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View Full Version : What if Prinz Eugen remained with Bismarck??



warmonger61
02-06-2006, 10:22 AM
What would have been the outcome, had the Prinz Eugen remained with the Bismarck...would it had made a difference, or would the Prinz Eugen simply have succumbed to the same fate as it's bigger "brother" in the ensuing battle, that May 27th, 1941??

Celeon999
02-06-2006, 12:58 PM
Hmmmm hard to say.

It definitly would had suffered the same fate as the bismarck (self sinking like we now know)

Maybe it could have damaged or sunk one or maybe more british ships but the outcome of the battle would have been the same.

Once engaged in the battle the Prinz Eugen would had no way of escaping from the british task force. Better said its rather unlikely that she would had escaped.

There were just too many british ships.

So the decision was absolutely correct.

CRSutton
02-06-2006, 01:33 PM
Morever, an 8 inch gunned ship would not significantly contribute to a gun battle between larger capital ships, the range of engagment involved would prevent the Eugen from firing initially and 8 inch guns would not do much significat damage to a BB or BC. Some superstructure hits but very little in the way of penetrating hits that cause the real damage to surface ships. Meanwhile, one or two 15 inch hit on a CA could just wreck it.

For this reason, it was not the practice to put crusisers in the battle line with BBs.

In short, would have been the waste of two ships rather than one.

Doug_Thompson
02-06-2006, 01:37 PM
About the only way it could have made any difference would have been if the Prinz Eugen's AA had shot down or rattled the Swordfish that launched the torpedo that jammed the rudder.

3.JG51_Molders
02-06-2006, 01:46 PM
The thing that puzzles me is how did Bismarcks AAA miss the Swordfish ? Were they too low to the water ? Did the shell go through the soft skin of the aircraft ? or was it just poor shooting ? Only if the Admiral had not have made that radio message to early, his ship would have escaped.

Celeon999
02-06-2006, 02:18 PM
Originally posted by 3.JG51_Molders:
The thing that puzzles me is how did Bismarcks AAA miss the Swordfish ? Were they too low to the water ? Did the shell go through the soft skin of the aircraft ? or was it just poor shooting ? Only if the Admiral had not have made that radio message to early, his ship would have escaped.


Well the weather conditions were quite bad.

The cloud layer was low and the swordfish pilots used it to take cover after every attack run. They were attacking in very low flight.

They were not aiming actually. Just dropping their torpedos in an relative position to the bismarck.

The AA fire was too intense for them for a real attack run. So they just dropped them at the very first choice that emerged.

All torpedoes missed except one.

It was very lucky shot and i doubt that it had something to do with aiming. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

VikingGrandad
02-06-2006, 05:16 PM
Originally posted by 3.JG51_Molders:
The thing that puzzles me is how did Bismarcks AAA miss the Swordfish ? Were they too low to the water ? Did the shell go through the soft skin of the aircraft ? or was it just poor shooting ?
One theory for this is that the low speed of the attacking Swordfish aircraft may have acted in their favour, by confusing the fire-control predictors used by the German AA gunners. The mechanical predictor (which helps to calculate the correct aim at a plane) was possibly not set up to work with a plane that flew at such low speed.

FDNYFAN
02-07-2006, 03:02 AM
I have the movie "sink the Bismarck" on DVD and the Bismarck shot down a few Swordfish.
I think that the plane which dropped the rudder torpedo was lucky.

VikingGrandad
02-07-2006, 03:29 AM
Originally posted by Rafe1:
I have the movie "sink the Bismarck" on DVD and the Bismarck shot down a few Swordfish.
I think that the plane which dropped the rudder torpedo was lucky.

It's a great film, but I'm pretty sure it is innaccurate when it shows the Bismarck shooting down some of the Swordfish. In both attack waves, not a single Swordfish aircraft was shot down (although some were hit by AA fire) and at least 3 of their torpedoes hit the Bismarck:

http://www.kbismarck.com/operheini.html

warmonger61
02-07-2006, 07:46 AM
Sink the Bismarck... I just bought the dvd, it's a great movie!! especially the intro showing the actual footage of them launching the Bismarck in 1939,great stuff! but I think it's time to make a new version, don't you? A german production would be nice, since they tend to make their movies more realistic, mabey Wolfgang will take up the challenge... someday! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Doug_Thompson
02-07-2006, 12:19 PM
The chase of the Bismarck would make a great movie with the CGI effects and all available today. It has everything €" a naval attache who spyed for the British, for a little cloak and dagger, for instance.

Dominicrigg
02-07-2006, 04:05 PM
Yeah it would be a great film.

One of the main reasons for bismarcks lack of kills on swordfish was its underpowered AA and also the gunners had been on standby for something like 24 hours. By the time of the fatal attack they were walkings zombies. The flack was still pretty terrible though, and it was great shooting by the swordfish pilots. Some amazing skill which is not ever shouted about enough.

Pilots did the main work as they did against the Italian fleet, and left the Battleships with a fairly routine mop up to finally sink her.

