Bismarck Wreck Salvage

Anything concerning the wreck. Expeditions, submersibles, photos, etc.
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RNfanDan
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Re: Bismarck Wreck Salvage

Postby RNfanDan » Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:58 am

Teymour wrote:I am quite fascinated by the Bismark battleship.
Hello, Teymour;
I think the first point of order in your respect of the ship, is to honor it by spelling its name correctly: Bismarck, not "Bismark", as shown at the upper left of this very page.

...I think that the german nation have a right to see and marval at it,and take pride in what they achieved {and} I think that the battleship belongs to the state,and the entire German nation
The Germany which built the Bismarck was a nation under of history's most notorious despots, its society seized, oppressed and manipulated by a genocidal Nazi Party.

As a symbol of that era, Bismarck must certainly be among the worst of all possible icons of German achievement and there are a great many people in this world, German and otherwise, who would rightfully deem any such memorialization of the ship to be the last thing they want-- a reminder of Germany's Nazi legacy.

This is not to say that the men of Bismarck and the Kriegsmarine were necessarily Nazis, themselves---far from it, in fact---and for the most part they served their nation, as all sailors do, with competence and professionalism, but the Bismarck itself is forever tainted by its association with Hitler's Germany. Those who died serving aboard, in my opinion, deserve better.

It has taken decades for the German people to "live down" their worst period in modern history-- even to the point where the swastika, itself had largely been banned from use.

Regards,

Dan
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Chris358

Re: Bismarck Wreck Salvage

Postby Chris358 » Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:05 pm

Raising the Bismarck would be technically possible, but there are other, more important reasons not to raise her.

It is about the fact that the Bismarck was the proud of the German marine. The biggest battleship they ever made, and its wreck is still as mighty as the ship was. The two swastikas on the ship will never fade away, and so the wreck is still symbolizing the pride of the Nazi regime of 1941.
Raising the Bismarck would be a sign of support for that regime, and it will show the indestructibility and the size of the Nazi once more. Nobody ever wants to raise the Bismarck, being afraid of the major impact it would have on the way people think about the Nazi regime, both positive and negative.

P.S: The person called Bismarck may be male, but the Bismarck is female, just like all other ships, airplanes, and vehicles.

Dominic

Re: Bismarck Wreck Salvage

Postby Dominic » Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:22 am

Being half German,I have family members who where in the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe. If I had the choice of a family member languishing at the bottom of the sea or closer to home, the latter would be my preference. The US forces try their best to get remains returned to US soil and I don't see this as being any different. As mentioned elsewhere, any human remains will have long gone, but for me, I think the ship could be used as a "Denkmal" rather than to be picked apart like a Pharaoh. However, I feel that this is all wishful thinking.

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Re: Bismarck Wreck Salvage

Postby KevinD » Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:42 am

Chris358 wrote:P.S: The person called Bismarck may be male, but the Bismarck is female, just like all other ships, airplanes, and vehicles.


I think you will find that the Germans referred to their warships in the masculine, that is 'he', not she. If I am not mistaken, on orders from Hitler no less.

And I might add that I do not believe, with the technology available today, that it would be even remotely possible to raise Bismarck in one piece. Not even close!

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Re: Bismarck Wreck Salvage

Postby RF » Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:08 am

RNfanDan wrote:
It has taken decades for the German people to "live down" their worst period in modern history-- even to the point where the swastika, itself had largely been banned from use.


I think this is a matter of opinion, but there again I didn't live through WW2 and personally witness the crimes committed by the Axis powers. I don't let it colour my feelings towards the Germans or Germany, any more than the War of the Triple Alliance colours my view of Paraguay or its people.

For the record the display of the swastika is illegal in only four countries - Germany, Austria, Poland and Israel. In England some parts of the Indian community do display the swastika within their own community, for them it has a different meaning and pre-dates its hijacking by Hitler. That does not offend me, they should have free right of expression.

Recently in England someone was convicted of ''a race hate crime'' for the act of giving a Nazi salute behind the back of a German police officer who was attending in official capacity a premier league football match. The prosecution charge was as crass as the actions of the accused and reflects the obsession with political correctness. A charge of behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace would have been more appropriate.
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Re: Bismarck Wreck Salvage

Postby KevinD » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:22 am

RF wrote:In England some parts of the Indian community do display the swastika within their own community, for them it has a different meaning and pre-dates its hijacking by Hitler. That does not offend me, they should have free right of expression.



