Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

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Tom17
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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Postby Tom17 » Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:49 pm

This thread seems to start mid discussion for me with a post by Alberto Virtuani . quoting Pgollin.
Could someone link me to the previous thread where the quote originates.
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Tom

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:25 am

Hi Tom,
here is the genesis of the discussion on Matapan ("Court Martial for DS" thread at the end of pag.9).

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6728&start=120

Bye, Alberto
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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Postby wadinga » Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:21 pm

Hello Tom,

As you will see it started with Alberto recording Iachino's "Gallant" action in ordering Cattaneo and his command to their doom to rescue the the Pola, in one of a series of threads unjustly denigrating the actions of several RN officers, based on non-existent evidence.

This baseless attempt to smear the reputations of British officers awarded Honours for their actions continues here

As far as I am concerned the idea to compare the Royal Navy Officer ( Wake-Walker, Leach and Ellis ) decisions/actions at Denmark Strait with any Officer of the Italian Navy in any action on WW2 is simply offensive to say the least.


All the best

wadinga
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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:30 pm

@wadinga:
Hi Sean,
I think that Tom can make up his mind even without your sarcastic comments and explanations (excusatio non petita, accusatio manifestat..... )
Bye, Slberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:23 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Wadinga,

you wrote :

This baseless attempt ...


You can keep on writing statements like this one to try to convince new readers that there are no base on discussing the conduct of some British Officers at Denmark Strait.

Unfortunately for you the evidence are there, ... the existing documents are available, ... for the ones that want to know the truth.

Sure there are British " hooligans " that are trying in any way they can, ... sometimes using real unfair conduct and wording, ... and even personal attack and offense against who is only trying to discuss the evidences ... to maintain the " official " version of those facts like has been written on last 70 years more or less.

But we all know it is incorrect, ... it is wrong, ... and created only for war propaganda needs.

Your wording is an useless way to try to discourage and silence who is only looking for the truth ... and the current conduct of the persons acting like this is only showing their real personality and inability to accept an educated discussion on the matter ... even after 74 years of an historical event.

I do not think I need to explain more how limited this mind set is ... on 2015.

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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RF
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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Postby RF » Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:36 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote:
Unfortunately for you the evidence are there, ... the existing documents are available, ... for the ones that want to know the truth.

Sure there are British " hooligans " that are trying in any way they can, ... sometimes using real unfair conduct and wording, ... and even personal attack and offense against who is only trying to discuss the evidences ... to maintain the " official " version of those facts like has been written on last 70 years more or less.

But we all know it is incorrect, ... it is wrong, ... and created only for war propaganda needs.

Your wording is an useless way to try to discourage and silence who is only looking for the truth ... and the current conduct of the persons acting like this is only showing their real personality and inability to accept an educated discussion on the matter ... even after 74 years of an historical event.

I do not think I need to explain more how limited this mind set is ... on 2015. Bye Antonio :D


I have said previously on other thread that yes indeed the evidence is there, but it is a matter of interpretation of that evidence, and in that respect you do seem to have some tunnel vision in not accepting that there may be other interpretations or explanations.

I have seen the evidence you have presented on the DS battle and I have already commented on it on the other thread. You use this evidence to produce an interpretation of events that in itself is opinion sourced from the fact but presented as fact itself. The possibility of other alternative explanation is ignored and I have to ask why this should be so.

I have my own views on the conduct and performance of the Italian Navy in WW2 but I avoid such narrow minded or tunnel vision interpretations of events so I don't apportion blame on senior officers. Mussolini however I do think culpable - but he got his just deserts in Milan at the end of the war.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Postby pgollin » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:30 am

RF wrote:
............I have my own views on the conduct and performance of the Italian Navy in WW2 but I avoid such narrow minded or tunnel vision interpretations of events so I don't apportion blame on senior officers. .........




But you somehow think that it's o.k. to do so with your (imagined) problems with British senior officers ?

