The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Discussions about the history of the ship, technical details, etc.
northcape
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by northcape » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:38 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:33 pm
Hello everybody,

to read that making a map of an event is useless is the most stupid statement one can write.

Again, a (possibly) willful misinterpretation of statements, but exactly the same has happened before on this detail as on many others.

It is only talked about the DS battle map, not about any other map.

It is stated that to make a consistent map of the DS battle, including the hours befoer and after, with the data available, and giving accuracies less then several sea miles and less than minutes, is not possible. The accuracies refers to relative positions between ships. It is talked about accuracies of positions, and not the positions themselves. The derived positions themselves are completely useless without an idea of their accuracies, if you have sparse data.

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:29 pm

Hello everybody,

if one is ignorant and incompetent and unable to make it, ... it does not have to state that it is not possible.

One can, ... maybe, ... talk about tolerances, ... nothing else.

Those " hooligan/deniers " are really left with no other options, ... as it is very evident now.

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 )

Francis Marliere
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Francis Marliere » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:03 am

Gents,

I do not want to get stuck in this never ending discussion, and I don't neither want to offense anyone, but I'm a bit surprised by the following sentence:
Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:00 am
his decision (as well as Wake-Walker's decision not to re-engage) was just perfect and this is why no further action was taken to punish him.
If Leach and Walkle-Walker made "just perfect" decisions, why should they be court-martialled ?

Best regards,

Francis Marliere

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by pgollin » Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:26 am

Antonio Bonomi wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:29 pm
Hello everybody,

if one is ignorant and incompetent and unable to make it, ... it does not have to state that it is not possible.

One can, ... maybe, ... talk about tolerances, ... nothing else.

Those " hooligan/deniers " are really left with no other options, ... as it is very evident now.

Bye Antonio


.

Another nail in the coffin of your competence.

You understand nothing about ships, their movements, radio and visual bearings (and their accuracies), nor the accuracy of timings.

These things have been explained to you and Alberto time and time again, and yet neither of you can be bothered to understand and absorb the implications.

In addition, the selective nature of which sources you use merely highlights your biased agenda, chasing a fictional conspiracy theory instead of the truth.

-----------------

Seemingly everyone here, except you two, are in disagreement with you. That is telling.

.

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wadinga
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by wadinga » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:12 pm

Hello Francis,
If Leach and Walkle-Walker made "just perfect" decisions, why should they be court-martialled

A & A opinion is that the Admiralty reaction is heavily laced with hindsight. If the Bismarck gets sunk, their imagined "cowardice" can somehow be ignored in the cause of a good propaganda story, whereas if she escapes their cowardice becomes a factor in that, and the accused must swing. A & A have invented evidence (like maps) to confirm their intuition of timidity, which itself is entirely based on Churchill's ill-informed outburst and his initial opinion which is never mentioned again after the 25th May 1941.

This is clearly ridiculous for a number of reasons, not least that PR factors are of little interest when news was restricted by the Official Secrets Act. If cowardice had actually been imagined, these officers would have been sidelined without the need for fleet knowledge through an enquiry, or wider knowledge if such an enquiry showed there was a case for a Court Martial and such proceedings followed.

If they were actually considered to be guilty, it would be extremely dangerous to give W-W control of the Home Fleet for several carrier strikes and to re-appoint Leach to his ship after convalescence, merely to generate a happy propaganda story for the newspapers, which would be fish and chip wrapping paper within days. No propaganda consideration could possibly have induced Pound to keep them in place.

Once they expanded their Conspiracy Theory upward beyond Tovey it's whole Raison d'etre fell to pieces, and exposed it for what it was, an imaginary construct created for personal self promotion, with potential financial upside. Their insults and bullying behaviour, whilst achieving its purpose in compelling several valuable posters to abandon the forum, has provoked some opponents into outright derision, whilst hardening the determination of all to ensure that this fantasy does not achieve any recognition at all.


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 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:24 pm

Francis Marliere wrote: "If Leach and Wake-Walker made "just perfect" decisions, why should they be court-martialled ?"
Hi Francis,
I said that they made perfect decisions "with hindsight" ONLY, because their timidity allowed anyway to sink the Bismarck without any further loss, while, had they been the heroes that the hooligans still would like to believe, their ships would have sustained heavy damages.

From a pure military standpoint they should have been Inquired and Court Martialled, as they would have surely been, had Bismarck survived, r worse, had she caused damages to British interests performing her mission.
It's obvious that their actions were considered with much more indulgence in light of the final victory achieved, albeit the two officers were not given any further task involving any personal bravery (one supervised by an admiral on board his ship, the other to perform a (prestigious) back-office task).



