The Bismarck surrender option

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

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: The Bismarck surrender option

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:36 pm

Hello everybody,

I admit I'm a bit tired today and I make mistakes. I owe some excuses to HMSVF too, because my quotation was not coming from him....



However,
Northcape wrote: "Wie der Schelm denkt, so ist er."viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8742&start=45#p85045

Who is the "Schelm" here ? Is Schelm a compliment ? :kaput:
I will anyway wait for the "moderator" intervention, instead of reacting as deserved: let's see if this will work this time...

In Italian we say: "a pensar male di qualcuno si commette peccato, ma raramente ci si sbaglia" and due to the forum recent management, "io penso molto male di qualcuno e non mi sbaglio".


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

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Re: The Bismarck surrender option

Post by Bill Jurens » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:53 pm

The inclusion of aphorisms in languages other than English can be misleading and confusing to others not fluent in the language, and should be avoided. As mentioned in a previously edited post, I would suggest that further commentaries in foreign languages -- especially critical commentary -- be accompanied by a free translation into English so that English-speaking readers (including the moderator) can properly and accurately assess the tone and content of the commentary.

Further commentary on the Bismarck surrender option should be restricted to the topic at hand, i.e. the Bismarck surrender option, avoiding personal commentary and organizational criticism.

Mr. Virtuani commented upon the relative distribution of cautions and censorships between members, ending with the question "Am I wrong?"
The quick answer is that I neither know nor care; each posting is assessed independently for content or tone to see whether it falls within what I feel to be acceptable guidelines. Some posters may accumulate more cautions than others, and many posters will accumulate none at all. Err on the side of caution, and you will be sure to stay out of trouble.

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Re: The Bismarck surrender option

Post by wadinga » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:21 am

Fellow Contributors

The mighty cleaver of words has impartially but unfortunately completely changed the sense of what I said. To
a Commander is not "Master under God".
whereas the exact opposite is clearly true. The Commander is and has always been Master under God. He is appointed by the authorities to make choices of life and death on their behalf and it is his decision which counts. He cannot, at the time, be controlled remotely and thus has freedom to follow his conscience. His crew are required to obey his instructions. His decisions may indeed be judged later. This may not always be fair.

It would be useful if anybody here with relevant maritime experience of command could make themselves known. I have such experience in the seismic survey business.

For the avoidance of doubt I accept with pleasure the compliment "anti-nationalistic" as I consider myself anti-nationalistic.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: The Bismarck surrender option

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:47 am

Hello everybody,
Wadinga wrote: "The Commander is and has always been Master under God.....His decisions may indeed be judged later. This may not always be fair. "
And he knows very well he will be almost always judged later, based on the report submitted after the action, against the disciplinary laws in force.
He is "Master under God" on board his ship, but he cannot forget the superior disciplinary code that should always dictates his behavior.






Speaking of refusal to surrender when in hopeless situation, I would add the case of the coastal battleship Admiral Ushakov at Tsushima in 1905.

Ushakov was part of the so-called III Pacific Fleet, composed of obsolete and small battleships and cruisers, sent to East to "theoretically reinforce" the II Pacific Fleet.
During the main battle on May 27 1905, the Captain (Rozanov) had been killed and command taken by Commander Mikluch-Maklaj (written sometimes as Miklukha).

Then, in the night, the small battleship, low by the bow for the received hits, could not keep the speed imposed by Adm.Nebogatoff to the squadron and was left alone. She was therefore not present at dawn at the surrender of the Russian admiral (who was later Court-Martialed and sentenced to death).

At 15 PM on May 28, after Mikluch-Maklaj had met with all the officers on board to ask them what they thought they had to do in case of encounter with the Japanese fleet, getting an unanimous response that the ship would have fought until she would have been sunk, the Ushakov was reached by the Japanese armored cruisers (that despite being cruisers, were twice her size and armed with more modern, quick firing guns).

They signalled to Admiral Ushakov: "Your Admiral has already surrendered: we ask your surrender too".

Hearing that, a furious Mikluch-Maklaj inverted the course, answered by firing his guns at the Japanese cruisers and fought for 40 minutes. After that time, the coastal battleship was a blazing wreck, the few guns in action had no more ammunition and she was covered by fires; when a direct hit aft stopped the ship, he scuttled her, still not lowering her flag, and ordered to the crew to abandon the ship.

