Cover up synopsis

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:46 pm

@Dunmunro:
Hi Duncan,
I do agree with all your post above, and I had already "corrected" Tovey in my previous post (reflecting the fact that he should have said that W-W was in command and he had to decide).

My question was related to Tovey's motivation for using the word "temporarily" at a time (May 30) when Leach had not even mentioned the remote possibility to re-engage (see his message on May 27).
What I'm saying is that Tovey was the first one to embellish Leach report adding the word "temporarily"..... :think:


Bye; Alberto
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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby dunmunro » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:20 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:@Dunmunro:
Hi Duncan,
I do agree with all your post above, and I had already "corrected" Tovey in my previous post (reflecting the fact that he should have said that W-W was in command and he had to decide).

My question was related to Tovey's statements and usage of the word "temporarily" at a time (May 30) when Leach had not even mentioned the remote possibility to re-engage (see his message on May 27).
What I'm saying is that Tovey was the first one to embellish Leach report adding the word "temporarily"..... :think:


Bye; Alberto


As we've discussed Leach had engaged 3 times by May 27 so Tovey was correct in his statement. Radio communication in May 1941 was a time consuming and inaccurate process - messages were as taciturn as possible.

I don't understand this fascination with such trivia.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:02 pm

Dunmunro wrote: "I don't understand this fascination with such trivia."

Hi Duncan,
if you don't...... :wink:

I do see a first Tovey's "embellishment" attempt here and just an "appetizer" (on May 30).

The "main course" (served on July 5) will be the intentional manipulation of facts (well known to him) happened with point 19 (and with point 17) of the despatches.

But of course we can have different interpretations of these "embellishments" and still say that they were just "innocent" errors..... :think:


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby wadinga » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:36 pm

Hello Alberto,

Obssessed by trivia as some of us are

I must say that, not being English my native language, I would have intended "temporarily as related to the battle of Denmark Strait (a matter of minutes),


When exactly did the "Battle of the Denmark Straits" end? What criteria do you apply? Was it when PoW fired her last shot, or when Bismarck fired hers?

Was it before or after 06:24 when PoW stopped retreating towards safety and started reducing or at least maintaining distance from the "Flying Enemy?

What would constitute re-engaging the enemy? Do you have to fire your guns, or is it enough for him to fire his? Or do you just have to stop getting further away?

Tovey was a pragmatic man. When he looked at a track chart showing how PoW turned round and rejoined the chase after the "Flying Enemy" again, and it happened less than half an hour after Hood's destruction, he recorded the earlier disengagement as temporary, which it was. This is misrepresented as an embellishment, but it's merely stating the blindingly obvious.

But then some are blind to reason :think:

All the best

wadinga
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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:54 pm

Wadinga wrote: "When exactly did the "Battle of the Denmark Straits" end?"

Hi Sean,
I would say at 6:09, as I don't think that the 6:19 Suffolk engagement (with no reply) can be counted as part of it. We can discuss all scenarios and definitions, but I don't believe anyone can identify the end of the DS battle with PoW evening salvos fired after 18:00.......


you wrote: "Tovey was a pragmatic man. When he looked at a track chart showing how PoW turned round and rejoined the chase after the "Flying Enemy" again, and it happened less than half an hour after Hood's destruction, he recorded the earlier disengagement as temporary, which it was."

He was, indeed.....but I don't think Tovey had at hand the PoW track chart already on May 30. IMO he had only May 27 Leach message. :negative:

In any case , do you consider taking station behind another ship as re-engaging (even as an intention)? I personally don't, especially as Tovey knew very very well, when he wrote his statement, that W-W had no intention at all to re-engage..... :think:

Logically, IMO, the addition of the word "temporarily" could only be correctly referred to the intention of Leach to immediately re-engage (after possibly having opened range, as Duncan theorized). However, as Leach never mentioned such an intention, Tovey "initiative" on May 30 looks to me a pure invention aimed at embellishing Leach May 27 message (that he himself possibly judged a bit "poor", having already smelled the Admiralty mood).

