bismark-after torpedo hit

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clubcat
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bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by clubcat » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:59 am

I have often pondered over a theory I have. After the steering gear damage the ship could only turn in a ten degree circle to port, nothing wrong with the engines,numerous attempts were made but due to the sea state divers could not be sent down to survey the damage,and the steering gear compartment was partialy flooded I believe. Now for the theory I have, given the circumstances how effective would it have been to have lowered the starboard bow anchor to below keel depth in order to correct the turn to port , The drag on the anchor may have gone some way to pull the bow to starboard, various depths of the anchor and speed of the ship could have been tried to this affect. a straight course may have been to much to ask ,maybe zig zag course could have been achieved by varying the anchor depth , all this could be tried using a model or computer.

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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by wadinga » Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:40 pm

Hello Clubcat,

Welcome to the debate. Please join in and feel free to contribute actively, we are all here to learn. Things have become far too quiet round here recently. :D

Sorry to break the news but your "pet" theory has been examined, diagnosed and painlessly euthanased previously. See viewtopic.php?f=1&t=275&hilit=anchor along with the Reverse into the Bay of Biscay thread.

Deployed at the bow just a few metres off the centre line there would be virtually no turning moment at all to try and counteract the massive steering effect of the rudders. An extremely impractical variant of your idea was proposed whereby the massive anchor and its chain would be lifted and dragged by manpower half way down the ship's deck and deployed over the beam somewhere, whereby it would at least have the extra leverage effect of half the vessel's beam. In small boats these ideas may offer some prospect of success, but do not scale-up to battleship size.

Bismarck's crew spent many hours using all their skill and ingenuity, trying to get their completely unmanageable vessel to go in vaguely the right direction in extremely bad weather conditions and finally, inevitably, gave up after failing to make any progress at all. Assertions have been made that if they had displayed the right mental attitude any problem could have been overcome, but this is simply reality-denial, probably caused by reading too many "self-help" books. However survivor Kapitänleutnant (Ing.) Gerhard Junack wrote that he felt more could have been done to rectify the situation. The most extreme ideas, like blowing the rudders off the ship, were not tried as probably likely to do more harm than good, even if at all possible in prevailing conditions. Junack's motives in saying this and opinions about his senior officers' efforts may be biased somewhat. Sometimes you just have to fatalistically accept the inevitable.

BTW some members get very sensitive over Bismarck's correct spelling.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Bill Jurens » Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:41 am

It's a common misconception to note that Bismarck's rudder(s) were jammed at a 10 degree angle after the torpedo hit, but they weren't. In reality the starboard rudder was heavily damaged and at no particular angle and there is a good chance that the port rudder was entirely gone. The Rechberg book states that the rudder angle indicator indicated 10 degrees, which is probably true, but that observation only represented the position of the rudder indicator (the mechanisms of which were probably heavily damaged in the blast -- not the position of the rudders themselves.

It's not likely that any actions taken aboard Bismarck could have solved the steering problem in real time. If way had been taken off the ship, the weather had been good, and several days had been available to examine the situation in detail and fabricate some sort of improvised 'fix', it might have been possible to move Bismarck at a slow speed into a position where she could have been taken in tow. Alternatively, she could have remained steaming in circles until tugs arrived on scene.

Clearly the tactical situation rendered either of those options entirely impractical.

Bill Jurens.

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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:55 am

Hello everybody,

while I find very interesting (and plausible from a technical viewpoint) this theory of the torpedo damage to the Bismarck rudders, I think to remember that Antonio Bonomi interviewed a Bismarck survivor, Heinrich Kuhnt, getting a very different (but quite detailed) picture of the status of the rudders when the Bismarck capsized.
Please refer to this post: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1736&hilit=heinrich ... =30#p19064


Also R.Ballard reconstruction of Bismarck sinking (despite not showing the stern-first sinking), seems to point to damages to the rudders to have been caused by the impat with the sea bed and not by the torpedo.
https://www.wrecksite.eu/img/wrecks/bis ... rek-x3.jpg


Bye, Alberto
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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by wadinga » Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:06 am

Fellow Contributors,

Whether one remaining rudder, or two rudders, or something in-between survived before the sinking is largely immaterial. What remained was enough to cause Bismarck to turn helplessly in circles and was beyond her crews' abilities with the materials at hand and in the conditions prevailing to improve at all. Neither the enormous torque provided by the steering motors, nor the subsequent substitution of an emergency manual system had any effect in freeing the steering system. The thread question is about imagining methods of overcoming the effects of the crippled steering system.

