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  #51  
Old 17-12-2009, 10:11
red devil red devil is offline
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Default Re: The Battle of the Atlantic.

I gave up after reading a few threads because some are right and others misleadingly wrong.

The Battle of the Atlantic has been extensively researched by me, and also extensive research done on Capt Walker RN. In fact I have been wrting a book on him for several months now, but do not get much time.

The video on the wall of the Battle of the Atlantic section of the Liverpool Maritime Museum is NOT Walker at all, but a film shot from the bridge of a destroyer. In fact, I believe the notation actually says so.

http://www.mikekemble.com/ww2/atlantic.html

The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest recorded battle in history, lasting from September 3rd 1939 to when the last ship was attacked 2 days after the Surrender on 1945.

http://www.mikekemble.com/ww2/walkerindex.html

Captain Walker RN was a major figure in the planning of the Dunkirk Evacuation when he was stationed at Dover. After that he was allowed back to sea, after much badgering, to Captain HMS Stork and lead a convoy escort group, the 36th, on Gib-UK-Gib convoys. HG76 was the convoy where his anti submarine warfare training came to the fore. His tactics and talent became recognised and, eventually, were accepted by the Admiralty as RN law on sub hunting. Still in use today.

He later joined Admiral Sir Max Horton when he was C in C HQ Western Approaches underneath Derby House in Liverpool, still there today

http://www.mikekemble.com/ww2/western.html

Here he took command of HMS Starling, and the 2nd Support Group. NOT the second escort group as many historians wrongly stated. His mission was to roam the seas, notably the Bay of Biscay, independent of all convoy duties, to form the worlds first hunter killer group. This is a concept that the Americans wrongly tried to claim as 'theirs'. His success is noted by one and all as the main reason that we won the Battle of the Atlantic. Admiral Sir Max Horton himself stated this at Walkers funeral in Liverpool in July 1944.

On one patrol he despatched no less that 6 U boats to the deep. At the time of D Day, he was in charge of the outer ring of defences around the beaches to keep the U boat away, a job he performed admirably, using the same tactics he used in Biscay. In July 1944 he became ill and was taken to hospital in Liverpool. His Group sailed without him under a new commander who was little short of useless and Cmdr DEG Wemyss, Captain of Wild goose took over. He died of exhaustion and thrombosis and was buried at sea on HMS Hesperus, destroyer. His honour guard was made up of allied sailors, mainly Canadian, who were in port at the time.

A statue was placed on the Pier Head, nearby the MN Memorial, to commemorate the man, the legend, the leader, by his Old Boys Association (who disbanded in 2004).

That is a brief synopsis of the man. He never lost a single man in combat and only one ship was lost, Woodcock, hit by an acoustic torpedo and sank whilst under tow to Liverpool. (No casualties). HMS Kite, another of his, and a command of his on occasion, was lost on Arctic duty on 21st Aug 1944, having been torpedoed by U344, whilst under temp comd as her Capt, a Walker trainee, was in hospital himself.


http://www.mikekemble.com/ww2/kite.html

The other ships all survived the war ............................
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  #52  
Old 17-12-2009, 12:26
Choppy Sea Choppy Sea is offline
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Default Re: The Battle of the Atlantic.

Well spoken Red Devil.
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  #53  
Old 17-12-2009, 17:47
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Default Re: The Battle of the Atlantic.

Hi many thanks for your post.

However if you feel some of the threads/posts here are "misleadingly wrong" perhaps you could kindly let us know which ones you consider are seriously so??
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  #54  
Old 17-12-2009, 19:07
red devil red devil is offline
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Default Re: The Battle of the Atlantic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emason View Post
I have a book about Frederick John Walker which I don't believe has been mentioned before. It is called simply "Walker R.N." by Terence Robertson. First published 1956 by Evans Brothers and republished by Pan Books in 1958.

In it, the author states that " His doctors considered he died of cerebral thrombosis. But he in fact died of overstrain, overwork and war weariness; body and mind had been driven beyond all normal limits in the service of his country".

