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  #51  
Old 02-10-2009, 09:21
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Default Re: HMS Bulwark; the modern navy

Episodes two to five of the latest series of 'Warship' are still available to watch again on Demand Five here. Registration is free.
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  #52  
Old 02-10-2009, 20:08
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Default Re: HMS Bulwark; the modern navy

Thanks Rob, I missed the original screenings, so have started with Episode 2. I had a sweat on watching them in the jungle
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  #53  
Old 07-10-2009, 10:25
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Default Re: HMS Bulwark; the modern navy

The Run Home on Tuesday 6th was interesting.

Better still was the appreciation of the (controlled?) anarchy which was the preparation and ceremony for Crossing the Line. It is the modern version of dance and skylark combined with the age-old practice of greeting Neptune. Remarkable that everyone survives in a reasonable state of health - and that 'ossifers' are reminded they are part of the crew/family.

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  #54  
Old 08-10-2009, 19:51
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Default Re: Television Programmes of interest.

One coming up next Wednesday on the History Channel about the sinking of the Royal Oak by Gunther Prien in U 48. Should be interesting the survivors giving their experiences.
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  #55  
Old 09-10-2009, 17:28
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Default Re: Television Programmes of interest.

I have, belatedly, watched the four episodes of "Atlantic Convoys" and thought the series pretty poor on the whole. I got tired of watching endless, repeated, unrealistic animations of ships blowing up and/or bursting into flames. It seemed that if it didn't go bang it wasn't worth showing. For a series lasting four hours there were glaring omissions and glossing over the weapon systems that were so effective in defeating the submarine.

For example, not once was the Submarine Tracking Room mentioned whose vitally important work resulted in knowing the position of just about every U-boat at sea through radio intercepts and Ultra intelligence. Even when the intelligence "blackout" of 1942 (lasting about eight months when the Germans introduced their new "Triton" code for submarines) deprived us Ultra intelligence, we were able through the brilliant work of Roger Winn (one of the civilian staff) to predict the position and course of many, if not most, U-boats.

I believe that the High Frequency Direction Finding system was mentioned only once in passing, and then only as a method of positioning U-boats by radio triangulation. Whereas in fact it was developed to the point where a single ship could pinpoint immediately the bearing of any radio transmission by a reading on a cathode ray tube which showed the bearing as a single line radiating out from the centre of the crt. The distance would be estimated from the signal strength. Thus enabling them to attack immediately any U-boat transmitting, which they had to do to form the "Wolf Packs".

Also the Support Groups function and work was only briefly mentioned. With no thought given to their purpose and tactics, and how they fitted in with the convoy escorts.

And what about the strategy of reducing the endurance of the U-boats by making them cross the Bay of Biscay submerged? And the Leigh Light which enabled attacks by aircraft to be made at night? - Not a word!

All in all, it showed a pretty poor knowledge and lack of research on the programme maker's part.

I can thoroughly recomend Patrick Beesly's book "Very Special Intelligence" - the story of the Admiralty's Operational Intelligence Centre in World War 11.

I didn't like the Bulwark programme either. I could only watch the first one and a half episodes.

I know I am an old grouch, but I like to see things done properly.
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  #56  
Old 09-10-2009, 18:58
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Default Re: Television Programmes of interest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
One coming up next Wednesday on the History Channel about the sinking of the Royal Oak by Gunther Prien in U 48. Should be interesting the survivors giving their experiences.
That should be an interesting programme, my uncle survived the sinking, only to die of burns a couple of weeks later. Is the History Channel streamed online?
I believe Kapitšnleutnant Gķnther Prien commanded U47.
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  #57  
Old 09-10-2009, 19:35
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Default Re: Television Programmes of interest.

I agree with your summation on the two programmes Bill.

The Atlantic Convoys was the better of the two but it was still only a basic 4-hour series that gave a very generalised overview that would only appeal to somebody who knew little about the subject.


As you say HMS Bulwark was totally disappointing.
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  #58  
Old 09-10-2009, 19:38
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Default Re: Television Programmes of interest.

Bill Re the following extract from your post #36

I believe that the High Frequency Direction Finding system was mentioned only once in passing, and then only as a method of positioning U-boats by radio triangulation. Whereas in fact it was developed to the point where a single ship could pinpoint immediately the bearing of any radio transmission by a reading on a cathode ray tube which showed the bearing as a single line radiating out from the centre of the crt. The distance would be estimated from the signal strength. Thus enabling them to attack immediately any U-boat transmitting, which they had to do to form the "Wolf Packs".

I would take the content of this info with a pinch of salt... having sat in front of an HF DF set for many an hour I can assure you that a single line bearing was insufficient to obtain a fix, for that you need the benefit of triangulation ie at least one more bearing from another vessel or shore establishment. As to the signal strength indicating range then that too had a number of considerations eg transmitter strength, type of vessel, conditions etc etc and therefore any range would be a guess at best.

Little h
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  #59  
Old 09-10-2009, 20:09
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Default Re: Television Programmes of interest.

JB my eyes and fingers don't always work in coordination lol and you are quite right it is U 47 that was Gunther Priens boat.I remember reading the book Black Saturday, if memory serves me right many years ago and look forward to watching the programme.
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  #60  
Old 09-10-2009, 21:02
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Default Re: Television Programmes of interest.

Thanks for your info Little h,
It is always interesting and informative to get a first hand account.

I know that you cannot get a "fix" with HFDF, but it was sufficient for the escort to know the approximate bearing of a U-boat and that it was in the vicinity (by the signal strength) to decide to investigate, and as the escort closed the range to the target U-boat, the more accurate the bearing became, day or night. If another escort had HFDF (which they frequently had), or radar, the range could be ascertained.

Can you imagine a U-boat surfaced at night suddenly being attacked by a warship coming straight at it out of the darkness? Even if the attack was unsuccessful it was sufficient to drive the U-boat below the surface and keep it there for some time, with the help of a couple of depth charges.

The point I was making in my post #36 was that this was just one of many aspects totally ignored in the programme.

Little h, is HFDF still used? If so what is the latest equipment capable of?

Best wishes
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Last edited by emason : 09-10-2009 at 21:35.
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  #61  
Old 09-10-2009, 21:46
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Default Re: Television Programmes of interest.

Bill have a look at this site which will take you forward to not too long ago.

I have been away from what was the EW lark for some time now, however it doesn't take a great leap of faith or a lot of imagination to consider a signal (weak) being intercepted by say, several satellites or other airborne platforms and relayed real time to surface vessels thereby giving a fix.

That is of course if a vessel of whatever type even needed to transmit in the HF range, since comms are in the main satellite and secure. You may want to visit the Comms thread and view my posts on such there!!!

http://navygollies.co.uk/histroic_ew_systems.aspx

Little h
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  #62  
Old 09-10-2009, 22:10
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Default Re: Television Programmes of interest.

Thanks for that Little h. I shall have a look tomorrow as I am off to my bunk right now.

Sudden thought! Would it be possible to provide your own HFDF triangulation by "bearing off" and noting the change of bearing of the transmission? Providing the U-boat cooperated by continuing to transmit of course.
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  #63  
Old 09-10-2009, 22:24
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Default Re: Television Programmes of interest.

Sudden thought! Would it be possible to provide your own HFDF triangulation by "bearing off" and noting the change of bearing of the transmission? Providing the U-boat cooperated by continuing to transmit of course.

In essence yes, that is given the scenario you describe and that a track is started on the ops room table and ... if sub continues to transmit, preferably maintaining constant speed, on constant course and ... escort bears off at high speed at say 90degrees to original course and gains sufficient distance over time to make a significant base line for a second bearing, or sequence of bearings!!!!!!!!!!!

However in practice the use of a consort to the hunting escort was/is the method used ... and provides for radar, sonar, and EW based attacks.

Little h
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  #64  
Old 10-10-2009, 16:54
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Default Re: Television Programmes of interest.

Thanks for that Little h,

I admit the scenario is unlikely, as the U-boats knew their transmissions could be used to ascertain their position and thus kept them as short as possible. I was just interested in the possibility.
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"To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?" - Cicero.
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  #65  
Old 12-10-2009, 18:20
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Default Re: Television Programmes of interest.

Did anyone see Channel 5's "The First World War in Colour" a few weeks ago? I have seen it before but missed some episodes, which I have just caught up on. I always record programmes, edit out the adverts, then watch them when I have time. Anyhow, one which I had missed was about the RN.

They used original, surprisingly good quality (for the time), footage of the grand fleet and others and added a bit of colour, which was very effective. They covered activities in the Atlantic and home waters and a bit of the Dardenelles in a general way.

There was plenty of footage of Dreadnoughts banging away. This was taken during fleet exercises and used to illustrate Jutland. If you like big ships, big guns and big bangs, then this is for you.

Other vessels were also shown including submarines B5 and E32, some U-boats, a few American battleships and the sinking by Italian MTB's of the Austrian battleship towards the end of the war.

It was well done on the whole and well worth watching.
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  #66  
Old 13-10-2009, 00:15
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Default Re: Television Programmes of interest.

Fully agreed Bill -it was a fine episode from an equally fine series.
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  #67  
Old 13-10-2009, 08:32
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Default Re: Television Programmes of interest.

FYI tonight Tuesday 13th October at 9 PM on ITV "The Sinking Of The Royal Oak"

Do not know how good/accurate/informative it will be but I will watch it in the hope that it is all three.
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  #68  
Old 13-10-2009, 14:04
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Default Re: Television Programmes of interest.

Watching the History programme last night.. "Hitlers Henchmen" It was about Doenitz.. I think he was a true NAZI.. Glad that he did not get his own way earlier in the war, He was after more U-Boats instead of the Capital ships that Hitler was concentrating on. It may have been even worse for our Atlantic convoys.
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  #69  
Old 13-10-2009, 21:15
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Default Re: Television Programmes of interest.

Actually the series Hitlers Henchmen is one of the most interesting I have seen - all of them are well worth watching. Very well researched and presented IMO.

There is also a "sister" series called Hitlers Generals which is equally worth a look at.
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  #70  
Old 14-10-2009, 11:24
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Default Re: Television Programmes of interest.

Blaydon -

Sinking of the Royal Oak on Tuesday 13th - unfortunately it was only on Scottish ITV so no joy down here on meridian.

If I am not mistaken, this was very newsworthy because 'Germany Calling' (Lord HawHaw) claimed that it was the Ark Royal and fingers were crossed until the Admiralty revealed it was the Royal Oak.

The Admiralty often did not release news of sinkings until they had to, the reason given was to wait until the relatives had been informed - but that was also delayed (as I discovered when my cousin was lost on a Russian convoy) and I heard at a considerably later date that the philosophy was 'not to give comfort to the enemy'.

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  #71  
Old 15-10-2009, 22:41
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Default Re: Television Programmes of interest.

I watched the sinking of the Royal Oak, and very interesting it was. The survivors who spoke about their experiences were mainly Boy Seamen at the time of the sinking and out of 162 boys only 28 survived. I thought that their accounts were quite moving. It was German Air Recconnaissance that found the flaws in the defences and Gunther Prien exploited them. Horrendous loss of life
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  #72  
Old 18-10-2009, 17:51
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Default Re: Television Programmes of interest.

Ok you guys ...any decent navy themed TV due to berth

Regards Ivor
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  #73  
Old 26-10-2009, 06:40
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Default Re: Television Programmes of interest.

Although not a TV programme, I have been given a copy of a DVD produced by Command Vision on "Submarine Warfare" from the days of James 1st (1600s) to the Trident Class. It is excellent. Anyone else know it? Rob T
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  #74  
Old 27-11-2009, 14:58
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Default Mighty Ships

On Wednesday evening my son introduced me to 'Mighty Ships' on QUEST which is, I believe, a new television channel. It gave a very good account of a Danish ship doing 'pirate patrol' in the Gulf of Aden. They inspected every vessel which looked suspicious, did some rescue work, refuelled the 'copter in the air and refuelled themselves.

I have not yet looked at next week's RT so I don't know if it is part of a series of different reviews but son seems to think so, so I will give it a go.

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  #75  
Old 28-11-2009, 15:45
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Default Re: Mighty Ships

I see from Radio Times there is another Mighty Ships on Wednesday at the later time of 10 pm, no details available

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