the Twins plus Bismarck

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paul.mercer
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the Twins plus Bismarck

Post by paul.mercer » Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:21 am

Gentlemen, I'm sure we may ave discussed this before somewhere, but if the Bismarck had made it back to Brest and then came out with the twins it would have caused a mighty problem for the RN. But what about the logistics of keeping three large ships at sea, with very few 'friendly' ports to go to and needing large amounts of fuel and supplies - would it be practicable, particularly with most of the British navy looking for them and their supply ships?

HMSVF
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Re: the Twins plus Bismarck

Post by HMSVF » Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:28 pm

paul.mercer wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:21 am
Gentlemen, I'm sure we may ave discussed this before somewhere, but if the Bismarck had made it back to Brest and then came out with the twins it would have caused a mighty problem for the RN. But what about the logistics of keeping three large ships at sea, with very few 'friendly' ports to go to and needing large amounts of fuel and supplies - would it be practicable, particularly with most of the British navy looking for them and their supply ships?

If as historic...

Id imagine that they would get nightly visitations from the RAF.

paul.mercer
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Re: the Twins plus Bismarck

Post by paul.mercer » Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:22 am

Hi HMSVF,
Yes, they certainly would if they stayed in port, but I was thinking about the three of them being at sea for some time and needing supplies.

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Dave Saxton
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Re: the Twins plus Bismarck

Post by Dave Saxton » Sat Apr 17, 2021 4:30 pm

paul.mercer wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:21 am
Gentlemen, I'm sure we may ave discussed this before somewhere, but if the Bismarck had made it back to Brest and then came out with the twins it would have caused a mighty problem for the RN. But what about the logistics of keeping three large ships at sea, with very few 'friendly' ports to go to and needing large amounts of fuel and supplies - would it be practicable, particularly with most of the British navy looking for them and their supply ships?
This is a very good point. The Germans had mustered an intricate network of tankers and supply ships to support the Bismarck operation. It was destroyed by the aid of Ultra throughout the following weeks. Could the Germans build up a supply network again? If so it would need to be on an even larger scale.

If the British destroy a new network or use Ultra intercepts to and from the supply network to track down the warships; does it prove to the Germans that Enigma is not secure?

Another factor was the quality of the fuel supply from tankers. Schmalenbach reported that the fuel received aboard PG in the Atlantic was of poor quality. This caused very poor fuel consumption efficiency (fuel quality issues may have been a factor in Luetjen's thinking to not top off at Bergen, which would have, IIRC, been by tanker). Poor quality fuel, besides having less usable energy per liter, can potentially also cause problems with the reliability of the equipment.

Diesel propulsion was the better idea for Germany.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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RF
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Re: the Twins plus Bismarck

Post by RF » Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:07 am

Another consideration was the overall fuel supply at the time, as the KM allocation of fuel was insufficient to allow major surface forays as proposed here. Barbarossa cut off the fuel supply from the Soviet Union at the same time that the Heer and Luftwaffe required massive quantities of fuel to sustain that invasion.

Another problem would be lack of air cover and air support in mid-ocean. The twins plus Bismarck at that stage calls for carrier support, of course there was none.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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