Page 1 of 1

Jammed rudders and damage to prop shafts

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:12 am
by kientructayho
Hi again everyone. Got another question. A lot has been said that the propeller arrangement on the Bismarck was a leading reason for the inability to maintain his desired heading. No one can argue the good and bad points about this setup as they are pretty clearly stated and supported by facts. The interesting part about this is as far as I can find there is no evidence I seen where any battleship was successfully steered with it's rudder jammed at 19° or less for that matter.

Can any one enlighten my ignorance on any successful cases in history?

Seems to me that damage in this area including damage to drive shafts were extremely difficult to counter.

The HMS Warspite had a very interesting case of unexpected rudder jams. At all times the ship was considered completely out of control. The cause apparently remained a complete mystery.

Re: Jammed rudders and damage to prop shafts

Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:23 pm
by Bill Jurens
I'd begin by pointing out that it was not the rudder being jammed at 19 degrees, it was the mechanical rudder INDICATOR which indicated 19 degrees when it ceased operating. Whether that reading could be depended upon remains highly problematical.

In any case, you are correct. Steering with engines alone is, at best, extremely difficult in calm seas, and essentially impossible in higher seas and higher winds.

Bill Jurens

Re: Jammed rudders and damage to prop shafts

Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:50 pm
by OpanaPointer
I was on a guided missile cruiser that experience a rudder failure back in the '70s. Luckily this wasn't in confined waters, unless you consider the Panama Canal to be such. The skipper was about to beach her to avoid damaging anything when the glitch cleared itself.

Re: Jammed rudders and damage to prop shafts

Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:44 pm
by Mostlyharmless
There is an interesting report on the steering of USS Intrepid after damage at http://www.researcheratlarge.com/Ships/ ... ering.html and there is also an assuming comment at https://www.history.navy.mil/research/h ... id-iv.html: By racing her port screw and idling her starboard engine, Captain Sprague kept her on course until 2 days later strong winds swung her back and forth and tended to weathercock her with her bow pointed toward Tokyo. Sprague later confessed: "Right then I wasn't interested in going in that direction."

Re: Jammed rudders and damage to prop shafts

Posted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:40 am
by novicebutnice
Mostlyharmless wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:44 pm
There is an interesting report on the steering of USS Intrepid after damage at http://www.researcheratlarge.com/Ships/ ... ering.html and there is also an assuming comment at https://www.history.navy.mil/research/h ... id-iv.html: By racing her port screw and idling her starboard engine, Captain Sprague kept her on course until 2 days later strong winds swung her back and forth and tended to weathercock her with her bow pointed toward Tokyo. Sprague later confessed: "Right then I wasn't interested in going in that direction."


I guess that pretty much settles the debate on whether if Bismarck was fitted with 4 not 3 shafts would have made a difference.

The answer being no, since as you have shown in nice calm type sea you can, but Bismarck was not in a calm sea... so no.