@ Francis Marliere,
I like your definition : " As far as I know, you are the author of the ' cover up ' theory ".
YES, I take full credit for having discovered the obvious :
1) Adm Tovey on May 30, 1941 declared to the Admiralty that PoW retreated two minutes after the Hood explosion.
On July 5th, 1941 he changed to 13 minutes after the Hood explosion the PoW retreat on his dispatches, writing 06.13.
On 1948 the Royal Navy Admiralty corrected him back on the Battle Summary Nr 5 from 06.13 to 06.03.
2) RearAdm Wake-Walker at the Hood First board declared Norfolk distance being 10 sea miles (20.000 yards) from Hood at 06.00.
On June 11th, 1941 that distance was already increased to 15 sea miles on every report and changed with " The Plot " at the Hood Second board by Wake-Walker himself using " The Plot " with 30.000 yards (15 sea miles).
I have demonstrated that " The Plot " is an incorrect document and the distance was much less than the 15 sea miles declared, for both Norfolk as well as for Suffolk.
You asked :
Apart the pure Military considerations, ... and here Horatio Nelson ( my favorite Admiral ) would have had no doubts about it, ... we still have to find the orders they had at hand.So if you agree with me on the fact that not opening fire made sense, why do you blame RearAdm Walke-Walker ?
If you don't blame him, why do you think he should have been court-martialed ?
If the Admiralty orders were to shadow and flank mark ONLY, avoiding to open fire ( maybe according to the fighting instructions ) than they did it right.
If the orders were different or somebody took the freedom of interpreting them being only reduced to that duty ( shadowing and flank marking ONLY ), ... than they did not perform as required.
So, bottom line in order to have a defined call about this, ... we NEED to find the operative orders they received before sailing by the Home Fleet / Admiralty.
Regarding those orders I still need to put my hands on, here what we have:
By Adm Tovey :
No mention to orders by Tovey, ... just an " intention " by Holland, ... but again which orders did they have ?It was the intention of the Vice-Admiral Commanding, Battle Cruiser Squadron, that the Hood and Prince of Wales should engage the Bismarck, leaving the Prinz Eugen to the cruisers, but the Rear-Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron, was not aware that the battlecruiser force was so near; the Norfolk and Suffolk, therefore, shadowing from the eastward and northward respectively at a range of about 15 miles, were not in a position to engage the Prinz Eugen who was now stationed ahead of the Bismarck on a course of 240°.
Which orders he gave them ?
By Capt Ellis own autobiography :
No mention to orders received by RearAdm Wake-Walker or anybody else, ... as you can read yourself.The Suffolk's tactical function of the moment was to follow and flank mark.
Meanwhile we look for the orders, ... somebody can surely tell us what the shadowing and flank marking fighting instructions were telling them on may 1941.
Here the shadowing ones :