Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Losses on the way to Egypt from Heraklion: 1941

The first loss on the way to Egypt from Heraklion in late May 1941 was the destroyer Imperial. The Imperial had taken damage from what must have been a near-miss by a bomb. The crew and troops were moved to the destroyer Hotspur. The Imperial was then sunk by a torpedo. This was early on 29 May 1941. At 6am, about 100 German dive bombers attacked. Another destroyer, the Hereward, was damaged had to be beached while passing through Kaso Straight at the east end of Crete. The crew and troops were captured by the Germans. The two cruisers were hit by bombs. The Orion took three bomb hits and the Dido was hit by one bomb. There were 100 men killed and 200 wounded on the Orion. The Dido had 103 men from the Black Watch killed out of the 240 on board. The ships neared the Egyptian coast by 2pm and the bombing attacks stopped. They finally reached the shelter of Alexandria harbor by 9pm. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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