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

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

Post by dunmunro » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:17 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Dunmunro wrote: "Tovey was sent the weather for the Bay of Biscay because that's where the Germans had their French bases, including dozens, if not hundreds of Luftwaffe strike aircraft."
Hi Duncan,
why was this message sent only to the C.inC. HF and not broadcasted to everybody as the other ones ? Was Somerville not interesed with his carrier airplanes ? :think:
Why it gives weather conditions over the sea and not over the Luftwaffe bases (relevant for their capability to take off) ? :think:
Mostly, why it gives weather forecasts over an area where Tovey had already clearly said he would not be capable to reach by far due to fuel situation ? :think:

Only a stupid, and Tovey was not stupid, would not have understood what the message implied : you must go up to the shores of France and consequently let KGV being towed back. Let's not be too naive here..... :negative:


Bye, Alberto
It doesn't matter who the message was sent to, since every ship in the fleet, including Ark Royal, would be receiving it as well - that was the nature of WW2 radio transmissions.

A weather report...is a weather report! It was not a coded message for Tovey to strand KGV onto the shores of France but if it was Tovey would have said so in his letters to Roskill.

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

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:31 am

Dunmunro wrote: "It doesn't matter who the message was sent to, since every ship in the fleet, including Ark Royal, would be receiving it as well "
Hi Duncan,
it matters a lot. One thing is to broadcast to everybody (as usually done) the weather forecasts, one VERY different thing is to address it ONLY to the C.in C. H.F. (even if everybody can hear it). :negative:

you wrote: "It was not a coded message for Tovey to strand KGV onto the shores of France"
It was, exactly as the message regarding "intentions" to re-engage was VERY well understood by Wake_Walker on May 24 (we have confirmation of this from Kelburn via Roskill and Kennedy).....
The "weather forecast" message was sent to him only (after he had said KGV was unable to go up to the Bay of Biscay), not by the Met.Duty Officer but by a quite senior officer.

Of course, in his letters to Roskill, Tovey interpreted it exactly this way, not being a naive officer.....


Bye, Alberto
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"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 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:40 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Of course in his letters to Roskill, Tovey said exactly so.


Bye, Alberto
He didn't. Please show us the letter where Tovey states that a weather forecast was actually an order from D. Pound for KGV to R.O.O.F. on the shores of France, under the very noses of the Luftwaffe.

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

Post by Herr Nilsson » Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:00 am

@Antonio

Have you ever heard of the "Battle of the Bay of Biscay" which took place Dezember 28th 1943? Do you know that this battle was fought in BE66 and BE69 according German signals?

Edit: And do you know that the Bay of Biscay was divided into three zones: inner bay, inner zone and outer zone? At least Winston Churchill said so.
Regards

Marc

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

Post by Cag » Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:23 am

Hi All

Hi Antonio, as you know I've signed a form to say I won't break copyright and I intend to uphold that.

If you look back you'll find the clear gist of the Pitcairn Jones letter but I'm sure Alberto can send you details.

Both PJ and Roskill were sure that Tovey was referencing the 11.37B message, I'm sure you respect both their views on this.

Any message broadcast would be received, decoded and logged by every ship and shore station in the fleet. We have seen Hood's last signal thanks to a message stored in Canada I believe? The intended recipient is of no consequence as the information may be beneficial to your own ship.

However let's be clear and logical, no signal whatsoever mentioned the shores of France, no signal can be read that secretly implies the shores of France hours before the signal that mentions being towed home is made, even to those who are not naive. Was Tovey meant to receive the weather signal, hold it in his hand until after he had seen Bismarck sink, receive the tow home signal and put both together?

Is this two and two adding up to 5 if we look sideways, stand on one leg and chant?

No where does Tovey mention two signals sent hours apart, one a complex one that implies things but not to the naive, and the other that tells him to be towed home. If this actually happened, and we are meant to believe this, then Toveys memory was worse than Pafford thought it was as Tovey thought it was all one signal.

Pitcairn Jones and Roskill associate Toveys shores of France to the 11.37B signal and it's connection to an air threat.

Best wishes
Cag.

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

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:47 pm

Hello everybody,

@ CAG,

I have the Pitcairn-Jones as well as all the other documents in original, I just asked you to participate and post them even if in summary, for everybody benefit in the forum, ... just like I always do, ... because this should be the intent of this forum, ... the sharing of opinions and documents, ... competences with no pre-conceived view or a ridicolous " side taken " blind and stupid approach some are lately showing here in.

