Bismarck - Why does it matter? (Full Version)

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Orm -> Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/17/2012 10:06:39 PM)

For a long time I have been wondering why it matters if Bismarck was scuttled or not. She was a wreck.

At the moment I belive it is likely that the crew scuttled her. But that she was doomed either way. I get this belief from Expedition: Bismarck. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0330267/

If Bismarck had stayed afloat longer The Royal Navy would have kept on shooting at her untill she sunk or they decided to take her as a prize. So I am bewildered why it matters if she was scuttled or not. The Royal Navy won and nothing can take that away from them.

Edit: As I understand it no one knows for sure about this. I do not intend to offend anyone. I am just curious and I feel that many have strong opinions one way or the other and I wonder what that is.




brian brian -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/17/2012 11:39:10 PM)

I have wondered the same. To some extent, I thought some modern media played this up too much for the Ballard film, like it was some kind of sporting contest or something. We sunk it. No, we did. Rubbish.




Jimm -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/18/2012 12:14:21 AM)

I don't think it really does matter unless you have a documentary to market...

For my money I doubt it actually was scuttled; I thought Dorsetshire finished her off with torps- but no disrespect to the valour of the Kriegsmarine intended.




michaelbaldur -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/18/2012 12:30:50 AM)

more impotently

why would the RN sink her ..

it would have been a bigger moral bust to rebuild her hull as a carrier ..

with the name. the kings own Bismarck 




warspite1 -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/18/2012 6:52:30 AM)

To my mind it's all nonsense.

In the confusion and carnage of battle, during which Bismarck was pulverised, why would anyone think to scuttle the ship? Did anyone think the British would try and tow the burning leviathan - given her position off the coast of France within range of land based air?

Even if the crew did open the seacocks, this act would have simply hastened her sinking from torpedoes. Whatever way you slice it, Bismarck was sunk by the Royal Navy. She never landed a salvo on KGV or Rodney, but was completely destroyed as a fighting unit in minutes.

The two reasons for this becoming news are a) someone has a book/film to sell, but b) more importantly, vermin like David Irving and his ilk need to prove that the Germans were superior in everyway blah blah blah. Boring....




HansHafen -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/18/2012 8:59:16 AM)

She was done in my a torp that damaged her rudder. She was dooomed after that as she was wildly out numbered. It took courage to operate at such a disadvantage. She was a beautiful ship and design nonetheless. She proved she was dangerous in a relatively even match.




morgil -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/18/2012 8:13:06 PM)

It is a matter of Honour, with capital H.
Losing is one thing, being owned is something completely different.

Facts as they stand now, is that the Royal Navy could pulverize the Bismarck, making it just a floating burning hull but not sink it.
They won, but they didnt own, so the Kriegsmarine has its Honour, and the RN didnt get it.

Much like HMS Tartar at the battle of Alvøen in 1808, they lost but saved the vessel and thus kept their honour.




warspite1 -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/18/2012 9:02:21 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: morgil

It is a matter of Honour, with capital H.
Losing is one thing, being owned is something completely different.

Facts as they stand now, is that the Royal Navy could pulverize the Bismarck, making it just a floating burning hull but not sink it.
They won, but they didnt own, so the Kriegsmarine has its Honour, and the RN didnt get it.

Much like HMS Tartar at the battle of Alvøen in 1808, they lost but saved the vessel and thus kept their honour.

Warspite1

Please do not quote "facts as they stand now" - NO ONE knows for certain whether she was sunk by torpedoes or was scuttled. We can all have our opinions but please do not say they are facts.

As for honour, I do not understand what you mean at all. So if a ship is lost - regardless of how well the crew fight or the odds involved - unless she is scuttled, the crew has no honour and/or the victor is not really a victor with honour if they do not actually deliver the final blow?

So there was no honour attached to Commodore Harwood for his action that led to the destruction of Graf Spee?.......




Orm -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/18/2012 10:26:35 PM)

I fail to see how it would affect the honor of the winners of a battle if the enemy ship was scuttled, sunk or surrendered.