Japanese stopped firing, rescued survivors (a quite high number, despite the battle damages, as less than 100 men died while more than 300 were rescued), treated them respectfully and honoured them for their hopeless defense, while the gallant Commander Mikluch-Maklaj, after having checked that everybody had left his ship, refused to abandon her and went down when she capsized, saving the honour of the whole III Russian Pacific Fleet.




Only after having fought her battle against the Tovey's ship, an outnumbered Bismarck could have been surrendered without dishonour for Germany.


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

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Re: The Bismarck surrender option

Post by wadinga » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:31 am

Fellow Contributors,

I agree with HMSVF about the "millstone" of naval tradition. Sometimes aphorisms even in English are misunderstood. A millstone round the neck slows one down, stymies progress or perhaps even drowns one, it is a uniformly bad thing. Oddly enough a cornerstone is a good thing, a firm foundation.

Admiral Nebogatov is quoted as saying:
"You are young, and it is you who will one day retrieve the honour and glory of the Russian Navy. The lives of the two thousand four hundred men in these ships are more important than mine."
He realistically assessed his chances of doing any significant damage as zero and surrendered. He knew the judgement of those who would determine his fate would not be swayed by realism, but solely by political expediency. He knew he was buying 2,400 lives at the risk of his own. As it turned out although sentenced to death he apparently served only 3 years before pardon. A good deal.

Lutjens could have made the same decision as Nebogatov. With short time of flight, low angle of fall and the Baron's observations on excellent target visibility Bismarck's entire main, secondary and tertiary armaments made no hits at all on targets which approached as close as 4,000yds, mostly one at a time. At such point blank ranges "speed and turning" make little difference, but Bismarck's uncontrollable motion rendered her fire control ineffectual. Her straddles the following day were as ineffectual, although a piece of Bismarck shrapnel from Rodney is exhibited in the Liverpool maritime museum.

A captured Bismarck would be useless since in the prevailing conditions no-one could go alongside to get aboard to learn her secrets, and a shoal of U-boats were expected any minute. In fact the impossibility of picking up her people given weather and threat, even if they had surrendered may have been a factor.

BTW Captains traditionally go down with their ships to avoid being billed for them.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: The Bismarck surrender option

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:09 am

Hello everybody,
Wadinga wrote: "Lutjens could have made the same decision as Nebogatov. "
As explained (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8725&p=84985&hilit= ... off#p84985) and never addressed, Nebogatof took his decision when the war was lost already: no other fleet could be sent to Far East and Russia had been defeated in Manchuria. The sacrifice of the Russian sailors would have been without any tactical return as no significant damage (very doubtful) inflicted by his ships could have weakened the Japanese sea control. He chose to save lives, at the risk of his own, but he forgot he had still a duty to accomplish (and in addition, he did not scuttle his ships, tha was really unforgivable).

Despite the "good reasons", the surrender of the fleet did not help the zar facing the germs of the revolution, weakened the government and left to the enemy 4 battleships and 1 cruiser, this is why he was dismissed from the Navy, lost his noble title and was sentenced to death (the non-execution of the sentence is irrelevant here, nobody pretends that timid officers have to be shot "à la Bing" as per Lord Fisher colourful expression), based on the (very similar) disciplinary laws in force in any Navy.
Also, despite his "paternal" attention for his sailors, many Russian Commanders and Officers were reluctant to obey such a dishonouring order: the Captain of the cruiser Izumrud refused to obey and sailed away from the surrender.
Many officers refused to obey and were menaced by the sailors because they wanted to fight. On board Nebogatoff's flagship, an Officer shot himself to avoid surrender. On the same ship (Nikolaj I), two Lieutenants went down to the engine room to open the sea valves and scuttle the ship on their own initiative (to avoid she could be captured by Japanese), but they were prevented from doing so. Many officers were crying while the Russian flag was lowered without fighting and similar episodes happened on all surrending Russian ships.
On Orjol (the only modern surviving battleship surrendered to the Japanese, badly damaged), with her Captain mortally wounded and lying in the ship's hospital, after the Japanese took control of the ship and were in route for japan, some Russian Officers tried to ignite a magazine to sink the ship (with all crew). They were caught by the Japanese picket and shot on the quarterdeck, in front of the whole crew.



