The loss of contact (May 24 / 25)

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dunmunro
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Re: The loss of contact (May 24 / 25)

Post by dunmunro » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:27 pm

A&A contend that the Admiralty was longing for a chance to CM W-W and Leach...so where is the Admiralty critique of W-W's shadowing efforts and his supposed failure during the loss of contact?

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: The loss of contact (May 24 / 25)

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:46 pm

No,
A&A contend that the Admiralty decided to cover-up the blatant dereliction of duty of Wake-Walker and Leach for NOT Court Martialling them. :negative:
The minor errors were just...ignored.

D&S are clearly playing their game to divert any discussion that underlines how poor was the behavior of some RN officers involved in the Bismarck operation.


Bye, Alberto
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Re: The loss of contact (May 24 / 25)

Post by dunmunro » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:03 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:No,
A&A contend that the Admiralty decided to cover-up the blatant dereliction of duty of Wake-Walker and Leach for NOT Court Martialling them. :negative:
The minor errors were just...ignored.

D&S are clearly playing their game to divert any discussion that underlines how poor was the behavior of some RN officers involved in the Bismarck operation.


Bye, Alberto
So now Pound and his henchmen are the ringleaders in this dastardly plot? It's hard to keep track of the list of suspects... :?

In any event, the question still stands as to whether there was Admiralty criticism of W-W's shadowing tactics.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: The loss of contact (May 24 / 25)

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:17 pm

Dunmunro wrote: "the question still stands as to whether there was Admiralty criticism of W-W's shadowing tactics."
Yes, sure, it does stand.

D&S should study a bit more documents in order to find this criticism of the shadowing, instead of diverting any serious discussion...... :quiet:


Bye, Alberto
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Re: The loss of contact (May 24 / 25)

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:57 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:... and based on pure radar range (good), bearing (I don't know how good...) and estimated course/speed (quite bad with the radars of 1941, as radar is in its infancy for Germans too).
In the case of the FuMO27 radars on Bismarck and Prinz Eugen in 1941 this would be calculated by the fire control computers much the same way as data received by optical methods. The difference would be that the raw data from the radar was certainly more accurate for range, and possibly more accurate for bearing, than optical methods could provide. These data were transmitted directly to the fire control computer electronically, and continuously.

Continuous updating of these data as the target maneuvered was a key advantage. There was no time lag between measurements as there was when obtaining optical ranges. As the range or bearing of the target changed it was known to the computer and therefore the firing solution could be always up to date.

Range was measured by the radar operator keeping the target pip held on the center mark on his indicator via a hand crank. The only error was the 40 meters error tolerance of the radar (circa 1941), or if the operator was not very good at keeping the pip held on the mark.

Bearing was determined by the traverse position of the rangefinder. In this case the operator held the saddle indent of the trace on the center mark of the bearing indicator (Bismarck’s radars could utilize a fairly advanced type of phased array electronic lobing) by adjusting the aim of the range finder that the radar antenna was mounted to. The amount of error of the radar itself was small. We are talking small fractions of a degree.

A possible error could be introduced, however, by the slack in the gearing of the rangefinder traverse drive. According to the AKVS report, on Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, previously, they avoided this problem by always traversing the rangefinder in the same direction (after taking up the slack and then performing calibration, obviously). However, the AVKS reported that this practice was not required on Bismarck and newer ships. (on Bismarck we know that the aft position still had severe gear slack problems at the time that the AKVS evaluation was terminated, nevertheless)
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: The loss of contact (May 24 / 25)

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:15 am

@Dave Saxton:
Hi Dave,
thanks for your usual knowledge about the performances of the radars! :clap:

I was expecting bearing measurement to be much less precise than an optical measurement (due to the width of the lobe) but I do trust your clarification of course.


Regarding the calculation of the future position of the target, I just wonder how it can be computed by a fire control computer based on radar data without an optical "inclinometer" (at least this was the name on board the Italian WWII ships), not having available a modern calculating unit, able to merge together several radar measurements to compute the inclination of the target.


