How did you come to be interested in Bismarck?

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

Moderator: Bill Jurens

Vic Dale
Senior Member
Posts: 903
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:53 pm

Re: How did you come to be interested in Bismarck?

Post by Vic Dale » Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:46 pm

The_Ships_Cat wrote:Ooh easy peasy this one:
I love the ears on the main turrets and I love the Malted Shreddies rangefinders.*


*When I was a little girl I remember my dad building the Airfix 1/600th ships and thought the rangefinders on top of the tower etc were Malted Shreddies.
That is the sweetest thing I have read in a long while.

A child's perception is really great and such things must be treasured. Thanks for remembering it for us and presenting it here. I love the ears on the turrets - a bit like the ears on the Daleks?

Many years ago just after xmas 1943, the news reached my Great Grandparent's tiny house at Carisbrooke on the Isle of Wight, that their son Ed's ship - Duke of York - had sunk the Scharnhorst. Great Gran left Granfer to see to the dinner and went scuttling off to tell her daughter, who lived in the next street with her two daughters. She burst in the door, a fat smile and joy written all over her face and announced "They've sunk the 'Shying Horse!'" Good old Gran, she was proper muddled and always good for a laugh, but when I was told that story (which comes out fresh every xmas) the image engendered by her words stuck with me - a beautiful white horse bounding about on a cold dark night in the stormy waters of the North Atlantic.

Even today when I look at the bow of the German ships at certain angles, it suggests a horse. Those fairleads on the bow form the ears and the anchor below is the muzzle and both combine with that graceful downward sweep of the Atlantic bow and the high sheerline, to form the neck and fix the image for me.

So perhaps a child's perception is not so odd, it's just that they will honestly express it more readily than an adult. Unlike yourself, I never found a practical use for malted shreddies, but loved them - hated shredded wheat. I did like the way Weetabix floated - beamy and with little freeboard.

Vic Dale

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7603
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: How did you come to be interested in Bismarck?

Post by RF » Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:17 am

Oh dear! Lovable cuddly daleks with lovely ears!

When I was a kid and saw Dr Who I thought the Daleks to be utterly preposterous things, they only thing they seemed to be capable of was ''exterminating''. And lousy soldiers - utterly useless in battle against organised real opposition. Imagine the Daleks as ground soldiers in WW2 - they wouldn't last five minutes.

Coming back to the Shying Horse - what about the four legs?
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Re: How did you come to be interested in Bismarck?

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:02 pm

The Cybermen are worse...
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7603
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: How did you come to be interested in Bismarck?

Post by RF » Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:25 pm

Double oh dear!! Off to off topic we go!!
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

Vic Dale
Senior Member
Posts: 903
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:53 pm

Re: How did you come to be interested in Bismarck?

Post by Vic Dale » Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:10 pm

RF wrote:Oh dear! Lovable cuddly daleks with lovely ears!

When I was a kid and saw Dr Who I thought the Daleks to be utterly preposterous things, they only thing they seemed to be capable of was ''exterminating''. And lousy soldiers - utterly useless in battle against organised real opposition. Imagine the Daleks as ground soldiers in WW2 - they wouldn't last five minutes.

Coming back to the Shying Horse - what about the four legs?
My take on the Daleks was that any species which had to deploy in such cumbersome and impractical vehicles would be bound to become frustrated and perhaps a bit cross. I believe the ordinary Daleks could only run on metal surfaces which would rather tend to limit their reach and curtail their sphere of influence. It required the later models - black with gold spots - before the Dalek could move freely. In this they reveal something of a human quality, in that they always opt for the best idea last.

As regards the legs on the "Shyin' Horse, The KM had experimented with various types of propulsion and this departure was clearly on the lines of the "Sea-Leg" an early discovery for the mariner. The dry-dock photos of Scharnhorst are clearly a hoax. Three bladed screws have been touched in by the German censor, keen to hide her sea-legs.

