Battleship Bismarck the best according to wwwkbismarckcom


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Sopas Gero

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I have read that the German battleship Bismarck was the most powerful battleship of her time. Literally as taken from www.kbismarck.com : "the Bismarck was the largest, most powerful, and for many, the most beautiful warship afloat."

I have already read many things about the Bismarck on www.kbismarck.com (which by the way is a superb website) but, I was wondering how did the Bismarck compared with other battleships and if she was really the most powerfull of them all. What are your opinions?

Thanks
 

Adam Leet

Member
I've always been under the impression that the IJNs Yamato and Musashi were more powerful than Bismarck in many respects, from armor protection to weaponry. Let's face it, you cannot argue with 18" guns versus 15". Yamato also had one extra in that category, and I'm sure she also had more lesser heavy-caliber weapons.

Sure, Bismarck was far more beautiful, but if I wanted to have a Jutland-type engagement, I'll stick with the Japanese.


Adam
 
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Marko

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Welcome sopas,

The Bismark was a wonderfull battleship. Sure the Jap boats had more armour, but the thing is that Bismark was more hi-tech, she was simply more 'easier' and better to use. She was very expensive to make too. The wood that was used on her deck is one of the best, and expensive. The armour was thick enough to with stand great ammounts of explosive. I mean look at all the attempts to sink her, if they didnt get her rudder, she would have floated. She sure was a beauty too, i was always fascinated by her.
 
Marko - check out Warships1.com . Their site often discusses the Bismarck, and the discussion boards tend to split about whether she was the greatest battleship ever built - or whether she was the most over-rated battleship ever built.

Quick precis, if I may be so bold.

In her favour - she was fast, heavily armed, sank the Hood and tied up the Royal Navy for a week as they tried to catch her. She proved very diificult to sink - a great many shell hits, several torpedoes and, possibly, scuttling charges set off by her own crew.

Points against -

(1) She was actually an updated WW1 design ( the SMS Baden ), enlarged to achieve 30 knots. This is shown by her poor disposition of armour - the belt of armour around her waterline was too low, her armoured deck likewise. what effect did this have ? Well, it made her communications sytems and fire control systems very vulnerable to battle damage. It is notable that in her final battle, whilst it was difficult to sink her, she was put out of action rather too easily - her guns lost main fire control early in the action, and had to switch to local control ( ie from within the turret ) - with consequent loss of accuracy

(2) Her steerage system was easily disabled - that torpedo from Ark Royal's swordfish jammed the rudders hard over, which meant that over her last night she went round in one big circle, with the crew unable to disengage the rudders at all.

(3) Her build quality was debatable - her stern fell off, due to it being butt welded on to the rest of the ship. This was a common fault in WW2 German warships - Prinz Eugen's also fell off when she was torpedoed in 1942, and Lutzow nearly lost hers in 1940.

(4) Her anti aircraft armament was poorly laid out, and there were areas where the ship had no AA guns that could be brought to bear. She also wasted displacement with two separate systems for anti-ship and anti-aircraft secondary armament - when most other navies had moved to dual purpose AA/ AS armament ( cf Prince of Wales )

(5) Poor armour layout is also shown by the results of her first battle - she had to head for Brest when a shell from Prince Of Wales blew a hole below the waterline forward, reduced her speed and put her down by the head.

On the whole, she was a good first attempt by a German design team that had lost out on several years advances in battleship technology. She had her faults, and her good points - but all warship design is a compromise, and her designers made different compromises to those of other navies.

And she was a beauty.
 

Don Tweed

Member
Just watched "The Battle of Hood and Bismarck" last night on PBS.
Fantastic show!!!
Ted Briggs was allowed to push the button to release the plaque honoring his fellow shipmates.
I am sure this has been on before since they found her over a year ago, but I had never seen it. There were details about the Bismarck that I had never seen nor heard of before.
When she hit the bottom, she slid over 2 miles down the volcanic slope she was over!!!
Blew me away!!!
They also photographed 3 to 4 torpedo hits in her hull and stated that even if the crew had set off the scuttling charges, she was already doomed!
I cannot even begin to grasp what it must have been like on her deck in those final few hours,
salvo after salvo slamming into her from all directions!
And the 700 or so men left behind because of U-boat warnings, very sad.
Yet, the Hood is even more of a sad tale.
They say there were 2 explosions on Hood.
The aft explosion firestorm raced forward below decks and ignited the forepart magazine.
Looking at the films of the wreck this scenario seems to be correct.
Over 4,000 men on 2 ships,lost. How very sad.
Just my thoughts, Don
 
Dave pretty much covered the ground on the virtues and vices of the Bismark's design. It might be fair to say she was one of the most powerful battleships in the Atlantic at the time, but more powerful vessels existed long befor she was built. The Americans for example had the 16" guns in their newer ships and the British had the 16" guns on the Nelson and the Rodney.

The 15" weapons on the Bismark were themselves slightly updated versions of a World War One design as was the hull.

While the Bismark may not have been the biggest and the baddest, there was still the concern of the sort of threat she could have posed to convoys had she managed to get loose on the North Atlantic, and this didn't end with her destruction as the Tirpitz was still around. This ship tied up quite a few assets until the RAF finally managed to do her in.
 
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Jeremy Watson

Guest
I don't care what anybody says, one of the best ships of all time(not counting Titanic)is the Mighty Mo(U.S.S. Missouri)!!!
 

Adam Leet

Member
Meh, I'd class Missouri along with the other Iowa-class battleships as some of the most powerful battleships, considering there weren't any significant differences between the four.

Still, Yamato and Musashi take my vote, though Bismarck and Tirpitz get honorable mention for advanced technology and appearance.


Adam
 
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Jeremy Watson

Guest
You are intitled to your opinion, but I still think the mighty Mo is still one of the best. Thanks for voicing your opinion, you know you battle ships.
 
Mr Watson, You don't have to be so mean to people. A simple "I think that the Mosurri was the best ever. Not "I don't care what anybody says." This is how people start arguments, so I'll just leave it at that. This is constructive criticism, not a complaint.
 
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John Meeks

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And wouldn't it be so pointless to start a fight over this one?

The truth is, of course, 'Bismarck', 'Tirpitz', 'Musashi', 'Yamato'(and I agree with Adam, by the way...)'Missouri' - and pretty much every other 'state of the art' battleship were all very impressive vessels....

...but 'Dinosaurs'!

The ultimate weapons in the sea war of WWII were the submarine and the aircraft carrier.

America was able to reverse the fortunes of war in 1942, not with battleships (a large number having been put out of action at Pearl Harbor) - but with carriers!

Sure, the great battleships were amazing beasts...

...but essentially, pointless...!


Be gentle with me...

John M
 
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Jeremy Watson

Guest
I didnt mean it like that. sorry about the mix up.


-titanic1912
 
Battleships pointless? Hardly, and I would think you would find any number of survivors of the Pacific island hopping campeign who would gladly state otherwise, to say nothing of the Marines at Inchon and the groundpounders in Vietnam who literally owed their lives to 16" gun firepower. Let's not forget the carrier groups which depended on the awesome firepower of their anti-aircraft batteries for their very survival!

In fact, the USS New Jersey was so effective in Vietnam that the North Vietnamese demanded that the ship be decommissioned befor they would return to the peace talks. Unwisely as it happened, the U.S. government gave in to the demands.

These ships were never widely used in their intended role, but as gunfire support platforms, they more then proved thier worth. The Iraquis learned this lesson the hard way in Desert Storm.
 
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Sopas Gero

Guest
Thanks a lot for your answers. They have been very helpful.
 
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