Hello everybody,
Mr. Wadinga low accusation to Antonio and me ("their insults and bullying behaviour"), while a true RN hooligan says that A&A "are simply too ignorant or, unfortunately it has to be said, too stupid to understand that" without any reaction from him in our defense is the final proof of his infamous intent to discredit the work done here, that has destroyed his favorite fairy tale. :kaput:


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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wadinga
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by wadinga » Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:53 pm

Hello Alberto,

Your determination to insult the memory of two decorated officers apparently has no limits

Selective blindness again:
the other to perform a (prestigious) back-office task).
No, commanding the Home Fleet in several carrier strike operations against North Norway and Finland. You can't just keep leaving out those bits of inconvenient information. Otherwise people will think you don't care about the truth. :negative:
albeit the two officers were not given any further task involving any personal bravery (one supervised by an admiral on board his ship
Captain Leach commanded his ship through major air attacks by Italian forces during Operation Halberd. These included with additional naval forces:
Light cruisers Muzio Attendolo and Duca degli Abruzzi of the 8th cruiser division sailed from Palermo with Maestrale-class destroyers Maestrale, Grecale and Scirocco of the 10th destroyer flotilla to take position off La Maddalena. Battleships Vittorio Veneto and Littorio were prepared to sortie from Naples with Granatiere, Fuciliere, Bersagliere and Gioberti of the 13th flotilla, and Nicoloso da Recco, Pessagno and Folgore of the 16th flotilla while cruisers Trieste, Trento and Gorizia from Taranto with Corazziere, Carabiniere, Ascari and Lanciere of the 12th flotilla prepared to join them. Sardinia deployed thirty Macchi C.200, twenty Fiat CR.42 and twenty-six Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 and SM.84 torpedo bombers against the convoy while Sicily deployed fifteen C.200, three Reggiane Re.2000, and nine Junkers Ju 87 with twenty-four Fiat BR.20, SM.79 and SM.84 as high-level bombers and plus three with torpedoes.
I demand that you retract the insulting insinuation that these Regia Aeronautica air attacks and the approach and retirement of the Italian Battlefleet represented no personal danger for Captain Leach. Your apparent observation that these forces were entirely ineffectual or that Rear Admiral Curteis was so large as represent a human shield for Leach, who was very tall, are frankly ludicrous.

I should stay away from any naval reunions for a bit in case any of your former shipmates read this stuff. :lol:

All the best

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

northcape
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by northcape » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:58 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:24 pm

I said that they made perfect decisions "with hindsight" ONLY, because their timidity allowed anyway to sink the Bismarck without any further loss, while, had they been the heroes that the hooligans still would like to believe, their ships would have sustained heavy damages.
This is the most ridicolous statement ever, and can only be produced by someone who indeed lives in a hero fantasy world imaged from children books. It is also utterly fantastic, because in one single sentence it summarizes (1) the neglect of reality, (2) the 180 degree truth-twisting of trolls when caught in the act, (3) a children-mind imagination of warfare and military actions.

ad (1): Tovey himself said that the actiosn taken by all W-W and Leach (just shadowing) was completely the right thing to do and inline with his tactics. Like Alberto says, it was a perfect decision and if Tovey's plotting staff woud not have screwed up later, this perfect decision would have led to the destruction of Bismarcka as well, only earlier. So at the time the decision to break off and shadow was taken, it was the correct decision (correct with regard to the wishes of the C-in-C, ad correct with the tactics). So it was the right thing to do in time, not with hindsight,

ad (2): The sentence is so amazing - it states at the same time "They did right, but they did not".

ad (3): The constant obsession with "heroes" and "cowards", in particular from armchair seniors in front of computers, shows the lack of any understanding for the real fight the nations were in. Britain had to fight for its life, and needed to take the correct decisions to win the fight. This decisions revolve around beating the enemy, which in turn is based on rationalism. "Heroism" is peace-time luxury, in war-time its blind pursuit mostly spells disaster in the big picture, in particular if you don't have abundant officers, soldiers, and materials.

