That excuses the initial malfunction of the magnetic detonator but not Christie’s reaction. Quite the contrary, if well trained crews claim that a new and never fully tested system is defective, it should have set off the alarm bells. Big time!
I recalled a story that could be another factor why it took so long for the USN to admit there was a problem. When the skippers were told it was all their fault and they must continue to use the magnetic detonator they ignored the order and switched to contact detonators. Of course they faked the logs and told the crew to SFTU. The contact detonators were also not very reliable but they were not nearly as bad as the magnetic ones. So more ships got sunk and the brass attributed the increased sinkings to the improved marksmanship of the crews.
While Christie was particularly stubborn, Lockwood wasn't but the problem with the torpedoes were multiple and synergistic. First they ran too deep, which was fixed early on, then magnetic fuzes were deactivated when they didn't work, adn then contact fuzes proved unreliable but diagnosing why took a lot of effort and time, and then, all that knowledge had to make it up to the people designing and building torpedoes and back down the chain in the form of reliable weapons. And Japanese ships were being sunk, obscuring the diagnosis.