The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

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paul.mercer
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by paul.mercer » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:48 pm

Gentlemen,
It is interesting to note Tovey's comment 'What really causes me concern is that I do not think one KG class ship can by herself be relied to defeat the Tirpitz'. As Tirpitz was in most respects very similar to Bismarck is he suggesting that the decision for PoW not to fully re-ingage with Bismarck was correct? Furthermore,given his statement that no ship would have stood up the pounding handed out by KGV and Rodney, was it a tacit admission that the new 14" gunned battleships were not up to the job of tackling a heavily armoured 15"/16" gunned ships on a one to one basis which other Navies had? Granted that with the possible exception of the Yamoto's there were probably no other ships in any Navy that would have stood up to sustained 14"/16" fire at point blank range, but I had always thought that the KGV's were a quite good design of a ship and well armoured, but would have been better off with the tried and trusted 8x15" in four turrets, However,the judgement by a senior Admiral that cast doubt on their fighting ability against a similarly sized opponent has now clouded my view. Am I correct in my summary or do I not know what I am talking about?

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:16 pm

Wadinga wrote: "the letter gives the lie to the suggestion that he needed to generate a vast and complicated conspiracy to change facts "
Hi Sean,
now that you admit that the threat was actually happening, it should not be difficult to understand that, after such a threat ALL the subsequent reports were written in a way NOT to give any space to any further critic. If you consider such a threat as a "joke" it means you don't understand what a Court Martial means for an officer.... :negative:

This is more than enough to explain all the changes and all the embellishments done in the so called "official reports".

you wrote: "There is no evidence there ever was an investigation"
:shock:
The evidence has already been posted, in clear letters, from ADM 205/10 from A. V. Alexander (1st Lord), inconvenient as it can be for you. :negative:



you wrote: " he specifically says he has not mentioned anything to Wake-Walker or Leach"
....yet....(before seeing them).
Looking at the reports written by them, I would bet that they were duly informed NOT to expose themselves..... :think:


you wrote: "I have never suggested Tovey was suffering from dementia, merely that he exaggerated, based on Paffard's observation. "
... and thanks to your May 31 letter, we know that he was not and that Paffard insinuation was absolutely deprived of any foundation.... Tovey's memory about this aspect is proven further to be 100% reliable (if Roskill judgement was not enough...). :dance:

you wrote: "are you going to show us your silver bullet or are we going to have to wait for ever? "
I'm afraid I have promised to another forum member (who was so kind to provide it to me), not to distribute it AND not to give any info about it.



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

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by dunmunro » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:17 pm

The only CM threat I see in that letter is from Tovey, who, in effect, dares the Admiralty to CM him. The Admiralty also, apparently, requested that Tovey conduct a BofI into Leach and WW. He refused and that was, apparently, the end of the matter. Years later Tovey seems to have greatly embellished the story.

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:22 pm

Hi Duncan,
as said already to Sean, I would really like to see the "deniers", overwhelmed by all these evidences, admitting they were simply wrong and that the threat was real, not to quibble about the B of I and the CM. :negative:
We all know that a B of I can get to a CM in case the "conduct" of the officers is considered not in line with expectations..... and Tovey himself in the letter is using the 2 of them as the same thing: ""B of I or CM" in his regards


Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by dunmunro » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:29 pm

paul.mercer wrote:Gentlemen,
It is interesting to note Tovey's comment 'What really causes me concern is that I do not think one KG class ship can by herself be relied to defeat the Tirpitz'. As Tirpitz was in most respects very similar to Bismarck is he suggesting that the decision for PoW not to fully re-ingage with Bismarck was correct? Furthermore,given his statement that no ship would have stood up the pounding handed out by KGV and Rodney, was it a tacit admission that the new 14" gunned battleships were not up to the job of tackling a heavily armoured 15"/16" gunned ships on a one to one basis which other Navies had? Granted that with the possible exception of the Yamoto's there were probably no other ships in any Navy that would have stood up to sustained 14"/16" fire at point blank range, but I had always thought that the KGV's were a quite good design of a ship and well armoured, but would have been better off with the tried and trusted 8x15" in four turrets, However,the judgement by a senior Admiral that cast doubt on their fighting ability against a similarly sized opponent has now clouded my view. Am I correct in my summary or do I not know what I am talking about?
Let's say the probably is 60% that KGV would defeat Tirpitz. Is it really a militarily sound decision to engage single handed and give the enemy a nearly equal chance of winning? In any event there were clues that the Bismarck class (and the Hipper class) had been built in complete defiance of treaty limitations, but this was not known conclusively until data was collected from Bismarck's survivors.

