Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

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Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by navalhforums7365 » Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:18 pm

I'm not wanting to repeat questions about should Tirpitz have tried to breakout into the Atlantic with Bismarck.

However could Tirpitz have been used in some part of operation Rheinubung.

Could Tirpitz have sailed part of the way with Bismarck, maybe just into the Kattegat, possibly to Bergen.

Could Tovey have been convinced that both ships were making for the Atlantic.

Had Tovey been so convinced so, could he have afforded to divide his heavy ships as he did into the groups consisting of
Hood and PofW
KGV and Repulse.

Given the above groupings were based on the assumption of facing Bismarck and a cruiser, would they have been suitable
for facing a force of Bismarck, Tirpitz and a cruiser.

Would he have concentrated his four Capital ships to cover the Iceland - Faeroes gap, leaving the Denmark Strait uncovered.

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RF
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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by RF » Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:50 pm

In terms of crew training and gunnery, Tirpitz simply wasn't ready. Kapitan Topp did request that Tirpitz be included in Rheinubung when Hitler visited Bismarck and Tirpitz in April 1941, but Raeder rejected the idea and Hitler didn't interfere with Raeder's plans.

A move by Tirpitz to Bergen with Bismarck would have forced Tovey to concentrate all four of his heavy ships - but if Tirpitz wasn't breaking out that could benefit the RN. The DS battle could have ended up as KGV, Hood, POW and Repulse against Bismarck and Prinz Eugen.....
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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by alecsandros » Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:29 pm

RF wrote:In terms of crew training and gunnery, Tirpitz simply wasn't ready. Kapitan Topp did request that Tirpitz be included in Rheinubung when Hitler visited Bismarck and Tirpitz in April 1941, but Raeder rejected the idea and Hitler didn't interfere with Raeder's plans.
Bismarck wasn't ready either; it was more "ready" than Tirptiz, but in no way ready for Rheinubung.
A move by Tirpitz to Bergen with Bismarck would have forced Tovey to concentrate all four of his heavy ships - but if Tirpitz wasn't breaking out that could benefit the RN. The DS battle could have ended up as KGV, Hood, POW and Repulse against Bismarck and Prinz Eugen.....
That's true, but more likely it would have been for Bismarck to NOT engage Hood at all - as Tovey chose the Faeroes Gap to stay with KGV/Victorious.

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by navalhforums7365 » Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:09 am

RF wrote: A move by Tirpitz to Bergen with Bismarck would have forced Tovey to concentrate all four of his heavy ships - but if Tirpitz wasn't breaking out that could benefit the RN. The DS battle could have ended up as KGV, Hood, POW and Repulse against Bismarck and Prinz Eugen.....

Tovey concentrates his four Capital Ships in the Iceland-Faeroe gap means Bismarck and Cruiser slip through the Denmark Straits, likely shadowed by a mixed force of cruisers and destroyers.

But Tovey cannot intercept the German squadron.

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by RF » Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:50 am

Why should Tovey concentrate his four ship force to the east of Iceland?

If Tirpitz is sighted by the Swedes approaching the Kattegat in company with Bismarck then Tovey is alerted to sail earlier with his combined force and will have time to concentrate that force south of Iceland, covering both sets of passages either side of Iceland.
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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by navalhforums7365 » Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:06 am

If he could have done he would have.

But he couldn't cover both with one force, look at a map.

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by pgollin » Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:16 pm

.

He would just have positioned himself south of Iceland and waited for the cruiser reports.

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by navalhforums7365 » Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:31 pm

He couldn't - which is why he had to divide his force into two battle groups in the first place.

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by RF » Mon Oct 26, 2015 3:14 pm

navalhforums7365 wrote:If he could have done he would have.

