Second Battle of Sirte was a naval engagement in
which the escorting warships of a British convoy to Malta frustrated a
much more powerful Italian Navy
The British convoy was composed of four merchant
ships escorted by four light cruisers, one anti-aircraft cruiser,
and eighteen destroyers. The Italian force comprised a battleship,
three heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, and eight destroyers.
Despite the British victory, the battle delayed the convoy's
planned arrival before dawn, which exposed it to intense and partly
successful air attacks the following day. The battle occurred on
22 March 1942, in the
Mediterranean, north of the Gulf of Sirte and east of Malta, during the Second World War.
Malta had long been a major factor in British successes against
Italian convoys to North Africa,
and in return became the target of an increasing number of heavy
Axis air raids. By early 1942, however, the Allies lost the
initiative in the central Mediterranean as Italian and German
forces gained the upper hand in their attempts to isolate Malta and
even made plans to remove it as a threat.
Indeed, after a series of Allied setbacks changed the overall
scenario, the Italians achieved naval
over their enemies by spring 1942.
was running short of aircraft, antiaircraft guns, fuel, food and
ammunition, convoy MW10 sailed from Alexandria on 21 March.
The British expected opposition from German and Italian aircraft as
well as Italian surface units. In December 1941, they had suffered
the loss of their two battleships (HMS Queen Elizabeth
) in the
eastern Mediterranean, after an underwater attack from the Italian
frogmen led by Luigi Durand De
, and so their Alexandria squadron consisted only of
cruisers and destroyers.
a diversion was organized from Gibraltar: on the morning of March
20, the battleship HMS
Malaya with the aircraft carriers HMS
Eagle and HMS Argus, supported by the cruiser
Hermione and eight
destroyers set sail from the "Rock".
The next day, the
squadron aborted the operation and returned to port. The carriers
were unable to fly off aircraft reinforcements to Malta due to
defective long-range fuel tanks.
The escort of convoy MW10 relied heavily on destroyers
, including lighter-built escort destroyers
, to provide
anti-submarine protection and included the anti-aircraft cruiser Carlisle
to bolster the convoy's
anti-aircraft capability. Additional destroyers and another light
cruiser were also sent from Malta.
British Defensive Plan
Vian organised his ships into six divisions plus a close escort for
the convoy of five Hunt class destroyers.
- 1st Division: destroyers Jervis, Kipling, Kelvin and
- 2nd Division: cruisers Dido and Penelope with
the destroyer Legion
- 3rd Division: destroyers Zulu and Hasty
- 4th Division: cruisers Cleopatra (flagship) and
- 5th Division: destroyers Sikh, Lively, Hero and
- 6th Division: anti-aircraft cruiser Carlisle and Hunt
class destroyer Avon Vale
In case of an Italian surface attack, the first five divisions were
to stand off from the convoy to face the enemy while the sixth
division laid smoke across the wake of the convoy to obscure it
from the enemy. The first five divisions would act as a rearguard
to lay smoke and delay the enemy while the Carlisle
the Hunt destroyers proceeded with the cargo ships to Malta.
At 2:30pm next day, the British were faced by a pair of heavy cruisers
and escorting destroyers.
Admiral Vian immediately implemented his plan; the cargo ships and
escorts turned away to the south while the light cruisers and
remaining destroyers laid smoke and charged the Italians. After an
exchange of fire, the two Italian heavy cruisers backed off in an
attempt to lure the British toward the incoming main Italian
squadron, and at 4:37pm they returned to attack with the battleship Littorio
, a light cruiser
and their screening destroyers.
Italian cruiser Gorizia
firing her 8" guns on the British destroyers during the
Some authors claim that she, instead of Littorio,
scored the hit that disabled HMS Kingston.
The battle raged for two and a half hours, with the British ships
leaving the safety of their huge smoke screen to fire a few volleys
and then returning to it when the Italian salvoes got too close.
During one of these exchanges, Havock
suffered heavy damage when
fired at by the Italian battleship. At 6:34pm Vian decided to send
his destroyers in to launch torpedo attacks from about 5,000
, the closest the Italians would allow
the British to approach. None of the torpedoes found their target,
was hit by
a 15" round from the Littorio
. Lively was also
struck by shrapnel from the
battleship's main guns that pierced a bulkhead, causing some
flooding but no casualties.
