Wake-Walker : To engage or not to engage ?

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wadinga
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Re: Wake-Walker : To engage or not to engage ?

Post by wadinga » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:05 am

Hello All,

Depressed as I am to see yet another thread started, merely to bury the considerable evidence showing Antonio's opinions about where N & S actually were................. are completely wrong, I noted:
Thanks for posting the Admiralty message: "Continue to shadow BISMARCK even if you run out of fuel in order that C in C may catch up in time. 1st Sea Lord to CS1 11.26B/24".
Was Pound already afraid that Wake-Walker might decide to get back in advance to Scapa safety (even before loosing touch) ?
There was a similar stupid signal sent to Captain Blackman in HMS Edinburgh. What A "Happy Time " this would have been for the U-boats with valuable RN warships helplessly bobbing about waiting for the torpedoes to strike. :cool: How did Pound forget to order Leach to run out of fuel rather than take his valuable asset to Iceland?

All the best

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

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Wake-Walker : To engage or not to engage ?

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:49 am

Hello everybody,

once again I do not want or like to take credits for something that somebody else already thought and wrote clearly many years ago.

Fron Capt ( RN retired ) Russell Grenfell book " The Bismarck Episode " published on 1948 we can read at page 74 :
Just before 4 pm the RearAdmiral received a signal from the Admiralty which caused him a certain amount of perplexity and some concern.

This signal requested his intentions as regards the Prince of Wales re-engaging.

How was this signal to be interpreted ?

Was it meant as a plain and unqualified inquiry ?

Or was it a gentle hint that the Admiralty thought he was being unsufficiently pugnacious and that he should have sought an action by this time ?

It was impossible to tell.

The signal might contain an implied reproof or it might not.

The posibility that it might worried him rather, and not unnaturally.

Every Officer is particularly sensitive to even the faintest suggestion that his ardour for the battle may be in any degree lacking.
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 )

Cag
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Re: Wake-Walker : To engage or not to engage ?

Post by Cag » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:20 am

Hi All

This again refers to re engaging Bismarck and is ambiguous, is it a prodding message is it not? It does not say the Admiralty were furious that Norfolk or Suffolk had not participated in the morning action nor does it imply it.

According to the notes written by Davies the Admiralty were very satisfied with how Wake-Walker and the cruisers had worked and only one person thought critisism was needed which is described as being unwarrented.

I'm really not sure what is meant to be being achieved here, if each person is happy with their own thoughts on these matters why are we still trying to link the morning battle to the afternoon message? The reasons why PoW did not re engage Bismarck are answered fully in reports and despatches and have been discussed elsewhere.

If people are convinced/not convinced of what and why by now, why do we seem to be still trying to change people's minds, or to try and prove something that is either already accepted or not accepted?

Best wishes
Cag.

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Wake-Walker : To engage or not to engage ?

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:14 pm

Hello everybody,

CAG, just as I explained above, the Admiralty message inviting Wake-Walker to re-engage and the missed engagement in the morning by Norfolk and Suffolk are 2 very different things to be carefully evaluated in this contest in a very different way.

The Admiralty message asking WW intention for the PoW re-engagement nagged RearAdmiral Wake-Walker very much, as we can read from Russell Grenfell already on 1948.
Even the Viscount Kelburn ( WW staff ) confirmed this to Sir Kennedy/Stephen Roskill later on, explaining to him the WW concern about it, as one can read into the Cambridge Churchill archive papers.
That was the main and only charge that Phillips/Pound were loading to Wake-Walker for the Court martial attempt initiative that Pound requested to Tovey on May 30th, 1941.

The Norfolk and Suffolk close distances and their missed utilization was something that was done after it, while " cleaning " the records after the Court Martial attempt was defeated by Adm Tovey, durig the " Cover Up ".
It was most likely considered to be necessary in order to remove all " problematic " evidence of the Suffolk and Norfolk Officer conduct that could support another Court Martial request and/or to disable the King recognition planned for them, as well as for the other Officers invoved into the Bismarck chase.

Please do not mix those 2 very different subjects.

I arrived to the Court Martial attempt request from the bottom, from the evident documents and reports data alteration, and I had no clear idea of which one were the reason for the Court martial attempt request.

It could have been for both reasons obviously, but apparently only the missed re-engagement was the reason for Wake-Walker charge request.
I am personally of the opinion that in case of an inquiry that never happened, also their distance from the enemy at the battle was going to become even a more serious threat for Wake-Walker and also in this case for Capt Ellis too, this is for sure.