But then some are blind to reason. :wink:


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby dunmunro » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:29 pm

Leach failed to write that the Sun would come up on the 25th...but that doesn't mean he didn't think it would. Leach didn't state that PoW wouldn't fall off the edge of the world, but that doesn't mean he thought the world was flat.

Failing to write something doesn't prove very much at all.

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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:57 pm

Hi Duncan,
writing of a decision "to break off action" instead of one just "to open range and continue the engagement" is not a detail that any RN Captain can take lightly in his report..... :negative:

It proves beyond any doubt that Leach's intention was just "to break off action".....and that's all. All the rest is pure speculation.


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby Steve Crandell » Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:27 am

I think it is reasonable to assume that when the Compass Platform was hit by Bismarck, Leach was stunned and disoriented. He may well have remained that way for several minutes, but the time all ran together for him. It is possible that the report from the gunnery department that Y turret was jammed was very soon after he began to accurately discern what was happening around him, and he conflated all the events of the last few minutes into a shorter period of time than it actually was, and was confused about the order of occurrence of the various events, and so his first description of them was simply wrong.

Later, when he had his wits about him and was able to discuss the events with subordinates, he came up with a new version, and refined that as time went on.

This doesn't have to be a big conspiracy. Just human beings trying to deal with events around them amid great noise and confusion. Some times they get it wrong.

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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby alecsandros » Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:09 am

Steve Crandell wrote:
This doesn't have to be a big conspiracy. Just human beings trying to deal with events around them amid great noise and confusion. Some times they get it wrong.

... Confused and shocked perhaps, but he did ordered the laying of the smoke screen (or if somebody else gave teh order while he was stunned - of which we do not know - he did not cancel that order), thus effectively ending the battle - and that happened before the jamming of turret Y, so with PoW having substantial firepower available- and bearing on the enemy.

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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby dunmunro » Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:33 am

alecsandros wrote:
Steve Crandell wrote:
This doesn't have to be a big conspiracy. Just human beings trying to deal with events around them amid great noise and confusion. Some times they get it wrong.

... Confused and shocked perhaps, but he did ordered the laying of the smoke screen (or if somebody else gave teh order while he was stunned - of which we do not know - he did not cancel that order), thus effectively ending the battle - and that happened before the jamming of turret Y, so with PoW having substantial firepower available- and bearing on the enemy.



Ordering smoke didn't end the battle.

The battle ended because Lutjens didn't want to fight further and turned away. Leach had no control over the KM.

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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:35 am

Hi Steve, Alec, Duncan,
we will possibly never know what happened really in PoW Compass Platform, it's true.

However the ship turned sharply to south at 6:01:30 after the CP was hit at 6:00:50, Considering that such big ships need at least 20 seconds to start answering their rudder, it leaves less than 20 seconds between the hit and the order to break off action.

As Alec also correctly said, the smoke screen is a clear sign of a disengagement decision (as it scrambles your own gunnery) and it was well formed, large and high (hundreds meters) in the sky already at around 6:03:20 (see photo NH69731), thus we can say that it was ordered at around the same time than the turn (as per Leach account, BTW).

I don't think 20 seconds were enough to transfer command to anyone else in the ship and for this person to give such an order, as the only other officer in CP was lightly wounded (Rowell) and I don't see who could have decided to transfer the command..... :think:

The known facts point to an "unhurt" Leach to have immediately given the orders for the disengagement (as per his own report). I don't see any reason for building a different story than the one told by Leach himself on May 27. He should have been ok by May 27 (when he wrote a clear account of the action without mentioning anything like the situation you suspect), shouldn't he, Steve ?

