A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Discussions about the history of the ship, technical details, etc.

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hans zurbriggen
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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by hans zurbriggen » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:02 am

Hello,
to Mr,Jurens writing: ' Basically, aside from the rather poorly drawn and incomplete track chart of Prinz Eugen, what we really have is a collection of anecdotal comments, a few snips of (probably heavily edited) film, and a few photographs which hardly can be considered more than 'snapshots' of the action.'
Respectfully, while accepting your viewpoint about worth of maps, I disagree with such judgement:
Prinz Eugen track chart is extremely detailed (no British ship has a similarly consistent and detailed one, neither for May 24 nor May 27 action afaik).
Prince of Wales tracks, despite being much less detailed, are all essentially in agreement among them. They have to be considered reliable.
Hood track is exactly known from Prince of Wales reports.
Norfolk and Suffolk Strategic tracks are available. Despite a very low resolution, they are more than enough to position their tracks.
In addition, there are all the known bearings measured between these ships, including to Bismarck.
The only track that really needs to be reconstructed (looking at film, photos, official documents and accounts) is Bismarck track. The only Bismarck track that was confirmed by everyone up to now (therefore to me 'accepted', 'agreed' or whatever else) is Mr. Bonomi one. Including the one in your own book.
You say that you came to the same conclusions about Bismarck track through 'independent examination and interpretation' of available data, therefore your work just confirms Mr. Bonomi one (with an independent double-check).

I kindly suggest again to just agree to disagree on this topic and to move to other more "technical" points.

hans

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by dunmunro » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:16 pm

hans zurbriggen wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:02 am
Hello,
to Mr,Jurens writing: ' Basically, aside from the rather poorly drawn and incomplete track chart of Prinz Eugen, what we really have is a collection of anecdotal comments, a few snips of (probably heavily edited) film, and a few photographs which hardly can be considered more than 'snapshots' of the action.'
Respectfully, while accepting your viewpoint about worth of maps, I disagree with such judgement:
Prinz Eugen track chart is extremely detailed (no British ship has a similarly consistent and detailed one, neither for May 24 nor May 27 action afaik).
Prince of Wales tracks, despite being much less detailed, are all essentially in agreement among them. They have to be considered reliable.
Hood track is exactly known from Prince of Wales reports.
Norfolk and Suffolk Strategic tracks are available. Despite a very low resolution, they are more than enough to position their tracks.
In addition, there are all the known bearings measured between these ships, including to Bismarck.
The only track that really needs to be reconstructed (looking at film, photos, official documents and accounts) is Bismarck track. The only Bismarck track that was confirmed by everyone up to now (therefore to me 'accepted', 'agreed' or whatever else) is Mr. Bonomi one. Including the one in your own book.
You say that you came to the same conclusions about Bismarck track through 'independent examination and interpretation' of available data, therefore your work just confirms Mr. Bonomi one (with an independent double-check).

I kindly suggest again to just agree to disagree on this topic and to move to other more "technical" points.

hans
Bonomi's reconstruction places Norfolk and Suffolk within visual sighting distance of each other when they weren't.

The ranges from Norfolk and Suffolk to other ships are also, therefore, incorrect.

It has the wrong open fire time for Bismarck, based upon numerous independent sources on the RN side.

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by hans zurbriggen » Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:17 am

Hello,
Thanks Mr. Dunmunro. I have read some alternative theories from you regarding these aspects, that are in no way related to Bismarck track reconstruction that we are discussing here.
Still, no complete reconstruction can be built using your assumptions, due to other conflicting evidences.
Mr. Bonomi map is the only widely published and agreed, with no alternative, recently confirmed by Mr. Jurens independent work.

Can we just agree to disagree with you too about the map validity in general moving to more productive topics, please ?

hans

pgollin
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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by pgollin » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:01 pm

hans zurbriggen wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:17 am
.

...... Still, no complete reconstruction can be built using your assumptions, due to other conflicting evidences. .....

.


And that is the problem !

IF you ignore the facts then ;

First, your claims will be ignored.

Second, by ignoring facts you will be seen to be biased.

Third, by making inflated claims of accuracy based on ignoring facts and biased claims, you will be dismissed as biased yourself.

Either it is "accurate" based on all the evidence, or it is based on ignoring facts and cherry-picked information and hence inaccurate - by your own words you have confirmed that it is inaccurate.

