In researching this concluding chapter of the Mimi and Toutou saga, I waited until I was able to source a book written in the early 1960s by British author Peter Shankland, The Phantom Flotilla. This is an excellent book written largely from the verbal accounts of Doctor Hanchell, gathered during extensive interviews conducted by Shankland before the Doctor's death sometime in the mid 1960s. Shankland's version is naturally configured largely from the Doctor’s perspective, although a number of key archive resources also feature. What appears to emerge as a consequence is a far more forgiving view of the main protagonist in the story, Commander Geoffrey Spicer-Simpson, than anything else I have read so far.
Doctor Hanchell did concede throughout that Spicer-Simpson was an ass - there seems to be no way to avoid that conclusion - but he also reflected that the Commander was an able and capable leader, imbibed with something that no amount of bombast or arrogance could corrupt – uncommonly good luck. This is an attribute that is common to all great leaders, from Alexander the Great through to Napoleon. General Jan Smuts and Colonel Paul von Lettow Vorbeck, both of whom would soon match wits on that very battlefield, were also gifted with extraordinary luck. Of course it is easy for an outsider to perceive successful decision making and tactical instinct as being luck, but when a commander's luck runs out, which it inevitably does, the evidence of decline and fall tend quickly to follow.