The KGV and Adm fuel signals on May 26 and 27.

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: The KGV and Adm fuel signals on May 26 and 27.

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:08 am

Hello everybody,

here is how a Royal Navy radio message once being received and decoded was looking like in original :
Message_example_Royal_Navy.jpg
Message_example_Royal_Navy.jpg (67.84 KiB) Viewed 345 times
You can find hundreds of those into the original Archives.

What you cannot find anymore are the original warships radio logbooks, ... the most precise list of ALL the messages sent and received by every warship on that period.

It must be said that even in that case, ... also the absence of one message does not necessarily means that it was not received and decoded on board that unit, ... but it can only mean that it was NOT recorded into the radio logbook.

A clear demonstration of this case has been the request of help radio message from the HMS Glorious being under attack of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, ... received and decoded but NOT recorded into the radio logbook of the HMS Devonshire.

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 KGV and Adm fuel signals on May 26 and 27.

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:24 pm

Hello everybody,

now it should be clear to everybody why, ... with the clear intention to try to resolve the " KGV towing home " messages enigma, ... an historian of the level of Stephen Roskill told Sir L. Kennedy that at first :

1) He was going to try to look into the HMS King George V radio official log book

and only after not having found it since the KGV official radio log book has been already destroyed he was going to look into the :

2) Admiralty various Offices that should have been put in distribution list of such a message from the 1st Sea Lord to the C in C Home Fleet.

only after having unsuccesfully done those 2 researches Stephen Roskill told Sir L. Kennedy, ... which was still convinced of the existence of the 26th of May " shores of France " message, ... that probably that message was not existing otherwise he was thinking that he should have found a copy of it somewhere, ... and only at that point they started thinking about a possible different solution for the " KGV towing home " enigma.

I am still a step backward from the " final solution " S. Roskill and Sir L. Kennedy proposed for this enigma.

Having both Churchill and Tovey clear inputs about it, ... I personally still think we need to try to realize more about 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: The KGV and Adm fuel signals on May 26 and 27.

Post by wadinga » Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:28 pm

Hello Antonio,

Can you clarify please:
an historian of the level of Stephen Roskill told Sir L. Kennedy that at first
only after having unsuccesfully done those 2 researches Stephen Roskill told Sir L. Kennedy, ... which was still convinced of the existence of the 26th of May " shores of France " message, ... that probably that message was not existing otherwise he was thinking that he should have found a copy of it somewhere, ... and only at that point they started thinking about a possible different solution for the " KGV towing home " enigma.
Is this information from the Roskill letters or is it speculation?
A clear demonstration of this case has been the request of help radio message from the HMS Glorious being under attack of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, ... received and decoded but NOT recorded into the radio logbook of the HMS Devonshire.


This is not proven and is disputed. It should not be presented as a fact.

In any case the circumstances are completely different. If, I emphasise if, Glorious had got a low power transmission out whilst under attack, Devonshire might have been the only vessel close enough to receive it.

The Admiralty was transmitting at maximum power and all ships of the Home Fleet and Force H were taking messages in and decoding so as to provide situational awareness for their commanders. The distribution list is merely a "heads up" in order to help the addressees pick up things for their attention amidst the mass of other material. For instance Rodney took in the Admiralty transmission with the D/F bearings and got a fix which agreed with the results later transmitted from onshore (unlike KG V). If there ever had been a "Shores of France" transmission, all ships would have received it. Somerville, in his letter to his wife, confirms he read the crapulous 11:37B on the morning of the 27th. He says nothing about the "Shores of France" message and neither does anybody else.

Geoffrey Regan's books are at least 50% sardonic humour (like the oxymoron "Military Intelligence"), but he effectively makes the same point I have been making:
To sink the Bismarck was important but to lose half the Home Fleet in the process was criminal folly.
An immobile KG V at the scene of an immobile Bismarck where both are subsequently sunk is at least a queen for queen exchange, but the "Shores of France" message says KG V must go into the death zone and get sunk with very little chance Bismarck will be caught at all. A Heinkel 111 or Ju 88 or U-boat pawn may take out the queen whilst Bismarck lives to fight another day. It is therefore ten times the level of criminal folly, and whatever ludicrous instruction the interfering Churchill may have imagined was sent, there is no evidence anywhere, except for Tovey's obsession ten plus years later, that it was transmitted and received.

