The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:26 am

Wadinga wrote: "Once again the same material "
Hi Sean,
the "same" material, coming from a reputed historian (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6728&start=885#p76920), is better than just the "same" Kennedy / Paffard insinuation about Tovey reliability, that you still want to trust. :negative:
Roskill was well aware about the "signal" Tovey said he received on May 26, and he tried to find it. Despite this minor error in the ToR of a single signal (if it was an error and the message was never sent, which I still have some doubts about....), Roskill considered Tovey to be otherwise VERY reliable and confirmed all what he was saying re. the Court Martial story.

Your attempt to discredit his memory regarding such an event is just ridiculous, in front of the evidences:
1) letter from Tovey to Roskill (this is a written proof and can be countered ONLY by another evidence, or by a medical certificate stating Tovey was somehow insane in 1961), that you don't have),
2) McMullen testimony (same as above),
3) historians advise (Roskill, Correlli Barnett, Graham Rhys-Jones) that are possibly more able than you to judge what had happened between Downing Street and the Admiralty at that time....
4) Sir Henry Leach confirmation (if he had even a minimum doubt about the "saga", he would have said that in the Wills book),
5) War Cabinet Minutes and ADM 205/10 papers , clearly showing (if you finally try to open your eyes) that "certain aspects" were under investigation.
6) Even this modern DS battle author (before he decided to join the "RN hooligans" side, refusing "a priori" all evidences), was apparently convinced of the Pound threat to Tovey, despite he still apparently lacked, according to mentioned bibliography, Roskill late books, McMullen, Sir Henry, War Cabinet minutes and ADM 205/10...(http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarks ... olland.htm, last paragraph of "Finding the Range" chapter). :wink:

You now have ONLY Kennedy (a poor historian....) account of Paffard recollections, denied by Roskill...... :negative:



Re. papers on Crete, again, thanks for posting undoubtedly interesting pages, but please open a separate thread to discuss about Crete crisis, as you have NOT posted a single document showing that "This is what Pound and the Admiralty was doing as well as handling Bismarck" (as per your words) in the Admiralty War Room during the days of the Bismarck hunt. :negative:
I have no doubts that Crete could have been strategically even more important, but the War Room tactical attention was for the Bismarck only, at least if you are unable to find a document stating the contrary and listing WHO was handling Crete, WHERE and WHEN in the War Room.
I have already posted (here below again for everybody convenience) the extracts of the account of Adm.Davies regarding the War Room activity and the interest of Churchill for the Bismarck. Not a single word is dedicated to Crete. :negative:
Davies_War_Room_Churchill.jpg
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According to Davies the Bismarck hunt was followed by "WSC, Eden, Alexander, Mr.Winant (Special US representative), Adm.Ghormley (US Naval representative), and apparently Lord Beaverbrook.
The following naval officers were working on the Bismarck chase: Pound (albeit he had to mainly manage.... WSC fury), Tom Phillips (who actually managed the operation according to Davies), Ralph Edwards (Director of Ops), Charles Daniel (Director of Plans) and the Director of Naval Intelligence, who were just the most active. In addition J.Terry and Bowhill (CinC Costal Command) and Davies himself (Director of Operations (Foreign)) were involved too.


you wrote: "His ill informed observation about Leach's actions was merely a product of this grumpy mood ("bitter disappointment and grief to me") and was undoubtedly forgotten sometime after Colville noted it. It should also be noted in passing, that Troubridge was exonerated by his Court Martial, and promoted two years after to Vice Admiral and to full Admiral after that. "
You "forget" (I'm sure it's not a lapse of yours) the War Cabinet on June 2nd, that mentioned "certain aspects" that, "prima facie" needed explanations, NOT yet forgotten (after 6 full days from Bismarck sinking) apparently...... and the subsequent ADM 205/10 papers showing that the "displeasure" lasted at least until September 1941 (accompanied by full discussions of the PM with Tovey and Leach regarding these aspects, incorrectly "explained" by the Tovey's despatches), when Alexander wrote him:
Alexander_Churchill_25-9-41.jpg
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and Churchill minuted his final :"Leave it" at pag.334. :D

Incidentally, Troubridge was inquired, the Inquiry sent in front of a CM, that exonerated him, but he and Milne NEVER saw a command at sea anymore.


