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Wombatmetal

Why the Bismark was sunk

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That wasn't really a "why", more like a slandering of the Bismarck, and she was sunk cause the German sailors wanted the last laugh and I'll take Robert Ballard's word for it...

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30 minutes ago, Fallschirmfuchs said:

That wasn't really a "why", more like a slandering of the Bismarck, and she was sunk cause the German sailors wanted the last laugh and I'll take Robert Ballard's word for it...

That is a bit excessively literal IMO, it’s not like she was going to keep floating much longer anyways. 

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54 minutes ago, Fallschirmfuchs said:

That wasn't really a "why", more like a slandering of the Bismarck, and she was sunk cause the German sailors wanted the last laugh and I'll take Robert Ballard's word for it...

I recall that contemporary historians attribute both the scuttling and the British bombardment to have ended the Bismarck. 

After all, it wasn't like the Bismarck was going to last after that bombardment since the orders were to obliterate her (the Bismarck didn't strike down her colors, thus she was still seen as a viable target...even when she was past being functional).

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26 minutes ago, Herodotus4 said:

That is a bit excessively literal IMO, it’s not like she was going to keep floating much longer anyways. 

 

Robert Ballard estimates that she could have stayed afloat for another 24 hours. Take that for what you will.

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7 minutes ago, dseehafer said:

 

Robert Ballard estimates that she could have stayed afloat for another 24 hours. Take that for what you will.

She was a sturdy boat, but she was unusable as a weapon of war after the pounding the Royal Navy gave her.  It was an unfair fight to be sure, but one should never be fair in war.

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It sank because the British destroyed it.  Who let the water in is irrelevant.

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For the large part, the German surface fleet was of marginal value.  It was more a burden than a benefit.

A certain person was right when a decision was ordained to scrap it out and reallocate the resources elsewhere.

But..  hey..  that's not as dramatic and heroic as dying for your country.

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4 hours ago, crzyhawk said:

It sank because the British destroyed it.  Who let the water in is irrelevant.

Excellent point! However, one can only wonder, if that cloth covered bi-plane had not jammed her rudders - but then again, I am not that familiar with the entire story, so probably moot.

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6 hours ago, crzyhawk said:

It sank because the British destroyed it.  Who let the water in is irrelevant.

 

This pretty much, at the time of her sinking she was a total constructive loss anyway.

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10 hours ago, Fallschirmfuchs said:

That wasn't really a "why", more like a slandering of the Bismarck, and she was sunk cause the German sailors wanted the last laugh and I'll take Robert Ballard's word for it...

It doesn't really matter if the British pummeled Bismarck to death or if the Germans put a pistol to their collective head and pulled the trigger to make the suffering stop.....end result is Bismarck went the bottom and the British had one less thing to worry about.

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10 hours ago, Fallschirmfuchs said:

That wasn't really a "why", more like a slandering of the Bismarck, and she was sunk cause the German sailors wanted the last laugh and I'll take Robert Ballard's word for it...

It's actually been confirmed by more than just Robert Ballard that the Bismarck was indeed scuttled.

And Scientifically proven since hull would have gotten crushed by water pressure in at least some places if sunk by external sources, instead they proved it was scutteled by leveling all watertight hatches open and using scuttling charges on water intake valves.

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27 minutes ago, Tiberius67 said:

It doesn't really matter if the British pummeled Bismarck to death or if the Germans put a pistol to their collective head and pulled the trigger to make the suffering stop.....end result is Bismarck went the bottom and the British had one less thing to worry about.

Still a blow to British pride to have the ship scuttled since they did not get to do it themselves making the act of avenging the Hood a more hollow victory than they wanted.

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1 hour ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

Still a blow to British pride to have the ship scuttled since they did not get to do it themselves making the act of avenging the Hood a more hollow victory than they wanted.

They did not have this confirmed for over 50 years, by that time I think tallboy bombing the tirpitz had made up for it.

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2 hours ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

Still a blow to British pride to have the ship scuttled since they did not get to do it themselves making the act of avenging the Hood a more hollow victory than they wanted.

How so? Forcing your enemy to kill himself to avoid capture isn't significantly different than killing him yourself....it's just semantics. In the end, the British were responsible for the removal of one of the two most powerful German surface combatants from the board....irregardless of whether they did it with guns and torpedoes or they forced the Germans to scuttle their own ship rather than face the spectacle of being towed home and put on exhibit for propaganda purposes. Which the British hadn't even thought about doing, so far as we know.    

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39 minutes ago, Tiberius67 said:

How so? Forcing your enemy to kill himself to avoid capture isn't significantly different than killing him yourself....it's just semantics. In the end, the British were responsible for the removal of one of the two most powerful German surface combatants from the board....irregardless of whether they did it with guns and torpedoes or they forced the Germans to scuttle their own ship rather than face the spectacle of being towed home and put on exhibit for propaganda purposes. Which the British hadn't even thought about doing, so far as we know.    

Yeah people having odd reasons for things is part of life, we may not always understand all the reasons some cultures do things a certain way or have some values, but often it's just the way things are.

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23 minutes ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

Yeah people having odd reasons for things is part of life, we may not always understand all the reasons some cultures do things a certain way or have some values, but often it's just the way things are.

Spite, mainly. Kinda like how folks in WoT will drive into a lake or put the muzzle of their cannon against a wall and fire HE into it to take themselves out....just to deny the enemy the satisfaction of harvesting your sweet HP themselves. The Brits didn't really care how Bismarck was sunk...just that she was sunk, and Britain's chances of survival rising slightly because of it.

