Hit on POW compass platform

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wadinga
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Post by wadinga » Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:22 pm

Hi Alberto,

From your plans can you get the vertical depth of the window slot? The circular spinning screens are probably 12" in diameter, but not for certain.

What is certain is that Busch, Coates, Hunter-Terry and Brookes all say PoW was turning to port as Hood exploded and Rowell himself says they threw the wheel to starboard to avoid Hood, which they wouldn't have needed to do unless they had turned to port. Equally the photos are not time stamped and therefore any timing is an interpretation.

Still this belongs in another place except we should be able to determine exactly the shell's angle to ship's centreline which will tell us PoW's course at the moment of impact.

Antonio,
Paddon in charge of PoW radar says
The after 285 office containing two sets had been seriously damaged, killing five persons.
Brooke says
right in the path of the shell, which did not burst until through and clear of the ship.
Since he was in the after DCT somebody must have told him this. And
Another seaman called Willey was permanently deafened by the shockwave of the shell.
If Willey was inside the Compass Plaftorm it might be the pressure wave from the 500mps shell passing within less than 3 metres or the blastwave outside that Woods was sucked through the hatch by when the shell exploded.

All the best

wadinga

All the best

wadinga
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wadinga
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Post by wadinga » Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:11 pm

Hi Antonio,
The deafened signalman was James H Willey, Leading Signalman D JX 152432

Paddon says
Our whole compass platform was shot away and of the ten or so personnel normally stationed on the Compass Platform, seven were killed; the three most important people surviving, the Captain, the navigator and the Cox'n. A number of our Air Defence people were killed.
All the best

wadinga
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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:35 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Wadinga,

YES, LtntCdr Anthony Hunter-Terry told the Midshipman he was dictating the events and timing and that was carefully taking notes ( and this is probably the reason why the Hood board of Inquiry assumed his timing being perfectly on the spot and taken during the action ) that when Hood was sinking the damaged hull forward part went to the port direction while sinking:
“She was apparently still moving ahead and turning to port. She was down at the stern and listing heavily to port … “
just like Ted Briggs reported too and F.O. Busch noticed as well from Prinz Eugen ( ref. Busch 1943 map showing it too on sketch ).

But as far as Hunter-Terry describing when PoW was turning to port, well that is very clear after the event and after they passed the sinking wreck, since he told the Midshipman to write that they were turning to port between the sinking Hood and the enemy, just before the hit on the aft funnel/crane no doubts about it. Hood was already sinking and the mast that also Rowell noticed felt toward the PoW already disengaging hard to port. Of course Hunter-Terry was obstructed, since the smoke coming out of the aft funnel did not allow him to clearly see anything more of Hood on the turn away.
“At this time we were turning to port between the "Hood" and the enemy and I observed debris falling towards "Prince of Wales", in particular one large piece that looked like the main-mast or a derrick. 0601, "Prince of Wales" was hit by a shell in the after funnel and this obstructed my attention.”
You can read yourself.

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

Anyway, that belongs to the other thread as you correctly said.

Here the HMS Prince of Wales Compass Platform with the Hit Nr. 1 passing thru it.
PoW_path_hit_Nr_1_Compass_Platform_bridge_02.jpg
PoW_path_hit_Nr_1_Compass_Platform_bridge_02.jpg (102.23 KiB) Viewed 1678 times
The shell was coming from GREEN 148° ( around GREEN 150 for the PoW damage report). As you can see path of shell confirms of course the damage report and nails down the PoW course on 280° degrees on that moment, just as I already knew very well.

Everything matches perfectly, with drawings, data and photos, with precision of some inches.

Some notes :

A : Were Esmond Knight was sitting ADO position

B : Point of entrance under the curtain in the middle of the second glass ( 46 inches = 115 cm from the corner stb forward, ref. Yellow segment H )

C : View Plot taken away from the shell, ref. damage photo. Possible position of Ince and Dreyer between View Plot and the Chart table.

D : Corner of Compass platform stb aft were the shell went out, hitting the door too. Ref, damage photos.

E : Exit path on the Searchlight bridge SLS on port side, ref damage photo.

F : Possible position of Capt Leach, Rowell and Gilbert, surviving the shell into the Compass Platform. They were looking at Hood on port side probably.

G : Searchlights bridge, all smashed ref. damage photo and on the ground as Sam Wood stated too.

You may have noticed on the Compass Platform damage photos that both the Compass in the middle of it as well as the Pelorus ahead of it were both undamaged and with the voice pipe on them just like the previous original photo I attached clearly shows you.

Question now will be : Why Capt. Leach needed to go down to order the “ Hard to Port ! “ :think:

In fact on the movie Esmond Knight did not show that action being taken, … and the order given from the Pelorus voice pipe while still into the Compass Platform.

Thanks for the additional information, … so 5 on the 285 radar and 7 on the compass/ bridge … but with 10 persons into the Compass Platform usually …

that should tell us :

5 on the Radar 285 room below the boat deck at mid ship
7 into the compass platform ( out of 10 normally in there with 3 survivors : Leach, Rowell and Gilbert )
1+1 on the bridges

... now I need to redo my numbers … :think:

Were did you read Paddon information ? --- > I got it ! ... free pdf download of his book on the internet ... radar Officer on PoW and Warspite

http://www.pdfhe.com/file-6121.html

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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RNfanDan
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Post by RNfanDan » Fri Apr 11, 2014 7:45 pm

Which of the two survivors, other than Leach, was the Chief Yeoman of Signals;.i.e., Rowell or Gilbert?

I note Ludovic Kennedy's account mentions only Leach and the Yeoman of Signals were left alive, but he fails to mention a name for the Yeoman-- was he mistaken? Was the third survivor actually there on the Compass platform, or was he in fact down one level, or on a bridge wing? I'm wondering how Kennedy missed this?

I apologize in advance, if these questions have been answered elsewhere...
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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:01 pm

Hello everybody,
RNfanDan wrote:Which of the two survivors, other than Leach, was the Chief Yeoman of Signals;.i.e., Rowell or Gilbert?

I note Ludovic Kennedy's account mentions only Leach and the Yeoman of Signals were left alive, but he fails to mention a name for the Yeoman-- was he mistaken? Was the third survivor actually there on the Compass platform, or was he in fact down one level, or on a bridge wing? I'm wondering how Kennedy missed this?

I apologize in advance, if these questions have been answered elsewhere...
Dan,

Gilbert was the Chief Yeoman of Signal.

Looking at http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biog ... ertae.html it seems Alfred Edwin Gilbert D.S.M. Chief Yeoman of Signals Service no. D/J 99570 was on the Compass Platform.


Lieutenant Commander George William Rowell was the HMS Prince of Wales Navigating Officer

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

Those 2 Officers, together with Capt. J.C Leach were the only 3 persons surviving the Compass Platform of HMS Prince of Wales that morning.

Ludovic Kennedy probably copied the same error from Capt. Russell Grenfell. Also Grenfell in fact on his previous book only mentioned Leach and the Chief Yeoman of Signal ( with no name of him ) surviving the hit into the compass platform.
Both missed to mention the PoW Navigating Officer, LtntCdr G.W. Rowell ... :wink:

But more than Kennedy and Grenfell missing to list his name and report Rowell being in there too ... what I find incredible was that the Hood board of Inquiry missed to listen to Gilbert ... that surely was carefully looking at Hood signals ... before and immediately after the explosion.

Why ? :think:

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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RNfanDan
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Post by RNfanDan » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:21 am

Danke, Antonio!
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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:51 am

Wadinga wrote: "Hi Alberto, From your plans can you get the vertical depth of the window slot? The circular spinning screens are probably 12" in diameter, but not for certain."
Hi Sean,
sure, assuming the drawings are precise at this level of detail (and they usually are very precise), the window height is 40 cm exactly (while 55-60 cm large). No way for me to check the circular "holes" in them.

However, please note from the compass photo posted by Antonio that the glasses (trnsparent material.....) in them don't look like being of the same height as they (and their supports) stop 10 cm before the roof. I don't know if this is an effect of the light in the photo (and the last white part is already part of the roof.....) but I even see the line of the glass upper border in the window over the box for signal pads.

Bye, Alberto

P.S. I agree with Antonio, Hunter-Terry never said the turn to port was happening at 6:00..... Possibly Hood started this turn but not PoW.
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:32 am

Antonio Bonomi wrote: ".......so 5 on the 285 radar and 7 on the compass/ bridge … but with 10 persons into the Compass Platform usually …
that should tell us :
5 on the Radar 285 room below the boat deck at mid ship
7 into the compass platform ( out of 10 normally in there with 3 survivors : Leach, Rowell and Gilbert )
1+1 on the bridges
... now I need to redo my numbers … "
Hi Antonio,
with respect for the evidence (that usually 10 people are in compass), I find a bit strange that there were so many "simple" seamen in it at action station. I can imagine the flagship Hood compass was more cramped with Holland and his chief of staff in addition to the "normal" occupants.....

As a comparison, please see the HMS Warspite compass photo below, where there are only 6 people and at least 5 are officers and petty officers, only 1 seaman is visible. The other seamen in the photo are outside the compass on the bridge at their instruments.
Warspite_Bridge_2.jpg
Warspite_Bridge_2.jpg (202 KiB) Viewed 1619 times
I still think that the seamen were killed mostly on the open bridge (SLS, ADO, ALO and around the base of the 14" director control tower, as per Wood account).

BTW, Tarrant, in his KGV class book, says that also the hit n.2 splinters made "carnage" on the (same) bridge.

Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:08 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:36 am

Hello everybody,

@ Alberto,

you are right my friend, ... there 2 important things that do NOT match so far in my re-construction work of all this :

1 ) The need of Capt. J.C. Leach to order the " Hard to Port ! " disengagement at 06.01 and 30 seconds from the Admiral Bridge ( written on his own biography book lately ) or from the Conning tower ( ref. his narrative telling that for a brief time PoW was directed from there but NOT that he ordered the turn away from there :wink: , ... but soon they realized the Compass Platform was undamaged and resumed conning from the Compass Platform ) instead that from the undamaged voice pipes into the Compass Platform before moving into the Conning tower down below, under the Admiral bridge, ... so 2 level deck down.

I have tried to find evidences about Capt. Leach moving away from the Compass Platform before he ordered " Hard to Port ! " disengaging, ... but it is only written on his very recent biography referencing the Admiral bridge one level below the Compass Platform ... :think: ... this does NOT match with Capt. Leach writing that when he moved he went down to the Conning tower 2 levels below the Compass Platform ... and NOT one level down into the Admiral bridge ... and than he soon went back into the Compass Platform once cleared ... never he wrote he was into the Admiral bridge on that elapsed time, ... and that elapsed time was a short time ... :think:

So far, based on the Compass Platform real partial damages, ... the voice pipes been available, ... the timing and the own narratives ... I tend to believe Capt Leach gave the order " Hard to Port ! " disengaging HMS Prince of Wales from the battle, ... directly from the Compass Platform ( as the movie and Esmond Knight shows ) given the urgency of that order once being badly hit ... and than he moved after having given the order into the Conning Tower 2 levels down below ( a well protected area ).
This is the reason why C. McMullen boy did NOT find him when he went down in the Compass Platform AFTER PoW started her turn away at 06.01 and 30 seconds, ... so at around 06.02 and 20/30 seconds.
The PoW Admiral Bridge was never involved on all this, ... this means that the entry on his recent biography book is incorrect.

2 ) The correct positioning of the casualties and mostly of the dead persons.
5 persons on the 285 radar room below the boat deck seems a reasonable number and I thank Sean ( Wadinga ) for the precious help on this with Paddorn narrative.
As far as the other 9 dead persons and the wounded ones, ... than I am still struggling to realize where they were on reality between the bridge and the compass platform.
Esmond Knight, Sam Wood and Tarrant put many of them on the bridges.
Paddorn provided a precise input about the persons into the Compass Platform ( 10 ) and how many died in there ( 7 ) according to him.
This will leave only 2 persons dead on the bridge ( 1+1) and it seems a very low number to me given the rest of the witnesses narrative.
But Alberto is right as well with his last post about the share between Officers and Sailors into the Compass Platform ... and with his Warspite example photo.

Comments and suggestions are welcome, ... as well as new evidences just like Sean did it with Paddorn ... and Alberto with his PoW drawings as well as with his Compass Platform photo ... :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: Hit on POW compass platform

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:49 am

Hello everybody,

photo support for the last 2 arguments.

Here the main tower front view of a KG V class battleship. The Compass Platform on top, Admiral Bridge down below one level and the Conning Tower 2 levels down.

It is my personal opinion that Capt Leach gave the order : " Hard to Port ! " disengaging PoW from the battle at 06.01 and 20/30 seconds from the Compass Platform voice pipes before leaving and than he moved down 2 levels into the Conning tower, to be back into the Compass Platform once cleared.
KGV_class_main_tower.jpg
KGV_class_main_tower.jpg (81.93 KiB) Viewed 1587 times
Than we have the KGV class port side bridge area with the Compass Platform and the forward HA directors support.
Bismarck Hit Nr 1 and Nr 2 ( Ref. PoW damage report numbering ) probably from same salvo made many splinters causing a lot of casualties in this area.
2 Midshipmen died into the Compass Platform for sure ( Ince and Dreyer ) ... 2 sailors outside for sure ( Johnstone and Tucker on the day after ) ... since 5 died into the 285 radar room at midship aft, ... there are still 5 persons to be properly located between the port bridges and/or inside the compass platform.
bridge_equipment_03.jpg
bridge_equipment_03.jpg (126 KiB) Viewed 1587 times
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: Hit on POW compass platform

Post by Steve Crandell » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:42 pm

Did Capt Leach actually order "Hard to port"? That is a fairly unusual command because it means the rudder is to be slammed up against the restraining post, and sometimes results in a jammed rudder. More common would be something like:
"Left full rudder, come left to course 160 degrees". That way you give almost the same amount of rudder and the ship doesn't circle if you fail to command the new course. US practice is for the helmsman to call out headings at 10 degree intervals if no course is given, but of course Leach had no contact with his helmsman at that point.

He may very well have done exactly as you described in all the excitement, but I was just wondering. Maybe "Hard to port" doesn't mean the same thing in the British navy as in the USN. The latter is usually used in extremis to avoid a collision or a torpedo, for example.

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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Post by paulcadogan » Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:12 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote:It is my personal opinion that Capt Leach gave the order : " Hard to Port ! " disengaging PoW from the battle at 06.01 and 20/30 seconds from the Compass Platform voice pipes before leaving
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:36 pm

Hello everybody,

I did explain it above Paul .... :wink:
1 ) The need of Capt. J.C. Leach to order the " Hard to Port ! " disengagement at 06.01 and 30 seconds from the Admiral Bridge ( ( written on his own biography book lately ) or from the Conning tower ( ref. his narrative telling that for a brief time PoW was directed from there but NOT that he ordered the turn away from there :wink: , ... but soon they realized the Compass Platform was undamaged and resumed conning from the Compass Platform ) instead that from the undamaged voice pipes into the Compass Platform before moving into the Conning tower down below, under the Admiral bridge, ... so 2 level deck down.

