Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:16 am

Paul Cadogan wrote: "I was referring to the evening action when PoW engaged Bismarck at 30,000 yards"
Hi Paul, my mistake, sorry......
you wrote: "PoW performed well initially, but was far more prone at the time to loss of output from her guns "
She was, however we are back to debate Capt.Leach decision, not the actual performances, because, up to 6:02 AM, according to Cmdr McMullen "The Guns are ok !" and, as you say, they were performing well, therefore not being the direct cause of the disengagement, as the Captain incorrectly reported after the action.

Bye, Alberto
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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by Cag » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:14 pm

Hi All,
Just a quick post that I hope helps. Firstly the PoW gunnery trials in March 1941 were trials which were to test the operational capabilities of the turrets including loading, firing, training, etc etc where as the ones in April and May were gunnery shoots i.e. at a target. Secondly the use of Commander McMullens testimony that the "Guns are Ok" should be tempered with the whole of his statement, "So there we were, at one moment we were full of confidence and the next as a new untried ship we were facing both Bismarck and Prinz Eugen both of which then concentrated on us. We suffered various damage, I can't remember the exact number of hits. I know Prinz Eugen hit us three times I think Bismarck hit us five times. One of the hits on us went through the bridge and killed everyone on the bridge except the Captain, the chief yeoman and the navigating officer who was very seriously wounded. The Captain, realising the state of the turrets, quite rightly went hard a port and circled round making smoke. At the same time I was conducting the shoot, although we were well over at the start we quickly straddled and the shoot was going very well, which was borne out later of course by the fact that we did hit her. When I realised the Captain had gone hard a port and that we were breaking off the action, like any gunnery officer whose shoot had been interfered with I was furious! To my boy messenger I said "Go and tell the Captain everythings going fine" what I didn't know was that when the Captain went hard a port at full speed Y turret had jammed and was out of action for an hour or so. But in fact the boy messenger was so horrified at the mess of wounded and decimated corpses that this poor boy came back and said he could not find the Captain" (From Task Force by John Parker).
Best wishes
Cag.

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:51 pm

Hi Mr.Cag,
you are right and the casualties on board PoW were indeed important. But the guns were ok up to the turn and the GO sent a very "unusual" message to his captain.... :think:

Damages to PoW as a battleship were "superficial" as Capt.Leach himself communicated few hours later, that is not the case of the damages sustained by Bismarck (despite no casualty).

Bye, Alberto
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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by alecsandros » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:22 pm

paulcadogan wrote:

But all Bismarck's radars didn't fail. (Apart from the Norfolk incident) Remember I'm talking about actual performance. Still you're right in that PoW's ranging was hampered by the conditions and the inability of her DCT 15 ft. optical RF (which was not affected by spray) to obtain a reliable range. McMullen did the best he could under the conditions and got his battery on target.
Indeed.
My opinion is Bismarck was helped a lot by geometry of the battle and her own installed technology. In similar circumstances, Prince of Wales may have done the same...

[in a reverse crossing the T scenario, Bismarck would fire 4 guns versus Prince of Wales's 10 guns... ]

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by Djoser » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:13 am

alecsandros wrote:I woudl like to see some sort of ban or kick working on the forum... Maybe Jose can help ?

It gets extremely boring and tiresome when someone simply refuses to read (and openly acknoledges that !) just to keep his previous made-up prejudice about some things/ships/situations.

It's realy a waste of space and time...

Best of luck,
I always liked you and I am NOT taking sides here, but oh man this forum is 300 times more calm and rational than the stripper forum I moderate (along with several others). :stubborn: :lol:

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by Djoser » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:28 am

Cag wrote:The reason that Bismarck, Tirpitz and Prinz Eugen can be considered as more worked up is perhaps due to their role in the war. They were never intended to be put into service to defend German trade convoys from Royal Navy attack, their role was the polar opposite, it was to attack the British trade convoys cause disruption and stretching of the British to breaking point. The Admiralty on the other hand , due to fear and the neccessity of defending their trade convoys from the Bismarck et al, had to press the KG V, PoW, and DoY into service and seem to rely on luck for an uninterupted working up period and accepted that their crews would have to 'learn on the job'
That's hitting the nail on the head.

I still suspect that HAD the German Naval command rushed the completion and the assignment of 'worked up' status to their ships anywhere near the extent that the British did--and had they realized the dire peril Bismarck would face to his survival--that not only would Tirpitz have been better prepared to accompany Bismarck, but that he would have in fact joined his brother ship--and that both would much more likely have survived in an alternate DS confrontation. Unless of course they faced Hood, KGV, POW, and perhaps one of the R & Rs, in which case it would have been a very nasty brawl indeed.

