PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Herr Nilsson » Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:29 pm

Herr Nilsson wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:17 pm
27*4=108
46*4=184
18*5=74?
There is no normalization, because of the inconsistent use of the number of salvos. 18*5=90! The table simply compares oranges and apples.
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Marc

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:42 pm

Hello everybody,

.... :stubborn:

again, as the table method seems to be too difficult to be understood (and apparently debatable if applied to Bismarck using McMullen methodology and assuming any salvo number...), let's get back to basics: does anybody feel that a ship firing 55 shells in 9 minutes (having had 40% of her armament wooded for almost half battle) was much inferior (in terms of effective RoF) to a ship firing 93 shells in 14 minutes with all turrets bearing ? I don't.
Had PoW approached Bismarck with Y turret always bearing, she could have ordered 16 shots more (8 salvos * 2guns). With an output loss of 26% she could have fired 16*0,74= almost 12 shells more. Approximating (incorrectly, just not to use McMullen's "table"), PoW would have fired 67 shells in 9 minutes = 7,4 shells per minute (7 in the table), while Bismarck would have fired 93/14 = 6,6 shells per minute (6,4 in the table).
As you see, almost nothing changes if we don't use a precise methodology, approximating instead.
The table provides a better precision, but let's use this "easy" one. Ok now for everybody ? Are these (past) oranges and (past) oranges ?



All the other statistics are still valid and show how (differently than Hood) PoW fired quite well compared to Bismarck, despite the attempt to say the opposite to justify his Captain's decision to disengage:

1) PoW actual RoF was very slightly better than Bismarck (assuming 108 ordered shots for Bismarck, any other value is welcome....).
2) PoW output loss was larger than Bismarck's (26% lost shots vs 14%)
3) PoW effective RoF was slightly less than Bismarck's one but still in line with it (due to larger output loss).
4) PoW effective # shells delivered / minute was clearly higher than Bismarck's (once accounted for Y turret not bearing for 8 salvos)
5) PoW hit the enemy less minutes (3) after having opened fire than Bismarck (3.5 -4)
6) PoW hit the enemy form a much longer distance (from around 4000 yards more)
7) PoW was initially handicapped by having only the fore turrets bearing for the first 8 salvos, and despite that, she hit first.
8) PoW hit only 3 times vs the 5 hits achieved by Bismarck, therefore her hit rate was worse than Bismarck's
9) In addition Bismarck had to switch target (this had probably not much impact, but it has to be kept into account). PoW had no such a problem.
10) No ship was able to hit enemy when maneuvering in emergency (PoW turned however 20° to port without affecting much the gunnery).
11) The 3 hits of PoW inflicted more serious damages to BS than vice-versa (while BS was devastating against Hood)

All the above, except 1), 2), 3) and 4) depend also on luck. 1), 2), 3) and 4) depend only on ship's gunnery efficiency.


Bye, Alberto
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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by wadinga » Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:58 am

Hello All,
to a ship firing 93 shells in 14 minutes with all turrets bearing ? I don't.
There is no "official documentation" for Bismarck's firing duration, only assumptions
with all turrets bearing
Is a further assumption. The same unwarranted assumptions are erroneous whether they are dressed up in an Excel table or just asserted in a sentence. "Nothing changes" because the unsubstantiated assumption is present in both.
Yes, and that‘s the crucial point. Your table does not pass the acid test of just using the same information for PoW we have for Bismarck. That means the table may be right for PoW, but the methodology is inappropriate for ships without a similar detailed GAR.


Is absolutely correct.

Hello Bill, your "stupid attack" is an infinitesimally small thing, compared with what has been going on here for years. :cool:

All the best

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Byron Angel » Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:55 am

Question -
What was the "heavy shock" felt to Starboard aboard PoW immediately after discharge of her 12th salvo; according to PoW's recorded time entry for salvo 12, this would have occurred @ approximately 0559:30 based upon PoW clock time.

