Hood Gunnery on May 24

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alecsandros
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Re: Hood Gunnery on May 24

Post by alecsandros » Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:23 pm

paulcadogan wrote:
3) We know that Hood continued to fire at the left hand target.
Pardon me, but how do we know that ?

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Re: Hood Gunnery on May 24

Post by RF » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:36 pm

paulcadogan wrote: This is why I always lament the fact that Leach did not immediately signal PoW's misgivings with the 0550 signal from Holland. When the shift signal came at 0552, he would therefore have assumed that the flagship had recognized the error in time.

Paul
There are always laments in a battle scenario that turns out to be a fiasco, or a near fiasco.

Tovey had a bigger lament - that he didn't order Holland beforehand to place POW ahead of Hood to draw Bismarck's fire. Had that happened, with POW being required as lead ship to acquire target identification, I think both ships would have opened fire on Bismarck. Given that Bismarck also misidentified their targets, including believing POW to be KGV, it is likely Hood would not have come under immediate fire at the start, and then only from Prinz Eugen when Lutjens ordered Brinckman to shift his fire as he did in reality from Hood to POW.
With respect to Prinz Eugen not coming under fire, with POW as lead ship the German cruiser would have been a better target than Bismarck for POW's 5.25 inch guns, once they were in range. Whilst as I have said the RN imperative was to degrade Bismarck's gunnery as quickly as possible the 5.25 inch guns would be almost irrelevant for that purpose, they are more likely to damage the cruiser than Bismarck.
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Re: Hood Gunnery on May 24

Post by RF » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:58 pm

alecsandros wrote:
paulcadogan wrote:
3) We know that Hood continued to fire at the left hand target.
Pardon me, but how do we know that ?
POW's gunnery officer stated that he only saw POW'S shell splashes around Bismarck, that no shell splashes from Hood were observed. The Committee of Enquiry concluded from that that Hood only fired on Prinz Eugen. There was also the observations of Jasper on Prinz Eugen whose evidence on the German side recorded the initial accuracy of Hood's fire then of the following salvoes falling further astern as Hood's gunnery was degraded, Fire that only finally ceased when Hood blew up.

It could be speculated that Hood's fire fell increasingly astern of Prinz Eugen because Hood's gunnery control was trying to acquire targeting on Bismarck. However putting all the available, admittedly circumstantial, evidence together it does look to me that Hood's gunnery, once Hood had first been hit by Bismarck, was falling apart and incapable of targeting Bismarck.
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Re: Hood Gunnery on May 24

Post by alecsandros » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:09 pm

RF, I agree :ok:
However, we should leave the option open that Hood was shooting ahead of Bismarck , and not astern of Prinz Eugen...

Best,

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Re: Hood Gunnery on May 24

Post by paulcadogan » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:47 pm

@Alecsandros,

Though RF covered it nicely and I see you pretty much agree, what I meant was - Holland signaled PoW at 0552 to shift right, and yet Hood subsequently opened fire on PG and fired several salvos at her as evidenced by fall of shot observations by PG - at least 2 semi-salvo pairs. So she continued to fire at the left target - at least until Holland ordered her GO to shift right.

What happened subsequently? Well, as RF said....

And here's another thought.... could it be that in the confusion for the change of target, following the apparent spotting top hit, whoever was spotting for Hood confused PoW's splashes for hers (especially if the GIC between the two ships fell apart at that point) , resulting in misdirected corrections! They may have thought she was on or near target, but she was actually far off and so remained that way - like Ajax and Achilles were for a while at River Plate.

Bit if a speculative stretch..but who knows? :think:
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Re: Hood Gunnery on May 24

Post by paulcadogan » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:02 pm

paulcadogan wrote:Bit of a speculative stretch..but who knows?
Hmmm...there may be some anecdotal evidence from Ted Briggs himself! After he describes Holland's order to "shift target to the right" he writes (my italics):
Within the next two minutes the Hood's foremost turrets managed to ram in six salvoes each at the Bismarck. I counted each time, expecting to see a hit registered. The first salvo pockmarked the sea around her, and the third appeared to spark off a dull glow. I thought we had got in the first blow but I was wrong.
Now I assume he meant three two-gun salvo pairs. If Ted was observing the Bismarck and counting the time and seeing splashes around Bismarck, no doubt he was seeing PoW's fall of shot which to him coincided well enough with his own ship's gunfire for him to think they were Hood's. So...if his observations were accurate..the same mistake could have befallen Hood's remaining spotters. :think:
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Re: Hood Gunnery on May 24

Post by alecsandros » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:38 am

paulcadogan wrote: And here's another thought.... could it be that in the confusion for the change of target, following the apparent spotting top hit, whoever was spotting for Hood confused PoW's splashes for hers (especially if the GIC between the two ships fell apart at that point) , resulting in misdirected corrections! They may have thought she was on or near target, but she was actually far off and so remained that way - like Ajax and Achilles were for a while at River Plate.
...Interesting thought...
You know, it appears the same thing happened to KGV on May 27th - for some time she was spotting Rodney's salvos...

