Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Substance was a hard fought convoy

As we showed, the escort for Operation Substance was substantial. Force H, Force X, and the battleship Nelson, from the Home Fleet were involved. The operation was costly to the Navy. The cruiser Manchester was torpedoed on 23 July 1941 as was the destroyer Fearless. "The Fearless had to be sunk". The Manchester was sent to Gibraltar with a destroyer as escort. Force X was also involved, and this included:

cruiser Edinburgh
cruiser Hermione
cruiser Arethusa
8 destroyers

In fruther attacks, the destroyer Firedrake was damaged and had to be towed to Gibraltar by another destroyer. The transport Sydney Star was torpedoed by an Italian MTB at night, but was able to proceed towards Malta, after her troops and part of her crew were removed. She actually arrived on 24 July, before the convoy. The rest arrived safely. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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