paulcadogan wrote: If Renown is on 305 deg at 20 knots and S&G are on 310 deg at 9 knots increasing and they are roughly abeam of each other at 0505 the range would still increase as the courses are divergent by 5 deg.
Terje Langoy wrote:Since H.M.S. Renown engaged with her 'A-arcs just open' they could not possibly have been abeam of each other at 0505 hours. I take it that her 'A-arcs' (as referred to by David Brown) actually would be the fire arc of her aft turret and so forth this suggest the Galloper was sailing up behind Gneisenau on a parallel, and intercepting, course, some 18 000 yds off Gneisenau's port quarter and, while doing that - also opened fire once the aft turret could bear on target...
When she first sighted the German ships, at 0437 hours, the Renown was steering 130 deg at 12 knots, with her destroyers stationed astern. The enemy lay broad on the port bow, 10 miles distant or rather more, steering to the northwest, on a course approximately opposite to that of the British force. The Renown maintained her course for ten minutes, then altered to 080 deg. increasing speed to 15 knots and soon after to 20 knots; at 0459 she hauled right round to 305 deg., roughly parallel to the enemy, with her 'A-arcs just open'; at 0505 hours, when just abaft the beam of the leading German ship, she opened fire at 18 600 yds. It was not until 0511 hours that Gneisenau returned the fire; she had sighted the British force at 0450 hours, but in the poor light to the westward had not recognized it as such until 0500 hours, when the alarm was sounded for action. The Scharnhorst on the other hand did not sight the Renown until the latter opened fire at 0505 hours. A fierce engagement ensued during the next ten minutes or so, both the Gneisenau and the Scharnhorst firing at the Renown, which was engaging the Gneisenau with her heavy armament, and the Scharnhorst with her 4.5-in., all the destroyers joining in with their 4.7-in. though at such range their fire could 'hardly have been effective'. The Renown was hit twice, without serious damage; the Gneisenau received a hit at 0517 on the foretop at a range of 14 600 yds., destroying the main fire control equipment, and temporarily disabling her main armament. At 0518 hours, with only her secondary armament in action, the Gneisenau altered course to 030 deg. 'with the obvious intention of breaking off the action'.
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