Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

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

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wadinga
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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by wadinga » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:52 am

Hi Antonio,

You have said
I think that if a crusade is noticeable in this thread is the one that the defenders of those officers are doing in line of principle despite the evidences only because they were Royal Navy Senior Officers, only because they were British.
Have you not noticed that those who find the repetition of opinions and shaky conjecture presented as incontravertable "facts" , and large quantities of equally valid information simply ignored because is does not fit the story being told, worthy of opposition, include a German, an American, a Canadian, and perhaps several other nationalities.

I believe this whole thread owes its generation to outrage over an element of perhaps excessive praise by an American author over the career of Captain John Leach whose service was creditable but hardly worthy of "The Highest Traditions".

The thread's value is in bringing to light the fine detail so often edited out of narrative to simplify things for the reader. But it is the duty of the reader to make themselves aware of the context in which historical statements were made. When an officer reports he was in such and such position he cannot be accurate because he has no method of determining such a thing, but his expert audience knows that and makes allowance. When a chart shows Suffolk 26 miles away it must be wrong because no device existed to measure this. It is merely the best estimate of Suffolk's position relative to PoW's unknown but best guess position.

Accusations based on second guessing are bad practice

All the best

wadinga
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Wordy
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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by Wordy » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:09 am

Antonio Bonomi wrote:Hello everybody,

I think that if a crusade is noticeable in this thread is the one that the defenders of those officers are doing in line of principle despite the evidences only because they were Royal Navy Senior Officers, only because they were British. I do not see anything wrong from my side on underlining those incorrect facts and their direct relation to the Military procedures in place into RN.
Absolute rubbish.
Antonio Bonomi wrote:@ Wordy,

it seems you are following the thread since long time, so please tell me how do you evaluate the conduct of those 3 Officers given what I have showed from Official documents.

What do you think about all this ... big "innocent" collection of errors and misinterpretations due to the "fog of war ".

Bye Antonio :D
Exactly what has already been said many times earlier in the thread by pretty much everyone posting.
In the Highest Tradition of the Royal Navy - Captain John Leach MVO DSO

alecsandros
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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by alecsandros » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:16 am

@Wadinga, Wordy

Please consider also:
ostriche.jpg
ostriche.jpg (8.69 KiB) Viewed 1143 times
Kindest regards,

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:59 am

Hello everybody,

@ Wadinga & Wordy and everybody else interested on it,

lets make things very easy and avoid loosing my and your time in the future.

Please tell me and yourself between those 2 statements which one is correct and which one is incorrect :

1 ) PoW continued the action and a hit was seen on her and at 06.13 she turned away and made smoke. The enemy continued firing and salvoes were seen to fall very close to Prince of Wales on her wake for some time while she was on her retiring course.

Written by RearAdmiral W.F. Wake-Walker on June 5th, 1941, accepted and used by Adm J.Tovey on his July 1941 dispatches.

2 ) It was decided temporarily to discontinue the action and at 06.03 PoW turned away to 160 degrees behind a smoke screen.

Written by the Royal Navy Admiralty into Battle Summary Nr. 5 on 1947/48

Just one single answer, which one of the 2 you consider being the CORRECT one : 1 or 2 ?

Many thanks.


NOTE : With the Latin expression " SUPER PARTES " (beyond the parties) refers to the ability to rise above the parties, or take a neutral position.

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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Wordy
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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by Wordy » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:34 am

alecsandros wrote:@Wadinga, Wordy

Please consider also:
ostriche.jpg
Kindest regards,
Sure, Alecsandros please also consider:

Image
In the Highest Tradition of the Royal Navy - Captain John Leach MVO DSO

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Herr Nilsson
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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by Herr Nilsson » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:35 am

Antonio Bonomi wrote:Hello everybody,

@ Wadinga & Wordy and everybody else interested on it,

lets make things very easy and avoid loosing my and your time in the future.