Again, I have no need to convince anybody and I am personally more than convinced myself about all this story.

I am only making here a list of evidence with the proper Official source, in documents, archives and on already printed books.

The logic of all those events is now sufficiently clear to enable everybody to read, understand and realize the matter by himself.

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: Wake-Walker : To engage or not to engage ?

Post by Cag » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:25 pm

Hi All

Hi Antonio, although I do bot hold the view myself as you know Roskill was investigating Holland's tactics for not using the destroyers and the cruisers.

Again we assume that the cruisers were always going to be involved in the action an assumption not backed up by any official record.

I'm afraid this thread started off by trying to link the morning action and the afternoon message, and Alberto has tried to suggest that both the messages later sent to Wake-Walker were questioning his fighting spirit let's say.

The reasons given by Wake-Walker for not re engaging Bismarck have nothing to do with his ships position at 05.41 or 06.00 as I have constantly posted yet we seem to be still attempting to link them?

Best wishes
Cag.

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Re: Wake-Walker : To engage or not to engage ?

Post by wadinga » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:33 pm

Hello All,

19:16 24th May Admiralty to Norfolk, Suffolk "Shadowing by Norfolk has been admirable. Keep it up and good luck"
Maybe Pound just liked the shadowing part, but not the other stuff? It's surprising he didn't mention it though :think: .

All the best

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

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Wake-Walker : To engage or not to engage ?

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:51 pm

Hello everybody,

CAG, to understand why ViceAdm Holland detached the destroyers and why he maneuvered the way he did until 2 am that night, one must realize the whole scenario in that moment in full details.
I personally think that S. Roskill, R. Grenfell and L. Kennedy never did it precisely at least on the way I did it, ... the only one I think could have done it in an acceptable way is Pitcairn-Jones for the Battle Summary number 5.

One thing are Holland intentions, ... another one is where the 2 heavy cruisers found themselves at 05:41 that morning, ... and that is where ViceAdm Holland saw and realize they really where at that point, ... but the Prinz Eugen was ahead of the Bismarck and not back to her, ... like Suffolk was still radio reporting her, ... incorrectly.

As I have explained above it was Adm Tovey that thought that their missed engagement needed to be justified even with a false distance declaration, ... not me, ... and by doing so he obviously confirmed that in case of a different and closer distance to the enemy, they must have participated to the battle engaging.
This is a very simple and logic reasoning consequence everybody can easily realize.

The 2 failures to engage could have only been connected by an inquiry that never happened, after the evaluation of what was the reality at sea on that moment.
This was never done by anybody until lately by me with all your help, ... here in.

No, I do not want to link them, ... I want to underline they are a lot different and have been managed differently, ... on purpose.

It was going to be very interesting to have at hand the original war room chart with the plotted positions of Suffolk and Norfolk during their shadowing effort, ... based on their communicated geographical positions, ... plus the Hood and PoW ones at the enemy in sight and after, ... and realize the Admiralty Senior Officers comments about it when they merged them all in a single chart, ... as I am sure they did.

Having done it myself in full high scale details, ... I can see their face on that moment very clearly.

If ever we are going to have a meeting among us all, ... I will show it to you and look at your face while plotting them, ... that will be a real funny moment, ... I guarantee you.

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: Wake-Walker : To engage or not to engage ?

Post by Cag » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:47 pm

Hi All

Hi Antonio, it would be a funny moment as I'd see two independant cruisers with no other orders given other than follow and flank mark did exactly that, followed and attempted to flank mark.

I'm afraid your position on the cruisers positions and the assumption they were to engage is your opinion, the tactical function which is clearly seen by many historians and officials as attested to by the Roskill papers is that the view was the Germans would quite possibly turn away and so all eventualities had to be catered for.

Wake-Walker was not clairvoyant not a mind reader, he did not have the gift of hindsight. He did not know the opening German moves, nor did he know Hood would explode nor how soon.

Best wishes
Cag.

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Re: Wake-Walker : To engage or not to engage ?

Post by Cag » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:52 pm

Hi All

Just to add, if we logically look at the firing sequence ordered by Admiral Holland we have a GIC command. If you read the progress in gunnery tactics reports you see that in a two ship concentration the interval between each ship in their firing sector is up to 30 seconds.