I am not aware of any engagement at all during WWII where the Royal Navy did not fight valiantly and with honor. In some engagements I actually belive that the RN were to aggressive but as I understand it is a tradition in RN to act with aggression.




morgil -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/18/2012 10:31:34 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: morgil

It is a matter of Honour, with capital H.
Losing is one thing, being owned is something completely different.

Facts as they stand now, is that the Royal Navy could pulverize the Bismarck, making it just a floating burning hull but not sink it.
They won, but they didnt own, so the Kriegsmarine has its Honour, and the RN didnt get it.

Much like HMS Tartar at the battle of Alvøen in 1808, they lost but saved the vessel and thus kept their honour.

Warspite1

Please do not quote "facts as they stand now" - NO ONE knows for certain whether she was sunk by torpedoes or was scuttled. We can all have our opinions but please do not say they are facts.

As for honour, I do not understand what you mean at all. So if a ship is lost - regardless of how well the crew fight or the odds involved - unless she is scuttled, the crew has no honour and/or the victor is not really a victor with honour if they do not actually deliver the final blow?

So there was no honour attached to Commodore Harwood for his action that led to the destruction of Graf Spee?.......


You are correct, no one knows if it was sunk by torpedoes, because no one has ever found a torpedo hole in its hull, this is a fact. We also know that 14 inch guns of King George V barely dented the hull, and only the 16 inch guns of Rodney could damage the armour plating. Another fact is that Bismarck was completely defenceless, and would likely have sunk if left alone.

Honour is complicated. Im not sure I understand the concept enough to put it in writing, but i suppose its a way of keeping score of rightfull and wrongfull actions. You score points for doing things the right way, even if you lose, and you lose points for doing things wrong, even if you win.

Thus Bismarck got full points if it was scuttled, even though it was lost, maybe more than they would have scored if they had actually managed to run away. The RN got points for winning, but have to concede that they didnt bag it, and the Kriegsmarine still has its honour.

What I have read indicates that Harwood did his job perfectly, not only in managing to persuade Langsdorff he could not win, but also in the excetution of the battle they did fight.
And ofcourse the Germans lost quite a bit of honour when it became clear that they had been tricked. This is possibly why Langsdorff shot himself. To save his last bit of Honour.




warspite1 -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/18/2012 11:34:27 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: morgil


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: morgil

It is a matter of Honour, with capital H.
Losing is one thing, being owned is something completely different.

Facts as they stand now, is that the Royal Navy could pulverize the Bismarck, making it just a floating burning hull but not sink it.
They won, but they didnt own, so the Kriegsmarine has its Honour, and the RN didnt get it.

Much like HMS Tartar at the battle of Alvøen in 1808, they lost but saved the vessel and thus kept their honour.

Warspite1

Please do not quote "facts as they stand now" - NO ONE knows for certain whether she was sunk by torpedoes or was scuttled. We can all have our opinions but please do not say they are facts.

As for honour, I do not understand what you mean at all. So if a ship is lost - regardless of how well the crew fight or the odds involved - unless she is scuttled, the crew has no honour and/or the victor is not really a victor with honour if they do not actually deliver the final blow?

So there was no honour attached to Commodore Harwood for his action that led to the destruction of Graf Spee?.......



Warspite1

quote:

Thus Bismarck got full points if it was scuttled, even though it was lost, maybe more than they would have scored if they had actually managed to run away. The RN got points for winning


It's a little strange talking about points like a football match for these type of events - upon which - the fate of the free world depended. The RN got no "points" for winning the encounter with the Bismarck - it simply helped to make the North Atlantic safer for the UK's vital convoys.

I do not think Raeder or Hitler would give jack for receiving less "points" if it meant that Bismarck got away - free to threaten the Atlantic and tie up RN resources needed elsewhere.

quote:

but have to concede that they didnt bag it


No, regardless of whether the crew opened the seacocks, a torpedo opened Bismarck up, or if the combined effects of fire and stress on the hull opened her up, the RN "bagged it".

quote:

and the Kriegsmarine still has its honour.


