Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 3990
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Contact:

Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Postby alecsandros » Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:10 am

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.

Steve Crandell
Senior Member
Posts: 630
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:05 pm

Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Postby Steve Crandell » Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:44 am

Did the British cruisers have less cruising range than the German ones?

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 3990
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Contact:

Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Postby alecsandros » Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:03 am

Steve Crandell wrote:Did the British cruisers have less cruising range than the German ones?

Considerably less,
because of their smaller fuel capacity. York class had 1900tons of fuel vs Prinz Eugen 4300 tons (extra fuel included).

update: County class 3000 tons of fuel.

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 3990
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Contact:

Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Postby alecsandros » Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:57 am

Update:
On second thought, Luetjens couldn't have known if Norfolk/SUffolk refueled in Iceland on May 23rd or not. So the hope of leaving them behind due to lack of fuel could not have been a thorough one...

dunmunro
Senior Member
Posts: 3073
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 1:25 am
Location: Langley BC Canada

Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Postby dunmunro » Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:12 am

alecsandros wrote:
Steve Crandell wrote:Did the British cruisers have less cruising range than the German ones?

Considerably less,
because of their smaller fuel capacity. York class had 1900tons of fuel vs Prinz Eugen 4300 tons (extra fuel included).

update: County class 3000 tons of fuel.



Regarding shipboard bunkerage and range, the problem of high fuel consumption cannot be overlooked. British counterparts of comparable type used less than half the fuel of the German cruisers, and even at forced speed they used 40% less than the German installations-and with more reliability. Moreover, auxiliary machinery in British cruisers used less fuel, had a more favourable warming period, were more economical in terms of personnel and were easier to repair...

Heavy Cruisers of the Admiral Hipper class (Koop p.202)


The county class had better range than PE.

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 3990
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Contact:

Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Postby alecsandros » Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:41 am

dunmunro wrote:
The county class had better range than PE.

I stand corrected.

One thing I don't udnerstand though - if Suffolk/Norfolk had better range, then why was Suffolk dettached to refuel on May 25th, and Norfolk on May 26th ? (3 days after their previous refuelings). We know Prinz Eugen spent about 5 days in the open ocean before refueling (May 21st - May 26th), and did so because of high fuel consumption at high speeds.

So, superficialy at least, it would appear that the Prinz traveled a longer distance and for more time then Norfolk/Suffolk between refuelings...

dunmunro
Senior Member
Posts: 3073
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 1:25 am
Location: Langley BC Canada

Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Postby dunmunro » Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:50 pm

alecsandros wrote:
dunmunro wrote:
The county class had better range than PE.

I stand corrected.

One thing I don't udnerstand though - if Suffolk/Norfolk had better range, then why was Suffolk dettached to refuel on May 25th, and Norfolk on May 26th ? (3 days after their previous refuelings). We know Prinz Eugen spent about 5 days in the open ocean before refueling (May 21st - May 26th), and did so because of high fuel consumption at high speeds.

So, superficialy at least, it would appear that the Prinz traveled a longer distance and for more time then Norfolk/Suffolk between refuelings...


Norfolk refuelled sometime before May 19 and didn't refuel again until the 30th as she was recalled to the hunt before she reached a fuelling station. Both cruisers needed to make a lengthy return to a base to refuel rather than from a tanker, and Suffolk was also needed to patrol the Iceland area, presumably in case PE tried to return via that route. Suffolk refuelled on May 20/21 and then again on the 27th but I suspect that she would have continued to shadow if Bismarck had been relocated soon enough.

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 3990
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Contact:

Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Postby alecsandros » Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:53 pm

dunmunro wrote:
alecsandros wrote:
dunmunro wrote:
The county class had better range than PE.

I stand corrected.

One thing I don't udnerstand though - if Suffolk/Norfolk had better range, then why was Suffolk dettached to refuel on May 25th, and Norfolk on May 26th ? (3 days after their previous refuelings). We know Prinz Eugen spent about 5 days in the open ocean before refueling (May 21st - May 26th), and did so because of high fuel consumption at high speeds.

So, superficialy at least, it would appear that the Prinz traveled a longer distance and for more time then Norfolk/Suffolk between refuelings...