I respect everybody view and opinion, ... and I pretend everybody to respect mine too, ... of course I respect the opinion of Roskill and Pitcairns-Jones that are no longer with us, ... 2 very competent historians, ... even if I found several evaluation errors on their works too.

But we are all human and we can all fail, ... including me.

The story of those messages in really an intriguing one.

Without Sir W. Churchill writing on his 3rd book on page 282 his fact version, ... I was even considering Adm Tovey to have mixed up and confused some messages he received.

Now, after a more careful analysis I am more willing to accept the fact that the message Tovey talked about on his letters, could really have been delivered/received as he and Churchill wrote, ... and it was later " expunged " from the records by Adm Pound.

The fact that the 11:37 was not " expunged " as Adm Pound guaranteed to Adm Tovey seems confirming this too.

RearAdm Power message to Tovey about the Bay of Biscay weather forecast seems going in that direction too, ... the direction of the " shores of France ", ... and this is for sure.

I am OK with both solutions anyhow, ... even if we will realize that both Churchill and Tovey mixed up a bit their memories, ... because surely Churchill mixed up the things before Tovey and in this case surely caused Tovey to refer to his timing error too on his explanations after.
Tovey discovered that it was Churchill the source/responsible after the war, from Churchill book, and probably started connecting what he knew whit the new Churchill event timing revelations and put obviously the all things together trying to realize what really happened and when in that War Room during the 26th and 27th of May.

Roskill and Pitcairn-Jones both used Kennedy way to read the message situation, ... and we know Kennedy failed on his book Pursuit several other evaluations and was always trying to sell a " nice novel " and a positive story for the Royal Navy.

I understand the reason for that to be, ... but I am looking for the historical truth now and not to fit a complex story and sell it in a positive way for the British readers like Kennedy did and others used because it was convenient instead of dig a bit more and write the truth about it, ... even if not conclusive and still with a " grey area" to be analyzed.

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 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:53 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Herr Nillson,

you wrote :
Have you ever heard of the "Battle of the Bay of Biscay" which took place December 28th 1943 ?
Do you know that this battle was fought in BE66 and BE69 according German signals ?
And do you know that the Bay of Biscay was divided into three zones : inner bay, inner zone and outer zone ?
At least Winston Churchill said so.
NO, I did not know that during WW2 those type of definitions of the Bay of Biscay area have been used by both the Germans and Churchill too, ... this is a new information for me. Thanks

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_of_Biscay

Anyhow, I think that what I have found and I showed you above being sent by RearAdm Power directly to Adm Tovey at 02:37 that night is a bit unusual to say the least, ... and I was a bit surprised too having read in clear words the Bay of Biscay being clearly mentioned on it.

I do not know if you are familiar with the " shores of France " description on Capt Hornblower book series being frequently used, ... while talking about Brest and the Bay of Biscay area, ... and to the fact that one of these books was taken by Churchill on board the PoW on his trip to Placentia Bay, probably to be showed to Capt Leach during some private talking.

As I wrote above to CAG, I am ok with any version of the facts one can realize from what we have at hand on this moment regarding those messages.

It can be that :

A ) The message both Adm Tovey recall on his letters and Churchill mentioned on his 3rd book has been really sent/received and was later "expunged " from the records by Adm Pound as he personally guaranteed to Adm Tovey.

B ) It can be that both Churchill at first and Tovey consequently later, ... mixed up the things, ... with Churchill sure that what he said to Pound had been timely and promptly executed on the 26th, ... Pound having done it only "progressively" thru the late 26th and the 27th morning, ... and Tovey having realized only after the war and thru Churchill book number 3 the truth about what happened and ordered by whom, ... and having re-constructed backwards based on the Churchill book information that were new to him, ... who generated the inputs and when that was really done in the War Room ... and having consequently associated to that set of timings all the type of unusual messages he received and never responded as far as I can see.

It can really be in both ways and most likely we will never know 100% the truth here.

Still to have 2 persons of the level of Churchill and Tovey few years after the event recalling it so precisely, ... provides a solid reason to believe them at first, ... but again ... if we will not find the original May 26th message, ... we are forced to remain in the " grey area " ... :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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Re: The KGV and Adm fuel signals on May 26 and 27.

