Bismarck firing procedures at DS

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:54 am

Alecsandros wrote: "The British reported it having been hit on "salvo 3", out of 5 or 6 salvos fired."
Hi Alec,
British witnesses (I have posted Rowell above) says differently. Your source please ?

you wrote: "If the film that we see would be post-torpedo alarm, then Bismarck would be firing from C+D only during the film"
Sorry, I don't see any turn from Bismarck. Bismarck turrets were never wooded (at 6:03 the enemy is at around 50° from the stern of Bismarck.....). Possibly at the end of the sequence (with BS running west on 270°) the fore turrets were close to the stops and were not fired......

What is 100% sure is that, during the whole film, all the turrets are always trained aft and this is only possible after 6:03. In addition in your hypothesis PG would be between BS and PoW, slightly behind BS at 6:01, while she was ahead of BS......

This frame is showing the fall of the last PoW salvo in local control (the second one we see in the film, landed after 6:04, see green arrow), BS has just fired both the fore and aft turrets (please see the film few seconds before this frame) and you see clearly the turrets with the gun barrels trained well aft (red arrow). Therefore the whole film is taken after 6:03 with Bismarck on 270° course......
Salvo3_local_control.jpg
Salvo3_local_control.jpg (123.04 KiB) Viewed 1034 times
Bye, Alberto
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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:07 am

Hello everybody,

@ Alecsandros,

sorry, but your analysis is not correct for timing and main documented events.

On the PG Rheinubung film we can clearly see the Prinz Eugen turning and Bismarck having already turned on 270° course, so she is not on a parallel PoW course.

The timing of that Prinz Eugen turn is unique and well reported on both PG official battle map as well as on the PG Torpedo map explanation and it is 06:03 and 45 seconds.

That is a perfect match with PoW local control salvo 20 of one shell, the first and single shell
one we see on the film being reported on the PoW gunnery map being fired on that time slot.

Alberto and you are right when you state that the British " salvo " definition is " ambiguous " and that is where the solution is, ... and it is only 13 years that I know this problem.

That is why I have used sometimes the term : semi salvo for the 4 guns ( 2 turrets ) firing methodology.

Both 40 ( forty ) shells ( either 5x8 or 10x4 ) to sink Hood ( from the Baron ) as well as 93 total fired shells ( out of probable 108 ordered to fire ) are numbers provided by the official sources.

The share of the salvos fired to PoW and to Hood is correct for timing according to the Bismarck rate of fire we can see on the film and on the last battle photos that do show almost all the salvos fired to PoW.

By subtracting those you have a confirmation of the around 40 shells fired before to Hood, ... confirming once again the Baron statements being correct for 40 shells, ... being 5 salvos ... so he counted for Bismarck salvos of 8 guns, ... no doubts about it ... and here again we have to decide in which way we assume the British methodology to count shells into a salvo ( 4 or 8 shells ).

On 2004 I went for the Baron methodology and counted salvos of 8 guns, ... using semi-salvo of 4 guns to correlate what we see on the film and on the photos.

As you can see on my analysis here in I have changed lately using " salvo " for the 2 turrets ( 4 guns ) firing sequence, ... so they are 27 in total ( 108 / 4 = 27 salvos ), out of which 10 fired on 5 minutes to Hood and 17 fired in 9 minutes to PoW.

As you can see the rate of fire is confirming everything, ... once again.

Hope now all is a bit more clear ... Bye Antonio :D
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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by alecsandros » Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:02 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Hi Alec,
British witnesses (I have posted Rowell above) says differently. Your source please ?
NOTES ON EVIDENCE

Evidence from Norfolk

Norfolk was not in action. Although Hood was at a range of 20,000 yards, she was clearly visible. Being the leading ship, Hood was in no way obscured by smoke or firing from Prince of Wales. Hood, being the Senior Officer's ship, was closely watched; in fact, two signal ratings had their telescopes on her all the time. From a long distance point of view, the evidence is considered reliable and this is borne out by the reasonably consistent statements of the majority of the witnesses.

Evidence from Prince of Wales

Prince of Wales opened fire with her forward turrets shortly after Hood. In sifting the evidence from this ship the fact has to be borne in mind that the ship was in action and that in some cases the fall of shot from Bismarck was between Hood and Prince of Wales, a distance of four cables. Few witnesses were able to give their undivided attention to Hood.

Nevertheless, the close-up view has provided the more detailed evidence, from which it has been possible to form certain definite conclusions.

Sequence of Events

The following sequence of events has been arrived at from the sifting of all the evidence available from HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Norfolk.

