PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

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lightyear
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PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by lightyear » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:13 am

This idea is from a forum thread here which I can not find anymore. There were a intense discussion about if PoW shoot better than Bismarck.
One idea is that Pow only had 5-6 guns most of the time and acquired 3 hits while Bismarck had 8 achieved 4 including one deep water hit which should have detonated before reach the hull if the fuze was not disabled by the water impact. If it has all 10 guns, it would be better than Bismarck?
On another hand, PoW fired a fairly long time without being supressed. The straddles he achieved on BSM is only 3( 6th, 9th and 13th). 3 straddles got 3 hits is a impressive luck. One shouldn't take it for granted and think this ratio is a natrual property of the gun. Therefore the idea can not stand.
I have the later opinion at beginning. However I found it is a little bit complicated than I thought after read the official report of POW gunnery. There is a chart with every salvos' position. Pow found the range quite slow. It cost him 5 salvos to finally get straddle and lost the range due to Bismarck changing course. From 9th to 16th salvo the courses of both sides are relative steady. Pow got 9th and 13th as straddle and 11th is a very near shot on the map. What is going on for the rest of them? why they are far and short?
The first question raised is: Can't FC computer deal with this "steady approching course" situation?
It looks like PoW have problem to get the right range when ships drawing near. The report said gun officer use 200 yards zigzag to shoot. But...they have straddled BSM before. Can they calculate out his next position? Did they have to use this way to "try" enemy's next positon? It is not even a radar thing. I think it is the FC computing system's work.
The second question is: Are Pow's 9th to 14th Salvos counted as in effective?
Someone told me that PoW's salvos are in effect. Even without straddle salvos were still in range so they have probability to hit. Therefore POW was not getting 3 hits out of 3 slavos but 3 hits out of a lot of slavos. He earned the hits hard without particular luck. I think if the landing zone is near enough it can be regarded as effective but there must a way to define it. But I don't know the Navy's standards on this issue.
There goes the third question: Is this a common place in a gun shooting procedure?
I mean you straddle and use this range to adjust by xxx yards zigzaging all the way and every navy do the same?
The last questions are: How did BSM do in PoW's engagement? Did it also shoot zigzag falling far and short constantly as PoW did? Do you know how his salvos went?
This is the official report I read
http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... 09guns.htm
Thank you!

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:25 am

Hi lightyear,

you are right: these aspects have been (hotly) discussed in several threads, the last one is this very long one (that I do suggest you to read anyway): viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5752, especially the last year posts, covering many aspects of the comparison between BS and PoW gunnery performance. I'm reluctant to re-open to this discussion, that will soon become a "fight" as it was in the past, while we are trying to get at least an initial consensus about the battle reconstruction (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8335).

In addition to the PoW GAR, if you are interested to see more:
1) at Churchill Archives there is a long letter of Mr.Wilkinson (director at Vickers Armament) with enclosed a report from Mr.Barber (foreman in charge of Vickers on board during the battle), giving more details about PoW guns and problems (drop me a private message in case you are interested to know more about it)
2) I think the most complete published work about Hood, Bismarck and PoW gunnery as of today is Adm.Santarini's book ("Bismarck and Hood", Fonthill, 2013) where the performances of the involved ships are compared and evaluated by a gunnery expert in a quite fair way.

Of course the real problem is that we don't have the Bismarck gunnery reports to make this comparison 100% reliable...


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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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by lightyear » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:32 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:25 am
Hi lightyear,

you are right: these aspects have been (hotly) discussed in several threads, the last one is this very long one (that I do suggest you to read anyway): viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5752, especially the last year posts, covering many aspects of the comparison between BS and PoW gunnery performance. I'm reluctant to re-open to this discussion, that will soon become a "fight" as it was in the past, while we are trying to get at least an initial consensus about the battle reconstruction (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8335).

In addition to the PoW GAR, if you are interested to see more:
1) at Churchill Archives there is a long letter of Mr.Wilkinson (director at Vickers Armament) with enclosed a report from Mr.Barber (foreman in charge of Vickers on board during the battle), giving more details about PoW guns and problems (drop me a private message in case you are interested to know more about it)
2) I think the most complete published work about Hood, Bismarck and PoW gunnery as of today is Adm.Santarini's book ("Bismarck and Hood", Fonthill, 2013) where the performances of the involved ships are compared and evaluated by a gunnery expert in a quite fair way.

