Talk:German battleship Bismarck/Archive 3

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Garzke & Dulin quote (?)

In the ship criticism section (BTW the whole thing should be moved to the class article) there is this following quote(?) from Garzke & Dulin 1990: "Many communication systems, including her main damage control centre and foretop fire control director, open to destruction[1] which contributed to her relatively rapid silencing in her final engagement."

Now, apart from the grammatical problems, and that no page number is provided, this is somewhat fishy - detailed drawings of the ships internal layout produced by Browner shows no such thing, so either Garzke & Dulin are wrong in this, or the the quote attributed to them is not entirely accurate. And uhm, the foretop fire control director being open the destruction - like, on all other battleships (apart from the fact that Bismarck had 3 directors, as opposed to only two as on most other BBs like the King George V class etc.). What 'many' communicitation systems were open to destruction..? 'Relatively rapid silencing' - like, it took some 45 minutes of hammering to silence the main batteries. Is this relatively rapid - compared to what?

Could the editor pushing so hard for this reference provide a direct quote from the authors for this reference? I am tagging it for verification. Kurfürst (talk) 07:59, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm only guessing (after looking the book up on Google.books) if this is the quote:
Although the conning tower structures were consistently well protected, stability considerations forced all battleship designers to accept only minimal fragmentation or strafing protection for most other vital spaces in the superstructure. This was a crucial weakness in all battleships, particularly with the progressive adoption of sophisticated electronic systems as the war progressed. In many actions, such as the sinking of Bismarck and the South Dakota's participation in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, key fire-control systems were disabled relatively early by enemy gunfire, thus severely reducing or eliminating the ship's ability to effectively defend itself. (on page 283)
If this is indeed the reference for the line in this article, it is definitely over-interpretation, and probably synthesis. Parsecboy (talk) 10:41, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
Actually, nevermind. I just realized I was looking through Battleships: United States battleships 1935-1992. For some reason that popped up first. Axis and Neutral battleships isn't searchable on Google. Regardless, the quote above seems to invalidate the argument that Bismarck was flawed compared to other battleships in that her fire control systems were above the armored belt; seems that every other battleship was similarly weak. Parsecboy (talk) 10:50, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
Interesting find, thank you. I have edited the section accordingly, and tried to give the whole text a bit of a more objective listing about the points of criticism, and the grounds of these criticisms. If there are no objections, I will move this section to Class article. Kurfürst (talk) 14:06, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
I've tidied up the rewrite a little to make slightly more neutral (or "sympathetic" as I described it in the summary). It reads pretty neutrally now. bigpad (talk) 10:38, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, but there is no way the criticism section should be removed. Added to the class article, yes, but not moved there. It its integral to the Bismarck's design and state after discovery. I've been following the exchanges here, and I can't help but think it is an attempt to sweep this under the carpet or move it to a place where people are less likely to see it. Dapi89 (talk) 19:45, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Generally speaking, only unique ships should have design information in their articles; those of a class should have their design information in the class article, and service history in the individual ship articles (compare SMS Moltke (1910) and Moltke class battlecruiser with SMS Seydlitz). If there's anything in this article about it, it should be a short section that points to the class article (with {{main}}).
In addition, criticism sections as a whole are frequently indicative of poor writing. WP:NPOV states that generally, "Segregation" of text or other content into different regions or subsections, based solely on the apparent POV of the content itself, may result in an unencyclopedic structure...A more neutral approach may result by folding debates into the narrative rather than "distilling" them into separate sections that ignore each other." And the alleged outmoded-ness of the design (specifically, armor distribution) most definitely is a POV issue. Parsecboy (talk) 20:09, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
That is far better. It avoids the above. So a (short) section should still remain. I take it you agree a complete removal is not in the best interests of neutrality? BTW, I was concerned only with the weakness of the stern, a non-contentious issue.Dapi89 (talk) 20:21, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
I generally don't think design information belongs in articles like this. The problem is, if one is going to integrate the design criticism into the article, you have to have the entire design information to have a place to do the merging. That said, since Bismarck is so controversial (for several reasons), we can't not mention that the design has been heavily criticized. The goal is to do so without having a separate section that draws the "fanboys" and "haters" into conflict. Parsecboy (talk) 20:33, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Here's a thought: maybe it would be best to rewrite the "Aftermath" section to "Discovery" to be more focused on Ballard's search (I'm sure there's plenty to say about it), as well as the subsequent explorations, and move the stern information to that section (it has more bearing on this article than the one for the class, since it's specifically about Bismarck's stern having to do with her sinking, breaking off, not having yet been located, etc.) The reference to the movie and song could easily be moved elsewhere, perhaps just to the "See Also" section. The rest of the criticism section could be merged over to the class article, and briefly mentioned in this article where relevant (i.e., that the over-complicated secondary battery may have made it more difficult to engage the Swordfish, etc.). Parsecboy (talk) 20:48, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Nice idea. Not being one to take credit for your suggestion, perhaps you could make the changes! :p Dapi89 (talk) 21:02, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

I've restructured the article along the lines I suggested (although I have left the rest of the criticism section in for the time being). The part about the Ballard expedition still needs to be expanded; I don't have any books that specifically deal with it, so I'd have to either find it on Google books (if it's available) or check out some local libraries. Parsecboy (talk) 23:38, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Actually I agree, most of the crit section belongs in the class article. Equally, most of the puffery in the Background section can go. 'Formidable', same fuel capacity as Pacific BBs (got news for you guys, the calorific value of a ton of oil is way higher than ton of coal), that sort of misleading tosh. In fact, what is the point of it? Greglocock (talk) 03:17, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Exactly, we need to cut down on the things that would detract from this article eventually reaching FAC (which I think is definitely doable). Exaggerations or misrepresentations need to be axed, whether they're from the "fanboy" or "hater" crowds. Parsecboy (talk) 03:28, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

The background section

It reads

Design of the ship started in the early 1930s, following on from Germany's development of the Deutschland class cruisers and the Scharnhorst class "battlecruisers"[3]. To keep parity with the armament of the new French Richelieu-class battleships, Bismarck's displacement was increased to 41,700 tonnes.[4] Officially, however, her tonnage was 35,000 tonnes to suggest parity with ships built within the limits of the Anglo-German Naval Agreement (1935) that allowed Germany to build up to five 35,000-tonne battleships, the maximum displacement agreed by the major powers in the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922.shouldn't all that be in the class article? Fully laden, Bismarck and her sister-ship Tirpitz would each displace more than 50,000 tonnes.[4] technical detail The prototype of the proposed battleships envisaged under Plan Z, Bismarck's keel was laid down at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg on 1 July 1936. She was launched on 14 February 1939 and commissioned on 24 August 1940 with Kapitän zur See Ernst Lindemann in command.

This formidable ship Peacockery,the largest warship then when? commissioned, was initially intended to be part of the Plan Z battle fleet. However, with the outbreak of war in 1939 and the increased demands on the German armament industry, Plan Z was no longer practical, and had to be scrapped. As a result, Bismarck was to be used as a commerce raider. For this purpose, the ship was reasonably well suited not really, she was built as a North Sea battlecruiser, as it had a broad beam for stability in the rough seas of the North Atlantic and fuel stores as large as those of battleships intended for operations in the Pacific Ocean Misleading, the following sentence explains why. On the other hand, the ship's steam propulsion system, chosen in preference to diesel engines, ate heavily into its fuel supply and limited the ship's operational range.[5] Still, with eight 15 inch main guns in four turrets, substantial welded-armour protection and designed for a top speed of not less than 29 knots (she actually achieved 30.1 knots (55.7 km/h) in trials in the calmer waters of the Baltic, a significant advantage over any comparable British battleship)all peacockery, Bismarck was capable of engaging any enemy battleship on reasonably equal terms yeah, but war and wargaming are not the same thing. Bismarck's range of weaponry could easily decimate any convoy so could an 8 inch gun, peacockery, should she break out into the spacious try and use english waters of the North Atlantic, where she could refuel from German tankers and remain undetected by British and American aircraft, submarines and ships well that didn't happen did it, what is this some sort of crystal ball nazi daydream?. Greglocock (talk) 03:49, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm intrigued by this supposed correlation between beam and stability. Bismarck and Tirpitz had the highest GM of any German capital ships by a long way (4 foot according to Friedman) as well as a high GM/B ratio which as I understand it would have made them unsteady gunnery platforms. It's axiomatic that greater beam allows for more complete internal subdivision and other benefits on a greater displacement. --Simon Harley (talk | library | book reviews) 08:10, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Gröner's German Warships:1815–1945 oddly doesn't have metacentric height figures for Bismarck (or the Scharnhorst class either, for that matter), but he does describe them as having been "exceptionally stable sea-boats, with shallow pitching and very slight roll, even in very heavy seas...Heel was only 3 degrees even with the rudder hard over..." I can tell you that all of the WWI German BBs and BCs had transverse metacentric heights of around 2 to 3 meters (for example, Bayern's was 2.53 meters); 4 feet would actually be quite low in comparison (are you sure it's feet and not yards?) Parsecboy (talk) 11:38, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Bloody Friedman serving to confuse me - I expected an American writing in an American book to use Imperial. Scharnhorst's GM is given as 3m. Garzke and Dulin give good detail on Bismarck's stability, so I retract most of what I wrote above! --Simon Harley (talk | library | book reviews) 09:02, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Interesting comments Greg. Could the fact that it is cited from a German authors source have anything to do with it? If two or three sources can be found to refute it, (and I agree with you that its suspect - and I have not paid too much attention to the Background section before) then it should go. I think that last part, the bull shit about detection should go a.s.a.p. Dapi89 (talk) 16:33, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
I actually don't think the "breaking out into the Atlantic" bit is all that unreasonable; Scharnhorst and Gneisenau actually did it only a few months before (regardless of their lack of major success, they did remain in the Atlantic for 2 months, without having been hunted down and destroyed). As long as it can be sourced, I see no problem with it. Parsecboy (talk) 17:46, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
And how much effort was given to diverting resources to their pursuit? The July 1940 - May 1941 period was a dangerous one. The first happy time was in full flow, the RN could not devote the resources from the main shipping lanes and risk leaving the convoys naked against the more efficient U-boats that could position themselves in the traffic zones submerged. Unlike the surface vessels, who cannot stay in a fixed position for long and must keep relocating. Dapi89 (talk) 18:18, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
My point isn't that it was an effective tactic, just that's what the Germans hoped to do, and that it was somewhat reasonable at the time to expect that the ship would have been able to remain undetected for a longish period of time. Parsecboy (talk) 19:52, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
I understand that. I'm saying the RN did not and could not devote the forces it needed. Hence the two months. Besides, the ships were detected, on several occasions. Due to stupidity they were able to escape (owing to slow communications mostly). Dapi89 (talk) 20:24, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
OK, if we are concentrating on the last sentence, here were the actual objectives of OR "The aim of the operation was for Bismarck and Prinz Eugen to break into the Atlantic and attack Allied shipping. Raeder's orders to Lütjens were that "the objective of the Bismarck is not to defeat enemies of equal strength, but to tie them down in a delaying action, while preserving her combat capacity as much as possible, so as to allow Prinz Eugen to get at the merchant ships in the convoy" and "The primary target in this operation is the enemy's merchant shipping; enemy warships will be engaged only when that objective makes it necessary and it can be done without excessive risk."" So, no drivel about being equal to any RN warship (the wargaming fallacy). mano a mano was hence contrary to her orders.

