Sunday, January 08, 2006

The second bombardment of Benghazi

Lord Louis Mountbatten commanded the 5th Destroyer Flotilla, which had five destroyers. A short time after midnight on the night of 10 May to 11 May 1941, they closed with the harbour at Benghazi and commenced firing. One merchant ship "lying at the northern breakwater as severely damaged", but the remaining ships could all be seen to be wrecked, so firing stopped. In the first case of divebombing at night in the Mediterranean Sea, the 5th Destroyer Flotilla was attacked. AA fire was difficult due to the aircraft only being visible at the last moment before bomb release. Lord Mountbatten decided that instead of the further sweep planned, they should withdraw to Malta. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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