Withdrawing from Combat

General naval discussions that don't fit within any specific time period or cover several issues.
User avatar
Antonio Bonomi
Senior Member
Posts: 3571
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Vimercate ( Milano ) - Italy

Re: Withdrawing from Combat

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:16 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Dunmunro,

that does not apply much as comparison Duncan.

Dogger Bank : Hipper retreated while executing Admiral Von Ingenohl orders, being caught by surprise by RN. Adm Von Ingenohl REMOVED, Hipper decorated.

Jutland : Hipper doing probably the best of the 4 Admirals involved; highly decorated with the Pour La Merite. Scheer declared the winner by tons sunk ( I know many would NOT agree and so do I, ... since strategically he lost ... and the Royal Navy WON at Jutland ).

Denmark Strait : retreat while in superiority and engaged by own initiative, no one was removed. Holland being the scapegoat. Wake-Walker, Leach and Ellis decorated. :think:

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 )

dunmunro
Senior Member
Posts: 3541
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 1:25 am
Location: Langley BC Canada

Re: Withdrawing from Combat

Post by dunmunro » Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:32 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote:Hello everybody,

@ Dunmunro,

that does not apply much as comparison Duncan.

Dogger Bank : Hipper retreated while executing Admiral Von Ingenohl orders, being caught by surprise by RN. Adm Von Ingenohl REMOVED, Hipper decorated.

Jutland : Hipper doing probably the best of the 4 Admirals involved; highly decorated with the Pour La Merite. Scheer declared the winner by tons sunk ( I know many would NOT agree and so do I, ... since strategically he lost ... and the Royal Navy WON at Jutland ).

Denmark Strait : retreat while in superiority and engaged by own initiative, no one was removed. Holland being the scapegoat. Wake-Walker, Leach and Ellis decorated. :think:

Bye Antonio :D
Adm Von Ingenohl was removed because he was considered too aggressive. Adm Von Ingenohl was not present at Dogger Bank.


Exactly how do you consider PoW with her low 14in output and effectively no 5.25in output, superior to Bismarck and PE... :!:

Steve Crandell
Senior Member
Posts: 630
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:05 pm

Re: Withdrawing from Combat

Post by Steve Crandell » Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:35 am

dunmunro wrote:Exactly how do you consider PoW with her low 14in output and effectively no 5.25in output, superior to Bismarck and PE... :!:
Obviously she wasn't. If for no other reason it would make sense to turn away until the RN CAs could come up, and then reengage, which I believe is what would have happened if it wasn't for Bismarck and PE running away.

User avatar
Antonio Bonomi
Senior Member
Posts: 3571
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Vimercate ( Milano ) - Italy

Re: Withdrawing from Combat

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:09 am

Hello everybody,

those 73 years of incorrect statements have done their job, ... no doubts ! In fact you are only thinking PoW being alone there ... :negative:

From a pure number of ships involved stand point, we were talking initially 4 RN warships against 2 KM warships.

After Hood exploded, ... we had still 3 Royal Navy warships ( PoW, Norfolk and Suffolk ) against 2 Kriegsmarine warships ( Bismarck and Prinz Eugen ).

I know that Suffolk due to a " mirage " placed herself out of the battle since the beginning, ... but Norfolk was there and was at gun range and should have helped, ..making it an even contest 2 against 2.

A less reluctant Flag Officer looking at Hood exploding and realizing he was in command from that moment on, ... should have immediately ordered the Norfolk open fire and given clear directions/orders to PoW and Suffolk looking at the new battle situation.

Norfolk was a spendable unit exactly like PoW, ... to " shadow " the enemy and make sure the Home Fleet and Tovey could get them any time, Suffolk was enough.

He only thought about running away from the enemy ... even before PoW did ... :shock: ... while PoW was not having Y turret jammed yet ... it happened after.

Obviously he got a medal for that ... :shock:

With Hood still there the orders were clear : sink both Bismarck and Prinz Eugen ! This was Holland mission and he was trying to do that.

