(Commodore (D), Western Approaches' No. DW.40.310.OP of 20th June 1943)
      (Copies to:  
             Commodore (D), Western Approaches  
             Captain (D), Newfoundland)  
               Forwarded for the information of Their Lordships.  
          2.  The operation during the passage of O.N.S.5 mark the end of a period of large scale attacks by U-boats; it may well be that the heavy casualties inflicted on the enemy have greatly affected his morale and will prove to have been a turning point in the Battle of the Atlantic.  Despite the losses sustained by the convoy it was an undoubted victory for the Escorts.  
          3.  The following remarks refer to the Commodore (D), Western Approaches' covering letter.  
  Paragraph 3.  
          The point made by the Commodore (D), Western Approaches bears out the conclusions previously reached that a close escort strength of eight is the minimum required at night under normal circumstances.  
  Paragraph 4.  
          It is agreed that a ship whose asdic set is out of action will weaken the ahead screen to some extent, but it must be remembered that in considering daylight submerged attacks, which will normally develop from the van, such a ship will still afford a degree of physical obstruction which is less pronounced in quarter or astern positions.  On 5th May the Commanding Officer, H.M.S. TAY was acting as Senior Officer, Escort, and under the circumstances it is considered that his position ahead was correct.  
  Paragraph 5.  
          It is agreed that there have never been indications that all U-boats are fitted with R.D.F.  
  Paragraph 6.  
          To point towards when in contact with a U-boat is a well established principle in a hunt.  
                                                                                                 OVER/ . . . . . . . .  


  Appendix I, paragraph 3.  
          Relevant information has been forwarded direct to the Director of Naval Intelligence.  
          4.  The Commodore (D), Western Approaches' remarks are otherwise concurred in.  
          5.  With reference to paragraph 17 of the Commanding Officer, H.M.S. DUNCAN's report, the tactics adopted appear to have been well timed and to have achieved success.  
          6.  With reference to paragraph 16 of the Commanding Officer, H.M.S. TAY's report, the policy of unrelenting offensive action and quick return to the convoy was appropriate to the occasion.  
          7.  The skill and determination of all escorts engaged in this operation leaves little to be desired and was well rewarded by the results achieved.  
          8.  It is a matter for regret that the Senior Officer, B.7. Escort Group, Commander P. W. Gretton, D.S.O., O.B.E., D.S.C., Royal Navy, was prevented, by lack of fuel and unsuitable weather conditions for refuelling, from being present at the height of the battle.  It is nevertheless a credit to the training of the group that in his absence it was so ably led by his second in command, Lieutenant Commander, R. E. Sherwood, R.N.R., H.M.S. TAY.  
          9.  The 3rd Escort Group, Captain J.A. McCoy, D.S.O., Royal Navy, H.M.S. OFFA, and the 1st Support Group, Captain (then Commander) C. N. Brewer, Royal Navy, H.M.S. PELICAN, both played a notable part in the operations and loyally gave complete cooperation with the Junior Officer in command of the close escort.  
          10.  All forces taking part are to be congratulated on their success.  
          11.  Recommendations for Honours and Awards will be forwarded separately.  
          12.  Report of Proceedings from 3rd Escort Group has been forwarded under cover of my No. W.A. 2266/310/1/RP of 14th June 1943.  
  Western Approaches                                                           A D M I R A L  
  10th July 1943                                                         COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF  



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