This statement:
Also R.Ballard reconstruction of Bismarck sinking, seems to point to damage to the rudders to have been caused by the impat with the sea bed and not by the torpedo.
is misleadingly imprecise. One 18 inch air launched torpedo from a Fleet Air Arm Swordfish damaged Bismarck's steering system to the extent that the vessel was rendered helpless, whatever Heinrich Kuhnt reported he saw as he fought for his life in the oil-covered water.

There is no:
theory of the torpedo damage to the Bismarck rudders
Part of whatever damage can be identified today may might be ascribed to seabed impact, but it is just a speculation. Dr Ballard's specialisation is in Oceanography, Mr Jurens' in Marine Engineering, the former expedition used a barely controllable towed sled to gain relatively poor quality video, the latter recorded many hours of high resolution video from precisely-positioned ROVs and submarines. Therefore the far superior evidence and hence conclusions are from the later expedition.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:04 pm

Hello everybody,

possibly my "misleading imprecision" is due to the fact that what Heirich Kuhnt was looking at were the rudders themselves, not the steering compartment inside the ship and possibly not the right place where the torpedo hit the hull causing a breech...

No one doubts that the torpedo explosion crippled the Bismarck affecting her capability to steer: what Kuhnt said is that he saw the twin rudders in place, without apparent damages, and the three shafts still turning slowly. I just wonder what is the "definitive" proof to state that the torpedo explosion impacted the rudders themselves and not only the steering compartment... :think:


"There is no: theory of the torpedo damage...."
Whatever evaluation about the rudders (or steering compartment) damage is at best a theory, as no 100% certainty can be reached anyway, especially after the 50000 tons ship impacted the sea bed.


Bye, Alberto
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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Mannigo » Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:18 pm

I guess it comes down to whether you believe Kuhnt's description is reliable or not, right?

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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Herr Nilsson » Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:33 am

I have some problems with Kuhnt's purported account:

Firstly, how is it possible that Kuhnt could see the rudders at all. Bismarck was down by the stern and low in the water. I would assume that the rudders couldn't rise above the water anymore.

Secondly, aside from narrations of Kuhnt in several books, Josef Kaiser gave me a narration of Kuhnt Josef had written down aboard the Keldysch. Both were participants of the McDowell expedition in 2001. Then there is another much more detailed narration dated from December 2003 and edited by Heinrich Kuhnt himself in 2004, which Josef gave to me as well. In both documents the rudders weren't mentioned at all. Kuhnt just states:
We looked back at our Bismarck, which was heeling more and more to port. Slowly the stern disappeared in the water and the foredeck came up. The ship sank like an elevator into the sea.
Thirdly, I could find several accounts from different witnesses describing the state of starboard side of the hull, but none about the rudders.
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Marc

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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:12 am

Hello everybody,

I repeat that I'm very open to B.Jurens' theory about the rudders and the torpedo. Tecnically it explains what was reported and the photos studied in his new publication, without IMO being able to provide any definitive proof of it (very difficult to obtain anyway due to the impact of the Bismarck with the sea bed).

Re. the "purported" (???) account of Heinrich Kuhnt (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1736&hilit=heinrich ... =30#p19064), it's just a pity Antonio was forced to leave this forum, as I'm sure he would have kindly provided the full interview including the detailed questions (do we know whether an explict question was asked to Kuhnt regarding the rudders by e.g. Kaiser ?) and answers.

However, everybody will be able to read it in Antonio's next publications. :D


Bye, Alberto
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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Bill Jurens » Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:05 pm

I think it reasonable to characterize Mr. Kuhnt's description as somewhat imaginative. We have quite a few of those sorts of accounts around -- one, as I recall, describing the captain -- or perhaps the admiral -- standing on the inverted hull doing the Hitler salute as the ship sank, and several others stating that there was no visible torpedo damage to the overtuning (or overturned) hull at all. One wonders, for example, from whence the steam was coming to rotate the propellers when the hull itself was already inverted and mostly submerged.

