In 1939 Pound was promoted to Admiral of the Fleet and First Sea Lord, and he also acted as Chairman of the British Chiefs of Staff Committee until March 1942 when BROOKE succeeded him. His regime as First Sea Lord was marked by increasing centralization which often worked to his good. However he worked too hard and his judgment was sometimes called into doubt. In July 1942 he took the decision to order the convoy PQ-17 to scatter because it was threatened by a powerful German surface force. The decision to scatter left the convoy vulnerable and only ten ships reached the USSR out of 33. Pound was criticized for interfering but his intervention was unusual; on- the-spot decisions were more usually taken by Commanders at sea. He held the office until he was taken ill and died three weeks after resigning his post. His record in office was highly successful and he earned CHURCHILL’s admiration and confidence.