1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

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Herr Nilsson
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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by Herr Nilsson » Tue May 15, 2018 12:03 pm

Alberto,

as I said I see no insinuations here.

I remember the thread you've linked to. However it's not expicitly about Pound's criticism in this matter. This thread is, isn't it?

In context of the new source presented by Sean (thank you so much again!) Pound's criticism seems to be rash indeed.
Regards

Marc

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

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue May 15, 2018 12:37 pm

Marc,
if you don't see it, it's your deliberated choice. I do see it:
Wadinga wrote: "Either his secretary had cloth ears or the old man was mumbling."
If this is not an insinuation for you, as Pound was just 64 at that time (after Tovey's "dementia" or Ellis being a "poor old sailor" when writing his autobiography, or Churchill drinking too much after dinner), I insist it is, warning Mr.Wadinga & Co to stop this unfair and shameful attitude. :stop:

The problem with these guys is that when someone says something (IMO perfectly logical from tactical viewpoint) against the timid attitude of some officers, they have to pretend he was just insane..... while the same Pound, proposing the same officers for a decoration, was perfectly sane. :lol:


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

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Tue May 15, 2018 1:04 pm

Hello everybody,

Alberto Virtuani wrote :
The problem of these guys is that when someone says something (perfectly logical) against the timid attitude of some officers, they have to pretend he was just insane ...
It is " perfectly logical " too Alberto, ... they do not have any other way to try ( unsuccesfully now and forever in the future ) to counter what can be read into the Official available documents.

In this case it is clear that Pound was not happy about Wake-Walker performance, ... even if soon after he signed his rewarding with a medal ... :shock: ... so Pound must have had something not right for the " deniers " while writing this letter on July 1941.

What can they say about what we can read from Tovey letters to Pound and Roskill ?

It is clear and irrefutable, ... so they must start to try to " eliminate " the source of the revelation ( Tovey ) and everything correlated to it after, ... all the Historians starting from Stephen Roskill, ... and also Capt Leach son, ... Sir Henry Leach that has been First Sea Lord.

Their problem will be there forever, ... because the " Cover Up " was done badly, ... and they did not eliminate all the evidence and avoided any future witness revelation.

Now that somebody has been able to put all the puzzle pieces together the truth is surfacing, ... and they do not like it at all.

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: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by wadinga » Tue May 15, 2018 3:35 pm

Hello All,

Herr Nilsson is of course correct.
I see no insinuations, but just a winkingly mention of typo


I made not the slightest suggestion that Pound was not performing as well as might be expected, this is just a technique to waste space on trivia, by suggesting that conclusions on Tovey's evident memory failings of twenty years later are also applied to Pound in this case, and get as far away from serious discussion as possible. It is also designed to divert attention from the fact that Antonio has withheld at least Pound's letter, whilst quoting only those parts he thinks advance his case.

There is obviously a letter to be found which is Pound regurgitating much of Rowell's criticism of Holland's tactics, implicitly (correct usage) criticising Tovey's own "head on" approach for future engagements. The analysis by Tovey is fairly primitive, and takes little notice of Holland's relative position when suggesting he should have approached more head-on.

"To close a German from long range with A arcs open is, in my humble opinion the worst mistake you can make."

He holds up his own approach to the crippled Bismarck as if it is somehow comparable when even the Rodney had about 15 knot speed advantage over the enemy.

He makes no mention whatsoever of any threat to any of his subordinates about re-engaging which shows this subject was rendered dead as a doornail by his trenchant response on 31st May.

Pound has green inked the sentence where Tovey points out how dangerous and pointless trying to maintain visual contact in three to ten miles extremely variable visibility against a 15" gun RDF equipped battleship would be. Our self-appointed experts on tactful RN reporting will know that "rather rash" used to a superior here actually means "F*cking Stupid". Pound evidently still disagrees with a green cross.

Pound's first paragraph makes it clear that he understands the preliminary nature of the first report, that the final report will be different, and there is no mention of a lot of imagined twaddle about changing the facts to protect anybody.

As was made clear in earlier arguments, one of the major concerns of the War Cabinet causing pressure on Pound was the relative ineffectiveness of overwhelming British firepower in snuffing out Bismarck's life as quickly as she had done to Hood. This was generated by some comments on the BBC by an Army eye-witness. This is the only serious question raised by Pound in the letter.

