May 23/24 night shadowing and interception approach CS1/BC1

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Re: May 23/24 night shadowing and interception approach CS1/BC1

Post by dunmunro » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:15 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Wadinga wrote: "......whether Wake-Walker's movements at night and in appalling weather with visibility down to 2,000 yds constitutes "shadowing" or not...."
Hi Sean,
I have not understood from you post if you consider as actually "shadowing" a ship that keeps out of sight and out of radar range from her shadowed enemy.... :negative:
Also I have not understood if you consider "shadowing" someone who, seeing an "unknown vessel" turns away before identifying it as enemy or friend...... :negative:

Please share with us your personal idea of "shadowing" in the "highest tradition" of the Royal Navy, in order to support your W-W defense !


Bye, Alberto
To shadow an enemy (verb) is to follow the enemy's movements whilst remaining out of sight of the enemy. It doesn't imply continuous contact with the enemy.

Again, your attack on W-W is centred on the idea that he didn't allow his elderly cruiser, equipped with a very inefficient radar, to be surprised and destroyed by Lutjen's brand new ships, equipped with the latest German radar system. Your assault on W-W, Leach and Tovey appears to be nothing more than wanting to destroy their reputations for the sin of destroying Bismarck.

Your use of " "highest tradition" of the Royal Navy " is synonymous with death and defeat rather than victory, which is the "highest tradition" of the RN.

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Re: May 23/24 night shadowing and interception approach CS1/BC1

Post by Dave Saxton » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:19 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote: Was it a radar detection, ... or a radio detection ... or a visual spotting ( of PoW stern ) incorrectly associated to a simoultaneaous radio detection ( of the Suffolk transmitting ) at the same time on almost the same W-NW direction ? ... so an error made under the extreme stress conditions of that night ... :think:

I like to have your opinion about it ...

Bye Antonio :D
I tend to concur with Duncan that it was most likely a visual sighting. The actual message does not read that it was a R.D./F detection. Note that the messages from the Suffolk specifically state the source as R.D./F (radar) detected.

It could not be a Type 286 radar detection with Norfolk on course 220* true. Type 286M had a fixed antenna. It only saw in the general direction the Norfolk was going, although the beam was about 45* wide. Its typical range to a surface ship was about 10,000 yards.

Could it be a radio transmission detection? Once again I expect that RDF (radio direction in this case) would be specified as the source.

Is the 298* bearing a true bearing or a relative bearing?
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: May 23/24 night shadowing and interception approach CS1/BC1

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:32 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Wadinga,

now that we have clearly understood who " screwed up " ViceAdm L. Holland enemy interception at 02.00 and why it happened, ... we can move ahead on what happened next ... while I can imagine between 01.45 until 03.00 that morning what was the opinion about the CS1 heavy cruisers performance on board the Hood, ... confirmed by the series of 02.29 until 02.56 radio messages they decoded and surely perfectly understood as well ... while getting their radio bearings confirming them how confused the CS1 cruisers were.

Since you seems to have difficulties accepting the Norfolk reactions while feeling " uncomfortably close " to the enemy ( I am using here an official definition from Norfolk messages we will analyze after the DS battle ... :wink: ... ) ... I just ask you to evaluate those 2 map details.

What was Norfolk doing between 21.00 and 21.30 here :
Norfolk_2100_001.jpg
Norfolk_2100_001.jpg (115.24 KiB) Viewed 1516 times
... and what was Norfolk doing here between 02.56 ( Suffolk enemy report ) and 03.20 :
Norfolk_0320_001.jpg
Norfolk_0320_001.jpg (79.52 KiB) Viewed 1516 times
Be relaxed and do not worry, ... Norfolk was able to be in the position we know at 05.41, ... despite the 03.00 - 03.20 runaway to South East, ... done without any action taken to verify the enemy position and/or correcting own and Suffolk geographical positions ... nor to inform anybody about what he did realize or assumed by that occurrence.

Norfolk did just nothing from 02.55 until 04.50 ( close to 2 hours of absolute silence ) when he sent a message to the Suffolk asking Capt Ellis : " Have you lost touch with the enemy ? ".

You can verify yourself what I am stating here in :

http://www.sfu.ca/~dmunro/images/PI1_2_3.jpg

Receiving 6 minutes after the response from the Suffolk at 04.56.


@ Dunmunro,

as I wrote above now ViceAdm L. Holland reputation is fully restored as he deserved, ... now and forever.

The other Officers involved on all this will have what they deserve by simply telling the truth of what happened that night and morning, ... and after with the " Cover Up ".

I think after 75 years it is time to let everybody know the reality.

Bye Antonio :D
Last edited by Antonio Bonomi on Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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: May 23/24 night shadowing and interception approach CS1/BC1

Post by Dave Saxton » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:53 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote: Type 286 on Norfolk :

http://pwencycl.kgbudge.com/T/y/Type_286_radar.htm


Bye Antonio :D
Type 286M was actually ASV (air to surface vessel) radar mounted on a ship instead of on an aircraft. The transmitting triodes were the Western Electric 316 supplied by the Americans:

http://www.radiomuseum.org/tubes/tube_316a.html

Type 286 was the main radar used by many British destroyers even as late as 1943. And as the link states it was also the radar that equipped RN submarines for most of the war. Vian's destroyers relied on this radar type extensively.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: May 23/24 night shadowing and interception approach CS1/BC1

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:01 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Dave Saxton,

you wrote :
I tend to concur with Duncan that it was most likely a visual sighting. The actual message does not read that it was a R.D./F detection. Note that the messages from the Suffolk specifically state the source as R.D./F (radar) detected.

It could not be a Type 286 radar detection with Norfolk on course 220* true. Type 286M had a fixed antenna. It only saw in the general direction the Norfolk was going, although the beam was about 45* wide. Its typical range to a surface ship was about 10,000 yards.

Could it be a radio transmission detection? Once again I expect that RDF (radio direction in this case) would be specified as the source.

Is the 298* bearing a true bearing or a relative bearing?


well, I am under the impression that it could have been a visual contact in the darkness/mist, ... that was not spotted immediately by a mechanical fixed bearing by the spotter, ... and soon associated to the radio ( not radar ) bearing of the Suffolk ( 298°) since that was the ship they thought it could have been ... and the ship under continuous radio direction finding close monitoring and careful movements observation.

I am with you and Duncan about the removal of the possibility that it could have been a radar bearing and estimation, simply because I have written to you that Norfolk was surely on course 220° and cannot have taken anything on bearing 298° ( it is a true bearing 298° Dave ) with her fixed radar antenna without turning the ship on that direction, ... just as you confirmed to me.

I think we can consider it this way also based on the message after, ... when they saw it again at 02.55 writing only : " Vessel possibly Suffolk. Lost touch immediately in mist. "

This again seems to me just a visual spotting, ... like before, .. but this time was not associated to any bearing and/or distance, ... and they were still thinking the ship was probably the Suffolk, ... :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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Re: May 23/24 night shadowing and interception approach CS1/BC1

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:19 pm

Dunmunro wrote: "To shadow an enemy (verb) is to follow the enemy's movements whilst remaining out of sight of the enemy. It doesn't imply continuous contact with the enemy. "
Hi Duncan,
I agree, not continuously, but at least picking it up from time to time........ Norfolk was not following enemy's movements (Suffolk was, transmitting them to Norfolk, the latter having no other idea of the enemy movements) and she had NO contact at all (not a single one, neither visual nor radar... :oops: ) with Germans for the whole night.

Thus Norfolk was not shadowing., this is a fact. W-W was (remotely) escorting Suffolk (that took all the risks and performed her duty) at best..... :kaput:


Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: May 23/24 night shadowing and interception approach CS1/BC1

Post by Steve Crandell » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:27 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Dunmunro wrote: "To shadow an enemy (verb) is to follow the enemy's movements whilst remaining out of sight of the enemy. It doesn't imply continuous contact with the enemy. "
Hi Duncan,
I agree, not continuously, but at least picking it up from time to time........ Norfolk was not following enemy's movements (Suffolk was, transmitting them to Norfolk) and she had NO contact at all (not a single one) with Germans for the whole night.

Thus Norfolk was not shadowing., this is a fact. She was escorting Suffolk (that took risks and performed her duty) at best..... :kaput:


Bye, Alberto
Since Norfolk was not capable of "shadowing" given her poor radar, maybe we can just say she was attempting to remain in the vicinity of Suffolk. This is in no way an implication that anything she did was "wrong" or a "cover-up".

But as you stated before, you think Norfolk should have closed to six miles or so, wherein she would have spotted Bismarck and vice versa and been taken under fire at point blank range. Alternatively, she could have been closing at high speed and had visibility increase from six miles to 12 and be immediately destroyed by the fire of both German ships. Really, really stupid. As mentioned before.

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Re: May 23/24 night shadowing and interception approach CS1/BC1

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:33 pm

@Steve Crandell:
Hi Steve,
I agree with your definition of Norfolk just " remaining in the vicinity of Suffolk". What I can't accept is that someone here is still trying to say that Norfolk performed any kind of shadowing.

Whether she did wrong or not, we can have different opinions (Suffolk did much better picking up enemy, visually and not only with the radar, during the night. I don't think she was stupid).....for sure Holland needed information about the Germans and Norfolk provided nothing.


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

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

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Re: May 23/24 night shadowing and interception approach CS1/BC1

Post by dunmunro » Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:05 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Dunmunro wrote: "To shadow an enemy (verb) is to follow the enemy's movements whilst remaining out of sight of the enemy. It doesn't imply continuous contact with the enemy. "
Hi Duncan,
I agree, not continuously, but at least picking it up from time to time........ Norfolk was not following enemy's movements (Suffolk was, transmitting them to Norfolk, the latter having no other idea of the enemy movements) and she had NO contact at all (not a single one, neither visual nor radar... :oops: ) with Germans for the whole night.

Thus Norfolk was not shadowing., this is a fact. W-W was (remotely) escorting Suffolk (that took all the risks and performed her duty) at best..... :kaput:


Bye, Alberto
Norfolk was following ("shadowing") the enemy's movements on their port flank and her presence narrowed down the possible locations of Lutjens' squadron after Suffolk lost contact.

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Re: May 23/24 night shadowing and interception approach CS1/BC1

Post by paulcadogan » Sun Oct 09, 2016 1:04 am

Hello all,

To Alberto: My friend I CANNOT support your argument regarding the role Norfolk played that night.

The fact is, in poor visibility, in darkness or semi-darkness, fog, snow etc. with no effective radar, how could she risk trying to locate the enemy herself! When she had done that earlier, they came into sight 6 miles away and she almost got blown out of the water! The prudent course of action would be to depend on the ship that could track the enemy at a distance (Suffolk) and position herself to detect any movements in the only direction the enemy could turn to escape Suffolk's radar - i.e. to port.

When Norfolk sighted the unknown vessel, and the compared Suffolk's reported position to hers, there were two possibilities for Wake-Walker to consider - 1) the ship was indeed Suffolk and there was a positional error on either or both ships part, in which case she was too close to Suffolk and, and in order to play her role, Norfolk needed to move away further south to be able to keep more effective watch on any moves by the enemy in that direction, or 2) the ship WAS the enemy, in which case she was way too close (8 miles) and risked exposure and attack should visibility clear suddenly - so she still needed to move away for safety reasons and duly reported her sighting.

Norfolk, who was effectively "blind" under those conditions, had to depend on her "seeing" consort in order to play her part.

This was Wake-Walker doing his job in the best way he could given his flagship's capabilities (or lack thereof) in the prevailing weather and visibility conditions. He steered a course to follow the enemy's general movements - i.e. he was shadowing the enemy. He employed the two ships - the squadron - under his command to carry out the role.

And hey...what happened when the enemy did make an alteration to port at 0520 bringing them closer to Norfolk's position?

"One battleship bearing 280 deg, distance 16 miles, 220 deg, my position......" (Norfolk 0541B)

The strategy worked.
Qui invidet minor est - He who envies is the lesser man

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: May 23/24 night shadowing and interception approach CS1/BC1

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sun Oct 09, 2016 7:57 am

@Paul Cadogan:
Hi Paul, nice to hear from you. I hope this means that you are well and safe now !
you wrote: "Norfolk, who was effectively "blind" under those conditions, had to depend on her "seeing" consort in order to play her part."
Therefore she did not shadow that night, only Suffolk did and Norfolk "depended" on her..... :ok:

Regarding your 2 scenarios at 2:55, in case1) he should have at least amended Suffolk position in order to have a common reference within his squadron before going South, in case 2) he should have identified the "enemy" (like Suffolk did at 2:56 from 9 sm, after having "checked" who was the unknown contact got at 2:47), not just signalling "unknown vessel" (that could only confuse further the others....). W_W was unable (or unwilling to take the risk) to decide between 1) and 2) and just left the area without any clear understanding of the situation, providing zero added value for the intercepting force.....

you wrote: "He steered a course to follow the enemy's general movements...."
Dunmunro wrote: "Norfolk was following ("shadowing") the enemy's movements.... "
Hi Duncan,
I'm afraid I don't agree with both of you. She was following only Suffolk transmitted position, never the enemy and due to the latter increasing positional error, she was going progressively more and more far from the Germans.

I don't discuss here whether this was inevitable (due to her radar), simply wise, too timid or totally wrong, but in any case, it's an irrefutable fact that, as a result, Norfolk did not shadow the enemy that night, differently from what is written everywhere (including Adm.Tovey point 17 in his dispatch....).


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

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

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Re: May 23/24 night shadowing and interception approach CS1/BC1

Post by wadinga » Sun Oct 09, 2016 9:41 am

All,

Leaving behind this preposterous semantic argument, (BTW which ship was present both at the first discovery of Bismarck and her destruction), lets return to the flakey evidence for Norfolk's "runaway". Norfolk was the Grim Reaper's Dark Shadow for Bismarck. :cool:

We were promised:
YES, there is a real evidence of that 90° Norfolk turn away to port at 03.00 and it is more evident and clear than the showed small curve on the Battle Summary Nr. 5 map Duncan is attaching here.

