Bismarck original KTB still existing ?

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Alberto Virtuani
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Bismarck original KTB still existing ?

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:12 pm

Hi All,
yesterday (looking at "Titanic" movie :oops:), a quite "crazy" idea came to my mind: is there any possibility that the original Bismarck documents (incluing the KTB that was not possible to fly away due to the catapult failure) are still resting at the bottom of Atlantic inside a safe, a watertight locker (or anything similar) where the content may be still readable ?

Is anybody aware in which place were the ship KTB, log, reports kept during a war mission in the KM and where might they have been put after the Arado attempt ?

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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paulcadogan
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Re: Bismarck original KTB still existing ?

Postby paulcadogan » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:55 pm

Hi Alberto!

Hope you're doing fine!

Such a mouth-watering idea, but unfortunately yes crazy!

If the ship's documents weren't destroyed in the shelling, when the order to scuttle was given, wouldn't they have been destroyed by responsible officers to ensure they don't fall into enemy hands in case scuttling fails and the ship is boarded?

Paul
Qui invidet minor est - He who envies is the lesser man

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Bismarck original KTB still existing ?

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:53 pm

Hi Paul,
I'm fine, thanks and I hope you have been not too much impacted by the recent hurricanes.

You are absolutely right, I'm sure Lutjens/Lindemann would have ensured that all the document were destroyed before abandoning the ship.

However, after the very first hits received, nobody heard Lutjens (nor Lindemann, nor the bridge) anymore and I guess they got killed before the ship was abandoned. I'm not even sure that the order to scuttle the ship came from the bridge or from the second in command (but I must say that I never read all the witnesses testimony about May 27).... :think:

In such a chaotic situation, if the documents were kept under lock in a safe, then, in case a direct hit did not destroy them during the deluge of shells, they can still be in their original position, as nobody was possibly able to reach and destroy them....

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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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Bismarck original KTB still existing ?

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:06 am

Hello everybody,

a very intriguing discussion this one, ... :think:

The most important Bismarck documents ( Lutjens war diary, Bismarck KTB, etc etc ) , photos and films by the Propaganda Kompanie taken on board the Bismarck were put into a bag and given to the Arado airplane pilots in order to be taken to France and to the OKM der Kriegsmarine in Berlin after.

We all know that the Arado never took off because of the catapult damages, ... but nobody knows what was the destiny of all this material very likely contained into a water proof bag ... and where was it taken and preserved after ... we can only speculate now.

Surely finding all this material could result into a lot of new discovery of what really happened and how was it realized on board the Bismarck by Adm Lutjens.

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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paulcadogan
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Re: Bismarck original KTB still existing ?

Postby paulcadogan » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:15 pm

Hi all,

Great to speculate, but do you really think documents would survive over 70 years under pressure of water 15,000 feet down - even in a water-proof bag or safe? We might have a better chance of finding the supposed photos of Hood's demise taken from PoW (from the IWM interview of that PoW crewman) - remote as that is.

We are fine in Jamaica - no effects of any hurricanes so far and praying it stays that way. Now after Harvey's devastation in the US, we have Irma decimating the tiny islands of Barbuda, St. Bartholomew, St. Maarten/St. Martin and Anguilla with winds of 185 mph and gusts to 225. Barbuda (twin island state with Antigua) is small and very flat (highest elevation 38 m above sea level) with a population of under 2000 people. They should have been evacuated and were not. I fear for them.

Irma is the most powerful hurricane in the Atlantic ever (there have been 4 stronger in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico).

Paul
Qui invidet minor est - He who envies is the lesser man

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Bismarck original KTB still existing ?

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:01 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Paul Cadogan,

nice to hear that you are ok ... watch out for Irma, ... :-)

Without hope to find something ... we were going to be left with Sir L. Kennedy and the Baron book's ... while we have found much more recently on the archives ... and I am sure we will find much more in the future, ... like the Jasper document about PG gunnery at DS for example, ... or the original PG full PK film ... or the PG photo by Lagemann negatives ... :wink:

Of course the depth of the ocean ... or the still secreted documents and photos in the UK archives, ... are very difficult things to put our hands on, ... for very obvious reasons.