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: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Cag » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:03 pm

Hi All

From the Broadhurst book Churchills Anchor

"Corelli Barnett in his book Engage the enemy more closely claims that Churchill had more or less become a permanent fixture (in the Admiralty War Room) because of his fascination with the hunt for the Bismarck. In fact Churchill had been told about the loss of the Hood on the morning of the 24th while at Chequers. He did not leave Chequers until 12.30 on Monday 26th May and thus could not have reached the Admiralty War Room until 14.00 at the earliest. Certainly he would have been in constant touch with the Admiralty, and very probably with Pound, and Coleville says in his diary ' The PM cannot understand why the PoW did not press home her attack yesterday and keeps on saying it is the worst thing since Troughtbridge turned away from the Goeben in 1914. He rates the First Lord and the First Sea Lord continuously."

So we can see this opinion was based on no or very little real information and no doubt prompted Pounds unsure comment in the Cabinet meeting at 17.00 hrs that evening whilst information was still unavailable.

However from the same book we have a letter from Pound to Cunningham dated 19th June

"In the battle for the Bismarck we were both unlucky and lucky, and I cannot remember any 48 hours in which I jumped so frequently from great hopes to black despair. It was a sickening moment when it was reported that Hood had been sunk, and the partially effective PoW who had barely got through her teething problems was left to deal with Bismarck alone. There is no doubt that Hood with her third salvo got two or three hits on Bismarck and I think this started leaks in her oil tanks"

Obviously he was still unaware that it had been PoW that hit Bismarck but it is understandable that exact details were still unknown. If one goes onto the IWM website there are PoW crew interviews which also cast light on Pounds view, especially his speech to PoW crew regarding the Bismarck action and their reaction to this.

Best wishes
Cag.

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by wadinga » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:12 pm

Hello Alberto,

I'm disappointed you don't consider Winston Churchill's account of the interest he and the Admiralty took simultaneously in the Crete and Bismarck battles to be of value. To develop a separate thread would be temporally irresponsible. Pound and Churchill were concerned equally in both events at the same time. I am equally disappointed that with an eye witness description of WC's irrational behaviour on the 24th and 25th you still place any value whatsoever in the Troubridge observation. It is clearly a baseless "blurt".

How do you know what the certain aspects and the prima facie are? Does it actually specify? Anywhere? Of course not. In order to support the fantastical supposition you have jointly conjured, you want them to be, but there is no indication they are anything to do with PoW. There is no "displeasure" mentioned at all in the 205/10 papers and it is only guesswork by some nameless bureaucrat on the 31st July (which is certainly just shy of two whole months after June 2nd) that identifies them as anything to do with PoW. There is no "displeasure" in the Secretary of the War Cabinet's enquiry, after nearly two whole months, as to whether there is any kind of report outstanding or indeed any urgency indicated. Since obviously Pound and Churchill will have talked over the whole Bismarck business there is no requirement.

Equally the tired insinuation (correctly used) that because Churchill and Tovey and Leach had talked fully about the Bismarck episode this indicates that Churchill was still going on about his baseless, embarrassing blurt, months later, is pure hyperbolic speculation. When Churchill joined PoW for the Placentia voyage he was aboard some hours before the ship sailed. It is likely Tovey was there even though he did not sail to Newfoundland. Churchill was Leach's guest aboard his ship. What would they talk about but Bismarck? Golf, Fishing, Arsenal's chances in the Cup, Bricklaying maybe? We have seen a nice picture of Pound, Churchill and Leach having a congenial chat on the quarterdeck. They are cosying up with a man Antonio chooses to call a "coward".

Wikipedia says:
Troubridge never had another seagoing command, but did command naval detachments and flotillas on the Danube during the Balkan campaigns, winning the respect of Serbian Crown Prince Alexander. After the war he served on the Danube Commission and was promoted to admiral, but remained out of favour with the Admiralty. He spent several years as president of the commission, retiring in 1924 and dying in 1926.


