should read McMullen's are all second hand..........conversation with Tovey.Tovey's claims are 2nd hand, all, apparently, stemming from his conversation with McMullen.
Exactly. Forgotten about as soon as the Great Man returned to the disaster in Crete happening simultaneously.It was classic Winston pique and nothing more.
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
"Pound, with Churchill's prodding, unfairly pressed to have Leach court-martialled for failing to close and re-engage BS after Hood blew-up".
Prime Minister Winston Churchill was at Chequers, his country estate, when he first received news of the Hood's destruction and Captain Leach's decision to withdraw. His guest that weekend was Averell Harriman, US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's special envoy to the United Kingdom. The United States had been doing all it could as a supposedly neutral country to help Britain fight the Battle of the Atlantic, and Harriman was deeply interested in the Royal Navy's efforts to bring the Bismarck to heel. Churchill broke the news of the sea battle to Harriman early on Saturday morning. Harriman thought him strangely calm, almost distant as he told Harriman that the Hood was lost. But Churchill was, in fact, bitterly disappointed by his navy's performance and furious that Leach had broken off the action. Over the next few days, he thundered his anger at Captain Leach, at the First Sea Lord, Admiral Dudley Pound, and at anyone else he thought responsible. He accused Leach of "the worst thing since [Admiral Ernest] Troubridge turned away from the Goeben in 1914."
One problem remained: the King George V had barely enough fuel left to get her home at reduced speed, so Tovey reluctantly decided to turn for home as soon as it was clear that the Bismarck was sinking. He had not welcomed the Admiralty signal, obviously inspired by Churchill, that the Bismarck was to be sunk even if the King George V had to be towed home, and he was even more stung when he got back to Scapa by Churchill's severe criticism of Admiral Wake-Walkers (C.S.I.) and Captain Leach (Prince of Wales) for not pressing home the attack on the Bismarck in the Denmark Strait. Tovey maintained that they had acted perfectly correctly, and as he would have done, in shadowing rather than attacking, and when the Prime Minister threatened to have them brought to trial by court martial Tovey reacted by saying that he would resign his command to act as the accused's friend. The idea was dropped.
Immediately after Admiral Tovey's return to Scapa Flow at the end of the hunt for Bismarck, Pound was to telephone him to say (according to Tovey's later account) that;
....he wished Wake-Walker and Jack Leach brought to trial by Court-Martial for not re-engaging the Bismarck. I explained to him that the action taken by both these officers was exactly what I wished, the last thing I wanted was for the Bismarck to be pushed further to the West and away from my own force. He stated that he still wished them to be brought to trial. I replied that nothing would persuade me to do so. He informed me that the Admiralty would order a trial. I replied that if they did I would act as Prisoner's Friend, if necessary resigning my command to do so. I heard no more about it.
Now this is not to say that the conversation with Pound never happened. But Kennedy's account differs slightly from McMullen's. McMullen suggests it was when KGV returned to Scapa Flow after the action and got into telephone contact with the Admiralty (she arrived on June 1). Kennedy writes that the conversation took place several weeks later after Pound had read all the reports on the action and studied the track charts. Not quite the same scenario! If both are based on accounts from Tovey given at different times, it suggests that he may have altered it from one time to another.
Wadinga wrote: "... To me it is sad even McMullen and Sir Henry Leach are convinced, though they have no source other than Tovey and neither question why he hasn't mentioned it at any time in the previous twenty years....."
wadinga wrote:Hi Paul, I find my copy of B&H invaluable as a door stop or paperweight. It is riddled with errors and exaggerations from one end to the other.
Paul Cadogan wrote: ".....One can imagine his (Churchill) disbelief on hearing that his navy's newest battleship had hauled out of action with the enemy's newest battleship leaving the latter to forge ahead into the Atlantic shipping lanes....."
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