Here's my recast of the entire section

Design of the ship started in the early 1930s, following on from Germany's development of the Deutschland class cruisers and the Scharnhorst class "battlecruisers"[3]. The prototype of the proposed battleships envisaged under Plan Z, Bismarck's keel was laid down at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg on 1 July 1936. She was launched on 14 February 1939 and commissioned on 24 August 1940 with Kapitän zur See Ernst Lindemann in command.

When commissioned she was largest warship to date, and was intended to be part of the Plan Z battle fleet, acting as part of a fast battleship squadron for the main battle line of larger subsequent battleships. However, with the outbreak of war in 1939 and the increased demands on the German armament industry, Plan Z was no longer practical, and had to be scrapped. As a result, Bismarck was to be used as a commerce raider. She was reasonably well suited for this [citation needed], although her short range, in particular, made the combination of long distances and high speeds impractical. She was capable of engaging any single enemy battleship on reasonably equal terms and would easily decimate any undefended convoy.

Greglocock (talk) 02:20, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Yep. This okay. I am assuming they citations can be provided? Dapi89 (talk) 13:15, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Re the "only 1 knot" advantage over the fastest British battleship around, a claim made in an earlier part of this Talk page, and the addtional assertaion that it didn't matter. This is not true: Bismarck's speed gave her *at least 1 knot advantage over any comparabale British battleship and probably more like 2 knots. This was important for enabling Bismarck to outrun enemy heavy ships or retreat to a range that suited her guns. Why this point was conceded so readily in recent Talk, I don't know. But I#'m fine to recast that part of the text in such a way that no rattles should be thrown out of the pram. bigpad (talk) 20:23, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
The speed advantage applies to calm waters. Her speed in typical NA waves was entirely limited by (a) that of smaller escorts and (b) her hullform and its effect in heavy seas and (c) displacement (d) how much fuel is left and where the next port of call is. Between that lot I doubt she'd ever have hit 29 knots in the NA. Either way it is splendidly irrelevant since a Swordfish has a 80 knot speed advantage, in reasonable weather. Greglocock (talk) 05:23, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Re comments in the article (it's messy to keep on adding them there): "so she attacked Hood and PoW in defiance of orders rather than outrun them? Doesn't really make sense. To be honest a high speed in Baltic trials does not equate to a high speed operationally." [Answer] No, she had to engage Hood and PoW due to the narrow waters of the Denmark Strait precluding the possibility of flight. That's why the text mentions "open waters". That she was to attack commerce is shown by the operational orders which forbade the engaging of enemy units (unless there was no option). A recent article on Bismarck, mentioned above, refers to Bismarck ending up as a commerce-raider although not necessarily created for that. I'll add that. And your doubts as to her hitting 29 knots in the Baltic are irrelevant in view of 30.1 having been recorded during trials there. I suppose the Germans were wrong about that? And let's be serious here: who was arguing that Bismarck was faster than a plane? She was faster than any British *battleship abnd could outrun them in most conditions. bigpad (talk) 07:29, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

OK, I agree DS was not really big enough to count as open sea, I hadn't realised just how small it was. I said I doubt she reached 29 knots in NA, not the baltic. As I said 29 or 31 knots is irrelevant, in the context of 1935 naval tactics. Greglocock (talk) 08:50, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

could easily decimate any undefended convoy.

There's several problems with this little phrase. First as explained above decimate has two distinct menaings and in the sense that is most common today, demonstrably battleships do NOT decimate convoys, the convoy scatters, and the BB goes after the most valuable targets. Secondly, it is being used as a peacock phrase. Thirdly, if all BBs can decimate (old sense) an undefended convoy, then this phrase belongs either in all BB articles, or none. If it applies to Bis, then it should not be in the article as it is speculation, since Bis did not sink a single ship of any convoy whatsoever. As such, it needs a ref because it IS speculation. And to point out the bleeding obvious, if you want to sink merchies you use frigates and cruisers, not BBs, as navies have done for hundreds of years. Greglocock (talk) 22:35, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Two words: Scharnhorst. Gneisenau. Kurfürst (talk) 23:29, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Bit cryptic for me. Greglocock (talk) 23:59, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Technically those are two names, I'd have thought. This really is a no-brainer. If this is so obvious as Bigpad thinks, then finding a published reference should be easy. --Simon Harley (talk | library | book reviews) 03:44, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I very much agree with Simon. The statement is contentious because no single battleship could "decimate" a single convoy; if the convoy scatters 360°, the battleship will have to choose a vector. A note from Bigpad (talk · contribs) on my talk asks me to "see [the] old talk about how much damage could be caused". The problem with this is that the archived talk falls under WP:OR... Anyway, I'd like to see a citation for this statement or have it removed. —Ed (TalkContribs) 05:40, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
This is becoming ridiculous! Anyhow, even to put an end to this farce: if the convoy attempted to scatter once Bismarck came into sight, the ships' slow speed would be a big problem. Bismarck would have ample time to select targets and sink or seriously damage them quickly, before shifting target. Previous editors have, for some reason, removed the term "Bismarck's range of weaponry", which is perplexing as the point of that is very important. The ship's variety of guns could be trained on different targets, making the decimation a probability. I must restore that phrase. Note, too, that the article does not claim that the convoy would be destroyed, merely decimated. In 1942, covoy PQ-17 was ordered to disperse/flee in fear of the approach on the Tirpitz, Bismarck's sister-ship. Did Admiral Pound do so for no good reason? Are we to say that he was unworried as to what would happen if that particular *undefended convoy was intercepted by Tirpitz? And see above what Kurfurst has said about Scharnhorst and Gneisenau achived together. Regards, bigpad (talk) 13:14, 17 May 2009 (UTC) [update: I'd have no objection to "cause devastatation to any undefended convoy". bigpad (talk)]
The key word in your comment, bigpad, is the word if. Since none of this actually happened, it is speculation. If it's speculation in a reliable source, it's a good idea to add it to the article. If it's just Wikipedia editors' speculation, it has no place in the article, and would be better posted on a WWII/German/Bismarck forum elsewhere on the Internet. — Bellhalla (talk) 13:26, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Greg, look up Operation Berlin. Same Lütjens, making a very successfull commerce raid with Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. But this is a storm in a cup of tea - just write cause serious losses or whatever. Even better, as I understand the importance of that Bismarck was going on a sortie was that he was considered a big boy enough to take on escorting RN BBs, whereas in the previous sortie, S+G was oredered not to do so. IOW, Bismarck would engage escorting BBs (typically old WW1 ships of the QE class) on more than just equal terms, while Prinz Eugen would attend to the poor merchantmen. I wish I would know where I read it - Kennedy maybe? Kurfürst (talk) 13:28, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
FWIW, the only major sustained success Scharnhorst and Gneisenau had against merchant shipping was against a dispersed convoy on 15-16 March 1941. --Simon Harley (talk | library | book reviews) 13:35, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Wel, that's not quite the full story but the convoys they met were guarded by a battleship (not the unguarded easy pickings an unescorted convoy would have been) and their orders were not to engage enemy BBS. bigpad (talk) 21:10, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Is this really necessary:

It was through one of these narrow communication shafts that Adolf Eich, Franz Halke and Heinz Jucknat escaped from their post in the aft computer room to the aft fire-control station.