With that said, once it was clear the ship was doomed, and incapable of inflicting any further damage on the enemy, then scuttling her and abandoning ship was the logical next step. While it was unlikely that the British would try to boards Bismarck and seize her, it was still the obligation of whoever was in command at that point to make sure that the British did not get the opportunity to do so.  

 

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1 minute ago, Tiberius67 said:

Spite, mainly. Kinda like how folks in WoT will drive into a lake or put the muzzle of their cannon against a wall and fire HE into it to take themselves out....just to deny the enemy the satisfaction of harvesting your sweet HP themselves. The Brits didn't really care how Bismarck was sunk...just that she was sunk, and Britain's chances of survival rising slightly because of it.

 

I have gotten the feeling that the British did / do care based on how adamantly they will argue that they sank Bismarck and that the ship was not scuttled. Even after seeing first hand accounts of investigations and the scientific evidence.

While it is true all that mattered was the fact the ship was defeated or destroyed, to some for odd reasons it matters greatly.

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Just now, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

 

I have gotten the feeling that the British did / do care based on how adamantly they will argue that they sank Bismarck and that the ship was not scuttled. Even after seeing first hand accounts of investigations and the scientific evidence.

While it is true all that mattered was the fact the ship was defeated or destroyed, to some for odd reasons it matters greatly.

it may be of importance to people now, but at the time I doubt many would have cared, since they were busy fighting for their lives. For us, victory was won long ago and all that remains of Hitler's movement today are a sick joke...loons who go grocery shopping at their local Asda store dressed as a Obergruppenfuhrer-SS, or sit in makeshift bunkers in the hills of Idaho, fingering their gun collections and waiting for doomsday. Since the big issue was settled decades ago, now we have the luxury of fighting over the small stuff....such as whether Bismarck was sunk outright or scuttled.  

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3 hours ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

Still a blow to British pride to have the ship scuttled since they did not get to do it themselves making the act of avenging the Hood a more hollow victory than they wanted.

 

How exactly is it a blow to British pride? Bismarck was completely disabled, taking a heavy list and sinking when the Germans sunk her.

 

The Germans beat the British to sinking their own totally wrecked ship, *golf clap*

 

The British only cared if she was sunk, and sunk she was.

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5 minutes ago, xX_Critical_ClopOut69_Xx said:

 

How exactly is it a blow to British pride? Bismarck was completely disabled, taking a heavy list and sinking when the Germans sunk her.

 

The Germans beat the British to sinking their own totally wrecked ship, *golf clap*

 

The British only cared if she was sunk, and sunk she was.

It's like those times you have a leader that wants prisoners brought back alive so they can execute them personally and instead they are killing in the process of capturing them and the leader is greatly displeased over the matter...

 

If the British did not care how it was sunk there would not be such strong arguments from the British that they sank Bisnarck and they would not have been rejecting the facts she was scuttled all these years.

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9 hours ago, AVR_Project said:

For the large part, the German surface fleet was of marginal value.  It was more a burden than a benefit.

A certain person was right when a decision was ordained to scrap it out and reallocate the resources elsewhere.

But..  hey..  that's not as dramatic and heroic as dying for your country.

 

??

 

The German surface fleet wasn't very large, but it certainly wasn't more of a burden than a benefit. The tiny little German surface fleet actually performed above and beyond anyone's expectations during the war, sinking almost 2 million tons of enemy shipping and tying down a large number of warships and capital ships which could have been used elsewhere. Also, the whole "scrap the fleet and redistribute its resources" bit has been shot down many times by naval experts. THAT, would have done more harm than good. It took the American 15-18 months to scrap the Washington and South Dakota respectively... and that's the Americans! My point is, by the time the Germans would have finished scrapping what was left of their fleet it would be too late in the war to do anything with the resources.

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Had the Bismarck made Brest the UK would have bombed the city flat in night raids trying to hit the Bismarck. There would have been repeated carrier raids until the Bismarck was finished, and while they were going at the Bismarck they likely would have tried to get the twins as well. They may have been desperate enough to try a Mers-el-Kebir style raid if the 3 KM ships were in the same port.

 

There is no way the British would have risked leaving those 3 ships alone. They just didnt have enough ships anywhere near fast enough to catch them AND fight them and they certainly would have had a phobia regarding their remaining BC's, so you can bet the Renown and Repulse would be nowhere near the Bismarck.

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2 hours ago, hipcanuck said:

Had the Bismarck made Brest the UK would have bombed the city flat in night raids trying to hit the Bismarck. There would have been repeated carrier raids until the Bismarck was finished, and while they were going at the Bismarck they likely would have tried to get the twins as well. They may have been desperate enough to try a Mers-el-Kebir style raid if the 3 KM ships were in the same port.

 

There is no way the British would have risked leaving those 3 ships alone. They just didnt have enough ships anywhere near fast enough to catch them AND fight them and they certainly would have had a phobia regarding their remaining BC's, so you can bet the Renown and Repulse would be nowhere near the Bismarck.

 

The British proved to be very bad at bombing ships in port during the early years of the war... they were completely incapable of hitting Tirpitz while she was still under construction, never mind sinking her. Further, the British did not have a bomb heavy enough to penetrate Bismarck's deck armor in 1941. Bombing Bismarck in Brest would have been largely useless, it certainly wouldn't have sunk the ship. And a MEK situation would also be impossible unless the British can somehow hold air superiority over German-held Brest throughout the entire bombardment. In both cases, the Luftwaffe is a very big, very real threat.

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