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December 7, 2019 is the 78th Anniversary of the Attack of Pearl Harbor, which occurred on December 7, 1941 which would be described by Franklin Roosevelt at the time as a "day of infamy".

WoWS posted a webpage called Countdown to Pearl Harbor  and written by Nicholas Moran aka "The Chieftain", which provides an interesting historical account of events that lead to the devastating surprise attack on the important Hawaiian naval base:

https://worldofwarships.com/en/content/game_/countdown-to-pearl-harbor/

Attack of Pearl Harbor.jpg

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2 hours ago, Ciryandil said:

December 7, 2019 is the 78th Anniversary of the Attack of Pearl Harbor, which occurred on December 7, 1941 which would be described by Franklin Roosevelt at the time as a "day of infamy".

WoWS posted a webpage called Countdown to Pearl Harbor  and written by Nicholas Moran aka "The Chieftain", which provides an interesting historical account of events that lead to the devastating surprise attack on the important Hawaiian naval base:

https://worldofwarships.com/en/content/game_/countdown-to-pearl-harbor/

Attack of Pearl Harbor.jpg

TL/C(an't)R tonight...tagging for tomorrow.

Read through 2nd entry about 1921 BB sinking during air trials report & found the comment about the General tweaking the results by not allowing damage control parties between attacks to be odd...would assume the ship was not manned in a trial sinking.

Can't imagine them loading & unloading a group of repair party personel between attacks just for a trial...seems like a seriously dangerous risk to personel...lol.

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14 minutes ago, IfYouSeeKhaos said:

TL/C(an't)R tonight...tagging for tomorrow.

Read through 2nd entry about 1921 BB sinking during air trials report & found the comment about the General tweaking the results by not allowing damage control parties between attacks to be odd...would assume the ship was not manned in a trial sinking.

Can't imagine them loading & unloading a group of repair party personel between attacks just for a trial...seems like a seriously dangerous risk to personel...lol.

Not sure if the technology existed back then or not, but I know some damage control can be automated in some form or another. And the Damage Control for the rest could have even been a fire boat to put out the flames in between attack runs.

Although in any case it’s easy to see how Naval Officers could have dismissed the test as staged or something at the time.

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6 hours ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

Not sure if the technology existed back then or not, but I know some damage control can be automated in some form or another. And the Damage Control for the rest could have even been a fire boat to put out the flames in between attack runs.

Although in any case it’s easy to see how Naval Officers could have dismissed the test as staged or something at the time.

Air power was wimpy back then.  Given how little damage HMS Arc Royal did to Bismarck with her first torpedo hit, I’m not even sure she could even sink Bismarck with further Swordfish strikes without surface ships making point blank attacks.

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10 hours ago, Royeaux said:

Air power was wimpy back then.  Given how little damage HMS Arc Royal did to Bismarck with her first torpedo hit, I’m not even sure she could even sink Bismarck with further Swordfish strikes without surface ships making point blank attacks.

I also would doubt they could have sunk Bismarck at all without that lucky torpedo hit to the Rudder / Steering Room. Some historians have stated as much as well. And that the other torpedo hits from aircraft had caused only minimal hull damage.

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21 hours ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

I also would doubt they could have sunk Bismarck at all without that lucky torpedo hit to the Rudder / Steering Room.

They could have sunk it w/the Armada they had (in fact they did...or at least they made them scuttle it depending on which account you believe).

Odds are w/out the torpedo hit they wouldn't have been able to catch Bismarck to sink them before it made it back to a safe haven...the torp just slowed them down (significantly)...but the damage was minimal in terms of being able to sink them.

I'm sure that's what you meant but the way you worded it sounds like the torp did so much damage they wouldn't have been able to sink it w/out that damage.

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4 hours ago, IfYouSeeKhaos said:

They could have sunk it w/the Armada they had (in fact they did...or at least they made them scuttle it depending on which account you believe).

Odds are w/out the torpedo hit they wouldn't have been able to catch Bismarck to sink them before it made it back to a safe haven...the torp just slowed them down (significantly)...but the damage was minimal in terms of being able to sink them.

I'm sure that's what you meant but the way you worded it sounds like the torp did so much damage they wouldn't have been able to sink it w/out that damage.

Yeah I guess my wording was wrong, what I meant was the RN CV planes themselves would have been unable to of caused the sinking of Bismarck to take place without hitting the rudder which prevented Bismarck from escaping. And not only was it a lucky hit by the RN torpedo planes, but they had gotten even luckier still by hitting the rudder during a turn which jammed the rudder in the worst possible manner. Had the rudder been in more centered position they could have used the engines for steering at least somewhat.

