Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 453 November 26, 1940

Operation Collar. As a distraction for convoy ME4, aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious, cruisers HMS Glasgow and Gloucester plus 4 destroyers from Alexandria, Egypt, raid the Italian seaplane base at Port Laki on the Agean island of Leros at 6 AM. However, Italian Navy is aware of the convoy ME4 and escort warships moving from Gibraltar to Malta. 2 battleships (Vittorio Veneto and Giulio Cesare) and 3 cruisers (Fiume, Gorizia and Pola) plus 11 destroyers leave Naples and 3 more cruisers (Trieste, Trento and Bolzano) plus 3 destroyers depart Messina, Sicily. They rendezvous South of Naples in the Tyrrhenian Sea at 6 PM and sail West to engage the British fleet South of Sardinia. They will be joined by 4 torpedo boats, 7 submarines and 10 motor torpedo (MAS) boats.

At 5.20 AM, 8 Fairey Swordfish from British aircraft carrier HMS Eagle bomb the capital of Italian-held Libya, Tripoli. Royal Navy does not attempt much deception, naming the strike Operation Tripe.

Free French armed patrol coaster Medoc (under Polish Commander Stankiewicz) is sunk by a German aircraft torpedo in the English Channel. All 41 crew (3 Poles, 38 British) are lost.

10 more US Navy destroyers are assigned to the Britain under the “destroyers for bases” deal struck by Churchill and Roosevelt. Although these old destroyers have numerous problems, they significantly increase Royal Navy’s ability to escort convoys and patrol the British coast.

No comments:

Post a Comment