Bismarck Battleship - Is it a wrong choice for Kriegsmarine to send it to Atlantic in May 1941

Will you take the risk and send Bismarck to Atlantic in May 1941?


  • Total voters
    20
Mar 2019
1,252
Kansas
#61
As long as it was built, I would use it. It was faster and its guns had a longer range than the British battleships. Anything floating once sighted was a dead duck (HMS Hood).
No the Bismark had 15 inch guns, which were below the average gun size of battleships constructed at the same time. The British had been mounting 15 inch guns since before WW1 She did out range the Hood by 3000 yards but Prince of Wales had the same range as Bismark
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,515
Sydney
#62
@ Emperor of Wurtenberg
"practically speaking Tirpitz had more of an impact doing nothing than the other battleships even the Scharnhorsts had with tangible achievements "

I agree ,
the point of Germany capital ships was as a threat , and for that matter the RN main fleet did close to nothing during the war , the destroyers were really busy and did the heavy lifting , escorting the convoys assisted by tin can escort carriers
the great power of the RN was without much use once the few German capital ships had been neutralized or sunk
even assisting the army landing , again that was a job for the destroyers
 

botully

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
3,529
Amelia, Virginia, USA
#63
No the Bismark had 15 inch guns, which were below the average gun size of battleships constructed at the same time. The British had been mounting 15 inch guns since before WW1 She did out range the Hood by 3000 yards but Prince of Wales had the same range as Bismark
The only British battleships built after WW1 that had 15" guns was Vanguard.
PoW class had 14" guns.
The Nelson class had 16".
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,725
Stockport Cheshire UK
#64
That being said if Bismarck was allowed to engage she sinks Prince of Wales and could very well bring down much of the RN with her if not for the lucky torpedo.
It wasn't that lucky, she was merely one of three German capital ships crippled by single torpedo hits on the stern during WW2.
How she fared defenseless at the end against 14 inch guns, 16 inch guns and even some cruisers for good measure showed a Bismarck class would have been a royal pain to bring down in a fight,
In her last fight she was reduced to nothing more than a target within half an hour of the first shell hit. The Bismarck class had excellent buoyancy thanks to a broad beam and good compartmentalisation, but her armour was placed too low to protect vital components.
 
Jul 2009
9,844
#65
It wasn't that lucky, she was merely one of three German capital ships crippled by single torpedo hits on the stern during WW2.
In her last fight she was reduced to nothing more than a target within half an hour of the first shell hit. The Bismarck class had excellent buoyancy thanks to a broad beam and good compartmentalisation, but her armour was placed too low to protect vital components.
The most damage may have been by the plunging fire of one of the RN battleships. Cannot remember which one, but one BB fired more laterally into Bismarck while the other fired high angle shells that could do more damage through the thinner deck armor (maybe HMS Rodney with 16" guns).
 
Jun 2017
2,881
Connecticut
#68
No the Bismark had 15 inch guns, which were below the average gun size of battleships constructed at the same time. The British had been mounting 15 inch guns since before WW1 She did out range the Hood by 3000 yards but Prince of Wales had the same range as Bismark
It was below the average size of ships overall, that requires the US and Japanese being factored in who built more advanced battleships later in history than the Europeans did. In terms of what they could be expected to face the Hood was the only ship that could go nearly as fast that had comparable guns, the QE's and even to an extent the Lord Nelsons were obsolete nm the Royal Sovereigns. Bismarck beating Hood had been a lucky shot, the Prince of Wales and her sisters more overmatched but just didn't explode. They might have had the same range, but they had weaker guns and were somewhat slower(being slower erodes range against a faster ship) while Hood was somewhat faster than the Bismarcks. Reason Hood was still the face of the RN.

Will say the explosion wasn't a fluke in the sense British battlecruisers(which are larger than battleships though the name implies otherwise) exploded at a pretty high frequency(they weren't in combat much but several met a similar rare fate) to the point it should be seen as a characteristic design flaw, just that Bismarck wasn't even supposed to be shooting back and blew Hood up on the first or second shot back. Hood had the best chance against Bismarck though that seems stupid given how things tuned out.
 
Mar 2019
1,252
Kansas
#69
even to an extent the Lord Nelsons were obsolete nm the Royal Sovereigns.
I am going to get all pedantic on you because I have been known to make exactly the same mistake ;)

The Lord Nelson class were all scrapped shortly after WW1 - I going to assume we are talking about the Nelson and the Rodney.

That mistake cost me $56.00 at an online hobby store.
 
Jun 2017
2,881
Connecticut
#70
It wasn't that lucky, she was merely one of three German capital ships crippled by single torpedo hits on the stern during WW2.
In her last fight she was reduced to nothing more than a target within half an hour of the first shell hit. The Bismarck class had excellent buoyancy thanks to a broad beam and good compartmentalisation, but her armour was placed too low to protect vital components.
It was the last torpedo launched from that group and it barely hit. In that sense it was lucky(torpedos dropped from t-bombers are being dropped from the sky there's naturally an element of luck involved). Wasn't talking about the torpedo causing the damage it did being lucky, was talking about the torpedo hitting the ship there being unlucky. Similar with Hood, it was unlucky she got hit(her opponent was under orders not to shoot), but British battlecruisers blowing up in the few instances they saw battle was a pretty frequent occurrence similar to what you've mentioned.

My comments were predicated on her being able to(realistically) fight back if she'd been able to steer. That fight in real life was(basically yeah Bismarck could have gotten lucky but aiming when you can't steer is not a typical situation) over before it began.
 

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