.

hans zurbriggen
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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by hans zurbriggen » Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:58 pm

Hello,
to Mr. pgollin: instead, I would say the 'problem' is that you ignore the only facts here: 1) we are discussing Bismarck track, not heavy cruisers tracks. 2) Mr. Bonomi map respects all available evidences. 3) Mr. Jurens said that he came to same conclusions based on 'independent examination and interpretation' of these same evidences.
As consequence, I am sorry, the Bismarck track has been confirmed through an independent reconstruction. If you support Mr. Dunmunro theories, there are dedicated threads to propose an alternative.
I politely make you aware that shouting (misusing bold font, exclamation marks, capital letters and personal judgements e.g. biased) does not make a weak and convoluted argument more solid and effective: exactly the opposite.

hans
Last edited by hans zurbriggen on Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bill Jurens
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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by Bill Jurens » Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:03 pm

Mr. Zurbriggen wrote:
"Mr. Bonomi map is the only widely published and agreed, with no alternative, recently confirmed by Mr. Jurens independent work."

As ‘just another participant’, I would respond…

At least as I see it, it is simply not true that Mr. Bonomi's map is '...the only widely published and agreed [upon]…'. There have been plenty of maps, in various sources, that have been published over the years. That, of course, is simply part of the problem. Primary sources are notably incomplete and inconsistent. In that regard it is not surprising that most or all of the secondary reconstructions disagree either in some primary aspects of the reconstruction or in detail. The idea that any individual rendition has been in some way been 'agreed upon' is – at least in my opinion --incorrect. Actually, if a single source had in fact been agreed upon, we would not be having this discussion at all. I am unaware of any significant cadre of historians, professional or otherwise, who consider Mr. Bonomi's work in any way definitive. But I would like to see one…

So far as circulation is concerned, in the case of 24 May, Baron Rechberg's maps have, I suspect, in various editions of "A Survivor's Story" been much more widely published than Mr. Bonomi's. Further, the Baron probably represents the only author who in all likelihood actually SAW a copy of Bismarck's real track charts as they lay on the chart tables after the action and who likely participated in the 'wash-up' discussions that must have taken place in the Bismarck's wardroom afterwards. Would it then be reasonable to claim that the Baron's track chart in some way 'confirms' Mr. Bonomi's? I think not. In actuality, the situation would, I think, be somewhat the other way around. Along similar lines, I published a fairly widely circulated track chart of the action in 1987 -- an effort which, I think, precedes Mr. Bonomi's earliest work by at least a decade. In areas where our track charts might agree, and there are likely more than a few of those, would it be fair to say that Mr. Bonomi was in some way 'confirming' my reconstruction? Again, I think not. There is a difference between correspondence and confirmation, one implies precedence, the other does not. Many sources agree, for example, that President Kennedy was assassinated on 22 November, 1963, but it would be misleading to suggest that any of these dates in some way 'confirm' the accounts of William Manchester.

This leads, admittedly somewhat indirectly, to persistent claims that my most recent effort(s) in some way 'confirm' Mr. Bonomi's work. That is not to say that Mr. Bonomi's reconstructions are not very useful and interesting, and to deny that they represent a considerable amount of analysis. Credit where credit is due. But to extend that to the claim that that his presentations are in some way definitive or vastly superior to others and/or that coincidental agreement with Mr. Bonomi’s work represents some sort of ‘confirmation’ is, in my opinion, misleading. (I need to emphasize that this is not to say that those supporting these claims are perpetrating deliberate subterfuge, but that they are most likely simply, but honestly, mistaken.). Mr. Bonomi's reconstructions represent a good 'jumping off point for further study', in the same way that reading Morison's "The Two Ocean War"' represents a good jumping off point to the study of the U.S. Naval in WWII. But it still represents but one of several, probably equally valid, alternatives. Most historians would agree that Morison's effort is very good; few, if any, would consider his treatment 'definitive' and attempt to represent his work as some 'gold standard' to which all subsequent historical treatments must be compared.
Let us please be very clear. My intention here is not in any way to demean Mr. Bonomi's reconstructions. I have great respect for what this gentleman has done and the contribution he has made. Credit where credit is due. My difficulties really lie with subsequent claims that that Mr. Bonomi's reconstructions represent some sort of paragon to which all other work might be compared, in effect representing an equivalent to the 'answer key' hidden in the back pages of many mathematics texts. The danger here lies in that any acceptance of ANY one particular rendition of the action as being definitive tends to degrade the perceived validity of all others, with the result that what began -- and actually represents -- merely one hypothesis, is somehow hardened into 'fact' and alternative renditions are forgotten.