Not bad considering this National Archives site http://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/blo ... roubridge/

says he was on half pay! Personally I'd have wanted a raise as well as that double promotion and Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George! :D

Churchill says Cunningham was responding to the Admiralty on the 26th, which is the very afternoon Churchill arrived from Chequers. Cunningham signs off with the hot news Formidable and Nubian have just been disabled. Who do you imagine he was telling if not Pound? Churchill was not solely concerned with naval matters, he was giving instructions to both Wavell and Freyberg, at the same time as the Bismarck Hunt.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:53 pm

Wadinga wrote: "you don't consider Winston Churchill's account of the interest he and the Admiralty took simultaneously in the Crete and Bismarck battles"
Hi Sean,
I assure you that I do, but I have posted the evidence that almost the whole Admiralty War Room was only focusing on the tactical decisions to be taken to sink Bismarck between May 24 and 27, apparently leaving Cunningham to handle the decisions needed to face Crete crisis, just sending him signals asking to do his utmost and leaving him the operational decisions how to sacrifice the whole Mediterranean Fleet if needed......Apparently WSC wanted to actively participate in the tactical decisions regarding the Bismarck.....

It's you who fails to produce any evidence that in the War Room any special attention was given to the tactical decisions regarding Crete during that days, because it was not.



you wrote: "How do you know what the certain aspects and the prima facie are?"
Are you joking ? :stop: possibly you have not yet digested the ADM 205/10.....most indigestible for the "deniers", I see.....
Starting page 331 to Pound from the Admiralty Board secretary:
ADM205-10_331.jpg
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and page 332 (from Pound to Alexander):
ADM205-10_332.jpg
ADM205-10_332.jpg (63.65 KiB) Viewed 780 times
As you see, the "aspects" are made fully explicit by people who should have been able to understand them and this explicit explanation should be "heard" by deaf ears and "read" by blind eyes, as a very wise person (who refused to continue this useless discussion with the deniers) wrote here recently.

Please, before posting, read the documents that are in your hands and that we have explained to you in several pages in this same thread, avoiding to have people loosing time repeating again and again the same things that YOU SIMPLY DON'T WANT TO ACCEPT "a priori", exposing yourself in this miserable way to desperately support your own denying agenda.


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: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by wadinga » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:14 am

Hello Alberto,
exposing yourself in this miserable way to desperately support your own denying agenda.
After four whole months have passed, even Pound can't remember what the "certain aspects" and "prima facie" were since they are never specified on June 2nd and takes his cue from the guesswork made back in July by his underling. Report? Report about what? Leach? He is already back in command after his operation and PoW will fight in the Mediterranean.

Alexander is the same case. Some bureaucrat reckons it was about Leach, but is it really what you are after? What's the point? Here's an excerpt from the Board of Admiralty saying they are happy with everything.

Do you understand that "it would appear that" means the July writer actually had no idea what the "certain matters" and "prima facie" were and just guessed, based solely on Pound's ill-informed interim report?



Read Grenfell again who makes it perfectly clear the War Room was dealing with two crises simultaneously. Phillips majored on Bismarck, it would appear Pound probably spent more time on Crete. Graham Rhys-Jones says the same P 134

"For the naval authorities in London, the weekend of 24th/25th May was one of exceptional tension and anxiety. The Admiralty faced not one crisis but two. The battle for Crete was reaching its climax, and with the luftwaffe dominant over the Aegean, the cost of continued support for the island garrison was becoming clearer by the hour. Hard decisions were pending."

As you must have understood if you have read the passage from Gilbert, Churchill spent the early hours of Saturday morning "buttering up" Harriman with the promise of British success against Bismarck to counteract the overwhelming American perception that after experiencing blitzed London, convoy losses in the Atlantic, the British forces being thrown out of Greece, and seeing the unfolding disaster in Crete, Britain was losing the War, and there would be little point in continuing to support and throw expensive aid to a losing side. A few hours later Hood is sunk, and WSC starts carrying on about the Death March and the worst thing since Troubridge and how he will give up alcohol and cigars and take over from Wavell. By the time he reaches London on the Monday, Cunningham and Pound are at loggerheads and the Admiralty is countermanding Cunningham's orders to his own ships.

Ordering the Glenroy force back to Crete was a direct tactical decision taken in the War Room in London. The War Room ordered Cunningham to send his ships north of Crete even though there was nothing to fight. Only Pound had that authority over C in C Mediterranean. Neither Pound nor Phillips ordered Wake-Walker to re-engage. They described his actions as "admirable".