Italian light cruiserGiovanni
dalle Bande Nere
had been hit by a 4.7" round, with
negligible damage. Her floatplane caught fire from a burst of her
main guns at the same time. This led to the claim by the British
that one of the torpedoes struck home.
At dusk, about 7pm, the Italians gave up and turned for home.
radar, they would have been at a significant
disadvantage in a night action, as in the Battle of Cape
The Italians outgunned their British counterparts but they appeared
unwilling to close for a decisive blow, perhaps wary of the torpedo
threat from the numerically superior British destroyer force.
According to British reports, Cleopatra
had one of her turrets
destroyed by 6" fire from the Giovanni dalle Bande
; 16 seamen were killed. Cruisers Euryalus
were also damaged.
was hit amidships by a shell that killed 15 men
of her crew
and left the destroyer dead in the water, with her whaler torn
apart, her anti-aircraft guns, searchlight tower and torpedo
launchers shattered by the explosion. Although she had an engine in
flames and a flooded boiler, she managed however to recover speed,
reaching Malta the next day. Havock
was also badly damaged
in a boiler by a near miss, suffering 8 deaths. Lively was
forced to retreat to Tobruk for
Three more destroyers, Sikh
, suffered lesser damage from 8"
Most of the escort force, now short of fuel and ammunition due to
the protracted engagement and unable to find the convoy, turned
back for Alexandria.
The damaged destroyers and the cargo ships were sent on to Malta,
next day they were subjected to continuous air attacks.
ship Clan Campbell was sunk twenty miles from harbour, and
the oil tanker Breconshire was too much damaged to reach
Nonetheless, the other two merchantmen,
and steamer Pampas
, reached Malta's Grand
Harbour virtually unharmed, save for two bombs that hit
but failed to explode.
, but the tow parted in heavy seas.
She anchored short of the protective minefields and the destroyer
attempted to take her in tow, hitting a mine in
the process. She was eventually towed into Marsaxlokk Bay by
Intense Axis air raids against Malta on March 24 and March 25
failed to damage the three surviving convoy ships. However, on
March 26, German dive bombers
bomb hits on all three ships, sinking Talabot
that day with Breconshire
March 27. Much of Breconshire'
s oil was salvaged through
the hole in her hull. Only about 5,000 tons of cargo had been
unloaded, of the 26,000 tons that had been loaded in Alexandria.
Destroyer HMS Kingston
suffered heavy damage by the Littorio'
s guns in the
battle, and while in drydock she was successively attacked by
German bombers which damaged her beyond repair.
The Italian fleet units were no more lucky after the battle. After
failing to destroy the convoy by themselves, they were caught
en-route to their bases by a severe storm that sank the destroyers
Destroyer HMS Kingston
had been hit in the battle by a 15" shell fired by the Italian
Whilst under repair in dry dock
was attacked a few days later by German aircraft
and suffered further damage, this time beyond repair. She was
scrapped at Malta in the following months.
Almost all sources with an opinion on the matter have assessed the
battle as a British victory, credited to the escort of light
cruisers and destroyers which successfully prevented the Italians
from inflicting any damage whatsoever on the convoy by staving off
an Italian squadron, composed of a battleship and two heavy
cruisers, while fending off heavy Axis air attacks.
On the other hand, some authors
while generally acknowledging the British success, write of the
battle as a partial Italian achievement in delaying and turning the
Nearly all sources acknowledge the Italian fleet inflicted
significant damage and several casualties on the British squadron
while suffering minimal damage and no casualties in return.
The action, however, represented a failure on the Italians' part to
exploit their advantage and destroy the convoy. Indeed, they were
unable to sink or cripple a single cargo ship. This was due to
Admiral Vian's vigorous and skillful defence in the face of a
The overwhelming strength of the Italian fleet was not fully
exploited by Admiral Iachino also because bad weather and lack of
radar prevented him from continuing the pursuit of the convoy at
But when the main objective, to re-supply Malta, is included in the
assessment, the outcome is different. The British intention to
reach Malta before dawn with a substantial escort was disrupted by
the intervention of the Italian Navy. This left the cargo ships
exposed to Axis air supremacy
Thereafter, Italian and German aircraft caught the British convoy
at sea and chased the surviving steamers to the harbour; more than
80% of the supplies were lost. The British convoy operation was,
therefore, a strategic failure.
Order of battle
- Admiral Angelo Iachino
- 2nd division, Admiral Parona
- Submarine: Platino.
