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2 hours ago, Headstock said:

 

Good morning Phil,

 

exactly, I would add to that, the shade of grey used on the Hush Hush is quite well understood. There is little value in comparing it to anything else that might be grey such as a Battleship or an Elephant. The Bufferbeam was never red on Hush Hush, neither was the hull below the water line on HMS Hood, at the time of her sinking. You will see both inaccurately painted red on many models.

 

Interesting, I thought all RN warships were painted red below the waterline (although I can think of a couple of more recent exceptions), so what colour was Hood's hull painted?

 

Glenn

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1 hour ago, Tony Wright said:

Good morning Andrew,

 

I was merely going on the 'battlecruiser' description of her in every naval history I've ever read.

 

I agree, none is unsinkable, but Hood was more vulnerable than a battleship, particularly to plunging fire. That was known at the time, hence Holland's decision to try and close the range on Bismark as quickly as possible and why Tovey considered 'ordering' Holland to lead with the Prince of Wales during the engagement. He didn't, because of the vice-admiral's status. As it turned out, the mighty Hood, was fatally-flawed.

 

Ironically, she still exists, though in millions of pieces at the bottom of the Denmark Strait, as does the Bismark, much further away of course, and in far, far fewer bits. So does the Prince of Wales, even further away at the bottom of an eastern sea. The other participant, Prinz Eugen, ended up obliterated at Bikini, by an atom bomb! 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

Good morning Tony,

 

there is no doubt that Hoods deck armour was vulnerable to plunging fire, other Battleships had a similar problems, Bismarck for example. However, the problem of weak deck armour was not relevant to Hoods destruction. At the ranges that the battle was fought, Shells from Bismarck were not plunging in away that could have pieced hoods decks, indeed they would have skipped off an exploded outside the hull, such as the one that started the fire on the boat deck. Bismark must have defeated Hoods side armour and turtle back by going over or under the main belt. Hoods side armour was pretty good, so how this was done would require a golden BB of a shot to wangle its way through. It is unlikely that this would be repeatable if the scenario was rerun over and over. For example, a shell piecing the upper 7'' belt is entirely possible under the conditions of the battle but what happened then? The turtle back should have deflected it but if it hit something internally and was deflected in an unexpected manor before the fuse ignited, all bets are off.  As pointed out by the New Jersey people, there is no accounting for a golden BB. A number of the American standards were hit by converted 16'' shells dropped as bombs at Pear Harbour. A number  landed in proximity to magazine locations, yet only one found its way to the magazine on Arizona and exploded. 

 

I too would have placed P of W in the lead, however, that wouldn't  in of itself stop Bismarck from targeting Hood. In the final Battle, Bismarck went for the older, comparatively weaker Rodney rather than KGV. I can't help but feel that Hoods gunnery was more of an issue in the battle of the Denmark straight. She had old equipment that required closing the range of battle, she targeted the wrong ship and fired quite a few salvos without hitting anything.

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Just now, mattingleycustom said:

 

Interesting, I thought all RN warships were painted red below the waterline (although I can think of a couple of more recent exceptions), so what colour was Hood's hull painted?

 

Glenn

 

Good morning Glenn,

 

a dark grey, possibly blackish at the time of her loss. 

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4 hours ago, polybear said:

Bearing in mind paint was mixed by hand then I'd say the above is spot on - there were no computer controlled paint mixing machines that measured every ingredient to the nth degree.

Both Poly and myself during our respective careers have come across numerous items of equipment allegedly painted to the same, specific military specification had very different finishes in terms of colour, shade and degree of gloss!    80 years or so ago I'm sure that the finish achieved from a specific paint mix was even more highly variable due to the enormous  number of variables involved and relatively poor control over them.

 

3 hours ago, Chamby said:

After a lengthy discussion, we have arrived at the conclusion that ‘Battleship Grey’ is a general moniker for a range of shades rather than a specific colour.

Battleship grey of whatever flavour might be a generic term BUT there very definitely was a series of British Standard greys used by the military (and others) which included "Light Admiralty Grey" and "Dark Admiralty Grey".   As the Admiralty was responsible for battleships it doesn't take a huge leap of faith to come to the conclusion that "Admiralty" and "Battleship" might have been used interchangeably, at least unofficially, to describe certain shades of grey ....