Lutjens had still a ship that could have inflicted significant damages to Tovey's units and, most important, war was not yet lost for Germany at all in May 1941.
The propaganda effect of a Bismarck's surrender would have cost to his country (I cannot care less that the actual regime was an evil one or not...) and to his Navy much more than the loss of 2000 sailors.
Bismarck fire actually caused casualties on Vian's destroyers, straddled both Tovey's battlewagons and, most of all, kept high the honour of the Kriegsmarine in a critical moment of the war.
The Baron (and the majority of the survivors) never said he would have considered a surrender as a possible option...

Only after having fought his last battle, Bismarck could have been surrendered, saving the lifes of her remaining crew, but, as said, at that time Lutjens was probably dead.
Nebogatoff saved lives but he was not celebrated as a hero by his country, even after the zar regime was gone... Lutjens was celebrated for his death even after the war by the new Germany (that dedicated him a ship) because he had done his D.U.T.Y. with the Bismarck.
You may like him or not, criticise his tactical decisions, but it's impossible not to recognise his astonishing victory on May 24 and his sense of duty on May 27.


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: The Bismarck surrender option

Post by wadinga » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:54 pm

Fellow Contributors,

Bismarck fire actually caused casualties on Vian's destroyers,
Lutjens was surely unaware of shrapnel injuries in the Tribals, even German optics aren't that good.

After several hours blazing away at isolated attacks there was no visible sign Bismarck's fire had even scratched the paintwork of any British ship. If the F/C system was finding it difficult to score hits at only 4,000 yds through their inability to counteract rapid rolling and yaw they would have no chance against ships at 25,000 yds.
kept high the honour of the Kriegsmarine in a critical moment of the war.
Since the mantra of nazism was a distorted form of social Darwinism, where the superior race proved its success by victory against the inferior, and losers were eliminated, there was no celebratory propaganda value in losing, even against odds. "Remember the Maine" was a rallying slogan, did anybody really say "Remember the Bismarck"?

However in view of:

Time Segment 00:32

To the Fuhrer of the German Reich, Adolf Hitler: We shall fight to the last man with confidence in you, my Fuhrer, and with rock solid trust in Germany's victory!

At this time before the fight with the destroyers he was clearly not considering surrender at all. Gloom really seems to have descended after it. Lack of salutes , wearing of lifejackets, free distribution of "goodies". And despite a loudspeaker announcement to the ship's crew of one destroyer sunk and two burning, which the Baron as a gunnery officer distances himself.

Continued use of "humiliating" and "astonishing" is an surely attempt to provoke, "unexpected" and "surprising" are far less contentious for defeating an unimproved WW One design and a brand new vessel with faulty guns. Besides the victory was Schneider's, Lutjens was a mere passenger. Schneider got the gong, not Gunter, who didn't even get an upgrade of Oak Leaves on his Knights Cross of the Iron Cross for "his" victory. By September 1941 when the Swords and Diamonds grades were being added, he was already a forgotten loser, unworthy of posthumous remembrance.

Rommel and Molders both received the Swords and Diamonds.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: The Bismarck surrender option

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:54 am

Hello everybody,

not commenting on political statements that have nothing to do with this discussion,
Wadinga wrote: "Lutjens was surely unaware of shrapnel injuries in the Tribals"
Still Bismarck fire was not totally ineffectual (as incorrectly stated) and the fact that Vian's destroyers had to give up their attack without any result was a clear sign of that for Lutjens.

"Lack of salutes , wearing of lifejackets, free distribution of "goodies"."
Not from Lutjens, who kept a perfect military attitude up to the end, according to the Baron....

"he was clearly not considering surrender at all"
As well as all brave officers like Kennedy (father), Mikluch-Maklaj, Brandt, etc.etc.

"Besides the victory was Schneider's, Lutjens was a mere passenger"
Not at all, Schneider did an excellent job (not extraordinary, as his gunnery performance was comparable to McMullen's one, as demonstrated at length...) but he was greatly advantaged by the bold decision of Lutjens to employ PG, that hit both British ships, and "illumined" the target, allowing Schneider to take advantage of the known weaknesses of HMS Hood. Also distribution of fire between BS and PG was just perfect.
His decisions during the battle were just perfect and in line with his orders: if Mr.Wadinga doesn't like Lutjens, it's his problem only and he should ask himself why....
The fact is that he was able to inflict the most severe defeat to the RN since years while in numerical inferiority showing a remarkable sense of duty when he faced his final destiny (of which he was quite well aware even before the mission)....

"use of "humiliating" and "astonishing" is an surely attempt to provoke"
No, they are historically referred to a defeat (1 battlecruser sunk and 1 battleship retreating in front of 1 battleship) that cannot be defined in a different way. They are "provoking" only for a nationalistic view of history.

