If Bismarck had made it to France

Discussions about the history of the ship, technical details, etc.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:44 pm

Hello everybody,
"Only a dour, authoritarian, charisma-free mediocrity like Lutjens would have accepted such ludicrously-specific constraints in the first place."
A soldier must obey his explicit orders: "any engagement with forces of superior or even equal strength must be avoided at all costs. This also applies if the two battleships should encounter a single enemy ship armed with 15" guns.".
A concept possibly a bit too difficult to be understood, having never served....

I guess this "crusader" (his words) is just impotently angry and tries (ineffectively) to throw mud at Adm.Lutjens because he inflicted an humilating defeat to the RN at Denmark Strait, exactly by ignoring his "fighting instructions" (that would have asked for PG to be immediately sent away from the line of fire), employing an original tactics, and not disobeying explicit orders.
I know another flag officer who (at Denmark Strait) was even worse than a "timid and charisma-free mediocrity" while deciding not to engage the enemy because (accordingly to the same crusaders) of his "fighting instructions"...


I see Mr.Wadinga now prefers to discuss Lutjens qualities, after having been blatantly cornered in the reconstruction of the battle here (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8335&start=360#p81978).... :lol: what a pity, to loose his contribution...


Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by Byron Angel » Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:58 pm

While command aggressiveness is a fundamentally good characteristic, in my opinion, the strictures placed upon commerce raiding warships such as Scharnhorst and Gneisenau made a great deal of practical sense. I do not believe that the names conferred upon these two ships were coincidental - they were meant to follow in the commerce raiding footsteps of von Spee. For a German navy so greatly inferior in numbers, these ships had to get safely home after their cruises in order to give reasonable return on value. A single hit from an opponent of equal power had the potential to inflict injury sufficient to make the German warship a "wounded pigeon" unable to evade or outrun the inevitable massive British pursuit. Bismarck's experience is a good case in point.

Strictly my opinion, of course.

B

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Re: If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by Byron Angel » Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:59 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:44 pm
Hello everybody,
"Only a dour, authoritarian, charisma-free mediocrity like Lutjens would have accepted such ludicrously-specific constraints in the first place."
A soldier must obey his explicit orders: "any engagement with forces of superior or even equal strength must be avoided at all costs. This also applies if the two battleships should encounter a single enemy ship armed with 15" guns.".
A concept possibly a bit too difficult to be understood not having served....

I guess this "crusader" (his words) is just impotently angry and tries (ineffectively) to throw mud at Adm.Lutjens because he inflicted an humilating defeat to the RN at Denmark Strait, ignoring his "fighting instructions" (that would have asked for PG to be immediately sent away from the line of fire), employing an original tactics, and not disobeying explicit orders.
I know someone else who at Denmark Strait was a "timid and charisma-free mediocrity" and decided not to engage the enemy because of his "fighting instructions"...


I see Mr.Wadinga now prefers to discuss Lutjens qualities, after having been blatantly cornered in the reconstruction of the battle here (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8335&start=360#p81978).... :lol: what a pity...


Bye, Alberto

Just checking ..... has the experiment in collegiality been terminated?

B

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Re: If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:19 pm

just explaining... terminated due to the provocations of the "crusader" above and of the hooligan lightly allowedby everybody to rant of revisionism on another thread... (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8477&start=30#p81984)

...but, mostly, due to the refusal of anyone else to collaborate to the reconstruction, or at least to fairly admit that Antonio's proposal has been fully confirmed as the only credible one (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8335&start=360#p81978).
It looks like, once cornered, everybody here prefers to...run away, looking for some other argument to hide their having been wrong.


Bye, Alberto


P.S. of course I fully agree with Byron, RF and Paul L regarding the scope of auxiliary crusisers vs battlecruisers and their strategical value and employment for the German Navy.
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Re: If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by northcape » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:08 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:19 pm

or at least to fairly admit that Antonio's proposal has been fully confirmed as the only credible one (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8335&start=360#p81978).
Nothing has been "confirmed", and in particular there is no "fully confirmed credible proposal". It still is an opinion. Only because other people don't have an opinion on the matter (because they believe that existing evidence does not justify to have such a detailed opinion/proposal), does not make the existing opinion more correct, or even more, confirmed. This should not be so difficult to understand.

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Re: If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by Bill Jurens » Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:43 am

I would concur with the previous. I don't think it is fair to say that Antonio's proposal has been 'fully confirmed' at all. This is not to say that it is not reasonable or credible, just that it may -- or may not -- be correct. At least in my mind, the validity of Mr. Bonomi's proposal remains, at least in this forum, indeterminate.

It is certainly incorrect to assert that a lack of commentary, positive or negative, equates to concurrence. Lack of feedback really indicates nothing at all. In that regard, I would encourage other correspondents to weigh in, at least briefly, on Antonio's proposals as they now see it, i.e. to comment as to whether they consider it "probable", "indeterminate", or "wrong".

Bill Jurens.

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Re: If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:36 am

Hello everybody,
Bill Jurens wrote: " I don't think it is fair to say that Antonio's proposal has been 'fully confirmed' at all. "
Your respectable opinion, of course. I totally disagree.

I'm afraid that not being able to propose ANY credible alternative, just demonstrates Antonio's reconstruction is correct. The battle happened, the ships were there, with their courses, speeds, turns, etc.: we are not speaking quantum physics here.

NOT being able to reconstruct the battle in ANY other credible way (not using fantasies or cherry-picked accounts but just solid evidences), drives only to one conclusion, and the anger of the "crusaders/hooligans" (provoking, mocking or openly insulting without ANY intervention from the moderator when ranting about "revisionism" viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8477&start=30#p81984 :kaput: ) clearly shows their frustrated impotence to counter Antonio's reconstruction (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8335&start=330#p81816).


Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:25 am, edited 3 times in total.
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

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Re: If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by RF » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:17 am

Byron Angel wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:58 pm
Bismarck's experience is a good case in point.
The experience with AGS in December 1939 is an even better one, as it would have heavily influenced the genesis of the orders referred to.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by dunmunro » Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:09 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:36 am
Hello everybody,
Bill Jurens wrote: " I don't think it is fair to say that Antonio's proposal has been 'fully confirmed' at all. "
Your respectable opinion, of course. I totally disagree.

I'm afraid that not being able to propose ANY credible alternative, just demonstrates Antonio's reconstruction is correct. The battle happened, the ships were there, with their courses, speeds, turns, etc.: we are not speaking quantum physics here.

NOT being able to reconstruct the battle in ANY other credible way (not using fantasies or cherry-picked accounts but just solid evidences), drives only to one conclusion, and the anger of the "crusaders/hooligans" (provoking, mocking or openly insulting without ANY intervention from the moderator when ranting about "revisionism" viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8477&start=30#p81984 :kaput: ) clearly shows their frustrated impotence to counter Antonio's reconstruction (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8335&start=330#p81816).


Bye, Alberto
Any account that states Bismarck delayed opening fire for ~2 minutes is wrong. The evidence for her opening fire within 30 seconds of PoW is overwhelming.

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Re: If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:32 pm

Hello everybody,

the open fire time has nothing to do with the discussion here nor with the battle reconstruction....
However, according to Mr.Dunmunro's "mantra" above, it should be easy for him (based on his "overwhelming evidences"...) to propose a different timeline/distances set, correcting Antonio's proposal. Go and do it to realize it is simply impossible.

Just claiming that BS open fire at 5:55:xx is wrong will NOT help reconstructing the battle.
I suggest Mr.Dunmunro to be cautious with his statement however, as all German G.O.'s + PG official KTB + battle duration and open fire distance in Lutjens' message + BS expected RoF say something totally different from his "overwhelming evidences", pointing to 5:55 or even to almost 5:56), but we have discussed these things several times already. :stop:

Now it's time to admit Antonio's starting point at 6:00 is correct (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8335&start=330#p81816) or to propose a different one on the thread used for this scope viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8335 (not this one...).


Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

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Re: If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by northcape » Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:08 pm

Bill Jurens wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:43 am
i.e. to comment as to whether they consider it "probable", "indeterminate", or "wrong".

Bill Jurens.
"Indeterminate"

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Re: If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:52 pm

...."fog of war" or quantum physics ? :wink:

Of course, each one's position should be entered in the thread where we were attempting to discuss the reconstruction: not here, but here viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8335&start=360#p81978 .
I see nobody is willing to re-open this thread (and for very comprehensible reasons, I would add).


Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

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Re: If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by wadinga » Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:45 pm

Hello RF,

Thanks for staying on the thread subject, and avoiding becoming enmeshed in irrelevant, impotent rants about other threads :
The experience with AGS in December 1939 is an even better one, as it would have heavily influenced the genesis of the orders referred to.
It may have affected the orders, but its relevance Is questionable I would say. AGS' 11" guns were not matched in performance by any of Harwood's cruisers, so an "equal enemy" would also be hard to define. However in speed terms the Diesels that suited commerce raiding so well, meant Langsdorff could not escape from such ships which had several knots' speed advantage. Running into at least one enemy cruiser is a risk any commerce raider must expect to come to pass sooner or later, and the Panzerschiff were armed and armoured to cope with this.

S&G had guns, speed and armour and each other to rely on and thus clear superiority over any single opponent thy might meet, just as they had when they engaged Renown. Ordering them to avoid any 15" British Capital ship (or pedantically even any monitor) might be valid if the "soldier" in charge were merely an inexperienced junior rating, not a Fleet Commander. When the C-in-C is at sea, and it is not a mere vessel captain as in the case of AGS, Hipper or Scheer, he should demand freedom of action to exploit opportunities, and use his initiative (if he has any).

That SKL said in retrospect that Lutjens should indeed have questioned their "orders", (naughty soldier!) suggests they may have learned by their mistakes, and if any of the Brest ships (perhaps enhanced by Bismarck) had actually gone to sea on an aggressive mission, they might have been given more latitude. Has anybody seen the text of the post-mission washup that V & M quote from?


In the Hipper vs Berwick fight (Dec 1940) , the raider actually ran into a 3 cruiser escort. But unlike Lutjens at least he caused some damage before retiring.

For Byron: The only way for pigeons to avoid wounds completely, is indeed to stay tucked up safely in the Loft. Cooing. Except even that did not work for S&G or PG because the Loft had a leaky roof. Besides...………... navies exist to break things and hurt people, these vessels are supposed to be Hawks, not Pigeons. :cool:


On another matter I agree with both Bill and Northcape "indeterminate" is about right, there is insufficient data to achieve a "correct" answer.


All the best

wadinga
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Re: If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by Byron Angel » Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:55 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:52 pm
...."fog of war" or quantum physics ? :wink:

Of course, each one's position should be entered in the thread where we were attempting to discuss the reconstruction: not here, but here viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8335&start=360#p81978 .
I see nobody is willing to re-open this thread (and for very comprehensible reasons, I would add).


Bye, Alberto

It is by no means an unexpected development. To be of any use whatsoever, any such discussion must recognize the fundamental uncertainties and inconsistencies of the existing historical record. Any reconstruction of this engagement must be framed in terms of degrees of "plausibility" and "likelihood". No account can lay claim to being either "confirmed" or "correct" under such fuzzy evidentiary conditions. No responsible and intellectually honest correspondent can accept such a postulation.

Who knows? Perhaps Dulin and Garzke's upcoming new book on Bismarck may re-direct the discussion in a more fruitful direction. I, for one, look forward to the release of this book.

B

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Re: If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:12 pm

Hello everybody,

while I also look forward to see the new book that I have already reserved in advance, I have to notice that despite "any reconstruction of this engagement must be framed in terms of degrees of "plausibility" and "likelihood"", clearly the total lack of any credible alternative scenario to Antonio's complete one, shows the impossibility of building a different decent battlemap than his one, as demonstrated since 1941 by the "efforts" of a certain Pinchin (an experienced navigating officer), who tried to enlarge the battlefield while producing his "Plot" for W-W board, but then was forced to leave "open" some bearings in doing so.
As far as today, there is no other reconstruction than Antonio's one showing all the 6 vessels in their position at all times during the battle, respecting the available bearings and all the reliable evidences: this is a fact, and no one here seems to be able/willing to propose another scenario.


Also, the "reluctance" (possibly, I should say "timidity") to post all these comments about "indeterminateness" on the appropriate thread used to reconstruct the battle (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8335&start=360#p81976), means that there are no arguments to counter what has been produced there by the efforts of Antonio, Herr Nilsson and Bill Jurens, as starting point.
I fully realize that, once fixed a starting point, all the rest of the battlemap would incontrovertibly and consequently follow, but this way of changing thread and comment on "general principles" instead of counter the arguments is very reprehensible.


I kindly ask anybody to go to the above thread and comment there (where Antonio is "patiently waiting"), not here, as Mr.Wadinga correctly said above (doing exactly the opposite at the end of his post :lol: ).


Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

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