Jasper, Schmalenbach and 6 salvos...

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dunmunro
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Jasper, Schmalenbach and 6 salvos...

Post by dunmunro » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:59 am

It is stated that PE opened fire at 0555, fired 6 salvos at Hood, then switched targets to PoW at ~0559

We need to look at this more closely. The first issue is that it is claimed that PE took ~4 minutes to fire 6 salvos! Really?

2ndly Jasper states that the last salvo fired at PE was unobserved by him because of an order to change targets to PoW. Schmalenbach states that Hood was destroyed just after the 6th salvo landed.

Here's the timing of events as recorded by Suffolk:
Phase 0550 (B) to 0851 (B)

18. 0550 (B). Suffolk's course 220°, 29 knots, following the enemy.

0553 (B). Heavy gun flashes bearing 185°. Half a minute later Bismarck opened fire to port.

0556½ (B). Prinz Eugen opened fire to port.

0559 (B). Hood blew up.

0600 (B). Enemy bore 208°.

(Suffolk/Ellis narrative)
Suffolk was not firing nor being fired at and consequently could make accurate notes.

If we correct the timing to match PoW's salvo chart we get:

0552:30 Hood opens fire
~0553:00-05 Bismarck open fire (confirmed by Leach, Rowell, Brooke)
0556 PE opens fire
0558:30 Hood blows up just after PE's 6th salvo lands and is witnessed by Schmalenbach.

The KM states that PE received no open fire order from Bismarck but PE's war diary states that PE did receive an order from Bismarck to change targets to PoW. Brinkman must have decided to get into the battle but it is clear that he did so only after Bismarck opened fire.

What seems to have happened:

0552:30 - Hood opens fire (all times as per PoW's AFCT timing)
Lutjens delayed the order to open fire until 0553 causing some anxiety amongst Bismarck's FC team.
0553 - PoW and Bismarck open fire nearly simultaneously.

0556 - PE and Brinkmann opens fire without orders from Lutjens. Somehow the impression is gained on PE that Bismarck did not open fire until 0555 but this is clearly not the case and it seems certain that Bismarck fired first and PE followed her lead.

0558 - PE fires her 6th salvo. Jasper is ordered to change target to PoW. His director moved over to PoW and he doesn't observe the FoS nor does he see Hood explode.

0558:30 - PE's 6th salvo lands and is witnessed by Schmalenbach through the (10.5cm) director.
~0558:35 - a salvo from Bismarck straddles and Hood explodes about 3-5 seconds after PE's 6th salvo lands and is witnessed by Schmalenbach just before he changes the 10.5cm battery target to PoW.


Paymaster Bailey from Norfolk:
"...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..."
Commander Porter from Suffolk:
"...The gun flashes started from the port quarter and were immediately followed by gun flashes ahead..."

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Jasper, Schmalenbach and 6 salvos...

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:53 am

Dunmunro wrote: "What seems to have happened:.............."
Hi Duncan,
I do like your attempt to build a different timeline: this is the approach anyone should follow, wanting to move the established Antonio's one. :clap:

Your new timeline fits some evidences, that's true, but in order to compare with Antonio's, you still need to add all the photos/film frames available (giving them a timing / explanation), to build a salvo timing for both PG and BS that matches PG GAR and BS witnesses (not only the observations from 11 to 15 sm of the British observers) and mostly to present a complete battlemap. :D


Just some general preliminary observations to your proposal (I will not comment here on Hood explosion time as it has been debated at long already in other threads: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6314) :

1) Suffolk observations:
you wrote: "Suffolk was not firing nor being fired at and consequently could make accurate notes"
do you now really rely Suffolk timings despite you always said she was at 17 to 21 sm from the enemy from 5:41 till 6:00 and to 30 sm from Hood when she exploded ? These are the distances you always trusted from your official battlemap, the Pinchin's Plot ...... I don't think you can be serious here......:negative:


2) Germans open fire time:
you wrote: "Somehow the impression is gained on PE that Bismarck did not open fire until 0555 but this is clearly not the case"
We have 3 German gunnery officers (Jasper in the official GAR, Schmalenbach again in the official GAR and the Baron in his book) + Brinkmann in his official report stating explicitely that Germans held fire for 3 minutes (BTW nothing really new, Lutjens held fire against Renown at Lofoten for 4 minutes before Scharnhorst first answered fire.....) and photo NH69722 demonstrate, IMO incontrovertibly, that PG and BS opened fire almost together, PG first, BS second. Please see the 4 expended cartridges on PG quarterdeck). Your explanation of this photo ?
Despite all the above, still you prefer to trust the confused, conflicting (see Leach and Rowell) and generic description given by British observers instead than the primary German sources ? Your choice....... :negative:


3) Finally re. PG salvo timing:
you wrote: "The first issue is that it is claimed that PE took ~4 minutes to fire 6 salvos! Really? "
yes really ! PG is surely NOT yet firing for effect but BTW possibly we have only 5 salvos in 3 minutes as per Jasper GAR (Brinkmann was possibly wrong in his salvo count).
Let's assume first salvo (Vollsalve, to correct bearing) is fired at 5:55:30. (it could be 5:55:05 or 5:55:55 of course as we don't have the seconds, but we are sure PG open fire minute is 5:55).
Flight time is 36 seconds @ 20Km, plus observation to find out....nothing (Jasper said it was not possible to spot the fall of shells of his first salvo). Salvo landed at 5:56:06 + plus observation time, it means the second salvo (again a Vollsalve) was fired at around 5:56:20. Flight time is 35 seconds..... Salvo landed at 5:56:50 and some shells were observable, observed and corrections were made according to them.
Then a 4-Hectogruppe (3 semi-salvos fired rapidly at 400 meters range distance) to get the range (fired at 5:57:10, 5:57:20, 5:57:30). Flight time is by now down to 31 seconds. The last of the three salvos lands at 5:58:01, again observation and Jasper noticed the fire on Hood boat deck caused by these salvos. Immediately there was the switch fire order that therefore happens at around 5:58:20.
If Brinkmann is right, if a 6th salvo is fired at Hood, then switch fire would be at around 5:58:35......but this is not what Jasper says in his GAR.


My best wishes to you for your extremely difficult attempt to explain evidences and build a battlemap that can stand in front of Antonio's one.


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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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Jasper, Schmalenbach and 6 salvos...

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:22 pm

I wrote: "Lutjens held fire against Renown at Lofoten for 4 minutes before Scharnhorst first answered fire....."
Hi all,
my mistake, I think it was Gneisenau (Lutjens' flagship) that answered first at 5:08, after 3 minutes delay anyway....

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: Jasper, Schmalenbach and 6 salvos...

Post by Cag » Thu Jan 19, 2017 3:08 pm

Hi All

Hi Alberto may I ask a few questions?

In PG war diary under the 'Feindlage' section it states "Bismarck was the the first to answer fire and shortly thereafter Prinz Eugen". Is this incorrect?

Jasper states that PG fired a Vollsalve and then another. He describes a bracketing salvo with an observable hit. Later describing the switch of fire to PoW he says " As was the case earlier I commenced the second firing with a full salvo followed by a ranging group (4 Hektogruppe)".

Your description is of 2 Vollsalve followed by a Gabelgruppe. Is a Hektogruppe the same as a Gabelgruppe or is a Hektogruppe an 8 gun salvo set at different ranges to form a bracket?

Also did PG hit with the second or a third salvo?

Schmalenbach states that Hood had fired 4-5 salvos before Bismarck and Prinz Eugen replied.

We know the British fired either deflection groups to find the line, ladder groups to find the range and zig zag groups spread to hit. The salvos fired consisting of half salvos, ie each turret firing alternate guns, so 4 salvos from Hood fired in sectors would be fired by approximately just after 05.54.

Again it may be possible that there were discrepancies between time pieces on the ships and the rounding up of times etc so at the moment I'm trying to work out a sequence of firings that reflect witness testimony (ie Schmalenbach states PG hit fell just after a Bismarck salvo etc).

Best wishes thanks in advance. Ps I've just noticed I've become a senior member, I don't think I warrant that honour not by a long shot!
Cag.

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Re: Jasper, Schmalenbach and 6 salvos...

