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Stauffenberg44

HMS Hood 'For Years Unseen' - How HMS Hood’s bell came home

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This is a touching occasion--who cannot feel the pathos of HMS Hood's fate? She was a fine ship with proud sailors, and sent out as the only fast heavy with a fair chance of intercepting the Bismarck, in itself a proof of how badly die Deutsche Kriegsmarine was damaging the English economy at that time, and then on to her fate. I am sure that für alle altdeutschen Seeleute (older German seamen) watching this they would feel the same:

 

 

I've posted another Bismarck survivor story here earlier on; here is another for those interested:

https://www.world-war.co.uk/bismarck_story.php

 

HOOD.jpg.b8dc549ef010e289f6791ebd40db40d7.jpg

HMS HOOD

With respect for all the lives lost on the Hood and Bismarck.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Stauffenberg44
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had to have taken them a while to find the bell.  given the state of the hood.   she looks more like a pile of twisted scrap metal than a proud warship. though the hood was the only ship Bismarck sank.  granted the hood was designed and built to stand against the sort of guns found on a world war one dreadnought era ship which might have been pellet guns compared to the sort of rounds bismarck could dish out.

Edited by MidnightZer0

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1 hour ago, MidnightZer0 said:

granted the hood was designed and built to stand against the sort of guns found on a world war one dreadnought era ship which might have been pellet guns compared to the sort of rounds bismarck could dish out.

Thing is, Battlecruisers were capable of withstanding a lot of damage and keep fighting.  It was just a matter of where the hits took place.  HMS Tiger took 18 heavy caliber hits and remained combat effective the entire battle of Jutland.HMS_Tiger_Jutland_damage_diagrams.jpg

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7 hours ago, Sventex said:

Thing is, Battlecruisers were capable of withstanding a lot of damage and keep fighting.  It was just a matter of where the hits took place.  HMS Tiger took 18 heavy caliber hits and remained combat effective the entire battle of Jutland.

  tiger was built in 1913 and served during world war one  hood was designed and built during world war one to that era specs    Bismarck was designed and built during world war two  to rival the french Richelieu class ships.     it's the same as a cold war/modern era ship going against a world war two era ship.  yes the older ship might have thicker armor but the newer ship carries more firepower and can concentrate all of it on a single point. also there's a drastic difference between a battlecruiser and a battleship. battlecruisers generally are lightly armored, fast, and carry big guns. where as the battleships carry heavy guns, and are highly armored but due to that weight are slower in both speed and turning.

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15 hours ago, MidnightZer0 said:

  tiger was built in 1913 and served during world war one  hood was designed and built during world war one to that era specs    Bismarck was designed and built during world war two  to rival the french Richelieu class ships.     it's the same as a cold war/modern era ship going against a world war two era ship.  yes the older ship might have thicker armor but the newer ship carries more firepower and can concentrate all of it on a single point. also there's a drastic difference between a battlecruiser and a battleship. battlecruisers generally are lightly armored, fast, and carry big guns. where as the battleships carry heavy guns, and are highly armored but due to that weight are slower in both speed and turning.

HMS Hood had 381mm guns, Bismarck had 38 cm guns, not so different.  In fact, HMS Hood had slightly bigger guns with heavier shells all across the board over Bismarck.  As new as Bismarck was the German Navy was still amateurs at shipbuilding.  Because they scuttled their fleet at Scapa Flow in WWI, they lost the ability to even manufacture 15" guns, they had to redesign from scratch for the Bismarck.  The British however, were experts with the 15-inch (38.1 cm) Mark I which was perhaps their best gun with a proven track record.  It was these old WWI guns that achieved the longest range hit in WWII by a Battleship.

The crew of HMS Hood would have had decades of experience on that ship, while the captain of the Bismarck never held a command before in his life.  HMS Hood had been all over the world, the Bismarck went into action on her maiden voyage.  The fight was perhaps not at uneven as you might think on paper.  It is believed that perhaps HMS Hood was the victim of a freak shell hit, one that made the ship's armor irrelevant no matter how thick.