Admiralty testing clearly and unequivocally showed that the new 14in AP shell had superior penetration to the modernized 15in AP shell.

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by dunmunro » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:43 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:Hi Duncan,
as said already to Sean, I would really like to see the "deniers", overwhelmed by all these evidences, admitting they were simply wrong and that the threat was real, not to quibble about the B of I and the CM. :negative:
We all know that a B of I can get to a CM in case the "conduct" of the officers is considered not in line with expectations..... and Tovey himself in the letter is using the 2 of them as the same thing: ""B of I or CM" in his regards


Bye, Alberto
There's a huge difference between requesting a BofI to be conducted by Tovey and a CM conducted by the Admiralty.

Tovey always had the option to take further action if he felt it warranted, after reading the detailed reports from Leach and WW and in that sense every officer's actions are always carefully scrutinized by his superiors.


In fact I wish that Tovey had acceded to the BofI request because it would have given us much more info into what transpired on the morning of 24 May 1941.

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:41 am

Dunmunro wrote: "There's a huge difference between requesting a BofI to be conducted by Tovey and a CM conducted by the Admiralty."
Hi Duncan,
you are right, even if we all know that a BofI judging a dereliction of an officer duty is the "antechamber" of the CM, as it was for Troubridge. :wink:

On May 28, Pound wrote Tovey requesting him to call "only" a Board of Inquiry (we still miss the exact wording and charges from Pound), while during the "heated" phone call on May 30, he pronounced the frightening words "Court Martial" for both Leach and Wake-Walker as an initiative that would have been taken by the Admiralty in case Tovey refused to do so (as clearly and lucidly written in Tovey 1961 letter, that is now more than reliable, having proven once forever (I hope) that he was not inventing things, at least when speaking of the Admiralty threat to Leach and Wake-Walker).


you wrote: "In fact I wish that Tovey had acceded to the BofI request "
I cannot agree more with you. :clap: This would have left no "stone unturned" (as per G.Rhys-Jones wording) and would have clarified several aspects of both the DS battle and of the subsequent shadowing (with the loss of contact).
Tovey refusal of a serious inquiry left the Court Martial menace hanging until now over the two officers, that were finally (shamefully, IMHO) decorated without having been correctly judged before for their actions, based on clearly "adjusted" official reports and on political propaganda interests in wartime.


Bye, Alberto
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by dunmunro » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:37 pm

Here's Tovey's letter in text, to bring it into this thread:
c/o barclays bank
Woking
Surrey
14.12.61

Dear Roskill,

Thank you so much for your letter of the 5th, I'm afraid I still have to give my Bank address as we are
waiting to move into a small house we have bought at {._..Suvanage???)

I shall be very interested to read your new book + if 1 can help I will be glad + honoured to do so.

There are two points in D.P.'s telephone conversation after I got back from the Bismarck outing which I
think I mentioned to you:

1) - He apologized for the signal that was made to me the evening before the Bismarck was brought to
action and said it should never have been made. I imagine it was really sent by Churchill -as 1
remember it "You are to continue the pursuit right up the Coast of France even if it means your ship
being towed back". Before the Bismarck had been re-sighted I had decided I would not comply the
reasons you will readily understand.

2) | D.P. said he wished Wake-Walker and Capt. Leach brought to trial by court martial for not re-
engaging the Bismarck. I explained the actions 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 + away from
my own force. He stated he still wished them to be brought to trial, I replied nothing would
persuade me to do so. He then informed me the Admiralty would order a trial, I replied that if they
did I would act as Prisoner Friend, if necessary resigning my command to do so. I heard no more
about it.

The only people I told about this besides yourself were my C.0.S. + Secretary. In same way I would
be sorry for it to become public, I should hate the implied criticism of Wake-Walker to get round.
Nor do I like the idea of appearing to crack at D.P. now he cannot crack back.

Please realize that I fully appreciate that your one idea is to get at the truth, but W.W. was one of
my best friends + D.P. was very generous to me considering how as R.A. (D) I fought with him in the
Mediterranean -I was a most unpleasant young man.

