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Sinking the Bismarck with no Swordfish Torpedo Bomber

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  • #16
    wow details!

    Outstanding PatBC, That's the kinda info I was looking for thanks! I haven't got a Jane's manual circa 1940 and its nice to see that someone out there does!

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    • #17
      Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
      hmm. wait in 1939, the Graf Spee, already at large, ended up beeing cornered.

      why wouldn't the british fleet in 1941 be able to corner down the Bismark.
      Two other German warships had sucessfully sortied and raided Brit merchant ships in the Atlantic, so only one of three (Graf Spee) had been intercepted. Further the locating interception of the Garf Spee ws under fairly favorable conditions. The two subsequent sucessfull raids showed that it was possible to effectively raid with surface ships. Aside from the two capitol ship raids the disgused merchant crusiers were proving very difficult for the British to locate and destroy.

      With the Bismarck, Prinz Eugen, Scharnhost, & Geisnau based in the Atalantic ports, plus German submarines and possible new merchant crusiers Britan is faced with a complex problem.

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      • #18
        The Graf Spee is really not comparable to the Bismark.

        The Bismark didn't only have big guns, it's better targeting system means that it could - statistically - knock out approaching enemy warship at an even greater distance than just the gun data suggests.

        I suggest that people interested in this Netflix the "Sink the Bismark" movie. It's pretty good and explains the dilemmas that Bismark posed for the British nicely.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Half Pint View Post
          It didn't take long for the RN to forget most of what they learnt. 10 Dec 41 was not a high point in the RN's history, losing Repulse and PoW to air attack.

          HP
          To be fair to the RN, this action was the first time ever that a major warship was lost to air attack while at sea.
          Before this, major RN warships had survived numerous attacks from German and Italian aircraft. The anti-ship capabilities of Japanese aircraft and the skill of the Japanese aircrews took everybody by surprise.

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          • #20
            The Repluse dodged 19 torpedeos in 3 seperate attacks attacks before she was hit in the rudder. After that three more tropedeos were stuck. As an older World War 1 battlecruiser she was poorly compartmentized and sank quickly at this point.

            The Prince of Wales sailed with an unserviceable radar. As it was the only radar in the taskforce it spent alot of time sailing circles looking for the Japanese. At one point in night Force Z was only 5 milies from a Japanese force of six cruisers but failed to spot them. The next day the PoW was hit in the very first tropedeo attack. The tropedeo stuck her at the base of the port propellor staff.
            This single torpedo hit had three crippling effects. Firstly, it caused a 10 degree list to port, jamming some 5.25-inch turrets and meaning those on the starboard side were unable to depress low enough to engage the attackers. Furthermore power to some of Prince of Wales' 5.25 inch dual-purpose turrets was cut leaving Prince of Wales unable to effectively counter further attacks. Power loss to her pumps meant an inability to pump flood water faster than it was entering the breached hull. Secondly, it denied Prince of Wales much of her auxiliary electrical power that was vital for internal communications, ventilation, the steering gear and pumps and that the 5.25-inch and 2-pounder gun mountings relied on to train and elevate. All but S1 and S2 5.25 inch turrets were almost unmanageable, a factor compounded by the list, their crews unable even to drag them round manually using chains. The crews also had difficulty bringing the heavy 2-pounder mountings into manual operation. Thirdly, the extensive internal flooding and shaft damage left the ship under power of only the starboard engines and able to make only 15 knots at best, and with her electric steering unresponsive the ship was virtually unmanoeuvrable
            Doomed at this point the captian of the Prince of Wales ordered "abandon ship". Admiral Phillips and Captain John Leach, commanding officer of the Prince Of Wales, were among the lost as they chose to go down with the ship.

            The carrier HMS Indomitable was supposed to be part of the taskforce but ran aground off Bermuda delaying her passage to the far-east. What effect her 15 Fulmars would have had on the outcome is unknown.
            FoxNEWS "The World is unfair and we are running scared"

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            • #21
              I'm surprised no-one's mentioned that the Fairey Swordfish was nicknamed "The Stringbag" due to the fact that its fabric-covered airframe could absorb hit after hit from AAA fire.
              Last edited by Sign&Print Name; 10 Feb 08, 18:25.
              Hitler played Golf. His bunker shot was a hole in one.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Sign&Print Name View Post
                I'm surprised no-one's mentioned that the Fairey Swordfish was nicknamed "The Stringbag" due to the fact that its fabric-covered airframe could absorb hit after hit from AAA fire.
                The Swordfish received the Stringbag nickname not because of its construction but because of the seemingly endless variety of stores and equipment that the aircraft was cleared to carry. Crews likened the aircraft to a housewife's string shopping bag which was common at the time and, which due to its having no fixed shape, could adjust to hold any shape or number of packages. Like the shopping bag, the crews thought the Swordfish could carry anything.
                FoxNEWS "The World is unfair and we are running scared"

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