bismark-after torpedo hit

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northcape
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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by northcape » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:52 pm

HMSVF wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:49 pm


For what’s its worth I agree. If the people on the spot (who knew their ship inside out) recognised that they were effectively finished then they were finished.

What a bloody awful way to go though. Hours of waiting with the knowledge that the odds of individual survival was very small. Perhaps a modicum of comfort can be taken from the fact that HMS Hood sank so quickly. One minute she was a fighting machine,the next she was wrecked.Still an awful way to die but at least it wasn’t such a prolonged event.
Agreed. The only real heroic action of Luetjens would have been to contact the British, transfer all the soldiers, and sink his ship. Would have saved 2000 people from a foreseeable and senseless death as well as 90 minutes of incredible suffering. It would have been heroic because everybody not involved would have blamed him terribly, and his "soldier reputation" would have been gone. A hero is somebody who takes personal responsibility (which means uncomfortable solutions for oneself), and not someone who goes the easy way at the costs of others.

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wadinga
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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by wadinga » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:18 pm

Fellow Contributors,

I personally would agree Langsdorff's approach, even if misinformed, was superior for an officer responsible for his mens' lives to Lutjens'
Gotterdammerung, when there were no technical solutions available.
Schiff manovrierunfahig. Wir kampen zur letze granate Es lebe der Fuhrer
Surrendering in a hopeless military situation didn't use to carry such stigma. Langsdorff had no need to shoot himself.

However getting 2000 men transferred in gale force conditions in the North Atlantic would be no mean feat. And you would have to get Donitz' U-boats and the Luftwaffe to play nicely as well.

Expect to get an argument from those with a more simplistic definition of "heroic". :wink:

All the best

wadinga
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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by HMSVF » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:30 pm

wadinga wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:18 pm
Fellow Contributors,

I personally would agree Langsdorff's approach, even if misinformed, was superior for an officer responsible for his mens' lives to Lutjens'
Gotterdammerung, when there were no technical solutions available.
Schiff manovrierunfahig. Wir kampen zur letze granate Es lebe der Fuhrer
Surrendering in a hopeless military situation didn't use to carry such stigma. Langsdorff had no need to shoot himself.

However getting 2000 men transferred in gale force conditions in the North Atlantic would be no mean feat. And you would have to get Donitz' U-boats and the Luftwaffe to play nicely as well.

Expect to get an argument from those with a more simplistic definition of "heroic". :wink:

All the best

wadinga

That’s an interesting question in regards to when “striking you colours” became unacceptable. Can anybody think of an example of when it occurred in the age of armour and steam?

Wasn’t there a question in regards to the Bismarck as to whether there was an attempt to surrender towards the end? I’m sure I remember reading something along those lines.

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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by wadinga » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:52 pm

Fellow Contributors,

Please don't revive the dreary, old, discredited "did Bismarck surrender" trope.

HMS Pegasus at Zanzibar to Konigberg 1914. Alongside with dismantled engines. SMS Emden hoisted white flags at Cocos Is when Sydney re-opened fire as ensign was not hauled down, also 1914. Several U-boats when damaged and unable to dive eg U-570 waved white flags.

All the best

wadinga
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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:55 pm

Hello everybody,
HMSVF wrote:"Can anybody think of an example of when it occurred in the age of armour and steam?"
Tsushima, the day after the main battle, in the morning of May 28, 1905, when Adm.Nebogatov (being Adm.Rozhestvensky blessed and unconscious) surrendered the remains of the Russian fleet, actually saving thousands lives. As a consequence however, he lost his nobility title when still a prisoner of war, was subject to a Court Martial when he was released, was sentenced to death (finally not executed upon Tsar "grace") but was anyway disgraced and expelled from the navy.


I don't think surrender or scuttling the Bismarck was in any way an option for Lutjens: in case of Tsushima the war was already lost for Russia and sacrificing lives could be considered anyway unuseful for Russia.
Germany had not yet lost the war on May 27, 1941: morale of German soldiers and propaganda would have inflicted more damage to Germany than the loss of Bismarck's lives in this case, IMO. Lutjens did what was his duty in such a situation.
Also, Hitler was not more tender than Nicholas II. :wink:


Langsdorff suicide is a great example of personal military honour, but he had committed an error surrending his ship when he could still fight and inflict damage to his opponents. This decision is IMO unforgivable for any officer. Surrender (and even scuttling) is an option ONLY when there is no way to fight the enemy anymore, not when odds are "just" heavily unfavourable.


Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by HMSVF » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:11 pm

wadinga wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:52 pm
Fellow Contributors,

Please don't revive the dreary, old, discredited "did Bismarck surrender" trope.

HMS Pegasus at Zanzibar to Konigberg 1914. Alongside with dismantled engines. SMS Emden hoisted white flags at Cocos Is when Sydney re-opened fire as ensign was not hauled down, also 1914. Several U-boats when damaged and unable to dive eg U-570 waved white flags.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Bill Jurens » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:44 pm

The steering issue is an interesting one. Most assume that the efficacy of 'steering with engines' revolves around the distance between the shafts, and/or their inclination with respect to the centerline, i.e. with propellers on one side 'pulling' while those on the other side 'pull'. This, though not entirely incorrect, represents a somewhat misleading simplification.

The main difficulty in steering with engines typically revolves around the differences in the configuration of the hydrodynamic pressure fields created by the port and starboard propeller(s) and how they interact with the 'deadwood' in the hull membrane separating them. These pressures -- and these pressure differences -- can be quite high, and act over very large areas, thus producing very large, and often fairly erratic force fields.

