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 22, 2018 7:44 pm

Wadinga wrote: "Did this happen?"
Hi Sean,
sure, I concede this happened, at least according to Duncan's list of messages (however this signal is missing in Norfolk message extract, appendix 1 to Wake-Walker report from June 5th and the message is not addressed to CS1, it looks like an encouragement message for the crews)....
you wrote:"Does this signify approval of not re-engaging?"
No, it doesn't. It just means that, after receiving Wake-Walker refusal to re-engage, Pound hoped NF and SF could at least keep it up with the shadowing..... it was not the case, as we know.... :(

We know from Kelburn (letter from Kennedy to Roskill) that the message about the "intentions" to re-engage really "nagged at Wake-Walker" as he clearly understood that such a request for "intentions" simply meant that the Admiralty was suggesting the re-engagement, as obvious for any experienced Navy officer.


Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:14 pm

Hello everybody,

from Capt. Russelll Grenfell ( RN Retired ) book " The Bismarck Episode " Faber & Faber 1948, at page 84 :
Actually Rear Adm Wake-Walker did decide that he and his Flag Captain should split the night between them.

In consequence, Rear Admiral Wake-Walker was asleep when contact was lost, and for about an hour afterwards.
Capt Ellis biography confirmed it, ... and Ellis just like Phillips have been interviewed by Grenfell for that book.

Of course, ... the shadowing by Norfolk has been really admirable, ...

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 wadinga » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:20 am

Hello Alberto,
the Admiralty was suggesting
But the Admiralty was ignorant of the situation of both PoW and Norfolk. Wake-Walker, the hero of Dunkirk*, was in charge on the spot, and unlike the Admiralty he knew the actual situation. Pound did not order an attack, did not request an attack, did not require an attack, he left it to the man on the job. He did not tell the man on the job his intentions were inadequate, as he told Cunningham about the Crete campaign at the same time.

Later, much later, when Pound was more ill and his judgement was much worse, he ordered PQ 17 to scatter. That's what overruling the man on the job can lead to.

You cannot seriously suggest the "shadowing has been admirable" message is a "plant" can you?? Or a message for the crew only, but not the man telling them what to do?? I know things are looking pretty desperate for the Conspiracy Theorists, but this is scraping the barrel.

Wake-Walker had been "not re-engaging" for twelve hours. If Pound had really wanted him to, he would sent him an order.

The desperation is clear over the sleeping arrangement criticism which we have already covered elsewhere. Staying awake for four days does not make for good decisions. Only the man with the Type 284 could find Bismarck.

Pound wished W-W Good Luck because he could tell that even with consummate skill he would need luck as well. Eventually his luck ran out.

* Wake-Walker reached Dunkirk on the minesweeper Hebe early on 30 May, and for the rest of the evacuation spent most of his time directing operations from small boats under constant fire. On 1 June the destroyer leader HMS Keith, his flagship, was sunk by enemy action, and from 2 June Wake-Walker directed the ships from a motor boat in the harbour. He was appointed a Companion of the Bath for his role in the evacuation.

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 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:11 am

@Wadinga:
Hi Sean,
again we are moving out of topic here. :negative:
Please, if you have any new evidence about the Court Martial, post it and we will discuss.

Else, you have to accept Tovey letter, McMullen interview, Roskill clear interpretation, the ADM 205/10 papers and Sir Henry Leach opinion, being exactly the same as Roskill.
All the above are facts certifying that the Court Martial was envisaged, menaced and almost immediately withdrawn, while "certain aspects" were indeed under investigation until September 1941.


The message regarding the "intentions" to re-engage was clear for everybody, including Wake-Walker, this is a fact, as we have Kelburn as witness of W-W reaction to it.
Regarding the "admirable job" signal, I'm just very doubtful now regarding ALL the messages listed officially by the Admiralty: too many are missing in other reports (including B-Dienst intercepted signals) and I have NOT seen yet an original signal log from a single ship, ONLY "redacted" extracts compiled and prepared "post mortem"..... :think:
In any case, the signal is just an encouragement signal sent to everybody, not to CS1 and it has nothing to do with the Court Martial request for not re-engaging.


Finally, the fact that Wake-Walker was at Dunkerque and acted well may be a notable exception in his career, but I remember we agreed among ourselves not to dig anymore into his past actions, e.g. the ramming of the Maplebranch in harbor (1934) for which he was found guilty in all trials, the sinking of HMS Achates (July 1941) for which he received the "severe displeasure" of Their Lordships, the trenchant judgement of Adm R.Backhouse in his personal record (1938), ..... I hope you still agree to leave his curriculum apart and to speak ONLY about the Bismarck operation ! :negative:


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

Post by wadinga » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:01 pm

Hello Alberto,

Thank you for referring me to the signal log again and thus reminding me that the "intentions" element is in fact the last and therefore, perhaps, the least important part of the 1445B signal sent by Pound.

