Loss of sterns on German ships

Warship design and construction, terminology, navigation, hydrodynamics, stability, armor schemes, damage control, etc.
paul mercer
Member
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:38 pm
Location: Tavistock, West Devon

Loss of sterns on German ships

Postby paul mercer » Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:32 pm

I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but I am almost finished reading 'Scharnhorst' by Alf.R Jacobsen and in it he describes the wreck as having lost her stern (I think the bow section was blown off by a magazine explosion).
As Bismarck and I believe another large German warship, (Blucher or Prinz Eugan?) also had problems and lost their sterns I wonder if it was a weakness of the German ships?
Or, on another thought, could the damage to Bismark and Scharnhorst be due to scuttling charges?

User avatar
José M. Rico
Administrator
Posts: 815
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2004 10:23 am
Location: Madrid, Spain
Contact:

Postby José M. Rico » Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:17 pm

Yes, it has been discussed before, but it's OK, feel free to do it here again (or reply to any of the already existing threads about it). Here are two threads that may be of interest to you:

http://www.kbismarck.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=110

http://www.kbismarck.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=117

Tiornu
Supporter
Posts: 1222
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 6:13 am
Location: Ex Utero

Re: Loss of sterns on German ships

Postby Tiornu » Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:02 pm

As I recall, Scharnhorst's stern is not like the others but is broken off with a jagged rip. The other cases showed a clean break. In those cases, the line of discontinuity appears to have been along the edge of an armored bulkhead. In Bismarck's case, it was nothing important, just a little nub at the extreme stern, but the cruisers had more serious issues.

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7490
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: Loss of sterns on German ships

Postby RF » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:01 am

paul mercer wrote:As Bismarck and I believe another large German warship, (Blucher or Prinz Eugan?) also had problems and lost their sterns I wonder if it was a weakness of the German ships?
Or, on another thought, could the damage to Bismark and Scharnhorst be due to scuttling charges?

There was a structural weakness in the stern of German warships.

Bismarck (26/5/1941), Lutzow (June 1941) and Prinz Eugen (April 1942) were all torpedoed once in the stern and the stern section failed in each case.

I gather that with the latter two ships the Germans sought to remedy the problem by strengthening the armour plating. Whether this would have been any good was never tested by a repeat hit....
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

Tiornu
Supporter
Posts: 1222
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 6:13 am
Location: Ex Utero

Re: Loss of sterns on German ships

Postby Tiornu » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:32 am

What indication is there that Bismarck's stern failed as a result of torpedo damage?
Stregnthening the armor plating would have no effect of the failure of joints.

User avatar
Terje Langoy
Supporter
Posts: 435
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:15 pm
Location: Bergen, Norway

Postby Terje Langoy » Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:31 pm

Hello, everybody.

RF, are you sure that the Lützow had her stern failure in June 1941? I've read that she was torpedoed by Trident (or was it Spearfish?) 10th April 1940, while enroute to Kiel. She suffered severe damage to her stern and was tied up in the dockyards uptil spring of 1941... But I don't recall whether the stern almost separated at that time or in June 1941, as you say... Now I became even less sure of the actual time.

Tiornu, did the stern part broke off due to the lack of supportive joint bulkheads? It was well behind the aft perpendicular and so forth was maybe recognized as a section of less priority during construction? Since the section broke off as she capsized, could the weight of water filling up inside have contributed to the loss?

Back to the Lützow, didn't she have to be towed to port afterwards? The Prinz was able to continue by controlling the rudder by wires on the capstans. The stern damage were of quite different nature aboard those two ships. It was more than just the end section aboard the Lützow, her entire quarter deck was bent in an ugly angle. The Prinz lost the section aft of her perpendicular and as I understand from Tiornu's post just the extreme end of the stern aboard Bismarck were lost. This section perhaps suffered from the sea state during the night as well as being filled with water? (Closed wet surfaces that gave constant changes regarding centre of weight) Could this contribute to a further weakening of the joints?

Very best regards

paul mercer
Member
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:38 pm
Location: Tavistock, West Devon

Postby paul mercer » Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:36 am

Is there any evidence that the stern broke away on the surface?
I would have thought that as she hit the underwater mountain or whatever it was, the bow would have hit first then the stern would hit with an almighty wallop, possibly causing the stern to snap off. Alternatively the stern could have hit first and broken off on impact, which is why it is nowhere near the rest of the ship.
Any thoughts?