When I first told you of these happenings it was to give you the background, but not intended for
publication.

Please let me know if you think 1 am being unfair, but even in pursuit of truth I am not very fond of
Senior Officers and Politicians discrediting each other.

Bless you for your magnificent work in your History.

With all good wishes
yours sincerely
Tovey

The ROOF message is remembered incorrectly and of course the request for Tovey to conduct a BofI is remembered as a threat of an Admiralty CM.

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by dunmunro » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:38 pm

Here's Tovey's letter in text, to bring it into this thread:
c/o barclays bank
Woking
Surrey
14.12.61

Dear Roskill,

Thank you so much for your letter of the 5th, I'm afraid I still have to give my Bank address as we are
waiting to move into a small house we have bought at {._..Suvanage???)

I shall be very interested to read your new book + if 1 can help I will be glad + honoured to do so.

There are two points in D.P.'s telephone conversation after I got back from the Bismarck outing which I
think I mentioned to you:

1) - He apologized for the signal that was made to me the evening before the Bismarck was brought to
action and said it should never have been made. I imagine it was really sent by Churchill -as 1
remember it "You are to continue the pursuit right up the Coast of France even if it means your ship
being towed back". Before the Bismarck had been re-sighted I had decided I would not comply the
reasons you will readily understand.

2) | D.P. said he wished Wake-Walker and Capt. Leach brought to trial by court martial for not re-
engaging the Bismarck. I explained the actions 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 + away from
my own force. He stated he still wished them to be brought to trial, I replied nothing would
persuade me to do so. He then informed me the Admiralty would order a trial, I replied that if they
did I would act as Prisoner Friend, if necessary resigning my command to do so. I heard no more
about it.

The only people I told about this besides yourself were my C.0.S. + Secretary. In same way I would
be sorry for it to become public, I should hate the implied criticism of Wake-Walker to get round.
Nor do I like the idea of appearing to crack at D.P. now he cannot crack back.

Please realize that I fully appreciate that your one idea is to get at the truth, but W.W. was one of
my best friends + D.P. was very generous to me considering how as R.A. (D) I fought with him in the
Mediterranean -I was a most unpleasant young man.

When I first told you of these happenings it was to give you the background, but not intended for
publication.

Please let me know if you think 1 am being unfair, but even in pursuit of truth I am not very fond of
Senior Officers and Politicians discrediting each other.

Bless you for your magnificent work in your History.

With all good wishes
yours sincerely
Tovey

The ROOF message is remembered incorrectly and of course the request for Tovey to conduct a BofI is remembered as a threat of an Admiralty CM.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:43 pm

Dunmunro wrote: "The ROOF message is remembered incorrectly and of course the request for Tovey to conduct a BofI is remembered as a threat of an Admiralty CM."
Hi Duncan,
I'm glad to see that you have liked so much what I have just posted here (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8246&start=225#p77758).

I think however that you are (intentionally) mixing, in your above statement, two different occurrences: :negative:
one is the letter from Pound on May 28 (that NOBODY has yet posted here, who knows why ?...... :think: ) in which, according to Tovey in 1941, he requested him to set up a Board of Inquiry (B of I) for both Leach and Wake-Walker and
another one is the phone call on May 30, when, according to Tovey in 1961 (see his December 14th letter), he requested a Court Martial (CM) for the same two officers.
Please, don't confuse the two requests. They are both well within the Royal Navy "path of orthodoxy" (G.Rhys-Jones) but they are mentioned in very different situations (one in a written letter and the other one during a "lively" phone call). Both confirm the reliability of Tovey in correctly remembering the "regrettable aftermath" of the Bismarck operation (S.Roskill) even at 20 years distance. :dance:



The ROOF signal belongs to another thread (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8246) but it's a personal opinion ONLY that it is incorrectly remembered, as we don't have ANY original message log to disprove what both Tovey and Churchill have written...... :stubborn:


Bye, Alberto
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by wadinga » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:45 am

Hello Alberto,

Thank you for your fairness in reproducing the 1961 letter. I know team A & A have put a lot of time, thought, effort and expense into fabricating their Conspiracy Theory, but it is honourable that you provide this evidence too.

