La réalité semble entre les deux. Les états de service du HMS Nelson d'octobre 1939 semblent bien confirmer la présence de Churchill et de Dudley Poud à Loch Ewe et à bord du Nelson fin octobre, le reste étant selon toute apparence un petit arrangement postérieur sensationnaliste avec la chronologie.
29th When west of the Orkneys returning from the operation [escorte de transports de fer venant de Narvik], the force, comprising HM Battleships NELSON and RODNEY, HM Battlecruiser HOOD, and HM Destroyers ICARUS, IMPULSIVE, IVANHOE, INTREPID and KELLY ran into a line of 4 U-boats. U.56 fired three torpedoes at NELSON and all three struck the target, two broke upon hitting and the other failed to exploded. The crew of NELSON were unaware of the attack.
31st Arrived back at Loch Ewe. She was then boarded by the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, and the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Dudley Pound. They came to discuss with the CinC the use of the main fleet bases at Scapa Flow, Loch Ewe and Rosyth. A decision was taken to return to Scapa in the spring of 1940 when all the new defences would be in place.