B

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:09 am

Hello everybody,

I see people is not very willing to answer to all my points above (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8491&start=300#p82596), so I ask again:

does anybody feel that a ship firing 55 shells in 9 minutes (having had 40% of her armament wooded for almost half battle) was much inferior (in terms of effective RoF) to a ship firing 93 shells in 14 minutes with all turrets bearing ? I don't.
Had PoW approached Bismarck with Y turret always bearing, she could have ordered 16 shots more (8 salvos * 2guns). With an output loss of 26% she could have fired 16*0,74= almost 12 shells more. Approximating (incorrectly, just not to use McMullen's "table"), PoW would have fired 67 shells in 9 minutes = 7,4 shells per minute (7 in the more precise table), while Bismarck would have fired 93/14 = 6,6 shells per minute (6,4 in the table).
As you see, almost nothing changes if we don't use a precise methodology, approximating instead, that confirm the table methodology as valid.

The table provides a better precision tough, but let's use this "easy" methodology in further discussions.

I wait for an answer to above (mathematically very simple) normalization (applied to PoW instead of Bismarck) or for the acknowledgement that we can finally close this debate admitting that "effective" numbers (RoF and # of shells/minute) show PoW firing in line with Bismarck, as already published by Adm.Santarini.


Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:55 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:28 am

Hello everybody,
Byron Angel wrote: "What was the "heavy shock" felt to Starboard aboard PoW immediately after discharge of her 12th salvo..."
I think we will never get a definitive answer to this: I have just some possible personal hypothesis to propose (in order of probability, IMHO):

1) a 8" hit from PG (hit n.6 or 7. Being underwater hits, the trajectory may have been modified by the water impact (as discussed). Both being HE shells and having exploded inside the ship (albeit damage report speaks about a "mild" explosion, they could have caused quite a vibration.

2) a 6" hit from Bismarck that impacted the armored belt, exploding without causing any significant damage (see Jasper report that says he saw impacts of BS 6" on PoW starboard side)

3) a near miss from another PG shell exploding in the water close to the ship side and causing vibration.


Bye, Alberto
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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:29 am

Hello everybody,

as I see nobody has any argument to counter the approximate "normalization" for evaluating PoW effective RoF (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8491&start=300#p82599) that basically confirms the "table" calculations,

I think we can get back to discuss all the other statistics that show how (differently than Hood) PoW fired quite well compared to Bismarck (as already published by Adm.Santarini), despite the attempt to say the opposite to justify his Captain's decision to disengage:

1) PoW actual RoF was very slightly better than Bismarck (assuming 108 ordered shots for Bismarck, any other credible value is welcome....).
2) PoW output loss was larger than Bismarck's (26% lost shots vs 14%) due to mechanical problems / human errors
3) PoW effective RoF (1,4-1,5) was slightly less than Bismarck's one (1,6-1,65) but still in line with it (due to larger output loss).
4) PoW effective # shells delivered / minute was clearly higher than Bismarck's (7-7,4 vs 6,4-6,6).
5) PoW found her target before Bismarck, hitting the enemy less minutes (3) after having opened fire than Bismarck (3.5-4)
6) PoW hit the enemy form a much longer distance (from around 4000 yards more)
7) PoW was initially heavily handicapped by having only the fore turrets bearing for the first 8 salvos, and despite that, she hit first.
8) PoW hit only 3 times vs the 5 hits achieved by Bismarck, therefore her hit rate was worse than Bismarck's
9) In addition Bismarck had to switch target (this had probably not much impact, but it has to be kept into account). PoW had no such a problem.
10) No ship was able to hit enemy when maneuvering in emergency (PoW turned however 20° to port without affecting much the gunnery).
11) The 3 hits of PoW inflicted more serious damages to BS than vice-versa (while BS was devastating against Hood).

All the above, except 1), 2), 3) and 4) depend also on luck (and as the moderator has wisely said, the sample is too short to get any definitive conclusion). 1), 2), 3) and 4) however depend only on own ship's gunnery efficiency.


Any additional point/comment to be added to the above ?


Bye, Alberto
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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Bill Jurens » Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:46 pm

My only comment would be that it would appear that the summary is heavily weighted towards establishing that Prince of Wales was exhibiting fairly good gunnery compared to Bismarck. That may be true, but that was not, and could not, have been known in real time. I think an important point that is being missed is that all of this tabular analysis, etc., is being done 75 or so years after the fact. The lack of sufficient information to conduct a proper comparison between the two ships, except as an academic exercise, renders that aspect, at least in my opinion, rather problematical. Well after the fact, we know plenty of things those 'on-site' in real time didn't, and there are very many things -- probably a fair number of significant things -- which those 'on-site' and in real time knew that we have no clue whatsoever about.

