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Hon na Bismarck
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5. 9. 2012 01:03
the Prince of Wales opened fire from 26,500 yards (24,221 meters) on Bismarck on a bearing of 335°. In this case its certain that only the forward turret group (A and B ) fired, (bearing 35° to starboard ) so 2 + 4 = 6 shells of 356 mm went toward the Bismarck, falling long about 1,500 meters on the right, eastern of the German battleship
.On Prinz Eugen's Command Bridge the distance of the Hood and Prince of Wales was estimated long. Their estimate at 05:53 (24) was 31,728 yards (29,000 meters). In reality, the Hood and Prince of Wales were only at 22,000 meters. The Bismarck increased her speed to 30 knots, decreasing the distance with Prinz Eugen sailing ahead of her at 27 knots. The main artillery was ready to open fire and the First Artillery Officer, Lieutenant Commander Adalbert Schneider, requested from the command bridge permission to do so, but no answer came back to him. The Hood's second salvo fell close to Prinz Eugen which probably during this time used her depth charges type WBD in order to confuse enemy spotters.
The Prince of Wales second salvo landed close to the Bismarck from 26,000 yards (23,764 meters) on a bearing of 334°; it was again long and with only 5 shells instead of 6 because 1 gun of the quadruple A turret went out of action (from that moment on, the Prince of Wales lost that gun and fired with 5 out of 6 forward 14 inch/356 mm guns).
Lieutenant Burkard von Müllheneim-Rechberg, third artillery officer and in charge of the Bismarck's aft rangefinder, was ordered by Admiral Lütjens to closely watch the movements of the two British heavy cruisers which were stationed aft on each side of the German formation. This order confirms the validity of Admiral Tovey’s theory of the simultaneous attack of the four British ships against the two German ones. Even the German Admiral was expecting that this would probably happen.
At 05:54 the British warships changed their course again, turning 20° to port from 300° to 280°. This turn opened the ‘A arcs‘ allowing the Prince of Wales's Y turret to bear toward the enemy and opened further the Hood's aft turrets bearing angles. Now the turrets were firing at 56° to starboard for the Hood and at 54° to starboard for the Prince of Wales and this were allowing both the British battleships to fully utilize their main artillery.
Meanwhile the Hood fired her third salvo on the Prinz Eugen missing the target while the Prince of Wales fired her third salvo from 24,375 yards (22,278 meters) on a bearing of 334° and the fourth from 23,600 yards (21,570 meters) on a bearing of 333°, both with 5 guns.
On board Prinz Eugen, distances started being correctly measured by the First Artillery Officer Lieutenant Paulus Jasper who, based on rangefinder measurements, evaluated the target (Hood) to be at 22,975 yards (21,000 meters), prepared to open fire. He waited for permission to do so from the Bismarck. The estimate was accurate and in-line with the measurement of the Hood related to the P
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