Pound was a loon, but slightly in his defence he did have a brain tumour at the time which was impairing his judgment. Part of that impaired judgment may explain his refusal to resign beforehand when it was diagnosed. Seems to me there's at least some culpability for "dear old Winnie" in not *forcing* him to resign beforehand. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, of course....
I'd go with that, Pound had a brain tumour which affected his judgement and was worn out from years of constant pressure with his immense wartime responsibilities. Someone should have made him step aside. Not necessarily Churchill who can't be expected to micromanage naval appointments but whoever was above him in the chain of command or perhaps his medical officers. The old boys network again? Or just the human angle, hard to tell a man you'd known for decades and fought German battleships with at Jutland that he was now past it?
That said his remark "We've decided to scatter the convoy and that is how it must stay" is an attitude often encountered in both history (Tom Phillips springs to mind) and in my personal experience by people who don't have any of Pound's excuses. By contrast Gradwell seems to personify very best in naval tradition. How incredibly spiteful for him to be denied a DSO! The scene where the old sweat talks about them successfully escaping in the lifeboat only to add matter of factly 'and then we began to die' from hypothermia was heartrending.
I always had the impression that the Russians didn't honour the Arctic convoys, that they aways played down the Allies support for them and liked to think they did it all by themselves. Wonder how the battle of Moscow would have gone for them without 75% of their tanks? That said it's disgusting that it took nearly 70 years for an Arctic campaign medal to be awarded when most of those entitled to one would be dead (and Bomber Command the same).