According to Sinclair McKay in 'The Silent Listeners' at least two stations had a perfect fix on the Bismarck from her transmissions on 25th and 27th May and these were passed to Home Fleet directly. A short discussion about why the information was not made use of as intended followed.
Thank you for posting my notes on the other place.
A few more notes if I may, and I ask that Mr Wadinga (if he wishes to, with any questions) post them here on Steel Navy. This will save your time and trouble.
Wadinga says he is 'perplexed', 'Standard practice at the time ...'
One of the official histories states that it was the standard practice at this period to supply bearings, with the officer afloat calculating the fixes himself.
Tovey's navigating officer had what he believed was the complete and current list of H/F D/F stations in the UK. This list was intact out of date; instead of there being five stations as he believed from his list there were in fact seven. OIC was unaware of the officer not having the full list, and this was the cause of the error in plotting the fixes and hence Tovey going off chasing shadows.
It should be noted that Tovey had to keep his mouth shut and not be Dfd on by the enemy. Later, OIC sent a second set of bearings based on further transmissions from Bismarck. This second set, also included the OICs plotting room fixes. This put things right for Tovey, who then deployed his forces accordingly.
As to whether Tovey's navigating officer had a set of Great Circle maps, IO don't know, but he would have had a set of Admiralty Pilot Charts. Even I have a set of these for the North Atlantic.
Beesly notes on page 81; that the two destroyers, Ghurka and Lance that were fitted with type FH 3 H/F D/F, and that Tovey gave this as one of the reasons why he wanted bearings only from OIC, because the intercepts from these two vessels would give him 'first class cuts'. The problem was, that the Ghurka had machinery defects and Lance had to leave to fuel. however to be of actual use in Dfing they would have had to have been within twenty miles of Bismarck. Beyond that, the FH 3 would not be able to intercept transmissions.. Several ships involved in the search were fitted with H.F D/F sets, but these are type FH 2, which was nowhere near as good as FH3. .
The story of wartime 'Y' and associated Dfing has yet to be fully told and I see it as part of the overall intelligence story. will write more a little later
Thank you for posting on the other site. As I don't have an E mail address I cannot post there, but probably would not want to anyway, because of the two Mediterraneans.
A few additional notes on the subject: I had sight of the question and answer file in 1971, at the time not much was publicly known re Churchill, Pound and Leach et al. So when I read it it was new to me, but not to insiders of course. I was allowed to view a few documents unofficially (at the time one was NOT allowed to let anybody know that one had seen anything). This was the start of my looking at official material some of which I was allowed to put into the British Battleship volume, but could not list these in the sources.
After seeing the file I was able to speak off the record to Admiral Buckley (Head of Naval Historical) on this matter, with the proviso that I kept it secret. As everyone is now pushing up the daisies ....
I can recount; in brief; Churchill upon hearing that Leach had disengaged, rose up in his fashion and climbed upon Pound, demanding action , somewhat similar to the Spartivento action.
After he later learned the full story, he calmed down. Pound swayed with Churchill's wind as he sometime did, but the thing was put to bed after both had downed a drink to two and viewed the matter from a fuller perspective.
No cover up, NO suggestion of cowardice by Leach, Wake-Walker or Ellis.
The only thing missing is Pound's personal papers, and they were destroyed at the time of his death, upon his instructions.
I will post some more on the Dfing subject tomorrow.
Thank you Phil for posting this for me. I appreciate it.