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Sink The Bismarck. Who here has seen it?


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#1 C.Evans

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Posted 17 June 2003 - 04:42 PM

I thought I would make a seperate topic for the movie: Sink The Bismarck.

Who here has seen this excellent film?

Well--to date--I have now seen it twice. Once about 25 years ago and then again Saturday evening--for the second of many many times.

Sink The Bismarck stars the great British Actor--Kenneth More and also has believe it or not, the great radio reporter--Edward R. Murrow (SP?) in it as himself--reporting on the sinking of this great battleship.

Now--this movie I found to be extremely accurate as to the actual events--and showed some real footage of the sinking of the Bismarck.

What are your educated thoughts, Gentlemen?
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#2 Greg A

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Posted 17 June 2003 - 05:26 PM

I've seen it two or three times. I remember when I was in grade school I must have read the book about 7 or 8 times in one year. Its been so long since I've seen the movie though.

Greg
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#3 Martin Bull

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Posted 17 June 2003 - 05:29 PM

It shows up on British TV, usually on weekend afternoons, quite often. Must confess that last couple of times I've missed it... redface.gif
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#4 C.Evans

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Posted 17 June 2003 - 05:30 PM

Well great news if you have a DVD player is that this movie was less than ten bucks at Circuit City and will probably be the same at Best Buy and Wal-Mart. smile.gif
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#5 TA152

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 08:52 AM

I have seen the movie several times over the years and thought it was pretty good. They kind of over did the German admiral (forgot his name)as I found it hard to think he was that extreme and pro Hitler. In favor of the producers of the movie, they did tell about the pilots of the Swordfish who attacked one of their own ships by mistake. The pilots of the Swordfish were very brave to attack a super ship in the very old aircraft they had to fly. They never got any credit for the attack as do famous fighter pilots do for their kills.
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#6 C.Evans

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 06:29 PM

Hi TA--I agree with you on what they did about Admiral Lutjens. He was almost fanatical in real life but--I have never heard anyone or anything say that he was also an ardent nazi--but I may be wrong.

Personally from what i've read on him ((The little you see in print that is)) that he was almost fanatical--and maybe in that--that helped cloud his judgement. Kapitan Lindemann ((Bismarcks Captain)) wasn't fanatical nor had any dealings with nazis-as is the same with about 98% of all men who served in the Kriegsmarine.

The Admirals speech bhit--was a bit much for me but--I did thoroughly enjoy the movie.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#7 Friedrich

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 10:51 PM

I actually have the film recorded on tape and I must confess that I love the film! smile.gif It is incredibly well-made, it is more accurate than many, many films I have watched and the acting is supperb. The whole history of the chase seeing by both sides is rather excellent. I also loved the detail that James Burrows himself plays James Burrows and that other detail in which a recorded speech of Winston Churchill is played at the adequate moment. And about amiral Günther Lütjens. He was indeed a convinced nazi (in mind, because being a member of any political party was forbidden for Kriegsmarine men) and I agree how he is portrayed. A brilliant 'sea wolf' and a man who believes in his Führer (as 99% of Germany did in early 1941) and then he is betrayed by him... :(
"War is less costly than servitude, the choice is always between Verdun and Dachau." - Jean Dutourd, French veteran of both world wars

"A mon fils: depuis que tes yeux sont fermes les miens n’ont cessé de pleurir." - Mère française, Verdun

#8 C.Evans

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Posted 19 June 2003 - 06:49 PM

At the time this film was made and understndedly so--I just think that Admiral Lutjens was not portrayed as fairly as possible but, I think Kapitan Lindemann was portrayed pretty fair.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#9 Friedrich

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 11:45 PM

No, I have read some descriptions of Admiral Günther Lütjens and he qualifies as portrayed in the film. A convinced German on the Führer's will and an experienced old 'sea wolf'. graemlins/rk.gif

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"A mon fils: depuis que tes yeux sont fermes les miens n’ont cessé de pleurir." - Mère française, Verdun

#10 C.Evans

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 04:33 PM

Loyal to Hitler yes--but not a fanatical nazi. I think his problem was that as portrayed in the film--as happened in real life--he basically felt that he got shafted in WK1 because he didn't get the recognition that he THOUGHT he deserved.

So, in all the in-between war years--his resentment built to a boiling point as wellas achieving his higher ranking status in the Navy--so that alone made him feel as if he were GOD and he made decisions as a GOD and not a good Naval Commander.

