The Plot

Discussions about the history of the ship, technical details, etc.
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Re: The Plot

Postby Guest » Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:12 pm

Dear All,
Just a note to my previous post (I will join eventually!), if the ongoing purpose of the 'plot' thread is not to create a better map, or discover the accuracy of it, but instead has become to try and add credence to the argument that the Norfolk and Suffolk should, and could, have participated in the battle (Cover up) then I think there are three questions to be answered,
1) Did the Suffolk or Norfolk ever signal the disposition of the German squadron? (ie BS or PG in the lead and or BS or PG in the rear)
2) Did Holland know when making his pre engagement tactical decisions that Norfolk and Suffolk would 'occupy' the PG during any engagement that she was now the leading ship in the German column?
3) How were the Norfolk and Suffolk meant to attack the PG (If they had excessive speed to make this happen) when to do so would have also meant that they would have had to circumvent the BS (The larger ship) out of gunnery range and then put themselves in a position close enough to quickly be in range for their own guns but yet also well within range of the guns of the BS's excellent gunnery officers and therby running the certain risk of damage to their own ships with the possibility of losing the contact Holland needed or risking drawing the BS/PG further west and away from BCS 1?
I'm not sure the BS or the PG would have obliged the British cruisers by not opening fire until all forces were present as I presume all this would have had to have been done prior to any engagement by BCS 1 to gain the desired effect and therefore some kind of anticipation or even signal between Norfolk and Suffolk and then Norfolk and Hood would have been neccessary? Anyway just a thought,
Cag.

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Re: The Plot

Postby Bill Jurens » Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:38 pm

I think it's important to keep in mind that the various plots and charts used in the Hood inquiry were in a sense of secondary importance insofar as the Inquiry was intended to determine the CAUSE of the ship's loss, not to necessarily reconstruct in great detail the tactical maneuvers that took place significantly before and after that event. The main reason the various plots were prepared appears to be to attempt to determine about how far various observers were away from the main explosion, so that their testimony regarding what they might have (and might not have) seen could be weighted more correctly.

In that regard, insofar as the inquiry was TECHNICAL rather than TACTICAL, tactical plots and reports were probably not taken that seriously and even fairly significant discrepancies, so long as they did not reflect upon the situation spanning from 0550 - 0602 or so, were not seen as of great importance. The real focus was on establishing exactly why Hood exploded, not on what various auxiliary forces were doing in the vicinity.

It's probably as futile to attempt to reconstruct a tactical report from a technical investigation as it is to try to reconstruct a technical report from a tactical one.

Bill Jurens.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: The Plot

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:11 pm

Bill Jurens wrote: "....the Inquiry was intended to determine the CAUSE of the ship's loss....The main reason the various plots were prepared appears to be to attempt to determine about how far various observers were away from the main explosion"

Hi Mr Jurens,
even admitting that the second board was intended to determine the cause of the loss of Hood (I'm now, srtrictly personally, very doubtful about this explanation, but this is another story), you correctly point out that the plots were prepared to allow the commission to understand what was visible from the various ships and how reliable the witnesses were aboard them.

Now, if you take "the Plot" from Pinchin, you can measure that the distance from Suffolk to Hood at 6:00 is more or less 30 sm :shock: and from Norfolk to Hood is 15 sm.
In the new battle reconstruction done by Antonio Bonomi, Suffolk is at 15 sm from Hood and Norfolk is at 10 to 11 sm from Hood.

You will see immediately that witnesses looking at the explosion (and detailing it quite well) COULD NEVER have been at the distance stated by Pinchin and "lightly" accepted by the second board (please note that some of Suffolk witnesses were even looking at Hood without glasses....). Witnesses accounts match quite well with Antonio's reconstructed distances, except Wake-Walker (2nd board only) account, of course.... :wink:.

Well, finally, after this long discussion, at least I understand that now everybody agrees that Pinchin Plot is an incorrect document......

