Sunday, October 21, 2007

More from after the Second Battle of Sirte

British fortunes were near another low, after the Second Battle of Sirte. No British aircraft were able to strike the retiring Italian surface ships. The only success occurred on 1 April 1942 when the submarine Urge torpedoed and sank the Giovanni della Bande Nere, southeast of Stromboli. The situation on and near Malta was dire. The Breconshire was sunk, the Talabot was scuttled in port to prevent an ammunition explosion and the Pampas had heavy flooding from bomb damage. The destroyer Legion, which had been towed into port at Malta was sunk by air attack. Only 1,052 tons were unloaded from the Talabot, 3,970 tons from the Pampas. Contractors were able to retrieve a further 2,500 tons, in salvaging what could be taken off the wrecks. Until adequate air strength could be provided to Malta, all ships had to be removed. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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