Marschall instead of Lutjens

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RF
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Re: Marschall instead of Lutjens

Post by RF » Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:55 pm

Vic Dale wrote:
The "Stern and inflexible" Lutjens, who sank Ludovik Kennedy's father's ship Rawalpindi is credited with nothing
Vic
I can understand that as he was not present at that sinking, Marschall gets the credit for that strike.
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Re: Marschall instead of Lutjens

Post by Vic Dale » Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:22 pm

RF wrote:
Vic Dale wrote:
The "Stern and inflexible" Lutjens, who sank Ludovik Kennedy's father's ship Rawalpindi is credited with nothing
Vic
I can understand that as he was not present at that sinking, Marschall gets the credit for that strike.
Hah! That'll teach me to write of the top of my head.

Nice to know you are always there to keep me honest.

Vic

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Re: Marschall instead of Lutjens

Post by Hillcrest » Thu Aug 21, 2008 3:59 pm

Thanks for the info Vic...
That paints a little different picture of Marschalls', er...judgement, doesn't it? It's interesting to note how short the time was after the sinking of Glorious that the Kriegsmarine assesment of an aircraft carriers capabilities changed. I was reading a book on the convoys to Russia,where even a hint of a carrier in the vicinity would cause Gruppe North to have their ships run like the wind...lessons learned from the Bismarck experience. Maybe my want of a different Commander at DS is just clouded thinking brought on by the wish for an alternate outcome to Bismarcks tragic end. Gadds! I think in light of this information, assuming it is accurate, I would have to agree with Raeder...

Cheers, Dave

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Re: Marschall instead of Lutjens

Post by Vic Dale » Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:43 pm

Hi Dave.

I think the capapbilities of the aircraft carrier were known before this action. Macyntire makes the point that Ark Royal was operating in the same area as Glorious and hints that a very different outcome might be expected in that event. There are plenty of references which show that marschall was consious of what he was doing. If you have the time to find them, Von Der Porten, Dickens (no relation) Kemp and no doubt there are others.

I too would have wished for a happier outcome for the Bismarck, though with due regard to what that might have meant in terms of strengthening Hitler's grip on Europe and the continuing reign of terror. I believe that Lutjens did all that was possible and did a lot more than he is credited for. His ability for subterfuge was equal to that of Langsdorf, Kranke and the captains of Atlantis, Kormoran, Piquin etc. But for that torpedo in the rudders we would be enjoying a different story about the Bismarck.

Vic

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Re: Marschall instead of Lutjens

Post by Hillcrest » Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:58 pm

Hi Vic,
Oh, I think the KM was aware of carrier capability also, but in the book I was reading on the Artic Convoys, when an aircraft carrier was even in the remote vicinity of the convoy , or "target" as it were, the KM response was something akin to panic...in the immortal words of M.Python, "Run Away!Run Away!!" It appears in the Artic operations at least, and I'm sure others, no-one in their right frikken' mind would purposely go after not one, but two fully operational aircraft carriers (plus screen) with two unescorted battleships with limited anti-aicraft defences...it really calls into question Marschalls', and for that matter his staffs' thought process...
As far as the Bismarck goes, it's easy to become desensitized when studying history, and it seems ridiculous for me to wish for a different end to a vessel that was operated by a government that was clearly in the wrong. To me it is every bit as difficult to see and read about Her, or Him, being pounded to death as it is to see the Hood destoyed...but it is also very interesting to speculate, eh?

Cheers, Dave

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Re: Marschall instead of Lutjens

Post by VeenenbergR » Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:05 pm

to Vic Dale and others.

What is a possible scenario for Bismarck if no torpedo on her rudders had occurred?
She would then have reached France, undergo some repairs, but what then the option in the scope of Grossadmiral Readers vision?

Lütjens would have been hailed as the cunning admiral which was able to destroy a British battlecruiser and return home, but failed in an Atlantic Campaing which was the ultimate desire of Raeder. UFO was right that the so-many German raid was broken of.

For Raeder a damaged Bismarck was one of a prolonged series of constantly damaged German raiding ships suitable for the greater jobs.

Lessons learned with Bismarck were many. The threat of carriers, British radar, the closing of the entrance to the Atlantic.
For German ships: more pumps on board, also to transfer oil from isolated bunkers, better AA, more training for AA crews under bad visibility, making 6 inch guns suitable for AA-fire, better fire control for the AA.

Could this all been have done in time??

Then a planned sortie for Bismarck & Tirpitz (From France)?