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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Postby wadinga » Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:17 pm

Hello Alberto,

There is no sarcasm, there is not even irony, for these are your words.......


For sure, Iachino decision was not an easy one and, with hindsight, it was the worst one. However it was a proof of moral courage to refuse to leave the Pola to her destiny and in this sense I defined it a proof of gallantry,


For Antonio,

Are some of the British Hooligans American, Canadian and German? OK That's just a little bit sarcastic :angel: But then none of them accept your "truth" either. Tom and any other unbiased reader will judge your assertions for what they are: baseless.

More on Matapan later.

All the best

wadinga
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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:21 pm

Hi Sean,
I can confirm you what I wrote re. Iachino decision: wrong but taken with the good intentions to rescue the Pola, requesting assistance.

I was referring to this sarcastic sentence of yours (but you are right , the last 5 words reported here are ironic, I suppose....):
... in one of a series of threads unjustly denigrating the actions of several RN officers, based on non-existent evidence. This baseless attempt to smear the reputations of British officers awarded Honours for their actions....
:wink:

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

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:10 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Wadinga,

keep on telling you that this is about Cape Matapan, ... not Denmark Strait.

YES, it is so baseless that it took the Home Fleet commander to write incorrect statements on his dispatches, ... the Admiralty to first accept them for war propaganda reasons ... and later correct him officially, ... incorrect documents creation to save a superficial Flag Officer signed declaration, ... not to list all the other correlated " initiatives " to cover up this shameful events occurrence.

I have asked your to help finding the truth by making a more precise Hood/PoW track on another thread, ... so instead of keep on emitting an useless smoke screen here, ... try to provide some value add ... :wink:

Back on Cape Matapan, ... try to realize by yourself who really the third " mysterious " cruiser was ... since I am making up my mind about it ... :wink:

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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Herr Nilsson
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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Postby Herr Nilsson » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:50 am

Wasn't it you starting to write about Denmark Strait? :think:
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Marc

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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Postby wadinga » Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:55 pm

Hello Alberto,

You say:

They were NOT believing that the British battleships were at sea. The only encounter they could fear of, was the one with cruisers or destroyers.


Why? At 19:45 Pola was torpedoed during an attack by carrier-based aircraft, short range biplanes. The last of several attacks monitored by a float equipped Swordfish. Where did Iachino think they had come from/ kept coming from? Would a carrier be wandering around the Medi on her own with a fast Italian battleship surrounded by fast cruisers and destroyers on the loose? Then it took half an hour to realise the ship on Veneto's starboard beam at 1200 yds was missing from the formation, and a further 45 minutes before Cattaneo set off on his rescue mission at 21:00. During all of which time the formation was steaming away from Pola.

Iachino was informed earlier in the day there was at least one British battleship at sea, and he could be sure that an estimate of inadequate armour or insufficient speed to outrun a pursuing enemy would not keep ABC's ships in harbour. In fact with several of his ships requiring urgent docking, they were still out aggressively pursuing the enemy, even when there seemed little hope of interception.

Assuming, despite all the evidence that there was no powerful forces trailing him, and sending Cattaneo and most of his crews to their deaths was not not "Gallant", but stupid, and no matter how many books of excuses Iachino wrote afterwards

You also say
however no visual sighting was made of the Pola from the British ships at that time, while Pola crew saw the British ships, thinking they were Cattaneo's ones

Incorrect. Barham had her main armament tracking Pola when the instruction was received to engage the moving threat on the starboard bow, rather than the stopped one on the port bow. Both you and Antonio have quoted accounts based on Cunningham's book saying that everyone was looking at the target to port, when their attention was drawn to the new targets to starboard. The strange visibility stopped apparently stopped Cattaneo's lookouts from seeing anything until open fire.

Interestingly, Aldo Fraccaroli, a published Italian naval historian, who does not make up contentious stories of nefarious British cover-ups, but sticks to the real-world facts, says Fiume was dazzle camouflaged at the time of her loss. Much more interested than worrying about why the British thought there was a ship ahead of Zara.

