The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

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pgollin
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by pgollin » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:56 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:@pgollin
are you reading what I write (see my previous post) ?

The answers to your questions re. possible RM court martials are in another thread as this thread is dedicated to another topic, a bit more annoying for you, I guess..... :lol:

viewtopic.php?f=33&t=6770

.

No, I am quite happy to keep it here in order to compare the semantics used by the anti-RN posters with their squirming when simple questions are raised regarding the RM and its actions

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:32 am

@pgoillin

your choice not to answer my post re. Cape Matapan due to your lack of knowledge re. RM,

It's clear to everybody that you are only trying to avoid discussion about DS RN officers actions and consequent Inquiry / Court Martial as per thread subject.
Apparently you have no other argument here, apart your evident discomfort.... :lol:

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 dunmunro » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:54 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:@pgoillin

your choice not to answer my post re. Cape Matapan due to your lack of knowledge re. RM,

It's clear to everybody that you are only trying to avoid discussion about DS RN officers actions and consequent Inquiry / Court Martial as per thread subject.
Apparently you have no other argument here, apart your evident discomfort.... :lol:

Bye, Alberto
There was an inquiry about the loss of the Hood. There was no court martial.

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:46 am

Dunmunro wrote: "There was an inquiry about the loss of the Hood. There was no court martial."
Hi Duncan,
you are absolutely right. However, as Wadinga has underlined several times, the inquiry was formally just a "technical" one (on the loss of Hood and its causes), not on the DS action from a military viewpoint nor it was challenging the decisions of any of the officers involved in the discussion we are having here:

1) Capt. Leach withdrew his still efficient battleship ("superficial damages" as per his own words), while in action against an enemy he was ordered to stop, after the first salvo received on board (or perhaps even before, just after Hood exploded, for his own admission);
2) Rear Adm Wake-Walker maneuvered to keep away from the fight (please see "the Plot"), did not check distance opening fire during the battle as he did later, did not re-engage after Hood exploded, refused to do so after the Admiralty message (not to risk to loose contact with the enemy, as per his own answer) and finally.... lost the BS;
3) Capt. Ellis, once the enemy in sight message had already been transmitted (while he was in firing range from the enemy), left the battlefield turning to North due to a mistake (the mirage effect).

If there were no propaganda / wartime constraints reasons, all of them should have been questioned about the above points (and would have had an opportunity to explain why they took these decisions).

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 dunmunro » Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:20 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Dunmunro wrote: "There was an inquiry about the loss of the Hood. There was no court martial."
Hi Duncan,
you are absolutely right. However, as Wadinga has underlined several times, the inquiry was formally just a "technical" one (on the loss of Hood and its causes), not on the DS action from a military viewpoint nor it was challenging the decisions of any of the officers involved in the discussion we are having here:

1) Capt. Leach withdrew his still efficient battleship ("superficial damages" as per his own words), while in action against an enemy he was ordered to stop, after the first salvo received on board (or perhaps even before, just after Hood exploded, for his own admission);
2) Rear Adm Wake-Walker maneuvered to keep away from the fight (please see "the Plot"), did not check distance opening fire during the battle as he did later, did not re-engage after Hood exploded, refused to do so after the Admiralty message (not to risk to loose contact with the enemy, as per his own answer) and finally.... lost the BS;
3) Capt. Ellis, once the enemy in sight message had already been transmitted (while he was in firing range from the enemy), left the battlefield turning to North due to a mistake (the mirage effect).

If there were no propaganda / wartime constraints reasons, all of them should have been questioned about the above points (and would have had an opportunity to explain why they took these decisions).

Bye, Alberto


The response of all 3 RN ships was appropriate given the tactical and strategic circumstances and while Hood was lost the damage inflicted on Bismarck ultimately led to her loss at very small further loss of RN lives and almost nil damage to HM ships. Neither RN cruiser could close into effective gun range until Bismarck was heavily engaged, and both cruisers did attempt to close the range when Holland opened fire.