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Re: Marschall instead of Lutjens

Post by Bgile » Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:47 pm

Vic Dale wrote: The delay in opening fire at DS for example, which will have been Lindemann's responsibility alone. The supposed row over the delay and Lindemann's retort which simply does not add up, in terms of Lindemann's character nor in the logic of events before the ship fired. The "long (30 minute ) signal" which it turns out never existed. A detailed report sent by radio, was broken down into small parts which never broke the Enigma 250 character protocol. The signals were intercepted by Bletchley Park who put them back together into a single message and this caused some to make the error of thinking that the signal had been sent as a single signal - even then it would not have amounted to 30 minutes air-time. The times of DF fixes on this signal apparently located the ship, but the times of these "fixes" do not match the times at which Group west received the radio segments and at least one of these "fixes" was on a U-Boat, the other 3 being on a ship which was 'thought' to be Bismarck transmitting shortly after the torpedo attack on the night of the 24th, when in fact Bismarck never transmitted at all. Lutjens is blamed for running Bismarck out of fuel, when detailed calculations show the ship had more than enough oil at 1700 on the 24th to get her to France at 27 knots - Lutjens' chosen battle speed for the operation - even with a loss of 1000 tons (not proven) due to the damage incurred in the battle.
Vic
This entire paragraph is filled with your opinions, which you are now treating as facts. It has all been debated before and I don't agree with hardly anything in it.

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Re: Marschall instead of Lutjens

Post by Vic Dale » Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:07 pm

I personally think that had Bismarck made it to France, she would have been repaired and made ready for a sortie as soon as possible.

I have the feeling that Excercise Rhine was a gamble, based on Raeder's appreciation of the the successes of the U-Boat campaign and was an attempt to try and tip the scales. I think also this is the reason why Lutjens did not delay his attempt to get to France, which would have been the safer play. Had Bismarck made it, then Lutjens would have been hailed as the "Scourge of the Atlantic" for two successful Atlantic operations and the KM would have learned the lessons of Bismarck's sinking a bit later and possibly in a more expensive way as more than one heavy unit was hunted down.

The lessons from the operation were;

A. That the British had better radar than the German Navy and that at that stage of development this yeilded a considerable though far from decisive tactical advantage to the RN.

B. That aircraft carriers could be used as part of a fleet operation deliberately targeting German raiders with a view to hunting them down.

C. That the RN would ruthlessly abandon all or any other task to concentrate effort against the KM's prize ships.

This last lesson can be taken two ways, because it either means that the scales were so finely balanced for Britain at that time because of the U-Boat war, that the German surface fleet's participation could have been decisive. Or, German heavy units provided prestige targets, the loss of which was calculated would do harm to Hitler in the eyes of his people, out of all proportion to their strategic value.

It should be noted that the RN did not adopt the desperate measure of stripping convoys of their escorts to catch Bismarck until Hood blew up. Churchill was having a terrible time at home; in the eyes of the masses he seemed to be failing, the blitz continued without mass commitment on the part of the RAF and the sea blockade had reduced the ration even further. The loss of HMS Hood could have been the last straw for him, or at least the beginning of a steady decline in what popularity he had. If we take the pressures mounting against him in 1942, with all of the military setbacks causing loss of face among his allies and then add the loss of the Hood without the counter-balance of at least having sunk the Bismarck, 1943 may not have seen him in office. There are differing views on this I know, but losing the Hood without sinking the Bismarck would not have made matters good for him.

Possibly then, catching and sinking the Bismarck was a political decision which caused an abrupt change in the strategic thinking at SKL. Churchill realising just how bad the loss of Hood was for him may have thought he could inflict the same damage on Hitler.

Perhaps though it is a bit of both.

Vic

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Re: Marschall instead of Lutjens

Post by Hillcrest » Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:00 pm

I suppose had Bismarck avoided the rudder shot and made France, Eugen of course would be there also, perhaps repairs are carried out while Tirpitz is being made ready...Ooh, I've got it, Bismarck and Eugen sortie from Brest into the Atlantic, while simultaniously Tirpitz and Hipper execute a breakout through the DS to meet up in the much preferred "Pincer" manouver, thus cutting off Britains supply line from the U.S.....Wait, this isn't the hypothetical forum, is it?

Sorry, Dave

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Re: Marschall instead of Lutjens

Post by VeenenbergR » Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:46 pm

So the sinking of Bismarck just saved Churchill and Britain from sinking deeper in its lonely and hopeless war against a military superior Germany. With the introduction of the FW190 medio 1941 Britain also lost its fighter superiority. So the torpedoing of the Bismarck by Ark Royals Sworfish and sinking of Bismarck the next morning was in a way a turning point in the (sea) war.
IF Bismarck had survived (chance = 80%) then as you all say the Tirpitz and Hipper could be loosed as an second force and with the raparation of Scharnhorst & Gneisenau there could be even a 3rd powerful force.
What about that.......(that would be really a nightmare for Mr. Churchill).

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Re: Marschall instead of Lutjens

Post by wadinga » Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:34 am

All,

Do not bother to "note" this as it is "reality challenged"
It should be noted that the RN did not adopt the desperate measure of stripping convoys of their escorts to catch Bismarck until Hood blew up.
Repulse and Victorious were diverted from their convoy escort job to join Tovey's force late on the 21st May days before Hood blew up. They joined Tovey's force late on the 22nd.

Also
2. Hitler's naval War - Bekker - Macdonald P. 154;

Marschall's B-dienst team had intercepted radio massages from Southampton, Ark Royal and Glorious;

"The bearings of the transmissions indicated that the ships were further north, and Marschall decided to act upon this evidence , though only with his two battleships:....."
These two lines are part of ten pages Bekker devotes to the planning and early part of Juno. The rest makes it clear that Marschall was after supply convoys not carriers. Two pages before the above quote is this from Marschall's KTB on the evening of the 6th "The unusually strong security force indicates an important convoy... This leads me to suspect the British are evacuating Norway."

Since the Luftwaffe let him down, all he had to find the convoys was B-Dienst and all they could locate were the presumed escorts Southampton etc. The target are the merchantmen, in order to save Dietl. The carriers are a hazard to be faced in order to obey the Furher, Raeder and Saawachter.

Nowhere in the ten pages is there any mention of heading off into the Atlantic. Whatever Raeder might have been thinking, according to Bekker his instructions to Marschall were clear, save Dietl at all costs because the Furher wants it!

Bekker was a former intelligence officer in the German Navy, he had good sources.


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wadinga
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Re: Marschall instead of Lutjens

Post by iankw » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:25 am

What about that.......(that would be really a nightmare for Mr. Churchill).
Not to mention the hundreds, if not thousands, of merchant sailors who would have drowned as a result. Lucky old Churchill I say!!

Ian

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Re: Marschall instead of Lutjens

Post by RF » Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:02 am

Vic Dale wrote:
Finally, Scharnhorst took serious damage from that torpedo, two engines damaged 2500 tons of water in the ship and her after turret out of action. Speed of the squardon reduced to that of the slowest ship at 20 knots. That the force did not encounter further trouble is down to luck

Vic
Serious damage agreed. Almost sunk - NO.

You have posed an alleged supreme risk in the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau attacking an aircraft carrier without actually quantifying what that risk was beyond the theoretical capability and striking reach of carriers generally, as applied to later in WW2. Damage to the German ships came from destroyers and submarine, not aircraft, indeed neither came under air attack on that sortie.
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Re: Marschall instead of Lutjens

Post by RF » Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:14 am

VeenenbergR wrote:RF.

That they both ended up beaten is a little unfair. They fought against overwhelming odds and could impossible win. Rommel in France lost because of overwhelming Allied airpower and endless replenishments while his own army weakened because of lack of any new material, menpower aso.
Normandy & El alamein were both attrition battles with a sure outcome.
Quote: in the 11 weeks in Normandy almost 300.000 soldiers where lost on both sides (roughly 50% of the German manpower). That is why Falaise could be created and the Germans lost because those 300.000 lossses were NOT compensated by anything.
El Alamein was only some days before the same happened on a lesser scale.
(Stalingrad was another example with about the same stats as Normandy).
The example of Rommel has been misunderstood here as it was the fact that he and the other officers quoted were beaten under overwhelming odds was what I was alluding to.
As Vic has referred to agreat deal of ''guff'' has been spoken of Lutjens, and indeed I would also say about Marschall as well. I have several times recorded my view of Lutjens, that he was a very capable and experienced officer, evidenced on his career record by his rapid advancement and promotion in the 1930's. But that does not necessarily mean that he was the best choice for Rheinubung, indeed his view was that it should have been postponed to later in the year when a greater concentration of force could have been applied, and Marschall when consulted by Lutjens for his appreciation of the situation inclined to agree with him. But Raeder overuled those thoughts and persauded Lutjens to proceed without that delay. Again there is this constraint towards as literal interpretation of orders as possible, whereas Marschall was more independent minded.
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Re: Marschall instead of Lutjens

Post by RF » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:49 am

Hillcrest wrote:I suppose had Bismarck avoided the rudder shot and made France, Eugen of course would be there also, perhaps repairs are carried out while Tirpitz is being made ready...Ooh, I've got it, Bismarck and Eugen sortie from Brest into the Atlantic, while simultaniously Tirpitz and Hipper execute a breakout through the DS to meet up in the much preferred "Pincer" manouver, thus cutting off Britains supply line from the U.S.....Wait, this isn't the hypothetical forum, is it?

Sorry, Dave
No, Bismarck, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen sortie from Brest - no hypothetical scenario there, but reality - With Tirpitz lurking in Norwegian fjords threatening to join them.
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