Bismarck firing procedures at DS

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wadinga
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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by wadinga » Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:41 pm

Hey There CSI Cadogan,

It's worth revisiting viewtopic.php?f=1&t=131 about the bow hit. Bulkheads were damaged, several compartments were flooded- we do not have the incident angle studies done on PoW in a dockyard. It seems to me quite possible some hits were less oblique to the centreline. And the assumption is made that because three salvoes were assessed as straddles, this is when the three hits were made. Not for certain.

We have already discussed how illogical some PoW corrections seem to be given the spotting assessment.
the range would not have dropped so precipitously from about 22,000 yards at 0555 to 16,500 at 0600!
Have you allowed for PoW's hard turn to starboard to avoid Hood's wreck, witnessed by Busch and many others, unrecorded by Rowell and dismissed as not happening at all by some?

All the best

wadinga
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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by paulcadogan » Wed Mar 23, 2016 2:00 pm

wadinga wrote:Hey There CSI Cadogan,
:shock: :lol: :lol: :cool:

From what I've read, the bow shell passed through compartment XXI damaging the bulkheads on either side.
wadinga wrote:Have you allowed for PoW's hard turn to starboard to avoid Hood's wreck, witnessed by Busch and many others, unrecorded by Rowell and dismissed as not happening at all by some?
You know where I believe that turn occurred (from a certain past heated discussion!) and I don't believe it was a hard one. Still you can follow the steady (precipitous may have been too strong a word) range reduction with PoW's salvos from 0555 onwards to PoW's turn away. If Bismarck was on a similar course at 28-30 knots, that would not have happened - the range would have been more constant - i.e like a running fight.

Just my sleuthly opinion! :wink:
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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:51 am

Hello everybody,

I read we have definitively cleared the Schmalenbach and Baron earlier ( early 1970's ) maps and agreed that what Wadinga was proposing is not possible.

In order to better define the Bismarck track now, ... until the famous turn to starboard, ... and associate to her the fired salvos, ... which is the ultimate intent of this thread, ... I propose once again for everybody evaluation what we have, ... as official documents on the German side.

We have 2 maps ( PG battle and PG Torpedo ), one photo ( Nh 69722 first BS salvo ) and one sketch/paint ( PK Schmitz-Westerholt ), ... until 06.00 and the HMS Hood explosion, ... to be associated to the various accounts, ... driving us to the Hood explosion ( Nh 69724 photo ).

Here the maps, that were utilized by Schmalenbach and the Baron to produce their latest and ultimate battle map version as soon as they become available :
PG_Schmalenbach_Baron_maps_correlation.jpg
PG_Schmalenbach_Baron_maps_correlation.jpg (66.95 KiB) Viewed 2088 times
... and here the photos and the sketches/paint showing us the scenario from 05:55 until 06:00 :
BS_DS_salvo_1_to_10.jpg
BS_DS_salvo_1_to_10.jpg (58.01 KiB) Viewed 2088 times
Everybody comments, evaluations and suggestions, ... your help ... is more than welcome.

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:57 pm

Hello everybody,

of course this sketch made by the Propaganda Kompanie ( Kriegsmahler - War Artist ) Julius Caesar Schmitz-Westerholt, ... onboard the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, ... being the war artist PK dedicated to sketch the events, ... does make a clear view of the relative warships situation when Bismarck delivered the fatal salvo ( the 10th ) to the HMS Hood :
Bundesarchiv_146-1968-015-18_Schmitz_Westerholt_sketch.jpg
Bundesarchiv_146-1968-015-18_Schmitz_Westerholt_sketch.jpg (117.96 KiB) Viewed 2072 times
http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/cross-s ... h[focus]=1

It is evident the Bismarck was just following the Prinz Eugen on course 220 degrees, ... on the heavy cruiser starboard side, ... several hundred meters behind the Prinz Eugen.

