Byron Angel wrote:..... I really think we are belaboring the issue at this point, but it is important to read exactly what Mr Leach stated and did not state.
[ 1 ] Mr Leach stated that no results were obtained from either Type 281 or 284 RDF; he does not explicitly state WHY no results were obtained.
[ 2 ] He seeks to explain the lack of radar range date by citing opinions of Signal School officers who were themselves not present at the action that both the 281 and 284 sets must have been suffering from some sort of undefined "interference".
[ 3 ] Mr Leach then leaves the reader to assume that this interference was sufficient in degree to prevent any range data whatsoever being obtained by PoWs multiple radar sets, despite them having been twice tested with satisfactory results on the preceding days. Did Mr Leach himself have any practical understanding of radar technology? We don't know.
[ 4 ] The report is silent as to where Mr Leach himself was stationed in the ship and what his own specific duties were during the action, whom he interviewed in the preparation of the report and what effort he took to verify whatever testimony he took from other parties.
In other words, Leach's report appears to corroborate Paddon's account with respect to 281 radar range data not being used, but, beyond passing along speculative hearsay, the report offers no concrete explanation as to why.
An example of how complicated things can become when official reports are uncritically accepted - Admiral David Beatty's Jutland report, complete with diagram, described a serpentine turn by the BCF of 180deg to starboard followed by 180deg to port between 6:50 and 7:05pm that he claimed he ordered in order to reduce the interval between the GF battle line and his force. Numerous officers disputed Beatty's report, asserting that the BCF was in fact led about in a great circle to starboard. The official track chart of "New Zealand" (as printed in the Official Despatches) indicates a 360deg turn to starboard. Who's telling the truth?
My last word on this topic.
Leach's report is a summary of individual reports, which were also forwarded to the Admiralty
. Within those reports is the data that might prove or disprove Leach's report. Paddon's own account, if anything, indicates that interference was encountered that was of sufficient magnitude to preclude accurate ranging since spurious targets appeared on Paddon's display. Paddon reports that he passed ranges to the TS, yet we have no clue as to how he divined which target was which, yet target selection would have involved McMullen in the decision making process, yet we have Leach stating that no radar ranges were obtained, and we know that McMullen submitted his own report to Leach (and the Admiralty) as did Paddon, and we are supposed to believe that Leach ignored both officer's statements that radar ranges were obtained when he wrote his report? If an error occurred in the TS why would this not be reported when errors in drill are routinely reported, especially when this would, in fact, strengthen Leach's case that his ship had to withdraw from combat? Why, for example, did Roskill, who was privy to the individual reports not comment on PoW's error in drill?
Here's an excerpt from the McMullen letter, written over 30 years after the fact:
The procedure at that time was for the "Spotting Officer" (Lt. Cdr . Skipwith, R.N. ) (on my right} to give the routine orders, "enemy in sight" etc., "bearing and description"; for the "Rate Officer" Lieut. Buxton RNVR (on my left), to give Enemy's Inclination and speed while the G.O. in the middle, communicated with the Captain, kept an overall view and then, being in direct touch with the T.S. Officer (Mr. Murphy) discussed the range plot and arising therefrom the open fire range.
Thus on this occasion I remember almost "imploring" Mr. Murphy for ranges and his reply "No Ranges".
I can also remember asking the W/T operator (by my left foot) for ranges from Hood, also negative. Then Mr. Murphy's report of one range from D. C. T. and my "estimation by card"; then Hood opening fire and we following as per drill in our "time sector" on a mean of two ranges. (One from a 15 foot range finder and one estimated).
Yet Paddon blithely states that he supplied radar ranges, from 26000 yards, on Bismarck when only McMullen could have helped him decide which of the 3 possible radar targets to range on!!!
Yes, numerous officers and reports which were written at the same timeframe as Beatty's report and drawn from data recorded at that time, not years later in accounts drawn from officer's failing memories!
I've been making this same argument from the beginning of our discussion on this particular point.