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Old 10th April 2018, 13:51
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Sea/Air Battle in the Med - 11-13 Sept 41

I started writing this up just to show a not untypical loading list of a merchant lost due to the anti-supply campaign by the R.A.F. This then turned quickly into a ferreting job through various sources, and in the end I think it serves well to illustrate the issues one encounters when working with primary sources, official histories, and personal recollections.

https://rommelsriposte.com/2018/03/2...embien-convoy/

Some questions:

1) Does anyone have detailed information on No. 830 Squadron FAA's operations in those days?
2) Does anyone have a solution based on primary evidence for who attacked SS Alfredo Oriani on 11 September?

Happy reading.

All the best

Andreas
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Old 10th April 2018, 15:26
BruceMk11 BruceMk11 is offline
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Re: Sea/Air Battle in the Med - 11-13 Sept 41

Andreas,

Have you examined Kenneth Poolman's Night Strike from Malta: 830 Squadron RN and Rommel's Convoys ?

Published by Jane's, 1980, 192 pages. Can't say it will answer your queries but several copies available at Abebooks.

Cheers,

Bruce
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Old 13th April 2018, 02:28
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Re: Sea/Air Battle in the Med - 11-13 Sept 41

Thanks Bruce. I actually have it but it is in storage at present, one continent away.

Don't think that will answer Oriani question though.

All the best

Andreas
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Old 13th April 2018, 07:40
Andrei Demjanko Andrei Demjanko is offline
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Re: Sea/Air Battle in the Med - 11-13 Sept 41

Andreas

Thank you for the article, it is a very interesting read

I've noticed that Italian account did not mention that steamer Tembien was damaged. So was Tembien damaged at all?

830 Sqn operations mentioned in Malta Command diary as follows:
11th Sept. 7 Swordfish left to attack convoy of 6 M.V.s and 7 destroyers off Tunisian coast. 5 torpedoes were fired. Results claimed are 1 M.V. 6000 tons, sinking, and 1 M.V. 8000 tons damaged.
12th Sept.
7 Swordfish left to attack convoy attacked previous night. 6 torpedoes fired claimed at least 2 hits. [this attack ended at 02.30 hrs on 13 September judging by Italian account in your article]
http://www.naval-history.net/xDKWD-Malta1941.htm
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Old 13th April 2018, 16:24
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Re: Sea/Air Battle in the Med - 11-13 Sept 41

Hi Andrey

I do not think Tembien was damaged in the attacks. There is no evidence for this, other than the Italian OH, which in my view clearly confuses Tembien with Odero. There is nothing in the escort commander’s report confirming this.

Regarding the second Swordfish attack, I believe the attack that lasted from 1400 to 1430 as described in the escort commander’s report, was the attack by eight Blenheims of No.105 Squadron. The numbers match, the fact that he clearly states Caffaro was hit by a bomb matches, and the losses of planes match as well.

Which leads me to conclude that it is entirely unclear what the Swordfish were doing, unless of course it was them who attacked Oriani? The timing and day would match with the Italian OH, but of course Oriani was allegedly sunk by bombs as well, and it would be a massive navigation error on the part of the F.A.A. pilots to end up at the location of Oriani, several hundred kilometres away from the location of the Tembien convoy. And it would then beg the question what the Blenheims were attacking on the 11th.

So...

Still no clarity I am afraid. If anyone has ‘Night Strike’, I’d love to hear from you, it will be several months before I can go and dig for it in the boxes.

All the best

Andreas
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Old 13th April 2018, 18:40
Andrei Demjanko Andrei Demjanko is offline
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Re: Sea/Air Battle in the Med - 11-13 Sept 41

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreasB View Post
Regarding the second Swordfish attack, I believe the attack that lasted from 1400 to 1430 as described in the escort commander’s report, was the attack by eight Blenheims of No.105 Squadron.
Yes, no doubt Caffaro was sunk by Blenheims. But in my opinion the portion of the escort commander's report describing second Swordfish attack is this:

The 13th

01.05 hours – Four or five airplanes are seen on a course of 240 degrees with landing lights illuminated. Issue the air alarm signal to all units.

01.20 hours – Numerous flares light up to the left of the formation. Order the escort units to make smoke. The units and the steamers fire targeted and barrage. A total of 18 flares are counted.[12]

02.30 hours – The attack ceases and the formation is reordered, and normal navigation proceeds


The attack by 38 Sqn would only commence at 03.45, according to the same report or at 03.40 according to 38 Sqn report
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Old 14th April 2018, 10:45
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Re: Sea/Air Battle in the Med - 11-13 Sept 41

Hi Andrey

Thanks. From reading Sub.Lt. Campbell's account I always presumed that the second strike was carried out during the day. I think your interpretation is much more likely to be correct. That solves that mystery. Still none the wiser on Oriani...

All the best

Andreas
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Old 10th June 2018, 03:07
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Re: Sea/Air Battle in the Med - 11-13 Sept 41

Bump to see if anyone has anything on who attacked the Oriani/Cantore convoy outbound Patras to Benghazi on 11 September 1941.


All the best


Andreas
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