Direct Hits received by H.M. Ships on May 27

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Alberto Virtuani
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Direct Hits received by H.M. Ships on May 27

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:46 pm

Hello everybody,

I wonder, has any British ship received direct hits from Bismarck during the engagement on May 27 morning ? :think:


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Direct Hits received by H.M. Ships on May 27

Post by wadinga » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:26 am

Hello Alberto,

Don't tell me you are going to create another fantasy conspiracy theory that the British hid damage? :lol:

Who was that Italian who fantasised something similar about Barham, or was it Bahram? :lol:

You can see a chunk of shrapnel picked up in Rodney, if you want real world evidence, at the Liverpool maritime museum.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: Direct Hits received by H.M. Ships on May 27

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:19 am

Hi Sean,
thanks, no shrapnel, no splinters, no near miss. I ask whether anybody is aware of any direct hit received by a H.M.S vessel from Bismarck during the May 27 morning action.

We have Tovey despatches, point 88 saying:
Tovey_Point_88.jpg
Tovey_Point_88.jpg (43.16 KiB) Viewed 2328 times
Can we trust at least this point of the despatches ? :think:


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Direct Hits received by H.M. Ships on May 27

Post by Herr Nilsson » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:09 am

@Wadinga

All logs of KGV, Rodney, Norfolk and Dorsetshire do not mention any direct hits (and the different "Number on Sick List" show no irregularities).
All despatches of the four ships say there were no direct hits and no casualties.

However, I've learned in this forum that the Royal Navy is a bunch of forgers and/or liars and/or communicate through weather forecasts/reports. It's of course possible...no...probable that the weather condition reports in the logs contain hidden massages. The temperatures on the differerent ships at 1200 show significant differences for example. Dorsetshire was the only ship that wasn't fired at and it's the only ship with just one temperature while the others mention three. Do you see where the wind blows?...in the truest sense of the word.
That means there are only three options left:

1) There were hits and/or many casualties because of the differences in the reports.
2) At least one ship was absent during the final battle. (If so: Norfolk because of Wake-Walker)
3) All liars!
Regards

Marc

"Thank God we blow up and sink more easily." (unknown officer from HMS Norfolk)

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Re: Direct Hits received by H.M. Ships on May 27

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:30 am

Hi all,
in addition to Tovey despatches point 88, here what I could find for the 4 British ships involved in the action on May 27 morning, regarding the effects of Bismarck fire (from their official reports) :

KGV
KGV_enemy_fire.jpg
KGV_enemy_fire.jpg (57.36 KiB) Viewed 2304 times
Rodney (for Rodney some more detailed info are also available regarding the Bismarck fire and near misses).
Rodney_enemy_fire.jpg
Rodney_enemy_fire.jpg (78.13 KiB) Viewed 2304 times
Norfolk (point 67) and Dorsetshire (point 40)
Norfolk_Dorsetshire_enemy_fire.jpg
Norfolk_Dorsetshire_enemy_fire.jpg (45.39 KiB) Viewed 2304 times
Do we have anything more available ? :think:


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Direct Hits received by H.M. Ships on May 27

Post by wadinga » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:10 pm

Hello All,

Since Rodney's log clearly states she was not hit, it is obvious the only reason to state this is because she was. Thoughtful Icon. It is probably the same for all the other ships that say they were not hit.

US citizen Wellings was drafted aboard especially so that he could be coerced into denying any damage that Rodney might suffer, as there were insufficient BBC crews to deploy on all ships to find out secret RN information they were trying to hide. I choose to believe this simply because it is more unlikely than other possibilities.

I had never heard of the chunk of Bismarck shell until there it was in a display case! Of course I wonder what happened to the shell recovered from PoW's innards.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: Direct Hits received by H.M. Ships on May 27

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:16 pm

Wadinga wrote: "Since Rodney's log clearly states she was not hit, it is obvious the only reason to state this is because she was"
Hi Sean,
I see you (and not only you....) are getting nervous about the already well proven "reliability" :shock: of the "official" reports...... :lol:

My question was fairly posed and I think it deserves an investigation and an answer, but if this is just irritating the "deniers looser side" (I do understand, it must be difficult to accept with dignity the total defeat on almost ALL aspects discussed in the last years on this forum), I can live both without knowing about the Bismarck fire effectiveness on May 27 and without your low "humor"..... :lol:


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Direct Hits received by H.M. Ships on May 27

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:45 pm

Hello everybody,

I am sure that also in this case they followed Sir W. Churchill directions to Adm Godfrey ( Naval Intelligence Department - NID ) about how to manage the information :
Good news was made to seem better; bad news was toned down, delayed or sometimes suppressed.
Nothing that will surprise me at all ... :wink:

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: Direct Hits received by H.M. Ships on May 27

Post by dunmunro » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:30 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote:Hello everybody,

I am sure that also in this case they followed Sir W. Churchill directions to Adm Godfrey ( Naval Intelligence Department - NID ) about how to manage the information :
Good news was made to seem better; bad news was toned down, delayed or sometimes suppressed.
Nothing that will surprise me at all ... :wink:

Bye Antonio :D
Nothing will surprise me anymore either.

