Talk:German battleship Bismarck/Archive 5

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 1 Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5 Archive 6


My latest additions to the article content are solid fact, supported by reliable sources and not actually controversial. The "controversy" is only regarding the Introduction, where an editor with a strong POV is using "nuances" to create a biased and misleading summary of the content. No editor has veto rights on any article, and verifiable content can be added by anybody. Wdford (talk) 14:23, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

See my reply above. Your proposed additions are highly biased and they deliberately removed the citations to the article for the Mearns quote, as if to somehow justify removing them. You also copied text word for word. That is called a copyright violation, and it is illegal. Parsecboy (talk) 15:04, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
See my replies above. Your interpretations are highly biased and factually inaccurate, and your so-called "nuances" are misleading. The sources clearly support my amendments, as described in detail above. The article requires further improvement, and your POV is not helping. Please comply with WikiPolicy. Wdford (talk) 10:30, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Wdford, can you please suggest the exact changes you think should be made to the article's text, along with the sources that support these changes? It's more productive to discuss concrete text than argue over differing interpretations of events. Nick-D (talk) 10:39, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

My proposed amendments have all been saved into the article already, and were then mass-reverted, so you can see them (with the references) on the history page, at [1] This is just the first round of improvements – more polishing will follow, as well as adding more detail and references. Wdford (talk) 11:02, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I'm aware that they can be viewed via the history of the article. I was hoping that you could post your proposed changes here so that you can explain why you think that each substantive change is an improvement and other editors can discuss this (there's no need to post them in one go; working through them in small batches would work better). As this is a featured article on a prominent topic covered by hundreds of reliable sources, consensus-based editing is particularly important. Nick-D (talk) 11:11, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
since the article status as "Featured" has been mentioned - may I draw attention to the the Featured article promotion when aspects of the article were discussed. GraemeLeggett (talk) 11:37, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Actually I fail to see the strong discrepancies in the two lines of argumentation. I want to remind that English is not my native language so I may miss the subtleties in the wording. For me personally the discussion over PoW is irrelevant. PoW withdrew whether due to mechanical failure of her guns, combat damage sustained seems irrelevant to the lead of the article. Now based on my sources, which are mostly German and thus of lesser relevance to the English Wiki, the hits sustained by Bismarck from PoW had far reaching tactical implications on the mission. According to Gaack and Carr, Lütjens plans were to run over a U-boat defense line as a means to shake the British ships. This had been planned for. However the fuel situation on Bismarck, due to the hits sustained, made this option obsolete. I gave this example because I feel that the sentence in the lead "The destruction of Hood spurred a relentless pursuit by the Royal Navy involving dozens of warships." from my humble point of view, does not fully capture the collaborative effort by the British and events in the actions that pinnacled in the destruction by pair of British battleships. Again, my mastery of the English language may be the reason for this. MisterBee1966 (talk) 17:09, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments, MisterBee - can you add the material on the U-boat line trap to the article? It is a useful bit of the German operational planning, which generally stops after the start of the mission in English-language sources. I'm not quite sure where to include it in the lead. Perhaps added on to the last line of the second paragraph: "Bismarck engaged and destroyed the battlecruiser HMS Hood, the pride of the Royal Navy, and forced the battleship HMS Prince of Wales to retreat. Bismarck herself was hit three times and suffered an oil leak from a ruptured tank, which forced her to attempt to return to port rather than continue her mission." I think the specific plan about running over a U-boat ambush line is a bit too much detail for the lead though. Parsecboy (talk) 13:28, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
Article section – The Sinking
This section has a lot of overlap with the Main article: Last battle of the battleship Bismarck. To avoid duplication, I propose that this content be merged into that main article, and this section be reduced to a summary only.
I also would like to add to para 6 the following: “The four British ships fired 2,876 shells from 133mm to 406mm at Bismarck, scoring more than 400 hits. Twenty-three torpedoes were also launched at the Bismarck. Short of fuel and unable to sink the Bismarck by gunfire alone, Admiral Sir John Tovey ordered the cruiser Dorsetshire to sink the Bismarck with torpedoes, and ordered the battleships back to port.[1] Dorsetshire subsequently hit Bismarck with three torpedoes, two on the port side and one hit to starboard. As Bismarck was already capsizing to port when this attack occurred, it appears that one of these torpedoes may have exploded against Bismarck’s port side superstructure at about 1031.[2] Around 10:35 the Bismarck slowly sank by the stern, disappearing beneath the surface at 10:40."[3] This is useful extra detail, which better clarifies how much punishment the Bismarck took in the battle. It also clarifies the fact that the British could not sink her by gunfire, and that the British battleships had already gone home by the time she finally sank, which facts do not seem to be adequately reported in the article as yet.
The material on how the British ships left the bulk of the survivors to drown, should be a separate following paragraph.
Wdford (talk) 02:37, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Are you suggesting removing detail from the section on the sinking but adding it to the lede, or adding specific detail to the sinking section?
The "Sinking" article covers the entirety of the actions by the British in finding and bringing the Bismarck to battle. While in some instances the use of a specific spin-off can reduce the section in the "parent" to a brief summary, for a featured article the content needs to be comprehensive such that the article can stand by itself. If the "last battle" article was up to featured standard then perhaps just its lede would be sufficient, but for the moment it si not.
The phrase "Left to drown" implies a certain POV since there was an attempt to bring on survivors, and putting it in separate paragraph sounds like trying to bring attention to that point. GraemeLeggett (talk) 09:01, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
This particular suggestion is to add additional detail to the sinking section. I have made some other comments on improving the lede in the talk section for the Introduction above.
History is very clear that the Dorsetshire and the Maori were on station and picked up some survivors, and were in a position to rescue the others too, but then moved off of their own accord and left hundreds of men in the water to drown. The appropriateness of this decision is certainly debatable, but the fact itself is irrefutable. Its interesting that you would think that "trying to bring attention to this point" is POV, when this is undisputed historical fact. The paragraph goes further to mention subsequent rescue efforts by German ships as well. All I am suggesting is that putting the existing material on this point in its own para would make the section more readable, but I'm not married to the idea.
Separately I am also querying the duplication with the Main article: Last battle of the battleship Bismarck. If it is not appropriate to eliminate duplication by removing content from this article into that article, then is there any point in having that article at all? Should we rather not collapse that article into this article? I am not understanding the reason for retaining the extensive duplication.
Wdford (talk) 09:45, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
The "left to drown" bit is a joke, and only highlights the (I'll use his words) "rabid POV" of my friend here.
As for the main articles, this was recently discussed here. Graeme's point about the fact that this, as a Featured Article, needs to be able to largely stand on its own as far as the topic of the article is concerned, is correct. The "last battle" and "Denmark Strait" articles should focus more on a higher level discussion of the engagement and cover both sides; this article should emphasis in greater detail the actions of the ship (much the same way the Battle of Jutland and the SMS König articles are related, for example). Parsecboy (talk) 13:00, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
"Rabid" was your word, as you well remember, and it fits your POV well. As history clearly records, the Royal Navy was in a position to save those men, but instead left them to drown. There is no nuance here, this is straight fact. The only POV here is your trying to downplay a verifiable fact which is uncomfortable to you. This is not a joking matter. Wdford (talk) 21:07, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
There is very little in the "Last Battle" that doesn't relate to the Bismarck directly. These articles overlap significantly, and I see little purpose in duplicating the material over two articles. Wdford (talk) 21:07, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Please do not splice comments, it makes discussion hard to follow for others. As to the meat of your comment, which is ridiculous, might I point out that the British thought they saw a U-boat? What sense does it make to stay and keep rescuing survivors if there is a strong possibility that you might soon join those men in the icy waters of the North Atlantic? Please, enough with the feigned indignation; you know very well I was referring to your incredibly biased assertion that the British deliberately left the Germans to drown, not the event in question. Parsecboy (talk) 23:20, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

The Royal Navy was in a position to save those men, but instead left them to drown. This is an undisputed fact, which your side-tracking cannot alter. The article clearly says the British were scared of U-boats, and I made no attempt to alter that para, merely to separate it into a para of its own.

