There was also a keen expectation that they would close on Prince of Wales and possibly finish her off.

Remember the Geisenau and Sharnhorse (Sic) BattleCrusiers and their destruction of the British Air Craft Carrier? Hood had been reported by Group North to be off West Africa and there had been no reports of a King George V-class battleship in the vicinity. This straddle meant that some of the salvos fell to port, some to starboard (of the hull), and some precisely aligned over the center of the main deck of Hood. Fortunately for Prince of Wales, neither shell exploded, but she still suffered minor flooding and the loss of some fuel oil. Did a shell penetrate under the armour belt and detonate the weapons in the magazines? The bow rose clear of the water, pointed upward, pivoted about and sank shortly after the stern. I don`t have the source right now where I have read/heard this but it would be possibly to find out, without so much effort. Holland's ships could not use their after turrets until the final turn to port just before Hood was sunk.

Jutland introduced PLUNGING FIRE and, by 1918, Time Delayed Armour Piercing shells were added to the mix.

Why did she sink so fast?

He then sent divers into the forecastle to connect the forward fuel tanks, containing a much-needed 1,000 long tons (1,000 t) of fuel, first to the tanks near the forward boiler then to the rear fuel tank by way of a provisional line running over the upper deck. All of her wiring & plumbing were WWI vintage as was her fire Direction Equipment. Conversely, the HMS Prince of Wales was too new to fight—actually going to combat stations with civilian technicians attending to her. On another note, Hood was doomed from the start.

Lütjens refused, again without comment. Holland had ordered firing to begin on the leading ship, Prinz Eugen, believing from her position that she was Bismarck. What is your source?

[46], Disregarding Lindemann's recommendation to return to Bergen,[47] Lütjens ordered Bismarck to head for the French port of Saint-Nazaire.

At 07:57 Suffolk reported that Bismarck had reduced speed and appeared damaged. The combatants (Bismarck and Prinz Eugen) were identified by in-country coast-watchers located in the Netherlands; who were able to identify the ships and communicate with their clandestine contacts, the dates and times of the German surface units, moving in their designated coast-watch areas of responsibility. It would seem she was hit several times. is there any way this can be affirmed? This would leave Hood vulnerable to Bismarck's plunging shells for a much longer period.

History TV and radio in the UK: what’s on our screens in October 2020? [17], The Germans held their fire until 05:55, when both German ships fired on Hood. It would leave Bismarck poised on the edge of the British trade routes once the damage were repaired; it also meant the potential support of the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.

[27], A 20.3 cm (8.0 in) shell from Prinz Eugen found its way to the propelling charge/round manipulation chamber below the aft 5.25 in (133 mm) gun turrets, and a 38 cm (15 in) shell from Bismarck hit underwater below the armour belt, penetrating about 13 ft (4.0 m) into the ship's hull, about 25 ft (7.6 m) below the waterline, but was stopped by the anti-torpedo bulkhead. Given the terrible state of the engines they probably exploded too. Many Theories Raeder was against issuing a recall himself, telling Schniewind they did not know enough about the situation at hand and that the person who would best know would be Lütjens. Princes in the Tower | Exclusive history podcast series, A Triple Bond Broken: The Destruction of the House of York. The British Royal Navy learned of Bismarck's sortie after the Swedish cruiser Gotland spotted the vessels passing through the western Baltic Sea on 20 May; Gotland's report was passed to the British naval attache in Stockholm, who forwarded it to the Admiralty. Prince of Wales had not yet been properly "shaken down", and her crew was inexperienced. [46] Both ships had been stationed at Brest in France, since the end of Operation Berlin earlier that year but had been kept in port for repairs and overhaul. Or did a shell come from above and pass through the ship into the magazines? The Germans based this hope upon a transit from German territorial waters on the North Sea; and, through the territorial waters of German occupied countries (the Netherlands and Norway) into the Norwegian Sea, undetected by aerial searches; neutral ship encounters; and traditional "coast-watching" observations performed by formal and informal efforts of maritime intelligence gathering, in the neutral and occupied countries surrounding the North Sea. The British could also use Concentration Fire, where both ships' main armament salvos would be controlled by one ship's fire control computer—probably Prince of Wales' modern Admiralty Fire Control Table. Likewise, Holland placed the old and vulnerable Hood ahead of the better armoured (albeit new and untested) Prince of Wales. [14] Suffolk and Norfolk tried to engage Bismarck during the action but both were out of range and had an insufficient speed advantage over Bismarck to rapidly close the range.[15][16]. It, like the first enquiry, concluded that a 15 in (380 mm) shell from Bismarck caused the explosion of Hood's aft ammunition magazines. There seems to be a problem, please try again. ADM Holland tried to close the range and turn horizontal with Bismarck to counter … Required fields are marked *. There has been contention over which German vessel struck Hood; Prinz Eugen (Kapitän zur See Helmuth Brinkmann), was firing at Prince of Wales, following an order from the fleet commander. All my traces of anxiety and fright left me momentarily. Ted Briggs was one of only three survivors out of the entire crew of 1,418. [36] Lütjens held firm orders from the German Naval Commander, Groß Admiral Erich Raeder, to avoid unnecessary combat with the Royal Navy, especially when it could lead to further damage that could hasten delivering Bismarck toward the waiting hands of the British. Our best wishes for a productive day. The photos revealed that a detonation in the rear magazine, holding the 15-inch shells and cordite propellant for those guns, sank the Hood.