Of course the real problem is that we don't have the Bismarck gunnery reports to make this comparison 100% reliable...


Bye, Alberto
Got it. I had a glance of that battlefield and saw heavy players of the forum react ferociously... I don't intend to start a new fight. Just curious about the shooting methodology of navies. In Denmark strait battle. British navy looks like using 100 yards zigzag to cover enemy's course. I was told BS' exact course, although steady, can not be acquired. So pow didn't know BS' exact angle of approach therefore didn't know its next position. That's why they zigzag and even deliberatly increase the dispersion to increase the chance.
How about German shooting method? Did they have a way to determin enemy's angle to anticipate its future position? or they have to use the same way where they need constantly "try" enemy's range during rapid shooting. I think KSM must have documents for their shooting method and it will be tech details too clear to cause a fight.
After radar's evolving in the war. I heard a reliable bearing can be acquired via radar. Did British abandoned zigzag shooting after that?
Thank you

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:14 am

Hi lightyear,
I'm surely not an expert of the German firing methodology, what I know is what has been kindly shared on this forum by the members like Thorsten Wahl, Herr Nilsson, Dave Saxton, etc. that you can all find looking at all the (long) threads on Bismarck here.

IMO the best account of how Germans fired is in two places:
1) Jasper Gunnery Report,describing the opening fire procedure (full salvo + semi-salvos scaled in range) that is available in the PG KTB:http://www.kbismarck.com/archives/pg-ktb.zip
2) Rowell observations about Bismarck firing method in his answers at the second Hood board of inquiry,decently accounting for the salvos (despite attributing to Bismarck the PG hit on the boat deck and not adding any exact timing) but explicitly referring to a kind of "zig-zag ladder" methodology too: http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... htm#Rowell


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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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by dunmunro » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:22 pm

lightyear wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:13 am
This idea is from a forum thread here which I can not find anymore. There were a intense discussion about if PoW shoot better than Bismarck.
One idea is that Pow only had 5-6 guns most of the time and acquired 3 hits while Bismarck had 8 achieved 4 including one deep water hit which should have detonated before reach the hull if the fuze was not disabled by the water impact. If it has all 10 guns, it would be better than Bismarck?
On another hand, PoW fired a fairly long time without being supressed. The straddles he achieved on BSM is only 3( 6th, 9th and 13th). 3 straddles got 3 hits is a impressive luck. One shouldn't take it for granted and think this ratio is a natrual property of the gun. Therefore the idea can not stand.
I have the later opinion at beginning. However I found it is a little bit complicated than I thought after read the official report of POW gunnery. There is a chart with every salvos' position. Pow found the range quite slow. It cost him 5 salvos to finally get straddle and lost the range due to Bismarck changing course. From 9th to 16th salvo the courses of both sides are relative steady. Pow got 9th and 13th as straddle and 11th is a very near shot on the map. What is going on for the rest of them? why they are far and short?
The first question raised is: Can't FC computer deal with this "steady approching course" situation?
It looks like PoW have problem to get the right range when ships drawing near. The report said gun officer use 200 yards zigzag to shoot. But...they have straddled BSM before. Can they calculate out his next position? Did they have to use this way to "try" enemy's next positon? It is not even a radar thing. I think it is the FC computing system's work.
The second question is: Are Pow's 9th to 14th Salvos counted as in effective?
Someone told me that PoW's salvos are in effect. Even without straddle salvos were still in range so they have probability to hit. Therefore POW was not getting 3 hits out of 3 slavos but 3 hits out of a lot of slavos. He earned the hits hard without particular luck. I think if the landing zone is near enough it can be regarded as effective but there must a way to define it. But I don't know the Navy's standards on this issue.
There goes the third question: Is this a common place in a gun shooting procedure?
I mean you straddle and use this range to adjust by xxx yards zigzaging all the way and every navy do the same?
The last questions are: How did BSM do in PoW's engagement? Did it also shoot zigzag falling far and short constantly as PoW did? Do you know how his salvos went?
This is the official report I read
http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... 09guns.htm
Thank you!
PoW had, on average, about 6-7 guns in action from salvos 1 to 18. PoW scored 3 hits. Bismarck scored at least 4 hits, 3 on PoW and at least one on Hood - the true number may never be known with certainty.