See I didn't mention Denmark Str..................... Damn! :oops:

All the best

wadinga
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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:54 pm

Wadinga wrote: " At 19:45 Pola was torpedoed during an attack by carrier-based aircraft, short range biplanes....."

Hi Sean, Iachino had been informed that the MF battleships were at anchor at Alessandria (by Supermarina, based on wrong information). I agree with you that he knew a carrier was at sea and therefore he COULD have suspected that battleship(s) were with her. He was wrong in his evaluation (as Supermarina was), no doubts.
However his decision not to leave Pola is worth of respect even if it was a wrong one. I'm not used to judge a military action ONLY based on results and I think you are doing the same with Holland and Hood......

Wadinga wrote: "Incorrect. Barham had her main armament tracking Pola when the instruction was received to engage the moving threat on the starboard bow,..... "

Totally incorrect. Barham sighted the Pola only after Pola fired the red signal. The signal was done because on Pola the lookouts spotted Cunningham ships, that at the same time were unable to see the Pola (albeit Valiant had a radar contact.....) and Pola captain decided to fire a red signal to attract the 1st division (even if on board someone recognized the shape of the British battleships). Barham guns were trained to Pola only after the red signal was seen aboard the British ship. Then they were ordered to shift target to Cattaneo's division.
In this case the Italian lookouts were doing a better job than the British.....
It's strange that someone who easily believe in single sided "mirages" at sea, can't admit that visibility can be asymmetrical at night......

I don't think that the Fiume camouflage is more interesting than to have a correct battle map, and the ghost cruiser seen by British in front of the 1st division is much more relevant for understanding what happened that night, do you have any idea ? :think:

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

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:36 am

@Wadinga:
Hi Sean,
I just realized that was possibly wrong in the above post:
I wrote: "Barham guns were trained to Pola only after the red signal was seen aboard the British ship"


S.W.C. Pack (in his book "Night Action off Matapan") says that, after having received the first Valiant radar report of Pola (20:03) and having decided to order the famous "4 blue" (40° to port at the same time) to close the enemy (22:13), Cunningham reported in his account ("A Saylor's Odyssey") that, based on Valiant radar reports (the last one on Pola at 20:20), the main guns were already trained in the direction of the Pola (even if NO visual sighting was made at that time).

However, I confirm that until 22:28 (signal fired by Pola), there was NO visual sighting of the Pola and only after her signals the Barham was able to see the profile of the stopped cruiser, keeping her guns trained to her even after the battlefleet turned again to starboard 40° to encounter the 1st division (order to turn given by ABC at 22:26).

On Pola, the British battlefleet was sighted at 20:25 and "mis-identified" (despite someone alerted the Captain suspecting they were British battleships) for the 1st division. Therefore a signal was made with a projector and with a red rocket to attract attention, this was the first visual sighting from Barham and from the 1st division.



In addition, referring to your first point,
Wadinga wrote: "Iachino was informed earlier in the day there was at least one British battleship at sea,"

I have checked again all communication transmitted to Iachino from Rome on March 28, and I have not found any information about a battleship at sea. The only message received on 28 (Ref. Supermarina 46301) was related to the presence of Formidable at sea. Therefore I agree with you on his wrong estimation of the overall situation (but the strategical situation was a responsibility (in the old fashioned RM) of Supermarina). I don't want to defend Iachino for his blindness in the appreciation of the situation as his fault is evident, but for sure he had no firm info that a battleship was at sea, only very fragmentary and often contradictory clues that he was not able to put together in the right way.



Bye, Alberto
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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Postby Antonio Bonomi » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:00 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Herr Nilsson,

No Marc, it was not me mixing up Cape Matapan and Denmark Strait.

In the opposite I like to keep those 2 arguments well separated, ... others do not :wink: .

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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