Although the commentary about the rudders, etc. is characterized as ''B. Jurens' theory", it's not that at all. First of all, it's not really 'mine'. I didn't invent it and cannot claim, nor do I wish to claim, any sort of personal ownership of it. Secondly, at least in formal language, it's not a theory at all -- at best it's probable hypothesis.

The descriptions of the damage and the sequence of failures are contained in the recent book, and have been restated in several other publications as well. They are the result of detailed close-range technical analysis, though analysis admittedly limited by the inability to access all portions of the wreck and hampered by the deterioration caused by long term submergence in seawater.

Regarding failure modes, In most cases it's possible to visually discriminate between explosively driven (high-strain rate) failures and impact deformations (low strain rate failures. At constant total impulse, structures behave differently when the loads are delivered at different rates and different frequencies. To the experienced eye, it's usually fairly easy to determine -- at least approximately -- in what way the impulses were delivered. Long slow pushes result in different deformations than instantaneous impact loads. This sort of analysis can be done in a fairly macro-sense, and can also be done in a micro-sense as well, although corrosion difficulties and the passage of time mean that some smaller details, e.g. 'beach marks' on fractured surfaces, can no longer be reliably read. (The removal of samples for cleaning and subsequent on-shore analysis is generally forbidden by controlling authority.)

As these were areas of interest, particularly detailed examinations of the failure modes of the port rudder and of the joint line where the stern separated from the rest of the hull were done. In at least one instance were were able to bring myself, a very experienced naval architect, a very experienced marine engineer, and an expert in imagery as well into the same room at the same time, allowing us to discuss various issues in 'real time'. Remaining ambiguities were resolved to the best of our abilities via telephone conversations and written correspondence. So, although I do, of course, mostly support the descriptions given in the recent book and in several associated papers in Warship International and The Transactions of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, it would be unfair and misleading to characterize these findings, except in a very informal sense, as the "'B. Jurens theory".

Of course it's not possible -- or at least not possible in most cases -- to come up with some sort of 100% reliable analysis. One can only come up with what is commonly known as a 'probable cause'. In any case, detailed analysis and descriptions of the damage, except insofar as they might relate to the ability of the Germans to repair the damage on-site, is of relatively academic interest. The picture that has revealed itself, though details may remain debatable, is that there was effectively no plausible way to fix the rudder/propeller damage at sea at all. Period.

I should like, as moderator, to clarify one additional issue regarding the repeated claim(s) that in one way or another, Mr. Bonomi was '...forced to leave this forum.'

Mr. Bonomi was indeed banned from the forum ONE time, for ONE day. As the ban and his subsequent withdrawal were simultaneous, I am assuming -- perhaps incorrectly, that these are causally related. He was, in both private and open publication repeatedly and explicitly invited to rejoin the forum when the ban expired, and has apparently chosen not to do so. For the record, I'm glad, once again, to invite him to rejoin the forum now. While he may have been 'forced to leave' for one day many months ago, I am not aware of anybody who is forcing that ban to extend indefinitely.

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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by HMSVF » Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:41 pm

Herr Nilsson wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:33 am
I have some problems with Kuhnt's purported account:

Firstly, how is it possible that Kuhnt could see the rudders at all. Bismarck was down by the stern and low in the water. I would assume that the rudders couldn't rise above the water anymore.

Secondly, aside from narrations of Kuhnt in several books, Josef Kaiser gave me a narration of Kuhnt Josef had written down aboard the Keldysch. Both were participants of the McDowell expedition in 2001. Then there is another much more detailed narration dated from December 2003 and edited by Heinrich Kuhnt himself in 2004, which Josef gave to me as well. In both documents the rudders weren't mentioned at all. Kuhnt just states:
We looked back at our Bismarck, which was heeling more and more to port. Slowly the stern disappeared in the water and the foredeck came up. The ship sank like an elevator into the sea.
Thirdly, I could find several accounts from different witnesses describing the state of starboard side of the hull, but none about the rudders.
Firstly, how is it possible that Kuhnt could see the rudders at all. Bismarck was down by the stern and low in the water. I would assume that the rudders couldn't rise above the water anymore.
Maybe had got a snorkel.