Pretty much Bismarck was doomed from the moment she sank the Hood. Churchill would never let any ship get away with such a victory.

Pirschjaeger
02-07-2006, 04:38 PM
Originally posted by warmonger61:
Sink the Bismarck... I just bought the dvd, it's a great movie!! especially the intro showing the actual footage of them launching the Bismarck in 1939,great stuff!

Opa was in the stand by the bow when they launched it. He never told me why though. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

Fritz

Kaleun1961
02-07-2006, 08:16 PM
There really was no way for Prinz Eugen to "stay with Bismarck" as questioned. It was the splitting up of these two vessels that made it possible for Bismarck to briefly elude the cruisers trailing the German group in the first place. If Prinz Eugen had stayed with Bismarck, the battle would have proceeded differently, with the trackers most likely having maintained contact.

Hoatee
02-08-2006, 02:10 PM
I think the Graf Zeppelin would have been of greater assistance.

Doug_Thompson
02-08-2006, 04:01 PM
Originally posted by Kaleun1961:
There really was no way for Prinz Eugen to "stay with Bismarck" as questioned. It was the splitting up of these two vessels that made it possible for Bismarck to briefly elude the cruisers trailing the German group in the first place. If Prinz Eugen had stayed with Bismarck, the battle would have proceeded differently, with the trackers most likely having maintained contact.

IIRC, "Pursuit" says the British cruisers had the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen hemmed in, with a shadowing cruiser on each side, until they received a signal from Dudley Pound at the Admiralty. The signal asked why they had not re-engaged the Bismarck (!) with the Prince of Wales and the cruisers (again, IIRC).

The senior commander decided €" rightly €" that it was more important to keep contact with the Germans and bring in the rest of the fleet than engage again with one very green BB and some cruisers. However, he decided to concentrate his fleet so he could fight if so ordered. He knew he was beign set up for blame if the Bismarck got away. Somebody's head was going to roll if the Bismarck escaped after sinking the Hood.

That concentration €" not splitting up from the Prinz Eugen €" is what made the "getaway" from the shadowing cruisers possible, IIRC.

If so, then the Prinz Eugen could have stayed.

To finish the story, Pound became even more convinced that the Prince of Wales should have renewed the attack after the cruisers lost contact. He pursued his inquiry and criticism of the officers involved until Adm. Tovey bluntly told him that the cruiser commander did exactly the right thing, that his only mistake was to concentrate his ships after Pound's signal, and that if Pound "persisted in this nonsense," Tovey would resign as commander of the fleet and appear at any court martial as a witness for the defense. The matter was dropped.

warmonger61
02-08-2006, 09:14 PM
Would you say that it was a total victory for the british??...hummmm sounds a bit like a draw to me! but of course, they did accomplish their objective,and that was to "sink the bismark" but it was'nt a total victory! The Prinz Eugen got away... yes it's involvement in the battle against the Hood and Prince of Wales was probably nominal, and no, it was'nt much of a threat. Never the less it did participate, and who knows... mabey it was a lucky shot from the Prinz Eugen, that lead to the sinking the Hood!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

JScones
02-09-2006, 01:59 AM
What if Prinz Eugen remained with Bismarck??
One more Kriegsmarine ship would have been sunk.

Jose.MaC
02-09-2006, 04:43 PM
Originally posted by Dominicrigg:
Yeah it would be a great film.

One of the main reasons for bismarcks lack of kills on swordfish was its underpowered AA and also the gunners had been on standby for something like 24 hours. By the time of the fatal attack they were walkings zombies. The flack was still pretty terrible though, and it was great shooting by the swordfish pilots. Some amazing skill which is not ever shouted about enough.

Pilots did the main work as they did against the Italian fleet, and left the Battleships with a fairly routine mop up to finally sink her.

Pretty much Bismarck was doomed from the moment she sank the Hood. Churchill would never let any ship get away with such a victory.

By the way... anyone knows why is so frequently stated that the AA was unable to shoot the Swordfish because they were flown too slow? Is between the most strange statements I've seen in my life!

P38Ace
02-25-2006, 05:14 PM
What if the Germans had used a task with the bismarck and prinz eugen escorted by a destroyer screen

AO1_AW_SW_USN
02-25-2006, 06:39 PM
Originally posted by P38Ace:
What if the Germans had used a task with the bismarck and prinz eugen escorted by a destroyer screen


There lies the problem with the German High Command at the time. They utilized the Bismarck in the wrong way. If they had centered the Bismarck around a small battlegroup complete with DD escorts and had a couple of Aircraft Carriers of their own, things might have been a little different.

The whole truth is that Nazi Germany did not have the doctrine to project power at sea. History has shown since the times of Ancient Greece that a nation cannot succeed without a proper navy to control the sea.

That's why modern day China is doomed for failure in an escalated conflict with a nation with a powerful navy. They are impressive with their army and air corps... but their naval fleet is relatively weak (such as the case with Nazi Germany in WWII).