Battle of the Denmark Straight Assistance required please
Firstly, I hope this is the right forum! I really wanted an OTL questions forum, but the post-1900 was the nearest to that sooo..... Fingers crossed!
Basically, I am doing some research into The Battle of the Denmark Straight (1941), and just wanted to post the below, to see if I have missed any major event from sometime on the 23rd May (Just general events) until 06:01 hours on the 24th May, when HMS Hood's aft magazines detonate.
Thanks in advance!
Bismarck - Kapitän zur See Ernst Lindemann, Fleet Chief Admiral Günther Lütjens
Prinz Eugen - Kapitän zur See Helmuth Brinkmann
Hood - Captain Ralph Kerr, Vice-Admiral Lancelot-Holland
Prince of Wales - Captain John C. Leach
Norfolk - Captain Alfred J.L. Phillips, 1st Cruiser Squadron Commander Rear-Admiral William F. Wake-Walker
Suffolk - Captain Robert M. Ellis
DDs: Achates, Antelope, Anthony, Echo, Electra & Icarus
I am aware that Antelope and Anthony were dispatched to Iceland to refuel before the battle and played no part.
23 May 1941
1939 Hours - Vice-Admiral Holland orders his vessels to raise steam for full speed and to change course to 295º
2000 Hours - Hood’s force is at 63º20N' 27º00'W
2004 Hours - Suffolk has positively sighted Bismarck and its consort in the Denmark Strait
2040 Hours - Suffolk's signal followed by a report from Norfolk. Plots put the Germans approximately 300 miles to the north of Holland’s force
2054 Hours - Hood’s force proceeding at 27 knots on a heading of 295º. As speed increases, destroyers struggle to maintain station in the heavy seas. VADM Holland signals the destroyers "If you are unable to maintain this speed, I will have to go on without you. You should follow at your best speed". The four tiny destroyers do their best to keep up with the old battle cruiser fairly well but take a horrendous buffeting in doing so
2200 Hours - Crews of Hood, Prince of Wales and their accompanying destroyers are officially notified of the Germans presence in the Denmark Strait. Interception and action was expected to take place between 0140 and 0200 hours that morning. All hands were ordered to be prepared to change into clean undergarments (To help prevent infection should they be wounded) and to don battle gear (Life vests, flash gear, gas masks, helmets and, where necessary, cold weather gear)
2230 Hours - 'Darken ship' ordered on British ships
24 May 1941
0015 Hours - Crews aboard both ships called to action stations and battle ensigns raised (Note: Hood raised one battle ensign only). They are an estimated 120 miles/222 km south of the German ships
0028 Hours - Suffolk looses contact with German ships
0030 Hours - Holland signals "If enemy is not in sight by 0210, I will probably alter course 180º until cruisers regain touch". He then once again signalled his battle plan: "Intend both ships to engage Bismarck and to leave [Prinz Eugen] to Norfolk and Suffolk". Due to the ban on radio usage, this message was not transmitted to either Suffolk or Norfolk. At about this time, Prince of Wales intended to send up her Walrus seaplane for reconnaissance purposes. Unfortunately, the weather quickly deteriorated, forcing the flight to be cancelled. The Walrus was de-fuelled and put back in its hangar
0141 Hours - German ships alter course to the west to follow the line of the Greenland icepack
0147 Hours - Holland signals "If battlecruisers turn 200º at 0205 destroyers continue to search to the northward". Due to the poor weather and restricted visibility, it is not known if all four destroyers received the order. This order gives an indication of the extent to which, just a few hours before the engagement took place the British forces were 'searching in the dark'
