wadinga wrote: ↑Thu Apr 07, 2022 7:14 pm Hello All,
There are serious discrepancies in reports of the speed Goeben could achieve as a result of boiler problems. Her perceived ability to outrun or out manoeuvre and engage in gunnery at her optimum distance against Troubridge's squadron obviously weighed heavy on his mind. The shadowing HMS Gloucester reported the enemy's speed as 26 knots after leaving Messina and 22 knots somewhat later. Admiral Souchon, writing in 1930 claims an 18 knot maximum was only maintained with the utmost effort by stokers and every available extra hand moving coal in extreme high temperatures. Georg Kopp records four stokers died through their exertions or by steam leaks. Her boilers were in a parlous state with one or more of 24 completely out of action at any one time. Some of the coal she had scrounged from various sources in Messina was of very inferior quality. She had been due to return to Germany for major refit, and relieved in the Mediterranean by Moltke.
The maximum speed Goeben could make could only be discovered by actually engaging her, and there are many cases where ship's powerplants have failed due to being overstressed in battle. Whilst Gloucester's reporting was very good on the whole, it is possible occasional overestimates by guessing closing rates at very long ranges,unduly affected Troubridge's judgement.
All the best
From the titbits I have read half the problem was the British battlecruisers were hardly making a pace either. From the link I sent Byron, chapter 4 it states that Captain Kennedy (Indomitable) that it was his "belief that she was deficient by some 90 stokers"...
Why Indefatigable wasn't able to catch up ? Who knows. Due for refit?
Troubridge was IMHO the fall guy/scapegoat for an Admiralty cock up. Christopher Cradock said as much himself -"I will take care I do not suffer the fate of poor Troubridge"....