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BBC2: PQ17: An Arctic Convoy Disaster - Thursday, January 2nd 2014 - 21:00

Seaweed

War Hero
Book Reviewer
With seventy years of hindsight it is clear that Winston should have had Pound invalided long before. He sacked plenty of others - Auchinleck, Wavell etc.

I was very impressed by the way Clarkson handled it all and with proper respect. The only missing bit for me was the distinction between the destroyers of the escort and the smaller fry, which latter would have remained with the convoy when the destroyers absolutely correctly concentrated on the cruisers.

In my day there was a clear difference of meaning between 'disperse' and 'scatter'.
 

Flagdeck

War Hero
With seventy years of hindsight it is clear that Winston should have had Pound invalided long before. He sacked plenty of others - Auchinleck, Wavell etc.

I was very impressed by the way Clarkson handled it all and with proper respect. The only missing bit for me was the distinction between the destroyers of the escort and the smaller fry, which latter would have remained with the convoy when the destroyers absolutely correctly concentrated on the cruisers.

In my day there was a clear difference of meaning between 'disperse' and 'scatter'.

my bold.........I've always liked the American version.........'Lets get the hell outa here !' :usa2:
 

triskele

Midshipman
if I may just add, we were the tanker in support with HMS London who went to Murmansk in 1991. I can assure you those Russ were adamant they wished to thank the seafarers, Stalin would not tell the country of any of this, but the locals who saw the damaged ships and cared for the wounded have certainly not forgotten and were extremely thankful, my liver has only just re-grown.
 

SONAR-BENDER

War Hero
Sadly I missed it, but having checked on line, it is being repeated on BBC2 next Monday (6th) at 2130.

Recorder is set up!
 

DAVIDJM

Midshipman
It was a good programme, though skipping some details for lack of time (I think it should have been at least a 3 hour programme).

In Pound defence the lack of information about the german warships movements (and there was a large force concentrated in the northern fjords), must have added to his worries.
 

jaggers

Lantern Swinger
It was a good programme, though skipping some details for lack of time (I think it should have been at least a 3 hour programme).

In Pound defence the lack of information about the german warships movements (and there was a large force concentrated in the northern fjords), must have added to his worries.

What I don't understand is that according to the programme the cover force of cruisers had a couple of subs with them for just such an eventuality. If the Tirpitz had set to sea why not use the convoy as a lure to sink her?
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
Sounds like sour grapes from Irving, there's been many books on PQ17 and all records are available through the FOI, he's going to have difficulty proving plagiarism IMHO.
 

DruAde

Lantern Swinger
Would be like me doing a lecture on WW2 and being sued for using terms used from the History of world war 2 book.
 

DAVIDJM

Midshipman
Perhaps we should define the German forces accumulated in North Norway for the attack on the convoy.

TIRPITZ, was the main factor with her 8 x 15 inch guns

The others included
LUTZOW,
ADMIRAL SHEER, both with 6 x 11 inch guns.

But the SHEER whilst heading to the north anchorage hit an uncharted rock and was put out of action for this convoy.

HIPPER, with 8 x 8 inch guns

Plus 10 destroyers of which 3 of the 4 with the TIRPITZ struck rocks whilst heading for main anchorage, leaving a force of 7 operational destroyers

The TIRPITZ LUTZOW and HIPPER with destroyers sailed on the morning of the 5[SUP]th[/SUP] but was recalled to save fuel, when it was clear the convoy was already decimated by the U boats and Aircraft.

They had been sighted first by a Russian sub then when returning by HMS P54

The 2 allied submarines were with the convoy NOT the covering cruiser force, which would have been impractical because of speed.
 
So why not let the German's come and let the subs take their chance?

Conventional submarines of the time, such as the escorting P 614 and P615, could sprint at 8 kts underwater but only for a few minutes before draining the battery. Their normal submerged speed was closer to 3 kts and their top speed on the surface was only 10 kts. In the meantime, the Tirpitz could make 30 kts and stand off 18 or 20 miles while bombarding ships with her 15" guns. Her sister ship Bismarck sank HMS Hood at a range of 14 miles.
 

DruAde

Lantern Swinger
Would a torp even get through 14 inches of amour? I know the Bismarck got hit in the rudder with a lucky shot but..
 
Would a torp even get through 14 inches of amour? I know the Bismarck got hit in the rudder with a lucky shot but..

Google the fates of the battleships HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales. Then consider that they were sunk by aerial 18" lightweight torpedoes, not the 21" heavyweight torpedoes used by submarines (or even 24" in the case of the Japanese Type 93 'Long Lance').
 
I think Admiral Sir Dud, was called "Winston's anchor" because he was able to dissuade him from carrying out some of the more lunatic and extremely dangerous naval operations he proposed.
I don't know what sort of brain tumour he had so I can't comment on whether at that time it affected his judgement but it is fair to assume that the two strokes he had previously suffered were likely to have done. Of course, his chronic lack of sleep because of reportedly severe pain from an arthritic hip wouldn't have helped, either.
 
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Conventional submarines of the time, such as the escorting P 614 and P615, could sprint at 8 kts underwater but only for a few minutes before draining the battery. Their normal submerged speed was closer to 3 kts and their top speed on the surface was only 10 kts. In the meantime, the Tirpitz could make 30 kts and stand off 18 or 20 miles while bombarding ships with her 15" guns. Her sister ship Bismarck sank HMS Hood at a range of 14 miles.

The top speed of P611 class boats was specified as 13.75 knots surfaced and 10 knots submerged. Same conclusion, though.
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
Bandy, the speeds for the boats given are the max speeds, the batteries of WW2 boats wouldn't be able to sustain 10kts dived for long.
 
Er...I know that, which is why I said, "The top speed...", and, "Same conclusion, though."
I did spend 5 years in boats, my first acquaint was 3 weeks on Opportune, my only time on clockwork submersibles but, nevertheless, informative. The rest of my time was spent on Warspite, Dreadnought, standing by (in refit), Churchill and Renown.

You must remember, old sailors never die, they just hang around giving young sailors the shits. :thumbup:
 
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