Film: 'Greyhound', starring Tom Hanks - 1942 - A Convoy Edges Across The Atlantic - Release Date tbc

chrismcd

Old-Salt
Admiral King was anti everything not USN, And no ones found any evidence of his alleged Britophobia. For someone who supposedly ‘hated’ the British, he seemed to get along well enough with the BPF’s Admirals.
That ties in with what I have heard. The comment was made that "he hated everybody" - apparently his hatred for the RN was nothing compared to his hatred of the US Army!

But he apparently got on very well with General Dill when they were both on the 'Joint Chiefs of Staff". https://www.marshallfoundation.org/marshall/wpcontent/uploads/sites/22/2014/04/Dill+Marshall.pdf

And if he was an anglophobe - why did he follow the "Beatty' fashion of handkerchief below his medals?

1587575247010.png


I had always been taught he was a simple Anglophobe, but on examination that does not seem to have been the case - indeed he seems to have been a very complex character who did a great job.

Apologies for thread drift
 

load_fin

War Hero
That ties in with what I have heard. The comment was made that "he hated everybody" - apparently his hatred for the RN was nothing compared to his hatred of the US Army!

But he apparently got on very well with General Dill when they were both on the 'Joint Chiefs of Staff". https://www.marshallfoundation.org/marshall/wpcontent/uploads/sites/22/2014/04/Dill+Marshall.pdf

And if he was an anglophobe - why did he follow the "Beatty' fashion of handkerchief below his medals?

View attachment 467809

I had always been taught he was a simple Anglophobe, but on examination that does not seem to have been the case - indeed he seems to have been a very complex character who did a great job.

Apologies for thread drift
Apparently, he got on well with AB Cunningham - ABC stood up to EK, and then they got on well.
I think it was EK's daughter who said something like "he's a well balanced man - chip on both shoulders"
 
That ties in with what I have heard. The comment was made that "he hated everybody" - apparently his hatred for the RN was nothing compared to his hatred of the US Army!

But he apparently got on very well with General Dill when they were both on the 'Joint Chiefs of Staff". https://www.marshallfoundation.org/marshall/wpcontent/uploads/sites/22/2014/04/Dill+Marshall.pdf

And if he was an anglophobe - why did he follow the "Beatty' fashion of handkerchief below his medals?

View attachment 467809

I had always been taught he was a simple Anglophobe, but on examination that does not seem to have been the case - indeed he seems to have been a very complex character who did a great job.

Apologies for thread drift
Admiral King can be excused his crankiness.

as US historians note, he entered WWII with much of his a Fleet burning or sitting on the bottom of Pearl Harbor, the remains outnumbered and hunted across south east Asia and being sunk at a scary rate, and with the absolute realisation he was the one man who could lose the war in the Pacific with a single bad move.
He made the judgement in early 1942, he could take the shipping losses in the Atlantic and would assuredly defeat the Germans at will, but he was losing badly in the Pacific and needed to put everything of his remaining limited forces he had there in 1942 to avert defeat.

and everyone forgets, once the USN has caught its breath in 1942, it was Admiral King who set up And directed the US Tenth Fleet that in 1943 that would contribute hugely to the slaughter of the U Boats In the Atlantic. 8 U Boats were sunk by USS Bogues Hunter Killer group In 1943

a very difficult individual, but he loved his service and served it very well.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
He made the judgement in early 1942, he could take the shipping losses in the Atlantic and would assuredly defeat the Germans at will, but he was losing badly in the Pacific and needed to put everything of his remaining limited forces he had there in 1942 to avert defeat.
Keeping East Coast destroyers in port, blocking the USAAF from anti-submarine patrols and refusing to institute convoy are not measures that change the forces available for the first months of the Pacific campaign.

Ignoring the situation for a higher priority is one thing, actively making it worse (and when what might help is known, based on a fair bit of previous experience) is something else altogether.

and everyone forgets, once the USN has caught its breath in 1942, it was Admiral King who set up And directed the US Tenth Fleet that in 1943 that would contribute hugely to the slaughter of the U Boats In the Atlantic. 8 U Boats were sunk by USS Bogues Hunter Killer group In 1943
That's nearly... one per cent of U-boats sunk during the war. The US accounted for a bit less than 20% of all the U-boat sinkings (and that includes USN, USAAF, Coast Guard etc.) - dominated by USAAF patrol aircraft and escort carriers.