 

3 hours ago, Dunsignalling said:

From a modelling standpoint, at this remove, if agreement cannot be reached as to whether the buffer beams were painted grey or red, (or both at different times), establishing the exact shade of grey it carried (and when) will be akin to herding unicorns. Colour photography was still in its infancy at the time, and I wouldn't wholly trust even a Kodachrome original ninety years on, even if one existed. Kodachrome was only introduced two years before 10000 was rebuilt!

Absolutely!   The only thing that a colour photograph, however poor,  could provide is positive evidence of a red OR otherwise buffer beam.  Due to the Orthochromic nature of contemporary films (very variable sensitivity to different colour light favouring blue/green) you cannot sensibly hazard a guess from the tone rendered on a B&W photograph.    There are a few really excellent very early colour photographs available (not necessarily of railway subjects) but any of Hush Hush that might lurk somewhere clearly remain totally allusive!

 

3 hours ago, Dunsignalling said:

No idea if it's "right" but I think the dark shade applied to the first of Tony's photo sequence looks most appropriate for a large imposing locomotive. The lighter ones rather smack of "Photographic" grey to me.

The whole point of "Photographic grey"  was to provide a good clear record of a locomotive given the orthochromic film of the day ...

 

2 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

The 'battleship grey' debate can never be resolved.

The closest to a definitive resolution would be written, official evidence of either the paint specification used or at least its composition as someone mentioned previously but then what is specified officially and what was actually applied and when could well be quite different.   From that specification / composition a potentially reasonable stab at re-manufacturing the paint could be made if a) anybody could be bothered and b) all of the precise materials and processes were still available.

 

2 hours ago, MarkC said:

Indeed so - the same argument can rage for, inter alia, the correct grey for Midland Railway open wagons & vans...

And if we want to extend the discussion to World War 1 British aircraft we could have weeks of fruitless and pointless argument discussion on the subject of RFC, RNAS & RAF  PC10 and PC12!     Although the "recipe" (and that's what it was) for these colours is known the colour produced using the recipe (with varying degrees of care no doubt) resulted in a multitude of very, very different shades of both green and brown!

 

2 hours ago, Headstock said:

exactly, I would add to that, the shade of grey used on the Hush Hush is quite well understood. There is little value in comparing it to anything else that might be grey such as a Battleship or an Elephant. The Bufferbeam was never red on Hush Hush,

I bow to your superior knowledge on the subject Andrew but I have to say that I think that at this point, so far removed from the period we are discussing, and considering the general paucity of truly definitive evidence there are some quite bold statements here!      What there are are numerous contemporary and later descriptions of the locomotive being painted "Battleship Grey" whatever that actually is!   Are they all completely wrong?  (a rhetorical question ... )

 

Alan

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2 hours ago, Northmoor said:

Actually the Prinz Eugen is remarkably complete, but upside down and just off a beach (the upturned hull is clearly visible).

 

It was said that the sinking of the Hood, was celebrated loudly on the Bismarck for only a few minutes.  It quickly registered to the crew what it meant; they knew that the sinking of the pride of the British Fleet would be swiftly avenged and that the chances of them seeing land, let alone home again, had just evaporated.

I didn't know that the Prinz Eugen still existed (in radioactive form?).

 

I once read an account (years ago) which was based totally on strategy and materialism regarding the Hood/Bismark incident. It took no account of the thousands of gallant seamen (on both sides) who lost their lives in the Operation Rhine saga. 

 

The gist of it was that, if, at the end of May 1941, the British had been offered the 'deal' of losing an obsolete capital ship in exchange for a near brand-new battleship (which represented 50% of Germany's battleship complement), they would have grabbed it with both hands.

 

As I said, the fate of those brave seamen was not factored into the summary, though more Germans perished because of Bismark's greater complement. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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5 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Thanks Andy,

 

I believe the first batch were initially allocated to the south end of the GN, for suburban work, replacing the N2s. However, such was their unreliability, that they were 'dumped' at Hornsey (Clive Mortimer will know far more about this than I do) with an edict that they should be placed 'out of sight' of the travelling public; presumably in sidings behind other vehicles? 