However you are no doubt aware that the U-boats of that era had to launch their torpedoes from periscope depth, and in rough seas they were thus no threat at all. The Royal Navy knew that, of course, which casts some doubt on their explanation for leaving the scene. Wdford (talk) 18:55, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

Note that U-74 was on the scene. Standard operation procedure when the submarine alarm was sounded was to get the heck out of dodge. It seems unlikely that you have ever been in combat, but I have. When your life is on the line, you don't second guess the enemy's ability to attack you. Your insinuation that the British deliberately left the German sailors to die is frankly disgusting. Parsecboy (talk) 19:12, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
I think the important thing is that reliable sources say they British abandoned the rescuing of survivors because of a U-boat threat and not because they wanted to see a lot of German sailors drown in revenge for the Hood.GraemeLeggett (talk) 19:51, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
True, if Wdford thinks the latter is true, let him provide some reliable sources to justify the claim. Otherwise, nothing's happening. Parsecboy (talk) 20:31, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
I have never claimed that the British abandoned the rescuing of survivors because they wanted revenge for the Hood – as I have often stated, I don’t do “nuances”, I edit as per WP:RF. I have always been quite happy to leave in the U-boat explanation, and I have never suggested amending that material at all. All I suggested was that the two points (sinking and survivors) be split into separate paragraphs. Your insinuations about my insinuations are the really disgusting issue, since you are the fan of nuances, not me. Your personal combat experience, whatever it may have been, is irrelevant here - soldiers do as they are ordered, irrespective of the risk. Please stop side-tracking the discussion, and allow good faith editors to further improve the article.
Do you have any GOOD reason why we should not add to para 6 the following:
“The four British ships fired 2,876 shells from 133mm to 406mm at Bismarck, scoring more than 400 hits. Short of fuel and unable to sink the Bismarck by gunfire alone, Admiral Sir John Tovey ordered the battleships back to port, and ordered the cruiser Dorsetshire to sink the Bismarck with torpedoes.[4] Dorsetshire subsequently fired three more torpedoes, and hit Bismarck on both sides. As Bismarck was already capsizing to port when this attack occurred, it appears that one of these torpedoes may have exploded against Bismarck’s port side superstructure.[5] The Bismarck finally disappeared beneath the surface at 10:40."[3]
Wdford (talk) 10:19, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
You cast doubt on their explanation for having left. What other explanation is there? Martians came down and beamed the ships up? Stop playing games.
You wanted to put the "left to drown" bit in its own paragraph, ostensibly to draw attention to it. Again, stop playing games.
The number of shells fired at the ship is an excellent bit of detail for the Last Battle article (and then you wouldn't have to complain about so much overlap!) As for the rest, there is the obvious plagiarism issue: compare "As Bismarck was beginning to capsize slowly to port when this attack occurred, it appears that one of these torpedoes may have exploded against Bismarck’s port side superstructure" with your proposed sentence. How about adding "The torpedo fired at Bismarck‍ '​s port side may have actually struck her superstructure, due to her severe list to port.[6] after the second sentence in that paragraph? Parsecboy (talk) 15:41, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
What exactly does "ostensibly" mean in this context? The "left to drown" is an undisputed fact, attested by every source. Why do you not want it in a separate paragraph - are you trying to hide it away? More of the POV you deny having, no doubt.
Why do you not want to include the number of shells fired by all four ships in this article? You are happy to include the number of shells fired by the battleships, so why not rather the number of shells fired by all four of the ships that participated in the bombardment? Why do you attempt to exclude the fact that the British battleships had to go home before the Bismarck actually sank? More of your POV?
I am happy to word the inclusions in any way that doesn't hide the reality behind a nuance.
Wdford (talk) 17:02, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Find yourself a dictionary. No, "left to drown" is a POV, as the "to" bit implies intent. "Left without rescuing all of the survivors" is a non-biased way to put it. And no, I'm not trying to hide it, I'm trying to keep the article from having a series of short, choppy paragraphs, and the fate of the men in the water is a natural follow-on to the sinking of the ship.
As for the shells fired, we're back to our original disagreement. Rodney and King George V destroyed Bismarck, not Norfolk or Dorsetshire. Large-caliber shells matter in an engagement like this, medium-caliber shells, not so much. As I said before, the movements of warships other than Bismarck are not directly relevant here. That information is better placed in their respective articles and in the Last Battle article. This one necessarily focuses on Bismarck. Again, this should make you happy, since these are obvious places where the Last Battle article can take a more comprehensive view of the battle, and thus minimize overlap here and at the Rodney, King George V, etc. articles. Parsecboy (talk) 17:22, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
I have a dumb question: First Artillery officer Adalbert Schneider was killed relatively early in the battle when a shell from HMS Norfolk destroyed Bismarck's main gun director. Müllenheim-Rechberg then had to take over, directing Bismarck's artillery from the read gun director. I would assume that this had negative implications on Bismarck's ability to fight back. Wouldn't this constitute as a significant contribution to the destruction of Bismarck? MisterBee1966 (talk) 10:21, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
It was almost negligible; the forward two turrets were already disabled by the time Schneider was killed, and the rear turrets were knocked out within 20 minutes. It's highly unlikely that Schneider would have been able to significantly alter the course of the battle had he been able to direct the fire of Caesar and Dora for at most another 20 minutes. Parsecboy (talk) 12:12, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

That's utter rubbish. The "to" bit doesn't "imply" anything, it states clearly that this was the known and inevitable outcome of the action. The British knew those men would drown, and they left anyway. Whether they left in order to drown the men, or if they left to avoid a U-boat, is a separate issue which does not affect the outcome - either way, the outcome of mass drowning would be the same, and the British commanders knew it. Your hysterical reaction to this simple statement of fact yet again betrays your POV.

After telling us that this "featured article" must include everything, you now want me to remove the info you don't like to another article? Once again you blatantly attempt to buff up the British battleships, to the disadvantage of completeness, accuracy and neutrality. Pathetic. Wdford (talk) 18:01, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

Might I suggest altering "Left without rescuing all of the survivors" to "Left without rescuing <best sourced number> of the survivors, who drowned." Dry facts, no invective. (Hohum @) 19:19, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Who's behaving hysterically here? Wdford, here is another instance where your non-native English speaking is a handicap. The construction "verb + to + verb" (which is essentially a contraction of "verb + 'in order to' + verb") implies the first verb was done to action the second one. As in "I opened the door to walk outside." Saying that the British "left the Germans to drown" implies that they a conversation aboard Dorsetshire along the following lines: "Britisher 1: should we save the rest of these guys? Britisher 2: No, fuck 'em, let them drown. Britisher 1: Ok, let's just say we saw a U-boat." Yes, the British knew the Germans still in the water would most likely all die, but that does not mean they made that decision lightly or intentionally.
I do wish you would stop twisting my words. I never said Featured Articles should include "everything", I (repeatedly) said they should be able to stand on their own. There is a difference. But you keep on playing words games.
As I said much earlier in this discussion, Rodney and King George V were the crucial vessels after Ark Royal‍ '​s Swordfish disabled Bismarck‍ '​s steering. The effect of Norfolk and Dorsetshire in terms of neutralizing Bismarck is for all intents and purposes negligible. You're not going to penetrate the heavy armor protecting Bismarck‍ '​s guns and vitals with 8-inch guns at any range. You can keep clinging to the fiction that I have something against Bismarck or something in favor of the British battleships all you want. Your ad hominems will get you nowhere, however.
Thanks for your comment, Hohum - That's essentially what the article states now: the number of men rescued by Dorsetshire, Maori, the U-boat, and the trawler. Simple arithmetic should make clear that somewhere around 2,100 men died from all causes in the final battle. Parsecboy (talk) 21:05, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
No harm in doing the arithmetic for the reader, specifically for those who drowned in open water (as opposed to who died on/in the ship, if known or reliably estimated. (Hohum @) 21:35, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
As far as I know, there are no reliable estimates for the number of men left in the water, as opposed to those who were killed in the fighting or simply didn't make it out of the ship before it sank (or don't forget the sailor who was killed in the Victorious attack). That being said, the number of survivors/fatalities should be added to the introduction - that's an important detail. Parsecboy (talk) 21:40, 29 October 2012 (UTC)