Without Hood, the mission was going to be accomplished anyway if in that engagement situation at least a good damage was going to be inflicted to both German units to disable the threat for the convoy routes. Adm Lutjens was not easy to be cornered and Adm Holland did a good job forcing him into a battle.

An average Flag Officer would have immediately realized the situation and ordered accordingly, directing PoW and getting personally involved into the fight up until they had done enough damages to Bismarck/Prinz Eugen and delivering to Adm Tovey the enemy for the " coup de grace ".

He decided he was only a " shadower " ... and Capt Leach even asked him if their mission from that moment on was only to be " shadowers " ... probably he was surprised as well about it after he recovered himself on a normal Royal Navy Officer thinking mode.

Similarly the Admiralty was surprised about this situation and in the afternoon " invited " this flag Officer to consider a re-engagement ... we know what he responded ... and I will not comment 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 )

Byron Angel
Senior Member
Posts: 769
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:06 am

Re: Withdrawing from Combat

Post by Byron Angel » Sun Aug 03, 2014 12:32 pm

..... Antonio, here is an alternative interpretation of events I present for your consideration:
[ 1 ] Leach is dutifully following Holland on a sharp closing heading
[ 2 ] Just as Holland signals for a second course alteration to open gun arcs, Hood is hit and utterly destroyed.
[ 3 ] Leach is forced to maneuver with hard rudder to avoid Hood's wreckage.
[ 4 ] Leach reverses his turn to open PoW's gun arcs, but is still on a sharp closing course versus Bismarck.
[ 5 ] PoW is hit in the bridge control position, stunning Leach, killing/incapacitating everyone else in his party, and severing all internal ship communications at the control position.
[ 6 ] Leach awakens to a scene of utter gore and chaos: he has no idea what other damage may have been suffered by his ship; he has no immediate means of finding out; his ship remains under fire within effective range of a powerful and apparently undamaged opponent.
[ 7 ] Leach stumbles down to the conning tower and orders an immediate turn away covered by smoke until he can get a grip on the situation.
[ 8 ] Y Turret jams as a result of the turn away under hard rudder.
[ 9 ] The failure of Y turret decides Leach to disengage altogether.

I do not know if the above is true in every respect; we will never be able to know that. But I do submit it as a perfectly plausible and reasonable alternative interpretation of Leach's behavior. As such, it reflects the acts of a rational mind in an uncertain, highly stressed, mortally dangerous situation where every passing moment was of critical importance. Was Leach's behavior cowardly on these bases? Not by my standards. The important thing to draw from this exercise is that the existing body of evidence can very reasonably be interpreted in different ways. Hence my earlier comment about an insufficiency of clear proof to support any outright indictment for cowardice on the part of Leach.

B

User avatar
Dave Saxton
Supporter
Posts: 2953
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Rocky Mountains USA

Re: Withdrawing from Combat

Post by Dave Saxton » Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:19 pm

I suggest presenting the event timings as the evidence findings suggests but propose possible explanations as questions rather than as conclusions.

You could even present the issue of a possible cover up in an in depth appendix so that the issue doesn't muddy the waters in your main text.
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.

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7525
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: Withdrawing from Combat

Post by RF » Sun Aug 03, 2014 5:40 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote: You are just trying to " walk around " something that is there and will always nail down to their responsibilities those persons.
What exactly is this supposed to mean?
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7525
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: Withdrawing from Combat

Post by RF » Sun Aug 03, 2014 5:42 pm

Byron Angel wrote: ..... With all due respect, my impression is that you have allowed the (cover up conspiracy) theory to take on a degree of substance that is just not supported by the evidence. It is POSSIBLE that you are right, but inference, theory and speculation are not evidence. Should you go forward to publish your work, which I hope you will do, I certainly think it would be perfectly reasonable to QUESTION or EXAMINE the behavior and decisions of the British commanders on the scene, but to attempt to argue as FACT a case of dereliction of duty, cowardice in the face of the enemy and subsequent high level cover-up (which is what your case implies, like it or not) would be a grave disservice to your otherwise fine and valuable work in dissecting the physical aspects of the battle.
I am in complete agreement with this paragraph.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

Steve Crandell
Senior Member
Posts: 630
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:05 pm

Re: Withdrawing from Combat

Post by Steve Crandell » Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:30 pm

Byron Angel wrote:..... Antonio, here is an alternative interpretation of events I present for your consideration:
[ 1 ] Leach is dutifully following Holland on a sharp closing heading
[ 2 ] Just as Holland signals for a second course alteration to open gun arcs, Hood is hit and utterly destroyed.
[ 3 ] Leach is forced to maneuver with hard rudder to avoid Hood's wreckage.
[ 4 ] Leach reverses his turn to open PoW's gun arcs, but is still on a sharp closing course versus Bismarck.
[ 5 ] PoW is hit in the bridge control position, stunning Leach, killing/incapacitating everyone else in his party, and severing all internal ship communications at the control position.
[ 6 ] Leach awakens to a scene of utter gore and chaos: he has no idea what other damage may have been suffered by his ship; he has no immediate means of finding out; his ship remains under fire within effective range of a powerful and apparently undamaged opponent.
[ 7 ] Leach stumbles down to the conning tower and orders an immediate turn away covered by smoke until he can get a grip on the situation.
[ 8 ] Y Turret jams as a result of the turn away under hard rudder.
[ 9 ] The failure of Y turret decides Leach to disengage altogether.

I do not know if the above is true in every respect; we will never be able to know that. But I do submit it as a perfectly plausible and reasonable alternative interpretation of Leach's behavior. As such, it reflects the acts of a rational mind in an uncertain, highly stressed, mortally dangerous situation where every passing moment was of critical importance. Was Leach's behavior cowardly on these bases? Not by my standards. The important thing to draw from this exercise is that the existing body of evidence can very reasonably be interpreted in different ways. Hence my earlier comment about an insufficiency of clear proof to support any outright indictment for cowardice on the part of Leach.

B
I completely agree with this sequence of events and it is more or less what I have believed all along. Add to that Leach's willingness to engage Bismarck later, when Y turret is back in action and things are more or less sorted out on his ship.

User avatar
Antonio Bonomi
Senior Member
Posts: 3571
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Vimercate ( Milano ) - Italy

Re: Withdrawing from Combat

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:44 pm

Hello everybody,


... and here is the correct version with the event timetable :

[ 1 ] Leach is dutifully following Holland on a sharp closing heading


This is correct.
[ 2 ] Just as Holland signals for a second course alteration to open gun arcs, Hood is hit and utterly destroyed.
It was the third course planned alteration, not the second. A arcs have been opened with the second turn, going from course 300 to course 280 at 05.57.
[ 3 ] Leach is forced to manoeuvre with hard rudder to avoid Hood's wreckage.
This is correct, course change was minimal. Battle time after 06.00 and 10/20 seconds.
[ 4 ] Leach reverses his turn to open PoW's gun arcs, but is still on a sharp closing course versus Bismarck.
This is correct since PoW was still on course 280 degrees toward the enemy. PoW salvo 15 was fired. Battle time around 06.00 and 40 seconds.
[ 5 ] PoW is hit in the bridge control position, stunning Leach, killing/incapacitating everyone else in his party, and severing all internal ship communications at the control position.
This is only partially correct, there were probably only 5 persons into the compass platform on that moment at 06.00 and 50 seconds : 3 on the port side, Leach, Rowell and Gilbert, and the 2 midshipmen on the middle on the compass at the table and into the Bismarck shell trajectory. Leach and Gilbert shaken and shocked, Rowell also injured on his mouth by a piece of the wood table but refusing to leave to have medications, Ince and Dreyer both killed by the 380 mm shell. No serious damages on the equipment, few telephone lines broken on aft port side, a window, a table and a door destroyed by the shell.
[ 6 ] Leach awakens to a scene of utter gore and chaos: he has no idea what other damage may have been suffered by his ship; he has no immediate means of finding out; his ship remains under fire within effective range of a powerful and apparently undamaged opponent.