Cag, you keep saying somebody criticised W-W movements in the War Room. Does it say who? BTW the full Colville quote is in the Gilbert pages I posted. It is clear most of the berating of Pound and Alexander is over Cunningham and has nothing to do with Bismarck.

All the best

wadinga

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:20 am

Wadinga wrote: "Do you understand that "it would appear that" means the July writer actually had no idea what the "certain matters" and "prima facie" were and just guessed, based solely on Pound's ill-informed interim report?"
Hi Sean,
thanks for confirming that you are joking. :negative:
If the July writer (btw, he is Sir R.Brokman, secretary to D.Pound) uses a "courtesy" formula at pag.331 before expliciting these regrettable "aspects" to his boss, Pound writing to Alexander uses a clear indication of what they were (pag.332). Both Alexander and Churchill knew very well what they were as they don't even need to specify them again at pages 333 and 334.....

Now, in your denier obstinacy, you will be able to shameless say that the "full discussions" on the "certain aspects" between Churchill and both Tovey and Leach were regarding the meals served on board PoW...... :lol:


you wrote: "it would appear Pound probably spent more time on Crete."
It would appear to you ONLY, this is your own speculation. You have posted histporians evaluation of the importance of Crete but you have NO proof at all of what you impudently say above, while Adm.Davies says that Pound and Alexander were mainly restraining Churchill from sending direct instructions to Tovey and to the other commanding officers involved in the Bismarck hunt. Please read what I posted above from Davies notes.

I have already admitted that Crete was a serious crisis, but apparently there was no need to interfere too much in the operational decisions for Crete as the whole War Room was entirely concentrated on Bismarck. You insist on Crete, but this crisis has NOTHING to do with Bismarck, Leach or Wake-Walker. Again, you insist about Colville passage, that is clear to everybody except to you (Troubridge comparison is for Leach, not for Cunningham even if you say that the major criticism is for Cunningham) :stop:


you wrote: "Cag, you keep saying somebody criticised W-W movements in the War Room. Does it say who? "
I beg pardon to Mr.Cag, but of course it does. Here Davies words:
"The shadowing by W-W's two cruisers could not have been bettered and excited the admiration of all of us. Tom Phillips's criticisms of him have no substance whatever, and our opinion was that W-W never put a foot wrong.".

Tom Phillips (V.C.N.S.) is the man who, according to Davies: "was right on the ball the whole time, and took a decisive part in the co-ordination of all British forces engaged in the hunting of Bismarck". :wink:



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: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Cag » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:45 am

Hi All

Hi Wadinga as Alberto posted (thanks Alberto it would have taken me a while to find it) it was Phillips who had some kind of criticism of him, what it was is unspecified but I would suggest it may have been his response to the Admiralty signal, and as posted Davies does suggest the criticism was unwarranted.

Best wishes
Cag.

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by wadinga » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:59 pm

Hello Alberto,
even if you say that the major criticism is for Cunningham)
You underlined YOU because with your understandable bias towards inventing a case against Leach and Wake-Walker to sell your co-author's Conspiracy Supposition, you will not accept the largest measure for Churchill's ire is Cunningham.

I say it because "The PM's line is that Cunningham must be made to take every risk: the loss of half the Mediterranean Fleet would be worth while in order to save Crete"

So the "action this day" required by the Prime Minister is not punishing Leach and Wake-Walker but forcing Cunningham to send his fleet out again into the Luftwaffe killing zone. Which he does the following day, and for the price of putting a few holes in Scarpanto airfield, Formidable is put out of action for months.

Crete started before the Bismarck episode and continued straight through it and long afterwards. Only Pound had the authority to override Cunningham's instructions to HMS Glenroy's force, therefore the Crete situation was being monitored just as closely in London as the Bismarck Chase. Only by monitoring the situation very closely indeed would Pound intervene in giving instructions to a particular group of ships, telling them to do the opposite to what C-in-C Mediterranean told them to do.
Tom Phillips (V.C.N.S.) is the man who, according to Davies: "was right on the ball the whole time, and took a decisive part in the co-ordination of all British forces engaged in the hunting of Bismarck".
So not Pound then? :wink:


I appreciate and applaud your honesty in supplying;
"The shadowing by W-W's two cruisers could not have been bettered and excited the admiration of all of us. Tom Phillips's criticisms of him have no substance whatever, and our opinion was that W-W never put a foot wrong.".
I don't know who the "our" are, but I guess the excited admiration is why Wake-Walker was told his actions were admirable.