Please tell me and yourself between those 2 statements which one is correct and which one is incorrect :

1 ) PoW continued the action and a hit was seen on her and at 06.13 she turned away and made smoke. The enemy continued firing and salvoes were seen to fall very close to Prince of Wales on her wake for some time while she was on her retiring course.

Written by RearAdmiral W.F. Wake-Walker on June 5th, 1941, accepted and used by Adm J.Tovey on his July 1941 dispatches.

2 ) It was decided temporarily to discontinue the action and at 06.03 PoW turned away to 160 degrees behind a smoke screen.

Written by the Royal Navy Admiralty into Battle Summary Nr. 5 on 1947/48

Just one single answer, which one of the 2 you consider being the CORRECT one : 1 or 2 ?

Many thanks.


NOTE : With the Latin expression " SUPER PARTES " (beyond the parties) refers to the ability to rise above the parties, or take a neutral position.

Bye Antonio :D
1) is a typo
Regards

Marc

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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by Thorsten Wahl » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:58 am

I believe No 2 is the more correct
2 ) It was decided temporarily to discontinue the action and at 06.03 PoW turned away to 160 degrees behind a smoke screen.

But I dont think ther was a active decision required for discontinuing the action. Its my opinion ther was no active decision required to explain the movement of POW at least in between 06:01-~06:05
Originally it was planned to take a more parallel course to Bismarck.
Shortly before the hit on the compass bridge POW was continuing the original turn to port, the rudder was therfore set on 15 degress port or so to maintain a high speed during the course change. Then the magic bullit hit the compass bridge, POW lost the upper end of the chain of command. Several impacts were felt on POW in the subsequent period.
in my opininon the main task was to restore the chain of command to restore and maintain combat capabilities.
Course of ship was less critically - maintaining the last helm order doesnt increase the danger for the ship. Even POW lost 80% of its firepower an obviously the central firecontrol.
When course of the ship and wind became matching, the smoke from the funnels accumulate on the position of POW and hides the ship from enemy observation. So the ship won valuable time for a decision what to do. And then it became visible that the german ships were turning away from POW and not forcing a further confrontation.
Meine Herren, es kann ein siebenjähriger, es kann ein dreißigjähriger Krieg werden – und wehe dem, der zuerst die Lunte in das Pulverfaß schleudert!

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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by alecsandros » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:20 pm

Thorsten Wahl wrote:
But I dont think ther was a active decision required for discontinuing the action. Its my opinion ther was no active decision required to explain the movement of POW at least in between 06:01-~06:05
Leach wrote he decided to disengage, and amply motivated his decision.

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Dave Saxton
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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:24 pm

And in my opinion he was absolutely correct in that decision.
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: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:49 pm

Hello everybody,

very good, ... so far I assume that Alecsandros, Marc (Herr Nilsson), Thorsten Wahl and Dave Saxton agreed with me on the fact that 06.03 is the right PoW disengagement time and 06.13 is NOT correct.

So we have :

06.03 = 100 % ( 5 out of 5 of which : 1 Italian, 1 Rumenian, 1 American and 2 Germans )

and

06.13 = 0 % ( no one )

NOTE : Of course I am fully respectful of everybody opinion about the disengagement reasons, and the fact that it was correct or not to break off retreating.
More, I do not consider 06.03 being correct because it was 06.01 and 30 seconds the retreat exact moment with the 160 degrees turn away to port. Just like the Admiralty underlined as well being the break off and disengagement starting point, as described well by Ltnt Hunter-Terry and drew by Rowell on his PoW official maps.
But those are NOT my current questions on this moment.
I just like to know the exact timing between the above 2 that our expert readers do consider being correct at this point of their knowledge of the facts.

I am just curious to see how many will have the courage to say 06.13 now.

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: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by RNfanDan » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:11 pm

@Antonio:

What is the purpose of your two scenarios? Are you attempting to establish an opinion on whether or not, Leach DECIDED to continue the action? If so, then the TIMING is not germane, and to DELIBERATELY include the 06:13 time point in your scenario #1 is what I like to call "entrapment". It's the same as a lawyer asking a witness: "Do you still beat your wife these days?" Of course, if the witness NEVER beat his wife in the first place, the presumption is established unfairly.