During the time that Bismarck turned it's 38cm guns on PoW (0558 onward) Bismarck scored 3 hits and PoW scored one. If you accept the idea that Bismarck didn't engage PoW until 0600 then it is 3 to 0 in favour of Bismarck. Additionally PE scored 4 more hits during this time frame.

PoW's radar systems all failed and the conditions for optical ranging were very poor. Consequently PoW could not create an accurate range rate for Bismarck and when Hood exploded (probably 0557-0558) PoW had to make abrupt turns that disrupted her gunnery. Bismarck and PE both had radar ranging systems and this allowed them to create accurate range and range rate plots. Bismarck was probably salvo chasing to disrupt PoW's attempts to build a range rate from her salvo locations.

PoW's gunnery was excellent given her lack of radar and optical ranging but it was poor compared to what she should have accomplished had she had effective radar ranging. I would estimate that PoW would have scored 6 to 9 hits if her type 284 and/or type 281 radars had performed properly.

During the time after Hood exploded PoW's gunnery compared very unfavourably to Bismarck and PE's and consequently it was extremely likely that PoW would have been crippled or even sunk without inflicting severe damage to Bismarck in return, had she not radically turned to open the range.

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:50 pm

Dunmunro wrote: "PoW's gunnery was excellent given her lack of radar "
This is not correct. From PoW G.O. (http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarks ... letter.htm):

McMullen_PoW_Radar_Ranges.jpg
McMullen_PoW_Radar_Ranges.jpg (14.99 KiB) Viewed 1940 times

The 284 radar (director tower set) failed to provide the range only initially (possibly because switched on too late due to the fast approaching rate or just because enemy was out of its maximum range...here only Dave Saxton can provide his view about that 284 model performances), however, after the range was down to 20000 yards (just after 05:56:xx, after salvo 6, therefore well before the critical part of the battle) the radar of PoW worked perfectly, providing the true ranges that both McMullen and Leach wrote in the official report.

Of course, the fact that PoW radar did not provide the initial range, was used by the writers of the "fairy tales" to create another excuse to justify Leach decision to disengage, while at that time (6:01) the 284 was already providing a "good range plot" since 10 salvos, explaining the excellent gunnery performance of PoW.
We don't know, despite Mr.Dunmunro assertion above, how much the radar helped BS and PG (Jasper does not account for any radar range), but we can assume it did, as accounts point to initial German salvos being quite close. Despite this help PoW hit the enemy before BS did.




Regarding the guns in action, we have already discussed all the aspects here (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5752), I just remind to everybody that Prinz Eugen had 1 gun out of action almost since the beginning + other minor failures (but nobody complained about this fact): She lost 15% of her output vs the 26% lost by PoW (and a possible 14% lost by Bismarck, assuming 108 ordered shots, we don't know exactly how many salvos were ordered but 104 to 112 look reasonable based on the available accounts and photos/film).

For sure we can say that, due to the 10 PoW guns vs the 8 BS guns), the effective PoW RoF was 7 shells per minute vs 6,4 shells per minute of Bismarck during the whole action. This is not dependent on any assumption except the duration of 14 minutes fire action for BS.



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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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by dunmunro » Sat Feb 23, 2019 7:28 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:50 pm
Dunmunro wrote: "PoW's gunnery was excellent given her lack of radar "
This is not correct. From PoW G.O. (http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarks ... letter.htm):


McMullen_PoW_Radar_Ranges.jpg


The 284 radar (director tower set) failed to provide the range only initially (possibly because switched on too late due to the fast approaching rate or just because enemy was out of its maximum range...here only Dave Saxton can provide his view about that 284 model performances), however, after the range was down to 20000 yards (just after 05:56:xx, after salvo 6, therefore well before the critical part of the battle) the radar of PoW worked perfectly, providing the true ranges that both McMullen and Leach wrote in the official report.

Of course, the fact that PoW radar did not provide the initial range, was used by the writers of the "fairy tales" to create another excuse to justify Leach decision to disengage, while at that time (6:01) the 284 was already providing a "good range plot" since 10 salvos, explaining the excellent gunnery performance of PoW.
We don't know, despite Mr.Dunmunro assertion above, how much the radar helped BS and PG (Jasper does not account for any radar range), but we can assume it did, as accounts point to initial German salvos being quite close. Despite this help PoW hit the enemy before BS did.