And the RN surface fleet would not have been able to catch up with Bismarck until it was safely under the protection Luftwaffe, U-Boats, surface ships, and perhaps even shore batteries depending on if the Germans had some good Artillery guns available on the coast at that time. And I have heard the allies could be a little wary of the Luftwaffe at least early in the war thanks to the accuracy of the Stuka Dive Bombers, heard what may be a rumor about how a Stuka could drop a bomb right down a ship’s funnel, which if they could hit a tank accurately I suppose they could pull that off. And RN CV planes would have been no match for Luftwaffe planes, and Spitfires from England would have been pushing their luck trying to dog fight out to sea based on fuel usage the defending German planes would have had the advantage instead of the reverse like was typically the case in the air battles over English soil and the channel. 

 

And as for the debate about whether the British sank Bismarck or the Germans, with much of the gunnery crew dead, weapons disabled, mobility crippled, the Germans did use scuttling charges to sink Bismarck. The Evidence of the scuttling was small explosive marks near water intakes that were too precisely done to have been RN caused, and the fact the wreck lacks decompression damage. You see if a ship was sunk by shell or torpedo hits there would be crushed sections of the ship where water pressure caused air filled sections to suffer decompression. Researchers have found no such evidence to indicate decompression damage anywhere on it, which meant it had been flooded internally and intentionally. Plus the Germans did have a bit of a Naval Tradition of scuttling their ships rather than allow capture or the enemy to get the credit for sinking their ships. With the exceptions being Tirpitz and Prinz Eugen off the top of my head that were destroyed by allies. The fact the British did not get to deal the death blows to Bismarck is something humiliating for them as they wanted to sink Bismarck to avenge the Hood when all they managed to do was disable the Bismarck. I have put a lot of research into Bismarck and that’s why considering everything that is known from a lot of sources I have to agree that the ship was indeed scuttled.

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34 minutes ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

The fact the British did not get to deal the death blows to Bismarck is something humiliating for them

No it was not.  Towards the end they were scoring torpedo hits on Bismarck's deck.  Once a Battleship has been torpedoed from the deck and the ship heavily floods from the top down, that damage is fatal.  If the Germans were compelled to sink their finest Flagship then why would the British be humiliated?  It's not a moral victory to commit suicide when your being fatally wounded or are we to say the US was humiliated at Midway because they failed to avenge Pearl Harbor due to the fact that the Kido Butai scuttled themselves?

Edited by Sventex

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10 hours ago, Sventex said:

No it was not.  Towards the end they were scoring torpedo hits on Bismarck's deck.  Once a Battleship has been torpedoed from the deck and the ship heavily floods from the top down, that damage is fatal.  If the Germans were compelled to sink their finest Flagship then why would the British be humiliated?  It's not a moral victory to commit suicide when your being fatally wounded or are we to say the US was humiliated at Midway because they failed to avenge Pearl Harbor due to the fact that the Kido Butai scuttled themselves?

It would have been the fact that the Germans had sent the pride of the Royal Navy the HMS Hood to the bottom of the ocean in a fast and spectacular manner. The British people wanted to avenge the Hood. And sinking the Bismarck was their revenge and something they wanted the full credit for doing. And while most of us know that as long as something that needs to be destroyed is destroyed, then it does not really matter who did it. But based on the times, and how the Royal Navy veterans seemed to react when questions were asked in mention of if it was true Bismarck had been scuttled. I really think the RN crews felt like they had to be the ones that dealt the death blow, and anything else was unacceptable. Which is why Bismarck being scuttled would have been some what humiliating for the British to be robbed of doing it themselves. When you have perhaps too much pride involved, and then add in a desire for vengeance the attitudes and results can be affected.

That’s why as in the Battle of Midway the USN considered it a Victory and I have never heard of anything to indicate that Americans considered it anything less than victory. All they wanted was the enemy not to successfully take Midway, IJN ships and planes either to retreat or be destroyed. Of course the preferred results was the fact the IJN lost 4 of their CVs in that battle, and I know they would not have minded in the least if the entire IJN had simply scuttled their ships.

And I should point out I do not consider suicide to be in anyway shape or form something honorable just for the sake of doing it. Now if somebody essentially commits suicide by doing something that saves lives such as jumping on a live grenade to save all the people nearby then that is an honorable and heroic thing if it was the only life saving option. Just like a Firefighters that risk their lives to save people, or others that put their lives on the line to protect others. And while the best case scenario is the one where everyone survives, sometimes something must be done to ensure at least most of the people around you survive. This was not the case in Bismarck mind you, but just clearing up and misconceptions about my views on suicidal actions.

