Lutjens' Intentions

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

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Vic Dale
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Re: Lutjens' Intentions

Post by Vic Dale » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:40 pm

You are clutching at straws Dan

This ETA at St Nazaire on the evening of the 26th was communicated to Lutjens by Group West at 2314 on the 24th. Much happened to alter the situation between then and repairing the holes in the bow; shaking off Wake-Walker and the ship receiving recce reports about enemy naval dispositions in the Mid-Atlantic from patrolling aircraft. Many of Tovey's force had had to break off the chase in order to bunker leaving just KGV of the original Home Fleet hunting force anywhere near and very far astern.

It was Force H sailing from Gibraltar which really did for Bismarck and they were not yet on the scene. With no shadowing reports, Force H could easily miss Bismarck and given that their sailing had been reported to Group West it is likely that Lutjens would do all he could to avoid them, if he could get reliable recce. It appears that Ark Royal and Renown passed ahead of Bismarck and only through the Catalina's sighting did they manage to gain contact themselves.

Had the ship not been spotted by the Catalina, anything was possible. Erecting that dummy stack is a clear indication that remaining at sea was on the Fleet Commander's mind. Such a ruse would not fool aircraft. They would not be able to spot such a detail off the cuff (see attack on two stacked Sheffield) Spotting signals transmitted to base and to the Home Fleet would quickly reveal that it was not a friendly warship and could only be Bismarck. The ruse was intended to lull neutral merchantmen, who might report a German battleship sighting, so clearly Lutjens was now heading for the trade routes after oiling.

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Re: Lutjens' Intentions

Post by tommy303 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:58 pm

Perhaps I am missing something or maybe my math is off, but a cubic meter of oil is about .8 tonne, so 5100 cubic meters of oil on 24/5 would mean Bismarck had 4080 tonne aboard.

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Re: Lutjens' Intentions

Post by Vic Dale » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:14 am

Hi Tommy.

The cubic meter is equal to one metric ton, which seems to differ from the measure of one ton we use in the UK, or the ton used in the USA.

It makes no difference to the figures for Bismarck's endurance, because the burn rate per hour has been calculated on the cubic meter which is referred to as a ton. Cubic meters, tons and long tons all gets a bit confusing and I could not even begin to contemplate conversions.

At 28 knots, Bismarck burned almost 50 tons per hour and that appears to be the sort of figure used by Group West, though it seems they use a slightly lower burn rate than I have used. My own consumption graph was worked out using the metric ton or cubic meter, which is used in all of the data in my own research material. On the graph, tons are equal to metric tons or cubic meters as per documented information on the German ships.
Bismarck and Prinz Eugen's Fuel Consumption.jpg
Bismarck and Prinz Eugen's Fuel Consumption.jpg (66.22 KiB) Viewed 1302 times
Burn rates for British ships, where used, has been worked out using the Imperial Measure measure, but only for giving endurance figures according to the burn rate per hour. I would not think to use metric tons for a British vessel and nor would I convert metric tons to imperial when assessing a German vessel's endurance.

The only real value in distinguishing between metric and imperial tons is for comparison of displacement between ships of different nationality.

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Herr Nilsson
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*sigh*

Post by Herr Nilsson » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:07 am

Metric tons and cubic meters are different. The offical density of heating oil used in the Kriegsmarine for calculations was 0.927.
Regards

Marc

"Thank God we blow up and sink more easily." (unknown officer from HMS Norfolk)

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Re: Lutjens' Intentions

Post by Vic Dale » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:45 am

I have used the cubic meter according to the consumption figures in PG's war diary and in the data for the two German ships. Group West also used the cubic meter in their calculations so it makes no difference to Bismarck's consumption and endurance figures.

The ton and the meter are simply measures of weight and volume respectively.

It might be as well to establish a standard measure for this discussion if we wish to be picky, so I will be happy to refer to the cubic meter instead of tons.

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RNfanDan
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Re: Lutjens' Intentions

Post by RNfanDan » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:47 pm

Vic Dale wrote:You are clutching at straws Dan
Not at all. Just seeking information to underpin your... ah, "beliefs". You could have spared the dummy stack and other diversionary nonsense.