Post by Herr Nilsson » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:06 pm

From Sommerville's report:
Biscay.jpg
Biscay.jpg (56.86 KiB) Viewed 732 times
and
Biscay2.jpg
Biscay2.jpg (33.42 KiB) Viewed 732 times
Edit:
Antonio Bonomi wrote:NO, I did not know that during WW2 those type of definitions of the Bay of Biscay area have been used by both the Germans and Churchill too, ... this is a new information for me. Thanks
The Bay of Biscay Battle is the British title, not the German ("Unternehmen Trave").
Regards

Marc

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

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:34 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Herr Nillson,

many thanks, I see that even Sommerville had very " large " view of the Bay of Biscay, ... :wink:

But the real points here are :

1) What do you think about RearAdm Power sending that message to Adm Tovey only at 02:37 that night ?
Please consider that the Duty Meteorologic Officer had already sent the meteorological info's to everybody at 7 pm with a coverage radius of 200 sea miles as I have showed you.
What type of message, according to your opinion, Adm Tovey took from the fact that it has been RearAdm Power to send it to him only and not the Duty Met. Officer to everybody, and not with the coverage area radius, but with a clear direction to south-east toward the Bay of Biscay, ... so toward the " shores of France ".

2) What is your opinion of Adm Tovey not responding to any message from the Admiralty thru that night ( 26th/27th ) and the morning after ( 27th ), ... while the Admiralty War Room members ( Pound, Phillips, Power ) were keep on sending " suggested direction " messages on what to do to him.

3) What is your opinion of even Sommerville asking Tovey what was going on and if he had sunk the Bismarck.

4) What is your opinion of Tovey, leaving the area after the final engagement anyhow because of the fuel reasons, despite the Bismarck being still afloat.

I like to read what do you think about all this.

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 Dave Saxton » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:44 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote:
2) What is your opinion of Adm Tovey not responding to any message from the Admiralty thru that night ( 26th/27th ) and the morning after ( 27th ), ... while the Admiralty War Room members ( Pound, Phillips, Power ) were keep on sending " suggested direction " messages on what to do to him.
Any responsible commander would limit his transmitted messages to only those that are absolutely necessary.
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: The KGV and Adm fuel signals on May 26 and 27.

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:03 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Dave Saxton,

thanks for your opinion Dave, ... much appreciated, ... and I fully agree with you.

Probably, ... as I think personally, ... Adm Tovey was not happy at all about what was going on with all those " suggested directions and controls " coming to him from the Admiralty War Room, ... either having received the " famous " 26th message from Churchill about the " shores of France " or not.

To be noted that when not happy about the events at sea, ... Adm Pound was used to send " suggested direction messages " like the one to WW about his intention to re-engage with PoW.
In the opposite direction, Adm Tovey said that he did not send a message to Holland about using PoW ahead of Hood engaging the Bismarck not to interfere with the Admiral at sea.

In my opinion those 2 examples are explaining well enough the different perception of those things occurring in this case between Pound and Tovey.

I will not explain what was the Churchill style, ... because after having read about what he did in the War Room during those days, ... I think it should be clear enough to everybody that both Pound and Alexander had a very hard time while trying to manage him and calm him down, ... trying to avoid and convince him not to send strong directive messages to everybody very frequently and direct personally everything. This was the man ... :wink:

Of course you, as well as everybody else can provide your opinion on the above questions I asked to Herr Nillson.

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 Cag » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:33 pm

Hi All

Hi Antonio, as I posted if you look back I did post a summary, it's there if you look.

Again Tovey is specific in his wording of the signal, shores of France and if neccessary to be towed home. It is a single signal, not a cryptic crossword type one and an open and plain one.

1) Is it possible that Admiral Power if we think what was logically possible was giving Tovey information on weather of the area into which he was heading for his use for further operations he could either conduct ot order, and to assess air threats?
2) As Mr Saxon points out the non transmission is perhaps no cause for concern if we compare it to other commanders at sea, Tom Phillips on the 8/9/10th December?
3) Would this be due to Tovey being embroiled in the battle transmitting what he could and when, and Sommerville trying to gauge the situation to plan any further operations with Renown and Ark Royals aircraft?
4) I'm not sure what this refers to, Tovey left for fuel reasons as Bismarck was a wreck, he did order Dorsetshire to deliver the Coup de Grace is that correct?

Best wishes
Cag.