Witness testimony needs to be treated with a pinch of salt sometimes.

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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:24 pm

Hello everybody,

thanks to Mr.Jurens (the "guy") for his clarification about the "theory": I shortly called it Mr.Jurens's theory just because he brought it here in this thread.

H.Kuhnt account is very detailed and his answers as annotated by Antonio during the interview seem to indicate someone who is sure of his memory: whether he imagined or not, we cannot say, of course.
Witnesses must always be "treated with a pinch of salt", but also reconstructions based on submarine photos and not by the scientific inspection of the materials themselves are IMO still theories (at best) as I have not yet seen any definitive proof yet. The photos I have seen and the ones presented in the new book are not sufficient to say whether the port rudder faield due to an explosion shock or a simple impact with the sea bed (same for the starboard rudder damages). They just make possible the theory.
As Mr.Jurens said, only the (forbidden) removal of some parts from the wreck to be analysed in laboratory could bring to a definitive conclusion.

Of course where I agree with Mr.Jurens and Mr.Wadinga is that the damage (to the rudders themselves or to the steering compartment only) definitely crippled the Bismarck without any way to fix it at sea in the actual whether and tactical situation.





However, regarding a topic that should NEVER have been brought up again, I have to (very harshly) answer to the "moderator" because
Bill Jurens wrote: "I should like, as moderator, to clarify one additional issue regarding the repeated claim(s) that in one way or another, Mr. Bonomi was '...forced to leave this forum.' Mr. Bonomi was indeed banned from the forum ONE time, for ONE day. As the ban and his subsequent withdrawal were simultaneous....I'm glad, once again, to invite him to rejoin the forum now...."
While it is true that Antonio was banned for one day only, Mr.Jurens has played since the beginning the role of moderator without a super-partes approach: his repeated bans were imposed only to Antonio and to me, nobody among his "supporters" has been banned (or warned) even when insulting explicitly like also very recently (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6728&start=2250#p84790): is this the way the "moderator" role should be played ? :kaput:

Antonio left because there was no way for him to continue the discussion with such a "moderator" playing against him and ruling the forum at his leisure: no fair discussion with the opponents of Antonio's battle (and battle aftermath) reconstruction was possible anymore as they were free to provoke and insult: we have escalated this fact to the Administrator several times without getting any response from him. Therefore Antonio was actually forced by Mr.Jurens'attitude to leave the forum.

I was personally very surprised about this one-sided attitude, as I was not able, at that time, to understand the reasons why a person whose knowledge I had once admired was defending the untenable positions of some forum members, punishing instead the one who had reconstructed the battle in the most logical way and had been accused by the others of being a "conspirator theorist", a "revisionist", etc. or even explicitly insulted.

Now, after the publication of the new book (with its "original" battlemap presented at pag.211) and the mails of Antonio to the naval community (most of the forum members are in address but I will be MORE than happy to send the mails to whoever wants to understand better what has been done), it is clear (even to little children...) that Mr.Jurens has "adopted" (to use a very, very nice word...) Antonio's 2005 DS battlemap (the superimposition of the 2 maps in Antonio's last mail leaves no doubt about the fact itself) without having been authorized to do it and without even acknowledging its "creatorship", giving instead the impression that the battlemap was the result a work (not only graphical or marginal...) of him...
I suggest to go to this thread (locked by the "moderator" when clearly "inconvenient" for himself) to judge (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8258&start=30#p84686) and to see why (differently than the torpedo "theory" above) pag.211 map cannot be called in any way Bill Jurens' map (if not in a very ironical way... :oops: ).


His intent becoming "moderator" was therefore, since the very beginning (as the book was already completed by then), to attack Antonio and to force him to leave the forum, to try to prevent the consequent (and well due) reactions of Antonio within this community (once the book was published), "reducing" it to the result of an unaccepted "moderation" attitude: luckily, I'm surely less prepared than Antonio but I'm more tolerating than him (even when Mr.Jurens banned me for one full week after I reacted to blatant provocations).
I have resisted the temptation to leave the forum as well, once it was clear that the referee was just protecting the other team as denounced also by Alecsandros before he left, and I must say that I'm now very happy and really enjoying this situation, in which the "game of the "moderator" has been unveiled in front of everybody (at least in front of the ones willing to see, because the deniers at any cost have already shown in the same above thread that they will support their "defensor" at any cost, even loosing their own credibility).



