What if Hood hadn't blown up?

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lwd
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Re: What if Hood hadn't blown up?

Post by lwd » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:04 pm

alecsandros wrote:... From the historical evidence available, I doubt the British 356mm L45 gun could have made a serious impression against Bismarck's armor scheme. ...
??? I'm not exactly sure what you mean here. Certainly Bismarck doesn't want to take any more hits frow POW than she took historically. As it was they resutled in a mission kill.

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Re: What if Hood hadn't blown up?

Post by Bgile » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:17 pm

RF wrote:Not quite. There is evidence the main gunnery control was degraded in the seconds before Hood blew up; it is inferred from this that the turrets may then have had to fire under local control. The full extent of the degrading is unknown, as is of whether A and B turrets actually completed transfer of fire on to Bismarck from Prinz Eugen; it has been speculated earlier in this thread that Hood would have actually split fire between the two German ships.
That would be in violation of the Admiral's orders. The British battleships were to concentrate fire on Bismarck. I don't think there is any doubt about that, is there?

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Re: What if Hood hadn't blown up?

Post by Bgile » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:20 pm

alecsandros wrote: BUT 5 minutes is a long time for PoW to score some more against BS. I'd say it would also hit at least 3-4 times the German flagship. I doubt, however, that this would cause significant damage, or slow it down more. From the historical evidence available, I doubt the British 356mm L45 gun could have made a serious impression against Bismarck's armor scheme.
So you think that Bismarck's armor is like some sort of force field and PoW's shells couldn't damage her?

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Re: What if Hood hadn't blown up?

Post by alecsandros » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:21 pm

Bgile wrote:
alecsandros wrote:
So you think that Bismarck's armor is like some sort of force field and PoW's shells couldn't damage her?
NO.
From available historical evidence, the 356mm gun failed to make a serious impression on the ship. Consider KGV's fire in the last battle.

Anyway, of course even it it wouldn't reach teh vitals, those 730kg of shell would still be VERY nasty. However, again, based on historical evidence, the PoW wasn't firing to well that morning (radar malfunction, turret mechanical problems, etc). So, I doubt that he would have landed more than 4-5 hits in 5 minutes over the Bismarck. The damage suffered... is subject to speculation. If another shell pierces beneath the armor belt... It could get nasty. However, I doubt a crippling damage would be delivered by PoW to the Bismarck.

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Re: What if Hood hadn't blown up?

Post by yellowtail3 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:59 am

What if Hood hadn't blown up?
Hood probably starts getting some hits, Prince of Wales gets in even more hits, and Bismarck finds herself in worse trouble, and... her short career will probably be even shorter.
alecsandros wrote:From available historical evidence, the 356mm gun failed to make a serious impression on the ship.
I dunno... one of them destroyed some important stuff in the bow and caused a lot of flooding, and another put out a boiler room. There are far more places on Bismarck that are quite vulnerable to the heaviest 14" AP shell in the world - turrets and barbettes come to mind right now. And the range was down to what - 15K yards or so?

Not many safe places on Bismarck.
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Re: What if Hood hadn't blown up?

Post by RF » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:23 am

Bgile wrote:
That would be in violation of the Admiral's orders. The British battleships were to concentrate fire on Bismarck. I don't think there is any doubt about that, is there?
No, there is no doubt about Admiral Hollands' intentions - fire on Bismarck.

But he wasn't fully in control of the situation was he? Firstly he mis-identified his target, causing him to issue an incorrect order, namely to fire on Prinz Eugen (target: left hand ship, as signalled to POW). He then realised his error, so a correcting order was sent to POW (shift fire one target right) which wasn't really necessary as unknown to Holland POW was already firing on Bismarck anyway. Now did Hood shift fire? The order to switch to the correct target was given in Hood at about or just seconds before the fourth salvo from Bismarck caused ejecta and human remains to fall from Hood's foretop and main gunnery control positions. So we don't know whether Hollands' correcting order reached A and B turrets to execute.
The earlier speculation at the start of this thread was that if Hood hadn't blown up when it did it could be that the turrets, firing in local control, with A and B still targetting Prinz Eugen because the order to switch targets either did not reach them or they were unable to make the target switch without the director, and X and Y turrets firing on Bismarck.

See RNFanDan's comments on this on page 1 of this thread, third post down.
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Re: What if Hood hadn't blown up?

Post by Bgile » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:34 pm

I reread RFNDan's post and I didn't see anything that indicated Hood lost her below deck centralized FC at any point. What was lost was the primary FC director. There was at least one other. There would have been a delay while control was switched to that director, but there is no reason for them to split their fire. If it's similar to US practice, as soon as they realize the main position was no longer responding, they would twist a knob and the input to the system would immediately be coming from the alternate director. All the guns would receive a firing solution based on that director's target.

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Re: What if Hood hadn't blown up?

Post by lwd » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:47 pm

alecsandros wrote: ...Anyway, of course even it it wouldn't reach teh vitals, those 730kg of shell would still be VERY nasty. However, again, based on historical evidence, the PoW wasn't firing to well that morning (radar malfunction, turret mechanical problems, etc). So, I doubt that he would have landed more than 4-5 hits in 5 minutes over the Bismarck. The damage suffered... is subject to speculation. If another shell pierces beneath the armor belt... It could get nasty. However, I doubt a crippling damage would be delivered by PoW to the Bismarck.
What do you consider vitals? With more enemy ships approaching I'd certainly consider any thing that could reduce my speed as important and if it could reduce it by much "vital". Slow her much more and she is crippled and not too long after that sunk. Probably not by POW's guns but by the guns and torpedoes on the next group of British ships.