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

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:49 pm

Addressing the high command's sending a plethora of messages: London was always transmitting anyway and its location is of course known. If you believe your cyphers to be secure, then the risk involved with sending messages from there are minimized. Of course, interfering with on scene command and attempting to micro manage operations from ashore is a vice that many higher commanders fall to.

One is reminded of the ill timed reminder from ashore to Admiral Kummetz of the Fuehrer's standing order to not take any unnecessary risks right during a battle and its initiative sapping effect on the on scene command.

Of course you, as well as everybody else can provide your opinion on the above questions I asked to Herr Nillson.
Is this about the weather message? I think that has already been touched on as per possible Luftwaffe intervention. It would be vital information for the CIC to have. Additionally, there was no guarantee that Bismarck may not become repaired enough to get under way toward France again, which would move operations come daylight farther eastward.

In my opinion, Tovey was right to wait until daylight in any event. Tovey can't know if darkness might favor the enemy in a decisive battle or cause your own offense to be significantly less effective.
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: The KGV and Adm fuel signals on May 26 and 27.

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:18 pm

Hello everybody,

Dave & CAG, many thanks for your inputs.

Of course the style of Command showed by Adm Tovey during this action can be compared to many other examples we have.


@ CAG,

I think that Sommerville messages were all referred to the fact that Adm Tovey was leaving the scene ( at 10: 11 - course 27° at 19 knots to Rodney from C in C HF ) without having communicated Bismarck being sunk and consequently Sommerville was a bit surprised about that occurrence and asked Tovey : " Have you disposed of enemy ? " at 10:25.

You can read the progression of the communications between Sommerville and Tovey on page 53 on the pdf document Bismarckops2 provided by Dunmunro.

Tovey of course communicated he cannot sink her with guns and had left the area for fuel reasons ( at 10:45 ), ... while leaving her to the torpedoes of the Dorsetshire.

The first message of Bismarck being sunk was issued at 11:01 by Tovey, ... Dorsetshire followed at 11:07 with her radio message of having sunk the Bismarck.

Personally I think that the progression of the messages starting from the 10:11 communicated course alteration of KGV and Rodney leaving the battle area without a previously delivered message of Bismarck being sunk, ... were the main reason for the 11:37 message delivered by Pound to Tovey after.

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 Herr Nilsson » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:18 am

Antonio Bonomi wrote: 1) What do you think about RearAdm Power sending that message to Adm Tovey only at 02:37 that night ?
Please consider that the Duty Meteorologic Officer had already sent the meteorological info's to everybody at 7 pm with a coverage radius of 200 sea miles as I have showed you.
I want to quote myself:
Herr Nilsson wrote:@Antonio

It's an additional weather forecast from ACNSH, which makes sense when Tovey intends to engage at dawn.
Antonio Bonomi wrote: What type of message, according to your opinion, Adm Tovey took from the fact that it has been RearAdm Power to send it to him only and not the Duty Met. Officer to everybody, and not with the coverage area radius, but with a clear direction to south-east toward the Bay of Biscay, ... so toward the " shores of France ".
"Bay of Biscay" is the area where Tovey intends to engage Bismarck at dawn and no direction.
The crucial question is whether it is extraordinary at all that the war room sends additional informations or not. But if so Tovey can deduce that he has absolute support and help of all involved authorities.

Antonio Bonomi wrote: 2) What is your opinion of Adm Tovey not responding to any message from the Admiralty thru that night ( 26th/27th ) and the morning after ( 27th ), ... while the Admiralty War Room members ( Pound, Phillips, Power ) were keep on sending " suggested direction " messages on what to do to him.
There are not very much messages from war room members at all and I see none with a "suggested direction". Did I miss something? However, I think Tovey felt silly to signal "Thank's for the info".

Antonio Bonomi wrote: 3) What is your opinion of even Sommerville asking Tovey what was going on and if he had sunk the Bismarck.
I don't understand your question. The usual reporting direction is bottom-up. Tovey was well aware of Sommerville's movements. He made no orders to intervene that means he was contend with it.

Antonio Bonomi wrote: 4) What is your opinion of Tovey, leaving the area after the final engagement anyhow because of the fuel reasons, despite the Bismarck being still afloat.
My opinion is that you actually have to formulate it: "...leaving the area because of fuel reasons and instructing all ships with torpedoes to finish her off." ......and that was wise.
Regards

Marc

"Thank God we blow up and sink more easily." (unknown officer from HMS Norfolk)

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