Cover up synopsis

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:22 am

Dunmunro wrote: " Leach's future intentions at ~0603 24 May were not very important as by ~0610 he was under W-W's command."

Hi Duncan, I do agree.
However, no intention to re-engage from Leach part can be inferred at all from Leach May 27 message.


@Cag:
Hi Mr.Cag,
I understand your viewpoint, that can partially justify and explain the decision of Capt.Leach, even if we have a respectable different interpretation of the sequence and severity of damages sustained (already discussed above). :think:

However, if your description was enough to justify the turn away, why did Tovey feel the need to add the word "temporarily" to Leach May 27 message already on May 30 ? Why did he write intentionally a totally misleading point 19, mixing up the Y turret jamming among battle damages and stating an absurde timing (06:13) for the retreat in July ?

Apparently it was not enough , even for the CiC HF himself..... :negative:


Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:29 am

Hello everybody,

@ Steve Crandell,

you wrote above :

Steve Crandell wrote: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.


It was not Capt Leach the one that " astutely " took statements from somebody else reports and changed the event sequence, by adding the PoW Y turret jamming before the turn away order, and enlarged the engagement duration before that order being released from 2 minutes after Hood exploded to 13 minutes ( 06.13 ) after the Hood exploded.

The Official available documents demonstrate that it was Adm Tovey the Officer who did it writing his dispatches point 19.

One can have his own opinion on why he did it, but nobody can refute to admit that he did it and that both are intentionally released incorrect declarations from the Commander in Chief, Home Fleet on July 1941.

That is the main part of the " Cover Up " done by writing the point 19, the other part was done by writing the point 17 in the same " astute " way by Adm Tovey on his dispatches.

Again, we are done about the fact that has been done and by whom, ... so irrefutable it is for everybody by simply reading the still available Official documents about it.

It only remain to be agreed among us, ... and it will not be an easy task for sure if ever possible, ... why he did it ?

In fairness we can discuss and accept everybody opinion and views on the reasons behind it, ... but surely nobody can try to refute any longer and any more the fact that it has been done.

If anybody still have doubts in this regard, ... I invite him to read the documents and realize better what we are talking about.

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: Cover up synopsis

Postby alecsandros » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:33 pm

One important aspect that I have not considered:
- after the smoke screen was starting to be put in place (6:02 or so), Prince of Wales rapidly opened range to Bismarck (which was moving away as well). At ~ 6:05 probable time of jamming of Y turret, range was at least 16km.

However, even if the initial intention of Leach (speculatively at 6:02) was to break off the action and reengage from longer range, this hope was shattered in the process - by having Y turret jammed and leaving 5 guns operational.

This does correlate well with Admiralty documents of the time stating expected (but unfortunately incorrect) immunity zones of KGV class battleships versus German 380mm guns (some 14000 yards).

This possibility does exonerate Leach from some of the weight placed upon him... However it doesn't explain why he did not adopt a parallel "broadside action" course at 6:03, when range was more then 14000yards and enemy well within own gunnery effective range (and as far as Leach knew, the enemy was fully operational, did not suffer any damage, and about to go into the mid-Atlantic). In this light, Leach's comments quoted by Tovey in his dispatch (loss of Hood and teething troubles with the guns) offer more weight to the possibility of an early decision (6:00:30) to break off the action - as both Hood and the teething troubles had become manifest by then - i.e. there was no more information to be obtained by Leach between 6:00:30 and any other consecutive point in time concerning the loss of the flagship or of the troubles with the main guns...

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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby Cag » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:36 pm

Hi All

That's ok Alberto I understand it's just that sometimes it seems that that the issues PoW crew were dealing with are forgotten and it is almost as if Leach disengaged in a perfectly serviceable ship with no damage and no defects which was not the case.

A concern I have with the cover up is that we have a number of pieces of evidence that Pound and their Lordships were furnished with other pieces of information.

Tovey's letter of the 30th notifies of further reports from those involved in the action will be forwarded.

Most reports are referenced to Tovey or have the words 'I have the honour to submit' and 'your servant' which generally appear in Admiralty letters. These are the aforementioned further reports.

