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Alan Raven comment re PoW @ Denmark Strait

Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:52 pm
by Byron Angel
In the course of leafing through my hoary old 1972 copy of "ENSIGN 1 - King George the Fifth Class Battleships" by Alan Raven, I ran across an odd comment that I do not recall having been discussed. If I'm wrong, please update me. If not, here is the passage from "page 4" (book is actually not paginated!)

quote -
The Type 284 gunnery radar set was defective, and before action was joined, Prince of Wales asked Hood's permission to use her air warning set (Type 281) instead. This was refused as its transmissions would have interfered with Hood's Type 284 set. After Hood blew up she switched on her 281 set, and obtained several 14in straddles on Bismarck.
- unquote

This seems to imply that the straddles achieved by Prince of Wales were the result of range data obtained via the Type 281 sets. Strange, as I thought that the Type 281 units did not participate. Does anyone have contact with Alan to inquire as to a possible reference or citation?

Byron

Re: Alan Raven comment re PoW @ Denmark Strait

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:54 am
by Alberto Virtuani
Hello everybody,

I don't think this information can be correct: the last straddle was obtained by PoW just seconds after 6:00, therefore the salvo was fired just before Hood explosion (happened at minute 6:00 according to the vast majority of witnesses from both sides).

Even accepting Dr.Cadogan interesting theory about Hood explosion happened earlier, at 5:58 (http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarks ... adogan.pdf), just one straddle could have been obtained anyway through the usage of the air warning radar (Type 281).


Regarding PoW radars, we have Mr.Murphy in the Transmitting Station who said that no data came from any radar at any time during the battle, while GO McMullen says that it was the Type 284 gunnery radar (the director set) to provide precise ranges, but only when distance reduced below 20000 yards.
I agree it would be interesting to know which is the source of A.Raven...


Bye, Alberto

Re: Alan Raven comment re PoW @ Denmark Strait

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:57 pm
by dunmunro
Byron Angel wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:52 pm
In the course of leafing through my hoary old 1972 copy of "ENSIGN 1 - King George the Fifth Class Battleships" by Alan Raven, I ran across an odd comment that I do not recall having been discussed. If I'm wrong, please update me. If not, here is the passage from "page 4" (book is actually not paginated!)

quote -
The Type 284 gunnery radar set was defective, and before action was joined, Prince of Wales asked Hood's permission to use her air warning set (Type 281) instead. This was refused as its transmissions would have interfered with Hood's Type 284 set. After Hood blew up she switched on her 281 set, and obtained several 14in straddles on Bismarck.
- unquote

This seems to imply that the straddles achieved by Prince of Wales were the result of range data obtained via the Type 281 sets. Strange, as I thought that the Type 281 units did not participate. Does anyone have contact with Alan to inquire as to a possible reference or citation?

Byron
My guess is that this came from McMullen, possibly via Kennedy. However, PoW was straddling and hitting Bismarck at ~0556 which was prior to Hood's loss. The progression of FoS as shown on PoW's salvo chart indicates a steady reduction in range error, which seems characteristic of optical spotting.

Re: Alan Raven comment re PoW @ Denmark Strait

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:38 am
by Alberto Virtuani
Hello everybody,

if coming from McMullen (http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarks ... letter.htm), A.Raven has mixed up the "director set" (Type 284, which McMullen clearly speaks about) with the Type 281 on the mast that according to nobody provided ranges.


Bye, Alberto

Re: Alan Raven comment re PoW @ Denmark Strait

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:31 pm
by wadinga
Fellow Contributors<

I believe we have already established that it was because PoW had no Type 284 which would bear aft for the desired search sector (the forward DCT had limited traverse over the stern) that PoW asked permission to use the masthead Type 281. Hood also only had Type 284 on the forward DCT with similar restrictions, and could not cover the sector. The long wavelength transmissions of 281 would be much easier to intercept, and thus permission was denied, since radio/RDF silence was being observed. Short wavelength transmissions from the Type 284 would be very hard to detect.

Paddon, who was operating the Type 281 in PoW also confirms no ranges from it were used.

All the best

wadinga