Saturday, 25 May 2019

Denmark Strait - The Battle

I played out my Denmark Strait battle last night on the anniversary of the battle. Alas no photos as the lighting in the lounge isn't great (and I forgot anyway). The game was played using my "Find, Fix and Strike" rules.

Battle of the Denmark Straits

Battle was joined at 0558 as Hood and Bismark began to trade shots at 25,000 yards, Hood scored first blood, causing a hit and minor damage to Bismarck.

0604 – Holland completes his turn and closes with the German squadron. Over the next 10 minutes the range slowly drops to 18,000 yards. Bismarck scores a 15” hit on Hood, causing minor damage and a small fire. PoW suffers a gunnery failure

0614 – The range has fallen to 16,000 yards, PoW clears her gunnery problem and scores an immediate critical hit on Bismarck, causing heavy structural damage

0620 – Prinz Eugen engages Hood with 8” but to no effect. Return fire from secondaries on Hood and PoW cause minor damage to Prinz Eugen

0625 – Lutjens orders Prinz Eugen to close with Hood to execute a torpedo attack

0630 – Hood Alters course to the South to prepare for Prinz Eugen’s attack. Bismarck hits Hood but no serious damage is caused. Hood’s minor fire is extinguished.

0635 – Prinz Eugen prepares to launch torpedoes but is crippled by a deadly salvo from Hood. Her torpedoes run wide, missing the British flagship. At the same time a hit from PoW destroys Bismarck’s bridge, killing the Captain Lindemann and Admiral Lutjens

0638 – Both British battleships concentrate on Bismarck, but PoW’s guns fail again. Bismarck scores a heavy hit on Hood causing major damage

0646 – Hood is slowed by her damage and hauls off, but takes the opportunity to finish off the crippled Prinz Eugen.

0652 – Bismarck hits PoW for the first time but causes no damage. In return, PoW brings her guns back into action and causes heavy damage to Bismarck. This, combined with her earlier structural damage, slows the German battleship and places her at significant risk

0658 – PoW scores another heavy hit on Bismarck, leaving her crippled

0705 – Bismarck is now effectively unable to fight, but PoW’s guns fail again

0720 – PoW brings her guns back into action. In the next 12 minutes she hits Bismarck repeatedly leaving the German battleship in a sinking condition.

0725 -  Bismarck hauls down her colours as scuttling charges hasten the sinking of the once-proud battleship. PoW moves in to pick up survivors.

This was a fun game to play out, taking about an hour to complete (so not that much different from the time of the "actual" game, which was pleasing). I included the two British cruisers in the game but they were never in a position to affect the outcome. I included a rule that caused PoW to suffer a gunnery failure if a d6 roll of 5+ occurred at the start of the gunnery phase; the effect of this was to  cause PoW to check fire until the failure was completed (a d6 roll of 4+ at the start of each subsequent gunnery phase). This was a bit more severe than the actual effects of her failures in the battle, but served to speed up play and gave a good feel to the game.


  1. Very nice battle report David. Have you ever posted your rules?

  2. Nice AAR: The result the Admiralty expected!

    Here is my version played with Renko using GQII:

    No spoilers click and see :)

  3. The other side of the coin

  4. Great narrative post. I often wonder had not Hood been so unlucky as to where the Bismarck's shot hit, would the battle have resulted in something similar to what you describe.