Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:44 pm

@Dunmunro:
hi Duncan,
while this possibility cannot be 100% discarded, we know that PoW was following Hood at an 800 meters distance and I find it extremely unlikely that a Bismarck salvo could be so badly dispersed (especially at a not extreme range of 16000/17000 meters as at 5:59, time of PoW salvo 12) to hit PoW when she was consistently straddling the Hood.....
No witness referred of any Bismarck salvo falling close to PoW before Hood explosion and Bismarck salvos were evaluated as quite well grouped.


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Postby dunmunro » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:08 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:@Dunmunro:
hi Duncan,
while this possibility cannot be 100% discarded, we know that PoW was following Hood at an 800 meters distance and I find it extremely unlikely that a Bismarck salvo could be so badly dispersed (especially at a not extreme range of 16000/17000 meters as at 5:59, time of PoW salvo 12) to hit PoW when she was consistently straddling the Hood.....
No witness referred of any Bismarck salvo falling close to PoW before Hood explosion and Bismarck salvos were evaluated as quite well grouped.


Bye, Alberto



The evidence for a 38cm hit just after salvo 12 is pretty strong and the data on UW hits supports the theory that the shell trajectory could change sufficiently for the hit to entered PoW's hull as it did.

It is quite possible that Hood was hit and destroyed at ~0559 (using PoW's AFCT timing) and that Bismarck was able to correct her aim at that time and subsequently hit PoW at ~0559:30 (with one prior salvo landing near Hood) or that PoW entered Bismarck's 38cm aiming point so that a shell from a salvo aimed at Hood hit hit PoW as Hood rapidly decelerated due to her magazine explosion.

It is also possible that Hood began to turn before PoW and this reduced the distance between the two ships.

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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:47 am

@Dunmunro:
hi Duncan,
I don't think we can move Hood explosion from 6:00:10 (we have debated at long the matter already and almost all evidences point at this timing). Also, photo 69724 shows Hood explosion (few seconds after it started, as the vertical pillar of flames is well visible) and the distance from PoW is quite bigger than at 6:00:50 (PG film with PoW salvo 16). In any case it is a considerable distance to imagine a shell from BS to hit by chance PoW....

Of course, we cannot exclude 100% the fact that a shell aimed at Hood hit PoW but we have to accept 1) an awful spread of a Bismarck salvo AND 2) the change of trajectory of the UW shell by 35°, the difference between 10° from beam (UW) and 45° from beam (CP), a bit too much in my poor opinion (see the link that Thorsten has kindly posted above, where the "horizontal" deviation is always very limited, even for a smaller caliber).
The large distance between the ships, makes this hypothesis very unlikely, while inserting the UW salvo before the CP one after Hood explosion, as you propose, would allow the UW hit to explain the hit aft, but would NOT match Capt.Leach account who said he decided to break off the engagement after the CP hit, not before and following a "heavy hit aft".

Bismarck was firing one semi-salvo each 30 seconds (as well as PoW was doing) and there is no time for any other salvo as the ship undoubtedly started the turn away at 6:01:30, thus the order given at around 6:01:00.

IMO, the heavy hit aft was just the ricocheting of the 8" PG shell over the roof of the chart house behind the CP.

Regarding salvo 12, there is also Jasper who, in his gunnery report, said he saw at around 5:59 (when he switched fire to PoW) two 6" BS shells hitting the side of PoW, but this is again not supported by the PoW damage report. The near misses from PG or secondary BS guns may have shaked the PoW TS..... :think:


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Postby dunmunro » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:54 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:@Dunmunro:
hi Duncan,
I don't think we can move Hood explosion from 6:00:10 (we have debated at long the matter already and almost all evidences point at this timing). Also, photo 69724 shows Hood explosion (few seconds after it started, as the vertical pillar of flames is well visible) and the distance from PoW is quite bigger than at 6:00:50 (PG film with PoW salvo 16). In any case it is a considerable distance to imagine a shell from BS to hit by chance PoW....

Of course, we cannot exclude 100% the fact that a shell aimed at Hood hit PoW but we have to accept 1) an awful spread of a Bismarck salvo AND 2) the change of trajectory of the UW shell by 35°, the difference between 10° from beam (UW) and 45° from beam (CP), a bit too much in my poor opinion (see the link that Thorsten has kindly posted above, where the "horizontal" deviation is always very limited, even for a smaller caliber).
The large distance between the ships, makes this hypothesis very unlikely, while inserting the UW salvo before the CP one after Hood explosion, as you propose, would allow the UW hit to explain the hit aft, but would NOT match Capt.Leach account who said he decided to break off the engagement after the CP hit, not before and following a "heavy hit aft".

Bismarck was firing one semi-salvo each 30 seconds (as well as PoW was doing) and there is no time for any other salvo as the ship undoubtedly started the turn away at 6:01:30, thus the order given at around 6:01:00.

IMO, the heavy hit aft was just the ricocheting of the 8" PG shell over the roof of the chart house behind the CP.