- : 1 cruiser: Carlisle;
- : 5th Destroyer Flotilla (Hunt
class): Southwold (sunk
by a mine on March 23); Beaufort; Dulverton; Hurworth; Avon Vale; Eridge.
- : 4 cargo ships: Clan Campbell, Breconshire,
Pampas and Talabot.
- 15th Cruiser Squadron (Admiral Vian):
- : 3 cruisers: Dido;
- : 14th Destroyer Flotilla: Jervis; Kipling; Kelvin; Kingston (heavily damaged).
- :22nd Destroyer Flotilla: Hasty; Havock (heavily damaged);
Hero; Lively (seriously
(slightly damaged); Zulu
- Support squadron from Malta:
- : 1 cruiser: Penelope;
- : 1 destroyer: Legion
- : 4 submarines: Unbeaten,
- Submarine based in Alexandria:
- For most authors who have dealt with the Mediterranean
theater, Malta was key to the war there. Sadkovich, page
- Austin, Douglas: Malta and British strategic policy,
1925-43. Volume 13 of Cass series--military history and
policy. Routledge, 2004, page 186. ISBN 0714655457
- In April and during the first half of May while Malta was
writhing under the effects of the air offensive and the naval
blockade, the Italian supply operations for Africa were
characterized by an intensity of activity and an ease of operation
such as was not experienced at any other time during the war.
Malta, that painful thorn in the Italian's side, had been
practically eliminated as a threat to the Italian supply routes,
and it was possible to send out several convoys, escorted by only
one or two destroyers, without meeting the least opposition. The
convoys could now be safely routed scarcely 50 miles from Malta,
thereby enjoying the advantage of a much shortened trip, without
provoking the island to unleash even one of its terrible
weapons. Bragadin, page 155
- The dramatic experience of the last months of 1941 and the
gravity of the situation which Malta had imposed on the Axis were
such close and tangible matters to everyone that finally Italian
and German leaders who were responsible for the conduct of the war,
were convinced that the problem must be met with radical measures.
It had now become evident that to win the Mediterranean war, it was
necessary to take the Suez Canal. And it now appeared crystal clear
that above all else it was necessary to "sink" the airbase that was
Malta. Rome and Berlin, therefore, finally began to reconsider the
possibilities of conquering Malta. This operation was to be carried
out by landings of Italian and German troops both from the sea and
the air. Bragadin, page 156
- "The Alexandria operation, therefore,
denoted the effective overcoming of the grave crisis under whose
menace the Italian Fleet had lain for two months, and indirectly it
delineated a definitive Italian victory in the 'first battle of
convoys'. In fact, it opened a period of clear Italian naval
supremacy in the east-central Mediterranean." Bragadin, page
- With Force K decimated and the battleships Valiant
and Queen Elizabeth resting on the bottom of
Alexandria harbor, the British navy could not contest the Italians
in the central Mediterranean basin. An Axis air offensive against
Malta and the loss of air bases in Cyrenaica further weakened the
British, who were having problems reading the new GAF signals and
lost the German army cipher in early 1942. Ultra continued to read
C38m through the spring, but if this was unfortunate for Axis
convoys, it was less so for the Italian fleet, which used the
cipher only after putting to sea. As a result, Axis air and naval
forces dominated the central and eastern basins, and Comando
Supremo ran convoys to Africa with relative impunity through the
early summer. Sadkovich, page 219
- Woodman, page 293
- Thomas, page 143
- Woodman, page 295
- With Vian's cruisers, Carlisle and the Hunts, the escort
was well provided with anti-aircraft firepower as the entire force
united on the morning of 21 March. Woodman, page 294
- Playfair (165)
- Woodman, page 298
- Woodman, pp. 299-300
- Greene & Massignani, page 220
- Bragadin, page 162
- However, without radar, Iachino could not exploit his
success after the sun had set, and so at 18:41, well before the hit
on the Littorio and a half-hour after Rome had ordered him to
return if he could not close to Vian, he decided to turn for
home. Sadkovich, page 245
- Despite the difficult weather conditions, the Italian ships
had maneuvered perfectly correctly along the lines laid down by
their commander, and they fought the long battle with decision and
tenacity. The British, however, maneuvered in a disorganized
fashion and with unusual timidity-except for the last courageous
attack carried out by their destroyers. It should not be forgotten
either, that while the Italians had greater fire power on three of
their ships, the British had the advantage in number of units
engaged, and this factor was unquestionably important given the
particular conditions of the battle. Bragadin, pp.