One must, I think, not only look at surviving evidence, but try to view the action, as much as possible from the viewpoint of the participants as they actually experienced it. PoW's gunnery may have been better than Bismarck's as established by an analysis seventy-plus years later, but Leach was assessing the quality of his gunnery then. This was probably worse than he might have been accustomed to in regular gunnery practices, etc. What Leach (probably) knew, was that his ship was still in somewhat, shall we say, 'sub-optimal' condition regarding gunnery readiness, both regarding his crew and their equipment.

What Leach actually SAW, was an opponent that had very quickly destroyed the flagship, leaving him in a temporary command vacuum, i.e. meaning he would have to 'tap-dance' pretty quickly. (For all he knew the Germans could have been employing some sort of newly-devised and secret 'magic bullet' that had destroyed Hood so quickly, and might just as quickly take his own ship down as well.) What Leach SAW, was a gunnery regime -- his own -- that took -- as he might have expected -- a long time to 'get on' with an apparent relatively low ability to 'stay on' the target, i.e apparently not really hurting the enemy at all. (I've commented on PoW's fairly poor gunnery -- at least in my opinion -- before...) What Leach SAW was an enemy that was clearly hitting hard and often, for reasons he could not immediately explain. (Again, for all he knew, the Germans might have developed some secret and incredibly effective gunfire control system in Bismark and Prinz Eugen.) What Leach SAW was his bridge destroyed, most of his bridge crew killed, and the remained at the very least somewhat shaken up, meaning that his ability to exercise immediate and effective command was problematical, especially because he was probably -- to say the least -- a bit shaken up himself. What Leach KNEW is that the rest of the Royal Navy now had a 'fix' on Bismarck, and that even if he himself temporarily withdrew, there remained plenty of time, space, and R.N. ships available to continue the fight in his stead. He knew this was just 'round-one'.

When seen in that light, Leach's decision to disengage and call a temporary 'time-out' to re-group a bit are not only reasonable, but -- I think as the British said -- were probably even 'prudent'. Most other experienced commanders, from any other nation, would have done the same; in fact given the circumstances, especially if Prince of Wales had been very critically damaged or sunk, Leach might well have been chastised after the fact for not using a bit of common sense and temporarily withdrawing when he should have.

'Armchair analysis', well after the fact, can be useful and even illuminating, but only to a certain level, and -- as any historian will tell you -- only provided that proper historical methodology is employed in collecting and selecting the evidence to be examined, and by using established time-tested historical techniques to conduct the subsequent analysis.

Bill Jurens

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:00 pm

Hi Mr.Jurens,
you wrote: "the summary is heavily weighted towards establishing that Prince of Wales was exhibiting fairly good gunnery compared to Bismarck."
I have tried to list all evidences (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8491&start=300#p82601), also the ones against PoW gunnery performance. The balance is however very close.
In case I have missed something, please feel free to add to the list any measurable aspect I may have forgotten.




Regarding our personal (always debatable) opinions about Leach military conduct (not strictly on topic here, comparing gunnery performances):
you wrote: "...Leach was assessing the quality of his gunnery then. "
as well as McMullen, who assessed it very differently ("everything is ok"), feeling "furious" when he felt the ship turning away and even sending a boy to his Captain with such a message (an act extremely "unusual" in any Navy).
The different assessment of Leach may have been (my personal opinion, of course) heavily conditioned by the 15" shell passing close to him and smashing 2 young midshipmen, but this is a "very human" justification, not a "good military" one.

you wrote: "For all he knew the Germans could have been employing some sort of newly-devised and secret 'magic bullet'..."
True, but Adm.Beatty reaction, when he saw two of his ships blowing up was quite different ("there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today"), continuing to perform his duty without hesitation (he could well have been on the third target of the WWI 'magic bullet'...).

you wrote: "He knew this was just 'round-one'."
I respectfully disagree, for what he knew at the time (with Tovey at 24 hours full speed from his position) it could have been the final round, as well as it could have been for the whole Home Fleet, had Phillips not dispatched immediately after almost any available RN ship in Tovey's support. Let's not forget it was Force H to cripple Bismarck. The HF was already out of the game at the time Bismarck was torpedoed by Ark Royal planes.

you wrote: "Leach's decision to disengage and call a temporary 'time-out' to re-group a bit are not only reasonable, but....were probably even 'prudent'."
They were surely 'prudent' and even the 'perfect' decisions, but only with hindsight (IMHO).
At 06:01 on May 24, they could have allowed Bismarck to raid in Atlantic (Leach had no clue she was hit as well) and, in this case, they would have guaranteed an actual Court Martial to a Captain who had retreated in front of the enemy, while engaged, with only "superficial damages".



Bye, Alberto
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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by wadinga » Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:16 pm

Fellow Contributors,

Now instead of the Tedious Table we have the same invented fact of a 14 minute continuous period of firing for Bismarck compared with two discrete firing periods for PoW, merely presented in a different format.

Even in PoW's Mean value case, as worked out by McMullen, its irrelevance is exposed because her inter double salvo interval varied irregularly from 20 to 65 seconds, a variance skewing the derived RoF well beyond the point where deriving a Mean value has any point. Other commentators have recognised this basic mathematical truth. Clearly deriving a "rate per minute" whilst including whole minutes when no shooting at all takes place at all, is a nonsense.
acknowledgement that we can finally close this debate admitting that "effective" numbers (RoF and # of shells/minute) show PoW firing in line with Bismarck, as already published by Adm.Santarini.
This is apparently a misunderstanding of Adm Santarini's observations. As far as I can see he nowhere mentions a rate of fire for Prince of Wales, contenting himself to assess on Page 41 that the main armament output efficiency was as low as 50.9%, considerably lower than other estimates. As far as Bismarck is concerned, although using the same unproven duration as Mr Virtuani, he outlines his opinion as to the varying rates of fire during that period. Since he accepts the Baron's estimate of 40 shots to sink Hood and only worries that a further unnecessary salvo may have been fired at her, he stands by a estimate of 8 rounds per minute, consistently, minute after minute obviously far higher than PoW achieved, and is outlined on pages 76 and 77. Sensibly, as has been speculated by myself and many others here, he considers Bismarck's output dropped enormously later on due to manoeuvring and estimates 5 shells only firing in the three whole minutes 07,08 and 09. As an experienced and proficient statistician he evidently realises such a highly skewed distribution renders an arithmetic mean over the whole period worthless and presumably never repeats McMullen's calculation for the same reason.

Despite the numerous descriptions of the failure to fire of PoW's guns, Santarini does indeed praise her fire although to value the glancing non-exploding impact on a boat's prow as highly as the "proper" hits distorts his judgement and statistical analysis in my opinion. His unfortunate use of the phrase "By contrast, we should wonder why the excellent firing performance of the PoW- surely not inferior to that of the Bismarck- has never been adequately recognised, both shortly after the battle and in the subsequent 60 years."

It would be interesting to have a confirming translation from an Italian speaker. Firing performance is not hitting. Firing performance is merely output per minute and there is no question that using Santarini's own figures, apart from the last few minutes when Bismarck nearly stopped firing altogether, her firing performance was always superior to PoW. However in terms of accuracy, or hitting performance, his figures give the honours to PoW where his table on page 109 says PoW took 18 rounds to score a hit and Bismarck 40. As we have discussed he has effectively inflated PoW's hits by 33% by including the boat hit as if it were relevant or equivalent. If that shot had merely pierced the Swastika ensign would that have counted as a "hit", I wonder?

McMullen retrospectively acknowledged his estimate that the guns are "OK" was incorrect and thus that his "fury" was misplaced and that Leach's decision was correct.
(an act extremely "unusual" in any Navy).
Such acts are commonplace in all navies in action, where communications have been knocked out.
What Leach actually SAW, was an opponent that had very quickly destroyed the flagship, leaving him in a temporary command vacuum, i.e. meaning he would have to 'tap-dance' pretty quickly.
What Leach apparently did not see, and nor did any of the Spotting teams in PoW whose job it was to do so, was any sign they had hit the enemy at all. McMullen did not know for sure his guns were OK enough to hit the target at the time, although the oil track gave some indication later.