Regarding salvo 12, there is also Jasper who, in his gunnery report, said he saw at around 5:59 (when he switched fire to PoW) two 6" BS shells hitting the side of PoW, but this is again not supported by the PoW damage report. The near misses from PG or secondary BS guns may have shaked the PoW TS..... :think:


Bye, Alberto


This is what Leach wrote:

"Prince of Wales" starboard 5.25" battery was now in action. Course had to be altered to starboard to avoid remains of "Hood"; meanwhile "Bismarck" had shifted main and secondary armament fire quickly and accurately onto "Prince of Wales". A heavy hit was felt almost immediately. And at 0602 compass platform was hit and majority of personnel killed. Navigating Officer was wounded; Commanding Officer unhurt.

The same salvo severed all fire control leads to the port forward H.A. Director and put the starboard forward H.A. Director out of action temporarily jamming it in training. The control officer of the latter ordered all turrets to go into "After Control". This was carried out, but, about the same time a 15" shell burst on the boat deck and seriously upset the starboard after H.A. Director. The crew of this director had already been considerably blasted by "Y" Turret firing on a forward bearing. The 15" shell burst threw the control officer off his feet and broke his telephone lead. By the time he was again through to the H.A.C.P. The target was lost behind smoke astern.

It was considered expedient to break off the action and consolidate the position, and the ship, after being manoeuvred round the remains of "Hood", turned away behind a smoke screen. "Y" Turret fired in local during the turn as smoke blanked the after director.



PoW's GAR stated:
During the first action after firing salvo 12, a heavy hit was felt on the starboard side and the director setting mechanical pointer was seen to be oscillating violently. At the same time a fuze was noticed to blow at the panel in the 14-in. T.S. The director setting control trigger was used to move off the mechanical pointer. On release, the pointer settled in line with the indicator pointer and no further trouble was experienced.


Even near miss with a 123kg shell containing only 2.3, 6.5 or 9kg of explosive is not going to be felt as a "heavy hit". The available information indicates that it was the 38cm UW hit that was responsible for the "heavy hit" felt on the compass platform and the AFCT.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:14 pm

Hi Duncan,
I see your point, but at 5:59 a heavy hit from Bismarck is extremely unlikely to have hit PoW as BS was firing at Hood and consistently straddling her.
We should admit a BS salvo spread in excess of 800 meters and a deflection due to UW trajectory > 30°...... :negative:

The only hit that could explain the salvo 12 account from the GAr is a 8" from PG or a 6" from BS, however, according to the PoW official damage report, no 6" hit was found, and (according to the trajectory of hit No.6 and No.7) a 8" shell could only have hit after been deflected by almost 90°.......

Therefore the only logical conclusion is that the starboard hit at salvo 12 was a near miss from PG (8") or BS (6"). I disagree with your point re. the explosive charge of 5 to 10 kg being less "shocking" than a dud 15" relented by water, hitting very low (double bottom) and resting against the torpedo bulkhead without exploding and without entering the vitals...... For sure a 8" near miss exploding aside the ship would induce more vibration in the TS compartment at waterline level.


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: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Postby Herr Nilsson » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:29 pm

..or your timeline is simply wrong.
Regards

Marc

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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Postby wadinga » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:03 pm

Herr Nilsson,

Amen to that :angel:

All the best

wadinga
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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:17 pm

Herr Nilsson wrote: "..or your timeline is simply wrong."

Hi Marc,
where is your timeline ? Any alternative sequence of all events (based on evidences/maps/photos/testimonies) ?

P.S. Hi Sean, same question for you, of course......


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: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Postby Herr Nilsson » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:35 pm

My timeline is indisposed...like your map.
Regards

Marc

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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:39 pm

Herr Nilsson wrote: "My timeline is indisposed...like your map."

Hi Marc,
of course it is.
Unfortunately for you, I have my own timeline and sequence of events (see posts above) and I still consider Antonio's 2005 map a good enough one, at least for PoW movements (see http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarkstrait/bonomi_denstrait2.htm).

Apparently you have nothing at all (except possibly Pinchin's "Plot"), but you like to criticize someone else work, without providing any alternative scenario for discussion..... :negative:


Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Postby Cag » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:41 pm

Hi All

As you know I'm attempting to help by working out a battle map. In this process I have read a lot of your posts and articles. I fully apologise if in working through this I bring up subjects already discussed, but there are a number of 'issues' I have corresponding to this battle map process.

I agree with Alberto that Antonios excellent work is the only plausible reference we have to work from and must not be ignored. Antonio himself is going through a re-evaluation and so anything new noticed must be a bonus.

I have also read all the excellent papers written and available on the Hood association website including the paper by Mr Cadogan on the timing of the loss of Hood and the salvo 12 incident which asks questions far more expertly and eloquently than I ever could, and any of my humble findings posted are purely because of the work already done by far more expert intelligent and informed members of this forum than I could ever be.