- Greene & Massignani, page 219
- Woodman, page 301
- Thomas, page 152
- Sierra, p. 364 (probably from Vian, Adm. Philip: Action
this day, London, Frederick Mueller Ltd., 1960). Also
London Gazette, Supplement of 16th of
September, 1947: * At 2248 LIVELY reported that she was unable
to maintain more than 17 knots and she was detached to Tobruk where
it was considered she could repair damage before proceeding to
- Woodman, pp. 301-305
- Woodman, pp. 307-308; Llewellyn, pp. 51-52: As soon as the
Italian ships had disappeared, Rear-Admiral Vian collected his
force and steered to close the convoy, 10 miles or so southward. At
19:40, in the growing darkness with the convoy not yet in sight,
the Rear-Admiral decided to shape course for Alexandria with force
“B” and to send the convoy to Malta under the arrangements laid
down in the operations orders.
- Llewellyn (52), Thomas (150), Roskill (55), Playfair (170-171),
Macintyre (136), Holland (246), Bradford (206), and Greene &
Massignani (220-221). By contrast, Woodman (309) claims a near-miss
from a Ju-88 on Pampas that shook the ship and caused the
taking of water aft. On the other hand, Belot (162-163) maintains
that Clan Campbell and Breconshire were sunk on
March 23, while Sadkovich (245) has all four convoy ships sunk on
- Breconshire at RedDuster.co.uk
- Green & Massignani, pp. 220-221.
- Bragadin strongly implies that Breconshire,
Talabot, and Pampas were all sunk sometime
between March 24 and March 25. Shores, Cull, and Malizia (145,
148), however, state that Axis aircraft failed to hit the ships on
- For Talabot and Pampas: Playfair (172),
Macintyre (139), Shores, Cull, and Malizia (150), Bradford (207),
Woodman (313-314), Greene and Massignani (221), Llewellyn (52),
Thomas (151), and Holland (245-246). For Breconshire:
Roskill (55), Playfair (171-172), Macintyre (221), Shores, Cull,
and Malizia (151), Bradford (206), Greene and Massignani (221), and
Llewellyn (52). However, Holland (248) avers that
Breconshire sank on March 26.
- Thomas, page 150
- Some Italian authors -Massignani and Bragadin- maintain that
the round was an 8" shell either from heavy cruisers
Trento or Gorizia.
- Memories of Leading Seaman William
- The main exceptions are Sadkovich: However qualified,
Iachino had certainly won a moral victory. (page 247), and De
la Sierra: Sus oponentes [The Italians] se retiraban,
conscientes ya de los peligros de la noche pero no vencidos.
(Translation: Their adversaries [The Italians] withdrew, aware of
the dangers of the night, but undefeated.)(page 365)
- Belot (162-163), Bernotti (79), Bauer & Young (762),
Llewellyn (52), Macintyre (136), De la Sierra (365), Stephen (115)
and Wilmott & Fowler (45) agree on the idea of a partial
achievement. A handful of sources, most of them Italian, summarily
describe the battle as an outright Italian victory: * 23 Marzo
1942: Seconda Battaglia di Sirte, conclusasi con la vittoria
Italiana. (Translation: 23 March 1942: Second Battle of
Sirte ended in an Italian victory.) Gigli, page 652 *22.3:
Nel mar della Sirte, vittoria navale italiana sugli inglesi, che
perdono un intero convoglio. (Translation: 3/22/1942: At
the gulf of Sirte, Italian naval victory over the British, who lost
an entire convoy.) Secchia, page 296 *La nostra Marina,
avvertita dalla vigile esplorazione del sommergibile Platino fece
salpare da Taranto la Littorio e una divisione di incrociatori che
bloccarono la formazione nemica e l'attaccarono vigorosamente.
Questo incontro, che andó sotto il nome di seconda battaglia della
Sirte frustrò le speranze inglese. (Translation: Our Navy,
alerted by the submarine Platino, ordered a sortie of the Littorio
and a division of cruisers from Taranto. They intercepted the enemy
squadron, and attacked them with full force. This encounter, called
the Second Battle of Sirte frustrated the British hopes.)
