Talk:German battleship Bismarck/Archive 2

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I would propose revising the sentence in the "Design" section that refers to the Treaty of Versailles. The 35,000 tons refers to the provisions of the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement (1935) that allowed Germany to build up to five 35K tons BBs. The Versailles reference, on the other hand, relates only to the limit of 10K tons on any German capital ship; therefore it's not that helpful IMHO. Any comments? bigpad 18:35, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Makes sense to me. If the subsequent treaties supercede Versailles, then there's really no need for mention of it here. Parsecboy 20:19, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Important extra information about battleship Bismarck

1). Bismarck is undoubtly the most famous battleship of all time if looked at the vast number of books written about het last voyage (over 100)and the number of hits at internet for Bismarck is highest of all battleships. I don't clame Bismarck is the best battleship. Most articles point at the "better" US-battleships, notably the Iowa's, the "huge and strong" Yamato's or the equallly good Richelieu.

2). At 9.02 2 hits crippled Bismarck fatally in her last fight: one of Rodney between turrets Anton and Bruno puting them both out of action and one 8 inch hit on the main gun director on top of the conning tower blow it away!!

3). High casualty hits came about 10.00 when Rodney fired at point blank close range.

4). Over 1000 to 1200 of her crew jumped into the icecold water. The other were killed in their gun turrets. in the bridge/connuing tower or because of some penetration hits around 10.00. The admiral bridge suffered no single hit.

5). Bismarck was designed to withstand torpedo damage. Together with her high degree of subdivision means that she was almost unsinkable!!! After so many hits he hull showed no torpedodamage (except om the rudder); only 4 penetartions of the vertical armour belt and NO penetrations of the main armor deck (horizontal. So the whole British fleet could not sink Bismarck but was able to put her out of the fight. In this respect the Bismarck was (far?) superior to the battleships of other nations. The poor welding of the joints of the the armour belt on the Yamato's together with her less subdivision meant that the Yamato's were vulnerable to torpedo damage. The weak roof armor on the 15 cm turrets was also a very vulnerable spot in her defense against bomb attacks. The Iowa's certainly also have weak spots, but these are seldom described or documented.

6). Bismarck was able to fire most of her shells on her last voyage.

7). There are striking resemblances between the hunt after the Bismarck and the Scharnhorst. Both sinkings were caused by 1-2 lucky hits (Bismarck on rudder and early hit between A and B turrets, Scharnhorst in Boiler room and both ship early in the battle lost their main rader/rangefinder).

8). Sources were Garzke & Dullin.

And thoroughly unsourced. Also a quick check on google, if we are saying that is a judge of popularity, USS Iowa beats HMS Dreadnought which beats HMS Vanguard which beats KMS Bismarck....and searching for 'Battleship <Name>' still puts Iowa on top....and I'm not sure anyone would ever rank, in an evaluation of battleships, Bismarck as being 'better' than Yamato, for example. As it is, the opening is fine. Narson 15:28, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, we've had this discussion before; there's no way to definitively say any ship is the most famous. Just because there are many books/documentaries/etc. doesn't mean it's the most famous. I'm sure there are plenty of people in the Asia that don't know much about the Bismarck, but know plenty about the Yamato. Parsecboy 12:17, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
1) Debateable. Its certainly up there but there isno way to be definitive. 4) Who was counting? How did the people get out from the lower decks if bulkheads were closed? If they were not closed subdivvision meant nothing. If they were from the upper decks how did they survive the almost total destruction of the superstructure? 5) All battleships were designed to take torpedo damage. Unsinkable? I assure you anything made out of steel will sink. You are utterly mistaken to say there was no torpedo damage. She was built with multi layer torpedo protection - the outer layer(s) had done its job in exploding torpedos away from the main armour - that is not to say torpedoes did no damage. They did. Had further torpedo hits been taken in areas where the primary sacrificial armour had been blown away she would have had her inner armour holed too. If torpedos had done no damage to her, how come she was listing and so low in the water? Still she may well have been scuttled. If she had not been scuttled she would have been sunk. That is simply not debateable. She never met the "whole british fleet" she met 2 squadrons each with 2 capital ships, 1 of which was never designed to engage battleships and was soon found wanting ... a tiny fraction of British naval power of the time. She put up a brave fight but after the damage to her rudder her fate was sealed. The Scharnhorst with similar armour design was undoubtedly sunk by torpedo. 6) Possibly, but after her initial success against the Hood and Prince of Wales her fire wasn't very effective. Where is a source for this factoid? And how is a measure of a great battleship being able to exhaust her shells innefectively? 7) No. Scharnhorst was simply outgunned by HMS Duke of York. Her 11" shells would do little harm to her foe. While her citadel was probably well enough protected to withstand 14" shells her battery and the rest of the ship were not. It was only a matter of time before her main battery was destroyed and she took on enough water to slow her if she engaged the more powerful ship. What you describe as a lucky hit becomes a probability in a protracted fight. As for the lucky damage to the rudder on the Bismark, while the hit was fortunate the damage done was down to design. The 3 prop design of the Bismark is inferior to 4 prop designs when the rudder is out of action. --LiamE 21:42, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
The "impt extra info. about Bismarck" isn't really that important at all. It doesn't add to what we know about the last battle or sinking. bigpad 20:19, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

OR by anon

An anon has just added quite a few edits in, some of which are typo corrections or clarification that are fine, but its interspersed with OR. Anyone have the heart to wade through this and prune? Narson 01:18, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

User:El Greco reverted it all completely. I didn't see much of anything the anon added that was worth keeping anyways. If El Greco hadn't done it, I would've. He actually introduced a couple of typos. Parsecboy 15:29, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
User Greglocock is disputing my edit to tone down this section and an edit war looks likely. I invite him to tell us why he continues to use so-called "weasel words" as an excuse for doing so.
The point of my edit is that the recent additions are too set in stone (or absolute) to be able to go unchallenged. Greglocock is by no means an admirer of the Bismarck but that shouldn't cloud his judgement as to what is balanced or verifiable bigpad 12:12, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
I think it could be said to be weasel words, but the alternative is not to remove the weasel words, its to remove the section (As its unsourced). The weasel words make it tolerable for it to remain while a general push is made to improve referencing, without them it would just be too definate to remain in the article without references. (Yes, I realise this is a cop out 'No-one is wrong' answer. Sorry.) Narson 12:24, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
I added an unreferenced section template. If someone cannot introduce reliable sources in a reasonable amount of time, the section should be deleted. Parsecboy 13:40, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Various references, from popular histories through to prime sources added. So, what will the Bismarck fanboys try next? Complaining that there are too many references? Greglocock 10:09, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

I can't disagree that the section could disappear without anyone losing too much sleep; but if criticisms of the ship's design are valid, and can be referenced, then the weasel words issue is secondary. I must apologise for these WWs but I wasn't aware that they extend to using "it's possible.., etc." I thought WW means avoiding superlatives and pejorative terms. bigpad 13:44, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

I'll add more references tonight. Preston, and Friedman, almost certainly mention the DP AA battery issue. Weasel words are not secondary since they allow anything to be said, and make it hard to define whether a statement is true or false.Greglocock 02:12, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

The "Bismarck fanboys" must be delighted that a huge non-fan like you has referenced an unreferenced section... bigpad 11:36, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Added image

I was surprised that there wasn't an image for this article, or really any in the commons, so I made one. Though most of the pictures I have seen are fuzzy and descriptions a bit vague, I tried to color the model as it would have appeared when fighting HMS Hood. Anynobody 05:37, 14 November 2007 (UTC)


The Drawing in the Infobox is awful. The form of the hull ist false, the proportions ist false (turrets to large), the bow is false ....--WerWil (talk) 09:11, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

The section above this one is from the person who made the image. Perhaps you should leave them a message stating your concerns with the image on their talk page, so they can modify the image accordingly. Regards, Parsecboy (talk) 12:01, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
It's ok, I've still got the page on my watchlist. Perhaps WerWil could point to some references I could use, I noticed that there are inconsistencies between various websites and books about its appearance. Anynobody 02:18, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Look f. e. here you can see that the Turrets were lower and smaller, funnel and bridge were biger. The bow had no bulk, the bottom was flat, the sideline a curve whithout buckles. Here for some details.--WerWil (talk) 11:10, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
The turrets could probably use some changing, which I'll work into the next version (I tend to constantly upgrade my drawings, and I'm surprised you didn't notice it has no light AA armament which of course is also on my list.) However some of your points are actually inaccurate, and here are photos of the ship to prove it.
1: By bulk on the bow, do you mean under the waterline? Its bow did have some bulk to it.
2: The bottom is flat, the images are rendered with perspective as though the observer is off the water on the deck of another ship (whereas the drawings you are pointing out are drawn with no perspective, and are in fact profiles).
3: By buckles, are you referring to the visible armor belt? It's hard to see in profile drawings, but the Bismarck's armor belt was prominent, check out these photos: Ahead Stern It's really apparent in the next picture, about even with the top of its false white wake: From Prinz Eugen.
I prefer not to model from drawings, since any errors made by the original artist can be easily transfered, so I actually use photos whenever possible. Anynobody 22:50, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Good drawing, but didn't the deck have a Swastika towards either the bow or stern of the ship? Shouldn't that also be encorporated into the image? El Greco(talk) 01:17, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Thank you, that's actually something I used to make fun of them for, sending a ship out into the north atlantic with a big red band, white circle, and black swastika on the deck, yet they painted camouflage on the sides. Turns out they weren't quite as dumb as I thought, and before it deployed they were painted over. Anynobody 02:20, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Here's another photo, also from Prinz Eugen, where its swastika is visible in the lower right. I think large nazi ships, if not all of them, had the swastikas and probably did the same thing before going out to sea. Anynobody 02:24, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
The book written about Dr Ballard's expedition to discover the ship has several photos that clearly show both deck swastikas. Either someone's wrong, or a single layer of paintneatlypeeled itself off.... ? Leushenko (talk) 18:03, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
[1] On the cover,in fact! Leushenko (talk) 18:06, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Flat Bottom: Its right, that you might see it that wayin some near Perspective, but it ist missleeding to show it in a Drawing like this, especially in the view form the Bow it looks as if the Bismarck had a "Pear-shaped" bottom.
Bow Bulk: The Ship never had a Bulk to the Front. The only thing was an extension to the sides in the "Keel line". The Picture you have linked shows the Situation whith Perpendicularly bow which seems to have a Curvature to the front but it was straight. In 1939 the Bismarck got a so called "Atlantik Bow" like on the Drawings I have linked (whith no bulk to the front).
Buckles: I meant the not continous Line in plan view.
--WerWil (talk) 12:02, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Sorry to have taken so long to get this updated, I think I understand what WerWil meant about the bulk on the bow. I've also talked to others who expected the swastika, so I've included an illustration of that too.
WerWil I can see where it might be seem deceptive to create the image using perspective, but part of the reason I go to the trouble of creating a 3d model is so that the reader can get a better impression of what the ship might look if one were taking its picture. Anynobody 05:44, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Shouldn't the Bismarck have a single rudder? Im not sure what ship the 3D model is but its not the Bismarck. Single rudder was one of the main reasons that "a hit by a single torpedo jammed Bismarck's rudder and steering gear." and in extension one of the reasons for the ships sinking. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:34, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