Post by dunmunro » Thu Jan 19, 2017 3:14 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
I wrote: "Lutjens held fire against Renown at Lofoten for 4 minutes before Scharnhorst first answered fire....."
Hi all,
my mistake, I think it was Gneisenau (Lutjens' flagship) that answered first at 5:08, after 3 minutes delay anyway....

Bye, Alberto
From Admiral Whitworth's (HMS Renown) report:
6. At 0405, fire was opened on the leading ship on a bearing of 18 degrees and at a range afterwards proved to be 18,600 yards.

The enemy did not reply for approximately three minutes. It was doubtful whether he sighted the RENOWN before the first salvo was fired.
And at Denmark Straits it was noted, by multiple observers, that Bismarck opened fire within ~30 seconds.

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Re: Jasper, Schmalenbach and 6 salvos...

Post by dunmunro » Thu Jan 19, 2017 3:19 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Dunmunro wrote: "What seems to have happened:.............."


1) Suffolk observations:
you wrote: "Suffolk was not firing nor being fired at and consequently could make accurate notes"
do you now really rely Suffolk timings despite you always said she was at 17 to 21 sm from the enemy from 5:41 till 6:00 and to 30 sm from Hood when she exploded ? These are the distances you always trusted from your official battlemap, the Pinchin's Plot ...... I don't think you can be serious here......:negative:

I've stated repeatedly that after ~0550 that Suffolk was at least 15nm from Bismarck.

Last time I checked the speed of light was the same at sea level as elsewhere. The distance of Norfolk and Suffolk to Bismarck is immaterial.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Jasper, Schmalenbach and 6 salvos...

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:27 pm

Cag wrote: "I''ve just noticed I've become a senior member, I don't think I warrant that honour not by a long shot! "
Hi Mr.Cag,
I think you fully deserve it ! Welcome in the "club" ! Coming to your questions:
you wrote: "In PG war diary under the 'Feindlage' section it states "Bismarck was the the first to answer fire and shortly thereafter Prinz Eugen". Is this incorrect?"
I know there are inconsistencies in the German accounts too (see Jasper vs Brinkmann with the salvo count)..... However all the 3 German GO's are in agreement that open fire was delayed by quite a while, happening at 5:55. To establish the correct sequence I think the analysis of a HD version of photo NH69722 is the proof that PG open fire first, but it would be a matter of seconds in any case.
you wrote: "Is a Hektogruppe the same as a Gabelgruppe or is a Hektogruppe an 8 gun salvo set at different ranges to form a bracket?"
Here I have no certainty, I'm sorry, but in any case this would change only marginally the timing. I always interpreted Gabellgruppe or 4-Hectogruppe as the same (3 salvos fired quickly as described also by the Baron in his book. Perhaps an expert of German gunnery methodology can help further..... :pray:
Jasper seems to state that he followed with PoW the same procedure than with Hood, apparently this confirms my interpretation.....
you wrote: "Also did PG hit with the second or a third salvo?"
Hard to say..... Reading Jasper it looks it was a salvo from 3 to 5 (counting each fall of shells as a "salvo" : 2 Vollsalve + 1 to 3 gabellgruppe semi-salvos). I would say the central salvo of the gabellgruppe (salvo 4).



Dunmunro wrote: "I've stated repeatedly that after ~0550 that Suffolk was at least 15nm from Bismarck.
Last time I checked the speed of light was the same at sea level as elsewhere. "
Hi Duncan,
Re. light speed, you are right, but light travels on a straight line and being at 32 sm from Hood (according to the "official version", please take the time to measure distances on the Pinchin's "Plot"), it would be impossible to see Hood opening fire and even exploding (she would have been completely below the horizon during the whole battle, except in case of a very prolonged (8 minutes) "mirage".....).
Therefore, I see that you now finally accept that Pinchin's Plot is for sure ridiculously incorrect. :clap:

In Pinchin's Plot the distance of Suffolk from enemy at open fire is 21 sm, from Hood is 32 sm (30 sm at Hood explosion time).
Antonio Bonomi has established a distance of Suffolk from enemy of 10 sm at 5:41 and of 17 sm after her circle away. You are suggesting a 15 sm: may I ask based on what, as you just discarded Pinchin's Plot and you still don't accept Antonio's reconstruction ?

you mentioned Adm.Whitworth: "The enemy did not reply for approximately three minutes. It was doubtful whether he sighted the RENOWN before the first salvo was fired."
AFAIK Gneisenau had located Renown on her radar since more than half an hour, and cleared for action accordingly.....