Guglielmotti, page 164 *However qualified, Iachino had
certainly won a moral victory. Sadkovich, page 247
- Cunningham, page 454: * Nor must the mistake be made of
thinking the Italians were inefficient in this action. Our
destroyers...were received by heavy and accurate fire, and was only
by the mercy of Providence that many were not sunk and still more
severely damage. Nearly all sources mention that two British
cruisers and several destroyers were hit, for no damage to the
- Bragadin, page 164: * As far as the balance sheet of the
shooting is concerned, no Italian ship was damaged in the least,
disregarding some scratches on the Littorio's deck caused by shell
fragments. On the other hand, the Italian gunfire, in spite of its
handicaps, caused considerably more damage to the enemy.
Ibidem, page 166: * The superiority of the Italian
marksmanship in comparison with that of the enemy can be judged
from the known results of the engagement. Sadkovich, page 245:
* Italian gunners had fired 1,490 rounds without sinking any of
Vian's ships, but they had damaged five, while British gunners
fired over 1,000 rounds at close range, yet scored only one hit
with a 120 mm round. Simpson, page 119: * Vian had won a
famous victory - even though his ships had suffered more damage
than the Italians - a single hit on the Littorio. and Woodman,
page 305: * The Italians were virtually untouched, whereas the
British had had two destroyers badly damaged and had expended 36
- Sadkovich, pp. 245-246
- "During 1941 and the first half of 1942, Axis air supremacy
forced the British to abandon Malta as a destroyer base."
Middleton, Drew: Submarine, the ultimate naval weapon: its
past, present & future. Playboy Press, 1976, page 87. ISBN
- Bauer, Young & others, page 763: *The result of this
second battle of Sirte was not as disappointing for the Italians as
it might at first have seemed. Admiral Cunningham had lost the
destroyers Havock and Kingston, which had been heavily damaged and
had had to make for Malta. The convoy, having had to sail
south-west for hours, could not now reach Valletta before dawn on
the 23rd. :Belot, pp. 162-163: *Although it had escaped
the Italian fleet, the convoy had not reached the end of its
troubles. It had been delayed for several hours by evasive
maneuvers during the battle, a delay which must be credited to
Iachino's actions, and it could no longer reach Malta by dawn as
had been planned. Furthermore, the cruisers had had to leave the
convoy during the night and return to Egypt so as to avoid having
to take on fuel from the limited supply at Malta. On the morning of
the 23rd the merchant ships, sailing with reduced escort, were
subjected to violent attacks from Axis aircraft. :Bernotti,
page 79: *La seconda battaglia della Sirte si era conclusa.
Considerando lo scontro si può tranquillamente dire che fù una
vittoria inglese (infatti ad Alessandria si festeggò la vittoria),
visto l'enorme disparità di forze: una divisione di incrociatori
aveva tenuto in scacco una formazione molto più forte senza subire
perdite, anche se non ne aveva inflitte. Però lo scopo italiano era
quello di attaccare il convoglio e qui raggiunse dei risultati: la
manovra di battaglia costrinse il convoglio inglese a spostarsi
molto a sud e lo attardò, cosicchè il mattino dopo, all'alba, aerei
tedeschi riuscirono ad attaccarlo: alle 10.30 del 23 marzo il primo
piroscafo và a fondo, poi, a 8 miglia da Malta, viene centrata la
petroliera Breconshire, che, costretta ad arenarsi, viene poi
definitivamente distrutta. I rimanenti due mercantili entano nel
porto di Malta ed attraccano, ma vengono anche qui attaccati dagli
aerei e distrutti: delle 25000 tonnellate di rifornimenti diretti a
Malta ne vennero scaricate solo 5000. (Translation: The
Second battle of Sirte was over. If you assess the encounter, you
can say that this was a British victory [indeed, the victory was
celebrated at Alexandria], given the disparity of forces: a cruiser
squadron fought off a fairly stronger force without suffer any
losses, even if no damage was inflicting upon the enemy. But the
Italian aim was to attack the convoy, and on this they achieve some
results: the maneuver forced the convoy to move too far to the
south, delaying it. Therefore the following morning, at dawn,
German aircraft were able to assault them. At 10:30 AM of 23 March
the first merchantman gone down; later, the tanker Breconshire was
hit 8 miles away from Malta, beached, and eventually destroyed. The
remaining two steamers reached Malta, but were bombed there and
sank; only 5,000 tn out of 25,000 were eventually uploaded.)