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Can you believe that a life ring from HOOD washed ashore in Norway a few years back....floating this whole time...they gave it to the last living soul from HOOD

 

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On 12/8/2020 at 3:39 AM, Sventex said:

Thing is, Battlecruisers were capable of withstanding a lot of damage and keep fighting.  It was just a matter of where the hits took place.  HMS Tiger took 18 heavy caliber hits and remained combat effective the entire battle of Jutland.HMS_Tiger_Jutland_damage_diagrams.jpg

pardon my different take....4 battle-cruisers were lost at Jutland...not 1 BB...after that only the British built them..rest of the world navies turned their backs on them

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16 minutes ago, dadeoo said:

pardon my different take....4 battle-cruisers were lost at Jutland...not 1 BB...after that only the British built them..rest of the world navies turned their backs on them

And who did most of the fighting at Jutland?  The Battlecruisers.  That is the natural outcome for ships who fight the most as the Battleships were too slow to see much action.  Jellico's Battleship flagship HMS Iron Duke only fired 90 main battery rounds, while Beatty's Battlecruiser flagship HMS Lion fired 326 main battery rounds in the battle, and that was with the handicap of having one of his turrets completely blown up in the opening salvos and the magazine flooded.

Even the French Dunkerques of WWII were effectively Battlecruisers, even if the French officially designated them "Ships of the Line".

Edited by Sventex
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When will Germany be allowed to retrieve the ship's bell of Bismarck and Scharnhorst? Or the Japanese the Yamato?

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2 hours ago, Crokodone said:

When will Germany be allowed to retrieve the ship's bell of Bismarck and Scharnhorst? Or the Japanese the Yamato?

there really isn't much stopping them from doing so.  the ships you listed off are as far as i know resting within international waters   meaning there's no real rules saying germany and japan could or couldn't go get the bells.   the only thing really stopping them from doing so is the amount of money it'd take to do so

 

19 hours ago, Sventex said:

HMS Hood had 381mm guns, Bismarck had 38 cm guns, not so different.  In fact, HMS Hood had slightly bigger guns with heavier shells all across the board over Bismarck.  As new as Bismarck was the German Navy was still amateurs at shipbuilding.  Because they scuttled their fleet at Scapa Flow in WWI, they lost the ability to even manufacture 15" guns, they had to redesign from scratch for the Bismarck.  The British however, were experts with the 15-inch (38.1 cm) Mark I which was perhaps their best gun with a proven track record.  It was these old WWI guns that achieved the longest range hit in WWII by a Battleship.

The crew of HMS Hood would have had decades of experience on that ship, while the captain of the Bismarck never held a command before in his life.  HMS Hood had been all over the world, the Bismarck went into action on her maiden voyage.  The fight was perhaps not at uneven as you might think on paper.  It is believed that perhaps HMS Hood was the victim of a freak shell hit, one that made the ship's armor irrelevant no matter how thick.

while that may be true about the guns. using the same equipment you used 20 years prior has a lot of drawbacks. two i can think of offhand are that it's easy to counter something you already know, and the tech behind the guns wouldn't be as advanced as what germany would be designing for use.

  also hood was set on fire by Prinz Eugen, from a fairly lucky shot between her funnels and into an area that was used for storing the munitions for the AA guns. and then struck again when she turned to let her aft guns fire. in hindsight that probably wasn't the best course of action. generally exposing an already weakened area to enemy fire usually results in a ship being sunk easier. because already compromised armor isn't going to do much to protect an area

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4 hours ago, MidnightZer0 said:

two i can think of offhand are that it's easy to counter something you already know, and the tech behind the guns wouldn't be as advanced as what germany would be designing for use.

Maybe, maybe not.  When HMS Vanguard was commissioned in 1946, she was armed with the same guns as HMS Hood.  They had a proven track record because there is an awful lot of history behind those guns while the Bismarck and Tirpitz guns, hardly ever saw action, so there isn't a lot of information to go by for them.  Just because they were made later doesn't necessarily mean they are more advanced.  North Korea could make a new naval gun in 2020, that does not necessarily mean it'll be better then every gun in the United States Navy just because the design is newer.  The Germans wreaked their own naval tradition at Scapa Flow.

