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The Sinking of the German Battleship Bismarck

146 posts in this topic

We know now where the u-boats were, and U74 was in the vicinity and picked up 5 men.

 

there were no U-boats actually "in" the battle area - see https://www.bismarck-class.dk/bismarck/history/bisfinalbattle.html

 

There is no actual evidence that the British stopped picking up survivors for anything other than the stated reason - that they thought U-boats WERE in the immediate vicinity. 

 

They went to the extent of lowering ladders when survivors were too knackered to climb nets.

 

the allegation is just ignorant libel.

Edited by Josephs_Piano
My crappy typing/spelling
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Agreed, after seeing through the information provided, the claim is false.

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1 hour ago, Stahlvormund101 said:

Interesting read here:

http://www.kbismarck.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5826

 

In all of this I wonder... why did noone make an effort to check german accounts of U-boat positions of that time?

Clearly they would not report their position daily but it should still be able to reconstruct their routes.

 

I give you that, I only read it. Whether it is true that they did not rescue survivors out of spite I cant judge yet.

The first post on that forum does nothing remotely accusing the RN of leaving the sailors to perish out of spite!

It offers the reason that the sips were too small to effect a rescue.

 

And don't you realise the the U-Boats WERE a legitimate menace to any rescue operation? And that's what they were intended to be?

Edited by Been_Benuane
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1 minute ago, Been_Benuane said:

The first post on that forum does nothing remotely accusing the Brtish of leaving the sailors to perish out of spite!

It offers the excuse that the sips were too small to effect a rescue.

 

And don't you realise the the U-Boats WERE a legitimate menace to any rescue operation? And that's what they were intended to be?

 

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A little bit of further information to put his rumour firmly in the grave........the RN left survivors in the sea when they thought there was a U-boat threat - EVEN WHEN IT WAS THEIR OWN MEN.

 

Eg HMS Audacity - torpedoed 21 December 1941 - initial rescue ships left the scene because of such a threat as mentioned by one of the survivors:

 

Quote

Brown: At the time Audacity was sunk, there were nine active 802 pilots on board. Two drowned in the sinking, five were rescued by a passing corvette, and two of us were left to our fate. The corvette left the scene when it received warning that the U-boat was still in the area. However, another corvette came back some three hours later and picked the two of us up. We were suffering from hypothermia by then. 

 

Eric Brown's wiki page

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19 hours ago, Josephs_Piano said:

A little bit of further information to put his rumour firmly in the grave........the RN left survivors in the sea when they thought there was a U-boat threat - EVEN WHEN IT WAS THEIR OWN MEN.

 

Eg HMS Audacity - torpedoed 21 December 1941 - initial rescue ships left the scene because of such a threat as mentioned by one of the survivors:

 

 

Eric Brown's wiki page

 

A ship picking up survivors is easy prey for a U-boat. Same principle as a sniper wounding one man in order to kill the poor buggers who break cover to rescue him.

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48 minutes ago, Fallenkezef said:

 

A ship picking up survivors is easy prey for a U-boat. Same principle as a sniper wounding one man in order to kill the poor buggers who break cover to rescue him.

Thats why my question was whether there really were german U-boats in the area. Ofc I dont expect the RN to continue rescue of hostile faction survivors under danger of their forces.

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The ships rudder was disabled by a torpedo delivered by a fairy sword fish. The ship headed for dock there after completing several abouts with a locked rudder. She was intercepted at night by a British battleship and heavy cruiser who exchanged fire including torpedo's (all missed). Bismark was rendered combat ineffective after a single 16mm hit her super structure destroying her bridge, command deck & fire control centre. She then took full barrages but remained afloat with moderate listing.

 

A torpedo attack by the Royal Navy was organised to sink her  & the fleet air arm dispatched a squadron of fairy sword fish. The aircraft retreated from the combat zone after receiving flak from the Royal Navy ships below (No kill steals). No joke the surface fleet opened heavy fire against the fleet air arm as they wanted credit for the sinking. Before the torpedo attack was launched the Bismark was scuttled.

 

Rescue attempts of the Bismark crew were begun but abandoned after sightings & contacts of Uboats.

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On 01/09/2016 at 9:57 AM, Stahlvormund101 said:

Thats why my question was whether there really were german U-boats in the area. Ofc I dont expect the RN to continue rescue of hostile faction survivors under danger of their forces.

 

 U-74 was. It even tried to attack rescue efforts. Bad weather meant maintaining attack depth almost impossible. Its at this point it was probably uncovered. Matching Dorsetshires contact report almost to the minute.

 

http://uboat.net/articles/25.html

 

At 10.36 am the sonar crew heard sinking sounds but they weren't certain whether it was Bismarck or a British ship. Detonations were also audible. 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.

 

The narrative some people try and portray of the RN maliciously leaving people in the water is a false one. The RN called off the rescue efforts because of a U-boat. And rightfully so given U-boats intent on attacking them picking up survivors.

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36 minutes ago, JG27_Iluminas said:

About the AA big problem was that it could not aim as low as the Swordfishs where flying but also a big problem was that the mechanical targeting computer was not made for planes as slow as them

 

One of the reasons we kept the Swordfish for so long was the low level performance, they could skim the sea surface and avoid allot of AAA.

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7 hours ago, JG27_Iluminas said:

About the AA big problem was that it could not aim as low as the Swordfishs where flying but also a big problem was that the mechanical targeting computer was not made for planes as slow as them

 

Please don't repeat that. The Main problem was Bismarck's rear Fire control direct wasn't stabilised. This meant that fire control outputs were useless in the bad swell. The bad swell caused spray over the decks and the gunners wouldn't be able to hit much visually. So they needed fire-control to stand a chance... which didn't work. In addition, the Germans knew exactly what aircraft the RN used for these operations... it makes sense they design AA to fight them.

