Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:52 am

Hello everybody,

@ CAG,

you wrote :
I agree with Alberto that Antonio 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.
Well, I have to thank you for the nice words and the compliments and YES, ... I am currently working on making my work a lot better with your help here in, ... for which I thank you all once again.

It does not surprise me that the 2 turns are creating you problems, ... many before went thru the same situation, ... any help I can provide just feel free.


You asked :
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.
YES, I am interested ... so if you can provide me more information I can evaluate the purchasing of it, ... adding it to the ones I already have.

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Post by wadinga » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:33 pm

Hello Cag,

In case you didn't spot it here is the last time we discussed the Bridge Hit in detail with excellent plans provided by Alberto. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6276&start=105

You raised a question about closed A arcs in PoW and I posted this on page 68 of the mega thread
Another piece of interesting information. From Battleship,Cruiser, Destroyer by Haines and Coward. "For A V Godding, who was an Ordnance Artificer in Prince of Wales , the technical problems were considerable. Quote ""We were accompanying Hood to Iceland when we were diverted to intercept Bismarck and Prinz Eugen. We closed up at Action Stations and our first action after loading the guns was when the enemy was at about 22,000 yds, and A and B turrets opened fire. Owing to the ship's position, Y turret would not bear on the enemy he held fire until we were about 16,000 yds range. I remember the range because just prior to opening fire, the Royal Marine on the local rangefinder had called out """Range 16,000 yds!""" I was at this time in the gun house. "" "

Unfortunately he doesn't tell us which salvo PoW's Y turret first joined in on, but the Gunnery faults report tells us of Y

Salvo 11 - No. 3 central ammunition hoist was raised with shell but no cordite; No. 25 interlock having failed to prevent this. The interlock was functioning correctly before the engagement. There has been no opportunity to investigate this. It is also reported that the reason no cordite had been rammed was that the indicator in the cordite handling room did not show that the cage had been raised after the previous ramming stroke. This caused the gun to miss salvoes 15 to 20.


There is no indication unfortunately when the A arcs closed again when PoW turned towards the enemy to avoid Hood's wreck and Y turret would no longer bear.
Did Godding remeber a second opening of A arcs after the hard turn towards the Germans to avoid Hood's foundering wreck?

The angle of incidence of the Compass Platform hit is critical and determines PoW's course at that moment, in a way that estimates of when Prinz Eugen's film was exposed or Rowell's admittedly inaccurate timing cannot.

All the best

wadinga
"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"

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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Post by Cag » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:22 pm

Hi All

You're welcome Antonio it is just the truth as I see it. The National Library of Scotland is at 159 Causewayside Edinburgh EH9 1PH www.nls.uk hope this helps and thank you for the offer of help it is much appreciated as always, from everyone.

I have re read a great deal of witness testimony including Messrs Tilburn and Briggs and Tovey's early and later reports. There does seem to be a great deal of belief on the British side that Hoods boat deck fire occurred before the 20° turn to port onto course 280° which for me at the moment remains unresolved and a puzzle.

I have re read Mr Cadogans paper and his idea that the turn was later than 05.55 is very plausible. Allowing for time variances in different ships this would allow a later opening fire for the Germans and still fashion a hit prior to the turn. It puts the note Hood out of action in the vacinity of the turn which would give it a possible meaning, and may be associated with the boat deck fire. I have been puzzled over this and it is Mr Cadogan I have to thank for giving me hope of a solution to the puzzle.

However I realise that there is inconsistency between the two sides versions which unfortunately hinders any really accurate recreation, as the Baron has the turn and then the hit where most British reports have the hit and then the turn.

Thank you also Wadinga I have been trying to work that out and is one of the reasons I tried to understand the underwater hit, it being reported to have hit at an angle 10° from forward but the movement underwater may scupper this. I'm attempting to work out the other hits including the stern ones but it may require a visit to the National Archives! Interesting about Y turret too!

