Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

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Garyt
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Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Post by Garyt » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:23 pm

I'd agree with most of what has been written, the 20mm is not of much use for supporting fire, the 37mm at semi auto both has range issues and ROF issues, the 105mm's were good weapons with range.

I think though that the Prinz Eugen may have drawn off attackers, even if it was recognized as not being the Bismarck.

Remember, it was 1 torpedo that did the bismarck in, even though she was hit by 3. The Prinz Eugen may have well diverted enough attackers so that the rudder hit did not happen. The Eugen may have taken one, but one torpedo into the Eugen should not have been too dehabilitating, barring a lucky rudder hit or something similar.

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Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Post by alecsandros » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:33 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:
Francis Marliere wrote:
I recall that Mark Horan once wrote something about the attack. If my memory is good, he pointed out that the Albacore were detected far away and the Tipitz ran away from them. Due to the low speed of the TB and the strong wing they faced, their progression toward their target was dramatically slow, giving a lot of time to the gunners to aim and shoot.
What is over looked is that the torpedo aircraft approached hidden by low level clouds using ASV radar. Tirpitz did not have a long time to aim and shoot. It could locate the aircraft for range and bearing with radar, but not for height, so it could not shoot at them until they popped out of the clouds no more 1,000 meters away. The aircraft were able to use the weather gauge to obtain attack position without being shot at by Flak gunners at all. It essentially took TP's heavy and medium Flak out of the equation.
As I understand it, Tirpitz increased speed to 29kts and headed into a 35mph wind, forcing the Albacores to close at 60kts whle being all the time under gunfire from 105mm flak.

ammo consumption:
15 cm X 33 (barrage fire)
10,5 cm X 345
3,7 cm X 897
2,0 cm X 3372

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Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Post by Steve Crandell » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:36 pm

One torpedo into a CA is going to have a very serious effect on her speed, if nothing else. Under the circumstances, that would be the end of PG.

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Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Post by Nelson Ott » Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:10 pm

alecsandros wrote:
As I understand it, Tirpitz increased speed to 29kts and headed into a 35mph wind, forcing the Albacores to close at 60kts whle being all the time under gunfire from 105mm flak.
The Swordfish was about 10% slower than the Albacore. So if it was difficult with the Albacores, guess with the older planes...

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Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Post by Dave Saxton » Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:15 pm

alecsandros wrote: As I understand it, Tirpitz increased speed to 29kts and headed into a 35mph wind, forcing the Albacores to close at 60kts whle being all the time under gunfire from 105mm flak.

ammo consumption:
15 cm X 33 (barrage fire)
10,5 cm X 345
3,7 cm X 897
2,0 cm X 3372
No that is not correct. After approaching below the radar horizon, Lucas climbed to gain a sighting of Tirpitz still 20 miles away at 0842. He then lead his lead flight shielded by clouds all the way in. They reached a break in the clouds at 0917 and found TP less than 1 mile away, off its starboard beam. At that point, Friedrich Ihn opened fire, but Tirpitz still did not. Tirpitz only opened fire for the first time one minute after that. The Flak ammunition expenditure listed is correct but it was all after 0918 hours.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Post by Djoser » Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:58 am

Paul L wrote:If every one agrees that the German flak effectiveness would have been notably better [but maybe not enough to prevent all Swordfish attacks] , we can certainly agree that- At least- the lucky rudder hit on the Bismarck would be extremely unlikely with PE also providing flak fire.

So end result is PE and BS limp into Brest heavily damaged but more relieved than triumphant. Hitler will grudgingly admit the limited value of these missions and not divert the balance of the fleet to Norway for the duration of the war....at least not until next failure.
This is pretty much what I was thinking would have been the result. The rudder hit was a very, very close run bit of extremely good luck for the British. The PE being there would have altered the situation enough to make that hit even more unlikely.

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Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Post by alecsandros » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:36 am

Dave Saxton wrote:
alecsandros wrote: As I understand it, Tirpitz increased speed to 29kts and headed into a 35mph wind, forcing the Albacores to close at 60kts whle being all the time under gunfire from 105mm flak.

ammo consumption:
15 cm X 33 (barrage fire)
10,5 cm X 345
3,7 cm X 897
2,0 cm X 3372
No that is not correct. After approaching below the radar horizon, Lucas climbed to gain a sighting of Tirpitz still 20 miles away at 0842. He then lead his lead flight shielded by clouds all the way in. They reached a break in the clouds at 0917 and found TP less than 1 mile away, off its starboard beam. At that point, Friedrich Ihn opened fire, but Tirpitz still did not. Tirpitz only opened fire for the first time one minute after that. The Flak ammunition expenditure listed is correct but it was all after 0918 hours.
I was refering to this piece of info:

" Unfortunately here was another example of the one the oldest lessons of war-that success demanded more than courage and determination-it demanded group training to the highest order of standards of performance.The Albacore crews were relative novices; and their flight commander,himself new to the Squadron, had never never flown with it before.By attacking from astern into a strong headwind-the speed of the aircraft relative to the battleship was much less than it might have been,so giving the target time to take evasive action.Had they flown past Tirpitz and turned and came at her from downwind -the outcome might have been dramatically different."

"Capt.HC Bovell of HMS Victorious was not happy with the results of the attack and blamed the unfortunate Lucas,who he felt initiated the attack too early with his aircraft unfavourably disposed. Bovell also considered that the torpedoes were released at too great a range.The criticism was somewhat strong;and the aircrews cannot be wholly blamed.Lucas was new to the squadron and had not flown with them.Air launched torpedo attacks were a skilled business requiring intensive traing and constant practice.The widely spread capital ships of the Home Fleet could not be made available for air crew training- at a time when the FAA complement was burgeoning.