"...he was already a forgotten loser, unworthy of posthumous remembrance."
Absolutely incorrect (as already told and ignored): he got celebrated by the new Germany after the war, with his name given to a ship.
How many other officers involved in the DS battle got such a recognition ?

Please also avoid the usage of the word "loser", for very well known reasons....


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: The Bismarck surrender option

Post by wadinga » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:18 pm

Fellow Contributors,
the fact that Vian's destroyers had to give up their attack without any result
They ran out of torpedoes, but still homed in the battlewagons for Bismarck's destruction, so their purpose was entirely fulfilled. Despite Bismarck's huge but ineffectual firepower she could not hit them or drive them out of contact. The Baron identifies shells bursting above the destroyers, ie timed airbursts from the 4.1" weapons. Annoying and wounding to personnel, but ineffectual against ships.
Not from Lutjens, who kept a perfect military attitude up to the end, according to the Baron....
Such an attitude that he wouldn't even speak to the Baron. What do you say to someone your decisions have just almost certainly killed, but they don't know it yet?
as his gunnery performance was comparable to McMullen's one, as demonstrated at length.
This makes no sense. McMullen hit nothing, and a huge amount of effort has been expended imagining Bismarck hit a completely different, wildly manoeuvring ship only seconds after the fatal salvo for Hood landed. Outstanding gunnery. Schneider's performance was honoured by the regime, Lutjens' was not. Success was rewarded by the regime, not failure. If Bismarck had got to safety after her first-half victory, Lutjens would have been rewarded, but he was a loser at full-time and thus unworthy.

Re new destroyer names. It was obvious that the postwar authorities were scratching around for a naval nominee. the others were easier. Rommel was involved in the plot against Hitler and forced to commit suicide. VG tick. Molders was an air ace and died in an accident, pretty virtuous although subsequently he was downgraded due to being in the Condor Legion. His named ship was already decommissioned by then so retains that name as a museum. So what naval nominees had they got- preferably dead during the war …..er well? Too successful and they get tarred with the Fascist brush, so most U-boat aces are out. Rogge would be fine, but not dead enough, he was still in the Federal Navy. Bey well OK, dead enough and like Lutjens killed aboard his flagship but his name is just too short. Lacklustre Lutjens who forgot to order PG out of the line, or tell her which target to shoot at, requiring PG to change targets just as she had started hitting, who gave away his position with a long-winded series of transmissions and depressed his crew when his vessel was in fine fettle before getting sunk. Well his name would do.
to inflict the most severe defeat to the RN since years while in numerical inferiority
Courageous, Glorious, Royal Oak, were all previous recent severe defeats for the Royal Navy. Hood was a fine vessel but unlike Renown and most of the QEs had received no significant upgrade since building. A faster version of Royal Oak perhaps. Would Bismarck beating Royal Oak be a stunning or unexpected victory?

Loser or misspellings thereof, is only contentious when applied to posters here. Holland and Hood lost at Denmark Straits, Lutjens lost in the Bay of Biscay. There is nothing contentious in that.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: The Bismarck surrender option

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:51 am

Hello everybody,
Wadinga wrote: "Despite Bismarck's huge but ineffectual firepower she could not hit them or drive them out of contact. "
...and despite their attempt, they were not able, due to Bismarck's precise fire, to approach enough to hit with all the torpedoes expended... Thus this fire was not so bad after all....

"he wouldn't even speak to the Baron"
To speak to a subordinate officer would have been a kind and human act. Lutjens was surely an "ice-man" (and not a sympathetic one), but his silence was not infringing any military duty, while his answer to the Baron's salute terribly contrasts with the military law and is the sign of a lack f self-control that a ship's Captain must always have.

"McMullen hit nothing"
Mc;Mullen hit at least twice before Schneider.... Please don't invent another battle and if willing to "try" again to compare gunnery performances, go to the right thread and answeer with facts to facts (download/file.php?id=3463), not with invented statements like the above one.

"Success was rewarded by the regime, not failure"
Victory on 24 and failure on 27 were rewarded by the new Germany after the war, thus by History for having inflicted an humiliating defeat to the greatest Navy in the world (IMO) and for having done his duty up to the end. Your attempts to say that Lutjens did not handle the battle in a perfect way are just ridiculous as the results contradict you in clear way.
Sorry if you cannot recognise Lutjens merits, for the very evident reasons I have already explained at length here... Anyway, for this aspect I'm happy you keep your very personal opinion, apparently not shared by anybody, including the German post-war Navy and by history...