Regarding the guns in action, we have already discussed all the aspects here (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5752), I just remind to everybody that Prinz Eugen had 1 gun out of action almost since the beginning + other minor failures (but nobody complained about this fact): She lost 15% of her output vs the 26% lost by PoW (and a possible 14% lost by Bismarck, assuming 108 ordered shots, we don't know exactly how many salvos were ordered but 104 to 112 look reasonable based on the available accounts and photos/film).

For sure we can say that, due to the 10 PoW guns vs the 8 BS guns), the effective PoW RoF was 7 shells per minute vs 6,4 shells per minute of Bismarck during the whole action. This is not dependent on any assumption except the duration of 14 minutes fire action for BS.



Bye, Alberto
Old men's memories are not reliable and anyone who uses them in preference to data recorded at the time are probably not reliable historians either.

From PoW's GAR:
4. No results were obtained from either Type 281 or 284 R.D.F.; it is understood that Signal School Officers are now of the opinion that Type 281 suffered interference and Type 284 was defective, although it appeared at the time that 284 was also suffering from interference.
The above is what was stated at the time the events occurred and the radar failure was investigated by an independent branch of the RN, and their report is probably on file somewhere.

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:50 pm

Hello everybody,

as usual, back we are with such low insinuations of "dementia" (Tovey), "poor old sailor autobiography" (Ellis) or "failing memories" (brand NEW one, referred to McMullen too) when faced to evidences that are indigestible for their side-taken approach :negative:

The PoW GAR does not say that radars were not working DURING the battle (http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... 09guns.htm) . The extract posted by Mr.Dunmunro above is referring to a time BEFORE fire was opened, as Mr.Dunmunro knows very well.

McMullen wrote what happened on board that day, including the way he (over)estimated the range of Bismarck and then adjusted fire: the 284 radar was working perfectly under 20000 yards (http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarks ... letter.htm) and it provided a "good range plot", thus the true ranges reported by McMullen and Leach in his official report are perfectly precise for PoW open and cease fire.

A bad new for the "indeterminateness" supporters, as they match perfectly Antonio Bonomi's reconstruction of the battle, as well as the open and cease fire ranges of Bismarck as reported by Lutjens (these ones surely just perfect, as German radars were well working according to Mr.Dunmunro).


Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by dunmunro » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:08 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:50 pm
Hello everybody,

back we are with such low insinuations of "dementia" (Tovey), "poor old sailor autobiography" (Ellis) or "failing memories" (now brand NEW referred to McMullen too) when faced to evidences that cannot be countered :negative:

The PoW GAR doesn't say that radars were not working DURING the battle (http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... 09guns.htm) . The sentence posted by Mr.Dunmunro is referring to a time BEFORE fire was opened, as he knows very well.

McMullen wrote what happened exactly on board that day, including the way he (over)estimated the range of Bismarck and then straddled at the 6th salvo.
The 284 radar was working perfectly under 20000 yards (http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarks ... letter.htm) and it provided a "good range plot", thus the true ranges reported by McMullen and Leach in his official report are perfectly precise. A bad new for the "indeterminateness" supporters.


Bye, Alberto
Here's what the GAR states:
B - Events during First Action

24th May. - Enemy was sighted at 0537, range about 38,000 yards. The similarity between the two enemy ships was amazing and with the smaller ship "nearer", it was difficult at first to distinguish which was Bismarck.

2. This difficulty was evidently experienced in Hood as B.C.1 signalled GSB/337/L1 at 0549 (engage left-hand ship bearing 337° ), followed by GOB1 (shift target one ship right) just before opening fire.

The ships were at an inclination of about 130° and Gunnery and Spotting Officers in the fore D.C.T. both agreed at the time that at long range Prinz Eugene (sic) looked exactly like Dunkerque when "X" and "Y" turrets were "merged" into the after superstructure.

3. The rangefinders failed to develop a satisfactory range plot before opening fire; the fore D.C.T. 15-ft rangefinder was the only rangefinder which had a reasonable chance; the closing rate was very high and "A" and "B" rangefinders were able to see the enemy's superstructure for a short time only before "table turning." Conditions for ranging on the enemy's masts were not easy. As a result it required two down ladders to find the target.