In the VCNS comments on Tovey's report there is no mention of criticism of either Leach or Wake-Walker. Of Dalrymple-Hamilton yes, but not the two people we are concerned with. Obviously he realised his earlier comments were of "no substance whatever".

Moving to:
before expliciting these regrettable "aspects" to his boss,
He can't explicit anything because he doesn't know what the June 2nd "certain matters" and "prima facie" are. Please supply the words from the Cabinet Minutes of June 2nd which tell him what they are. He merely guesses about what they might be. Nearly two months after the action.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:01 pm

Wadinga wrote: "you will not accept the largest measure for Churchill's ire is Cunningham"
Hi Sean,
I don't accept it because it's ONLY your interpretation. Thanks anyway for posting it in a clear format from "Finest Hour":
Colville_Gilberts_Finest_Hour.jpg
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In Colville sentence the two crisis are of the same importance. However, in one case we have a clear accusation for an already committed dereliction of duty in front of the enemy, with the Troubridge comparison for Leach, in the other one Churchill sees a "tendency" of Cunningham to potentially derelict his duty to prevent a sea borne attack to Crete.

you wrote: "So not Pound then?"
No, Pound was busy restraining Churchill from sending messages himself to Tovey, as per Davies account......Apparently he did not comment on Wake-Walker decision not to re-engage in front of the other officers, clearly speaking to Tovey via phone about the disciplinary actions he requested for "such a great admiral" (your words) :wink:

you wrote: "I don't know who the "our" are"
I have already listed the ones in the War Room who contributed to the operation according to Davies:
the Bismarck hunt was followed by WSC, Eden, Alexander, Mr.Winant (Special US representative), Adm.Ghormley (US Naval representative), and apparently Lord Beaverbrook.
The following naval officers were working on the Bismarck chase: Pound (albeit he had to mainly manage.... WSC fury), Tom Phillips (who actually managed the operation according to Davies), Ralph Edwards (Director of Ops), Charles Daniel (Director of Plans) and the Director of Naval Intelligence, who were just the most active. In addition J.Terry and Bowhill (CinC Costal Command) and Davies himself (Director of Operations (Foreign)) were involved too.


you wrote: "He merely guesses about what they might be"
You keep joking. :stop:
If he guesses, apparently his guess is correct because everybody understand what they are and anwser/act being happy to intrerpret them as Leach disengagement in front of the enemy, from Pound to Alexander to Churchill. They had no doubt about what the "aspects" were. This (pag.332 from ADM 205/10) is written to Alexander, are you able to read ? Do you need any help with the translation ? :wink:
ADM205-10_332.jpg
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Is it clear enough now what were the "certain aspects" referred to in the War Cabinet minutes (41) 56th Conclusions, Item 1 ? It was well clear to Alexander, who, based on the above, asked Churchill what he intended to do after his "full discussions" with both Tovey and Leach. It was clear for Churchill too.....

Please, stop playing games like this. :stop:


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: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by wadinga » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:30 pm

Hello Alberto,

Since you have become such a great fan of Roskill, although he does not cover the Cretan campaign in any depth in Churchill and the Admirals, he says the following P 185

"While Cunningham was straining every nerve to get reinforcements and supplies to Crete, and losses were mounting all the time, he was harassed by extraordinary interference from London- in one notorious case by the Admiralty directly contradicting his orders*- and by high level messages from the COSs in which Churchill's hand may surely be detected, to the effect that greater efforts were needed and greater risk must be accepted. Cunningham, who reasonably found such prodding " singularly unhelpful" replied with exemplary patience, and continued to do all that was possible."

Clearly the Cretan campaign was taking up a lot of time for the Admiralty and the PM. At the same time as Bismarck. Says Roskill.