The Ancient Marriner himself obviously knew all about this when he cried to the heavens; "Half a leg! - Half a leg!" Obviously rueing the day he put all his faith in wind propulsion. Long John Silver, of Treasure Island fame, always on the lookout for an advantage for the hard pressed pirate, seems to have picked up on these lines, though it seems his early experiments in this field were limited to only partial success. Sterner critics might say it was a singular failure.

Time for my medicine I think.

To keep the thread on track; my discovery of the Bismarck came when at the age of 12, I was about to move away from the hideous Croydon for the south coast close to Brighton. We had visited the area near Shoreham and on seeing the ships plying in an out of the little harbour, my imagination was struck and fixed on the sea. I had always been fascinated by battleships because of their low freeboard, wide beam and towering superstructure - a bit like Queen Victoria which seemed to be the fashion of the day when most were designed.

I saw the Four Square paperback "Sink The Bismarck" in the local bookshop and asked for an advance on my pocket money to buy a copy. My mother - the one who suggested that 'Mein Kamf' would be good reading on the train when passing through Germany - (see the Some Mothers! thread) said not to buy anything extra to pack!!! At book! I ask you! It took five months of waiting to move and on the first day of freedon after we had moved, I went on the hunt. I cycled five miles around the unfamiliar towns and villages and just as it was getting dark I found a little shop in Portslade and there in the window was the book centre stage, in all it's glory; BIsmarck - her bow lunging forward, Swordfish torpedo planes attacking her and her funnel lit orange by a torpedo strike. It had been so long and I was certain that the book would turn out to be for display only.

I got the book and must have stopped four or five times on the way home to have a look under the occasional streetlamp I read the book all through the night and though wrecked with fatigue next morning, nothing could dampen my spirits. I read it again and wished I could find further reading about this wonderful story.

I have never been the same since. It was a major turning point in my life and Bismarck became a source of fascination for me for the rest of my life. That was in 1959, the year the film "Sink the Bismarck!" Was released. I was desperate to see this film and everyone knew it - I could speak of nothing else. Sadly my behaviour did not meet expectation and I lost my pocketmoney for that month. I pleaded for the money to go and see the film but to no avail, my parents had finally found a way to hurt me - nothing else worked - and now they would have their pound of flesh. I could not believe they would be so small minded as to deny me this important opportunity ad I still find it hard to believe they could make such a mistake of judgement.

This had a very big effect on me and I resolved that I would never place myself between a child and their heartfelt wishes. It has cost me dear at times, but I don't regret a single thing.

I went to the cinema and sat myself on the steps outside near to the back of the building and listened to the sound-track through and open window. I must have been the picture of misery. As it turned out, I probably got more out of the film than it normally offered, but at the time I did not know this, because it is an utterly appalling film.

Now here I was, at my new school and in the short time I had been there I had let everyone know of my interest, to the point that they became sick of the sound of my voice and my favourite subject. To my utter dismay, it turned out that everyone except myself had now seen the film - everyone went to see war films in those days. Even now I prefer the soundtrack to watching the actual film. I cannot see that the ships are the wrong way round and nor can I see that the wrong types of ship are used for certain newsreel footage.

Vic Dale

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7603
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: How did you come to be interested in Bismarck?

Post by RF » Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:31 am

This four square paperback - any details? Presumably it is long out of print but presumably traceable?

The problem with a lot of the stuff produced in the 1950's and 1960's is that a lot of it was fictional due to a lack of detailed knowledge of the operation, particulary from the German angle, which is probably why ''Sink the Bismarck'' contained so many inaccuracies.

The Daleks seemed to evolve in their capabilities with each successive series of Dr Who, there was no basic parameters for Dalek capabilities, not even in the episodes for ''Genesis of the Daleks'' where their creator Davros constructed them. Interesting insight into dictatorship is shown here, as Davros programmed them to be devoid of conscience or pity (much the ideology of Hitler) but gave them a free will - with which at the end Davros lost control of the Daleks and they exterminated him. Miraculously Davros came back from the world of the exterminated in future episodes!
The lesson here - dictators have to keep control of everything, particulary the Army. The Third Riech was a very good example of this, the other armed forces such as the Navy had greater autonomy because they were less significant as a political power base, the KM for example was not in a position to overthrow Hitler.
But as the Bismarck episode shows, the KM's lesser significance placed it at higher risk in influencing Hitler, Lutjens and Bismarck's crew, through a combination of circumstance and bad luck paid the price.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

Vic Dale
Senior Member
Posts: 903
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:53 pm

Re: How did you come to be interested in Bismarck?

