Dave Saxton wrote: "With visibility dropping to 6 miles, either Norfolk and/or POW deployed opposite of Suffolk is of little value in hemming in the Bismarck. Bismarck likely slips by unnoticed anyway."
I agree with you, however, on the previous night, a ship unable to detect the enemy if not within a very limited visibility (less than on 24 /25) was kept far from Suffolk to cover a possible escape in another direction. NF on 23 May had very limited chances to intercept Bismarck (and when she did it was.... PoW), had Bismarck decided to go eastward, but the attempt to cover this direction was IMO correct, even without much chances and executed from a too large distance.
In the same way, on May 24 to 25 night, the other 2 ships without radar should have kept far form Suffolk in other directions, to cover a possible escape in these directions. Yes, Bismarck could have slipped by anyway, but at least 2 circles of 12 sm diameter would have been covered.....
Paul Cadogan wrote: ".given the fact that Tovey was approaching from the port side, and if WW felt it was better for his 3 ships to remain in close proximity to one another, why then didn't he move them to Bismarck's starboard side?"
welcome back, missing you.....
Yes, absolutely correct, that's why I wrote about the 3 ships being on the "wrong" side, as Ellis also remarks, with reference to W-W "intentions".
In any case, keeping the 3 ships together in line is IMHO anyway a poor choice, when "intentions" are only to shadow.
Regarding lack of sleep, I don't underestimate it at all, as Ellis recognize himself regarding his own choices, but on NF at least W-W and Phillips could rest alternatively, even if, militarily, the Admiral should have asked to be awakened immediately anyway and should have taken actions before 2 hours....