It is very interesting to read Fritz Otto Busch account of this Propaganda Kompanie War Artist activity on board the Prinz Eugen, from the book : Prinz Eugen im ersten gefecht - F.O. Busch - 1943 at pages 159-160 and 161 :
Since I did not see the explosion of our first opponent myself, because of the ordered target change, I asked the comrades after the battle who had been eye witnesses of this brief event.

It was our artist, our painter and specialist who was able to describe the scene most effectively :

[Julius C. Schmitz-Westerholt was a Leutnant (S), (S = Sonderführer = specialist). See: article and watercolors in “Signal” No. 17, 1941. It is posted at http://www.Kbismarck.com]. [There is also a post-war account of this in: The Story of the Prince Eugen, pp. 43-44, Fritz Otto Busch, Robert Hale Ltd., London, 1960]

“ When the alarm came, I was obviously asleep. After all, it was only about 0430 AM. Because of the constant air raid alarms, I expected that we would be awakened by an alarm. Anyway, I wake up promptly during every change in course or speed. I had worked hard on my sketches and I was dead-tired, and I must have slept like a log. I race topsides, obviously still a little dopey, to the starboard boat deck, past the 10.5 cm Flak, and then across from behind the catapult to the portside.
I see the smoke clouds on port, and I run back and plow up to the bridge and up the fighting top mast to the admiral’s bridge.
I did have a cabin there at one time, and I knew that I would have the best view from the signal bridge for preparing my sketches.

Furthermore, I had my Leica around my neck, but I did not get a chance to take any pictures during the battle.

I had to pay too much attention to the events, to remember the colors, the shapes and everything else, everything that one may need later on, in order to reproduce a picture of such a sea battle correctly and flawlessly.

My school buddy and friend, the senior air force lieutenant, was already up there. We always called him the “Flying Master”, captain knows ! ”

Certainly I knew that and I listen eagerly.
If anyone can, this artist certainly had observed in detail the colors and mood of such a battle scene.
And he certainly did just do that.


When the specialist [the painter] looks across to the English through the large artillery binoculars, across to both battleships which are in a staggered formation bearing down with white foam at the bow, the pilot taps him with the elbow: “For heaven’s sake, they apparently feel as if they are terribly powerful! ”

We all had a similar feeling, when these ship came toward us with point blank abandon, a typical English habit of underestimating the opponent!

And then “Bismarck” fires, and the painter runs across to the starboard bridge wing, because the battleship is in a slight starboard staggered position in relation to “Prinz Eugen”.

He [the painter] watches the unfolding picture of power that our flagship projects: clad in giant clouds of powder vapors which rapidly swirl aft because of flank speed, its barrels directed toward the enemy, the rangefinders and the entire superstructure illuminated by the fiery bright firing flashes.

One, two salvoes burst away, then the specialist [painter] hurries back to capture a view of the impacts at the enemy.

And right in the middle of his walk, right behind the small protective screen that is provided for the signal crew of the watch, he is slammed with sheer brutal force against the mast: our own turrets have opened fire !
Based on the above, ... it is my opinion that the sketch above does have similar value of a real taken photo, ... and in fact the PK Josef Lagemann had one copy of it together with his original personal photos donated to the Bundesarchiv, ... and there is where I first found this photo/sketch on 2004 when I first visited the Bundesarchiv with Herr Josef Kaiser.

After I have found many more information about this important sketch and its publications during the war time, ... and his color paint version too ... that was at first in the OKM office of Adm Erich Raeder in Berlin ... and later was donated to Adm Gunther Lutjens widow.

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by paulcadogan » Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:27 pm

But Antonio,

The smoke pattern shown for the British is that of the aftermath - NH69731 - so Hood is already sunk and PoW is retreating under smoke. At that point, Bismarck had turned away and was firing on an aft bearing. It therefore cannot be the salvo that sank Hood when Hood is shown already under water.

The painting is therefore wrong for depicting the reality of the battle, and is no better than any of the several others showing Hood and PoW, Hood burning, or Hood blowing up with PoW steaming around her. It is an artist's impression, done with dramatic license - excellent in artistic value, but of limited value otherwise.