Post by Vic Dale » Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:11 pm

RF wrote:This four square paperback - any details? Presumably it is long out of print but presumably traceable?

The problem with a lot of the stuff produced in the 1950's and 1960's is that a lot of it was fictional due to a lack of detailed knowledge of the operation, particulary from the German angle, which is probably why ''Sink the Bismarck'' contained so many inaccuracies.
This book is really good though it is written from the British side. It is a popularised version of Russel Grenfell's account - The Bismarck Episode - and is much much better than the film. It doesn't have the utterly fictitious Captain Sheppard and the prim Miss Anne Davies and their hideous love tangle which made the film so yucky.

Sink the Bismarck! - written by Frank Brennand, was published by Four Square in 1960 and not in 1959 as per my earlier post. I must have been 13 then.

That same year, Corgi Produced "The Sinking of the Bismarck" written by Will Berthold. This book has a love angle to it, but again, factually it is very good and was the first time I saw any reference to Bismarck being scuttled by her crew after her guns had been knocked out. It seems this book is based on survivor's testimony and was first published in Germany under the title "Getreu bis in den Tod" by;- Sudddeutscher Verlag GMBH, Munich. The title (Faithful until Death "?") seems to suggest that military titles needed to be heavily disguised as love stories in Germany at that time, in order to get past the censor. The book does have the appearance of a work of fiction based on a real event at sea, but it is factually very accurate and is packed with information, though written from the perspective of a love-sick Werner Nobis who is doomed to die in the stormy wastes of the North Atlantic.

You may be able to imagine how many fights that reference to Bismarck's scuttling got me into, in a Britain saturated with nationalism and sickening British supremecism. It may surprise some that it came as a surprise to learn that Germans had the same body functions as ourselves and I am proud of the fact that I was the first in my school to see Germans as people and not machines, though sometimes as a child, I definitely bent the stick too far in the other direction. 15 years after the war's end Britain was still wrestling with intense anti-German sentiment. One has only to imagine the gap between ourselves and the Japanese who bore no closer relationship to ourselves than some form of deadly yellow insect, thanks to the anti-Japanese indoctrination going on in our schools at that time. It was not until I actually met Japanese people in the flesh, when on a foreign commision with the RN, that the last vestiges of this supremecist taint was finally banished from my mind.

Vic Dale

Zeggle
Junior Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:26 pm

Re: How did you come to be interested in Bismarck?

Post by Zeggle » Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:40 pm

Same as most people i guess when i was 8yrs! i used to buy airfix models, i had a collection of about 20 ww2 battle ships and one day my father came home with a .22 air rifle and with my mothers tin of lighter fuel i remember having a fantastic afternnons mocked up navel battle in the back garden.

User avatar
The_Ships_Cat
Member
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 6:26 pm
Location: Nr. Aberystwyth, Cymru

Re: How did you come to be interested in Bismarck?

Post by The_Ships_Cat » Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:01 am

I have the Four Sqaure book it's got an ace cover with a reasonable drawing of Kenneth More in a duffel coat with some lurid artwork of the Bismarck and a Swordfish coming right at you! Luckliy for the reader it's already pent it's ordnance! Funny looking thing, the swordfish, not our Ken (serious crush :wink: ), errrm...back to the book... :oops: Having just built another Tamiya Swordfish, to whet my appetite for buying the Bismarck and accessories on Saturday...yeay, one more sleep and a bowl of Malted Shreddies to go! This bit of illustration is indeed dodgy, I've seen better in my dad's Commando comics.
Unfortunately being illustrated the pages are falling out and I can't help you with the ISBN since this is pre that.
I can tell you like the others that it's written by Frank Brennand 2/6 no less, I paid 80p for it on a market which was probably a lot more than it was originally. I suggest trying flea-bay, I have seen them on there before.
Does anyone else like the Will Berthold book, or should that one be resigned to the back of the bookshelf?