That just seems like way too much detail to me. Anybody opposed to axing it? Parsecboy (talk) 03:31, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

I think there may be some info of use in their escape but it would belong in the battle article not "criticism". GraemeLeggett (talk) 06:21, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that it's useful to us anywhere. The escape of three non-notable sailors (it's not like they were flag officers or like Mullenheim-Rechburg and went on to publish books about their experiences on the ship) from the stricken ship is perfectly fine for a book like Ballard's, but it doesn't really have a place in an encyclopedia article. Parsecboy (talk) 11:32, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree. bigpad (talk) 13:04, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Criticism redux

The whole criticism section is an utter nonsense to have in the article on the ship itself, its merely a POV fork where the same stuff is repeated as in the class article, with some text ommitted from the latter... it should be removed and dealt with in the proper article. Kurfürst (talk) 08:08, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Where's the fork? Many of these weaknesses in the design led directly to her sinking (maybe not the AA one , but triple shafts, poor TDS, weak stern and WW1 armor layout did). Greglocock (talk) 08:36, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
The boo-birds are entitled to have their say if they can cite references! This is the case with this section, which is not unduly long. If others can cite material that contradicts the points made to the extent that they become untenable, then there would be a case for their removal. The reason for creating that section was to stop edit wars, based on POV, throughout the text.bigpad (talk) 09:24, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
"The boo-birds are entitled to have their say if they can cite references!" - I agree with that, but it should be done in the class article (Bismarck class battleship), which usually deals with the technical details of the class, while the dedicated unit articles about the ind. ships in the class deal with the units operational history. Kurfürst (talk) 10:13, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
If, as someone has suggested, some aspects of her design were an important factor in her loss, then I see no problem with it being covered here. Forking is usually the exact repetition of content - at the moment we have a brief note here and the detail seems to be covered in the class article. The addition of an appropiate link to section would not be amiss.GraemeLeggett (talk) 12:40, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Graeme's point (although I question to a degree some of the "design faults that led to the sinking"; for instance, I doubt KGV or Rodney, with their "all or nothing" armor, could have stood up to point-blank pounding by Bismarck and Tirpitz any better than Bismarck did.) I will caveat that with the reminder that if we're going the route of only covering aspects of the design that may have led to her crippling and eventual sinking, then we need to specifically cite these statements to reliable sources (i.e., Preston argues that...). Taking a citation that says Bismarck had a weak stern and then extrapolating that it might have had something to do with her sinking is original research. And I don't think I need to remind anyone what our policy on OR is. Parsecboy (talk) 12:59, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
The section should be there. It is mentioned that the design changed slightly on all German captial ships, so it was not inherent in the class design. I believe (and will look for) I have a source that relates to the Tirpitz' design being modified after the collapse of the PE stern. I don't believe there are any boo boys here, and the section is well sourced. I think its a fan boy problem. Grameme's point is a good one. I think a link is appropriate, and we should make sure it doesn't go missing after its addition. Dapi89 (talk) 19:43, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree it needs to be referenced. No one has established why it is a fork. Until someone does so then I am going to assume it isn't one. Greglocock (talk) 01:28, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Generally a fork is a number of articles treating the same subject from different POVs (which usually leads to highly biased articles). That's not what is going on here. Parsecboy (talk) 02:53, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
I think the recent and older additions of Preston's claims (which have been already refuted on the Bismarck class page in the various sections) into this article which makes it a POV fork. But it can be refuted here as well for NPOV. Preston strikes me as rather ignorant on the subject - his claim that Bismarck's armor layout was based on Bayern's is a striking example. Kurfürst (talk) 09:26, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Preston was a bit slipshod with his ideas. However, when the universally respected Raven and Roberts write on p. 411 of British Battleships of World War Two: "In Bismarck, the distribution of armour was generally similar to that employed

in the last of Germany's First World War battleships, Baden and Bayern." Then I think it's worthy of comment. --Simon Harley (talk | library | book reviews) 09:54, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Then let's switch the citation to Raven & Roberts. One somewhat minor thing that strikes me in the section is that Preston isn't introduced at all. Parsecboy (talk) 10:58, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) In The World's Worst Warships (2002), p. 148, Preston writes "the Bayern of 1914 was used as the basis of the new design. This fact was to prove of great significance later, as we shall see, and cannot be ignored or underestimated". The "we shall see" refers to the Royal Navy's reconstruction of Bismarck's internal layout after her sinking, "when they saw that the armoured deck was low down in the ship, as might be expected in a First World War design", p. 151.

I'm not particularly impressed by Garske and Dulin's refutation either - they only specifically comment on the gun layout comparison with Bayern then state (p. 204) that the "percentages allocated … were not the same". Of course they're not exactly the same, but working from the figures given in Friedman's Battleship Design and Development they not strikingly dissimilar. This doesn't take into account improved engineering efficiency, and other variables. --Simon Harley (talk | library | book reviews) 11:12, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Sure, G&D set up a strawman saying that Bis is a copy of Bayern, and then spend a couple of sentences pointing out that it isn't. That's not hard. Much more interesting is the way that the lessons of WW1 weren't learned and the same mistakes were repeated from S&G into Bis. Actually the armour scheme has some virtues (not many, but at least in WW1 it would have rocked) whereas the TDS was just primitive. Greglocock (talk) 11:28, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Preston's works and the conclusions he makes in them borderline a joke - he is a popular author. Any look at a cross section of Bayern and Bismarck reveals that Bayern used at least 3 kinds of armor thickness on the belt, with different arrangement, wheras the thicness deck armor and that of turtle deck's the slope was about one third of that of Bismarck's, ie. being a mere 30mm against 80 to 120mm. Moreoever, Bismarck was a logical development of Scharnhorst's armor scheme, and if anybody looks on Scharnhorst's cross section finds that the Germans on that ship radically shaved down the thick upper side belt that characterized Bayern to a mere 50mm, and used thick barbettes all the way down to the main armor deck. On Bismarck, this was revised, and a 145 mm upper side belt was used, which amongst other things enabled to shave down the thickness of the barbettes below the wheater deck to a mere 220mm, but the protection offered increased due to de-capping effects; moreover the change meant that the entire upper citadel was no protected from all but the heaviest guns. That they kept the old turtle deck was only logical, as they expected (and had in practice) short range engagments in the North Sea. German battleship design, by the Tirpitzian principles, emphasized the ships survivability, reasoning that its easier to repair damaged ships that make it back to port than to build new ones. As for the TDS, its sufficient to note it worked very well in practice: it did what it was designed to do, resist torpedo hits. You can call it whatever you want, but both Bismarck and the preceeding Scharnhorst class took a large number of torpedo hits during their career, without being in the danger of sinking. The system worked, unlike 'advanced' designs like that on the KGV class for example, being good for 1000 lbs on paper, but catastrophically failing to much smaller Japanese aerial torpedoes, directly leading the loss of the ship. Kurfürst (talk) 12:18, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Big talk, Preston is a recognised authority, you are not. The armor scheme was useless against bombs according to people who worry about these things. I agree, the armor layout was a very good one for refighting Jutland. Everybody else had figured out that that wasn't going to happen. And it didn't. Greglocock (talk) 12:47, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Your opinion only, and it would be reduntant to point out the gaping holes in the arguements you present. All ship's stern was vulnerable to torp hits, ask the guys on HMS Prince of Wales, similiar hit, and no, the ship was not only impossible to manouvre, it was doomed to sink. Or start lamenting about how good the TDS was on the SoDaks/Iowas - all authors acknowledge they simply weren't good, compared to the earlier North Carolinas. Okun is pretty clear about bombs - the 50-80 mm wheater deck was rather capable of breaking them up or destroying their fuses. When Tirpitz was bombed, most bombs blew up above the citadel, and the big one that passed through the main deck was rendered inert. As for refighting Jutland, hmm, if I bother to look up the engagement ranges at Denmark strait, between 22k hm and 14k hm, its exactly the range where you can do very little against Bismarck. Its right in its immunity zone. If every else expected longer fighting ranges - which I doubt - then they were repeatadly proven wrong. In the case of Bismarck, the matter of range somewhat irrelevant, as it had the widest Immunity Zone of all Battleships: the vitals via the belt could not be penetrated at any range, and deck penetrations were unlikely until the distance increased to 30k or so yards. The longest range at which hit occured (twice) was 26 000 yards. That's an immunity zone for the vitals of ca. 0 out to 30 000 yards against its own 38cm guns. It looks to me she fought exactly the battles her designers forecasted.. Kurfürst (talk) 13:10, 16 June 2009 (UTC) Kurfürst (talk) 13:03, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Seems clear then, that it's appropriate to leave the section there as arguments pro and con do exist. I've done a short cleanup but have a few queries, inserted in comments, re the editing. bigpad (talk) 12:49, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Age of the Hood?