Like Hitler--he should have let Kapitan zur See Lindemann make the decisions instead of making him subordinate to his wishes. If that had happened--the Bismarck would have not been sunk.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#11 TA152

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Posted 22 June 2003 - 12:02 AM

Did any of you see the documentary a few months back on the filming of whats left of the Bismark and how the surviving crew said they scuttled the ship instead of the British navy saying they sank the Bismark. It was just a big hulk but it still floated and maybe could be salvaged. :confused:
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#12 Friedrich

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Posted 22 June 2003 - 02:03 AM

I never said a thing about him being a convinced nazi. But he, as many others agreed in what the nazis had achieved, which is extremely different.

And you are maybe right about him feeling that he had been forgotten in WWI. He was as all the German Navy was forgotten in WWI.

so that alone made him feel as if he were GOD and he made decisions as a GOD and not a good Naval Commander.

This might be true, but all commanders have big-egos, but he never stopped being not a good, but an excellent naval commander. He was an extremely experienced and GOOD commander.

he should have let Kapitan zur See Lindemann make the decisions instead of making him subordinate to his wishes. If that had happened--the Bismarck would have not been sunk.

Of course not. There's a thing called chain of command and certainly an Admiral on-board the ship (in any nation's navy) has more authority than a simple commodore... Then the admiral on-board of the Hood shouldn't have been allowed to command and let his ship to be sunk. Admiral Lütjens' decisions were all the adequate ones at those precise moments.
"War is less costly than servitude, the choice is always between Verdun and Dachau." - Jean Dutourd, French veteran of both world wars

"A mon fils: depuis que tes yeux sont fermes les miens n’ont cessé de pleurir." - Mère française, Verdun

#13 C.Evans

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 12:44 AM

Hi TA--"F".

TA--yup--I saw it. Also--they had interviewed Baron Burkhard Frhr von Mullenheim-Rechburg who was the Bismarcks 4th Gunnery Officer and the Bismarcks senior surviving Officer. Sadly, he passed away earlier this month. :(

It's disecting "F" time. :D

You maybe didn't say he was a "convinced Nazi," but you implored it by saying he was a "convinced nazi" in mind. Being a party member was forbidden but--not unheard of--in the Kriegsmarine.

Not necessarily about all big commanders having big egos--look at General Omar Nelson Bradley and General James Gavin as two prime examples--neither were egotistical Generals--but they were both big--and Bradley of course--was VERY big. Bradley was nicknamed the--"G.I's General." In other words--he looked--acted like and was VERY well liked by his men.

Now--Patton--Monty and MacArthur--were all egotistical men but--they were very talented Generals who helpd win the war.

I fully disagree with you on that whether Lutjens was on board the Bismarck or not--he should have let Kapitan Lindemann "fight the battle." Kapitan Lindemann--would have been much more better as having more recent combat experiance. Lutjens had not been in combat as a junior officer since WK1. Lindemann however, knew what he was doing but--couldn't do what SHOULD have been done all because Lutjens was on board.

A Captain of a ship is THE commander of the ship.

One thing you overlook about this whole thing. The Admiral on the Hood--might have not been disgusted or felt "Shafted" like Lutjens did. The British Admiral might have also had much much more combat experiance than Lutjens did--and more recent combat experiance. Also--as nothing I can find or have heard or read about--concerning the British Admiral--I have never heard that he evver felt "shafted" like Lutjens--therefore--he would be of a different mind--and would not have anything to prove--to his superiors--unlike what Lutjens felt.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#14 Friedrich

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 01:46 AM

A nazi party member? Of course not. A nazi in his mind. Maybe, we do not have a psichologycal test of him that states whether he was a convinced nazi or not. Marshal Walther von Reichenau was a convinced nazi and party member. Marshal Ernst Busch was a convinced nazi, but not a party member. Marshal Erwin Rommel did not like the nazi party but he DID like the Führer all his endeavours and achievements. So did Lütjens. Not national-socialists themselves but indeed some admirors of the main nazi man... :rolleyes: It's a pity that Hitler had betrayed so many people who had faith on him... :(

Yes, not necessarily big commanders had great ego. I agree with you about Bradley and can tell you that marshals Von Runstedt and Paulus were not egotistical either.

And now, I do not agree. Lütjens maybe did not have recent combat experience, but he did not need it. He was simply brilliant. He cheated the British over and over again when he escaped the RAF reconaissence flights, the RN light cruiser chase, when he turned 180º and then another 180º to allow the Prinz Eugen to sneak into the Atlantic, etc., etc. And if Lútjens decided to leave the Prince of Wales alone was because his orders specifically said that is was not Bismarck's tasks to fight the British Navy, but to attack the convoys. Maybe the Prince of Wales would have been sunk but the Bismarck and the Prinz Euegen would have been damaged and after that, chased and sunk. The Royal Navy could afford losing the Hood and the Prince of Wales and other ships as well. The Kriegsmarine could not afford to lose one ship. What Lütjens did was following Grand Admiral Raeder's strict orders and acting cautiosly and wisely. Another propaganda victory was not worth it, a whole supplies convoy sunk was a major blow to the British war effort.