In any case, 3 minutes delay also in this case and always with Lutjens in command.


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Jasper, Schmalenbach and 6 salvos...

Post by wadinga » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:13 pm

Hello Alberto,
Antonio Bonomi has established a distance of Suffolk from enemy of 10 sm at 5:41
he has established nothing of the sort and the abandonment of the shadowing plot thread after the exposure of how incorrect PoW's guesstimates were for the two cruisers is proof of disestablishment.

Once again you have resorted to putting words in the witness' mouth.

Lieutenant-Commander Howe of Suffolk
257. What about the "HOOD?"

We never saw any part of the ship.
And you repeat your obstinate refusal to accept the optical conditions that morning
256. What was the effect of the mirage?

The "BISMARCK" appeared to be above the horizon the whole time.
And from the narrative
18. 0550 (B). Suffolk's course 220°, 29 knots, following the enemy.

0553 (B). Heavy gun flashes bearing 185°. Half a minute later Bismarck opened fire to port.
Only from the very highest points in Suffolk, like the main DCT could a witness see the dots of the distant ships, entirely consistent with extreme distance.

All the best

wadinga
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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Jasper, Schmalenbach and 6 salvos...

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:44 pm

Hi Sean,
I know very well that you still consider correct the incredible (not even "extreme") distances reported in Pinchin's Plot. :stubborn:

It was Duncan who said 1) Suffolk timings are the best ones :shock: (even against German official GO's reports) and 2) at 5:50 the distance was at least 15 sm :shock: ; therefore I was asking him whether he finally accept Antonio's reconstruction and distances (16/17 sm at 6:00 vs Pinchin's 21 sm), because they are much more in line with what he says now..... :wink:

you wrote: "he (Antonio Bonomi) has established nothing of the sort and the abandonment of the shadowing plot thread after the exposure of how incorrect PoW's guesstimates were for the two cruisers is proof of disestablishment."
Mmmh, I disagree, I imagine he was just tired to repeat his reasoning without any result in all threads since the "Article of War", receiving only criticism and NOT a single, valid, alternative to his reconstruction....

However, his reconstruction is the ONLY complete one available (after the Pinchin's "Plot") and I'm afraid you are left the only one who still believe that the "Plot" distances are correct. :wink:


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Jasper, Schmalenbach and 6 salvos...

Post by dunmunro » Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:32 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Dunmunro wrote: "I've stated repeatedly that after ~0550 that Suffolk was at least 15nm from Bismarck.
Last time I checked the speed of light was the same at sea level as elsewhere. "
Hi Duncan,
Re. light speed, you are right, but light travels on a straight line and being at 32 sm from Hood (according to the "official version", please take the time to measure distances on the Pinchin's "Plot"), it would be impossible to see Hood opening fire and even exploding (she would have been completely below the horizon during the whole battle, except in case of a very prolonged (8 minutes) "mirage".....).
Therefore, I see that you now finally accept that Pinchin's Plot is for sure ridiculously incorrect. :clap:

In Pinchin's Plot the distance of Suffolk from enemy at open fire is 21 sm, from Hood is 32 sm (30 sm at Hood explosion time).
Antonio Bonomi has established a distance of Suffolk from enemy of 10 sm at 5:41 and of 17 sm after her circle away. You are suggesting a 15 sm: may I ask based on what, as you just discarded Pinchin's Plot and you still don't accept Antonio's reconstruction ?

you mentioned Adm.Whitworth: "The enemy did not reply for approximately three minutes. It was doubtful whether he sighted the RENOWN before the first salvo was fired."
AFAIK Gneisenau had located Renown on her radar since more than half an hour, and cleared for action accordingly.....

In any case, 3 minutes delay also in this case and always with Lutjens in command.