Here is a start:

http://www.antiqbook.co.uk/boox/pend/12836.shtml
If that doesn't work :stubborn: (stuppid compy) try putting the book title and author in your search engine.

My absolute fave naval book is The Battle Of The River Plate by Dudley Pope.
"We stand tall on the quarterdeck, son.
All of us."

healthycoffee
Junior Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 5:05 am

Re: How did you come to be interested in Bismarck?

Post by healthycoffee » Tue Dec 30, 2008 5:35 am

I read the book Sink the Bismarck by c.s. forester (if that is spelled correctly) when I was in elementary school in 1st grade in 1973. It bothered me that this ship was suppose to be all that and a bag of chips but yet it was cut down by weaker ships and old bi planes. What was the truth? Was Battleship Bismarck a wonder weapon? The truth is very clear today. The Bismarck had more problems then most battleships in design and proved to be very prone to be rendered useless in an attack. The ship was built up by mouth service and did not hold up well when it was sent to action. The british airpower on aircraft carriers kicked Bismarcks butt hands down. Not only did Bismarck fail to shoot the old stringbag bi planes down with its new modern mighty guns (and with the help of all its new modern gunnery systems) but the british torpedo hits did more damage to the ships hull then realized or was reported. Bismarcks crew was not as well trained as first believed, more and more information is coming out on that from captured german pow's testimony to british intelegence interogators. ok, so it blew the hms Hood up. big deal. an old british battlecrusier. wow! but hms Prince of Wales being a new ship and suffering from teething problems hit Bismarck and made her suffer damage that ended her trip short. bismarck and tirpitz did very poorly in their short careers aginst the royal navy. I like the bismarck, but i wouldnt choose her for my navy. give me the ark royal and the stringbags and ill sink the bismarck everytime hands down. as for the crew? yes, they were very brave and fought the best they could to the very end. SO DID THE BRITISH CREW OF THE HOOD!

Vic Dale
Senior Member
Posts: 903
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:53 pm

Re: How did you come to be interested in Bismarck?

Post by Vic Dale » Tue Dec 30, 2008 1:07 pm

To Healthy Coffee. (Nothing to do with "decaf" then.)

It is easy when first embarking on the study of naval history, to place too much emphasis on claims about great ships and their performance and it is just as easy to assume that a battleship should be impervious to all and any attack. On finding out that a wonder weapon is not quite as good as may have been felt, it is all too easy to swing the other way and find fault where none lies.

Firstly it should be born in mind right from the start that Bismarck was a battleship which benefitted from the lastest equipment and was the very best in service at the time she sailed for the Atlantic. Most navies were still using older generation vessels, so this ship should be more than a match for any of them one to one.

When an assessment as to the superirority of a vessel is made it is a relative comparison. The Britsh Admiralty were well aware of the latest developments in ship design and armaments, their problem was they had not been able to incorporate the best in any vessel, not even the KGVs which suffered many problems due to treaty limitations worked into their design - the 14 gun and cramped machinery spaces to name just two.

Bismarck was a very large vessel and carried armour 2/3 her total weight and it was placed to very good effect. Despite the welter of shells which rained down on her, her machinery spaces did not suffer from any direct hits by pentration of her armour. Her guns worked well as did her target acquisition instruments, so very little can be said about poor performance here.

All ships carry defects which may or may not be worked out over time. The major failing in Bismarck was the time setting on the flak predictors which was geared on it's lower limit to aircraft which could to 150 mph, the Swordfish could barely make more than 85 mph, so Bismarck's heavy flak was firing ahead all of the time, making it possible for the attacking planes to get through and make a successful strike.

It does not matter which ship you cite, not one of them can take a torpedo hit in the rudders without being rendered unmaneouvreable and it is this which spelled Bismarck's doom. This could happen to any ship. So the disabling of the pride of the German Navy by little bi-planes made from canvass and string, says nothing about her potential as a weapon, because those planes and their torpedoes would be a menace to any ship in any navy.