  1. ^ Sink The Bismarck, by Tom Mcgowen, pg 56, at,+navy&hl=en&sa=X&ei=yNmHUKOjGOnO0QWr74HYAw&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=death&f=false
  2. ^ A MARINE FORENSIC ANALYSIS of HMS Hood and DKM Bismarck, by William Jurens (AM), William H. Garzke, Jr. (M), Robert O. Dulin, Jr. (V), John Roberts (V), and Richard Fiske (M) -
  3. ^ a b Garzke & Dulin, p. 246.
  4. ^ Sink The Bismarck, by Tom Mcgowen, pg 56, at,+navy&hl=en&sa=X&ei=yNmHUKOjGOnO0QWr74HYAw&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=death&f=false
  5. ^ A MARINE FORENSIC ANALYSIS of HMS Hood and DKM Bismarck, by William Jurens (AM), William H. Garzke, Jr. (M), Robert O. Dulin, Jr. (V), John Roberts (V), and Richard Fiske (M) -
  6. ^ Jurens, et. al. 5.

WP:DRN discussion opened

I am tired of going around in circles, so I have started a discussion at the Dispute Resolution Noticeboard, here. I only mentioned Wdford and myself as involved parties, but if you are interested in helping resolve this dispute there, you are more than welcome to comment. Thanks. Parsecboy (talk) 12:48, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

I am interested in getting involved but I don't know how to best contribute. My personal impression is that the two of you are not that far apart when it comes down to the bare facts. Both sides seem to be very knowledgeable about the facts as well. Generally speaking, and this is not surprising, I see an emphasis on English sources. MisterBee1966 (talk) 14:59, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I don't know the all the formalities there, but you could probably just add your name to the list of involved parties and then add an initial statement after mine. I think the limit for the first statements is 2,000 characters. Parsecboy (talk) 19:05, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Scuttling of Bismarck

Regarding scuttling of Bismarck I want to refer to Gaack and Carr pages 76 to 81, in particular page 80 is of relevance. These pages deal with the biography of Kapitänleutnant (Ing.) Gerhard Junack. Junack was commanding officer of the 10th division on Bismarck. The 10th division was one of three divisions responsible for running the engines. Junack survived and later served in the Bundesmarine. During the final battle Junack was in the middle turbine room when he received the order to prepare scuttling Bismarck. He then ordered scuttling charges installed with a 9 minute delaying fuse. Intercom communication then broke down and he ordered a messenger to the engine control room. This messenger did not return and Junack ordered the scuttling charges primed. He was the last person to leave the fully lighted and intact turbine room before heading to the middle deck. According to his account this deck was still fully intact with no evidence of the ongoing battle. He then reached the battery deck where he encountered the first evidence of battle damage sustained. Here he could hear the scuttling charges going off. On page 81 he claims that when Bismarck went under he had a good view of the starboard side of the hull with no torpedo holes. This is his account. MisterBee1966 (talk) 13:20, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Unfortunately only page 81 is available at google books. I think it is a must for Bismarck enthusiasts. MisterBee1966 (talk) 13:32, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
That's worth adding, as he was an eye-witness very close to the ship when it sank. And he also states that the were around 400 sailors in the water - that would answer Hohum's question above about the number of men who actually managed to abandon the ship. I think both should be added to the article. Do you want to add the material, since your German is of course much better than mine? Parsecboy (talk) 13:58, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. The eye-witness reports of the German survivors are also included at Bismarck: The Final Days of Germany's Greatest Battleship, pgs 279 and 281, which also names Lieutenant Commander Gerhard Junack as the officer who gave the order to light the fuses which scuttled the ship, and notes that the survivors heard the charges detonate before they abandoned ship. These original accounts of the German witnesses have never been refuted by other eye-witnesses. This material should certainly be included in the body of the article, which is currently completely silent on the matter. Wdford (talk) 14:01, 31 October 2012 (UTC)


It seems that most experts on this issue have adopted a sort of middle-ground position, exemplified by Kennedy's quote in the article, namely that Bismarck would have eventually foundered if the Germans would not have scuttled the ship. Ballard said the ship could have remained afloat for perhaps a day, and Cameron said she might not have sunk for "half a day" (I've added this quote to the article already). Even Mearns conceded in his book that the scuttling probably hastened the inevitable.

Now, the meat of the proposal: we can make this clearer in the Wreckage section, and adding the following sentence to the lead: "Several other expeditions surveyed the remains seeking to document the ship's condition and to determine what sank her. Most experts generally agree that the scuttling at least hastened the sinking, but that the damage inflicted in the ship's last battle would have caused her to sink eventually."

First before anyone gets the wrong impression I want to point out that I do feel that this is a very good article as a whole. With respect to adding to the article I think that I can help on the translations but I think you do a much better job of finding the appropriate English wording. I will post any info I find relevant to the topic here and you can as you deem acceptable. I saw a TV documentation on Bismarck a while ago and when one of the German survivors was asked who sank the Bismarck, he politely answered both sides did. I think this is probably the most diplomatic answer. MisterBee1966 (talk) 14:27, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
The Wreckage section definitely needs work. Among other things, the citations for the Mearns' quotes do not support the quotes themselves - there has been a mix-up somewhere.
I am happy to attempt a first draft of a paragraph describing the scuttling info.
Re the Lead, we can actually simplify it much more by saying:
“The following morning, Bismarck was neutralised by a sustained bombardment, was scuttled by her crew, and sank with heavy loss of life. Most experts agree that the battle damage would have caused her to sink eventually. In June 1989, Robert Ballard located the wreck, which has since been surveyed by several more expeditions.