This is, of course, not always bad. The heliocentric hypothesis of the solar system, for example, began as but one hypothesis amongst a variety of alternatives, and, of course, eventually did harden into 'fact'. Wegenerian concepts of continental drift represent, perhaps, another good example.
But it took a lot of experiment and observation of a system then currently in existence (as opposed to historical situations, where existence has, in effect already disappeared), to slowly build a consensus, which could then be subjected to further systematic experiment for confirmation. Those in support of any given hypothesis 'X', must do more than simply make assertions. As the old saying goes, 'Talk is cheap'. Basically, one must not only prove that one’s new hypothesis is RIGHT, but at the same time indicate in detail why alternative hypotheses are WRONG, preferably contributing new information, or elaborating upon older information, which supports their assertions. With respect, I don’t think that too many of Mr. Bonomi’s enthusiastic supporters have done that. When a hypothesis is presented, the burden lies upon the proponent(s) thereof to prove that the hypothesis is right, not upon the recipient to prove the hypothesis to be wrong. It is here that we begin to wade, if we are wise rather gingerly, into the seductive swamp of epistemology. Enter not there if not well-armed, and prepare to be bloodied…

As forum moderator, I would respond…
I think we should all thank Mr. Zurbriggen’s contributions to this forum, which have been well and reasonably stated, putting forth what most would consider to be controversial hypotheses in a restrained and respectful manner. I would ask that all participants exercise restraint in further discussions on these issues, as we can proceed farther and more quickly pursuing a reasoned and respectful debate rather than participating what can quickly deteriorate into a textual fistfight. In particular, I hope that Mr. Zurbriggen does not become discouraged at some of the commentary expressed in opposition to his views; reaching consensus here usually takes time, knowledge, respect, and often considerable patience. Let’s keep using those tools.

I think there is some merit in Mr. Zurbriggen’s suggestion that we put aside the issues revolving around the Bonomi track charts as a complete entity, and perhaps return to dealing with the examination and resolution of somewhat smaller and more detailed issues, treated individually. I am not sure what these might be exactly, but specific contributions and suggestions are certainly welcome.

Bill Jurens

hans zurbriggen
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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by hans zurbriggen » Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:21 pm

Hello,
sincere thanks to Mr. Jurens as moderator for his wise words. I think we should always avoid to be less than respectful when discussing. I beg pardon if my poor English sounds sometimes 'rude' to native speakers.
To Mr. Jurens as participant: I agree that Mr. Bonomi's 2005 map cannot be considered definitive. His 2017 map is certainly much better, correctly positioning the British heavy cruisers but I am sure that refinements are still possible, possibly even a completly different reconstruction (highly unlikely in my opinion).
I just say that your recent independent reconstruction of Bismarck track is confirming Mr. Bonomi one, because the two track are essentially the same.
You are right also saying that there are other maps and tracks, but they have already been proven wrong by solid evidences. Therefore, even if existing, they cannot be considered a valid reconstruction of the battle. E.g. please see the last published Baron's map (a step back to Schmalenbach 1943 map, before images were made available, after he had previously published a much more realistic one in his first edition of his book, working with the same Schmalenbach and Rohwer). His last map is surely wrong, because it does not account for the rapid approach of the involved squadrons, a well established fact, according to all evidences.
I also agree we should come back to technical analysis of images instead of generic methodologic debates.

hans

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by paul.mercer » Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:36 pm

Gentlemen,
We seem to have drifted off course from ‘The flash Effect’ to the discussion on the maps published by Bill Jurens and Antonio Bonomi in their books.
As we have had repeated posts from Alberto Virtuani claiming that our Moderator has deliberately plagiarised a map produced by Antonio Bomoni for his own use, surely it is time to put these unpleasant claims to bed.
It is perhaps fortunate that much of the material is still available due to the relatively short time of the history (almost 80 years), even though most will be taken from PoW’s logs and perhaps PE’s logs and the reports from their Captains and while there are bound to be some discrepancies due to the lack of modern navigation and direction finding that is available today and of course that they were in the middle of a battle, one has to presume that those logs are pretty accurate so it would not be unusual for naval historians to reasonably accept and to agree on the courses that were taken..
As we are all aware, there are numerous books written on Bismarck and the Denmark Strait battle many acknowledging other authors who have written on the subject. Most if not all of these books contain maps plotting the course of the battle taken from official sources with perhaps some minor variations made by the author to suit their opinions of what happened and therefore it so it would not be surprising if these maps were taken from those books and laid on top of one another that they would all appear to be remarkably similar - allowing for the minor variations.
With regard to the Barons map, with the greatest respect to him, his book was published 39 years after the event and while he may well have had a good look at the chart at the time it is extremely unlikely that he would remember all the precise details and course changes after all that time.
When one has two respected authors and historians producing maps and books from what we must assume is material sourced from UK, RN and presumably German archives which one assumes are freely available to anyone to look at, then surely it is not beyond reason to also assume that having viewed that material they are going to independently come to roughly the same conclusions even though they may vary on some points and therefore produce very similar maps?
I would suggest that this question of the maps is closed down once and for all, Mr Bonomi has not seen fit to personally question Mr Jurens findings on this forum and Mr Virtuani has repeatedly been banned for attempting to do so and has also made many accusations of plagiarism which for the reasons above are unlikely to be upheld in a court-should it go so far. I believe Mr Virtuani is due to return from his latest ban in March;, over the years he has made many valuable contributions to it, so for the good of the Forum I would also suggest and request that he continues to use his knowledge and experience to enhance the Forum and does not continue with this apparent vendetta against our Moderator and returns to what he does best, discussion on naval and other events

Byron Angel
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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by Byron Angel » Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:56 pm

Hope springs eternal.

B

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by northcape » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:45 pm

Post deleted due to inappropriate personal commentary directed at other contributors.

Northcape is cautioned.



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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by wadinga » Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:16 pm

Fellow Contributors,

I have to admit I was disappointed when Bill "rowed-back" somewhat from his original unequivocal posting:
is that the angle between the stanchions and the observer is only a few degrees, perhaps two to five, meaning that the camera is pointed almost directly perpendicular to the railing.
to:
I did revisit the film frames with the railings in the foreground again, and concluded that there is simply not enough information there to reach any meaningful conclusions regarding the exact direction in which the camera might be pointed.
but he was, of course, at liberty to revise his observations based on further study.

However, how exact are we looking for? Plus or minus ten degrees? More? Herr Nilsson's example contrasting the rails' appearance in movie and still shots taken of Bismarck apparently at the same moment was extremely valuable (and well-spotted), but even here we are talking only say, c. 20 degrees to perpendicular.

I asked for the "evidences" that the head-on shots were not perpendicular (or nearly so) and the nearest thing proffered is that it could be more (based on Herr Nilsson's example). Otherwise it is apparently solely that it does not comply with a particular conjectural track, although it does comply with several other conjectural tracks. I say no more about maps to avoid censure. At this time.

It would appear from the specific handrail location now identified, that the "flash photo" is taken from the same location, therefore likely by the PK crew, (as claimed in Die Erste) and not any Yeoman 1st Class whose action station is likely to be in the Bridge superstructure. A bit of post-war opportunism with a gullible journalist and a fistful of dollars I imagine.

I return to the "Flash photo" itself. Given a similar deck location to the head-on shots, surely a reasonable assumption, and given the muzzle appearances, even somewhat traversed outboard, what is the angle to Bismarck, and how far away is she , given that the standard 50mm lens seems to be in use?

All the best

wadinga
"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by Bill Jurens » Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:27 pm

Photogrammetric analysis always engages me, so I took another shot at it.

For what it is worth, assuming a 50mm lens, an uncropped 35mm negative, and a distance of 2 meters between the stanchions in the foreground, and using the horizon line to close the geometry, I can calculate an angle of about 11 degrees from the axis of the camera to the stanchion line. The actual number the computer gives is 10.7395 degrees, but that's of course confusing accuracy and precision. This value, incidentally, shouldn't change much if the focal length is wrong. My guess is that the actual figure might vary within plus or minus 20%, which gives us an effective probable angle of something between 9 and 13 degrees. If this is correct, the camera is looking close to perpendicular to the ship's centerline.

The distance to Bismarck, I will leave for another session...

Bill Jurens.

hans zurbriggen
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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by hans zurbriggen » Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:30 am

Hello
to Mr. Wadinga writing: 'we are talking only say, c. 20 degrees to perpendicular. '
I agree with both you and Mr. Nilsson. In my opinion angle cannot be much more than 30°. Still it might be a non negligeable angle.
About 'flash photo', there are not sufficient information in such photo itself to get to a conclusion regarding either angle from camera to ship beam (unknown 105 mm training angle) or distance (unknown whether photo is cropped and which focal was actually used) from Prinz Eugen to Bismarck.
The only solid conclusion we can get in my humble opinion is that Bismarck is seen from an angle around 20-30° starboard of her bow (e.g. measuring some details of Bismarck against her length), that turrets are trained very roughly around the port beam (see Mr. Nilsson and Mr. Bonomi/Virtuani drawings) and that photo quality is such that PK professional equipment (and trained operator) was probably involved (thanks to Herr Nilsson).

to Mr. Jurens writing: 'assuming a 50mm lens, an uncropped 35mm negative ...'
thanks to Mr. Jurens for the calculation. Are you speaking about NH69729 (http://www.diebismarck.de/Images/Schiff ... _klein.jpg) or about Bundesarchiv photo posted by Herr Nilsson (download/file.php?id=3648) ?
In both cases, the assumptions are problematic to be verified. Both images are not in 36x24 format, but cropped and lens is only possibly a 50 mm.

hans

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by hans zurbriggen » Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:59 pm

Hello,
to Mr.Jurens: I am sorry. My previous post contained an error in photos links. It should have been:
Are you speaking about NH69729 (https://www.history.navy.mil/our-collec ... 69729.html) or about Bundesarchiv photo posted by Herr Nilsson (download/file.php?id=3648) ?

hans

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by Bill Jurens » Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:37 pm

A visual minefield. I was actually working on NH69724, which may not even be directly relevant to the photos you are interested in.

Bill Jurens.

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