Hood´s punishment at DS

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Karl Heidenreich
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Hood´s punishment at DS

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:42 pm

Antonio Bonomi in other thread:
At DS till the moment Hood blew up at 06.00:

Bismarck fired 40 shells all to Hood making 2 hits, received 55 from PoW with 3 hits suffered
Prinz Eugen fired 48 shells to Hood making 2 hits, 16 to PoW with no hits, received probably 40 from Hood no damages
PoW fired 55 shells to Bismark scoring 3 hits, received 16 from Prinz Eugen with no damages
Hood fired probably 40 shells to Prinz Eugen with no hits, received 48 from Prinz Eugen with 2 hits and 40 from Bismarck with 2 hits.
There is also Antonio´s article in which is stated that Bismarck did hit the Hood in the conning tower killing 200 sailors.

What I like to know is:
Exactly, how we know about this hit? Was it really serious? Did such a hit handicaped Hood to be an efficient combat unit? Were Capt. Kerr and VADM Holland killed in it or later with the blowing. Was PE the one to scored this hit or Bismarck?
If PE scored such a hit then we have the most famous and powerfull Battlecruiser in History defeated by just a Heavy Cruiser with 8" guns?
For me it´s quite hard to believe such a event.

Best regards.
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Post by Gary » Mon Oct 02, 2006 6:31 pm

Hi karl.

I dont know all the technical details but the 8 inch shell from Prinz Eugen destroying hood theory has been dismissed by all the major experts.

Only a 15 inch shell could have caused the fatal explosion and as we know, the 15 inch shell could only have come from Bismarck.
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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Mon Oct 02, 2006 6:52 pm

Hi Gary,

thanks for replying. The shell I´m talking about is a previous shell than the one that, finally, destroyed Hood. In Antonio Bonomi´s article he states that the PE did put a 8" shell in the conning tower of Hood. That one or two minutes before the fatal explosion that, I agree, could only came from Bismarck.

Best regards.
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Gary
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Post by Gary » Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:04 pm

Hi Karl.

One of Prinz Eugens 8 inch shells also caused some of Hoods UP rockets to explode which caused a fireworks display on the deck.

All UP launchers were removed from other ships afterwards as a result.
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Post by tommy303 » Mon Oct 02, 2006 8:26 pm

Karl,

I know of no hit on Hood's conning tower. The best of my knowledge, the first hit was by Prinz Eugen's second salvo which ignited ready-use 4-inch and /or UP lockers on the shelter deck. This shell was reported by Able Seaman Tilburn as not being a major calibre shell as it would otherwise have gone straight through the deck.

The next hit was a possible shell passing through a platform on the tripod mast which is supposed to have killed a number of men there. It was mentioned in several post war accounts by Signalman Ted Briggs, but was not mentioned in the war time courts of inquiry. Briggs apparently believed the shell to have been from Bismarck's 2nd salvo which was slightly over. If this event did in fact occur, it was the closest a German shell came to the conning tower or compass platform. Kerr and Holland were both alive at the time Hood blew up.

A third possible hit, either from Bismarck or Prinz Eugen and recounted by Tilburn, appears to have struck the shelter deck abaft the second funnel and killed a large number of AA gun crews who had been mustered to fight the ready-use locker fires. This shell may have come from well forward passing through various structures and through the boats stacked between the after funnel and main mast. If it did indeed burst, it may have ignited the reserve UP lockers stored under the shelter deck forward of the wardroom, in which case it was responsible for the sheet of flame described by several witnesses as coming from the after screens (ie where the old secondary battery had been). This flame might also be the hit the captain of the Suffolk claimed to have seen and attributed to a burst near the waterline. As stated, this hit could have come from either German ship, although in my opinion, a 38cm AP would not have been so easily initiated by light structure, so I am inclined to assign this hit to one of Prinz Eugen's 20,3cm base fuzed HE.

The fourth and probably last hit was the one that sank the Hood and was presumably from Bismarck, as Prinz Eugen had ceased fire on the flagship at that point and was in the process of shifting fire to PoW.

Prinz Eugen's first salvo was over and unobserved by her gunnery department, and consisted of nose fuzed HE shells from the forward turrets, as this was the type loaded into the guns the previous evening in anticipation of engaging Wake-Walkers cruisers. The second salvo, from the after turrets, was also nose fuzed HE. These two salvos had been fired to test for deflection, but thereafter the Prinzen fired base fuzed HE until the battle ended. It is almost certain that the hit on the shelter deck that ignited the first fire was a nose fuzed HE, and that any subsequent hit by 20,3cm was base fuzed HE.

Bismarck's first salvo had been eight base fuzed HE and was on for range but slightly off for deflection. All subsequent salvos fired AP and any hits thereafter from Bismarck would have been of that type.

Assuming Antiono's estimate of shells fired hits obtained is correct, the hit percentages were 4% and 5% respectively for Prinz Eugen and Bismarck; by any standard, this was very good shooting considering the range and respective courses and manouvers.

A note of caution, of the four hits, only the first is relatively well documented being witnessed by Tilburn first hand and the report to the compass platform being overheard by Briggs. Its effects were also well described by witnesses on other ships. The third hit, also on the shelter deck was likewise witnessed by Tilburn and possibly independently by men on other ships, but no report of it appears to have made it to Hood's bridge and overheard by Briggs.

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Mon Oct 02, 2006 8:52 pm

tommy303:
The next hit was a possible shell passing through a platform on the tripod mast which is supposed to have killed a number of men there. It was mentioned in several post war accounts by Signalman Ted Briggs, but was not mentioned in the war time courts of inquiry. Briggs apparently believed the shell to have been from Bismarck's 2nd salvo which was slightly over. If this event did in fact occur, it was the closest a German shell came to the conning tower or compass platform. Kerr and Holland were both alive at the time Hood blew up.
I believe this is the shell Antonio Bonomi stated in his article and that kill 200 men in the conning tower.

About the radio of hits, yes, the Bismarck and PE did quite a good job punishing the Hood. The PoW did very good too considering all the problems she had with her quadruple mounts.
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Post by Gary » Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:53 pm

Hi Tommy 303
Prinz Eugen's first salvo was over and unobserved by her gunnery department, and consisted of nose fuzed HE shells from the forward turrets, as this was the type loaded into the guns the previous evening in anticipation of engaging Wake-Walkers cruisers

I wonder why the PG's gunnery officer chose nose fuzed :?
I would have thought base fuzed would have been far better to use against an enemy Heavy Cruiser
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Post by tommy303 » Mon Oct 02, 2006 10:07 pm

Prinz Eugen had loaded nose fuzed shells during the passage down the straits in case they got into a skirmish with light forces. These were still in the barrels at the start of the action with Holland's force and perforce had to be fired off before the guns could be loaded with the base fuzed HE Jasper called for when he thought he was engaging cruisers. He apparently never changed over to AP during the course of the battle.

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Re: Hood´s punishment at DS

Post by Herr Nilsson » Mon Oct 02, 2006 10:23 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:
There is also Antonio´s article in which is stated that Bismarck did hit the Hood in the conning tower killing 200 sailors.
:think:
Antonio wrote:
Two shells hit the Hood. A shell from the Bismarck hit the fire control tower killing most of the people in the tower. This left the Hood without central fire control.

Immediately after another shell fired by Prinz Eugen hit near the base of the forward superstructure entering a room where about 200 sailors were, killing them all. This hit caused a local fire on the forward part of the ship which added to the one burning aft (37).
fire control tower=conning tower???
near the base of the forward superstructure=conning tower???

:negative:

Gruss

Marc

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Post by tommy303 » Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:17 pm

The round which hit the tripod mast platform above the compass platform might have disrupted the fire control from the foretop although I am not aware of any primary source which states that the foretop was put out of action (though any hit in that area might well have done so, either by severing cabling or physically destroying the DCT. The DCT had the aloft director and the Hood's fire control radar. In the event those became casualties, then fire control would have shifted to the large DCT in the conning tower lower down at the forward end of the bridge superstructure. Total potential casualties, had the shell traversed the tripod mast's observation and DCT platform would not have been much over 20-30 men, if that.

To the best of my knowlege, the second shell which caused heavy casualties is the one I recounted as hit 3. The AA service ready room was in the wardroom on the forecastle deck level between the mainmast and funnel II, and was mentioned by Tilburn. So this places the hit farther aft than Antonio's article indicates.

