Wednesday, September 19, 2007
The Italians try to interfere
When the Italians learned of the British attempted convoy to Malta, they sent four cruisers and ten destroyers to sea to try and intercept the convoy. The U class submarine P36 saw some of these ships steaming south through the Straits of Messina and reported them. About midday, a Maryland reconnaissance aircraft saw the ships but was shot down. The crew had not been able to report the ships until they were rescued late in the afternoon, about 80 miles southeast of Malta. No British aircraft attacked the Italian ships until early on 16 February 1942, when four FAA Albacores attacked with torpedoes, but missed. The submarine P36 was able to torpedo the destroyer Carabiniere, which eventually reached port. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.