Scuttling a ship, or destroying military hardware and technology is another matter entirely provided anyone alive safely escapes said destruction. I am sure you have heard stories of orders through the ages of not letting things fall into the enemy hands, and if you must leave something destroy at least the most vital things if they could be a problem in enemy hands. Just imagine if the Bismarck had been towed back into a UK port for example? The Radar systems alone might have caused problems as the Germans early war had found the way to use radar for weapons targeting while on the other hand the British had only been using Radar for detecting ships or planes. And while allied ships gained the ability to use Radar targeting systems later in the war, it could still maybe of given the British an earlier technological push in the right direction. Which was also the reason the Graf Spee was scuttled as well.

But in any case at least in WWI-WWII Era the Germans had been rather found of the idea of scuttling ships rather than risk their ships being in enemy hands. Not sure if I necessarily like or approve of the idea, but I do know the Germans seemed to like doing it and it often seemed to frustrate the British.

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6 hours ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

It would have been the fact that the Germans had sent the pride of the Royal Navy the HMS Hood to the bottom of the ocean in a fast and spectacular manner. The British people wanted to avenge the Hood.

The Japanese had sent the pride of the United States Navy to the bottom of Pearl Harbor in spectacular manner.  The American people wanted to avenge Pearl Harbor.

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2 hours ago, Sventex said:

The Japanese had sent the pride of the United States Navy to the bottom of Pearl Harbor in spectacular manner.  The American people wanted to avenge Pearl Harbor.

But unlike the Hood most of the USN ships were raised and repaired, and the USN simply wanted the Japanese defeated, they did not exactly care about how this was accomplished. All that America wanted was Unconditional Surrender from the Japanese, and did not matter who did what as long as any enemy obstacles were removed on the path to accomplishing this desire. Royal Navy on the other hand sent everything they could lay their hands on to go after 1 Battleship, and then have hotly argued over how it was sunk instead of being happy about their victory, and simply pressing on towards victory.

And the British did tend to act in a more vengeful manner such as specifically targeting civilians in some cases with successive air bombing raids rather than hitting military targets with most of those raids. Americans on the other hand targeted military targets and any civilians killed were because  of their proximity to strategic targets or were killed on accident because of intel errors, bad weather, or map map errors. But for the US the Civilians were not the primary targets, because Americans only wanted their enemies defeated to the point of surrendering unconditionally. 

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1 hour ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

But unlike the Hood most of the USN ships were raised and repaired, and the USN simply wanted the Japanese defeated, they did not exactly care about how this was accomplished. All that America wanted was Unconditional Surrender from the Japanese, and did not matter who did what as long as any enemy obstacles were removed on the path to accomplishing this desire. Royal Navy on the other hand sent everything they could lay their hands on to go after 1 Battleship, and then have hotly argued over how it was sunk instead of being happy about their victory, and simply pressing on towards victory.

And the British did tend to act in a more vengeful manner such as specifically targeting civilians in some cases with successive air bombing raids rather than hitting military targets with most of those raids. Americans on the other hand targeted military targets and any civilians killed were because  of their proximity to strategic targets or were killed on accident because of intel errors, bad weather, or map map errors. But for the US the Civilians were not the primary targets, because Americans only wanted their enemies defeated to the point of surrendering unconditionally. 

I can't believe you're drawing a parallel between the total war between Japan and the USA and the Hunt for the Bismarck (for which most of the RN units involved had been pursuing or maneuvering to intercept before the kids of Hood). I don't even know what that means... 'All' the USA wanted was unconditional surrender of an entire country, I guess that is next to nothing compared to deploying naval assets available (and without much else to do) against a German target for a few days in May 1941. 

As for bombing, the British did practise the lamentable 'dehousing' strategy, but the US, while also trying for more precision on daylight raids over Germany also firebombed Japanese cities and well I think there were a couple of nuclear bombs too...

At the time I doubt there was much contention about how Bismarck was sunk - the only people who knew differently from a sinking narrative were a handful of German prisoners. It doesn't really matter, unless you're a Wheraboo in 2010-2019 it seems. 

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23 hours ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

And the RN surface fleet would not have been able to catch up with Bismarck until it was safely under the protection Luftwaffe, U-Boats, surface ships, and perhaps even shore batteries...