Exactly! The Nazi's hijacked the swastika (a 'auspicious' symbol for centuries) for their own nefarious use. It has been in continuous use (and still is today) in Asian and American Indian culture for centuries (millennia in some cases) before Hitler was even born.

Below are some examples if it woven into three Tibetan rugs circa 1900.
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Re: Bismarck Wreck Salvage

Postby Garyt » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:28 pm

As a symbol of that era, Bismarck must certainly be among the worst of all possible icons of German achievement and there are a great many people in this world, German and otherwise, who would rightfully deem any such memorialization of the ship to be the last thing they want-- a reminder of Germany's Nazi legacy.


Not that I look at Nazi aims as good ones by any stretch of the imagination. But the US still glorifies it's 100+ year period of genocide against the american indian. I see no reasons why Germans would not feel pride in the Bismarck. The Kriegsmarine was no specifically a Nazi arm.

It's the strange thing about war crimes is that what is a "crime" is decided on by the victor. Apparently fire bombs with the intent to destroy civilian population and dropping atomic bombs killing 100's of thousands of civilians are not war crimes either.

Donitz being sentenced illustrated this very well. He had carried on the sub war in the same way as the US and UK commanders, but in his case it was deemed a war crime.

So I don't feel the Germans should not feel pride in the Bismarck - but that does not have to equate to pride in the Nazi party.

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Re: Bismarck Wreck Salvage

Postby RF » Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:01 pm

But the US still glorifies it's 100+ year period of genocide against the american indian.


Does it? On what evidence?

Donitz being sentenced illustrated this very well. He had carried on the sub war in the same way as the US and UK commanders, but in his case it was deemed a war crime.


Donitz was specifically indicted for his transmission of Hitler's ''no survivors'' order after the Laconia affair.

Allied sub commanders were not ordered to specifically kill survivors.

Donitz also permitted his commanders to attack and sink ships from neutral countries, such as Brazil (where five ships were sunk in one day, causing Brazil to declare war - and in WW1 did the same in October 1917 for the same reason) and in one case a surfaced U-boat used its deck gun to sink a sailing ship that was flying the flag of Colombia. Allied sub commanders did not deliberately target neutral shipping.
Last edited by RF on Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bismarck Wreck Salvage

Postby RF » Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:06 pm

Garyt wrote:..... I don't feel the Germans should not feel pride in the Bismarck - but that does not have to equate to pride in the Nazi party.


Agreed.
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Re: Bismarck Wreck Salvage

Postby Garyt » Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:10 pm

Donitz was specifically indicted for his transmission of Hitler's ''no survivors'' order after the Laconia affair.


Well, that was in response to what should have been a war crime from the B-24 captain, targeting units on a rescue mission flying a red cross flag. And it was very clear they were on a rescue mission.


The next morning, September 16, at 11.25am, this concentration of U-boats was spotted by an American B-24 Liberator bomber operating out of Ascension island. The survivors waved and the U-boats signaled for help. As Red Cross flags were draped over their decks, the pilot Lieutenant James D. Harden turned away and radioed back to base for instructions. The officer on duty that day Captain Robert C. Richardson III replied with the order to attack.

Half an hour later, Harden flew back and the survivors felt a sigh of relief on seeing the returning aircraft. They had expected a drop of supplies, of the much needed food and medicine. Instead, they were attacked with a concentration of bombs and depth charges. One bomb landed amidst a lifeboat and hundreds perished during that attack. U-156 was slightly damaged and forced to submerge, leaving hundreds of victims struggling in the water. All the submarines dived and escaped, although U-506 and U-507 returned to the area later, unwilling to desert the people they had saved. Fortunately, Vichy French warships from Dakar arrived the next day and picked up the remaining survivors, so the loss of life from the American action was contained. In total, there were about 1,621 deaths with 1,111 survivors, including those already taken aboard the overcrowded U-boats. This incident left a foul bitterness in the U-boat war that would cast a long shadow over Donitz and his seamen.



Allied sub commanders were not ordered to specifically kill survivors.


German u-boat commanders were not ordered to kill survivors either, merely to not rescue them. As the last time they tried to rescue survivors they were bombed by allied planes this seems rather prudent.

I'm not sure how good of a job the US did at rescuing Japanese survivors - do you have any specifics on this?

