Battle of the Denmark Strait

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kevin32422
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Battle of the Denmark Strait

Postby kevin32422 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:50 pm

Supposing that the Germans are on the course the British had and the British were on the course of the Germans would the out come of the battle been different? sea conditions and German and British strengths are the same as the original battle.

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Re: Battle of the Denmark Strait

Postby alecsandros » Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:08 pm

kevin32422 wrote:Supposing that the Germans are on the course the British had and the British were on the course of the Germans would the out come of the battle been different? sea conditions and German and British strengths are the same as the original battle.

Yes, I think so.

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Re: Battle of the Denmark Strait

Postby kevin32422 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:46 pm

me to if for nothing else the Germans had more modern ships than what the British had in that battle and the Prince of Wales gunnery problems to.

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Re: Battle of the Denmark Strait

Postby alecsandros » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:14 pm

kevin32422 wrote:me to if for nothing else the Germans had more modern ships than what the British had in that battle and the Prince of Wales gunnery problems to.

You asked "would the outcome of the battle be different ?"

I answered "I think so", meaing the outcome WOULD be different...

Crossing the T vs not crossign the T makes a huge difference in the critical approach phase... Most likely Hood would get to 15km or less, before turning to unmask all turrets. Same for Bismarck...

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Re: Battle of the Denmark Strait

Postby kevin32422 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:32 pm

I can certainly see the Germans taking more damage maybe even the Prinz Eugen sunk, maybe history would have been different if the Germans would have made a run back to Norway or Germany.

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Re: Battle of the Denmark Strait

Postby Steve Crandell » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:36 pm

I think the Germans would have turned immediately to unmask their after guns, and if that was likely to take them into the ice they would have reversed course back toward the British cruisers. They would definitely not have continued to close the range with their after guns masked.

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Re: Battle of the Denmark Strait

Postby alecsandros » Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:25 am

Steve Crandell wrote:I think the Germans would have turned immediately to unmask their after guns, and if that was likely to take them into the ice they would have reversed course back toward the British cruisers. They would definitely not have continued to close the range with their after guns masked.

I don't think so.
The GErmans had a hard time identifying the enemy - initialy expecting light cruisers approaching fast.

Thus , I would expect rather a turn back , and attempt to avoid possible torpedo attack, while placing a smoke screen from Prinz Eugen.

Both ships would accelerate to 30kts, and would slowly slip away towards the south-west...

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Rick Rather
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Re: Battle of the Denmark Strait

Postby Rick Rather » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:32 am

This dialogue from another thread just caught my eye:

paulcadogan wrote:
RF wrote:That poses an interesting proposition - what if Tovey and Holland had swopped commands, with Tovey on Hood at DS and Holland held back at Scapa Flow with KGV....
Given the tactical situation at 5.40 AM 24 May I wonder what tactical decisions Tovey would have made....


Well we do have an idea.....Tovey said it himself in his thoughts of signalling Holland, and in the aftermath. PoW in the van, and an even more direct approach - almost end-on (Tovey wished Holland had been "steering-in more still") before turning to bring broadsides to bear.


I've been thinking about how the battle would have developed if the British admiral had placed PoW in front where she would naturally draw fire first. With her thicker armor she could absorb punishment better, while the more experienced gunners on Hood could find the range without the distraction of incoming fire.

I feel that this would have been a better formation for the British, though I do understand why an admiral would naturally choose to have his flagship in front. Were I gaming this, I know how I would respond to this as the Germans (even assuming - as Lütjens did that he was up against the bulldog KGV rather than the pup PoW), but I'd rather hear your views first.
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Re: Battle of the Denmark Strait

Postby alecsandros » Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:03 pm

... It would be very difficult to know.
Historically, both German ships concentrated fire on the lead enemy ship, identified as a "cruiser" by Prinz Eugen and as a "battleship" on board Bismarck.

With Prince of Wales in the lead, this could cause Bismarck and PE to fire against her, which could mean 5:56/57 direct hits on Prince of Wales... At 5:57, Bismarck probably hit Hood in the foretop... a similar hit on Prince of Wales would have devastating consequences (as seen at 6:00/01), and would probably mean no further salvos fired , or no further accurate salvos fired by Prince of Wales, until effective command would be transfered to the aft control position.

On the other hand, Hood could fire un-opposed for several minutes (the same as PoW did in her place), which may land a hit or two on Prinz Eugen or Bismarck (depending on identification issues on Hood).

My personal expectations, if Hood was in the rear and Prince of Wales in the lead, would be extreme damage to Prince of Wales by 6:02/3 (but not sunk), moderate damage to Bismarck , and moderate damage to Hood.
After 6:02/03, both German ships would target Hood, and the chance of a catastrophic explosion is still there.

---

At 6:10, probably the 2 forces would withdraw, Prince of Wales with extreme damage to herself, Hood probably sunk, Bismarck probbaly damaged and slowed down to 22-24kts - and ripe for another attack later at night, by Victorious, KGV, Repulse.

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Re: Battle of the Denmark Strait

Postby Rick Rather » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:01 am

alecsandros wrote:After 6:02/03, both German ships would target Hood, and the chance of a catastrophic explosion is still there.


Why would they shift targets after only 6 minutes of firing?

alecsandros wrote:Bismarck probably damaged and slowed down to 22-24kts - and ripe for another attack later at night, by Victorious, KGV, Repulse.