& most importantly Prince Eugen wouldn't have been ordered to escape had Bismarck been able to keep up...not that Bismarck was moving at full speed before the Swordfish attack (it did pay a price for sinking Hood even before that)...but even though it had some damage it was moving good enough that it wasn't in need of being deserted.

BTW...I do believe you meant Scharnhorst here:

23 hours ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

With the exceptions being Tirpitz and Prinz Eugen off the top of my head that were destroyed by allies.

As Eugen (although technically destroyed by allies) not only survived WWII but also survived 2 hydrogen bomb tests as Bikini Atoll.

Later it was "sunk" by the US because of the levels of radiation but it even outlasted the Nagato (both of which were surrendered to the US after the war) which also survived both bombs but later sunk on it's own due to damages from the bombs.

As for the Bismark scuttling debate I agree the Germans scuttled it due to reading Ballard's book on the finding of it (perfect example of the decompression scenario used in comparison to the 2 halfs of the Titanic...1/2 in tact comparatively & 1/2 scattered over a very large area)...I just didn't want to start the debate that unfortunately ensued anyway just by me bringing it up.

But you should be aware that just because the history book accounts says the "Americans wanted this/the British wanted that" doesn't mean that all "Americans/British" had the same views...& a countries "leaders (the ones usually quoted for those history books)" don't usually speak for anything more than a small minority of their country's populace.

In other words...just because "FDR/Churchill said (the ONLY source in media quotes basically...other than the slanted media "take" on the subject) doesn't mean all US/Britain agreed.

On 12/10/2019 at 12:05 AM, Sventex said:

Towards the end they were scoring torpedo hits on Bismarck's deck.

Not to debate the "humiliation" aspect (as I believe if a flock of birds big enough to have all dropped poop on the Bismarck & had enough poop to sink it from just the weight alone had sunk the Bismarck that a majority of the Allies (including the majority of Britain) would have been just as happy w/the outcome...Bismarck was a formidable enemy & it's sinking was most people's only concern)...but...the contention w/what I quoted is that the British wouldn't have been able to score those torpedo deck hits in the 1st place had the Germans not scuttled it causing the Bismarck to list far enough over for the torps to hit the deck...if none of the other torps ever broke through Bismarck's hull armor.

But as the hull of Bismarck is too far buried to see 1 way or the other all that is known for sure is that the Germans definitely scuttled...whether torps breached the hull or not causing that scuttling will (hopefully) never be known (hopefully as in hopefully the "military grave" will not be disturbed just to find out/or be scavenged for scrap).

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On 12/11/2019 at 2:40 AM, IfYouSeeKhaos said:

...but...the contention w/what I quoted is that the British wouldn't have been able to score those torpedo deck hits in the 1st place had the Germans not scuttled it causing the Bismarck to list far enough over for the torps to hit the deck...if none of the other torps ever broke through Bismarck's hull armor.

But as the hull of Bismarck is too far buried to see 1 way or the other all that is known for sure is that the Germans definitely scuttled...whether torps breached the hull or not causing that scuttling will (hopefully) never be known (hopefully as in hopefully the "military grave" will not be disturbed just to find out/or be scavenged for scrap).

The James Cameron expedition did do a fairly thorough wreck survey, which from memory included not only locating all visible torpedo impact points, but sending cameras into the torpedo impact holes (revealing intact bulkheads and inner armored walls of the torpedo protection system had not been breached). 

I do not recall any above the waterline, specifically in the deck area. There were easily visible shell penetrations (to the deck), and measurable 14” and 16” hits, no actual belt penetrations smaller than 16”, but torpedo damage to the deck is new to me.

Worth looking in to, but I have done a lot of research as well. I know there were a lot of books talking about Dorsetshire firing torpedoes into the sinking Bismarck, but from the wreck surveys, I was under the impression that these torpedoes hit below the waterline (and not to the deck), and that they also constituted the “end points” of the missing outer hull elements observed on the wreck.

Edited by SuperComm4
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1 hour ago, SuperComm4 said:

The James Cameron expedition did do a fairly thorough wreck survey, which from memory included not only locating all visible torpedo impact points, but sending cameras into the torpedo impact holes (revealing intact bulkheads and inner armored walls of the torpedo protection system had not been breached). 

I do not recall any above the waterline, specifically in the deck area. There were easily visible shell penetrations (to the deck), and measurable 14” and 16” hits, no actual belt penetrations smaller than 16”, but torpedo damage to the deck is new to me.