There are 3 main mysteries in the battle for me that I cannot get past at the moment and that directly affect the battle map, and salvo 12 is one of those. Something happened at salvo 12, whether it be a genuine hit, a near miss, or a violent manoeuvre like that at salvos 17 and 18. The heavy hits felt by Captain Leach and those in the TS may be completely different occurrences but a report of a hit means something occurred that felt like something struck the ship and was different to a near miss.

I don't think the a short caused by the hacs hit would blow a fuse in the TS, would that not cause one in the hacp? However something major occurred at salvo 12 and it remains at the moment a mystery.

Best wishes
Cag.

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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Postby Herr Nilsson » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:45 pm

@Alberto:

*sigh* Ok, let's say: You have assembled a computer and it crashes permanently. Your computer smells like a computer, looks like a computer, tastes like a computer. Just high end components and it really looks gorgeous. Apple, Intel, Nvidia etc., simply the best, but it still doesn't work properly. It absolutely doesn't matter what I'm doing! Your computer still crashes. Maybe I know your mistake, maybe not. Maybe you made no mistake at all, but a important part is missing...or you have mixed incompatible parts. Who knows?
Basically, what you're saying is: "As long as you don't assemble a computer yourself, my computer works absolutely fine." That's fine for me and I'll respect it...but you computer still crashes.
Regards

Marc

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:59 pm

Cag wrote: "I don't think the a short caused by the hacs hit would blow a fuse in the TS, would that not cause one in the hacp? However something major occurred at salvo 12 and it remains at the moment a mystery."

Hi Mr.Cag,
I sincerely appreciate your efforts to produce a battlemap :clap: : I honestly don't think I would be able to do such a work myself.
As you said, Antonio's one is the only plausible reference, even if it doesn't explain everything.

I do agree with you: the salvo 12 TS event and the HACS hit are 2 different events.
IMO, the HACS one is associated to Capt.Leach account of a "heavy hit aft", while I would tend to associate the salvo 12 event to an exploding near miss from either a PG 8" or a BS 6".


Herr Nilsson wrote: "what you're saying is: "As long as you don't assemble a computer yourself, my computer works absolutely fine.""

Hi Marc,
I do like your IT example (I work for an IT company) but I'm afraid that my computer works fine most of times and just crashes once a day (it's exactly the case with my old one :( ), obliging me to shut down and restart. If you have a better computer, I will buy it, but I still prefer my one than.... an abacus........

IMHO Antonio's reconstruction matches 90% of available evidences, so it's fine with me until you (or anybody else) will be able to produce something better.


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: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Postby Cag » Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:25 pm

Hi All

I realise that this has not a great deal to do with the PoW hits discussion but it is another one of my problems in working out the battle map which you may be able to help with.

From Captain Leach's report

"Prince of Wales opened fire at 05.53 Bismarck replied with extreme accuracy on Hood 2nd or 3rd salvo straddled and fire broke out in Hood in the vicinity of the port after 4 inch gun mounting. Lighter ship engaged PoW. PoW opening salvo was observed over 6th was seen to straddle. At this time PoW had five 14 inch guns in action Y turret would not bear. Fire in Hood spread rapidly to the main mast. A turn of 2 blue at 05.55 opened A arcs at PoW 9th salvo."

From Rowell's testimony at 2nd Board

"The Bismarck's opening salvo fell very close to the Hood I think but I am not sure that it was just over. The spread was extremely small. I think it was about the 3rd salvo from the Bismarck which first hit the Hood and a fierce fire started on the boat deck abaft the main mast. My impression is that this fire was on the port side. PoW at this time was fine on the Hoods starboard quarter.
Immediately after being hit the Vice Admiral hoisted the signal for a turn away together of 20 degrees. This was executed 2 minutes later and the A arcs of Hood and PoW thus brought to bear."

I realise that there was no synchronisation of time pieces in the opposing forces but this certainly is a puzzler for me!

If the turn of 20° to port was around 05.55 how was Hood under fire prior to this as the Germans did not open fire until 05.55?
These are the two main witnesses and both put the fire prior to the turn, could they be so mistaken? I understand the time being out but not the sequence?

I do hope someone may help, Rowell admits his map was put together the following day and may be up to 2 minutes in error but this does not account for the sequence of the events.

Best wishes
Cag.

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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Postby Cag » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:22 pm

Hi All

Well just to let you know, I'm afraid the battle map has stalled a little, I have got a rough one done but in trying to work out the hits sequence, the overtake time of PoW on Hood and having found the inaccuracy in the timings of the Rowell and therefore plan 4 maps with the Hood being hit prior to 05.55 it would only be a purely speculative map, I'm sorry.

Obviously lining up bearings taken at a specific time by one object have to correspond as accurately as possible with the object the bearing is taken from. Without reliable timings of that object that process is hard to do.

I'll keep on plugging away and refine what I can but I'm afraid it will not be accurate. Just to add if anyone is interested the National Library of Scotland have 1940's admiralty charts of the Denmark Strait that show the magnetic variance etc available.

Best wishes
Cag


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