Bismarck and her contemporaries

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

Moderator: Bill Jurens

User avatar
Dave Saxton
Supporter
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Rocky Mountains USA

Re: Bismarck and her contemporaries

Post by Dave Saxton » Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:32 pm

Francis Marliere wrote:Second, the guns had little firing time since the planes emerged from the clouds at short range. In the opposite, Tirpitz shot down several Albacore when engaged in 1942, because she could fire for a long time : the planes where detected far away and slowly catched the ship due to their slow speed and strong headwind.
Actually the Tirpitz had little firing time as well. The planes approached hidden by a low overcast. They had to use ASV radar to track the Tirpitz before they popped out of the clouds less than a mile from the battleship and commenced their torpedo runs. The Tirpitz hadn't fired on them before that and this essentially negated Tirpitz's heavy flak. The Tirpitz was, however, equipped with far better light flak than Bismarck. TP had several of the excellent, and deadly, 20mm Flak vierling installed.
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.

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 4349
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: Bismarck and her contemporaries

Post by alecsandros » Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:35 pm

16 Vierlings , IIRC.

He was also somewhat helped by the destroyer Friedrich Ihn, who was near her, and combined her AA firepower to that of the battleship.
Also, her presence certainly made the bombers task more difficult, as they needed to manouvre more in order to get into a practical launch position (one that would endanger the battleship but without hitting the destroyer, which was a small, secondary target)

User avatar
Dave Saxton
Supporter
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Rocky Mountains USA

Re: Bismarck and her contemporaries

Post by Dave Saxton » Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:49 pm

The Friedrich Ihn started firing right when the aircraft emerged from the cloud cover and before TP opened fire. Most of the aircraft where well positioned off to the starboard to start their torpedo runs on the battleship less than 2km away. The Tirpitz turned away at exactly the right moment foiling the torpedo attack of the first attackers but a second group had worked ahead of TP along the port side and were now perfectly positioned with the wind to their backs and the Tirpitz now presenting its starboard side. Here the Tirpitz also deftly foiled the torpedo attack of the second wave by turning to comb the torpedos at exactly the right moment. It was slick ship handing on the part of Karl Topp.
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.

sineatimorar
Member
Posts: 176
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:42 pm

Re: Bismarck and her contemporaries

Post by sineatimorar » Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:24 pm

I think in general, the problems faced by the crews of any battleship was the fact that each design was based on a set of limitations, either self imposed and or due to environmental limits. The designers could do very little about the last and were restricted by the former. As you 'restrict' a design and as the enemy becomes aware of theses restrictions, it is a relatively simple exercise to design a weapon to destroy it, utilizing the knowledge of how any restrictions have been applied.

Even when very few self imposed restrictions are applied, the design is still effectively restricted by the traditional design doctrines of past ships. That is to say designers tend to utilize similar designs ideas across if no improvement in performance is detected.

The 'all or nothing' principles is a case in hand, in some ways the idea of allowing areas of ones ship to be damaged is to say the least gratting. While in principal it dovetails perfectly the restricted nature of these designs, the ratio between primary and secondary buoyancy is so badly effected that with all the 'allowed'damage zones badly damaged and flooding that I doubt very much the any ship could stay afloat in that condition.

lightyear
Junior Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:07 am

Re: Bismarck and her contemporaries

Post by lightyear » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:15 am

Dave Saxton wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:49 pm
The Friedrich Ihn started firing right when the aircraft emerged from the cloud cover and before TP opened fire. Most of the aircraft where well positioned off to the starboard to start their torpedo runs on the battleship less than 2km away. The Tirpitz turned away at exactly the right moment foiling the torpedo attack of the first attackers but a second group had worked ahead of TP along the port side and were now perfectly positioned with the wind to their backs and the Tirpitz now presenting its starboard side. Here the Tirpitz also deftly foiled the torpedo attack of the second wave by turning to comb the torpedos at exactly the right moment. It was slick ship handing on the part of Karl Topp.
Hello there. I am looking for Tirpitz anti-air performance. Does the system directed by rader fire control? It looks like there are not many aircraft been shot down during the bombing action though. :think:

pgollin
Senior Member
Posts: 370
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:01 pm

Re: Bismarck and her contemporaries

Post by pgollin » Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:15 pm

.

The RAF tactics were to try to cause surprise which meant trying minimise radar warning time. This was mainly to minimise the time for the smoke defences to activate (when they were connected). In addition they flew at relatively low level (i.e. "medium" level) in an effort to use the topography to hinder radar effectiveness.

In addition, large land bombers had access to various "radio counter measures" which jammed, or gave false readings to enemy radars. However, I cannot find details of the RCM fittings for the various raids.

User avatar
Dave Saxton
Supporter
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Rocky Mountains USA

Re: Bismarck and her contemporaries

Post by Dave Saxton » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:06 pm

lightyear wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:15 am
Dave Saxton wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:49 pm
The Friedrich Ihn started firing right when the aircraft emerged from the cloud cover and before TP opened fire. Most of the aircraft where well positioned off to the starboard to start their torpedo runs on the battleship less than 2km away. The Tirpitz turned away at exactly the right moment foiling the torpedo attack of the first attackers but a second group had worked ahead of TP along the port side and were now perfectly positioned with the wind to their backs and the Tirpitz now presenting its starboard side. Here the Tirpitz also deftly foiled the torpedo attack of the second wave by turning to comb the torpedos at exactly the right moment. It was slick ship handing on the part of Karl Topp.
Hello there. I am looking for Tirpitz anti-air performance. Does the system directed by rader fire control? It looks like there are not many aircraft been shot down during the bombing action though. :think:
The primary defense the Germans relied upon to defend Tirpitz from air attack within the fjords were smoke screens. The smoke screens usually filled up the fjord with 9/10 fog within a few minutes of the alarm being sounded. Of course, if the air attackers can't see their target, the light flak gunners on the Tirpitz can't see the aircraft either.

By 1944 TP was equipped with flak directing radars. It was equipped with a Wuerzburg and the FuMO26s used phased array scanning on both the horizontal and vertical axis. One of the superlatives we know from Giessler about German Seetakt radars is that they worked well with in the confines of fjords and were not bugged up by land returns. Seetakt was also frequency agile to some extent from 1941. Tirpitz did shoot down planes through the smoke screens. There were also flak positions on the mountains surrounding the anchorage but these were not radar directed.

There was a Freya radar air warning net work protecting the approaches to Alta Fjord. Freya had long range to high flyers, but using a 240 cm wave length it also had a vertical lobes structure, which meant that its range of detecting low flyers was more limited. Unlike the Japanese, the British FAA and the Luftwaffe usually approached ship targets at wave top height. In the case of bomb attacks in general, or attacking ships within fjords, they performed at pop up maneuver closer to the target. In the case of torpedo attacks they stayed right at wave top height. During the March 9th 1942 torpedo attack on Tirpitz the British flyers took advantage of the low overcast then dropped down through the cloud cover at the last moment.

At sea, German documentation of flak directing tests indicated that Wuerzburg could track high flyers from 38km and wave top attackers from 19km. FuMO27 could range wave top attackers from 8km. During 1941 and 1942 FuMO27 could be used to range attacking aircraft for the heavy flak. Wuerzburg and FuMO26 were blind fire capable against aircraft.

There are potential problems for any flak radar directing or ranging against wave top flyers. The physics here can cause a ranging error that causes the shooting to fall short as if measuring too high a closure rate.
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.

Post Reply