1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

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wadinga
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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by wadinga » Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:49 pm

Hello Alberto,

Please accept my genuine appreciation for clarifying this matter of the index sheet..

Looking at Wellings' book it appears Phillips was correct in that it records the turn by Rodney to the SE at 21:00, so maybe 2 hours after the re-re-re-re revision could have been acted on. However to my mind Phillips is churlish in the extreme, and his comments laced with a heavy dose of hindsight.

This minor delay in heading SE is nothing compared to KG V charging off in the wrong direction for most of the day!

Absolutely missing from the record anywhere as far as I can see is anybody being sanctioned for the misplotting error. Tovey's Fleet Navigator Frank Lloyd is normally mentioned, and supposed to have discovered his error later on the 25th. Looking at his record, http://www.unithistories.com/officers/R ... ersL2.html assuming I have the right Francis Bernard Lloyd, he was given a Mentioned in Dispatches on 1/1/1942, an OBE in mid 1942 promoted to Captain in Dec 1942 and getting HMS Ariadne to command in 1945. If he did make a spectacular professional cock-up it seems to have done his career no harm.

Interestingly in Welling's book he states, after hearing Tovey's transmission at 10:47B with the D/F derived erroneous position for Bismarck, that their navigator, Lieutenant-Commander Gatacre derived a position 60 miles south of that position using the same information. Wellings says "we checked the navigator's position and found it correct."

Rhys-Jones devotes a chapter to the Misplotting Controversy but still does not come to a conclusion. That Rodney got a result similar to the shoreside suggests a mistake in reception in KG V or that Frank got his sums wrong.

Wellings also records a contact from Gatacre as late as July 1970 in which he claimed that looking at plots he reckoned they had only missed intercepting Bismarck by no more than 25 miles on the 25th!

What is blatantly obvious is that Phillips' enthusiasm for apportioning blame did not apply to his own department in not sending their worked out position to Tovey as well as the raw data, and as authors from Grenfell onwards have observed, not expressing immediate concern when his 10:47B signal came up with an answer so different to their own.

The plotting controversy deserves a new thread for those who are interested- I will create one.

All the best

wadinga
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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:45 pm

Dunmunro wrote: "Please post the full page."
Duncan,
I warn you: it's THE VERY LAST TIME I ACCEPT SUCH A PROVOCATION from you. What do you think the page can contain ?

Please have the courage to plainly tell to me and to everybody what you insinuate.


Bye, Alberto
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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by dunmunro » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:53 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Dunmunro wrote: "Please post the full page."
Duncan,
I warn you: it's THE VERY LAST TIME I ACCEPT SUCH A PROVOCATION from you. What do you think the page can contain ?

Please have the courage to plainly tell to me and to everybody what you insinuate.


Bye, Alberto
Alberto, In your previous post, to my request, you stated:

I can post the full page (albeit very reduced in size) if you still suspect I'm hiding information..... :negative:


Bye, Alberto
I politely asked you to post the full page. Mainly, (at least for me) to give me more info in locating the files that it refers to.

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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:11 pm

Hi Duncan,
if this is the ONLY reason of your request, I beg your pardon.

I have had recently very bad moments facing a trolling guy that was insinuating I was hiding information and redacting it.

Here you are (I warned it would have been quite difficult to read, Bismarck action is the last paragraph:
Full Page.jpg
Full Page.jpg (53.3 KiB) Viewed 2569 times
Bye, Alberto
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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by dunmunro » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:30 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:Hi Duncan,
if this is the ONLY reason of your request, I beg your pardon.

I have had recently very bad moments facing a trolling guy that was insinuating I was hiding information and redacting it.

Here you are (I warned it would have been quite difficult to read, Bismarck action is the last paragraph:



Bye, Alberto
Alberto, thanks. It is quite legible when resized. This appears to a index of contents of various other volumes and relevant page numbers, and was compiled late or post war. It should assist in locating the file in question.