(edit conflict - will reply to your points below)

Yes, and that's kind of what I'm getting at here - the ship would have sunk one way or another, it just happened to be the scuttling charges that took effect first. It seems that most experts think this to be the case.
As for the translations, that should be ok. How about splitting the fifth paragraph and adding as follows:
"First Officer Hans Oels ordered the men below decks to abandon ship; he instructed the engine room crews to open the ship's watertight doors and prepare scuttling charges.[116] Gerhard Junack, the chief engineering officer, ordered his men to set the demolition charges with a 9-minute fuse, but the intercom system broke down, and so he sent a messenger to confirm the order to scuttle the ship. The messenger never returned, and so Junack primed the charges and ordered the crew to abandon the ship.[cite to G&C] In the meantime, Oels rushed throughout the ship, ordering men to abandon their posts. After reaching the deck, a massive explosion killed him and about a hundred others.[117]
"At around 10:20, Tovey ordered Dorsetshire to close and fire torpedoes into the ship. The cruiser fired a pair of torpedoes into Bismarck's starboard side, one of which hit. Dorsetshire then moved around to her port side and fired another torpedo, which also hit. Around 10:35, the port list worsened significantly; Bismarck capsized and slowly sank by the stern, disappearing from the surface at 10:40.[118] According to Junack, who had abandoned ship by the time it capsized, he observed no underwater damage to the ship's starboard side. Around 400 men were now in the water;[cite G&C] Dorsetshire and the destroyer Maori moved in and lowered ropes to pull the survivors aboard. At 11:40, however, Dorsetshire's captain ordered the rescue effort abandoned after lookouts spotted what they thought was a U-boat. Dorsetshire had rescued 85 men and Maori had picked up 25 by the time they left the scene.[119] A U-boat later reached the survivors and found three men, and a German trawler rescued another two. One of the men picked up by the British died of his wounds the following day. Out of a crew of over 2,200 men, only 114 survived.[118]"
I have two questions: do Gaack and Carr give the specific time the charges were set (or when they detonated)? That would help place the scuttling in the proper chronological context. Also, is the estimate of around 400 men in the water their figure, or is that from Junack? Parsecboy (talk) 14:43, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
This is a good start, but mixing the old wording with the new is creating problems with the sequences. Zetterling and Tamelander report [2] at pg 281 that the list was so considerable that the deck was already awash, before any of the Dorsetshire’s torpedoes hit. Wdford (talk) 15:03, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, the article does support the quotations from Mearns - see the bottom of the second page: "But Mr. Mearns, the British expedition leader and director of Blue Water Recoveries, an experienced deep-sea salvage company in West Sussex, England, saw them as evidence of enemy fire. My feeling, he said in an interview, is that those holes were probably lengthened by the slide, but initiated by torpedoes." and then "In his book, Hood and Bismarck, published in January, Mr. Mearns and his co-author, Rob White, concluded that scuttling may have hastened the inevitable, but only by a matter of minutes." I don't know how much more direct one can get.
My browser doesn't recognise any pages of this article past page 1. I will take your word for now, and try to find another version of this article. Wdford (talk) 15:03, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
As to your proposed version - the link to the last battle piped as "battle damage" is too much of an Easter egg. Perhaps linking it earlier would work better, as here:
"In her final battle the following morning, Bismarck was neutralised by a sustained bombardment, was scuttled by her crew, and sank with heavy loss of life. Most experts agree that the battle damage would have caused her to sink eventually. In June 1989, Robert Ballard located the wreck, which has since been surveyed by several more expeditions.
How does that sound? Parsecboy (talk) 14:49, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
This is great - solves all my concerns about this issue. Wdford (talk) 15:03, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Sounds fine to me too. Good job guys MisterBee1966 (talk) 15:08, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Added to the lead - on second thought, I think "by a British fleet" sounds good in the first sentence. I assume that this solves the POV-Lead tag, and so I removed it. Parsecboy (talk) 15:14, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The way it phrased the figure of 400 comes from G&C not Junack. G&C make no statements regarding the timeline, not even approximate times. I personally find his account of where he first encountered damage to ship interesting and maybe noteworthy. On page 77 G&C state Junack was also responsible for the newspaper Die Schiffsglocke, which was only published once on 23 April 1941. MisterBee1966 (talk) 14:54, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Ok, I guess we'll just have to go with what we have. Are the relevant pages in G&C 80 and 81? I'll just cite the added passages to those pages if that's correct. Parsecboy (talk) 15:14, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
By the way, Die Schiffsglocke was already mentioned, but not the detail about Junack's responsibility for it or the sole publishing date - both are now added. Parsecboy (talk) 15:17, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Correct 80 and 81 are the relvant pages MisterBee1966 (talk) 15:18, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Alright, both additions are now in the article. Thanks again, MB. Parsecboy (talk) 15:25, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I've made some changes to the Wreckage section, mostly pulling out the individual comments re: eventual foundering and the effects of scuttling and put them into one paragraph - see here. Parsecboy (talk) 15:56, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

One thing I'd like to track down is a source for the quote from the German seaman MisterBee mentioned above, but so far, I've had no luck. Parsecboy (talk) 16:45, 31 October 2012 (UTC)


This section actually looks much better now. However:

It seems there have been six expeditions thusfar, and we have only addressed four of them. We should at least mention the others?

Re the Ballard expedition’s conclusion: The German reports were that scuttling was accomplished by explosive charges, so I presume the valves were blown out by explosive charges, rather than just “opened”?

The article currently says that the Mearns’ team “concluded that the ship sank due to combat damage”. The Mearns’ expedition included Jurens, Dulin etc, and they seemed to actually be much more open-ended. If Mearns himself professed that conclusion, should we not rather attribute it to him personally, and also give a summary of the (differing) conclusions of the rest of the team?

Wdford (talk) 17:12, 31 October 2012 (UTC)


How can we say "Lindemann was probably killed here" when eye-witnesses saw him alive later on? B&H presumably were unaware of the other eye-witness sightings at the time of writing, but you cannot match a "probably" against a number of confirmed sightings. Wdford (talk) 07:43, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

I think this controversy is well covered in the Ernst Lindemann#Death section of the article. I suggest that we state something of the lines that the entire officer core, except for four survivors, was killed including Lütjens and Lindemann. I would also like to see us mention that Adalbert Schneider received the Knight's Cross for the destruction of Hood just prior to the final battle and that Lindemann received a posthumous Knight's Cross for his leadership of Bismarck, Harald Netzband, Lütjens chief of staff, was awarded a posthumous German Cross. MisterBee1966 (talk) 09:18, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. I still don't agree that we should present both versions - if he was seen alive at the end by multiple witnesses, then why should we continue to present the "possibility" that he was killed at the beginning? "He might have been killed, but as it turns out, he wasn't." It doesn't make sense?
I am happy to add the decorations. Presumably Tovey etc were decorated as well? Wdford (talk) 10:09, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
No, the claim from eyewitnesses is pretty old, and Herwig and Bercusson were aware of it. In this case, the claims of eyewitnesses, who were in the water quite a distance away, are somewhat less reliable when it comes to identifying a figure in the distance, with fires raging and smoke everywhere. It's highly unlikely that Lindemann survived the hit on the bridge. Parsecboy (talk) 11:59, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
I think we will never know when exactly Lindemann and Lütjens were killed. That's why I propose to just state that the entire officer core, except for four survivors, was killed including Lütjens and Lindemann, without alluding to any kind of speculation to when and where. I don't know what the operating procedure during combat was or is but I would probably not put all my senior commanders in one single place. The likelihood of one hit taking out the entire command structure seems very unprofessional. MisterBee1966 (talk) 13:32, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I started sketching out Günther Lütjens early life a bit. I would appreciate an occasional tweak of my English word crafting. Feel free to comment. Thanks MisterBee1966 (talk) 13:24, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

On the other hand...