Why is it that you cannot seem to make a singular point, free of all your added fleece and the occasional "happily ever after"? :whistle:
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Re: Lutjens' Intentions

Post by wadinga » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:04 pm

All,

Bismarck spent much of the time after the Denmark Straits with her bow buried deep, and her stern so shallow her wing props were almost breaking the surface, whilst pounding through heavy Atlantic seas. What do we think that does to hull drag and prop efficiency? Do we think possibly this might mean making revolutions for 24 knots (and burning fuel at this rate) whilst only making, say 20 knots through the water?

Why would anyone think her/his/its consumption would be the same in this wounded condition as on trials in the sheltered Baltic? Why would anyone think you can simply pro-rata Bismarck's consumption against Prinz Eugen's and then build a wobbly tower of speculation on these faulty foundations? :cool:

All the best

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Re: Lutjens' Intentions

Post by tommy303 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:33 pm

Metric tons and cubic meters are different. The offical density of heating oil used in the Kriegsmarine for calculations was 0.927.
Marc,
Vielen Dank.

Thomas

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned these defended;
And saved the sum of things for pay.

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Re: Lutjens' Intentions

Post by Matrose71 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:37 pm

Have any source for this claim?

Her bow was only 2 degree deeper and she has not a single problem with the stern or her shafts, from the sources I read.
Where come this absurd claims?

It's realy bewildered how the battle damage of Bismarck is here exaggerated. Her battle damage wasn't at anytime serious, the problem was the cutted oil at the bow, but weather her seakeeping performance nor her fighting ability. For some english members it would be better to stay to the facts and not some exaggerated fantasys.

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RNfanDan
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Re: Lutjens' Intentions

Post by RNfanDan » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:43 pm

How can one dismiss the information as an "absurd claim", while at the same time asking for the source?

This entire thread is founded on a campaign nearly as questionable as a guaranteed lottery token, coursing its way forward like a trickle in a forest---turning as it goes, diverting around factual obstacles, propelled by an agenda instead of gravity and with the hope, against long odds, that it will result in an agreement if not a consensus, that ALL accounts now extant about the Bismarck affair are little more than British "propaganda".

Then again, clarity does not seem to serve the campaign's objectives very well... :whistle:
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Re: Lutjens' Intentions

Post by Vic Dale » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:04 am

Hi Matrose71

You are quite right. Bismarck's bow simply had a tendency to dig in. As the bow was only a few feet down on normal draught, there will have been little in the way of increased drag to affect the rate of burn. Increased drag would reduce speed and no amount of driving would make the ship go any faster. The engineers will have worked that one out and the bridge will have been informed. Though this weight of water would not cause the ship to trim by the bow greatly, it's added weight so far forward would accentuate the pitch, making the bow dig in. In a heavy sea and at speed, this might cause structural damage so her speed was limited to 28 knots.

Lutjens was instructed by Group West to report if the draught increased above normal. He made no such report, so the bow-down situation was not as serious as some have made out.

The shell passed through the ship port to starboard causing damage to bulkheads fore and aft in compartment XXI and did not penetrate any decks. The water in the bow will have been limited to a relatively small amount, perhaps 1000 tons at most, as the exit hole was close to the deck. During the forenoon of the 24th a collision mat was positioned over the hole which was causing the flooding and the ship returned to an even keel after pumping out. The collision mat would permit water to pass out of the hull as the bow lifted and would seal the hole as the bow pitched, similarly to a flap valve, so there would be a tendency to automatically self empty using the motion of the ship.

As my calculations for rate of burn and fuel remaining seem to match those of Group West, I think I have made a valid point regarding how far and how fast Bismarck could steam, after separation.

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Re: Lutjens' Intentions

Post by wadinga » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:23 am

Hello Matrose,

Do your sources include the Baron? :D

After Denmark Strait he says the bow was down 3 degrees, the ship listing 9 degrees to port and the tips of her starboard propeller turning above water. This was improved somewhat by counterflooding. But not enough.