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by paul.mercer » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:18 pm

Hi Alberto,
Once again, many thanks for your kind and polite reply (It's beginning to become a rarity from some in this debate!)
For those who keep insisting that Capt Leach and to an extent Adml Wake-Walker acted in cowardly manner I put this scenario to them,
Gentlemen,
Before we go any further with accusations of cowardice against Capt Leach please reflect on this point. I have never served in the forces, but even those in this forum who have will never have experienced the rain of 15” and 8” shells hitting your ship or the sheer terror after one has hit your bridge killing and injuring many of your senior officers, with yourself stunned and disorientated by the blast. Think of the effect of seeing blood and bodies everywhere around you with what communications that are left trying to tell you the ship is being heavily hit and others from the Gunnery Officers saying that some of the main armament is disabled. Gradually, as your mind clears, it becomes obvious that you are fighting a battle that if you continue with, you are destined to lose, together with the ship and most if not all her crew. So what are you going to do, fight on and be sunk or make the painful decision that this is one you cannot win and disengage, save the ship and crew, fall back onto friendly forces and hope to fight another day, at the same time praying that in years to come some so called ‘Naval Historians’ will not try and brand you as a coward?
Think about it!

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by mstary1 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:59 pm

I would agree with Paul Mercer's point. In WWII, there were many instances of tactical withdrawals or not engaging at all by most nations. Spruance at Midway tactically withdrew his forces out of range of the Japanese to avoid a night engagement against superior surface forces. Lutjens did it with Scharnhorst and Gneisenau during operation Berlin when he came up against a single battleship escort. In fact, when sighting the Malaya, he shadowed the convoy, reporting it's postion to U-boats. Surely with a 2 to one advantage against a slow WW1 battleship, she should have attacked?
Looking at the Barents Sea action. Kummetz withdrew with Hipper after just a few hits despite knowing the Lutzow was there to support him. Kummetz coul have lured Sheffield and Jamaica towards Lutzow but choose to terminate the operation. Was Kummetz a cowards too? Of course not!And of course the Italian navy in the Med, who made tactical withdrawals an art form despite on paper superiority.

Leach's actions in the DS are a lesson for military commanders on how to think logically and cooly under fire and make an informed decision. Linking up with WW and supporting the shadowing effort shows Leach was the right man for the job of CO of POW. Any charges of cowardice is distateful in the etreme. If it is used to sell books, well that receives my utter contempt. As Paul said, I too could never now the terror on 8 and 15" shells landing around me, although I have served my navy for 25 years and counting.

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Byron Angel » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:02 am

To hopefully alter the course of this discussion to a more useful heading ..........

After Prince of Wales suffered four major caliber shell hits from Bismarck in the course of a few minutes, including a bridge hit which knocked Leach senseless, killed or disabled most of his immediate staff and interrupted internal communications with the rest of his ship, how long do we suppose was required for Leach to simply recover his wits and then get a grip on the damage suffered by his ship, then request and receive orders from Wake-Walker, the new OITC after the death of Admiral Holland? 30 seconds? A minute? 5 minutes? 10 minutes? What should Leach have done during the intervening time?

Was the newest and most modern battleship in the entire RN to be considered expendable' by Leach and Wake-Walker? By Tovey? By the Admiralty?

I'd appreciate some insights from anyone here who served at sea as a naval officer. Also, if I am wrong on any point, please cane and correct me as required. Wake-Walker original orders from Admiral Tovey were to locate and maintain contact with Bismarck. Admiral Holland's tactical instructions to Wake-Walker, in so far as I understand them, was for his cruiser division to flank mark fall of shot - which I consider as a function separate and distinct from physically engaging. Once Holland was killed, what was Wake-Walker's obligation (if any) with respect to Tovey's previous instructions to maintain contact. If Wake-Walker had engaged and as a result lost use of Suffolk's Type 284 RDF (my understanding is that this was the sole reliable RDF set on the scene with decent surface search capability), what would have been his exposure from the point of view of perceived command competency?

Just curious.

B

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wadinga
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by wadinga » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:57 am

Hello All,

Rather than discuss the wider implications of the Denmark Straits action this thread is specifically concerned with the diminishingly small chance that Wake-Walker and Leach were ever threatened with a Court Martial. Can I respectfully request than posts concerning speculative maps, tactics, the conditions on PoW's bridge after the hit etc are placed in the relevant threads. Study of these threads will show that many of the points have been debated at length.


Since there is no evidence that Pound thought these officers were in any way suspect, and kept them in post or gave them promotion, the content of the missing 24th May letter cannot have included a requirement for a Board of Inquiry backed up by real suspicion. They could not be left in such demanding positions if they had behaved in the manner alleged by A & A. Tovey spends very little time in his letter defending the accuseds' actions, since they need no defence. The matter is closed for him and he "hears no more about it", until he unfortunately makes up his embarrassing little embellishment 15 years later, one which he requests Roskill to keep silent about.


