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Was Bismarck a bad investment?

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

  1. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    When you get right down to it even if the British lost ships on a one for one basis the Germans are going to run out of ships before the RN does.
     
  2. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Although the RN did have a lot more Capital Ships to play with, and given that many of them spent most of the war hanging out in Scapa Flow in case Tirpitz popped up...

    Basically the RN could afford to take heavy losses and would still be in a better position for the rest of the war.
     
  3. Ome_Joop

    Ome_Joop New Member

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    This even more gives the desperate situation GB was in during the Hunt for Bismarck...not everything went well....invasion of Greece and the loss of Crete....ramming the Bismarck was just a desperate messure!

    If the Germans had luck on their side it would have gone very different in the at that time...
    U-556 should have had Torpedo's and should have sunk the Ark Royal and maybe even the Renown...
    The Bismarck should have sunk the POW as well...
    Then i wonder if the RN would/could loose it's ships so easily..
    The RN din't have many modern battleships most were old and slow...batllecruisers were faster but you know what happened to the Hood!!
    The RN needed it's ships that is for sure not only in the atlantic but also in the Med and in the Pacific at that time, so loosing a few ships is more of a loss then you so easily admit!
     
  4. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    But the vast bulk of the Home Fleet spent most of the war swinging around their anchors up in Scarpa*. Even if most of them were sunk, getting Tirpitz out of the way as well as Scharnhorst would free the survivors up for other duties where they were desperately neded as you point out.

    *I think. I'm waiting to be corrected as usual!
     
  5. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    I wouldn't get too hung up on the ramming order. Churchill might have been a great war leader but he did come out with the occasional inanity. The Admiral on the scene later state it just wasn’t going to happen. In a period when ships can trade punches at ten miles by the time you’ve reached the other guys ship the matter has basically already been decided one way or the other.

    As for U-556, well thems is the breaks. She’d spent her last torp on a merchant ship and was unable to do more than watch Ark Royal and Renown sail past.
     
  6. Ome_Joop

    Ome_Joop New Member

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    True...but your still going for a win situation for the RN!
    Who says the RN comes out on top at that time??
    What if the KM wins and goes on a rampage on those convoys?!
    It's hard to say but an interesting thought but if the KM breaks the RN Home fleets back i think the War would have ended differently!
     
  7. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    Read again, I said one way or the other. To ram someone you still have to be mobile. If you've been shot to pieces then at best your mobility is impaired and more likely your crippled. If your the ship that has won the gun fight then you have no incentive to perform an attack that is guaranteed to severely damage your ship too. Ramming is a tactic limited to ships that are about to get blown away anyway and have nothing to lose, See HMS Glowworm as an example.

    Not impossible but for the KM to beat the RN in the short term is unlikely. Problem with rampages is that they might be bloody but they’re also likely to be short. You have to sink a lot of Merchants directly or indirectly ( scattered convoys PQ17 style ) before you’ll ‘ break even ’ if you loose the battleship.


    Remember a surface raider is like a predator and one of the import rules to remember is that no victim is worth getting hurt for.
     
  8. Ome_Joop

    Ome_Joop New Member

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    Ah i got it thanks Ebar!
    something like this you mean:

    Ramming is a last resort when both players are barely breathing!

    I actually ment that at that time the UK was and could loose the war fast...merchants were getting lost at a great rate and without the protection by the RN those extra kill's of merchants by a few surface raiders could have been the last drop for England.
     
  9. PMN1

    PMN1 recruit

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    Such as using Barham as a blockship for Tripoli harbour.

    Something I cant understand is if you are prepared to expend a battleship to do this then surely a merchant ships or one of the old C or D class cruisers would also be a possibility?
     
  10. lynn1212

    lynn1212 New Member

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    on her last legs

    lets face it the Barham was far from a battleworthy ship at the time. she was probably more useful as a blockship that she was for scrap and far more so than as a warship.
     
  11. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    Re: on her last legs

    I think that is a bit of an exaggeration. Barham was the only one of her class that hadn't received the interwar rebuilt. So she was the least useful of her class however she was still formidable.

    The old R class were the least useful of the British battleships but they still had uses as convoy scarecrows.
     
  12. lynn1212

    lynn1212 New Member

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    scarecrows

    by 6/44 the need for scarecrows was pretty much over. what else would you do with her? there were already enough ships for NGFS.
     
  13. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    By late 44 the Rs were being mothballed, except Royal Sovereign which got given to the USSR.

    Even the QE only hung on really for the fire support role.
     
  14. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    There is that and Training duties.

    I suppose you could argue why the Allies needed any Battleships at all in the ETO after D-Day... :wink:
     
  15. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    Tipitz was still around until Nov 44 ( I don't think the allies realized how cabbaged she was after the first grandslam attack )
     
  16. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    Tallboys rather than Grandslams.
     
  17. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    I always mix those two up. Either way they weren't something you wanted to find yourself on the receiving end of.
     
  18. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Agreed!
     
  19. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    For the bomber crews it must have been a hell of a ride when ten tons of dead weight basically fell off. :-?
     
  20. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Likely enough, although they may have been too busy celebrating the lack of German fighters to even notice! :wink:
     

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