0203 Hours - Just after dawn (approximately 0200 hours in those latitudes at that time of year), Hood and Prince of Wales assume a more southerly course of 200º at a speed of 25 knots. The destroyers then part with the large ships to screen at 15 mile intervals to the north. This was to better the chances of locating the Germans should they successfully elude the Suffolk and Norfolk. Holland also orders Prince of Wales to use her Type 284 gunnery radar to search 020 - 140º. Unfortunately, Prince of Wales’s Type 284 radar was experiencing troubles which rendered it more or less defective. Captain Leach therefore requests permission to use the somewhat more powerful Type 281 radar, but his request is refused, as the transmissions/emissions would have caused great interference to Hood’s own Type 284 radar
0247 Hours - Suffolk regains radar contact with the fleeing German vessels. Her reports place the Germans approximately 35 miles/64.8 km north-west of Hood and Prince of Wales. Holland orders another heading change, this time to 220º. Speed is gradually increased to 28 knots (as high as 28.8 knots per Prince of Wales’s log for 24 May 1941)
0341 Hours - By this time, both UK vessels are on a course of 240º
0450 Hours - Prince of Wales taks over guide of the fleet (i.e. positioned herself ahead of Hood). It is recorded in Prince of Wales’s log as well as in the narrative of the operation written afterwards by Captain Leach
0505 Hours - Hood resumes guide and Holland quietly orders, "Prepare for instant action". The crews go to the first level of readiness. The command crew trains their binoculars and strains their eyes to the north, as they silently waited for contact to be made. Over the past few hours the sky had grown lighter and visibility gradually increased
0515 Hours - Hydrophones on Prinz Eugen detect ships port side and south-east. Information immediately signalled Admiral aboard Bismarck. Lookouts on both German ships ordered to scan horizon in that direction
0532 Hours - Germans change course to 220º maintaining a speed of 27 knots
0535 Hours - Lookouts in Prince of Wales visually sighted smoke and mast tops of the enemy vessels at a range of at least 38,000 yards (18.75nm/34.7km)
- Lookouts on Bismarck and Prinz Eugen sight smoke plumes from approaching British ships
0537 Hours - Enough of the ships can be seen to confirm they are the Germans. Prince of Wales transmits an enemy report at this time. Translated from code, it reads: "Emergency to Admiralty and C in C Home Fleet. One battleship and one heavy cruiser, bearing 335, distance 17 miles. My position 63-20 North, 31-50 West. My course 240. Speed 28 knots". Hood sights the Germans shortly thereafter
- Holland orders his vessels to turn 40º to starboard together. This puts vessels on a heading of 280º, and places the enemy fine off their starboard bows. The British ships are steaming at nearly 29 knots, with Prince of Wales roughly 800 yards/ 731.5 m off Hood’s starboard quarter
- British DDs approx 60km North pick up report and immediatly head South to battle area. Norfolk & Suffolk make no move to close battle
- Germans intercept PoWs enemy report
0541 Hours - Norfolk gets visible contact with the German squadron. Distance 15 nm (27,780 meters/30,393 yards) and issues report
0543 Hours - Hood transmits her enemy report
- Hood sighted by Germans and her enemy report is intercepted
0547 Hours - Alarm ordered on German ships. German crews prepare themselves and await orders. Admiral Lütjens orders an increase in speed of Bismarck
0549 Hours - Holland orders further turn of 20º towards the enemy. Range 24,000m (26,000yards). New course of 300º towards the enemy
0550 Hours - Holland gives order 'G.S.B. 337 L1' directing Hood and Prince of Wales to both engage the left hand German ship bearing 337º, which is presumed to be Bismarck. In reality, it is Prinz Eugen. Aboard Prince of Wales the mistake is quickly realised. Gunnery Officer, Lieutenant Commander Colin McMullen, correctly identifies the right-hand ship as Bismarck and orders her to be targeted
- Ranges are: Prinz Eugen to Norfolk is 26,000 meters (East), Suffolk is 30,000 meters (North) and Hood and Prince of Wales are 25,000 meters (Southeast)