I hope you are not "seeding" the issues in that manner!
Image

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:04 pm

Hello everybody,

@ RNfanDan,

just a pure opinion on which one of the 2 times the most passionate experts of this battle since many years do believe being correct at this point given the evidences.

No judgment on Leach intentions and reasons, no judgment on his Military conduct at this point.

Which one of the 2 listed times is the CORRECT one !

The answer should be immediate and obvious, ... with no delay, ... given that even the Royal Navy Admiralty certified it on 1947/48 and consequently there should be no dispute in my personal opinion.

Instead , what still surprise me is that despite this evidence should be considered as a fact ... just to follow Marc ( Herr Nilsson ) approach he suggested me lately ... to list only the facts ... still there are persons not willing to admit and accept it as a given fact in today state of knowledge.

The reluctance on answering speaks for itself ...

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: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:37 pm

Hello everybody,

I attach here below an Official Royal Navy Admiralty de-secreted document of November 1948 and I repeat my question to the ones that are still in doubt about the response to be given.

Which one of the 2 times is the correct one ?
Battle_Summary_Nr_5_Nov_1948.JPG
Battle_Summary_Nr_5_Nov_1948.JPG (20.36 KiB) Viewed 1059 times
PoW retreating from Battle Summary No 5_1948 01.jpg
PoW retreating from Battle Summary No 5_1948 01.jpg (239.3 KiB) Viewed 1059 times
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: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by Steve Crandell » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:56 pm

I don't believe it's possible for Capt Leach to react that fast. The report claims that one minute after the bridge was hit he decided to withdraw temporarily from the battle. I'd be somewhat surprised if he even knew where he was one minute after the bridge was hit.

Does the angle of the bridge hit correspond to the direction PoW was facing prior to the radical turn to port?

What if a left rudder order had been given immediately after clearing Hood and not countermanded until several minutes later due to all the confusion from the bridge hit? Then later when they submitted the final report they merged some things to make it neater. Not entirely correct, but also not indicating cowardice.

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Re: Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War

Post by alecsandros » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:42 pm

Steve Crandell wrote:I don't believe it's possible for Capt Leach to react that fast. The report claims that one minute after the bridge was hit he decided to withdraw temporarily from the battle. I'd be somewhat surprised if he even knew where he was one minute after the bridge was hit.

Does the angle of the bridge hit correspond to the direction PoW was facing prior to the radical turn to port?

What if a left rudder order had been given immediately after clearing Hood and not countermanded until several minutes later due to all the confusion from the bridge hit? Then later when they submitted the final report they merged some things to make it neater. Not entirely correct, but also not indicating cowardice.
From Cpt Leach report:

"Decision to Break off the Action
22. The Commanding Officer of Prince of Wales in his report says:

"Some explanation remains to be made as to my decision to break off the engagement after the sinking of H.M.S. Hood - a decision which clearly invites most critical examination. Prior to the disaster to the Hood I felt that, together, we could deal adequately with the Bismarck and her consort. The sinking of the Hood obviously changed the immediate situation, and there were three other considerations requiring to be weighed up, of which the first two had been in my mind before the action was joined namely:-

a. The practical certainty that owing to mechanical "teething troubles" a full output from the main armament could not be expected.

b. The working up of the ship after commissioning had only just reached a stage where I felt able to report to the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet, that I considered her reasonably fit to take part in service operations. This was the first occasion on which she had done so. From the gunnery point of view the personnel was immensely keen, but inexperienced.

c. The likelihood of a decisive concentration being effected at a later stage

In all the circumstances I did not consider it sound tactics to continue single-handed the engagement with two German ships, both of whom might be expected to be at the peak of their efficiency. Accordingly I turned away and broke off the action pending a more favourable opportunity.""

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