The idea being that when firing half salvos as the British did there would be a half salvo from ship 1, a gap, a half salvo from ship 1, a gap, a half salvo from ship 2, a gap, a half salvo from ship 2 and so on. This would mean if both ships concentrated on the same target a constant rain of shells would be falling with spotting of each ships fall possible.

Ellis in his biography states that any cruiser fire would have confused the spotting of fall of shot for BC1 and this set pattern.

If this is the case and we have the fact that Admiral Holland did not signal his intention that the cruisers would take on Prinz Eugen to Wake Walker, and that Bismarck lay between the cruisers and Prinz Eugen meaning Holland's intended target for the cruisers was further away from them than the target of BC1, ie Bismarck, what were the cruisers to fire at and when?

Best wishes
Cag.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Wake-Walker : To engage or not to engage ?

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:17 pm

Cag wrote: "Ellis in his biography states that any cruiser fire would have confused the spotting of fall of shot for BC1 and this set pattern. "
Hi Mr.Cag,
Ellis is simply wrong (I can imagine he was justifying his actions in his autobiography).

Jasper got NEVER confused by Bismarck 15" and NOT even by Bismarck 6" (his words in his gunnery report), being his 8" splashes far smaller than the formers and bigger than the latters. Apparently Bismarck was not confused as well by PG fire....
I don't think the GIC command was intended by Holland for the cruisers too, and anyway, as a matter of fact, the British battleships NEVER concentrated their fire.
Having realized that Hood was firing at PG, Ellis could have opened fire, had he not decided previously to turn to North, opening range.

The key aspect (to understand the subsequent "embellishments" done by Tovey to the cruisers story) is exactly the embarrassing comparison between the aggressive and decisive Prinz Eugen behavior (due to Lutjens bold decision not to order PG to leave the line) during the battle, at least until 6:03.....when Brinkmann did his own "mistake".... and the timid attitude of the British cruisers, due to the "poor initiative" shown by Wake-Walker (and Ellis).


Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Wake-Walker : To engage or not to engage ?

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:45 pm

Hello everybody,

CAG, I will be very clear to you.

Suffolk was doing the shadowing.

Norfolk was doing the " shadower - shadowing", so basically nothing from the 23rd evening when she was targeted by the Bismarck, until the 24th at 05:41 am when she saw the enemy again.
On that timeframe Norfolk just sailed the ocean at a more than a very safe distance from an incorrect Suffolk communicated position, so in reality very far away from the enemy real position ( average 30/40 sea miles away to east )

Anybody able to plot their course and the enemy can easily realize it. This is a fact and not an opinion.

Same goes for their distance from the enemy at 05:41 am that morning.
It is enough to be able to plot their course and the relative bearings and anybody can easily realize their real distance from the enemy before they both decided to stay away from the battle at the beginning and enlarge the range as observefd even by the enemy on board the Bismarck ( Baron Von Mullenheim-Rechberg ).

This is another fact, geometrically demonstrated.

My point is that they declared an incorrect relative position to the enemy and Adm Tovey used that distance being the cause of their missed utilization in battle.

This is false no matter what, and it has been intentionally declared in that way to justify them after the events.

Wheter it was right or wrong to engage I do not care about.
On the 24th it could have been maybe right not to engage, but why in that case declare a false distance after ?
I remember to you that on the 27th, both Norfolk and Dorsetshire opened fire on Bismarck.
Did the fighting instruction for the cruisers changed by that time ? Were the fall of shells spotting less important to be observed ?
I seriously doubt it.

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: Wake-Walker : To engage or not to engage ?

Post by Cag » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:41 pm

Hi All

Hi Antonio, we know the reason that Norfolk did not shadow closely, because her rdf was not as good as Suffolks which is the real actual fact. You say she 'simply sailed the ocean' which clearly shows your opinion of Wake -Walker. Norfolk was not simply wasting fuel on a joy ride she had already come under fire from Bismarck.

The fact is that Holland intended Suffolk and Norfolk to engage Prinz Eugen, he did not transmit this to either cruiser and so it was unfortunately irrelevant as Bismarck was closer to Norfolk and Suffolk than Prinz Eugen (have we worked out how far away she was yet?) and Bismarck was the target for BC1.

The position of Norfolk was not 10nm nor was it 15nm it was neither. Thanks to your and others attempts at a battle map we know that for sure. The Admiralty never questioned the cruisers part in the morning battle, there are numerous officials that describe the shadowing as excellent,.