(a) Ships opened fire in the following order: Hood, Bismarck, Prince of Wales, all within one minute. Bismarck fired 4-gun salvos. Gun range: 23,000 yards (approx).
(b) Opening salvo from Bismarck fell ahead of Hood, as observed from Prince of Wales. It was therefore probably out for line and slightly short.
(c) Second salvo fell between Prince of Wales and Hood. It was therefore probably correct for line, but still short.
(d) Third salvo was a straddle and included at least one hit which apparently burst on the port side just before the mainmast.
(e) Fourth salvo was probably just over, as it appeared to be astern of Hood.
(f) Fifth salvo undoubtedly straddled and hit, and Hood blew up. Gun range: 16,500 yards.

http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... 1_to59.htm
Sorry, I don't see any turn from Bismarck. Bismarck turrets were never wooded (at 6:03 the enemy is at around 50° from the stern of Bismarck.....).
I see a different angle, but it may be , as Antonio says, that Prinz Eugen turned, not Bismarck.
Still the water columns are from Prince of WAles guns, and those fired before 6:02.

What is 100% sure is that, during the whole film, all the turrets are always trained aft and this is only possible after 6:03.
My opinon is Bismarck had a sinusoidal course around 270, and not a steady course.
This frame is showing the fall of the last PoW salvo in local control
Prince of WAles's salvos fird in local control all fell short...
Last edited by alecsandros on Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by alecsandros » Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:05 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote:Hello everybody,

@ Alecsandros,

sorry, but your analysis is not correct for timing and main documented events.
I don't have a correct analysis. I have different sets of data that do not match each other.
British say Hood was first hit on salvo 3. Salvo 3 was a semi-salvo, part of the initial ranging methodology employed by Schneider. British continue to count salvos after it. Salvo 4,5, possibly 6. Those may be 4 or 8 gun salvos. If they are 4-gun salvos, total number of shots sums up to 20-24. If they are 8-gun salvos, total number of shots sums up to 28 or 36.

---

Rate of fire as it appears on film is completely different then the one proposed by the Baron (up to 2.74 rpmpg in the film vs 1 rpmpg in Baron's book). Do you have concerns over the "real-timeness" of the film as well ?

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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:04 pm

Hi Alec,
therefore you are using as "proof" the first board of Inquiry conclusions.....

As you see yourself, the sequence of events, that I copy here below, is full of mistakes (in bold blue the correct ones)

(a) Ships opened fire in the following order: Hood, Bismarck, Prince of Wales, (Hood, PoW, Bismarck) all within one minute (2 to 3 minutes). Bismarck fired 4-gun salvos. Gun range: 23,000 yards (approx). (around 25000 yards, PoW fired at 26500 yards, albeit largely overestimating)
(b) Opening salvo from Bismarck fell ahead of Hood, as observed from Prince of Wales. It was therefore probably out for line and slightly short.
(c) Second salvo fell between Prince of Wales and Hood. It was therefore probably correct for line, but still short.
(d) Third salvo was a straddle and included at least one hit which apparently burst on the port side just before the mainmast (is this the hit from PG ???).
(e) Fourth salvo was probably just over, as it appeared to be astern of Hood.
(f) Fifth salvo undoubtedly straddled and hit, and Hood blew up. Gun range: 16,500 yards.


As you see it's much, much worse than the Baron account and it doesn't match even the British witnesses and official documents (e.g. PoW gunnery report).....Also it accounts for just 20 shots, something totally unbelievable in 5 minutes fight..... :think:

you wrote: "Still the water columns are from Prince of Wales guns, and those fired before 6:02."
How can it be, if Bismarck was on course 220° until 6:03, having the enemy slightly ahead and firing with the turrets trained at around 70/80°left from her bow ?
Here the enemy is behind Bismarck (turrets are trained at around 130°left from the bow), so here BS has already turned to 270°(steady course or sinusoidal) and we are around 6:04. The frame I posted above is quite clear.


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by alecsandros » Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:23 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:As you see it's much, much worse than the Baron account[/b][/u] and it doesn't match even the British witnesses and official documents (e.g. PoW gunnery report).....Also it accounts for just 20 shots, something totally unbelievable in 5 minutes fight..... :think:
Much worse - quite possibly,
but not necessarily wrong in counting salvos. All British eye-witnesss deppositions that I know off, and that include counitng salvos, said 5 or 6...
you wrote: "Still the water columns are from Prince of Wales guns, and those fired before 6:02."
How can it be, if Bismarck was on course 220° until 6:03, having the enemy slightly ahead and firing with the turrets trained at around 70/80°left from her bow ?
It can be, if Bismarck was pursuing a sinusiodal course around it's base course...

Remember we had a long discussion some 1 year ago, about how much time it took for Bismarck to actualy perform the turn after the fake torpedo alarm. About 40 seconds or so , maximum ? And the film shows about 90 seconds of firing. So, with necessity, the film portrays salvos fired before the torpedo alarm as well...

