Why didn't Bismarck deploy the Arado 96?

Lord Fairfax

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,445
Changing trains at Terrapin Station...
Even if they had wanted to, the Bismarck's crew could not have launched her aircraft, the catapult had been damaged at the Battle of the Denmark Strait.
As for Fulmars, the Swordfish attackers from HMS Victorious did have an escort of 6 Fulmars when they attacked, but for the Swordfish from HMS Ark Royal there was no escort, possibly due to the extreme weather conditions on launching.
It's also worth remembering that there was quite literally a gale (wind strength 7 - 9) blowing from the north west. The Swordfish struggled to get airborne in the face of strong winds, which would have made a catapult launch extremely hazardous.
In addition to dealing with the gale force winds AND the 6 escorting Fulmars, the luckless returning Arado would have to land and recover at night in heavy seas, as Victorious's attack was launched at 10PM at night.
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,895
Stockport Cheshire UK
In addition to dealing with the gale force winds AND the 6 escorting Fulmars, the luckless returning Arado would have to land and recover at night in heavy seas, as Victorious's attack was launched at 10PM at night.
As the Bismarck was still being closely followed by the Prince of Wales and the 2 cruisers, even if the attack had been during the day and in good weather, the Bismarck could not have stopped even just to recover the crew.
 
May 2019
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The thinking is that the Arado would manage to get behind a Swordfish and try to shoot it down with its machine guns and/or cannons.
 

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,069
Navan, Ireland
In addition to dealing with the gale force winds AND the 6 escorting Fulmars, the luckless returning Arado would have to land and recover at night in heavy seas, as Victorious's attack was launched at 10PM at night.
I have no reason to doubt the above.

Plus Redcoats comment about pursuing warships

The thinking is that the Arado would manage to get behind a Swordfish and try to shoot it down with its machine guns and/or cannons.
So even if launched on an effective suicide mission how would 1 Ardo do against 6 Fulmars?
 
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May 2019
189
Northern and Western hemispheres
In that case the Fulmars would certainly have the advantage. Did the Swordfish that crippled Bismarck's steering gear fly from the Ark Royal or the Victorious? If they were unescorted the Arado would certainly have the advantage.
 

Lord Fairfax

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,445
Changing trains at Terrapin Station...
In that case the Fulmars would certainly have the advantage. Did the Swordfish that crippled Bismarck's steering gear fly from the Ark Royal or the Victorious? If they were unescorted the Arado would certainly have the advantage.
First strike was escorted by Fulmars, they would have made quick work of the German floatplanes.

You know that the Bismarck carried AR 196's?

airplane-ww2-arado-ar-196-3d-model-low-poly-max-obj.jpg

Not AR 96's?

4_8.jpg
 
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Lord Fairfax

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,445
Changing trains at Terrapin Station...
And just so no one freaks out - The machine gun on the back was for model A2 and A3. The planes on the Bismarck were A1
I think the single 7.92mm gun was also on the A-1?
The land based A2 had 2 x 20mm forward firing guns added.


Would be an interesting duel though, the AR 96's single MG vs the Swordfish's single .303
 

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,163
Kansas
I think the single 7.92mm gun was also on the A-1?
The land based A2 had 2 x 20mm forward firing guns added.


Would be an interesting duel though, the AR 96's single MG vs the Swordfish's single .303
I am going to have to check when I get home. The original A-0 had the gun. But I have seen photos of the A-1 without the rear facing gun