it's a great pleasure for me to see that we are (finally) all in agreement by now about the fact that the shell splashes visible in the PG film are from PoW Y turret local controlled salvos (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8526&start=45#p84777
Nobody has been able to raise any solid argument (captions (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8526#p82783
), generic accounts (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8526&start=30#p82880
) and "indeterminateness" excuses (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8526&start=15#p82814
) excluded, of course...) against this quite evident fact, confirmed by all the serious available battlemaps.
In the hope that everybody is now more open to accept the truth, I would therefore re-open this other topic (sorry for the newcomers if this thread is extremely long, but it is very interesting indeed), following the info contained in the new publication "Battleship Bismarck - A Design and Operational History" from Garzke, Dulin & Jurens.
First of all, the book obviously accounts for the Court Martial threat as being an historical fact
at pag.129, within the Capt. Leach short biography presented out of the main text without questioning it at all (as someone was able to do here in the past, despite having found and posted himself a letter from May 31, 1941 in which Adm.Tovey explains to Sir D.Pound why he would not call a Board of Inquiry into the conduct of Leach and Wake-Walker: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6728&hilit=May+31+T ... 050#p77747
In this aspect, the book just adds to all the serious historians (e.g. Roskill, Correlli-Barnett, Tarrant, Brodhurst, Rhys-Jones, etc.) who have never doubted about this story and who has correctly interpreted it as the result of Churchill/Pound temper and attitude.
However, the description of the Court Martial requested against Leach only (I don't know whether also the CM threat against Wake-Walker is described too elsewhere) is extremely interesting in this new book:
pag. 129: "Some criticized Captain Leach decision to leave battle - most noticeably Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who demanded his Court Martial."
This clear and logical description of the accusations against Leach according to the Articles of War (Art.2.3) in vigour in 1941 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/186 ... on/enacted
is very significant, as in almost all sources and books (see above) that account for the Court Martial threat, the position of Capt.Leach is instead always linked to Adm.Wake-Walker's one and the charge is "for not re-engaging the Bismarck after the DS battle
", a responsibility that almost entirely would have weighted on Wake-Walker shoulders anyway.
There is only one other source (AFAIK...) that correctly describes the threat against Leach providing this logical charge (the disengagement of the Prince of Wales during the battle), aligned to the War Cabinet Minutes and to the ADM 205/10 papers (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6728&p=76657&hilit= ... ute#p76657
), and this is M.B.Wills' book "In the highest traditions of the Royal Navy", the biography of Capt. Leach
Up to now, we had only a strong suspect that Wills got this information directly from Sir Henry Leach (the son of the PoW commander) because he had spoken to his father in Singapore, before the death of Capt.Leach, on December 6th, 1941, probably hearing directly from him about the threat of Court Martial for his decision to disengage.
As a matter of fact, Sir Henry had reviewed "page by page
" Wills' book before its publication (see Wills'acknowledgements at pag.8 of his book).
Now we have another confirmation that Sir Henry is most likely the source
: the new publication "Battleship Bismarck - A Design and Operational History" does not mention Wills' book among the consulted bibliography (therefore it cannot come from Wills), but it does mention in the "Correspondences and Interview" section Sir Henry Leach (pag.589) who is also mentioned in the Leach short biography at pag. 130... It is therefore clear who gave to the authors of both books the correct description of the charges against Capt.Leach: it was his son, that most probably had got the info from his father himself when in Singapore (despite the "certitudes" of someone here:viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6728&p=65605&hilit=singapore#p65605
Another piece of the Court Martial story is more clear now, thanks to this new publication: the only criticism is that an explicit reference to the source of this charge against Leach is missing at pag.129.... a pity.