I have read that the Hood was an old & rather antiquated ship when it encountered the Bismark. But there is no indication of that in this article. I do see that the article refers to "the old battlecruiser Renown", though it was about the same age as the Hood, being launched only 2 years earlier. Seems like we should classify them both as "old". T-bonham (talk) 06:53, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Antiquated, yes—designed in the era of close-in fights, her deck armor was thin, which was one of the ultimate factors in her loss. Old, probably, but Hood was such a step above Renown that I don't think we should lump them together. Perhaps an addition of "... the 23(?)-year old Hood ..." —Ed (TalkContribs) 07:00, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
I think it's fair enough to describe Hood as 'old' in the text, since PoW is described in the same sentence as a "new" battleship, so I've added in 'old'. The text makes clear that she had been upgraded a bit. Fair point about Renown, though, so I should add "antiquated" or such like now. bigpad (talk) 16:55, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
"Older" (relative) or aging might be better than "old" (absolute). Neither of the battlecruisers was "old" in the sense that there had not been a step-change (e.g. Dreadnought) in warship design since they had been built. "Limited" begs lots of questions. Wiki-Ed (talk) 18:31, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
It might be worth mentioning, if we don't, the cancelled refit of the Hood (which would have included uparmouring the deck) --Narson ~ Talk 19:47, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

I think "ageing" will do well instead of "old" for Hood, although I hope that "limited" re Renown is also ok. As for Hood's planned refit, I think that's covered well enough in the Hood article but could go into the Battle of the Denmark Strait one? bigpad (talk) 23:43, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure about "limited". In the case of Hood we're using an adjective to indicate she was outclassed in the context of the battle that occurred, but do we really need to insert a value judgement about Renown? For consistency it would probably be better if it simply read "the aircraft-carrier Ark Royal, the limited battlecruiser Renown and the cruiser Sheffield". Wiki-Ed (talk) 09:21, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Just re-reading the comments above - Renown had been upgraded so the assertion that she was antiquated as a comparison with the other two battlecruisers (in particular Repulse which had not been been refitted) is simply wrong. Wiki-Ed (talk) 09:37, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes indeed, Renown had indeed been upgraded twice since 1916 but was still an old ship with only 6 main guns. I've no great feelings either way about the need to describe Renown's capabilities, or lack thereof, but I suppose removing "limited" solves that problem and I'm grand to do so. bigpad (talk) 09:45, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Preston 1977

Here's some Preston quotes from Battleships 1856-1977 p101 Basically an enlarged version of the 1915 Baden, she displayed many old-fashioned features - particularly seperate high-angle and low-angle batteries and a lack of vertical sandwich protection against underwater damage. In fact her most important asset was her massive beam. p103 The Bismarck was a rework of the Great War vintage Baden design, before the threat of heavy airborne attack had become a factor in BB design. To counter long range gunfire she had a low armoured deck with internal communications running above it and lighter (12.6 in) side armour (...compared with KGV...). p105 Among the principle features which stamp the is design as elderly are the triple gun-battery, ..., and the relatively low level at which the the main armored deck was positioned. ...the USN and the RN had independently reached the conclusion that bombs were a bigger danger than long range gunfire and had sited the AD as high as possible. Nor was there any sandwich protection against torpedoes;instead the Bis relied on her massive 118ft beam to provide a deep space between the ship's side and the anti torpedo bulkhead. This gave great initial stability and resistance to underwater damage, but eventually resulted in an accelerated tendency to capsize,especially as the freeboard was quite low. ..sea speed of only 29 knots, only a fraction of a knot greater than (...SoDak or KGV...)

These quotes are provided in the spirit of fair use

Greglocock (talk) 11:16, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Out of interest, who published the 1977 Preston book? The details are missing from the Bibliography in the article. --Simon Harley (talk | library | book reviews) 11:26, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Phoebus and/or BPC, which makes no sense to me. I thought the ISBN was enough? This may be the same book as Preston 1982, but I have never seen that book, so i altered all the refs back to the copy I have, so at least the page numbers work.Greglocock (talk) 11:43, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Though this is not familiar to me I would be very suspect about its use, it is riddled with poor understandings of naval design principles. - Low armoured deck's virtues in consideration to long range gun fire: The low, turtle backed deck is principally to reject shells arriving at a low angle to the horizontal, that is to say at short to medium ranges. Considering the fuse delay typical to WW2 shells placing the deck lower did little or nothing to aid against shells falling steeply.

Then you misunderstand why all 'modern' designs used a higher one Greglocock (talk) 22:49, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

- The lack of a "sandwiched" TDS system, while Bismarck had a less subdivision of its underwater spaces without the torpedo than other designs it is still composed of several spaces. The implication that there is a reliance on beam alone is absurd.

And yet the unspohisticated TDS is specifically noted by many commentators eg Jurens Greglocock (talk) 22:49, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:54, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Well, if you find an RS that makes these points, good, put them in the article if they aren't already there. rememebr all significant POVs need to be represented and Preston's views on Bis are representative of many. Greglocock (talk) 22:49, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
What makes Prestom's view 'significant'? He is a popular author, obviously without the slightest idea about this class of ship - the claim that Bismarck was just a big new Bayern are just as telling as the claim there was essentially no TDS, just a big beam. These have been very throughly refuted by many authors of good name. In any case, most of this (invalid) criticism is already present in the article. Though personally, I think its rather redundant in the Bismarkc, a ship of the Bismarck class battleships article - which should focus on the history of the individual ship - as its already covered in the Bismarck, the WW2 German battleship class article, where the technical stuff should be present. Kurfürst (talk) 14:22, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Sink the Bismarck

The "German battleship Bismarck is one of the most famous battleships of WWII...", largely due to British marketing with their film Sink the Bismarck, which was released in 1960.

In 1958, Cecil L. T. Smith, better known C.S. Forester published his book, "The Last Nine Days of the Bismarck." Two years later, Great Britain released their film Sink the Bismarck, which was distributed by 20th Century Fox in the United States in 1960. US singer Johnny Horton released his song, "Sink the Bismarck" which coincided with the release. Forester's (Smith's) book and the film are both British products.

Although the Bismarck fought a gallant fight against the British, and, as a condequence has won her place in history; her glory certainly would not be what it is today, without Forester's (Smith's) book and the film that it was based upon.

It is to Britain's honor, that "the greater the enemy; the greater the glory!" Consequently, " one of the greatest battleships of WWII..."; with the help of British marketing! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:25, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Peer review

Hi, everybody. I just wanted to let you all know that I've filed a peer review for this article at WP:MILHIST. I'd appreciate it if everyone could keep an eye on it, so we can make the necessary changes that are suggested. Thanks. Parsecboy (talk) 16:26, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Hi all, to begin the above I've added a citation for those paragraphs that were missing them (not a great many, to be honest). Based on some feedback I saw on the HMS Hood talk page, this appears to be a prerequisite. Hopefully Nate's points noted above can be taken forward. bigpad (talk) 00:09, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
This article's rating has been dropped because of "lack of citations". Am I missing something here or are there not more than 70 in it, with every paragaraph having one?! I've asked the person that dropped it the same question, as C class is an embarrassment. Regards, bigpad (talk) 23:16, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Agreed, even with the recent shotgun blast of cns I see no reason to rate this a C. Greglocock (talk) 23:53, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
I had a look at some of the "citation" tags and they display a lack of knowledge on the part of the reviewer. I mean, while I suppose at one level it's fair enough to request a citation for Bisamrck being able to engage any British BB on reasonably balanced terms, how is any author able to *prove that a battleship's weaponry would cause devastation to an undefended convoy. Surely this is a case of having to cite that the sky is blue! bigpad (talk) 16:23, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
Sturmvogel has written dozens of high-quality articles on battleships, so please do not say he has a lack of knowledge on the topic. While it might seem obvious to all of us that a battleship could wreak havoc on an undefended convoy, there are surely those to whom that would not be clear (let's remember, they put those "don't use while in the bath" warnings on toasters for a reason...). Also, sourcing requirements have become more and more stringent, especially at A-class and above. If this article were to go through a MILHIST A-class review or a FAC, there would certainly be other editors requesting a citation for that statement.
Regardless, something like this shouldn't be hard to cite. I've got a copy of Bercuson & Herwig's The Destruction of the Bismarck; I'll look through it later to see if I can find anything. Parsecboy (talk) 18:11, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
I've now fixed up or removed all citation claims in the main body of the text apart from two about the wreck (I've no great knowledge of this). Can someone attend to these and we'll ask for the article to be regraded to B class. Thanks, bigpad (talk) 13:26, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
Both of those are attributed to Ballard's expedition, so we'd need to get his book. The question is, which of the two books of his do we need? That needs to be fixed in the footnotes too, because they were both published in 1990 (so we'd need to clarify them with a short title like "Ballard, Discovery of the Bismarck, p. x"). Parsecboy (talk) 13:31, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Nate - I see, too, that there are several queries in the main text relating to sources used - these have been there for some time and surely the people that introduced that material should answer these. All: search for "!" in the editable text sections. bigpad (talk) 13:36, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Bismarck was not largest battleship of the war, not even close

Yamato (大和), named after the ancient Japanese Yamato Province, was the lead ship of the Yamato class of battleships that served with the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. She and her sister ship, Musashi, were the largest, heaviest and most powerfully armed battleships ever constructed, displacing 72,800 tonnes at full load and armed with nine 46 cm (18.1 inch) main guns. However, neither survived the war.

Laid down in 1937 and formally commissioned in late 1941.

On this basis, isn't the Bismarck intro a bit misleading? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Markus451 (talkcontribs) 09:46, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

No. Re-read the wording. The Bismarck was sunk before the Yamato was commissioned. Wiki-Ed (talk) 11:16, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
And before Japan entered the war.GraemeLeggett (talk) 12:57, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
What? Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931, invaded China in 1037, and occupied French Indochina (Vietnam) in 1940. They were quite actively participating in WWII, almost before anyone else! T-bonham (talk) 03:20, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
None of those events are commonly included in World War II. The consensus amongst most historians is that World War II in Asia started with the Japanese attacks on American, British, and Dutch holdings in the Pacific. The conflict between Japan and China was a regional war that was eventually subsumed into WWII, much like how the conflict between Finland and the Soviet Union eventually merged into WWII as the Continuation War. Parsecboy (talk) 10:20, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Hood flagship of the Home Fleet?

