Torpedo Hits on Bismarck

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Bgile
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Torpedo Hits on Bismarck

Post by Bgile » Thu Oct 15, 2009 11:23 pm

José M. Rico wrote:Dorsetshire actually fired three torpedoes. Here is a list of all known/possible torpedo hits (not counting claims by Vian's destroyers ):

24 May. Midnight. Hit by one 18 inch MK XII torpedo on the starboard side, amidships.

26 May. 2047-2115 hours. Hit by two (or three) 18 inch MK XII torpedoes. One torpedo (or two) hit the port side amidships, and another hit the stern in the starboard side. As a result of this attack both rudders jammed at 12º to port. Lütjens only reported 2 hits but Müllenheim-Rechberg always said that he heard 2 hits before the final hit in the stern.

27 May. 0958 hours. Possible torpedo hit to port. Rodney claimed a hit; the Germans deny it.

27 May. 1000 hours. Possible hit to the starboard side. Claimed by Norfolk; the Germans deny it.

27 May. 1022 hours. Hit on the starboard side by two 21 inch MK VII torpedoes fired by Dorsetshire from 3,000 meters (3,280 yards).

27 May. 1037 hours. Hit on the port side by one 21 inch MK VII torpedo fired by Dorsetshire from 2,200 meters (2,400 yards).

27 May. 1039 hours. Bismarck sinks.

So, we have a total of 6-9 hits.
Is anyone aware of any damage from these torpedo hits, other than the rudder hit?

I know one of the amidships hits was on the main armor belt and killed one crew member (the first fatality on Bismarck) due to the shock of the explosion and I think it did some other minor damage.

Was there any other reported damage by torpedoes? This would be the very first time I'm aware of the explosion of several hundred pounds of explosive against a ship's hull didn't result in flooding of the void space of the TDS, resulting in at least a temporary list until counter flooding could take place.

I think I remember something about one of them hitting near the PoW shell hit, in which case the damage might not have resulted in a list, because the area was already flooded. If it wasn't powerful enough to defeat the holding bulkhead it might not cause any additional list.

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Re: Torpedo Hits on Bismarck

Post by tommy303 » Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:37 am

Hi Steve,

If I recall, the torpedo hit from the attack by Victorious' aircraft was almost directly opposite the shell hit from Prince of Wales. The torpedo was running too shallow at the time of impact, possibly due to having been dropped so close to the ship that it had not yet found its proper depth. If experiences on the West Virginia, which also received a hit on her armour belt at Pearl Harbour from a similar Japanese aerial torpedo, has any correlation, I would imagine that the force of the detonation was sufficient to displace the plate inwards slightly and cause some tearing of the shell plating. This would lead to minor leakage behind the belt in the outer void area, but with all other problems at the time, damage control may not have even noticed. In any event, such leakage might only have helped to slightly offset flooding on the other side. Probably the most damaging aspect of the hit was the severe shock response which not only killed one person, but also enlarged the ruptures in the bulkhead damaged by the 14 inch shell causing the affected boiler room to flood out. It also caused a severe shorting out of an AC power control board.

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Re: Torpedo Hits on Bismarck

Post by Bgile » Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:44 am

Yes, that reinforces what I had thought about that one. But there seems to have been one or two other amidships hits and they seem to have disappeared, as it were.

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