0552 Hours - Range has decreased to (25,000 yards / 12.3 nm) 22,800m. The British vessels are now on a heading of 300º
0552 1/2 Hours - Holland informed by spotters that Bismarck is rear German ship. Orders GOB1 (Target Bismarck). Hood opens fire with forward 2 turrets still targetting lead ship (Prinz Eugen). First salvo lands near Prinz Eugen
0553 Hours - Prince of Wales opens fire on Bismarck. First salvo 1,500 yards long and aft of Bismarck
- Germans realize that British ships are infact capital ships and not cruisers (As assumed). Believe KGV Class ship is King George V, and horrified that the other ship is the famed and feared battle cruiser H.M.S. Hood, 'terror of their war games'
- From Bismarck, Admiral Lütjens issues report to Group North informing that he is engaged in battle on port side by Hood and King George V (In reality Prince of Wales)
- Ranges from Prinz Eugen to Norfolk is 25,000m (East), Suffolk is at 30,000m (North) and Hood and Prince of Wales are about 22,000m (Southeast)
0554 Hours - After two minutes of British shelling, Captain Lindemann has finally had enough. Due to Admiral Lütjens reluctance to open fire, he says "Ich lasse mir doch nicht mein Schiff unter dem Arsch wegschießen. Feuererlaubnis!" (I'm not letting my ship get shot out from under my arse. Open fire). JD (Jot Dora) flags raised in Bismarck's main mast giving the order "Permission to Fire"
- Prinz Eugen shoots first followed by Bismarck. Both vessels concentrated their fire on the lead British vessel, Hood
- Bismarck's first salvo falls to the front and starboard of Hood
- Holland orders 'Blue 2' (20º turn to port) hoisted, to open up their after gun arcs of fire
0555 Hours - Distance from Germans to Norfolk was 24,000m (East), Suffolk was 29,000m (North) and Hood and Prince of Wales was some 21,000m (Southeast)
0556 Hours - Bismarck gets a hit (1st) from Prince of Wales 6th salvo on the bow, oil starts to leak and sea water enters fuel deposits. Bismarck starts to leave an oil track behind her. Prinz Eugen fires 4 semi-salvos (A+B and C+D, A+B and C+D) at Hood. The second semi-salvo of the second salvo hits the Hood and draw first blood, causing fire on mid-ship aft
0557 Hours - Bismarck fires 2 semi-salvos (A+B and C+D) or the 3rd full salvo on Hood and this time hit the Hood. Port side 5.9" secondary guns on Bismarck open fire at Prince of Wales being at proper range, around 18,000 meters
- Prince of Wales fires her 9th salvo from 16,680 meters (18,250 yards) at Bismarck and hits the German battleship. PoW's secondary armament 5.25" starboard guns opened fire on Bismarck
0558 Hours - Admiral Lutjens orders Prinz Eugen to switch target from Hood to Prince of Wales
- Bismarck receives a second hit from Prince of Wales 9th salvo. The shell hit under waterline midship broke several compartments causing some flooding. Several compartments are damaged, generator and engines had problems and oil deposits were broken, a serious hit
- Hood hit by Bismarck. Fire develops midships close to the main tower
0559 Hours - Holland orders another 20º turn to port from 280° to 260°. This was the OTL 'Death turn'.
- The British RAF aircraft Sunderland Z/201 (Pilot Flight Ltnt R.J. Vaughn) passed above Hood and reported the 2 places on fire
0600 Hours - Bismarck receives 3rd hit from Prince of Wales 13th salvo. Damage occurred midship, small boat/catapult, then the shell went outboard
- RAF Sunderland Z/201 aircraft (Pilot Flight Ltnt R.J. Vaughn) now headed toward the German ships. Bismarck starts to shoot at the aircraft with her anti-aircraft guns
0601 Hours - Hood takes fatal hit to her aft 4" magazine during turn, which causes detonation of aft 15" magazine and sinks in 3 minutes with the loss of 1,415 souls. 3 Survivors.
So, after all of that, has anybody spotted any glaring errors in the chain of events? I hope not as it has taken a while to source things accuratly! lol
Last edited by Eternity; August 17th, 2012 at 04:11 AM..