Hood was flag ship of BC1 force but I'm fairly KGV was flagship of the Home Fleet C in C Adm. Sir John Tovey. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:42, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Devastate a convoy

Obviously a BB could devastate an undefended convoy. So could a 6" cruiser, and in a far more cost effective manner. My original objection to the earlier version of this claim is that it was being used as a peacock phrase. Bis would make a great paperweight, shall we put that in? Greglocock (talk) 02:27, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

If you can find a rs to back it up :P I wouldn't object to removing it. Parsecboy (talk) 02:36, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

BBC - WW2 People's War as a source.

I seem to have unintentionally offended people by saying the BBC - WW2 People's War was "unreliable". Actual words were "interesting but less reliable" The BBC - WW2 People's War was a collection of eyewitness accounts, many of which provide an irreplaceable level of eyewitness detail. For the record I contributed 2 "top stories" about my father's experiences.
My concern was only that the BBC did not check the accuracy of stories and that the citation used here was a primary source. I've no problems with it being reinstated so long as there is another source as well -as is now the case.

The BBC News website, one of my favourite sources, is entirely different. Hope that clarifies the reason for the edit.

JRPG (talk) 16:26, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Unsinkable Sam

As my "see also" to Unsinkable Sam has been removed ([1]): This article and Ship's cat present the story as a fact. Is there a reliable source that it is a myth? --KnightMove (talk) 00:22, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

Extract from the KBismarck site, by its creator Jose M Rico, 13 Feb. 2006: "As far as I know, none of the survivors ever mentioned the presence of any cat aboard the Bismarck. A couple of months before Bruno Rzonca passed away in 2004, he was asked if there were any mascots aboard the ship, his answer was, 'Nothing'." This is one of those great urban myths and the article on "Unsinkable Sam" simply perpetuates this. bigpad (talk) 10:54, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
So, to refute the Unsinkable Sam claim you have a website creator saying "As far as I know ...", and him also claiming that one of some two thousand crew members said that there wasn't a mascot. Now if the late Mr. Rzonca had said, "I am sure that none of the crew had a pet (not a mascot, which is the whole point) on board," then I might take the objection more seriously. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 11:58, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
I have no opinion about whether this is true or not. I strongly suspect that few encyclopedic articles on famous battlecruisers include paragraphs on the ship's cat. Wiki is an encyclopedia, not a collection of furry trivia. Greglocock (talk) 12:14, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
Simon, let's get serious here. Do you think that a in rare opportunity for an interview with a Bismarck survivor, the question of a cat would have come up specifically, particularly by phone? The question was raised and that answer, "no", given. I have to say that the matter is indeed quite trivial. And Jose Rico is an authority on the ship. Regards, bigpad (talk) 12:52, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
Are you implying that I am not taking this seriously? I'm shocked sir, deeply shocked. Now, how about the infamous Killer Rabbit that lived in the chain locker on HMS Hood? Cheers Greglocock (talk) 13:36, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
Whatever the truth in the story is, I think it is relevant to be a "see also" in this article. Wha do you all think? --KnightMove (talk) 17:57, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

A ship that size would of needed multiple cats to keep the rat population down. These were not 'mascots' as such, but a crucial part of the on board logistics. The only citation I can provide would be to encourage people t tour HMS Belfast in the pool of London, but I can't see how else the German navy woul dhave kept it's vermin at bay. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:22, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Story of sighting by Norwegian agents

The article claims that the story of Norwegian agents sighting the Bismarck originated from a 1967 book, but the 1960 movie Sink the Bismarck! (itself based on an earlier book) relates the same story. Therefore, it seems unlikely that the story originated in 1967. Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 05:23, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

From the Portuguese Wikipedia ...

"The British claim to have sank the German ship with their torpedoes, but this isn't true, given that underwater expeditions confirmed the inner hull is intact. The true cause of the sinking was that, when the Germans saw the British ever closer, with the Bismarck defenseless after almost 2 hours of unequal battle, they bore holes in the hull, to frustrate a British attempt to capture the German battleship."

Thoughts? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:48, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

What did they use to drill the holes? How big were they, and how many? Why can't we see them on the photos? Can you work out how much water would have come in through the holes? Who says this happened? Do you wear a tinfoil hat? Did aliens help drill the holes? The Brazilian wiki obviously has even lower standards than this one. The usual ways to scuttle a ship is to open the seacocks or set charges. Why did those wacky german kids decide to drill holes instead? Greglocock (talk) 23:56, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Dude, I'm not defending the Portuguese Wikipedia (which yes, has more issues than this one, BTW). I'm asking whether anyone has actual data on that - which I don't, because I don't qualify as even amateur historian. Now, does anyone?
P.S.: apologies to any non-Brazilian Lusophone readers for having called it "Brazilian Wikipedia" ...—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:40, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

One of the most famous warships of WW2 without explaining why?

I couldn't help notice that only the Bismarck has "one of the most famous warships" in WW2 in it's introduction. Without explaining why. Many other famous warships of WW2 are "famous" without advertising it in their introduction paragraph, but they still explain what they did to gain fame. Some examples follow:

  • 1. USS Ward (destroyer, DD-139) sunk the first enemy submarine in WW2 for the US.
  • 2. HMS Prince of Wales (battleship) first battleship sunk by aircraft alone, while underway at sea and fighting back with all weapons. Confirming that airpower (aircraft carriers) were the new rulers of the sea.
  • 3. USS Arizona (battleship, BB39) started WW2 for America.
  • 4. USS Missouri (battleship, BB63) ended WW2.
  • 5. USS Enterprise (aircraft carrier, CV6) most decorated US warship of WW2.
  • 6. USS Hornet (aircraft carrier, CV8) launched the famous Doolittle Raid and probably the only time during WW2 that medium bombers (B25 Mitchells) were launched against an enemy from an aircraft carrier.
  • 7. IJN Yamato (battleship) largest, most powerful battleship ever built.

To place the sentence "one of the most famous warships in WW2" in front of each of those seven listed warships would appear un-encyclopedic. It would appear that Bismarck is recieving undue advertising (without explaining why).

It should be noted, that Bismarck is the only WW2 warship with a hit movie made about it (in the 1960s) in addition to a hit song (sung by Johnny Horton). Is this the reason for Bismarck's fame? If so, then that should be the justification for it being "one of the most famous warships of WW2" entered in the articles first paragraph. This justification should be noted somewhere in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:43, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

I got to agree with your edit. Using the words "most famous" is just pov. Bjmullan (talk) 23:24, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
In brief, this ship is unequivocally one of the most famous warships of WWII - regardless of whether you like it or not. That those other articles don't make similar claims (Ward and Hornet are hardly as famous as any of the others) doesn't mean this one can't. WP:OTHERSTUFF-like arguments are inherently flawed and should be avoided categorically.
And no, the ship is not famous because of the movie and the film (are you perchance the same anonymous editor who was edit-warring over that some time ago?) - the ship is famous because it destroyed the pride of the Royal Navy in the span of mere minutes, before leading a sizable chunk of the RN on a 3-day chase before being destroyed by a combination of British gunfire and torpedoes. The movie and song would not have been made about some obscure vessel no one had ever heard of (namely, why you don't have ballads about Ward or Hornet). Parsecboy (talk) 03:42, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
  • "Unequivocally" is a POV. When the editor in question owns Wikipedia, then he can make the rules.
  • "Regardless of whether you like it or not" is akin to the Humphrey Bogart film, "We don't need no stinking badges!" (Translation-We're the Bismarck crowd, "we don't need no stinking rules!")
  • Fortunately, the editor in question selected the USS Ward and USS Hornet. He probably knew better than to downgrade the USS Enterprise, it's Star Trek following is global, one episode even had a model of CV6 Enterprise featured on the show. If he had selected the USS Arizona he would have no doubt recieved the wrath of American WWII veterans. Wise choice on his part in choosing the Ward and Hornet out of the 7 choices.
  • "The ship is not famous because of the film"-How does the editor know that? The automobile industry spends MILLIONS of dollars bidding to have their car(s) featured in a film. Television, car racing, football, baseball, basketball, etc. all have SPONSORSHIP that pay them, expenses, etc. That's capitalism at work, free enterprise, etc. The film "Sink the Bismarck" was a freebe, the Germans didn't spend a dime, Britain did all the work for them, they made Bismarck famous.
  • If the editor in question does not believe the British film made the Bismarck famous in 1960. Then why should he believe the Bismarck engaged the Hood in 1940. In both cases he was not there, in both cases he can only believe what he's read or heard. This is a double standard?
For your information, I have no interest in the Bismarck, German Navy, or even WWII in general. My only interest is the integrity of Wikipedia. The editors responses to the "One of the most famous warships of WWII" (which was an excellent question by the way) were not addressed in a professional manner, nor appropiately (meaning the responses showed POV instead of objective answers). But they were easy enough for me to answer, so I intervened.
  • One more point, if I may, the editor in question mentioned the British (Royal Navy, Britain, etc.) at least three times as to why the Bismarck was famous...e.g. " gave the British trouble," "...caused such and such...etc." May I remind that writer that Wikipedia is supposed to be a global encyclopedia, NOT a British encyclopedia. If the Bismarck gave the British so much trouble (etc. etc. etc.) then it was a British fight, a British victory, and a British accomplishment (British Glory). That may make the Bismarck "famous" in the eyes of the British, however the world consists of other countries as well; and I will not insult that writer's intelligence by listing those countries. The Bismarck was a fine warship, it's men nor the battleship itself do not deserve this POV discussion. There are better and larger projects to work on than to rehash POVs. Wikipedia has a standard: Absolutely no POVs will be tolerated. But apparently, some Wiki Editors are Not doing their jobs! Bismarck should delete the "one or the most famous" and get on with life. Many other warships are famous in their own rights, but you don't hear them sniveling. So Bismarck...adhere to the rules and quit trying to promote some hidden agenda. I mention this because approximately 5 years ago this topic surfaced in which "Nazi-Superiority in naval warships" and other racists remarks began to escalate...all over this very same subject..."The most famous warship of WWII", now here it is again, "The BOUNCEMARK has returned." I strongly recommend that the Wiki-Editors end this and make the Bismarck conform to policy...other wise...this POV waste of time will continue...or worse re-escalate into another "Nazi" topic (as the Bismarck did wear 3 Swastikas, two on the upper deck, both fore and aft, and one flown). This was one the reasons for the escalation of the discussion in the WRONG DIRECTION. This happened because WIKI editors didn't do their jobs. I highly recommend they do it now.
    • 1: Utter bilge - words by themselves are not POV.
    • 2: No, actually, my point is that your opinion solely as your opinion is irrelevant.
    • 3: Totally irrelevant.
    • 4: It's up to you to demonstrate the film made Bismarck famous (rather hard to do, methinks, given that the ship had to already be famous for producers to be willing to spend thousands of pounds on the movie)
    • 5: Don't be a fool.
    • 6: That you didn't take a liking to our policy-based responses isn't my problem.
    • 7: The ship is famous. A number of reliable sources have been produced to support the claim. Deal with it and move on. Parsecboy (talk) 02:47, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
While wiki is not a democracy I'd say that Bismarck is probably the most famous BB /ever/ worldwide, and not because of some song and a film that hardly anyone has seen. If we have a reasonable RS saying "most famous" then that'd do me. Greglocock (talk) 05:35, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

*Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder Greglocock; the Bismarck looks like your typical clipper bowed Italian or French designed vessel. But the gothic appearing battleship Tsesarevich, the Russian flagship at the Battle of the Yellow Sea in 1904, now thats an awesome battleship! She looks like something straight out of Jules Vernes 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:20, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Surely you'd have to qualify a reference like that, though, saying "according to x ...", because if you can find one "reasonable" RS saying Bismarck was the most famous battleship, I'm sure I could find one offering another candidate. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 08:43, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
That's why we shouldn't declare it to be the "most" famous - "one of the most" is much more preferable, as Yamato is rather well known as well, for instance. FWIW, Yamato has been the subject of about a dozen films and TV shows, including Yamato (film) and of course, Space Battleship Yamato. Parsecboy (talk) 12:59, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia is a factual encyclopedia. The statement 'one of the most famous....... ' is subjective and totally based on the views within the region of the author(s). eg Is it 'one of the most famous .....' in the Asia Pacific region?? - Possibly not but possibly well known or possibly famous or possibly the most famous or possibly one of the most famous etc etc etc. The German language version of this article does not claim any measure of fame. Measures of Fame are subjective and not appropriate for an encyclopedia. Recommend that this subjective statement is deleted. Parsecboy (talk) do you agree?? Boatman (talk)
By that logic we should delete all articles on "celebrities" because they're only "famous" to the people who know about them... Wiki-Ed (talk) 14:11, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
PLEASE DO NOT DELETE ALL THE ARTICLES ON CELEBTITIES. Read my proposal again, I did not propose deleting the Bismark article. In the context of the Bismark article, 'one of the most famous .....' is subjective, immeasurable and not appropriate to an encyclopedia article. Even the version of the article from the country of origin (eg Germany) does attempt a 'fame rating' Boatman (talk)
Perhaps we should concentrate our efforts on finding a source that backs the statement, or sufficient statements within the article itself that can be accurately summarised as "one of the most famous"? At the moment, its fame is not touched upon in this article. GraemeLeggett (talk) 14:52, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
How's this: "One of the most famous warships of all time, the Bismarck was laid down..." - page 21, in Williamson, Gordon (2003). German Battleships 1939-45. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 9781841764986. Parsecboy (talk) 18:05, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
William Garzke and Robert Dulin note that "due to their exploits, [Bismarck and Tirpitz] have become legendary" on page 203, Axis and Neutral Battleships in World War II. Annapolis: USNI. ISBN 0870211013. Parsecboy (talk) 18:15, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
William Garzke is a well published researcher and co-author of several books relating to WW II battleships and other shipping topics. Recommend that 'legendary' tag with the reference to Axis and Neutral Battleships in World War II would be very appropriate to replace the "one of the most famous ...." text in the Bismark article. Boatman (talk)
While it might be sourced, I don't think that would be appropriate wording: "legend" suggests something slightly that has evolved from fact. The Williamson quote would suffice and is supported by others. Wiki-Ed (talk) 19:58, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
  • If William Garzke and Robert Dulin wrote, "...the Bismarck proved Nazi-superiority in naval warfare" would that make it right? Would you really allow that?! Authors are not perfect, they bend the rules too. Wiki editors use common sense and enforce your policy (NO POVs)!
Garzke & Dulin are respected naval historians and their opinions are valid. And please format your posts with some degree of uniformity... Parsecboy (talk) 02:47, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

My main issue with this debate is that regardless of the perceived fame of the vessel, merely placing "most famous" in the lead without explanation is contrary to WP:LEAD, specifically: the lead nonetheless should not "tease" the reader by hinting at—but not explaining—important facts that will appear later in the article. IMO, this alone is justification for either removing the statement, or improving the lead in another way to support the claim. Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 02:40, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

I would have thought the next paragraph in the introduction pretty much addresses this point. Wiki-Ed (talk) 11:11, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

A 5 minute search of the newspaper archives would surely have avoided this rather unnecessary debate? It is a fact that the Bismarck's sinking was reported on the front pages of newspapers around the world, including the New York Times and the Los Angleles Times. I'd say this justifies the "one of the most famous warships in WW2" comment. I have added a statement to this effect in the lead, plus citations. Achilver (talk) 14:02, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

While it may be the case that it was widely reported, what we are looking for is a RS that says so. In terms of saying that it was widely reported, the actual newspaper reports are primary documents and your assembling of them is bordering on Original Reseach. What you need is a (newspaper) report saying that it made the front page of the major newspapers and preferably newspapers of those not then involved in the war nor the English speaking community. GraemeLeggett (talk) 16:38, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
That the ship's sinking was reported all round the world is not appropriate as the second sentence of the article. Where it is now, at the very end of the introduction, is ok. bigpad (talk) 12:06, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Survivor numbers don't add up

There appears to be a discrepancy in the survivor numbers.

  • 110 captured by Dorsetshire and Maori
  • 5 rescued by U-74 and Sachsenwald
  • 1,995 died

That's 2,110 accounted for. The total crew is given as 2,200. What happened to the other 90 people? T-bonham (talk) 05:56, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

The infobox gives the complement as 2,092. I did see another reference for 2,200 but I believe that includes a flag staff that were not actually on board Bismarck when it sailed. If this can be considered a reliable source, then that may clear up some possible inaccuracies in our articles (for example, the article for Dorsetshire implies Dorsetshire picked up 110 survivors, but the survivor list shows that this number was split between Dorsetshire and Maori). Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 08:40, 3 April 2011 (UTC) has been evolving over many years and looks very well researched. It certainly has much more comprehensive info than other Bismark related sites. I would recommend using the numbers from that site with an appropriate citation. Boatman (talk) 20:39, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't know that this is all that important. I have this draft on the H class to finish, then I'm going to rewrite this article completely from scratch (as part of this project) later this month. and the other Bismarck-related cites won't be used at all in the new version (as they don't qualify as reliable sources, and would therefore be an obstacle to a rating of GA or higher). Parsecboy (talk) 22:49, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
I stress that this question is not intended to be controversial or provocative but are you a qualified reliable source to 'completely re-write this article from scratch' or do you actually mean reformat/restructure? We would appreciate your clarification. Thanks Boatman (talk) 14:05, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I do not claim to be a "reliable source" myself - no one who edits Wikipedia is. However, I will use reliable sources when I overhaul this article. And given that I have written over 20 featured articles over the past four years, almost all of them on German warships, yes, I am highly qualified to redo this one. Compare the old version of German battleship Tirpitz with the current version, which is now a good article and on track for an eventual run at FAC. As for clarification, all of the prose will be rewritten completely from scratch. Parsecboy (talk) 14:25, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Perfect. Thanks for your reply. Boatman (talk) 15:49, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Good luck with any rewrite Nate but treating the as an unrealible source would be highly unfortunate, to say the least. Compared with many - if not most - of the published works on Bismarck, Jose Rico's site is a treasure of reliable information. Regards, bigpad (talk) 14:52, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks - when I start the new draft I'll post a link here so anyone can help out if they want. Yeah, that's one of the problems with going to FAC - it's become increasingly restrictive on the sources accepted. For instance,, which is run by Tony DiGuilian (and has been cited in several books), is no longer accepted as a "high quality" reliable source, despite the fact that the WP:RS/N has signed off on it at least a couple of times. It seems as though the trend is to prohibit almost all self-published online resources. Parsecboy (talk) 18:01, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Article name

Wouldn't it be more customary to name the article Bismarck (German battleship)? –CWenger (^@) 03:51, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

In this case, no. See WP:SHIPNAME for the details. Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 04:19, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
I see, thanks for altering me to that guideline. –CWenger (^@) 04:25, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Not the world's largest warship in 1041

08:18, 26 May 2011 (UTC)~With respect it is incorrect to assert that KMS Bismarck was the world's largest warship in 1941, that honor belongs, surely, to HMS Hood, which was just over 860ft long (the stats for Hood in her Wiki page seem to me to be accurate). Hood and Bismarck were of broadly similar tonnage, although Bismarck's full load displacement was about 3,000 tons higher, she also had a broader beam than Hood. Their main armament was similar, although Bismarck's 15" guns were longer and may have been fractionally higher calibre, as they were designed in the inferior metric system. Otherwise the article is fair, although I agree with the comments about the subjectivity of 'famous.' It would by the way be nice to see the Admiralty's plans for rebuilding Hood (on which a friend of mine served) referred to in her entry.