Also a very revealing letter between Pound and Cunningham from Dec 1st 1940 on P 178:
"The PM is very difficult these days, not that he has not always been," he told Cunningham. "One has however to take a broad view because one has to deal with a man who is proving a magnificent leader, and one just has to put up with his childishness as long as it isn't dangerous. Also with a man like that it is not good policy to present him with a brick wall unless it is [about?] a thing which is really vital", which was a pretty fair summary both of Churchill's character and of Pound's way of handling him.
The childishness manifests itself as Churchill's petulant behaviour in front of his house guests at Chequers "I know it's the Death March and worst thing since Troubridge, which was obviously followed with telephonic tirades at Pound and Alexander. Pound's "handling" technique is evinced in his interim report, which does not present a brick wall by a clear defence of Leach, but merely says his actions will be justified or found wanting when the reports have been studied. That is to say never, because WSC, with his childish memory, will have forgotten all about this soon enough.



And if more were really needed there is P 180, where after description of an embarrassing failure of a commando raid we have:
On reading Cunningham's signalled report, his [Churchill's] mystification turned to anger, and he demanded of Alexander and Pound "What disciplinary or other measures are going to be taken on this deplorable piece of mismanagement after we have had 18 months' of war?" Alexander sensibly remarked on this example of Churchill's addiction to head-hunting that considered view must await receipt of the full reports by the three C-in-Cs and nothing more was heard of it- probably because this minor operation was soon overshadowed by the ordeals of the Greece and Crete campaigns
So Alexander and Pound used exactly the same technique on Churchill over his Chequers tantrum. BTW there is no record of a WSC memo like
What disciplinary or other measures are going to be taken on this deplorable piece of mismanagement


regarding Leach and Wake-Walker. So don't have:
However, in one case we have a clear accusation for an already committed dereliction of duty in front of the enemy
Just as there no words in the June 2nd War Cabinet meeting linking "certain matters" or "prima facie" to these fine and justly decorated officers.

Thank you for confirming that the "our" in the phrase "our excited admiration" means all of the following:
I have already listed the ones in the War Room who contributed to the operation according to Davies:
the Bismarck hunt was followed by WSC, Eden, Alexander, Mr.Winant (Special US representative), Adm.Ghormley (US Naval representative), and apparently Lord Beaverbrook.
The following naval officers were working on the Bismarck chase: Pound (albeit he had to mainly manage.... WSC fury), Tom Phillips (who actually managed the operation according to Davies), Ralph Edwards (Director of Ops), Charles Daniel (Director of Plans) and the Director of Naval Intelligence, who were just the most active. In addition J.Terry and Bowhill (CinC Costal Command) and Davies himself (Director of Operations (Foreign)) were involved too.
Although surely Phillips apparently demurred :think: Maybe he realised he was wrong.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:15 pm

Hi Sean,
another very long (and interesting, if put in another thread) post on Crete and Cunningham, but we are discussing here the CM threat for the Denmark Strait...... :stubborn:

If you have any proof of the contrary, please list them. As already posted we have so far in favour of a Court Martial threat and of the "regrettable aftermath" of the DS battle:

1) letter from Tovey to Roskill (this is a written proof and can be countered ONLY by another evidence, or by a medical certificate stating Tovey was somehow insane in 1961), that you don't have),
2) McMullen testimony (same as above),
3) several historians and writers advise (Roskill, Correlli Barnett, Graham Rhys-Jones) that are possibly more able than you to judge what had happened between Downing Street and the Admiralty at that time....
4) Sir Henry Leach confirmation (if he had even a minimum doubt about the "saga", he would have said that in the Wills book),
5) War Cabinet Minutes (41), 56th Item 1 and ADM 205/10 papers , clearly showing (if you finally try to open your eyes) that "certain aspects" were under investigation.
6) Even this modern DS battle author (before he decided to join the "RN hooligans" side, refusing "a priori" all evidences), was apparently convinced of the Pound threat to Tovey, despite he still apparently lacked, according to mentioned bibliography, Roskill late books, McMullen, Sir Henry, War Cabinet minutes and ADM 205/10...(http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarks ... olland.htm, last paragraph of "Finding the Range" chapter). :wink:

Doubtful about the CM threat is ONLY Kennedy with his insinuation on Tovey memory based on Paffard. His doubts were however countered by Roskill letter to Kenendy, in which Roskill confirms Tovey reliability about this occurrence.

