Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More British ships lost

As noted, the British were very fortunate that the Italian commander, with the two cruisers, had broken off the action. He could have easily destroyed the survivors. This all was happening on 15 June 1942. The Italians, later in the day, swept through the scene of the previous encounter and found the destroyer Hebe, all by itself. The British commander turned back with the cruiser Cairo and three fleet destroyers. When the British could see the Italians in the distance, the Italians turned to engage some unseen targets. These would almost certainly have been the destroyers Partridge and Bedouin. The Partridge had been able to tow the Bedouin. They were headed for the coast of Tunisia, hoping to elude the Italians. Italian aircraft found them and torpedoed the Bedouin, sinking her. They also probably sank the tanker Kentucky and the cargo ship Burdwan about this time. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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