I'm trying to work out a GAR map for PoW if the turn was later as another puzzle for me has always been salvos 5,6,7 and 8 of PoW as the angle difference is only 2° between salvo 5 (332° on course 280°) and salvo 8 (330° on course 280°) yet A arcs were only open after salvo 9? If PoW had been on course 280° as PoW GAR shows why were salvos 5 through 8 not full salvos as Y turret would have theoretically been able to fire?

The only solution I can see is Mr Cadogans theory, then salvo 5 and 6 could be prior to the turn, 7 and 8 in the turn or just after, and A arcs opening at salvo 9. I have to see how this would affect Hood though. All I know at the moment is something in all this, between times testimony, and official tracks just doesn't add up!

Best wishes
Cag.

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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Post by paulcadogan » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:14 am

Happy New Year to everyone!

Hi Cag,

Thanks for your vote of confidence! And the work you are doing is much appreciated from my standpoint as well. :clap:

Once again, human interpretation and recall - which has been shown to be very faulty - is the source of confusion and we really have to look past that and see where different testimonies can be integrated and coupled with whatever objective data there may be.

To me, the likely scenario is that the flag for the 20 degree turn to port was hoisted at about 0555, but was not executed until after the boat deck hit. If the German's opened fire at approx 0555 and Hood was hit by Prinz Eugen's second salvo which was fired only after the fall of the first, which Jasper did not clearly see, it suggests to me that Hood was hit some time after 0556, at which point, Holland ordered the execution of the turn, which opened PoW's A-arcs for salvo 9 just before 0558.

This allows the British reporting that the turn was made after the boat deck hit, even though the time the signal flag went up was at 0555. So, in effect, Holland "ordered" the turn after the hit. I suspect the Baron simply got the sequence wrong. Schmalenbach also might be interpreted as suggesting the British turned before PG opened fire, but if you really read carefully, in fact he may not be describing things in sequence.

It is obvious the course shown for PoW on the salvo plot, and the Rowell map on which it is based cannot be correct for the 0555 turn. If it was, PoW's A-arcs should have been open from salvo 5. Ships do not turn on a dime as shown on the map.

For me, the GAR which is based in part on data going through and timed over 8 m 58 s in the TS on the AFCT, and events in PoW's turrets (and otherwise - e,g. the salvo 12 "heavy hit" felt) during each salvos the most reliable, objective data available from PoW. Much more reliable that eyewitnesses watching events and trying to note times.

Even Rowell, in his Board testimony notes that the time sequence of the battle was compiled the next day from the information they had available and could be 2 minutes out.

Anyway, I do not really want to re-open old arguments. Everyone's position is clear. But I will say this Cag...thank you for initiating this discussion as it has brought to light something new - for me at least - changing my personal thinking on the hit sequence!

There is now no doubt in my mind that the "heavy hit" felt almost immediately as PoW turned to avoid Hood, the first hit the ship received, was that 15-inch underwater hit from Bismarck. Who knows? Maybe that is why its angle of entry appeared to come from so far forward!! The ship had just turned towards the enemy, brief though that turn was!

Thinking about it....in none of Leach's reports, was that "heavy hit" identified. It wasn't the HACS (not a "heavy" hit), the crane-funnel and obviously not the CP hit. PG's underwater hits came in from aft of the beam. The concussion felt was not the firing of any guns - why? Because they would know when the guns fired - especially in the TS!

Paul
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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:27 am

@Cag & Paul Cadogan,
while I see all your doubts about the 5:55 turn and the "heavy hit aft", and I do understand all your considerations and conclusions, that cannot be discarded, I still see other 2 possible explanations:

1) the turn was ordered at 5:54:30 (as logical due to Holland's need to open arcs) and executed, let's say, at 5:55:00 as per salvo plot and all available PoW maps. The Y turret was not fired by McMullen until 5:58 just for precautionary reasons, to avoid damages to the aft directors and to the deck (where the plane was being prepared). When the range was finally found, after salvo 6 fall of shots (around 5:57) and the battle was entering its "hot" phase, McMullen decided to fire all his guns, despite the extreme Y turret bearing.

