For your further enjoyment and to use as ammunition, I quote from a forthcoming publication.
There is no need for me to explain for those that are familiar with the events, with the background details.
'By 0720 the damage and human remains on the compass platform had been largely cleaned up, and the ship was now being conned from that position. Her top speed was now reduced to 27knots due to the ship having taken 400 tons of water aft.
Admiral Commanding 1st Cruiser Squadron , who had become the force commander upon the loss of the Hood, was faced with a decision as to re-engage the Bismarck or continue shadowing with his two cruisers and the Prince of Wales.
There was no evidence that the Bismarck had been damaged, or her speed affected. Wake-Walker also believed that Bismarck would not choose to fight unless forced to, and evasion was the enemies intent. To bring the enemy to action would probably difficult to impossible as she still had a speed advantage over the Prince of Wales. To have any chance of inflicting damage, Norfolk and Suffolk would have to come within maximum EFFECTIVE range with their 8" guns; 20000 yards. He felt that there was the strong likelyhood that Prince of Wales gunnery efficiency would gradually be reduced, with no guarantee of comensurate damage to the enemy, leaving the two cruisers to bear an increasing weight of fire, with possible damage to their unprotected waterline and machinery spaces. The resulting situation would be one damaged battleship, and possibly two damaged cruisers, but still having to maintain contact with the enemy that was capable of high speed.
THE ALTERNATIVE WAS TO CONTINUE TO SHADOW WITH HIS THREE SHIPS AND NOT TO ENGAGE UNLESS FORCED TO.
The C in C with with the battleship KGV, the battlecruiser Repulse with four cruisers and nine destroyers making 27 knots was expected to make contact at about 0100 on the 25th. This calculation was in fact in error, but not known at the time; the earliest time for making contact was between 0600 and 0700.'
100% of the information given above comes directly from Admiralty files.
There is anecdotal information that I came across many years ago, that Captain Leach's decision making abilities had been affected by concussion when the 15" shell passed through the compass platform. This reduction in his mental ability lasted for more than a few minutes. I did not include this in the book, because IT WAS anecdotal, but I can include it here. Accept or reject, I don't care.
Don't post this on the other place; let the two Mediterraneans move across.
Following the very useful information from Alan Raven:
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.
Tovey transmitted Lloyd's incorrect estimate at 10:47 for all ships in the chase, breaking radio silence with this vital information and committing his forces to the Iceland-Faroes option.
According to Beesly writing in "Very Special Intelligence" this second set of bearings with plotting room fixes was not received in the flagship until 14:00. He says Tovey took a further one and a quarter hours (15:15) before he turned on to a SE heading. Further he points out that after intercepting Admiralty instructions to Rodney to steer as if Bismarck was heading for the Iceland-Faroes passage, Tovey was "baffled", altered to a compromise course and broke radio silence at 16:30 to ask for the Admiralty's latest conclusion. This took some time to arrive and apparently confirmed France.
Looking at the tidied up overall map in the Kew file does not support this. It shows KG V steaming NE from 10:47 until 15:38, then turning to E until 16:12 and then steadying on about ENE until 18:10 when she eventually turned to the SE. It would appear it was quite a bit later that Tovey actually committed to the chase to the SE having lost an awful lot of distance in the meantime.
Kennedy says it was only an hour after this that Tovey received assurance that the Admiralty appreciation was France, based on the German Air Force decrypt (Jeschonnek). This would be about 19:00 and it was just after 20:00 that Rodney turned SE also.
Grenfell says that at about 10:00 when OIC was saying France based on the D/F results and the uncorrected bearings were being sent to Tovey, Captain C S Daniel, the Director of Plans and Captain R A B Edwards Director of Operations were summoned (Pound/Phillips presumably) and told to make their seperate appreciations. It is not clear whether they were given the OIC information. Grenfell speaking to Daniels six years later, says that the audience for his appraisal included Alexander, Pound and Phillips plus some other officers. His choice of France based on damage repair facilities plus a wide Atlantic margin for evading interception was not well received, the senior staff preferring the northern return route. Captain Edwards told Grenfell that his appreciation was also France but his impression of his audience response was positive.
Tovey's 10:47 transmission of his incorrect Iceland-Faroes conclusion had apparently caused no disquiet at the Admiralty at all. Grenfell reports that Sir Bruce Fraser, Third Sea Lord told him both Phillips and the Assistant Chief (Home) were convinced of a French destination as were both Daniels and Edwards. Sir Frederick Bowhill and Coastal Command were designing searches on this same assumption based on their independent analysis.
As we know OIC had their original bearings plus later ones and the switch to Group West traffic from Group North all telling the same story.
Grenfell summarizes "How was it that in spite of these highly suggestive pointers towards the South-East the fleet continued, with the full knowledge of the Naval Staff of the Admiralty, to steer North-East for another four to five hours? The author does not know."
Here is the real conundrum of the Bismarck Chase and one where the procedural and reactive mistakes were indeed covered up. Captain Lloyd, Tovey's senior navigator, has unfairly been scapegoated for a mistake he could probably not avoid making, apparently as a result of his C-in-C not understanding the technical issues, and the whole problem then vastly magnified by those in possession of superior information doing nothing.
It is fair that having been left out of the awards scheme, Frank Lloyd received a belated award in January 1942 and a command later in the war. It would seem somebody, somewhere knew where the blame lay, such as it was.
BTW I found an original letter by Tovey to Pound saying he would in no circumstances hold a Board of Inquiry on Leach and Wake-Walker. I have no evidence suggesting either man knew they were under threat of court martial or even investigation.