(...and coming somewhat later to the party)
I can’t decide sometimes if this article is a slow moving car-crash, or a triumph of NPOV achieved though a consensus among editors of very different viewpoints; though on reflection it’s probably both. But the problem of leaning to avoid falling off one side of a horse (as someone once said) is the danger of falling off the other side.
There seem to be two positions on this sinking business. From the British standpoint Bismarck was brought to battle, reduced by gunfire to a helpless blazing wreck, then torpedoed, and was seen to sink. From the German standpoint, when the position became hopeless, they set scuttling charges and abandoned ship. If those are the facts, and the article already said so, the only purpose served by talking up the “scuttled by her own crew” aspect is in order to diminish the British achievement, n’est ce pas?
The account of the Atlantic campaign is replete with ships hit by U-boats and subsequently scuttled as unrecoverable; they are invariably recorded, without embellishment, as sunk and credited to the boat and her skipper (of which this is but one single example) That is the standard applied to the German Navy; are we saying the RN should be held to a higher standard? Does this mean we have to re-evaluate all the achievements of U-boat aces and reduce their scores? What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
And the suggestion that the British "could have rescued all the crew, but left them to drown" is an insult. From their earliest operations U-boat commanders had no compunction at all about torpedoing ships involved in rescuing survivors; because of this Admiralty standing orders were that survivors should not be picked up at all if there was a U-boat threat. Given that this required RN crews to steam past their own comrades in the water at times, what is remarkable about this incident isn't that they left, but that they attempted to pick up anyone at all; Donitz had already committed all his available boats in support of Bismarck, in an attempt to trap the Home Fleet, so there was nothing unrealistic about perceiving a threat. And U-boat routinely sank ships and left the crews to their fate, so the benchmark had already been set on that score. To suggest or imply that the British were remiss or had failed to meet some standard of decency, one that the German navy had already kicked great holes in, is frankly insulting. Xyl 54 (talk) 23:50, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

The point of reporting the scuttling, is to be accurate. The evidence is available, and to report differently would be misleading.
If there is an article about U-boat commanders, then by all means make the point about scuttling merchant ships as well. Perhaps at Battle of the Atlantic?
The point on the talk page about the crew being left to drown is not a "suggestion" or an implication, it is just an historical fact. The matching fact about the fear of the Dorsetshire being torpedoed while performing the rescue is also recorded in this article, and no attempt has been made to remove that detail.
Finally, even though there is not enough space (or air) in a U-boat to accommodate prisoners, the Nazi U-boat tactics are generally reviled, and Adm Doenitz served prison time after the war. That is not a benchmark civilized nations should aspire to descend to.
Wdford (talk) 09:58, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
The problem is more the phrase "left to drown" than the situation (which is accurately and neutrally presented) in the body of the article. In common English use the nuance on that phrase is that of callous disregard rather than a bald statement of fact.GraemeLeggett (talk) 12:59, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Excuse my subpar English please but here is how I see this. "Left to drown" to me implies that the British intentionally left the German sailors in the water with the deliberate intention of killing them. To me that does not make sense. First, if this would have been their intention in the first place why even try to rescue some? Second, the German sailors rescued expressed how friendly and brotherly they had been treated by their fellow British sailors. To pieces of data which to me indicate that the British made a best attempt at saving them and shows how much sympathy they had for the enemy. I believe that the rescue was aborted because of the imminent threat of U-boat attacks. The death of the German sailors was accepted as a consequence to avoid the risk imposed by the potential U-boat attack. The wording in the article should make this very clear, that the British had no intension of murdering them. MisterBee1966 (talk) 13:19, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Wdford: I think you know as well as I do that the words used to describe historical facts matter as much as the facts themselves. Saying "Bismarck was neutralised by a sustained bombardment...(and) was scuttled by her crew" conveys a different message to saying she "was she was bludgeoned to a helpless wreck, then torpedoed: but her crew scuttled her before abandoning ship, hastening her end" which is just as accurate. Personally I think the latter is truer to the situation than the former.
What other "accuracies" should we look at?
How about mentioning Bismarck had insufficient fuel to reach port, and was already doomed when the British fleet caught her?
How about pointing out that if 400 of her crew made it off the hulk, some 1600 didn’t, and were condemned to death by the scuttle order?
How about considering that her design was more suited to a fleet action somewhere off Jutland, and that her employment as a commerce raider was always likely to end in failure?
And on the subject of “misleading”, saying "Dorsetshire‍ '​s captain ordered the rescue effort abandoned after lookouts spotted what they thought was a U-boat" conveys a very different message to "Dorsetshire attempted to rescue survivors but was forced to abandon the effort when a U-boat attack was threatened" which is just as true to the historical facts. Xyl 54 (talk) 23:41, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Oh, and on the subject of U-boats not being equipped to accommodate prisoners, it was pointed out as far back as 1916 (in the New York World} that Germany could hardly use the U-boats inadequacies as a commerce raider as an excuse for breaking international law. Xyl 54 (talk) 23:54, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
PS: I found this essay on the subject, BTW: I thought it was interesting, particularly the last couple of paragraphs. Xyl 54 (talk) 23:44, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
This discussion is rapidly devolving, and is starting to become unhelpful. Let's please get a handle on things, ok?
I think we need to drop the whole "left to drown" bit - we've already been through this and it's not helpful, and the broader discussions of wartime German and British practice is not really relevant to this article. If you want to talk about breaches of international law during wartime, there are war crimes articles for that.
I don't have Garzke & Dulin handy (the apparent source of the fuel situation as noted in the Navweaps essay), but if someone does, I don't think adding the critical fuel situation would be a problem.
As for the rescue effort, the article makes clear that Dorsetshire and Maori moved in to rescue survivors, and that a U-boat was indeed in the area. As I recall, the uncertainty over whether they actually saw a U-boat comes directly from Bercuson & Herwig. I can check the exact wording later (I'm currently buried under a stack of exams to grade). Parsecboy (talk) 00:19, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough, on the whole war crime allegation thing, anyway.
But my first point still stands; I think in an effort to do justice to the scuttling aspect, the bit in the introduction has lost sight of the state Bismarck was reduced to. “Neutralized” and “scuttled” suggests maybe if they’d only held on a little longer, the Brits would have shoved off due to fuel difficulties, and Bismarck would have made it home. If “burning helpless wreck” seems a bit harsh I nevertheless think it’s a fair summary of the description in the Sinking section. And describing the scuttling as “hastening her end” seems more accurate too.
On the Dorsetshire thing, I think there is an ambiguity in the current phrasing ( the bit I took issue with) which the sentence I proposed ( or something like it) would resolve. The threat was real enough, whether a U-boat was present or not, and (as has already been said) they wouldn't have started a rescue attempt if they were only looking for an excuse to leave. Xyl 54 (talk) 22:08, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
PS: an afterthought: the Navweaps article uses the terms “silenced” and “dead in the water” for the situations at 9.10 and 9.31; how about using them instead of neutralized? (Are they official definitions, BTW? Or quotes from somewhere? ) (I've put a draft here) The advantage of that is that it can be sourced. The article is interesting in itself, so I would suggest adding it as a link anyway. Xyl 54 (talk) 07:39, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
"Neutralized" is a fairly common word used to destroy a target. "Silenced" also would be fine. As you might have noticed from the earlier discussions, I preferred "destroyed", for precisely the reason you don't like "neutralized" - it better characterizes the state Bismarck was in circa 10:20 on 27 May.
As for Dorsetshire, I'll check B&H tomorrow. But in the meantime, here are some google book results: German Capital Ships and Raiders in World War II, which states they saw a "suspicious object" that might have been a U-boat (though it oddly suggests that the Sachsenwald picked up 100 survivors, which is obviously incorrect). Blair simply states there was a U-boat alarm, and nothing about whether there was or was not a boat in the area.
As for Navweaps, it's not a reliable source as they interpret the term at WP:FA, which means we can't use that in the article. I have never heard of Stuart Slade, the author of the article, but as far as I can tell, he's not an expert on the topic, and it certainly doesn't look good if he's this Stuart Slade. We'll have to find something better than that, I'm afraid. Parsecboy (talk) 11:55, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Actually a U-boat attack was not "threatened", it was merely potential or feared. I think the current wording is fine, unless we find another source that says a U-boat was clearly present. The U-boat that rescued some survivors only arrived much later.
The sources don’t say the crew scuttled Bismarck to “hasten her end”, they say it was scuttled to avoid the risk of the ship being captured and studied. The sources agree that the Bismarck would have foundered anyway, being dead in the water in stormy seas, so again the current wording is fine. However "dead in the water" is accurate and useful. How about tweaking it to read:
"In her final battle the following morning, Bismarck was subjected to a sustained bombardment from a British fleet, and was left dead in the water. She was scuttled by her crew to avoid capture, although most experts agree that the battle damage would have caused her to sink eventually. Only 114 of 2200 crewmen survived. In June 1989, Robert Ballard located the wreck, which has since been surveyed by several more expeditions.”
Wdford (talk) 12:08, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't see a problem with that wording, apart from that the total number of crewmen was 2,221, so it should either read the specific figure, or "114 from a crew of over 2,200" or similar. Perhaps it would be useful to include a link to wikt:founder#Verb for those unfamiliar with the word. Parsecboy (talk) 12:14, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Arbitrary break