"Courageous, Glorious, Royal Oak, were all previous recent severe defeats for the Royal Navy"
...severe but not humiliating: in inferiority 2 to 1, Bismarck sunk a battleship (severe) and the other one just run away (humiliating)....


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: The Bismarck surrender option

Post by Bill Jurens » Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:04 pm

Recent commentary while somewhat heated, remains acceptable. It is perhaps worth noting that in most countries -- though certainly not all -- it is impossible to defame or insult the dead, so at least in most of the situations we are encountering here, defamation, etc. would probably not represent an issue.

That being said, I would suggest that we refrain from personal commentary -- particularly critical personal commentary -- regarding individuals actually involved in combat on November 11, which is recognized as a Veterans or Remembrance Day in many countries.

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Re: The Bismarck surrender option

Post by wadinga » Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:35 pm

Fellow Contributors,

Mr Virtuani is of course perfectly correct, McMullen did hit Bismarck, but his minimal success at DS can in no way be compared with Schneider's. I have unaccountably muddled Moultrie and McMullen, but muddling McMullen's and Schneider's performance is equally unaccountable.

In other threads we have discussed the inability of even massed torpedo attacks to deliver success and the Tribals deployed only five torpedoes each, emphasising gun armament instead. Since the attacks were necessarily uncoordinated, even when deploying as many as 8 -15", 6 -5.9" and 8-4.1" not to mention 37mm and 20mm weapons at ranges down to only 4,000 yds against individual vessels, Bismarck scored no direct hits.

This inability to hit anything at even point blank range when firing over a period totalling several hours must have had a massively debilitating effect on morale aboard the Bismarck, hence the need to fabricate stories of sinking and burning destroyers for those unable to see the reality for themselves. Vessel motion is clearly the problem, and as the weather deteriorated during the night, Bismarck's motion became even more extreme with the reconstructed KTB describing, based on survivor accounts, the 5.9s being awash and gun crew washed overboard from the 4.1s. It also confirms a severe list to port, mentioned by the Baron when visiting the Officer's Mess.

With the vessel incapable of steering, possible uncontrolled flooding causing the increasing list and its fire control system incapable of hitting anything, and most importantly, plenty of time to unhurriedly consider this, the logical and humane commander would surely have explored the possibilities of saving his crew since no military objective could be furthered. Lutjens was not such a commander, merely a unsympathetic automaton incapable of thinking beyond
a perfect military attitude
and thus sentencing his crew to a meaningless death. Perhaps the Federal authorities were wise in choosing a name for their ship, epitomising the tragedy of dying for the doomed fascist regime, to emphasise the benefits of their new democratic one.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: The Bismarck surrender option

Post by northcape » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:05 pm

wadinga wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:35 pm
Lutjens was not such a commander, merely a unsympathetic automaton incapable of thinking beyond
Well, I think it is very easy (and wrong) to judge persons based on their actions 80 years later, when we have little to no knownledge about the situation (and the persons themselves). In particular, if that judgement is done out of a very comfortable position as behind a computer screen in a cozy chair. This one-sentence "characterisation" of Lutjens is as unfounded and misleading as declaring him a "hero".

Where I agree with Mr. Virtuani, is the consideration the commander had for the impact of surrender on the propaganda warfare in Germany. For sure this was on Lutjen's mind, and he did his "duty" in that respect by accepting the slaughter. But I don't consider that in any way as "heroic", because to fulfill the wish (or need) of one person (e.g. to due his duty), 2000 others had to die a - maybe - avoidable death. I don't think it is "heroic" to do his/ her duty - it is simply to do what is expected of you. In my view, it would have been "heroic" in that case to neglect the duty and surrender. But in the view of any military commander in 1941, of course "duty" beats (personal) "heroism" - which is the only way how battles can be fought (and why join the military in the first place, if you don't believe in the necessity of war and fighting?).
It would lead to a philosophical question and one can't discuss it without discussing the absurdity of war and nature of human conflicts.

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Re: The Bismarck surrender option

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:34 am

Hello everybody,
Wadinga wrote "McMullen did hit Bismarck, but his minimal success at DS can in no way be compared with Schneider's"
According to the only serious gunnery analysis published up to now on DS, the two gunnery performances were comparable.
Santarini clearly says that, and I'm in full agreement with his judgement, based on facts (download/file.php?id=3463) and not on biased personal opinions. When able to counter the above facts, it will be a pleasure to re-open the discussion (in the dedicated thread, not here....)

