bismark-after torpedo hit

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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Bill Jurens » Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:19 pm

Readers will note that I have deleted in their entirety a number of previous posts which essentially had nothing to do with the topic -- "bismarck-after torpedo hit" at all. Although some useful and interesting commentary was lost in the process, sorting the wheat from the chaff would have been too time consuming to be productive.

Please, let's stay on -- or at least reasonably near -- the topic at hand.

Note that at this point, I appear to be unable -- at least immediately -- to mechanically remove attachments, leaving an odd item 'hanging' at the end.

As before, I would ask that contributors refrain from the use of emoji's and restrict the use of attachments to situations where no other alternative would seem possible. In that regard, the snipping of small pieces of text -- less than 100 words or so -- often without clear attribution and often overlain with egregious and really rather pointless underlining, etc. -- should be particularly avoided, and only used where the visual appearance of the text would in some way support its provenance. Usually this is not required, and one might fairly say it is never really required when the source is secondary, i.e. comes from an already published and printed text. In these cases, a clear bibliographical reference plus a re-keyboarded 'snippet' of a portion of the secondary text would serve as well and probably better.

Although the natural flow of discussion can often -- and often productively -- lead to an enhanced experience, I would again ask participants to attempt to keep the original topic in mind when posting to various threads.

Bill Jurens

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:29 pm

Off-topic material deleted. WJJ
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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by wadinga » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:20 pm

[Off-topic material deleted] WJJ

Given the wave heights experienced during the final battle and the impossibility of hydrostatic controls to maintain optimum depth in those conditions, the idea of using sensitive magnetic pistols which need to pass under a hull at the right depth to activate is also irrelevant and their use would be a serious tactical error.

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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:26 pm

Off-topic material deleted. [WJJ]
"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: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by wadinga » Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:49 pm

Fellow Contributors,

According to Campbell naval Weapons of WWII, the 18" torpedoes which sank Conte di Cavour and Caio Duilio at Taranto were magnetic Duplex exploders, performed as was hoped-for, and thus should have detonated under the ships, so was the damage commensurate? It would appear one torpedo in each case caused a 12 m × 8 m (39 ft × 26 ft) and 11 m × 7 m (36 ft × 23 ft hole in the ships respectively. But was it in the bottom plating?

The Littorio was hit by three contact torpedoes, but despite more modern design she suffered:
She was holed in three places, once on the port side (7 m × 1.5 m (23 ft 0 in × 4 ft 11 in)), and twice on the starboard side (15 m × 10 m (49 ft × 33 ft) and 12 m × 9 m (39 ft × 30 ft)).
Courtesy Wikipedia.

Presumably in shallow water the blast effect was concentrated under the vessel.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:14 pm

Hello everybody,

At Taranto all the "duplex" torpedoes exploded for "contact" (not due to their "magnetic" activation) against the sides of RN Littorio and RN Caio Duilio (their effect being anyway enhanced by shallow water), while the only single successfull "magnetic" activation was against the RN Cavour, that suffered indeed the worst damages.

At least one torpedo did not explode as designed and was found (and recovered) exactly under the place where Littorio was anchored during the attack, when the ship was not there anymore. Others are believed to have passed under a ship without exploding, or to have exploded prematurely against the sea bed. (Source: E.Bagnasco).



What was the best design (if any...) for WWII battleships against torpedoes exploding under the hull or mines ? The only ones I have studied in depth are all quite vulnerable to such explosions: only redundancy, compartimentation and anti-shock supports seem to provide a kind of "protection", while double (and triple) bottoms do not.


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: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by HMSVF » Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:03 pm

wadinga wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:49 pm
Fellow Contributors,

According to Campbell naval Weapons of WWII, the 18" torpedoes which sank Conte di Cavour and Caio Duilio at Taranto were magnetic Duplex exploders, performed as was hoped-for, and thus should have detonated under the ships, so was the damage commensurate? It would appear one torpedo in each case caused a 12 m × 8 m (39 ft × 26 ft) and 11 m × 7 m (36 ft × 23 ft hole in the ships respectively. But was it in the bottom plating?

The Littorio was hit by three contact torpedoes, but despite more modern design she suffered:
She was holed in three places, once on the port side (7 m × 1.5 m (23 ft 0 in × 4 ft 11 in)), and twice on the starboard side (15 m × 10 m (49 ft × 33 ft) and 12 m × 9 m (39 ft × 30 ft)).
Courtesy Wikipedia.

Presumably in shallow water the blast effect was concentrated under the vessel.

All the best

wadinga
I wonder also whether this was why the "pugilese" system didn't work as advertised? Hell of a salvage job though.

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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:08 am

Hello everybody,

The torpedo that crippled Cavour exploded under the hull (the only one magnetically activated), therefore the Pugliese TDS system was not meant to protect the ship, that was crippled and sunk.


The torpedo that hit Duilio was at the level of the fore magazine, the fore end of the Pugliese system.
On Doria, Duilio, Cavour and Cesare the system was present, but due to the reduced beam of the ships, it had a reduced diameter and was never considered enough to fully counter the effect of torpedoes. The torpedo struck where the diameter of the cylinder was further reduced due to the hull shape close to the bows and in these conditions it was not enough to protect the ship.