Under these circumstances, would Bismarck be more likely to turn north and return to Norway/Germany?
Just because it's stupid, futile and doomed to failure, that doesn't mean some officer won't try it.
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Re: Battle of the Denmark Strait

Postby alecsandros » Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:42 am

@Rick Rather
Well, in the historical battle BS+PE obtained 9 to 11 direct hits between 5:55 and 6:02/6:03, on both Hood and Prince of WAles.

In this scenario with PoW in the lead, I would expect 8 to 10 hits obtained on her in the same time frame (because she was a slightly smaller target than Hood and Hood's non-opposed fire could land a hit or two on Bismarck, possibly degrading her fire), most being 380mm hits, which would cause heavy damage and force her to withdraw at reduced speed.

Prinz Eugen would probably be ordered to shift fire at around 6:00 on Hood.

===

Difficult to know if Bismarck would attempt to return to Germany. My opinion is that Luetjens might try that, but he would be intercepted and sunk anyway, somewhere north of Iceland (because of the speed difficulties).

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Re: Battle of the Denmark Strait

Postby Rick Rather » Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:39 pm

alecsandros wrote:@Rick Rather
Well, in the historical battle BS+PE obtained 9 to 11 direct hits between 5:55 and 6:02/6:03, on both Hood and Prince of Wales.


Unfortunately, Lütjens did not have the British damage reports available to him during those minutes to help him decide. The only data he had was what he could see with binoculars in bad weather, and the straddle reports from the top. At 8-12nm in those seeing conditions, the only way to assess damage to the enemy is if it suddenly slowed down, turned away, slacked fire or had a major deck fire (or, of course, blew-up).

You cannot predict his decisions based on data that he did not have.

That said (and oddly enough) I actually agree that the best tactic for the Germans would have been to shift fire to the Hood as soon as it was identified, but for a completely different reason: Lütjens could add. He had 8 heavy guns facing 18 (it's sweet that little Prinz Eugen wanted to play with the grown-ups, but seriously - she was out of her league). Bismarck's survival depended on reducing the number of British guns as quickly as possible, and that meant concentrating fire on the ship that could be most easily damaged - the battlecruiser. Even if he could not see any damage to PoW, Lütjens would have been correct to neutralize Hood first.

In this scenario with PoW in the lead, I would expect 8 to 10 hits obtained on her in the same time frame (because she was a slightly smaller target than Hood and Hood's non-opposed fire could land a hit or two on Bismarck, possibly degrading her fire), most being 380mm hits, which would cause heavy damage and force her to withdraw at reduced speed.

Difficult to know if Bismarck would attempt to return to Germany. My opinion is that Luetjens might try that, but he would be intercepted and sunk anyway, somewhere north of Iceland (because of the speed difficulties).


So, would you agree that putting Prince of Wales in front would have increased the chance of aborting the Germans' break-out attempt?
Just because it's stupid, futile and doomed to failure, that doesn't mean some officer won't try it.
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Re: Battle of the Denmark Strait

Postby alecsandros » Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:53 pm

... The weather and visibility were good. Bismarck and PE spotted several hits on Prince of Wales, including the compass platform hit.

PRince of Wales would be heavily hit and withdraw udner smoke.
Hood would come next
===
Of course it would be a slim possibility of Hood being targeted first, with the historical results.
===

In some way, the battle forced Luetjens to abort his convoy-hunting mission anyway.

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RF
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Re: Battle of the Denmark Strait

Postby RF » Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:45 pm

Such a scenario as posed would never have led to battle in the DS as the Germans would take avoiding action....

What then happens following on from this would be a more realistic proposition, as Holland would then have a sharp port turn to go after the Germans, with Bismarck as the rear ship and closest to Holland. I can then see that as a long chase without serious action until other RN forces caught up - if they can.
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Re: Battle of the Denmark Strait

Postby paul.mercer » Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:40 pm

alecsandros wrote:... It would be very difficult to know.
Historically, both German ships concentrated fire on the lead enemy ship, identified as a "cruiser" by Prinz Eugen and as a "battleship" on board Bismarck.

With Prince of Wales in the lead, this could cause Bismarck and PE to fire against her, which could mean 5:56/57 direct hits on Prince of Wales... At 5:57, Bismarck probably hit Hood in the foretop... a similar hit on Prince of Wales would have devastating consequences (as seen at 6:00/01), and would probably mean no further salvos fired , or no further accurate salvos fired by Prince of Wales, until effective command would be transfered to the aft control position.

On the other hand, Hood could fire un-opposed for several minutes (the same as PoW did in her place), which may land a hit or two on Prinz Eugen or Bismarck (depending on identification issues on Hood).

My personal expectations, if Hood was in the rear and Prince of Wales in the lead, would be extreme damage to Prince of Wales by 6:02/3 (but not sunk), moderate damage to Bismarck , and moderate damage to Hood.
After 6:02/03, both German ships would target Hood, and the chance of a catastrophic explosion is still there.

---

At 6:10, probably the 2 forces would withdraw, Prince of Wales with extreme damage to herself, Hood probably sunk, Bismarck probbaly damaged and slowed down to 22-24kts - and ripe for another attack later at night, by Victorious, KGV, Repulse.

Gentlemen,
Regarding PE, surely if Hood had landed a couple of 15" hits there would be a very good chance that she would be seriously damaged if not actually disabled?


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