No, the Bismarck most certainly had 2 rudders. (compare with these models: 1, 2, 3). Here is a great photograph of the ship under construction, showing both rudders: 1. Suffice it to say, the ship most certainly had 2 rudders. Parsecboy (talk) 17:59, 9 September 2008 (UTC)


The article mentions tons. Are these long or short? Jɪmp 23:54, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

35,000 ton limitation

The article about the Anglo-German Naval Agreement never mentions the 35,000 ton single-ship limitation, concentrating on the 35:100 Kriegsmarine/Royal Navy ratio. Could anyone source the "Anglo-German Naval Agreement (1935) that allowed Germany to build up to five 35,000-ton battleships" part? --Saaska (talk) 05:43, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Bouncing 14in shots

Source is needed for Huge dents showed that the 14 inch (356 mm) shells fired by the King George V bounced off the German belt, since a given reference [2] (a terrific analysis indeed), don't give such information. Besides, it is doubtful, for Bismarck's belt was relatively thin, as the mentioned article explains. And belt was no Wotan type armour, but KC n/A. Pibwl ←« 19:15, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

To be honest I'd be surprised if many of KGV's shells did penetrate. In all the history of BBs beyond dreadnought the proportion of belt penetrations to belt hits was miniscule, I vaguely remember a number like 5 in total from Jutland for example. The fanboys who use these failed penetrations to justify their Biswarshipworship merely reveal their lack of knowledge. You could always write to NATHAN OKUN (as he usually signs hinself), his address is around on the web somewhere. DK Brown discusses this, in his opinion belts were too thick throughout the 20th C, by and large. Most line of battle ships throughout history have been silenced, ie mission killed, rather than sunk. Quite why the RN's emphasis switched to sinking (and preventing being sunk) is a bit of a mystery to me. In the case of the Germans it made sense - it is much easier to rebuild a floating hull than to build a BB from scratch, so if you are fighting a long war of attrition then less expendable ships are worth it.Greg Locock (talk) 23:28, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Why did the RN switch ephasis to sinking in this case? In one word it would be Hood. Quite simply there was a political / public morale / propoganda need for swift retribution for the sinking of the RN's most prestigeous ship. --LiamE (talk) 02:07, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
No I'm talking about sinking by gunfire as a design requirement for a new ship. Silencing used to be the aim. Greg Locock (talk) 02:12, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Ahh sorry I think I mis-understood. I see what you mean. It has never been easy to sink a 20th century battleship by shell fire alone without secondary damage such as fire spreading to a magazine. --LiamE (talk) 02:25, 18 January 2008 (UTC)


"Her range of weaponry could easily decimate any convoy she encountered."
Well, Scheer managed to sink 5 out of 38 ships of HX.84, which is a decimation at least, so I expect Bismarck could do as well; but I think you probably mean something else.
Or is it irony?
Xyl 54 (talk) 17:29, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Decimate is rarely used in its original sense these days. The OED gives an alternate meaning as "destroying a large proportion of" - with that meaning it makes sense. --LiamE (talk) 18:04, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually decimate is regularly used in its strict sense by educated people. Sorry to hear that you don't mix with them. I rather enjoyed seeing it in the article, to be honest, due to the ambiguity. Greg Locock (talk) 19:42, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I think you should keep your uninformed judgements about who I mix with to yourself. --LiamE (talk) 23:04, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Hey guys, let's settle down here. There's no need to be condescending, Greg, it doesn't help anything here. LiamE has the very valid point that in present, common usage, decimate doesn't have the same meaning it did for the Roman army. Parsecboy (talk) 23:41, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I was being cheeky, I guess what I should have said was {{Fact}} Cheers Greg Locock (talk) 00:00, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I know many people use “decimate” to mean a heavy loss;
OTOH It is also used to mean a 10% loss, which is something else, and it is used at times to imply a heavy loss while meaning about 10 %or thereabouts, which is a bit dishonest.
In this instance it really could be either, and my purpose was to point out the ambiguity. Xyl 54 (talk) 13:05, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I think we are all agreed that at present it makes sense though there is ambiguity. For clarity I'd happily see it replaced with something along the lines of "Her range of weaponry was easily capable of inflicting heavy losses upon any convoy she encountered..." And on the point of "she" theres another thing that needs discussion. --LiamE (talk) 14:43, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Hmm; see, now I'm thinking about it, I don't know if you can say that. The only time a capital ship attacked a convoy was the Scheer and HX 84 and she managed a 10% success rate. Would Bismarck do twice as well? 20%? Is that heavy? It's pretty bad, but nothing like the near-annihilation that's implied.
It's probably best left ambiguous, if we're aware of the ambiguity. Xyl 54 (talk) 20:04, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

One in a million

I see someone had the sense to remove the silly unreferenced one in a million claim. Bis's stern was especially susceptible to damage because her armor scheme was below par in that area, and the three shaft layout weakens the keel at the stern. Quite what the probability of a torpedo launched from behind (from memory) hitting the stern is, I'm not sure, 30% at a guess, sideways on it is what, 5% or so, if we count the stern as being from the screws rearward? So one in a million is more like one in twenty. All OR of course. Another way of looking at it would be to review all hits by torpedoes on BBs and see how many hit the stern. If you are that interested. Greg Locock (talk) 19:42, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Let's not forget that your last suggestion for those who wish to state that it was a one in a million hit would be original research as well. I'm afraid the only way it could be readded would be for someone to provide a reliable source that makes such a claim. I do think it was a lucky hit, but I wouldn't say it was "one in a million". Parsecboy (talk) 20:47, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
hey how about this? [[3]] 2 out of 11-15 (?), aft of the rear turret. OK, it is still OR, but it is pretty telling. Anyway, I don't think we need it - there isn't going to be an RS for " one in a million", other than this article, which is not an RS. Greg Locock (talk) 23:57, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

He, she, it

Whilst it is customary for ships to be referred to as female, in the case of the Bismarck I'm not sure this is entirely appropriate. The captain and crew of the ship are known to have thought of the ship as masculine. --LiamE (talk) 14:56, 23 January 2008 (UTC) I've been having a bit of a look for a good source on this, not found one yet but have found plenty of discussion on the point. At the moment the german wiki article uses she so barring a great source being turned up no changes are necessary. Anyone got a decent book mentioning this? --LiamE (talk) 15:51, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, if I recall correctly, Hitler made a big deal about how the ship was to be referred to as "he", not "she". I seem to remember reading it in the book by Ballard after he found the ship, but I might be wrong. I'll see if I can dig it up. Parsecboy (talk) 15:53, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Hi, the ref. you're thinking about comes from the Mullenheim-Rechberg book. He recalls Capt. Lindemann saying to his officers that it was not appropriate to refer to such a powerful ship as "she" and that the masculine was to be used in future. I believe that this was only a convention he introduced and wasn't official naval policy anyhow. Incidentally, isn't the German word for a battleship "schlachtshiff" a neuter noun? bigpad (talk) 14:02, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I've not read that book so i couldnt have seen it there, but at least I'm not going mad! Yes I think "battleship" is neuter but when a ship is referred to by name in German, as in English, the female form is used. I would think the best bet would be to continue to refer to the ship as female, but also add the male / female debate to the article. --LiamE (talk) 16:35, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
It might be an interesting piece of information, but if the tradition in the english-speaking world is to use 'she' for all vessels, no matter how 'powerful' and 'masculine' you think they are, then that should be reflected here. Xyl 54 (talk) 20:15, 30 January 2008 (UTC)


I've noticed that in the references section, about half of the list is just a bibliography, not inline citations, which should be the correct format. So for those who have the books listed, if you have the time, can you at least pick one or two things that can be sourced to those books? It would also be good if anyone is considering working this article to a higher quality rating. Thanks. Parsecboy (talk) 14:21, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Nate, do you know enough about the ratings to see how the article would score overall now? There's been a feeding frenzy recently and it would be useful to get some official feedback! Ta, bigpad (talk) 01:33, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't normally participate GA/FA assessments, so I'm not really familiar with the specific criteria. One thing I can suggest though, is some reworking of the sources. The first instance of a source being used should have the full citation, with the instances afterwards having just the author name, year (if there's more than one book by that author, like Ballard for instance) and the page number. That way, the bulleted list can be removed entirely, as it'll be incorporated into the inline citations. For getting official feedback, you could always request a peer review at WP:SHIPS or WP:MILHIST. You could also just post notices at SHIPS and WP:MARITIME asking for an even more informal examination. There are plenty of knowledgeable editors at both locations who are more experienced in this particular realm than I :) Parsecboy (talk) 13:21, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Main Picture

The CG image, as good as it is, should not really be in the main picture slot. This should be reserved for a real war time picture. I think perhaps a more suitable place is in the the "breakout" section. Dapi89 (talk) 13:09, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

I understand your logic but it actually belongs there more than the one you replaced it with because of its copyright status. Our rules regarding copyrighted works define the image you added as a non-free content which says:Non-free content is used only where no free equivalent is available, or could be created, that would serve the same encyclopedic purpose. Where possible, non-free content is transformed into free material instead of using a fair-use defense, or replaced with a freer alternative if one of acceptable quality is available; "acceptable quality" means a quality sufficient to serve the encyclopedic purpose. (As a quick test, ask yourself: "Can this image be replaced by a different one that has the same effect, or adequately conveyed by text without using a picture at all?" If the answer is yes, the image probably does not meet this criterion.)
Since there is a free alternative, and no fair use rationale exists for the image you uploaded, it's only a matter of time before it's deleted by an admin looking through similar images for those without a rationale to remove. Anynobody 07:56, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't understand why not. It is an image taken more than 50 years ago. I wish Admin's would just leave it alone. I still would oppose the use of graphics in a slot designed for a photographic image. Hence I promoted another image I have uploaded (some time ago) there instead. Dapi89 (talk) 18:00, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Copyright can be weird, 50 years seems like a long time but there are copyrights even older out there. The easiest way to find out is to look for this template on the image's page, Image:Bismark1040.jpg:

This work is copyrighted and unlicensed. It does not fall into one of the blanket acceptable non-free content categories listed at Wikipedia:Non-free content#Acceptable images or Wikipedia:Non-free content#Acceptable audio clips. However, it is believed that the use of this work in the article "[[{{{1}}}]]" :

  • To illustrate the subject in question
  • Where no free equivalent is available or could be created that would adequately give the same information
  • On the English-language Wikipedia, hosted on servers in the United States by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation ([4]),

qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law. Any other uses of this image, on Wikipedia or elsewhere, may be copyright infringement. See Wikipedia:Non-free content and Wikipedia:Copyrights.

To the uploader: this tag is not a sufficient claim of fair use. You must also include the source of the work, all available copyright information, and a detailed non-free use rationale.