But Lutjens has his honour for having done his duty - regardless of the fact that it ended with Bismarck at the bottom of the Atlantic (and regardless of how she got there).

quote:

What I have read indicates that Harwood did his job perfectly, not only in managing to persuade Langsdorff he could not win.


No, that was nothing to do with Harwood. Harwood did his job superbly at sea. Other forces took over to convince Langsdorff a carrier and battleships awaited Graf Spee.

quote:

And ofcourse the Germans lost quite a bit of honour when it became clear that they had been tricked. This is possibly why Langsdorff shot himself. To save his last bit of Honour.


Langsdorff lost the moment he decided to disobey orders - i.e. he went looking for trouble and got it - and then fought the battle poorly. The shenanigans in Montevideo simply provided the final scene. Prior to the battle, why did he go looking for Harwood's cruisers? Why did he seek to close the range once he found them? Langsdorff should have known that with Graf Spee 10,000 miles from home, she only needed to be wounded for her to become a sitting duck; he would never make it back to Germany.

But Langsdorff has all the honour he needs - he was a good man who fought by the rules in terms of his treatment of captured sailors. He refused to fight because he thought it was a one way ticket to oblivion for his men - without any chance to hurt the RN in return.




morgil -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/18/2012 11:58:36 PM)

Yes, well..
Honour does not concern itself with imaginary stuff like the free world.
And we all know that the worthless austrian did not know the word honour. This is something most politicians have in common.

But this seems vitally important to you. I cant begin to understand why, must be some honour stuff going on.

Anyhows, I have never seen a ship sunk by torpedoes that did not have a torpedo hole in the side, or a broken keel, so I guess Bismarck is indeed a special ship.




warspite1 -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/19/2012 12:33:23 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: morgil

But this seems vitally important to you. I cant begin to understand why, must be some honour stuff going on.

Warspite1

Well I guess we all have things that matter in life - some things are readily understandable, some less so.

This is important to me because of quotes like:
quote:

They won, but they didnt own, so the Kriegsmarine has its Honour, and the RN didnt get it.


So let's me just make sure I have this right:

- Two RN cruisers located Bismarck in the Denmark Strait, and successfully shadowed her until larger units could be rushed to the area
- Units of the RN fought a battle with her that caused her sufficient damage such that she had to call off her mission. Over 1,400 British sailors were lost in that action.
- She was then shadowed, lost, found etc before finally being torpedoed by a Stringbag that caused her to lose the ability to steer
- She was then beaten into a twisted mass of burning metal - without reply - by RN units sent to find her.
- She then either a) was torpedoed by the RN b) scuttled by her crew c) fell victim to progressive flooding or indeed some or all of a) b) and c).
- At the time one or more of these events took place, she was literally aflame from bow to stern and with no weaponry / steering or power available. She was also letting in water from penetrating hits below the waterline.

BUT, and here is the important bit, apparently the RN didn't sink her.......

I think I'm going to have to read Shattered Sword again. When I was growing up I was convinced the USN sank four IJN carriers at Midway [&o]. Apparently not. They were scuttled by the IJN...so no honour for those Yankees then eh? and lots of points and honour to Yamamoto! [8|]




morgil -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/19/2012 1:59:18 AM)

I like your thinking [:)]
The RN sank Bismark just the same way that £99.99 is a hundred. It is, but then again ... it isnt.

You bestow honour on yanks ? What ever for...
Have the Yankee actually won any wars on their own ?
Besides Algeria, the south, Mexico and a lot of Indians, annexing the Philipines and installing puppets in some central american countries, I mean [;)]
The yankee fighting style has evolved slightly from the basic, "we are more ppl than you, and willing to use them cause we dont care", to modern day "we have more bombs than you, and we will use them anywhere cause we likes fireworks"




brian brian -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/19/2012 6:18:18 AM)

ahh I believe a Yankee pilot found the Bismarck after the British had lost it again....




warspite1 -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/19/2012 6:50:41 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: morgil

I like your thinking [:)]
The RN sank Bismark just the same way that £99.99 is a hundred. It is, but then again ... it isnt.