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by Cag » Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:27 pm

Hi All,
Thanks Djoser, usually I miss the nail and hit my thumb! I agree with Alberto that the damage to PoW did not significantly affect her main armament in any way and that Commander McMullens report was important, I thought I'd put it in to put his comments in context with his overall views regarding the action. Was the problem for the Seekriegsleitung that with the forthcoming operations against Russia about to break out that they simply couldn't wait for Tirpitz or the repair of Scharnhorst/Gneisenau and so had to opt for the strongest force that could be mustered (Bismarck and Prinz Eugen are still formidable!) within the time frame?
Best wishes
Cag.

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by RF » Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:12 am

Yes, Cag, Operation Barbarossa was a major factor in Raeder's mind in ordering Lutjens to proceed when the latter recommended delaying the operation until autumn 1941. As far as I am aware Lutjens had no knowledge of Barbarossa but Raeder was aware that one of the implications of the invasion of the Soviet Union would be that the oil allocation to the KM would be reduced in view of the ever persistent oil shortages suffered by the German economy.
Waiting until Tirpitz was ready could mean insufficient fuel for both ships to go out. Raeder also wanted a major surface fleet success to keep the KM looking sufficiently important in Hitler's mind whilst he was focussed on invading eastward.
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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by alecsandros » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:39 am

RF wrote:Yes, Cag, Operation Barbarossa was a major factor in Raeder's mind in ordering Lutjens to proceed when the latter recommended delaying the operation until autumn 1941. As far as I am aware Lutjens had no knowledge of Barbarossa but Raeder was aware that one of the implications of the invasion of the Soviet Union would be that the oil allocation to the KM would be reduced in view of the ever persistent oil shortages suffered by the German economy.
Waiting until Tirpitz was ready could mean insufficient fuel for both ships to go out. Raeder also wanted a major surface fleet success to keep the KM looking sufficiently important in Hitler's mind whilst he was focussed on invading eastward.
Most certainly so...

Today, with the benefit of hindsight, some may say Raeder acted rather reckless in his decision to send 1 capital ship and 1 heavy cruiser (with half the range of the capital ship) in raiding operations during a period of almost perpetual daylight.
Moreso as Raeder knew about the 2 KGVs which were in operations (KGV and Prince of Wales), not to mention the rest of the Home Fleet.

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by Dave Saxton » Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:25 pm

alecsandros wrote:
Today, with the benefit of hindsight, some may say Raeder acted rather reckless in his decision to send 1 capital ship and 1 heavy cruiser (with half the range of the capital ship) in raiding operations during a period of almost perpetual daylight.
Moreso as Raeder knew about the 2 KGVs which were in operations (KGV and Prince of Wales), not to mention the rest of the Home Fleet.


German raiders came and went as they pleased only a few months before. The difference was the Suffolk's Type 284 radar used in a surface search role. With out an effective surface search radar the enemy had difficulty gaining contact at all, and they could not retain contact if they did.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by alecsandros » Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:15 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:
alecsandros wrote:
Today, with the benefit of hindsight, some may say Raeder acted rather reckless in his decision to send 1 capital ship and 1 heavy cruiser (with half the range of the capital ship) in raiding operations during a period of almost perpetual daylight.
Moreso as Raeder knew about the 2 KGVs which were in operations (KGV and Prince of Wales), not to mention the rest of the Home Fleet.


German raiders came and went as they pleased only a few months before. The difference was the Suffolk's Type 284 radar used in a surface search role. With out an effective surface search radar the enemy had difficulty gaining contact at all, and they could not retain contact if they did.
True, in Jan/Fev, Scharnhrost and Gneisenau slipped into the Atlantic via Denmark Strait.
However, even then Luetjens was nearly caught by a powerfull surface force of 3 BBs and 8 cruisers. His lucky escape was partly due to lack of British radar installed, and partly due to not enough British heavy ships available to hunt him down and block all possible entries in the Atlantic.

[availability Jan 1941 - KGV, Renown, Repulse, Ark Royal operational. Hood in refit. Prince of Wales not operational. Victorious not comissioned.

In late May 1941, availability - KGV, PoW, Hood, Repulse, Renown, Hood, Ark Royal, Victorious. Twice as many ships.]

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by wadinga » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:09 pm

Hello Alecsandros,

There seem to be a few problems with your post.

We have already established at the beginning of January:
Tarrant says KG V was completed and commissioned on the same day, 1st October 1940, but it was only on December 11th she was ready to undertake full power trials.

Tarrant says "On 1st April 1941 KG V having worked up to reasonable state of fighting efficiency, became flagship of the Home Fleet......"
Tovey had Nelson, Rodney and Repulse to engage Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in their Jan/Feb foray. Lutjen's Covering Force had run away to Iceland when faced by Renown alone, showing her a clean pair of heels, allowing Bonte's destroyers to be bottled up and exterminated. Washington's Cherry Trees hadn't got the speed to force an engagement on any German capital ship.

As Dave has observed the critical development was search radar in British ships. Fog and darkness could not so easily hide the Aggressive Hunter as he stalked his prey.