On Littorio 2 out of three torpedoes struck out of the TDS system (one on port side aft and 1 on starboard side fore).
The single torpedo that struck the Pugliese system at the level of fore turret n.1, despite stricking where the Pugliese system was reduced in diameter (hull shape), and despite the effect was enhanced by shallow water, was very well contained by the TDS, with only minor leakages into the vitals.

The torpedo that crippled the ship was the starboard fore one, out of the Pugliese system, due to bad fitting of all the main fore pumps power alimentation. The system was put out of action by the explosion and caused the need to run aground the ship to avoid her sinking. The Littorio ships were modified after Taranto to enhance redundancy for the pumps alimentation, anti-shock supports and watertight sealings.


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: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by wadinga » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:36 am

Fellow Contributors,

Back at the Bismarck, it is clear were all three Italian battleships to suffer similar damage, as at Taranto but far away from helpful sandbanks and sophisticated salvage facilities they would have been similarly helpless to save themselves with their own resources. Bismarck had watertight integrity but no ability to steer, so surviving propulsion ability was irrelevant. She was also helpless to save herself.

Considering all nations equally and entirely "non-nationalistically" we do have a WWII example of a damaged major warship offering no resistance when faced with overwhelming odds.

I have no doubt that somewhere in the Supermarina's records their is a directive to naval captains saying they should fight to the last Granate for the honour of Il Duce's Empire, but with his rescuers sunk or dispersed and surrounded by overwhelming force there was no alternative for the senior surviving officer but to let the crew be saved by their enemies, even though the damaged vessel would fall into their hands.

The vessel was the heavy cruiser Pola, and after Matapan, and despite power loss, there were plenty of hand-worked light guns which could have blazed away if so ordered, until they were destroyed in a pointless display of "heroism" as torpedoes and shells shattered the ship and decimated the survivors.

Directives are irrelevant as the captain (or Admiral) is "master under god" and if he chooses to put the lives of his crew before "honour" because sacrificing them has no point, there is nothing a higher power can do about it in that moment. If as in the case of Russian Admiral Nebogatoff he falls under their jurisdiction and is judged by his government subsequently that is one thing, but he may never come into their hands and thus his only judge will be his conscience.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:54 am

Hello everybody,
Wadinga wrote: "The vessel was the heavy cruiser Pola, and after Matapan, and despite power loss, there were plenty of hand-worked light guns which could have blazed away if so ordered,"
All Pola's guns (including the AA ones) were out of action due to the loss of power, the flooding of all magazines and the fact that the ready to use ammunition for the AA guns were ordered to be thrown overboard due to the "risk" of fires after the torpedo hit. The ship was without any power, propulsion, steering, fire direction, guns, ammunition hoists, and even antifire pumps (unfortunately not all these damages had been caused by the torpedo, some errors were done as well after the explosion and before the surrender by the Captain and the Engineers): under these conditions (with no chance whatever to damage any enemy ship), De Pisa was IMO correct in surrendering his ship to save the crew, after having ordered to scuttle her (source: Board off Inquiry into the loss of Pola).

The Board discharged him, but his naval career was at the end and he was placed in "reserve" (please consider the different stature of both Zara and Fiume Captains (Corsi and Giorgis as well as of Adm.Cattaneo) who categorically refused to leave their ship, after they ordered the scuttling and the abandon of the ships, following "archaic" but evergreen codes of honour and were accordingly decorated for their sacrifice).



Nebogatoff saved thousands of lives and he did it once the war was lost already for Russia (that had already lost Port Arthur and the whole fleet). Any possible damage his coastal battleships could have inflicted to Japan (very doubtful anyway) would have been irrelevant for the outcome of the war.
Despite that, he was condemned, based on "archaic" (but still in force in any Navy, including the Royal Navy, until WWII viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8742#p84968...) disciplinary rules that he had (knowingly) ignored.


Bismarck case is very different, as the war was not lost yet, armament and fire direction was fully operational, any loss of capital ship (still possible, had any "lucky" Bismarck shell hit Rodney or KGV) would have been very bad for Britain and propaganda would have come into play as well in both cases. Lutjens did simply his duty, any other choice would have been a very bad military example and would have inflicted to Germany even worse damages, even not counting the explict Raeder's directive he could not lightly ignore (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8725&p=84904&hilit=directive#p84904).
There is anyway a dedicated thread for discussing the Bismarck surrender option (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8742)...


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 wadinga » Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:02 am

Fellow contributors,

This thread is dead, and has been for some time..
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.
So we can all agree on something.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:51 am

Hello everybody,

we had always agreed on that.

Where we have not, is the judgemet regarding officers who surrendered (or refused to surrender) under various different circumstances....


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 wadinga » Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:34 pm

Fellow Contributors,
Where we have not, is the judgemet regarding officers who surrendered
and there is a dedicated thread for that.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:58 pm

Hello everybody,
Wadinga wrote: "and there is a dedicated thread for that"
thanks to me (not thanks to you who started the diversion about the Lutjens Gotterdammerung... :wink: )


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 wadinga » Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:59 am

Fellow Contributors,

Since it appears there were no technical solutions to Lutjens' and Bismarck's problems there was only a choice between Gotterdammerung or alternatively Wiedergeburt und Erlösung.

This thread was about technical solutions.

All the best

wadinga
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