View Full Version : Three Minutes of the Bismarck

Deaf Smith
01-30-2010, 11:21 PM
At the Battle of the Denmark Strait, I understand the British opened fire at 0552 hrs, and the Bismarck didn't fire back till 0555. And the Hood was sunk at 0600. So it took the Bismarck only five minutes to find and hit the Hood.

So what I am wondering is, if the Bismarck had if immediatly opened fire when the British fired, would they have found the mark sooner and prevented the Prince of Wales from hitting the Bismarck three times (and thus choking off a good portion of their fuel oil.


01-31-2010, 12:20 AM
The only definitive way to determine the answer is to examine the wreck of Bismarck, in order to determine the relevant hits on the fuel bunkers.

Prince of Wales was repositioning in any case, and her movements would have shown on Bismarck's radar.

The RN have always seemed to believe that PoW was Bismarck's "next major target" and most accounts I have read reflect that.
From what I can detemine, Hood seems to have been slow in manoeuvering, and lost an opportunity to open the range, while PoW managed to do so.

Complicating matters further are the movements of the smaller vessels which, though visible on radar, and giving different returns to those of the larger vessels, would nonetheless have had an influence on Bismarck's gunnery from the pov of having to be kept track of.

I've always viewed the 3 minutes Bismarck took as being absorbed in tracking available returns, and confirming the target list, and order of engagement.

Regards, Uyraell.