Hit on POW compass platform

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dunmunro
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Leach was injured!

Postby dunmunro » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:24 am

I'm just reading through Wills' In the Highest Traditions of the Royal Navy, and on page 90 it states: "Unknown to many Captain Leach had received an internal injury when the 15in shell struck the compass platform..." ( p.90) and "On 16 June Captain Leach was admitted to Bovery Tracery Hospital for Hernia Surgery, a more serious operation in 1941 than it is today. He was not discharged until 25 June and went to Yarner on sick leave. He and his wife had much to celebrate and this time of recovery was his longest stay at Yarner during the war. Leach did not return to PoW until 1 August." (p.95)

So not only was Leach knocked unconscious he also suffered a hernia probably from the shock wave generated by the passing 38cm shell, and was on sick leave for 2.5 months after returning to England.

I have to say that I'm not much impressed by Wills biography. A good biographer would have presented the medical report rather than just mentioning it in passing. Wills also states that Leach was the Director of Naval Ordnance for two years from early 1939 to early 1941 (exact dates are not given) yet manages to write a whole paragraph about on this very interesting topic and period in Leach's career without quoting Leach even once...!
Last edited by dunmunro on Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:33 am

@ Dunmunro, we already discussed the hernia of Capt. Leach in the thread "Articles of War", thanks to Paul medical experience and my own experience with 2 hernia.

Without minimizing the fact that he received an injury, such a disease is not preventing any normal reaction during the battle as the hernia was not a strangulated one (that would have required an emergency surgery). I didn't realise when I got the hernia (no pain) and I planned my first hernia surgery 2 months in advance).

BTW: I agree with your overall evaluation on Wills biography, however some interesting info are in it......

Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

dunmunro
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby dunmunro » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:47 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:@ Dunmunro, we already discussed the hernia of Capt. Leach in the thread "Articles of War", thanks to Paul medical experience and my own experience with 2 hernia.

Without minimizing the fact that he received an injury, such a disease is not preventing any normal reaction during the battle as the hernia was not a strangulated one (that would have required an emergency surgery). I didn't realise when I got the hernia (no pain) and I planned my first hernia surgery 2 months in advance).

BTW: I agree with your overall evaluation on Wills biography, however some interesting info are in it......

Bye, Alberto


Yes, I see that now. It such a long topic that I must have missed that. I wish there was a way to view a topic as a sing;e page or as several pages, to make it easier to review.

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paulcadogan
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby paulcadogan » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:02 pm

According to the footnote in Grenfell:

The shell on the bridge, as well as the damage it did there, severed the communications to the steering wheel and destroyed some of the gunnery control telephone leads.


Not sure how correct the latter part is as that might refer to the HACS hit.

From PoW's damage summary:

Shell “A”—15”. Entered starboard forward corner of compass platform and left through port searchlight control position. It is uncertain whether it passed overboard whole or whether partial detonation occured [sic; misspelling in original] near the port after corner of the compass platform.

Damaged [sic] caused. Captain’s T.B.I.’s damaged; chart table destroyed; all instruments, V.Ps and wiring in port after section of compass platform destroyed; port searchlight sights, control instruments and wiring destroyed; majority of personnel on compass platform and port side A.D.Os position killed or wounded: VG/VP gear and signal deck multiphones damaged.

http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... htm#pofwds

Strange...the "Captain's T.B.I's" (what are those?) and the chart table are not mentioned in the scans of the original document posted by Antonio....
Qui invidet minor est - He who envies is the lesser man

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:50 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Paul Cadogan,

my friend, you know that when I state something, especially lately on this very delicate argument, ... usually I have my reasons and related evidence supporting it.

Did you take a look at my latest post attachments with the Compass Platform layout, the original Compass Platform photo and were the main communication Voice Pipes were located on PoW Compass Platform ?

Than please take a good look at the damage photos, ... check the drawings and instruments, .. check the real damages occurred.

Hopefully you will realize and agree that the Voice Pipes needed by Capt. Leach to give the order were still ALL there : intact ! ... untouched by the Bismarck shell.

There was NO reason, ... for a Captain " in urgency " like Leach was in that moment to provide that order ... to move away from there and NOT to use them.

YES, the Compass Platform was damaged as far as some communication were related to, some telephones and Voice Pipes, but ONLY in the AFT PORT corner as available photos shows !

Everything else was just perfectly available and still usable ... like always, ... before and after.

That is why Esmond Knight made it that way on the movie ... with a bit of drama on it ... since he showed a body on the compass and Leach using the compass Voice Pipes, ... in reality he used the Pelorus side voice pipes ... the ones ahead of the Compass ... more distant from were the Bismarck shell passed and consequently even on a better state than the Compass ones ... for reference just compare the after damage photos with the original PoW compass platform one I have posted above, ... and for help on realize were they were, just use the original PoW Compass Platform drawing above.