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19 hours ago, Sventex said:

she was armed with the same guns as HMS Hood.  They had a proven track record because there is an awful lot of history behind those guns while the Bismarck and Tirpitz guns, hardly ever saw action

From what I've read, it was because Vanguard's construction had been accelerated and the 16in guns and/or their turrets weren't available. Therefore the admiralty stripped four turrets out of storage and their respective guns along with them. 

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14 hours ago, Crokodone said:

From what I've read, it was because Vanguard's construction had been accelerated and the 16in guns and/or their turrets weren't available. Therefore the admiralty stripped four turrets out of storage and their respective guns along with them. 

The Royal Navy 16" guns weren't really a success, they were unreliable and their shell velocity resulted in practically no improvement in armor penetration over the 15" gun.  So while HMS Rodney's 16" guns weren't all that great, the new 14" guns on the KGVs were really bad with the turrets malfunctioning at a far greater rate.  The 15" guns in the Royal Navy were really the big success story in their naval arsenal.

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1 hour ago, Sventex said:

The Royal Navy 16" guns weren't really a success, they were unreliable and their shell velocity resulted in practically no improvement in armor penetration over the 15" gun.  So while HMS Rodney's 16" guns weren't all that great, the new 14" guns on the KGVs were really bad with the turrets malfunctioning at a far greater rate.  The 15" guns in the Royal Navy were really the big success story in their naval arsenal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Vanguard_(23)

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3 minutes ago, Crokodone said:

According to navweaps: "The Mark II mounting was similar in design to the 14" (35.6 cm) quadruple mountings used on the King George V class." - http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNBR_16-45_mk2.php

That fact alone would imply such guns likely would have been very unreliable.  

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15 minutes ago, Sventex said:

According to navweaps: "The Mark II mounting was similar in design to the 14" (35.6 cm) quadruple mountings used on the King George V class." - http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNBR_16-45_mk2.php

That fact alone would imply such guns likely would have been very unreliable.  

You don't get the point I was making. The british, like the germans before, outfitted vanguard out of necessity, and not optimum capacity. For a battleship completed after the war, it was remarkable in of itself that Vanguard's maiden voyage wasn't to the scrap yard. There was no redesigning her at that point.

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On 12/10/2020 at 4:24 AM, Sventex said:

Maybe, maybe not.  When HMS Vanguard was commissioned in 1946, she was armed with the same guns as HMS Hood.  They had a proven track record because there is an awful lot of history behind those guns while the Bismarck and Tirpitz guns, hardly ever saw action, so there isn't a lot of information to go by for them.  Just because they were made later doesn't necessarily mean they are more advanced.  North Korea could make a new naval gun in 2020, that does not necessarily mean it'll be better then every gun in the United States Navy just because the design is newer.  The Germans wreaked their own naval tradition at Scapa Flow.

history isn't everything.   also the British could only manage 37,870 yards with their 15 in guns and that was only with the vanguard.  hoods guns would have only had a max range of 33,550 yards. America's 14"/50's as used on the new Mexico and Tennessee class ships had an effective range of 36,800 ergo she had the weaker guns in general. i also used those two classes of battleships from the states because they were designed around the same time as the hood. they're both dreadnought era classes which is what the hood was designed to be able to chase down. plus hood's armor design was done so with world war 1 weapons in mind. they didn't realize til after hood was sunk that there'd been new shells created. ones that didn't explode on impact but rather were designed to punch though the armor and explode within the ship. as for why the Bismarck class never saw much action,  they fell into the same sort of issues that plagued the imperial German navy during world war 1.   the ships generally ended up being used in defensive roles rather than offensive ones. and also england never really gave germany much of a chance to properly use their warships.because universe forbid someone has naval power that matches the british.  even though clearly everyone else's naval power outstrips theirs.

also as a bit of a side note.  bismarck's guns had an effective range of 38,932 to 60,914 yards depending on which shells were used. meaning she could easily sit outside of hoods range and just pick her off if the conditions were right. realistically had bismarck sat outside of hoods range and trained all possible guns sunk hood and the two ships trailing bismarck before changing course, she wouldn't have been sunk on her maiden voyage. though it's also likely bismarck would have just gone back to port and sat there till she rusted and sank.