A small correction: Danmark Strait and not "Straight" as the later means "correct", or as in: "Straight foreward"
According to the German account:
THE BATTLE OF THE DENMARK STRAIT
By José M. Rico
The Battle of the Denmark Strait, also known as the Iceland Battle, was a brief naval engagement of little more than a quarter of an hour. It was a clash of titans in which the largest warships in the world were put to the test, and it will be remembered as a battle that ended in the sinking of a mythic ship.
In the early morning of 24 May, the weather improved and the visibility increased. The German battle group maintained a course of 220º and a speed of 28 knots, when at 0525, the Prinz Eugen's hydrophones detected propeller noises of two ships on her port side. At 0537 the Germans sighted what they first thought to be a light cruiser at about 19 miles (35,190 meters / 38,480 yards) on port side. At 0543, another unidentified unit was sighted to port, and thereafter the alarm was given aboard the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen. Aboard the Bismarck the identification of the enemy ships was uncertain, and they were now both mistakenly thought to be heavy cruisers. Correct identification at this time was vital in order to choose the right type of shells. Prinz Eugen's First Artillery Officer (I.A.O.), Lieutenant-Commander Paulus Jasper, also believed the approaching ships to be cruisers and ordered to load 20.3cm high explosive shells.1 At this point, the British warships (in reality the battlecruiser Hood and the battleship Prince of Wales) were approaching the German battle group on a course of 280º at 28 knots. Vice-Admiral Holland, aboard the Hood, familiar with the vulnerability of his battlecruiser in long range combat, was probably trying to get closer quickly before opening fire. Admiral Lütjens did not have any other choice but to accept the combat.
Balance of Forces
Ship:BismarckPrinz EugenHoodPrince of
WalesDisplacement:51,700 mt19,042 mt49,136 mt44,400 mtArmament:
8 x 38 cm
12 x 15 cm
8 x 20.3 cm
12 x 53.3 cm
8 x 38.1 cm
4 x 53.3 cm
10 x 35.6 cm
16 x 13.3 cm
· Main belt:
· Upper deck:
· Armour deck:
Speed:30 knots32.5 knots29-30 knots28-29 knots
Due to the similar silhouettes of the German ships, at 0549 Holland ordered his ships to both engage the leading German ship (the Prinz Eugen) believing she was the Bismarck. After this, the British ships made a 20º turn to starboard on a new course of 300º. At 0552, just before opening fire, Holland correctly identified the Bismarck at last, and ordered his force to shift target to the right-hand ship, but for some reason Hood kept tracking the leading ship. Aboard the Prince of Wales, however, they correctly targeted the Bismarck which followed in Prinz Eugen's wake a mile or so behind. Suddenly, at 0552½, and from a distance of about 12.5 miles (23,150 meters / 25,330 yards), the Hood opened fire, followed by the Prince of Wales half a minute later at 0553. Both ships opened fire with their forward turrets (4 x 38 cm + 6 x 35.6 cm), since their after turrets could not be brought to bear due to the ships' unfavourable angle of approach. Admiral Lütjens immediately signalled to Group North: "Am in a fight with two heavy units". The first salvo from Prince of Wales landed over and astern of Bismarck. Afterwards, Prince of Wales started suffering the first of many mechanical problems, as "A" turret's no. 1 gun broke down temporarily and could not fire anymore. Her second, third and fourth salvoes fell over Bismarck. Hood's first two salvoes fell short from Prinz Eugen throwing some splinters and much water on board.
Two 38.1 cm shells from the Hood land close to the Prinz Eugen during the initial phase of battle of the Denmark Strait. Photo: PK-Lagemann.
Jot Dora! The Bismarck Opens Fire.