4. No results were obtained from either Type 281 or 284 R.D.F.; it is understood that Signal School Officers are now of the opinion that Type 281 suffered interference and Type 284 was defective, although it appeared at the time that 284 was also suffering from interference.

5. Fire was opened at 0553, half a minute after Hood. A list of fire control signals made prior to opening fire is attached, as is also the zone time of each salvo fired by Prince of Wales on Form S.1148(f) with the number of guns fired in each salvo.

6. Salvoes 1 and 2 were spread for line, salvo 1 falling right and salvo 2 in line over. Salvoes 3 and 4 were fired as a down ladder and fell over. Salvoes 5 and 6 were fired as a further down ladder; 5 fell over and 6 straddled. It had been decided after Prince of Wales' last firing to use a 200-yard as opposed to a 100-yard zigzag, as the spreads were in the nature of 350 yards. Accordingly salvoes 7 and 8 were fired as a 200-yard zigzag about salvo 6's range. Both 7 and 8 were observed as over and salvoes 9 and 10 were fired as a regaining down ladder. Salvo 9 was seen to straddle, 10 short, and salvoes 11 and 12 were fired as a 200-yard zigzag about salvo 9's range. Both of these were spotted as short, and salvoes 13 and 14 were fired as a regaining ladder up: 13 appeared to straddle, 14 went over, and a further zigzag was fired with salvoes 15 and 16 about salvo 13's range; both of these appeared as short and salvoes 17 and 18 were fired as an up regaining ladder. The fall of shot of these salvoes is not certain, but it is probably that they went short; evidence of the Rate Officer's observations and settings and the fall of shot points to the fact that the enemy started altering away gradually at about salvo 14. Line was held throughout. A large line spread appeared temporarily in salvoes 11 and 12 and one or two shots fell ahead during this time. Spreads for elevation are not known, but it is thought that salvoes 17 and 18 were ragged as the ship was under full wheel at the time; the ship was listing heavily and it is known that there was considerable movement on both elevation and training pointers.

The true range on opening was 25,000 yards. The true range on ceasing fire was 14,500 yards.

No hits were observed, but it is likely from results observed that fire was effective between salvoes 5 and 16.

When the Fore Director was wooded during the turn away after salvo 18, the main switch in the T.S. was put over to after director. This director was also unable to see the enemy due to the ship's smoke screen, and the Officer of "Y" turret, using his own initiative, went into local control and fired three salvoes as he was able to see under the smoke.

The fall of shot of these three salvoes is uncertain.

"Y" turrets' shell ring jammed during the turn away and the turret was out of action until 0825, as has been described in Enclosure (III).

7. The 5.25-in. armament opened fire at a range of 18,600 yards. After firing a deflection triple, a 15-in. shell passed through the superstructure supporting the H.A. directors.

The shot caused the director to jam temporarily in training and the Control Officer of the latter ordered all turrets to go into "aft control". This was carried out, but about the same time a 15-in. shell burst on the boat deck and seriously upset the after starboard H.A. director. The crew of this director had already been considerably blasted by "Y" turret firing on a forward bearing. The 15-in. shell burst threw the Control Officer off his feet, broke his telephone lead, and a splinter hit his earphones and very slightly wounded him. By the time he had regained control of the situation, the target was lost behind smoke astern.

A careful inquiry has been held into the reason why the fore H.A. director jammed and no satisfactory explanation has been arrived at; the director was found to be "free" after the action and it is possible that the locking bolt jumped down and the Control Officer was too hasty in ordering "after control." This fact has not, however, been proved and it is also possible that the severe shaking the director had caused it to "bind" temporarily in training.
PoW's radar was working before and after the 1st action and McMullen obviously got confused, as he was recollecting events that occurred several decades earlier.

My emphasis via bolding and larger fonts.

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:12 pm

Hello everybody,
4. No results were obtained from either Type 281 or 284 R.D.F.; it is understood that Signal School Officers are now of the opinion that Type 281 suffered interference and Type 284 was defective, although it appeared at the time that 284 was also suffering from interference.

5. Fire was opened at 0553, half a minute after Hood.... "
Posting in large characters will not change the FACT that the GAR speaks about a time BEFORE fire was opened.