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Post by Herr Nilsson » Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:58 pm

Hallo Tommy,

I was just wondering about the conning tower. It was never mentioned in the article.

It's Antonio's article and I think he should answer. In the meantime here are his sources regarding the hits:

Ref. a) AIR 14/415. RAF Report Z/201 “Sunderland” Flying Lieutenant R.J. Vaughn. b) Midshipman William Dundas report regarding bodies falling from the Hood, spotting tower probably had been hit. C) ADM 116-4351 Ordinary Signalman Ted Briggs report about a Lieutenant’s body falling from Hood spotting tower. D) Able Seaman R. Tilburn about hit on main tower base room – from ‘The Navy 1939 to the present day ‘’ M. Arthur – Coronet Book 1977 London E) Bruce Taylor - The battlecruiser H.M.S. Hood – Annapolis USNI Press 2005 pages 220 and 221.

Gruss

Marc

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Re: Hood´s punishment at DS

Post by RF » Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:31 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Antonio Bonomi in other thread:
At DS till the moment Hood blew up at 06.00:
There is also Antonio´s article in which is stated that Bismarck did hit the Hood in the conning tower killing 200 sailors.

Exactly, how we know about this hit? Was it really serious? Did such a hit handicaped Hood to be an efficient combat unit? Were Capt. Kerr and VADM Holland killed in it or later with the blowing.

Best regards.
Per Ludovic Kennedys' book one of Hoods survivors on Hoods' bridge stated that both Holland and Kerr were still giving orders the moment after the fatal hit on Hood. No evidence is mentioned of a control tower hit, only the hit that caused the AA ammunition to explode.

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HMS Hood received hits at DS

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:06 am

Ciao all,

OK I see that the 4 hits HMS Hood received at Denmark Strait are probably not so clear to everybody.

Please refer to this very good and well discussed thread on HMS Hood website about same subject :

http://www.readybb.com/hmshood/viewtopic.php?t=171

and to this re-construction version of my battle ( it is the same Jose' Rico placed here in ) but do have also the drawings and you can see the Hood one with the hits locations :

http://hmshood.com/history/denmarkstrai ... trait2.htm

between the two above sets of informations you should be able to find a lot of details and correct references on the Hood received 4 hits.

What surprised me is that those informations have always been there, just like the course changes and the firing ' A' arcs precise calculation possibilities, but never really deeply investigated.

If you want me to copy here some more details from the referenced books ( Max Arthur or Bruce Taylor one's ) just let me know.

Very good food for thoughts,....

@ Marc,

Yes you got it right :D

fire control tower = conning tower top = spotting top

near the base of the forward superstructure = conning tower base

hope now the 2 new hit locations are clear.

Just refer to the Hood drawing in my article in any case, that should be clear enough about the 4 hits presumed locations.

You have all 4 ships to look at and I can tell you that on many books those ships drawings showing the damages are full of errors.

But now Bismarck one's are pretty clear, Hood ones are re-constructed as good as I could thanking lots of help for very competent people as you can read :D, PoW ones are very easily placed given fantastic documentation about them ( including lots of photos ) recently surfaced and provided to me by an Australian friend :D .


Ciao Antonio :D

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Post by Bgile » Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:14 pm

I'm now thinking that maybe Hood wasn't firing her after turrets because of the fire fighting effort and the effect of her gun blast on the people trying to extinquish that fire. Otherwise, I can't explain it.

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:27 pm

From Antonio´s:
Two shells hit the Hood. A shell from the Bismarck hit the fire control tower killing most of the people in the tower. This left the Hood without central fire control.

Immediately after another shell fired by Prinz Eugen hit near the base of the forward superstructure entering a room where about 200 sailors were, killing them all. This hit caused a local fire on the forward part of the ship which added to the one burning aft (37).
So there were two: one in the topmost position, the spotting top hit by Bismarck. The another, which was the one I was referring since the begining of this thread was PE´s, not Bismarck. Each was one minute apart from the other: it seems that Schneider and the PE´s artillery officer got the Hood in their sights and would not let her come out of the engagement alive.
But it´s interesting what Bgile is commenting. Maybe was that one of the reasons that Hood didn´t find her targtet that fatefull morning?

Best regards.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

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