The shadowing paragraph is, as Byron pointed out elsewhere, a prime example of the Monday quarterback syndrome. 20/20 hindsight. "if we could have maintained touch........ by sacrifice" . There was no guarantee at all that his condition could have been achieved, with or without sacrifice. Equally valid would have been "if Norfolk could have disabled Bismarck by colliding with her.....the sacrifice etc etc" There is nothing perjorative in this paragraph, and there has never been any imagined threat to Wake-Walker over his shadowing performance, only the comment "admirable".

All the best

wadinga
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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue May 15, 2018 4:50 pm

Hello everybody,
Wadinga wrote; "There was no guarantee at all that his condition could have been achieved, with or without sacrifice"
True, but without any attempt to spread ships and keeping in visual/radar range the loss of contact was almost sure.... :wink:

Pound makes clear that the outcome of the operation decided not to investigate seriously the shadowing failure (IMO all the other "aspects" as well).

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

Post by Byron Angel » Wed May 16, 2018 12:21 am

It would be well worth consulting the action reports of Ellis and Wake-Walker regarding their experiences in tracking Bismarck and Prinz Eugen both before and following the battle.

Byron

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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by Bill Jurens » Wed May 16, 2018 4:18 pm

It is with some reluctance that I enter this discussion, but feel that at this time some comment might be appropriate, though perhaps not welcomed by all.

So far as approaching with "A" arcs open or closed, and based upon the best estimates of the relative courses, positions, and speeds of the vessels involved, a simple Applonious diagram -- sort of "Example 1" in the Maneuvering Board Manual -- will show that the options open to the British, should they wish to cut the Germans off before entering the Atlantic, i.e. should they wish to force an engagement, were really remarkably small. Anyone on the bridge of any of the capital ships involved could have laid the situation out on the maneuvering board and reached this conclusion quite rapidly. It's really only a 'two ship' problem, four ships in two two-ship groups...

I am concerned about the issue of falsifiability in some of the discussions. It appears than an hypothesis has been put forward, that being in essence that the British operations were in some way substantively incompetent, and -- more importantly -- that there was some sort of subsequent 'cover up' attempt to disguise the inadequacies of British command. This strikes me as unlikely on the face of it. Further, if one proceeds along the path that any document which in some way supports this hypothesis represents some revelation of actual truth, while any document which disagrees is part of the alleged 'cover up', then the conclusion itself is forgone, representing what amounts to a self-proving tautological argument. The methodology itself defines the outcome.

So far as the documentary evidence is concerned, my general sense of things is that the outcome of the action at Denmark Strait represented a considerable surprise to the British, and -- although this is rarely mentioned -- quite possibly to the Germans as well. In the heat of the outcome, with the British being delivered a fairly severe beating, and in the process essentially failing to prevent the German breakout into the Atlantic, there was during the immediate time after the action a fair amount of fairly ill-informed bluster and arm-waving going on, the general gist of which was that somebody must have badly mismanaged the British tactical situation. Subsequent analysis proved this to be incorrect, and -- particularly insofar as Bismarck was sunk in the end -- and, although some written commentary remains, most of this knee-jerk reaction was later more or less forgotten. In any tactical situation one can re-examine in hindsight and find that sometimes less-than-optimal actions were taken. All commanders make them, and there is something to be learned from a post-action analysis, but the presence of what can later to have been seen as tactical blunders does not render those in command in any way substantively incompetent.

Regarding the long discussions regarding the errors and alleged falsifications in the track charts during the Bismarck chase, my general feeling is that these issues were, at least after the fact, not really seen to be of any practical significance, and -- particularly with the need to concentrate more on issues-at-hand as the war went on, most of this was not really seen to be very important. As at Jutland, there are many discrepancies to be found in such charts, but -- except in isolated incidences -- the presence of formal 'cover-ups' are rare, and usually of little practical consequence. In the case of the Boards of Inquiry into the loss of Hood, it should be remembered that the thrust of the inquiries was to determine the cause of the loss itself, not to reconstruct the tactical situation either side of the gunfire action itself, and particularly after the loss of Hood, with any great precision. So generalized diagrams, primarily intended to determine roughly where witnesses were with respect to Hood when she blew up were seen to be 'good enough'.
Using them to try to reconstruct the entire action in detail, and finding fault in their precision, is probably a futile endeavor. That's just not what they were made for.

The bottom line, is that I don't really find the case for any substantial and organized 'cover up' in the Bismarck chase, nor any real long-term concerns that anybody on the British side committed anything resembling a court-martial offence to be very convincing.

Hoping this helps, and intended constructively,

Bill Jurens

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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Wed May 16, 2018 6:12 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Bill Jurens,

I personally thank you to enter on this very long discussion and provide your opinion in general about all this.

I am very curious to have your opinion about just few points we can read on the documents that I am sure you know very well :

1) If I follow your above logic, why according to you Wake-Walker needed to go on the Hood second board with " The Plot " made by Pinchin and change his distance from Hood from 20.000 to 30.000 yards ?
Obviously this had nothing to do with the analysis of the reasons why the Hood exploded ... so, why he did it if his distance from Hood was not so important ? :think:

2) Why Adm Tovey underlined on his dispatches point 17 that Suffolk and Norfolk before the engagement were at around 15 sea miles, ... without providing their real distance at open fire 05:52 and 30 seconds or during the overall engagement.
Point 17 on Adm Tovey dispatches is very misleading the way it has been written, .... why ?

3) Why Adm Tovey on his dispatches point 19 provided a version of the facts that had nothing to do with his first ( correct ) report and Capt Leach official report and told that the PoW Y turret jammed before the turn away of PoW ( false ) and that PoW turned away at 06:13 ( false too ).
Why Adm Tovey needed to write an incorrect story ( corrected Officially by the RN Admiralty by Pitcairn-Jones on 1948 back to 06:03 ) for the PoW disengagement ?

4) Why the Admiralty on September 1941 accepted only ( underlining it in writing signed by Sir J. Barnes ) the Adm Tovey dispatches version ( intentionally incorrect ) of the facts, especially regarding the PoW disengagement. Why ?

5) What is your opinion about the Court Martial trial story for Wake-Walker and Leach written by Adm Tovey to Stephen Roskill, the Official WW2 Royal Navy historian ?
Do you think that Stephen Roskill is wrong, that Sir Henry Leach ( son ) has been wrong about his father and that all the British historians on the last 75 years have been wrong of writing about it ? Do you think Adm Tovey was unreliable ? If so, why ?

6) What about the recent May 31st, 1941 letter between Tovey and Pound responding Pound May 28th, 1941 letter that we do not have yet. Do you think Pound was asking for some scrutiny and consequent military discipline actions to Tovey or proposing a rewarding for Wake-Walker and Leach actions ? Tovey response should be clear enough about it, what is your opinion ?

7) July 19th, 1941 letter from Pound to Tovey should be clear enough too, explaining that if Bismarck was not sunk, some errors made during the shadowing were going to be coming " accutely to the fore ". Do you agree about it or do you think that also in this case Pound was describing an " Admirable " shadowing job done by Wake-Walker and recommanding Tovey to think about the proper rewarding for Wake-Walker ?

In general I am in agreement with you and I have seldom used the definition " incompetent " since I think that the majority of the persons involved were competent, ... with different level of competences, ... depending on where they were and doing what.

Courage in action or cowardice is a different story, but I stop here about it.

Regarding the maps and tracks, I have personally ceased long time ago to use those provided at the time to re-construct where they really were, ... and now I have a very clear scenario and map available that took me 15 years of work to make it.
What one can state with very easy demonstrations I have provided many times, is that those provided at the time are largely incorrect, especially " The Plot " ( Norfolk and Suffolk ), but we know why it was made like that by Pinchin.
Unfortunately the tactical maps of HMS Suffolk and Norfolk has never been made available to be seen, although they were requested and provided to the CS1 Officer.
Lucky us we have their radio messages and their relative bearings including the enemy taken ones.

To declare that no " Cover Up " was made intentionally, you should demonstrate now that Adm Tovey points 17 and 19 on his dispatches are correct and I can hardly see how you can do that, ... and counter the correlation of that action by Tovey and the subsequent Admiralty acceptance being related to the Court martial threat by Adm Pound, ... just as Stephen Roskill declared on his books by referencing the " regrettable aftermath " to the still available documents on the ADM 205/10.

I like to read your opinion on the above points, ... just for my curiosity.

NOTE : I like to wish you and Bill Garzke Jr a very good luck for your coming Bismarck book, I know it will be fantastic !

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: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by paul.mercer » Wed May 16, 2018 8:30 pm

wadinga wrote:Hello All,

NEW INFORMATION

Now we move on to two new 1941 documents, a friendly letter to the First Sea Lord and his friendly reply including the phrase recently presented out of context. These documents are Crown copyright. Notice that there is not the slightest suggestion that the shadowing discussion was the result of a threat of disciplinary action of even the mildest sort.

Image

Image

Pound responds

Image

Image

As can be seen, Pound glibly suggests losing a County with its crew would have been a reasonable price to pay, as some here believe, but such callousness is possible only in hindsight and there is no guarantee that even after such a butcher's bill, contact would have been maintained anyway. Tovey says shadowing in such conditions was "complicated", unlike those who have presented their facile solutions elsewhere, and presume to judge Wake-Walker based on their own extensive experience of such activities.

NB Pound writes Barham when he clearly means Birmingham. Either his secretary had cloth ears or the old man was mumbling. The former rendered 828 squadron as 8 to 8 originally. :D

Who would like to discuss these documents based on 1941 circumstances, ie not with huge dollops of hindsight or an agenda of "making stuff up" with a view to personal aggrandisement/financial profit?

All the best

wadinga
Gentlemen,
In the aboveletter Admiral Pound states that Rodney did not commence hitting until about 10 minutes and some say 20 minutes.
My question is this, Rodney was on her way to the US for a refit,carrying spare parts and other stuff, so would she have had a fully worked up crew or just a 'scratch' transfer crew and if so would that account for her apparent initial poor gunnery. I appreciate that it was blowing quite hard with a fairly heavy sea, so if she did have her normal complement one would expect better results,
as I presume all RN ships practiced their range finding and exercised their guns in all sorts of conditions, or is it an indicator of not particularly good gunnery throughout the Navy (with one or two exceptions)? If the latter is correct (and I hope its not) then it says a lot for Bismarck' range finding and shooting and not very much for Rodney and KGV who were firing on a crippled slow moving target and again not a lot for Hood and PoW in the original actions. One final bit, it was mentioned after the battle that Rodney sustained some damage from the recoil of her own guns, was it because she might have fired full broadsides when the range came down to almost point blank?

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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by dunmunro » Wed May 16, 2018 9:40 pm

paul.mercer wrote: ]
Gentlemen,
In the aboveletter Admiral Pound states that Rodney did not commence hitting until about 10 minutes and some say 20 minutes.
My question is this, Rodney was on her way to the US for a refit,carrying spare parts and other stuff, so would she have had a fully worked up crew or just a 'scratch' transfer crew and if so would that account for her apparent initial poor gunnery. I appreciate that it was blowing quite hard with a fairly heavy sea, so if she did have her normal complement one would expect better results,
as I presume all RN ships practiced their range finding and exercised their guns in all sorts of conditions, or is it an indicator of not particularly good gunnery throughout the Navy (with one or two exceptions)? If the latter is correct (and I hope its not) then it says a lot for Bismarck' range finding and shooting and not very much for Rodney and KGV who were firing on a crippled slow moving target and again not a lot for Hood and PoW in the original actions. One final bit, it was mentioned after the battle that Rodney sustained some damage from the recoil of her own guns, was it because she might have fired full broadsides when the range came down to almost point blank?

I have argued in the past that the earliest hits on Bismarck came from KGV's radar ranged 14in guns and their more modern FC. I don't doubt that Rodney's crew state was a factor but optical RFs were operating under very poor conditions which greatly favoured radar ranging. OTOH, we cannot place too much reliance on the KM POW's statements because many were below decks and had no view of the battle. The conditions for long range gunnery were poor with high winds and a steep swell.

Bismarck scored no hits during the final battle and if the RN wasn't hitting her then what caused her gunnery to decline so abruptly?

A complicating factor for the RN was Tovey's decision to allow his battleships to fight independently in open order, rather than in closed order as Holland had done at DS. Tovey's battleships quick lost track of each salvos (after ~0552) and for ~5mins this caused a drastic reduction in accuracy.

All battleships suffer blast and shock damage from their main armament, and this damage will be intensified at close range and/or when the guns are forced to fire fore or abaft the beam, which moves the high pressures caused by muzzle blast over the weather decks of the firing ship.

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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by wadinga » Thu May 17, 2018 1:04 am

Hello Paul Mercer,

You have identified the same major concern expressed in Dudley Pound's letter as I have. It is the real unspecified "prima facie" question the War Cabinet wanted answering, especially after some Army type had spoken on the BBC. Why was British gunnery unable to sink Bismarck?
Attention was called to a BBC broadcast made by a military officer who had been on board one of his Majesty’s ships in the Bismarck action, which had given an unfavourable impression of our ships’ gunnery. Enquiry was being made by the Admiralty into this matter, and a copy of the broadcast should be circulated to the War Cabinet.
A full report would also be made regarding certain aspects of the action which, prima facie, seemed to require explanation.
Since Mr Jurens may be busy considering all the plethora of minor discrepancies and inconsistencies which for Antonio and Alberto constitute definitive "evidence" of massive RN malfeasance, you could save some time by reading his (and co-authors) excellent article here http://navweaps.com/index_inro/INRO_Bismarck.php

Essentially:
A total of 2,876 shells were fired at Bismarck from 0847-1019, most at relatively close ranges (see Table 4). During that time, it is possible that as many as 300-400 shells hit the German ship. Why did she not blow up and sink?
A battle fought in storm conditions causing rolling and yawing beyond the fire control system's ability to compensate making hitting harder. Reducing range to try and get any hits "Get closer I can't see enough hits" meant very low angle incidence hits meaning ricochets and non penetration/detonation. Churchill had even admitted in the House of Commons while addressing the House that gunfire had not sunk her and torpedoes would have to be used. What Pound and Churchill could not know was the excellent subdivision and huge initial stability Bismarck's designers had given her.

Then, go and buy Battleship Bismarck: A Design and Operational History available Dec 2018, by William H Garzke Jr (Author),
Robert O Dulin Jr (Author),
Bill Jurens (Author),
James Cameron (As (Contributor)

it will be brilliant!

All the best

wadinga
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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by Byron Angel » Fri May 18, 2018 5:44 am

Historical experience has shown that, short of inducing a catastrophic ammunition explosion, gunfire alone is unlikely to physically sink a battleship.

Byron

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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by wadinga » Mon May 21, 2018 2:23 pm

Hello All,

It is a shame Byron has decided to withdraw from the debate again, his observations are always considered, sharply perceptive and eminently reasonable. Unlike his namesake he has never been "mad, bad and dangerous to know". Perhaps we have enough of that around here already.

Ploughing through pages of original 1941 discussion of honours and awards to be made I came across the following:

"The Master of the Fleet will presumably be covered in the next periodic list from C-in-C."

This comes after the proposed listing by the committee of nothing for KG V's navigator, DSC for PoW's (Rowell- wounded) and a recommended DSC downgraded to Mention in Dispatches for Rodney's navigator. This has the explanation:

"I think the award to the navigating officer of PoW is well deserved, but I cannot see that the navigating officer of the Rodney did any better than the navigating officers of other ships, such as Dorsetshire or Norfolk which were also in at the death. I would suggest a Mention only for Rodney."

Elsewhere Dalrymple Hamilton also fared badly as the committee were swayed by VCNS comments' already discussed, but Pound through his representative Admiral Geoffrey Blake, weighed in and upgraded several awards, but nothing remained nothing for Master of the Fleet Captain Frank Lloyd the navigating officer who plotted the D/F bearings incorrectly, and sent KG V off in the wrong direction and hazarded the whole interception.

This is the elephant in the room, not an unwarranted allegation against two other fine officers, conjured up by a couple of chancers seeking to make a reputation for themselves. Since the Awards Committee were presumably unaware of this enormous navigational "cock-up" they were clearly surprised at Captain Lloyd being left out.

I am still stunned that none of the luminaries who post or even lurk here have anything at all to say on the D/F Controversy thread. Surely this subject, if less glamorous than incidence angles and their potential for decapping AP projectiles, is worthy of evaluation and discussion? If there ever was a cover up on the Bismarck Chase , this is it. The matter of the mistake and its catastrophic potential is glossed over, since it was poor Admiralty procedure that did not send the worked out bearing, and further compounded by not commenting when KG V's result was so different to their own. As we have discovered, Rodney's navigator who "did not do any better" actually plotted the transmitted bearings much more accurately than Lloyd and Rodney may have been close to making an interception, earlier, on her own.

Tovey's report, the covering letter of 30 May, and his and Pound's letters of mid July make no reference to this glaring operational failure, in which pretty much everybody from Tom Phillips and Captain Edwards down had a share of the blame. With the expansion of the D/F network to Iceland and Gibraltar this method became a vital tool in the defeat of the u boats. By then the small matter of whether a commander at sea could say "No, don't tell me, I want to work it out for myself!" and then get the wrong answer had been sorted out.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by wadinga » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:06 pm

Hello All,

I am attempting to clarify when the messages about D/F bearings were sent by the Admiralty to KG V. I have two message listings NARA provided by Dunmunro but cannot see the actual message. Several others around this period (early 25th ) are hard to identify. Does anyone have more information?


It is interesting to identify the actual senders of signals.


Tovey was sent "Take all forces of Home Fleet, also Rodney and Ramillies under your orders." by Captain Edwards, Director of Operations Division DOD(H) at 08:36B/25 and apparently repeated at 10:48B.

Tovey apparently failed to give his Position Course and Speed in his TOO 10:47 radio silence break when he gave out Lloyd's faulty position and instructed "All Home Fleet units search accordingly." Tom Phillips, subtly or testily, I don't know which, sends "Whenever you break radio silence it would be helpful if you would include position, course and speed. " which is an admonishment to a junior but perhaps a gentle reminder sent to the C-in-C. This is only sent at TOO 14:43, so for hours the Admiralty is in the dark about what Tovey is actually doing.

This shows Tom Phillips VCNS was well aware of the existence and content of Tovey's signal at 10:47 but was he aware of the significance of the position sent out by the C-in-C and the fact that it showed Tovey was sending his forces towards Norway?

Sir Arthur John Power Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Home ACNS (H) chipped in at 10:57B with a message saying the 08:54 target identified and D/Fd was the same radio fingerprint as the ship transmitting after the Swordfish attack the previous evening ,ie Bismarck.

Your 09:00 (ie Rodney's position, course and speed report) "Act on assumption enemy is proceeding towards a Bay of Biscay port." 11:58B/25 sent by Tom Phillips VCNS to Rodney. Despite the fact that Captain Edwards has put Rodney under Tovey's control, Phillips gives orders as if the Admiralty controls Rodney. Does Phillips realise he is contradicting Tovey?

Then comes utter confusion: "My 11:58B25. Comply with C-in-C Home Fleet 10:47B/25 acting on assumption enemy is proceeding to Norway via passage between Scotland and Iceland. C.N.S 14:28B/25 to Rodney. C.N.S is First Sea Lord Dudley Pound. He did not author the 11:58 so how is it MY 11:58? Now he countermands Phillips' instruction, but amazingly despite the fact that all the concensus all morning at the Admiralty has been for a French destination he tells Dalrymple-Hamilton to assume Norway!

Stung, or reminded by Tom Phillips, Tovey reports his course and speed in a message TOO 16:21B/25 reporting that he is sailing 080T at 25 knots......... ie not towards France. He adds perhaps desperately, since Lloyd has apparently recalculated and discovered his error over the D/F, "Your 14:28, do you consider enemy is making for Faroes?" He has intercepted the confusing instruction to Rodney.

Receiving no answer he reports position, course and speed again at 18:17B revealing he has changed course to 117T that is towards France, at last!

Then to add confusion to confusion "Cancel my 14:28B/25. Proceed on the assumption that the destination of the enemy is a French port." sent by Tom Phillips VCNS at 18:05B/25 to Rodney. So the Vice Chief of Naval Staff countermands the instructions of the Chief of Naval Staff, Dudley Pound.

Then "Admiralty appreciation is that Bismarck is heading for west coast of France." 18:24B/25 from VCNS no addressee listed so presumably all stations.

What a cock-up!

It would appear just from this that nobody realised Lloyd's position was wrong at the Admiralty, and because Tovey failed to give the most basic information about his current location and intended action ie what intercepting course he would steer nobody realised he was proceeding on the basis of Norway until the receipt of his 16:21B/25!


What on earth Pound's interference in the process was about is completely unclear.


We need more information about the sequence of signals to improve this picture of confusion at the Admiralty.


All the best

wadinga
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Re: 1941 Criticism of Royal Navy Officers' tactics

Post by Herr Nilsson » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:22 am

DF3.jpg
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Just to in crease the confusion....read footnote 3
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Regards

Marc

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

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