In any case, Bismarck had never opened fire without an optical sight of the enemy up to the evening of May 24, and I'm not even aware of how the Suffolk and the Norfolk were detected by Bismarck the previous evening when all the three sets were still operational. Was the detection a radar or an optical one? Also during the night shadowing it's unclear whether PG and BS were detecting Suffolk by radar.....


Bye, Alberto
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Herr Nilsson
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Re: The loss of contact (May 24 / 25)

Post by Herr Nilsson » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:03 am

The "Schußwertrechner" was able to compute course, speed and inclination of the target.
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Dave Saxton
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Re: The loss of contact (May 24 / 25)

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:45 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
I was expecting bearing measurement to be much less precise than an optical measurement (due to the width of the lobe) but I do trust your clarification of course.

The Seetakt radars after mid 1940 used a type of fine bearing indication called radattel peilung. It was a phased array scanning of only the return echo. This method allowed discrimination of signal strength from within the lobe. The exact bearing of the target could be determined via a minimum signal comparison, rather than a max signal method. The accuracy was more than 10 times better than the maximum signal method. And since it did not lobe switch the transmitted signal there was no degrading of the bearing resolution that accompanied conventional lobe switching methods.

Calculation of the width of the lobe produced by a phased array antenna is different from the more simple calculation of a conventional antenna. This was something that I did not know until further study. Crunching the numbers for the standard Seetakt antenna produces a much narrower lobe than is to be expected given the 80cm or 60cm wave lengths.
In any case, Bismarck had never opened fire without an optical sight of the enemy up to the evening of May 24, and I'm not even aware of how the Suffolk and the Norfolk were detected by Bismarck the previous evening when all the three sets were still operational. Was the detection a radar or an optical one? Also during the night shadowing it's unclear whether PG and BS were detecting Suffolk by radar.....
In my opinion, the disparity between the potential capabilities of the equipment and the actual performance had to do with the drill or the experience/training level of the crews. The Baron, despite, no need to keep things secret decades later, did not report that he had received any special training or instruction in radar fire control theory or procedure. What the Baron reported was that on Bismarck, the traditional optical methods were primary and radar was seen as a secondary method, or as aid to the optics; to be used only if necessary at night and/or in bad weather. Reliability and durability was also a problem. When they were forced by conditions to rely upon radar FC as primary, the performance was usually very good, however.

I have read somewhere, but I have not found confirmation, that on PG they were averaging the optical and radar range measurements. This would, of course, give a mean of the ranging errors of the optical and electronic instruments, and indicates that the crews were not ready to embrace radar technology, exclusively. The problem of training officers and men about radar and how to use it was becoming a serious problem by 1941 in the KM, and a problem they did not adequately address going forward.

Should W-W base his tactics on what the enemy may be able to potentially do, or should he base his decisions only on observed performance? What if the observed performance indicated that the enemy may be able to perform better than it actually had up to that point? Tovey was of the opinion, that the Germans had developed an exclusive, radar fire control capability. Was W-W privy to the same Intel information and did he reach similar conclusions?
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: The loss of contact (May 24 / 25)

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:15 pm

@Dave Saxton:
Hi Dave,
thanks for your usual competence (and patience) in addressing my "naive" technical questions re. WWII radars.
you wrote: "the crews were not ready to embrace radar technology, exclusively."
I fully agree with this interpretation.


you wrote: "Should W-W base his tactics on what the enemy may be able to potentially do, or should he base his decisions only on observed performance? "
That's exactly the point. W-W observed that:
  • 1) Bismarck had apparently detected Suffolk at 1922/23 (whose radar was rested), but she was not ready/able to open fire against her from 7 sm distance.
    2) Bismarck had possibly detected Norfolk at 20:30, but again she did not open fire until within visual sight distance (6 sm) and her salvos were close to Norfolk that could avoid them by maneuvering and making smoke.
    3) When Bismarck had tried to ambush Suffolk at 2200/23, she was detected first by Suffolk and no attempt to use the radar to direct her fire while not in visibility was done.
    4) When Bismarck had tried to cover the separation from PG at 1540/24 she did not open fire using her radar while hidden in mist.
    5) Bismarck had opened fire only when in visual sighting distance at 1830/24 from 9 sm (second attempt to separate from PG), apparently not using her radar to try to open fire when not yet visible
Based on the above, I would say that W-W should have been well convinced, by May 24 evening, that Bismarck was not actually using her radar (exclusively) to direct her fire.