I'm sorry to say there are two problems with the new image, it's also copyrighted and of worse quality than the first copyrighted image you selected. (There are no details visible.) Moreover it's actually not required that only photographs be used for infobox images, the purpose is to provide illustration for the article's subject. You may want to check out Wikipedia:Image use policy to get an idea of what non-free, public domain, and {{GFDL}} are all about. Anynobody 22:41, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

There are articles rated GA that use images in this way. I would also say your image is not the best either is it. It is not an exact depiction therefore not appropriate for a lead image. By the way I have corrected the image information to be inline with these other articles. You may want to check out the Hans-Joachim Marseille article. Dapi89 (talk) 11:20, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Folks, I know Wiki's strict re images but could I suggest a compormise by using the famous pic. of Bismarck firing at the Prince of Wales (the one that silhouettes Bismarck in a flash of light as she's firing her main armament)? It's one of the best known of the whole war. Its origin is German, taken by a member of the Prinz Eugen's crew during the Denmark Strait battle; it then came into the possession of the British; the Imperial War Museum has good representations of it. I don't believe any copyright exists for it and it's used widely on the dedicated Bismarck websites bigpad (talk) 13:35, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

I did use the one you suggest, (which is one I uploaded some time ago) and it was deleted by Anynobody Dapi89 (talk) 14:32, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Dapi89 first and foremost, a good article isn't the target to shoot for, instead that should be a featured article.
Second in order to use either copyrighted image and get the article to be even a good article, you must include a fair use rationale which conforms to these requirements:
No free equivalent
  • Non-free content is used only where no free equivalent is available, or could be created, that would serve the same encyclopedic purpose. Where possible, non-free content is transformed into free material instead of using a fair-use defense, or replaced with a freer alternative if one of acceptable quality is available; "acceptable quality" means a quality sufficient to serve the encyclopedic purpose. (As a quick test, ask yourself: "Can this image be replaced by a different one that has the same effect, or adequately conveyed by text without using a picture at all?" If the answer is yes, the image probably does not meet this criterion.)
  • Respect for commercial opportunities: Non-free content is not used in a manner that is likely to replace the original market role of the original copyrighted media.
  • Minimal usage and extent of use: As few non-free content uses as possible are included in each article and in Wikipedia as a whole. Multiple items are not used if one will suffice; one is used only if necessary. An entire work is not used if a portion will suffice. Low- rather than high-resolution/fidelity/sample length is used (especially where the original could be used for piracy). This rule also applies to the copy in the Image: namespace.
  • Previous publication:Non-free content must have been published outside Wikipedia.
  • Content: Non-free content meets general Wikipedia content requirements and is encyclopedic.
  • Media-specific policy: The material meets Wikipedia's media-specific policy. For example, images must meet Wikipedia:Image use policy.
  • One-article minimum:Non-free content is used in at least one article.
  • Significance:Non-free content is used only if its presence would significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding.
  • Restrictions on location: Non-free content is allowed only in articles (not disambiguation pages), and only in article namespace, subject to exemptions. (To prevent an image category from displaying thumbnails, add to it; images are linked, not inlined, from talk pages when they are a topic of discussion.)
  • Image description page: The image or media description page contains the following:
    • Attribution of the source of the material and, if different from the source, of the copyright holder. See: Wikipedia:Citing sources#When uploading an image.
    • A copyright tag that indicates which Wikipedia policy provision is claimed to permit the use. For a list of image copyright tags, see Wikipedia:Image copyright tags/Non-free content.
    • The name of each article (a link to the articles is recommended as well) in which fair use is claimed for the item, and a separate fair-use rationale for each use of the item, as explained at Wikipedia:Non-free use rationale guideline. The rationale is presented in clear, plain language, and is relevant to each use.
Looking at Hans-Joachim Marseille, the image used doesn't contain a complete rationale: Image:Hans-joachim marseille.jpg which means that if one started a Wikipedia:Good article reassessment citing use of non-free content without a complete rationale it could be removed from GA status. (I'm not kidding, check out good article criteria number 6a:...images used are tagged with their copyright status, and fair use rationales are provided for non-free content.
Neither image can actually pass the No free equivalent part:...Non-free content is used only where no free equivalent is available, or could be created,... which means a rationale saying no free equivalent exists would be impossible because one does. Leaving you with two options, 1) Find a free photo of Bismarck or 2) suggest how the graphic can be improved.
bigpad, I agree that it is a famous picture, but there are two problems with using the image for the infobox. The first is that it's a copyrighted image and the second is that it doesn't do a very good job illustrating the ship itself. (To illustrate the Battle of the Denmark Strait it is appropriate though, with a fair use rationale of course, because the photo captures action during the battle and doesn't have to illustrate Bismarck herself.) Anynobody 02:55, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Don't get me wrong, I just want the best image possible to illustrate the overall characteristics of the ship such as hull form, # of screws and rudders, etc. The absolute best type of image for that would be schematics or plans as no one photo shows all of these aspects. The problem is that I haven't found any schematics for Bismarck which aren't copyrighted. If we were throwing WP:C out the window I'd love to use something like this awesome cutaway. As time allows I'm hoping to produce something just as good if not better which also incorporates editor suggestions. Anynobody 04:25, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

I disagree on a number of points, but as a I have niether the energy, time or inclination to keep changing it I am just going to leave it as it is. I can't guarantee somebody else will not remove it. Dapi89 (talk) 09:37, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

If your reasons can explain why a free overall image with several views of the ship (including below the waterline) should be discarded in favor of copyrighted photos that either show Bismarck looking aft from the starboard just ahead of the bow OR a silhouette partially obscured by cannon flash and smoke while ignoring a better copyrighted image showing Bismarck's internals then you've got a genuine ignore all rules rationale I'd be interested to hear about when you get more time, energy, and inclination. Anynobody 07:34, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

New look

After reading this letter from, I decided changes were in order. Specifically making sure the gun barrels/turret tops are dark gray, the aft wave is retained and the dark portions at each end just ahead/behind the waves. Anynobody 04:06, 6 April 2008 (UTC)


Final battle from easy access)
Our section says The third survey found no underwater penetrations of the ship's fully-armoured citadel and only four direct hit holes on it above the waterline, all of them on one side, as delivered by Rodney's 16 inch (406 mm) guns. Huge dents showed that the 14 inch (356 mm) shells fired by King George V bounced off the German belt armour What's the source for this? KGV wasn't in a position to hit Bismarck's belt so much as her deck given the distance between KGV and the German ship. says KGV was firing from 20,000 (21,872 yards) to 11,000 meters (12,029 yards) meaning her shots would have been plunging and therefore coming from above. Rodney got much closer, 3,600 meters (3,937 yards) meaning for a while her shots were more like direct fire, and would have been more likely to hit the belt. It's difficult to imagine 14" shells simply bouncing off (exploding, causing damage, but not penetrating sounds more accurate), but next to impossible to imagine 16" shells doing that. Anynobody 03:22, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Lost or sunk?

(moved from my talk page)
Hi, please do not amend the text that says "lost" to "sank". This issue is well discussed in the Talk section and "lost", the normal word in English for a ship that goes under the waves, is the best compromise after an extensive debate. "Sank" invites questions as to who sunk it, which is disputed. Thanks, bigpad (talk) 11:47, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Please don't take this the wrong way but I'm going to move this to the article's talk page and respond there, this way anyone not watching my page can participate. Anynobody 03:17, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

The reason I changed it from lost to sunk is two-fold.
First because other ships here are listed as sunk, like the Tirpitz or Yorktown and the ship isn't exactly lost since Ballard found it.
Second the section it references, Controversy, also says it sunk. The controversy is over whether the sinking was caused by German scuttling it or British damage. Either way, Bismarck sank. Anynobody 03:26, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree with this. I had opted for this earlier, but Bigpad reverted it. The logic is sound. To help I have renamed the "Controversy" section to Controversy over the cause of the sinking. This should make it crystal clear. Dapi89 (talk) 09:42, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

If you guys look at the full Talk on tis subject in this page, you'll see that "lost" is the *normal terminology for a ship that goes under the waves, in whatever circumstances, and is as neutral as you can get. "Sunk" invites questions as to who sunk it or how it was sunk/scuttled. This is not new! bigpad (talk) 12:09, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Agreed with Bigpad; having something like "sunk on 27 May", it implies that the British sank the ship (as opposed to "scuttled on 27 May", which states the German version of events is correct). Because there is controversy regarding the loss of the ship, "Lost" is the best term to use. Parsecboy (talk) 13:59, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Agree with Parsecboy and Bigpad. There is no controversy over Tirpitz's sinking (She was hit by a Tallboy IIRC) so it is not an apt analogy. My /personal/ feeling is that Bismarck was sunk regardless of what delt the blow, when you are being blasted in the chest at close range by a bunch of guys with glocks and you have nothing to answer them with....slitting your throat isn't /really/ suicide anymore. However, that is my personal opinion. This is wikipedia, where you have to check your opinions at the door for the most part and go with what is acctually known and can be backed up. Both stories have holes in it so we just go 'Look, its complex. Look down at the controversy section'. Narson (talk) 14:32, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
It might not be new, but it's still not right and it's certainly not the "normal terminology". According to Wikipedia HMS Hood appears to have been sunk, as were the Yamato, Musashi, Barham, Royal Oak, Arizona, and Roma (among many others). The article entitled Sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse might also give a clue as the style used. "Sunk" means to cause to become submerged; whether this was by British or German hand is irrelevant (although the former caused the latter to do it even if they did not achieve it themselves). "Lost" on the other hand, is subjective and sentimental, favouring the perspective of the nation that owned the ship. This is not neutral. Wiki-Ed (talk) 14:36, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
"Lost" is still a very common term used to describe a ship having gone beneath the waves. The difference between this and other articles is that with all of those other ships, there isn't controversy as to what sank the ship. There might be relatively minor questions (i.e., was it Bis's or PE's shell that detonated Hood's magazine), but it can be said unequivocably that the ship was sunk by their opponents. Therefore, treating Bismarck the same as the rest of these ships is incorrect; it obscures the fact that there is controversy regarding the sinking. Yes, in the grand scheme of things, the Germans scuttled the ship because of British action, so the point is more or less irrelevant. That doesn't mean the controversy goes away. Clearly, it was important enough that a UK television station funded another expedition to determine the cause of sinking. In any case, "sunk" is the wrong word, because it implies an external force (read: the British) sank the ship. Whether they did or not isn't ours to decide, we have to present both sides equally. I don't see how "Lost" is favoring the perspective of the Germans, as it implies no causation for the sinking. Parsecboy (talk) 15:01, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

"Sunk" means it was deliberate rather than accidental, in this case either British attacks or German scuttling; it doesn’t matter which. "Lost" is a word used by the owner of an object to indicate that it has disappeared without consent or intention. It is a sentimental expression and although it might be appropriate for a national newspaper (eg. the Volkischer Beobachter), it is not appropriate for Wikipedia. Wiki-Ed (talk) 15:55, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