 

also to the person who put the "meh" reaction onto this post.  i actually lost half of the post originally because my laptop decided to pull the tab into a new window for some weird reason.   the full part of the first part of this post was supposed to be "history isn't everything just because it worked once before doesn't mean it'll continue to work,  plus it would be outdated compared to what germany would be designing while germany did scrap much of their remaining fleet before world war 2. the ships and guns they designed between the second world war and during it weren't based off what they used before "

Edited by MidnightZer0
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9 minutes ago, MidnightZer0 said:

bismarck's guns had an effective range of 38,932 to 60,914 yards depending on which shells were used

There's no way Bismarck's effective range was 25% greater than Yamato's theoretical maximum range.  That's a tad hyperbolic.

11 minutes ago, MidnightZer0 said:

.because universe forbid someone has naval power that matches the british.  even though clearly everyone else's naval power outstrips theirs.

There's no way the Polish navy outstriped the Royal Navy in power.  That's a tad hyperbolic.

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2 hours ago, Sventex said:

There's no way the Polish navy outstriped the Royal Navy in power.  That's a tad hyperbolic.

by everyone i meant the major nations involved in world war 2. as in england, france, germany. italy, japan russia and the united states. wasn't including the smaller nations like poland for the obvious reason of they wouldn't be much of a threat anyways.  there was also a hint of sarcasm in what i said.

2 hours ago, Sventex said:

There's no way Bismarck's effective range was 25% greater than Yamato's theoretical maximum range.  That's a tad hyperbolic.

and i was meaning the gun it's self was able to fire that far sorry. because it was used both on ships, as coastal defense, and as a rail mounted gun. the ship version fired a 1,800 lbs round that could hit up to 22.7 miles in range. coastal and the weird rail mounted version of the gun fired a 40% lighter shell and had a range up to 34 miles. where i got the information from wasn't entirely clear at first because i had just skimmed the information. after looking at it closely i noticed where i went wrong in what i was trying to say. and hood's guns only had a range of 19 miles, 3 less than bismarcks. and that's  just the guns factory fresh specs. hoods guns were well broke in by the time she fought bismarck. but that also meant the mechanical aspects of the guns where more worn out. bismarck had fresh from the factory guns that weren't fully tested yet.  and yamato's 18 inch guns had a range of 26 miles and she never really got to use them most of the war either mainly because she apparently spent most of her life in port, apparently earning the nickname "hotel yamato" from her crew.

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On 12/11/2020 at 11:51 PM, MidnightZer0 said:

also as a bit of a side note.  bismarck's guns had an effective range of 38,932 to 60,914 yards depending on which shells were used. meaning she could easily sit outside of hoods range and just pick her off if the conditions were right.

Couple of problems with this. 

First, is target spotting. How do you see a target at 35000 yds  and see it well enough to compute an accurate range, speed and course. This is the North Atlantic we are talking about. Visibility often sucks and did so during this action.  Radar was in its infancy.  Even detecting a ship at that range was iffy. The visual horizon from a BB was about 24,000 yds (varied by gun director height)

Second, assuming you can get all the targeting parameters, that is a long shell flight time with numerous factors like upper level winds, temperatures etc that means 99%+ of the shells you fire will miss even if the target takes no significant evasive action. The Brits got the record long range shell hit and it was substantially under 30,000 yds.

Later in the war, US BBs were firing on a fleeing Katori at very long range. Radar had improved greatly and they probably had spotter aircraft up. They never got a hit. 

Very long range fire in this time period is only going to be useful for shooting non-moving targets, like docked ships and shore facilities. Even then you are going to miss a lot. The term "Effective range" is very misleading.

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1 minute ago, Sabot_100 said:

Couple of problems with this. 

