The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Discussions about the history of the ship, technical details, etc.
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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:49 am

Hello everybody,

@ Dunmunro,

I intentionally avoid to comment your last 2 post's and Alberto responses because you and all the readers already know very well my opinion about Tovey, Ellis, Leach, WW, Lutjens and so on, ... so no value add on doing it again and again endlessly.

We all highly involved on this debate only run the risk to appear now ... Ok, ... I will avoid any definition, ... to confirm my intention to calm down the situation/discussion from my side.

It appears that you, like many others do agree we need to look for the truth.

Ok lets forget the personal opinions well known until we will be able to find out more evidence about our disagreements, ... our different way to read what is available is well defined already.

Lets work on something productive, like the battlefield and the map using as you and Wadinga suggested years ago to me, the bearings and not the distances. Here we were and hope still are all in agreement.

I have agreed with Herr Nillson a productive initiative to move forward as a team, I am sure you read about

Do you mind to confirm from your side the bearings showed in this map being correctly traced connecting the 2 tracks of Norfolk and Suffolk as originally traced by Pinchin on The Plot, and now just related to the BC1 and German ships correct tracks.
The question is : Are they correctly traced according to you ? If not which one and why ?

To make your geometrical verification easier, even if you can of course control them all, I ask you and Wadinga and everybody who wants to cooperate here, a confirmation of just few ( 7 ) of them :

1) 335° between Norfolk and Suffolk at 06:20 ( Ref. The Plot and WW Off. report )
2) 185° between Suffolk and PoW at 05:53 open fire ( Ref. Suffolk Off. report )
3) 276° between Norfolk and enemy at 05:41 ( Ref. Norfolk war diary )
4) 334° between PoW and enemy ( Ref. PoW int. message to Admiralty )
5) 207° between Suffolk and Bismarck at 06:00 ( Ref. Suffolk Off. report )
6) 230° between Norfolk and Hood at 06:00 ( Ref. WW Off. report ) - NOTE: we have a conflict here with 220° at 05:50 ( to be defined jointly after )
7) 28° between Prinz Eugen and Suffolk at 05:50 ( Ref. PG Off. battle map )

Plot_redone_bearing_01.jpeg
Plot_redone_bearing_01.jpeg (85.66 KiB) Viewed 185 times


I repeat myself, the Norfolk to Hood conflict 220° at 05:50 versus 230° at 06:00 will be resolved jointly later.

You can verify also the other bearings on the map, but I do not need you to agree about them, ... if you want you can do it, ... but it is not required at this stage of the verification.

Again, ... 7 easy bearing verification, ... and a response, ... that is all we need from you, Wadinga and everybody else that wants to really cooperate on finding the truth about this battle.

1) yes or no
2) yes or no
3) yes or no
4) yes or no
5) yes or no
6) yes or no
7) yes or no

You can copy and paste the above list and fill it according to you.

Thanks for your fairness and cooperation in advance, ... and bye Antonio :D
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 )

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Postby wadinga » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:28 am

Hello Antonio,

This thread is about whether there was ever a CM threat in 1941. Attempts to prove the officers guilty by manipulating the maps today should be on the other thread.

All the best

wadinga
"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:45 am

Hello everybody,

@ Wadinga,

I agree with you and since also the other one is about the Bismarck KTB, I will open a new one dedicated to the Norfolk and Suffolk tracks during the battle :

The Norfolk and Suffolk tracks at Denmark Strait.


This Court Martial thread, still being part of the " Denmark Strait Saga " can be left in " on hold " mode until you, or everybody else will find new evidence in one direction or another.

In this moment we are still referencing to written books confirming the Court martial initial request by Adm Pound defeated by Adm Tovey and as a new recent discovery one was even written by the Royal Navy Official historian for World War 2 : Stephen Roskill.

Bye Antonio :D
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 )

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:20 am

Hello everybody,

@ Wadinga,

you often referred to this book : Churchill and the Admirals by Stephen Roskill (ISBN: 0978184415104) first published on 1977.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Churchill-Admi ... 1844151042

Did you find anything interesting about the Court Martial story on that book written by the Royal Navy Official historian for World War 2 ?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Roskill

I am sure you realize that it was written after Sir L. Kennedy Pursuit, which was first published on 1974.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:B ... 04-35526-6

https://www.amazon.it/Pursuit-Sinking-B ... 0006340148

Churchill and the Admirals was written after the book by Roskill : Naval policy between the wars. Vol. 1, The period of Anglo-American antagonism, 1919–1929; Vol. 2, The period of reluctant rearmament, 1930–1939 (1968, 1976).

I am curious to read now the opinion of the Royal Navy Official historian for World War 2, ... written 3 years after Pursuit by L. Kennedy was written, and read if it is confirming the footnote written on 1976, so 2 years after ... :think:

I am going to receive that book pretty soon, ... as a Christmas gift, ... but you can anticipate to us its content about this story, ... since I am sure that Stephen Roskill did write something about it, ... :wink:

Bye Antonio :D
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 )

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Postby Cag » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:56 pm

Hi All

Hi Antonio, it's a good book and I hope you enjoy reading it.

The introduction by Roskill you will find interesting as he explains that in 1949 he was appointed to the Cabinet Office Historical Section to help write the UK military history series The war at sea.

He also explains that this is often incorrectly called an official history as it is most certainly not as anyone who "troubles themselves to read the Editors preface" can see (his words not mine!).

In February 1962 he published a series of articles in the Sunday Telegraph 'Churchill and his Admirals' which was well received and after his editor suggested it should be published in book form and additional material was gathered he did so.

Best wishes
Cag.

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:36 pm

Hello everybody,

CAG,

thanks for your insights, ... I will surely enjoy reading thru it, ... as I expect to find an additional confirmation on TOP of what Stephen Roskill already wrote on his 1976 book I mentioned above.

It is in fact very evident that Stephen Roskill with that footnote content was obviously contradicting and not supporting what Sir L. Kennedy wrote on 1974 into Pursuit trying to sustain that Adm Tovey was unreliable when he was talking about the Court Martial story.

He well explained that it was a real fact and associated that to Adm Pound addiction to enquiries.

But now with this book, written one year after the previous one and 3 years after Pursuit by Kennedy, I am sure I will find more details and probably a direct correlation up, ... until Sir Winston Churchill, ... looking at the book title.

That will close the debate once for good becoming the most official confirmation I could have hoped about.

In fact there is no comparison between Stephen Roskill and Ludovic Kennedy as an historical source, ... not at all.

Of course if you have it and taking a look at it you can find the points related to this court martial story, ... you can scan them and post it here in for everybody benefit, ... so we can all read and comment them.

Bye Antonio :D
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 )

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Postby wadinga » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:24 pm

Hello Antonio,

You have asked what it says in Churchill and the Admirals about the alleged CMDS threat? I think I clarified it already:

Footnote 101

I posted the above in October in response to you:


Stephen Roskill now has become the stronger input we have among the 3,


Roskill quoted Kennedy as the source in Churchill and the Admirals 1977. He thus disowned the story of the CMDS. He may have realised just how sensitive the subject was and left the "Patsy", Kennedy, to face the music alone. Especially when he read all the caveats Kennedy provided. Pafford's letter to Kennedy is dated 5th May 1973

P 239 in Kennedy makes it clear Tovey's errors in recollection date from as early as 1954. Do you have access to these words in Epilogue: Footnote one?

Again in 1954 he was under the impression he had received the signal about the KG V being towed home before Ark Royal's last attack and decided that "if Ark Royal failed to damage the Bismarck........to disobey the signal and turn back while we still had enough oil to get back to an English port" In another letter the same year he imagined that the signal had ordered him to continue the chase "up to the shores of France" Tovey to Roskill, Nov 11th 1954 and Nov 20th 1954).


Then follows the lengthy description by Pafford of Tovey's memory failings, but the examples quoted above date back to 1954 and Roskill knew they were wrong then.




So Roskill knew Tovey was unreliable in 1954 because the recollections on these other events were not accurate and Kennedy's information from Pafford re-affirmed this in 1973.

I am currently reading Action Imminent by Peter C Smith which has a lengthy description of the circumstances under which Admiral Dudley North was dismissed from his position over the failure to stop Vichy cruisers reaching Dakar via the Straits of Gibraltar. There was no Court Martial or Inquiry even though North requested it, because Churchill and Pound could remove any officer from post without justification in this way. In fact, 1st Lord A V Alexander was specifically warned by his legal advice that the case against North was so weak he would be exonerated and the Admiralty would suffer massive embarrassment. Roskill described the unfair treatment of North at length in War at Sea Vol 1 in 1954 and a posse of Admirals forced the Government of the day under Macmillan to issue an admission that North had not been to blame.

North had been a target for Churchill and Alexander because he had criticized the Mers-el-Kebir attack in writing whereas Somerville and Cunningham's strong criticism had been more circumspect. As I pointed out, Pound, under instruction from above, could have dismissed W-W and Leach from their posts if he really, really wanted to, but the last thing the Admiralty would have wanted was another embarrassment like the Board of Inquiry into Somerville which would have exonerated them too.