2) the "heavy hit aft" was just the 8" PG hit No.2, ricocheting over the roof of the chart house immediately behind the CP and damaging the fore HALA support, resulting in a "heavy hit" to those standing in CP, after Hood explosion and just few seconds before the CP hit, as per Leach account.
IMHO the 15" UW could not be felt at all in CP due to its low velocity after travelling 80 feet under water, its bulge perforation (thin plates punctured) and its failed explosion. Still the TS problem (a totally separate event happened before Hood explosion at salvo 12) can be explained by a near miss of a shell close to PoW starboard side.
In addition, there is no time to insert another BS salvo before the CP hit, if we don't want to conclude that Leach decided the disengagement before the CP hit, after the UW hit......


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Post by Cag » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:13 pm

Hi All

Thanks Mr Cadogan I do feel you deserve the credit for a well reasoned theory.

Hi Alberto thank you too for your fair appraisal. I agree that the hits felt by Leach and the TS may have been different ones altogether and without any new evidence we just do not know at the moment.

We know PoW Y turret could bear up to 45° forward of the beam if necessary, if as suggested PoW was already on course 280° after salvos 5 and 6 then a 332° or a 330° firing angle would equate to a 38° and 40° angle forward of the beam which theoretically means fire was possible.

I realise that memory is flawed but we do have quite a few prime witnesses on the British side that give the sequence as the boat deck hit, followed by the turn. Even Briggs states a 40° turn to starboard a hit and a 40° turn to port with the fatal hit during this turn. The board asks if he was sure it was a 40° turn as they were no doubt aware of existing testimony of only a 20° turn from 280° to 300° and the 20° turn from 300° back to 280°.

If the turn was later than 05.55 with the fatal hit earlier than 06.00 would this then allow PoW to be under 15 inch fire at salvo 12?

I realise that this has been debated before and do not wish to rake up old discussions, I'm just using it to show that there are a few unanswered discrepancies that are brought up when the surface is scratched. Are all the British testimonies including Toveys incorrect?

Best wishes
Cag.

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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Post by paulcadogan » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:06 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:IMHO the 15" UW could not be felt at all in CP due to its low velocity after travelling 80 feet under water, its bulge perforation (thin plates punctured) and its failed explosion.
Hey....would you consider that information Leach presented in his narrative was based in part on reports he received - including the report of his gunnery department and not just on his personal experience? Hence he knew when the 5.25's fired, etc.?

He didn't say HE felt the hit, or WHO felt it. He just said a hit was felt....

Just a thought.

Paul :D
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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Post by dunmunro » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:31 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
IMHO the 15" UW could not be felt at all in CP due to its low velocity after travelling 80 feet under water, its bulge perforation (thin plates punctured) and its failed explosion. Still the TS problem (a totally separate event happened before Hood explosion at salvo 12) can be explained by a near miss of a shell close to PoW starboard side.
In addition, there is no time to insert another BS salvo before the CP hit, if we don't want to conclude that Leach decided the disengagement before the CP hit, after the UW hit......


Bye, Alberto
A near miss that caused the sensation of a heavy hit would have caused damage to the hull which would have been noted when PoW was drydocked to repair the other UW damage. When one considers that the AFCT was built to withstand the shock of a 10 gun 14in broadside then the force transmitted into the ship by the 38cm UW hit can be appreciated. The shell would have had to have retained considerable velocity to have remained stable and to have punched through the hull plating and two bulkheads before striking the armoured bulkhead and distorting it as well.

The RN accounts state that Bismarck opened fire shortly after Hood (Brooke, for example, states that PoW's first salvo was still in the air when Bismarck fired). I can't find any RN accounts that state that Bismarck withheld fire for several minutes.

Ellis's narrative states:
0553 (B). Heavy gun flashes bearing 185°. Half a minute later Bismarck opened fire to port.
Official statement of the Walker Board:
HOOD opened fire at approximately 0553 on May 24th, her course then being 300 degrees, range about 26500 yards. BISMARCK and PRINCE OF WALES opened fire very shortly afterwards. According to the statements from survivors of BISMARCK, PRINZ EUGEN also fired at HOOD over the BISMARCK (See C.B.4051(24) OF August 1941, page 14)
Paymaster Bailey from Norfolk:
50. Will you describe what you saw of the action with "BISMARCK," salvo by salvo?