The British shells were already landing close, but the German guns still remained silent. Aboard the Bismarck, the First Artillery Officer (I.A.O.), Lieutenant-Commander Adalbert Schneider, in the foretop command post, requested several times permission to open fire without reply from the bridge. Finally at 0555, while Holland's force was turning 20º to port (a manoeuvre that now permitted Bismarck to identify correctly the </I>Hood</I> and a battleship of the King George V Class), the Bismarck opened fire, followed by the Prinz Eugen immediately afterwards.2 The distance at this time was around 11 miles (20,300 meters / 22,200 yards). Both German ships concentrated their fire on the foremost right opponent, the Hood. Bismarck's first salvo landed short. Aboard the Prinz Eugen, the port 53.3 cm torpedo tubes had already been trained towards the enemy and Captain Brinkmann ordered the Torpedo Officer, Lieutenant Reimann: "permission to fire as soon as in reaching range". At 0556, Prince of Wales' fifth salvo fell over again, but the sixth straddled and likely hit the Bismarck even though aboard the British battleship no hits were observed. The initial fire of the Germans had been excellent, and at 0557, the Prinz Eugen had already obtained a hit on Hood's shelter deck near the mainmast. This caused a big fire which spread as far as the second funnel. The Bismarck had also been hit, and was now leaving a broad track of oil upon the surface of the sea. Therefore, Lütjens ordered the Prinz Eugen (that had already fired six salvoes on Hood) to change target towards the Prince of Wales, together with the secondary battery of the Bismarck which had just entered in action. From the start the Bismarck found herself favoured by the enemy disposition that allowed her to use all eight guns while the Prince of Wales was now firing at Bismarck with only five, and the Hood was erroneously firing at Prinz Eugen.
The Bismarck opens fire against the Hood as seen from the Prinz Eugen. This is one of the first salvoes fired by the German battleship at about 0555-0556 hours. The Bismarck is about 2,500 m. behind the Prinz Eugen. Photo: PK-Lagemann.
The Destruction of the Hood.
At 0600, the Hood and the Prince of Wales were in the process of turning another 20º to port in order to bring their after turrets into action, when Bismarck's fifth salvo hit the Hood. The distance was less than 9 miles (16,668 meters / 18,236 yards). At least one 15-inch shell penetrated Hood's armour belt and reached an after magazine where it exploded.3 The German observers were awestruck by the enormous explosion. Sunderland Z/201 (Flight-Lieutenant R. J. Vaughn) that had just arrived in the neighbourhood from Iceland saw the Hood blowing up from the air before coming under heavy A.A. fire from the German ships and forced to take immediate cloud cover. The Hood, the Mighty Hood, pride of the Royal Navy and during 20 years the largest warship in the world, split in two and sank in three minutes at about 63º 22' North, 32º 17' West. The stern portion sank first, end up and centre down, followed by the bow portion, stem up centre down. It all happened so fast that there was not even time to abandon the ship. Out of a crew of 1,418 men, only three survived. Vice-Admiral Holland and his fleet staff, the commander of the Hood Captain Ralph Kerr, and everyone else perished. The three survivors were rescued after three and a half hours at sea by the destroyer Electra (Commander Cecil Wakeford May), and later landed in Reykjavik.4
At 0601 hours. The Hood blows up as seen from the Prinz Eugen. It took the Bismarck 40 shells to sink the Hood. Photo: PK-Lagemann.