There were no wartime/propaganda constraints since any inquiry/CM would have been secret and the Admiralty was able to assemble the key players for the various loss of Hood inquiries. The fact that the RN held inquiries/CMs regarding other actions before and after the Bismarck episode indicates that the Admiralty had no "propaganda / wartime constraints" into holding inquiries/CMs and further that no such actions were warranted in this case.

All the command officers involved submitted the appropriate reports to the Admiralty and no action was taken by the Admiralty nor has any documentary evidence ever been published to suggest that any action was contemplated by the Admiralty.

On the German side we know that Hitler was furious over Lutjens' decisions after sinking Hood...so maybe he would have ended up in a concentration camp, or worse, if he had survived.

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:42 pm

@Dunmunro:
hi Duncan,
you wrote: "while Hood was lost the damage inflicted on Bismarck ultimately led to her loss at very small further loss of RN lives and almost nil damage to HM ships"
I agree with you that with hindsight the decisions were the right ones. From a military behaviour viewpoint it's another story. When Capt.Leach decided to give up his fight, he had no clue about BS damage, when Adm Wake-Walker decided not to re-engage, he had no certainty that BS could be kept under surveillance and delivered to Tovey. So, their decisions were very, very questionable.

you wrote: " Neither RN cruiser could close into effective gun range until Bismarck was heavily engaged, and both cruisers did attempt to close the range when Holland opened fire."
Strictly speaking you are almost right at 5:52 AM (right for Suffolk, debatable for Norfolk that decided to close range only at 5:55 AM, just to turn away 5 minutes later), a pity that at the enemy in sight message (5:37 AM) both heavy cruiser could have maneuvered to close distance, while Suffolk run away to north and Norfolk intentionally avoided to decisively close range.

you wrote: "All the command officers involved submitted the appropriate reports to the Admiralty "
Here I can't agree with you: just a few examples: 1) blatant discrepancies between the 2 board of inquiry conclusions and declarations of one of the cautioned witnesses.... , 2) Capt. Leach 3 different versions for the number of guns still available to fight and most of all.....3) "the Plot"that Antonio Bonomi has demonstrated to be a document produced just to support a new version of facts ignoring available bearings, reports and information.

Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"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 Antonio Bonomi » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:15 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Dunmunro,

you correctly stated that a court martial never happened for DS ... and you are right of course.

What about this occurrence ?
Antonio Bonomi wrote:Hello everybody,

taken from Adm Tovey website, here in :

http://www.tovey.org/admiral.html
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.
Published also in the Naval Review issue of July 1980, on page 209 :

http://www.naval-review.com/issues/1980s/1980-3.pdf

Bye Antonio :D
I hope you are not going to come back to me trying to convince me that this never happened ?

Not to mention Henry Leach discussion with his father in Singapore ...

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by northcape » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:11 pm

What do you actually want or want to proof? In 1941, somebody, maybe Churchill, mentioned - maybe-at one point that he would like a court martial. We can agree on this. However, this remark never got even close to a realization, it has been completely out of question for good reasons. There was no court martial.

So what do you actually want here and now in 2015 with this silly thread? Do you want to start a court martial now?
Everybody understands that you think a court martial would have been appropriate in 1941. Most if not all other people here think the opposite. End of story. What is your point in posting the same things again and again ? Ok somebody mentioned that he would like to see a court martial. We all know this, but again, what do you want to proof with it? That there was a secret court martial about which nobody knows?
What is your point - can you answer this simple question? Maybe this answer can help to put this topic to rest. Or it becomes clear that you are just trolling.

Regards, Northcape

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by dunmunro » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:33 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote:Hello everybody,

@ Dunmunro,

you correctly stated that a court martial never happened for DS ... and you are right of course.

