Saturday, 25 November 2017

The Battle of the Denmark Strait 1941: Battle Set-Up - It is all in the Angle of Attack (80 degrees of separation)

Reading through the historical accounts of the battle from various sources and studying the maps has been really interesting. From this the consensus seems to suggest the following battle set-up (see below):
  • Germans enter bearing 220 degrees
  • British enter bearing 300 degree
  • Range 26, 500 yards at first shot from HMS Hood
  • German ships will be slightly ahead making British X.Y turrets "out of arc"
The last pre-show run through of the rules and kit we've put together and ever so kindly been lent. It revealed that the odds show the Bismarck "gets it" (again) unless she gets 'lucky' early on. The final fate of the KM Bismarck is shown below (Note: We used the 1/3000 ships are used for the gunnery "plot" and the 1/1200 ships to indicate how the ships appeared to be damaged and when they are being straddled [and by whom]):

The higher level plot showed the 'bird's eye view" (see below, RN at bottom, HMS Hood (left) leading slightly damaged [down a turret but at full speed] and an untouched HMS Prince of Wales (bottom right) whereas the KM Bismarck is well and truly battered laying dead in the water (top right) with only one turret working. The KM Prince Eugen (middle left) is desperately trying to close to a "good" torpedo range on the Hood [aka to slow her down] before trying to make a run for it):

References and sources used to date are as follows:
  • The Loss of the Bismarck: An avoidable Disaster (Graham Rhys-Jones)
  • Hood and Bismarch: The Deep Sea Discovery of an Epic Battle (David Mearns and Rob White)
  • King George V Class Battleships (V.E. Tarrent)
  • German Capital Ships and Raiders in World War II, Volume 1: From Graf Spee to Bismarck 1939-41 
  • Hunting the Bismarck (C.S. Forester)
  • Pursuit (Ludovic Kennedy)
  • The Bismarck Chase: New Light on a Famous Engagement (Robert J Winklareth)
  • Battleship Bismarck: A Survivor's Story (Baron Burkard Von Mullenheim-Rechberh)
Naturally any additional sources of information would be greatly appreciated

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