@ Steve Crandell,
you wrote :
I think "the plot" was in error, as well as a lot of other things from that morning. I don't see any attempt to change the facts, though. I think that where testimony changed it was because someone looked at everything that was said about where they were and what was going on and said to himself "I must have been mistaken about so and so because it didn't make sense" and so changed what they said the next time.
Surely “ The Plot “ ADM 116/4352 was in error on several drew tracks on it. No one in this world can say anything different about it.
YES, there were also many other errors done about many other data and maps; some that did not have a lot of importance nor consequences and some that did have important and direct immediate consequences.
We are talking about the second set of errors here, the ones related to direct Articles of War potential relation about 2 Officers : RearAdm W.F. Wake-Walker and Capt. J.C. Leach.
Just to make it more clear, the errors were made on 2 precise moments/situations : the release of Adm J. Tovey dispatches on July 1941 and the HMS Hood second board of Inquiry on August 1941.
As Colin McMullen declared on his BBC interview, there have been initiatives by First Sea Lord D. Pound to Adm Tovey requesting an Inquiry/Court Martial call for the 2 above mentioned officers already at the end of May 1941.
Than in June 1941 we had the Hood First Board of Inquiry that declared Norfolk being at 11 sea miles from the enemy and 10 from Hood ( 20.000 yards ) on Diagram B.
After this event we see the errors starting, on July 5th, 1941 Adm Tovey released his dispatches : Norfolk was declared being at around 15 sea miles and not in condition to engage ( point 17 ), while PoW was declared breaking off the action and turn away from the enemy engagement at 06.13, so 13 minutes after Hood blew up ( point 19 ).
To be noted that Adm Tovey had on his hands :
3 radio messages by HMS PoW telling him a different story about the disengagement, with the timing of that event moved back by Capt Leach himself from 06.02 and 30 seconds, to 06.02. Plus he had all the PoW battle maps and gunnery report available with details and exact event timing showing the turn away occurred just before 06.02. Those documents were submitted to Adm Tovey on June 4th, 1941 together with Capt. Leach detailed narrative.
The RearAdm Commanding First cruiser squadron, so Wake-Walker, submitted report, including Capt. Phillips report for HMS Norfolk as well as Capt. Ellis report for HMS Suffolk with all related maps. In both reports one can read that after the 05.37 enemy in sight radio message from HMS PoW and before the engagement started, both cruisers did change their course keeping distance ( Norfolk at 05.41 ) or sailing away backwards ( Suffolk at 05.42 ) and that both have been surely at a shorter distance than 15 sea miles, in fact Suffolk report declared 14 sea miles enemy distance at the moment she turned away back, while Norfolk Gunnery report declared a distance of 13,5 sea miles from the enemy at a certain point in time during the battle. This report was submitted to Adm Tovey on June 5th, 1941 by RearAdm Wake-Walker.
Now can you explain me how come Adm Tovey made such evident errors on his official dispatches about this very delicate situation regarding the 2 Officers that Adm Pound was requesting him to bring in front of an inquiry just a month before ?
More, on August 1941 a Second board of Inquiry was called to further look into the details of HMS Hood loss.
For that Inquiry “ The Plot “ was made and RearAdm W.F. Wake-Walker went in there and changed his previous declarations of June 1941 by moving his ship position from 10 to 15 sea miles away at 06.00 from Hood, from 20.000 to 30.000 yards, and consequently from 11 to 16 miles away from the enemy ( Bismarck ) using that map as an evidence.
This event was intended to substitute First Board Diagram B evidence of June 1941 and in fact the Norfolk evidences were changed from 10 to 15 sea miles on the Second Board summary on August 1941. Now distances were in line with Adm Tovey previous dispatches of July 1941 declarations.
Please let me underline that the document used to sustain the Norfolk distance change is in error on the majority of what has been drew and you already agreed about it, so evident it is, but it has been used to substitute the Diagram B that was done correctly using the available documentation as declared by the First Board on June 1941.
Summarizing, you wrote : “I don't see any attempt to change the facts, though. “.
I can tell you, sincerely, I do see it clearly.
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 )