We will try ... and now we have Wadinga helping us with more time, ... first thing I am thinking of is the IWM - BBC interview of RearAdm W.F. Wake-Walker, ... not available on-line, ... :wink:

@ Wadinga,

Sean what about taking a tour a the IWM looking for this one :

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80002371
Department Sound
Catalogue number : 2384 - Sinking of the Bismarck
Object description : British Admiral served aboard HMS Norfolk account of sinking of the Bismarck in Atlantic, 26/5/1941
Production date : 1941-05-28
Subject period : Second World War
Dimensions - whole: Duration 8, Number Of Items 1
Alternative names : object name: Speech object category: recording
Creator : BBC (recorder) Wake-Walker, William Frederic (interviewee/speaker)
Category : sound

REEL 1 Account of sinking of the Bismarck in Atlantic, 26/5/1941: first sightings of Bismarck and Prinz Eugen in Denmark Straits; shadowing of German ships by HMS Suffolk and HMS Norfolk; arrival of HMS Hood and HMS Prince of Wales; sinking of HMS Hood; Bismarck steering south away from pursuers; attack on Bismarck by Fleet Air Arm Fairey Swordfish from HMS Victorious; Bismarck's escape under cover of darkness; sighting of Bismarck by aircraft, 26/5/1941; damage to Bismarck from Fairey Swordfish from HMS Ark Royal; closing for action and torpedoing of Bismarck by HMS Norfolk and HMS Dorsetshire.

If the duration time is only 8 minutes as I suppose, is just a generic summary of the events.
Still, ... it is an historic document we do not have yet.

Of course are important also the Churchill war room documents in this regard, ... still at the IWM :

http://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/churchill-war-rooms



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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Herr Nilsson
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Re: Bismarck original KTB still existing ?

Postby Herr Nilsson » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:56 pm

@ Antonio

You've got mail.
Regards

Marc

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Herr Nilsson
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Re: Bismarck original KTB still existing ?

Postby Herr Nilsson » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:59 am

The Wake-Walker account and various others are available on CD or mp3:
amazon.com
amazon.co.uk
amazon.it
Regards

Marc

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Bismarck original KTB still existing ?

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:58 am

Hello everybody,

@ Herr Nilsson,

many, many thanks for your help on providing this official historical document ... :clap:

Listening to it I found many correlations with my analysis and works :

1) 00.07 seconds ... about 7.30 in the evening at a most inconvenient time, just as I was going to have my dinner ...

2) 00.20 seconds ... 6 miles away, at an uncomfortably close range ...

3) 00.35 seconds ... the Norfolk working out at the port side of the enemy, but keeping out of sight ...

4) 00.48 seconds ... there is always a danger running at the enemy, ... at a close range ...

5) 01.00 seconds ... soon after 5 am, in the morning of the 24th of May, smoke was seen fine on the port bow of the Norfolk. This we knew must be the Hood and the PoW ...

6) 01.15 seconds ... soon afterward the Norfolk sighted the enemy herself the first time since making contact the evening before, at the same time the Hood and PoW became fairly visible closing on the enemy ...

7) 01.30 seconds ... The enemy cruiser was ahead of the enemy battleship ...

8) 01.35 seconds ... Very soon after the Hood opened fire, followed by the Bismarck, Pow and than the cruiser ...

9) 01.40 seconds .... in a very short time the Hood was hit, fire broke out and 2 minutes later she blew up ...

10 ) 01.48 seconds ... The PoW continued the action but before long was supposed to turn away under the cover of smoke ..

11 ) 01.50 seconds ... The Norfolk and Suffolk continued to keep in touch with the enemy at the range of about 15 sea miles ...

Opinions welcome ...

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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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Bismarck original KTB still existing ?

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:30 am

Hi all,
@Antonio,
all the points you have outlined above from the interview (unfortunately a very limited in time and details one) confirm your reconstruction of the "shadowing" and of the battle (and my personal "perplexity" about this officer.... :think:) , except point 8, for which, however, I still would trust the PG KTB more then the observations from a cruiser not involved in the fight.