Maybe it might have helped if he'd at least told CINCLANTFLT "You do what you can with those U-boats while I concentrate on the Japs, and see what the Brits and Canucks can do to help" rather than micromanaging the East Coast to seriously ill effect.
 
Keeping East Coast destroyers in port, blocking the USAAF from anti-submarine patrols and refusing to institute convoy are not measures that change the forces available for the first months of the Pacific campaign.

Ignoring the situation for a higher priority is one thing, actively making it worse (and when what might help is known, based on a fair bit of previous experience) is something else altogether.



That's nearly... one per cent of U-boats sunk during the war. The US accounted for a bit less than 20% of all the U-boat sinkings (and that includes USN, USAAF, Coast Guard etc.) - dominated by USAAF patrol aircraft and escort carriers.

Maybe it might have helped if he'd at least told CINCLANTFLT "You do what you can with those U-boats while I concentrate on the Japs, and see what the Brits and Canucks can do to help" rather than micromanaging the East Coast to seriously ill effect.
Nice bit of Atlanticentrisism

fact: the USN has no specialist ASW ships in 1942, it was all Fleet Destroyers, and they were in very short supply - Apparently there was a very big war on in the Pacific..

fact: we couldn’t be defeated in the Atlantic.

fact: the issue was very much in doubt in the Pacific until a Midway in June 1942.

you seem to be rather ignoring the strategic reality at sea in 1942.
the RN had been massacred in the Indian Ocean and has pulled back to Africa, the USN was locked in an existential battle with the IJN in the Pacific with a very real chance Australia could be invaded along with the central Pacific islands if they had lost.

Drumbeat was a very minor blip in the big strategic picture,. While the Germans were fixating on sinking merchant ships that were being replaced faster than they could sink them, millions of men and millions of tonnes of war materiel was sailing unmolested to EUrope, Africa And SE Asia.

funnily enough, once the Pacific stopped being the War the USN could lose in a day in June 1942, the USN turned its interests to the Atlantic And viola, ship losses dropped away to nothing. It’s almost as if they had been rather preoccupied with simply surviving in the first 6 months of their war.

Admiral King was right, he stated repeatedly at the time the British were utterly obsessed with the Atlantic convoys and through the whole world should revolve around that, while ignoring the little matter of the Pacific.
As he told Roosevelt, the punches being landed might hurt, but it was vital the USN kept on the offensive and punching back, and was not pulled back to protect the US coast and lose the Pacific.
 
Keeping East Coast destroyers in port, blocking the USAAF from anti-submarine patrols and refusing to institute convoy are not measures that change the forces available for the first months of the Pacific campaign.

Ignoring the situation for a higher priority is one thing, actively making it worse (and when what might help is known, based on a fair bit of previous experience) is something else altogether.



That's nearly... one per cent of U-boats sunk during the war. The US accounted for a bit less than 20% of all the U-boat sinkings (and that includes USN, USAAF, Coast Guard etc.) - dominated by USAAF patrol aircraft and escort carriers.

Maybe it might have helped if he'd at least told CINCLANTFLT "You do what you can with those U-boats while I concentrate on the Japs, and see what the Brits and Canucks can do to help" rather than micromanaging the East Coast to seriously ill effect.
The ignore button is a double edged sword, it saves you arguing with mr google, however it makes you peek now and again at the shoite that is written by him.
Choose wisely
 
Apparently, he got on well with AB Cunningham - ABC stood up to EK, and then they got on well.
I think it was EK's daughter who said something like "he's a well balanced man - chip on both shoulders"
"the most even-tempered man in the Navy - he's always in a rage"
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Nice bit of Atlanticentrisism
Well, it's a big ocean, and it's where the US merchant marine is getting slaughtered...

fact: the USN has no specialist ASW ships in 1942, it was all Fleet Destroyers, and they were in very short supply - Apparently there was a very big war on in the Pacific..
The US was in the middle of a major naval construction programme. They'd been dragged into the last war because of German unrestricted submarine warfare; and now German submarines are torpedoing US warships in the Atlantic even before war has broken out.

So, on King's watch, the US Navy has no ASW ships. That's really good foresight, planning and leadership.

fact: we couldn’t be defeated in the Atlantic.

fact: the issue was very much in doubt in the Pacific until a Midway in June 1942.
Utter bollocks. We very definitely could be defeated in the Atlantic: if the Germans could sink 700,000 tons of shipping a month for any length of time, we'd run out of sealift, out of oil, out of food, and out of war. And thanks to King's determination to ignore the U-boats, for a few months that sinking rate was actually being achieved.


The US could have lost all three carriers at Midway and the island too. Then what? The Japanese waste time, oil, ships and aircraft on ineffectual raids on Pearl Harbor, until the first few Essex-class carriers cover the operation to retake Midway (slapping Japanese efforts to reist or retake), and the pushback goes from there.

Japan produced one (count it, one) fleet carrier during the war: the US produced thirty-three,

Japan couldn't knock the US out of the war and couldn't win a war of production and attrition.

you seem to be rather ignoring the strategic reality at sea in 1942.
the RN had been massacred in the Indian Ocean and has pulled back to Africa, the USN was locked in an existential battle with the IJN in the Pacific with a very real chance Australia could be invaded along with the central Pacific islands if they had lost.
The Japanese could have landed some troops in Northern Australia.

They're hundreds of miles of desert from anywhere, at the end of a long and desperately vulnerable supply line. Good luck, brave invaders of Australia!

This achieves... what, precisely? Have you not noticed that Australia is large, and mostly inhospitable, and the population, industry et al are on the southern edge? It's fifteen hundred hard miles from Darwin to Brisbane or Adelaide.

Unless you imagine the Australians will surrender in mass panic because a few thirsty Japanese troops are camping on a northern beach, "invading Australia" requires rather more than the Japanese have available.

Drumbeat was a very minor blip in the big strategic picture,. While the Germans were fixating on sinking merchant ships that were being replaced faster than they could sink them, millions of men and millions of tonnes of war materiel was sailing unmolested to EUrope, Africa And SE Asia.
Except the ships were being lost faster than they were being replaced, along with their crews and cargo. King seems to have merely been mirroring the Japanese approach that mere commerce was beneath the dignity of military men.

Having caused the catastrophe, of course King has to deny that it's a problem.


funnily enough, once the Pacific stopped being the War the USN could lose in a day in June 1942, the USN turned its interests to the Atlantic And viola, ship losses dropped away to nothing. It’s almost as if they had been rather preoccupied with simply surviving in the first 6 months of their war.
Or, as the actual history reveals, once the US instituted convoy the losses plummeted because - as had been repeatedly proved before - convoys empty the sea of targets. Once the USAAF were allowed to fly ASW cover, losses dropped and sinkings rose. The US was still not doing much directly - they'd just stopped actively blocking the measures that actually helped.

Nothing to do with the US "turning its attention" to the Atlantic - King was still treating it with such contempt that the USN was begging for two dozen ASW ships from the RN - but they stopped blocking the measures that worked, and accepted that since the US CINCFLEET wasn't going to do anything about it, the British and Canadians should take over.

It does pay to actually study the events in question, rather than rely on the History Channel...

Admiral King was right, he stated repeatedly at the time the British were utterly obsessed with the Atlantic convoys and through the whole world should revolve around that, while ignoring the little matter of the Pacific.
How does refusing to convoy merchant shipping in the Atlantic, affect the war in the Pacific?

How does refusing to allow USN VP squadrons on the East Coast to fly anti-submarine patrols, and refusing to co-operate with the USAAF's East Coast units, speed victory in the Pacific?

Let's leave aside the detail that it was hardly difficult to produce ASW warships (if we could turn out 300 Flower-class corvettes, the US could probably have managed a couple of dozen for Atlantic coastal work as part of the "Two Ocean Act" - which was the other ocean you thought Vinson and Walsh were referring to, since it's obviously not the Atlantic?), and so proudly having no capability in the Atlantic against a known, effective German submarine threat might be seen as a little bit shortsighted.