Against the CM threat we have only ..... the denier at any cost that today refuse to understand what happened...... :negative:


However, the final proof, that allowed Antonio to understand everything bottom-up even before having entirely the above material available, is the intentional "embellishment" (or "sugar-coating", or "cover-up") of the facts in the reports presented after the battle[/b] to get to the final official version.
As Graham Rhys-Jones wisely said in his "The loss of the Bismarck": "it was Tovey's version which went to the printers".



you wrote: "no words in the June 2nd War Cabinet meeting linking "certain matters" or "prima facie" to these fine and justly decorated officers." :negative: :negative: :negative:

A vivid example of your obstinacy in refusing any evidence at any cost. I will re-post here the official document (ADM 205/10 pag.332, referencing the War Cabinet minutes) where the reference to these "fine and justly decorated officers" (explicitly for Leach, implicitly for Wake-Walker) is actually linked to to the "certain aspects" that "prima facie" required explanations: repetita juvant, at least let's hope you will be able to finally understand.... :stop:

ADM205-10_332-1.jpg
ADM205-10_332-1.jpg (101.63 KiB) Viewed 720 times
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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wadinga
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by wadinga » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:44 pm

Hello Alberto,

I am sorry if your consider my posts long-winded, but I consider I bring new evidence, such as Pound's opinion of Churchill's behaviour (on occasion) and his preferred technique for handling these irrational outbursts. Exactly as we see in the 26th war minutes. Pretend he might just have a point worth investigating without actually agreeing with him, then quietly ignore it and do nothing until it goes away.

Thanks once again for Alexander's letter, but I can see clearly that it was solely motivated by Sir R Brockman's deduction that whatever the "certain matters" and "prima facie" were, although nowhere actually specified, they might be something to do with Leach and Wake-Walker. Far better to see if Winston wants to pursue a head-hunt he thought about 4 months ago (and probably forgot 4 months ago) than answer awkward questions about why British battleships blow up easily or why Tovey went charging off in the wrong direction. In the event, the Great Man, dimly remembering (a lot has happened in 4 months), his puerile and ungracious behaviour at Chequers, when not in possession of any of the important details, testily responds "Leave it!"

Nice of you to put my own humble offering in the company of the pantheon of naval writers :oops: but:
The story of his offer to haul down his flag and act in Wake-Walker’s defence at any court martial is well known and reflects well on the Home Fleet commander.
Even when I wrote this over ten years ago, it was only a "well known story" (because even Kennedy didn't really believe it) and despite you and Antonio's efforts to turn it into a fact after building your fanciful Conspiracy Theory on top of it, all we have seen in the last few years has shown it to be increasingly less likely even than Kennedy's caveats suggested.

I am disappointed your are so sensitive about the term Conspiracy Filter :( Can you just tell me whether Ellis actually uses the word timid or whether you have............ interpreted his opinions for me? Alternatively, Cag, could I ask you to say what Ellis actually says?

All the best

wadinga
"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:15 pm

Wadinga wrote: "I can see clearly that it was solely motivated by Sir R Brockman's deduction"
Hi Sean, the "deduction" (as you call it) was accepted by Pound (pag.332), Alexander (pag.333) and Churchill (pag.334), who differently from you, immediately understood it, therefore it was the good one. :wink:
I know it's annoying but it's written black and white..... The "certain aspects" are related with PoW disengagement and there is nothing you can say that will change this.

Regarding your article from 10+ years ago, you seemed to easily accept the "story" of the Court Martial at the time, when it was not founded on evidences like the reconstruction of the battle and not yet handled by the intentional alteration of the facts. :think:

Only now, that the "can of worms" is wide open, you find it "doubtful"..... :negative:


Bye, Alberto


P.S. as no one else seems to be willing to post Ellis' account of the loss of touch (very long, 5 pages), the word timid is not present in Ellis autobiography but the meaning is clear, here a few sentences from it (my underlined):

