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Bismarck boarded and captured

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  • Bismarck boarded and captured

    WI in the last battle of the Bismarck, once the British realized that it was dead in the water, they closed and captured the ship?

    Undoubtedly this would save the lives of the Bismarck's crew. The ship at that point was too battered to be worth saving, but could it have been towed back as a "war prize" morale booster? Imagine nowadays being able to visit the wreck of the Bismarck as a museum!

  • #2
    Not likely, the Germans would have (did?) scuttle it to prevent that.
    Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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    • #3
      There were also German U-Boats closing on the scene. The British knew this from reading the German Naval code.

      Pruitt
      Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

      Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

      by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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      • #4
        Given what we know of the damage to the ship, it's doubtful it would have stayed afloat in any case. There was serious progressive flooding going on and the extent of the damage would have made the ship both unstable and in a sinking condition. It might have taken hours for her final plunge but she was finished.
        There were also serious fires aboard. These would have hindered any attempt to control flooding damage, not to mention the damage itself being as extensive as it was.

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        • #5
          Would in any case have been impossible unless the Bismark surrendered, trying to board and capture her in the face of opposition would have been a nightmare and there would in any-case be the risk that she would go down and take the boarding parties with her. There is no evidence that any attempt was made to surrender.
          Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
          Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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          • #6
            And furthermore boarding would not be like Nelsonian times - lock yard arms and scramble over the bulwarks. No captain in his right mind would want to put his ship anywhere near a large modern warship, with powerful magazines, that was on fire! Any boarding party would have to approach in ships boats and try and get up the Bismark's sides. Not easy even in ideal conditions
            Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
            Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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            • #7
              If the KM Crew ...

              ... was unable to steer their crippled, directionally challenged ship to France with steam and under power, what makes you think the British could tow it to Britain, dead, battered and without power???


              Originally posted by Charger View Post
              WI in the last battle of the Bismarck, once the British realized that it was dead in the water, they closed and captured the ship?

              Undoubtedly this would save the lives of the Bismarck's crew. The ship at that point was too battered to be worth saving, but could it have been towed back as a "war prize" morale booster? Imagine nowadays being able to visit the wreck of the Bismarck as a museum!
              "I am Groot"
              - Groot

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              • #8
                Even if the crew surrendered the ship without trying to scuttle and even if she could be patched up sufficiently she would still have to brought back to port.
                Would a tug have to sail out or could she be towed by one of the cruisers? A cruiser towing a crippled battleship would be an easy target for a U boat.
                "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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                • #9
                  Traditionally the RN had never been interested in taking prizes for morale boosting purposes. As far back as the 7 Years War reasons for taking a war ship prize were quite unsentimental being
                  • So she could be incorporated into the RN earning everyone concerned prize money
                  • So she could be sold earning everyone concerned prize money
                  • So she could be examined for intelligence purposes

                  Given the state that Bismark was in and the way in which the prize money system had changed there was really no incentive to take the risks that would be involved.
                  Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                  Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                    Traditionally the RN had never been interested in taking prizes for morale boosting purposes. As far back as the 7 Years War reasons for taking a war ship prize were quite unsentimental being
                    • So she could be incorporated into the RN earning everyone concerned prize money
                    • So she could be sold earning everyone concerned prize money
                    • So she could be examined for intelligence purposes

                    Given the state that Bismark was in and the way in which the prize money system had changed there was really no incentive to take the risks that would be involved.
                    Even as scrape 40000 tons of high quality steel would have been worth a lot.
                    "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                      Even as scrape 40000 tons of high quality steel would have been worth a lot.
                      You didn't read my post properly "the prize money system had changed " the exchequer might have benefited but there would have been not much in the way of prize money to be scraped up, Also armour plate is less valuable scrap in general as about the only thing you can do with it is make more armour plate.
                      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Charger View Post
                        WI in the last battle of the Bismarck, once the British realized that it was dead in the water, they closed and captured the ship?

                        Undoubtedly this would save the lives of the Bismarck's crew. The ship at that point was too battered to be worth saving, but could it have been towed back as a "war prize" morale booster? Imagine nowadays being able to visit the wreck of the Bismarck as a museum!
                        After losing the Hood I think the British would have taken more pleasure knowing it was sunk.
                        "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".
                        Mark Twain.

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                        • #13
                          Did the Norwegians get much value out of the Tirpitz?
                          Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                          Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                            Did the Norwegians get much value out of the Tirpitz?
                            I doubt they were building many things that needed armor.

                            But, HOW would this have even been done? You just can't rush up and run up alongside a BB with another BB in a typical day at sea, the swells will throw you right into each other.
                            Collisions between 50,000 tonners is no joke.

                            Or, are we thinking in terms of Destroyers?
                            That maniac Vian was right there, he just might have given it a try...

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                            • #15
                              The RN had ...

                              Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                              I doubt they were building many things that needed armor.

                              But, HOW would this have even been done? You just can't rush up and run up alongside a BB with another BB in a typical day at sea, the swells will throw you right into each other.
                              Collisions between 50,000 tonners is no joke.

                              Or, are we thinking in terms of Destroyers?
                              That maniac Vian was right there, he just might have given it a try...
                              ... had specialized tugs/ships for towing damaged ships, and there were private companies in it for lucrative convoy route salvaging. Consider Bismarck's bulk and dead weight, that her rudders were seized to port, and this is the Force 8 sea state at the time:



                              Even Vian wouldn't try that!
                              "I am Groot"
                              - Groot

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