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7490
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Postby RF » Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:54 am

Terje Langoy wrote:Hello, everybody.

RF, are you sure that the Lützow had her stern failure in June 1941? I've read that she was torpedoed by Trident (or was it Spearfish?) 10th April 1940, while enroute to Kiel. She suffered severe damage to her stern and was tied up in the dockyards uptil spring of 1941... But I don't recall whether the stern almost separated at that time or in June 1941, as you say... Now I became even less sure of the actual time.

Back to the Lützow, didn't she have to be towed to port afterwards? Very best regards


I believe that Lutzow was torpedoed by Spearfish in the Kattegatt in June 1941, which aborted an intended raiding cruise in the Atlantic immediately after Rheiubung before Hitler forbade such further operations.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7490
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: Loss of sterns on German ships

Postby RF » Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:56 am

Tiornu wrote:What indication is there that Bismarck's stern failed as a result of torpedo damage?
Stregnthening the armor plating would have no effect of the failure of joints.


This is based on the evidence of Ballard.

As I said in my thread there were no repeat stern hits to test whether the strengthening worked or not.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
Terje Langoy
Supporter
Posts: 435
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:15 pm
Location: Bergen, Norway

Postby Terje Langoy » Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:25 pm

Hello, RF.

This is why I love the internet! All the various sites, and there's quite a few of them, all very accurate and the dates are always the same... :stubborn:

Best regards

User avatar
Terje Langoy
Supporter
Posts: 435
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:15 pm
Location: Bergen, Norway

Postby Terje Langoy » Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:20 pm

Hello, RF...

I was sitting here looking in some books when a picture appeared before me. (And I seriously consider to use my books rather than a quick search on the net from now on) You see, the severe stern damage of the Lützow did in fact occur on her return from Oslo, according to Siegfried Breyer & Gerhard Koop. There's a image from her arrival in Kiel, 13th April 1940, in the book "German navy at War 1935 - 1945" and the stern certainly don't look too good at this image. (The only visible part of the quarter deck is the torpedo tubes) So forth, I can only conclude that June 1941 can't be the date... I trust Koop & Breyer to know what they're talking about. :wink:

Very best regards

User avatar
Antonio Bonomi
Senior Member
Posts: 3045
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Vimercate ( Milano ) - Italy

Lutzow torpedoed

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:09 pm

Ciao RF, Terje and all,

Lutzow was torpedoed on April 1940 ( submarine HMS Spearfish ) on his way back from Oslo to Germany and also on June 1941 ( a Bristol Beaufighter torpedo bomber airplane ) while trying to reach Trondheim in Norway from Germany.

Just refer to my ship history plans :

http://www.kbismarck.org/forum/viewtopi ... =3180#3180

Hope this helps ..... :wink:

Ciao Antonio :D

User avatar
Terje Langoy
Supporter
Posts: 435
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:15 pm
Location: Bergen, Norway

Re: Lutzow torpedoed

Postby Terje Langoy » Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:21 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote:Ciao RF, Terje and all,

Lutzow was torpedoed on April 1940 ( submarine HMS Spearfish ) on his way back from Oslo to Germany and also on June 1941 ( a Bristol Beaufighter torpedo bomber airplane ) while trying to reach Trondheim in Norway from Germany.

Just refer to my ship history plans :

http://www.kbismarck.org/forum/viewtopi ... =3180#3180

Hope this helps ..... :wink:

Ciao Antonio :D


Your plans are excellent, Antonio... :clap:

Best regards

User avatar
Antonio Bonomi
Senior Member
Posts: 3045
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Vimercate ( Milano ) - Italy

Plans

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Fri Apr 06, 2007 7:26 pm

Ciao Terje and all,

I am glad they are useful,.. I made them just as a quick reference mainly for the ship evolutions ( drawings with numbers and camo with letters ) but they can e easily used as main reference for the ship main events.

Happy Easter to everybody, ...

.....I am just back from a wonderful France trip....

Ciao Antonio :D

Tiornu
Supporter
Posts: 1222
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 6:13 am
Location: Ex Utero

Re: Lutzow torpedoed

Postby Tiornu » Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:00 pm

a Bristol Beaufighter torpedo bomber airplane

I believe it was not a Beaufighter but a Beaufort bomber.


Return to “Naval Technology”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest