Sunday, January 03, 2010
The Harpoon convoy runs towards Malta
While the Harpoon convoy had a quiet night on the night of 14/15 June 1942, they would face a strong Italian surface force the next morning. A fast surface force had been sent to intercept the convoy. The VII Division consisted of the cruisers Eugenio di Savoia and Montecuccoli (named after the 17th Century Austrian general Raimondo Montecuccoli), with five destroyers. The Harpoon convoy was 30 miles south of Pantelleria when they heard that the Italian ships were close. The AA cruiser Cairo only had 4inch guns, so the fight was left to the fleet destroyers with 4.7in guns and 21inch torpedoes. The Italians opened fire at 6:40am on 15 June. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.