This specious and flawed statistical argument to try and denigrate Bismarck's gunnery output below even that of the problematic 14" installation is exposed in all its shortcomings by comparison with Santarini's book.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by HMSVF » Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:45 pm

Bill Jurens wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:46 pm
My only comment would be that it would appear that the summary is heavily weighted towards establishing that Prince of Wales was exhibiting fairly good gunnery compared to Bismarck. That may be true, but that was not, and could not, have been known in real time. I think an important point that is being missed is that all of this tabular analysis, etc., is being done 75 or so years after the fact. The lack of sufficient information to conduct a proper comparison between the two ships, except as an academic exercise, renders that aspect, at least in my opinion, rather problematical. Well after the fact, we know plenty of things those 'on-site' in real time didn't, and there are very many things -- probably a fair number of significant things -- which those 'on-site' and in real time knew that we have no clue whatsoever about.

One must, I think, not only look at surviving evidence, but try to view the action, as much as possible from the viewpoint of the participants as they actually experienced it. PoW's gunnery may have been better than Bismarck's as established by an analysis seventy-plus years later, but Leach was assessing the quality of his gunnery then. This was probably worse than he might have been accustomed to in regular gunnery practices, etc. What Leach (probably) knew, was that his ship was still in somewhat, shall we say, 'sub-optimal' condition regarding gunnery readiness, both regarding his crew and their equipment.

What Leach actually SAW, was an opponent that had very quickly destroyed the flagship, leaving him in a temporary command vacuum, i.e. meaning he would have to 'tap-dance' pretty quickly. (For all he knew the Germans could have been employing some sort of newly-devised and secret 'magic bullet' that had destroyed Hood so quickly, and might just as quickly take his own ship down as well.) What Leach SAW, was a gunnery regime -- his own -- that took -- as he might have expected -- a long time to 'get on' with an apparent relatively low ability to 'stay on' the target, i.e apparently not really hurting the enemy at all. (I've commented on PoW's fairly poor gunnery -- at least in my opinion -- before...) What Leach SAW was an enemy that was clearly hitting hard and often, for reasons he could not immediately explain. (Again, for all he knew, the Germans might have developed some secret and incredibly effective gunfire control system in Bismark and Prinz Eugen.) What Leach SAW was his bridge destroyed, most of his bridge crew killed, and the remained at the very least somewhat shaken up, meaning that his ability to exercise immediate and effective command was problematical, especially because he was probably -- to say the least -- a bit shaken up himself. What Leach KNEW is that the rest of the Royal Navy now had a 'fix' on Bismarck, and that even if he himself temporarily withdrew, there remained plenty of time, space, and R.N. ships available to continue the fight in his stead. He knew this was just 'round-one'.

When seen in that light, Leach's decision to disengage and call a temporary 'time-out' to re-group a bit are not only reasonable, but -- I think as the British said -- were probably even 'prudent'. Most other experienced commanders, from any other nation, would have done the same; in fact given the circumstances, especially if Prince of Wales had been very critically damaged or sunk, Leach might well have been chastised after the fact for not using a bit of common sense and temporarily withdrawing when he should have.

'Armchair analysis', well after the fact, can be useful and even illuminating, but only to a certain level, and -- as any historian will tell you -- only provided that proper historical methodology is employed in collecting and selecting the evidence to be examined, and by using established time-tested historical techniques to conduct the subsequent analysis.

Bill Jurens


Agree 100%. Human factors. Very easy to judge 75 years after the event.

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by BuckBradley » Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:51 am

Bill Jurens wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:46 pm
My only comment would be that it would appear that the summary is heavily weighted towards establishing that Prince of Wales was exhibiting fairly good gunnery compared to Bismarck. That may be true, but that was not, and could not, have been known in real time. I think an important point that is being missed is that all of this tabular analysis, etc., is being done 75 or so years after the fact. The lack of sufficient information to conduct a proper comparison between the two ships, except as an academic exercise, renders that aspect, at least in my opinion, rather problematical. Well after the fact, we know plenty of things those 'on-site' in real time didn't, and there are very many things -- probably a fair number of significant things -- which those 'on-site' and in real time knew that we have no clue whatsoever about.