I suppose we're just interpreting the words differently, which is perfectly fine. In the eye of the beholder and whatnot. I suppose more opinions will be needed for any consensus in the matter. Honestly, the whole controversy is really over the most trivial detail; the ship was destroyed either way, the technical responsibilty for breaching the hull's integrity is quite irrelevant. I guess national pride is important though. At any rate, I don't think the Germans consented to having their most powerful ship destroyed ;) Maybe it would be best to say "neutralised" or "destroyed" and point to the controversy section? I think we can all agree that that's what happened, and it sidesteps the issue we're having right now. Parsecboy (talk) 16:09, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
If people genuinely have some huge issue with it, then just delete the lost bit and have it say See controversy section below. It is not worth the hassle. However, sank is obviously a bit of a no no (I previously preferred sank, infact.) Narson (talk) 16:59, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
FWI, I'm from a seafaring family and a ship being "lost" at sea is the normal way of describing exactly that. Why change the best English word for a controversial one: is Wiki now the authority over hundreds of years' usage of the English language? bigpad (talk) 17:25, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
When describing a ship being "lost" at sea' are you referring to ships like MS München, SS Cotopaxi, and USS Cyclops? Lost at sea is indeed appropriate for some vessels, those which never came back with or without explanation. However the fate of Bismarck has always been known, it sank in action. (Whether by scuttling or British damage we know where and why the ship went down just not the how. By why I mean as a result of losing an engagement with British capital ships the ship was sunk. How it was sunk is the scuttled/British damage controversy.)
To sum up, Bismarck wasn't lost at sea, no English source of any value should say that it was because doing so confuses it with those ships that have disappeared called lost. (I can totally see a translation of German to English coming up with "lost" but I imagine it's due to intricacies of language.) Anynobody 02:10, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
In response to Parsecboy's reversion, unless we specify like Sunk by British battleships and cruisers all the word sunk means is that the ship lost its buoyancy. It does not imply, by itself, how the ship lost said buoyancy which is what the controversy is. (Nobody's arguing, I hope, that the Bismarck didn't sink. The argument is how it was sunk.)
I could understand the resistance if the Infobox said Sunk by British battleship group because that is up for contention. (It's the same reason the Infobox does not say Scuttled.) Simply saying Sunk on whatever date implies nothing about the circumstances causing it to sink.
Ship Fate Cause
Kirishima Sunk Similar controversy exists over this ship. Many say it was scuttled by the crew, though USS Washington's 16" shells might have had something to do with it too.
USS Yorktown Sunk Combination of bombs, aerial and submarine torpedoes
USS Cyclops Lost ???
USS America Sunk Expended as target
USS Ranger Scrapped ----
Bismarck Sunk Either by British shells and torpedoes or scuttled by crew
Anynobody 04:30, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
How about sunk, possibly by scuttling? Saros136 (talk) 05:57, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
The question I ask myself, how much control did Lindemann and Lütjens (or any of the living officers) still have in the chain of events. The article states that Lütjens was killed and potentially Lindemann was still alive to order Bismarck scuttled. I would expect that in a somewhat controlled situation any commanding officer would take action to save as many lives as possible. Clearly the battle was lost, Bismarck doomed at that point in time and yet the order to abandon ship came very late. I don't know enough to discuss on equal terms here but the article indicates that practically nothing was done to save the lives of the German sailors (by the Germans themselves that is; no sign of surrender as the article states). The point I want to make is if some minimal control of the situation was still retained by the Germans I would have expected a stronger effort to save more lives before the ship was scuttled. To me that is implicit proof that Bismarck was more sunk than scuttled. Besides the point that I seriously doubt that neither Lütjens nor Lindemann would have pulled the plug without having the British knock his door. But maybe that is complete nonsense and totally irrelevant to the situation. MisterBee1966 (talk) 10:33, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Irrelevant. We're not discussing that. Scuttling = sunk; Torpedoed = sunk; Bombed = sunk. Crashed into a rock and capsized without trace during a storm = lost. Wiki-Ed (talk) 12:04, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Hey Mr Wiki-Ed, you need to be less dogmatic and opinionated in your replies. I'm afraid that all this has achieved is a reopening of the wounds the people who help look after this page hoped had been healed by the usage of "lost". bigpad (talk) 13:09, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
You wouldn't say a scuttled ship sunk, you would say it was scuttled, that I think is the issue (That saying 'Sunk' implies not scuttled). To assume sunk only has the most dogmatic literal meaning is, frankly, naive. Words develop meaning within certain spheres beyond the literal definition, lost does not literally mean it went somewhere and no-one can find it. Sunk is also not generally used, at least in the books I have read, unless it is at the hands of enemy shipping or mines. Narson (talk) 13:44, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
If a dictionary is opinionated and dogmatic then so be it, but I rather think it's neutral. A scuttled ship is sunk by the hands of its crew (and scuttled ships can be salvaged if they don't sink). User Narson is correct that words evolve beyond their literal meaning. However, in this case "lost" implies a sentimental connection to the owning nation, and that is not appropriate neutral language for Wikipedia. Wiki-Ed (talk) 13:52, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Narson is correct; in a naval warfare context, "sunk" implies that the ship was sunk by enemy action. You wouldn't say the German High Seas Fleet was sunk in Scapa Flow, because that would imply that the ships sailed into the harbor, and were sunk in combat with the British. Whether ships can be salvaged or not is irrelevant; most of the American dreadnoughts at Pearl were sunk and then refloated.
Given that both sides of this argument are interpreting the words differently, why not scrap both of them, and find something new that's agreeable to all? I suggest again something like "neutralised" or "destroyed", as I think we can all agree that happened during the last battle, and it avoids the technicality of "which side was responsible for sinking the ship". Parsecboy (talk) 14:27, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
So you say which side was responsible for sinking the ship – this works both ways right? However, you could not say "which side lost the ship", because only one side "lost" the ship: It was "lost" from the German perspective, not the British. Although I accept that "lost" is used in nautical terms to mean a ship has sunk, it is not a neutral way of expressing a physical event. Wiki-Ed (talk) 16:52, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

All this debate is Nitpicking. The crux of the matter is Bismarck sank! This doesn't imply anything other than it went under the waves. I think the controversy of sinking section tells the reader all they need to know. What is editors problem with it reading "sank", rather than "'lost" or "sunk"!!!?. Dapi89 (talk) 14:40, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Well "sank" is less bad than "sunk", admittedly! If the nit-pickers, your expression, are determined to lose! "lost" from the article, "Sank in North Atlantic 27 May 1941" may have to do. But not "sunk": I am totally opposed to that as it opens too many wounds. Narson's idea of leaving it at "lost" until a consensus appears (!) seems sensible. bigpad (talk) 22:28, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm almost tempted to say that if it is this big an issue, we won't be able to solve it in one word in an infobox, so just let it point to the constroversy section, though this reduces information available at a glance so I think it is only worth it if there is really an issue, not just dictionary-thumping. Narson (talk) 00:37, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Wiki-Ed: Your summary is close to what I mean, but lost actually means we dunno what happened except that a ship left somewhere, never arrived at its destination, and has never been seen/heard from again. Crashed into a rock and capsized without trace during a storm... implies we know it grounded and capsized, whereas a truly lost ship hasn't been found to know that's what happened to it. (Don't get me wrong, I'm betting several lost ships met exactly that fate but I can't collect on any bets till the lost ship is found :)

Narson:You wouldn't say a scuttled ship sunk, you would say it was scuttled, that I think is the issue (That saying 'Sunk' implies not scuttled). Actually one doesn't need to say scuttled ship sunk unless they wanted to say the same thing in a different way. Scuttling is the act of letting in water in until the ship sinks. So saying the scuttled ship sunk is needlessly redundant.

To assume sunk only has the most dogmatic literal meaning is, frankly, naive. I can understand why it might seem that way, but using consistent terms between our articles isn't naive or dogmatic. Here when we say a ship is lost, the word lost means exactly that, the ship failed to return making its whereabouts and fate unknown. We know what happened to Bismarck, it sank, we don't know how it sank, whether by damage or scuttling.

Parsecboy : Narson is correct; in a naval warfare context, "sunk" implies that the ship was sunk by enemy action. Do you have a source for that assertion? I've never seen a naval source say that being "sunk" implied anything but a ship losing buoyancy. Can you cite some sources that say being sunk implies enemy action? Moreover to refute this assertion, at least as far as Wikipedia goes, check out Mutsu which was sunk by internal explosion while anchored. The allies didn't attack it, so the logic of sunk meaning by enemy action looks questionable in light of this. (There were others which sunk for non-combat reasons, a British carrier blew up around 1940, Halsey lost several smaller ships to a couple of typhoons, etc. )

The bottom line is that in disputes like this only cited sources calling the ship "Lost" can justify going against our conventions. Unlikely as it sounds, a person who's never heard of Bismarck could be confused by us saying it's lost when we know that it sunk . Anynobody 02:44, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

You'll note that for Mutsu, it doesn't just say "Sunk", as you're advocating for this article. It says "Sunk by internal explosion". All of those non-combat related sinkings require additional text to explain the cause of sinking, because, survey says..."Sunk" by itself in this context implies sinking as a result of combat damage! (Sorry, there's a Family Feud rerun on :) ) In any case, I'm fine with what Bigpad has proposed, so let's put this to bed, ok? Parsecboy (talk) 13:34, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

I did note that, and perhaps you'll note that what I've been putting here is sunk, cause disputed because the ship sunk, but whether it sank because of scuttling or damage is disputed. Anynobody 21:43, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

This is what I was talking about. Parsecboy (talk) 22:41, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

(Also moved from my talk page:) Please stop edit-warring on the article, especially since there is a valid discussion going on. You're not helping the situation by repeatedly altering the infobox. You're on the verge of being disruptive. Please let the discussion run its course. Parsecboy (talk) 03:05, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Parsecboy I've laid out several good reasons why the infobox should say sunk,

  • Other scuttled ships on Wikipedia are also listed as sunk, Kirishima
  • Being "sunk" does not imply action on anyone's part, Mutsu, RMS Titanic
  • "Lost" in terms of other articles means ships who's fate is unknown, SS Cotopaxi, not, ships we can confirm have sunk like SS Edmund Fitzgerald but do not know why. Such vessels should be described as Sunk, cause unknown
  • We know Bismarck is currently under several thousand feet of water, which means the ship ceased floating at some point and sank. The article confirms it sunk in this section title: German battleship Bismarck#Controversy surrounding the Sinking, by the way I'm going to change the title slightly (Sinking should be sinking per WP:MOS).
  • In summary, whether Bismarck was scuttled by the Germans or succumbed to British shells and torpedoes the result for either is that the ship sunk. Given the contentious nature I'd say Sunk, cause disputed is the most appropriate. Anynobody 05:28, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Haven't read the entire discussion, but...the ship was sunk. It matters not whether the coup de grace came from scuttling or shelling, the end result is the same. Lost on the other hand, is a word that implies non-intention - things get "lost" by accident, and there is no question that the sinking of the Bismarck was an intentional act. Gatoclass (talk) 06:04, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
ok folks, I have added what I hope is a compromise wording that offends no one, inc. our esteemed Wiki admininstrators! Please note that "sank" is the correct form of the verb, i.e. active, not passive. FWIW, 'being sunk' as described above *does indeed imply action on someone esle's part bigpad (talk) 11:48, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

bigpad if ...'being sunk'...does indeed imply action on someone esle's [sic] part how do you explain Titanic, Monitor, and Oceanos being sunk? Also, sunk is actually the past participle of sink and the correct verb Anynobody 21:40, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Sorry but "sunk" without "scuttled" (the other side of the argument) isn't neutral. Either both or neither. If you want an English lesson, "sunk" is indeed the passive, or participle, and my earlier usage of "sank in N. Atlantic" was deliberate, being the past tense, active. Holy God! FWIW, the "Titanic" article is wrong to say "sunk"; sunken wreck would be more accurate. "Sunk" hanging by itself is horrible. bigpad (talk) 23:01, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

bigpad please answer these questions to understand my point:(Bearing in mind that in order to become a "sunken wreck" Titanic had to first be sunk)
1) Scuttling a ship means its crew sunk it? (Yes or no)
2) Did Bismarck sink? (Yes or no)
3) Is there a dispute about what caused it to sink? (Yes or no)
4) How does saying the cause of Bismarck's sinking is disputed favor one side or another? (On to the English lesson, can you cite anything to support your contention as I did mine?)