As Regards the ship and her crew, all naval vessels carry inexperienced hands. This is the way the navy trains it's men. Junior seamen are placed alongside experienced hands to learn their trade, but they are not the ones who actually fight the ship. In action these young ratings and midshipmen perform communications duties and have minor roles to play until they become true "salts" in every sense of the word. Often they are given jobs to do which distract them and keep their minds off the coming battle. The ship is never dependent on inexperienced hands at lower deck or officer level, not in her guns, nor in her machinery spaces.

During the action in the Denmark Strait PoW found Bismarck for "line" within the first two salvoes. Despite being a "raw ship" her men at the guns, rangefinders and TS, were far from inexperienced and despite defects in the actual guns (their design and also their newness) they managed to place accurate and damaging fire on their opponent.

HMS Hood has not received her due credit for gunnery in this action. She placed her first salvo ahead and to port of her opponent, Prinz Eugen (PG) and was thus firing short. Her second salvo, presumably the second of a double fired as a zig-zag, fell in line to port, but close enough to put the decks awash. The next salvo fell to starboard fairly close too and adjacent to the starboard after Flak sponson. Owing to the sharp angle of approach, Hood's after guns were wooded at this time, so salvoes were being fired alternately from the forward guns only. With the results detailed above, it is likely that Hood would have registered a straddle with this last salvo.

Reports from PG say that succeeding salvoes fell in the ship's wake and given that Hood was a top gun ship, it is unlikely that line would be lost under these fighting conditions, so we should conclude that Hood had shifted fire to Bismarck after the third salvo. There are further observations to be made about this, but more on it later, perhaps on another thread.

Prinz Eugen opened fire on Hood at 0555 and succeeeded in striking the target, setting RU ammunition lockers afire at 0557, so again a good performance from a gunnery team in a ship which had had no war experience as a unit until that time. Her gunnery team was clearly a very experienced body and I believe that at least one had fought at the River Plate.

Bismarck opened fire just after Hood, having ascertained that she was Hood's target and is reported to have fired just before PoW, by PoW's own captain. She fired three salvoes forming a bracket 400m long and found her target, straddling with the lower limiting salvo. Having found the target, full salvoes were ordered and Hood blew up as the fifth salvo fell.

Gunnery at the Denmark Strait was comparable between all units involved and hits registered seem to even out also, especially if Hood sored one of the hits on Bismarck. The hit on the workboat is not serious and being so high up would likely have been placed as over unless it struck the funnel, the battle mast or the light upper parts of the after superstructure.

When Hood blew up it sent shock waves throughout the navy and confidence in older vessels was badly shaken, not so much because Bismarck was so good, but because it was felt they were vulnerable and action between Bismarck and the QE and RS class and the two battlecruisers was forbidden unless Bismarck herself was already engaged by a KGV or Nelson.

In her last battle, Bismarck suffered the worst of handicaps, her speed was limited to about 12 knots and she could not hold a steady course - essential for good gunnery. She also had to fight two opponents. Close study of the track chart shows that an element of tactical control remained with the ship and it seems that Captain Lindemann used this to best effect absorbing most of the incoming fire in the forward part of the ship so as to keep Caesar and Dora turrets intact until the range had come down making it possible to range on her targets to good effect. The Baron himself registered a straddle using thre after turrets with just 4 salvoes. Not bad under the circumstances.

This was a battle Bismarck could not win and her crew showed just how well the men of the KM stand up to an impossible situation - as they did on occassions at Jutland. Discipline maintained throughout and one small expression of this came when one man was seen to be tying and untying his neck-tie. An officer spotted this and told him that his actions might make others nervous, so he was told to stop or a way would be found to stop him. Such fine focus in so dreadful a situation shows a marvellous grip and a high degree of discipline.

