WWII–-75th ANNIVERSARY DISCUSSION--#22---MAY 1941



  • The last battle of the German battleship Bismarck took place in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 300 nmi (350 mi; 560 km) west of Brest, France, on 26�27 May 1941. Although it was a decisive action between capital ships, it has no generally accepted name.

    On 24-May before the final action Bismarck’s fuel tanks were damaged and several machinery compartments, including a boiler room, were flooded in the Battle of the Denmark Strait and her intention was to reach the port of Brest for repair.[4] Late in the day Bismarck briefly turned on her pursuers (Prince of Wales and the heavy cruisers Norfolk and Suffolk) to cover the escape of her companion, the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen to continue further into the Atlantic. Early on 25 May the British forces lost contact with Bismarck, which headed ESE towards France while the British searched NE presuming she was returning to Norway. She was rediscovered late morning on 26 May by a Catalina flying boat from No. 209 Squadron RAF and subsequently shadowed by aircraft from Force H steaming north from Gibraltar.

    The final action consisted of four main phases. The first phase late on the 26th consisted of air strikes by torpedo bombers from the British aircraft carrier Ark Royal, which disabled Bismarck’s steering gear jamming her rudders in a turning position, preventing her escape. The second phase was the shadowing and harassment of Bismarck during the night of 26/27-May by British destroyers, with no serious damage to any ship. The third phase on the morning of 27-May was an attack by the British battleships King George V and Rodney supported by cruisers. After about 100 minutes of fighting, Bismarck was sunk by the combined effects of shellfire, torpedo hits and deliberate scuttling.[5] On the British side, Rodney was lightly damaged by near-misses and by the blast effects of her own guns.[6] British warships rescued 111 survivors from Bismarck[7] before being obliged to withdraw because of an apparent U-boat sighting, leaving several hundred men to their fate. In the final phase the withdrawing British ships were attacked on 27 May by aircraft of the Luftwaffe, resulting in the loss of the destroyer HMS Mashona, and German ships and U-boats arrived later at the scene of the sinking and saved five more survivors.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_battle_of_the_battleship_Bismarck

    We have arrived at the 75th Anniversary of one of the greatest naval engagements in the history of WWII.
    The sinking of the German Battleship Bismarck.
    You are the captain of the Bismarck.
    You have just sank the HMS Hood during the Battle of the Denmark Strait.     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Denmark_Strait
    A huge bulls-eye has just been placed on you by Winston Churchill.
    You command the most hunted warship on the seas.
    You did receive damage by the British during the battle against the Hood.
    We all know what Admiral Gunther Lutjens and Captain Ernst Lindemann did historically.
    The question is:
    What would you have done to try to save the pride of the Kriegsmarine?


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    Finish off HMS Prince of Whales and head back to port WITH DKM Prinz Eugen, not alone.

    Latter come back out of the Kattegat with a better companion ship, or wait for Tirpitz to be finished



  • @RJL518:

    You are the captain of the Bismarck.
    What would you have done to try to save the pride of the Kriegsmarine?

    I am glad you asked. Being a good Christian I would of course do the only morally correct act, I would sink the damned ship close to the US coast, killed my Nazi crew and swim ashore to get political asylum in USA. After the war I would work for peace among the people of the world. And maybe do something for the animals too.



  • @Imperious:

    Latter come back out of the Kattegat with a better companion ship, or wait for Tirpitz to be finished

    You are supposed to be the Captain of Bismarck, not the Fuhrer. So you tell me that being a Captain, you would stand face to face with Hitler and tell him that He!! no more raids before Tirpitz is finished ? Good luck with that.



  • @Imperious:

    Finish off HMS Prince of Whales and head back to port WITH DKM Prinz Eugen, not alone.

    The military term of that is to strengthen a sure loss. As if it was not enough to lose Bismarck, you would make sure to lose Prinz Eugen too ? I know you are anti Nazi and all, but the question was to make a better result, not a worse. Letting Prinz Eugen go was a correct decision, save the ship to fight another day. Trying to catch up Prince of Whales whit your damaged ship and with no rudder would be borderline ridiculous. Your only rational decision would be to head back to port, but don’t tell Churchill about it, like Lutjens did. Keep the radio silence, and you just may have a fighting change.


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