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Re: What if Hood hadn't blown up?

Post by alecsandros » Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:46 am

lwd wrote: ... Probably not by POW's guns but by the guns and torpedoes on the next group of British ships.
That's another thing; I always said there was no escape for Bismarck... He would have been sunk no matter what. The question at hand was that PoW was unlikely to score decisively in the 4-5 minutes needed to get rid of Hood.

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Re: What if Hood hadn't blown up?

Post by Djoser » Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:47 pm

Gary wrote:POW had landed some hits and if Hood hadnt blown up then Captain Leach would have continued to pound away no matter how disfucntional his main guns were.
He would never withdraw with Hood still around unless Holland ordered him to do so but that is something I cant see Holland doing.
It wouldnt have taken Hood too long to begin to land salvos, and when Lutjens has 2 seperate ships beginning to hit Bismarck he's going to want to order a German withdrawal
However, it appears certain that Hood's fire control was knocked out from a hit or hits obtained by the salvo previous to the fatal one. Without fire control, Hood would have been relatively useless. Leaving the POW with her guns acting up constantly to outshoot Bismarck, not something I'd want to bet on.

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Re: What if Hood hadn't blown up?

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:32 pm

Djoser:
However, it appears certain that Hood's fire control was knocked out from a hit or hits obtained by the salvo previous to the fatal one. Without fire control, Hood would have been relatively useless. Leaving the POW with her guns acting up constantly to outshoot Bismarck, not something I'd want to bet on.
Correct.

When you read Bruce Taylor`s book about Hood it is clear that the Germans were smashing it already, even without the lethal shot. Hood wasn´t scoring any hits on other hand.

Now, the only important thing of Hood not blowing up is how much time Bismarck would leave PoW unattended. On other hand we can say that a PoW exposed for more time at the battlefield would result in a more damaged battleship (and possible a more damaged Bismarck too).
If Bismarck is more damaged then maybe instead of going into the Atlantic it should turn back to Norway. PoW`s a different story... a wreck maybe?

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Re: What if Hood hadn't blown up?

Post by hammy » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:56 pm

I dont understand this business about Hood having her Fire control "knocked out" . :think:

There are (were) three seperate main director positions , just as in Bismark , plus Anti aircraft director positions with surface action capability , plus torpedo and pompom control equipments plus navigation range finders , and lastly the simplified range finders and fire control analogue computer equipment on each main weapon mounting position .
The capital ships of this time had been designed to use a whole series of back-up systems in the event of combat damage arising in extended combat situations , and the number and quality of the systems fitted was probably the best there has ever been , certainly more there than today .

The foretop director may have been destroyed completely , in which case you would simply shift primary observation taking to the one in front of the bridge , on top of the conning tower , and also take observations from the third unit on top of the aft control tower .

That would be an automatic thing , the control crews having been drilled to do just that again and again .

There would be no sudden appearance on the bridge of a white faced gunnery guy to announce "The ship's out of control , Captain !" like Scotty from Star-Trek .
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Re: What if Hood hadn't blown up?

Post by Bgile » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:14 am

Hammy,

That would seem obvious to me, but apparently not to others.

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Re: What if Hood hadn't blown up?

Post by chcrawfish » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:48 am

alecsandros wrote:
lwd wrote: ... Probably not by POW's guns but by the guns and torpedoes on the next group of British ships.
That's another thing; I always said there was no escape for Bismarck... He would have been sunk no matter what. The question at hand was that PoW was unlikely to score decisively in the 4-5 minutes needed to get rid of Hood.
Really????
Seems to me that Bismarck would have made it safely to Brest is one of Ark Royal's Swordfish hadn't hit her in the steering compartments.
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Re: What if Hood hadn't blown up?

Post by Djoser » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:36 am

hammy wrote:I dont understand this business about Hood having her Fire control "knocked out" . :think:

There are (were) three seperate main director positions , just as in Bismark , plus Anti aircraft director positions with surface action capability , plus torpedo and pompom control equipments plus navigation range finders , and lastly the simplified range finders and fire control analogue computer equipment on each main weapon mounting position .
The capital ships of this time had been designed to use a whole series of back-up systems in the event of combat damage arising in extended combat situations , and the number and quality of the systems fitted was probably the best there has ever been , certainly more there than today .

The foretop director may have been destroyed completely , in which case you would simply shift primary observation taking to the one in front of the bridge , on top of the conning tower , and also take observations from the third unit on top of the aft control tower .

That would be an automatic thing , the control crews having been drilled to do just that again and again .

There would be no sudden appearance on the bridge of a white faced gunnery guy to announce "The ship's out of control , Captain !" like Scotty from Star-Trek .
:lol:

That's good! And point taken. However...

The Hood wasn't shooting particularly well to begin with, even using the main fire control. This would presumably be where the best trained gunnery experts on the ship were located, using the best vantage point high up in the spotting top. After getting hit there, even if the transition to the secondary director was relatively smooth, there would be at least a slight delay, the gunnery officers would not be the best they had, and meanwhile the ship is getting shot up rapidly by the Bismarck's accurate and rapid salvos. I'd rather not be on the Hood under those circumstances, even if I were assured there would be no magazine explosions.

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