Has it been mentioned that he was awarded four DSO's? Apologies if I missed it.
I have a first edition of this. It has been put of print for a very very long time. I have discovered that Terence Robertson used a bit of journalistic licnce on one or two bits but offhand cannot recall where. I also have the other two books mentioned.

If anyone is looking for Walker RN try abebooks.co.uk where I find rare and out of print books quite easily. Got the Golden Horseshoe (Otto Kreschmer) too.
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  #55  
Old 17-12-2009, 19:09
red devil red devil is offline
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Default Re: The Battle of the Atlantic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by astraltrader View Post
Hi many thanks for your post.

However if you feel some of the threads/posts here are "misleadingly wrong" perhaps you could kindly let us know which ones you consider are seriously so??
Immediately coming to mind was the 'this is a video of Walker ship in the museum' - its not. And its not even in the section on Capt Walker.

I will have to go back and run through again.
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  #56  
Old 18-12-2009, 02:32
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Default Re: The Battle of the Atlantic.

red devil

I wonder if the copyright has been sorted out on your website for the links to Walker R.N. by Terence Robertson.

Cheers
Jack
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  #57  
Old 21-12-2009, 10:13
red devil red devil is offline
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Default Re: The Battle of the Atlantic.

I spoke to the apparent holders of the copyright, Evans Bros, they deemed it unnecessary to reply. The book is still online but not linked

Here is an image I took of that video (in the background) of the destroyer allegedly hunting a U Boat.
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  #58  
Old 21-12-2009, 10:21
red devil red devil is offline
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Default Re: The Battle of the Atlantic.

Quote:
That is a brief synopsis of the man. He never lost a single man in combat and only one ship was lost, Woodcock, hit by an acoustic torpedo and sank whilst under tow to Liverpool. (No casualties). HMS Kite, another of his, and a command of his on occasion, was lost on Arctic duty on 21st Aug 1944, having been torpedoed by U344, whilst under temp comd as her Capt, a Walker trainee, was in hospital himself.
Apologies, this should read Woodpecker.

The sad thing about Walkers untimely death was the fact that he was about to lose his command anyway, and be promoted to Admiral and given a Carrier Task Force to take to the Pacific.

Last edited by red devil : 21-12-2009 at 10:41.
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  #59  
Old 24-12-2009, 10:14
Choppy Sea Choppy Sea is offline
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Default Re: The Battle of the Atlantic.

A few more piccys that might be appreciated by the forum.
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  #60  
Old 24-12-2009, 13:02
Choppy Sea Choppy Sea is offline
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Default Re: The Battle of the Atlantic.

Pluto one of the greatest achievements of the war.
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  #61  
Old 24-12-2009, 15:00
steve roberts steve roberts is offline
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Unhappy Re: The Battle of the Atlantic.

I had a most remarkable ming last night at aclub for the disabled that I help out at.I had seen this gent several times before but never really had a long disscusion with him.He told me he was exRN medical Branch the same as me!He spent most of WW2 on the Rescue Ship Zamalek as a Petty Officer Sick Berth Attendant. His story was amazing,I did not realise that these ships were fairly heavily armed in AA weapons and a couple of 4inch guns!Because of this they were not covered like Hospital Ships by thr Geneva Convention and were fair game for aircraft and U-Boats.Several times they were ordered by Escort Commanders not to stop for survivors,especially during heavy U-Boat attacks,these orders were seldom obeyed and during her service Zamalek rescued over 665 survivors.His worst convoy was PQ17.Before the convoy was ordered to scatter any survivors not in boats were dead before they reached them.He is still discusted at the order to scatter because Rescue ships flew The Blue Ensign and had to follow the convoy escorts in running in the oposite direction to the Merchant ships. Steve.
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  #62  
Old 26-12-2009, 22:50
red devil red devil is offline
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Default Re: The Battle of the Atlantic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve roberts View Post
I had a most remarkable ming last night at aclub for the disabled that I help out at.I had seen this gent several times before but never really had a long disscusion with him.He told me he was exRN medical Branch the same as me!He spent most of WW2 on the Rescue Ship Zamalek as a Petty Officer Sick Berth Attendant. His story was amazing,I did not realise that these ships were fairly heavily armed in AA weapons and a couple of 4inch guns!Because of this they were not covered like Hospital Ships by thr Geneva Convention and were fair game for aircraft and U-Boats.Several times they were ordered by Escort Commanders not to stop for survivors,especially during heavy U-Boat attacks,these orders were seldom obeyed and during her service Zamalek rescued over 665 survivors.His worst convoy was PQ17.Before the convoy was ordered to scatter any survivors not in boats were dead before they reached them.He is still discusted at the order to scatter because Rescue ships flew The Blue Ensign and had to follow the convoy escorts in running in the oposite direction to the Merchant ships. Steve.
PQ17 was not The Battle of the Atlantic but a far harder battle - that for the Arctic. PQ17
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  #63  
Old 27-12-2009, 09:47
Ednamay Ednamay is offline
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Default Re: The Battle of the Atlantic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Choppy Sea View Post
Pluto one of the greatest achievements of the war.
You do realise that a major station for PLUTO was at Shanklin Chine, down the road from here (Sandown) in the Isle of Wight? I did not live here during the war so missed all that excitement. I believe they have dismantled everything here - very sad - unfortunately, the cliff is crumbling, but it is still possible to see the Chine where the pipeline ran.