Thus, when Bismarck and her escort moved into the unoccupied fjords of German occupied Norway, for final coastal refueling and topping off of ships' stores and supplies, the RAF (weather permitting) was able to keep a final watch on the location and timing of the German raider force. As such, he had no doubt that his ship's immediate objective was to destroy Prince of Wales, and he had pressed his case as far and hard as he should. The two fast battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau had just completed a similar operation, code-named Berlin, between January and March that year. Holland seemed hardly perturbed and in the same monotonous voice said: ‘Shift target to the right.’. Tovey threatened to resign his position and appear at any court-martial as 'defendant's friend' and defence witness. You will shortly receive a receipt for your purchase via email. It is thought that a shell from Bismarck may have caused enough damage to the armour plating that a fire could have penetrated through the air vents and set off the fatal blast. The sinking of the Bismarck in May 1941 was critical to the Battle of the Atlantic. With the ships in this position, Tovey concluded the better-protected Prince of Wales could draw the German battleships' large-shell gunfire. The vital clues to the Hood‘s fate have only recently reached the surface. Final Thing: ADM Lutzen (Sick) should have abandoned the break out to Brest Harbour and gone after the crippled & virtually defenseless Prince of Wales but he was too fearful to do so. Hood and Bismarck were evenly matched. 2 boiler room and the auxiliary boiler room to stop the growing ingress of seawater. In the event, the ground-level coast-watching observations from both neutral and occupied territories identified the principal combatant units sortied for the Exercise Rhine operation from the moment they left German territorial waters. [3] Admiral Günther Lütjens, the fleet commander who was to command German forces during the planned Operation Rheinübung, sought to delay until repairs to Scharnhorst were completed or Tirpitz could join Bismarck, but the Oberkommando der Marine (Naval High Command) instructed Lütjens to begin the operation as soon as possible to keep pressure on Britain's supply lines. I was riveted with fascination as I counted off the seconds for our shells to land -20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25…then tiny spouts of water, two extremely close to the pinpoints on the horizon. She resumed her previous course, but was now under the concentrated fire of both German ships.

To some degree, his orders were clear – attacking convoys was his priority, not risking "a major engagement for limited, and perhaps uncertain, goals". The WW2 obsession: why the world can’t move on from 1945. It was perhaps particularly ironic that the mighty Bismark, having laid low the famous, if somewhat obsolescent, Hood should herself be brought low by a single torpedo from an obsolescent biplane. He was thus aware of most orders that were given around the ship, including the supposed order to scuttle. Two members of this expedition disagree about the likelihood of this explanation. … also with some stories from 1945 (75 years ago) until September ….

Only Ted Briggs, Bob Tilburn and Bill Dundas survived to be rescued two hours later by the destroyer HMS Electra. Therefore they had to squeeze the four engines of the Bismark into a limited space and to do so they had to align them with the drive shafts on converging trajectories. The carpet of oil was broad enough to cover both sides of the ship's wake, was all colours of the rainbow and gave off a strong smell – all of which helped disclose Bismarck's location. Under the cover of darkness in the early morning hours of May 19, 1941, the most formidable battleship to have ever been built slipped into the Baltic Sea on its maiden voyage. She had an additional 3,000 tons of steel put on her to combat plunging fire but even the THIRD Decking wasn’t enough.

She missed WWI entirely but was a ‘Pre-War’ museum piece not fit for combat in WWI. He was not aware of what was occuring aboard the Bismarck itself and only relayed an external viewpoint.

Arguably the Bismarck was always going to sink through the Royal Navy’s bombardment; however, the scuttling charges merely hastened the sinking.

The documentary looked at the respective German and British perspectives of the sinking, which were similar to those mentioned in our earlier sources, and helped to form the basis of our conclusion on the subject of whether or not the Bismarck was sunk or scuttled. One went into the 4 inch magazine another into the y turret. [nb 5]. [1] Although the French coast was 600 mi (520 nmi; 970 km) further away than Bergen, Saint-Nazaire held the potential of longer nights and wider seas in which to shake off Bismarck's shadowers, plus the possibility of luring them across a line of U-boats.

The situation worsened further when, at 03:20, Suffolk reported that the Germans had made a further course alteration to the west, placing the German and British squadrons almost abeam of each other. Strangely, there was no KABOOM as in HMS Barham—a flaming bolt went upward from her 4″ Ready Mades and her back broke in two (not a torpedo magazine exploding). In the ensuing battle the British battle cruiser HMS Hood was sunk with the loss of … The British battleship had only been completed in late March 1941, and used new quadruple gun turrets that were unreliable. (Permission to open fire?) When the German battleships Bismarck and Prinz Eugen broke out into the North Atlantic in May 1941, the Hood and battleship Prince of Wales were sent to hunt them down. [nb 2]. This is the puzzle the expedition has set out to solve. The torpedo officer reported by phone: ‘The four-inch ready-use ammunition is exploding.’ I could hear the UP rockets going up, just as they had roared off accidentally in Gibraltar a year earlier.

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