 

I never saw one, but into the '60s, the same thing happened to the 'Baby Deltics', where almost the whole class were to be found on a remote siding at Stratford (why didn't I take a picture?). 

 

Your model looks very (nicely) well-weathered, but that coupling...................! Wouldn't a discreet wire loop suffice?

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

Hello Tony

 

They were hid away in New England shed, until a Sunday journo spotted them (was told about them?) and some people were upset that the government was spending OUR money on rubbish. Some things never change.

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2 hours ago, t-b-g said:

 

D5901. I remember seeing it well and I hope I am remembering the number. It came to Doncaster for scrapping and somewhere I have very distant photos at Derby Research Centre, taken from the station platform, taken on the old Kodak Instamatic and a better one at Doncaster.

 

Have you seen the  "New build" one, which is well advanced? 

Hi Tony

 

It is a cut and shut class 37 on class 20s bogies......after all the ones I done before the Heljan model one would have thought they would have asked for my advice.

 

384753784_alltenb.jpg.480c98bb27c70532f26083fdfa144468.jpg

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2 hours ago, Headstock said:

 

Good morning Tony,

 

there is no doubt that Hoods deck armour was vulnerable to plunging fire, other Battleships had a similar problems, Bismarck for example. However, the problem of weak deck armour was not relevant to Hoods destruction. At the ranges that the battle was fought, Shells from Bismarck were not plunging in away that could have pieced hoods decks, indeed they would have skipped off an exploded outside the hull, such as the one that started the fire on the boat deck. Bismark must have defeated Hoods side armour and turtle back by going over or under the main belt. Hoods side armour was pretty good, so how this was done would require a golden BB of a shot to wangle its way through. It is unlikely that this would be repeatable if the scenario was rerun over and over. For example, a shell piecing the upper 7'' belt is entirely possible under the conditions of the battle but what happened then? The turtle back should have deflected it but if it hit something internally and was deflected in an unexpected manor before the fuse ignited, all bets are off.  As pointed out by the New Jersey people, there is no accounting for a golden BB. A number of the American standards were hit by converted 16'' shells dropped as bombs at Pear Harbour. A number  landed in proximity to magazine locations, yet only one found its way to the magazine on Arizona and exploded. 

 

I too would have placed P of W in the lead, however, that wouldn't  in of itself stop Bismarck from targeting Hood. In the final Battle, Bismarck went for the older, comparatively weaker Rodney rather than KGV. I can't help but feel that Hoods gunnery was more of an issue in the battle of the Denmark straight. She had old equipment that required closing the range of battle, she targeted the wrong ship and fired quite a few salvos without hitting anything.

Thanks Andrew,

 

I don't know whether I'd class Rodney as being 'weaker' than King George the Fifth. Older and slower, yes, but a far more dangerous opponent (did the Germans know that the 14" guns of the KGV Class were prone to malfunction?). Rodney landed more hits on Bismark than the flagship, producing Tovey's comments about throwing his binoculars at the German! 

 

Rodney damaged herself far more by firing those massive, nine-broadside 16" shells than anything Bismark shot at her. Apparently, her heads were smashed to bits (as happened in her sister, Nelson - how inconvenient!) and parts of her decking were ripped up. I wonder what shade of grey was used to repaint those nine barrels (they were black by the time the battle was over)?

 

I think it's also the only incident recorded where a battleship (Rodney) fired a torpedo at another battleship.

 

You're right about Hood's poor shooting, both in direction and accuracy. Since she was not a new ship, one might have thought her gunners were more experienced. Unlike on the Prince of Wales, which actually succeeded in hitting Bismark, cutting off hundreds of tons of invaluable fuel. 

 

Anyway, isn't it about a century since Hood was commissioned into the Navy? 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

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Somebody said earlier in the debate about HMS Hood it was a lucky shot by the Bismark.

 

On 9 July 1940 HMS Warspite achived what must be the best calculated shot by one warship that was moving on another that was moving, hitting Giulio Cesare at a range of approximately 24 km.

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1 hour ago, Clive Mortimore said:

Hi Tony

 

It is a cut and shut class 37 on class 20s bogies......after all the ones I done before the Heljan model one would have thought they would have asked for my advice.

 

384753784_alltenb.jpg.480c98bb27c70532f26083fdfa144468.jpg

Does it have a Ringfield motor drive?

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5 hours ago, Northmoor said:

It was said that the sinking of the Hood, was celebrated loudly on the Bismarck for only a few minutes.  It quickly registered to the crew what it meant; they knew that the sinking of the pride of the British Fleet would be swiftly avenged and that the chances of them seeing land, let alone home again, had just evaporated.

 

I suspect there was a degree of realisation that the crew of the Hood were also fellow sailors, just like them.

I had the opportunity to visit the U-Boat Museum at Kiel in the late 80's; there is a circular memorial building to the U-Boat crews, with an eternal flame burning in the centre.  There were many wreaths laid - including some from British Naval Associations, which I found a little surprising at the time.

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15 minutes ago, polybear said:

 

I suspect there was a degree of realisation that the crew of the Hood were also fellow sailors, just like them.

I had the opportunity to visit the U-Boat Museum at Kiel in the late 80's; there is a circular memorial building to the U-Boat crews, with an eternal flame burning in the centre.  There were many wreaths laid - including some from British Naval Associations, which I found a little surprising at the time.

I believe Ted Briggs, the last survivor of the Hood, was latterly invited to and attended Bismarck veteran reunions as an honoured guest.  In the sense of unity among sailors, it was very moving to hear (in a documentary 20 years ago) those involved in the Battle of North Cape 60 years previously, describing being ordered to extinguish lights and sail away (fearing U-boat attacks if they were stationary), leaving the Scharnhorst's survivors in the water.  They had lived with the guilt ever since.

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2 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Just to keep readers in the picture...............

 

All the models sold for various causes have now been despatched to their new owners.

Over £1,000 has gone to the family of the seriously-ill guy.

And, with 10% from sales or direct donations, over £350.00 has gone to CRUK. 

 

I was quite some time at the Post Office this morning! 

 

My thanks to all for making this such a success so far. 

 

There is still plenty of stuff for sale. 

Thanks.

 

There is more to come.

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2 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

I think it's also the only incident recorded where a battleship (Rodney) fired a torpedo at another battleship.

 

Didn't one of the 5th Battle Squadron (the QEs) fire a torpedo at Jutland?

Sorry, I haven't checked - but if I start to read 'The Rules of the Game' just now I will be totally distracted from railway building (desired activity) and gardening (must be done).

 

I do agree about Vice-Admiral Holland having his 'T Crossed', but surely his wish to engage the enemy as rapidly as possible was part of:-

- The Navy's instinct to fire at something as soon as you could see it and it was in range, and before visibility worsened.

- The risk of being Court Martialled if the Admiralty thought that you had been too cautious (ref. the Goeben Courts Martial).

- The primary mission of preventing the German big ships from intercepting the Atlantic convoys.

 

Of course, there was also the still prevailing myth of the supremacy of the Big Gun and the ships that carried them.

The Bismarck actions showed both the power of the big gun (when in range) and the newer weapons systems (Aircraft Carriers) that would replace them. 

After all, although PoW's 14" hit may have limited the range of Bismarck's operation, it was the torpedo hit from a semi-obsolescent Swordfish that reduced her to a unmaneuverable target.

 

I have enormous admiration for all those young people who carried on with the jobs that they did, whether taking of from a pitching flight deck, or being stuck in a narrow steel tube under the water and being hit with explosives, or for that matter weathering an Atlantic gale in a ship about the size of an inter-island ferry. On the few times I have encountered an RN ship's crew I have been struck by how young they all were. Some things don't change. I think the average age of Victory's crew at Trafalgar was about 21.

 

Whoever you are, and whatever the morality of the cause espoused by the government sending you to fight, the sea is still the sea, and water and fire and explosives will still kill you.