Please tell us how public news releases relate to classified reports?

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Re: Direct Hits received by H.M. Ships on May 27

Post by dunmunro » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:17 pm

Anyways, we might as well get this out of the way:
Statement of Chief Petty Officer Miller, USN.(35)
ENEMY ACTION
The ship received four (4) hits—all 5.9" shells.
Damage from these hits were very minor, no structural damage being sustained
whatsoever.
One (1) hit in H.A. Director, causing a small hole in the bulkhead—no damage.
One (1) hit in the starboard Marine compartment, causing a 6" hole in the starboard
side of the ship—above water line—no damage.
One (1) hit in a stateroom just abaft of the conning tower, causing a small hole by
splinter—no damage.
One (1) hit in the CPO mess, starboard side, causing a 6" hole, above the water
line—no damage other than to three lockers containing personal clothing.
(35)Miller was a passenger in H.M.S. Rodney returning to the United States.
Wellings, p.234
And, of course, Miller is wrong on all four counts.

1) a 5.9in hit would probably have killed everyone in the HADT, not made a small hole so this was a splinter hit

2) a 5.9in hit would either penetrate or detonate on contact in either case there would be additional damage, so again this was a splinter hit.

3) this is admitted to be a splinter hit.

4) again this was a splinter hit that probably cut across the lockers, since a 5.9in detonation would cause considerably more damage unless the shell failed to detonate, and in that case there would be mention of it.

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Re: Direct Hits received by H.M. Ships on May 27

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:34 pm

Hi Duncan,
thanks for posting this new info! :clap: :clap: :clap:

I see on Wellings book that Miller was a USN chief petty officer, passenger on board Rodney.

However,
how could an experienced sailor attribute to 5,9" shells and not to splinters ALL these damages, describing two of them as 6" holes ?
Why are these damages not accounted in the "official reports" ?
How could splinters from a shell exploding underwater been projected up to the HA director and to the stateroom abaft the conning (20 to 30 meters high), retaining still enough energy to penetrate the (albeit very light) bulkheads of the ship ?

I agree the "above water" ones may have been splinters or duds (it looks like too many German shells did not explode on May 24 as well), but the HA and the stateroom ones may have passed by the thin bulkhead without exploding within the ship , e.g. the 8" of PG (if it was not a 5,9" from BS) on the support of the HALA directors on PoW, that ricocheted over the roof of the chart house and then passed through quite heavy structures not exploding in the ship)..... :think:


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Direct Hits received by H.M. Ships on May 27

Post by dunmunro » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:17 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:Hi Duncan,
thanks for posting this new info! :clap: :clap: :clap:

I see on Wellings book that Miller was a USN chief petty officer, passenger on board Rodney.

However,
how could an experienced sailor attribute to 5,9" shells and not to splinters ALL these damages, describing two of them as 6" holes ?
Why are these damages not accounted in the "official reports" ?
How could splinters from a shell exploding underwater been projected up to the HA director and to the stateroom abaft the conning (20 to 30 meters high), retaining still enough energy to penetrate the (albeit very light) bulkheads of the ship ?

I agree the "above water" ones may have been splinters or duds (it looks like too many German shells did not explode on May 24 as well), but the HA and the stateroom ones may have passed by the thin bulkhead without exploding within the ship , e.g. the 8" of PG (if it was not a 5,9" from BS) on the support of the HALA directors on PoW, that ricocheted over the roof of the chart house and then passed through quite heavy structures not exploding in the ship)..... :think:


Bye, Alberto
We've discussed the splinter damage to Sheffield. If a 5.9in shell struck the HA director and did not detonate it would still leave an entry and exit hole, and sent metal splinters throughout the director, and probably kill everyone in the rather cramped HADT. This was undoubtedly a splinter hit, that had just enough energy to penetrate the ~6mm mild steel side of the HADT. PoW's after starboard HADT suffered a similar splinter hit from the 38cm AP round that burst after striking the crane. Wellings himself explains the real origins of these splinter hits, below.

Bismarck had a limited supply of AP and at some point probably switched to base or nose fuzed. However, even 38cm AP contained nearly 20kg of explosive filler and a shell will often strike the water and then rise before bursting, which will send splinters for hundreds if not thousands of feet. Additionally, at shorter ranges AP shells can strike the water, then be deflected into the air where the shell can burst if the fuze was activated.

The USN was not at war and Miller probably had limited experience in assessing damage. His account doesn't fit with accounts of ~5.9in shell damage to other ships.

