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 Naval WWII    
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anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5968
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Battle of Cape Matapan-March 1941
Posted on: 10/13/2016 4:23:48 AM
It was called Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) by Benito Mussolini and his Fascist stalwarts, but the Italian navy, or Regia Marina, still understood it was an open question as to who would rule the Mediterranean in 1941.

In fact, Operation Gaudo, a plan to sweep the Royal Navy from the waters surrounding Crete, was intended to demonstrate, after a number of one-sided encounters, that the Italians were still a force to be reckoned with.

Unfortunately for the Italians-Admiral Cunningham CinC Mediterranean had other ideas and produced an astonishing outcome in this famous Royal Navy sea battle.


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Regards

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5968
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Battle of Cape Matapan-March 1941
Posted on: 10/13/2016 7:10:11 AM
When Ultra intelligence reported in March 1941 that Italian warships were to set sail, even the normally phlegmatic Cunningham was delighted by the opportunity this presented. Fortunately, because of recent operations around Greece, the bulk of the Royal Navy was already deployed in the eastern Mediterranean.

The 2nd Destroyer Flotilla and the light cruiser squadron under Vice Adm. Henry D. Pridham-Wippell at Piraeus, Greece, were alerted. At Alexandria lay the 1st Battleship Squadron, consisting of three of the proudest battleships in the Royal Navy — Warspite, Barham and Valiant — along with four destroyers from the 14th Destroyer Flotilla.

In support, having just arrived in the area, was the aircraft carrier Formidable, loaded with 14 torpedo bombers. Most were Fairey Albacores, the marginally improved successor to the Sword-fish biplane. Also on board were 13 Fairey Fulmar fighters, slow- but heavily armed.

Source -as previous post

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2774

Re: Battle of Cape Matapan-March 1941
Posted on: 10/15/2016 9:55:23 AM
Its funny El duce would think that he could defeat the RN? .The Italian navy hasn't prevailed since the days of Rome?
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5968
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Battle of Cape Matapan-March 1941
Posted on: 10/15/2016 10:27:56 AM
He certainly did not this time neither Dave-but there was a surprising encounter off Gavdos

At first light on March 28, the Italians launched two Imam Ro.43 reconnaissance planes. One plane was ordered north of the fleet, the other south-southeast. Iachino’s operational orders were that he would return to Taranto if no encounter occurred by 0700.

At 0650, however, the Ro.43 pilot flying the southern course advised that he had made visual contact with four British light cruisers accompanied by four destroyers. This was R/Adm Pridham-Wippell’s force, consisting of the light cruisers HMS Ajax, Orion, and Gloucester, and HMAS Perth, accompanied by four destroyers en route to join Adm. Cunningham.

Admiral Iachino realized that he was confronted by a far less powerful force than he already had concentrated in that area. Seeing an opportunity for a cheap victory, he ordered the closest Italian division, Sansonetti’s 3rd, to alter course, increase its speed to 30 knots and intercept the British cruisers.

Changing his own course and the course of the 1st Division in support of his cruisers, he ordered Vittorio Veneto‘s speed increased to 28 knots. Sansonetti’s force made contact with the British ships at 0800, with the first Italian salvos fired at 0812 hours from a distance of 25,000 yards. All the Italians’ guns were directed at the last ship in the line, the cruiser HMS Gloucester.

Pridham-Wippell’s immediate response was to order smoke and begin zigzagging. He had been warned earlier by one of Formidable’s search planes that a cruiser force along with destroyers had been spotted in the area, but he mistakenly believed the sighting was his own cruiser squadron rather than an enemy force.

Now he raced toward the protection of Cunningham’s fleet. While the Italian cruisers were fast, their gunnery systems were antiquated and the shells all fell short. As the Italians approached Gloucester’s range, her crew gamely returned fire with her 6-inch guns, accurately enough to dissuade her pursuers from closing. Staying out of reach of Gloucester’s guns, the 3rd Division continued its inaccurate fire.He got away in the nick of time.

regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5968
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Battle of Cape Matapan-March 1941
Posted on: 3/31/2017 7:37:50 AM

Quote:
The British light cruiser squadron turned about and followed the Italians, carefully remaining out of range of their guns. Annoyed by Pridham-Wippell’s boldness, Iachino quickly formulated a plan to envelop his arrogant enemy.

With no knowledge of the British battleship squadron heading his way at 22 knots, at 1035 he ordered Vittorio Veneto to alter course toward Pridham-Wippell’s light cruisers and destroyers. He ordered the 3rd Division to do the same. With luck, they could catch the smaller British force between them.

As the British were shadowing the Italians, HMS Orion’s crew noted a ship far to its north. When flashed the recognition signal, the ship responded with a salvo of shells. The salvos had come from Iachino’s flagship, Vittorio Veneto.

Unknowingly, Pridham-Wippell had maneuvered himself between the jaws of a rapidly closing Italian trap. Given the circumstances, the British admiral again decided on a swift retreat. Laying smoke and using speed and evasive action, the British cruisers still had a difficult time leaving the Italians behind.

Vittorio Veneto alone fired 94 15-inch rounds at the cruisers, mostly at Gloucester. Orion then attracted the attention of Vittorio Veneto, sustaining some damage from several near misses- ie.very large shell splinters.


Source -historynet.com

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2774

Re: Battle of Cape Matapan-March 1941
Posted on: 3/31/2017 4:38:25 PM
Jim,

I like how after the RN's victory the Admirals toasted a portrait of Lord Nelson!

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God save the Queen!
Dave

---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5968
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Battle of Cape Matapan-March 1941
Posted on: 4/1/2017 3:33:46 AM
Well now Dave-Horatio Nelson was after all our most famous Admiral.Thank yo for the films of the Battle of Matapan, and our second favourite Admiral-Andrew Cunningham-keep watching

A second carrier-based air attack consisted of three Albacores and two Swordfish torpedo bombers accompanied by two Fulmar fighters. At approximately 1510, they sighted the Italian battleship fleet as it was being attacked by some of the high-altitude bombers from Crete. Flying low, they were not immediately noticed.

Once identified, however, they received an intense barrage of anti-aircraft fire. Ignoring the tracers closing on his aircraft, the leader dropped his torpedo 1,000 yards off Vittorio Veneto‘s port side shortly before being killed by enemy fire. A tremendous explosion soon rocked Vittorio Veneto.

The Italian battleship shook under the explosion and stopped dead. Within minutes the ship had taken on some 4,000 tons of water. Vittorio Veneto was a resilient ship with a modern flood-control system, and she was served by a dedicated and well-trained crew. Through their efforts, the battleship was moving again in minutes.

Her crew got her speed up to 10 knots, maneuvering solely with her starboard screws. Although the British had failed to sink the enemy battleship, they had damaged it sufficiently to slow it down.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

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