First, is target spotting. How do you see a target at 35000 yds  and see it well enough to compute an accurate range, speed and course. This is the North Atlantic we are talking about. Visibility often sucks and did so during this action.  Radar was in its infancy.  Even detecting a ship at that range was iffy. The visual horizon from a BB was about 24,000 yds (varied by gun director height)

Second, assuming you can get all the targeting parameters, that is a long shell flight time with numerous factors like upper level winds, temperatures etc that means 99%+ of the shells you fire will miss even if the target takes no significant evasive action. The Brits got the record long range shell hit and it was substantially under 30,000 yds.

Later in the war, US BBs were firing on a fleeing Katori at very long range. Radar had improved greatly and they probably had spotter aircraft up. They never got a hit. 

Very long range fire in this time period is only going to be useful for shooting non-moving targets, like docked ships and shore facilities. Even then you are going to miss a lot. The term "Effective range" is very misleading.

i clarified the issue in a second post  the gun it's self had such a range depending on it's configuration and the shell used. the ship mounted configuration had the smaller range because it fired 1800 lbs shells. where as the rail mounted or coastal gun version had a higher range because they fired a much lighter shell.  as for how you'd see a target at 35k yards or just over 22 miles?   there's a lot of methods they had to do so.   i can't find one easily off hand probably because i was too vague in what i searched but it's possible to find that information.

 

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1 hour ago, MidnightZer0 said:

i clarified the issue in a second post  the gun it's self had such a range depending on it's configuration and the shell used. the ship mounted configuration had the smaller range because it fired 1800 lbs shells. where as the rail mounted or coastal gun version had a higher range because they fired a much lighter shell.  as for how you'd see a target at 35k yards or just over 22 miles?   there's a lot of methods they had to do so.   i can't find one easily off hand probably because i was too vague in what i searched but it's possible to find that information.

 

It's because ship turrets limit the elevation of the naval gun, resulting in less range.  What coastal artillery is capable of achieving is irrelevant to the performance of the ship itself.

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2 minutes ago, Sventex said:

It's because ship turrets limit the elevation of the naval gun, resulting in less range.  What coastal artillery is capable of achieving is irrelevant to the performance of the ship itself.

i'm aware of the limitations of the turrets on the ships . that's a whole other piece of machinery. the gun it's self is what i was talking about. and at a max elevation of 30 degrees it's range is still 22.1 miles with a 1,800 lb shell.  and the turrets would have been designed in such away that the gun crews would be protected and could raise the guns to as high as possible.

so no it wasn't the limitations of the turret that limited the range of bismarcks guns. the heavier an object is the more energy you need to make it move over a longer distance. the  velocity of a shell from the main gun of bismarck would have been 2,700 ft/s  so for every second until either it hits the target or otherwise is no longer moving  it's traveling 2700 feet  which means that it'd take about 43 seconds for the round to go from the gun to the maximum effective range of 22 miles

so in short, what really limited bismarcks guns would be nothing more than physics its self.

i'd also like to point out that it wasn't just bismarcks guns that sank hood, but a combined effort of both bismarck  and the heavy cruiser prinz eugen.

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2 minutes ago, MidnightZer0 said:

so no it wasn't the limitations of the turret that limited the range of bismarcks guns. the heavier an object is the more energy you need to make it move over a longer distance. the  velocity of a shell from the main gun of bismarck would have been 2,700 ft/s  so for every second until either it hits the target or otherwise is no longer moving  it's traveling 2700 feet  which means that it'd take about 43 seconds for the round to go from the gun to the maximum effective range of 22 miles

There is absolutely no way that Bismarck's effective range was 22 miles, that was nearly her theoretical maximum range.

As you can see from this table, even the USS Iowa's effective range was barely more than 17 miles.

Accuracy During World War II (16"/50 (40.6 cm) Mark 7)

 
Range Percentage hits against a broadside target Percentage hits against an end-on target Ratio
10,000 yards (9,144 m) 32.7 22.3 1.47:1
20,000 yards (18,288 m) 10.5 4.1 2.56:1
30,000 yards (27,432 m) 2.7 1.4 1.92:1

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