I have tried to find evidences about Capt. Leach moving away from the Compass Platform before he ordered " Hard to Port ! " disengaging, ... but it is only written on his very recent biography referencing the Admiral bridge one level below the Compass Platform ... :think: ... this does NOT match with Capt. Leach writing that when he moved he went down to the Conning tower 2 levels below the Compass Platform ... and NOT one level down into the Admiral bridge ... and than he soon went back into the Compass Platform once cleared ... never he wrote he was into the Admiral bridge on that elapsed time, ... and that elapsed time was a short time ... :think:

So far, based on the Compass Platform real partial damages, ... the voice pipes been available, ... the timing and the own narratives ... I tend to believe Capt Leach gave the order " Hard to Port ! " disengaging HMS Prince of Wales from the battle, ... directly from the Compass Platform ( as the movie and Esmond Knight shows ) given the urgency of that order once being badly hit ... and than he moved after having given the order into the Conning Tower 2 levels down below ( a well protected area ).
This is the reason why C. McMullen boy did NOT find him when he went down in the Compass Platform AFTER PoW started her turn away at 06.01 and 30 seconds, ... so at around 06.02 and 20/30 seconds.

The PoW Admiral Bridge was never involved on all this, ... this means that the entry on his recent biography book is incorrect !
Here Capt Leach own narrative on June 4th, 1941 :
When the debris on the Bridge ( and Compass Platform ) had been cleared away, damage was found to be less than at first thought and conning, which had been carried out in the upper Conning Tower, was resumed on the Compass Platform.

Later, at 10.07, a more accurate and comprehensive report of damage was made to the Admiralty.
Esmond Knigth was right making the movie :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuO4BfnlDY8

@ Steve Crandell,

I have just reported what Esmond Knight on the movie said into the voice pipe while into the PoW Compass Platform, you can listen yourself on the link.
The result was a turn away to port with an ARC of 160 degrees starting at 06.01 and 30 seconds and ending at 06.03 and 30 seconds more or less.

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: Hit on POW compass platform

Post by paulcadogan » Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:41 pm

@Antonio,

Whether he descended to the Admiral's Bridge or the upper coning tower, he still went down the ladder, but as you said - the conning tower would need more time. So now you need to place Leach giving the order from the compass platform so you can get your 40 seconds! :wink:

Note that Leach said, the damage was found to be less than at FIRST thought. This implies that it was first thought to be such that the CP was unusable as a conning position. If communications were still thought to be in order and the damage thought to be insignificant, why not stay there and con his ship out of the action and make his move afterwards to allow cleanup? Why interrupt his control of the very serious situation the ship was in by moving two levels down??

Because the Leach book may have erred in where Leach ultimately went, it doesn't mean it's also wrong in saying he "quickly descended" and then made the "most critical decision of his career". That's what Grenfell described as well ("To Captain Leach, who had by now moved to the lower bridge..."). Isn't that what Brooke wrote too? He would also have had time to ponder that decision during his descent, realizing what had just occurred and the other hits the ship had taken (HACS and crane/funnel) in such short order and his pre-considered distrust of his own ship's guns... He moved "quickly" because he needed to re-establish his control.

The cleanup obviously took place after the action was over and it is not stated how long it took. It was very likely MUCH more than "sweepers man your brooms" with a return to normalcy in just a few minutes! It was obviously done before 1007 though.
Antonio Bonomi wrote:I have tried to find evidences about Capt. Leach moving away from the Compass Platform before he ordered " Hard to Port ! " disengaging,
?

On the contrary...you have no evidence that he DIDN'T!
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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Hit on POW compass platform

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:39 am

@Antonio & Paul: IMHO there are no evidence supporting the two scenarios, and we will possibly never know from where the order was given.

If Leach was unhurt, he had all the time to decend quickly to the conning tower (or to the admiral brige) and to give the order. If he was briefly unconscious then he gave the order form the compass, where the voicepipes were still in place, and immediately after he moved down to allow also the medical personnel to help the people injuried.

What is sure and demonstrated by Antonio is that at 6:01:30 the PoW started the turn to port to disengage, therefore the order was given few seconds before.

Bye, Alberto
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