It is showed on the Norfolk own track map.


But we are not allowed to see it. Or confirmation from the log. I pointed out the limitations of the scaling on "Norfolk's own track map" and yet we are offered even less reliable, more compacted, more summarised, more generalized representation from the Summary map.

Hello Paul, so glad things are OK with you. BTW do not let Alberto fox you by not allowing a third option. The contact on 298T might well not be anything to do with either German or British navies. Cain tells us they met a merchantman. Wasting time chasing after a briefly seen contact instead of pressing on, makes no sense.

I see we have no admission from Antonio (2) as to whether he really thinks Norfolk was 30/33 miles away from Bismarck or not. Can this be clarified?

All the best

wadinga
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Re: May 23/24 night shadowing and interception approach CS1/BC1

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sun Oct 09, 2016 9:50 am

Wadinga wrote:; "do not let Alberto fox you by not allowing a third option....."
Hi Sean,
happy to cover your "third option":
3) had it been a merchantman, don't you think that a shadower should check and identify the contact to avoid to give misleading information like "unknown vessel", generating the expectation that the enemy had been located ? :wink:

Suffolk, after checking, sent a clear message about the contacts (and a WWII radar does not give you the identity of a contact), possibly Ellis was just smarter than W-W......


Bye, Alberto
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Re: May 23/24 night shadowing and interception approach CS1/BC1

Post by wadinga » Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:22 am

Hi Alberto,

Since you have many times supplied your opinion on what people should be able to see and recognise at various distances, including much further than 8 miles, I assume that shortly after reporting the contact, Norfolk realised it was insignificant. Whatever it was. :D

All the best

wadinga
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Re: May 23/24 night shadowing and interception approach CS1/BC1

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:24 am

Hello everybody,

@ Wadinga,

Sean, you have not responded to my questions above to you about what was RearAdm Wake-Walker doing with Norfolk between 21.00 and 21.30 on May 23rd, 1941 ... and what was he doing once again between 03.00 and 03.20 on May 24th, 1941.

Let me help you here, ... it is an indisputable fact that he was just " enlarging " his distance from the enemy.
Right or wrong, ... everybody can keep his own opinion, ... what is out of discussion is the fact that he did it.

No one in this world can disagree, ... neither you now ... :wink:

Similarly, ... no one can disagree about the fact that from 20.30 of May 23rd, until 05.41 of May 24th, the Norfolk was never close anymore to the enemy, ... neither on visual or radar distance.

More, ... at 21.05 of May 32rd she had enlarged her distance from the enemy to more than 20 sea miles, ... and she remained at more than 20 sea miles away from the enemy ( reaching more than 40 sea miles distance at 03.20 ) thru all the night, ... going back under the 20 sea miles distance from the enemy ... only when Adm Lutjens turned toward South East at 05.21 on May 24th, ... starting his " Z move ", ... and moving toward the Norfolk consequently.

On that night of patrolling efforts, ... he run into the BC1 warships twice, ... assuming it was the Suffolk, ... and after having realized it was NOT the Suffolk, ... obviously he could only think it was the ENEMY ! ... and consequently did what he did the night before when was targeted by the Bismarck, ... he put a good numbers of sea miles between himself and the enemy, ... while doing nothing about what he realized from that occurrence, ... no communications or alert to anybody, ... just 2 hours of radio silence.

Even in graphic you can see the huge difference between the Suffolk efforts when compared to the Norfolk ones.
Shadowing_Norfolk_vs_Suffolk.jpg
Shadowing_Norfolk_vs_Suffolk.jpg (68.57 KiB) Viewed 1473 times
I can accept all the justifications about this conduct, ... respecting your opinion while having my own from a military stand point, ... but no one can avoid to accept the reality as it shows even on this Admiralty small definition map.

What I want to underline here is a concept that I take from Alberto Virtuani correct evaluation, since he wrote above :
I don't discuss here whether this was inevitable (due to her radar), simply wise, too timid or totally wrong, but in any case, it's an irrefutable fact that, as a result, Norfolk did not shadow the enemy that night, differently from what is written everywhere (including Adm.Tovey point 17 in his dispatch....).
This irrefutable fact never shows up on any report or book I have read, ... never being highlighted or even mentioned, ...while in the opposite everybody likes to associate the 2 heavy cruisers performances that night, ... of course incorrectly as we can easily realize and see.

Last point about what Adm Tovey did while writing on his dispatches the point 17 has been already discussed and it belongs to the evident " Cover Up " made after this operation, ... and we all know about the real intent of it very well now.

Bye Antonio :D
Last edited by Antonio Bonomi on Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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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