What about this occurrence ?
Antonio Bonomi wrote:Hello everybody,

taken from Adm Tovey website, here in :

http://www.tovey.org/admiral.html
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.
Published also in the Naval Review issue of July 1980, on page 209 :

http://www.naval-review.com/issues/1980s/1980-3.pdf

Bye Antonio :D
I hope you are not going to come back to me trying to convince me that this never happened ?

Not to mention Henry Leach discussion with his father in Singapore ...

Bye Antonio :D
Leach never discussed a possible court martial with his son.

If a court martial was in the works it should be easy to find proof and/or details of this in the relevant wartime papers of the parties involved. Your whole line of investigation turns on the issue of a court martial, but you've presented no substantive proof. Tovey's first mention of a possible court martial occurred well after the war when those around him noted that his memory was failing.

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Thu Jul 23, 2015 3:52 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Northcape,

if you go back and read the whole thread, and maybe few others correlated with it like the "Articles of War" and " The Plot " ones just to list the main ones, than you will realize that I only wanted to find the historical truth about the many evident document mismatches on timing and distances, on maps ... for example about the PoW retreat timing ( i.e. 06.03 versus 06.13 ) and the heavy cruiser distances ( 10 sea miles versus 15 sea miles ) ... etc etc ...

The logic driving all those occurrences is very simple, ... the DS battle events occurred and some initial data have been initially provided thru radio messages and Hood First Board, ... after an " high level " discussion about a potential inquiry /court martial for some events ... it was decided to forget about it ( in fact it never happened ) and proceed with the rewarding of the ALL Officers involved on the sinking of the battleship Bismarck.
In order to enable that, ... and not to support any further inquiry obvious request, ... some documents and data have been modified/created to fit a better events scenario.

As simple as that.

I have read that you basically agree about all this ... and this is enough for me ... since nobody wants any court martial request today.

As long as the historical truth is clear now ... we are all happy campers ...

@ Dunmunro,

I think my above answers to Northcape is responding to some of your points too.

Henry Leach did spoke with his father in Singapore about it, and did a supervision of his father biography book.
This is a good enough evidence for me to realize that he knew everything about the court martial request story in details.

I know that Adm Tovey initial declarations occurred well after the end of the war, and this does not surprise me, it is obvious.
But to realize that doing it he was already a sick person is a pure speculation, ...and basically is not trusting Colin McMullen capability to realize Adm Tovey mental status when he released that declaration to him and his uncle Adm Blake.
I trust Colin McMullen reliability on judging Adm Tovey mental status when he spoke about the court martial request he received from Adm Pound, ... it is very simple.

This closes the " loop " I explained above and does provide the only reason I have found for the data and timing modifications occurred on several documents about the Denmark Strait battle.

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by dunmunro » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:02 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote:Hello everybody,

@ Northcape,

if you go back and read the whole thread, and maybe few others correlated with it like the "Articles of War" and " The Plot " ones just to list the main ones, than you will realize that I only wanted to find the historical truth about the many evident document mismatches on timing and distances, on maps ... for example about the PoW retreat timing ( i.e. 06.03 versus 06.13 ) and the heavy cruiser distances ( 10 sea miles versus 15 sea miles ) ... etc etc ...

The logic driving all those occurrences is very simple, ... the DS battle events occurred and some initial data have been initially provided thru radio messages and Hood First Board, ... after an " high level " discussion about a potential inquiry /court martial for some events ... it was decided to forget about it ( in fact it never happened ) and proceed with the rewarding of the ALL Officers involved on the sinking of the battleship Bismarck.
In order to enable that, ... and not to support any further inquiry obvious request, ... some documents and data have been modified/created to fit a better events scenario.

As simple as that.

I have read that you basically agree about all this ... and this is enough for me ... since nobody wants any court martial request today.

As long as the historical truth is clear now ... we are all happy campers ...

@ Dunmunro,

I think my above answers to Northcape is responding to some of your points too.

Henry Leach did spoke with his father in Singapore about it, and did a supervision of his father biography book.
This is a good enough evidence for me to realize that he knew everything about the court martial request story in details.