However,
he pronounced the frightening words "Court Martial" for both Leach and Wake-Walker
The very fact that at no point in Tovey's letter of the 31st does he suggest Pound ever suggested a Court Martial for Leach and Wake-Walker, means that these words were not pronounced in the phone call at all. Tovey's tone in the 31st letter quite clearly indicates even the Board of Inquiry is a non starter, and there is therefore no need to fabricate evidence for his revised report.

As other posters has observed this ridiculous business of pretending Tovey's misremembering over the ROOF message are somehow irrelevant to his misremembering over an apocryphal CMDS threat must stop. This thread covers both points very neatly. Tovey has not written of a 26th ROOF message in either the 30th or 31st letters because it didn't happen, and he imagined it ten years later and kept banging on about it even until 1961.

Some time back Antonio postulated Tovey imagined the 26th ROOF signal because he read Churchill's memoir and muddled it in his mind. Possibly.

Pound's letter of the 28th is apparently not in the National Archives, and it would be Tovey as recipient who would hang on to it. Since by his own admission he had a "bad memory and didn't keep a diary" it is unlikely he retained the letter and does not appear to have had it to refer to when talking to Roskill.

There never was an "investigation" because there is no evidence one was carried out and Tovey says he heard "no more about it". It is astonishing that AV Alexander is the only RN or Admiralty personality not accused of lying in the Conspiracy Theory, since he told a little Porky to the PM. :o

All the best

wadinga
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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:01 am

Wadinga wrote: "....their Conspiracy Theory,..."
Hi Sean,
despite the more civilized tones of the last posts, I have to confirm that, as long as you will use this very derisory expression, speaking of a serious historical reconstruction (the very reason why Antonio refuses to address to you anymore....), I will continue to return you the accuse of trying to build (without much success, I must say) a "denial theory". :stop:


you wrote: "The very fact that at no point in Tovey's letter of the 31st does he suggest Pound ever suggested a Court Martial for Leach and Wake-Walker, means that these words were not pronounced in the phone call at all."
no, it only means that in Pound letter from May 28, the words Court Martial were apparently (we don't have the text of the letter..... :think: ) not used (possibly for "reasons of tact".... :wink: ). In the phone call, we have repeated Tovey's memories (letter from 14/12/1961 and interview of McMullen at IWM) that the frightening words (Court Martial) were indeed pronounced.
Tovey was answering the letter and he used the words used in the letter. The words CM are anyway present even in the letter as referred to his own actions, had he refused a B of I for Leach and Wake-Walker.
Please don't do the same (intentional) mistake to mix up the letter and the phone call. :negative: In any case we all know that a B of I is just the antechamber of the Court Martial in case the first judges that a dereliction of duty has been committed.


you wrote: "There never was an "investigation" because there is no evidence one was carried out"
Totally incorrect. Pound wrote to Alexander there was and the 1st Lord wrote to Churchill there was a careful scrutiny of the despatches. You cannot imagine Pound and Alexander to be liars and the PM to be so stupid to accept their lies as a "little porky" (that was including his own very full discussions directly)..... :negative:

Pound to Alexander (from ADM 205/10 pag.332) :
ADM205-10_332_Investigation.jpg
ADM205-10_332_Investigation.jpg (36.63 KiB) Viewed 229 times
Alexander to Churchill (from ADM 205/10 pag.333) :
ADM205-10_333_investigation.jpg
ADM205-10_333_investigation.jpg (72.1 KiB) Viewed 229 times
Official catalogue of documents available in ADM 205 files (ADM 205/59 referring to 205/10 pag.331 to 334) :
ADM205_59_PoW_Investigation_205_10.jpg
ADM205_59_PoW_Investigation_205_10.jpg (42.69 KiB) Viewed 229 times
Do you need more evidences ? I hope not.....:stop:



I will continue publishing letters related to the "Shores of France" signal in the correct thread (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8246), but I refuse to mix here the signal story with the Court Martial. The signal is mentioned in other letters without any reference to the CM, the CM was told to McMullen without any reference to the signal.....No relation between the two, except to try to mix things together to avoid to come to the only possible conclusion about the "regrettable aftermath", the one Roskill clearly understood and described in his History and that G.Rhys-Jones considered well "in the path of orthodoxy" in the Royal Navy.