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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:39 pm

sorry, duplicate post
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:41 pm

Hi Duncan,
sure it is.
It covers 1939-1945 and ther eis no date on it.

It only report one investigation (related to the Bismarck action): the PoW disengagement
and it refers to ADM 205/10 file 4 for the papers.

Rodney paper is not listed, as far as I can see, looking in the (long) file, as someone was trying to say speaking of Phillips remarks about Dalrymple_Hamilton conduct.


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: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by wadinga » Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:43 am

Hello All,

This is page 25 in 205/10







Image

Here are some points for sensible discussion:

Looking at Wellings' book it appears Phillips was correct in that it records the turn by Rodney to the SE at 21:00, so maybe 2 hours after the re-re-re-re revision could have been acted on. However to my mind Phillips is churlish in the extreme, and his comments laced with a heavy dose of hindsight.

This minor delay in heading SE is nothing compared to KG V charging off in the wrong direction for most of the day!

Absolutely missing from the record anywhere as far as I can see is anybody being sanctioned for the misplotting error. Tovey's Fleet Navigator Frank Lloyd is normally mentioned, and supposed to have discovered his error later on the 25th. Looking at his record, http://www.unithistories.com/officers/R ... ersL2.html assuming I have the right Francis Bernard Lloyd, he was given a Mentioned in Dispatches on 1/1/1942, an OBE in mid 1942 promoted to Captain in Dec 1942 and getting HMS Ariadne to command in 1945. If he did make a spectacular professional cock-up it seems to have done his career no harm.

Interestingly in Welling's book he states, after hearing Tovey's transmission at 10:47B with the D/F derived erroneous position for Bismarck, that their navigator, Lieutenant-Commander Gatacre derived a position 60 miles south of that position using the same information. Wellings says "we checked the navigator's position and found it correct."

Rhys-Jones devotes a chapter to the Misplotting Controversy but still does not come to a conclusion. That Rodney got a result similar to the shoreside suggests a mistake in reception in KG V or that Frank got his sums wrong.

Wellings also records a contact from Gatacre as late as July 1970 in which he claimed that looking at plots he reckoned they had only missed intercepting Bismarck by no more than 25 miles on the 25th!

What is blatantly obvious is that Phillips' enthusiasm for apportioning blame did not apply to his own department in not sending their worked out position to Tovey as well as the raw data, and as authors from Grenfell onwards have observed, not expressing immediate concern when his 10:47B signal came up with an answer so different to their own.

The plotting controversy deserves a new thread for those who are interested- I will create one.

All the best

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

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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by paul.mercer » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:31 pm

Gentlemen,
Re Rodney intercepting Bismarck on her way to Brest, surely Lutjens, if he had seen Rodney coming over the horizon and having an already damaged ship would just have put on all speed and left poor old Rodney staggering after her at 22 knots max speed, what would be the point in engaging an admittedly old and slow battleship but one which had quite good armour and more importantly 9x16" guns which could severely damage Bismarck and leave her open to attack from other RN ships, aircraft or subs? Personally I don't think Rodney would neverhad a chance to catch up Bismarck.

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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by wadinga » Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:51 pm

Hello Paul,

Excellent. A reasoned debate.

Yes Rodney would definitely have a difficult time, unless directly between Bismarck and her objective, safety. But even then an interior line would push Bismarck north or south and giving Tovey more time.

Do you think Phillips was unfair as I do? He neglects to mention that D-H is actually assigned to Tovey's control, so when the 10:47B order comes in D-H is in a dilemma. He had originally thought that only France would give him a chance of interception. Then his commander says assume Norway as a destination. Then the Admiralty orders D-H to assume France overruling C-in-C Home Fleet. Then they change their mind again.

Phillips who lacked sea-time, is appallingly influenced by hindsight in these comments, suggesting Rodney should have just steamed SE all along, ie ignoring Tovey's instruction. D-H steamed aggressively toward where he though he might get an interception, rather than wandering off to the SE on his own.

