Tovey, Admiral Sir John, 1885-1971

From 1940 to 1943 Tovey was Commander in Chief of the Home Fleet which was based at Scapa Flow. The Home Fleet’s main purpose was to protect and guide convoys across the Atlantic. Tovey’s greatest achievement was the hunting, chasing and sinking of the Bismarck in May 1941, an act he accomplished with the aid of SOMERVILLE’s Force H from the Mediterranean. From 1942-43 Tovey’s Home Fleet was responsible for guarding the northern passages across the Arctic to make them safe for convoys to Murmansk. To achieve this end he was forced to concentrate a large number of his ships near Iceland. Ordered to protect convoys at all costs he tried several times to destroy the Tirpitz but was always forced to abandon the chase in favor of covering the convoys.

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