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1939-45, including 1943 British Aegean Campaign

Six-inch gunned "Town" class cruiser HMS Gloucester (Navy Photos, click to enlarge). Taking part in the Battle for Crete, she was sunk on the 22nd May 1941 by Ju.87s and Ju.88s.


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Each Summary is complete in its own right. The same information may therefore be found in a number of related summaries

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Benito Mussolini and his Fascist Party came to power in Italy.

October -
Following border disputes between Italian Somaliland and Abyssinia, Italy invaded. League of Nations sanctions had little effect and by May 1936 the country had been taken over by Mussolini's forces.

July - The
Spanish Civil War started; Italy and Germany became aligned with one side and Russia with the other.

April -
Italy invaded Albania.
May - Germany and Italy joined forces in the Pact of Steel
1st September - Germany invaded Poland.




3rd - After Germany invaded Poland on the 1st, Britain and France demanded the withdrawal of German forces. The ultimatum expired and at 11.15am on the 3rd, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain broadcasts to announce that Britain was at war with Germany. Italy declared its neutrality.



JUNE 1940

Italy declared war on Britain and France

Strategic Situation in the Mediterranean - In the western half, Britain and France between them controlled Gibraltar, southern France, Corsica, Algeria and Tunisia. In the eastern half, Britain maintained a hold on Egypt and the Suez Canal, Palestine and Cyprus. In the Levant, Lebanon and Syria were French. Italy stood astride the central basin, with Italy itself, Sardinia and Sicily to the north and Libya to the south. Albania on the Adriatic Sea and the Dodecanese Islands in the southern Aegean off Turkey were Italian. The islands were taken from Turkey in 1912 and included - from north to south - Patmos, Leros, Kos, Kalymnos and the much larger island of Rhodes. The Neutral countries in the western Mediterranean were Spain, and in the east, Greece and Crete, Yugoslavia and Turkey.


Eastern Europe - The Germans started planning the invasion of Russia.


Axis Powers - Germany, Italy and Japan signed the Tripartite Pact in Berlin on the 27th. They agreed to jointly oppose any country joining the Allies at war - by which they meant the United States.


Eastern Europe - German troops occupied the Rumanian oilfields.

Balkans - On the 28th, the Italians invaded Greece from points in Albania, but were soon driven back. Fighting continued on Albanian soil until April 1941.


Eastern Europe/Balkans - Hungary and Rumania joined the Axis Tripartite Pact on the 20th and 23rd. Only Yugoslavia and Bulgaria held out against German pressure to become members; the only countries in Eastern Europe and the Balkans not completely dominated by the Axis or Russia.

Balkans - As the Greek Army pushed back the Italians into Albania, RAF squadrons were sent from Egypt to Greece and the Royal Navy carried over the first Australian, British and New Zealand troops by cruiser. Mediterranean Fleet established an advance base at Suda Bay on the north coast of Crete.


Eastern Europe - Hitler ordered detailed planning for Operation 'Barbarossa' - the invasion of Russia.

Crete - At anchor in the poorly defended Suda Bay, cruiser "Glasgow" was hit by two torpedoes from Italian aircraft on the 3rd and badly damaged.

Attacks on Albania and the Dodecanese - Another series of Royal Navy convoy and offensive operations were carried out by the Mediterranean Fleet with battleships "Warspite", "Valiant "and carrier "Illustrious". On the 17th carrier aircraft attacked Rhodes and on the night of the 18th/19th the two battleships bombarded Valona, Albania.




Malta Convoy "Excess" - Another complex series of Royal Navy convoy and ship movements revolving around Malta led to carrier "Illustrious" being badly damaged and the Royal Navy losing its comparative freedom of operation in the Eastern Mediterranean. The operations included convoy 'Excess' leaving Gibraltar on the 6th for Malta and Greece covered by Gibraltar-based Force H. All merchantmen reach their destinations safely, but at a cost of a cruiser and destroyer, and the loss of "Illustrious'" vital air power.

19th - Destroyer Greyhound, escorting a convoy to Greece, sank Italian submarine "NEGHELLI" in the Aegean Sea

MARCH 1941

Eastern Europe/Balkans - Bulgaria joined the Tripartite Pact on the 1st March and German troops marched in. As of now, only Yugoslavia in the Balkans retained national independence

Greece - In the space of three weeks in March, 60,000 British and Dominion troops were carried from North Africa to Greece, escorted by the Royal Navy (Operation 'Lustre').

6th - Italian submarine "ANFITRITE" attacked a troop convoy east of Crete and was sunk by escorting destroyer "Greyhound".

26th - At anchor in Suda Bay, northern Crete, heavy cruiser "YORK" was badly damaged by Italian explosive motor boats and beached. She was later wrecked by bombing and abandoned when Crete was evacuated in May.