And vice admiral Holland, even if he had recent combat experience made the enormous mistake of getting into battle in a frontal way, so it's stern turrets could not be used... :rolleyes: Lütjens never did such a thing. He was not that obsessed with the power of his mighty ship as portayed in the film. He knew his weaknesses.

A Captain of a ship is THE commander of the ship.

No. the HIGHEST RANKING officer is the commander of the ship. I try to imagine admiral Horatio Nelson not commanding the Victory because it was not his ship... :rolleyes:

Again, we do not have Lútjen's psychological analisis to know whether he felt shafted or wanted to impress his superiors... that is not a real fact to doubt about his command capabilities... Nor that I am saying either that Lindemann was not a very capable officer.
"War is less costly than servitude, the choice is always between Verdun and Dachau." - Jean Dutourd, French veteran of both world wars

"A mon fils: depuis que tes yeux sont fermes les miens n’ont cessé de pleurir." - Mère française, Verdun

#15 C.Evans

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 05:18 PM

Again "F"--you misunderstood my reply.

I know you bever said he was a nazi but only in mind. I pointed out to you that in other words that--Lutjens feeling that he had something to prove to higher command clouded his judgemants--and that tho he out-ranked Lindemann--he should have let Lindemann command his ship the way he saw fit if not for anything but the fact that Lindemann "knew" his ship much better than Lutjens ever would.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnt--falseamundo.

Just because the Admiral is on a ship does NOT mean that the admiral is automatically the CO of the ship--that job is the ships Captain and will always be--untill he is relieved for some reason--the Admiral as also military protocol--yes out-ranks that Captain in rank--seniority etc--BUT--that captain--unless he hwas been relieved by that Admiral--is still the commander of the ship.

Case in point--Admiral Halsey--had his flag on an Aircraft Carrier--which of course was commanded by a Captain. The Captain was still in command of his ship and Admiral Halsey was in command of the Navy battlegroup. Halsey as with the vast majority of any other admiral in any other navy--left the ships Captain in charge of the ship--untill the Admiral deemed fit to alter the Captains decision.

Same thing goes for military bases. Case in point--NAS Kingsville has its own commander even though there is a NAS here in CC TX which is under the command of an Admiral. The Admiral is in charge of Flight Training for the navy--i'm not sure how many NAS he is in charge of but--I do know--I have been on both bases--many many many times at NAS Kingsville---been there when the Admiral has visited--the command never changed from the bast commanders hands to the Admirals hands--just because he stepped foot onto another NAS property.

Now--this Admiral I am talking about--is in charge of ALL of the Navy's Flight Training Squadrons.

Do you know the name of this Admiral??? and who he is related to???

His last name is Boyington--does this last name strike a bell for you???

If no--have you ever heard of Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington--USMC ww2 ace with about 27 victories. He was the commander of the famed VMF-214--that flew F-4-U Corsair Fighters against the japanese in the PTO in ww2.

The famed name of the squadron is: The Black Sheep Squadron.

Anyway--I hope this clears up a bit of protocol for you.

Like I said--I've been there and see that--on too many occasions to not be able to make this argument with you.

Now grant you--this might be done diffenently with different Admirals.

[ 24. June 2003, 12:28 PM: Message edited by: C.Evans ]
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#16 Herr Kaleun

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 07:04 PM

I agree with Carl. Captain is in command and responsible for the vessel. The Admiral is in operational command, and in this instance, Bismarck was Lütjens flagship.

An admiral would give operational commands to his ship captains and they would follow to the best of their ability those instructions. But ultimately, the captain is solely responsible for his ship. HMS Victory may be easily linked to Lord Nelson, but Captain Thomas M. Hardy was commander of Victory while Nelson was aboard as CinC of the British fleet. :cool:

Lütjens did have some recent combat experience (though not in direct combat with the Home Fleet) in Operation Berlino in Jan to Mar 1941. Gneisenau and Scharnhorst operated against merchant shipping sinking 22 for over 115000 tons.