You bestow honour on yanks ? What ever for...
Have the Yankee actually won any wars on their own ?
Besides Algeria, the south, Mexico and a lot of Indians, annexing the Philipines and installing puppets in some central american countries, I mean [;)]
The yankee fighting style has evolved slightly from the basic, "we are more ppl than you, and willing to use them cause we dont care", to modern day "we have more bombs than you, and we will use them anywhere cause we likes fireworks"

Warspite1

....and on that note, time for me to exit stage left [sm=scared0018.gif]




micheljq -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/19/2012 3:03:16 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: morgil

You are correct, no one knows if it was sunk by torpedoes, because no one has ever found a torpedo hole in its hull, this is a fact. We also know that 14 inch guns of King George V barely dented the hull, and only the 16 inch guns of Rodney could damage the armour plating. Another fact is that Bismarck was completely defenceless, and would likely have sunk if left alone.



As far as I know the RN sent the Bismarck at the bottom with torpedoes. They shelled it with guns, Bismarck was a burning carcass, but still floating. Then the RN sunk it with torpedoes.
Any sources about what you are affirming? Even the guns from a cruiser can pass through the armor of a battleship if they are close enough, but in a normal situation, the battleship is able to keep the cruisers at bay.

We can look at the engagement between the Graf Von Spee against one heavy cruiser, the Exeter, and two light cruisers, the Ajax and Achilles. The Ajax and Achilles were able to approach and carry sustensive damage on the Graf Von Spee, an hybrid between a heavy cruiser and a battleship, called a pocked battleship by some.

I agree that the Bismarck was indeed a special ship. Just look at all the attempts from the british to sunk her sister ship, the Tirpitz. The Tirpitz remained a potential threat for allied shipping for almost all the war.





michaelbaldur -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/19/2012 3:32:31 PM)

 there is a point ..

most war ships are build with armour that can withstand its own guns at standard range ..

so Bismarck had armour that could withstand 15 in guns at 30 km /20 miles range ..

a note to this .. Bismarck was hitting hood at a range of just 16 km. only half its maximum range




micheljq -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/19/2012 4:27:14 PM)

The explosion of the Hood is another special situation.  That battleship's armor dated from the first world war and her top armor was thin compared to other modern battleships of that time.




Extraneous -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/19/2012 5:29:49 PM)

The New York Times ~ Visiting Bismarck, Explorers Revise Its Story ~ July 23, 1989

A deep-sea inspection of the Nazi battleship Bismarck suggests she was scuttled rather than sunk, Robert D. Ballard, an underwater explorer, said today. Mr. Ballard and his crew used an ocean-crawling robot to find the Bismarck "upright and proud" two weeks ago 600 miles west of France. The ship sank after a battle on May 27, 1941. The explorer, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, said the Germans might have scuttled the ship because she carried technologically advanced equipment.





micheljq -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/19/2012 6:08:28 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Extraneous

The New York Times ~ Visiting Bismarck, Explorers Revise Its Story ~ July 23, 1989

A deep-sea inspection of the Nazi battleship Bismarck suggests she was scuttled rather than sunk, Robert D. Ballard, an underwater explorer, said today. Mr. Ballard and his crew used an ocean-crawling robot to find the Bismarck "upright and proud" two weeks ago 600 miles west of France. The ship sank after a battle on May 27, 1941. The explorer, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, said the Germans might have scuttled the ship because she carried technologically advanced equipment.




Thanks for the link Extraneous. The reasons they give for their conclusion that the ship was scuttled are not really convincing from my point of view. I think further exploration from other parties would be needed.




SLAAKMAN -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/20/2012 1:55:38 AM)

Regarding KMS Bismarck,
The odds are high that the US & Royal Navy sunk Bismarck. Over 2800 shells were fired at her & 400 scored hits. She was tough but scoring that many rounds is going to be rough for any ship.

