Secondary Turret, Forward Turret, Starboard side

Anything concerning the wreck. Expeditions, submersibles, photos, etc.
Potshot
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Secondary Turret, Forward Turret, Starboard side

Postby Potshot » Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:35 pm

The dive photos show this turret in the zero position. The caption states that the door was jammed and the turret crew all died inside the turret.

I've read every account I can find regarding the last battle of the Bismarck and heve not found any reference to this.

Is the caption mere the supposition of the camera crew or is it based upon something more substantial.

This is a very sobering site... one can only imagine the horror and heroics involved in a naval battle.

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RF
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Postby RF » Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:08 am

I assume the caption must be an assumption given the lack of other evidence. However I think that assumption is a reasonable interpretation.

There does seem to be a lack of any account of the orders given to the secondary turrets during the final action. Whilst it would be highly improbable that the 5.9 inch shells would make any impression on an armoured battleship they presumably would still be fired at them??

Does anybody have any information on this?
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Bernd Willmer
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Postby Bernd Willmer » Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:57 am

Hi,

doors were present on the turrets with range finders fittet, Stb II and BB II, these doors were located on the rear walls. The other turrets had hatches on the rear roof plate. So I do not understand why anybody was trapped inside a turret.

A 15 cm round was not able to penetrate the armour of a battleship, but it was able to destroy a radar, a rangefinder or to cause a fire and to kill personel.
Bye,

Bernd.

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Postby Bgile » Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:15 pm

Well said. People sometimes think of a battleship having some kind of force field like in Star Trek where smaller guns can't penetrate. There are lots of places where there isn't very much or no armor, and hits there can degrade the combat efficiency of the ship.

It also helps people's morale if they can shoot back at something. 20mm weren't effective against Kamikazes, but it helped morale to be able to shoot at something instead of just waiting to be killed.

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Postby lwd » Fri Dec 21, 2007 4:57 am

On the other hand they would be unlikely to hit things at longer ranges and you would like to have some ammo left to use vs DDs and other light vessels that tried to make torpedo attacks. After all that and AA were the primary purposes of secondary armament.

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Caption and photo source...

Postby Bill Jurens » Fri Dec 21, 2007 5:29 pm

Your description of images of a particular mounting with an associated caption do not indicate exactly where you saw the material in question. Sometimes these things are not very reliable. The source counts for a lot.

I've looked at most -- actually all -- of the Bismarck tapes in detail over the years, and supervised the making of some. Generally, the secondary gunhouses on Bismarck were penetrated by medium caliber shells, usually only once or twice. In most cases, I've assumed that the second hit, if one occurred was likely an 'insurance shot' delivered by the British during the final phases of the action.

In those situations where hatches are closed, I have generally assumed that this indicated that the turret was hit -- and the crew inside disabled and/or killed before they could escape. In such a small space, this would be quite normal. It's unlikely, I think, that crewmembers abandoning a gunhouse would take the time to close and dog the door behind them.

As entry to the gunhouses is generally impractable, and human remains would have disappeared by now in any case, it's impossible to be much more specific than this. It's possible, but unlikely, that a mount on a zero bearing had suffered a mechanical failure before the final action took place, and was never manned at all.

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Bernd Willmer
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Postby Bernd Willmer » Fri Dec 21, 2007 7:25 pm

Hi Bill,

you are right. It´s almost like hitting a tank - the crew will be either killed by the bast of the shell and/or by glowing splinters or fragments flying like bullets through the inner space of the turret. Almost no chance to survive such a hit.

Stb I looks quite intact - have been all six turrets hit directly by British shells?
Bye,



Bernd.

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Hits on gun mounts

Postby Bill Jurens » Fri Dec 21, 2007 7:31 pm

Yes, each of the secondary gunmounts has at least one 'clean' hit, often through the face plate. Some have exit holes while others do not. Some have been hit more that once.

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Re: Secondary Turret, Forward Turret, Starboard side

Postby healthycoffee » Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:26 am

ok, this is part of the deal, a large shell hit like that shown the turret did one or two things. first, the people inside where blown apart to such an degree of fragments and or they was completly vaporized and sucked out by the vacume and fire that gutted the inside. this is what happens to a body when inside an armoured shell and the explosion is contianed to some degree. if one would realize that the llittle rust spots are not splinter hits but paint that has started to blister becouse of the heat of the fire that raged inside of the gutted turret. a ship will burn like crazy and the fire will spread fast in compartments. high explosions inside compartment destrorys bodies to bits and pieces almost like a soup. i know this for i have seen it with my own eyes. u.s.s. ranger had such a fire and inside compartments and ammo went off . beileve me. the size of the guns and the strength of the compartments on bismarck. one direct hit that punched through and exploded inside left nothing but fire and super red hot steel. look into u.s. navy accidents mostly aircraft carriers. enterprise, midway, ranger, sarratoga, kittyhawk, independence, and others. and look into how a tank round works and what it does to the interior of a tank. it will wake you up.