The artist was on PG's signal bridge, way ahead, but he is depicting a view from Bismarck's starboard quarter - he obviously had to use his imagination. His positioning of the two ships is a generalization based on his recollection - the only "reality" value being in the verbal statement of the "slight starboard staggered position". The depiction in the painting is, however, quarter line formation, more akin to the relative positions of Hood & PoW. From the original opening fire photo of Bismarck - almost smack in PG's wake, either Bismarck or PG would have had to have made a significant course adjustment to achieve the position shown in the painting in 5 minutes or less.

Just my opinion....

Paul
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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:32 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Paul Cadogan,

I agree with you, ... obviously the War Artist took a lot of " artistic licenses " to depict this event, ... no doubts.

However, as you correctly pointed out, the irrefutable value of this sketch/paint as well as the F.O. Busch book account is the positioning of the Bismarck on that moment : on the Prinz Eugen starboard quarter wake, following the Prinz Eugen still sailing on the converging course 220 degrees.

All this is confirmed by the photo Nh 69724 showing the Prinz Eugen port side midship railings on teh converging course with the enemy, ... until the photo Nh 69731, ...as you very well know, ... having made personal sketches about all this years ago, ... blessed ... and a lot liked too, ... by Ltnt Otto Schlenzka of PG crew, ... a battle eyewitness ... during my personal interview with him in Kiel.

It is exactly where both Schmalenbach and the Baron positioned Bismarck on their last maps.

Everything else can be realized and obtained by the correlation of other information we already have.
Bismarck_Schmitz_Westerholt_paint.jpg
Bismarck_Schmitz_Westerholt_paint.jpg (92.58 KiB) Viewed 2035 times
Anyway, here the correct caption of that sketch/paint directly from Kpt zur See Helmut Brinkmann :
Caption_Schmitz_Westerholt_sketch_paint_01.jpg
Caption_Schmitz_Westerholt_sketch_paint_01.jpg (100.42 KiB) Viewed 2043 times
Consequently, unless somebody does have something showing us a different situation, ... we must assume that from 05:55 until 06:00 ... the Bismarck was following the Prinz Eugen on course 220 degrees in her wake, ... just like Schmalenbach and the Baron placed her .... slightly on her starboard side, ... based on the above.

Suggestions, opinions and ... help, ... is always more than welcome ... :wink:

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by Steve Crandell » Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:45 pm

Considering where the Baron's action station was, he would not have had any first hand knowledge of where Prinz Eugene was, except somewhere he couldn't see. He had been ordered to keep track of the British cruisers.

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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:25 am

Hello everybody,

@ Steve Crandell,

I agree with you, ... in fact as you can easily verify yourself on the above maps I have posted, ... while Schmalenbach, which was the 2nd Artillery Officer and in that moment taking care of the Anti-Aircraft fire against the Sunderland, had no idea of where Suffolk and Norfolk where precisely, ... the Baron map puts the 2 RN heavy cruisers in a much more correct position if one compare Schmalenbach map positions of Norfolk and Suffolk, ... and the Baron was right.

But in the other hand, Schmalenbach knew better than the Baron where Prinz Eugen was in relation to Bismarck during the battle, and once he had in his hands the correct Prinz Eugen battle map, the film and the photos, he had not much difficulties correctly positioning them and realize the Bismarck correct track compared to the real Prinz Eugen one.

As a logic consequence and confirmation, you can verify that the Baron just copied and improved a bit the Schmalenbach positioning of Bismarck track in relation to the Prinz Eugen official map during the battle.

Read yourself Schmalenbach report, at the beginning of the engagement ref. photo Nh 69722 :
The battleship Bismarck followed in our wake at an average interval of 16 hectometers, with whom it was agreed how the EM II instruments should search the horizon. {Prinz Eugen (was to take the sector) 270 to 90 (degrees), Bismarck 90 to 270°}.
and his observations thru the engagement :
I looked across to "Bismarck" several times, but (I have) nothing to report.
Obviously we do not have only Schmalenbach, but we have Brinkmann ref. the above sketch/paint caption, ... we have F.O. Busch account describing Schmitz-Westerholt activities on board Prinz Eugen moving on the two ship sides of Prinz Eugen.

