Bismarck's

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

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sineatimorar
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Bismarck's

Post by sineatimorar » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:40 pm

In recent reading on a forensic analysis of the Bs wreck, I started wondering was it the jammed rudders position that made holding the required heading to Brest or more simply the fact that they made inoperable by the hit ?

I know it is a fine distinction to draw, but as the ship was found almost uncontrollable heading wise in the ideal condition of a the trials when they were simply locked in the neutral position.

It has been suggested that by trying to avoid the fateful torpedo they infact steered the ship's stern area into the path of the torpedo.

I hold to point of view the ships heading was changed to clear the obvious restricted field of fire for the AAA directly over this region, and maybe the pilots were simply following a path of minimum danger to get into a attack position ?

The other position of this report was the contention that the AAA was not able to handle the slow speed of the swordfish ? As all targeting was visual I do not see the contection that it was unable to react "slow enough" to the aircraft?

More acceptable is the usual reasoning that the older AAA mounts were not completely compatible with the other mounts and could not be dialed in.

Or are they trying to say that they have over compensated for the slower older mounts, thus targeting to far in front of the target as a result?

Considering that most heavy mounted AAA was considered to be TOO SLOW for modern faster aircraft, there is clearly a contradiction here.

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Dave Saxton
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Re: Bismarck's

Post by Dave Saxton » Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:13 am

sineatimorar wrote:
The other position of this report was the contention that the AAA was not able to handle the slow speed of the swordfish ? As all targeting was visual I do not see the contection that it was unable to react "slow enough" to the aircraft?
.
There's an answer to that but I'm not willing to discuss it at this time.
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.

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Re: Bismarck's

Post by Lutscha » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:45 am

Dave Saxton wrote:
sineatimorar wrote:
The other position of this report was the contention that the AAA was not able to handle the slow speed of the swordfish ? As all targeting was visual I do not see the contection that it was unable to react "slow enough" to the aircraft?
.
There's an answer to that but I'm not willing to discuss it at this time.
Why not? Afair the lowest speed settings for the directors were already posted somewhere (I don't remember when or where) and this was not the reason. The failure of the AAA was a combination of poor training, horrible light AA (who had the idea of using single shot 3,7cm?) and faulty synchronised 10,5cm mountings causing half of them to miss. Although no BB of that timeframe had good AA, BS had quite a combination of detrimental factors.

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Re: Bismarck's

Post by alecsandros » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:06 am

... Of the 16 x 105mm guns, 8 were of an older model, and were not alligned with the more modern fire control directors. Crew fatigue after nearly 3 days of harassment would be another factor.

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Re: Bismarck's

Post by tommy303 » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:51 pm

horrible light AA (who had the idea of using single shot 3,7cm?)
That was actually a circumstance imposed by the allied disarmament commissions under the auspices of the Versailles Treaty. A proper medium calibre automatic gun for Flak purposes was not available until the mid-1930s with the Rheinmetal Flak 36, and the Army and Luftwaffe had top priority on those produced, leaving the Kriegsmarine to soldier on with the single shot weapons it had been forced to adopt.

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They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
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And saved the sum of things for pay.

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Re: Bismarck's

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:12 pm

Hello everybody,

Bismarck class anti-aircrfat was just awful, ... just to use Heinz Hellendorn words, ... and he was Officer on the A/A of Bismarck at first,... did not sail for Op. Rheinubung due to a class on the 40 mm Bofors ... and later was A/A Officer on board Tirpitz until her sinking, .. he is still alive and I met him years ago :wink: .

So we have a reliable source, ... orrible mountings and only 2 target possible to be managed on each side on Tirpitz, ... Bismarck was a bit worst than that too :( .

According to his opinion he would have loved to have all 40 mm Bofors and get read of all 105 mm, 37 mm and 20 mm single, ... keeping only the 20 mm Vierlings.

By the way, ... what he told me was just the Prinz Eugen 1945 A/A configuration.

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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Dave Saxton
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Re: Bismarck's

Post by Dave Saxton » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:32 pm

Lutscha wrote:Why not? Afair the lowest speed settings for the directors were already posted somewhere (I don't remember when or where) and this was not the reason.
Your right it was not the reason for shooting short of the targets, which was noted by both British and German observers on multiple occassions. There is a plausible reason remaining to explain this shooting short, but I want to examine this more before going out on limb with it. I agree about the other factors you listed for the overall poor perfomance as well.
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.

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Re: Bismarck's

Post by tommy303 » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:29 pm

So we have a reliable source, ... orrible mountings and only 2 target possible to be managed on each side on Tirpitz, ... Bismarck was a bit worst than that too :( .
Although Bismarck had four Zags in the foretop, she only had two operable directors, the two aft ones were not ready for installation in May 1941, so could only engage one target or flight per side with the heavy flak.

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They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
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And saved the sum of things for pay.

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Re: Bismarck's

Post by sineatimorar » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:46 am

I just knew I get a detailed response from the collective brain trust. I do not mind someone letting me know that he is going to respond when he made sure of his sources. Wish I had done that myself a few times recently and saved my self some embrassment. One thing this forum taught me is to be clear on what a personal belief or theory, and be clear if I have sourced data from an independent published source or via direct research.

In this particular case it a detail on a subject that extensive commentary has already been published, that I had not read before.

Regards J M.

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Re: Bismarck's

Post by chal3oye » Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:25 am

The failure of the AAA was a combination of poor training, horrible light AA (who had the idea of using single shot 3,7cm?) and faulty synchronised 10,5cm mountings causing half of them to miss. Although no BB of that timeframe had good AA, BS had quite a combination of detrimental factors.
GuL

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