Norfolk refuelled sometime before May 19 and didn't refuel again until the 30th as she was recalled to the hunt before she reached a fuelling station. Both cruisers needed to make a lengthy return to a base to refuel rather than from a tanker, and Suffolk was also needed to patrol the Iceland area, presumably in case PE tried to return via that route. Suffolk refuelled on May 20/21 and then again on the 27th but I suspect that she would have continued to shadow if Bismarck had been relocated soon enough.


I see.
Reading on naval-history.net, I always thought NOrfolk refueled on May 23rd and Suffolk on May 22nd, with follow ups on May 26 (Norfolk) and May 25 (Suffolk).

As it turns out, Prinz Eugen with 25% extra fuel had smaller cruising range than either Norfolk and Suffolk, because of the higher fuel consumption. It is somewhat explainable because the Prinz was a larger ship.. thus requiring more energy to move...

Most interesting,
Thanks,

User avatar
Rick Rather
Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:15 am
Location: Dallas, Texas USA

Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Postby Rick Rather » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:51 am

Assuming Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck, and the rudder hit does occur, how feasible would it be for the cruiser to tow the battleship toward Brest, at least until they can get under air cover and other units can arrive to assist?
Just because it's stupid, futile and doomed to failure, that doesn't mean some officer won't try it.
-- R. Rather

Paul L
Senior Member
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 9:04 pm
Location: Vancouver Canada

Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Postby Paul L » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:19 pm

Rick Rather wrote:Assuming Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck, and the rudder hit does occur, how feasible would it be for the cruiser to tow the battleship toward Brest, at least until they can get under air cover and other units can arrive to assist?

Most towing is done at only a couple of knots.

The RN would still catch them.
"Eine mal is kein mal"

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 3990
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Contact:

Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Postby alecsandros » Mon May 25, 2015 9:11 am

Paul L wrote:
Rick Rather wrote:Assuming Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck, and the rudder hit does occur, how feasible would it be for the cruiser to tow the battleship toward Brest, at least until they can get under air cover and other units can arrive to assist?

Most towing is done at only a couple of knots.

The RN would still catch them.

In that storm... I don't think any towing was possible.

Paul L
Senior Member
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 9:04 pm
Location: Vancouver Canada

Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Postby Paul L » Thu May 28, 2015 4:48 am

alecsandros wrote:
Paul L wrote:
Rick Rather wrote:Assuming Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck, and the rudder hit does occur, how feasible would it be for the cruiser to tow the battleship toward Brest, at least until they can get under air cover and other units can arrive to assist?

Most towing is done at only a couple of knots.

The RN would still catch them.

In that storm... I don't think any towing was possible.



yes; there was every expectation it might sink.
"Eine mal is kein mal"

kevin32422
Member
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:25 pm

Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Postby kevin32422 » Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:20 pm

I think the Germans made the right move here separating these two ships, first the Prinz Eugen could only supply limited AA support, second the seas were so rough during the pursuit of the Bismarck I doubt the Prinz Eugen could have been in a position to tow the Bismarck the most it could have done is preserve the war diary.

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 3990
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Contact:

Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Postby alecsandros » Sun Oct 04, 2015 7:30 am

kevin32422 wrote:I think the Germans made the right move here separating these two ships, first the Prinz Eugen could only supply limited AA support, second the seas were so rough during the pursuit of the Bismarck I doubt the Prinz Eugen could have been in a position to tow the Bismarck the most it could have done is preserve the war diary.

... We will never know precisely what would have happened "IF..." Prinz Eugen stayed with the Bismarck.
My opinion is that the cruiser could provide AA gunfire on a volume of 60-70% of that of Bismarck, and that her presence would have confused the attacking Swordfishes from Victorious and Ark Royal. Prinz Eugen coudl do 31kts , or possibly even 32kts, while Bismarck was handicapped at 27-28 at best. So better chances to dodge an aerial torpedo (which was traveling at 37kts IIRC).

Towing Bismarck with PRinz Eugen was out of the question, but the interesting aspect is that Bismarck could possibly NOT require towing if the PRinz were there...


Return to “Hypothetical Naval Scenarios”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron