I have just got the book yesterday (it has been unfortunately delivered with a certain delay in Italy, during August, while I was on vacation).
A wonderful volume from graphical viewpoint, with (most probably) quite detailed information especially related to operational rather than technical aspects. It will take however quite some time to go through all the chapters and the related notes, especially because I have to agree with Mr.RobertsonN who wrote
"The authors writing style is such that there is considerable repetition and even contradiction."
as I could already verify quickly reading about the BC1's approaching maneuvers at the end of chapter 9 and the beginning of chapter 10, where some confusion and errors arise about the turns ordered by BC1 and the course of the British squadron.
By a very quick look to the Denmark Strait battlemap (page 211) ONLY
, I have to congratulate the authors for their wise adoption of the best published battlemap widely available today (as it was the case with Patrick Toussaint in "Bismarck - Le geant de l'Atlantique": viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5752&start=795#p80577
anyone (who has the book in his hands) can easily verify that the battlemap at page 211 is fully "adopting" (e.g. re. German tracks, BC1 track and even the Norfolk track) Antonio Bonomi's 2005 tracks (published on "Storia Militare" n.147 December 2005) here below (based on official maps and mostly on PG photos and film analysis):
Also available online here http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarks ... trait2.htm
and here http://www.kbismarck.com/ds-barticle.pdf
Of course, I'm sure that, unlike Mr.Toussaint, the authors have preventively obtained Antonio's permission to use his material, even if I have been a bit disappointed for being unable to find myself any (well due) explicit acknowledgement to his 2005 map, at least at first glance....
So said, the map is (obviously) fairly correct in relation to the German squadron's and BC1's tracks, as it was Antonio's original one (still "unaccepted" by someone here, even recently, while apparently it is widely accepted everywhere else as THE only existing reference, worth of being published in a book...):
no turn of BS to around 270° at 05:55 (totally impossible due to the closure rate of the squadrons as per PoW Salvo Plot...) as recently speculated by a "fellow contributor
" of this forum,
no German open fire at 05:53 based on British accounts as per another member who considered those (mostly un-timed and generic) statements as "overwhelming evidences
no strange conjectures to "adapt" the precise PoW maps, reports and salvo plot to one's own "agenda").
However three major errors/omissions are present in the map
, the first two of them being present (up to a certain extent) already in Antonio's 2005 map (and mostly corrected already in our 2017 article on Storia Militare n.281 viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8222&p=75767&hilit= ... are#p75767
, before a definitive ultra-detailed and precise battlemap will be made available in our next publication):
1) The distance from BS to Hood at 06:00
is marked (incorrectly) as 16850 meters (when it was around 15000 meters: in Rowell map it is marked as 16300 yards = 14900 meters, as per PoW Salvo Plot too, from PoW to BS). All distances in page 211 map look too great to be correct (BS open fire is reported by Lutjens at 20800 meters while is 21500 in the map at pag.211 at 05:55 and even the cease fire was 18000 meters for Lutjens but 19000 for the authors).
The discussion has been recently re-opened here (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8335&start=360#p81866
) but it was left without any logical final acknowledgement, preferring an "indeterminateness
" instead (when the ineluctability of Antonio's reconstruction was emerging once again)...
2) The Norfolk track
was wrongly positioned in Antonio's 2005 map (at that time he was not interested in the exact positioning of the British heavy cruisers). This has been corrected already in our 2017 publication and further refined recently. It has however been adopted by the authors "in toto" at page 211 from his 2005 work, despite the lengthy discussions on this forum. This positioning of Norfolk track is not respecting the available bearings of NF to BS (280° at 05:41 as per NF "enemy in sight" report, 272° at 06:12 and 280° at 06:36 as per Pinchin's Plot). I would suggest to read again here (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8231&start=195#p79486
Due to the choice to use Antonio's 2005 track, in page 211 map, Norfolk results at 14300 meters distance from Hood and 21.000 meters from BS at 06:00: too close and making Wake-Walker position extremely "inconvenient" in in case of an Inquiry...
The omission of Suffolk track
is really the unforgivable shortcoming of such a map, even taking into account any consideration related to the space available on the page: she was the British closest ship to the German squadron until at least 05:42. In 2019, after Antonio's demonstration of the SF position through the available cross-bearings, after F.O.Busch statement (the "mast" on bearing 15°) and after Captain Ellis autobiography discovery, it's really disappointing that no attempt to position the cruiser track has been done by the authors.
The choice of cutting the map before 05:40 looks as supporting the extremely "misleading" interpretation that Suffolk was not there at all (even if she was the only British cruiser that opened fire at 06:19...) in those crucial minutes. Antonio's 2005 map was wrong re. Suffolk distances as well, but at least it was showing the cruiser at the end of the battle.
More will follow, as soon as I will have had time to carefully read through the text, where I expect to find full correspondence with the map graphical content plus the related explanations for all the maneuvers and the correct interpretation of the photos/film from which the map is derived.