I cannot describe it salvo by salvo. I watched the "HOOD" and "PRINCE OF WALES" approaching and saw them open fire, "HOOD" opening fire first. I noted the time she opened fire in my notebook, which was 0553. From then on I was shifting my sight from "HOOD" and "PRINCE OF WALES" across to "BISMARCK" and back, to see the effect of the sire from both sides. I noted in my notebook that "HOOD" was on fire two minutes after she first opened fire, and that she blew up four minutes after that. I cannot say how many salvoes she fired, nor at that range was I able to detect hits on either ship.
Leach's testimony:
2. Will you tell us what you saw from the time the action started until the "Hood" was sunk?

Before the action started I was in station on "Hood's" starboard quarter at a distance of about four cables. We had had a concentration signal and waited to open fire in our proper time sector after "Hood" had opened fire. The "Hood" opened fire first and in between the time she opened fire and the time it was due for me to open fire the German ships opened fire. I saw the first salvo from the German ships arrive near the "Hood" and about the second or third salvo I looked toward the "Hood" and saw a fire burning on the superstructure deck on the port side right aft. I did not actually see the fire start but I saw it a few seconds after it started. From that time onwards I looked at the "Hood" occasionally but I noticed that the fire spread quickly from the port after superstructure deck till it was extended from the after superstructure deck to about the mainmast. (Witness was given a model of the "Hood" which he placed at the correct inclination, which was 40° to the right.)
Rowell:
31. Will you tell us what you saw of the "Hood" from the time she opened fire until the time she blew up?

The "Hood" opened fire with her foremost turrets with the enemy about 40 deg. on the starboard bow and "Prince of Wales" opened fire with her foremost turrets about half a minute later. Shortly after "Prince of Wales" first salvo "Bismarck" opened fire with all four turrets. 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 the third salvo from the "Bismarck" which first hit the "Hood" and a fierce fire started on the "Hood" boat deck abaft the mainmast. My impression is that this fire was on the portside. "Prince of Wales" at this time was fine on the "Hood's" starboard quarter.

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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Post by paulcadogan » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:50 pm

dunmunro wrote: I can't find any RN accounts that state that Bismarck withheld fire for several minutes.
Ted Briggs. In his Board testimony he stated Bismarck opened fire after Hood had fired 4 or 5 salvos.
The HOOD opened fire with the forward turrets 17 miles range, and the BISMARCK and the PRINCE EUGEN we about 30° on the starboard bow and when the HOOD opened fore the PRINCE EUGEN definitely turned away and the BISMARCK was thought to turn away. This I gathered from conversation between the Admiral and the Captain. We altered course 40° to starboard bringing the BISMARCK right ahead, 40° together and we closed in to 12 miles range. We hit the BISMARCK with our second salvo right amidships and the BISMARCK did not open fire until we had fired about 4 or 5 salvos and she hit us, according to the Squadron Gunnery Officer "on the starboard side of the boat deck aft, causing a fire in the 4" ready use lockers".
http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... htm#Briggs

Although this strays off topic....just to say I think the 40 deg turn he refers to was the very first one after the original sighting at 17 miles, closing in to about 12 miles before opening fire. He did have important facts, but his memory mixed things up - certainly not unusual in any circumstances much less such traumatic ones. In his book he describes thinking the Bismarck was hit by Hood too...though he admitted to being wrong.
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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:18 pm

@Paul Cadogan:
hi Paul, you are right, it could be that the hit was not felt in CP, but still it must have occurred after Hood explosion if we want to attribute it to a 15" shell..... :think:


@Dunmunro:
hi Duncan,
thanks for those evidences, however it looks like, even being in the same place (PoW CP), Leach ("The "Hood" opened fire first and in between the time she opened fire and the time it was due for me to open fire the German ships opened fire") and Rowell ("Shortly after "Prince of Wales" first salvo "Bismarck" opened fire with all four turrets") remember a different sequence of events..... :think:


On the other side, the Baron, on board Bismarck, was sure that a quite considerable amount of time and salvos passed between British opened fire and the German answer....... Also,on PG, Jasper (quite precise) account sets the time for "permission to fire" at 5:55, the "turn" toward PG of PoW at the 8th salvo (counted from his switch fire from Hood to PoW), just before he saw the Hood already in the process of sinking at 6:01 and only at that same time he first noticed Bismarck salvos around the PoW, as logical if she switched fire to PoW immediately after Hood explosion.......

