Herr Nilsson wrote:Well, Raeder (and Group West) favored Lütjens decision not to return.
That doesn't answer the question...
Herr Nilsson wrote: "For Hitler Rheinübung was not very important at that time."
you wrote: "Raeder (and Group West) favored Lütjens decision not to return to Norway."
Paul L wrote: "...So the moment he is shadowed by RN CA he ought to have abandoned mission and retire to the Artic to await another opportunity...."
Alecsandros wrote: "If he was mission killed... he could have sent Prinz Eugen alone to hunt for merchant ships (which he did historically), while turning back to the Denmark Strait with the handicapped battleship... "
Alberto Virtuani wrote:
I think he was hoping to temporarily fix the ship very quickly in St.Nazaire, join PG and continue a raider mission that would have been able, at that point in time, to engage protected convoys, as per the scope of Rheinubung.
Alberto Virtuani wrote:At worst, even if Bismarck would have been unavailable for a long time, the concentration of a powerful fleet in Atlantic was at least achieved, without the need anymore to exit the straits passing close to the British bases and being close to the routes of convoys.
Alecsandros wrote: "....the ship needed to be dry-docked and repaired.....repairs on the Bismarck would have been long"
you wrote: "with the available info as of Luetjens had it, it also represented an excellent concentration of targets for RAF bombers..."
Alberto Virtuani wrote:
In any case, PoW was dry-docked (after Bismarck was sunk, else I guess the British would immediately have sent her just patched (as she was in Iceland Hvalfjord) against BS again....) and repairs lasted just one month, including the removal of the Bismarck shell for which the hull was cut and open.....
I do agree, however, if Germans seriously wanted to move a war into Atlantic against he most vital British interest, risks should have been taken..... else the KM would have been condemned to just play the role of "fleet in being" for the rest of the war (as it was anyway, already after BS was sunk and became evident with "Cerberus"......).
Alecsandros wrote: "My impression is Luetjens hoped for a massive propaganda victory for passing through the entire Atlantic and escaping the Home Fleet... after destroying the pride of the Royal Navy... However, doing so with a handicapped battleship was ... rather suicidal."
Alberto Virtuani wrote:aborting the mission without attempting to reach France and to try to pose a threat to British convoys was IMO not a viable option for him and it would have put Raeder and the whole KM in a very difficult position, with severe critics on the real usefulness of the surface fleet.
With hindsight it was possibly better to go back but, as a matter of facts, Bismarck almost managed to get to France and just the very last torpedo of the last air assault had her.
There were many probabilities that BS could not get back as well. There was no way to escape cruisers surveillance in the narrow Denmark Strait (as already experimented, because the course was almost obliged) and Tovey would have waited anyway at the exit with a carrier able to guide him on the enemy and to damage it. In the wide Atlantic, BS chances to loose her pursuers were many more (as it historically happened the night between 24 and 25, until 26) and a loss of contact could well have been irremediable for the British.
Alecsandros wrote: "Bismarck was unlucky on May 26th 21:00, but he was very lucky on May 24th and 25th..."
you wrote: "The amount of ships to be concentrated along the way was substantialy larger in an Atlantic push then in a Denmark Strait push..."
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