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Re: Hood Gunnery on May 24

Post by RF » Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:54 am

alecsandros wrote:RF, I agree :ok:
However, we should leave the option open that Hood was shooting ahead of Bismarck , and not astern of Prinz Eugen...
Best,
Given the distance between Bismarck and Prinz Eugen that would be some miss-shooting.... whereas previously Hood's shooting was pretty good, such as at Mers el Kebir, admittedly under far more favourable circumstances.

Hood landed shells initially ahead and right alongside Prinz Eugen, drenching the AA crew members with seawater from the shell splashes. That evidence I think is conclusive that Hood opened fire on Prinz Eugen as the German lead ship, consistent with Holland's original order to POW to target the left hand ship.
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Re: Hood Gunnery on May 24

Post by alecsandros » Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:58 am

RF wrote:
alecsandros wrote:RF, I agree :ok:
However, we should leave the option open that Hood was shooting ahead of Bismarck , and not astern of Prinz Eugen...
Best,
Given the distance between Bismarck and Prinz Eugen that would be some miss-shooting.... whereas previously Hood's shooting was pretty good, such as at Mers el Kebir, admittedly under far more favourable circumstances.

Hood landed shells initially ahead and right alongside Prinz Eugen, drenching the AA crew members with seawater from the shell splashes. That evidence I think is conclusive that Hood opened fire on Prinz Eugen as the German lead ship, consistent with Holland's original order to POW to target the left hand ship.
Open fire - probably, but later on, and at 5:56 at the latest, it would be obvious who was the Bismarck.. from the muzzle blast and heavy smoke produced by her 380mm guns.

Concerning the distance between the 2 ships - yesterday I reread the passages from PRinz Eugen's ktb concerning ranges. One report says 3000meters distance between BS and PE, another says 1600 meters. Both refering to range at the start of the battle.
That's quite a difference.

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Re: Hood Gunnery on May 24

Post by paulcadogan » Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:39 pm

alecsandros wrote:Concerning the distance between the 2 ships - yesterday I reread the passages from PRinz Eugen's ktb concerning ranges. One report says 3000meters distance between BS and PE, another says 1600 meters. Both refering to range at the start of the battle.
That's quite a difference.
True - which fits better with the photo?

Image

Still the British could not see both simultaneously in their optical equipment.
alecsandros wrote:...Interesting thought...
You know, it appears the same thing happened to KGV on May 27th - for some time she was spotting Rodney's salvos...
Yes I noticed that from Duncan's post in the Bismarck's first hit thread.
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Re: Hood Gunnery on May 24

Post by RF » Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:44 pm

My understanding is that the distance at the start of DS was two miles, which would approximate to the 3,000 metres you mention.

The distance after the Hood opened fire was reducing so the lessor value of 1600 metres may be accurate for later on.

For gunnery accuracy for a ship like Hood you would expect the salvoes to fall within 350 metres of the target? - not over 1,000 metres away?
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Re: Hood Gunnery on May 24

Post by alecsandros » Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:21 pm

paulcadogan wrote: Still the British could not see both simultaneously in their optical equipment.
Depends on the level of zoom... doesn't it ?

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Re: Hood Gunnery on May 24

Post by RF » Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:07 pm

Or width of the glasses..... after all you cannot zoom backwards beyond where you are standing!
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Re: Hood Gunnery on May 24

Post by alecsandros » Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:10 pm

:D

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Re: Hood Gunnery on May 24

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:23 pm

RF wrote: "Tovey had a bigger lament - that he didn't order Holland beforehand to place POW ahead of Hood to draw Bismarck's fire. "
Hi RF,
I'm just seeing now this statement of yours and I'm afraid I can't agree.

One of the three signals Ted Briggs quotes from Tovey to Holland is:
8 PM, May 21
"Flying your flag in Hood and taking Prince of Wales, Achates, Antelope, Anthony, Echo, Icarus and Electra under your orders sail at 0001 on May 22 and proceed with moderate dispatch to Hvalfiord."
Tovey ordered Holland to fly his flag on Hood on May 21 and to go out against Bismarck with PoW with him. This means, in very clear military terms, that Holland had to go first under enemy fire, not to ask someone else to "draw Bismarck's fire" at his place.

The fact that Tovey said only after the battle about this "lament" is not very nice of him, he would have been much better to keep silent at that point...... He should just have ordered Holland to fly his flag in PoW, instead.

Bye, Alberto
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