Battleship Bismarck: A Design and Operational History

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marcelo_malara
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Battleship Bismarck: A Design and Operational History

Post by marcelo_malara » Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:58 am

Hi guys. I am in the process of reading it. I am a little disappointed.

At least chapter 2 (I am thru chapter 3) needs badly proofreading and editing. Some parts of the technical descriptions found in this chapter are extremely confusing, for example the description of the diverse main armament´s hoists, I ended without knowing exactly how many hoist there were, the function and the motive power of each. Other highly confusing paragraphs are the ones dealing with the turbo and diesel generators.

One thing that made me mad was when I discovered the deck´s designations are not the translation of the original German ones, but the USN designation system, the higher deck is the main deck (al least once named as upper deck), followed down by the second deck, third deck, etc...Why USN´s and not RN´s? Or even better, why not the translated originals?

Today I came to two photographs of Renown damage during Lofoten action, and the captions are incorrectly dated as April 10 1940 and April 10 1941, both photos on opposing pages! I accept that some typo can escape correction, but....

This is not a critic to the authors, whom I have read before, but to the editors.

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Bill Jurens
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Re: Battleship Bismarck: A Design and Operational History

Post by Bill Jurens » Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:30 pm

Your comment about the deck nomenclatures is legitimate. We did have some problems deciding what system to use, and probably because we were more accustomed to writing comparative rather than descriptive issues, and because we tended to use American nomenclature in regular correspondence -- in effect we instinctively 'think' in that system -- that's what appeared on at least some of the drawings. We did, I think, adopt the German systems of numbering things such as gun mounts and searchlights, etc.

There's a point to be made that another choice might have been better for the deck nomenclature, but this was what we and the editors ended up going with.

I have, for many years now, been searching for a sort of 'universal' deck nomenclature system that would allow everyone to figure out, for example, that the Main Deck in British practice is not the same thing as the Main Deck in American practice, but have so far not been too successful. It's often difficult for even experienced readers and writers to translate from one system to another.

Bill Jurens

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Re: Battleship Bismarck: A Design and Operational History

Post by marcelo_malara » Sat Jun 13, 2020 4:29 pm

Thanks Bill for your answer. Couple more things I really do not like:

-guns calibers en mm, I understand this for the Germans, but do not for the British, for the sake of historical accuracy the originals caliber designations should have been used, ie inches for the RN

-the same with the distances, I am a metric person myself, but I don´t like the distances from the British warships been expressed in converted m from yards. Again, for historic accuracy and comparision, the original yards from the reports (may be with the equivalent m between brackets) should have been used

-an interesting omission is that I don´t remember reading the time zone been used in the times

-the famous Denmark Strait battle chart, there are more course changes in the text than seen in the chart. I understand this is difficult, because you need the exact time of the changes to plot accurately the chart, but there are some course changes, particularly the British, that been absent in the chart left the reader doubting in the text.

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Re: Battleship Bismarck: A Design and Operational History

Post by Bill Jurens » Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:10 pm

Thanks, Marcelo:

Your comments are valid ones. With three authors (and one contributor) there were bound to be areas where disagreements -- apparent or real -- and
other areas where some repetition might occur. As many have noted, these sorts of things should have been caught and corrected in the editing process, but in many cases were not.

We'll try to do better next time...

Bill Jurens.

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