Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Early on 15 June 1942: the Vigorous convoy
In the night and early in the morning, British aircraft mounted attacks on the Italian fleet. Wellingtons from Malta attacked with torpedoes at midnight, but were unsuccessful, partly due to an effective smoke screen. At 6am, Beauforts attacked, thinking that they hit the battleships, but they had stopped the cruiser Trento, instead. British submarines also attacked at about the time the Beaufort attack occurred. They missed the battleships, but the damaged Trento was sunk at 10am by P.35. B-24 Liberators attacked at 9am and scored one bomb hit n the Littorio, but she was not seriously damaged. A further attack by Beauforts was planned for the time of the Liberator attack, but they were intercepted by German fighters. Two were lost and five had to turn back. The remainder attacked, but had no success. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.