Battle of Cape Matapan (above) - As ships of the Mediterranean Fleet covered troop movements to Greece, 'Ultra' intelligence was received reporting the sailing of an Italian battlefleet with one battleship, six heavy and two light cruisers plus destroyers to attack the convoy routes. On the 27th, Vice-Adm Pridham-Wippell with cruisers "Ajax", "Gloucester", "Orion" and the Australian "Perth" and destroyers sailed from Greek waters for a position south of Crete. Adm Cunningham with carrier "Formidable" and battleships "Warspite", "Barham" and "Valiant "left Alexandria on the same day to meet the cruisers. Around 08.30 on the 28th, south of Crete, Adm Pridham- Wippell was in action with an Italian cruiser squadron. Just before noon he found himself between them and the battleship "Vittorio Veneto" which had now come up. An attack by Swordfish from "Formidable" failed to hit the Italian battleship, but enabled the British cruisers to extricate themselves. Mediterranean Fleet heavy units arrived, but their only chance of action was to slow down the Italians before they could reach Italy.

A second Swordfish strike at around 15.00 hit and slowed down "Vittorio Veneto", but only for a short while. At 19.30 a third strike southwest of Cape Matapan stopped heavy cruiser "Pola". All this time, RAF aircraft were attacking but without success. Later that evening (still on the 28th), two more heavy cruisers - "Fiume" and "Zara with four destroyers were detached to help "Pola". Before reaching her, Adm Cunningham's ships detected them by radar and "FIUME", "ZARA" and destroyers "ALFIERI" and "CARDUCCI" were crippled by the close range gunfire of "Barham", "Valiant" and "Warspite". All four Italians were finished off by four destroyers led by the Australian "Stuart". Early next morning on the 29th, "POLA" was found, partly abandoned. After taking off the remaining crew, destroyers "Jervis" and "Nubian" sank her with torpedoes. The Royal Navy lost one aircraft.

31st - Cruiser "BONAVENTURE" with a Mediterranean Fleet cruiser force escorting a convoy from Greece to Egypt, was torpedoed and sunk to the southeast of Crete by Italian submarine "Ambra".

Yugoslavia - On the 25th Yugoslavia joined the Tripartite Pact, but two days later an anti-Nazi coup toppled the Government.

APRIL 1941

Yugoslavia and Greece - Germany invaded both countries on the 6th. By the 12th they entered Belgrade and within another five days the Yugoslav Army had surrendered. Greek forces in Albania and Greece suffered the same fate. Starting on the 24th over a period of five days, 50,000 British, Australian and New Zealand troops were evacuated to Crete and Egypt in Operation 'Demon'. The Germans occupied Athens on the 27th.

27th - As units of the Mediterranean Fleet carried out the Greek evacuation, destroyers "DIAMOND" and "WRYNECK" rescued troops from the bombed transport "Slamat", but were then sunk by more German bombers off Cape Malea at the southeast tip of Greece. There were few survivors from the three ships.

MAY 1941

18th - On patrol south of Crete, AA cruiser "Coventry" was heavily attacked from the air. + Petty Officer Alfred Sephton continued to carry out his duties in the director after being mortally wounded. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

21st May-1st June - Battle for Crete - On the 21st, in the opening stages of the attack on Crete, cruiser minelayer "Abdiel" laid mines off the west coast of Greece sinking Italian destroyer "MIRABELLO" and two transports. Most of the Mediterranean Fleet with four battleships, one carrier, 10 cruisers and 30 destroyers fought the Battle for Crete. For the Navy there were two phases, both of which took place under intense air attack, mainly German, from which all losses resulted. Phase One was from the German airborne invasion on the 20th until the decision was taken on the 27th to evacuate the island. During this time the Mediterranean Fleet managed to prevent the sea-borne reinforcement of the German paratroops fighting on Crete, but at heavy cost. Most of these losses happened as the ships tried to withdraw from night-time patrols north of the island out of range of enemy aircraft.


Phase Two was from 27th May to 1st June when over 15,000 British and Dominion troops were evacuated. Ten thousand had to be left behind - and again the naval losses were heavy. 21st - In the morning destroyer "JUNO" was sunk and cruiser "Ajax" slightly damaged as they withdrew southeast of Crete. Later that evening "Ajax", with "Dido", "Orion" and four destroyers, savaged a German troop convoy of small craft. More such vessels were sunk over the next few days off the north coast. 22nd - Early that morning another force of four cruisers and three destroyers swept to the north and was attacked on their return. Cruisers "Naiad" and "Carlisle" were damaged, and as they reached their support force to the northwest, battleship "Warspite" was badly hit. Later, destroyer "GREYHOUND" was caught on her own in the same area and soon sent to the bottom. Other destroyers went to rescue her survivors, covered by cruisers "Gloucester" and "Fiji". As the cruisers withdrew, first "GLOUCESTER" was sunk northwest of Crete by Ju87s and Ju88s. Three hours later "FIJI" was surprised by a single Me109 fighter-bomber and sank to the southwest. All ships were very short of AA ammunition by this stage. 23rd - Withdrawing from the usual night-time patrols led to the loss of two more destroyers. Capt Lord Louis Mountbatten's five ship flotilla was attacked to the south and "KASHMIR" and "KELLY" sunk. Over the next few days the north coast sweeps continued, and supplies and reinforcements were brought into Crete.