There is no reason that Rodney would fail to mention receiving 5.9in hits and/or not mention recovering 5.9in shells. This is what Wellings had to say:
Personal Diary, 27 May 1941
. . . DD's attacked (3 DD's made independent attacks) 2 hits claimed. At sunrise—
weather cloudy. DD's still shadowing. At 0708 we headed (or Bismarck. Sighted Bis at
0843 At 0847 we opened fire. 1-15" later K.G.V. opened fire. Bismarck & ourselves
closed 27 minutes later Bismarck's fire erratic. We closed to 2750 yds. & continued to
fire silencing Bismarck. At 1039 Bismarck sank. K.G.V. & ourselves headed north—
Big show over. Second Bismarck salvo fractured hull above armor plate and at
superstructure just forward of bridge particularly the forward anti-aircraft control area.
Fortunately no one injured. How lucky we were if the second salvo landed about 20 yds.
further aft our entire bridge structure would have been pierced & probably wrecked with
the captain and other key personnel . . . .(33) The executive officer would be CO. &
yours truly . . . would assist him in accordance with Capt. Dalrymple-Hamiltons
desires...

(33)Immediately after the Bismarck sank I inspected the damage from the shell fragments of the Bismarck's
second salvo when two 15" shells landed in the water about twenty yards short of the Rodney on our starboard
bow. I was certain we were indeed most fortunate to have received so little damage from these two 15"
shells . . . . " JHW MS. Reminiscences, p. 233
"Enclosure "E" to JHW's Report, serial Fl; x-27 dated 1 July 1941.
The book that contains Wellings reports and diary entries was edited by a 3rd party who included Miller's brief,and incorrect statement.

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Re: Direct Hits received by H.M. Ships on May 27

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:24 am

Hi Duncan,
thanks, to me as well the damages look inconsistent with 4 direct hits exploding in the ship.

However, the fact that the holes are exactly 6" ones, that the position of 2 hits is very high over the water (I agree a 15"shell fragment can be projected at very high heights, but almost vertically, unable to penetrate even a thin bulkhead, or at least not leaving a "perfect" 6" hole) makes a bit uncertain that they can all be splinters...... :think:

Miller description, albeit mentioning too light damages, is very detailed and precise. He seems to be sure about the "direct hits". Also we cannot discount the fact that many German hits of 15" and 8" on May 24 did not explode at all. Were the HA directors in Rodney similar to the KGV's ones? I mean covered by a canvas and with a bulkhead only on the rear side ?


My initial question arose from the fact that precisely the secondary armament of Bismarck fired quite for a long time (compared to the "problems" of the main armament). At distances progressively down to 3000 / 4000 meters, I find quite unconceivable that not a single 5.9" hit was scored, even accounting for the erratic course of the ship and the state of the sea. :think:


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Direct Hits received by H.M. Ships on May 27

Post by dunmunro » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:59 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:Hi Duncan,
thanks, to me as well the damages look inconsistent with 4 direct hits exploding in the ship.

However, the fact that the holes are exactly 6" ones, that the position of 2 hits is very high over the water (I agree a 15"shell fragment can be projected at very high heights, but almost vertically, unable to penetrate even a thin bulkhead, or at least not leaving a "perfect" 6" hole) makes a bit uncertain that they can all be splinters...... :think:

Miller description, albeit mentioning too light damages, is very detailed and precise. He seems to be sure about the "direct hits". Also we cannot discount the fact that many German hits of 15" and 8" on May 24 did not explode at all. Were the HA directors in Rodney similar to the KGV's ones? I mean covered by a canvas and with a bulkhead only on the rear side ?


My initial question arose from the fact that precisely the secondary armament of Bismarck fired quite for a long time (compared to the "problems" of the main armament). At distances progressively down to 3000 / 4000 meters, I find quite unconceivable that not a single 5.9" hit was scored, even accounting for the erratic course of the ship and the state of the sea. :think:


Bye, Alberto
By the time that Rodney closed the range Bismarck's centralized fire control had been knocked out. Given the weather conditions and Bismarck's list (stated by the RN as ~20d) and roll, it is not surprising that she didn't land any hits. Even at DS, when her FC was fully functional there was apparently no 15cm hits. It is quite possible that in the final battle her 15cm turret optics were blinded by spray.

Wellings states that he inspected the 38cm splinter damage: "..Second Bismarck salvo fractured hull above armor plate and at
superstructure just forward of bridge particularly the forward anti-aircraft control area..." and "...Immediately after the Bismarck sank I inspected the damage from the shell fragments of the Bismarck's second salvo when two 15" shells landed in the water about twenty yards short of the Rodney on our starboard bow..."

The forward antiaircraft area refers to the approximate location of the HADT. All HADTs were similar with thin mild steel sides and open tops that were canvas covered.

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Re: Direct Hits received by H.M. Ships on May 27

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:13 pm

Hi Duncan,
thanks for the info re. the HADT. Therefore a shell plunging at e.g. 10° can pass above a bulkhead, piercing only one bulkhead at the opposite side and explode outside the ship (or not explode at all) leaving only one hole. Surprisingly, no casualties, as I expected a shell or a splinter (capable to pierce a bulkhead in a quite crowded place like a HADT) to provoke at least some wounded.....

Still we have 6" holes, very compatible with 5,9" shells and the fact that, even in local control, the secondary armament was able to get as close as 50 yards to KGV (see above). I expect some landed close to Rodney as well..... :think:

Also, there is no mention of these damages in the official Rodney report.


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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