PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

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lightyear
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PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by lightyear » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:13 am

This idea is from a forum thread here which I can not find anymore. There were a intense discussion about if PoW shoot better than Bismarck.
One idea is that Pow only had 5-6 guns most of the time and acquired 3 hits while Bismarck had 8 achieved 4 including one deep water hit which should have detonated before reach the hull if the fuze was not disabled by the water impact. If it has all 10 guns, it would be better than Bismarck?
On another hand, PoW fired a fairly long time without being supressed. The straddles he achieved on BSM is only 3( 6th, 9th and 13th). 3 straddles got 3 hits is a impressive luck. One shouldn't take it for granted and think this ratio is a natrual property of the gun. Therefore the idea can not stand.
I have the later opinion at beginning. However I found it is a little bit complicated than I thought after read the official report of POW gunnery. There is a chart with every salvos' position. Pow found the range quite slow. It cost him 5 salvos to finally get straddle and lost the range due to Bismarck changing course. From 9th to 16th salvo the courses of both sides are relative steady. Pow got 9th and 13th as straddle and 11th is a very near shot on the map. What is going on for the rest of them? why they are far and short?
The first question raised is: Can't FC computer deal with this "steady approching course" situation?
It looks like PoW have problem to get the right range when ships drawing near. The report said gun officer use 200 yards zigzag to shoot. But...they have straddled BSM before. Can they calculate out his next position? Did they have to use this way to "try" enemy's next positon? It is not even a radar thing. I think it is the FC computing system's work.
The second question is: Are Pow's 9th to 14th Salvos counted as in effective?
Someone told me that PoW's salvos are in effect. Even without straddle salvos were still in range so they have probability to hit. Therefore POW was not getting 3 hits out of 3 slavos but 3 hits out of a lot of slavos. He earned the hits hard without particular luck. I think if the landing zone is near enough it can be regarded as effective but there must a way to define it. But I don't know the Navy's standards on this issue.
There goes the third question: Is this a common place in a gun shooting procedure?
I mean you straddle and use this range to adjust by xxx yards zigzaging all the way and every navy do the same?
The last questions are: How did BSM do in PoW's engagement? Did it also shoot zigzag falling far and short constantly as PoW did? Do you know how his salvos went?
This is the official report I read
http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... 09guns.htm
Thank you!

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:25 am

Hi lightyear,

you are right: these aspects have been (hotly) discussed in several threads, the last one is this very long one (that I do suggest you to read anyway): viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5752, especially the last year posts, covering many aspects of the comparison between BS and PoW gunnery performance. I'm reluctant to re-open to this discussion, that will soon become a "fight" as it was in the past, while we are trying to get at least an initial consensus about the battle reconstruction (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8335).

In addition to the PoW GAR, if you are interested to see more:
1) at Churchill Archives there is a long letter of Mr.Wilkinson (director at Vickers Armament) with enclosed a report from Mr.Barber (foreman in charge of Vickers on board during the battle), giving more details about PoW guns and problems (drop me a private message in case you are interested to know more about it)
2) I think the most complete published work about Hood, Bismarck and PoW gunnery as of today is Adm.Santarini's book ("Bismarck and Hood", Fonthill, 2013) where the performances of the involved ships are compared and evaluated by a gunnery expert in a quite fair way.

Of course the real problem is that we don't have the Bismarck gunnery reports to make this comparison 100% reliable...


Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

lightyear
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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by lightyear » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:32 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:25 am
Hi lightyear,

you are right: these aspects have been (hotly) discussed in several threads, the last one is this very long one (that I do suggest you to read anyway): viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5752, especially the last year posts, covering many aspects of the comparison between BS and PoW gunnery performance. I'm reluctant to re-open to this discussion, that will soon become a "fight" as it was in the past, while we are trying to get at least an initial consensus about the battle reconstruction (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8335).

In addition to the PoW GAR, if you are interested to see more:
1) at Churchill Archives there is a long letter of Mr.Wilkinson (director at Vickers Armament) with enclosed a report from Mr.Barber (foreman in charge of Vickers on board during the battle), giving more details about PoW guns and problems (drop me a private message in case you are interested to know more about it)
2) I think the most complete published work about Hood, Bismarck and PoW gunnery as of today is Adm.Santarini's book ("Bismarck and Hood", Fonthill, 2013) where the performances of the involved ships are compared and evaluated by a gunnery expert in a quite fair way.

Of course the real problem is that we don't have the Bismarck gunnery reports to make this comparison 100% reliable...


Bye, Alberto
Got it. I had a glance of that battlefield and saw heavy players of the forum react ferociously... I don't intend to start a new fight. Just curious about the shooting methodology of navies. In Denmark strait battle. British navy looks like using 100 yards zigzag to cover enemy's course. I was told BS' exact course, although steady, can not be acquired. So pow didn't know BS' exact angle of approach therefore didn't know its next position. That's why they zigzag and even deliberatly increase the dispersion to increase the chance.
How about German shooting method? Did they have a way to determin enemy's angle to anticipate its future position? or they have to use the same way where they need constantly "try" enemy's range during rapid shooting. I think KSM must have documents for their shooting method and it will be tech details too clear to cause a fight.
After radar's evolving in the war. I heard a reliable bearing can be acquired via radar. Did British abandoned zigzag shooting after that?
Thank you

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:14 am

Hi lightyear,
I'm surely not an expert of the German firing methodology, what I know is what has been kindly shared on this forum by the members like Thorsten Wahl, Herr Nilsson, Dave Saxton, etc. that you can all find looking at all the (long) threads on Bismarck here.

IMO the best account of how Germans fired is in two places:
1) Jasper Gunnery Report,describing the opening fire procedure (full salvo + semi-salvos scaled in range) that is available in the PG KTB:http://www.kbismarck.com/archives/pg-ktb.zip
2) Rowell observations about Bismarck firing method in his answers at the second Hood board of inquiry,decently accounting for the salvos (despite attributing to Bismarck the PG hit on the boat deck and not adding any exact timing) but explicitly referring to a kind of "zig-zag ladder" methodology too: http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... htm#Rowell


Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

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