On the afternoon of the 25th the Baron says Marinebaurat Heinrich Schluter suggested cutting the anchor chains and anchors away to help the bow ride higher. Why, if it wasn't a problem? No seaman even Vic thinks of throwing his ground tackle away unless he really has to. :shock:

At the end of the same chapter the Baron says at 04:30 on 26th May an announcement came from the bridge:" We have now passed three-quarters of ireland on our way to St Nazaire...."

Vic is simply wrong about fuel, wrong about consumption, wrong about destinations and wrong about Lutjens' Intentions.

Touched the propeller of one of the last flyable Swordfish at Duxford on Sunday ("Flying Legends")- three men, sticks, cloth and string but they crippled the Mighty Beast.

All the Best

wadinga
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Re: *sigh*

Post by Pandora » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:31 am

Herr Nilsson wrote:Metric tons and cubic meters are different. The offical density of heating oil used in the Kriegsmarine for calculations was 0.927.
hello Mr. Herr Nilsson. in the scan you uploaded earlier it is written 0.97 density I think. Spez. Gewicht?

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Re: Lutjens' Intentions

Post by Vic Dale » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:48 am

A 9 degree list without any great loss of buoyancy would expose the tip of the starboard screw in a heavy sea, especially if the bow was digging in on the pitch. The list was due to flooding in a wing tank. A nine degree list will produce exaggerated rolls to the low side in any sort of sea way.

A quick look at the material on the Loss Of HMS Hood reveals that the sea in the Denmark Strait was very rough, even though there was very little wind. McMullen the senior Gunnery Officer in PoW remarked on this. In another thread I have highlighted just how rough the sea was that morning, using the battle film. The shjps were taking it green over their fo'csles and the optics in turrets were blinded by heavy spray which the wipers could not cope with.

The big problem for those who have never served in a warship, is not knowing how they behave in a seaway and at high speed. I don't critcise anyone for not knowing, we all have to learn, but I do speak from experience. Some who write here do so as if "Knowing" was their birthright.

My reasoning on this thread is not that outrageous either. Group West signaled Lutjens at 1842 on the 24th suggesting that if separation from PG was successful, waiting in a remote area appeared advisable for Bismarck, whilst preparations at St Nazaire were being made. Lutjens had radioed that he was making for St Nazaire at 1200 that day.

Study the War Diary. It's all in there. A great many mistakes have been made through failure to read and understand it, muddling between transmission time segments and entry times in the war Diary. The Baron is useful, but what he has written is highly coloured and is no substitute for the real thing

Figures worked out by myself coincide almost to the cubic meter with those worked out at Group West. My fuel capacity for Bismarck also works out reasonably well. So what is the problem here? Learning that Bismarck was not going to run out of fuel should not cause the academic haemorage that it has. Group West's consumption figures show exactly why they were so surprised when Lutjens radioed for fuel. The War Diary as translated by Ulrich Rudolfsky explains the short comings of the short signal book used in the Fleet, which caused the confusion.

Checking the ship's headings on Google Earth produces an entirely different picture to those shown on charts, because as yet was still cannot square the circle or cube the sphere. This why Doenitz used a one meter globe at U-Boat Headquarters, so he could make sense of position reports from his boats. It is impossible to flatten the globe and project it onto paper. You can only do this successfully for small areas, so the Atlantic charts as presented in books about sea war are often misleading. A heading of 150 degrees from where Bismarck was relocated on the 26th, is shown to be pointing into the Biscay on the charts, when it points to North Africa on the globe.

Whatever you plot on a chart, if you do not factor in the correction when you calculate your heading, you will finish up in the wrong place.

As the 24th gave way to the 25th, the tactical situation was changing and by the morning of the 25th a whole new situation opened up with a far wider range of options for Lutjens and it is my intention to outline what those options were and what his response to them may have been. Certainly the ship's heading at 1030 on the 26th does not suggest France, or even Spain.

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Re: Lutjens' Intentions

Post by Ersatz Yorck » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:20 am

You observation about the headings on different projections of a globe is correct, but with great circle navigation you cannot just follow a heading, you must actually continously adjust your course to get where you want to go. So the fact that a course at such and such a time ends up in North Africa does not necessarily mean that North Africa was the destination. Also a course for the Bismarck to France would likely have to deviate to the South to avoid British air recon and/or attacks.

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