Technical Layout

Smoke Generator

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Smoke Generators on Bismarck & Tirpitz
Smoke Generator Cannisters
Bismarck on 5. May 1941 during Hitler's visit. Spare smoke generator cannisters can be seen standing on the main deck aft of turret "D" (Dora) marked with a white frame. More smoke generator cannisters can be seen to the right, outside the frame.
Smoke Generator Room
The smoke generator room was placed very aft of the ship on the battery deck (just below the main deck. The photo of Bismarck above is taken from the commissioning 24. August 1940. The two sailors are standing on the two hatches through where the smoke generator cannisters were loaded into the smoke generator room. Only two smoke generator cannisters could be mounted and ready to use at a time, hence the two hatches.
Main Deck Battery Deck
Smoke gen. cannisters were mounted below these hatches. Smoke generator room access hatch for the crew.
Smoke Generator Exhaust System
Photo of Bismarck taken in 1940 during fitting out at Blohm & Voss. In the white frame on the photo above two exhaust pipes can be seen. It was through these pipes the smoke came out from the two smoke generators mounted in the smoke generator room.
Smoke Generating Process
The generation of smoke was a chemical process.

The smoke cannisters "Nebelkannen" were normally fairly large cylinders placed in the smoke generating room at the stern. Each smoke cannister contained chlorosuphonic acid and was worked by compressed air which sprayed the acid into the air as minute particles. These vaporized quickly and condensed again as the particles absorbed moisture from the air, creating a dense white smoke, or more properly an artificial fog. The cansister could produce continous smoke for approximately 20 minutes.

The smoke cannisters had a valve arrangement at the top which connected both to the exhaust piping leading out through the hull plating around the stern and to compressed air cylinders. Openning the valve on the compressed air cylinder caused air pressure to begin to expell the Chlorosulfonic acid through an antomizing jet. This produced a fine particulate spary which spread out behind the ship and absorbed watervapor in the air. This caused the particulates to condense into an artificial fog. A smaller version was installed on torpedo boats, destroyers, and S-boats and was mounted on the deck. Care had to be taken during operation, as the fog produced was toxic and could cause eye, nasal and skin irritation.

Many thanks to Thomas Fuller for helping me with details about the smoke generating process,


© John Asmussen, 2000 - 2013. All rights reserved.