A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by Bill Jurens » Sun Apr 12, 2020 5:06 pm

This is a good place for the photo, and the question. This appears, at least at first glance, to be one of the photos taken rather late in the action, and is often described as showing Bismarck 'down by the bow' due to the hit forward, but the effect shown could quite easily have been due to catching the ship in a visually interesting moment in the pitch sequence as well. (There is a tendency to catch the ship at either extreme of pitch, either high or low forward, as this tends to create the most interesting sort of picture and the ship is, at that point, usually nearly stationary....)

The flooding forward could not possibly have created the excessive pitch values sometimes described in the secondary literature -- the pitching moment is simply not great enough to do so.

Other comments??

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by Kev D » Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:03 am

Thanks for the reply Bill!, And yes, she (or 'he' in German terms) certainly seems well down by the bow there.
We are off to look for trouble. I expect we shall find it.” Capt. Tennant. HMS Repulse. Dec. 8 1941
A review of the situation at about 1100 was not encouraging.” Capt. Gordon, HMS Exeter. 1 March 1942

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by hans zurbriggen » Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:39 am

Hello,
to Kev D writing: "is the photo below
1) Actually from some time during that battle?
2) And if so, when, i.e. where in the timeline so to speak (say as compared to the 'flash effect photo' that was the subject of this thread)?
3) Or if not from that battle, then when?":

1) Bismarck is for first time on Prinz Eugen port side during battle: this points to just after the "flash effect" (when BS is crossing PG wake, passing from her starboard side to port side), as discussed.
2) timing, according to all available battlemaps, is well after 6:08 (possibly just after 6:09), photo is showing (one of) last BS salvo, possibly the very last one.
3) speculations have been proposed, but no evidence whatsoever. Baltic camouflage is painted out (but still visible under uniform grey), therefore it is from Rheinübung operation and, due to turrets bearing and elevation, it is from DS battle and ship is down by the bow.

hans

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by Kev D » Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:49 am

Thanks Hans, mine in bold below

1) Bismarck is for first time on Prinz Eugen port side during battle this points to just after the "flash effect" (when BS is crossing PG wake, passing from her starboard side to port side), as discussed.

So just to clarify that I understand you correctly i.e. 'Bismarck is for first time on Prinz Eugen port side........' So, and I understand you correctly, then both German ships are more or less on a parallel course and heading in the same direction?

2) timing, according to all available battlemaps, is well after 6:08 (possibly just after 6:09), photo is showing (one of) last BS salvo, possibly the very last one.

So you are saying about one minute after 'flash effect photo' and is maybe the llast salvo fired during battlle?

3) ............ therefore it is from Rheinübung operation and, due to turrets bearing and elevation, it is from DS battle and ship is down by the bow.

I would tend to agree, but my knowledge of various Bismarck photos and their provenance is narrow, hence why I posted / asked here.

BTW, were German ships guns needed to be at about minimum elevation for reloading (as I believe Britsh ships were, or at least those with guns 8" / 203cm and larger)?
We are off to look for trouble. I expect we shall find it.” Capt. Tennant. HMS Repulse. Dec. 8 1941
A review of the situation at about 1100 was not encouraging.” Capt. Gordon, HMS Exeter. 1 March 1942

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by wadinga » Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:05 am

Fellow Contributors,

It interesting that Bismarck's invisible target is almost exactly aligned with the alignment between the photographer on Prinz Eugen and that target is almost exactly abeam of Bismarck's port side, ie the flagship fouls the range for PG.

This is the situation which applied and is recorded by Jasper's Gunnery summary PG at 06:09, but since the two German vessels may be on similar courses at similar speeds this situation may have had some duration. There is no precise information when Bismarck fired her last salvo. The order "Cease Fire" was given by ship's command ie Kapitan zur See Brinkmann.

Despite a possible "down by the bow" and high speed and Atlantic swells and prevailing weather conditions, Bismarck's Atlantic bow is stopping waves and spray from breaking over her turrets.

All the best in troubled times

wadinga
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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by hans zurbriggen » Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:55 am

Hello Kev D,
mine in blue below:
1) Bismarck is for first time on Prinz Eugen port side during battle this points to just after the "flash effect" (when BS is crossing PG wake, passing from her starboard side to port side), as discussed.
So just to clarify that I understand you correctly i.e. 'Bismarck is for first time on Prinz Eugen port side........' So, and I understand you correctly, then both German ships are more or less on a parallel course and heading in the same direction?
Difficult to say whether they are already parallel or if PG is still going on 280°, or in process of turning back to 220° (see her battlemap), but I would say she was already on a more or less parallel course (no PG wake is visible).