Kennedy is quoted in the article using the word "foundered", but I'm happy with your wording. Wdford (talk) 12:28, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

I wasn't saying to not use "founder", I was just saying we should link to the wiktionary entry for those who might not know what it meant. Parsecboy (talk) 12:31, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Fine with me then. Wdford (talk) 12:43, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Gaack & Carr page 9 state that they spent the last 10 years researching the crew of Bismarck. On this page they claim that 2261 men sailed on Bismarck. On page 16 they state 116 rescued (one later died). 2145 are officially listed on Bismarck's loss list. MisterBee1966 (talk) 19:06, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Given that they're the more specialized source, and that they note the degree to which they researched the issue, I think their number is probably more reliable. Go ahead and correct the number and replace the citation. Parsecboy (talk) 19:44, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
(I've put a break in, to make editing easier; I trust that's OK with everyone. Xyl 54 (talk) 23:19, 4 November 2012 (UTC))
Well, “destroyed” would have been fine by me, but I can see how it could be ambiguous; "destroyed" conjures up images of small bits of wreckage floating on the surface. But "dead in the water" alone isn’t strong enough; that could just mean stopped with engine trouble. "Silenced and dead in the water" is better.
As for the sources not saying the crew scuttled her to hasten her end, neither did I. What I said was the act of scuttling her hastened her end,; try “abandoned by her crew and scuttled, which hastened her end”. And why they did it is immaterial; it was standard practice. What is material is that it made no difference to the outcome.
As for “actually a U-boat attack was not threatened”.. how do you arrive at that conclusion? I suggest you read up on the U-boat activity around this op (try Blair)
(p288) “Donitz volunteered the entire Atlantic U-boat arm to assist… Lutjens requested that Donitz set a submarine trap (and) Lutjens would lure his shadowers so that the U-boats could attack”.
(p288) “Donitz set a second trap in the bay of Biscay”
(p289) “all available forces .. had been committed to assist: a total of 15 boats”
(p291) “when Donitz got word Bismarck could not manoeuver he ordered all 7 boats of the Biscay trap (…) to converge on Bismarck and defend her”
U-73 arrived first (during the evening of 26th), and observed the destroyer action but was unable to mount an attack; then U-556 (which was nearly run down by Ark Royal ) which was close enough to see the gun flashes during the night: And U-74 which was close enough to be ordered to collect the war diary.(p291)
How is all this not a threat? The boats were there, the intent was certainly there, the fact they blew it doesn’t make it less of a threat.
And if you want something that a source says, try “British ships moved in to rescue Bismarck’s survivors. They fished out 110, but further rescues were broken off when one of the ships radioed a U-boat alarm, forcing all British vessels to leave the area” (Blair p292:my italics)
If it comes to it, do you have a source that says in so many words that Dorsetshire's captain ordered her to leave? Or that a lookout thought he saw a U-boat? Xyl 54 (talk) 23:19, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Conflicting info: Prince of Wales and the damage done to the Bismarck

POW article says two boilers were shut down because of her fire. This one talks only about the damage to the bow and two apparently insignificant hits elsewhere. Which is correct? The Cameron expedition concluded that a shell did indeed cause flooding to one or more boiler rooms forcing them to be shut down. They mention a 9 degree list to port. Dapi89 (talk) 21:18, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

Yeah it seems a bit confusing, doesn't it? In the Denmark Strait subsection, it states "The second shell struck below the armoured belt and exploded on contact with the torpedo bulkhead, inflicting minimal damage". But later on in "The Chase" subsection, it talks about how this hit eventually lead to the flooding of no. 2 boiler room - is that really "minimal damage"? Chasing the references has taken me to which talks about this shell hit rapidly flooding a turbo-generator room and causing slow flooding in the boiler room.
Since the NavWeaps reference is currently referenced in the Denmark Strait article, I presume it's up-to-date and generally regarded as accurate? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:630:12:1061:842E:3B2:E990:E281 (talk) 17:51, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
The hit from Prince of Wales was in and of itself not particularly serious. It was the erratic maneuvering to avoid the torpedoes launched by Victorious‍ '​s Swordfishes that tore loose the collision mats and caused the flooding that disabled the boilers. Parsecboy (talk) 18:32, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. Looking at, the penultimate paragraph on page 10 indicates that both boilers were shut down and the boiler room was evacuated in "mid-afternoon", presumably before the Swordfish torpedo hit around 10 pm. However, that page 10 has some bizarre repetitions in, so I wonder whether it's reliable. Any thoughts? 2001:630:12:1061:C02C:D0CC:37F0:1C68 (talk) 13:52, 8 March 2013 (UTC)


There is a huge amount of duplication of material cross a number of articles, namely the German battleship Bismarck, the Last battle of the battleship Bismarck, the Battle of the Denmark Strait, Operation Rheinübung, Ernst Lindemann and Günther Lütjens for starters. I propose that each portion of the material be concentrated in detail in one or other article, and then the other articles all reference across to the main article in question, rather than the extensive duplications we currently have. Any objections? Wdford (talk) 07:52, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Both the Bismarck and Ernst Lindemann articles went through a number of reviews including FAC. I wonder if a talk page inquiry is sufficient to make a major change to the article as proposed here. Until the process question is addressed I am not supportive. MisterBee1966 (talk) 08:45, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
The alternate reading of the issue is that the Bismarck and Lindemann articles are in good shape and that it is the Battle of the Denmark Strait etc that need attention to their content. FAs need to cover the subject properly and there is always some duplication across related articles. If the Battle of the Denmark Strait for instance was an FA then it might be argued that the section on it in this article could be replaced with the lede from the Battle article. GraemeLeggett (talk) 09:11, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, as Graeme pointed out, FAs largely need to be able to stand on their own. Which is not to say that they must duplicate sections in other articles entirely, but that they shouldn't force readers to read other articles so they can understand what's going on in the first one. For instance, SMS Derfflinger has a rather detailed coverage of the Battle of Jutland, some of which necessarily duplicates material at the latter article. But if the Derfflinger article only covered what that ship did, there wouldn't be much of a coherent narrative.
I also think the problem is that the other articles aren't as well developed as this one and Lindemann's - if they were all up to the same standard, their value would be clearer. For instance, this article necessarily focuses on Bismarck, just as HMS Hood (51) focuses on that ship. If the Denmark Strait article were at FA quality, it should be a narrative of the entire battle, not focusing on any one ship or commander.
But I do not think replacing the lead section from a hypothetical Denmark Strait FA for the section here would be a good idea, since the two fulfill very different purposes. The lead section should summarize the entire article, while the section here should emphasize Bismarck‍ '​s role in the battle, hence why Prince of Wales, Hood, and Prinz Eugen are only mentioned as they relate to Bismarck. Parsecboy (talk) 15:45, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Please see discussion at [3]. Wdford (talk) 11:54, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Alleged Discovery by Ballard

I was rebuked by Parsecboy for correcting the "discovery" section of KM Bismarck. It is a crying shame that the myth continues.