But he couldn't cover both with one force, look at a map.
Tovey was faced with one Bismarck classe not two, so two capital ships would have been sufficient to do the job, per the 2 to 1 superiority of RN dictum. With four ships it therefore made sense to cover both passages separately, even with Tovey delaying his own sailing as he did.
With two Bismarcks a concentration of force is essential, particulary with two battlecruisers in his force. That means a prompt sailing to a point south of Iceland to cover all the Atlantic entrances, which could have been achieved if he had sailed immediately the Swedes reported the movements. Engagement would have come later than in reality but the concentration of force would have been essential.
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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by Djoser » Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:23 am

How much longer had POW to work up to better crew efficiency, than Tirpitz? The POW "...only being completed in late March 1941..."

Given the severe mechanical difficulties suffered by the POW, I would almost rate her a 'green' ship. Save that when her guns worked, they were very well served, since of course she hit the Bismarck pretty quickly, and one of those hits had great effect on the events that followed--change of course, lowered speed, and ultimately the loss of the ship.

Always easier to play armchair general or admiral than the guys that had to go down with the ships, but in retrospect it could have saved Bismarck, had Tirpitz been along as even an incompetent combatant. Or both ships could have been lost. Though I doubt that--the Brits were doing all they could and more, just to sink the one BB.

See here my related thread in 'Hypothetical Naval Scenarios'

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=6700

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:11 pm

Hello everybody,

Djoser wrote :
How much longer had POW to work up to better crew efficiency, than Tirpitz ?
The POW "...only being completed in late March 1941..."
Given the severe mechanical difficulties suffered by the POW, I would almost rate her a 'green' ship.
Can you please explain me why we have different data about HMS Prince of Wales commissioning ?

Sometimes is January 19th, 1941 and sometimes, just as you reported, is March 31st, 1941.

Here the data from Wikipedia :
PoW_data_01.jpg
PoW_data_01.jpg (80.81 KiB) Viewed 3278 times
Why we have 2 different dates for the commissioning ?

What was the reason for it ?

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by wadinga » Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:28 pm

Hello Antonio,
Quoting from V E Tarrant K G V Battleships,
"The ship was actually commissioned into service before completion by Captain L K "Turtle" Hamilton on Sunday 19th January 1941."

Our old friend Geoffrey Brooke (who apparently forgets things and gets things wrong :wink: says:

"Only about half the ship's company had joined by commissioning day, enough to take her round to Rosyth."

Tarrant says "Officially PoW is classified as being completed on 31st March 1941, but this was only achieved by waiving the vital watertight compartment air tests, ventilation tests, and a thorough testing of the bilge, ballast and fuel-oil systems. It was a dangerous expedient. Full power trials commenced on the 8th May and compared with Bismarck, which made frequent returns to the shipbuilders to iron out deficiencies that had occured during her eight month working up period, the Admiralty, in their race against time, afforded no such niceties for PoW."

He then gives a lengthy quote on the Gunnery dept's efforts to get operational before Denmark Straits, points out all the other departments had the same problems and states 80% of the crew of 1500 had never stood on a warship's decks before and concludes:

"This account illustrates why eight months was considered the irreducible minimum, in peacetime, for a battleship to reach an acceptable level of operational efficiency."

Perhaps you could take some of this into account when issuing your next unwarranted "J"Accuse" against the stunned and herniated Phillips as he staggered from the shattered and bloodied Compass platform :negative:

He made decisions based on what he knew, and he was there.................................

All the best

(and Happy New Year)

wadinga
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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by dunmunro » Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:36 pm

Tarrant also states that when PoW left Birkenhead for Rosyth on 28 Jan 1941 that 2 of her 4 props were lashed down to the upperdeck.

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by wadinga » Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:16 pm

Duncan,

Good Point!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Leach accused Geoffrey Brooke of giving helm and telegraph orders suitable for a destroyer when he was OOD but with only two props and less water thrust over the rudders PoW was probably a bit of a pig to handle on that first trip to Rosyth.

All the best

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by wadinga » Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:19 pm

All,

Correction:rudder :D

All the best
wadinga
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