I know that Adm Tovey initial declarations occurred well after the end of the war, and this does not surprise me, it is obvious.
But to realize that doing it he was already a sick person is a pure speculation, ...and basically is not trusting Colin McMullen capability to realize Adm Tovey mental status when he released that declaration to him and his uncle Adm Blake.
I trust Colin McMullen reliability on judging Adm Tovey mental status when he spoke about the court martial request he received from Adm Pound, ... it is very simple.

This closes the " loop " I explained above and does provide the only reason I have found for the data and timing modifications occurred on several documents about the Denmark Strait battle.

Bye Antonio :D
There is absolutely nothing in John Leach's biography or in Henry Leach's autobiography to suggest that they spoke at all about a possible CM when they met in Singapore, nor is there any suggestion that they discussed anything about a CM at any time prior. This idea of a CM all comes from Tovey's post war discussions with others and AFAIK, Tovey never actually put pen to paper about it.

"after an " high level " discussion about a potential inquiry /court martial for some events"

Maybe you could provide some details about who was privy to this discussion and what your sources are?

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:30 am

Hello everybody,

@ Dunmunro,

I see your opinion and that is perfectly fine for me, ... but I will keep my one

For me both Sir Henry Leach cooperation/supervision on writing Wills book ( his father biography ) with his content as well as Colin McMullen interview are enough to sustain the logic of the events I have re-constructed.

Having made this clear, ... I think there are no more reasons to keep on discussing about all this since our positions are defined, ... unless new elements will surface in the future.

Bye Antonio :-)
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:15 am

Hello everybody,

@ Dunmunro,

it is becoming evident from what happened at Cape Matapan too, ... between the Zara and the Barham ...

viewtopic.php?f=33&p=65654#p65654

... that on the spring of 1941 it was a common practice on the Royal Navy Admiralty to release incorrect declarations and modify/change the real events ... to cover up the truth ... and fit the war propaganda needs.

Even if I do understand the military war secret needs on war time, ... I think it is not the case to talk about a gallant conduct.

So, at this point even in this case, ... no more words are necessary, ... enough said ... everything is more clear now, ... it took 74 years to find out the truth.

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

A Raven

Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by A Raven » Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:51 pm

Can anyone give me the daily movements of the Italian Fleet from the 5th to the 13 of November inclusive, as taken from official Italian documents? I do not need the movements of every individual vessel, just the main Fleet movements.
Thank you

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by dunmunro » Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:58 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote:Hello everybody,

@ Dunmunro,

it is becoming evident from what happened at Cape Matapan too, ... between the Zara and the Barham ...

viewtopic.php?f=33&p=65654#p65654

... that on the spring of 1941 it was a common practice on the Royal Navy Admiralty to release incorrect declarations and modify/change the real events ... to cover up the truth ... and fit the war propaganda needs.

Even if I do understand the military war secret needs on war time, ... I think it is not the case to talk about a gallant conduct.

So, at this point even in this case, ... no more words are necessary, ... enough said ... everything is more clear now, ... it took 74 years to find out the truth.

Bye Antonio :D
I read the article "I sette dello Zara" with google translation, so correct me if I'm wrong, but the claim is that Zara fired at Barham with a 37mm twin mount and supposedly knocked out Barham's search lights, and the proof for this is the recollection of an Italian PoW who claims to have read a notice in the officer's wardroom on the destroyer Jervis, and further this notice stated there was 100 RN casualties whereas the RN "officially" stated 18 casualties.

So a dubious recollection by a PoW (with an admittedly poor command of the English language) is taken as proof of hidden casualties and damage in preference to all the RN's official reports? Here's the list of fatal casualties for March 1941:
http://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1941-03MAR.htm The idea that 82 men could be injured on Barham with none killed is highly improbable.

BTW, it was standard practise in wartime, in all Navies and other branches of armed services, to forbid personnel to discuss details of actions with non-service individuals.

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