Parsecboy you said this on my talk page but I think it's more appropriate to discuss here: a ship was sunk at such and such a time and such and such a place during wartime implies that the ship was sunk in combat. According to who? Without a citation it's according to you; OPNAV 29-P1000 (Revised APRIL 1949) U.S. Navy Abbreviations of World War II You must be locked into some kind of emotional cycle because while claiming sunk implies enemy action you acknowledge that a ship can indeed be sunk during wartime without enemy action so long as there is an explanation:
Mutsu Sunk by internal explosion
I hate to be so blunt about it, but let's assume you are right about the word sunk during wartime implying enemy action, you do realize that it still doesn't say how it was sunk, whether by;
torpedoes, naval gunfire, floating mine, aerial bombs, aerial gunfire, depth charges, a collision, scuttling, limpit mines, etc.

In short here are the arguments as I see them, if I get yours wrong please correct it:

Editor Sunk/lost? Article should say: Evidence
Anynobody Sunk Sunk May 27, 1941 cause disputed Ships sink, separate but related is what causes them to sink.
Mutsu was sunk by an internal explosion
Roma was sunk by Fritz X bombs
Bismarck was sunk but the cause is disputed.
Parsecboy Lost Lost May 27, 1941 A ship sunk during wartime is assumed to have been the victim of enemy action.[citation needed]
Gatoclass Sunk Sunk or scuttled May 27, 1941 (Because a scuttled ship doesn't sink/isn't sunk?)

On top of this, here's the final nail in "lost"'s coffin; The only sources I can find which describe ships as being lost are those describing their own ships. For example the US Navy had three types of "loss" described in OPNAV 29-P1000 (Revised APRIL 1949) U.S. Navy Abbreviations of World War II, so if we say Bismarck was lost, we're assuming the Nazi POV because whether scuttled or sunk by gunfire there is no way the British would say it was lost from their POV because they never "had" it. Anynobody 02:28, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps you missed this comment from the 17th: "Maybe it would be best to say "neutralised" or "destroyed" and point to the controversy section?" It either was missed or was "run up the pole, but nobody saluted", who cares really. The point is, I haven't been arguing for "lost" for the majority of this debate. Please don't mischaracterize what I'm saying here. Parsecboy (talk) 04:12, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
One minor point, using the US preference as a guide is likely to be irrelevent. Either way, watching the constant squabbling over the info box is somewhat disheartening. If you all can't agree, why keep it there as a bone of contention? Just direct people to the appropiate section/sections for details. Narson (talk) 03:28, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

I did indeed see your suggestion earlier Parsecboy but like saying the ship is lost, no other articles on here describe a ship in similar circumstances as being "neutralised" or "destroyed". Even ships which blew up, like Hood which could also be said to have been destroyed.

Narson My point is that had a US battleship been sunk, by whatever cause, the US Navy would've said the ship was "lost" because it can no longer be used. If we say Bismarck was "lost" meaning the same thing, the article immediately assumes the German POV because the British certainly didn't consider Bismarck lost did they? Anynobody 08:04, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

I've seen and heard it referred to as lost. I've also seen it referred to as sunk quite a lot, though sunk because we sunk it not sunk as in it went beneath the waves. It is a bit of a British pride thing that we continue to claim credit for Bismarck. Perhaps we should see how the swiss refer to it, they didn't have a horse in the race. However, we start to go towards the rediculous then. If Lost is unacceptable to one side and Sunk to the other....why not use one of many other euphamisms? Went beneath the waves? Destroyed? Point to sections about the sinking? Use one of the many other words for 'Blown the crap up' the English language has? Yes, I realise you will say it is not orthodox, Anyeverybody, but we are not required to go with what a majority of other things use, I don't think this is covered in the MoS at all. If this really can't be resolved, just bug the WP:MILHIST for some input, there are some great guys there, some of them real navy nuts, who will be able to beat a path to a resolution. Narson (talk) 13:56, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
I think Anynobody has come up with a good compromise. Can we please just leave this now? Gatoclass (talk) 14:12, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

I prefer to answer outstanding concerns because I hate it when I'm left without answers to my questions. ...why not use one of many other euphamisms? is a fair question which I think can be answered. There are actually several reasons for this;

  • Using a euphemism not used in a cited source would be our euphemism and thus original to Wikipedia. This is addressed by our policy about "original" ideas.
  • Other ships which may have been scuttled are also listed as sunk, such as Kirishima. If we made an exception for Bismarck, why not then make another for Kirishima? It turns into a slippery slope type deal, leading to more disputed sinkings using their own euphemisms.
  • Though I understand why some might get the impression saying a ship sunk during war time implies enemy action, I've never seen a source put such an assertion in print. Sunk only means sunk, it doesn't saw how the vessel came to be sunk. (Even during wartime "Sunk" doesn't address what; torpedoes, bombs, ramming, etc. made the ship become sunk. Unless we say what caused the ship to be sunk. In this case there are two possibilities discussed by the sources I've seen which caused Bismarck to sink, German scuttling or British ordinance (I wish the sources would consider a better theory put forward by a survivor that both German scuttling attempts and damage sank it but until that happens we're stuck with the debate between the two.)

In summary, from a third party perspective, saying a ship sunk implies nothing beyond that. (The British may or may not mean "we sunk it" when they say sunk but we're not writing from their perspective anymore than we are the Germans) Anynobody 01:58, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Salt water in the boiler feed lines

This is indeed the case. Hans Zimmermann, a boiler room engineer, confirms this did happen. I fail to see any reason he would lie. Dapi89 (talk) 21:17, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

BTW, he did survive...just incase you were wondering whether Ballard could communicate with the dead :) Dapi89 (talk) 21:18, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Lead section

(Moved from my talk page)

Hi, it wasn't necessary to overcomplicate the intro. as you did, hence I have reverted it. The bit about the magazine is also not proven. Please leave alone! bigpad (talk) 09:22, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm not saying my version must be completely accepted, but I wrote it to correct the "clunky" language of the original, so I'm going to restore my version. Rather than reverting it please build on it, because sentences like this:Bismarck's fame came from the Battle of the Denmark Strait in May 1941 (in which the battlecruiser HMS Hood, flagship and pride of the Royal Navy, was sunk), from Churchill's subsequent order to "Sink the Bismarck",[1] and from the relentless pursuit by the Royal Navy that ended with her loss only three days later. Will ensure this article never gets even good status let alone featured. Anynobody 23:50, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

We really ought to mention the Swordfish torpedo hit in the lead, I've seen more than one source describe this as what sealed Bismarck's fate as it might have escaped otherwise. Anynobody 00:34, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

(Moved from my talk page)

I had not changed this, but have edited most other sections. Dapi89 (talk) 01:20, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

That's cool Dapi89, feel free to edit the lead too :) I was actually talking to bigpad since he/she reverted my proposal. The lead is an important subject so I want to make sure both regular editors in addition to anyone new to this article who has an opinion can voice it. Anynobody 01:34, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

I've updated the intro. as per what Wiki says (critical things), so torpedo hit fair enough. But it certainly doesn't need to be expanded any further, as it's only an intro. and should be able to stand alone as a reasonable summary if the rest of the text wasn't there. bigpad (talk) 13:28, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

User Saros136

I have (I was the IP) reverted the edits by this user that were totally unconstructive. As you can see he removed a citation and then proceeded to revert the information related to A.Schneider - the gunnery officer who was awarded the Knight's Cross for his part in the sinking of the Hood and was then killed by a 8 inch shell from HMS Norfolk. I would deem this important as it had such an impact on Bismarck's fate. Also "grammar" corrections were poor/pointless.Dapi89 (talk) 13:01, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

By now you know, as you didn't when you wrote this, that was an accidental deletion. I had copied material to Word, made edits and deletions, and copied it back (several times) not noticing it.
But I don't understand why you speculated that it might be vandalism while commenting, and on my page wrote it was mighty close to being vandalism. You had two great reasons to assume good faith here. First, all my other edits were good faith, and second, I've reverted an awful lot of vandalism...go check.
If my grammar and style edits were,as you said, poor than change them. I won't contest it. How were they pointless? High quality encyclopedia articles pick a style and stick with it. This article didn't always and I changed some of the inconsistencies. And they don't say it's stern section, which I changed. And they don't repeat words, such as until until. I fixed it. Saros136 (talk) 08:05, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

When a deletion is made, as you know as a reverter of vandalism, without an explanation it could be regarded as vandalism. I did not say it was so. As I (or any other editor could have) read it, you were contesting the information without explanation. Having looked at the edit history none of the grammar corrections such as "until until" were made in your initial edits, which is what this complaint was about. Dapi89 (talk) 15:30, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Bismarck's War Diary

The German Wiki states that on the morning of 27 May Bismarck tried to evacuate the ships log book via plane. This failed because the catapults were damaged. The planes, already fueled, had to be dropped into the sea to avoid additional fires resulting from the aircraft fuel igniting. This seems notable, unfortunately this is not referenced. MisterBee1966 (talk) 13:48, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

I do remember reading about this at one point, I think in Mullenheim-Rechberg's book. I'll see if I can find it there, although it might take me a while, as I'm fairly busy in real life at the moment. Parsecboy (talk) 14:10, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Done. Dapi89 (talk) 18:34, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

The war diary now sits well in its own section after the one on the sinking. User Dapi89, your contributions are useful and you've tidied up quite a few loose ends that were hanging. Anything I've edited has been for (minor) readability and for its overall importance. No one claimed that the article was perfect but almost all bases were covered, if I can use that Americanism. bigpad (talk) 00:52, 22 March 2008 (UTC)


I know this has been discussed before, but there's a line in the "Background" section that bothers me. It says that Bismarck achieved a top speed of 30.1 knots during trials, an impressive speed when set against any comparable British battleship. The KGVs had a top speed of 28 knots; I don't think a knot or two faster is really all that impressive. Also consider that Bismarck's other contemporary opponent Richelieu also had a rated top speed of 30 knots. In any case, I don't think we need to have peacock terms in the article. One last questionn; the infobox has 30.8 knots as the top speed. What's the discrepancy here? Can anyone shed some light on that? Thanks. Parsecboy (talk) 13:05, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