 

Now I had better stop ranting, before I recount my visit to the German Navy Museum at Laboe near Kiel, it's preserved Type 7 U-Boat, and the excellent charts of the Skagerrackschlacht it has on display.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Thanks Andrew,

 

I don't know whether I'd class Rodney as being 'weaker' than King George the Fifth. Older and slower, yes, but a far more dangerous opponent (did the Germans know that the 14" guns of the KGV Class were prone to malfunction?). Rodney landed more hits on Bismark than the flagship, producing Tovey's comments about throwing his binoculars at the German! 

 

Rodney damaged herself far more by firing those massive, nine-broadside 16" shells than anything Bismark shot at her. Apparently, her heads were smashed to bits (as happened in her sister, Nelson - how inconvenient!) and parts of her decking were ripped up. I wonder what shade of grey was used to repaint those nine barrels (they were black by the time the battle was over)?

 

I think it's also the only incident recorded where a battleship (Rodney) fired a torpedo at another battleship.

 

You're right about Hood's poor shooting, both in direction and accuracy. Since she was not a new ship, one might have thought her gunners were more experienced. Unlike on the Prince of Wales, which actually succeeded in hitting Bismark, cutting off hundreds of tons of invaluable fuel. 

 

Anyway, isn't it about a century since Hood was commissioned into the Navy? 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

 

Good afternoon Tony,

 

Rodney had good protection but  inferior protection to KGV and was more vulnerable to the Bismarck's guns, she was also in pretty poor condition compared to her sister ship Nelson. That is why she was taken out of service before the wars end.  Nelson served to the end of the war in the BPF.

 

KGV gets a bit of a raw deal in the final battle in popular books. Almost as if only the magic of the 16'' guns could kill Bismarck, it being a 'super Battleship' and all. KGV's 14'' guns were quite formidable weapons, being more powerful than Hoods 15'' guns and having a particularly massive bursting charge. A review of the Gunnery records of both British ships is quite revealing. It was KGV that began hitting Bismarck first, with her gunnery radar  tracking shells right on to the target. The famous shot that disabled turrets Anton and Bruno early in the battle, that is often attributed to Rodney, was more likely to have come from KGV. The flag ship was hitting early and decisively in a way Hood was unable to do at the Denmark strait. 

 

KGV was putting out a steady stream of fire for the first thirty five to forty minutes of the battle before experiencing brake downs with her guns, mostly drill errors. The flag ships gunnery then fell off as her gunnery radar failed due to the blast of her own guns. By that stage the Bismarck was incapable of hitting anything. 

 

It is worth remembering that no battleship ever involved in a sustained gunnery dual achieved anything like maximum fire out put. that is true of Bismarck at both the battles of the Denmark strait and her final engagement. One such gun failure seems to have been particularly horrific, causing a blow back in the turret Dora and peeling back the gun barrel like a 15'' banana. Rodney also had a number of gun failures in the final battle and her turrets were also very problematic when new.

 

Off hand, I can't think of another occasion when Battleships continuously fired their main guns for such a sustained period, it's not surprising that some breakdowns would occur.  The French battleship Richelieu experience a number of gun break downs in her career that resulted in explosions as in Bismarck and the infamous explosion in turret 2 of USS Iowa killed 47 crew members.

 

With an anniversary coming up, I don't think that Hood should be remembered as a flawed ship. She and her crew did their duty and made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our people. The Royal Navy has always recognised that you don't rule the waves without being prepared to lose ships and sadly the lives of their crews. The crew of Bismarck were men very much the same, lost at sea. Bismarck herself, a beautiful ship but a Nazi tool that had to be destroyed.  Less we forget that swastika and the evil it represents, that adorns her deck to this day.
 

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6 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

 

 

I think it's also the only incident recorded where a battleship (Rodney) fired a torpedo at another battleship.

 

You're right about Hood's poor shooting, both in direction and accuracy. Since she was not a new ship, one might have thought her gunners were more experienced. Unlike on the Prince of Wales, which actually succeeded in hitting Bismark, cutting off hundreds of tons of invaluable fuel. 

 

 

I thought it was the only occasion on which one battleship scored a torpedo hit on another. This was confirmed by examination of the wreck of Bismarck as there is evidence of a hit that can only have come from a torpedo fired by Rodney because of the angle and where it hit.

