Byron Angel wrote: ↑
Tue May 21, 2019 1:15 pm
Big difference between these engagements in my opinion. North Cape was fought at night in Force 5 weather conditions and certainly worse visibility conditions. Much of Duke of York's shooting was conducted as radar-controlled "blind fire". Her Type 284 was of an improved model, but was still not truly blind fire capable due to insufficient bearing resolution. True blind fire capability did not appear until fairly late in the war (Mk 13 FC radar in the USN, for example).
Excerpted from Appendix III - Gunnery Summary – Duke of York
[ 1 ] The action was fought in “complete darkness” with “a high wind and a medium sea”.
[ 2 ] “A large number of straddles for range were observed by radar during the blind firing phase of the action but in the conditions prevailing it is unlikely that many of these were in line. “
The final battle of Bismarck was also fought in appalling weather:
extract from Adm Tovey's dispatch - sinking of Battleship Bismarck:
Wind - North-west, force 8.
Weather - Overcast; rain squalls.
Visibility - 12 - 13 miles.
Sea and swell - 45.'
'Choice of Tactics
79. It was clear from the reports of the ships which had come under her fire that, in spite of the damage she had already received from guns and torpedoes, the gun armament and control of the Bismarck were not seriously affected. Everything suggested, however, that her rudders had been so seriously damaged that she could not steer; in the strong wind prevailing, she could, by working her engines, haul off the wind only for short periods. So it was possible for me to select the direction and time of my approach and close to whatever range I chose. The experience of the Fourth Destroyer Flotilla made it clear that the Bismarck had R. D/F which ranged accurately up to 8,000 yards; by day, she could range very accurately up to about 24,000 yards, either by means of the excellent stereoscopic rangefinders the Germans have always had or possibly by R. D/F.
80. I decided to approach with the advantages of wind, sea and light as nearly end-on as possible, so as to provide a difficult target and to close quickly to a range at which rapid hitting could be ensured. I hoped that the sight of two battleships steering straight for them would shake the nerves of the rangetakers and control officers, who had already had four anxious days and nights.
81. Between 0600 and 0700, D/F bearings of a series of reports by the Maori enabled the relative position of the enemy to be deduced with reasonable accuracy. The Bismarck had settled down to a course of about 330°, at 10 knots. The horizon to the north-eastward was clear and the light good, but south of east were rain squalls and a poor background. The strong wind and heavy sea made it most undesirable to fight to windward. I decided to approach on a bearing of west-north-west and, if the enemy held his course, to deploy to the southward,
engaging him on an opposite course at a range of about 15,000 yards and subsequently as events might dictate. At 0737, when the enemy bore 120°, 21 miles, course was altered to 080° to close; Rodney was stationed on a bearing of 010° and instructed not to close within six cables of me and to adjust her own bearing. The Norfolk was shadowing from the north-westward, ready to carry out flank marking for the battleships; and at 0820 she came insight and provided me with a visual link. It had been necessary to alter course on the way in to avoid rain squalls and to allow for the reported alterations of course of the Bismarck, but at 0843 she came in sight, bearing 188° , 25,000 yards, steering directly towards us, our course at this time being 110°.
http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... 9tovey.htm