Now as for honors bestowed, youve all got it all wrong. Both sides officers & crews served valiantly until the bitter end (except for Lutjens who flunked as a strategist). I award the highest honors to both sides & look forward to meeting them in the Afterlife. However, since the US played favorites by supplying Britain with PBY's & because Britain declared war on Germany instead of Stalin in 1939, I condemn both countries for staining their honor! (Plus Mr warspite1, David Irving is my hero, so nanananananana).

[:'(]




warspite1 -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/20/2012 6:59:19 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: SLAAKMAN

Regarding KMS Bismarck,
.
........David Irving is my hero
[:'(]
Warspite1

Well, good luck with that....[8|] [sm=nono.gif]




rkr1958 -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/20/2012 12:39:46 PM)

Sorry for butting in but for some reason the distinction between a warship being "sunk" or "scuttled due to enemy action" is a distinction that I personally never thought mattered.  A warship was lost and that's good if it's your enemy and bad if it's one of yours.  If I remember correctly the US carrier Lexington lost at the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Yorktown lost at the Battle of Midway were both finished off by US destroyer safter it became obvious that it couldn't be saved.  And if I remember my facts correctly weren't 1 or even all 4 of the Japaneses carriers lost at the Battle of Midway finished off by Japaneses destroyers?  Does it really matter.  They're lost and lost due to the enemy.

The same with the Bismark.  It was lost due to actions from the RN.  Personally, I view the first and last voyage of the Bismark as folly and if not for an unfortunate and lucky salvo against the Hood it's history would probably have been that of it's sister ship the Tarpitz.




SewerStarFish -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/20/2012 9:51:05 PM)

Well generally the only practical difference is that ships are seldom scuttled with the crew on board. And when they are scuttled in combat, most of the crew gets to abandon ship. Even without ships, sailors can still fight as soldiers. Other than that scuttled=sunk but a time and place probably better chosen.




paulderynck -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/20/2012 10:14:51 PM)

The German fleet in Scapa Flow in 1919 = scuttled.

The Bismark = sunk.




brian brian -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/21/2012 1:45:35 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958

I view the first and last voyage of the Bismark as folly




interestingly, the original plans for the voyage didn't work out, and is something that really ties in with the rules of World in Flames. Raeder wanted to send out the Bismarck and P. Eugen from Germany simultaneously with a sortie of the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau from Brest to really scramble the Royal Navy's convoy defenses. But, of course, the British would have none of that and either Fleet Air Arm or RAF attacked Brest relentlessly and did just enough miscellaneous damage to the BBs there that they weren't ready to sail in early May 1941. (Allies move first, Port Strike on Brest, BB counter flipped/disorganized) Raeder sent the Bismarck out anyway. Why? His quote after the war - "Because I knew that with Barbarossa due to start in three weeks, that once it did there was no way I would have permission to sail any major warships." (In World in Flames, that's called action limits....also....weather roll low to start M/J 41, Rain in Arctic, Germans select Combined option and wait for better weather to DOW the Russians.)




SLAAKMAN -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/21/2012 2:54:35 PM)

quote:

Warspite1

Well, good luck with that...

Thanks! [:'(] (David stood up to the sick & twisted ADL, the most evil, arrogant & fanatical cult of Soddomites in America. Enemy of your enemy & all that).




morgil -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/21/2012 7:42:07 PM)

The enemy of my enemy is my enemy, i think you mean.
And that ADL is a sick and twisted organisation, does not make Mr. Irving any less sick and twisted himself.
You can not deside on what happend and then only look at the historical evidence that support your view, while disregarding all other statements as lies and propaganda.

This applies just as much to the holocaust as it does to sinking ships.




Orm -> RE: Bismarck - Why does it matter? (1/21/2012 9:58:43 PM)

Thank you all for helping me understand this matter. [&o]

I do however feel that this has moved somewhat beyond my original question. Or, perhaps, I did not fully understand what I asked. [:(] Anyway. I am grateful for all the information you have provided but lets close this subject for now and lets focus on our favorite game. [:)]




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