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Re: Secondary Turret, Forward Turret, Starboard side

Postby Bgile » Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:13 pm

healthycoffee wrote:ok, this is part of the deal, a large shell hit like that shown the turret did one or two things. first, the people inside where blown apart to such an degree of fragments and or they was completly vaporized and sucked out by the vacume and fire that gutted the inside. this is what happens to a body when inside an armoured shell and the explosion is contianed to some degree. if one would realize that the llittle rust spots are not splinter hits but paint that has started to blister becouse of the heat of the fire that raged inside of the gutted turret. a ship will burn like crazy and the fire will spread fast in compartments. high explosions inside compartment destrorys bodies to bits and pieces almost like a soup. i know this for i have seen it with my own eyes. u.s.s. ranger had such a fire and inside compartments and ammo went off . beileve me. the size of the guns and the strength of the compartments on bismarck. one direct hit that punched through and exploded inside left nothing but fire and super red hot steel. look into u.s. navy accidents mostly aircraft carriers. enterprise, midway, ranger, sarratoga, kittyhawk, independence, and others. and look into how a tank round works and what it does to the interior of a tank. it will wake you up.


Fire almost always kills everyone, but there isn't always fire. With tanks, it depends on the tank and what kind of ammunition hits it. There are lots of documented cases of tanks being penetrated by AP and some members of the crew not even being wounded. That is also true of hits from HEAT rounds. SABOT doesn't explode at all. DU SABOT always causes fire, but the other types don't always. It depends a lot on whether ammunition is hit.

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Re: Secondary Turret, Forward Turret, Starboard side

Postby lwd » Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:49 pm

Actually DU doesn't always cause a fire. HEAT at least in some capibers is apparently more likely to. From what I've read some M1 units switched over from SABOT to HEAT as their primary AT round in ODS because of that. While they had a slightly higher PK with SABOT the HEAT rounds had a signficantly better chance of causeing a Catastrophic kill (ie fires or secondaries) so they didn't have to fire insurance round(s) into the tanks. I've also read the accounts of the M1 that was knocked out in Baghdad. Asside from hearing damage only one creman was injured and he recieved bruising as the slug struck the back of his body armor a grazing blow.

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Re: Secondary Turret, Forward Turret, Starboard side

Postby Bgile » Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:34 am

lwd wrote:Actually DU doesn't always cause a fire. HEAT at least in some capibers is apparently more likely to. From what I've read some M1 units switched over from SABOT to HEAT as their primary AT round in ODS because of that. While they had a slightly higher PK with SABOT the HEAT rounds had a signficantly better chance of causeing a Catastrophic kill (ie fires or secondaries) so they didn't have to fire insurance round(s) into the tanks. I've also read the accounts of the M1 that was knocked out in Baghdad. Asside from hearing damage only one creman was injured and he recieved bruising as the slug struck the back of his body armor a grazing blow.


Here is a quote from a military weapons site: http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/120.htm

"The M829A1 (nicknamed the "Silver Bullet" by Operation Desert Storm tank crews) is widely regarded as the most effective tank-fired (M1 Abrams 120mm main gun) anti-armor weapon in the world, and overwhelmed Iraqi armor during Operation Desert Storm. The M829A1 is a depleted-uranium long-rod kinetic energy penetrator round capable of defeating heavily armored vehicles."

The M1 you were referring to that was disabled in Baghdad was hit by an RPG, which is a HEAT round. It's jet went through the skirt, the lower hull, the back of the gunner's seat, under the main gun breech, and destroyed a breaker box on the other side of the turret, which is what disabled the tank. The jet gradually spread out as it went along, and I think it hit the breaker box in several places.

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Re: Secondary Turret, Forward Turret, Starboard side

Postby Djoser » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:17 am

I have read every book I could find about the sinking of the Bismarck, and though I cannot recall all of them with perfect detail, I distinctly recall that one book had a description of the crew of one of the secondary turrets being trapped--doomed to a horrible death in the rapidly spreading fire within. With shells hitting all over the ship, one could well have jammed a hatch or rear door somehow, and a shell hitting the ammunition handling spaces below could start a fire that would then travel upwards, without the relatively quick but still terrible instant mass killing of the crew by a direct hit on the turret itself. Maybe they were spared further torment by a subsequent hit to the turret.

Such speculation is almost too awful to comprehend...

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RF
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Re: Secondary Turret, Forward Turret, Starboard side

Postby RF » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:53 pm

Such are the fortunes of war.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: Secondary Turret, Forward Turret, Starboard side

Postby Djoser » Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:33 am

Yes, that is 'sad but true'.

The guys in the Sherman tanks ran a high risk of this happening as well. Took a lot of courage to go up against the Panthers, 88s and what few Tigers there really were in those 'Ronson Lighters'.


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