Worth looking in to, but I have done a lot of research as well. I know there were a lot of books talking about Dorsetshire firing torpedoes into the sinking Bismarck, but from the wreck surveys, I was under the impression that these torpedoes hit below the waterline (and not to the deck), and that they also constituted the “end points” of the missing outer hull elements observed on the wreck.

That's what I recall also as far as torpedo deck hits (never heard of any before or seen any signs of them in wreckage photos...definitely none on my "from the bottom of the ocean" camo)...not sure where Sventex got that idea from.

I wasn't even aware of the Cameron expedition...I just recall Ballard's theory based on lack of decompression damage & him not doing any invasive investigations out of respect for the "grave"...guess Cameron has a slightly different balance on his moral compass...probably justified by the media elitist viewpoint that any invasion is permissible to get the facts for the next movie/documentary.

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These:

http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-016.php

http://www.navweaps.com/index_inro/INRO_Bismarck.php

 

Are interesting and publicly available summations of the Bismarck sinking. Of note -

  • Open fire 08:47
  • Bismarck had 10,000t of water onboard and was very low in the water by 9:50
  • Scuttling order at ~10:00
  • Dorsetshire torpedo attack at 10:20 (hits starboard)
  • Dorsetshire last torpedo attack at 10:34-10:36 (hit port) on the 'Aufbaudeck' or US 01 level, the deck above the main level (weather deck) due to a 15' list and loss of buoyancy
  • Bismarck capsizes and sinks 10:39
  • Bismarck is sunk into the mud of the seafloor, precluding a detailed examination of the whole hull

 

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6 hours ago, IfYouSeeKhaos said:

.not sure where Sventex got that idea from

Video queued to the explanation.

 

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5 hours ago, mofton said:

 

  • Dorsetshire torpedo attack at 10:20 (hits starboard)
  • Dorsetshire last torpedo attack at 10:34-10:36 (hit port) on the 'Aufbaudeck' or US 01 level, the deck above the main level (weather deck) due to a 15' list and loss of buoyancy
  • Bismarck capsizes and sinks 10:39

 

48 minutes ago, Sventex said:

Video queued to the explanation.

 

But where is that damage?

I've seen the wreckage photos & there's no visual evidence of torp damage that high up on the ship...or anywhere visible...unless it's the huge whole in the very front of the ship there's nothing torp hole sized anywhere & I would assume a torp not hitting the torp protection belt would leave a massive hole wherever it hit.

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41 minutes ago, IfYouSeeKhaos said:

I've seen the wreckage photos & there's no visual evidence of torp damage that high up on the ship...or anywhere visible...unless it's the huge whole in the very front of the ship there's nothing torp hole sized anywhere & I would assume a torp not hitting the torp protection belt would leave a massive hole wherever it hit.

It is perhaps not that easy to seperate the damage form the shell impacts and fires, but there would have to be an elaborate conspiracy by HMS Dorsetshire and the Royal Navy as a whole to fake torpedo hits made at point blank range with false witnesses.  And what would the point of a conspiracy?  To conceal duds?

 

W0nNadx.jpg

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50 minutes ago, IfYouSeeKhaos said:

But where is that damage?

I've seen the wreckage photos & there's no visual evidence of torp damage that high up on the ship...or anywhere visible...unless it's the huge whole in the very front of the ship there's nothing torp hole sized anywhere & I would assume a torp not hitting the torp protection belt would leave a massive hole wherever it hit.

I have watched some of James Cameron's recording of the wreck, but not all of it. The source I cited does give sources in time and Garzke and Dulin are well regarded.

The analysis and note here indicates that whatever the cause even Ballard's book states that there is a large hole in this location. The case for it being a torpedo but with the explosion venting up rather than in seems pretty compelling to me. The blast effect against a sloped deck area could make a relatively small hole, though it's noted as being 'perplexing if it was caused only by shell hits'.