In mid summer 1942 a new organisation was set up in the UK called the Mobile Air Torpedo Maintenance Units and these took over ex RAF Stations next to the sea and these took up the intensive training of FAA crews'training in torpedo launching.My father volunteered into this setup and worked at HMS Owl -one the early squadrons to come her was 817,Nightjar and Merlin before transfer to the Eastern Fleet at Trincomalee (China Bay) and thence to HMS Bambara/Ukussa
"

from here:
http://www.worldnavalships.com/forums/a ... 16797.html

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Dave Saxton
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Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:31 pm

Lucas reported that when they reached the break in clouds, he was surprised by the fact that Tirpitz still did not open fire. This was why he decided to attack at that point instead of trying work further up wind. He assumed he must have taken the battleship by surprise. If he delayed his attack he would expose his flight to Tirpitz' firing at short range for several minutes while he slowly worked farther up wind. That was just how it worked out. As soon as his sub flight dropped their fish the Tirpitz turned away parallel to his torpedo tracks. This worked to the advantage of the other two sub flights. One sub flight flew past the Tirpitz up wind and the other was now in a good position to launch torpedoes from the south. The sub flight that was now up wind then attacked with wind behind them, quickly over flying the battleship after they dropped. The TBs actually had Tirpitz boxed in with torpedoes from the east, the south, and the north. But Topp handled his ship well and turned back to the north at just the right time. Although one torpedo missed the stern by only ten meters. Topp had actually countermanded an order by the admiral, but the admiral seen that Topp was right and commended him for slick ship handling.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Post by dunmunro » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:20 pm

Djoser wrote:At the time, it probably seemed that releasing PE was the only way to save the ship. But isn't it also possible that keeping them together would have altered circumstances such that both ships escaped sinking?

I looked for a similar thread but didn't see one. My apologies if this has already been suggested in another thread...
It wasn't possible for PE to stay with Bismarck as she didn't have enough fuel. PE had to break away to find a tanker, and when PE finally found the tanker she was down to less than ~250 tons of fuel, IIRC.

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Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Post by alecsandros » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:02 pm

dunmunro wrote:
Djoser wrote:At the time, it probably seemed that releasing PE was the only way to save the ship. But isn't it also possible that keeping them together would have altered circumstances such that both ships escaped sinking?

I looked for a similar thread but didn't see one. My apologies if this has already been suggested in another thread...
It wasn't possible for PE to stay with Bismarck as she didn't have enough fuel. PE had to break away to find a tanker, and when PE finally found the tanker she was down to less than ~250 tons of fuel, IIRC.
true, 250tons of fuel on the morning of May 26th, after the Prinz travaled at 30kts+ for considerable time in order to escape the shadowers.

On May 25th 08:00 the Prinz had ~ 1100 tons of fuel, enough for ~ 70 hours transit at 21kts (the economical speed selected for Bismarck) and just enough to reach Brest.

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Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Post by Paul L » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:38 pm

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.
"Eine mal is kein mal"

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Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Post by Steve Crandell » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:14 pm

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?

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Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Post by dunmunro » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:18 pm

alecsandros wrote:
dunmunro wrote:
Djoser wrote:At the time, it probably seemed that releasing PE was the only way to save the ship. But isn't it also possible that keeping them together would have altered circumstances such that both ships escaped sinking?

I looked for a similar thread but didn't see one. My apologies if this has already been suggested in another thread...
It wasn't possible for PE to stay with Bismarck as she didn't have enough fuel. PE had to break away to find a tanker, and when PE finally found the tanker she was down to less than ~250 tons of fuel, IIRC.
true, 250tons of fuel on the morning of May 26th, after the Prinz travaled at 30kts+ for considerable time in order to escape the shadowers.

On May 25th 08:00 the Prinz had ~ 1100 tons of fuel, enough for ~ 70 hours transit at 21kts (the economical speed selected for Bismarck) and just enough to reach Brest.
Neither PE or Bismarck could actually cruise at economical consumption rates due to the need to keep extra boilers online in case of emergency...like an RN BB/BC appearing over the horizon.

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Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Post by Paul L » Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:53 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?

Why would Lutjens not do the escape maneuver with both ships? Historically PG had already separated earlier that day? Alternative would be both ships double back and then head south to meet up with tankers after the British continued south looking for phantom Bismarck.
"Eine mal is kein mal"

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Re: Prinz Eugen stays with Bismarck

Post by alecsandros » Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:05 am

dunmunro wrote: Neither PE or Bismarck could actually cruise at economical consumption rates due to the need to keep extra boilers online in case of emergency...like an RN BB/BC appearing over the horizon.
... Because of Bismarck's damage, the best speed it could do was 27-28kts at best on May 24/25, and 24kts on May 26th, so it did not have the capability of out-running a fast battleship or battlecruiser.

Thus I presume the fuel consumption shouldn't have been extra-high for the Prinz Eugen.

The PRinz consumed considerable fuel in her break-out manouvre of May 24th, a consumption that wouldn't have happened had she stayed with Bismarck.

Even so, she still had 1145tons of fuel on May 25th 8:00.

Taking the 1145tons figure from PE KTB on May 25th 8:00, I would estimate it would have been enough for an economical cruise to Brest at 21kts...

[PE fuel consumption at 25kts was 22tons/hour and at 21kts it was 15 tons/hour. In other words, the 1100 tons available on the morning of May 25th would have lasted for 52hours @ 25kts, or 2400km traveled and for 76 hours @ 21kts , or 3000km traveled]
Last edited by alecsandros on Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

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