Page 1 of 1

PRINZ EUGEN war diary february 1942?

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:35 pm
by delcyros
Just wondering, does anybody know whether or not the cruisers war diary still exists or is avaiable anywhere?

Have been looking for some data on GHG detection. Hackmann writes that:
"The effectiveness of her listening gear was amply demonstrated during the war. Her captain boasted that his ship had been the target of many torpedo attacks but was hit only once, thanks to the warning given by her passive sonar array."
Hackmann, W.D., Sonar Research and Naval Warfare 1914-1954: A Case Study of a Twentieth-Century
Establishment Science, in: Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences, Vol. 16, No. 1 (1986), pp. 83-110 (86).

Unfortunately, Hackmann does not reference his comment on PE´s captain´s statement. I deduced that except for the well known case of long range detection at Denmark Strait, which has been covered elsewhere, the most likely event is either in Norway or during the Channel Dash, where the cruiser was subject to repeated torpedo attacks. MDV 601 Heft 1 covers the Channel Dash in general and seems to substantiate the claim on page 26 while covering the engagement of the english destroyers with GNEISENAU and PRINZ EUGEN:

"Die englischen Zerstörer schießen Torpedos, denen die Deutschen Schiffe teils nach Sicht, teils nach Horchung ausweichen."

translation attempt:
" the english destroyers fire torpedoes, which are evaded by the german vessels in part (followed) by optical and in part by acoustic detection".

The amazing feature for me in this case (compare similar cases of torpedo detection by the GHG in TIRPITZ´s war diaries) stands with the fact that
(a) detection was in relatively shallow water
(b) detection was in noisy ambient conditions (poor seastate, many vessels) and attained at relatively high speed (>27kts)
(c) the detection was during an gunnery engagement (there is at least one source suggetsing that the GHG doesn´t work then) further worsening the ambient listening conditions

That´s why I am looking for the PE war diary of this period, maybe it contains more information?

Re: PRINZ EUGEN war diary february 1942?

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:02 am
by tommy303
The sound of torpedoes running is unmistakable when heard on hydrophones. Compared to other noises, a torpedo in the water is distinct and sounds very much like a huge high speed drill. I am not surprised that the Prinz Eugen's hydrophones picked up the sound and the operator could distinguish them from other noises. The main question is, how far away did the hydrophones detect them.

Re: PRINZ EUGEN war diary february 1942?

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:15 pm
by delcyros
That´s one of the questions I hope to get an answer from the war diaries. The MDV doesn´t specify detection range but it had to be closer than 55hm.
While diagnostic, remember the listening condition. Beeing able to detect torpedo at high platform speed, even if the vessel is as long as was PE (with the GHG placed distinctly away from the most prominent source of self noise: propeller cavitation), while in the midst of a close range naval battle is a feature which cannot be reproduced by many sound listening gears.