Here is an interesting bit on what some US commanders thought about Donitz's "war crimes"-

After the war, Donitz stood trial for war crimes and the Laconia order was used as a basis of indictment against him. Most surprisingly, he received support from some of the most respected figures in the US Navy, Admital Chester Nimitz who came to his defense and said that the United States had operated under the same engagements of unrestricted warfare.


Code: Select all

But the US still glorifies it's 100+ year period of genocide against the american indian.

Does it? On what evidence?


OK, maybe it's not celebrated as much any more, as many of the modern westerns identify with the american indian. But even around 30-40 years ago, westerns still glorified the American conquest of the west.

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Re: Bismarck Wreck Salvage

Postby RF » Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:16 pm

Garyt wrote:
I'm not sure how good of a job the US did at rescuing Japanese survivors - do you have any specifics on this?


As a general rule US sub commanders were very reluctant to pick up Japanese out of the water because they could pose a threat to the sub by committing acts of sabotage in attempting to take their own lives. The Japanese did not obey the Geneva Convention so why should a sub commander go out of his way to rescue them? In the circumstances a reasonable question.

It may be the case that Allied subs rescued more Germans in the Far East theatre than Japanese sailors. There were cases of German U-boats being sunk by British subs and the British rescuing the German survivors, in more than one case they were able to do so because the Japanese made no attempt to help or rescue their German allies.
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Re: Bismarck Wreck Salvage

Postby Garyt » Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:29 pm

As a general rule US sub commanders were very reluctant to pick up Japanese out of the water because they could pose a threat to the sub by committing acts of sabotage in attempting to take their own lives.


I could be wrong, but I could see this for IJN personnel, but I would not think it would be a big issue among the merchant marine.

Either way, it sounds similar to Donitz's thoughts, don't you think? If the picking up of survivors exposed the U-boats to damage/danger, then the rescue habits were curtailed.

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Re: Bismarck Wreck Salvage

Postby RF » Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:07 pm

I suppose its a matter of whether survivors want to be picked up for humanitarian reasons - or whether it's an opportunity to hit the enemy as you are dead or want to die anyway.

By ''killing survivors'' I'm not referring to not rescuing survivors and leaving them in the water, I mean the deliberate act of killing them in the water with machine gun fire, grenades etc as in the Peleus case.
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Re: Bismarck Wreck Salvage

Postby paul.mercer » Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:05 pm

Gentlemen,
ABSOLUTELY NOT! Bismarck is a war grave and should remain so, it is interesting to note that a fully equipped treasure hunting ship discovered the remains of the 'Victory' (the previous one to Nelsons) in the English Channel, she was sunk in the late 1700's and is supposed to have carried a large shipment of valuables but they discovered human remains and the British authorities stopped them investigating it. Once someone starts interfering with war graves on sunken ships particularly where hundreds of men died and may still have living relatives then it opens up anything to be looted. Film Bismarck or go down in a submersible and see her by all means, but leave her alone.

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Re: Bismarck Wreck Salvage

Postby Garyt » Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:07 pm

By ''killing survivors'' I'm not referring to not rescuing survivors and leaving them in the water, I mean the deliberate act of killing them in the water with machine gun fire, grenades etc as in the Peleus case.


Which was Eck taking matters into his own hands, not a policy of Donitz.

Just as much as Eck was prosecuted for war crimes, so should have been Richardson in regards to the Laconia incident. Would you not agree?

I suppose its a matter of whether survivors want to be picked up for humanitarian reasons - or whether it's an opportunity to hit the enemy as you are dead or want to die anyway.


I don't think it is right to pretend to be a mind reader and decide whether of not to assign humans to a watery grave because of what you think they will do. It just seems a bit too convenient to not pick up survivors because you think they may damage the ship. Place them under guard if need be.

I think many sub commanders of both sides were afraid of picking up survivors due to a few reasons, such as giving away their position, being surfaced too long, etc. etc. And it seems both sides had a reluctance to pick up survivors. But to make one a war crime and ignore similar acts of the other side is not the right way to go about things.

Of course, history is usually written by the victors, so perhaps it is to be expected.

ABSOLUTELY NOT! Bismarck is a war grave and should remain so,


Interesting, throws another issue into the matter. I don't disagree (nor do I strongly agree, I just have not given this specific issue much thought).


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