2) timing, according to all available battlemaps, is well after 6:08 (possibly just after 6:09), photo is showing (one of) last BS salvo, possibly the very last one.
So you are saying about one minute after 'flash effect photo' and is maybe the llast salvo fired during battlle?
One of the last ones at least, I would say the very last one, as I can not imagine that BS fire action lasted longer than minute 6:09.

3) ............ therefore it is from Rheinübung operation and, due to turrets bearing and elevation, it is from DS battle and ship is down by the bow.
I would tend to agree, but my knowledge of various Bismarck photos and their provenance is narrow, hence why I posted / asked here.
BTW, were German ships guns needed to be at about minimum elevation for reloading (as I believe Britsh ships were, or at least those with guns 8" / 203cm and larger)?
I do not know, possibly someone has better knowledge. Bearing is the one expected at 6:09. Elevation is lower than in other photos but your observation is fully correct.


hans

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by dunmunro » Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:32 pm

wadinga wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:05 am
Fellow Contributors,

It interesting that Bismarck's invisible target is almost exactly aligned with the alignment between the photographer on Prinz Eugen and that target is almost exactly abeam of Bismarck's port side, ie the flagship fouls the range for PG.

This is the situation which applied and is recorded by Jasper's Gunnery summary PG at 06:09, but since the two German vessels may be on similar courses at similar speeds this situation may have had some duration. There is no precise information when Bismarck fired her last salvo. The order "Cease Fire" was given by ship's command ie Kapitan zur See Brinkmann.

Despite a possible "down by the bow" and high speed and Atlantic swells and prevailing weather conditions, Bismarck's Atlantic bow is stopping waves and spray from breaking over her turrets.

All the best in troubled times

wadinga
Well, there is some spray coming over the bow. Does anyone have a NARA number for this photo?

This is a better view of Bismarck down by the bow:

https://www.history.navy.mil/our-collec ... 69732.html

Also Jasper states:
The minimum distance at this time point was about 140 hectometers [14.000 meters]. This was
at 0502-0503 [0602-0603]. At this point even the heavy [10.5cm] anti-aircraft guns attempted to
participate in the battle. Then, the distance increased deadily up to 180-190 hectomneters.
Observation from the foretop was intermittently prevented by gun smoke from the forward turret
group. In these cases, we brought in [ranging data from] auxiliary observation station. [Note:
PG does not use GMT here. UR]
At the twenty eighth salvo, the ship had turned so far away that our view of the target from the
foretop was obscured by stack exhaust fumes. Simultaneously, the forward turrets were in their
extreme turning position [at maximal rotation}. | gave the order to transfer fire control to
Oberleutnant zur See z.VI [1)] Albrecht in the aft gunnery position, who continued to fire well-
placed, rapid - partial salvos keeping the battery on target with minor range corrections until

During the battle our own ship turned sharply three times. Firing continued during these turning
maneuvers. The battery was twice temporarily and laterally displaced from the target during this
evolution. "Bismarck" came directly into our line of fire after the third avoidance maneuver.
Accordingly, | received the order from the ship's command: "Do not fire over Bismarck"; and
immediately thereafter, "cease fire". Firing ceased at 0509
[0609 GMT] hours.
So this implies that PE was turning away, and not on a parallel course, when Bismarck came into her line of fire.
Last edited by dunmunro on Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by Byron Angel » Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:56 pm

Speaking of the photo posted by KevD ..... has anyone noticed the pair of gun smoke clouds? IIRC, Bismarck was firing 4-shot salvoes, A+B turrets, followed by C+D turrets at Denmark Strait. The forward smoke cloud appears to have palpably fallen astern of turrets A+B, while the after smoke cloud rather less so. Comparing the differing displacement distances of the two clouds relative to the two turret groups and assuming an estimate Bismarck speed through the water of 25-28 knots (i.e., she perhaps lost a bit of speed due to maneuver) this suggests to me that Bismarck may possibly have just fired a "gabelgruppe" (forking group) with a very short interval between the salvo discharges.

FWIW. Comments? Thoughts?