This is partially correct, I do not think Leach, Gilbert and Rowell lost themselves and need to wake up, they were shocked of course, but recovery time was fast, like for everybody else on same situation on board PoW. Leach goes to the voice pipe aside the compass, still intact and orders the turn away to port breaking off the action. As the ship starts turning away to port, the shell on the aft funnel was received. Battle time 06.01 and 30 seconds.

[ 7 ] Leach stumbles down to the conning tower and orders an immediate turn away covered by smoke until he can get a grip on the situation.
After having already ordered the turn away retreating, Leach leaves the compass platform and goes down 2 levels into the armoured conning tower. McMullen boy goes down after 06.02 - 06.03 and did not find Capt Leach into the Compass Platform.
[ 8 ] Y Turret jams as a result of the turn away under hard rudder.
This is correct and it happened during the turn away around 06.03-06.04 battle time when Y turret fired 3 salvoes in local control while retreating under smoke screen.
[ 9 ] The failure of Y turret decides Leach to disengage altogether.
The disengagement had already been ordered around 2-3 minutes before, when Leach ordered the hard to port turn, the only order he gave.
Capt. Leach did not order a turn to port and after he ordered the disengagement, this is incorrect.
Capt. Leach himself explained this, so no possible doubts here, it was a single unique order and it was issued just before 06.01 and 30 seconds.

Bye Antonio :D
Last edited by Antonio Bonomi on Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 )

User avatar
Antonio Bonomi
Senior Member
Posts: 3571
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Vimercate ( Milano ) - Italy

Re: Withdrawing from Combat

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:52 pm

Hello everybody,
RF wrote:
Antonio Bonomi wrote: You are just trying to " walk around " something that is there and will always nail down to their responsibilities those persons.
What exactly is this supposed to mean?
It means that 06.13 retreat for PoW and the 15 sea miles from " The Plot " that allowed Norfolk and Suffolk to be moved out of the battle area will always demonstrate what was done during the summer of 1941 to " cover up " the reality.

It is the Official documentation available that does demonstrate the reality and the " cover up " done after.

Being an historian I have just been the first to do the research job after 73 years, ... but very soon everybody will know about it in full details.

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 )

Byron Angel
Senior Member
Posts: 769
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:06 am

Re: Withdrawing from Combat

Post by Byron Angel » Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:32 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote: The disengagement had already been ordered around 2-3 minutes before, when Leach ordered the hard to port turn, the only order he gave.
Capt. Leach did not order a turn to port and after he ordered the disengagement, this is incorrect.
Capt. Leach himself explained this, so no possible doubts here, it was a single unique order and it was issued just before 06.01 and 30 seconds.
..... Once again it seems that inference and supposition are being substituted for hard evidence. Leach ordered the turn-away under smoke, with Y turret becoming mechanically disabled as a result. Is it known with absolute certitude that Leach intended to flee from the fight altogether at the time he ordered that turn-away? There is a material difference between a disengagement to consolidate and outright retreat from the fight. Here is an excerpt the 04 Jun 41 report. It seems to me that Leach temporarily withdrew from the action; he did not leave the scene; he did not flee. At this point, Leach came under the orders of Wake-Walker as the next in command after Holland and PoW's actions were thereafter governed by Wake-Walker. It is worth noting that PoW's damage report was not able to be transmitted to Wake-Walker until 0707 hrs. It is also worthy of note that Wake-Walker himself went looking for Bismarck. I just do not see any logical traction for a case of dereliction of duty or cowardice.