After the Hood blew up, the Bismarck concentrated her fire on the Prince of Wales. The British battleship had since altered her course to avoid the wreck of the Hood, and this placed her between the sinking battle cruiser and the German ships. The Germans were thus presented with an easy target switch. At 0602, the Bismarck hit Prince of Wales' bridge, killing everybody there, except the commander, Captain John Catterall Leach and another man. The distance had decreased to 14,000 meters (15,310 yards), and now even the 10.5 cm heavy anti-aircraft battery on Prinz Eugen (on Bismarck probably too) entered in action. The Prince of Wales was at a clear disadvantage, and at 0603 launched a smoke screen and retreated from the combat after being hit a total of four times by the Bismarck and three more by the Prinz Eugen.5 At this time the German ships began doing a series of avoidance monoeuvres after torpedoes had been erroneously detected by hydrophones and bubble trails spotted from the bridge of Prinz Eugen. These sudden changes of course undoubtedly affected the fire of the Germans that didn't get anymore hits on the enemy. The British battleship, in turn, fired three more salvoes with "Y" turret under local control while retreating, but did not obtain any hits either. At 0609 the Germans fired their last salvo and the battle ended. For the British, this must have been incredible, the German ships kept the same course instead of following the damaged Prince of Wales and finishing her off.6
Between 0604-0605 hours. The Bismarck with her guns trained to port opens fire on the Prince of Wales.
This is the most well known photo of the battleship Bismarck and one the most famous of World War II as well. It was taken from the Prinz Eugen sometime between 0607 and 0609 hours. By then the Hood had already been sunk and the Bismarck hit by three 14-inch shells. The after turrets "Cäsar" and "Dora" are firing against the Prince of Wales in one of the last salvoes of the battle. Don't be misled, it's daylight but the flash of the guns led to the darkened underexposure of the photo. Photo: PK-Lagemann.
The Prinz Eugen was not hit during the battle and remained undamaged, even though some Hood's shells landed close by in the opening phase of the engagement and fragments landed on board. However, the Bismarck had been hit on the port side by three 14-inch shells. The Prince of Wales had in fact achieved three straddles with three hits out of a total of 18 salvoes. The first shell hit Bismarck amidships below the waterline in section XIV, passed through the outer hull just below the main belt, and exploded against the 45-mm armoured torpedo bulkhead. This hit caused the flooding of the port electric plant No. 4. The adjacent No. 2 boiler room also took some water, but this was contained by the damage control parties through the use of hammocks. The second shell hit the bow in section XX-XXI, just above the waterline. This projectile entered the port side, passed through the ship above the 20-mm upper platform deck without exploding, and exited the starboard side leaving a hole of 1.5 meters in diameter. Around 1,000 tons of salt water got into the forecastle, and as a consequence of this several hundred tons of fuel oil were blocked down in the lower tanks. The third shell simply passed through a boat amidships without any appreciable damage at all.
As a result of these hits, the top speed of the Bismarck was reduced to 28 knots. The battleship was 3º down by the bow and had a 9º list to port. Because of this, the blades tips of the starboard propeller were out of the water at times. Therefore the starboard void tanks in sections II and III were flooded to reduce the bow trim and list. The damage was not particularly serious, the Bismarck maintained intact her fighting capability, good speed, and there were no casualties among the crew; only five men had been slightly wounded. However, the loss of fuel was to affect the remaining course of action.
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1. Korvettenkapitän Paulus Jasper choice proved to be correct in the end, since 20.3 cm armour piercing shells (Psrg. L/4,4) would not have been effective against heavily armoured ships such as Hood and Prince of Wales. 20.3 cm high explosive shells (Spgr. L/4,7) were much more adequate to destroy un-armoured superstructures and other light equipment on decks.
2. Maybe Lütjens was still trying to avoid the combat with the British ships, following orders from the High Command. Müllenheim-Rechberg, in his book, "Battleship Bismarck, A Survivor's Story, says that he heard Captain Lindemann say: "I just won't let my ship be shot out from under my ass...... Permission to fire!" 3. It has been sometimes suggested in naval circles that it was the Prinz Eugen the ship that actually scored the fatal hit on the Hood. However, the Prinz Eugen could not have been responsible for this hit because at the time the decisive hit occurred (0600 hours) the German cruiser was firing at Prince of Wales. PG had shifted fire to POW at about 0557 just after hitting Hood in the shelter deck. Moreover, although Hood’s deficiencies in terms of protection are well known, it is theoretically impossible for a 20.3 cm projectile to penetrate Hood’s armour and reach her magazines. Also keep in mind that PG was firing HE shells instead of APs. Prinz Eugen’s shells were considerably smaller than those of Bismarck, weighting only 122 kg.