Bye, Alberto
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Re: The Plot

Postby dunmunro » Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:51 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Bill Jurens wrote: "....the Inquiry was intended to determine the CAUSE of the ship's loss....The main reason the various plots were prepared appears to be to attempt to determine about how far various observers were away from the main explosion"

Hi Mr Jurens,
even admitting that the second board was intended to determine the cause of the loss of Hood (I'm now, srtrictly personally, very doubtful about this explanation, but this is another story), you correctly point out that the plots were prepared to allow the commission to understand what was visible from the various ships and how reliable the witnesses were aboard them.

Now, if you take "the Plot" from Pinchin, you can measure that the distance from Suffolk to Hood at 6:00 is more or less 30 sm :shock: and from Norfolk to Hood is 15 sm.
In the new battle reconstruction done by Antonio Bonomi, Suffolk is at 15 sm from Hood and Norfolk is at 10 to 11 sm from Hood.

You will see immediately that witnesses looking at the explosion (and detailing it quite well) COULD NEVER have been at the distance stated by Pinchin and "lightly" accepted by the second board (please note that some of Suffolk witnesses were even looking at Hood without glasses....). Witnesses accounts match quite well with Antonio's reconstructed distances, except Wake-Walker (2nd board only) account, of course.... :wink:.

Well, finally, after this long discussion, at least I understand that now everybody agrees that Pinchin Plot is an incorrect document......

Bye, Alberto


I would suggest that you acquaint yourself with the effects of atmospheric refraction and how it extends the visible horizon:

http://calgary.rasc.ca/horizon.htm

and makes it always possible to see objects below the theoretical horizon - THIS IS NOT A MIRAGE EFFECT, that happens infrequently due to local conditions but is the almost inevitable consequence of the earth being round and having a dense atmosphere.

Of the 14 witnesses from Suffolk only two claimed to see Hood's hull. Most stated that they could only see her because of her gun flashes, and I expect that what they could see was Hood's smoke illuminated by her gun flashes and not the Hood herself.

Ellis's own testimony was that he thought he could see the tops of her funnels, and this would place Hood at about 18nm (in a vacuum) but atmospheric refraction would push this back to about 20nm:
425. Have you anything yourself that you want to tell us? Do you wish to tell us anything further?

No, I do not think I can give you anything further that would be useful. It was a very difficult morning, marker refraction, rapidly changing visibility, and this occasion is the first time I have seen my own and the "NORFOLK's" plots put together and it is a surprisingly greater distance than I thought it was.
426. Did you at any time owing to refraction see any portion of the "HOOD?"

I thought I saw the tops of her masts and funnels.


The witnesses seemed to agree that visibility was excellent yet no one could see the Norfolk... :oops:

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Re: The Plot

Postby paulcadogan » Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:30 am

Hi all,

Thought I'd throw this into the mix since it has been called into question as to whether Suffolk actually did the 360 deg turn just prior to the start of the gun action.

Commander L.E. Porter who was atop Suffolk's aircraft hanger aft, specifically mentions Suffolk's turning, because it disoriented him and others with him as to where the Germans were and where BC1 was:

273. Will you just tell us briefly what you did see?

It was a calm dark morning, and the silhouettes of the upperworks of the German ships were clear against the horizon. The horizon behind them was light. More or less on our port beam, as it appeared from the top of the hanger, one had the impression that there were ships because I saw gun flashes, very much like summer lightening (sic) it looked.

The gun flashes started from the port quarter and were immediately followed by gun flashes ahead. To the hanger (sic) personnel it was not at all clear which ships were which. We had been turning a good deal and were rather out of touch as to where the "BISMARCK" was and where the British ships were.

From the darkness on the port quarter I suddenly saw a very thin high pillar of flame which went up to a very great height in the air, about 800 to a thousand feet.

This cylinder of fire was immediately followed by a huge rolling cloud of smoke which appeared to develop at the bottom of the flame, and not from the top. The flame went straight up and the smoke went up from the sea following the flame, and not on top of it.
http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/official/adm116/adm116-4351_NorfSuff.htm#Howe

Since the description of the gun flashes and explosion are all on the port side, as they should be, it suggests the turning took place before the battle started....IMHO of course.

@Cag - with you all the way! Your posts are valuable and insightful but I'd make one very respectful request - could you break them up into small paragraphs? Makes for much easier reading! :ok:

Paul
Qui invidet minor est - He who envies is the lesser man

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Re: The Plot

Postby dunmunro » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:36 am

Paul, excellent find! The proof of the turn (if the official reports and maps was not enough) was right under our noses.

I expect that some of the Suffolk witnesses had actually confused Bismarck and PE for Pow and Hood.

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Re: The Plot

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:45 am

Hello everybody,
sorry for the following two long posts of mine, but many answers are due from both sides.

@Dunmunro,
I don't ignore the "mirage" effect nor the "refraction" effect. However they were noticed ONLY by British cruisers and NEVER by Germans..... In addition, they are ONLY mentioned in the second board documents (clearly to justify that people was looking at things that, based on the wrong "Plot" by Pinchin, they would had been just unable to see). For me this effect is very suspicious, to use a nice word.
Dunmunro wrote: "Of the 14 witnesses from Suffolk only two claimed to see Hood's hull. Most stated that they could only see her because of her gun flashes, and I expect that what they could see was Hood's smoke illuminated by her gun flashes and not the Hood herself.
Ellis's own testimony was that he thought he could see the tops of her funnels, and this would place Hood at about 18nm (in a vacuum) but atmospheric refraction would push this back to about 20nm:"

Duncan, this is perfectly matching Antonio's reconstructed distances. In my previous post, I insisted on the distances at the moment when Hood exploded. Of course at open fire (the sentence of Capt.Ellis refers to this moment) Suffolk (due to converging course with Holland) was even more distant from Hood (around 21 sm according to Antonio's reconstruction, around 33 sm according to Pinchin's wrong "Plot"). :shock:
We are not speaking of 2 sm (that could be the effect of refraction), we are speaking of 12 sm difference...... And all witnesses confirm the exact reconstruction of Antonio, considering their height over the sea, including of course the clear description given by Capt.Ellis in his autobiography that matches with all other evidences.



Paul Cadogan wrote: "Since the description of the gun flashes and explosion are all on the port side, as they should be, it suggests the turning took place before the battle started....IMHO of course."

Hi Paul,
apart the fact that this is the only witness who said Suffolk was turning among several interviewed, he just said that gun flashes STARTED on the port side (that is consistent with no turn yet), then the ship turned a lot and Hood explosion was visible to him again to port. His testimony (he was on a relatively low level over sea compared with the others, so his visibility was much limited) seems to time the turn to north done by Suffolk after 5:52 and before 6:00 so DURING the battle and not before.
As I always said, the turn to north happened for sure at a certain point in time, but, IMHO, it happened after Hood exploded. For sure, according to Ellis autobiography it DID NOT happen before the battle.
I tend to think that Porter was confused by the turn of Suffolk after Hood exploded, when he was looking at the outcome of the explosion.

In any case, no other witness account of any turn, and all of them speak about port side (during a 360° turn you should see both Hood and BS on the starboard side too.......).
Lieutenant P.D.C. Shaw was very high on the Suffolk superstructure:
"324. Where were you during the action between "HOOD" and "BISMARCK?"
I was above the A.D.O. Just round the director control.
325. Will you please tell us what you saw of the sinking of the "HOOD?"
I was up there with the idea of spotting the fall of shot, and I was watching the "PRINCE OF WALES" and "HOOD" through my glasses"

This witness clearly confirms Capt. Ellis autobiography, that Suffolk was ready to flank-mark (being of course very close to BS, 9 sm not for sure 21 sm as per the wrong Pinchin's "Plot") .



Dunmunro wrote: "I expect that some of the Suffolk witnesses had actually confused Bismarck and PE for Pow and Hood.

Hi Duncan,
possibly yes, I doubt that Capt. Ellis confused these ships, due to his supposed ordered turn. :negative:

You have not yet answered my question:
1) is his "official report" incorrect or
2) is his autobiography intentionally false ?
Please don't tell the book is "honest but inaccurate" because, being a totally different account written with his "official report" in front of him, this is simply NOT an acceptable answer.....:negative:

Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Plot

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:27 am

Hello to everybody,

instead of concentrating on what Suffolk did AFTER 5:42, and to concentrate on "the Plot" thread subject, we need to close BEFORE the analysis of the interval between 4:47 and 5:41, even if it annoys you......
I would kindly remember to all (except Herr Nilsson, who agreed with Antonio that the Plot is wrong in this aspect) that you have not yet given an answer to Antonio's question. What about Suffolk track/position between 4:47 and 5:41 ?
"You have to consider the interval 04.47 until 05.41 = 54 minutes.
We have in this interval 13 minutes that belongs to Suffolk war diary average speed between 04.00 and 05.00 and other 41 minutes that belongs in the average speed between 05.00 and 06.00 on Suffolk war diary : 13+41 = 54 minutes.

The 22 knots is the average speed enabling Suffolk to start from 15 sea miles at 04.47 with enemy on bearing 184°, ... and after 54 minutes, ... having sailed just around only 20 sea miles ( 22 divided by 60 minutes and multiplied by 54 minutes = around 20 sea miles ) ... :shock: ... be where Ltnt Cdr S.H. Pinchin traced her on " The Plot " , ... so at 17 sea miles from the enemy position at 05.41.

You can try and choose between : ( 22/60 ) x 54 = 19,8 sea miles or ( 22,5/60 ) x 54 = 20,25 sea miles

On the map I attach here under, since you apparently do not understand what I mean, you have the points A,B, C and D on the BLUE line I traced, that are the 20 sea miles sailed at average 22 knots, from 04.47 until 05.41, that you sustain Suffolk sailed on the interval in order to be able to say that the " The Plot " is a correct map.
Plot_evaluation_versus_reality_03.jpg
Plot_evaluation_versus_reality_03.jpg (57.67 KiB) Viewed 254 times

You only have 2 possibilities now :

1) Either you say that this is what you think really happened, like apparently your are stating, keep on writing " The Plot " by Pinchin being a correct map.

2) Or you admit that " The Plot " is an incorrect map as far as Suffolk track relatively to the distance between Suffolk and the enemy at 05.41, being IMPOSSIBLE for the Suffolk to have sailed ONLY the 20 sea miles that using PInchin reference she would have sailed from 04.47 until 05.41, so during those 54 minutes we are evaluating now.

It is a very easy to realize and direct question.

Now I like your and Duncan answer about this question, please."


I have not yet seen any possible alternative to Antonio reconstruction here, nor anybody able to demonstrate he was wrong.
This time interval is key to establish where Suffolk was at 5:41 (and only then we can move from 5:41 to open fire and to Hood explosion....). The "Plot" by Pinchin simply is incorrectly depicting this interval, despite the fact that Pinchin had ALL the information from Norfolk and Suffolk.

I'm afraid there are 2 possible answers here as well:
1) Pinchin Plot was intentionally drawn as an incorrect map, based on the elements he HAD at his hands or
2) he was an incompetent navigating officer, unable to trace a map with available information.
I would appreciate your clear, direct answer here as well..... my answer is clearly 1).


Bye, Alberto
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Re: The Plot

Postby Herr Nilsson » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:36 am

Pinchin didn't know the German track from PG's war diary. :stubborn:
Regards

Marc

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Re: The Plot

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:03 am

Herr Nilsson:"Pinchin didn't know the German track from PG's war diary."

Hi Marc,
this discussion was already done between Antonio and you in the previous pages.... :stop:

Now it's just Suffolk track that is under discussion and here NOBODY has been able to answer Antonio's question regarding the inconsistent speed of Suffolk between 4:47 and 5:41 as per the wrong Pinchin's "plot" ....
No valid alternative map has been presented yet.


@all: your kind direct answers / maps please....

Bye, Alberto
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Re: The Plot

Postby dunmunro » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:23 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:Hello everybody,
sorry for the following two long posts of mine, but many answers are due from both sides.

@Dunmunro,
I don't ignore the "mirage" effect nor the "refraction" effect. However they were noticed ONLY by British cruisers and NEVER by Germans..... In addition, they are ONLY mentioned in the second board documents (clearly to justify that people was looking at things that, based on the wrong "Plot" by Pinchin, they would had been just unable to see). For me this effect is very suspicious, to use a nice word.
Dunmunro wrote: "Of the 14 witnesses from Suffolk only two claimed to see Hood's hull. Most stated that they could only see her because of her gun flashes, and I expect that what they could see was Hood's smoke illuminated by her gun flashes and not the Hood herself.
Ellis's own testimony was that he thought he could see the tops of her funnels, and this would place Hood at about 18nm (in a vacuum) but atmospheric refraction would push this back to about 20nm:"

Duncan, this is perfectly matching Antonio's reconstructed distances. In my previous post, I insisted on the distances at the moment when Hood exploded. Of course at open fire (the sentence of Capt.Ellis refers to this moment) Suffolk (due to converging course with Holland) was even more distant from Hood (around 21 sm according to Antonio's reconstruction, around 33 sm according to Pinchin's wrong "Plot"). :shock:
We are not speaking of 2 sm (that could be the effect of refraction), we are speaking of 12 sm difference...... And all witnesses confirm the exact reconstruction of Antonio, considering their height over the sea, including of course the clear description given by Capt.Ellis in his autobiography that matches with all other evidences.



Paul Cadogan wrote: "Since the description of the gun flashes and explosion are all on the port side, as they should be, it suggests the turning took place before the battle started....IMHO of course."

Hi Paul,
apart the fact that this is the only witness who said Suffolk was turning among several interviewed, he just said that gun flashes STARTED on the port side (that is consistent with no turn yet), then the ship turned a lot and Hood explosion was visible to him again to port. His testimony (he was on a relatively low level over sea compared with the others, so his visibility was much limited) seems to time the turn to north done by Suffolk after 5:52 and before 6:00 so DURING the battle and not before.
As I always said, the turn to north happened for sure at a certain point in time, but, IMHO, it happened after Hood exploded. For sure, according to Ellis autobiography it DID NOT happen before the battle.
I tend to think that Porter was confused by the turn of Suffolk after Hood exploded, when he was looking at the outcome of the explosion.

In any case, no other witness account of any turn, and all of them speak about port side (during a 360° turn you should see both Hood and BS on the starboard side too.......).
Lieutenant P.D.C. Shaw was very high on the Suffolk superstructure:
"324. Where were you during the action between "HOOD" and "BISMARCK?"
I was above the A.D.O. Just round the director control.
325. Will you please tell us what you saw of the sinking of the "HOOD?"
I was up there with the idea of spotting the fall of shot, and I was watching the "PRINCE OF WALES" and "HOOD" through my glasses"

This witness clearly confirms Capt. Ellis autobiography, that Suffolk was ready to flank-mark (being of course very close to BS, 9 sm not for sure 21 sm as per the wrong Pinchin's "Plot") .



Dunmunro wrote: "I expect that some of the Suffolk witnesses had actually confused Bismarck and PE for Pow and Hood.

Hi Duncan,
possibly yes, I doubt that Capt. Ellis confused these ships, due to his supposed ordered turn. :negative:

You have not yet answered my question:
1) is his "official report" incorrect or
2) is his autobiography intentionally false ?
Please don't tell the book is "honest but inaccurate" because, being a totally different account written with his "official report" in front of him, this is simply NOT an acceptable answer.....:negative:

Bye, Alberto


Refraction is a fact and not subject to nationality, and it almost always makes objects visible that are theoretically below the horizon. A mirage effect can be added to refraction to greatly extend the visible horizon.

Ellis was not definite about what he could see. But if Hood was visible at over 20nm then so would Norfolk be visible and we know that this cannot be since then Suffolk and Norfolk would be visible to each other. Ergo, what they all saw from Norfolk was Hood's smoke being illuminated by gun flashes.

1) the official report is honest but no doubt contains observation errors. It is a factual and accurate account of Suffolk's course and speed.
2) His autobiography is honest but Ellis's memory failed him and he probably remembered another incident and confused it with the events of 0553 onward on May 24. There's simply no corroborating evidence that Suffolk attempted to communicate on the FC wave.