Also (off topic) Regan has his limitations- the old man's fancies were Renown, Repulse, Glorious, Courageous and Furious, but Hood was only called a Battle Cruiser. Her armour was contemporary battleship standard. She was the best in the world in 1921, but not in 1941.

Hello Alberto,

It is really tedious having to extract the details of the Tovey letters incrementally from you by subterfuge. How much more reasonable would it be if you just made the information everybody needs, freely available? :angel:

As for:
you are so masochist to insist to make a fool of yourself
Including a map of the extended Bay of Biscay in your post, entitled "Bay of Biscay" and then denying it portrays the Bay of Biscay is frankly bizarre. Why haven't you opened that weather forecast thread anyway, so people can ignore it there instead? :D

All the best

wadinga
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Re: The KGV and Adm fuel signals on May 26 and 27.

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:47 pm

Hello everybody,

from my work on HMS Glorious years ago :

https://www.scharnhorst-class.dk/scharn ... njuno.html
The Admiralty were very concerned that no useful enemy reports had been received and later asked all UK shore W/T stations if anyone had heard any sort of signal from Glorious or her two destroyers.

None officially had.

Glorious started transmitting (before going to Action Stations) her enemy sighting report at 17:15 with the main set on 253 kHz and the secondary one on one of the Home Station HF frequencies, 8,29 MHz.

The message was: "Two Pocket Battleships bearing 308° 15 miles course 030°. My position 154°69'N 04°E. 11 miles = 16:15 (GMT time)." (VE MTA V OW2 O-U 2PB 308 15 030 154GQOX 11 BT 1615 IMI).

Then the carrier re-transmitted (while going to Action Stations) her enemy sighting report shortly after 17:20 with the main set on 253 kHz and the secondary one on one of the Home Station HF frequencies, 8,29 MHz.

The message was this time: "Two Battle Cruisers bearing 308° 15 miles course 030°. My position 154°69'N 04°E. 11 miles = 16:15 (GMT time)." (VE MTA V OW2 O-U 2BC 308 15 030 154GQOX 11 BT 1615 IMI).

The fact that this message from Glorious was not received or almost un-intelligible is not the story told by 6 members of Devonshire crew (4 of whom are still alive). They differ in some re-collected details, but all are adamant that what was heard at 17:20 that day and was, at the least, sufficiently intelligible to cause considerable consternation on Devonshire bridge because the ship was kept sailing away from Glorious in clear danger.

According to PO Senior Telegraphist T. Jenkins,
who was in charge of the W/T Remote control office, the message was clear and contained all details (the PB's) and was received by one of his operators that called his attention to it, while on the main wireless office another operator received/confirmed it as well.

Midshipman D. Corkhill confirmed
that when plotted showed clearly to the Devonshire bridge senior officers how close Devonshire was to Glorious.

That message had been restricted by Vice-Admiral J. Cunningham orders and all copies have been handled to his staff Flag Lieutenant, including the operators log.


This message was officially never received on board HMS Devonshire according to the Admiralty and MoD, they only declare Devonshire having received garbled and un-intelligible signals only at 18:20.
Above you have the shame of what occurred on board of HMS Devonshire that day.

Nobody should be surprised about similar things being occurred after the above case.

T. Jenkins declared the same story about that radio message also to a Channel 4 documentary years ago, being still alive.

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 KGV and Adm fuel signals on May 26 and 27.

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:11 pm

Wadinga wrote: "How much more reasonable would it be if you just made the information everybody needs, freely available? "
Hi Sean,
I see you gave up and implicitly admitted your (and Kennedy) gross error regarding the 1954 letter(s).... :oops:

I will provide all info for free, WHEN YOU WILL HAVE PRESENTED PUBLIC EXCUSES FOR REPEATEDLY ACCUSING ME TO POST THEM INCORRECTLY. Explicitly, not implicitly, as your accusations have been very explicit.... :negative:


you wrote: "Including a map of the extended Bay of Biscay in your post, entitled "Bay of Biscay" and then denying it portrays the Bay of Biscay is frankly bizarre"
Less bizarre that confusing the areas of patrol of an antisubmarine operation with the geographical (and meteorological) "Bay of Biscay", that is anyway clearly marked on the same chart (highlighted in purple, east of 8°W):
Bay_of_Biscay_Wadinga_reduced.jpg
Bay_of_Biscay_Wadinga_reduced.jpg (95.58 KiB) Viewed 310 times
Do you agree Ireland and Britain are biscayan islands, being clearly inside the "Inner Zone" of the Bay of Biscay patrol areas ? :negative:


Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

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Re: The KGV and Adm fuel signals on May 26 and 27.