It was the lack of information from Phillips' own department which nearly "lost all chance of intercepting her" and which "might have been very serious". These observations look like an attempt to throw an investigating eye elsewhere. :cool:

All the best

wadinga
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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by paul.mercer » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:32 am

wadinga wrote:Hello Paul,

Excellent. A reasoned debate.

Yes Rodney would definitely have a difficult time, unless directly between Bismarck and her objective, safety. But even then an interior line would push Bismarck north or south and giving Tovey more time.

Do you think Phillips was unfair as I do? He neglects to mention that D-H is actually assigned to Tovey's control, so when the 10:47B order comes in D-H is in a dilemma. He had originally thought that only France would give him a chance of interception. Then his commander says assume Norway as a destination. Then the Admiralty orders D-H to assume France overruling C-in-C Home Fleet. Then they change their mind again.

Phillips who lacked sea-time, is appallingly influenced by hindsight in these comments, suggesting Rodney should have just steamed SE all along, ie ignoring Tovey's instruction. D-H steamed aggressively toward where he though he might get an interception, rather than wandering off to the SE on his own.

It was the lack of information from Phillips' own department which nearly "lost all chance of intercepting her" and which "might have been very serious". These observations look like an attempt to throw an investigating eye elsewhere. :cool:

All the best

wadinga
Hi there Wadinga,
Re your question, I'm afraid I really don't know, It does seem that there was some confusion between the Admiralty and the chaps at sea which was made worse after Bismarck had been dealt with. In another thread I asked if there might be any further details hidden in the dusty vaults of the MoD that might shed some light on the whole argument that is currently raging in this forum on what was or was not said or written at the time, so I wonder if anyone has actually tried to extract this information (if any) from them under the freedom of information act?
All I will repeat is what I have said several times before,that I greatly respect the knowledge and expertise shown by everyone in all of the subjects on the Bismarck Forum and it does make me a little sad to see some of the subjects descending into a slanging match. Perhaps one of you who have the right contacts could see if there is any definitive info left in the MoD files.

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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by wadinga » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:06 pm

Hello Paul,
Perhaps one of you who have the right contacts could see if there is any definitive info left in the MoD files.
Ploughing back through the arguments will show several examples where valuable new information has been extracted from the Kew National Archive and published works during this long running debate. Many of the files were opened around the early 1970s and as I pointed out, some which were designated for closure until 2042 ie 100 year were opened then too. Access to these files at the NA is free to anyone who applies for a Reader's Ticket. To the best of my knowledge there is no FOI resource provision available for our area of interest. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

The dusty vaults are a gleaming modern facility with restaurant, bookshop, convenient parking and a computer indexing system. The problem is knowing/finding what you want amongst millions of files. When you do know what you want, it is ready to pick up and view at your allocated desk in 40 minutes. Courtesy of the UK taxpayer. That is where Phillips' comments above were accessed.

You are not the only one to say
it does make me a little sad to see some of the subjects descending into a slanging match
but unfortunately there are parties here who have promoted IMHO, a fanciful and threadbare "conspiracy theory" here with a view to creating a sensationalist publication alleging cowardice, lying under oath, falsifying of documents and comprehensive cover-up by the Royal Navy. They apparently believe they are champions of truth who are putting right a wrong which has existed for 75 years. As an independent reader you may care to consider whether they have any proof. Whatsoever.

I am devoted to maintaining the reputations, in particular, of two officers recently described as a "couple of cowards" and of the Royal Navy in general. Conversation gets a little heated, but is gentlemanly compared with many other sites.

If you are interested in reading more about Dalrymple-Hamilton, and Rodney's part in the Bismarck chase, download Wellings' book at https://archive.org/stream/onhismajesty ... /mode/2up).

