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  • The Battleship Bismarck

    I just finished watching the Movie "Sink The Bismarck" again, and I am not ashamed to say that I cried over the sad ending of that movie.

    That being said, was there any way at all that The Bismarck could have been saved?

    Despite the reduction in it's speed, if the rudders had been freed and made to function again, could the ship have survived?

    If the Luftwaffe showed up, could it have survived?

    If Lutjens had agreed with Lindermann & they went to Brest after the initial damage in the first attack on the ship & they had repaired their damage & refueled and then returned to sea, could the Bismarck have survived?

    If The Prinz Eugen had stayed with The Bismarck, could the Bismarck have survived?

    If The Bismarck, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau & The Prinz Eugen had formed a Battlegroup, could the British have stopped them?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Duke William View Post
    If the Luftwaffe showed up, could it have survived?
    The battle took place far beyond the range of Luftwaffe fighters, so any help defensively was impossible. Offensively the only aircraft that could reach the scene would be Condors, which would be very vulnerable to the Victorious' fighters. The catapult launched fighters that were used by merchant ships were sufficient to destroy Condors; the greater number available to the Victorious would have made it a one way trip for most of the Condors launched.
    "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen." - Albert Einstein

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Duke William View Post
      I just finished watching the Movie "Sink The Bismarck" again, and I am not ashamed to say that I cried over the sad ending of that movie.

      That being said, was there any way at all that The Bismarck could have been saved?

      Despite the reduction in it's speed, if the rudders had been freed and made to function again, could the ship have survived?

      If the Luftwaffe showed up, could it have survived?

      If Lutjens had agreed with Lindermann & they went to Brest after the initial damage in the first attack on the ship & they had repaired their damage & refueled and then returned to sea, could the Bismarck have survived?

      If The Prinz Eugen had stayed with The Bismarck, could the Bismarck have survived?

      If The Bismarck, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau & The Prinz Eugen had formed a Battlegroup, could the British have stopped them?
      The only thing that might have lengthened the Bismarck's life a little longer would have been for the Prinz Eugen to take her under tow, but even then, with the Bismarck's damaged rudder, she would probably snap any towing lines between the two ships, because of the Eugen straining to keep the battleship on a straight course towards Brest. The two ships would be unable to maneuver at more than half speed, so that Force H and the rest of the Royal Navy would catch up with them a bit later in the game, but with the same results.

      Re: The "Battlegroup" thing. That would have only amounted to one German Battleship and technically three heavy cruisers against the Royal Navy that would outnumber and outgun them by over ten to one. Before you blow up out of unresearched consternation, remember how easily the Scharnhorst was crippled and later sunk by the actions of the British Battleship Duke of York and the Light Cruiser HMS Belfast at the Battle of North Cape on 26 December, 1943.
      "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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      • #4
        I think the Royal Navy was just that much better than the Germans, so I don't know if there was much that could have been done to save them. I may be wrong, but I think it was the Rodney and the King George V that teamed up to defeat the Bismark. The Royal Navy may have had ships that weren't as good as the Italians or the Germans, but they seemed to be much better trained. I think the pride that they had in their Navy, helped make a big difference.

        "Get three coffins ready" The Man With No Name

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        • #5
          If the Bismarck had not been sunk, it likely would have enjoyed about as much success as the Tirpitz, ie, not a lot.

          The Germans never put any serious interest into competing with the allies navies, and as such, they were always more of a thorn than a threat.
          Life is change. Built models for decades.
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          • #6
            The Germans would have been better off taking the money spent on their battleships, cruisers and the like and putting it into more planes and submarines. That would've been more frightening than a couple of battleships that the British would have no problem handling.
            Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Duke William View Post
              If The Bismarck, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau & The Prinz Eugen had formed a Battlegroup, could the British have stopped them?
              In a word, yes. The Royal Navy would probably have assembled every capital ship and heavy cruiser they had available in the Atlantic to chase them down. The trump card is the Carriers. The British can afford to stand off and let the Swordfish do their thing against which the Germans have no effective defence. It wouldn't take much to leave a couple of the German battlegroup seriously damaged and after that the Royal Navy can take its time.
              Signing out.

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              • #8
                World War 2 showed that the days of the Battleship as the main naval weapon were well and truly over. The cancellation of the Graf Zeppelin was arguably the Germans greatest naval blunder.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by copenhagen View Post
                  World War 2 showed that the days of the Battleship as the main naval weapon were well and truly over. The cancellation of the Graf Zeppelin was arguably the Germans greatest naval blunder.
                  Agreed. That and not building the other aircraft carrier Peter Strasser either.
                  "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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                  • #10
                    Germany is a continental nation, and a navy simply wasn't as fundemental to their needs.

                    They only needed a navy to be a pain in the ass with it. To that end, they should have dumped status symbol battleships, and made a great deal more subs.

                    But, in the end, even subs had their limits as technology made them more and more unable to perform. The sub had a few key moments in the war when they held the advantage, but, after 43, even the sub was just delaying an inevitable result.

                    WW2 was all about timing.
                    Life is change. Built models for decades.
                    Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
                    I didn't for a long time either.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                      In a word, yes. The Royal Navy would probably have assembled every capital ship and heavy cruiser they had available in the Atlantic to chase them down. The trump card is the Carriers. The British can afford to stand off and let the Swordfish do their thing against which the Germans have no effective defence. It wouldn't take much to leave a couple of the German battlegroup seriously damaged and after that the Royal Navy can take its time.
                      Ahhh, FM, I've never known you to be so wasteful with resources.

                      I figured that they would have had Monty take a YB, fly within a few miles, walk the rest of the way and plant a limpet mine on the hull. Game over.
                      My Avatar: Ivan W. Henderson Gunner/navigator B-25-26. 117 combat missions. Both Theaters. 11 confirmed kills. DSC.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by holly6 View Post
                        Ahhh, FM, I've never known you to be so wasteful with resources.
                        You haven't read enough of my posts then.

                        I figured that they would have had Monty take a YB, fly within a few miles, walk the rest of the way and plant a limpet mine on the hull. Game over.
                        Why Monty? Why not a commander with skill?
                        Signing out.

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                        • #13
                          The reason why the Bismarck had given up the attempt at making Brest but the time the RN showed up was because the Germans used up so much fuel compensating with the propellers to make up for the damaged rudder. Mathematically Bismarck could not get to Brest or even close enough for Luftwaffe cover, the decision not to top up doomed the ship.
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                          • #14
                            Bismarck was a top priority for the RN, they in no way wanted Bismarck roaming around at will. They had enough problems enough with the U Boat Campaign. If I'm not mistaken, every ship that could make towards her envisioned OPS Area was ordered to do so. This was an all out effort, one the RN intended to win. While an interesting and technically sound vessel, it was a fool’s errand to think she could roam the High Seas at will, especially without more escorts and air cover. The Kriegsmarine, did not have a firm grasp on how the aircraft had changed naval warfare, they expected the Flak Guns on board would be sufficient for such attacks if they happened.

                            While I'm not knocking the Swordfish, (it sure assured it's place in history), I still find it ironic that Bismarck’s undoing was brought about by what could be considered WWI technology.

                            Bismarck was toast when she sortied
                            Last edited by PzKfwBob; 19 Sep 07, 23:32.
                            Eternal War(gaming) Armoured Struggle Car Bob

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                            • #15
                              The leaking fuel trailing in the water really gave away her position later on, may have avoided more battles if she wasn't spotted by the aircraft!
                              "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
                              Ernest Hemingway.

                              "The more I learn about people, The more I love my dog".
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