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"Denmark Strait Refight" Topic

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673 hits since 2 Feb 2019
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Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2019 5:52 a.m. PST

I've had a hankering for a while to channel the SOA's annual refight of a single battle with different sets of rules. My latest blog entry initiates my thoughts on the subject, with Denmark Strait 1941 being the example battle…..


panzerCDR02 Feb 2019 7:09 a.m. PST

The Naval War College Review just published an account of Operation RHINE EXERCISE, May 1827, 1941 to get perspective players in the right mindset . . .


Decebalus02 Feb 2019 10:44 a.m. PST

Maybe you will motivate me to paint my first naval models. Denmark strait is about the right size 4-6 ships.

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2019 10:46 a.m. PST

Based on a quick skim, that NWC article is of questionable quality, IMHO.

For example, it uses a single German source to support the statement that "The German AA fire was intense and accurate; Bismarck's AA guns shot down seven British aircraft." A more knowledgeable author would know that overclaiming was common in WW2, and that therefore one needs to check the records of both sides. My other sources state that no aircraft were shot down during the final attack, though some were damaged and one crash-landed.

Discussion of British radars sounds amateurish as well.


KPinder02 Feb 2019 10:57 a.m. PST

IIRC, the 2 cruisers shadowing Bismarck both had limited sea search radars. Norfolk's set was better but limited to about 10% wide arc facing straight ahead. Suffolk's was a rotating set, butless powerful. I don't think Bismarck downed any aircraft. It was still relatively early in the war and most AA systems were pretty bad.

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2019 11:01 a.m. PST

WRT the OP, I would be interested in doing this. I have the ships mostly done and am making a new hex-grid playing mat. Tried to post this on the blog, but it didn't take for some reason …

Bozkashi Jones03 Feb 2019 4:05 a.m. PST

Cracking idea! I've played Denmark Strait three times with different rule sets (Victory at Sea, GQ1 and Battlestations! Battlestations!)and it is a very good touchstone to (a) see how they compare, and (b) get to grips with a new set.

So I think you can sign me and young Henry up for this one David – I'm hoping I'll have published my own rules by then (Fight the Ship) which are designed specifically for actions between four to six ships.


Fitzovich03 Feb 2019 4:26 a.m. PST

I would be interested, using Seapower as that is what I play for the period.

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2019 12:08 p.m. PST


FYI, one good source for British radars is the 1993 book by Howse "Radar at Sea; The Royal Navy in World War 2".

According to Howse, Norfolk had a WC (warning combined) fixed-aerial 286M (1.5m); an interim install of what was intended to be a small-ship radar. Suffolk had a WA (warning air) type 279 (7.5m), and a GS (gunnery) type 284 (50cm) on the DCT. Apparently the latter was what was mostly used in shadowing Bismarck ("Adjusted arc of sweep of type 284 as requisite to cover bearings on which the visibility was below 8 miles. Type 279 kept listening watch but was not used for transmitting.". The DCT had to be "rested" periodically, as it wasn't designed to be constantly training. The crew of the Suffolk had worked out a special procedure for using the type 284 for tracking, so this may not be something to be allowed to all ships in a game.

WRT the relative value of the Norfolk's and Suffolk's radar installations:

"After the loss of Hood, the two curisers and Prince of Wales continued to shadow, Suffolk's type 284 radar being mainly responsible for keeping contact".


"… two Distinguished Conduct Medals to Ordinary Seamen (RDF) C.F. Tuckwood and A.J. Sinker of HMS Suffolk 'belonging to the Action and Relief Action (or Defence) crews of the type 284, to whose zeal and skilful operation of their equipment the success of the low visibility shadowing by its aid was due".


hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2019 12:37 p.m. PST


Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP04 Feb 2019 11:55 p.m. PST

We just did the straight up battle between the heavies, using GQ2, when my son and I played this out.

Damage to the vessels was halved in order to make the 2 on 2 engagement last a bit longer.

We used the historical starting ranges, and as I recall, the Hood took a major critical hit at long range, just like in the real battle.

Can't recall which side won, but it was fun nonetheless.

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