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Bismarck

Discussion in 'Germany at Sea!' started by Ricardo War44, Feb 4, 2008.

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  1. Brutal Truth

    Brutal Truth Active Member

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    I post here another link from Okun, "Armor Schemes on W.W.II Battleships": Armor Schemes on W.W.II Battleships

    He is quite critical of the Bismarck class armor design in this article. I have seen that often the opinions of forum and blog posters run from one extreme to another, from Wehraboos who claim they were unsinkable wonder weapons to revisionists who think they were crap buckets copied from WW1 designs. However I take quite seriously Okun's opinion, since he is regarded as one of the greatest experts in the field.
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I always womdered why did the U-boats come faster to help as well as the Luftwaffe? Maybe some points here:

    Lütjens, told by German intelligence that the British were still at Scapa Flow, was surprised to find the British heavy cruisers Suffolk and Norfolk patrolling the strait. In an otherwise inconsequential exchange with Norfolk, the Bismarck’s forward-looking radar was damaged by the firing of its own guns. Prinz Eugen, with its intact radar, moved into the leading position.

    By nightfall on May 26 he would be within protective range of the Luftwaffe. By the next morning, he would be in safe waters. At 10:25 a.m. on May 26, a Catalina flying boat spotted Bismarck from the air, 31 hours after the British had lost contact.
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    The Sinking of the German Battleship Bismarck as Described in the B.d.U. [Commander U-boats] War Log, 24-31 May 1941

    U 556 (on her return passage without torpedoes) was ordered to join this group. She could at least be useful as "look out."

    U 73, on outward passage, which should have been about half way between Western and Biscay groups, was ordered to make her position, after which she was to be allocated to one or other group.

    U 108 and 552 were also to leave Lorient and St. Nazaire respectively P.M. and on the 25th to join the Biscay group. The [7th] Flotilla S[enior].O[fficer].[Lieutenant Commander Sohler] had, of his own accord, given orders for U 552 to be ready to sail. All available forces had then been mobilized.

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    At dawn on May 27, 1941 the crippled Bismarck was taken under fire by the battleships Rodney and King George V and the cruisers Norfolk and Dorsetshire and finally her crew scuttled her at 10.36 am. Earlier Flottenchef Admiral Lütjens requested an U-boat to recover the logbook. The other subs Lütjens called after the sinking of Hood to lead the following British forces into a trap hadn't been successful. Only U-556 had the whole Task Force H in its Sehrohr, the battleship Renown and the carrier Ark Royal that had started the fatal attack on Bismarck, but U-556 did not have a single torpedo left in its tubes; all had been used up in a convoy battle.

    uboat.net - Articles

    26 May, 41
    Also U-74, Kapitänleutnant Kentrat, had the order to attack the British forces in this area. In the evening Kentrat dived in order to listen and they detected another U-boat. Kentrat returned to the surface and a mere hundred meters a bow of a German sub appeared out of the stormy sea.

    [​IMG]
    Left: Kptlt Herbert Wohlfarth of U-556

    It turned out to be U-556, Kapitänleutnant Wohlfarth. After some communication problems, using a megaphone in this heavy weather, Wohlfarth passed on to Kentrat the order to get Bismarck's log, because he was short of fuel and had to return to his base. Wohlfarth had hardly disappeared, when an aircraft sighting forced U-74 to crash dive




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    27 May, 41

    Later U-74 went to periscope depth and Kentrat saw battleships and cruisers directly in front of him. He tried to get into an attack position but the weather was too bad, the seas too high to remain on periscope depth or to shoot a torpedo. But then there was the wreckage and sometimes yellow life-vests visible.

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    All I found. So close, yet so far. With Luftwaffe and several U-boats Bismarck MIGHT have been saved.But this is history. Add any extra info of the U-boats and Luftwaffe if you have knowledge about them.
     
  3. Brutal Truth

    Brutal Truth Active Member

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    Sorry if it's slightly OT but it seems useless to start a new thread when this is the only naval thread active at the moment. I recommend this site containing shitloads of Never-Were projects from the WWI-WW2 era, with detailed descriptions and great drawings: Warship Projects 1900-1950

    Enjoy!:)
     
  4. Brutal Truth

    Brutal Truth Active Member

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    On the evening of May 26th U-556 (which had a special relationship with the Bismarck) crossed its path with Ark Royal and Renown and it was in a good position to attack but it had no torpedoes left. Again, this shows the role of luck in warfare.
     
  5. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Know or not know. Sometimes you are lucky, sometimes not. Was Bismarck not hit in the rudder? Otherwise it had had continued to France? Enough torpedo filled U-boats and the RN would have cried while Bismarck had been on the way to France. Just remember the U-47 and going around the sub webs and having a several go with torpedoes.....
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Fair enough. Anyone say did the Bismack still afloat when the RN decided to go away due to fuel loss...????
     
  7. Brutal Truth

    Brutal Truth Active Member

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    It came to my mind that today is the 80th anniversary of the sinking of the Bismarck.
     
    Kai-Petri and ULITHI like this.

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