Schneider success was not due to his performance only but to Hood weaknesses and (very partially, and not as the old "fairy-tale" would like to sell...) to PoW guns problems too.


Wadinga wrote: "Lutjens was not such a commander, merely a unsympathetic automaton incapable of thinking beyond "
The moderator recommendation (I don't agree with it, as historical judgement should always be allowed on both sides, but I would have coped with, if the "fellow contributors" were able to do the same) is ignored by this guy ("I would suggest that we refrain from personal commentary -- particularly critical personal commentary -- regarding individuals actually involved in combat on November 11" viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8742&start=60#p85075) as usual with no consequences at all for him.... Another example of how the forum is managed as per today: rules and suggestions can be ignored by one side only, without be censored and without punishment.

I wonder why Mr.Rico is reluctant to answer my very easy and direct questions (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=8347#p84945), taking a clear position (at last) and re-establishing order + a minimum of fairness here. :think:


Wadinga wrote: "sentencing his crew to a meaningless death...Perhaps the Federal authorities were wise in choosing a name for their ship, epitomising the tragedy of dying for the doomed fascist regime..."
... as well as Kennedy (father), Mikluch-Maklaj, Brandt, etc.etc did, sentencing their crew (and not "heroically" surrendering).
Usually, in every country, under any regime and at any time, heroes put their country interest before themselves and their crew/men lives.... A very simple military concept that is not yet well digested, apparently...
Lutjens achieved a great success on May 24 and he did his duty on May 27 (we can discuss whether he was a hero or simply a soldier doing his duty): for sure Germany dedicated him a ship and not for the ridiculous reason insinuated by Wadinga's last sentence above... :kaput:


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

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Re: The Bismarck surrender option

Post by wadinga » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:02 am

Fellow Contributors,

Surely the point is clear , there was nothing to be gained for "the country's interest" in the May 27th slaughter. Even those avenging Hood's loss were somewhat embarrassed by "mere target practice" against an enemy effectively incapable of fighting back.
heroes put their country interest before themselves and their crew/men lives
This is an extremely simplistic definition belied by reality. Was Lord Cardigan, who ordered and led the Charge of the Light Brigade against the wrong objective, a hero, or a stuffed shirt who in his arrogance and disinterest in the survival of his troopers, sent them to oblivion to no purpose? They were the ones whose heroism in obeying orders should be celebrated. He was at the front throughout, and yet survived since the Devil protects his own. Likewise it is the ordinary crewmen of Bismarck who stayed at their posts who were the heroes of May 27th not their Leader who had the power and freedom to accept reality and at least try to save them from Gotterdammerung.

Lindemann's change of attitude noted by the Baron is clearly the sign of a man helpless under the weight of military discipline. He does know Bismarck is incapable of serious resistance, but has a Commander aboard determined to go down flags waving in a futile gesture. A Captain has a direct fatherly connection with his crew, even in a large ship like Bismarck, a classic example being the spontaneous joyous celebration when Leach re-joined PoW after his time in hospital. If Lindemann had been the Commander, and truly Master of his vessel under God, without Lutjens and his staff, who knows what might have happened?

I have some sympathy even for Lutjens, hidebound by convention and convinced from before the start of his mission that it would end in failure and he would not return. His refusal to engage in conversation with the Baron, whom he knew well, shows his disconnection from the men under his command. I laid the commemorative wreath in my local church yesterday and pronounced the Exhortation ending "we will remember them". Remembering them includes acceptance of their sacrifice with all these virtues and faults, but does not preclude commenting on shortcomings.

Those German commanders listed above who surrendered their forces undoubtedly did damage to the propaganda of the Third Reich, but their decisions gave regard for the lives of their men precedence over keeping the "spin doctors" happy. When death serves no military purpose, there is another way. Goebbels and his propaganda teams were quite capable of changing reality to something which would suit his purposes.
The official story of Rommel's death, as reported to the public, stated that Rommel had died of either a heart attack or a cerebral embolism
Source Wikipedia

Continuing outraged appeals beyond the moderator and to the website owner against
merely a unsympathetic automaton incapable of thinking beyond
from one who has repeatedly alleged cowardice, falsification of records and lying under oath based on the flimsiest of evidence, are becoming unbalanced and tiresome.

All the best

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

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