In his letter to Kennedy, McMullen explains very well that the 284 radar failed to provide the range until distance was down to 20000 yards, confirming the GAR, but he added that it provided a "good range plot" after that: http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarks ... letter.htm

McMullen_PoW_Radar_Ranges.jpg
McMullen_PoW_Radar_Ranges.jpg (14.99 KiB) Viewed 1910 times

Sorry for Mr.Dunmunro and his low insinuations about memories, but I see very well how the McMullen letter above annoys his side-taken approach...


Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by dunmunro » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:27 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:12 pm
Hello everybody,
4. No results were obtained from either Type 281 or 284 R.D.F.; it is understood that Signal School Officers are now of the opinion that Type 281 suffered interference and Type 284 was defective, although it appeared at the time that 284 was also suffering from interference.

5. Fire was opened at 0553, half a minute after Hood.... "
Posting in large characters will not change the FACT that the GAR speaks about a time BEFORE fire was opened.

In his letter to Kennedy, MCMullen explains very well that the 284 radar failed to provide the range until disatance was down to 20000 yards, then it provided a "good range plot" : http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarks ... letter.htm





Sorry for Mr.Dunmunro and his insinuations...


Bye, Alberto
No radar ranges were obtained during the 1st action. This is clearly stated in the GAR. Roskill personally inspected the radars before the action and this is from his history The War at Sea:
...The Prince of Wales' modem search radar set could also transmit ranges to the main armament. It must, however, be remembered that radar was at this time still in its infancy and that many ships were experiencing difficulty in obtaining the designed performance from their sets, owing, in no small measure, to inexperience of the operators in their maintenance and use. The Admiralty, fully alive to the great potentialities of this new development, had sent an officer to check both ships' sets at Scapa (16) — by chance on the day before they sailed on this operation— and they had then produced the designed performance. Both ships twice exercised with their sets during the westward passage and reported them correct. The radar policy ordered by Admiral Holland during the approach had, probably for reasons already suggested, forbidden the use of any set unless and until action became imminent, and it seems certain that transmission was not started until very shortly before fire was opened. In the Prince of Wales no results were obtained from either of her sets throughout the action. Yet the Suffolk, using a set identical to that fitted to the battleship’s main armament, was successful in holding the Bismarck out to ten miles range. Whether the failure to obtain good ranging results was avoidable or not must remain a matter for conjecture. What is clear is that the angle of the approach gave the enemy the better chance of obtaining accurate initial ranges as well as the advantage in effective weight of broadsides. The handling of the four destroyers which remained to Admiral...

(16) The officer in question was the author of this history.



Roskill, Stephen. The War at Sea Volume I. The Defensive (HMSO Official History of WWII - Military Book 1)

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:42 pm

Hello everybody,

was Roskill on board PoW directing her fire ? McMullen was, and his account is the only one we can trust, not showing any sign of dementia in his letter (http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarks ... letter.htm).

Again, this refusal to accept what is written and clearly explained is the proof of the approach of this guy. :kaput:


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)

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

Post by dunmunro » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:51 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:42 pm
Hello everybody,

was Roskill on board PoW directing her fire ? McMullen was, and his account is the only one we can trust, not showing any sign of dementia (http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarks ... letter.htm).

Again, this refusal to accept what is written and clearly explained is the proof of the approach of this guy. :kaput:


Bye, Alberto
Old men's memories are unreliable and you can quote me on that.

Your inability to accept what was written at the time in favour of murky conspiracy theories speaks volumes about your integrity.

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Bill Jurens » Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:55 pm

K, gentlemen. Let's play nice and not get into another flurry of ad-hominems and personal criticisms, etc. These hardly ever, if ever at all, move the useful discussions forward. As before, there is no need for, or at least no need to continue the use of, emojis and extravagant font styles etc.

So far as sources are concerned, here is an old historical aphorism that may be useful here, namely "The most faded ink is worth more than the most vivid memory..."

Bill Jurens

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

Post by dunmunro » Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:14 am

Bill, I'm sorry that I expressed myself so directly but it'a pretty shocking when plain statements in the GAR are claimed to not to state what they plainly do state.

We know that if radar ranges had been used there would have been written notations made on PoW's AFCT paper plot and this would have been apparent during the creation of the GAR. Since Roskill personally inspected the radars on PoW prior to her leaving Scapa flow, I'm sure that he had a personal interest in getting that part of the story correct when he wrote The War at Sea.

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