It was actually 31.1 achieved on its trials. So it is 3.1 knots faster. I wonder though, is this really significant? Richelieu was in Vichy hands at this point, and it did not fall into Allied hands (or become operational in their cause) until long after Bismarck had gone, so is itreally worth comparing, as they did not and were unlikely to see action against one another. I would say in a chase though 3.1 knots is significant, no? Dapi89 (talk) 15:43, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

an advantage of at least two knots is considerable in that it would allow Bismarck to decide to run or stay and fight (ANY British BB, which is referred to specifically, you'll note; no claim v any French bB is made), unless as with Denmark Strait where the coast of Greenland and Iceland made the battleplace narrow. And it *wasn't 31.1 knots but 30.1. [bigpad] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:02, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Re usage of "peacock" term: I've be ok with replacing "an impressive speed when set against any.." with "a significant advantage over any.." bigpad (talk) 20:51, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
That sounds fine to me. Parsecboy (talk) 00:46, 24 March 2008 (UTC)…
If they were racing on a canal. In typical North Atlantic weather, not so much, and in the context of WW2, no ship could outrun a Swordfish. And that was the real arbiter.Greg Locock (talk) 12:05, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

I thnk much too less emphazies is given to the speed of Bismark. It was the entire philosophie of Der Kriegsmarine to, so to speak, cap off the wast bulk of British capital ships by having the abillity to out run them. Having an entire section devoted to some amature speculating on the alleged design flaws, but not underlining the overridding design feature of being able to out run most if not all the opposition, is strange. (talk) 11:07, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

She was only 1knot faster than the fastest British BB of the time. --LiamE (talk) 15:20, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Really doesn't matter. Given the British advantage in radar and aircraft carriers, and the typical weather in the North Atlantic, and Bis' short range, her top speed in smooth water is virtually irrelevant in the context of her usefulness as a weapon. Remember, amateurs study tactics, pros study logistics. Bis could not afford to run at top speed for very long. To give you an idea of how important the RN thought smooth water top speed was, they didn't even bother measuring it on some ships. Greglocock (talk) 23:28, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

A most significant photograph

Chesneau's book has a photograph of Hood actaully in the process of blowing up. The pic is taken from Prinz Eugen. It shows Norfolk on the far left, Prince of Wales in the centre, and on the fire right an upward flash can be seen; Hood blowing up. This is not the other well known photograph of Hood just after the explosion, with a pall of smoke hanging on the horizon, but the actual moment of the explosion. Could this be used in the article? Dapi89 (talk) 15:57, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

BTW, I even if the answer is no, then I could upload it onto the talk page and the rest of you could have a quick look here...before it is deleted. Dapi89 (talk) 16:00, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

I can't imagine it shows Norfolk.....I thought only the not-quite-shookdown PoW and Hood were at Denmark strait? Narson (talk) 17:12, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

It does. On the right, it is clearly Hood, while in the centre PoW can be seen (or rather the funnel exhaust). On the left is another plume of smoke. This is exhaust smoke, the author then says this is "presumably Nolfolk". It could have been Sulfolk but due to the positioning it has to Nolfolk. Dapi89 (talk) 17:59, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

You could very easily upload it under fair use (I'm sure it's quite impossible for anyone to take an equal photopgraph :) ). With the proper justification, it would definitely be usable in the Hood article, as well as the Battle of Denmark Straits, and potentially here, although I'm not an expert on fair use, so don't quote me on that. I would, of course, love to see it. Parsecboy (talk) 18:33, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
I'd be very interested in seeing it, as I thought I'd seen all pics of the DS battle. Can you upload it anyhow and let us know the name so we can judge for ourselves? Ta, bigpad (talk) 19:07, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

The pic is plastered over two pages, so the pages mess the middle of the picture up, but the important stuff is visible. The picture was taken from the 'Eugen by Gerhard Koop. Okay, here it isDapi89 (talk) 19:46, 24 March 2008 (UTC):

Far Left: Nolfolk; Centre: PoW; far right: Hood blowing up
Hi again, that's the pic. taken not long after Hood was sunk and after the one showing Hood with a pall of smoke (which is the closest one to the actual explosion that exists). Still, this is a great pic. and shows shells landing near Prince of Wales which is beating a retreat under heavy smoke at about 06.04 that morning. Norfolk is not in the picture, though, I don't think. bigpad (talk) 20:26, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

I thought long and hard about that but it doesn't make sense. It seems strange that this would be after Hood sunk. You can see clearly the upward flash. There is no smoke yet, so this is at the moment of explosion. Koop said this was first, the pall of smoke pic, which appears on the next page, was after this one. Chesnau makes that clear. Dapi89 (talk) 20:36, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

It looks like this photo to me, which appears to have been taken after this one. Please remember we're not able to interpret photos ourselves so if a source mentions Norfolk/Suffolk in the images we're obliged to as well. (If not we shouldn't either.)
(PS this image looks like it would belong more in Battle of the Denmark Strait than here though.) Anynobody 01:48, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
The dedicated websites have many threads on the sequence and interpretation of the battle photos and I agree that "our" collective interpretation is not what's needed. I believe that that source is simply incorrect about "Norfolk" being pictured, although it is a grand picture. bigpad (talk) 15:22, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Article Rating

I noticed under the "sources" section above that Bigpad is wondering whether an increase in rating will occur after recent edits. Having experienced getting similar articles (like the Hans-Joachim Marseille article) to GA status, I can say that the lead in the article needs a considerable expansion. I remember also that a citation is needed for every paragraph at least, especially where figures and quotes are concerned. Dapi89 (talk) 16:32, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Hi again, I read the Wiki guide for the introduction and this article's passes muster. It summarises the key points of why the item is impt and could stand alone if the rest of the article wasn't there. bigpad (talk) 08:26, 15 April 2008 (UTC)


These two quotes from the main text seem to disagree

"Only two hits fully penetrating the main armour were located. These holes were on the starboard side, suggesting that they were 16-inch shells from Rodney. Two other penetrations above the main armour belt were found on the port side"

"The third survey found no underwater penetrations of the ship's fully-armoured citadel and only four direct hit holes on it above the waterline, all of them on one side"

If i have misunderstood please make the text clearer.

As the second survey seemed to be mainly trying to rubbish the first survey i feel its finding are going to need to be taken with a pinch of salt. Either way the findings of either dive without evidence are simply conjecture. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sams37 (talkcontribs) 03:52, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Holes don't necessarily = full penetration. I take the point the text is confusing. I'll sort this out. According to Ballard's sortie, the port side took the heaviest punishment due to Rodney and King George. Ballard records:

  • Multiple British shell holes were found in the splinter belt (above the corner belt). Plus a further shell fragment hole
  • One hole in the main belt.
  • A 16 inch shell hole in the starboard side on the bow. The shell looks like it was fired from the port side (this is pictured: the anchor chain has disappeared down it)

None of these holes can be said to have defeated Bismarck's armour fully, Ballard claims. Dapi89 (talk) 20:38, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for that, also if you have time the article on KGV herself is a little light, i would update it but i am sure almost anyone else would do a better job! Sams37 (talk) 23:39, 21 April 2008 (UTC)


Nonsense! Go ahead! Dapi89 (talk) 20:44, 22 April 2008 (UTC)


Doea anyone else feel that it's overkill to have a "namesake" section in the above, as it's made clear very near the start of the article who the ship was named after? If it's appropriate, that's fine if the template is to change for all warships. bigpad (talk) 18:49, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

I totally agree that it's redundant, and possibly irritating for those who already know, but we have to make such information easy to access for folks who may just be looking for what the Bismarck was named for (or other quick info). Anynobody 05:04, 5 May 2008 (UTC)


Someone seems to be implying that it was unusual for the Admiralty to hold an inquiry after the loss of a ship. I may be wrong(I'm not), but I believe that the RN holds an inquiry if a captain GROUNDS his ship, never mind gets it sunked, scuttled in the light of the inevitable, lostipoos or whatever euphemism we are using today. Hence I pulled the mention of an inquiry. I also de-emotionalised some other wording. Greg Locock (talk) 13:02, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi, what I was getting at when the "inquiry" bit was added a while ago was that a battleship disengaging from the line of battle was the cause of a specific inquiry being ordered by the Admiralty (and not as part of the inquiry into the battle). A "ship of the line" turning away was almost unheard of in the RN and a cause of some embarrassment, I believe. I'm busy now but will partly restore and add a citation tag until I can find the source of this (unless others can pin-point this?) Thanks, bigpad (talk) 13:52, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
I had another look at this. The turn-away by POW was indeed examined by the two inquiries held by the Admiralty. Admiral Pound subsequently proposed that Captain Leach of POW should be court-martialled for not resuming action against Bismarck. Nothing came of this when Tovey voiced his support for Leach's actions. But it's not directly relevant to this article. bigpad (talk) 14:41, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
So what’s going on here? Are you trying to attach the whiff of cowardice to Leach’s actions? And this in support of a navy that spent two world wars declining action? Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black to me (or maybe the bananas calling the canary yellow).
Capital ships are major assets, as you well know; there is nothing improper about acting to preserve them. And no-one is given command of one if it’s thought they are “lacking in moral fibre”. Destroyers may be expendable, even cruisers, but battleships much less so.
No-one on these pages is pointing the finger at Langsdorf, or Marschall, or Schniewind, or Kummetz; no-one has used the phrase “cut and run” to describe Lutjens actions a few days later; so let's have less of it. Xyl 54 (talk) 11:28, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Where in the article is Leach accused of cowardice? If you read it again, it says the withdrawal from the line of battle was "an action almost unknown in the Royal Navy", which is true and in praise of the RN's history. bigpad (talk) 14:46, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

You said “a battleship disengaging from the line of battle was the cause of a specific inquiry” and “A "ship of the line" turning away was almost unheard of in the RN and a cause of some embarrassment,” and “Pound subsequently proposed that Captain Leach of POW should be court-martialled for not resuming action against Bismarck”: And that isn’t hinting at cowardice? Xyl 54 (talk) 12:20, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
I think one should consider the other text in the article, where it states that (irt PoW) "She had received seven hits (three of them from Prinz Eugen) and mechanical failures had left her with all but one of her main guns out of action". I think any rational person would take into account the fact that out of 10 main guns, only 1 was working. The ship was clearly in no position to engage Bismarck and Prinz Eugen, even if Norfolk and Suffolk had been able to enter the fray. The article doesn't say anything about the inquiry or Pound's insistence on Leach's court-martial, all it says is "Bismarck and her consort had seen one enemy capital ship destroyed and another withdraw, an action almost unknown in the Royal Navy." Parsecboy (talk) 13:03, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Right, I'd missed that it'd been taken out of the article; sleep deprivation! Xyl 54 (talk) 11:45, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Sunk, again