Edna
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  #64  
Old 27-12-2009, 18:30
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emason emason is offline
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Default Re: The Battle of the Atlantic.

I have a reproduction of the 1947 Michelin map of Normandy showing all the D-Day beaches and the progress of the battle for Normandy. On it the route of the pipeline is shown as per attached image.

After coming ashore near Cherbourg, it divided into two. One line going South and then South-East, the other going South-East then East roughly following the coast line. Eventually extending as far as the Rhine.

Pluto.jpg


For EdnaMay:-

In 1994 the Midland Bank sponsored a black-and-white film which contained a remarkable amount of historical archive film showing the entire history and construction of the Pluto Project, the HAIS pipe and the Conundrum reels.

The film can be seen in a small heritage museum at Shanklin Chine in the Isle of Wight, one of the Pluto terminals, where there are also a lot of other memorabilia, books and photographs. One of the original pumps used on the Isle of Wight is preserved in the Bembridge Heritage Centre. Brenzett Museum, Romney Marsh, houses a small permanent display related to Pluto at Dungeness.
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  #65  
Old 27-12-2009, 20:15
red devil red devil is offline
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Default Re: The Battle of the Atlantic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylljk8ptWXc

I rather think we are drifting wildly off topic here, would it not be best in its own thread?
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  #66  
Old 24-01-2010, 02:19
JarrowDave JarrowDave is offline
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Default Re: The Battle of the Atlantic.

Thank God that the Merchant Navy won the Battle of the Atlantic.


JD
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  #67  
Old 25-03-2010, 12:51
red devil red devil is offline
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Default Re: The Battle of the Atlantic.

In view of the fact that the alleged copyright owners have persistently refused to rpely to even one of my emails about the ownership of Captain Walker RN (out of print) I am reopening my links to the book online


http://www.mikekemble.com/ww2/walkerindex.html
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  #68  
Old 14-10-2010, 17:00
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ollie ollie is offline
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Default The Battle of The Atlantic

My Dad served on the USS Earle a Destroyer in WW2. He was immersed in the Battle of the Atlantic for several years. Here is his written account of a fight with U-boats while on convoy duty to Casablanca.

Please read it and enjoy it. Its short but a great read.

USS EARLE DD 635
William O. Doherty’s Diary 1943

1/3/43 German radio reported attack on Casablanca the night after we left the area. The supply convoy of 35 ships was probably packed like sardines in the harbor. No dope on damage. Could have been murderous. Apparently we picked the right time to get out of there. Excitement galore today.
We were patrolling station in the "coffin corner" astern of the convoy. Shortly after I went off watch at 2000 we picked up an SG radar contact. Didn't arouse much interest at first, everyone thinking of a dummy run or a ghost. Contact persisted, however. I had got to bed pretty tired and was very nearly asleep when:"all hands to general quarters! Show no lights! Followed by the general alarm. Whipped on shoes but no socks. Grabbed sweater, watch cap and life jacket and ran topside. Worrill still in his skivies when I left. Of course my telephone lines would get fouled in a pinch, but got machine gun batteries reported in in fairly good time. Hagan, my talker was on the JA circuit and could overhear a lot of what was going on on the bridge below. FD radar picked up the contact, tracked it and got solution: target angle 180 degrees, speed 12 knots.