Having been caught absolutely flatfooted by a predictable problem that had been visibly approaching for months (ask the crews of the Greer, or the Reuben James, or the Kearney), King evidently decided to excuse his failure to make any preparation for it whatsoever by declaring that it didn't exist and didn't matter.

I fear the following, amply refers...
1587718868341.png
 
Admiral King was right, he stated repeatedly at the time the British were utterly obsessed with the Atlantic convoys and through the whole world should revolve around that, while ignoring the little matter of the Pacific.
Well, the Atlantic was our home and across which those means of our making war that we did not possess ourselves were transported. We did not ignore the Pacific, we had made plans before the war (the start of our war, 1939, remember?) but the nasty Germans and Italians intervened, and the French ran away, again. Big ocean, but we had nothing to put in it.

The casualties at Pearl harbour were: two old battleships sunk; five others damaged and eventually returned to service, two within two months and the other three after complete rebuilds; another slightly damaged and remained in service; three cruisers damaged but all back in service within two months; four destroyers damaged, two slightly, all returned to service eventually; six other vessels of little consequence of which only one was sunk. So the attack deprived the fleet of two old battleships. Now consider the Royal Navy's war in the Mediterranean, and especially the fighting off Greece and Crete in 1941. Wait, 1941?
 
Don’t forget Adolf Karl Tscheppe-Weidenbach aka the man who ignored the gathering PLA army groups moving south propping up the NKA
German Wikipedia is much more crushing about him (although not as good on Korea):

Charles Willoughby behauptete, als Sohn von Adolf Karl Tscheppe-Weidenbach, Sohn eines Freiherrn T. Tscheppe-Weidenbach aus Baden und Emma geb. Willoughby aus Baltimore in Heidelberg geboren zu sein. Im Heidelberger Personenstandsregister ist für den 8. März 1892 jedoch die Geburt eines Adolf August Weidenbach, Sohn des Seilers August Weidenbach und der Emma geb. Langhäuser, eingetragen. Das Gothaisches Genealogisches Taschenbuch der Briefadeligen verzeichnet einen General Erich Tülff von Tschepe und Weidenbach, (mit einem „p“), der jedoch das Freiherrnprädikat erst 1913 erhielt. Dieser hatte fünf Kinder, von denen keines 1892 geboren war.[1]
Willoughby claimed to have been born the son of Baron AK von Tscheppe-Weidenbach and Emma Willoughby. The Heidelberg register of births for the 8th March 1892 contains only one, the birth of one Adolf August Weidenbach, son of the ropemaker August W and Emma, born Langhäuser. The Gotha Genealogical Handbook of the Nobility [aka the "Almanac of Gotha"] lists a General Erich Tülff von Tschepe und Weidenbach, with only the one "p", who only received the title in 1913. He had five children, none of whom were born in 1892.
 

Bodenplatte

Old-Salt

. There even really was an American sailor on board so Hollywood wouldn't have to shoe-horn one in.
Oswald Preston - Played by a Canadian actor - Robert Beatty - in the film. Preston was singled out for special mention during the proceedings of the Admiralty Prize Court.

Hollywood had nothing to do with the film anyway, which is probably why the film is reasonably accurate.

The attack in which San Demetrio was damaged was not made by U-Boats, but by the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer. Bonfire Night 1940. The skipper of the armed merchantman escort HMS Jervis Bay, Captain Edward Fegen RN was awarded the VC posthumously for his action in deliberately drawing fire from the Scheer, enabling the convoy to scatter.

A friend of my mother was lost on Jervis Bay, so she told me the story when I was quite young, but I regret to say I don't recall the name.
 

Bodenplatte

Old-Salt
Tom Hanks and Spielberg's names hve been linked to the production of a film about the 8th Air Force for years now, and there is what purports to be a trailer available via Google. Seems the project was originally entitled "Masters of the Air" after the book, but is now called "The Mighty Eighth."


