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  1. Blue Max

    Blue Max Member

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    Much has been said about the might of the Royal Navy and their complete dominance over the German surface forces during WWII. That said, it seems to have taken nearly the entire RN to defeat a single German ship, the Bismark and it's escort the Prinz Eugene. The Bismark was hit 56 times by torpedos, and never penitrated it's armor. Had the tordedo launched by a Swordfish torpedo-bomber not jammed it's rudder and the Bismark made good it's escape, how would this have changed the war at sea? As it was Hitler was known to be distressed by it's loss and forbade any other capital ships to out to sea, with it's escape, might this attitude have been different?

    The Blue Max
     
  2. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    The Bismarck would have flee and miss the British fleet od Admiral Tovey. However, the big German battleship would have made it to Brest to be merciless bombed by the RAF as the Gneisenau, Scharnhorst and Prinz Eugen were, but maybe with more strenght. Maybe all those ships might try to escape as they did in the actual 'Channel dash', then refit in Germany and Norway and then, along the Tirpitz be a HUGE menace to the Royal Navy, whether they were used in the Atlantic or the Barents Sea.
     
  3. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    It may have seemed to have taken the whole of the RN to defeat the Bismarck, but in truth only 3 of the 13 RN battleships in service actually engaged the Bismarck in combat.
    People tend to forget how massive a force the RN was during WW2
     
  4. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    I would like to know if there is any info anywhere where it states that the Bismark couldn't fire a full broadside. U.S. battleships like the Iowa class could do it, why not the Bismark???
     
  5. Blue Max

    Blue Max Member

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    ----------As far as I know Iowa class battleships could not fire all their 16" guns (They carried 9 guns in 3 turrets) broadside as they feared the ship would roll over. As it was when they were used for shore bombardment, they would have to reposition after several volleys, even using 2 turrets at a time! The ship would be pushed laterally away from the target and this was needed for accuracy.
    A to the Bismark, I know that it only carried 2 guns per turret, so I am not sure as if this consideration applies.

    The Blue Max
     
  6. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    I have read a number of books on the Bismarck, and I've never read anything about this. The Bismarck was a highly stable ship ( too stable in bad weather :rolleyes: ))
    All the info I have about the Bismarck tells me that she could indeed fire a full broadside, and that any comments otherwise are nothing but myth.
     
  7. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Naval Strenght of Germany and Great Britain on September 1939


    Germany

    Battleships: 4
    Pocket battleships: 3
    Light cruisers: 6
    Heavy cruisers: 4
    Destroyers: 25
    Torpedo boats: 17
    Carriers: -
    TOTAL: 59
    Submarines: 98

    Great Britain

    Battleships: 18
    Pocket battleships: -
    Light cruisers: 62
    Heavy cruisers: 15
    Destroyers: 205
    Torpedo boats: 39
    Carriers: 10
    TOTAL: 349
    Submarines: 70
     
  8. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Hmmmmmm intersting I thought the same a full broadside or at least the forward two turrets at once and then the aft two alternating... ?

    ~E
     
  9. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    And of course, it was rather probable that the Bismarck could very easily shoot its four turrets to boardside without any problem. A 50.000 tons ship can't roll over that easily. Besides, there were built to be stable artillery positions... :rolleyes: And it was the ship herself and the water the ones who took the recoil of the guns...
     
  10. Blue Max

    Blue Max Member

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    ------------The Original plan, Operation Rheinubung, called for the Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and the Tirpitz along with the Bismark, Prinz Eugene and several destroyers to operate in the North Atlantic in order to disrupt allied shipping. But as the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were laid up in Brest, and the Tirpitz had not yet gone through sea trials, they could not partisipate.
    As it was, the Bismark and Prinz Eugene sank the Hood, and could have sunk the Prince of Wales if they had pursued.
    The condition of the other British ships was in doubt as well, considering the age of the Repulse and some of the repairs needed for the King George V, and their fuel problems.
    Also, with all the strength the RN had in the area, I know the Admiralty was nearly going frantic with the news from Sweden that 2 German capital ships were at sea.

    The Blue Max

    [ 20. June 2003, 03:26 PM: Message edited by: Blue Max ]
     
  11. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    I know that. But that's precisely what you asked. If the Bismarck would have reached Brest then the three major ships in the German Navy would have been merciless bombed by the RAF and maybe the RN would have organised a massive naval raid to knock them off all at the same time.
     
  12. Blue Max

    Blue Max Member

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    If the Bismarck would have reached Brest then the three major ships in the German Navy would have been merciless bombed by the RAF and maybe the RN would have organised a massive naval raid to knock them off all at the same time. [/QB][/QUOTE]


    -----------It might serve better to bring them into Norwegian ports or instead to continue it's original mission.
    Also, had Raeder (SP) planned with Donnitz for more coorination between surface and submarine forces things might have been very different. As it was I believe all they agreed upon was that any forces happening into each other were to cooperate, not much of a plan.

    The Blue Max
     
  13. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    First, both forces were indeed cooperating with each other. And second, all the four ships simply couldn't get to Norway that easily. Suposse that the Bismarck reaches Brest. Then the RAF has the four main German warships there. It'll then throw all its power and the RN's against them. I find very difficult that they could have succesfully go out in a massive Atlantic raid by late 1941 or early 1942. I also do not think that they could have succeded in crossing the Channel as three of them did in 1942 and reached safer waters. But let's suposse they do and are used against the British convoys towrads Russia along the Tirpitz. Quite amazing fleet then! :eek: But let's remember that the RN can throw more than 10 battleships if necessary against them.
     
  14. Pure_Chaos

    Pure_Chaos Member

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    if it had got away, the RN would have hunted it down, one way or another the RN would sink the Bismark. If they did not then they would have major problems
     
  15. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    I agree with your pure coathic response, Chaos! Welcome aboard! :D
     
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