Pound asks two major questions, the first with sub sections about Bismarck's status, only second does he ask what are the intentions re re-engaging. Even after more than seven hours of not re-engaging, it is lower priority than his other questions.

What percentage efficiency does the enemy have? How much ammunition did they use? He has even asked W-W to speculate about why Bismarck keeps changing course. Even after he receives W-W answer, there are many more hours of not re-engaging, to which he does not object. He does not ever order W-W to re-engage. He is the First Sea Lord, he can issue a direct instruction. He does not.

Your own evidence from Davies is that there is no detectable dissention over W-W actions in the War Room but strong support.
I'm just very doubtful now regarding ALL the messages listed officially by the Admiralty
Here we go again! Since the entire British establishment can be smeared in this fantasy cover-up scenario, the logs must have been doctored and anything which can't be misinterpreted or distorted to fit your suppositions, like an unqualified message of praise from Pound for W-W actions so far, must be an insert.

I presume that when messages are addressed to CS1 it is effectively "for your eyes only" but Pound was happy for his praise for the efforts of the cruisers to be shared with all hands. This would of course be extremely embarrassing at any future Court Martial, if one were ever considered. :D

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 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:38 pm

Wadinga wrote: "Pound asks two major questions.....only second does he ask what are the intentions re re-engaging......it is lower priority than his other questions. "
Hi Sean,
you like to interpret things as you like, but unfortunately for you, we have Roskill papers stating that Wake-Walker interpreted this signal as I do.....Viscount Kelburn confirmed. :negative:

you wrote: "....the logs must have been doctored and anything which can't be misinterpreted or distorted to fit your suppositions......must be an insert. "
I even already accepted the existence of the message (see my post above), with the caveat that it is NOT an approval of the non re-engagement, but just a mere congratulation for the shadowing.

However you are apparently unable to show me a single ORIGINAL message log (not a later "redacted" one), thus I have to be suspicious about all of them, after having seen some discrepancies here as well as in the "official" reports.....
Why so many messages as missing in the (very few) ship's message lists ? :think:
e.g. The 1137/27 (towing signal) is not present in Norfolk extract of messages (appendix 1 to CS1 report on June 5th), even if Norfolk was very close to KGV at the time of receipt. Why ? :think:
Why is the "admirable shadowing" signal (1916/24) not present in the same Norfolk log, being a very significant signal for the ship ? :think:

If it is almost impossible to "espunge" a signal from the original message logs, it would be VERY EASY to "espunge" it from later redacted lists, of course....... but we should discuss this in the appropriate thread (the "fuel signal" one).


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

Post by dunmunro » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:19 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Wadinga wrote: "Pound asks two major questions.....only second does he ask what are the intentions re re-engaging......it is lower priority than his other questions. "
Hi Sean,
you like to interpret things as you like, but unfortunately for you, we have Roskill papers stating that Wake-Walker interpreted this signal as I do.....Viscount Kelburn confirmed. :negative:

you wrote: "....the logs must have been doctored and anything which can't be misinterpreted or distorted to fit your suppositions......must be an insert. "
I even already accepted the existence of the message (see my post above), with the caveat that it is NOT an approval of the non re-engagement, but just a mere congratulation for the shadowing.

However you are apparently unable to show me a single ORIGINAL message log (not a later "redacted" one), thus I have to be suspicious about all of them, after having seen some discrepancies here as well as in the "official" reports.....
Why so many messages as missing in the (very few) ship's message lists ? :think:
e.g. The 1137/27 (towing signal) is not present in Norfolk extract of messages (appendix 1 to CS1 report on June 5th), even if Norfolk was very close to KGV at the time of receipt. Why ? :think:
Why is the "admirable shadowing" signal (1916/24) not present in the same Norfolk log, being a very significant signal for the ship ? :think:

If it is almost impossible to "espunge" a signal from the original message logs, it would be VERY EASY to "espunge" it from later redacted lists, of course....... but we should discuss this in the appropriate thread (the "fuel signal" one).


Bye, Alberto
Signals which are of no interest to the ship receiving them are unlikely to be entered into the report as only important "actionable" messages should be included.

Lets look at the Admiralty's priorities as signalled to W-W:
1007B/24 PoW reports 9 main armament guns and secondary guns in action.

1126B/24 - "Continue to shadow Bismarck even if you ROOF in order that CinC [Tovey] may catch up in time."

1445B - List of information requests including"...request intentions for re-engaging."



From the above it seems apparent that the Admiralty's (IE the 1st SL) no.1 priority, above all else, is to shadow Bismarck so that Tovey could intercept and engage Bismarck, hence the 1916/24 "admirable" message.

