If Bismarck had made it to France

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Carpathia
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If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by Carpathia » Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:27 am

Hypothetically, what would have happened had Bismarck made it to France as it was going to? Would the British have tried to get the Bismarck while undergoing repairs or wait for it to come out again. If the British decided to wait the Bismarck out, would Bismarck have just sat in France not doing anything or try to make another break for the Atlantic?

How would that have affected WW2 in the long run?

Byron Angel
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Re: If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by Byron Angel » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:32 am

[ 1 ] Bismarck goes right into dry-dock for repairs - she is the most important German warship in port.
[ 2 ] British Bomber Command spends a year trying to destroy her through repeated air raids.

The open question is whether the RN seeks to blockade these four German ships in Brest harbor - mines, submarines, relocation of some number of capital ships + CVs + supporting lighter forces. Can Great Britain afford to commit the necessary force in 1941/1942?

B

kevin32422
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Re: If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by kevin32422 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:07 am

I see the Royal Air force giving it plenty of attention, if it can survive that and be in good condition I also see it sitting in there until the Channel dash in which I think it will make it to Germany will maybe some damage due to mines or maybe a torpedo

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:28 am

Hello everybody,

a very interesting discussion, possibly more belonging to the "Hypothetical Scenarios".

IMO it's not just a matter of air strikes in France: please keep in mind that the twins survived all the air strikes (despite heavy damages) and the British lost 53 planes and used more than 4100 tons bombs in the vain attempt to sink them... Had Bismarck made for France, her repairs could have been made quite quickly and Germans would have used everything (deployment of Luftwaffe squadrons + enhanced flak defenses) to try to protect her, especially for the propaganda effect of the ship that was able to rule the British fleet.
We have to keep in mind however that, had Bismarck repairs lasted just a while, the German Atlantic network of tankers and support ship would have been anyway destroyed, thus preventing any further attempt to carry a serious merchant war in the Ocean and making unavoidable the "Channel Dash" at the end.


Of course the effect of a powerful "fleet in being" during 1941 in France would have posed huge problems to British traffic, as a single battleship could in no way guarantee anymore the safety of a convoy against BS, SH, GU and PG together. However, the survival of Bismarck wouldn't have changed (nor even heavily influenced) the final outcome of the war, especially after the June invasion of Russia (that "de facto" prevented the Tirpitz from being sent as well in Atlantic) and the US "intervention" at the end of the year.


Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

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frontkampfer
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Re: If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by frontkampfer » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:13 pm

Byron Angel wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:32 am
[ 1 ] Bismarck goes right into dry-dock for repairs - she is the most important German warship in port.
[ 2 ] British Bomber Command spends a year trying to destroy her through repeated air raids.

The open question is whether the RN seeks to blockade these four German ships in Brest harbor - mines, submarines, relocation of some number of capital ships + CVs + supporting lighter forces. Can Great Britain afford to commit the necessary force in 1941/1942?

B
If Bismarck had made it to France it would have been the biggest propaganda victory of the war despite what would have happened afterward. Sinking Hood, damaging PoW & evading the RN would have been a major coup!
"I will not have my ship shot out from under my ass!"

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RF
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Re: If Bismarck had made it to France

Post by RF » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:15 am

Had Bismarck made it to France Churchill would have made it the number one target for Bomber Command. As Alberto has commented the chain of Atlantic supply ships would be destroyed and the fuel priorities for the Russian Front would make another sortie unlikely.

What I would imagine is that the US entry into the war might encourage Churchill into a big gamble - a massive seaborne attack with airborne forces and commandoes on the port and dock holding Bismarck, similar to the St Nazaire raid but on a very much bigger scale. Bismarck would have completely eclipsed Singapore from the mind of Churchill, Repulse and POW would never have been sent to the Far East.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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