Last but not least we have the fact that Bismarck cannot have been on the Prinz Eugen port side during this elapsed timeframe and after until the Prinz Eugen turn to starboard at 06:03:45, ... otherwise I cannot see how Kpt Brinkmann could have ordered the PG Torpedo launch toward PoW and the A/A 105 mm port side guns to open fire against PoW too ( as they did ) with the Bismarck coming on that side between Prinz Eugen and the target/enemy.

This last fact I have personally verified with a battle eyewitness Ltnt Otto Schlenzka in Kiel years ago during an interview.
Ltnt Schlenzka was the Officer that directed the 105 mm A/A port side guns fire toward PoW on those crucial moments, after Hood explosion and before PoW turned away retreating.
He confirmed that Bismarck was not in his field of view, but on the other side of Prinz Eugen on that timeframe.

This should be enough as confirmation for the Bismarck main course from 05:55 to 06:00 ... and until her turn to starboard at approx 06:03 ... :think:

As usual, ... suggestions, opinions and ... help, ... is always more than welcome ... :wink:

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:25 pm

Hello everybody,

let me summarize what we have achieved so far :

1) Bismarck position at 05:55, when she opened fire with her first salvo :
05-55 Denmark Strait 01.jpg
05-55 Denmark Strait 01.jpg (35.36 KiB) Viewed 1841 times
2) Bismarck position at around 06:00 when she delivered the fatal salvo to HMS Hood :
06-00 Denmark Strait.JPG
06-00 Denmark Strait.JPG (50.43 KiB) Viewed 1841 times
... and the first 10 salvos, ... for a total of 40 shells ... she delivered to Hood :
BS_DS_Firing_April_1_2016_03.jpg
BS_DS_Firing_April_1_2016_03.jpg (96.79 KiB) Viewed 1841 times
I assume there is a general consensus now about it ... so I close this period/section ... and I move forward to the change of fire to HMS Prince of Wales ... before Bismarck turned to starboard at around 06:03.

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:28 pm

Hello everybody,

here is how from HMS Prince of Wales they saw and evaluated the Bismarck course.

It does not have to surprise the differences/mismatch compared to the almost straight 220°course of Bismarck following the Prinz Eugen, ... just compare how from Prinz Eugen they evaluated the PoW/Hood course and you will have an idea.
In fact VizeAdm Hubert Schmundt was not satisfied about it at all ... reference his report.

In this regard the previous analysis of Herr Nilsson about how to " correct " the PoW salvo 6 hit on PoW Gunnery map ... and align the 3 PoW hits to a more realistic Bismarck 220° almost straight course does apply ... :think:
PoW_maps_Showing_BS_Track.jpg
PoW_maps_Showing_BS_Track.jpg (53.84 KiB) Viewed 1837 times
To be noticed on the above maps the Bismarck turning point from course220° to course 270°, ... at around 06:02 and 30 seconds.

Here Capt J.C. Leach account about this situation :
It was considered expedient to break off the action and consolidate the position, and the ship, after being manoeuvred round the remains of "Hood", turned away behind a smoke screen.
"Y" Turret fired in local during the turn as smoke blanked the after director.

It now seems probable that the enemy turned away at the same time as "Prince of Wales" and about two enemy salvos were seen short during this period.


Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:58 pm

Hello everybody,

here we have the second section of the Bismarck firing at Denmark Strait, ... after having sunk the HMS Hood, ... the Bismarck changed target to HMS Prince of Wales while maintaining the course 220 ° still following the Prinz Eugen.