Tovey's phone call in which he apparently threatened to resign as C-in-C Home Fleet on the 30th May is not mentioned at all in the letter written by him to Pound on the 31st May. The reason is simple, it never happened as he described, but was an embroidery he invented sometime in the mid Fifties about the time he invented the ROOF signal before Bismarck was sunk and forgot why he was not sent positions as well as intercepted bearings.


The cordial letters between Churchill and Leach show that the histrionic outburst by the Great Man/Monster at Chequers were forgotten completely within days if not hours, and the Premier's famous tendency to hold a grudge would not have let Leach off the hook simply because Bismarck was sunk. If he really believed Leach was an LMF (Lack of Moral Fibre) he would have been toast, not chauffeuring the Great and Good to the USA. This ludicrous idea of a "nanny" admiral is tragic evidence Alberto has decided to prostitute his naval experience on the altar of unquestioning support of Antonio's baseless assertions. Did Leach sit whimpering in a corner as brave Rear Admiral Curteis chased after Littorio and Vittorio Veneto at 28 knots leaving the damaged Nelson and slow Rodney far behind? Only in Alberto's fantasy scenario. The answer is no. Leach was an excellent naval officer as recognised by Churchill when he heard of his death in action.

First the Ziggurat of Supposition was built on the unproven foundation that a Court Martial was threatened. Now new evidence has shown there never was a CMDS threat, the insubstantial structure of the Ziggurat is being retrospectively presented by its fabricators in an attempt to buttress its own foundation. Neither CMDS or A & A's assertions are true.

All the best

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

northcape
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by northcape » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:39 am

Paul Mercer:
"For those who believe that the officers were cowards..."
"those" are only two persons, so you directly address them. If you want to refer to them as Gentlemen, that is of course totally up to you.
I think your story will not affect them, since it seems that they base their understanding of military conduct and successful fighting on comic books for little boys and third-rate war movies with the lonely hero defeating an entire army and marrying the princess in the end.
To all others, I just say it is completely useless to use knowledge, common sense, and facts when arguing with conspiracy theorists. In this case, the reply will be the well known record comprising "the most exact battlemap", "some letters and a phone call", "the kings regulations", the "naval discipline act","Troubridge", and of course the "silver bullet".

Francis Marliere
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Francis Marliere » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:50 am

Gents,

I'm sorry that I fuelled the dispute, since I do not appreciate those unkindly words, that will eventualy sink this forum.

By the way, no offense Alberto, but I don't see your point. Please correct me if I misunderstand you, but it seems to me that you say RADM Walke-Walker and Captain Leach's decisions were good because Bismarck was sunk, but would be bad if the German battleship escaped. IMHO, what you say can be said of every officer involved in battle: Nelson is a hero because he won at Trafalgar, but if he had lost, he would be a fool hardy and a looser.

IMHO, what matters in military affairs is the final result, since the decisions are judged upon their consequences (victory or defeat). Nobody cares about the theorical quality of a maneuver or decision, but about his outcome. It's why Napoleon always prefered a lucky general to a good one.

Best regards to all,

Francis

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by paul.mercer » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:59 am

northcape wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:39 am
Paul Mercer:
"For those who believe that the officers were cowards..."
"those" are only two persons, so you directly address them. If you want to refer to them as Gentlemen, that is of course totally up to you.
I think your story will not affect them, since it seems that they base their understanding of military conduct and successful fighting on comic books for little boys and third-rate war movies with the lonely hero defeating an entire army and marrying the princess in the end.
To all others, I just say it is completely useless to use knowledge, common sense, and facts when arguing with conspiracy theorists. In this case, the reply will be the well known record comprising "the most exact battlemap", "some letters and a phone call", "the kings regulations", the "naval discipline act","Troubridge", and of course the "silver bullet".
Thanks for your reply, I really did not intend to group everyone in this debate under 'those' in these circumstances! However As you probably know from my other posts, i usually start them with the word 'Gentlemen' as it seems the right way to address all of the people in this Forum when I am talking to them. I'm sorry if this method of address offends you, but I think it is the polite way to do things, sadly, politeness appears to have been forgotten by some in this particular debate.. As I have suggested before on numerous occasions, this debate seems to go around in circles, surely it is now time to call a halt and move on?

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