Steve Crandell wrote:Paul L wrote:If PE stays with Bismarck the fuel issue would have been dealt with to the betterment of the pair. Instead of making for Brest immediately , they would have rendezvoused with the tanker to the south were the waters were much calmer and returned to Brest via a more southern route couple of days later when the British Fleet had to return to port to refuel.
It would not be in Lutjens interest to transmit any message until after refueling was completed . At that point the British would have DF the BS general area and dispatched PBY squadron to hunt for them. But everything would be a day later.
If Lutjens doesn't do the escape maneuver for PG, don't the British continue to shadow him, and he doesn't lose them at all?
... Suffolk returned to port on May 25th for lack of fuel. Prince of Wales returned on May 26th in the morning. Norfolk did not have a modern radar set such as Suffolk did.
Surely Luetjens did not know that beforehand, but he could have reasonably expected that the patrol force (Suffolk + Norfolk) had already consumed a good amount of fuel to get in position from Scapa, and considerably more fuel to shadow him. If Prinz Eugen had fuel issues, the much smaller British cruisers couldn't have lasted long in a chase.