Hi Wadinga,wadinga wrote: ↑Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:45 pmHello RF,
Thanks for staying on the thread subject, and avoiding becoming enmeshed in irrelevant, impotent rants about other threads :
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.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.
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.
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
It all depends upon how one weighs the value of such an asset. Inflicting physical damage upon an opponent's warships is only (IMO) a small part of the equation. One must also take into account the raider's ability, once at sea, to disrupt merchant traffic patterns and convoy schedules and force the opponent to commit forces (which might be put to good use elsewhere) as convoy escorts or as response elements against possible raiding forays. Whether or not it made sense to build such ships is an academic question; the real question is, once built and paid for, how could they have best been put to use.
Strictly my opinion, of course.