Post by dunmunro » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:34 am

Antonio Bonomi wrote:Hello everybody,

from my work on HMS Glorious years ago :

https://www.scharnhorst-class.dk/scharn ... njuno.html
The Admiralty were very concerned that no useful enemy reports had been received and later asked all UK shore W/T stations if anyone had heard any sort of signal from Glorious or her two destroyers.

None officially had.

Glorious started transmitting (before going to Action Stations) her enemy sighting report at 17:15 with the main set on 253 kHz and the secondary one on one of the Home Station HF frequencies, 8,29 MHz.

The message was: "Two Pocket Battleships bearing 308° 15 miles course 030°. My position 154°69'N 04°E. 11 miles = 16:15 (GMT time)." (VE MTA V OW2 O-U 2PB 308 15 030 154GQOX 11 BT 1615 IMI).

Then the carrier re-transmitted (while going to Action Stations) her enemy sighting report shortly after 17:20 with the main set on 253 kHz and the secondary one on one of the Home Station HF frequencies, 8,29 MHz.

The message was this time: "Two Battle Cruisers bearing 308° 15 miles course 030°. My position 154°69'N 04°E. 11 miles = 16:15 (GMT time)." (VE MTA V OW2 O-U 2BC 308 15 030 154GQOX 11 BT 1615 IMI).

The fact that this message from Glorious was not received or almost un-intelligible is not the story told by 6 members of Devonshire crew (4 of whom are still alive). They differ in some re-collected details, but all are adamant that what was heard at 17:20 that day and was, at the least, sufficiently intelligible to cause considerable consternation on Devonshire bridge because the ship was kept sailing away from Glorious in clear danger.

According to PO Senior Telegraphist T. Jenkins,
who was in charge of the W/T Remote control office, the message was clear and contained all details (the PB's) and was received by one of his operators that called his attention to it, while on the main wireless office another operator received/confirmed it as well.

Midshipman D. Corkhill confirmed
that when plotted showed clearly to the Devonshire bridge senior officers how close Devonshire was to Glorious.

That message had been restricted by Vice-Admiral J. Cunningham orders and all copies have been handled to his staff Flag Lieutenant, including the operators log.


This message was officially never received on board HMS Devonshire according to the Admiralty and MoD, they only declare Devonshire having received garbled and un-intelligible signals only at 18:20.
Above you have the shame of what occurred on board of HMS Devonshire that day.

Nobody should be surprised about similar things being occurred after the above case.

T. Jenkins declared the same story about that radio message also to a Channel 4 documentary years ago, being still alive.

Bye. Antonio :D
As has been stated there may have been a low power transmission from Glorious, and IIRC, the position given was nearly the same as Devonshire's own plotted position, and there was obviously no KM BCs within visual range of Devonshire.

However, it is odd that a supposed full power transmission from the Admiralty to KGV, which would have been picked up by every listening receiver from Ottawa to Berlin, and Tokyo to Moscow has mysteriously vanished from the global records, and not a single soul has ever come forward to claim having been on the receiving or sending end of the message.

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Re: The KGV and Adm fuel signals on May 26 and 27.

Post by paul.mercer » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:39 am

dunmunro wrote:Signals are recorded by every ship that that intercepts the radio transmission. Dozens of ships and even RCN radio stations in Canada would have recorded a message ordering "...KGV to pursue Bismarck to the shores of France..." or words to that effect, yet the only source for it is Tovey's letters, written years after the fact.
Gentlemen,
Would all the signals re this and other engagements still be in MoD archives, or would they have been destroyed after the war?

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Re: The KGV and Adm fuel signals on May 26 and 27.

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:44 am

Hi all,
I think the point is exactly the one Paul has raised: is there still available in any place an original signal log, written at the time ?

Antonio showed that even an original log can be "altered "due to a valid war reason (as per Glorious episode).....

Of course the alteration of redacted ("a posteriori") lists of messages would have been much easier.


