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75th anniversary of the "Rheinübung" and the german press

Discussion in 'Atlantic Naval Conflict' started by OhneGewehr, May 31, 2016.

  1. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

    May 30, 2016
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    The few days of the Rheinübung were already theme of countless books, articles and television-documentarys but Ali only dies once. So that's ok. And the anniversary was 10 days ago.

    Compared with other naval battles in the Atlantic it still is ridiculously overexposed. I remember that Bismarck was one of the first wrecks located by Rob Ballard.

    It still is kind of confusing to me, why always Lütjens is the target of criticism. Compared to the Royal Navy he made very few mistakes and had to deal with very complex orders (inflict as much dammage as possible but evade risky actions) whereas the british orders were as simple as possible.
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Jul 24, 2007
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    Cruisers were indeed something for Bismarck to worry about. Especially when they had a fix on him. He knew that the British still had a superior navy and as long as he had cruisers shadowing him his raiding wasn't going to be very productive not to mention the chance existed of superior forces intercepting him because of the cruisers. Furthermore breaking contact was going to force him to move at speeds greater than cruising speed with the accompanying loss of fuel efficiency. You should also remember that PoW reengaged Bismarck a few hours later. Further more Bismarck had essentilally received a mission kill from PoW. It should have been apparent to Lutjens (and likely was) that his cruise could end in disaster even if he won a few battles. I seem to recall that he'd used up a fair amount of his ammo as well at Denmark Straits.

    The fact that the RN is searching in more than one place doesn't mean that they still don't have a lock on him. Indeed note what happened to most of the German support ships involved in the operation. I don't see the evidence for your case being any stronger than evidence for the normally sited rational that he thought the British still had him located and he was making political points with Hitler.

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