NOTE : for this shell damage, the Hit Nr. 1 on PoW damage report ADM267/111 , I have posted on page 4 of this thread the original full page (on 2 pics ) analysis of the damage report. From that detailed report you can realize there were NO damages on the center/forward main communication instruments ( Compass and Pelorus ) of the PoW, ... but as said, ... the images themselves speak a thousand words.

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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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:11 pm

Hello everybody,

some evidences ... :wink:

Here the HMS Prince of Wales Compass Platform center forward looking to the bow; the photo shows the side of the Compass and the Pelorus, ... plus 4 of the 5 forward Kent glasses , ... the last one on port is hidden by the Compass sphere. The Pelorus in centered on the third and middle Kent glass.
Please notice on the Pelorus the Voice Pipes.

PoW_Compass.jpg
PoW_Compass.jpg (104.84 KiB) Viewed 891 times


Here the HMS Prince of Wales drawing, showing the exact instrument positions with the Compass in RED, the Pelorus in VIOLET just in the center and in front of the middle third Kent glass. The Compass just behind the Pelorus.

PoW_Compass_platform_hit_path.jpg
PoW_Compass_platform_hit_path.jpg (112.72 KiB) Viewed 891 times


Last the photos of the HMS Prince of Wales in repair after the battle: notice the undamaged Compass ( left photo detail ) and behind it the undamaged Pelorus ( on the right photo detail ).

PoW_Compass_Pelorus_June_1941.jpg
PoW_Compass_Pelorus_June_1941.jpg (54.46 KiB) Viewed 891 times


NO need to go 2 levels down below to give an URGENT order thru a Voice Pipe still well available at 1 meter from were you are.

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 )

dunmunro
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby dunmunro » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:08 pm

paulcadogan wrote:

Strange...the "Captain's T.B.I's" (what are those?) and the chart table are not mentioned in the scans of the original document posted by Antonio....


TBI = Target Bearing Indicator. This was a binocular sight electrically connected to the DCT and T.S (via follow the pointer indicators), so that the captain could indicate the bearing of the target he wanted engaged.

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paulcadogan
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby paulcadogan » Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:12 am

Come now Antonio! :negative: Those photographs were taken days after the battle when the ship was in for repairs. Everything had been cleaned up. They cannot possibly be used to represent the condition immediately after the shell went through at 1000 miles per hour! Were those instruments even accessible? You cannot presume to know that.

And I can't believe you're actually trying to use the Sink the Bismarck movie to support your point! Esmonde Knight did not witness the state of the compass platform after the hit - he was temporarily blinded! He was an actor playing a role according to his director's wishes.

Hmmmm! But if you really want to use it - why not use the "gawk time" as well for Hood's explosion! :wink: :

(Group of officers/ratings along with Leach on the CP of PoW stand in shocked silence) "Good God!" mutters Leach eventually as he lowers his binoculars with Hood disappearing under a cloud of smoke. "Yeoman! Make to Admiralty from Prince of Wales......Tell them..(he swallows)....Tell them the Hood has blown up."

"Aye Aye sir!" responds the Yeoman who then turns to go send the report. (The wail of approaching shells grows)

"Starboard 15!" yells Leach. (Cuts to the Admiralty in London)


Great script-writing, but hardly what really happened....

Levity aside now, the fact is LEACH HIMSELF thought AT THE TIME the damage was worse than it actually was and wrote as much in his narrative. He had 7 months of life left to tell what he did to others and they reported as such. You cannot simply, 70-odd years later, look at a diagram and photographs and presume to say that those reports are incorrect and that he did something else just to suit your timeline.

Sorry my friend...as we say in Jamaica....."Try yuh bess!!" (Try your best!).....I'm not buying this one!

@ Duncan.....thanks! Hood's equivalent would have been the "Evershed Bearing Indicator" then. Same thing? Or were PoW's more technologically advanced? We can see in the diagram that one of those was very close to the shell's entry point and would have been taken out by the sheer force of the blast from the shell's passage even if it was not hit directly.

I saw a scan of part of Garzke & Dulin's description of the damage and they also say, like Grenfell, that communications with the steering was cut off.
Qui invidet minor est - He who envies is the lesser man

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:36 am

Hello everybody,

@ Paul Cadogan,

of course you are free to have your opinion about those photo evidences, ... I keep mine and it is conclusive for me as you may have realized.

The movie is just a representation of what really happened ... and more or less the time is correct as well, ... a couple of minutes.

You may read again the page I have attached above about the damage report caused by this shell focusing in particular to the damages on the front forward part of the Compass Platform, ... which state that basically there were NO damages.

Than I think the last phrase about the real impact on the fighting efficiency will make it all clear.

It is NOT the reference of some damages on the AFT PORT side of the Compass Platform communication links that we can see on other available damage photos that will sustain any theory that Capt Leach cannot use what he had at hand 1 meter from him and still intact.

Just as many other aspects of this battle also in this case the truth and the reality has been a lot altered in order to fit what they wanted to sell about this event.

The truth was very different ... :think: ... and I am afraid I am NOT done yet discovering " can of worms " here ...

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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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:15 am

@Paul Cadogan and Antonio Bonomi: again I insist that we will never possibly know from where the order for disengaging was given. No evidence for this point is available and Leach never said from where he gave the order.

However, the voicepipes in the front of the compass platform were for sure in place and a voicepipe is a VERY reliable equipment: if it is in place (even if damaged at its end), then it works and the Captain knows it.
I agree with Paul: the damage was overestimated in the minutes after the shell passed (mostly due to the communication switchboard destroyed in the port aft corner), however one thing is to conduct the ship for a long time in action from a damaged bridge and one (very different) is to just give an order at the voicepipe and then to leave quickly to gain a better position.

So, IMHO, no need for Leach, being in urgency, to descend to another place to give the order while over events could need important decisions. If he did, then he was really unhurt (not unconscious at all) as 40 seconds are enough but for sure not a long time to take the decision, to descend and to have the ship starting the turn. If he was knocked slightly unconscious, then the order was given from the compass front voicepipe.

Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:05 am

Hello everybody,

@ Alberto Virtuani,

I agree with you my friend, ... your way to see the events is in line with what I think.

Still if I can put a percentage on the 2 possibilities based on today knowledge and evidences : 90% order given from Compass Platform and 10 % from the Conning Tower.

Here following the photo damages from Hood website :

http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarks ... amage1.htm

Please notice that on the first photo, showing the entrance of the Bismarck 15 inch ( 381 mm ) shell from the starboard upper corner of the Compass Platform were we can see the legs of a workman we can see a very important detail.

There are 2 Voice Pipes we can see just below the legs of the workman, ... the one on the left more forward has been broken on the end and bent down a bit by the Bismarck shell since it was on the shell path inside the compass platform ( it is still usable anyway as we can see ) ... the one more back on the right, ... just some centimeters distant from the other that has been broken, ... but OUT of the shell path by few centimeters, ... is still intact and perfect.

What this tell us ? Very simple, the photo shows the status of the HMS Prince of Wales Compass Platform BEFORE the repair activities started.
In fact they are attached as damage report and they have been a lot requested as evidences from the Admiralty as we can read on the document package itself.

More, the Bismarck shell path, so 38 cm ( 15 inches ) with some more centimeters around her is the only area that has been really impacted by the shell path inside the Compass Platform from the shell entrance hole on starboard side, until the shell reached the exit point aside the door on port side aft ( photos 2 and 3 ).

No fire, No explosion neither outside the port side bridges, ... damages limited to the ones we can see on the available photos, ... perfectly listed on the report.

There were NO reasons NOT to use the Compass Platform Voice Pipes to give the order : " Hard to Port ! " by Capt Leach.

Just as a curiosity, ... on the movie the elapsed time between the hit received and the order given was just around 30 seconds ... more or less just how much it took on reality that morning ... 06.00 and 50 seconds ( hit received ) ---> 06.01 and 20/5 seconds ( order issued ) ... so you can have a good idea on how it went ... :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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wadinga
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby wadinga » Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:08 pm

Hello Antonio,

Perhaps you are letting an old movie's squeamishness about depicting the horrors of real-world naval combat cloud your understanding of the real-world situation on the Compass Platform. Decamping to the inadequately-armoured ,cramped and visually-impaired Conning Tower in the middle of an action, when split second decisions were required, is not a thing Leach would have done unless absolutely necessary. You guessing about whether his communications were operational, at that moment, is not valid, and we know comms with the DCT were broken.

This whole "Order given before leaving" scenario is a quick fix just to shore up the increasingly ludicrous 40 sec timetable between hit and turn. Sam Woods had time to make a phone call from the Conning Tower about Hood's demise as well, before he got blown up.

No-one was depicted in the movie with a large wooden splinter piercing his face. We have no way of knowing what body parts of how many victims were redistributed over the interior of the Compass Platform. The gory dribbling of blood through the voicepipe to the plot was something that did make through to the movie, although not in such quantities as to make the action plot indecipherable. Short circuits blow fuses, nobody knows what repairs were done, before the Con went back to the Compass Platform.

You say
No fire, No explosion neither outside the port side bridges
well that does not fit with Woods' account, most recently reproduced by yourself
Suddenly there was a blinding flash in front of my eyes and I felt enveloped in a pocket of searing heat.