 

PoW is often given a raw deal too. The ship was barely ready for battle. The hit on Bismarck's bow was what began the chain of events that led to her demise. Without that hit, and the other one that I believe put a bit of the propulsion out of action, she would not have had to reduce speed and would not have had to take such a direct course towards Brest, nor would she have left a trail of oil. Those things all contributed - the lower speed meant she was at sea for longer, the direct course brought her closer to the British Isles and the trail of oil made her easier to find. 

 

Also contributing was Bletchley Park, which decoded a message between someone on Bismarck and someone in Brest which included the German equivalent of "See you in Brest" - which is how it was known where she was going after she had shaken off PoW and the cruisers.

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30 minutes ago, robertcwp said:

 

 

Also contributing was Bletchley Park, which decoded a message between someone on Bismarck and someone in Brest which included the German equivalent of "See you in Brest" - which is how it was known where she was going after she had shaken off PoW and the cruisers.

I thought that the message was from the Bismark to German Navy Command with the information that they were heading for Brest at reduced speed. At Bletchley Park messages were decoded and then the text was sent to another shed for translation. The story goes that the young lady who picked up the message read it, as she could read German and promptly told a senior officer that rather than put it in the tray some body ought to look at it. Of course nobody was aware that the young woman was able to read the German messages which apparently she always did.. It was an absolute fluke that she had seen the message which enabled a saving of several hours in the chase to catch up with the Bismark.

My English teacher was at Bletchley Park. A chap by the name of Geoffrey Tandy.

Bernard

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27 minutes ago, Bernard Lamb said:

I thought that the message was from the Bismark to German Navy Command with the information that they were heading for Brest at reduced speed. At Bletchley Park messages were decoded and then the text was sent to another shed for translation. The story goes that the young lady who picked up the message read it, as she could read German and promptly told a senior officer that rather than put it in the tray some body ought to look at it. Of course nobody was aware that the young woman was able to read the German messages which apparently she always did.. It was an absolute fluke that she had seen the message which enabled a saving of several hours in the chase to catch up with the Bismark.

My English teacher was at Bletchley Park. A chap by the name of Geoffrey Tandy.

Bernard

I was only going by what someone from Bletchley Park said on TV about the message some years back. Maybe they read more than one reference to Brest?

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8 hours ago, Clive Mortimore said:

Hi Tony

 

It is a cut and shut class 37 on class 20s bogies......after all the ones I done before the Heljan model one would have thought they would have asked for my advice.

 

 

Years ago I went to see the engine running at Barrow Hill when it was mounted in a railway van. There was a sales stand there, and I bought a book about the engine and got talking to the guys. It seems they bought the engine from the NRM, who didn't really know they had it, as it was all wrapped up in a wagon. I asked them what the future was, and they said they hadn't really thought that far. I jokingly said they should cut and shut a class 37 and stick it on class 20 bogies, they just laughed!

 

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1 hour ago, Bernard Lamb said:

I thought that the message was from the Bismark to German Navy Command with the information that they were heading for Brest at reduced speed. At Bletchley Park messages were decoded and then the text was sent to another shed for translation. The story goes that the young lady who picked up the message read it, as she could read German and promptly told a senior officer that rather than put it in the tray some body ought to look at it. Of course nobody was aware that the young woman was able to read the German messages which apparently she always did.. It was an absolute fluke that she had seen the message which enabled a saving of several hours in the chase to catch up with the Bismark.

My English teacher was at Bletchley Park. A chap by the name of Geoffrey Tandy.

Bernard

The Royal Navy's radio listening post was at Scarborough. My father in law was one of the men listening and recording the messages. He said they could tell which U Boat it was by the radio operator's Morse code technique. The messages were sent to Bletchley Park after Scarborough had intercepted them. Apart form the build up to D-Day and a few weeks after when a detachment of RN listeners (including my father in law) were at Bletchley Park. This was hoped would speed up any intercepted messages being deciphered. We all now know the Kriegsmarine were not in a position to attack the Allied fleet.

 

My father in law returned to Scarborough to learn Japanese Morse code.

 

Edit, My father in law visited Bletchley Park, and was told by the guide there where no Navy personal there. So my father in law showed him his pay book where it was noted he was at Bletchley Park May to July 1944.

Edited by Clive Mortimore
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