Rhys-Jones specifically notes that Pound diligently read through 'all' of the reports which suggests that all the relevant documents were available and read.

It is difficult to understand why Tovey would attempt a cover up if he himself knowingly supplied their Lordships with all the relevant information that disproved and exposed his intentional cover up. Would Tovey's despatch have included copies of those reports which together form adm 234/509 and 510 as well as reports from Wake-Walker and Ellis?

Were ships logs available as it would be amazing coincidental forethought for the three captains of the three ships to enter intentionally incorrect times of break off of action of PoW in their logs just in case it were needed later?

The answer I'm afraid is as of yet we don't actually know and further research is no doubt needed.

Best wishes
Cag.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:46 am

Hi Mr.Cag,
while I see your points, looking at it from a different perspective, it's easy to conclude that the Admiralty was fully aware of the reality (as they had read carefully all documents) but "chose" (IMO at instigation of the government) to approve, based on the summary that the CiC HF presented in his despatches, to close the matter and proceed with celebrations.

I agree with you that we will possibly never be able to say with 100% confidence what really happened between Churchill, Pound and Tovey, but for sure an intentional "embellishment" of the story was done by Adm.Tovey when he wrote his despatches.


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby dunmunro » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:37 pm

alecsandros wrote:One important aspect that I have not considered:
- after the smoke screen was starting to be put in place (6:02 or so), Prince of Wales rapidly opened range to Bismarck (which was moving away as well). At ~ 6:05 probable time of jamming of Y turret, range was at least 16km.

However, even if the initial intention of Leach (speculatively at 6:02) was to break off the action and reengage from longer range, this hope was shattered in the process - by having Y turret jammed and leaving 5 guns operational.

This does correlate well with Admiralty documents of the time stating expected (but unfortunately incorrect) immunity zones of KGV class battleships versus German 380mm guns (some 14000 yards).

This possibility does exonerate Leach from some of the weight placed upon him... However it doesn't explain why he did not adopt a parallel "broadside action" course at 6:03, when range was more then 14000yards and enemy well within own gunnery effective range (and as far as Leach knew, the enemy was fully operational, did not suffer any damage, and about to go into the mid-Atlantic). In this light, Leach's comments quoted by Tovey in his dispatch (loss of Hood and teething troubles with the guns) offer more weight to the possibility of an early decision (6:00:30) to break off the action - as both Hood and the teething troubles had become manifest by then - i.e. there was no more information to be obtained by Leach between 6:00:30 and any other consecutive point in time concerning the loss of the flagship or of the troubles with the main guns...


Here you can see PoW's course after 0601 and you can also see that PoW did parallel Lutjen's track from ~0604 until ~0605:30:

http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarkstrait/map.gif

at 0605:30 PoW suddenly decides to turn away; the turret jam occurred at ~0603 and this would given time for the info to have reached the bridge and for Leach to decide that it was not possible to continue the action. No, there's no documentary evidence that this is what happened but the timeline and sequence of events fits.

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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:47 am

Dunmunro wrote: "the turret jam occurred at ~0603 and this would given time for the info to have reached the bridge and for Leach to decide that it was not possible to continue the action.....the timeline and sequence of events fits."

Hi Duncan,
you are right about the timing of the turret jamming (the last salvo in local control was at around 6:03:25).

However the decision of breaking-off the engagement was taken, as per Leach admission in all his reports, well before the jamming (either after the hit in compass platform at 6:01, or even after Hood sinking at 6:00) but absolutely not after.

The timeline and sequence of your theory fits, but in the same way either I can theorize that Leach was unconscious and that someone else ordered the maneuvers, or I can even invent that Leach decided to turn away from the CP and someone else, while he was going down to the lower bridge, tried to steer the ship again towards the enemy until the Captain regained full control and steered definitely away: they both fit BUT it is not what is written in the official documents: they are just pure speculations. :negative:


IMO (and I know it is another speculation, but it perfectly fits and does not contradict what Leach reported) the "S" shape of the PoW course is just the attempt to hide under her own smoke and to confuse German gunnery, nothing more, not relevant and not worth to be written in any report.
More, it does fit Jasper account from PG: "....he gave off black smoke and apparently tried to use this to escape from view..."


