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Was Bismarck a bad investment?

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by CaptainBill03, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. Ome_Joop

    Ome_Joop New Member

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    Re-read please!

    I said MOST of her guns! (7 out of 10 is most of her guns!)!

    Battle related: YES as It was during the fight with Bismarck they broke down...one of her turrets was hit and one of it was locked into possition...it couldn't turn...I don't say it was a techinical problem (wich it was) but it happened during a crucial time: in Battle!!
     
  2. Ome_Joop

    Ome_Joop New Member

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    Topping up in Norway was a choice by the Admiral....and ofcoarse a mistake.

    Ofcoarse the Bismarck had technical problems as it was her first (and only) mission!
    POW and Bismarck were brand new unlike the Hood wich had these problems sorted out many years before (in Dutch we call this Kinderziektes...don't know the English word for that ...yet).
     
  3. FNG phpbb3

    FNG phpbb3 New Member

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    Kinderziektes=Knackered

    FNG
     
  4. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    A good English equivalent might be "teething problems," alluding to the discomfort and adjustments of an infant as his teeth emerge.
    Bismarck also had teething problems with her main battery, but they don't appear to have interfered at Denmark Strait. Specifically, there was a problem with alignment of the shell hoists.
    The problems with the KGV class main battery were never ironed out. At some point, they stop being teething problems and start being just plain old problems.
     
  5. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    I cannot identify even one shell from Bismarck that failed to perform as designed. This is not to say there weren't problems, but the action did not illustrate any. On the other hand, PE's shells all did poorly.
    The shell that hit PoW's compass platform hit nothing more substantial than plating about 25mm thick. This would probably be thick enough to start the fuze action, but it would do very little to slow the shell. Only a malfunctioning shell would have detonated on board the ship. The question then is whether or not the shell should have exploded before it struck the water on the other side of the ship. I cannot answer this, and actually I can't say if the shell did explode before hitting the water or if it exploded at all.
     
  6. Notmi

    Notmi New Member

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    How about that 15" shell which was found later stuck at PoW's TDS? Didn't that fail to detonate as designed?
     
  7. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    The shell that hit below the waterline entered the hull at an odd angle, not nose-first. Once it hit the water, the hydrodynamics apparently started whirling the shell around. With those extreme forces being exerted on the shell, I don't think we can be surprised at the failure to detonate. As I understand it, the fuze initiated as designed, but the process went awry. Maybe it was a defect, but I cannot say that it was.
     
  8. PMN1

    PMN1 recruit

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    FNG[/quote]

    I think it was an opportunity lost rather than passed. I think a split hoze prevented Bismarck from topping up her tanks in Norway.

    [/quote]

    I thought Lutjens/Lindemann has just decided to pass on the refueling - a broken hoze does suggest a good reason for not doing so though I'm surprised a replacement was not available...
     
  9. Ome_Joop

    Ome_Joop New Member

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    Teething Problems was the word i was looking for!

    The problems of the KGV class shows at when you look at how many shots were fired against Bismarck!

    The Rodney had fired 380 16 inch shells
    The KGV had fired 339 14 inch shells

    Rodney was less modern, had heavier,slower and harder to load shells and less (9 against 10) heavy guns!!!
     
  10. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    I think it was an opportunity lost rather than passed. I think a split hoze prevented Bismarck from topping up her tanks in Norway.

    [/quote]

    I thought Lutjens/Lindemann has just decided to pass on the refueling - a broken hoze does suggest a good reason for not doing so though I'm surprised a replacement was not available...[/quote]

    The decision not to refuel was made by Lutjens, and it was incredibly unwise. I can't imagine an American, British, or Japanese admiral not taking the time to refuel, save in an emergency.
     
  11. PMN1

    PMN1 recruit

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    Did the Admiralty and history over-rate the Bismarck and the Tirpitz?

    What's Bismarck's claim to fame - she sank a 20 year old ship with known design faults and drove off a new ship with teething problems with her guns....
     
  12. Ome_Joop

    Ome_Joop New Member

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    I don't think so..as you can ask yourself this question to...
    A brand new not tested design destroys a well proven old design (Hood) and almost sinks another proven new one wich was already in service (POW sister KGV was already fully operational!).
    The Bismarck was at it's time a very dangerous predator for those convoy's (and other ships) and had to be hunted down (cost what cost)!!

    BTW Why do people always see that the POW was a new ship with teething problems but simple forget the fact that the Bismarck was brand new too??
     
  13. Notmi

    Notmi New Member

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    Some dates:
    KGV commissioned: Dec.11/40 (half year before operation Rheinübung)
    PoW commissioned: Mar.31/41 (two months before operation Rheinübung)
    Bismarck commissioned: Aug.24/40 (nine months before operation Rheinübung)
    Tirpitz commissioned: Feb.25/41 (three months before operation Rheinübung)
    So yes, PoW was brand new. Newer than Tirpitz. And Tirpitz wasn't allowed to join Rheinübung.

    By the way, I wouldn't call KGV's proven designs by that time. And PoW wasn't nearly sunk.
     
  14. Ome_Joop

    Ome_Joop New Member

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    You are right about KGV...but the KGV was already out in sea for a time when operation Rheinübung began and had already had some action(at the Lofoten raid)...crew was more experienced and that sort of things!!!

    POW was not nearly sunk i know in terms of damage i know, i meant that it could have been sunk(and should have!) as it was at mercy of the Bismarck at that time (just after Hood was destroyed and 7 out of it's 10 guns failed...).

    BTW i Think Tirpitz should have joined the Bismarck in operation Rheinübung!
     
  15. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    We're in broad agreement that POW was put into frontline service too quickly and you want to do the same with Tirpitz? :-?
     
  16. Ome_Joop

    Ome_Joop New Member

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    NO i think they should have waited till Tirpitz was ready! :wink:
     
  17. PMN1

    PMN1 recruit

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    Tirpitz's captain said his ship was ready but was overuled.
     
  18. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    I believe the original plan was for the two Scharhorst class ships to be included but they were both put out of action.

    An Operation Rheinübungthat included them could have been very nasty but on the other hand if the RN caught up with them with anything approaching equal force the Germans could have damn near lost their surface fleet at a stroke.
     
  19. Ome_Joop

    Ome_Joop New Member

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    True..on the other hand if they destroy the other force the RN (and Great Brittain) would have had a BIG problem !

    Now the Kriegrmarine lost just 1 ship and eventually the war...
     
  20. PMN1

    PMN1 recruit

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    Given Churchill was prepared to order the ramming of the Bismarck by the Rodney if the fuel situation got desperate i suspect loosing a the force in place in the Atlantic would be considered a small price if it wiped out the German surface fleet at the same time.
     

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