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: Bismarck original KTB still existing ?

Postby wadinga » Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:31 pm

Hello Antonio et al ,

Wake-Walker may have said in an interview, many years later:
5) 01.00 seconds ... soon after 5 am, in the morning of the 24th of May, smoke was seen fine on the port bow of the Norfolk. This we knew must be the Hood and the PoW ...


but what he said in his typescript report, also seen recently at the PRO was:

"At 05:16 smoke was sighted on the port bow, which later proved to be the battlecruisers. At 05:41 Norfolk sighted the enemy at a distance of sixteen miles, at about the same time she was reported by Hood and PoW

At this time Suffolk was approximately 15 miles fine on the starboard quarter of the enemy. Very shortly afterward Hood and Prince of Wales were identified and seen to be closing the enemy."

Despite the inexactitude of W-W spoken recollections, given many years afterwards, both in the Norfolk log and his report, produced at the time, he only identified Holland's force until after 05:41, giving him no chance to intervene. One can modify one's perplexities in this light. :D

Or one can decide that vague observations from many years afterwards are more valid than logged information recorded at the time.....as some have done in the case of Captain Ellis.

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

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Bismarck original KTB still existing ?

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:41 pm

Hi all,
Sean, before I can modify my perplexity...., do you know when was this interview recorded ? :wink:

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: Bismarck original KTB still existing ?

Postby dunmunro » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:01 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:Hi all,
Sean, before I can modify my perplexity...., do you know when was this interview recorded ? :wink:

Bye, Alberto


The Album implies that it was made on the date specified which in this case was 28 May 1941, however this could only be true if Norfolk had recording facilities on board, as she was still at sea on that date. However, since W-W died 28 Sept 1945 the recording was probably made sometime during the war.

OTOH, I think W-W's account is extremely accurate especially this statement:

4:38: "...very soon the Hood opened fire, followed by Bismark, PoW and the cruiser...".

Which should remove all doubt about when Bismarck opened fire.

W-W also stated that Hood blew up 2 minutes after being first hit.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Bismarck original KTB still existing ?

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:24 pm

Hi all,
this is the album and its content:
07 Sink the Bismarck.jpg
07 Sink the Bismarck.jpg (91.26 KiB) Viewed 721 times

07 Sink the Bismarck- HMS Norfolk (28 May 1941).jpg
07 Sink the Bismarck- HMS Norfolk (28 May 1941).jpg (76.28 KiB) Viewed 721 times


The "official report" of Adm Wake-Walker, stating:
"At 05:16 smoke was sighted on the port bow, which later proved to be the battlecruisers. At 05:41 Norfolk sighted the enemy at a distance of sixteen miles, at about the same time she was reported by Hood and PoW "

is dated June 5th 1941, written later and very "carefully" to avoid the obvious question: if you knew this must be the Hood and the PoW(see the interview, point 5 in Antonio's recap), why you did nothing to try to engage the enemy together with them ?

@ Sean: I don't think I will modify my perplexities about this officer..... :negative:

@ Duncan: hi, nice to hear from you too ! I have already commented on point 8 above.


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: Bismarck original KTB still existing ?

Postby dunmunro » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:41 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:Hi all,
this is the album and its content:
07 Sink the Bismarck.jpg

07 Sink the Bismarck- HMS Norfolk (28 May 1941).jpg


The "official report" of Adm Wake-Walker, stating:
"At 05:16 smoke was sighted on the port bow, which later proved to be the battlecruisers. At 05:41 Norfolk sighted the enemy at a distance of sixteen miles, at about the same time she was reported by Hood and PoW "

is dated June 5th 1941, written later and very "carefully" to avoid the obvious question: if you knew this must be the Hood and the PoW(see the interview, point 5 in Antonio's recap), why you did nothing to try to engage the enemy together with them ?

@ Sean: I don't think I will modify my perplexities about this officer..... :negative:

@ Duncan: hi, nice to hear from you too ! I have already commented on point 8 above.


Bye, Alberto


As I stated above, Norfolk was at sea on 28 May 1941 so the recording could not have been made on that date.


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