Scheer's shooting 5/11/40

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Dave Saxton
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Scheer's shooting 5/11/40

Postby Dave Saxton » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:29 pm

It has come to my attention that Edwards reports that the Scheer hit the Jervis Bay with its first salvo. If correct we can add this to a growing list of the Germans scoring straddles and hits with their first salvo at a target , or with the base salvo (when firing brackets).
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: Scheer's shooting 5/11/40

Postby dunmunro » Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:39 pm

This accounts states three to five salvos before hitting:

http://hmsjervisbay.com/Story.HX84.php

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Re: Scheer's shooting 5/11/40

Postby dunmunro » Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:07 pm

dunmunro wrote:This accounts states three to five salvos before hitting:

http://hmsjervisbay.com/Story.HX84.php


Bernard Edwards in Convoy Will Scatter: The Full Story of Jervis Bay and Convoy HX84, also states 3 salvos.

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Re: Scheer's shooting 5/11/40

Postby Dave Saxton » Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:36 am

It is the same Bernard Edwards that made the first salvo hit claim in an earlier work. The testimony of witness' clears this up though. The Scheer fired a bracket to open the engagement according to surviving witness'. One to be short, one to be long, and one to be on. The on salvo scored. It depends on how they are numbered.

I also checked the German primary records. They did not observe the hit from the base salvo of the bracket that the British accounts attest to. The range was 169hm (18522 yards) (the British estimated 24,000 yards*) and the Scheer expended 119 nose fuse rounds over 22 minutes and 22 seconds before shifting to target 4. The middle artillery engaged target 3 and the Jervis Bay at the same time. The German battle times start with salvo number 1 which was also the exact minute that the sun set.

*This wasn't a bad estimate from the vantage point one of the witness' making the estimate, who was on another ship, according to the German track charts, as it turns out. When the Scheer opened fire on a ship hiding behind smoke nearby the witness 24 minutes later, the measured range was 19500 meters or 21370 yards.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: Scheer's shooting 5/11/40

Postby Thorsten Wahl » Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:18 pm

accoeding MDV 550 Heft 7 first hit after 7 min 36 dec duration of firing 22 min 22 sec
ammunition expenditure 119
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Re: Scheer's shooting 5/11/40

Postby Dave Saxton » Fri Jul 24, 2015 7:00 pm

Yes, the reports of Scheer scoring with the opening bracket comes from the British witness'
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: Scheer's shooting 5/11/40

Postby aurora » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:41 am

Another Account

Aware now of the rapid approach of the British warship, Captain Krancke ordered all his guns to bear on the Jervis Bay." By the third salvo", the German gunners had found their range. An 11-inch armour-piercing shell weighs over 600 pounds. It is a fearful thing to consider when it is lying inert in its rack; imagine, then, how frightful it becomes when six of them are approaching at velocity of 2000 feet per second. A man must needs have a firm control over his bowels in such a situation.

When the first of these projectiles struck the Jervis Bay it met next to no resistance from such puny armour that the ship possessed, less still from the unfortunate crew. Lucky those who were killed outright by the force of the exploding shells, for they were spared the horrors which suddenly burst out around them. The choking fumes from burning paint, showers of red-hot metal splinters flying everywhere, the agony of burst eardrums, the smell of human flesh on fire, and the sight and sound of screaming men with shattered bones, sliced limbs, and heat-seared eyes.

The foredeck was the first place to receive the full brunt of the Scheer's broadside; the bridge was next, part of it being ripped to bits with total loss of the gunnery control system.

But the Jervis Bay maintained her course towards the Scheer, guns still firing. A shell now struck one of the forward guns, killing most of the crew instantly; then the bridge took a direct hit. Captain Fegan, one arm torn off, stuck doggedly to his post, restoring morale and inspiring the men around him by his example. The next shell that hit the bridge killed the gallant captain, but his example lived on; a mass of flames and twisted metal from bow to stern, the Jervis Bay kept course towards the German warship, her remaining guns yet firing. The closer the ships came, the greater the havoc wreaked by the Scheer's guns.

At last the inevitable happened - a shell struck a vital part of the Jervis Bay, bringing it to a shuddering halt. A moment more, she turned on her side, orders were given to abandon ship immediately, and the stricken vessel began to sink bow first .

Source- the Caithness Archive

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Re: Scheer's shooting 5/11/40

Postby pgollin » Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:33 am

Surely they would have been HC/HE shells, not armour-piercing ?

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Re: Scheer's shooting 5/11/40

Postby aurora » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:02 pm

I have to agree but Scheer did fire off 339 shells in her encounter with Jervis Bay-some may well have been AP; but HC/HEs would have been more appropriate for a relatively "soft" skinned vessel as Jervis bay undoubtedly was.


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Re: Scheer's shooting 5/11/40

Postby Dave Saxton » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:03 pm

From the documents. Against target 1 (Jervis Bay):
119 SA (heavy artillery) rounds. Munition type: KZ (nose fuse or HE)
68 MA (middle artillery) rounds. Munition type: KZ
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: Scheer's shooting 5/11/40

Postby aurora » Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:52 pm

Thank you Dave-that will do for me-one wonders where these so called archives get their information.

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