An interesting fact on Lütjens. In Nov 1938, he vehemently protested to Raeder over the actions inflicted during Kristallnacht. Unfortunately, I cannot find further details in regards to this. Lütjens may have embraced and supported the rebuilding and restoration of Germany, but he also officially displayed an early revulsion to the atrocities performed by the state.
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"Sink 'Em All"-Uncle Charlie

#17 C.Evans

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 08:16 PM

Thank you Ivan--I can have no better or more knowledgable of a person who could have answered this better. smile.gif

this is the best "vouch" i've had here in quite sometime. smile.gif
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#18 Friedrich

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 09:16 PM

Herr Kaleun beat me to it! Admiral Lütjens did have recent combat experience and quite an experience! He had commanded the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau in their very successful Atlantic raid in which both ships under Lütjens sank 115.622 tons of Allied shipping... that's even more experience than that of vice admiral Lancelot Holland on-board the Hood... :rolleyes: And the captains were responsible of their own ship, indeed, but they had to carry out the more general orders of the admiral in command, such as admiral Sir James Somerville in charge of Force H, admiral of the fleet Sir John Tovey or vice admiral Lancelot Holland himself. If you remember correctly, Sir John Tovey refused to listen captain Patterson's suggestion that the King George V did not have fuel enough to keep chasing the Bismarck and the result was that Sir John Tovey managed to sink the Bismarck. Who was in charge of that ship, then? :rolleyes:

And please, tell me, Carl. Specific and concrete errors of admiral Lütjens during the chase of the Bismarck and tell me if captain Lindemann's suggestions would have been better...

And I perfectly know who Gregory Boyington is. As a pilot, I don't know why he has to do with this admiral-captain discussion.
"War is less costly than servitude, the choice is always between Verdun and Dachau." - Jean Dutourd, French veteran of both world wars

"A mon fils: depuis que tes yeux sont fermes les miens n’ont cessé de pleurir." - Mère française, Verdun

#19 Erich

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 10:21 PM

this maybe only a two cents deal but check here...

www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/chronik.htm

go to updates and even to 1941 and the proper month where U will find informationen on the Bismark.

~E
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#20 C.Evans

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 10:24 PM

Erich beat me to it and--Boyington is in this discussion so that my point could be proven to you since I can't seem to do it with any amount of other wording. tongue.gif tongue.gif tongue.gif
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#21 Friedrich

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 12:02 AM

Well, Admiral Boyington is indrectly in command of that base. As well as admirals on board of their flag ships. And it is admirals who direct the fleet and the ship's fire against an enemy. The captain of the ship just confirms the admiral's order... :rolleyes: There are thosands of examples like that.

But I am just asking for concrete facts that admiral Lütjens' command habilty was worse than captain Lindemann. When? In which situations? Why? I want examples. This discussion started because of questioning the capabilities of admiral Lütjens, didn't it?
"War is less costly than servitude, the choice is always between Verdun and Dachau." - Jean Dutourd, French veteran of both world wars

"A mon fils: depuis que tes yeux sont fermes les miens n’ont cessé de pleurir." - Mère française, Verdun

#22 C.Evans

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 08:29 PM

Well--the only situation that I will show you of Lutjens incapability to command was the situation in which the Bismarck was sunk.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#23 redcoat

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 10:21 PM

Originally posted by C.Evans:
Well--the only situation that I will show you of Lutjens incapability to command was the situation in which the Bismarck was sunk.

I'm puzzled by this remark :confused:
It is true that Lutjens was responsible for the radio messages that gave away the position of the Bismarck. However the reason he made those messages was that he and the rest of the Bismarck's crew were under the mistaken impression that the RN was still tracking the Bismarck on radar. What they didn't know was that while the Bismarck was still picking up British radar transmissions on its equipment, the British were too far away to receive the echo.
Apart from this I can find no fault in any of Admiral Lutjens actions.
He and the Bismarck just ran out of luck.
if in doubt....Panic!!!!

#24 Friedrich

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 11:22 PM

Redcoat is more than right! The Bismarck being sunk has nothing to do with no man capabilities; it was just a matter of luck.

But even when the Bismarck was re-located because of Lütjens' unwired messages, the ship had already fleed from the British and had let behind admiral Tovey's fleet. It was just a matter of luck that the Royal Oak's Swordfishes could find the enemy and hit its rudder...
"War is less costly than servitude, the choice is always between Verdun and Dachau." - Jean Dutourd, French veteran of both world wars

"A mon fils: depuis que tes yeux sont fermes les miens n’ont cessé de pleurir." - Mère française, Verdun

#25 Erich

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 11:35 PM

with reluctance I add my two cents for the evening on this convoluted thread....

first this has gotten to a certain point of reality and nothing to do with the film(s) of the protrayal of what "they" think happened.

there is no such thing as luck.......period ! Crap happens and it happened here in 1941 to the Bismark and her crew.
The KM ships were only equiped with the almost outdated Arado 196 which was a piece of junk with a limited range. The problem with the Prinz and Bismark is that the Arado pilots from both ships got lost.....and during this unsettled time both ships were without sufficient Destroyer escorts. The two ships split up which was a big no-no in the anals of sea warfare.......and I do mean anal.

So it was with a matter of time that the British were to close in and use their overwhelming forces to pull the Bismark in and destroy her. Plenty of sea/air worthy a/c to pinpoint the location of the ship.
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