- PSA Clarkson war documentary tonight
Was a fantastic story and having met Clarkson at the TG studios, he talks in the same way as he did on the filming last night and ‘is’ a very approachable and pleasant person in the same way as Hammond and May are. The TG side is just boys playing.Posted 4 years ago
My grandfather was based off Ramsgate in an MTB boat and was on the lookout for the U boats. He was awarded for bravery, when they lost the rudders on the boat and they knew a U boat was around them. They were sitting ducks. He laid across 2 hot engines and steered the boat until they found and sank the U boat. He was a very hurt man until he died, with the friends and comrades he lost in war. He would never forgive.spacemonkeyMember
Pound was known to be suffering with a brain tumour yet was still given the decision re ordering the convoy to continue or not. IIRC such tumours can cause strange/out-of-character behaviour therefore his “frailty” should have been called into account and the decision granted to someone else. He died the following year (because of his tumour) did he not?
* Naturally I wasn’t there so this is only supposition.Posted 4 years agotheotherjonvSubscriber
I was also fascinated by the Tirpitz. Why wasn’t it at sea if it could cause that much of a problem to these convoys and was basically impervious to the escorts? Then I googled it, and it seems it was never properly used in anger, was disabled by minisubs and was sunk by airborne bombing. Seems it wasn’t as untouchable as was made out, and makes the decision to send the escorts home even stranger.Posted 4 years agowinston_dogMember
Why wasn’t it at sea
Right from the beginning of the war the Royal Navy were extremely aggressive towards the German Navy. They were also quite successful.
Apart from the sinking of HMS Hood, the Germans basically good a hiding and Hitler refused to allow any of his remaining capital ships to go to sea, after the repeated humiliations.Posted 4 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
My grandad was on the convoys, got sunk twice though never injured, he had a properly crap war in the most part. Used to be quite funny watching my grandads get pissed together “and then we spent the entire week knocking ice off the ship with hammers” “You should have been an RAF groundcrew like me dossing around in Ceylon and India. I saw the Taj Mahal and everything, it was mint.”
theotherjonv – Member
I was also fascinated by the Tirpitz. Why wasn’t it at sea if it could cause that much of a problem to these convoys and was basically impervious to the escorts? Then I googled it, and it seems it was never properly used in anger, was disabled by minisubs and was sunk by airborne bombing.
I think the idea was that it could tie up allied resources just by existing- so it could cause a lot of disruption without being put at risk or even burning up fuel etc.Posted 4 years agocrazy-legsSubscriber
I think the idea was that it could tie up allied resources just by existing- so it could cause a lot of disruption without being put at risk or even burning up fuel etc.
What Northwind said. Everyone was scared stiff of it. My grandfather was involved (briefly) in the Bismarck chase when it went through the Faroe/Iceland gap and sank HMS Hood (which blew up killing all but 3 crew) so although the Navy eventually sunk Bismarck, everyone was still terrified of Tirpitz. Just by existing it tied up huge amounts of resources trying to destroy it or trying to avoid the potential threat of it.Posted 4 years agoMr WoppitMember
What was going on with that admiral? Silly old hidebound duffer who didn’t want to be seen changing his mind – probably was afraid of it being seen as a sign of “weakness” and needed to defend his original position – “The scatter order will remain”.
Reminds me of the Custer character in “Little Big Man” – “Never try to reverse a Custer decision”.
Hope they’re weeding out that personality trait before handing out promotions these days…Posted 4 years agowinston_dogMember
everyone was still terrified of Tirpitz
I would disagree that they were “terrified” of it. They were aware how much damage it could do if it ever got into the Atlantic. However, as was shown with Bismark the RN were more than capable of dealing with her.
It was lucky for the Allies that the Germans had built their big capital ships and not used the resources to build more U boats. Their surface fleet achieved very little during the war.Posted 4 years agospacemonkeyMember
everyone was still terrified of Tirpitz. Just by existing it tied up huge amounts of resources trying to destroy it or trying to avoid the potential threat of it.