Bye, Alberto
I stated the the range from Suffolk to Bismarck was at least 15nm at ~0550
I'm not really concerned with ranges from Suffolk and Norfolk in this thread, only their timings of events.

The key point about Whitworth is that Lutjen's did delay open fire and that delay was duly noted on the RN side. At Denmark Straits we have multiple RN reports and observers stating that Bismarck opened fire at ~O553.

No one disputes that PE delayed opening fire

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Jasper, Schmalenbach and 6 salvos...

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:21 pm

Dunmunro wrote: "The key point about Whitworth is that Lutjen's did delay open fire and that delay was duly noted on the RN side. At Denmark Straits we have multiple RN reports and observers stating that Bismarck opened fire at ~O553."
Hi Duncan,
I see what you mean, but the lack of any credible and consistent British side evidence for BS open fire exact timing, doesn't imply that we can move Suffolk timeline to fit a theory disregarding the primary sources from German side. Their timeline (as per Jasper GAR) fits with the hit on Hood deck recorded by the only time-precise British witness (Hunter-Terry).

While Jasper doesn't record any early BS salvo (he was looking at the Hood in the meantime), Schmalenbach, Brinkmann and the Baron were all sure that Bismarck as well as PG delayed open fire by several minutes, and their reports/accounts cannot be discarded because of vague statements like "Bismarck opened fire shortly after Hood" or " German ships answered fire few seconds after Hood and PoW", without any precise timing. :negative:

Do you think the Baron just invented Schneider exact words ? Do you think Schamalenbach and Brinkmann wrote and signed incorrect reports ? Do you think the people that referred to the Baron the words of Lindemann were inventing ?
I don't.


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Jasper, Schmalenbach and 6 salvos...

Post by Herr Nilsson » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:52 am

dunmunro wrote:It is stated that PE opened fire at 0555, fired 6 salvos at Hood, then switched targets to PoW at ~0559
That's not quite correct. At 0559 PG already has fired a "Vollsalve" and with a subsequent "4-Hektogruppe". That means the switch was made 4 salvoes before.
Regards

Marc

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Re: Jasper, Schmalenbach and 6 salvos...

Post by Cag » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:48 pm

Hi All

Hi Herr Nilsson great to see you posting.

Hi Alberto, I think there is some consistency in the British evidence in that for some reason they note that Bismarck opened fire in a similar time parameter as the Hood and PoW.

There are also some consistencies and inconsistencies on the German side as well, have you ever read the German survivor interviews or the very interesting British interrogation of the Baron? (Both available on the excellent kbismarck website)

I've redrawn the PoW salvo chart keeping PoW and Hood on course 300° until 05.57. This does shove the hit at salvo 6 further away (ie compared to the original Bismarck track it would have been an over) but of course it does not prove anything except that salvo 6 would still be a straddle in either salvo map!

Best wishes
Cag.

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Re: Jasper, Schmalenbach and 6 salvos...

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:07 pm

Cag wrote: "I think there is some consistency in the British evidence in that for some reason they note that Bismarck opened fire in a similar time parameter as the Hood and PoW."
Hi Mr.Cag,
there is some consistency, however by far not enough to set aside the 3 "heavyweight" evidences from PG official reports and the Baron detailed account of the delay in opening fire:
Schmalenbach (PG 2nd G.O.): "Hood had fired 4 to 5 salvos by the time Bismarck and we had answered"
therefore they opened fire together 2 to 2,5 minutes after Hood
Jasper (PG 1st G.O.): "I received "permission to fire" at 5:55"
therefore, no observed salvo from Bismarck main artillery around PoW before 6:01
Brinkmann (PG C.O.): "5:53: Hood and KGV open fire....... 5:55 PG and Bismarck return fire...
The Baron (BS 3rd GO) heard (himself) Schneider (BS 1st GO) to ask permission to open fire, observing enemy salvos (plural) falling and repeating his request, while "seconds became minutes". He also referred Lindemann words. Only after all this, Lutjens permission arrived.....


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Jasper, Schmalenbach and 6 salvos...

Post by Herr Nilsson » Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:54 pm

According to Lütjens he was in fight with two heavy units at 0552.
Regards

Marc

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