- - -

It was considered expedient to break off the action and consolidate the position, and the ship, after being manoeuvred round the remains of "Hood", turned away behind a smoke screen. "Y" Turret fired in local during the turn as smoke blanked the after director.

It now seems probable that the enemy turned away at the same time as "Prince of Wales" and about two enemy salvos were seen short during this period.

The "Prince of Wales" fired 18 main armament salvos. The target was crossed and recrossed and three straddles observed. No hits were seen. True range on opening fire was 25,000 yards. The true range on ceasing fire was 14,500 yards.

The 5.25" opened fire at a range of 18,000 yards but only fired 3 salvos. "Y" Turret's shell ring jammed during the turn away and the turret was out of action until 0825.

After retiring on a course of about 160 degs. "Prince of Wales" circled to port, steadying up on a course of 250 degs. And joining "Norfolk" came under orders of C.S.1 who at 0633, stated his intention of keeping in touch with the enemy. The extent of the general damage to the ship was reported to C.S.1. At 0707 C.S.1 ordered "Prince of Wales" to follow at her best speed
giving his course 210 degs. Speed 26 knots. Two guns of "Y" Turret were again in action by 0720 and an amplifying report of damage was made to C.S.1.

When the debris on the bridge had been cleared away, damage was found to be less than at first thought and conning, which had been carried out in the upper conning tower, was resumed on the compass platform. Later, at 1007, a more accurate and comprehensive report of damage was made to the Admiralty.

Meanwhile, at 0737 C.S.1 ordered "Prince of Wales" to take station 10 miles on a bearing of 110 degs. In order to support him if the enemy attempted to drive him off. Courses and speeds were as necessary to open out and maintain station.

At 1126 C.S.1 was ordered by Admiralty to continue shadowing "Bismarck" even at the risk of expending all fuel in order that C-in-C. H.F. might catch up in time.

Visibility was good up to about 1200 when it became worse, and "Prince of Wales" closed "Norfolk" and was ordered to keep within one mile and conform to her movements.

Enemy at this time was estimated as bearing 260 degs. Distance 18 miles, and efforts were made to detect by R.D/F but no results were obtained. C.S.1 increased speed at 1256 to try and regain touch and "Prince of Wales" was ordered to maintain V/S touch with him.


The enemy was resighted at 1323. Shadowing continued. At 1518 a Catalina Flying Boat approached and identified herself. "Suffolk" at this time was just visible on the horizon bearing 255 degs. Ships were zigzagging independently.

Visibility continued variable and at 1715 C.S.1 signalled:-

"As in this visibility we are likely to sight the enemy within gun range, am putting you ahead."

"Prince of Wales" was made guide and "Norfolk" stationed herself on "Price of Wales'" starboard quarter. The Enemy was not in sight at this time but "Suffolk" was in touch. At 1730 "Prince of Wales" made to C.S.1-

"Presume policy is to shadow. Request permission to fire one of two salvos on turning away if enemy is sighted"


The gist of the reply to this signal was that C.S.1's intentions were to shadow from astern, not to engage the enemy closely until C-in-C H.F. came up, and to try and draw the enemy to the eastwards.

It was expected that C-in-C H.F. would be in touch soon after midnight.

Visibility was now improving and enemy was resighted at 1840, hull down bearing 230 degs "Prince of Wales" course at this time was 180 degs. Enemy opened fire on "Suffolk" who was shadowing him from astern. "Suffolk" replied and "Prince of Wales" opened fire in support at 1846, range about 30,000 yards. "Norfolk" joining in almost immediately. Course was altered 30 degs. Towards at 1850. "Prince of Wales" fired 12 salvos and enemy was twice crossed by an 800 yard bracket. No other results were observed. "Prince of Wales" was not fired at. Cease fire was ordered by C.S.1 at 1900 after enemy had turned away, and a course of 180 degs. Was resumed about 1920. "Norfolk" resumed guide and "Prince of Wales" was ordered to act independently but to remain in support.