Dunmunro wrote: "...not a single soul has ever come forward to claim having been on the receiving or sending end of the message."
this is not correct: at least Tovey (on the receiving end) and Churchill (on the sending end) wrote in clear that they received/sent a signal on May 26 evening. According to Tovey, Pound was "having it espunged from the records".....and actually we are unable to find such a signal... but evidences for the signal to have been sent are clear in Tovey and Churchill accounts.



Another question: a ciphered signal, sent by the Admiralty, is of course received by everyone, but is any ship/station able to decipher it ? I mean, was there only one ciphering code or some codes were available ONLY for the C.in.C. HF, had the Admiralty decided to send a message that could not be seen by anybody else ?


Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

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Re: The KGV and Adm fuel signals on May 26 and 27.

Post by dunmunro » Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:04 pm

paul.mercer wrote:
dunmunro wrote:Signals are recorded by every ship that that intercepts the radio transmission. Dozens of ships and even RCN radio stations in Canada would have recorded a message ordering "...KGV to pursue Bismarck to the shores of France..." or words to that effect, yet the only source for it is Tovey's letters, written years after the fact.
Gentlemen,
Would all the signals re this and other engagements still be in MoD archives, or would they have been destroyed after the war?
This is from Scharnhorst's war diary:
0053/09 June:

Fleet advises: Operational situation at present
considered very favourable. Astonishingly, so
far shipboard B-Dienst reports no activity Brit-
ish radio traffic. Until now no mention own bat-
tleships by British wireless monitoring.

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Re: The KGV and Adm fuel signals on May 26 and 27.

Post by dunmunro » Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:19 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:Hi all,
I think the point is exactly the one Paul has raised: is there still available in any place an original signal log, written at the time ?

Antonio showed that even an original log can be "altered "due to a valid war reason (as per Glorious episode).....

Of course the alteration of redacted ("a posteriori") lists of messages would have been much easier.


Dunmunro wrote: "...not a single soul has ever come forward to claim having been on the receiving or sending end of the message."
this is not correct: at least Tovey (on the receiving end) and Churchill (on the sending end) wrote in clear that they received/sent a signal on May 26 evening. According to Tovey, Pound was "having it espunged from the records".....and actually we are unable to find such a signal... but evidences for the signal to have been sent are clear in Tovey and Churchill accounts.



Another question: a ciphered signal, sent by the Admiralty, is of course received by everyone, but is any ship/station able to decipher it ? I mean, was there only one ciphering code or some codes were available ONLY for the C.in.C. HF, had the Admiralty decided to send a message that could not be seen by anybody else ?


Bye, Alberto
If the Admiralty was ordering KGV to ROOF off the French coast, why would they keep that a secret from the rest of the home fleet and Force H? Obviously the movements of Tovey and KGV would have been of vital interest to all concerned.

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Re: The KGV and Adm fuel signals on May 26 and 27.

Post by wadinga » Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:28 pm

Hello Alberto,
The Admiralty was transmitting at maximum power and all ships of the Home Fleet and Force H were taking messages in and decoding so as to provide situational awareness for their commanders. The distribution list is merely a "heads up" in order to help the addressees pick up things for their attention amidst the mass of other material. For instance Rodney took in the Admiralty transmission with the D/F bearings and got a fix which agreed with the results later transmitted from onshore (unlike KG V). If there ever had been a "Shores of France" transmission, all ships would have received it.
Somerville received and decoded the real and only "towing" message for KG V at TOO 11:37B on the 27th and recorded it as "getting crapulous with Jack Tovey". He does not mention any similar, but astronomically more-stupid message on the 26th- when there was no chance of catching Bismarck.

As Dunmunro has pointed out there is no parallel at all with the Devonshire case, where maybe one log was edited in real time, as opposed to the impossibility of 20-30 retrospectively

I suspect Tovey was wrong about most things in his letters to Roskill, and since it is clear expunging the signal was impossible without raising an enormous fuss in 20 or 30 receiving stations and there is no actual evidence it was sent anyway, there is another possibility. That when Tovey defeated the CMDS threat however strong or mild it was, Pound agreed that IT would be expunged. Which is quite likely since there is no evidence that it was pursued in any form. Tovey's muddled memory had invented the "Shores of France" (likening it to Somerville's Spartivento ordeal) as a direct order, instead of remembering the real 11:37B. He forgot what exactly would be expunged.