The Portuguese comment about drilling holes is absurd, as is the suggestion that she could have been boarded and captured, which belongs more to Pirates of the Caribbean than a serious online resource like Wkikpedia, and reflects a psychological unwillingness on the part of some in Europe to accept that the most powerful European battleship ever was sunk by the Royal Navy. The Germans pushed similar propaganda about scuttling charges during the war and after it; there is little doubt that she was finished off by 21" torpedoes from HMS Dorsetshire.

The commentary on criticisms of the ship's design is a little harsh on Preston. Most battleship designs build on their predecessors and it was inevitable that the first German battleship class after the Bayerns would be heavily influenced by them. Of course Bismarck's 15" guns were of improved design, ditto her machinery, but to describe the Bismarck class as enlarged and modernised Bayern is fair. Battleship design is a compromise between speed, habitability, protection and firepower. By basing the design on the Bayerns the Kriegsmarine tilted the compromise too much towards protection at the expense of firepower, and too much against habitability (like the battleships of the High Sea Fleet they were essentially short range vessels designed for forays into the North Sea and unlike the Scharnhorst class battlecruisers were unsuited to Atlantic raiding).

The German claim that the Bismarck was intending to raid convoys should not be accepted so uncritically. The article would be more balanced if it were to say that the convoy raiding claim is undermined by the failure to top up her tanks in Norway when she had the opportunity. Only the Prinz Eugen was going to raid convoys, which is why only her bunkers were topped up. Bismarck was ordered to Brest, France, where she was to concentrate with the Scharnhorsts (which were to be fitted with the same design main battery as the Bismarcks) and eventually the Littorios and the Richelieu, the apparent intent being to engage the US Atlantic Fleet. (the two Bismarck's, the re-gunned Scharnhorts, the three Littorios and Richelieu and Jean Bart would have been a formidable force, with fire control made easier by near-identical main batteries). When the plan was devised by Admiral Canaris he was hoping the Hess coup against Churchill would have succeeded, that Britain would have sued for peace, and Middle East oil would have been flowing to Germany, making of Russia much easier, before turning on America, in co-ordination with Japan, in 1941. It is a mistake in reading history to assume that the events which happened were anticipated.

This is too controversial for the main article, but at least the raiding comment should be qualified by uncontroverted evidence on fuelling tactics which makes a nonsense of the German claim. MS121.209.148.120 (talk) 08:18, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

unwillingness on the part of some in Europe to accept that the most powerful European battleship ever. Most powerful ever? Not hardly. The French Richelieus were superior in every category, as also (arguably) was HMS Vanguard (equal guns, better armor). The Nelsons had Bismarck clearly outgunned. Solicitr (talk) 17:38, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Just some small notes: consruction tonnage of Hood was several thousand tonnes less than Bismarck - about 36k for Hood and 41k for Bismarck. There is little doubt over who disabled Bimarck as a fighting machine - one torpedo jamming the rudder and the overwhelming naval force of the british battleships firing at a merely sitting duck in the later naval battle. But they did not achieve what they wanted most - to sink her. There's no evidence proving a catastrohical torpedo hit - wreck status also implies no measures were taken to prevent her vom sinking (quite the opposite). "Inferior metric system" - this really made me laugh .....--Denniss (talk) 14:45, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Denniss is indeed correct. Insofar as the sinking is concerned, 1st Class Machinist Mate Heinrich Kuhnt, one of the survivors who stayed with the ship until the end, even noted that the commanding officers "announced over the PA that we should set scuttling charges and open the sea valves. We were going to sink her ourselves and abandon ship." Though the charges did not detonate before the ship was hit by the torpedo salvo from Dorsetshire (which consisted of three 21-inchers), the flood valves were already opened. The 2002 expedition by Cameron and Wight proved as well that the battleship, despite sustaining some damage to the hull during the final battle that would have been inevitably fatal, did not sustain nearly enough to cause it to founder as quickly as it did at 10:39 in the morning (in Cameron's words, "perhaps a half-day later"; in short, Dorsetshire's torpedo salvo was not nearly as effective as it has been asserted countless times over the years)- this only lending credence to the theory that the Germans did indeed scuttle their own ship, as they have been saying for years now (historians and survivors alike). (talk) 05:44, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
The scuttling simply hastened the demise of an already-sinking ship. Bismarck's decks were awash by the time the abandonment order was given, even before Dorsetshire's coup de grace. "There's no evidence proving a catastrohical torpedo hit"- the wreck is buried in silt up to the design waterline- pretty hard to make a "no evidence" claim on that basis. Moreover, the ship's stern broke off at the surface, not on bottom impact- what caused that? Solicitr (talk) 17:38, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't believe you are correct in stating that the ship is embedded up to the design waterline in silt - if that were the case, Ballard would not have been able to examine the hull as thoroughly as he did on the third expedition. As for the stern, it's well known that the stern structure in most (perhaps all?) German heavy ships of the period were very weak and susceptible to failure. Parsecboy (talk) 01:24, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

07:58, 29 May 2011 (UTC)I respectfully agree with the comments about the Rodneys having a heavier main battery (9 by 16"/45 versus 8 by 15"/50(?)) - they clearly did, and HMS Rodney helped sink the Bismarck (she also fired her underwater torpedo tubes by the way, and is thought to have obtained one hit, the only instance in history of one battleship torpedoing another) and the Vanguard was a finer ship in many ways, only 15"/42 main battery, as they were Mk 1 taken from the light battlecruisers HMS Glorious and HMS Courageous, ie were fairly old by 1945. But Vanguard and the Rodneys were BRITISH ships, not European (Europe starts at Calais). The Richelieus were clearly European - France is in Europe, but most commentators would say they were inferior to the Bismarck class. Their forward mounted battery, a la the Rodneys, permitted greater protection but at the risk of cross-interference in A and B turrets; 14" is generally accepted as the highest calibre to be successfully operated in a quadruple turret was 14" (the KGVs). The Littorios were fine ships, their 15"/50 calibre was the equal of the Bismarck gun, and they had 9 in three turrets, but their protection and secondary armament, and fire control arrangements, are generally reckoned to have been inferior to the German ships. The controversy over the manner of Bismarck's sinking will rage for centuries, but I adhere to the view that her stern broke off at the surface, and that the coup de grace was administered by HMS Dorsetshire. The British 21" was a pretty powerful torpedo. I do not accept that the Bismarck's PA system had power at the time of the alleged broadcast - by that time the Bismarck had been reduced to a blazing shambles by the British battle squadron. As for the Imperial System, well the Bismarck fight (same goes on an all-arms basis for WW2 excepting the Soviets) was a fight between an Imperial battle squadron and a metric battleship, and the metric ship sank. It is worthy of note that no German battleship sank a British battleship in either war, although two German armoured cruisers did sink the old Canopus at Coronel in 1914. (talk) 07:58, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

"although two German armoured cruisers did sink the old Canopus at Coronel in 1914." Actually, they sank two armoured cruisers, Good Hope and Monmouth. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 08:38, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