Byron

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by hans zurbriggen » Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:19 am

Hello
to Mr.Angel writing: "...this suggests to me that Bismarck may possibly have just fired a "gabelgruppe" (forking group) with a very short interval between the salvo discharges.":
I do agree with the analysis of the smoke. They look like all 4 turrets have fired almost together (slightly in advance A+B vs C+D).
AFAIK, this can be the result of a Gabelgruppe, but also the normal way to fire one group (fore) followed by the other (aft) shortly afterward as accounted by McMullen inthe GAR and not necessarily a Gabelgruppe. We see something very similar at the beginning of the PG film battle sequence, where the 2 groups fire almost together.
However, clearly the GO was not hitting anymore enemy at that stage of battle, thus a ranging procedure can have been applied logically, but may it be another Vollsalve and not a Gabelgruppe ? I don't know whether the Vollsalve is fired exactly at the same time by all guns or if a slight delay (we see a 2 seconds delay max) can be applied by the computer in order to modify ranges within this salvo, still having all shells falling at the same time.
Possibly someone more expert of German firing detailed procedures can help here.

hans

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by wadinga » Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:58 am

Fellow Contributors,

I don't infer the same as Duncan at all, I'm afraid. "After the third avoidance manoeuvre" to me means having completed this third major disruption to Jasper's firing process and returned to something like base course ie conforming to the Flagship's movements, normal gunnery operations would resume if the flagship wasn't in the way. Permission to fire is still in effect, so as soon as the director sees and can track the target reliably it can be engaged again.

What is missing in this photograph is any sign of a target. If the photographer is still on the main deck and as we can see, so low down his horizon is obscured by Bismarck's hull, so he probably is, the question is: can the director still see PoW? Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the German system the superstructure-topping-unit is a rangefinder only, the control officer is at a lower level. A very few minutes earlier, PoW's position as she turned away was indicated by a pall of funnel smokescreen, and a dense black cloud of oil fire smoke from Hood's initial explosion off to the left, but with Bismarck's bulk and clouds of gunsmoke, nothing of the target is visible from the photographer's POV. Gun elevation at the sort of ranges prevailing at the end of the action for PG won't be much more than 15/18 degrees making firing over the flagship such a short distance away very risky indeed.

To preclude this danger from his over-enthusiastic gunners Brinkmann orders "Do not fire over Bismarck" followed by "Cease Fire" which is logged as 06:09. When Bismarck ceases fire, due to the zigzagging, smoke-covered and rapidly retreating PoW being an unrewarding target is not unequivocally recorded.

The progressive flooding of the bow and consequent lowering of freeboard means that in later pictures, Bismarck "with guns fore and aft", with them on "lookout bearings" and "Bismarck dead stern of PG" spray is bad over the forward deck.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by Kev D » Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:17 am

dunmunro wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:32 pm
Well, there is some spray coming over the bow. Does anyone have a NARA number for this photo?

So this implies that PE was turning away, and not on a parallel course, when Bismarck came into her line of fire.
Re the first question. If it is asked about the photo I posted, no I do not have any more details, and not even sure where I originally got the image myself.

Re the second, maybe my wording was taken a little too literally. I wrote "more or less on a parallel course": I did not mean to imply actually 'parallel' so to speak.

Now a question re some acronyms I see on this page that I am unfamiliar with.
BS - I assume means Bismarck (as opposed to the 'other' meaning for BS. :D )
PG - I assume means Prinz Eugen (but why PG and not PE as some use here)?
GO - ???
We are off to look for trouble. I expect we shall find it.” Capt. Tennant. HMS Repulse. Dec. 8 1941
A review of the situation at about 1100 was not encouraging.” Capt. Gordon, HMS Exeter. 1 March 1942

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by hans zurbriggen » Tue Apr 14, 2020 1:05 pm

Hello Kev D,
sorry for acronyms: your understanding is correct. GO = Gunnery Officer = A.Schneider for BS.

hans

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by wadinga » Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:12 pm

Fellow Contributors,

How the US National Archives and Records Administration received what they have is not fully clear. Most if not all material apparently came from Prinz EuGen (PG in Kriegsmarine shorthand) herself when the ship was taken over by the US Navy.

The picture is Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1984-055-13 .

All the best

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by Kev D » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:37 am

Thanks for the info gents.

Now, is there some 'trick' loading photos here (and what is max size in kilobites)?

I have been trying since yesterday to upload the full frame image of my original cropped photo, and I can't get the image to load - even as just the link to it did in my initial post. (But by trickery / slight of hand, I have now managed to insert it now below.)

That is, instead of loading and showing a small green circle (far right) with a tick in it (to show it was successfully loaded), I now get a yellow triangle (far right in top image below) with and explanation mark in it! And the 'error' message (below). Any suggestions?

Oh, and if you wondering how I got them inserted here now, I 'backdoored' the forums system and loaded them direct via my ImageShack program account.

Image


Image


Image
Last edited by Kev D on Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:53 am, edited 4 times in total.
We are off to look for trouble. I expect we shall find it.” Capt. Tennant. HMS Repulse. Dec. 8 1941
A review of the situation at about 1100 was not encouraging.” Capt. Gordon, HMS Exeter. 1 March 1942

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