I still see many more evidences pointing to the established timeline than to the new: please just consider that if we move only the German open fire to 5:53, then the (already not impressive) total number of salvos of Bismarck would result too small during the first phase of the engagement (and difficult to redistribute between Hood and PoW, as we have plenty of photos of salvos fired at PoW), while moving Hood explosion before 6:00 is almost impossible.... That's why I still trust the "metronomic" salvos reconstruction of Antonio Bonomi, that puts together all available images, shell counts, testimonies and evidences while coping with most (not all) of them....... :think:


Bye, Alberto
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"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Post by Cag » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:14 pm

Hi All

Hi Paul I agree with you idea regards Briggs. I think he was confused as the 40° turn to starboard was more likely the 20° turn onto course 300° and the 40° turn to port he mentions later is the 20° turn to resume the 280° course (maybe confusion with the 40° turn from 240° to 280° at 05.38?). He also mentions the boat deck hit prior to the turn back to port (course 280°) and the fatal hit during or just after this turn iirc.

Hi Alberto I agree Antonios battle scenario is the best we have, it is just that there are still unresolved puzzles particularly for me and Paul's paper had answers for them that I cannot find anywhere else.

Most British accounts, including Toveys, have the boat deck hit prior to the turn at 05.55, is it possible that all these eyewitnesses/accounts were wrong? There are mismatched times from ship to ship even from different people on the same ship, is it possible the time pieces on the Prinz Eugen and Bismarck were also slightly out of sync?

I'm sure you understand it is just there are quite a few loose ends that puzzle me (the boat deck fire being prior to the turn, salvos 5,6,7,8, being open for Y turret yet withheld, the 'hit' felt at salvo 12, the Rowell map being so far out for distance travelled between 05.55 and 06.00 and the lack of any movement to avoid Hood).

I'm sure it will be resolved it is just in attempting to help I've come up against these problems.

Best wishes
Cag.

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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Post by dunmunro » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:31 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:@Paul Cadogan:
hi Paul, you are right, it could be that the hit was not felt in CP, but still it must have occurred after Hood explosion if we want to attribute it to a 15" shell..... :think:


@Dunmunro:
hi Duncan,
thanks for those evidences, however it looks like, even being in the same place (PoW CP), Leach ("The "Hood" opened fire first and in between the time she opened fire and the time it was due for me to open fire the German ships opened fire") and Rowell ("Shortly after "Prince of Wales" first salvo "Bismarck" opened fire with all four turrets") remember a different sequence of events..... :think:


On the other side, the Baron, on board Bismarck, was sure that a quite considerable amount of time and salvos passed between British opened fire and the German answer....... Also,on PG, Jasper (quite precise) account sets the time for "permission to fire" at 5:55, the "turn" toward PG of PoW at the 8th salvo (counted from his switch fire from Hood to PoW), just before he saw the Hood already in the process of sinking at 6:01 and only at that same time he first noticed Bismarck salvos around the PoW, as logical if she switched fire to PoW immediately after Hood explosion.......