From Parsecboy:

I don't know who you are, or why you seem to have a problem describing Dr. Ballard's discovery of Bismarck as such, but please stop changing it. Clearly, the location of the wreck was unknown before Ballard found it. Clearly the act of finding it is a "discovery." Please familiarize yourself with a dictionary, and if you still have problems, go to the article's talk page. Parsecboy (talk) 17:46, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

My response:

In 1975, I had access to a classified book showing the exact location of all known magnetic anomalies on the ocean floor. Out of curiosity, I looked up both RMS Titanic and KM Bismarck. Both were listed, right down to minutes, seconds and decimal fractions of the seconds.

"Clearly, the location of the wreck was unknown before Ballard found it." Clearly, the location of the wreck WAS known before Ballard "found" it.

"Clearly the act of finding it is a "discovery."" Since he never "found" it, he could not have possibly "discovered" the wreck. Clearly, your statement is a complete load of rubbish.

"Please familiarize yourself with a dictionary." Please familiarize yourself with FACTS, not fiction. A dictionary is my primary tool in life. Insults are not. You insult me and many others with your falsehoods.

Parsecboy, I WILL continue to correct the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by CaptSquid (talkcontribs) 19:17, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Provide a reliable source or your alterations will be reverted. End of story. Parsecboy (talk) 21:58, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
While we're here, a list of references that support the fact that Ballard discovered the wreck:
Need I go on? Parsecboy (talk) 22:31, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The United States Navy IS a reliable source. The document is classified. What level of security clearance, if any, do you or have you held?

Google is nowhere near reliable. Ballard no more "discovered" the wreck of Bismark than you discovered your wallet in your pants pocket.

END OF STORY — Preceding unsigned comment added by CaptSquid (talkcontribs) 02:35, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

While I am quite happy to believe you, and I agree with your frustration, unfortunately Wiki requires verifiability, and I suppose this is a textbook case where it applies. Random dude off the internet says he knows better and the document exists but he can't show it to anyone else, is not a basis to build an encyclopedia, it'd just be a rumor mill. Sorry. Greglocock (talk) 03:01, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
The user is adding this unsupportable WP:Fringe theory to other pages now as well, such as Wreck of the RMS Titanic and the Robert Ballard articles. This is becoming quite disruptive, especially since the user proclaims his intention to edit war until his version is accepted. Benea (talk) 03:25, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Attn: Benea: The president of RMS Titanic, Inc, can verify my information. This information is NOT unsupportable, but I will not argue with individuals who will not examine other aspects; I will not engage in a battle of intelligence with someone who is decidedly uneducated. I did NOT proclaim to edit war. Truth is seldom, if ever, disruptive, except to those who refuse to open their eyes.

Believe in your fairy tales, because it becomes apparent that Wikipedia is not even close to an Encyclopaedia.

Attn: Greglocock: Rumor mill? Not bloody likely. The "Great" Dr. Robert Ballard worked for the US Navy as an oceanographer and would have had access to the same document, thereby facilitating his alleged "discovery" of quite a number of wrecks.

All three of you have managed to insult me and cast aspersions. I changed an article for USS DeWert based on first-hand information, but your organization did not want accurate information and deleted the change. I believe that the moderator/editor cited that Wikipedia did not want to open themselves to possible litigation. I DO, however, DEMAND an apology from the three of you.

So, bearing in mind that truth and/or accuracy is not desired nor needed in Wikipedia, I will leave your site alone. Founder in your misbeliefs and inaccuracies. CaptSquid (talk) 04:08, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Way to go attacking someone who was basically supporting you but trying to explain why it is the way it is. I have nothing to apologise for, your poor comprehension skills are not my concern. Greglocock (talk) 04:19, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
(ec) Ah Wikipedia:Truth, or better yet Wikipedia:The Truth. We'll carry on as we are thanks, but I'm sure there are a lot of news outlets that would be interested to hear your story. If they pick it up and reliable sources (which you are not) change the story of the discovery to give credit to the USN, then wikipedia will follow it. I'm afraid you won't be receiving an apology from me though either. Benea (talk) 04:24, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Attn: Benea:

Can you PROVE beyond a shadow of a doubt that such document does NOT exist? That the Navy did NOT discover and catalog numerous wrecks on the ocean floor prior to Dr. Ballard's alleged discoveries? That Google is a reliable source? News magazines in Germany have confronted Dr. Ballard with the truth and that he crawfished away from the reporters.

You, and by default, Wikipedia, are NOT reliable sources, either. Propaganda can take many forms, including Wikipedia. Newspaper gossip rags have a bit more credibility. CaptSquid (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 04:43, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

No, we can't prove that a document we haven't seen doesn't exist. The general principle is described as ""It is very hard to prove a negative". However, I will have a little side bet with you. I will pay you $50 if you can prove you are, or were, a Captain in the US Navy. Because frankly I think your login name is misleading. If a man is prepared to lie about his /name/ why should anyone pay attention to what he /says/? Greglocock (talk) 04:51, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

I never said I was a Captain in the US Navy; however, I did serve, having attained the rank of ETN2(SS). Can you say that you served? Do you know your draft card number? What about your lottery number? Since, in all probability, you didn't serve, you will NEVER be able to see the classified document of which I speak. I never lie about my military service and have a hole in my leg to prove it, having been in the Persian Gulf before Desert Shield/Storm.

My login name is also a screen name that has served me well these many years. I used it while playing an on-line wargame involving submarines and I use it on many other forums.

To you, Greglocock, I retract my accusation that you insulted me. Re-reading the talk, I do realize that you were being supportive while still toeing the company line. For this, I do apologize. As for the other two, they can go jump in the lake. CaptSquid (talk) 06:21, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Amusing, Ballard was working for the US Navy and even did some top secret work for them but he still hadn't access to this "document/map"? With access he wouldn't have had to search a huge area for the Bismarck over that long time. --Denniss (talk) 17:37, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, you see, Denniss, he had to make the first, unsuccessful expedition to throw us all off the scent. Wouldn't want us to know about this top-secret document that mapped every shipwreck in the Atlantic, would he? Parsecboy (talk) 17:55, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

This makes no sense, but exactly which part(s) is/are incorrect?

"...One of the holes is in the deck, on the bow's starboard side. The angle and shape indicates the shell that created the hole was fired from Bismarck's port side and struck the starboard anchor chain. ..."