I would have expected Mr.Jurens to be more wise and not to speak again about Antonio's retirement from this forum, leaving this privilege to me... :think: : he was not... :D



Bye, Alberto
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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Bill Jurens » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:50 pm

As it would be pointless to attempt to reply to Mr. Virtuani's diatribe in detail, I guess I will just have to admit that I am, in fact, Satan incarnate. In fairness, I would like to point out that it was Mr. Virtuani who first brought up the issues surrounding Mr. Bonomi's unfortunate departure from the forum, not I.

Mr. Virtuani has also lately undertaken a series of rather public and lengthy personal attacks regarding the Denmark Strait track chart as published in the recent book "Battleship Bismarck -- A Design and Operational History". I have heretofore chosen not to reply to these comments, which I personally find both offensive and unjustifiable, in detail. In that regard, I will only offer that because the various track charts do in fact attempt to describe the same engagement, some similarities, and even identical or near identical depictions are both inevitable and unavoidable. In reply to Mr. Virtuani's accusations, I would suggest those interested to examine the track charts in detail. In that regard, close correspondence regarding the relative positions of German and British vessels before open fire occurred are not in much dispute, and therefore might be expected to correspond quite closely. The critical point is that although the overall depiction of the action -- as might be expected -- is unavoidably somewhat similar, and perhaps essentially identical, if one 'zooms in' on the charts it is easy to see that the depictions of the tracks of the British and German vessels during and after the gunfire engagement itself -- i.e. during the most important parts of the action -- are really quite different. There are, of course, other significant differences in the presentations as well, but this particular issue does, I think, get right to the nub of it.

Unfortunately, experience has shown the tone of these discussions is likely only to grow darker and more unpleasant with time. In that regard -- and briefly slipping off my Satanic cloak -- I will in fairness leave the thread open for another day or so in order to let Mr. Virtuani (and others, if they wish) to reply. Hopefully, some of this commentary, should any occur, will be phrased in constructive and cooperative tones.

Should future content remain overly aggressive and offensive in tone, or should no commentary arrive at all, I will thereafter lock the thread.

Bill Jurens.

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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:54 pm

Hello everybody,
Bill Jurens wrote: "As it would be pointless to attempt to reply to Mr. Virtuani's diatribe in detail..."
totally pointless because Mr.Jurens has no way to counter what Antonio Bonomi has written in his mails or the reasons why, albeit "embracing" in toto Antonio's reconstruction (almost at single pixel level...), he has played his moderator role against him only...

Bill Jurens wrote: "...I would suggest those interested to examine the track charts in detail. "
To do so, Mr.Jurens should be kind enough to post here the pag.211 battlemap from his book, in order to allow everyone to compare it with Antonio's 2005 one (already available here download/file.php?id=3583) and with the "very similar" one from P.Toussaint (also available here download/file.php?id=3193)...
If he dares to do so, we will all have a lot of fun looking for the "similarities" and the "differences". I don't think he will... :think:

Bill Jurens wrote: "Should future content remain overly aggressive and offensive in tone, or should no commentary arrive at all, I will thereafter lock the thread."
...as usual, as soon as the discussion becomes embarrassing and very inconvenient for him, he locks threads.
I'm using very polite tones, compared to others, not calling Mr.Jurens a "troll" in public as his supporters have just called me without any due punishment and without any lock to the thread (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6728&start=2250#p84790).
Locking threads to escape responsibilities will simply not work.

Finally, please, don't play the victim here ! You are not. :negative:


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

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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by paul.mercer » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:53 am

Gentlemen,
Would it be fair to say that the Bismarck survivor had just undergone what must have been a terrifying experience of a ship being pounded to bits by shells and had just abandoned the ship into rough seas contaminated by heavy fuel oil and therefore was probably not in a position to make a reasoned opinion of the state of the rudders?
Furthermore, regarding the tone of the recent posts, are we all going to war yet again taking up valuable Forum space scoring points off each other instead of engaging with reasoned debate on a subject that we have shown so much interest in the past?
How many more members are going to leave because they are fed up with reading about what has become personal battles between certain members?

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