Third Gunnery Officer

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RF
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Third Gunnery Officer

Postby RF » Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:21 am

Looking at the list of senior officers detailed in the crew rosters, I do notice that we have first, second and fourth (Mullenheim-Rechberg) gunnery officers but apparently no number three. Would this role be performed by one of the flak officers or is there an ommission from the list?
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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Third Gunnery Officer

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Sat Apr 26, 2008 3:32 pm

I always wonder about that detail but ever fear to ask about it... :?
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tommy303
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Re: Third Gunnery Officer

Postby tommy303 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:40 pm

III Artillerieoffizier should have been Kapitänleutnant Karl Gellert, the chief of the Flak armament. Why he is not listed as III A.O. is a good question. Paul Schmalenbach of the Prinz Eugen was the II A.O. at the time and was in charge of the Flak battery.

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They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
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RF
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Re: Third Gunnery Officer

Postby RF » Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:59 am

I had suspected that might be the answer, could this be an omission of title or simply that ''chief of flak'' is considered sufficient without formal numbering of rank?

In some ways it is like the tradition of the XO or second in command being called the ''first officer'' or ''number one'' when in fact he is in reality ''number two.''
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Re: Third Gunnery Officer

Postby tommy303 » Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:47 pm

RF:

It is probably more a matter of semantics. Artillerieoffizier usually denotes an officer in charge of low angle gunnery; Paul Schmalenbach was the Flak officer for Prinz Eugen, but as this was also the secondary armament, he had also the distinction of being the II AO. In Bismarck the heavy flak would not normally be employed in surface fire, so while Gellert was third in seniority it was more usual to designate him by his primary role as Flakleiter to avoid confusion (I suspect). Muellenheim-Rechberg, as fourth in the list of artillery officers was officially the IV AO as he was backup for Schneider and Albrecht.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned these defended;
And saved the sum of things for pay.


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