I heard no explosion and everything appeared in slow motion.
I was sucked up the ladder and seemed to float across the bridge area.
After floating for what seemed an age I finally came to rest on the deck amidst a shambles of torn steel fixtures, collapsed searchlights and human bodies.
As I regained my senses, the sweet smell of burned flesh mingled with the acrid stench of high explosives assailed my nostrils, gradually my brain cleared and the red fog lifted from my eyes.
Everything was enveloped in dark grey smoke.

and
I was covered in dirt and blood, my head throbbing like mad, one of my shoes was missing, my uniform was in tatters and a strange sensation in my confused mind was telling me I should not have let the ‘Hood’ go down, that I should have reached out and grabbed the bows as they were disappearing into the depths of the ocean.

This is first-hand eye-witness evidence of an explosion. The fact that the dockyard report didn't find evidence, days later, doesn't mean anything. Undoubtedly, Woods, who was far further away than Leach, also considered himself "unhurt". BTW all the other witnesses were dead, mortally wounded or unconscious and blinded.

I note yet another spurious use of statistics ie "90%" to try and give a biased speculation more validity. :lol:

As for
and I am afraid I am NOT done yet discovering " can of worms " here
those who go out looking for worms, want to find to find worms. I haven't seen a single wriggler yet. :cool:

Do you have the original report pages on the HA/DCT hit as well?

All the best

wadinga
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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:11 pm

Wadinga wrote: " I haven't seen a single wriggler yet."

:shock: I have already seen too many in the DS "official" history , therefore now the suspect is more than legitimate......

Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:35 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Wadinga,

06.00 and 10 seconds Hood exploded.
06.03 and 10 seconds PoW started firing Y turret during her turn away.

You can write all you want, but given available evidences no one will move out this timing. You as well as everybody else better realize it.

As far as “ can of worms “ think about 06.13 for PoW retreat … and 15 sea miles for Norfolk and Suffolk distance, … think about Adm Tovey dispatches points 17 and 19 … think about “ The Plot “ presented to the Hood second board of inquiry to move away Norfolk from 10 to 15 sea miles.

Now we are into the PoW Compass Platform story … and later on we will see what has been done unfairly with Vice-Adm Lancelot Holland …

There was only one overall intent doing it and you can see it summarized on this photo caption taken from Tarrant KGV class book from page 61 with the photo caption written by Admiral Sir Henry Leach ( Capt. J.C. Leach son ) :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Leach

Tarrant_page_61_Leach_photo_caption.jpg
Tarrant_page_61_Leach_photo_caption.jpg (100.04 KiB) Viewed 839 times


Now you can explain me why a Royal Navy First Sea Lord on the 1980’s, like Sir Henry Leach became, stated that Churchill and Pound wanted to court martial his father ( of course with Wake-Walker too as we all know ).

So Colin McMullen was right, and Adm Tovey was not yet suffering for dementia telling the story about it.

But you can explain me why they wanted to court martial them and than suddenly they awarded them on October 14th, 1941. Why Sean ?

I just wait your explanation about it now … while you know I have already my answers about it … with associated “ can of worms “.

Of course I assume that you have realized the status of the PoW Compass Platform from the available photos showing everything intact and usable … but I left you and Paul the possibility that Capt Leach was so fast and in a hurry to go down into the Conning Tower issuing that urgent order even if he had the Voice Pipes he was normally using still intact at 1 meter from him.

This will NOT change the fact that at 06.01 and 30 seconds the HMS Prince of Wales turned away to port disengaging from the battle on going for the reasons Capt. J.C. Leach himself declared into his narrative.

Using Adm H. Leach words, … “ ... for those reasons he was awarded a well deserved DSO ! “.

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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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:16 pm

Hello everybody,

back on the thread subject.

After the analysis of the Compass Platform instruments and damages, back on the casualties.

So far based on PoW war diary entry and Paddorn inputs.

On PoW after ship position :
1 ) - 5 sailors dead into the radar type 285 room below the boat deck.

On PoW bridge :
2) - 2 Midshipmen dead into the Compass Platform ( Ince and Dreyer )
3 ) - 6+1 sailors dead on the port side open bridges ( SLS, ADO, ALO ), just outside the Compass Platform.

4 ) - One Officer ( Esmond Knight ) and 9 sailors wounded, probably the waste majority on the port side open bridges. LtntCdr G.W. Rowell ( Navigating Officer ) injured by a wood splinter from the Compass Platform chart table, but he refused the medication until the end of the engagement keeping his action station position.

I have the greatest respect for the persons dead or injured while in action against the enemy, no matter where they died or suffered personal injures.

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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