Psgr. L/4,4 (m.Hb), AP base fused, weight 122 kg, explosive charge 2.30 kg. Spgr. L/4,7 Bdz (m.Hb), HE base fused, weight 122 kg, explosive charge 6.54 kg. Spgr. L/4,7 Kz, HE nose fused, weight 122 kg, explosive charge 8.93 kg.
4. The three survivors from the Hood were Midshipman William J. Dundas, Able Seaman Robert E. Tilburn, and Signalman Edward Briggs.
5. The Prince of Wales had 13 fatal casualties that would become 14 by the following day: Leading Signalman Walter Graham Andrews, Ordinary Seaman Harold Barlow, Able Seaman Leslie Maddocks Deeds, Ordinary Seaman Edward Patrick Diamond, Midshipman Peter Tuthill Dreyer, Ordinary Seaman William John Fairbairn, Able Seaman Harry Hallam, Able Seaman Arthur Molyneaux Harper, Leading Signalman Edward James Hunt, Midshipman John Bret Ince, Signal Boy Norman Johnstone, Able Seaman Thomas Ronald Slater, Ordinary Seaman Thornton Smith, and Leading Seaman Mervyn Richard Tucker who died on 25 May 1941. 6. It seems that there was a difference in opinion between Admiral Lütjens and Captain Lindemann. The latter wanted to follow the damaged Prince of Wales and destroy it.
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Battle of the Denmark Strait Research Materials
The purpose of this page is to provide a resource of documents specifically related to the "Battle of the Denmark Strait" of 24 May 1941. The documents, both firsthand contemporary materials plus newer working notes and recollections, are available to individuals interested in re-examining the battle in detail. They will hopefully prove useful to anyone with a sincere desire to determine the exact chain of events which made up this famous sea battle.
If you know of something that we have missed, or, see something that is not correct, please contact our staff. We would be delighted for your assistance.
Section I- Background</STRONG> / Section II- Primary Sources / Section III- Working Notes / Section IV- Modern Battle Theories
This effort was originally necessitated by several minor discrepancies or discontinuities associated with the commonly accepted version of the battle: Most of said issues are related to the actions of the German force composed of the battleship "Bismarck" and the heavy cruiser "Prinz Eugen". Specifically, some ranges, exact intervals, headings and movements of the vessels (primarily Bismarck) are not well documented and can thusly be viewed as somewhat questionable.
The minor problems mentioned above have led some to believe that the battle did not unfold as recounted in various books written by participants, or in the official German and British versions of the battle. One theory even went so far as to suggest that many of the famous German battle photos and probably elements of the battle film itself were consistently printed/shown in reverse from May 1941 onward. It was initially because of this theory that efforts were made by this web site and others to obtain all known source documents related to the battle. Note- We have reviewed all firsthand source material and have even interviewed battle participants. Our own review of available materials has led us to conclude that the reversed photo theory is unfounded. This view has been further corroborated by surviving eyewitness officers from Prinz Eugen who have stated that the "reversed photo" theory is absolutely wrong. Lastly, we should also note that not only is the issue nonsense, it is also not particularly relevant to Hood's involvement in the battle.
Despite the advances made in recent years, some aspects of this battle continue to be sources of debate. With this in mind, if you are someone interested in researching the various aspects of this famous battle, please feel free to use the following materials/links. Ignore books and theories- instead, first review the data and make up your own mind. With this in mind, we recommend that you Skip Item IV until after you have reached your conclusions. Afterwards, read the theories in Item IV as well as various books/articles to see what others have arrived at.
II. Primary Sources
1. German Records and Documentation
Quick Reference Data-
wow That is some serious reference material HMS Warspite!
I now need to head through it and find the times of PoW's gun and mechanical failures
Thanks for the links!