The 15nm despatch distance bears no relevance to any threatened charge to Wake-Walker whatsoever, and there is no evidence to suggest the cruisers were ever meant to engage, actually the contrary is true. You say you don't care about engagement but still push to suggest the fighting spirit of Wake-Walker was below par (simply sailing the ocean?!) and begin a thread titled Wake-Walker to engage or not to engage. It does not make sense to me so im not sure what the point is.

If you have an opinion about Wake-Walker I'm happy to accept it, but nothing official or documented states he was ever under scrutiny for non engagement in the morning battle and so those at the Admiralty did not share your view.

Hi Alberto this also shows your opinion of Ellis who must be your next target. The difference is Bismarck one ship, Prinz Eugen one ship, Hood and PoW two ships, Norfolk and Suffolk two ships. The GIC was for two ship control, to combine with the cruisers signals would have had to have been made prior to engagement, this did not happen. There would have to have been coordination as to which ship fired when and combined with the others, you suggest a free for all or again some kind of psychic power to be able to know without any information. Suffolk was out of sight of Norfolk how would they coordinate?

Best wishes
Cag.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Wake-Walker : To engage or not to engage ?

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:57 pm

Hi Mr.Cag,
you are of course right with my opinion of Ellis and W-W (as I am right with your opinion of Leach, so, please, avoid to make ridiculous "accusations" like these, your "opinions" are more than clear by now as are mine ones.... :stop:). Re. the cruiser fire, you are totally wrong, as Ellis was, with his "excuse" of "confusing" the battleships fire, because PG did not confuse Bismarck.

Hood and PoW 2 ships (GIC makes sense AMONG them only), Suffolk 1 ship. Norfolk 1 ship.What prevented them to open fire to Bismarck ? Apparently the cruisers were not seeing each other, therefore, as far as they knew, it was a matter of only 1 ship, not 2, NO need of GIC, and no need of any "psychic power", just an average initiative and willingness to fight.
Both cruisers could have opened fire, possibly later verifying that they were creating confusion to each other (BTW, KGV and Rodney created the same "confusion" to each other on May 27, with excellent results... :wink: ).
The cruisers did not open fire because simply they felt themselves as pure shadowers and they did not the attempt to join the battle. :negative:

This is why the confrontation with Prinz Eugen was so much annoying. This is why Tovey felt the need to "embellish" their story to avoid the simple question to be asked: why did they not open fire as PG while in range to do so ?


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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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Wake-Walker : To engage or not to engage ?

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:29 pm

Hello everybody,

CAG, my opinion about those Officers has been written several times already.
No need to re-write it again and again, ... it is not important.

My point is not about the mandatory need to engage or not.

My point is about their distance being subject to an intentional alteration in order to justify why they did not engage.

This simple intentional alteration of their distances, demonstrate that with the correct distance being declared they were going to have troubles for not having engaged.

It should not take much to understand this simple logic deduction.

Now, even if this was NOT one of the Court Martial attempt request for WW, it should NOT take much also to realize that in case of an inquiry their positions was going to carefully analyzed together with their data, and this problem was going to surely come out and procure sure additional troubles to both WW and Ellis.

Now, If you have understood this point, you could also easily realize why they altered their distances and data.

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 )

Cag
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Re: Wake-Walker : To engage or not to engage ?

Post by Cag » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:03 pm

Hi All

Hi Antonio, I will say it again just in case you missed it, neither the initial 10nm nor the re evaluated 15nm was correct. We know that from the reconstruction of the battle maps. There was no need to justify anything as no one was questioning it, unless you have new evidence?

Alberto I think my opinion on Leach is the same as his Gunnery Officers if you listen to the full interview on the IWM website. As for gunnery it's simple maths Bismarck and Prinz Eugen would be firing on Hood, two ships two falls on one ship, who else would be firing?. Hood PoW Norfolk and Suffolk firing on Bismarck, four ships firing on one ship, with no coordination between battleships or more importantly cruisers?

Which fall of shot would the cruisers take if without coordination they were firing simultaneously?
Was there any issue of orders to open fire to the cruisers from Holland?
Did Prinz Eugen receive an order to open fire?

Follow and flank mark was the tactical function but Ellis is now a liar, deary me.

Please take some advice from a well wisher, really this does you no favours and perhaps shows you in the same light that Roskill and others describe Pound and Phillips. All to prove an alteration from an incorrect 10nm to an incorrect 15nm was an intentional lie to protect someone from an investigation no one even thought of starting never mind carrying out.

I can easily understand why people turn off to this kind of thread.

Best wishes
Cag.

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