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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:29 pm

Alecsandros wrote: "It can be, if Bismarck was pursuing a sinusiodal course around it's base course..."
Hi Alec,
I don't think BS was on a sinusoidal course left and right to the main 220° course and turning 50° to left and right (100° turn from 270° to 170.....). It would have decreased her speed too much.
If a sinusoidal course was kept it could have been just a 10° max around the 220°, and there is no evidence at all about that.

The film probably starts around 6:03:30, the sure timing is the turn of PG (well visible in the film and happening around 6:03:30) and the fall of shots of the 2 last local salvos. I see no way the film can show minute 6:01 or 6:02 also due to the relative position of PG.....

Bye, Alberto
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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by alecsandros » Thu Jun 16, 2016 3:29 pm

@Alberto
I think you are right, the turrets are trained quite abit... A complicated battle :think:

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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by alecsandros » Fri Jun 17, 2016 7:38 am

... Been re-reading sections of PRinz EUgen KTB. As usual, I found new things, in the light of this discussion concerning salvoes and rate of fire...

More specifically, at pg 39, we have the report from 1st Artillery Officer Paul Jaspers. Reading his account of the battle with Hood and Prince of Wales, I counted the salvoes as he described them.
From this section of PE KTB, it appears PRinz Eugen consumed 2 x full salvoes against Hood and 2 x full salvoes against Prince of Wales until 5:59, when PoW was straddled and rapid fire was ordered.

In other words, Jasper says Prinz Eugen consumed about the same amount of rounds as Bismarck did in the same time frame (5:55 - 6:00). It's not inconceivable that both ships fired the same amount of ammo. It's just (another) question mark near the Baron's "40 shots".

Or maybe I am reading it incorrectly ?

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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Fri Jun 17, 2016 7:57 am

Alecsandros wrote: "PRinz Eugen consumed 2 x full salvoes against Hood and 2 x full salvoes against Prince of Wales until 5:59,"
Hi Alec,
do this figures include the initial 3 semi-salvos for ranging ?

Prinz Eugen had to switch fire from one ship to another, changing fire solution.
Possibly Jasper had more problems than Schneider doing that after Hood explosion and his artillery was silenced for a while.

Bye, Alberto
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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by alecsandros » Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:01 am

... What I wanted to point out is, that if working with Jasper's report, the "rate of fire" arguemnt becomes "mui interesante", as Prinz Eugen expended 32 x 203mm rounds in 4 minutes (1 rpmpg).

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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by alecsandros » Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:15 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote: do this figures include the initial 3 semi-salvos for ranging ?

According to Jasper, inasmuch as I understand the KTB, PRinz Eugen did not fire 3 semi-salvos for ranging, but 2 full salvoes against Hood and then 2 full salvoes against PRince of Wales.

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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:24 am

Hi Alec,
I'm reading as well the PG KTB. I may be wrong , but I understand that Jasper fired 2 full salvos plus a bracketing group (I guess 3 semi-salvos). Thus 28 shots to Hood.
Then I see 1 full salvo plus a bracketing group to PoW (20 shots) until 5:59.

What I don't understand is the sentence about a turn of PoW toward PG (around 6:0030....) after the 8th (I guess full) salvo.... :think: I can imagine it refers to the 8th salvo from the beginning of the battle, therefore more in line with the 5th or 6th full salvo from fired by BS at the same time.

BTW this matches almost perfectly also with PoW firing at same time her 7th full salvo, or her 5th full salvo if we count starting from 5:55, according to her gunnery report.

Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by alecsandros » Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:25 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:Hi Alec,
I'm reading as well the PG KTB. I may be wrong , but I understand that Jasper fired 2 full salvos plus a bracketing group (I guess 3 semi-salvos). Thus 28 shots to Hood.
Then I see 1 full salvo plus a bracketing group to PoW (20 shots) until 5:59.

What I don't understand is the sentence about a turn of PoW toward PG (around 6:0030....) after the 8th (I guess full) salvo.... :think: I can imagine it refers to the 8th salvo from the beginning of the battle, therefore more in line with the 5th or 6th full salvo from fired by BS at the same time.

Bye, Alberto
Where are you reading that about the 3 semi-salvos ?
I read page 39

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Re: Bismarck firing procedures at DS

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:39 am

Hi Alec,
yes pag.39. I may be wrong, of course, but I understand this way: 2 full salvos + 3 semi-salvos to Hood:
PG_firing_Hood.jpg
PG_firing_Hood.jpg (89.23 KiB) Viewed 968 times
1 full salvo plus 3 semi-salvos to PoW until 5:59. Then it states a total of 8 full salvos fired (from "open fire") until around 6:00:30, 6:01 ("turn" or "swing" of PoW toward PG to avoid Hood exploding)
PG _firing_PoW.jpg
PG _firing_PoW.jpg (98.37 KiB) Viewed 968 times
Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:44 am, edited 3 times in total.
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

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