(This was removed; why? am I not allowed to say anything here?Xyl 54 (talk) 12:16, 31 July 2008 (UTC))
And what’s this? Bismarck wasn't sunk, she was lost? Is this a german thing? Is this some variation on the stab in the back legend? ("you didn’t sink her, we sank her ourselves; we didn’t need to, but we had another one at home, so…")
Do we have the same whining about the Hood? That she wasn’t primarily a battleship, Or she was hit by a million to one shot, Or, it wasn’t the Germans who sank her, it was all those British shells going off in the magazine?
It makes me tired!
Are you saying she didn’t really sink? Or that she would have escaped under cover of darkness? Or she was just luring them in close, in order to finish them?<br?> And yet, when the boot's on the other foot...
To take one of a hundred examples, U-108 torpedoed Ruckinge, in December 1941; she was abandoned, and dispatched later by HMS Samphire. Do the German navy’s historians forego the credit for the sinking because of this? Do they Hell!
I have no expectation of changing this, seeing as how it's been thrashed out already, but I think it's worth illustrating the hypocrisy, n'est ce pas? Xyl 54 (talk) 11:44, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Why address this topic again when it was settled, via a compromise, some months ago? bigpad (talk) 14:46, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

(section restored. Xyl 54 (talk) 12:16, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Well, I wasn't in the compromise, so I'm querying it again. If no-one agrees it won't go anywhere, will it? Xyl 54 (talk) 12:22, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
I removed this thread because it seems that you're just complaining. You yourself state that the primary reason for posting it is to "illustrat[e] the hypocrisy". Wikipedia is not a forum, nor is it a soapbox. Please restrict your comments towards improving the article; that's what talk pages are for. Parsecboy (talk) 12:42, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
It would improve the article if it didn't go out of its way to suggest that somehow the RN wasn't responsible for the Bismarcks demise... Xyl 54 (talk) 11:49, 1 August 2008 (UTC)


"This formidable ship, the largest warship then commissioned, was intended primarily as a commerce raider"
does need addressing. It's been sitting here, and on the other pages, for a while now, completely unsubstantiated.
It smacks of hindsight: whatever she was used for, my reading is that Hitler's intention was for a big-ship navy to challenge the French and British at sea. So this looks like an excuse to me.
Anyway, it’s a pretty unflattering claim: Rogge (who ought to know) said the measure of a commerce raiders success was the number of ships she sank, and the time she remained at large to be a threat. By this criteria Bismarck, which never even sighted a merchant ship (let alone sank one) and was at large about a week, was the most unsuccessful commerce raider of the war. You’d be better off sticking with her being a battle ship; she was more successful at that. Xyl 54 (talk) 11:58, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

The above sentence is spot on: that's whyt Rheinubung went ahead. Had she got through undetected, the convoy system would have been imperilled and massive resources diverted to its protection. And you'll note, if you read the article, that it goes on to describe how formidable the ship was. So it's not unflattering, merely realistic. Finally, please don't use the word "hypocrisy" again in connection with a community of editors and enthusiasts who have to rely on common sense and compromise. bigpad (talk) 14:46, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
The hypocrisy I referred to in my comment (which was deleted) is this: if the credit for a ship scuttled by the Allies goes to the U-boat which torpedoed her, ( of which there are scores, if not hundreds, of examples), it is hypocritical to then try and deny the credit for sinking the Bismarck to the Royal Navy, which pursued her to destruction. And if that is your intention, then that is hypocritical too. Xyl 54 (talk) 12:26, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Also note that it doesn't state that the ship was intended on being used as a commerce raider from design or even the completion of construction. Military necessities at the time the ship entered service dictated that the Z Plan would be impossible to achieve, and therefore, the ship was put into use as a commerce raider. That's all. Parsecboy (talk) 17:40, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Fine, I’d realized Bismarck was eventually “put into use as a commerce raider” due to military neccessity, but that’s certainly not the same as saying she was “intended primarily as a commerce raider”, is it? That implies “from design” or “on completion”, and suggests a coherence in the KM’s strategic thinking before the war that probably wasn’t there. Anyway, it is a dubious claim, which should either have a citation provided, or replaced with something along the lines of what you said. Xyl 54 (talk) 12:30, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
I've reworded that section a bit, take a look and see if that's ok. Parsecboy (talk) 12:46, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Better, and I'm OK with that: But "well suited"? That comment further down about fuel stores, for example; Conway says her speed and range were less than the Scharnhorsts' and the infobox gives an 8,000 nm range, which wouldn't have got her to Montevideo, let alone the Pacific. Xyl 54 (talk) 12:00, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
I had just adapted what was there to incorporate the additional wording. However, your point about range is correct; Bismarck's rough contemporaries in the Pacific, the North Carolina and SoDak classes both had ranges in excess of 15,000nmi at 15 knots. I'd like to see a citation for the claim that they had similar-sized fuel reserves. Parsecboy (talk) 13:00, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Jackson refs, and Preston

the Jackson refs seem to be malformed, I can't actually find the name of the book. The counterpoint about the three shafts "However the only two features the designs had in common were their armament and three-shaft propulsion plant[" is drivel, by the way. Overlay Baden and Bis. The similarities are striking. I don't know why someone keeps obsessing about Mackensen, there is very little commonality to my eye. preston P105 certainly does not support this argument - he says M was the model for Scharnhorst, as Baden was the model for Bis. I shall edit accordingly Greg Locock (talk) 13:47, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

I have reverted. You are going to have to find at least another source that refutes Jackson. He was a naval navigator, and not a "TV producer", he is a published historian with over 80 works to his name on Naval matters. Dapi89 (talk) 22:21, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Well, Preston says Baden was the model for Bis so there is one reference, and the Jackson ref is malformed so I can't even tell what book you are talking about. The paragraph you like is frankly ridiculous, could you type in exactly what Jackson says please? Similarities betwen B and B are: use of twin armour decks (bad), use of 3 shafts (bad), inclined main armour deck supporting top of main belt (bad) placing combat stations between armour decks (bad), relatively little armour at stern (bad). Have you ever compared schematics of the two designs? Greg Locock (talk) 23:21, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Citations can be added on name, year, and page, then traced to the references/bibliography. I don't "like" that passage, I am not here to put in or defend my own or Jacksons point of view, I don't have an agenda, all I'm interested in is what is fact. There are editors who are capable of being neutral. I'm just asking, that if authors take issue with Jackson, then we can cite them, and snub him. I'll let you know exactly what he says when I dig out the book again. Dapi89 (talk) 23:27, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Conway says the design of Bismarck was based on that of Baden as far as I remember; I'll check the details tonight. Is the Jackson book "the Bismarck" (2002)? I can't check that one; it was in the library, but someone's whizzed it. And is he the same Robert Jackson who writes on the air war? Xyl 54 (talk) 12:14, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, the one and the same. Here's what Jackson has to say:

It has often been claimed that the design of the two battleships [referring of course to Tirpitz as well] was based on that of the Baden Class of World War I, laid down in 1916 as a reply to the British Queen Elizabeth Class. In fact, the only design features the two classes had in common were their armament, comprising eight 38cm (15in) guns in four twin turrets, and a three-shaft propulsion plant. It is more accurate to say that the two warships were impoved and enlarged versions of the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau, many of whose features they incorporated

I would not oppose Greg Locock's latest revision, as I don't have Preston, so I don't know what he says, or whether it does conflict with Jackson. Perhaps Jacksons view is distorted, perhaps its his own opinion, rather than an accurate piece of research. Dapi89 (talk) 12:30, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Here's another one to consider:

The main-battery arrangement closely resembled that of the Baden and Bayern of World War I. This development has resulted in some speculation that the Bismarck-class battleships were mere copies of these older ships. This is false; the new ships had to be faster, and have more protection, range, and gunpower. The percentages allocated to armor protection, propulsion, and armament were not the same. The triple-shaft arrangement and the distribution of the main armament and its caliber were the same, but these were the only similarities. [5]

That's from Battleships:Axis and Neutral Battleships of World War II. However, I have seen a number of books in Google Books that seem to be of the opposite opinion, but they're all either useless "snippet preview" or "no preview available", so I can't exactly read what they've got to say. Parsecboy (talk) 12:45, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

I guess from what Jackson is saying, the Bismarck took more from the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau, that were based on Mackensen. Therefore, it does not share much with the Baden Class. Dapi89 (talk) 12:52, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for that. Um. Well Jackson's is a fairly embarassing statement, given the weight of evidence, is this guy an authority or a populist? Jackson completely ignores the old fashioned nature of the armor layout, which the Admiralty specifically discussed in 1942(Admiralty report CB 04039(2) Immune zone analysis of Tirpitz, KGV, Nelson, and QE ), and had been recognised by almost every navy except the KM as being unsatisfactory after Jutland, having been popularised by White in the 1880s (structurally it is very efficient, but in practice it is a very bad solution once penetrated, and twin armor decks are easier to penetrate than single armor decks)- the rise and fall of the shell trap is extensively discussed in DK Brown, for example. How does wiki deal with frankly silly statements in sourced references? Just look at cross sections through Baden, Bis, and KGV. Baden looks like Bis, KGV looks like something else completely. Now compare almost any other post WW1 design against KGV. They are all single box designs with flat, single, armor decks, without angles, bracing directly against a deep main belt. No shell traps, no double armor decks. Greg Locock (talk) 13:17, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Wiki deals with it by using other sourced statements to disagree with it. If it is factual and the source is clearly lying/wrong, then it is left out. If it is a matter of opinion (as this is) usually the article describes the debate. Narson (talk) 13:39, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
That's pretty much it, unless it's a fringe view (which would likely be omitted, but I don't think it applies here). Parsecboy (talk) 13:43, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
That Conway reference; The Bismarck class entry (p224) says:-
“the Bismarck and Tirpitz exhibited many of the features of the last battleships to be built for the Imperial Navy, the Baden class. The armour arrangement followed closely that of Baden with thicker horizontal and thinner vertical protection. Internal subdivision was extensive, although the major compartments were larger than those of Baden to obviate the problems of cramped conditions especially in the boiler rooms”.
Better late than never! Xyl 54 (talk) 14:28, 5 August 2008 (UTC)


Why is this section here?
If it’s a primary source to back up some statement it should be listed in the sources section, not printed out in full: But it doesn’t even seem to be that. We don’t do this for any other source, so we shouldn’t for this either. And it can hardly claim to be neutral, can it? What’s next, the transcript of some propaganda broadcast for the period?
And it’s hardly accurate; Bismarck didn’t “Shoot down shot down five British aircraft on the evening of May 24”; nor did she “sink an attacking enemy destroyer on the night of May 27 and shoot up another until it burned”; in fact she didn’t score any hits at all, a fact that’s conspicuously absent in the account of the action.
I think it should be deleted. Xyl 54 (talk) 11:39, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