Men were called upon to carry out a variety of duties under intense fire and they all obeyed. They were sent to fight fires in the forward part of the ship and the superstructure, never to be seen again, but they went. The ship's damage control teams went into action and unless damaged beyond repair the ship's equipment was kept in action. Even the forward turrets which were thought to have been wrecked, managed to fire from at least one gun after 20 minutes. That small statement alone speaks of frantic and unseen activity to keep the ship in action. These were not sucklings hungry for mother's breast, they were fighting men in every sense of the word and as ready for combat as anyone on the British side. Tovey paid tribute to them too.

When the order to abandon ship had been given, the men were released from their duties and the time had now come to look out for themselves, but even here a high degree of discipline maintained. The Baron held his men together as did Cdr Oels below decks before he was killed.

That some men went to pieces on reaching the upper deck is not surprising, the sight of bodies mangled and maimed beyond the scope of imagination, the sound of wounded men screaming in terrible agony having lost arms and legs and with the decks running with blood, the sight must have been utterly horrific. Anyone could be excused for panicking. These men coming up from below no longer had a purpose and that often unhinges reason. The medical teams continued to tend the wounded even as the ship began to roll. Tribute has been paid to them many times by a good number of survivors.

The ship and her crew performed as well as any other naval unit, but this one had certain advantages the lastest light enhancing gyro-stabilised optics, high-velocity guns and a heavy suit of armour fit for purpose as built, instead of an ancient suit which had been patched and thickened to cover weaknesses. Her engines were put through the most exacting test during the night of the 26th-27th, when they were continually stopped and started and run at varying speeds to try and find a solution to the damaged steering.

Lastly Bismarck's men, after a week of extremes of exuberance and doubt and despite lack of sleep, were still able to function during the night destroyers attacks and kept Vian's ships out to a distance beyond that which would provide for success with torpedoes.

Bismarck was just a ship but I still think a truly good one.

Vic Dale

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: How did you come to be interested in Bismarck?

Post by Bgile » Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:21 pm

I agree with Vic's statement except for the part about Bismarck's FC not being able to track Swordfish because they were too slow. I don't think that has any foundation in fact and was an excuse propagated to explain away Bismarck's poor AA achievement along with Swordfish being invulnerable because of their fabric skin, but this debate doesn't belong in this topic.

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7603
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: How did you come to be interested in Bismarck?

Post by RF » Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:10 pm

I too agree with the general thread running throgh Vic's post above. That the Bismarck was a fine ship, and well handled is not in doubt.

But the areas I would pose questions in considering Rheinubung concern the military leadership and command decisions - and that starts with Hitler, Raeder and Lutjens.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

Vic Dale
Senior Member
Posts: 903
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:53 pm

Re: How did you come to be interested in Bismarck?

Post by Vic Dale » Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:11 pm

A quick point here as other discussions are raging. If you have aircraft attacking head-on in the usual way of torpedo attacks and you are putting up a flak barrage, you will need a predictor to home the barrage in on the attack. That predictor has settings on it for lead and unless you put the right amount of lead into the range calculation the flak will either explode ahead or astern of the attack. Apparently the flak predictor in Bismarck could not at that time be set to planes slower than 150 mph. The swordfish could barely make 85 mph.

That is precisely what Percy Gick reported during his attack, and as he said in various documentaries about the Bismarck when addressing his crew, " The leads off and is exploding ahead, it just smells awful that 's all."

The flak was bursting ahead, yet contact-fused and solid amuntion was striking the aircraft. It is the flak shells bursting ahead which saved the planes. If the flak crews had not set the fuses, they would probably have brought some swordfish down. If the fuses had been set at too long a range then some of the shells would have struck and gone off on contact.

Vic Dale

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7603
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: How did you come to be interested in Bismarck?

Post by RF » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:46 pm

Knowing that the British had such aircraft as Swordfish, and aware of the damage they could do - as evidenced at Taranto - and aware as Lutjens was of that threat (he confirmed it to Hitler on the occasion of the Fuhrer's visit to Bismarck) I am surprised that the German gunnery officers did not make any preparation for attack by aircraft at speeds below 150 mph.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

Post Reply