Here VizeAdm Hubert Schmundt confirmation :
I do not know the thought processes of the chief of fleet here either for holding the cruiser in the line of battle, not only to engage " Hood " but also against the " Prince of Wales ".
06-02-30 Denmark Strait.jpg
06-02-30 Denmark Strait.jpg (22.96 KiB) Viewed 1805 times
... the images we have of this period, ..from salvo 11 to salvo 16th included ...
BS_DS_salvo_11_to_16.jpg
BS_DS_salvo_11_to_16.jpg (26.63 KiB) Viewed 1805 times
... and here the Bismarck firing sequence on this elapsed time :
BS_DS_Firing_April_2_2016_02.jpg
BS_DS_Firing_April_2_2016_02.jpg (117.74 KiB) Viewed 1805 times
As usual, ... comments and opinion ... your help ... is always more than welcome ...

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:29 am

@Antonio Bonomi:
Hi Antonio, thanks for posting this summary of your reconstructed battlemap (German side). :clap:


@all:
Hi, I'm still quite confused about the German firing procedures to find range and to fire for effect and how actually Bismarck fired during the DS battle. I just had a view to this very site (Jose valuable information) and I found this: http://www.kbismarck.com/controltiri.html
Especially the following (last) paragraph suggests a different way of firing the "GabelGruppe", not with fore turrets firing 4 shells salvo, then aft turrets and last again fore turrets at intervals of 15-20 seconds (12 shells in total ordered to fire) , but with three turrets firing (2 shells each) at different ranges, with intervals of 2 seconds (6 shells totally ordered) ! :think:
KBismarck.com - Technical - Fire Control: "....In order to find the range as fast as possible, on the Bismarck it was customary to open fire with three partial salvos in rapid succession, set at different ranges, so that all three were in the air at the same time. Let's say turret "Anton" first, two seconds later turret "Bruno", and then turret "Dora". After observing the fall of this first group, the Artillery Officer had to introduce the necessary corrections and usually with the second group the target was already straddled. Once the correct range and inclination was obtained, then they could fire full salvos with all eight guns, or partial salvos with either the fore or after turrets. "
If this is the case, then the suggested Antonio's sequence for Bismarck salvos should be amended to reflect a different way of firing guns...... :think:

Also, German "fire for effect" is not yet 100% clear to me, as I don't know whether BS was firing e.g. fore turrets, just after few seconds aft turrets and then spot fall of shells, correct and fire another double-salvo, or fore turrets are fired, 20-25 seconds later aft turrets, 20-25 seconds later fore again and so on, much more similar to PoW semi-salvos).
PoW Gunnery Aspects document doesn't help much here, even if it suggests a quite short interval between the two groups:
PoW Gunnery Narrative - E- Notes on Enemy Gunnery: "2) Method of Fire. - Bismarck appeared to fire the whole of her fore group (i.e. "A" and "B" turrets), followed by the whole of her aft group ("X" and "Y" turrets). Towards the end of the morning action, guns in a group were definitely observed to "ripple" as if one or more turrets were in gunlayers' firing."
Bye, Alberto
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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by tommy303 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:38 pm

In the case of Bismarck, it was actually preferred that the three Gabel Gruppe salvos be fired with turret groups. This was because four shells were better for determining mean points of impact, since it was possible for two shells to fall in line and be difficult to tell one from the other, or one could be a wild shell or flyer and it would be necessary with a two gun salvo to fire it again. If one gun misfired during its assigned salvo, one still had three which would be adequate for spottting. Consequently, four gun turret groups were fired at about 15 second intervals since that would permit each successive salvo to be properly spotted as the splashes rose to their zenith--i.e., A+B--15 second pause--C+D--15 second pause--A+B (which would have reloaded in the 30 second interval). In the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, the practice was to fire three-gun turret salvos as the Gabel Gruppe.

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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:53 pm

@Tommy303:
Hi Tommy, thanks a lot. Of course it makes sense .
Littorio class battleship were using the same method as the twins (even if the first Italian GabelGruppe was used to adjust inclination and only the second to adjust for range....)

Do you know whether the "fire for effect" was usually done firing A+B, followed by C+D after few seconds and then a "long" pause or with a more uniform interval between two groups and the following two groups ?

Bye, Alberto
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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by tommy303 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:54 pm

fire for effect would have been normally turret groups, A+B, C+D at regular intervals. Delays or long pauses would be if the MPI wandered off target requiring a correction.

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