Talk:HMS Rodney (29)

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Torpedoing the Bismarck?[edit]

From where is the statement that Rodney actually torpedoed Bismarck successfully derived from? Neither Raven and Roberts' British Battleships or Bercuson and Herwig's The Destruction of the Bismarck mention it at all, and Ludovic in Pursuit says that Rodney fired 8 torpedoes, none of which hit (p.197-199 of the 1975 Pinnacle Books edition). (talk) 16:16, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

The quote regarding the number of torpedoes fired and the one that hit and exploded comes from "Reports of Proceedings 1921-1964" by Rear Admiral Galfrey, George, Ormond, Gatacre RAN who was the Navigator on the bridge of Rodney throughout the Bismarck sinking. He was in fact a Lt. Cmdr. at the time and served as Navigator on HMS's Devonshire, Norfolk, Edinburgh, Renown and Nelson before joining Rodney in 1940-1, leaving in 1942 to become Commander of HMAS Australia and much later Flag Officer Commanding HMA Fleet. The Dart (talk) 20:22, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
Considering that Ludovic Kennedy was a junior Lieutenant in HMS Tartar, a destroyer which had returned to it's duties escorting the convoy that HMS Rodney had left to pursue 'Bismarck', he was not actually present at the sinking of her. The written words of 'Rodney's' Navigator who was actually there obviously have far more credence than his!The Dart (talk) 17:02, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
And we all know how reliable eyewitnesses are. AFAIK, there's no evidence of any torpedo damage to the hull seen by any of the expeditions to the wreck of the Bismarck.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 17:12, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Well Sturmvogel 66 perhaps you need to see David L. Mearns DVD "The Battle of Hood and Bismarck" of 2009. The claim that the German crew make that 'Bismarck' was scuttled is highly disputed by several Naval historians of high regard, Antony Preston for one.The Dart (talk) 17:41, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
I've got the book that he did on that, although it's inaccessible for the nonce. I was more interested in his comments on Hood at the time, but I'll pull it out and take a look at it whenever I can. Evidence from the wreck, if it's clear enough, will trump everyone's opinion's about the torpedoing.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 18:21, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

Per Ballantyne p.142, Rodney's Torpedo Officer, Lt Cdr Lewis, said, 'I always claimed that one of the last three torpedoes I fired, at a range of 3,000 yards by then, did hit the Bismarck and in several circles this has been accepted.' Rodney's battle observer recorded a torpedo hit on Bismarck at 9.58am. ERA Ken George, in the starboard engine room, said he heard Dalrymple Hamilton say over the Tannoy, 'We have made history in hitting another battleship with a torpedo.' Dalrymple Hamilton had a fairly good view. Bismarck's surviving gunnery officer apparently claimed the hit was 'doubtful', but, given what was happening to Bismarck at the time, with Rodney, KG5, Devonshire and Norfolk all in action, it is unlikely that the German officer was in full possession of his faculties.

Ludovic Kennedy's ship HMS Tartar was in fact present. Only Eskimo had been detached to escort Britannic. Earlier in the morning, Tovey in KG5 had asked Tartar and Mashona for their fuel state and signalled, 'On receipt of executive signal, proceed as convenient to refuel at Plymouth or Londonderry.' Later, he sent, 'Proceed in execution of previous orders.' According to Kennedy, 'Tovey's original signal had said to proceed to refuel as convenient -- "and what I'm going to find convenient," said the captain, "is to stick around for a bit and watch." ' Rodney opened fire 'a moment later'. Kennedy wrote, 'In all my life I doubt if I will remember another hour as vividly as that one.' But he was perhaps not best positioned to see which torpedoes hit and which did not. (Ludovic Kennedy, On My Way To The Club, Harper Collins 1989, extracted in Mordecai Richler ed., Writers on World War II, Chatto & Windus 1992, p.154.) Tartar and Mashona withdrew once the Bismarck sank. Khamba Tendal (talk) 19:53, 7 December 2016 (UTC)


A good color image exists at World War 2 in color

Cherry Tree Class[edit]

I am reading a little book about Cromarty, written by someone who remembers the RN activity in the area during the 1930s. He says that the Nelson and Rodney were known in the Royal Navy as the Cherry Tree Class" because of being "cut down by Washington". --jmb 08:18, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

This is supported by another source too: Antony Preston and John Batchelor, "Battleships 1855-1977," Chartwell Books (Phoebus Publishing Co., London, 1977), Page 71: "They were known as the 'Cherry Tree' class--cut down by Washington--but the unkindest cut was the sailors' nickname for them--'Nelsol' and 'Rodnol'--in memory of a group of fleet oilers whose names ended in 'ol': this was a reference to the position of the funnels so far aft." 'Washington' referring to the naval arms limitation treaty. Unfortunately Preston and Batchelor don't cite their source.Naaman Brown (talk) 02:05, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

4 inch guns[edit]

Rodney had her 6 x 4.7 inch guns replaced by 8 x 4 inch guns in twin mounts. Does anybody know: which 4.7 inch mounts were replaced, and which were not? Was it number 1 and 2 on each side (abreast the superstructure) were replaced, and number 3 (on the fantail) left open? Or was it numbers 1 and 3 replaced, and number 2 left open? Anybody know? (talk) 04:38, 11 December 2007 (UTC) Although it was one of several modifications to the A/A weapons considered, it was never carried out.The Dart (talk) 20:55, 20 April 2016 (UTC)


Both these ships were notorious for bad steering at low speeds. Both ships leaving Portsmouth harbour frequently ran aground on the Hamilton Bank. A standing naval joke was "Nelson on Hamilton again".AT Kunene (talk) 09:51, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Not under the navigation of G.G.O. Gatacre. Besides HMS Warspite did exactly that several times and Ray Burt states in "British Battleships 1919-1945" pg.154 Handling and Manoeuvrability, "it is on record that several of the Royal Sovereigns 'played up' especially at slow speeds". To level such a criticism specifically at the 'Nelson's' as though they were uncommonly difficult to navigate is absurdly unfair! In Burt's book on pg.350 he quotes Capt. T.H. Binney with regard to Nelson's manoeuvrability "In the early stages of the ship's 1st commission, there was a general misconception in 'the service' that the 'Nelson' class were unhandy & difficult to manoeuvre", followed by " both my predecessor & myself, however, very soon discovered that this opinion was ENTIRELY FALLACIOUS"."In calm weather, the ship's manoeuvring capabilities are in no way inferior to those of 'Queen Elizabeth' or 'Revenge'." Also matelots who never served in the 'Nelson's' were always deriding this class of battleship because of jealousy relating to the comfortable accommodation & amenities that Nelson & Rodney's crews enjoyed compared to any other battleship in the RN. The criticisms directed at these two ships is mainly based in ignorance of the radical design concepts they embodied which other navies such as the French and with respect to the all-or-nothing armour, the U.S. were later to emulate.The Dart (talk) 17:31, 29 September 2012 (UTC)The Dart (talk) 14:28, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, but the US invented the concept of all-or-nothing armor back in 1916 with the Nevada-class battleship.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 18:28, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
OK, what I was refering to in particular was "the length of the armoured citadel was reduced to a minimum in order to maximise armour thickness; this ran counter to accepted practice in other navies, notably the US Navy, which saw the armoured belt as a protector not only of the ships vitals but also of its bouyancy and stability." cite. John Jordan & Robert Dumas, French Battleships 1922-1956, ISBN 978-1-84832-034-5 The Dart (talk) 18:35, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
Ok, that's entirely different. IIRC, the American concept dropped things like the upper strake of armor and similar thinly-armored places to concentrate most everything except the conning tower protection on thickening the waterline belt and the main deck armor.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 19:48, 6 October 2012 (UTC)