At 1923 temporary breakdown of two guns in "A" Turret was reported to C.S.1

At 1926 signal was received from C.S.1 -

"Do not open fire except in response, as I do not want to force the enemy away to the westward."


Shortly afterwards a signal "Look out for U-Boats" - was received from C-in-C H.F. and ships were ordered to zig-zag independently.

At 1934 C.S.1 reported that the long range engagement had been broken off to avoid forcing the enemy further away.

At 2031 a signal was received from C-in-C H.F., T.O.O. 1455, indicating that torpedo bombers from "Victorious" would attack about 2200. Shadowing continued.

Sunday, 25th May

The torpedo bomber attack did not take place until shortly after midnight; bombers were sighted at 0001 and circled round "Prince of Wales" and "Norfolk" before proceeding to the target. The leader made "O.K." by light just before disappearing from view.

"Bismarck" was not in sight when the bombers went in to attack, but A.A. gunfire could be seen. A vessel, at first thought to be "Bismarck", was sighted at 0200 in the direction of the gunfire, and a signal to open fire was received. The control, however, considered that she was and American coastguard cutter, and fire was withheld. It is now believed that the ship sighted was "Modoc". Ships closed over to starboard to regain touch with the enemy.

At 0013 a signal from C-in-C H.F. Was received saying that he hoped to engage from the eastward about 0900.

At 0121 the Enemy was resighted on a bearing of 200 degs. Two salvos were fired at 0131 at a range of 20,000 yards by R.D/F. Three flashes from the enemy were observed, one of which did not appear typical of a gunflash. Only one enemy shell was observed to fall. The target then became indistinct due to funnel smoke, but it appeared that her course was about 180 degs. And an enemy report of one battleship, timed at 0130 was made to this effect. It is now realised that the enemy sighted at this time may, perhaps, have been a cruiser. This was the last occasion on which either of the enemy ships was seen by "Prince of Wales". At 0139 "Prince of Wales" was ordered to follow astern of "Suffolk", course about 140 degs. Speed 22 knots. At 0152 "Norfolk" went ahead and ordered "Prince of Wales" to follow. Course was altered to 180 degs. At 0155.

The next information of the enemy was "Suffolk's" 0213, indicating that touch had been regained by R.D/F, her report being amplified at 0225 giving enemy's course and speed. At 0401, however, "Suffolk" signalled to C.S.1 that in her opinion enemy had either worked round to the eastward under the stern of the shadowing force or turned to the westward, and that she was working on the latter assumption.

Contact was not regained.

At 0511 C.S.1 had signalled his intention to keep "Prince of Wales" in support if visibility was low, otherwise to detach her to join C-in-C H.F. As visibility was good "Prince of Wales" was detached at 0630 to join C-in-C H.F., an estimated position, course and speed was given, and "Prince of Wales" proceeded to the southward at 26 knots.


- - -

B

User avatar
Antonio Bonomi
Senior Member
Posts: 3571
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Vimercate ( Milano ) - Italy

Re: Withdrawing from Combat

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:46 am

Hello everybody,

@ Byron Angel,

you wrote :
..... Once again it seems that inference and supposition are being substituted for hard evidence. Leach ordered the turn-away under smoke, with Y turret becoming mechanically disabled as a result. Is it known with absolute certitude that Leach intended to flee from the fight altogether at the time he ordered that turn-away? There is a material difference between a disengagement to consolidate and outright retreat from the fight. Here is an excerpt the 04 Jun 41 report. It seems to me that Leach temporarily withdrew from the action; he did not leave the scene; he did not flee. At this point, Leach came under the orders of Wake-Walker as the next in command after Holland and PoW's actions were thereafter governed by Wake-Walker. It is worth noting that PoW's damage report was not able to be transmitted to Wake-Walker until 07.07 hrs. It is also worthy of note that Wake-Walker himself went looking for Bismarck. I just do not see any logical traction for a case of dereliction of duty or cowardice.
I see your point but I have to disagree, as it was Capt Leach himself to write precisely at what point during the battle eh disengaged retreating.
It was before he started firing the Y turret in Local control, which occurred a bit after 06.03, and the only hard turn away ordered before this event started at 06.01 and 30 seconds according to Rowell precise battle map Exhibit B on ADM 116/4352, and on several other PoW official battle maps.

