Cover up synopsis

Discussions about the history of the ship, technical details, etc.

Moderator: Bill Jurens

User avatar
Herr Nilsson
Senior Member
Posts: 1454
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Germany

Re: Cover up synopsis

Post by Herr Nilsson » Thu Oct 08, 2015 9:56 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Francis Marliere wrote: "Prinz Eugen, being engaged by British squadron, had no choice but to fire. "
PG could leave the line of fire before being engaged, and Adm.Schmundt asked to Brinkmann why he did not (of course Brinkmann answered he was ordered by Lutjens....)
Did he?
Regards

Marc

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

User avatar
Antonio Bonomi
Senior Member
Posts: 3800
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Vimercate ( Milano ) - Italy

Re: Cover up synopsis

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:18 am

Hello everybody,

@ Herr Nilsson,

that is what we can realize from PG battle map and VizeAdm Schmundt report.

Do you have a different opinion ?

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
Herr Nilsson
Senior Member
Posts: 1454
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Germany

Re: Cover up synopsis

Post by Herr Nilsson » Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:34 am

Brinkmann had no orders at all.
Regards

Marc

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

User avatar
Antonio Bonomi
Senior Member
Posts: 3800
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Vimercate ( Milano ) - Italy

Re: Cover up synopsis

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:38 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Herr Nilsson,

from VizeAdm Schmundt report ( translated ) :
I do not know the thought processes of the Chief of Fleet here either for holding the cruiser in the line of battle, not only to engage "Hood" but also against the "Prince of Wales".
From here :

http://www.kbismarck.com/archives/pg003.html

Since the Chief of the Fleet was Adm Lutjens and Prinz Eugen received also orders to target first PoW, than Hood, ... and at 05.58 the PoW again, ... I consider it was Adm Lutjens to order Prinz Eugen " to hold " the position in the line of battle ... and which target to fire to.


Do you have a different opinion ?

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
Herr Nilsson
Senior Member
Posts: 1454
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Germany

Re: Cover up synopsis

Post by Herr Nilsson » Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:02 pm

The cruiser did not receive a signal for fire division – indeed no battle signals were given at all – although this is unusual, it can be explained that the Chief of Fleet either considered the placing of the cruiser into the fire lee as self-evident and did not feel a fire division signal was not required or that the situation was so clear that a fire division signal was superfluous.
But I do agree also with the commander that a directive could be expected by him, particularly, since this is customarily always done when sailing in the line of battle.
Regards

Marc

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

User avatar
Antonio Bonomi
Senior Member
Posts: 3800
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Vimercate ( Milano ) - Italy

Re: Cover up synopsis

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:04 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Herr Nilsson,

I know that statement very well, ... but now please tell me who " hold " the Prinz Eugen there in line of battle, ... assigning to her the target, ... so to which enemy he was supposed to fire to ?

When a superior given a defined situation they were in, .. does NOT tell you to move away from there or do anything different ... and tells you to fire to an enemy with assigned target ... it is so difficult to realize that it means you have to keep your position ( since I did not order you to move away ) and simply fire to the assigned target ?

Given a previous order ... and not having received any different and new order on course and speed ... you are supposed to keep on doing what has been ordered to you last time ... while now you only have to open fire to the given target.

To difficult to realize it ... :think:

Not for Brinkmann apparently ... because it is exactly what he did ... :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 )

User avatar
Herr Nilsson
Senior Member
Posts: 1454
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Germany

Re: Cover up synopsis

Post by Herr Nilsson » Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:32 am

Antonio Bonomi wrote:Hello everybody,

@ Herr Nilsson,

...
To difficult to realize it ... :think:
...
Do not ask me, ask Schmundt.
Brinkmann got no order. If PG is part of a battle line, this means to stay in the battle line. Is PG is not part of the battle line this means to move to fire lee. So "no order" can be interpreted differently depending on PGs role. A clear order would have clarified the matter.
Alberto Virtuani wrote: PG could leave the line of fire before being engaged, and Adm.Schmundt asked to Brinkmann why he did not (of course Brinkmann answered he was ordered by Lutjens....)
So Albertos wording is wrong although he is probably right. The correct wording has to be:
...(of course Brinkmann answered he got no new order by Lutjens....)
Regards