I still see many more evidences pointing to the established timeline than to the new: please just consider that if we move only the German open fire to 5:53, then the (already not impressive) total number of salvos of Bismarck would result too small during the first phase of the engagement (and difficult to redistribute between Hood and PoW, as we have plenty of photos of salvos fired at PoW), while moving Hood explosion before 6:00 is almost impossible.... That's why I still trust the "metronomic" salvos reconstruction of Antonio Bonomi, that puts together all available images, shell counts, testimonies and evidences while coping with most (not all) of them....... :think:


Bye, Alberto
This is from the 1942 version of the RN Battle summary #5:
At 0549, the left-hand ship, the Prinz Eugen, was designated as the target by the signal G.S.B. 337 L18 but this was changed to the Bismarck by the signal G.O.B. 19 just before opening fire. By 0552 ½ the range was down to about 25,000 yards and the Hood opened fire. The Bismarck, which replied quickly and accurately, straddled with her second or third salvo. A fire broke out in the Hood near the port after 4-in. gun which quickly spread till the whole midship part seemed to be in flames, burning with a pink glow shrouded in dense smoke. The Prince of Wales opened fire at 0553/ 24, the first salvo being observed over and the sixth a straddle. It is not stated when the Prinz Eugen joined in, but she was firing practically throughout the action.


Signal sent from Bismarck to Group West 0552/ 24: Am engaging two heavy units.
Führer Conferences on Naval Affairs 1941:
At 0543 on 24 May the battle cruiser Hood (Captain Kerr), flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Holland, and the battleship Prince of Wales (Captain Leach) made contact with the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen. A running fight at a range of between 20,800 and 18,000 metres developed. Of the enemy ships, the Hood was ahead, the Prince of Wales astern. Both ships concentrated fire on the Bismarck. The Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen were proceeding in column. Both ships opened fire on the Hood, which was leading. She received several hits, and five minutes after the engagement began a hit on the stern, probably in the magazine aft, blew her up. Hydrophone observation enabled our ships to avoid several torpedoes from the Hood. After the destruction of the Hood both ships concentrated fire on the Prince of Wales. After certain hits from both ships had been observed she turned off amid clouds of black smoke and then was lost from sight for several hours...
The above and the excerpt from Battle Summary 5 is from:

GH Bennett. Bismarck: The Chase and Sinking of Hitler's Goliath (Kindle Locations 907-914). University of Plymouth Press. Kindle Edition. It contains Battle Summary 5 and excerpts from the Führer Conferences on Naval Affairs 1941


It was only post war that the idea spread that Bismarck withheld fire (due to Lutjen's indecision or worse) while the PE tackled Hood and PoW single handedly. The eyewitness accounts from the RN side simply don't support this version of events nor does the signal sent from Bismarck at 0552!

A careful reading of PE's war diary states that PE opened fire at 0555 but it actually doesn't state when Bismarck opened fire.

Jasper states that Bismarck and PE returned fire at 0555 which is true but it doesn't mean that Bismarck hadn't opened fire sooner. Jasper states that he was so concentrated on Hood that he didn't even see the shell splashes around PE and he had no idea what Bismarck was doing.

Schmalenbach states that he observed 4 or 5 salvos from Hood before Bismarck and PE replied, but let's look at that:

First he's not exactly sure how many salvos were fired nor does he state that he observed when Bismarck replied. If Hood opened fire at 0552:30 and Bismarck at 0553:05, Hood would have fired about 3 salvos before Bismarck's first salvo would have landed.

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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:26 pm

Dunmunro wrote: ".....A careful reading of PE's war diary states that PE opened fire at 0555 but it actually doesn't state when Bismarck opened fire.
Jasper states that Bismarck and PE returned fire at 0555 which is true but it doesn't mean that Bismarck hadn't opened fire sooner...... "
Hi Duncan,
in the same way, we have no evidence at all that Bismarck opened fire before 5:55 nor much before PG..... and Jasper timing is clear: permission to fire at 5:55, PoW turn toward enemy just before he saw Hood sinking at 6:01, while he could finally notice BS heavy shells around PoW....
you wrote: "...Schmalenbach states that he observed 4 or 5 salvos from Hood before Bismarck and PE replied, but let's look at that:
First he's not exactly sure how many salvos were fired nor does he state that he observed when Bismarck replied. If Hood opened fire at 0552:30 and Bismarck at 0553:05, Hood would have fired about 3 salvos before Bismarck's first salvo would have landed."
Again you are giving your personal interpretation because Schmalenbach simply said he observed 4 to 5 salvos before BS and PG fired, NOT 4 or 5 fall of shells, nor he speaks about BS fall of shells. 4 or 5 salvos are exactly (metronomically :wink: ) 2.5 minutes so 5:52:30 for Hood and 5:55 for BS and PG.