Bye, Alberto
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by wadinga » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:46 pm

Hello Alberto,

It is interesting that you try to apply the same bizarre compartmentalisation you want for these threads to Tovey. You clearly seek to staunch the haemorrhage of credibility for your entire Conspiracy theory by attempting to isolate and individually cauterize the multitude of gushing wounds.
Tovey was answering the letter and he used the words used in the letter.


So in your imagination Tovey could not mention CM even if it was used in a phone conversation between the same two people, about the same two different people, because your rules say he could only refer to things said in the letter? Get Real. Your rules don't apply here, let alone 1941. :D

The sympathetic tone of the passage about "your heavy burdens" in the 31st letter I interpret as meaning Pound was requesting, not requiring Tovey's help in easing pressure from the PM (over Crete as well as Bismarck) by going through with some kind of sham low-level inquiry, which Tovey flatly refused. The lack of seriousness of Pound's proposal is clear from Tovey's breezy shift onto other, more important matters, after having flatly rejected it.

You have not commented on the clear evidence Tovey knew on 31st May 1941 that it was due to political interference, whereas he claimed he knew nothing about it to Bellairs in 1950. That shaky memory and tendency to exaggerate again. BTW remind me is the CM threat only mentioned in the 1961 letter whereas the fantasy "Shores of France" is mentioned in four.

As we have observed numerous times, Boards of Inquiry, like that for Spartiviento, are set up by the First Sea Lord and First Lord of the Admiralty and do not require the co-operation of at-sea commanders. Pound must have been pleading with Tovey to get him out of a perceived jam, although there is no evidence Winston even remembered his rant after he went back to work on Monday. Tovey told him, in the nicest possible way, political interference was Pound's problem and he was not putting his people under inspection.

Thank you for reminding us your "discovery" of somebody's indexing of material as an investigation. (I would have thought you would have drawn a veil over that embarrassment :lol: There is however no evidence of an investigation. Yes, there is over Dalrymple-Hamilton. Yes there is over Holland's tactics (mirroring Tovey's), but nothing at all over W-W and Leach.

As for civilised behaviour- I have never resorted to name calling eg lazy.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:40 pm

Wadinga wrote: "Tovey could not mention CM even if it was used in a phone conversation"
Hi Sean,
when you write to a superior (albeit friendly) officer, you answer to what is written in the sender document, you don't mix (as you like to do in several cases....) the answer to the letter with the answer you have given at the phone, in a much more free and heated discussion. :negative:

you wrote: "The lack of seriousness of Pound's proposal is clear from Tovey's breezy shift onto other, more important matters,"
you are surely joking here.
For an officer to stand up and say that you are NOT ready to order a Board of Inquiry into your subordinates and that you are ready however to submit to a B of I or to a Court Martial for your own action is a MOST SERIOUS matter..... :negative:

A confirmation of the seriousness of the matter is that it is the first topic of the letter, NO more important matters are in this letter.
Another confirmation is that, in the very first row of the letter, he says he wanted to answer to Pound BEFORE seeing to leach and Wake-Walker..... This is the key point that explains what was done after at Scapa to adjust the "official" reports.....


you wrote (my undelying): "....the clear evidence Tovey knew on 31st May 1941 that it was due to political interference, whereas he claimed he knew nothing about it to Bellairs in 1950."
Where does Tovey mention the CM to Bellairs saying it was due to political interference, please ? :negative:
Stop inventing things and post some evidences of what you say instead of your own speculations ! Thanks.


you wrote: " There is however no evidence of an investigation. "
it's written in clear words (see my previous post) by the 1st Sea Lord to the 1st Lord....... unfortunately you are not willing to admit it...... :stop:




After all the evidences we have now, including the confirmation of the historians, I don't see how you can still say that there was not a "regrettable aftermath" to the Bismarck operation, with explicit questions about the conduct of 2 officers (clearly identified by the Admiralty answer to the despatches) and that serious military trials were initially foreseen, at least until the political reasons prevailed and suggested to celebrate instead.
All this "saga" happened between May 25, with W.Churchill anger and October 1941 with the decorations..... :shock:



Bye, Alberto
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Herr Nilsson » Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:21 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:..., you answer to what is written in the sender document, ...
Quite funny to read page 30 and 31 of the Cover up synopsis thread again:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6799&start=435

:lol:
Regards

Marc

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