Lots of errors in that clip - USAAF bombing Kassel in 1942 ? The Yanks didn't bomb anywhere in Germany until 1943.
Stars and bars national insignia on the B-17s in 1942 ? etc etc
 
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The ignore button is a double edged sword, it saves you arguing with mr google, however it makes you peek now and again at the shoite that is written by him.
Choose wisely
history books and articles with big words are available if you need them.
Why, you could even get publications from the USNI, but they do tend to use many big grown up words and don’t necessarily think the world revolved around the British in WWII.
 
Oswald Preston - Played by a Canadian actor - Robert Beatty - in the film. Preston was singled out for special mention during the proceedings of the Admiralty Prize Court.

Hollywood had nothing to do with the film anyway, which is probably why the film is reasonably accurate.

The attack in which San Demetrio was damaged was not made by U-Boats, but by the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer. Bonfire Night 1940. The skipper of the armed merchantman escort HMS Jervis Bay, Captain Edward Fegen RN was awarded the VC posthumously for his action in deliberately drawing fire from the Scheer, enabling the convoy to scatter.

A friend of my mother was lost on Jervis Bay, so she told me the story when I was quite young, but I regret to say I don't recall the name.
don’t forget the SS Beaverford, she took up the fight after Jervis Bay was sunk.

 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
history books and articles with big words are available if you need them.
Why, you could even get publications from the USNI, but they do tend to use many big grown up words and don’t necessarily think the world revolved around the British in WWII.
Funnily enough, they're one of my preferred sources.

Unfortunately, it seems you haven't actually read much of their material...

Try, for instance, "Down by Subs" by Captain Edward L. Beach, USN (Ret.), April 1991 Proceedings Vol. 117/4/1,058.

"The cost to the United States and its allies in lives, ships, and urgently needed war supplies was horrendous—far greater than the cost of Pearl Harbor. And it was all borne in great secrecy. "​
"Indeed, King seems not to have taken things very seriously until mid-June, when a note arrived from General George Marshall: “The losses [inflicted] by submarines off our Atlantic seaboard and in the Caribbean now threaten our entire war effort.”
"Professor Gannon’s thoroughly researched and frightening book forcefully illuminates one of the worst episodes of mismanagement in U.S. history."

Or there's "The Battle That Had to Be Won" by Marc Milner, in the June 2008 Naval History Magazine (Volume 22, Number 3).

"During World War II, Britain's fate as well as hope for Allied victory in Western Europe hinged on the long campaign fought between U-boats and convoy escorts in the cold and rough waters of the North Atlantic."

"Americans refused to institute a coastal convoy system, while pressure from vacation spots kept the lights burning along the shoreline. Instead, the Navy established a series of patrols along designated routes and tried to move dispersed shipping along them. By 1 April, 80 small ships and some 160 aircraft between Maine and Florida were engaged in these operations. The results were disastrous. Routine patrols and dispersed shipping allowed U-boats to operate at leisure, confident that they would not be interrupted and assured that another target would come along like clockwork.

The Anglo-Canadians watched in stunned disbelief. Given the extent of British and Canadian control of shipping in the western hemisphere, they could have organized convoys in the American zones from the outset. In fact, the first convoys in the U.S. Eastern Sea Frontier were Canadian. The Halifax to Boston system began in late March. By May Canadian tanker convoys were running through the U.S. coastal zone to the Caribbean without loss despite attempts by the Germans to mount pack operations against them. "
 
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merchantman

War Hero
Oswald Preston - Played by a Canadian actor - Robert Beatty - in the film. Preston was singled out for special mention during the proceedings of the Admiralty Prize Court.

Hollywood had nothing to do with the film anyway, which is probably why the film is reasonably accurate.

The attack in which San Demetrio was damaged was not made by U-Boats, but by the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer. Bonfire Night 1940. The skipper of the armed merchantman escort HMS Jervis Bay, Captain Edward Fegen RN was awarded the VC posthumously for his action in deliberately drawing fire from the Scheer, enabling the convoy to scatter.

A friend of my mother was lost on Jervis Bay, so she told me the story when I was quite young, but I regret to say I don't recall the name.
The full report of the Court hearing is worth a read
 

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