"What I did not add (to his official report, quoted above), for reasons of tact, was that I was handicapped by having the Norfolk and wounded Prince of Wales trailing me closely.......
The Admiral’s decision to keep the partly crippled battleship close to the Suffolk with her radar eyes was correct from the viewpoint of Security
, in guarding from a surprise night attack which could have been fatal.....
Let to myself, of course, I would have resumed the correct shadowing station astern of the Bismarck, after the late afternoon action.....As it was, my Admiral had called me over to port, and the enemy movements sucessively broadened the bearing, until it was quite unsuitable for a single shadower. The other two ships, being close to us, contributed nothing.....
Having reported loss of touch, at 0401/25, I began my search at once. But it seems that in the Norfolk the signal was not shown to the Admiral, who was sleeping for an hour or so. He made no signal between 0401/25 and 0552/25"
(ref. pag 16, 18 and 19 of Ellis autobiography chapter 19)

Are these few sentences enough to corroborate your view of such a "great Admiral", who postponed effectiveness of shadowing to security :oops: and apparently asked not to be disturbed when sleeping :shock: at the time Bismarck was lost ?
"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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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:29 pm

Hi all,
I got some time to transcript Ellis autobiography pages regarding the loss of touch from chapter 19.

I have posted them however in a new thread (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8244) to avoid to divert the discussion from the main topic here, being the Court Martial threat from Pound to Tovey.

Therefore I will post here the transcription of the famous letter, written by Adm.Tovey to S.Roskill, the content of which has been already discussed several times on this thread, in his complete form for what concerns the Court Martial, including the reasons why Tovey did not want these "happenings" to be published:
Tovey_Roskill_Court_Martial.jpg
Tovey_Roskill_Court_Martial.jpg (74.49 KiB) Viewed 685 times
Luckily, Tovey calligraphy was very well understandable, compared to the one of most of the other officers I have seen in Roskill papers, so I have not many doubts about the correct transcription.


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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wadinga
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by wadinga » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:39 pm

Hello Alberto,

Thank you for supplying a treasure trove of new source material over several threads. :clap: :clap: :clap:

It is interesting that Ellis considered Norfolk and PoW were "trailing him". As we know it was concern for Suffolk's safety that caused Wake-Walker to concentrate his force to protect her, and the logical choice was on the "interior lines", ie to the east, but such tactical matters are to be covered elsewhere. We know W-W decisions were considered "admirable" after having created "excited admiration" amongst the War Office Staff. Suffice to observe that nowhere, even after tens of summers have passed by, while questioning decisions with hindsight, does Ellis call W-W "timid" or impugn his courage in any way. Unlike some Johnny-Come-Latelies. "A couple of Cowards" :kaput: :negative:

As you transcribe more of Ellis' late life account you will, I imagine, find the part where he describes his own poor performance due to lack of sleep, as Rhys-Jones says P155
...Ellis felt his mental processes had been sluggish. He had been shadowing the enemy for more than thirty hours and, before that, had been on his bridge for the best part of two days while negotiating pilotage waters off the coast of Iceland.
As Kennedy describes in his excellent account:
The crews of Norfolk and Suffolk, the captains and bridge officers especially, were near to exhaustion. In Norfolk Wake-Walker and Captain Phillips had been kept going by the ship's doctor on Benzadrine and black coffee, now they agreed to split the night watches between them. In Suffolk Captain Ellis had no-one similar to delegate authority to.
Suffolk's radar had been losing contact regularly and there was no reason to assume she might not recover it soon. CS1 had ordered Suffolk to act independently for RDF purposes, Ellis' choice of zigzag and radar resting were his own.

I would put down to ignorance and lack of experience an observation like:
and apparently asked not to be disturbed when sleeping
if it were anyone without your naval experience, I could make allowances, but apparently your desperation to blacken Wake-Walker's name as the Ziggurat collapses around your ears, knows no limits. :stop:

It is the responsibility of any naval officer to create a delegate who can take over in case he is incapacitated. Captain Phillips may have considered there was nothing Wake-Walker could do if he were called. Since nowhere is there criticism of Wake-Walker's performance there can be no accusation of being asleep on duty.

Tovey's letter (thanks once again) reveals he never felt Wake-Walker had anything to be ashamed of, despite your accusations that the C-in-C himself falsified evidence in order to hide W-W lies and shortcomings. He was apparently less concerned about "cracking" Pound when describing the Run Out of Fuel signal, even if he was confused and inaccurate about timing, as " the stupidest signal ever sent". However it should be noted Churchill had already admitted responsibility for it in the Grand Alliance.

All the best

wadinga
"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"

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