When the ship is steaming at normal speeds, small (and usually fairly continuous) small adjustments to the rudder(s) (which also generates large transverse forces) compensates for the mismatch of the propellers and keeps the ship on a relatively straight course. If one does not have working rudders to apply corrections on a continuous basis, then the result is usually a highly inefficient and sinuous course, if uncorrected leading to steaming in circles, which is more-or-less exactly what Bismarck experienced. It would appear that in cases where a lot of deadwood is involved, these unbalanced force fields from the propellers predominate in course determination, whereas if the deadwood is relatively small, lesser transverse fields are developed and the course(s) obtained depend more on other influences. Usually, if my recollection is correct, rudderless ships with little deadwood tend to steer into the wind, somewhat like a finned-rocket, where the fins are located to position the center of pressure somewhat behind the center of gravity. I am not sure how well this analogy applies in practice, but suspect that there is probably some linkage somewhere...

Bill Jurens.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:51 pm

Hello everybody,

[ Entirely provocative commentary deleted. Mr. Virtuani is cautioned. WJJ ]

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 Alberto Virtuani » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:31 pm

Hello everybody,

as the "moderator" has decided to protect once again his side, who had baltantly provoked (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8725&start=45#p84886) writing: "Expect to get an argument from those with a more simplistic definition of "heroic", my offer to cope with his "deferral request" about his own actions is dead by now (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8725&start=30#p84878).


Bye, Alberto


P.S. where was the provocation in my post ? Cautioned of what ? Who knows...
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Byron Angel » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:49 pm

Looking back on an historical basis (WW1), neither Scharnhorst, nor Gneisenau, nor Bluecher struck, all three being in circumstances similar to that of Bismarck: at the mercy of their opponents with no support or friendly aid in the offing.

FWIW.

B

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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Byron Angel » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:50 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:31 pm
Hello everybody,

as the "moderator" has decided to protect once again his side, who had baltantly provoked (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8725&start=45#p84886) writing: "Expect to get an argument from those with a more simplistic definition of "heroic", my offer to cope with his "deferral request" about his own actions is dead by now (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8725&start=30#p84878).

Bye, Alberto

P.S. where was the provocation in my post ? Who knows...

I recommend that you take your case to the Hague.

B

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:51 pm

I recommend you to speak when you are spoken to.....or at least to address my perplexity about the "moderation" imposed to this forum.

A court will possibly decide about any legal aspects, the "reputation" is another story, and you should have understood who is right and who is wrong here (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8725&start=30#p84860), if only you were sincerely interested in truth....


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 Bill Jurens » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:08 pm

I have taken the action of banning Mr. Virtuani from the forum for a further two-week period, effective immediately. Although I find it distasteful to forcefully silence a voice of any kind, I trust that most readers will agree that the contents of his immediately previous posts -- which I have let stand for the reference of other readers -- are sufficient to justify this action. Should this sort of entirely argumentative tone, concentrating almost exclusively on the real or supposed inadequacies of other participants resume after the ban, i.e. should his posts remain nearly exclusively inflammatory and provocative in tone, I will consider making the ban permanent or nearly so.

Those who have strong feelings on this issue are invited to make commentary to me privately via personal mail, as there is little to be gained by posting such commentary via the entire forum. Unpleasant comments, and there are likely to be a fair number of those on either side, are best passed in camera. I will, if and as necessary, reconsider my actions if and as correspondence suggests it to be appropriate.

I trust this action is supported by a reasonable majority of the members still posting here.

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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by northcape » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:44 pm

wadinga wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:18 pm

However getting 2000 men transferred in gale force conditions in the North Atlantic would be no mean feat. And you would have to get Donitz' U-boats and the Luftwaffe to play nicely as well.

wadinga
You are of course right here. And with hindsight, I think it can be stated that the British commanders in WW2 did not care too much about rescuing at all costs (the danger of U-boats being one important reason, but possibly not the only one). So probably a huge amount of sailors would still have been lost.

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Re: bismark-after torpedo hit

Post by wadinga » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:43 am

Fellow Contributors,
Looking back on an historical basis (WW1), neither Scharnhorst, nor Gneisenau, nor Bluecher struck, all three being in circumstances similar to that of Bismarck: at the mercy of their opponents with no support or friendly aid in the offing.
Theirs were entirely different situations happening during a battle. In Bismarck they were sitting around impotently contemplating their inevitable fate for hours.
I think it can be stated that the British commanders in WW2 did not care too much about rescuing at all costs
I consider this an unwarranted slur. Many British survivors had to be left to drown by their own people because risking a ship and many mens' lives to save one or more already in peril makes no sense. Hogue, Aboukir, Cressy in the first war had more dead than Hood as a result of rescuing survivors and trusting in the mercy of an opponent. The celebrated Otto Kretschmer had no compunction about torpedoing HMS Patroculus from 300m as she lay picking up survivors from HMS Laurentic in the second war.

British ships went alongside the disabled, surrendered Italian cruiser Pola at Matapan and took aboard 250 plus prisoners and picked up many who had already abandoned ship. On a calm night with the rest of the enemy force dispersed, this was easy

Carrying out humanitarian work was no protection against the enemy. The Luftwaffe pilot who sank Mashona did not know or care whether this Tribal had rescued Germans aboard or not. Dorsetshire and Maori would still be considered legitimate targets even when picking up Bismarck survivors. Over a hundred of Bismarck's crew owed their lives to men who risked their own to save them. If U-74 or another had come across Dorsetshire stopped and picking up men from the water how could they know they were not from a sunken British vessel? They would have torpedoed her without a second's hesitation. U-boats were being known to be homing in on Bismarck's position and when a suspicious discharge was sighted, Captain Martin put the safety of his own men and those he had already picked up first.

All the best

wadinga
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