Hence why it was deemed critical to dismantle St Nazair thus forcing Tirpitz (and other significant battleships) to head homeward or further afield should it need repairs etc.Posted 4 years agoHarry_the_SpiderSubscriber
One of the chaps from 617 who bombed the Tirpitz used to live in my house.
I know this because the old boy from over the road told me. When the RAF guy came home on leave they decided to hold a party in his honour and, unfortunately, the old boy’s rabbit ended up on the menu.
70 years later he still holds a grudge.Posted 4 years agoLiferSubscriber
On a tangent The Battle of the River Plate has always intrigued me, Langsdorff is a fasinating character. Love some of the stories too:
“As I [Lt Cmmdr Richard Jennings] was crossing the compass platform [to his Action Station in the Director Control Tower], the captain hailed me-not with the usual rigmarole of ‘Enemy in sight, bearing’ etc, but with ‘There’s the f***ing Scheer! Open fire at her!’ Throughout the battle the crew of the Exeter thought they were fighting the [sister ship] Admiral von Scheer. But the name of the enemy ship was of course the Graf Spee”.Posted 4 years ago
At this point Exeter was severely damaged, having only “Y”-turret still in action under ‘local’ control with Jennings on the roof shouting directions to those inside.pondoMember
Really, the more you read about war, the more you realise that these incredible stories were… Not commonplace, but lots of nutso stuff went on. Just reading about Bismarck on wiki –Posted 4 years ago
“Night of 26/27 May – At dusk that evening, and in atrocious weather conditions, Swordfish from Ark Royal launched an attack. The first wave mistakenly targeted Sheffield which had been detached from Force H under orders to close and shadow Bismarck. Although precious time was lost by this incident, it proved beneficial to the British in that the magnetic detonators on the torpedoes used against Sheffield were seen to be defective and for the following attack on Bismarck were replaced by those designed to explode on contact. “
😯 😯 😯
I’mm be watching this evening. Many thanks for the pointer!
I’m always fascinated at how gentlemanly the u-boat war began. For example, U-48 (the most successful u-boat of the war) sank SS Firby on 11 Sep 39, and broadcast a message saying:Posted 4 years ago
“I have sunk the British steamer Firby. Posit 59°40’N 13°50’W. Save the crew if you please. German submarine”kcalSubscriber
Only caught a glimpse of it towards the end but it’s all desperate stuff. The old chap that stayed next door to my folks, was from Oban / West Coast and had served on the North Atlantic convoys as a merchant seaman. Never got a chance to hear anything about them treacly, and I doubt he would have said anyway – they just didn’t, did they?
re the HMS Ulysses reference, he did tell my dad it was nothing like that, though never really sure what to make of that – probably not as dramatic / narrative as that, just wretched fear.. 🙁Posted 4 years agocrashtestmonkeyMember
The old commander still in tears over leaving the convoy, im in tears wTching
the final shot was a bit of a punch in the gut (being a bit vague to avoid spoilers).
The stand-out line for me was the chap recounting the lifeboat episode
“…and then we all started to die….”Posted 4 years agoPookSubscriber
Very good documentary. I feel for the chap who must have lived his life not knowing if the people they had to put overboard from the lifeboat were still alive; ” I hope they were dead”
A horrible situation.
As an aside, clarkson’s arch enemy piers morgan has dot cotton on his life stories programme this week.Posted 4 years agoPigfaceMember
My mates dad was Paddy Gingles was in 617 squadron and he bombed the Tirpitz, he was the most cheerfully reckless man I have ever heard about. The story of how he had his DFC taken off him is very funny. It was never reinstated until he died, that irked a lot of people.Posted 4 years agoSidneyMember
I was put onto this by my friend who’s grandad was one of the merchant navy men. Unfortunately he passed away last year.
Even amongst all the sadness I loved the story about how the RN captain (a barrister on civvy st) of the converted trawler used a times atlas to lead 3 US merchant ships to safety. Spiffing.Posted 4 years ago
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