Edit: The Admiralty also knew that Tovey would endeavour to maintain radio silence and the request for information was probably as much for Tovey's benefit as anyone else's.
Last edited by dunmunro on Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:40 pm

Dunmunro wrote: "From the above it seems apparent that the Admiralty's (IE the 1st SL) no.1 priority, above all else, is to shadow Bismarck"
Hi Duncan,
if this was so evident, why was Wake-Walker clearly "annoyed" by the 1445/24 one and not by the 1126 one ? :negative:


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

Post by dunmunro » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:21 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Dunmunro wrote: "From the above it seems apparent that the Admiralty's (IE the 1st SL) no.1 priority, above all else, is to shadow Bismarck"
Hi Duncan,
if this was so evident, why was Wake-Walker clearly "annoyed" by the 1445/24 one and not by the 1126 one ? :negative:


Bye, Alberto
W-W's annoyance, or not, doesn't change the Admiralty's clearly signalled mission priority. The Admiralty clearly signalled W-W to ROOF in u-boat infested waters, but did not order W-W to engage Bismarck. It is VERY CLEAR what the Admiralty's priorities were and they signalled them in plain language to W-W.

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:17 am

Hi Duncan,
sorry, your way to read the messages is simply wrong, if you don't claim to be better than Wake-Walker himself at understanding the real meaning of the Admiralty "intentions" signal..... :negative:


The Admiralty War Room position is known through Davies account who said everybody considered W-W to do the right things, except.... Phillips...., who was the one actually conducting the operation.

Pound apparently accepted Phillips position with his request to Tovey to Court Martial Wake-Walker.....


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

Post by dunmunro » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:36 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:Hi Duncan,
sorry, your way to read the messages is simply wrong, if you don't claim to be better than Wake-Walker himself at understanding the real meaning of the Admiralty "intentions" signal..... :negative:


The Admiralty War Room position is known through Davies account who said everybody considered W-W to do the right things, except.... Phillips...., who was the one actually conducting the operation.

Pound apparently accepted Phillips position with his request to Tovey to Court Martial Wake-Walker.....


Bye, Alberto
The Admiralty had no qualms about ordering W-W to ROOF...and if they considered that W-W should reengage all they had to do was order him to...

But they didn't did they?

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:51 am

Hi Duncan,
they did not, correctly respecting the officer on the spot evaluation, but the "intentions" signal was clear for everybody (including Wake-Walker himself).

They just asked to have him Court Martialled after the operation ..... :wink:


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

Post by dunmunro » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:14 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:Hi Duncan,
they did not, correctly respecting the officer on the spot evaluation, but the "intentions" signal was clear for everybody (including Wake-Walker himself).

They just asked to have him Court Martialled after the operation ..... :wink:


Bye, Alberto
As I explained, the query sent to W-W, and his reply, was also being received by Tovey, who could be expected to engage within hours, but could not make a similar query without disclosing his position.

They had no problems with ordering W-W to ROOF regardless of respecting "...the officer on the spot evaluation..." but somehow ordering a reengagement even though they knew that PoW's firepower was mostly restored, was too much? Sorry but that just doesn't make much sense. If Pound thought it vital to reenage all he had to do was to signal W-W something along the lines of "Imperative that you engage Bismarck ASAP and force action to the bitter end regardless of loses."

The intentions signal was a query, nothing more, and we have no primary documentation that states otherwise, regardless of how W-W might have interpreted it. Again the only source that claims that there was intent to CM was Tovey and we have nothing from War Cabinet or Admiralty sources that state otherwise.

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Re: The Court Martial for the Denmark Strait

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:21 am

Hi Duncan,
so you insist you are better than Wake-Walker (and than the historians like Rhys-Jones) interpreting the "intentions" signal.... :shock:

I have to accept your personal opinion, but I interpret it exactly as Wake-Walker (and as confirmed by the subsequent request for a Court Martial, having Tovey been considered fully reliable by Roskill, but you are also better than Roskill as historian.....). :negative:


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

Post by dunmunro » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:44 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:Hi Duncan,
so you insist you are better than Wake-Walker (and than the historians like Rhys-Jones) interpreting the "intentions" signal.... :shock:

I have to accept your personal opinion, but I interpret it exactly as Wake-Walker (and as confirmed by the subsequent request for a Court Martial, having Tovey been considered fully reliable by Roskill, but you are also better than Roskill as historian.....). :negative:


Bye, Alberto
The only person able to interpret the intentions signal was the man who sent it, namely the 1st SL. I do not claim the ability to speak to the dead. I know that if I were Tovey, the query and reply would have given me valuable intel regarding both Bismarck and PoW; intel that I could not request without disclosing my position by breaking radio silence.

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