But even if he was not, he had already left Suffolk alone during the previous night, to try to cover a possible escape of Bismarck to the southeast (as per W-W and Tovey reports), deciding at the time (based only on the first 2 "observations" above) that a risk should be taken in order to prevent an escape.


On May 24 evening, however, he decided (differently) to keep his three ships together on the wrong side of Bismarck, in better visibility....possibly just because the heavy guns of PoW were there to protect SF but also NF (as Ellis says clearly)....and Bismarck escaped, taking advantage from this disposition of the British ships, as per Schofield diagram.


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: The loss of contact (May 24 / 25)

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Mon May 14, 2018 5:29 pm

Hello everybody,

as promised time ago, had Mr.Wadinga have enough courage to publish Pound letter from July 19 in his integral version, here we are in the relevant thread with the confirmation that the sacrifice of a cruiser in order to keep touch with Bismarck was absolutely acceptable (some of the deniers were saying time ago that the heavy cruisers were not expendable at all.... :lol:

I must admit Mr.Wadinga has much more courage than caution.... :think:
Pound_Tovey_July19.jpg
Pound_Tovey_July19.jpg (119.87 KiB) Viewed 1985 times
This is another confirmation that Wake-Walker strategy to keep all his ships tightly together was a nonsense and that he was the ultimate responsible for the loss of touch. Had Bismarck reached Brest, Wake_Walker should have answered also of this in a Board of Inquiry or in front of a Court Martial because the question would have come "accutely" to the fore...... :lol:


Bye, Alberto
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Re: The loss of contact (May 24 / 25)

Post by wadinga » Mon May 14, 2018 6:01 pm

Hello Alberto,

How long has Antonio been sitting on this example? As long as you have been hiding Tovey's 1962 letter? I don't need caution because I am interested in the truth, not "winning" with some made-up Conspiracy theory and making some money out of rubbishing dead men's reputations.

Pound isn't ordering anybody to a pointless death, he is musing months after the event.

All the best

wadinga
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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: The loss of contact (May 24 / 25)

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Mon May 14, 2018 6:26 pm

Hello everybody,

despite Mr.Wadinga blah-blah and recriminations ( :shock: ), Pound's words are crystal clear. :dance:


Bye, Alberto
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Re: The loss of contact (May 24 / 25)

Post by dunmunro » Mon May 14, 2018 7:16 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:Hello everybody,

despite Mr.Wadinga blah-blah and recriminations ( :shock: ), Pound's words are crystal clear. :dance:


Bye, Alberto
Yes they are "...crystal clear..." and DP is referring precisely to the morning of 25 May. Obviously, Tovey's Despatch (completed 5 July) had absolutely nothing to do with Pound's musings and this seems to me to put the last nail into the coffin of a conspiracy hatched by Tovey to hoodwink...well somebody.

Anyways if there was to be a "goat" in DP's musing about whether the shadowing was adequate on 25 May, it was obviously going to be Ellis, who lost contact and then failed to tell anyone. Note that there is no criticism of W-W or Leach's actions on the morning of 24 May.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: The loss of contact (May 24 / 25)

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Mon May 14, 2018 7:38 pm

Hello everybody,

of course the first consequences would have been for Ellis, who would have accused Wake-Walker in turn (many years before writing his autobiography), had he been brought to trial, avoiding to omit some details as he did "for reasons of tact" in his official report (his words)..... :lol:


Bye, Alberto
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Re: The loss of contact (May 24 / 25)

Post by wadinga » Tue May 15, 2018 4:00 pm

Hello Dunmunro,

Ellis realised his own error in not staying within 75% of his maximum radar range, by not acting independently -as he was ordered to do and ,say, positioning directly astern of Bismarck, and zigzagging excessively anyway, when the chances of running into a u-boat in firing position whilst travelling at 20+kts were minimal.



All the best

wadinga
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