Captain conned ship so that contact was kept continuously on our starboard bow 030-009-063. Tenseness and excitement mounting. Then the order,"all machine guns load", which I repeated to the guns. Rather surprised at my own coolness and steadiness of voice. Last target angle we had was 165 degrees last range 1400. Skipper yelled, "illuminate". Then began comedy of errors. A signalman on the bridge opened up blindly with an uncontrolled signal searchlight. It was meant to be a standby 24" in case of failure of the 36" fire control searchlight. Perhaps 10 seconds later, it seemed like half an hour, the 36" search light illuminated and there it was, plain as day. Conning tower colored gray and camouflaged. Bridge searchlight must have tipped him off because he was already submerging. I was leaning over the rail when skipper yelled "open fire". I immediately gave the order: Guns five, seven and nine, open fire! Shaw the gunner on gun five opened up right on the target. Tracer stream didn't waver at all. Fired 60 rounds Rogers at gun seven fired 23 rounds, Butler at gun nine couldn't fire immediately as the gun was in the stops, but as we swung around, gun could bear and he fired 14 rounds of 40MM with several hits. Meanwhile all 4 five inch guns were blasting away although target was inside the range of the computer. Ten five-inch shells flung at conning tower. Some say two positive hits. Others say only one. Clatter was terrific. Brilliant, blinding flashes of different colors. Smoke drifting through search light beam. Water about the sub was so splashed up that the whole picture was confused and obscured.

Not even sure that the five inch projectiles were exploding. Cease firing given. Shortly after he disappeared and immediately depth charges started. When I saw the flash and heard the report of the K gun impulse charge, I thought sure the 40's were firing after the word to cease had been given and remember thinking the skipper would give me hell.

Dropped one 600 LB charge and 5 300 pounders. Starboard K gun pretty close. Others definite misses. Noise of the whole thing was terrific. Shallow settings on depth charges jarred whole ship. Thought the 600 pounder had blown off our own fantail. Rehash of the whole thing was possibly sunk certainly hit several times, maybe severely damaged. Didn't open up with 5 inch battery soon enough as the computer minimum is 1500 yards and range we fixed at was 1200. Torpedo would have been the thing for him but captain was afraid of hitting the convoy. Ramming would have finished him sure as we were already inside range. Total time for whole engagement was 45 seconds. Higgins confusing everything for 5" guns, yelling for repeats. Hoist jammed in his mount and he fired only 1 round. Couldn't locate Chief Gunner's Mate to fix it. "Where the hell was Proulx? All guns report if the Chief Gunner's mate is at your station send him to mount #1 if you see him." Typical comments: The captain, "I wouldn't mind seeing some wreckage but if we saw any floating bodies that damn doctor would probable want to pick them and stick them in the ice box. Willis:"The captain did a beautiful job of conning." Thomas: "I never saw such a lousy job of conning, Did he think he could sink it with machine guns?" The XO: I think he knew we were there before we illuminated but there is no doubt he was still surprised. Probably thought it was some damn trawler or corvette. Must have thought he tangled with a mess of wild cats when we opened up." Gawd, felt fine during the attack, except that you could have stirred my knees with a teaspoon.