You finally discard the Baron account of what he heard, with the repeated requests from Schneider for permission to open fire, while observing quick and well grouped (here it's clearly fall of shells, with 40 seconds flight time) British salvos...... :negative:


As also Mr. Cag very fairly, wisely and correctly has said in his last post, there are still many discrepancies and puzzles but today
Antonios battle scenario is the best we have
until someone else will be able to propose a complete sequence of evidences/photos/count of salvos/witnesses etc that will fit what we have in a better way than his reconstructions.


Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

dunmunro
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Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Post by dunmunro » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:19 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Hi Duncan,
in the same way, we have no evidence at all that Bismarck opened fire before 5:55 nor much before PG..... and Jasper timing is clear: permission to fire at 5:55, PoW turn toward enemy just before he saw Hood sinking at 6:01, while he could finally notice BS heavy shells around PoW....
On the contrary we have several senior RN officers stating that Bismarck replied within ~30 seconds of Hood. Why would they all lie? Did any RN observer state that Bismarck held fire for 2 minutes? Briggs doesn't count because he was not watching Bismarck.



Again you are giving your personal interpretation because Schmalenbach simply said he observed 4 to 5 salvos before BS and PG fired, NOT 4 or 5 fall of shells, nor he speaks about BS fall of shells. 4 or 5 salvos are exactly (metronomically :wink: ) 2.5 minutes so 5:52:30 for Hood and 5:55 for BS and PG.
Schmalenbach was looking at Hood through a high powered optic with a narrow FoV. He was not aware of when Bismarck opened fire but only of when PE opened fire. It is also highly unlikely that both Bismarck and PE would open fire at exactly the same time.
You finally discard the Baron account of what he heard, with the repeated requests from Schneider for permission to open fire, while observing quick and well grouped (here it's clearly fall of shells, with 40 seconds flight time) British salvos...... :negative:
The Baron's account contains several known inaccuracies and unfortunately I think his account has been tainted by incorporating post battle/ postwar information into it. Drama sells books after all... :!:

dunmunro
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Location: Langley BC Canada

Re: Denmark Strait hits on HMS PoW

Post by dunmunro » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:30 pm

paulcadogan wrote:
dunmunro wrote: I can't find any RN accounts that state that Bismarck withheld fire for several minutes.
Ted Briggs. In his Board testimony he stated Bismarck opened fire after Hood had fired 4 or 5 salvos.
The HOOD opened fire with the forward turrets 17 miles range, and the BISMARCK and the PRINCE EUGEN we about 30° on the starboard bow and when the HOOD opened fore the PRINCE EUGEN definitely turned away and the BISMARCK was thought to turn away. This I gathered from conversation between the Admiral and the Captain. We altered course 40° to starboard bringing the BISMARCK right ahead, 40° together and we closed in to 12 miles range. We hit the BISMARCK with our second salvo right amidships and the BISMARCK did not open fire until we had fired about 4 or 5 salvos and she hit us, according to the Squadron Gunnery Officer "on the starboard side of the boat deck aft, causing a fire in the 4" ready use lockers".
http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... htm#Briggs

Although this strays off topic....just to say I think the 40 deg turn he refers to was the very first one after the original sighting at 17 miles, closing in to about 12 miles before opening fire. He did have important facts, but his memory mixed things up - certainly not unusual in any circumstances much less such traumatic ones. In his book he describes thinking the Bismarck was hit by Hood too...though he admitted to being wrong.
Brigg's account is suspect here although if Hood's officers thought they were engaging Bismarck then it all makes sense; it was PE that held fire until given the OK by Lutjens at 0555. PE's war diary reported that Hood's opening salvos were accurate and Hood may have claimed a hit on her 2nd salvo, except that she was firing at Prinz Eugen!!!

Paul, I'm not disputing your theory but, IMHO, adding weight to it because it seem to me that Bismarck opened fire before 0555 and therefore had even more time to strike the fatal blow, well before 0600.

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