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:57 pm

Hello everybody,

@ CAG,

you wrote :

It is difficult to understand why Tovey would attempt a cover up if he himself knowingly supplied their Lordships with all the relevant information that disproved and exposed his intentional cover up.
Would Tovey's despatch have included copies of those reports which together form adm 234/509 and 510 as well as reports from Wake-Walker and Ellis ?
Were ships logs available as it would be amazing coincidental forethought for the three captains of the three ships to enter intentionally incorrect times of break off of action of PoW in their logs just in case it were needed later ?


You are making a good question above, and the answer is on the fact that the Admiralty Board clearly stated that they were positively commenting only on the provided dispatches by Adm Tovey, and not on the whole document evaluations.

This makes a huge difference, because as you can easily read here down below, ... being later stated by the Admiralty itself, ... in case of the whole set of documents evaluation, ... the very evident incorrect statements were going to be immediately noticed, ... both the 06.13 for PoW retreat as well as the Y turret jamming event moved before and not after the turn away on retreat executed while releasing the covering smoke screen protection.

PoW%20retreating%20from%20Battle%20Summary%20No%205_1942%2001.jpg
PoW%20retreating%20from%20Battle%20Summary%20No%205_1942%2001.jpg (114.66 KiB) Viewed 509 times


But as said, it is not so important to focus now on the well demonstrated Adm Tovey incorrect declarations and the Admiralty positive comments on them ... and about them only.
This is clear now and well demonstrated being done by them on the summer of 1941.

What is important now is to fully understand that what happened was surely the need for it on the summer of 1941.

We all very well know that on that period, the Admiralty was very carefully evaluating every single naval action, ... as Graham Rhys-Jones explained us, ... and we can verify it by reading the Cape Spartivento occurrence ( Holland and Sommerville involved ) as well as the Gibraltar occurrence for Adm Dudley North.

That was the standard Admiralty evaluation approach on that period ... and it was surely used also in this case, ... but with the very evident different results we know about now.

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: Cover up synopsis

Postby alecsandros » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:29 am

dunmunro wrote:at 0605:30 PoW suddenly decides to turn away; the turret jam occurred at ~0603 and this would given time for the info to have reached the bridge and for Leach to decide that it was not possible to continue the action. No, there's no documentary evidence that this is what happened but the timeline and sequence of events fits.

It does fit.
However, for a re-engagement decision to be credible, we must see a time interval in which the smoke screen was stopped (as it would be useless to attempt to re-engage while own smoke screen was active). After the jamming of turret Y, it would make sense to restart the smoke screen. But I do not have any info available on this. It's just a thought/possibility.

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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby dunmunro » Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:21 pm

alecsandros wrote:
dunmunro wrote:at 0605:30 PoW suddenly decides to turn away; the turret jam occurred at ~0603 and this would given time for the info to have reached the bridge and for Leach to decide that it was not possible to continue the action. No, there's no documentary evidence that this is what happened but the timeline and sequence of events fits.

It does fit.
However, for a re-engagement decision to be credible, we must see a time interval in which the smoke screen was stopped (as it would be useless to attempt to re-engage while own smoke screen was active). After the jamming of turret Y, it would make sense to restart the smoke screen. But I do not have any info available on this. It's just a thought/possibility.


This video shows RN cruisers fighting and firing while making smoke:

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/our-navy-in-action

By definition the forward director is clear of smoke since it is forward of the funnel. It is tactically prudent to lay smoke when engaging a superior enemy force, although we must remember that PoW also had fires aft that may have appeared as laying a smoke screen when she was not.

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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby alecsandros » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:17 pm

The wind was blowing to the S-E , from what I remember, so Prince of Wales was moving away shrouded in her own smoke, and without visibility... As the entire ship would have been covered in the smoke screen (because of the direction of the wind). Gunnery would have been further problematic as German ships exhaust fumes were carried away in teh same direction (S-E) , thus concealing them from PRince of WAles gunnery (and confusing German gunners as well).