11:47, 30 May 2011 (UTC)Quite right, I apologise Simon, I had forgotten, Canopus was too slow to keep up with Sir Christopher Cradock's squadron and survived, to fire the opening shots in the Battle of the Falklands, therefore no British battleship to date has been sunk by German surface warships. Re survivor numbers there is a generally very accurate account online (Google Rodney) by Lt-Cmdr Geoffrey Mason RN retd of Rodney's war; he gives ship's complement as 2,221, with 116 survivors. He also gives accurate timings for the Bismarck action and confirms that Rodney fired a total of 12 torpedoes (I believe she had 21" tubes and was firing Mk VIIs), all from her starboard tubes, as the port tube outer doors had been jammed by a near miss; he gives a probable hit at 1000 hours; I respectfully agree - this hit ought to be referred to (in those terms, it was a probable hit but we cannot be certain) in the article; in any discussion about whether Bismarck was scuttled this probable torpedo strike, the third on Bismarck (the other strikes being aerial 18" torpedoes from HMS Victorious and HMS Ark Royal) is usually overlooked; she took at least six torpedoes. HMS Dorsetshire achieved two hits with 21" Mark VII torpedoes on Bismarck's starboard side at 1022, and a third, to port, at 1037, following which Bismarck sank almost immediately, at 1039. The Wikipedia entry on the Mark VII is up to the usual Wiki standards if I may say so, and gives a warhead size of 740 lbs TNT, and a speed of 35 knots. Most ships hit by three Mk VIIs - a combined explosive power of one ton of TNT - sank. I suspect Bismarck was listing to port (with scuttling charges you normally get an even settle) due to the combined effects of Rodney's straight trajectory fire (remember these were 2,000 lb plus rounds going in at about Mach 2, to give a modern comparison each of Rodney's 9 main battery guns fired shells as heavy as 6 Exocet warheads, going twice as fast), which caused major damage below decks and her torpedo hit. Mason also confirms that Bismarck's bridge personnel took losses at 0901, when a 16" shell from Rodney's 4th salvo (she also fired over 700 6" rounds, another factor frequently overlooked) hit Bruno turret with blast effects going up to the bridge; we cannot even be sure brave Captain Lindemann was alive after that - combatant, ie survivor, accounts cannot just be taken at face value; it is improbable in my view that Bismarck's bridge PA system was operational after 0902, and there seems to have been a general loss of power by the time the alleged broadcast about scuttling charges was made, due to both direct hits on engine rooms and generators and the general shock effect on electrical equipment of repeated supersonic hits by heavy AP shells (I digress, but there was a rather odd debate just after the war about whether or not you could go through the sound barrier when the Royal & US Navies and others had been hurtling shells the size of Volkswagens through the sound barrier for decades). The USS South Dakota's entire main switchboard tripped in the 3rd Battle of Savo Sound, leading to a general and extended systems failure, after receiving far fewer hits, and from lighter shells. Rodney's main battery directors were out of action before the end of the battle due to recoil shock alone, indeed she could not fire her main battery without flooding some compartments. Repeated heavy hits will open seams in the strongest hull and let water in just from the blast effect. I doubt there is a warship afloat today which would remain operational after taking a salvo of 16" rounds at 4,000 yards, unless they were AP and went straight through. By coincidence Fox TV in Australia has just shown Sink the Bismarck; it is a fine film, but overlooks the intelligence angle; almost certainly Naval Intelligence became aware that Bismarck had not topped up her tanks in Norway and was not intending to raid convoys - the conclusion that she was headed to Brest was very firm, and based in my view on more than the hunch shown by the fictional Captain Shepherd in the film, well played of course by Kenneth More. A good photo interpreter should have been able to pick up that she was light just from overheads. Intelligence would also have been aware of the Hess coup, supported by key civil servants and Lord Halifax (Hess flew to Britain not long before Bismarck sailed) - it is now clear Admiral Canaris was expecting Churchill to have been ousted in favour of Halifax by the time Bismarck sailed, indeed the sinking of Hood (she was set up by German assets in Naval Intelligence, she, KGV and Prince of Wales should have sailed as a squadron, supported by Victorious and Repulse, but the First Sea Lord, Pound, was opposed to Churchill and is thought to have supported the failed coup, it is no wonder Churchill, who had been briefed in on the interrogation of Hess at the Tower, was mightily insistent on the Bismarck being sunk) may have been intended as the trigger. Nothing like the whole story of this episode has come out so far, but I will not advertise my forthcoming book! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:47, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

While it is interesting to hear that the UK is not part of Europe, none of this is relevant to improving the article (nor is much of it based in reality). Wikipedia is not a forum, please restrict your comments to those directed at improving specific issues in the article. Parsecboy (talk) 11:27, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Agree with Parsecboy. Wikipedia is not a blog. All the above stuff should be 'blogged' elsewhere. Boatman (talk) 12:06, 31 May 2011 (UTC)


Hey all, I've finally gotten around to starting the rewrite for this article - it's basically going to follow the same pattern as Tirpitz (and quite literally, every other article on German battleships). As always, feel free to add material if you have a reliable source (preferably of the dead-tree variety - remember, this is going to FAC eventually and they will accept only the highest quality sources) to support it. My references are somewhat light on the expeditions, so anyone with Ballard's books, etc. might want to assist there. Also, being a Yank, I might miss some BE/AE spelling differences, so keep an eye on that.

On to something specific, I don't really see the criticism section staying in the article. I've written over 20 ship-related FAs (and have read probably as many written by other authors) and not a single one has a design criticism section. I know this ship is controversial, but I don't know that it's all that controversial in academic circles. What I'm getting at is, yes, people argue about it in forums, but we are not a forum, nor do we need to represent the disagreements between largely uninformed posters. In any case, criticisms of the ship's design belong in the class article, not this one (and they are indeed sprinkled throughout the class article). Any relevant tidbits that would help the reader's understanding of the specific fate of Bismarck (thinking of the poor rudder design and inability to steer solely via propeller rotation, here) should of course be mentioned here, but it should be integrated into the narrative, not set off in a separate section.

The link to the draft is here. Just to note, I'm in the process of moving into a new house, and my books are all packed, of course, so I won't be able to do much writing for at least a week or so. Parsecboy (talk) 14:10, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Given the data provided by Von Müllenheim-Rechberg (and others) I will be looking for information on the crew structure on board Bismarck in this "new" article. MisterBee1966 (talk) 20:44, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
We've talked about this before, but I don't think that kind of information is really appropriate for ship articles. If it belongs anywhere (and I don't know that it does), it should be in the class article. Parsecboy (talk) 22:13, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree, that's general information that applies to both ships in the class. However, Parsec, that means you are going to have to add it to the class article eventually. ;-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 03:33, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Okay, that is fair. I will be looking for this inforamtion in the class article then MisterBee1966 (talk) 08:53, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Hey all, just a reminder if anyone wants to contribute to the draft (which is progressing along nicely). Let me know (here, on the draft talk, or my talk) if there's anything missing you think should be included (or add it yourself). I know this article has had its share of controversies over the years, so I'd like to make sure everybody's happy with it. Parsecboy (talk) 17:46, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Just thought I'd give another poke. I'm nearly done with the draft (just the last battle section to write up) - I should finish it tomorrow morning (east coast US time) at which point I'll transfer it over to article space. Parsecboy (talk) 18:06, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Alright, with no objections I have moved the new version over. I'll be nominating it for GA shortly. Parsecboy (talk) 13:59, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Claims regarding "surrender" attempts

An anonymous editor redirects me to Talk to defend removal of a claim made in a recent book. Ok, I can't remove cited work but let's state the facts, as I have done, that these claims are based on hearsay evidence that simply *cannot be verified. Did the Rodney crewmember ever write about this alleged (and startling) event or record his thoughts? The secrets about Enigma eventually came out, so why not this? Unfortunately, Wikipedia is losing credibility due to the inability to contradict and simply refuse to use information this is published, however much it can be challenged. bigpad (talk) 21:09, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

This shouldn't be a problem since it is covered by core policy: exceptional claims require exceptional sources. I think we can remove this ref until more sources are available and/or the book has been peer reviewed. Wiki-Ed (talk) 09:23, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
A good practical positive solution. Boatman (talk) 09:28, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
That sounds like a sensible way forward. Would one of you mind removing the reference and citing the policy, as I'm probably not *seen as impartial! If the claims prove to be sustainable, it's important that they are re-inserted. Regards, bigpad (talk) 10:18, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Please also modify or remove these claims from Last battle of the battleship Bismarck. --Denniss (talk) 11:16, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
I have removed content from both articles as per the policy referenced above (core policy: exceptional claims require exceptional sources) Boatman (talk) 11:49, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

11:45, 3 June 2011 (UTC)With respect to Parsecboy the whole point of this discussion is to improve the article; ie he or she thinks Britain is in Europe (one may as well say Taiwan is part of China, or Cuba part of Florida) then he or she with respect has little grasp og geography and is hopelessly out of touch with modern British opinion; the article fails to refer to the probable hit by HMS Rodney and is weak in so far as it deals with the German c,aim that Bismarck was scuttled; the timings of the Dorsetshire's third torpedo hit, followed by the sinking two minutes later should be given; Wiki is not an instrument of German propaganda and on bacne that is all the scuttling claim ever was; I have given sound reasons to doubt the suggestion of a broadcast by Captain Lindemann, which I suggest could only have been given posthumously121.209.148.120 (talk) 11:45, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Not sure that I understand the above in the context of the para heading(Claims regarding "surrender" attempts). Should it be placed elsewhere in this talk page?? Thanks Boatman (talk) 11:54, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
I think we can ignore it. Wiki-Ed (talk) 12:26, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Perfect suggestion! Boatman (talk) 12:34, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) If the island of Great Britain is not in Europe, what continent is it part of, exactly? I am certainly aware that a segment of the British public is very anti-Europe (and particularly anti-EU), but it is not a universally held opinion, nor does it mean that the UK is not actually in Europe. If anything, it indicates that many citizens of the UK desperately need access to maps such as these: 1, 2, and 3.
As to your claims about what happened in the final minutes of the ship, we do not write articles based on your reasons (or those of anyone else). We write articles that summarize the consensus of established historians in the field. Iain Ballantyne is probably a perfectly fine author, but as far as I can tell, there have been no peer reviews of his book by other naval historians (at least none are turning up in Worldcat or Google Scholar). Without those, we cannot determine that his evidence, research, and claims have been accepted by the historical community. It's interesting that you state above that "combatant, ie survivor, accounts cannot just be taken at face value", though Ballantyne's book (and indeed his more controversial claims) are heavily reliant on eyewitness accounts.
With regard to the torpedo hit from Rodney, the only other reference I was able to locate was in Garzke & Dulin, Axis and Neutral Battleships in World War II, on page 246: "Earlier, the Rodney had fired 12 torpedoes, with one hit being observed by a lookout at 0958, although German survivors have denied this...Torpedo hits were difficult to ascertain because of the numerous shell splashes around the ship." Parsecboy (talk) 12:52, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Don't feed the IP... Wiki-Ed (talk) 17:20, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
    • ^ Garzke & Dulin 1990, p.