No intention to re-engage is mentioned by Leach in his official reports and, in such a delicate situation, when everybody was trying to write reports in a way to justify their actions, this is disproving Duncan's theory, as such an intention would have been surely reported by Leach if it was the case, being the key point in his defense of a RN Captain decision to disengage his ship. :negative:


Again, it was not Leach (who just marginally "played" with times and with number of guns in his reports on May 27 and June 4) but Tovey who first added the word "temporarily" to reinforce the account already on May 30, and who then intentionally altered facts in his point 19 of the despatches in July. :shock:


Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:16 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby dunmunro » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:14 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
The known facts point to an "unhurt" Leach to have immediately given the orders for the disengagement (as per his own report). I don't see any reason for building a different story than the one told by Leach on May 27. He should have been ok by May 27 (when he wrote a clear account of the action without mentioning anything like the situation you suspect), shouldn't he be, Steve ?

No intention to re-engage is mentioned by Leach in his official reports and, in such a delicate situation, when everybody was trying to write reports in a way to justify their actions, this is disproving Duncan's theory, as such an intention would have been surely reported by Leach if it was the case, being a key point in his defense.


Bye, Alberto



Leach was hurt and required surgery and 9 days in hospital to repair a hernia probably caused by the shockwave.

Leach:
"Accordingly I turned away and broke off the action pending a more favourable opportunity."

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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:30 am

Dunmunro wrote: "Leach: "Accordingly I turned away and broke off the action pending a more favourable opportunity.""

Hi Duncan,
this was only written on June 4, after Tovey had added the word "temporarily" on May 30: no mention to any "more favourable opportunity" (taht IMO is not the same as "temporarily"...) in the detail message written on May 27 (quite a long and detailed one, see here for the full text: http://www.kbismarck.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6799&start=420 )...... :think:

Leach on May 27: "Navigating Officer was wounded; Commander Officer unhurt.........Considered expedient to break off action and consolidate position and ship, after being manoeuvered round remains of HMS Hood, turned away behind spelt smoke screen."

No intention to re-engage in Leach report before the distortion of facts from Tovey. :negative:


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby dunmunro » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:46 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Dunmunro wrote: "Leach: "Accordingly I turned away and broke off the action pending a more favourable opportunity.""

Hi Duncan,
this was only written on June 4, after Tovey had added the word "temporarily" on May 30: no mention to any "more favourable opportunity" in the detail message written on May 27 (quite a long and detailed one, see here for the full text: http://www.kbismarck.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6799&start=420 )...... :think:

Leach on May 27: Navigating Officer was wounded; Commander Officer unhurt.........Considered expedient to break off action and consolidate position and ship, after being manoeuvered round remains of HMS Hood, turned away behind spelt smoke screen.

No intention to re-engage in Leach report before the distortion of facts from Tovey. :negative:


Bye, Alberto


What is the definition of "consolidate"? Any 1941 shortwave radio message was terse and Leach's future intentions at ~0603 24 May were not very important as by ~0610 he was under W-W's command.

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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby Cag » Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:29 am

Hi All

Just a quick post to ask if we could be fair in our assessments. Brooke states that the funnel hits ect were before the secound lurch that began the withdrawal. Leach was not in control of a 'perfectly functioning battleship'. It was being conned from the Admirals platform, hacs directors were disabled and the boats on the boat deck were ablaze and smoke from the funnel hole entering the machinery spaces.

Also Leach states that his intention to break off the action was partially due to the poor state of the turrets. If we look factually Y turret had two guns out of action, ie one gun per salvo, and A turret had one gun missing plus it was full of water.

This meant four and three gun salvos against at least the combined total of seven gun salvos from Bismarck and Prinz Eugen. There was also the practical possibility of further losses which, as is stated in many reports, made withdrawal a difficult decision. Brooke and McMullen (with his obvious ardour to hit the enemy even if it were with only one gun in action!) states that the decision made was the correct one.

Leach broke off the action to consolidate pending a more favourable opportunity (or you might say temporarily until other equal forces arrived) and fell in with the cruisers. The fact that PoW re engaged Bismarck once the ship was consolidated tends to indicate the intent to fight and the shadowing the intent to 'stick around' and await the more favourable opportunity or you might say until the temporary period until further equal forces arrived was over.

We must look at the decision of Lütjens, hit three times he decided not to pursue PoW and no doubt once the position of his ship was consolidated decided to call off the operation and make for France.

Best wishes
Cag.


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