All the best

wadinga
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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by paul.mercer » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:06 pm

wadinga wrote:Hello Paul,

[
If you are interested in reading more about Dalrymple-Hamilton, and Rodney's part in the Bismarck chase, download Wellings' book at https://archive.org/stream/onhismajesty ... /mode/2up).

All the best

wadinga
HI Wadinga,
Many thanks for that link it is a fascinating account of the final battle.
A couple of things puzzle me, it says 0902 hits Bismarck A and B turrets out of action, yet it reports at 0927 salvos from enemy's forward guns, so did they repair them in a space of 25 minutes? Second, it states 0955 torpedo fired from port side - no results,
0932 torpedo fired from port side seen leaping out of the water 2/3rds of the way, 0958 torpedo hit Bismack amidships -yet I thought that no hits were claimed. Finally, 10.11 salvo blows pieces from Bismarck's stern and at 1027 sudden flash seen on Bismarcks stern,
could this have been the stern breaking away? One more thing, it was reported that some of Rodney's shots were going well over, as the final range seems to have come down to 1 1/2-2 miles could meaning she could hardly miss, could that be some of her shells passing straight through the superstructure,which by all accounts was absolutely shot to pieces?
Sorry for so many questions, but it was a great read!

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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by Dave Saxton » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:07 pm

paul.mercer wrote:One more thing, it was reported that some of Rodney's shots were going well over, as the final range seems to have come down to 1 1/2-2 miles could meaning she could hardly miss, could that be some of her shells passing straight through the superstructure,which by all accounts was absolutely shot to pieces?
With such flat trajectories shells that pass over the target just a few meters high will travel hundreds of meters before they finally splash into the sea.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by wadinga » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:24 pm

Hello Paul,

The weather was extremely poor during the last battle and even Rodney would be pitching and rolling, making even point blank shooting difficult.

Claims for hits by Rodney's torpedoes were made but are largely discounted today. In the smoke and nearby shell splashes it would be easy to believe one had scored a hit. Maybe one did.

Returning to the thread subject: With regard to Tom Phillips' unwarranted (IMHO) criticism of D-H, it is clear Pound and Tovey disagreed, the 1st Sea Lord ignored the VCNS' comment and Rodney's captain was commended and honoured for his part in the proceedings.

Getting a balance between the Admiralty overriding the at-sea C in C when they had superior information and "leaving things to the man on the spot" was very difficult, especially since someone like Tovey wanted to maintain radio silence to avoid detection. However there is no excuse for the Admiralty, firstly, not sending the onshore computed position in addition to the raw bearings and secondly the delay between Tovey's incorrect appreciation of the D/R results being intercepted and the Admiralty eventually sending their estimate.

An unbiased independent report on the operation would undoubtedly have highlighted the way in which vital D/F intelligence on Bismarck's location was squandered by a simple procedural error and laid the blame squarely on the Admiralty. It is suggested that it was Tovey's fault because he required that only raw bearings were sent to him. There are vague suggestions that he did not want a computed solution sent because he might derive a different result using additional bearings from his ships unavailable onshore. This makes no sense. A simple transcription error in sending the bearings would be picked up if the onshore solution was sent as well. That is simple error trapping. The additional information from a solution derived onshore would not compromise an independent computation offshore. If there was any suggestion that Tovey could somehow veto getting both raw and computed data on principle, he should have been told he was wrong, not to be so silly, and compelled to accept both.

The information recorded in Wellings' book, that onboard they derived the same result as onshore, after intercepting the bearings message is extremely important. It proves there was nothing wrong with data as sent. this reinforces the idea there was a plotting error in Tovey's flagship. D-H and his ad-hoc committee attempted to intercept Bismarck directly, but were unlucky. They used their initiative. If Phillips had wanted them immediately to sail directly toward Brest to act as a potential back stop, ready for when Bismarck's position was known more accurately, that's what he should have ordered.

All the best

wadinga
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