Roskill did not tell the CM story because he did not believe it.

Enjoy Churchill and the Admirals.

All the best

wadinga
"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:36 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Wadinga,

do you mind to post here the pages related to the whole story written by Stephen Roskill on that book, so we can read them, including the notes.

https://books.google.it/books/about/Chu ... edir_esc=y

Many thanks ... :wink:

Bye Antonio :D
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 )

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:46 am

Hello everybody,

@ Wadinga,

you wrote :

So Roskill knew Tovey was unreliable in 1954 because the recollections on these other events were not accurate and Kennedy's information from Pafford re-affirmed this in 1973.


and

Roskill did not tell the CM story because he did not believe it.


Negative my friend, ... :negative: ... evidence just go on the opposite direction.
You are comparing here a " mountain " historian ( S. Roskill ), ... with a " small stone " journalist ( L. Kennedy ).

Roskill was NOT the first one to disclose the facts, ... and probably did not want that responsibility for having done it at first, as we can realize by the fact that he was always using Kennedy first disclosure book Pursuit to refer to it.

Stephen Roskill absolutely beleived both the facts and Adm Tovey and his letters to him, ... the ones he gave to Kennedy.

Here the direct reference to the fact from Roskill book at pages 125 and 126 :

Roskill_pages_125_126.jpg
Roskill_pages_125_126.jpg (74.97 KiB) Viewed 55 times


Here the footnote 38 about this " regrattable aftermath " ... the letters between Tovey and Roskill, ... and most important where are the evidence ( correspondence ) about this fact on the letters between : Alexander, Pound and Churchill. We have also Churchill closure statement after the whole events including the final rewarding : " Leave it ! " on September 25th, 1941.

Roskill_page_313_note_38.jpg
Roskill_page_313_note_38.jpg (37.07 KiB) Viewed 55 times


So the case about the Court Martial is CLOSED !
We can just work now to the details behind it ... :wink:

I addition I have read with a lot of interest this footnote by Stephen Roskill on page 130 :

Roskill_page_313_note_38.jpg
Roskill_page_313_note_38.jpg (37.07 KiB) Viewed 55 times


Finally a direct official admission of the " cleaning process " applied to the official records, ... as Roskill refers to it as " wedding the official records " ... :wink:

I do not thik we need to add anything anymore, ... all is more than clear enough now.

Bye Antonio :D
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 )

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:54 am

Hello everybody,

sorry, I attached 2 times the same note, here the correct one.

I addition I have read with a lot of interest this footnote by Stephen Roskill on page 130 :

Roskill_page130_footnote.png
Roskill_page130_footnote.png (94.2 KiB) Viewed 45 times


Finally a direct official admission of the " cleaning process " applied to the official records, ... as Roskill refers to it as " wedding the official records " ... :wink:

I do not thik we need to add anything anymore, ... all is more than clear enough now.

Bye Antonio :D
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 )

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Postby Cag » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:20 am

Hi All

Hi Antonio, may I ask you to re read my previous posts on this thread as it may help explain my thoughts below. I've tried to put things forward without giving my personal opinion.

I think you will agree that there is a big big difference between Pound threatening to court martial anyone and it being actually carried out. As I pointed out earlier in this discussion, and I believe Wadinga has above, getting a successful conviction would have been difficult to say the very least.

As I tried to explain in earlier posts the charge of not immediately re-engaging Bismarck after Hood was sunk is dealt with in the signals sent at the time and mentioned in reports together with Wake-Walkers reasons given in his reply to Admiralty questions, which neither the Admiralty nor Tovey over ruled when given the opportunity to do so.

I am trying to research this further at the moment and will let you know of my progress, but I must add that the threat of a court martial and the beginning of proceedings to carry one out are very very different things. We cannot say a court martial was definitely begun, we can say one was allegedly threatened.

Best wishes
Cag

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:07 pm

Hello everybody,

CAG,

no one ever tried to state that the Court Martial was actually started, neither did the official inquiry about it regarding RearAdm W.F. Wake-Walker and Capt. J.C. Leach.

What somebody was trying to state is that neither a tentative trail to do it was carried on by Adm Pound versus Adm Tovey on May 29th, 1941 and that was only an invention by Adm Tovey suffering for " dementia ".

Now we can state definitively that Adm Tovey was NOT suffering for anything when he declared those facts in writing to Stephen Roskill ( private letters ) and in words to Colin McMullen.

The Court Martial tentative trial of Adm Pound thru Adm Tovey directed against RearAdm Wake-Walker and Capt Leach was a real fact and was " defeated ", ... using Stephen Roskill words, ... by Adm Tovey.

We can definitively state that it was a real fact thanking Stephen Roskill above book notes and more, we can state that not only Stephen Roskill knew everything about it from several private letters exchanged with Adm Tovey regarding the facts that he had in his hands, and he gave to Kennedy for his 1974 book Pursuit ( see note 73 on Roskill 1976 book about Naval Policy ) but also that Stephen Roskill knew and read the correspondence about this fact among Adm Pound, Alexander and Winston Churchill ( see note 38 on Roskill 1977 book about Churchill and the Admirals ).

This, as said closes the debate about the Court Martial TRIAL threatened by Adm Pound being a real occurrence, possibly prodded by Churchill as Adm Sir Henry Leach correctly underlined years after, ... possibly having read all about it too.

Bye Antonio :D
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 )

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Postby Cag » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:03 pm

Hi All

Hi Antonio, as I say I'm researching this at the moment and will see what I can find and take notes of, obviously within the confines of copyright.

There are more documents I'd need to see in other archives before I know the full facts. That means more visits and finding the time to do so!

Like everyone I have an opinion as to whether a threat of a court martial was made, the main point of my post was that securing any conviction against Wake-Walker or Leach would have been difficult given the evidence we have at hand.

Best wishes
Cag.

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Postby wadinga » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:24 pm

Hello All,

I have already read all of 205/10

knew and read the correspondence about this fact among Adm Pound, Alexander and Winston Churchill


and reported back that there are merely bureaucratic follow ups by underlings to the request for more detail, based on Pound's premature and inaccurate verbal report to the Cabinet on Monday 26th May. There is no suggestion in the file that WSC or Alexander or Phillips or anybody else was in the least bit interested in more detail on Leach and Wake-Walker's actions, and it was Pound's assistant, who after realising both Pound and WSC had spoken to Leach directly aboard PoW during the Placentia trip, prodded one last time so as to close the matter, to which WSC said leave it. That is what bureaucrats do, take minutes and follow up.

I am stunned by

no one ever tried to state that the Court Martial was actually started, neither did the official inquiry about it regarding RearAdm W.F. Wake-Walker and Capt. J.C. Leach.


if it didn't start, and there is no evidence other than Tovey's 12 year later observation which Roskill was so impressed by he ignored it for 20 years, and the evidence that it did depends on there being no evidence because it has been weeded, then we have lost touch with reality. :shock:

when he declared those facts in writing to Stephen Roskill ( private letters )


Roskill did not believe the things Tovey alleged in 1954 because with access to the signal log he knew the "run out of fuel" message happened long after Ark Royal's strike not before, and for the same reason he knew Tovey was not instructed to "pursue to the coast of France" because he knew in 1954 such things were figments of Tovey's imagination. He also knew the cock up over plotting the bearings was because Tovey had instructed "only bearings" and had conveniently forgotten this. He also thought it very likely the whole CMDS business was unreliable, but since there is no other evidence whatsoever to prove or disprove, unlike the other cases where evidence clearly showed Tovey was wrong, he just forgot about it for 20 years. Tovey's new "facts" of 1954 were wrong.

Because Roskill was a proper historian he gave Kennedy the letters with the unsupported allegation and subsequently mischievously cites him as the source of the CMDS story. Once Kennedy has released this juicy morsel, Roskill can devolve responsibility for its truthfulness even though Kennedy loads the story with caveats, as an experienced journalist he knows it does not ring true. Kennedy does a better investigative job than Roskill because he talks with Pafford who confirms how often Tovey got things wrong and exaggerated.

It is sad that Roskill parrots the CMDS story in Churchill and the Admirals without including the caveats that Kennedy included in a much more responsible manner.

The suggestion that the weeding process was targeted to hide some conspiracies is ridiculous as it was merely concerned with reducing the amount of valueless paper and duplicated messages stored. Churchill and the Admirals provides many examples like North and the treatment of Somerville where evidence of Admiralty skulduggery is clearly preserved to see this is not the case. Roskill highlighted several of these cases in War at Sea HMSO 1954 but he never mentioned CMDS because there was no evidence.

All the best

wadinga
"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Postby RF » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:53 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote:
I do not thik we need to add anything anymore, ... all is more than clear enough now.


What you state is your opinion based on a biased presumption.

An academic researcher should not allow preconceived bias to colour his or your judgement.

The letter cannot be located - that may be because it was destroyed, it may have been lost, it may still be held under the Official Secrets Act, it may have never existed in the first place!
It could be any of these -you cannot form opinion as fact, that is the root of dogma and can lead to entirely the wrong conclusions.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.


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