Marc

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

User avatar
Antonio Bonomi
Senior Member
Posts: 3800
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Vimercate ( Milano ) - Italy

Re: Cover up synopsis

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:37 am

Hello everybody,

@ Herr Nilsson,

this discussion unfortunately is making me a bit sad, ... not for the discussion itself, ... which is ok, ... but because I have spent an hour talking about all this with a great gentleman, namely Ltnt Otto Schlenzka, when I met him in Kiel few years ago.
Antonio_Bonomi_and_Otto_Schlenzka_Kiel.jpg
Antonio_Bonomi_and_Otto_Schlenzka_Kiel.jpg (42.43 KiB) Viewed 1269 times
Otto Schlenzka was a Prinz Eugen gunnery Officer in charge of the A/A 105 mm port side of Prince Eugen, ... he died the 29 July 2015 in Kiel, ... just three months ago.

http://www.forum-marinearchiv.de/smf/in ... #msg278512

We spent good time talking about VizeAdm Hubert Schmundt and his personality, ... and the young Ltnt Otto Schlenzka experience with him, ... we had a lot of good time about it.

So, Rest In Peace old gentleman : I will miss you.

Back on the topic, I agree with you Marc, and Otto Schlenzka was in agreement with me about what you have understood and I have tried to explain you above.

Kpt Brinkmann got no new ( different ) orders, so he kept on executing the last orders received from the Flottenchef, from Adm Lutjens.

By the way I have shared those opinions also with Ltnt Hans Henning von Schulz, another key Officer on board the Prinz Eugen that day, ... responsible for signals and GHG, ... and he agreed with me as well.


If things did not go as planned on the British side, ... surely there were problems on the German side too, ... and this is the fun on researching about this battle, ... and one day when everything will be printed and made available ... surely it will generate a lot of new discussions ... :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 )

Cag
Senior Member
Posts: 577
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:53 am

Re: Cover up synopsis

Post by Cag » Fri Oct 16, 2015 12:21 pm

Dear All,
Firstly may I add my humble but heartfelt condolences to the Antonio and of course the family of Herr Schlenzka for his loss, it is always so difficult to understand why we have to lose relatives and friends who add such a great deal to our lives and puts the meaning of such simple and enjoyable friendly chats into perspective.
Secondly and with due respect to the above sentiments would it be fair to say that as Capt Ellis implies in his biography that the cruisers tactical function was to follow and flank mark etc then the neccessity for a cover up for holding back or cowardice is less obvious and not as 'cut and dried' and the reasons for Tovey's stand against any anecdotal evidence of a court martial is more understandable if all those involved were either carrying out his wishes, or complying with his notion of what was expected of them in the situations they found themselves in?
Cag.

User avatar
Antonio Bonomi
Senior Member
Posts: 3800
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Vimercate ( Milano ) - Italy

Re: Cover up synopsis

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:52 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Cag,

many thanks for your nice words, I am sure that Herr Schlenzka would have loved to know the whole of you and spend time talking about the " highest moment in his life " as he described it to me.

I think that it is NOT so simple to talk about what happened on board the 2 heavy cruisers, ... Suffolk and Norfolk, ... during the assembly of this battle.

I mean between 05.37 and the PoW radio message of : "Enemy in sight !", and the heavy units full engagement both sides at 05.55.

We have the Articles of War and the fighting instructions for shadowing cruisers, ... and for fleet engagements, ... but we still miss the orders received before the battle, ... and who knows at this point if orders have been issued during the battle too.

An inquiry would have probably clarified all those situations, ... but we know now how it went.

It is a fact that in order NOT to describe this situation, ... it was invented the story of them being " around 15 sea miles " behind the enemy, ... and unable to join in due to ViceAdm Holland missing orders, ... which I personally think being a shame.

This is one of the reasons why I will make this battle clear ... once for good.

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
Herr Nilsson
Senior Member
Posts: 1454
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Germany

Re: Cover up synopsis

Post by Herr Nilsson » Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:25 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote:Hello everybody,

@ Herr Nilsson,

first of all I am glad you used on your request the correct definition of “ Cover Up “ I have being using since the beginning of this discussion.

Cover up in my opinion means that when something happened and it was not good, instead of declaring the truth, you declare something different changing the information you have, and by doing so you modify the data “ Covering Up “ the truth with a set of incorrect information supporting the new version of the events you like to provide.

Here following the Denmark Strait “ Cover Up “ summary you requested.

The “ Cover Up “ started immediately after Adm Tovey reaction to Adm Pound unsuccessfully trying to convince him to court martial RearAdm Wake-Walker and Capt Leach, as per Winston Churchill request.

Adm Tovey asked Adm Pound a direct order from him to do it. The order never reached him.

Instead of providing the truth and go for the punishment, it was decided to go for the rewarding, consequently the events needs to be modified in order to support it, according to available W. Churchill previously released guidelines to be used :

Good news was made to seem better; bad news was toned down, delayed or sometimes suppressed.

Immediately after Adm Tovey started the coordination of the “ Cover Up “ changing the most critical data and declarations, in cooperation with RearAdm Wake-Walker.

Norfolk and Suffolk distance to the enemy and PoW retreat time being the most critical data to be changed on reports and maps.

On July 1941 the Adm Tovey dispatches reported Norfolk and Suffolk at around 15 sea miles from the enemy at open fire and PoW retreat time being 06.13.

Officers directly involved on the cover up : Adm Tovey, RearAdm Wake-Walker ( plus Ltnt Cdr Pinchin )
Officers that supported with no reaction the cover up : Capt Leach, Capt Ellis
Officers that did not support the cover up : Capt Phillips

The RN Admiralty after having unsuccessfully supported the initial Churchill court martial request, accepted the subsequent cover up activities, the Hood Second Board declaration change by WW and the incorrect documents submission.

At the end all the above Officers have been rewarded by the King on October 1941.

Bye Antonio :D
I'm wondering why the poor Capt. Phillips signed Norfolk's gunnery report on May 28th including the sentence: "Initial range was 304, which closed to 272 after 16 minutes and the increased."
Regards

Marc

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

User avatar
Antonio Bonomi
Senior Member
Posts: 3800
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Vimercate ( Milano ) - Italy

Re: Cover up synopsis

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:09 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Herr Nilsson,

you wrote :
I'm wondering why the poor Capt. Phillips signed Norfolk's gunnery report on May 28th including the sentence: "Initial range was 304, which closed to 272 after 16 minutes and the increased."
It was his duty to submit his report to Rear Adm Wake-Walker ( CS1 ) including the Gunnery report, and I suppose those where the distances from the Bismarck that his gunnery Officer provided him.

But what happened of those data and statements after Capt Phillips submitted his report ?

Were those distances from the Bismarck declared on the other reports ( RearAdm Wake-Walker ), maps ( The Plot ) and dispatches ( Adm Tovey ) including the clear statement about the real reason why fire was NOT opened on the enemy ( Bismarck ) ?

I only recall a statement about : " ... around 15 sea miles ... and NOT in position to engagé ... the Prinz Eugen ... :shock: "

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
Herr Nilsson
Senior Member
Posts: 1454
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Germany

Re: Cover up synopsis

Post by Herr Nilsson » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:13 am

That means the ranges are right.
Regards

Marc

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

User avatar
Alberto Virtuani
Senior Member
Posts: 3607
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:22 am
Location: Milan (Italy)

Re: Cover up synopsis

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:48 am

Herr Nillson wrote: "That means the ranges are right."
Hi Marc,
no, sorry, it just means that these estimated ranges were reported to Phillips, referred to 6:06 - 6:22 suspiciously wrong timings and included in his report. :negative:
Norfolk_GAR.jpg
Norfolk_GAR.jpg (59.43 KiB) Viewed 996 times
Even correcting the timings to the correct ones (5:52 and 6:08), assuming another "innocent error" of 14 minutes here :wink: , these ranges DO NOT MATCH with all the following official reports from W-W and Tovey and they are in evident contrast even with Pinchin's "Plot" that shows Norfolk heavily closing range to BS from 5:55 till 6:00 (so after 3 minutes from open fire and not 16......) and then heavily enlarging range..... :oops:

Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

User avatar
Herr Nilsson
Senior Member
Posts: 1454
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Germany

Re: Cover up synopsis

Post by Herr Nilsson » Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:32 am

That means?
Regards

Marc

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

Post Reply