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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby Cag » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:51 pm

Hi All

Hi Alecsandros and Dunmonro when PoW turned away wasn't her after director momentarily blinded by smoke forcing the RM Captain Aylwin to fire Y turret under local control?

Obviously he may have been able to temporarily see under the smoke until it hit the surface of the sea but would this account for the serpent like course of PoW during this time, one to put off the German aim and two to attempt to give Y turret sight of the enemy?

The jamming of Y turret negated this, but I'm not sure how quickly McMullen and Leach would have been informed of this I assume pretty much straight away?

I think there was also the boat deck boats on fire and stack smoke from the hole in the funnel to add to the smoke. I do think Leach was disengaging, he would not have known the outcome of how this was to happen, a running fight etc, but his movements to join the cruisers does add credence to his intention to re engage once the balance of power was addressed. Whether that was temporary, having to re engage to protect the cruisers, or longer term pending more favourable circumstances and the arrival of kgv.

Best wishes
Cag.

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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:12 pm

Hi all,
while we can imagine any scenario, the only sure facts are those reported by Capt.Leach:

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. Y turrets fired in local during turn as smoke disagreed with after director."


IMO the "S" shape course is just the attempt to hide behind the smoke (wind from NE) and to further confuse German gunnery. Note that the jamming of the Y turret is not even mentioned by Leach in his message on May 27.....but only in his June 4 report.....because it had no effect on the decision to disengage.

Any speculation about an immediate "re-engagement" intention is without any evidence., and only insinuated first by Tovey, as we have already discussed above.


Bye, Alberto
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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby Cag » Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:03 pm

Hi All

Hi Alberto, I agree PoW was disengaging, I would suggest that the S shape would also be to attempt to find out what the enemy was doing, following or not as Leach could not know what would occur (he unlike us did not know what would happen next).

Most definitely Y turret was the only one which would not be wooded in any the disengagement and so would be required to re engage if necessary and some sort of vision would be vital.

Fortunately for PoW the Germans did not pursue as Y turret did jam, (as it did on the way back to Rosyth which was also not mentioned in Leach's message) and Leach was allowed to continue the disengagement without a running battle with an ineffctive rear turret, all be it still under fire until 06.09.

Maybe everyone would be happy with putting it in the terms of PoW did temporarily re engage Bismarck twice after temporary periods of non engagement following her temporary disengagement with Bismarck and Prinz Eugen which lasted until joining the Norfolk to shadow the enemy force?

Best wishes
Cag.

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Re: Cover up synopsis

Postby alecsandros » Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:41 pm

Hi Mr Cag, Alberto,
Interesting thought on PoW "S-ing" in order to observe the enemy . I don't know. My first impression would be that the Germans were hard to observe anyway (without PoW smoke screen in place to hinder PoW optics, plus PoW own exhaust fumes from producing 27kts revolutions or more) , as they were withdrawing at high speed, with exhaust fumes for 27-(30kts - 32kts ?) revolutions coming out of their funnels, and being blown to the South-East... Add to that the smoke from the salvos still being fired from the 380 and 203mm guns (and occasionaly also from 150 and 105mm guns). So alot of smoke, high speed enemy, rapidly increasing range (IF range at 6:02 between PoW and BS was 14km , then I'd expect it to be at least 16km, if not 17km by 6:05).

That PoW did reengage 2 times in the subsequent 20 hours or so is beyond doubt. However, this mental picture that we are tryng to make is of the intelligence available and the decisions taken with that intelligence at around 6:00AM... Because at that time Bismarck/Prinz Eugen were about to exit into the open ocean... at that time the amount of damage suffered by them was unknown by the British forces (or if it was known or at least supposed - such as Suffolk's report of 3 hits suffered by BS, but without knowing the speed reduction or oil losses , and anyway without passing this information to Prince of Wales or to KGV so early - , that does not transpire from the documents that I have seen so far)... and thus the possibilities of re-engagement were purely theoretical (they materialized later because Bismarck did lose alot of speed - to effect temporary repairs - and later to cover the withdrawal and exit from the battlefield of Prinz Eugen).


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