@ Herr Nillson,
you wrote :
My reading is different from yours. How can a saga "emerge later", if it's an just incredible series of events that simply happened ? Why emerge ? Why later ?
This is a very interesting set of questions.
Lets assume for a moment that only 3 persons knew about this initial Court Martial defeated initiative and the consequent document alteration in order to enable the Admiralty approval needed for the King recognition, ... because this is what Sir Henry Leach defined a " Saga ", ... and as I wrote before I agree 100 % with him, ... and I think that from now on I will use this term in order to define the full set of those events from the beginning until the end.
DS Saga = ( Initial evidence -> +
-> Court Martial request/defeated -> +
-> Documents intentional alteration / COVER UP -> +
-> Home Fleet Dispatches -> +
-> Admiralty positive response -> +
-> King Official Recognition )
So, lets just assume that only 3 persons knew about " The Denmark Strait Saga ", those being Sir Winston Churchill, the First Sea Lord Sir Dudley Pound and obviously the Home Fleet C in C Admiral John Tovey.
It is obvious that during and immediately after the war nobody was going to declare what really happened on the summer of 1941.
If someone does not understand this, ... better to manage something else rather than participate on this discussion.
The war was over and both RearAdm W.F. Wake-Walker ( died Sept 1945 ) and Capt J.C. Leach ( died Dec 1941 ) were dead by 1946.
Nothing surfaced until 1954, even if there were rumors about it, but on 1954 Stephen Roskill contacted Lord Tovey.
Who was Stephen Roskill on that moment and why he contacted the ex Admiral John Tovey ?
Very simple answer : On retiring from active service in 1948, Roskill was appointed by the Cabinet Office Historical Section to write the official naval history of the Second World War. His three volume work The War at Sea was published between 1954 and 1961.
We all know that between Adm Tovey and Adm Pound + Churchill there were no very good relations even during the war and during Adm Tovey service in the Royal Navy, ... so what a very good occasion was that one offered by Stephen Roskill to Adm Tovey to declare the truth about what really happened during those years, ... war was over, both the Officers were dead so nobody was going to be directly impacted and he was going to have his revenge on Adm Pound and Churchill.
The above explanation should be enough to clarify the why and when this " Saga " part about the Court Martial initial request surfaced at first, ... on November 1954 by Adm Tovey to Stephen Roskill for the above reasons.
What did Stephen Roskill do with those revelations he received by Adm Tovey letters apparently ?
Just nothing because of the reasons he declared on his book note on 1976 we can all read today.
Time passed, ... other 20 years, ... and we arrive on 1974 and Sir L. Kennedy probably contacting Stephen Roskill regarding his book Pursuit about the Bismarck. Probably Stephen Roskill thought that being a dedicated book on that event those letters could have been interesting for Sir L. Kennedy and gave them to him as he declared.
What did Sir L. Kennedy do with those Adm Tovey letters he received on 1973/74 from Stephen Roskill ?
He published the content of them, and added a note regarding Adm Tovey exaggerations when responding to Adm Pound he got from Tovey secretary on 1973 related to other events between Tovey and Pound.
This was the reason the CM part of the " DS Saga " emerged, ... a journalist scoop by Sir L. Kennedy on 1974, ... 20 years later when compared to its initial declaration in writing between Tovey and Roskill, ... and 33 years after the real events.
Now what did Stephen Roskill do after the Kennedy book publication on 1974 ? Nothing, but confirmed the story of the CM initial request defeated by Tovey 2 years later on 1976 as we can read.
Did Roskill considered Kennedy note about Tovey exaggerations and/or Tovey reliability being in question ?
Not at all, neither a mention about it by Roskill, which highlighted Adm Pound " addiction to enquiries " regarding that CM defeated request story he was confirming from his side referencing Kennedy 1974 book page 226.
What could a Royal Navy Officer in career like Sir Henry Leach have done on 1974 when this Court Martial initial request story " emerged/ surfaced " involving his loved father memory after being decorated by the King after his Royal Navy Admiralty proposal about the Denmark Strait battle events.
Lets see Sir Henry Leach career situation at that point :
Leach became Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Policy) at the Ministry of Defence in April 1971, receiving promotion to rear admiral on 7 July 1971, and then became Flag Officer First Flotilla in May 1974, with promotion to vice admiral on 6 July 1974. He became Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff in January 1976, and having been appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 1977 New Year Honours, he was promoted to full admiral on 30 March 1977 on appointment as Commander-in-Chief Fleet and NATO Commander-in-Chief, Channel and Commander-in-Chief Eastern Atlantic. He was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the 1978 Birthday Honours.
Leach was appointed First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff on 6 July 1979 and in that role fiercely resisted naval cuts proposed by Defence Secretary John Nott.
He just started a defense writing campaign in order to preserve his loved father memory from it.
Did he accused Adm Tovey of being a liar or suffering dementia ? Never !
Did he accused Sir Kennedy to have written a false scoop on his book Pursuit ? Never !
Did he accused Stephen Roskill to have written a false story on his 1976 book note ? Never !
Did he refused the Court martial story being NOT a real occurrence involving his loved father ? Never !
He just commented against the reasons for it to be, and called all this events a " saga " surfacing and emerging later ... confirming Adm Tovey defense of his father by defeating Adm Pound without refusing the occurred event, ... and in favor of the recognition his father received from the King.
Hope my simple explanation is good enough ...
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )