1. #1
    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??
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  2. #2
    Celeon999's Avatar Senior Member
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    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.
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  3. #3
    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.
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  4. #4
    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.
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  5. #5
    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.
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  6. #6
    Celeon999's Avatar Senior Member
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    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.
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  7. #7
    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.
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  8. #8
    FDNYFAN's Avatar Senior Member
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    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.
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  9. #9
    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
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  10. #10
    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!
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