More, it was confirmed in writings by Capt Leach on 2 radio messages, on May 24th, and 27th of 1941.
Please read his precise statements on the following extract :
Capt Leach radio message May 24, 1941 at 08.00

I decided to break-off the action and consolidate position and ship.
I therefore turned away firing Y turret on the turn and making smoke.


Capt Leach radio message May 27, 1941 at 10.29

Considered expedient to break-off the action and consolidate position and ship, after being maneuvered round the remains of Hood, turned away behind spelt smoke screen.
Y turret fired in local during turn as smoke disagreed with after director.
If you are still NOT convinced than you can read the confirmation on RearAdm W.F. Wake-Walker report to Adm Tovey from ADM 234/509, were he stated PoW was " forced out of action " after 10 minutes engagement, so 05.53+10 = 06.03.
Please double check it :
23. The Rear-Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron, in his report says:

"At 1545 Admiralty signal 1445 had been received.
At that time I had no evidence that the enemy's speed was in any way reduced by damage and I did not consider it likely that he would fight or that we could catch him, as his policy was obviously evasion.
The question whether I should re-engage with Prince of Wales had been exercising my mind for some time before the receipt of this signal.
The factors to be considered were as follows: In the first place the state of efficiency of Prince of Wales.
I had seen her forced out of action after 10 minutes' engagement, at the end of which her salvoes were falling short and with a very large spread indeed.
As a result of the action she was short of one gun and her bridge was wrecked.
She was a brand-new ship, with turrets in which mechanical breakdowns had occurred and were to be expected, apart from damage, and she had had a bare minimum period of working up.
I had been unable to observe for certain any hits on the Bismarck and her shooting had given a striking proof of its efficiency.
To put it in a nutshell, I did not and do not consider that in her then state of efficiency the Prince of Wales was a match for the Bismarck.
In reality as we know PoW turned away breaking-off the action at 06.01 and 30 seconds, thanking Rowell and Hunter-Terry precise battle timing.

I am NOT much focused on the Officers definition, ... I cannot care less, ... if the inquiry was going to be called they were going to be judged, ... it did NOT happen ... and they got rewarded for the reasons I have clearly understood.

What I am focused on is the historical truth of those events, ... and I have it on my hands now.

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 )

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7525
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: Withdrawing from Combat

Post by RF » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:12 am

Antonio Bonomi wrote:
RF wrote:
Antonio Bonomi wrote: You are just trying to " walk around " something that is there and will always nail down to their responsibilities those persons.
What exactly is this supposed to mean?
It means that 06.13 retreat for PoW and the 15 sea miles from " The Plot " that allowed Norfolk and Suffolk to be moved out of the battle area will always demonstrate what was done during the summer of 1941 to " cover up " the reality.
It is the Official documentation available that does demonstrate the reality and the " cover up " done after.
For the record, I fully accept that POW withdrew from the action by 6.03. What is at issue are the conclusions you draw from the actions of these officers after the battle in deciding there was a ''cover up'' and in refusing to even acknowledge that there may be other reasons for why they acted as they did.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7525
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: Withdrawing from Combat

Post by RF » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:17 am

Antonio Bonomi wrote: What I am focused on is the historical truth of those events, ... and I have it on my hands now.
This is not the biblical Sermon on the Mount or the finding of the Holy Grail. It is the understanding of the aftermath of a battle, a battle that was an almost complete fiasco for the officers involved but in which the position had already been retrieved. Nothing more, nothing less.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

Post Reply