 

6 hours ago, Fallenkezef said:

 

One of the reasons we kept the Swordfish for so long was the low level performance, they could skim the sea surface and avoid allot of AAA.

 

The Swordfish would have needed to be within a hundred meters or so to get past negative depression on most of the AA guns. Thats well after their drop point.

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3 hours ago, Crag_r said:

 

Please don't repeat that. The Main problem was Bismarck's rear Fire control direct wasn't stabilised. This meant that fire control outputs were useless in the bad swell. The bad swell caused spray over the decks and the gunners wouldn't be able to hit much visually. So they needed fire-control to stand a chance... which didn't work. In addition, the Germans knew exactly what aircraft the RN used for these operations... it makes sense they design AA to fight them.

 

 

The Swordfish would have needed to be within a hundred meters or so to get past negative depression on most of the AA guns. Thats well after their drop point.

 

Doesn't change the fact that the low level performance was one of the reasons they where kept on for so long.

 

The performance of the Swordfish made them very useful flying off escort carriers and MACs for anti-submarine work.

 

By the end of the war the Swordfish sqadrons had destroyed more enemy shipping than any other allied aircraft.

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51 minutes ago, Fallenkezef said:

 

Doesn't change the fact that the low level performance was one of the reasons they where kept on for so long.

 

The performance of the Swordfish made them very useful flying off escort carriers and MACs for anti-submarine work.

 

By the end of the war the Swordfish sqadrons had destroyed more enemy shipping than any other allied aircraft.

UK had replacement for Swordfish from 1940 "Fairey Albacore" (still not exacly update over it) and new planes from 1942-1943.

 and for "destroyed more ships" it not exacly performance, its more "healthy combat conditions", especially when compared to USN Devastators (90% loss ratio+and retirment)

 

"They were easy targets for fighter aircraft, but they were most vulnerable during long torpedo runs. It was then relegated to performing anti-submarine missions and in the training role. However, overall losses for the Swordfish were relatively light, because it was primarily used where it wouldn’t be opposed by land-fighters. "

Edited by arczer25
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6 hours ago, Fallenkezef said:

 

Doesn't change the fact that the low level performance was one of the reasons they where kept on for so long.

 

The performance of the Swordfish made them very useful flying off escort carriers and MACs for anti-submarine work.

 

By the end of the war the Swordfish sqadrons had destroyed more enemy shipping than any other allied aircraft.

 

No it doesnt. But speaking as a pilot the performance increase from flying an aircraft at 5 feet to 50 feet is negligible. 

 

Primarily why they did it is to stay within spray level over the waves. That way the gunners would have the hardest time seeing them as there is the most water vapour between them and target.

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On 12/24/2016 at 5:36 PM, Fallenkezef said:

 

Doesn't change the fact that the low level performance was one of the reasons they where kept on for so long.

 

The performance of the Swordfish made them very useful flying off escort carriers and MACs for anti-submarine work.

 

By the end of the war the Swordfish sqadrons had destroyed more enemy shipping than any other allied aircraft.

 

Would that possibly be because Germany had no carriers and the weak AA defenses from Italian designs that factor into the aircraft still being usable ?

 

I know something like the Swordfish wouldn't fly with the US.

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11 hours ago, The_Dutchman20 said:

 

Would that possibly be because Germany had no carriers and the weak AA defenses from Italian designs that factor into the aircraft still being usable ?

 

I know something like the Swordfish wouldn't fly with the US.

 

US preferred dive bombers over torpedo bombers to be fair.

 

I'm not arguing that the Swordfish would of been useless in the pacific, one of the reasons our Pacific fleet used American kit. However the swordfish was very effective in the Atlantic later in the war as a sub hunter.

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On 16/01/2017 at 9:43 AM, The_Dutchman20 said:

I know something like the Swordfish wouldn't fly with the US.

Because it didn't meet that high standard of the OS2U kingfisher (en sarc)?

 

The Fairey Swordfish would fail where there was effective enemy air defence and prosper where there wasn't any and that's pretty much the sum of it.

Edited by Been_Benuane
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3 hours ago, Been_Benuane said:

Because it didn't meet that high standard of the OS2U kingfisher (en sarc)?

 

The Fairey Swordfish would fail where there was effective enemy air defence and prosper where there wasn't many and that's pretty much the sum of it.

 

There are rather few Torpedo and Dive bombers that would not fail if there is an effective enemy air defence.

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1 hour ago, Fallenkezef said:

 

There are rather few Torpedo and Dive bombers that would not fail if there is an effective enemy air defence.

As an aircraft the Swordfish was really rather good with excellent control responce, agility, etc. A very good torpedo delivery platform which is why it remained in service for so long.

 

The Grumman TBF Avenger on the other hand was a pig of an aircraft. It had the same one torpedo load as the Swordfish but was not as capable of delivering it as effectively. However its survivability against enemy air defences was far greater than the Swordfish's.

Edited by Been_Benuane
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On 1/19/2017 at 10:15 PM, Been_Benuane said:

As an aircraft the Swordfish was really rather good with excellent control responce, agility, etc. A very good torpedo delivery platform which is why it remained in service for so long.

 

The Grumman TBF Avenger on the other hand was a pig of an aircraft. It had the same one torpedo load as the Swordfish but was not as capable of delivering it as effectively. However its survivability against enemy air defences was far greater than the Swordfish's.

Not to mention that for most of the war, American torps sucked, and had to fly close to stall speed to get a successful launch anyway. 

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