Presumeably the shell in question was fired from one of the British ships? That would make sense. (talk) 12:30, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

It's not incorrect. It means that a British ship was off her port side and fire the shell that hit her starboard anchor chain. Parsecboy (talk) 12:51, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Request possible copy edit correction

"The second hit caused some flooding and splinters damaged a steam line in the turbo-generator room, though Bismarck had sufficient generator reserves that this was not problematic. The flooding from these two hits caused a 9-degree list to port and a 3-degree trim by the bow.[69]"

Suggest maybe: "The second hit damaged a steam line in the turbo-generator room and caused some flooding. Although, the ship had sufficient generator reserves to compensate from the strike, the resultant flooding created a 9-degree list to port and a 3-degree trim by the bow.[69]"

Or something like that. Best of luck.Ijustreadbooks (talk) 06:15, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Oh, screw it, I just read the talk page and it looks like you folks have some, what you deem as, major editorial conflicts. Never mind what I wrote. Best of luck with antiquated or whatever you folks are fighting about. The sentence I complained about I stumbled over reading. Ijustreadbooks (talk) 06:22, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Rough draft II:

"The second hit ruptured a steam line in the turbo-generator room and caused some flooding. Although, the ship had sufficient generator reserves to compensate from the strike, the resultant flooding created a 9-degree list to port and a 3-degree trim by the bow.[69]"Ijustreadbooks (talk) 06:28, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Rough draft III:

"The second hit ruptured a steam line in the turbo-generator room and breached the integrity of the hull. Although, the ship had sufficient generator reserves to compensate from the strike, the resultant flooding created a 9-degree list to port and a 3-degree trim by the bow.[69]"Ijustreadbooks (talk) 06:28, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

  1. "that this was" - in the article is tough to read
  2. i chopped off 10 bytes or so
  3. you use the word flooding 2 times
  4. "though Bismarck had sufficient generator reserves THAT THIS WAS"
  5. "The command staff had determined THAT THIS WAS"
  6. "though Bismarck had sufficient generator reserves THAT THIS WAS"
Folks, that is bad editing. I suggest you reevaluate. I suggest someone knock this down from a FA status. That's just atrocious. Ijustreadbooks (talk) 06:50, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
The sentence reads OK to me. The second hit causes flooding as its principal effect, the splinters cutting the steam line are secondary. At most I would suggest recasting it as: "The second hit caused some flooding. Splinters damaged a steam line in the turbo-generator room but Bismarck had sufficient generator reserves that this was not problem. The flooding from these two hits caused a 9-degree list to port and a 3-degree trim by the bow." GraemeLeggett (talk) 12:30, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm a little curious why you have such a problem with the "that this was" construction. The only possible reason I can see is that "this" can be somewhat ambiguous if used improperly. But the two cases where the construction is used, there should be no ambiguity, since they directly follow the the thing the "this" refers to. Parsecboy (talk) 12:56, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Why use the phrase "that this was" twice in the article.
I have never never seen the phrase "that this was" in anything I have ever read.
"The second hit causes flooding as its principal effect" as opposed to "The second hit ruptured", "as its principal effect" is superfluous. There is no reason to include "as its principal effect". The phrase "breached the integrity of the hull" is another way of saying it caused flooding without using the word flooding.
I tend to get too emotional, but I view using the phrase THAT THIS WAS used twice, which I have never ever come across in my life, as really yucky. Best of luck. Ijustreadbooks (talk) 04:31, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Respectfully, I hardly consider using the phrase "that this was" twice in the article as being professional quality. I do not think you can even find a professionally written article that used the phrase "that this was" even once in the article, let alone twice. Best regards Ijustreadbooks (talk) 04:36, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
This was corrected long ago. Wdford (talk) 06:47, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
You have yet to explain why "that this was" is grammatically incorrect. Just because you have never seen a particular combination of words does not mean it is grammatically incorrect. Nor does your particular sense of aesthetics. It just means you need to read more books. Since we're on the subject of battleships, you might consider these:
Those are but a handful of examples. Now please explain why all of those authors are wrong and you are right. Feel free to cite some authority on grammar. Parsecboy (talk) 10:28, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Very interesting read, thanks everyone; tidied some infelicitous prose and mad commas. Out of curiosity, had anyone else noticed the curious coincidence of British ships rescuing survivors, always having to stop and leave men in the water "because of a U-boat sighting"?Keith-264 (talk) 09:23, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm probably in contravention of talk page use here, but Roger P. Hill said in his book that he hated picking up survivors following the lesson officers learned from the Action of 22 September 1914. JRPG (talk) 19:07, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

"Construction year"

Note c. reads: "SK stands for Schiffskanone (ship's gun), C/34 stands for Constructionjahr (Construction year) 1934, and L/52 denotes the length of the gun in terms of calibres, meaning that the gun is 52 times long as it is in internal diameter." The SK bit seems ok. But "C/34 stands for Constructionjahr (Construction year) 1934" looks wrong.

I can't find a German word "Construction", but "Konstruktionsjahr" would make sense. It would also make better sense for the date, if it were "Konstruktion" in the sense of "design", since the keel was not laid down until 1936. Perhaps Germans use "C" in that sense, to avoid some sort of confusion with "K", though I don't know what that confusion could be. Or maybe it is traditional, from some time when the word was spelt "Construktion" or even "Construction", possibly borrowed from English - and then "Constructionsjahr" or even "Constructionjahr" might be right.

This German source - in WP:de "Bismarck (Schiff, 1939)" - describes the Bismarck's guns as "C/30", "C/34" and, for a ship launched in 1916, has "C 13". It says: "verwendete man bei der Bismarck-Klasse eine Neukonstruktion der alten 38 cm SK C 13 der Bayern-Klasse", where "Neukonstruktion" surely means "re-design". This English-language source mentions design of the Bismark class by a German "Construction Office" beginning in 1934.

That German-language source uses the abbreviation "L/", presumably for German "Länge". It could also abbreviate English "length", but why would Germans do that?

I'll stick with my guess that "C/34" means "design year 1934". --Wikiain (talk) 05:41, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

First of all, its important to note that spelling in German has evolved continually (the most recent example of which was the 1996 reform, but for example Cöln became Köln in 1919, along with Coblenz, Cassel, and others). Indeed the word was originally spelled Constructionsjahr (see for instance this 1887 publication) and later Construktionjahr - see for example these two books from 1999 and 1969, respectively.
Yes, "L" stands for Länge. Parsecboy (talk) 13:37, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, Parsecboy - fast progress! A DuckDuckGo search for "Construktionsjahr" seems to provide answers. This gives these definitions:
C - Construktionsjahr. "Year of Construction." Year that design or manufacturing started. Usually shown with a number, such as C/38 meaning that design was started in 1938. This was also spelled as "Konstruktionsjahr" and some Krupp guns purchased by Austria-Hungary in the 19th century used a "K" instead of a "C" in the designation.
SK - Prior to 1920, this was for deck guns and meant Schnelladekanone or Schnellfeurkanone. "Fast Firing Cannon," equivalent to QF or RF. After that date, the meaning was changed to "Schiffskanone" or "Ship Cannon." Usually followed by the year in which it was designed. For example, a gun with the designation SK C/34 would mean that the weapon was a naval cannon designed in 1934. This designation system was used for most guns designed between 1920 and 1940.
And another hit shows us that the answer was just around the corner: 8.8 cm SK C/35 naval gun has, in a note: "C - Construktionsjahr (year of design)". Other hits suggest "model year", which might be right for things (even some warships) produced in substantial numbers, but to my ear it would be odd for something intended to be few.
But that hit provokes the further reflection, that in this context "Schiffs-" should be "naval". (Though a "Schiffskapitän" and a "Schiffskoch" would still be a "ship's" captain and cook.)
Thus, what think you of this?
SK stands for Schiffskanone (naval gun), C/34 stands for Construktionsjahr (year of design) 1934, and L/52 denotes the length (Länge) of the gun in terms of calibres, meaning that the length of the gun is 52 times its internal diameter.
Wikiain (talk) 03:08, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Done with slight change--Wikiain (talk) 01:15, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

There are a number of issues with your proposed change. First, Navweaps is not a high-quality, reliable source and is thus unsuitable for a Featured Article. Second, "naval gun" is an inaccurate translation - that would be a Marinekanone or a Marinegeschütz - Ship (or Ship's) gun is more accurate. And adding the (or 1934 model) explanation is redundant. Also, the note should be placed at the first use of the "SK C/xxx" formulation, not the last.
I have made a couple of small changes to the note. Parsecboy (talk) 13:53, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
No problem --Wikiain (talk) 19:46, 17 February 2014 (UTC)