To spot the fall of shot, the observer would need to be in the DCT observing the battle through stabilized sights and be connected by phone to the transmitting station, and from there to the FC wave radio transmitter/receiver and he would have to have exact timing to differentiate Hood and PoW's FoS. An observer with handheld binoculars standing outside the DCT would be useless for spotting the FoS and his testimony means nothing except that he wanted to observe the battle.

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Re: The Plot

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:40 am

Dunmunro wrote: "Refraction is a fact and not subject to nationality, "

Hi Duncan,
exactly, but that day affected ONLY the British cruiser(s)..... :negative:


you wrote: "Ellis was not definite about what he could see. But if Hood was visible at over 20nm then so would Norfolk be visible and we know that this cannot be since then Suffolk and Norfolk would be visible to each other."

Therefore, if according to everybody, Hood was visible at 20 sm and Norfolk was not at 14 sm, it simply means visibility was not that good in all directions, a very common effect at sea, much more than the "mirage" effect...... For sure this corroborates the fact that Hood was not visible at 33 sm as per wrong Pinchin's Plot..... :negative:


you wrote: "1) the official report is honest but no doubt contains observation errors. It is a factual and accurate account of Suffolk's course and speed.
2) His autobiography is honest but Ellis's memory failed him and he probably remembered another incident and confused it with the events of 0553 onward on May 24. There's simply no corroborating evidence that Suffolk attempted to communicate on the FC wave.

I see you don't want / you are unable to answer here. Both being honest is simply IMPOSSIBLE as i have demonstrated to you. One of them is a fake as they intentionally say totally different things. No confusion, sorry.
Which one is a fake, please ?

Regarding evidences missing, we miss many of them (e.g. where are the 13 Tactical Plots of Suffolk that should have been attached to official reports ? ) :think:


you wrote: "To spot the fall of shot, the observer would need to be in the DCT observing the battle through stabilized sights and be connected by phone to the transmitting station, and from there to the FC wave radio transmitter/receiver and he would have to have exact timing to differentiate Hood and PoW's FoS. An observer with handheld binoculars standing outside the DCT would be useless for spotting the FoS and his testimony means nothing except that he wanted to observe the battle."

No Duncan, if you are right, the commission would never have accepted his declaration that he was there with the idea to spot the fall of shots..... He declared under oath what was his duty at the moment when the ship was at action stations, in sight of the enemy.

Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Plot

Postby dunmunro » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:46 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Herr Nilsson:"Pinchin didn't know the German track from PG's war diary."

Hi Marc,
this discussion was already done between Antonio and you in the previous pages.... :stop:

Now it's just Suffolk track that is under discussion and here NOBODY has been able to answer Antonio's question regarding the inconsistent speed of Suffolk between 4:47 and 5:41 as per the wrong Pinchin's "plot" ....
No valid alternative map has been presented yet.


@all: your kind direct answers / maps please....

Bye, Alberto


We don't have the exact speeds that Suffolk made during each change of course. Ellis stated:
0520 (B). Enemy bore 203°, 15 miles, possibly increasing speed; and shortly afterwards altered course 30° to port and then back to starboard.


It's quite possible that Suffolk slowed down at 0520 to avoid closing too much.

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Re: The Plot

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:56 am

Dunmunro wrote: "It's quite possible that Suffolk slowed down at 0520 to avoid closing too much."

Hi Duncan,
please realize the map between 4:47 and 5:41 for Suffolk, Norfolk and enemy (choose your track). There you can enter your supposed (not registered) speed decrease (average is already 22knots on Pinchin's map.....). We will challenge it, not hypothesis.....

Bye, Alberto
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Re: The Plot

Postby dunmunro » Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:18 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Dunmunro wrote: "It's quite possible that Suffolk slowed down at 0520 to avoid closing too much."

Hi Duncan,
please realize the map between 4:47 and 5:41 for Suffolk, Norfolk and enemy (choose your track). There you can enter your supposed (not registered) speed decrease (average is already 22knots on Pinchin's map.....). We will challenge it, not hypothesis.....

Bye, Alberto


From 0520 to 0542, "the Plot" shows an average speed of ~26 knots.


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