:Bragadin, page 166: *The four British supply ships with their
precious cargo for Malta did not suffer any direct damage from the
Italians in the battle itself, but the fight indirectly brought
important results. The convoy was scheduled to arrive at Malta
during the night, and was to begin unloading before the (expected)
air raids began, but the naval battle made it at least four hours
late in arriving, and this delay proved fatal. When the axis
aircraft began its air raids next morning, the convoy was still
considerably south of Malta. :Hough, page 231: *The Second
Battle of Sirte was a bloodless victory of moral superiority (...)
But Sirte could also be called a hollow victory. The diversion from
their course forced upon the transports prevented their entering
Valetta harbour that night and in the morning dived bombers picked
them off - all but one - in spite of the efforts of Vian and his
men. :Llewellyn, page 52: *Captain Hutchison, of the
"Breconshire", the convoy commodore, had in fact complied with the
operation orders on his own initiative at 19:00, dispersing the
ships on diverging courses with a destroyer or two apiece for
escort, each ship to make her best speed so as to reach Malta as
early as possible next morning; they had been intended to arrive at
dawn, but the Italian fleet, by forcing the convoy south of its
route, had given the German bombers a second chance, as Admiral
Iachino had foreseen. :Macintyre, page 136: *Nevertheless
Iachino had partially achieved his aim. The diversion of the convoy
to the southward, under the threat posed by his approach, had
caused just enough delay to prevent the ships from reaching Malta
at first light on 23rd. :Roskill, page 55: *Unfortunately
the delays caused by the recent battle prevented the convoy making
harbour early on the 23rd, and this gave the German bombers another
chance. :Sadkovich, page 245: *Because Iachino had delayed
the convoy, after the weather had partially cleared the next day,
Axis aircraft were able to sink the cargo ships Talabot and Clan
Campbell at sea and the Breconshire and Pampas in port. :Shore
& Malizia, page 140: *The merchant vessels, meanwhile, had
veered from their course to avoid the battle, being forced further
south. As a result they were now way behind schedule, since it was
necessary for them to reach Malta early next morning to avoid being
caught in daylight by the full force of the Axis units from
Sicily. :De la Sierra, page 365: *Sin embargo, los
esfuerzos y los riesgos corridos por los italianos no resultaron
inútiles, pues aparte de los daños logrados en cuatro buques
británicos-dos de lo cuales serían después hundidos precisamente
por no poder escapar a tiempo del infierno de Malta-, el retraso
impuesto al convoy iba a resultarle fatal.(Translation:
The efforts and risks taken by the Italians were not in vain;
besides the damage inflicted upon four British vessels -two of them
later sunk at Malta- the delay imposed on the convoy would prove to
be fatal.) :Simpson, pp. 119-120: *However, Vian's triumph
was only a tactical victory (even that is disputed by Italian
apologists). The action had delayed the convoy and pushed it far to
the south, thus bringing it well within the range of enemy bombers
on the following day.(...) The March convoy represented, therefore,
a strategic defeat; though the Italian fleet had failed to locate
it, its pressure had placed the ships in the palms of Axis airmen.
The collective gunfire of the warships might have saved ships
which, supported by a single warship, became easy targets.
:Stephen, page 115: *Iachino had succeeded in forcing the
convoy to manoeuvre so far south that Axis air power was able to
act in synergy to ensure its destruction. :Thomas, page 150:
*By driving the convoy south, the Italian fleet had given the
Luftwaffe a longer journey that last morning. :Wilmott &
Fowler, page 45: *...however, the Italians did have some
compensation for the action delayed the arrival of the convoy at
Malta with the result that two of the merchantmen were sunk by
aircraft the following day; had there been no delay then almost
certainly these ships would have survived. :and Weichold
(cited by Sadkovich, page 246): *...Weichold, who believed at
the time that the action had been crucial to the GAF success the following
- Woodman, page 316: *Although the squadron had achieved a
noteworthy tactical victory against considerable odds, as Vian's
immediate knighthood attested, Operation MG1 as a whole had been a
strategic failure. :Thomas, page 154: *From the British
point of view the convoy battle was a failure: of the 25,900 tons
of stores fought through to Malta only about 5,000 tons finally
- Greene & Massignani, page 217
- Thomas, pp. 144-145
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References and external links
- Main page with link to sources (scroll down and
open link to Bibliografia)