It is the business of aggressors to be ready when they strike, as Cag has intimated. Even when you are fully ready, going out to break things and hurt people is a risky business. The moment for assault is carefully chosen. RN crews gained their experience by being at sea on war service, protecting the convoys and Bismarck spent her months working up at sea in the safety of the Baltic, worried only by the occasional air dropped mine hazard.

After a bit of research I now see this whole business of "Bismarck wasn't Ready" originates in 2001 with an essay by a US librarian called Tim Mulligan who also allowed the minor problems outlined in the AVKS report and Lindemann's whinge about being "stuck in Hamburg" to dominate his thinking. He apparently didn't absorb Lindemann's confident logs about his readiness, or his Admiral's endorsement of the excellent job of preparation and work-up and didn't observe as I have, that a war vessel which spends most nights in harbour is not trying very hard. Bismarck's days at sea were often finished by 4 or 5 o'clock in the afternoon. A comfortable preparation indeed. More informed naval writers, especially those some sea time under their belts, like Kennedy, like Schofield, like Roskill knew the undisturbed time Bismarck had in the Baltic was perfectly adequate to get operational, that the cheating of Treaty Limits meant systems had the latitude to be designed to minimise complication and future problems. Bismarck and her crew were not worn out by vigilant war service, but trained during the day and got plenty of shut-eye at night, so they were at peak efficiency when they were unleashed.

Tirpitz' slow unhurried outfitting through the Summer of 1941, main guns firing when the top rangefinders were installed in May, and further gear installation in September meant she could not have gone with Bismarck.

Oil shortages? The oil shortages only really got bad when the trains of tank wagons carrying supplies from...guess where.........Russia..... dried up when Barbarossa was unleashed. :lol:

Lastly, apparently not only was Lindemann wrong about being ready, and the Admiral wrong about being ready, but now even Raeder is reckless in sending the Fuhrer's new toy out to fight.
during a period of almost perpetual daylight
Perpetual daylight?? On planet Earth in May 1941? :shock: The passage through the Denmark Strait was done in darkness and snowshowers, and as the ships went further south the nights got longer. Have you got confused by the Swordfish attacking in "Twilight" after midnight? That is only because both sides were not using the correct time zone for their longitude. The nights were plenty long enough.

Bismarck was ready for action when she went out to attack convoys and play her part in forcing Britain to give the Fuhrer the negotiated peace with Britain he wanted.

Hey Djoser, that forum about Strippers sounds exciting. I'm not surprised people get a bit hot..........under the collar. :cool:

All the best

wadinga
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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by alecsandros » Wed Feb 03, 2016 6:45 am

@Sean

With radar, but with the ships available to him in Jan 1941, Tovey couldn't stop Luetjens, for lack of ships (4 vs 8).

KGV's made gun trials and full power trials in mid-Dec 1940, and problems were still reported in Jan 1941. She was more worked then Prince of Wales was, owing to a few months more training. However, hunting Bismarck was her first real combat mission .

Bismarck's "peak efficiency" story is... just a story. The ship had a green crew and a make-shift armament and equipment.

Ignoring the reality won't make it go away...

Raeder disagreed with Luetjens in sending Bismarck away. Luetjens wanted to wait until autumn 1941 to have a more powerfull force available.

The phrase "almost perpetual daylight" refers to the long duration of the day at that time of year and latitude. On May 24th, Sunset was at 01:00 and Sunrise at 04:30. By contrast, all other German raiding missions starting 1939 onwards were done (started) from autumn/winter, with much shorter days and worse overall visibility in the areas of operation.

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by RF » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:46 pm

alecsandros wrote: Bismarck's "peak efficiency" story is... just a story. The ship had a green crew and a make-shift armament and equipment.

Ignoring the reality won't make it go away...
I think what is really mean't was that Bismarck was as ready at the time as it could be with its ''green crew'' and equipment. Only a combat mission could improve matters any further, by the crew gaining combat experience and use of the equipment.

The phrase "almost perpetual daylight" refers to the long duration of the day at that time of year and latitude. On May 24th, Sunset was at 01:00 and Sunrise at 04:30. By contrast, all other German raiding missions starting 1939 onwards were done (started) from autumn/winter, with much shorter days and worse overall visibility in the areas of operation.
Most of the hilfskreuzer breakouts in 1940 were in late spring early summer, including two in mid-June 1940. None of them were sighted by the RN Northern Patrol.
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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by alecsandros » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:53 pm

RF wrote:
alecsandros wrote:
Most of the hilfskreuzer breakouts in 1940 were in late spring early summer, including two in mid-June 1940. None of them were sighted by the RN Northern Patrol.
... Hipper, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Scheer, Lutzow were used in autumn/winter early spring only.

The sunrise/sunset time in Reykjavik Jan 15th (time of Scharnhrost/Gneisenau breakout 1941) was 5 hours. Same time same place in May 24th was 20 hours.

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