Off Topic
Above you have the shame of what occurred on board of HMS Devonshire that day.
What also happened was that Devonshire had 435 men and 26 women of the Norwegian Royal Family, govt and international diplomatic corps plus 360 British and Norwegian officers and men aboard, as well as her regular complement of more than 800. As the wikipedia story says
Cunningham showed the message to King Haakon who asked what his orders were: Cunningham replied, "to bring you safely to England". The King later remarked, "I realised this was not to Admiral Cunningham's liking".[14] Cunningham was "mentioned in dispatches" on 11 July 1940.[
Geirr Haarr, an impartial Norwegian modern amateur naval historian, and one not given to creating flights of fancy, says in his excellent book "Battle for Norway"
it gives Vice-Admiral Cunningham the credit for shouldering a tremendous responsibility in an impossible situation. He had been given clear orders by the Admiralty and jeopardising his ship and passengers was not really an option.
and
The disappointment is that the British Navy and Ministry of Defence remain in denial to this day about the precise details of the event, rather than putting the case forward as an example of the challenges that may face senior officers at times of war- and that they need to be prepared for.
He goes into a great deal of detail about Glorious' attempted transmissions and the Germans' reception thereof and effective jamming.

However since this is entirely different to the case we study, surely no more needs to be said.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: The KGV and Adm fuel signals on May 26 and 27.

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:59 pm

Wadinga wrote: "I suspect Tovey was wrong about most things in his letters to Roskill"
Hi Sean,
while I have to respect your personal view, this is not what Roskill thought about Tovey letters, that he kept in his archive and also provided to Kennedy as a reference for his book. :negative:


My question has not been answered yet:
I wrote: a ciphered signal, sent by the Admiralty, is of course received by everyone, but is any ship/station able to decipher it ? I mean, was there only one ciphering code or some codes were available ONLY for the C.in.C. HF, had the Admiralty decided to send a message that could not be seen by anybody else ?
:?:


In any case, we don't have any original signal log and thus espunging a signal from later redacted lists would have been relatively simple, even if everybody had originally received it.
Of course, if only KGV was able to decipher it, the case would be definitely closed.


Devonshire case can be different (even if in both cases they were wartime priorities to dictate what was done :think: ), but it demonstrate how "easy" is to espunge a signal from a log, when required.


Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

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Re: The KGV and Adm fuel signals on May 26 and 27.

Post by wadinga » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:11 am

Hello Alberto,

Your question has been answered: Rodney read the bearings signal, Somerville read the 11:37B. Is that clear enough for you. Why is an imaginary "Shores of France" signal any different?
Somerville received and decoded the real and only "towing" message for KG V at TOO 11:37B on the 27th and recorded it as "getting crapulous with Jack Tovey". He does not mention any similar, but astronomically more-stupid message on the 26th- when there was no chance of catching Bismarck.
In Devonshire's case it may have been removed from the log. but not from witnesses memories. If "Shores of France" existed there would tens if not hundreds of witnesses. There are none except Churchill, too important to confirm its transmission, and Tovey who has no confirmation.

All the best

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Re: The KGV and Adm fuel signals on May 26 and 27.

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:38 am

Hi Sean,
the fact that Somerville read the 1137/27 signal means it was sent with a ciphering cose available to him.

My question is: were there in the Royal Navy only "common" codes available to any ship at sea or also "private" codes available for Tovey (as C.i.C HF) only ?
I mean, what was the process used in the RN for ciphering signals. Was it possible to send a signal that could be de-ciphered ONLY by one ship or once a signal is sent, it was broadcasted to everybody ?

This question has not yet been answered yet. :negative:

I assume my other question: "is there available an original signal log ?" has implicitly been answered..... NO, it does not exist, therefore you cannot say that the May 26 "shores of France" message was never sent.


Devonshire case implied the death of several sailors and witnesses surfaced, tortured by remorse, the "shores of France" message had NO consequences at all and would have been just laughed at in pubs, but it was not forgotten by Tovey and Churchill..... :negative:


Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

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Re: The KGV and Adm fuel signals on May 26 and 27.

Post by dunmunro » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:21 am

All signals sent were apparently decodable by any RN ship, including the other ROOF messages and the 1137/27 ROOF message.

As I stated it was of vital interest to the other RN ships to be informed of Tovey and KGV's probable course.

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