Could USS Texas Have Fought Bismarck?

From A Hypothetical Scenario

Could USS Texas Have Fought Bismarck? I don’t think this scenario is as far-fetched as it is made out to be. American warships on neutrality patrols sailed out beyond the limits of where they were supposed to be.

The Coast Guard Cutter Modoc got within visual range of Bismarck shortly after the Battle of the Denmark Strait.

In addition, may have even helped Illustrious’ swordfish find the German ship to make their attack. This is to say the US were probably not just letting the enemy sail by. And would have at minimum reported her position to the British. 

Texas and New York were both at sea in the Atlantic when Bismarck sortied. Texas and 3 DD’s were operating well east of the 30 degrees west longitude western hemisphere demarcation line. Moreover, even crossed Bismarck’s track less than two days before the German ship would be there.

U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships photo 19-N-13046
The U.S. Navy battleship USS New York (BB-34) underway at high speed on 29 May 1915.

Meanwhile New York and another 3 DD’s were heading out to sea to relieve Texas. In addition, passed through the German area of operations after Bismarck was already past but almost ran into Prinz Eugen. 

Had Texas and Bismarck run into each other in low light conditions. Lutgens likely would have mistaken her for a British R class BB and opened fire. Texas would have responded and radioed a position report.

Bismarck wins the engagement if they fight to completion.

But in North Sea visibility, you don’t see ships firing beyond 13 miles so gun range doesn’t matter.

In conclusion, both ships take hits, but Bismarck is too damaged to continue raiding. Lastly, the US enters the war in Europe early and Pearl Harbor never occurs.

By Historian & Battleship New Jersey Curator Ryan Szimanski

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  • Director of Curatorial and Educational Affairs : In charge of the curatorial and education departments at the Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial. Responsible for supervising about 50 staff and volunteers, creating programming, displays, and exhibits, cataloging and preserving artifacts, planning and development, and planning and assisting with restoration and repair projects.

Executive Director of Historic Naval Ships Association 

Work with maritime and museum organizations, governments, and the US Navy to create awareness, meet the needs of member organizations, and facilitate the continued preservation of historic naval ships around the world. Grow a vital and involved Association membership constituency by using social media platforms to grow interest in historic vessels and members organizations. Run conferences for members and staff from member organizations to meet and exchange knowledge on historic ships operation and preservation.

Historic Ships in BaltimoreTotal Duration11 yrs 6 mos

  • Site Manager : Responsible for maintaining, restoring, and preserving the Coast Guard Cutter TANEY, the 7 Foot Knoll Lighthouse, and other museum facilities and exhibits. I coordinate restoration staff, contractors, and volunteers and plan restoration and stabilization projects in accordance with Secretary of the Interior Standards for Historic Vessel Preservation.
    In this capacity I helped with the major dry dock project of USS CONSTELLATION where we performed major repairs to the rigging and underwater hull.
  • Museum Technician : A catch-all title that includes work with museum software including PastPerfect, artifacts, exhibit planning, creation, and maintenance, facilities care and improvement, restoration, develop learning aids, identify historic equipment, consult for NatGeo documentary, conduct tours and interviews, record keeping, research, and graphic design.
  • Educator and Historical Interpreter Public interaction, answer questions, master presentations, lead tours, lead overnight programs, supervise other museum staff, train new hires, perform general upkeep of the ships and facilities, give presentations, prepare explosive charges, fire artillery, host catered events, make historic appearances, man offsite exhibits, create presentations, and present special lectures.

Archaeologist : The Mariner’s Museum

Worked with museum staff sifting through mud and debris recovered from the turret of the USS Monitor looking for Civil War artifacts.

The Wyoming Dinosaur Center and Dig Site

I worked with a paleontologist excavating Jurassic Period dinosaur fossils in Thermopolis, Wyoming.