There was a large hole in the vicinity of the amidships catapult on the port side. The size of this hole was perplexing, if it was caused only by shell hits. Upon further analysis, we have concluded that this hole was probably caused by the last torpedo hit on the portside by cruiser Dorsetshire. Information from Mr. Statz has indicated that listing was at 15 degrees when he jumped into the sea at 1030. Dorsetshire's action report states that she made her final run on the port side of Bismarck at 1034, with the torpedo set for a depth of 16 feet. Observers on the British cruiser noted that the torpedo struck amidships. We are now almost certain that this torpedo hit just below the outboard edge of the Aufbaudeck (USN 01 level) near the port catapult position. A 15-degree list to port and water surge into the ship from the 25-45 foot waves makes this a likely event. Most of the energy of the torpedo explosion (750 pounds of TNT) was vented upwards, but there was sufficient energy left to cause the large hole in the Aufbaudeck seen in the overhead view of the damaged Bismarck. This torpedo hit, although not decisive in sinking the ship, did serve to accelerate the capsizing process already underway.4a

The authors of this article have apparently modified their opinion about the source of this damage since their corroboration on Dr. Ballard's 1988 book, "The Discovery of the Bismarck." In that book, this particular hole was ascribed to "shell hits." When their own book, "Battleships - Axis and Neutral Battleships in World War II," was revised and republished in 1990 with the new information from Dr. Ballard's exploration, they then subscribed to a theory that this damage was from a secondary explosion of the 105mm ready ammunition. In my personal opinion, this theory seems unlikely, as the hole damage was mainly on the Oberdeck (USN Main deck level) while the 105mm mounts with their ready ammunition were a deck higher on the Aufbaudeck (USN 01 level). The torpedo theory that the authors now embrace can be further supported by a time analysis of the Dorsetshire's track and torpedo run times. At 1025 the Dorsetshire fired two torpedoes into the Bismarck's starboard side from two miles away. The Dorsetshire then circled around to the Bismarck's port side, noting at 1035 that the the Bismarck had taken up a large list to port. The Dorsetshire then fired one more torpedo at 1036 from just over a mile away. The torpedoes used, the Mark VII, had a speed of 35 knots. So, it would have taken this last torpedo just about two minutes to travel the distance to Bismarck, or 1038. This torpedo was seen to strike amidships, which is the location of the large hole. Given that the Bismarck was listing to port, it seems likely that this torpedo was indeed the cause of this damage. The Bismarck then rolled completely over at 1039 and sank at 1040.

If you look at the damage diagram Sventex shows (which is hosted on the same page as my link) you can see a large black area of damage port side at deck level, in line with the catapult - i.e. the damage described above. See:

G7uUcBag.png

That's a bigger black damage area than most. The damage assessment is based on survivor testimony and footage from the Ballard expedition.

To summarize:

  • There is a big hole port side amidships at deck level in line with the catapult
  • That hole corresponds with a British reported torpedo attack
  • Due to the geometry of the hit against an angled deck the hole may have been smaller than anticipated from a 750lb torpedo warhead but it's still noted as a larger hole than would be consistent with shellfire
  • Although not provable it seems plausible that this was Dorsetshire inflicted torpedo damage
  • Given that scuttling was ordered at 0930 (my earlier 0950 was in error) this 1036 torpedo hit (if it is that) likely hastened the capsize, but didn't change the outcome

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7 hours ago, Sventex said:

It is perhaps not that easy to seperate the damage form the shell impacts and fires, but there would have to be an elaborate conspiracy by HMS Dorsetshire and the Royal Navy as a whole to fake torpedo hits made at point blank range with false witnesses.  And what would the point of a conspiracy?  To conceal duds?

 

W0nNadx.jpg

 

6 hours ago, mofton said:

I have watched some of James Cameron's recording of the wreck, but not all of it. The source I cited does give sources in time and Garzke and Dulin are well regarded.

The analysis and note here indicates that whatever the cause even Ballard's book states that there is a large hole in this location. The case for it being a torpedo but with the explosion venting up rather than in seems pretty compelling to me. The blast effect against a sloped deck area could make a relatively small hole, though it's noted as being 'perplexing if it was caused only by shell hits'.

There was a large hole in the vicinity of the amidships catapult on the port side. The size of this hole was perplexing, if it was caused only by shell hits. Upon further analysis, we have concluded that this hole was probably caused by the last torpedo hit on the portside by cruiser Dorsetshire. Information from Mr. Statz has indicated that listing was at 15 degrees when he jumped into the sea at 1030. Dorsetshire's action report states that she made her final run on the port side of Bismarck at 1034, with the torpedo set for a depth of 16 feet. Observers on the British cruiser noted that the torpedo struck amidships. We are now almost certain that this torpedo hit just below the outboard edge of the Aufbaudeck (USN 01 level) near the port catapult position. A 15-degree list to port and water surge into the ship from the 25-45 foot waves makes this a likely event. Most of the energy of the torpedo explosion (750 pounds of TNT) was vented upwards, but there was sufficient energy left to cause the large hole in the Aufbaudeck seen in the overhead view of the damaged Bismarck. This torpedo hit, although not decisive in sinking the ship, did serve to accelerate the capsizing process already underway.4a