1/4/43 this is too much! Another one tonight. GQ at 2345. In bed only three hours. Another contact on SG radar verified by FD. Tracked and solved before GQ. First appeared at 11,000 yards. We were inside screen, two destroyers being outboard of us on the port side of the convoy. Sub must have submerged to bet by Mervino (Squadron Commander). We approached to 3200 yards keeping him on our port bow. I didn't get the dope from the bridge and was standing on starboard side of flying bridge with my view screened by the vase of the director. When we illuminated, I saw the beam of light but not the business end of it. As I rushed over, open fire came from the bridge. I repeated to guns 6,8 & 10. Immediately a stream of tracers blocked my view so that I never did see him. Ten seconds later we discharged a torpedo. The 5 inch guns had been pounding away all the while. Ammunition expended 360 rounds of 20MM, 6 rounds of 40MM, 34 five-inch shells, one torpedo and 1 K gun depth charge. Result positive destruction. We illuminated a second time to see results. Debris was sighted by some Fuel oil odor came to us. Best evidence was complete disappearance of radar pips in a manner that indicated disintegration rather than submerging. Perfect solution on main battery. Couldn't miss, range a little to long for accurate machine gun firing. Gun #10 nearly incapacitated by blast from Mount #3 which tore off the gyro-repeater in secondary conn, smashed port life raft, burned one man on side of head, knocked everyone off his feet, knocked off helmets and telephones. In general caused so much confusion that the gun crew got off only 3 rounds at the sub. The flashes were so blinding that the loaders couldn't see their ammunition or the guns.

Our policy is to throw everything at him whether it will reach or not. Everyone sore at the machine guns for obscuring the view. I think they won't be used in the future except at very short ranges. No sleep for the rest of the night as I had to go on watch at 0330.
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  #69  
Old 14-10-2010, 18:28
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Eggs-11 Eggs-11 is offline
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Default Re: Battle of The Atlantic

Ollie, a good read thanks for putting it on the forum.
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  #70  
Old 14-10-2010, 23:55
John Odom John Odom is offline
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Default Re: Battle of The Atlantic

Yes, a good read!
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  #71  
Old 15-10-2010, 04:29
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Default Re: Battle of The Atlantic

Ollie, many thanks for posting this first hand account on here. Great read.
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  #72  
Old 15-10-2010, 14:29
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Default Re: Battle of The Atlantic

My father's view of the war was that of a citizen -sailor. He always told everything like it was and was not afraid to admit he was a civilian first and therefore viewed the carnage of war and mayhem with a fresh look. When I first read the entry (after he passed away) I remember thinking,"good grief, its a miracle we won the war." Then I realized the other side was also staffed by citizen sailors who were learning the art of war just as he was. He was only an Ensign at the time. He had had the benefit of going to sea in the merchant marine earlier, but chasing submarines was altogether different.

Ollie
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  #73  
Old 15-10-2010, 15:29
Destroyerman Destroyerman is offline
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Default Re: Battle of The Atlantic

Ollie,

good to read it from the 'sharp end', warts and all.

Fascinating stuff, the author's allusions to specifics make the tale even more compelling.
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  #74  
Old 03-08-2011, 12:51
jainso31 jainso31 is offline
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Post Re: The Battle of the Atlantic.

Being very much interested in the Battle of the Atlantic in general; and Walker RN in particular-I have read this thread thoroughly-post by post.
I hope that no one will think me presumptuous if add a final touch; which I did not find in the thread.
Sir Max Horton read a Solemn Acknowledgement to the hushed thousand plus, that were packed into Liverpool Cathedral for Walker's funeral.This is the final paragraph of it; from the book "WALKER RN" by Terence Robinson published 1956, and I quote:-

"Victory has been won and should be won by such as he. May there never be wanting in this realm a succession of men of like spirit in discipline,imagination and valour ,humble and unafraid. Not dust,nor the light weight of a stone,but all the sea of the Western Approaches shall be his tomb."

NB A Communique issued by the Admiralty in 1950-five and a half years after Walker's death said :-
"Captain Walker,more than any other;won the Battle of the Atlantic.His methods had amazing success and more than any other factor gave the Royal Navy supremacy.It is only now that we have learned the full impact he had on the enemy.No tribute could be too high for the work he carried out."

jainso31
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  #75  
Old 03-08-2011, 13:11
red devil red devil is offline
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Default Re: The Battle of the Atlantic.

thank you jainso. I did know of these communique's
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