One must, I think, not only look at surviving evidence, but try to view the action, as much as possible from the viewpoint of the participants as they actually experienced it. PoW's gunnery may have been better than Bismarck's as established by an analysis seventy-plus years later, but Leach was assessing the quality of his gunnery then. This was probably worse than he might have been accustomed to in regular gunnery practices, etc. What Leach (probably) knew, was that his ship was still in somewhat, shall we say, 'sub-optimal' condition regarding gunnery readiness, both regarding his crew and their equipment.

What Leach actually SAW, was an opponent that had very quickly destroyed the flagship, leaving him in a temporary command vacuum, i.e. meaning he would have to 'tap-dance' pretty quickly. (For all he knew the Germans could have been employing some sort of newly-devised and secret 'magic bullet' that had destroyed Hood so quickly, and might just as quickly take his own ship down as well.) What Leach SAW, was a gunnery regime -- his own -- that took -- as he might have expected -- a long time to 'get on' with an apparent relatively low ability to 'stay on' the target, i.e apparently not really hurting the enemy at all. (I've commented on PoW's fairly poor gunnery -- at least in my opinion -- before...) What Leach SAW was an enemy that was clearly hitting hard and often, for reasons he could not immediately explain. (Again, for all he knew, the Germans might have developed some secret and incredibly effective gunfire control system in Bismark and Prinz Eugen.) What Leach SAW was his bridge destroyed, most of his bridge crew killed, and the remained at the very least somewhat shaken up, meaning that his ability to exercise immediate and effective command was problematical, especially because he was probably -- to say the least -- a bit shaken up himself. What Leach KNEW is that the rest of the Royal Navy now had a 'fix' on Bismarck, and that even if he himself temporarily withdrew, there remained plenty of time, space, and R.N. ships available to continue the fight in his stead. He knew this was just 'round-one'.

When seen in that light, Leach's decision to disengage and call a temporary 'time-out' to re-group a bit are not only reasonable, but -- I think as the British said -- were probably even 'prudent'. Most other experienced commanders, from any other nation, would have done the same; in fact given the circumstances, especially if Prince of Wales had been very critically damaged or sunk, Leach might well have been chastised after the fact for not using a bit of common sense and temporarily withdrawing when he should have.

'Armchair analysis', well after the fact, can be useful and even illuminating, but only to a certain level, and -- as any historian will tell you -- only provided that proper historical methodology is employed in collecting and selecting the evidence to be examined, and by using established time-tested historical techniques to conduct the subsequent analysis.

Bill Jurens
The voice of reason weighs in.....

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by dunmunro » Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:26 am

Ditto.

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Byron Angel » Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:47 am

"The different assessment of Leach may have been (my personal opinion, of course) heavily conditioned by the 15" shell passing close to him and smashing 2 young midshipmen, but this is a "very human" justification, not a "good military" one."

> Leach had just witnessed his admiral's flagship blown up, then had his own bridge blown to shambles a very few minutes thereafter, awoke from an unknown period of unconsciousness with zero awareness as to the current situation elsewhere aboard his ship. He disengaged from the gunnery action in order to regain a grasp of his situation. Leach did not flee the field of battle. PoW maintained distant contact with Bismarck and (briefly) re-engaged later the same day. In my opinion, Leach's conduct was perfectly sensible under the circumstances. It appears that Admiral Santarini agrees, given his description of Leach's decision to break off the gun action as - "controversial ... but in retrospect, totally right" - ("Bismarck and Hood", page 52).

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Adm.Beatty reaction, when he saw two of his ships blowing up was quite different ("there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today"), continuing to perform his duty without hesitation (he could well have been on the third target of the WWI 'magic bullet'...).

> Beatty himself made two large course alterations (totaling about 45 degrees) away from Hipper after LION and QUEEN MARY were heavily hit. In any case, Beatty's situation was very much different from that of Leach. At the time of QUEEN MARY's loss, Beatty still outnumbered Hipper 8:5, with the four ships of 5th Battle Squadron being the most powerful battleships on the planet at that point in time and effectively engaging Hipper's retiring 1st Scouting Group.

B

Bill Jurens
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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Bill Jurens » Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:54 am

Also, although the British battle cruisers blowing up at Jutland may have been seen in 1916 as being 'something wrong with our bloody ships...", Leach would probably have made the reasonable assumption that the problems which caused the Jutland explosions had been addressed -- and presumably cured -- since then, rendering a Jutland-type explanation relatively unlikely to repeat itself.

Bill Jurens.

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