The authors of this article have apparently modified their opinion about the source of this damage since their corroboration on Dr. Ballard's 1988 book, "The Discovery of the Bismarck." In that book, this particular hole was ascribed to "shell hits." When their own book, "Battleships - Axis and Neutral Battleships in World War II," was revised and republished in 1990 with the new information from Dr. Ballard's exploration, they then subscribed to a theory that this damage was from a secondary explosion of the 105mm ready ammunition. In my personal opinion, this theory seems unlikely, as the hole damage was mainly on the Oberdeck (USN Main deck level) while the 105mm mounts with their ready ammunition were a deck higher on the Aufbaudeck (USN 01 level). The torpedo theory that the authors now embrace can be further supported by a time analysis of the Dorsetshire's track and torpedo run times. At 1025 the Dorsetshire fired two torpedoes into the Bismarck's starboard side from two miles away. The Dorsetshire then circled around to the Bismarck's port side, noting at 1035 that the the Bismarck had taken up a large list to port. The Dorsetshire then fired one more torpedo at 1036 from just over a mile away. The torpedoes used, the Mark VII, had a speed of 35 knots. So, it would have taken this last torpedo just about two minutes to travel the distance to Bismarck, or 1038. This torpedo was seen to strike amidships, which is the location of the large hole. Given that the Bismarck was listing to port, it seems likely that this torpedo was indeed the cause of this damage. The Bismarck then rolled completely over at 1039 and sank at 1040.

If you look at the damage diagram Sventex shows (which is hosted on the same page as my link) you can see a large black area of damage port side at deck level, in line with the catapult - i.e. the damage described above. See:

G7uUcBag.png

That's a bigger black damage area than most. The damage assessment is based on survivor testimony and footage from the Ballard expedition.

To summarize:

  • There is a big hole port side amidships at deck level in line with the catapult
  • That hole corresponds with a British reported torpedo attack
  • Due to the geometry of the hit against an angled deck the hole may have been smaller than anticipated from a 750lb torpedo warhead but it's still noted as a larger hole than would be consistent with shellfire
  • Although not provable it seems plausible that this was Dorsetshire inflicted torpedo damage
  • Given that scuttling was ordered at 0930 (my earlier 0950 was in error) this 1036 torpedo hit (if it is that) likely hastened the capsize, but didn't change the outcome

(Edit: Wasn't suggesting a conspiracy btw...just hadn't seen this data before...until this morning was on a cheap phone that couldn't open the links above...thanx for posting the actual data w/diagrams this time).

Ok...I'll buy that for a quarter. Seems like sound data to me.

Assuming the 2 torps from the port side accounted for 2 of the torp hits that Cameron found that didn't breach the hull & the last 1 that made that hole hastened the scuttle.

Can see how Ballard wouldn't have thought to consider looking for a torp hit above the hull & just considered that either massive shell hits or possible ammo explosion damage in the relatively limited time they analyzed the wreckage & w/out the concept of considering the list into the equation.

Seems Cameron (as thouroghly as they analyzed it & as much time as they were there) should have been able to surmise it as he was actually looking for torp breaches. Hollywood directors...go figure (definitely 1 of the better ones but surely stuck on a viewpoint to have missed that).

Hate the concept they invaded that grave (even just drones)...don't see directors digging up land graves (or sending down tiny medical cameras may be a better analogy) to get "facts" for their movies.

Hope he at least has the decency to give the Brits credit for that torp hit in his Bismarck movie (which research for it I'm sure was his purpose for going there in the 1st place...to get the "facts").

Sorry....triggered about that...just learned it from this thread.

It's rumored (based on wound trajectory witnessed at the time of his death) that the Red Baron was shot down not by a plane but by somebody on the ground while flying low over enemy territory during a dogfight (thus technically not actually losing in a dogfight...making his record 80:0 as opposed to the assumed 80:1. Oddly enough...not the top record in WWI for dogfight kills either...believe he took 2nd though).

IMO Cameron invading the Bismarck sets the standard for digging the Baron up (or sending a camera down) to "get the facts".

Edited by IfYouSeeKhaos

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13 minutes ago, IfYouSeeKhaos said:

 

Ok...I'll buy that for a quarter. Seems like sound data to me.

Assuming the 2 torps from the port side accounted for 2 of the torp hits that Cameron found that didn't breach the hull & the last 1 that made that hole hastened the scuttle.