The Wehrmachtbericht, a daily situational report, adds value as showing how things looked to the Germans at the time, or the slant they put on them. There is no reason for this original source to be deleted. bigpad (talk) 11:32, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
You’re saying this section's value is as a POV statement? I would’ve thought that was a reason for its deletion, not against.If you wanted to make a statement about the German viewpoint, with this as a citation, fair enough: Something like “ the Germans believed they had sunk a destroyer and damaged another <ref, but in fact Bismarck had scored no hits in this action <ref”, maybe. At least that would approach neutrality; but I can’t see how it’s acceptable as it is. Xyl 54 (talk) 10:20, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
I repeat: it's an *original document and not POV in the way that Wiki defines it (i.e. modern commentators). There's absolutely no justification for deleting a source directly relevant to the article. bigpad (talk) 12:11, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, you're saying it's OK, and I'm saying it isn't, so does anyone else have an opinion on the matter? Xyl 54 (talk) 12:18, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't quite see how to resolve this one. On the one hand it is interesting, and someone who was looking for info on Bis would probably want to read it. On the other hand it is POV, and factually incorrect. There's no requrement that everything in an article should be NPOV, just that the overall tone should be. So, why not include it and then add a section pointing out the errors? Greg Locock (talk) 12:31, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Greg. There is value of the text to those who are interested in the ship. There is, of course, the obvious need to remind readers that the record isn't completely accurate. We could do this by adding a paragraph explaining the inaccuracies just below the box, or by putting footnotes directly after each faulty statement. I generally prefer footnotes, but either will work. Parsecboy (talk) 13:00, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree. I think leaving the table in and leaving a single line above it to point out the fog of war mistakes, is the best way to go. Dapi89 (talk) 17:42, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

It should be noted that Bismarck did hit a number of the enemy destroyers, I cited it a while ago in the article. Dapi89 (talk) 17:53, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Ah well, that’s democracy I suppose.
This “hits” business; are we talking about the night action or the day action? Of the latter Roskill says “The first enemy salvos nearly hit Rodney, but thereafter accuracy and volume of Bismarck's fire fell away rapidly": that's what I was referring to. But of the former he also says” It is likely two (torpedo) hits were obtained. But the destroyers were, perhaps, fortunate to escape damage...". (I've clarified the dates, by the way; it was confusing me). Xyl 54 (talk) 15:34, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

The night action, as the article says. Only superficial damage was caused (perhaps the seaman who lost his hand would disagree).Dapi89 (talk) 17:30, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Since I am the one to have added the text from the Wehrmachtbericht in the first place I find it appropriate to comment on the issue. The Wehrmachtbericht served multiple purposes. Yes, it was propaganda but its main purpose was to inform the German people and Axis allies on the proceedings of the war without jeopardizing the war effort or revealing secrets. In the beginning of the war it was quite factual and as the tide of war turned against Germany it became very selective to say the least. If anyone is interested and is able to read German I gladly point to a number of books analyzing the Wehrmachtbericht historically. Besides the informational character of the Wehrmachtbericht (indeed this is POV) it served another purpose, which from my point of view justifies its presence in the article. The Wehrmachtbericht also was an award similar to a presidential citation. To be mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht was considered similar in value to having been awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. I therefore agree that a health warning is needed but I still think that it adds value to the article. MisterBee1966 (talk) 19:12, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

anyone watching this page?

  • While looking for info re SMS Von der Tann I found a very informative article about the Bismarck's early history (designs, etc.):
  • Mulligan, Timothy P. (2005). Ship-of-the-Line or Atlantic Raider? Battleship "Bismarck" between Design Limitations and Naval Strategy. The Journal of Military History 69.4:1013-1044.
If you don't have access, I can send it to you. Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 06:31, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
That is a very generous offer. please send it to me at greglocock at yahoo dot com dot au. Greg Locock (talk) 10:48, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the reference! (published October 2005, BTW) I'll add to bibliography. bigpad (talk) 10:31, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Admiralty report CB 04039(2) Immune zone analysis of Tirpitz, KGV, Nelson, and QE

This is being referenced several times in the article as a source for the flawed, poor etc. protection of the class. This however appears to be a primary source that cannot be verified. An earlier admirality report can be found with google dated from 1939, which however does not make any of the statements referenced regarding the protection qualities of this class of warship, in fact it does not give any figures regarding the 'Tirpitz' battleships, and makes clear in the foreword that all figures given for foreign warships are intelligence estimates. It appears that these statements sourced by the 'Admirality report' are from primary sources, which are unverifiable, those that found are admittadly unreliable, and are at odds with the referenced statements in the article. I also feel it is inappropriate to discuss in great the tech. details of the ship class lenghts in the article about an indvidual ship of the class. If no verifiable reference can be given to the 'Admirality report' that would support the statements referenced to them, these statements need and will be removed. There is enough silliness in these articles already (the Baden 'origin', the alleged positioning of the FC centre above the armored deck etc.) Kurfürst (talk) 21:18, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

(A) yes, that does appear to be a primary source.
(B) the problem is that was right, at least partially; the design was outmoded, at least in terms of her armor—the "All or nothing" protection plan was not used in the ships.
(C) what's with the removal of "This particular weakness left many communication systems, including her main damage control centre and foretop fire control director, open to destruction<ref> Garzke & Dulin 1990, p. </ref> which contributed to her relatively rapid silencing in her final engagement" in your (now reverted) edit? —Ed 17 (Talk / Contribs) 22:15, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't really understand what you mean by the ADM report being a primary source, it is publicly available. Scientific papers are quoted in scientific articles, I'd have thought this was much the same. If you like I will find additional secondary sources that say the same thing. The earlier report did not have the advantage of the details that the later report had, not surprisingly. You are also objecting to statements sourced from secondary sources. Are you going to write to G&D and accuse them of silliness? If so please cc me on the correspondence. Greglocock (talk) 22:46, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
What he means by a "primary source" is that it was written in 1942 and therefore may not be aware of things that are known today. Example: an Office of Naval Intelligence file written in 1943on the Japanese battleship Yamato, based on the best information available to them at the time, would probably say that the ship had 16" guns. However, modern research has proved that they really had 18.1" guns. —Ed 17 (Talk / Contribs) 02:45, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
A, If its a primary source, it is not verifiable, or available, then it will be removed
B, Not following 'All or Nothing' protection scheme making a ship outmoded...? This is silly (they adopted a different protection scheme, how is not following UK/US build tecniques outmoded?). Anyway its OR.
C, Now it would appear that one dubious statement (alleged vitals above the armored deck, for which the source is an unverifiable, dubious 1942 British intel) is getting mixed with another source. Can I ask for a direct quote from G+D regarding the refernence? I take note that Preston was being used rather liberally too.
If the there will be no references to this Admirality report so that it could be verified by everyone, it will need to be removed, to avoid fringe theories. I think I already asked for a reference or a link from Greglock, but he did not provide. And, no, I do not need you think to continue to evade supporting the reference for these statements. I really do not understand that if it's 'publicly available', why does it so difficult to provide a link or a reference. Kurfürst (talk) 09:44, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Hold on a second everyone. Why is this source being singled out for attack? It is an original source, like others in this document. I'm sceptical of some of material regarding the criticisms of the ship's design but we must allow the case to be put. Kurfürst: if you can prove that this original source does not exist or is wrong, then that's a different matter. But do so for the whole article, please! Regards, bigpad (talk) 17:26, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
I think Kurfürst's objection is that since it's a wartime intelligence document on an opponent's ship to which they did not have access, the results should be taken with some skepticism. Parsecboy (talk) 17:52, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
"Why is this source being singled out for attack? It is an original source, like others in this document." Three reasons. One was mentioned by (talk) - what reliable information did British intel had on Bismarck in 1942? Guesswork at best. Personally I own a good number wartime intel reports on aviation, and they rate from the naively ignorant and foolish through educated guesswork, and in, cases, genuine accurate information. Which brings us to the second point - Wiki has something as a rule (which I found odd initially I admit!) that no unverifiable, primary source can be relied upon. Unless the source can be verified, re-read by every reader of the article, it has to go. The other references has no such problem, they are from secondary sources like books, and it is not impossible to get them. An unknown wartime report, for which there is not even any archival reference given or online copy provided, does not even come close to being acceptable by Wiki standards. The third reason - well, call it a gut feeling because of the above 'uncertainities'. The Bismarck class has a large fan- and detractor base..
Now, if this source can be verified in some manner by the avarage reader, I have no objections against it. OTOH it is always the provider of the source who has to prove the source's verifiability. Kurfürst (talk) 20:05, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Here's something to consider: if the Admiralty report is retained in the article, it needs to be stated explicitly in the text that it is not absolute fact and is only the opinions of British naval engineers and is based on wartime intelligence. Parsecboy (talk) 21:01, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
That would seem to be a reasonable compromise Nate; do you want to add a clause to that effect in a day or two unless there is evidence to the contrary? bigpad (talk) 22:08, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, upon some more reflection, I think it would be more relevant to the class article than this one; generally technical data is discussed in the class articles and those for the ships themselves are service-related (for an example, see SMS Moltke (1910), an FA, and Moltke class battlecruiser, an A-class article). It should definitely be in that article what the RN believed, at the time, to be Bismarck's and Tirpitz's characteristics (since it probably had implications as to how they attempted to sink Tirpitz, etc. (although they ended up going with a sledgehammer :) Parsecboy (talk) 22:44, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

<deindent> Well, its always nice to be accused of making references up. As to the report itself, no, I don't know where my rather tatty copy came from, it has no acquisition stamps on it, but it was part of a batch of material from one of the American national naval collections (I don't know which). A little bird tells me the National Record Archives in Kew in London also has it, the modern reference number is ADM 239/269 (I think, the title is correct). I expect I can find refs in books that say the same thing, as I'm sure Tony Preston has plenty to say on the matter. As to whether technical details about the ship should be included here or in the class article, I have no strong feeling either way, but it should be consistent, both for criticism and praise.

For my reference here is the disputed para

While Bismarck was a powerful ship, the long hiatus in German capital ship building from 1919 until 1933 led to a conservative design that was flawed[1] and outmoded.[2] The ship's design borrowed from the design of the World War I Bayern class battleships,[2] as the ship was completed with some of her vitals above her armoured belt.[3] This particular weakness left many communication systems, including her main damage control centre and foretop fire control director, open to destruction[4] which contributed to her relatively rapid silencing in her final engagement. Three features the designs had in common were their armament, three-shaft propulsion plant[5] and the armour layout.[6]

Greglocock (talk) 06:01, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Better idea for criticism section

I agree that there is a danger of an overlap in content between this article and the Class article. Perhaps rather than going into all the technical details we should instead have a section 'Design features that contributed to her demise' (or preferably something better). This could then include a main link to the appropriate section in the Class article, and then a quick summary of the flaws, ie short range, inadequate AA, out of date radar, essential services above main armour deck and weak stern. Greglocock (talk) 23:17, 27 April 2009 (UTC)


  1. ^ Admiralty report CB 04039(2) Immune zone analysis of Tirpitz, King George V, Nelson, and Queen Elizabeth
  2. ^ a b Preston 1982, p. 105.
  3. ^ Admiralty report CB 04039(2) Immune zone analysis of Tirpitz, King George V, Nelson, and Queen Elizabeth.
  4. ^ Garzke & Dulin 1990, p.
  5. ^ Jackson 2002, p. 22.
  6. ^ Conway p. 224