while I agree with most of the sensible things you say in your post, I have to point out an aspect where my view is quite different:

you wrote: ".....whether or not "The Plot" is incorrect. Of course it's incorrect. The technology of the time simply did not permit more precision than shown....."

While I agree with you that "The Plot" is obviously incorrect, I don't think Pinchin used correctly the information he had, keeping in mind the technology available at that time.
Drawing the map, he did not know the German exact track (and used an estimation). He could possibly not have been aware of the exact track of Hood (even if this is more difficult to believe after some months from the battle), but at least he had all the available information from Norfolk and Suffolk.
Despite that, he did not respect 3 key bearings between the British cruisers (at 5:36, at 5:41 and at 6:20). As, at that time, bearings were much more reliable than distances, it's not clear at all why he decided to ignore the bearings, instead scrupulously respecting the 15 sm (minimum) distance from both British cruisers to the Bismarck, as declared by Adm Tovey in his dispatch....

There is another thread where the possible reasons behind this are summarized, here:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6799



and one remark:
you wrote: " There was no need to produce a complete and accurate plot because there were, apparently, no significant problems taking place during the hours leading up to the final action, i.e. the British forces engaged, by whatever means, clearly had been doing their job of shadowing properly."

You are perfectly right, and in fact the first board only produced the snapshot of the distances at 6:00. The second board decided to go back in time and to present a battle-map from 05:20.

The shadowing strictly done by the 2 British cruisers deserves another discussion that has been already started, here:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6323

However the position of the cruisers are key in this long discussion, to understand whether they could have been or not within (more or less effective) gun range for the engagement.
In fact, the first board had already established for the Norfolk a distance of 11 sm from Bismarck.
This is the reason why we are now obliged to go back at least to 4:47 to determine where Suffolk and Norfolk were during the battle.

Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Plot

Postby dunmunro » Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:07 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Despite that, he did not respect 3 key bearings between the British cruisers (at 5:36, at 5:41 and at 6:20). As, at that time, bearings were much more reliable than distances, it's not clear at all why he decided to ignore the bearings, instead scrupulously respecting the 15 sm (minimum) distance from both British cruisers to the Bismarck, as declared by Adm Tovey in his dispatch....




For all the reasons we've discussed the bearings have very large error bars around them. The bearings taken suffer from errors in observation and errors due to time of recording.
Last edited by dunmunro on Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: The Plot

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:16 pm

Dunmunro wrote: "For all the reasons we've discussed the bearings have very large error bars around them. The bearing suffer from errors in observation and errors due to time of recording."

Hi Duncan,
yes,I know, but much less than distances...... Despite that, he ignored the bearings (and not by 1 or 2 degrees......) and respected the distance declared by Tovey......

Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

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Re: The Plot

Postby dunmunro » Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:11 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Dunmunro wrote: "For all the reasons we've discussed the bearings have very large error bars around them. The bearing suffer from errors in observation and errors due to time of recording."

Hi Duncan,
yes,I know, but much less than distances...... Despite that, he ignored the bearings (and not by 1 or 2 degrees......) and respected the distance declared by Tovey......

Bye, Alberto


DF Bearings taken, say at, precisely at 0530, will have errors of +/- ~5 degrees and this error is further compounded if the bearing is entered into the log at say 0531. The same is true of visual bearings and very large errors can result.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: The Plot

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:16 pm

Hi Duncan,
I don't think bearings can be wrong by +/- 5 degrees, when they are corresponding exactly to reciprocal ones, as it's the case with German and British ones or even cross-British ones, as in Antonio's reconstruction.

Still, even assuming your opinion is correct, they are more reliable than distances. Despite that, Pinchin disregarded 3 key bearings while he scrupulously respected the distance declared by Tovey...... :think:

Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

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Re: The Plot

Postby dunmunro » Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:30 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:Hi Duncan,
I don't think bearings can be wrong by +/- 5 degrees, when they are corresponding exactly to reciprocal ones, as it's the case with German and British ones or even cross-British ones, as in Antonio's reconstruction.

Still, even assuming your opinion is correct, they are more reliable than distances. Despite that, Pinchin disregarded 3 key bearings while he scrupulously respected the distance declared by Tovey...... :think:

Bye, Alberto


Somewhere buried in one of these lengthy threads I showed, by making reference to RDF documents that DF bearings of +/- 3 degrees were about the maximum possible accuracy but average accuracy was less than that.

Similarly visual bearing are subject to considerable error unless they are taken with stabilized sights and precisely timed.

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: The Plot

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:43 am

Hello everybody,

@ Dunmunro,

Duncan, it was you with Sean ( Wadinga ) that convinced me months ago that the bearings were more reliable and accurate than the distances, ... after a comparison I decided to accept your suggestions and went mainly with the bearings, ... taking in much less account at first the declared distances.

Now, I hope you are not going to suggest me to believe to a RearAdm that one day is signing to a board of inquiry for 20.000 yards distance, ... and just few days after signed a report with 15 sea miles ( 30.000 yards ) for the same evaluated distance.
Similarly I will not believe a distance evaluation of 15 sea miles communicated thru a radio message, ... becoming 20 sea miles because of the visual tolerances.

It does not take much to realize that 3°error margin, ... is much better when compared to the +50% error of the RearAdm ( 10.000 on top of the 20.000 ) ... or the +33% of the visual ( 5 on top of the declared 15 ).

Using the bearings, ... and the crossed bearings too, ... matching them with the opposite direction ( enemy versus British units ) when available, ... allows an accurate enough reconstruction of this battle, ... having the average speed and distance enables the verification ... and the scenario starts getting together quite well, ... always with due tolerances.

Than you have an unexpected " scoop ", like Capt Ellis autobiography, ... and magically all that was not going right on a certain moment for a warship track .... starts getting a reason for it ... :think:

But this is the fun of history research, ... you never know what you are going to discover ... and when you had an intuition about something and you find an evidence about it ... well, it is a satisfaction for the many hours you spent thinking about it ...

Still we are only talking about a battle of 74 years ago ... for the passion of discovering the truth about it.

Few like us will care about it ... so everybody should take it easy ... :wink:

@ CAG

I have to thank you for the nice words about my works, ... and be sure that one day you will see some good enough maps.

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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