Can see how Ballard wouldn't have thought to consider looking for a torp hit above the hull & just considered that either massive shell hits or possible ammo explosion damage in the relatively limited time they analyzed the wreckage & w/out the concept of considering the list into the equation.

Seems Cameron (as thouroghly as they analyzed it & as much time as they were there) should have been able to surmise it as he was actually looking for torp breaches. Hollywood directors...go figure (definitely 1 of the better ones but surely stuck on a viewpoint to have missed that).

Hate the concept they invaded that grave (even just drones)...don't see directors digging up land graves (or sending down tiny medical cameras may be a better analogy) to get "facts" for their movies.

Hope he at least has the decency to give the Brits credit for that torp hit in his Bismarck movie (which research for it I'm sure was his purpose for going there in the 1st place...to get the "facts").

Sorry....triggered about that...just learned it from this thread.

It's rumored (based on wound trajectory witnessed at the time of his death) that the Red Baron was shot down not by a plane but by somebody on the ground while flying low over enemy territory during a dogfight (thus technically not actually losing in a dogfight...making his record 80:0 as opposed to the assumed 80:1. Oddly enough...not the top record in WWI for dogfight kills either...believe he took 2nd though).

IMO Cameron invading the Bismarck sets the standard for digging the Baron up (or sending a camera down) to "get the facts".

The torpedo damage inspection could be achieved with lights, high resolution cameras, and ground penetrating radar and sonar equipment without even needing to enter the wreck to look for said damage. Yes there may be mid and silt covering lower parts of the wreck but that’s where the special scanners can work their magic as the Bismarck’s hull would not be buried all that deep.

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7 hours ago, Sventex said:

It is perhaps not that easy to seperate the damage form the shell impacts and fires, but there would have to be an elaborate conspiracy by HMS Dorsetshire and the Royal Navy as a whole to fake torpedo hits made at point blank range with false witnesses.  And what would the point of a conspiracy?  To conceal duds?

 

W0nNadx.jpg

Never considered the possibility of RN concealing dud torpedoes, but considering the problems with some torpedo technologies leading to a lot of duds at least on the side of the allies that I know of, there could actually be some truth to the possibility of needing to conceal dud torpedoes. I know crews and captains went round and around over the quality of some of the torpedoes using the latest tech and their effectiveness ratio until the matter was finally found to be true and had to be rectified to prevent dud torpedo hits. So it’s not all that impossible for similar things to be happening in the Royal Navy. If there was in theory a conspiracy, it’s not that the torpedoes would have been faked, but rather that the torpedoes ended up all not proving to have functional warheads. And if severs torpedoes had been used to this effect, you then can’t just say “ well of course a torpedo might fail once in a great while”. Instead you would have several torpedoes all fail demonstrating flaws in the designs of the torpedoes.

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19 minutes ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

The torpedo damage inspection could be achieved with lights, high resolution cameras, and ground penetrating radar and sonar equipment without even needing to enter the wreck to look for said damage. Yes there may be mid and silt covering lower parts of the wreck but that’s where the special scanners can work their magic as the Bismarck’s hull would not be buried all that deep.

Missing the point...

I will use the same Red Baron analogy...

you CAN technically use modern technology to scan for bullet trajectory to clarify the rumors...but that doesn't mean you SHOULD...

LET THE DEAD REST IN PEACE...they didn't sign a waiver giving Hollywood/historians the right to violate their graves. For that matter...take the Pharaoh's out of the museum's & put them back in their pyramids.

  • Cool 1

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8 hours ago, IfYouSeeKhaos said:

For that matter...take the Pharaoh's out of the museum's & put them back in their pyramids.

I know this is off topic but museums have vastly better security measures then a Pyramid.  Better their remains are protected and remembered then stolen and forgotten about in some private collector's collection or their possessions melted down for the cash.  The Pyramids failed as final resting places for the Pharaohs.  Nobody is going to let hundreds of pounds of gold and silver go untouched in an unguarded tomb.

8 hours ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

And if severs torpedoes had been used to this effect, you then can’t just say “ well of course a torpedo might fail once in a great while”. Instead you would have several torpedoes all fail demonstrating flaws in the designs of the torpedoes.

Military personnel don't like keeping quiet about ineffective weapons, especially when your dealing with an entire fleet as witnesses.  They'd screech about it to the high heavens like the USN captains did so they could get some working torpedoes.  Sure the higher ups might try and deny it, but the military personal who risked their lives on the frontline won't ever shut up about it.  Simply put, the conspiracy would be way too large to keep the secret.

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