26th - Carrier "Formidable", accompanied by battleships "Barham" and "Queen Elizabeth", flew off aircraft from a position well to the south for an attack on the Scarpanto Island airfields. In the counter-attack "Formidable" and destroyer "Nubian" were damaged. 27th - As "Barham" covered a supply mission, she was hit to the northwest of Alexandria. 28th - The decision to evacuate was made, and cruisers and destroyers prepared to lift off the troops. As they approached Crete, cruiser "Aiax" and destroyer "Imperial" were damaged to the southeast. 29th - Early in the morning, 4,000 men were lifted off from Heraklion on the north coast. As they did the damaged "IMPERIAL" had to be scuttled, and "HEREWARD" was hit and left behind to go down off the eastern tip of Crete. Shortly, cruisers "Dido" and "Orion" were badly damaged to the southeast. 30th - Early in the day, more troops were lifted from the southern port of Sphakia by another cruiser force. Well to the south the Australian cruiser "Perth" was bombed and damaged. 1st June - As the last men were carried from Crete, cruisers "Calcutta" and "Coventry" sailed from Alexandria to provide AA cover. "CALCUTTA" was sunk north of the Egyptian coast. Some 15,000 troops were saved but at a cost to the Royal Navy of 2,000 men killed. Total warship casualties, all from German and some Italian bombing were:  

Warship types


Badly damaged






















JUNE 1941

Germany Attacks Russia - On the 22nd the German attack on Russia (Operation 'Barbarossa') started with the eventual aim of destroying the Russian Armies and occupying the whole of the country west of the line Archangel in the Arctic to the Caspian Sea. Germany and its Axis partners including Italy invaded from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Italy and Romania declared war on Russia on the 22nd. Finland followed on the 26th and Hungary on the 27th.  

Malta - With German forces now in Greece and Crete, the problems of supplying Malta were even greater. From airfields in Crete as well as Libya, the Luftwaffe and Italian Air force were as close to the eastern convoy routes from Alexandria, as Sardinia and Sicily were to the western ones through the Strait of Gibraltar.

JULY 1941

5th - Submarine "Torbay" on patrol in the Aegean Sea sank Italian submarine "JANTINA".


20th - Mines previously laid by submarine "Rorqual" in the Gulf of Athens sank Italian torpedo boats "ALDEBARAN" and "ALTAIR".


Declarations of War - In a series of diplomatic moves, numerous declarations of war were made: (1) 5th-6th - Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa on Hungary and Rumania. (2) 11th-13th - Italy, Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary against the United States. (3) 28th-14th January - Britain, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa against Bulgaria.

6th - Submarine “PERSEUS” on patrol off the west coast of Greece was mined and sunk off Zante Island. Just one man made an amazing escape to the surface and reached the distant shore.

11th - Submarine “Truant” sank Italian torpedo boat “ALCIONE” north of Crete.




Early January - Submarine "TRIUMPH" sailed from Alexandria on 26th December for a cloak-and-dagger landing near Athens before patrolling in the Aegean. She reported the landing on the 30th, but failed to rendezvous back there on the 9th and was presumed mined off the island of Milo, southeast of the Greek mainland.

30th - Italian submarine "MEDUSA" was torpedoed by "Thorn" in the Gulf of Venice, in the far north of the Adriatic.


16th - British submarine "Thresher" was counter-attacked by the escorts of a convoy off northern Crete. Two unexploded bombs lodged between the casing and hull, and with the likelihood of drowning should she be forced to submerge, two of the boat's crew managed to remove them. Lt Peter Roberts RN and Petty Officer Thomas Gould were awarded the Victoria Cross.

MARCH 1942

4th - Another British submariner won the Victoria Cross. HM Submarine Torbay (Cdr Miers) carried out a difficult attack on shipping off Corfu, an island on the west coast of Greece and torpedoed two merchantmen. This was only the latest of a number of successful patrols. Cdr Anthony Miers RN was awarded the Victoria Cross.

18th - Italian submarine "TRICHECO" went down off Brindisi in the southern Adriatic, torpedoed by "Upholder" (Lt-Cdr Wanklyn).


6th - Submarine "THORN" attacked a tanker off southwest Crete and was presumed sunk in the counter-attack by Italian escort destroyer "Pegaso".


Allied Invasion of French North Africa


15th - Destroyers "Petard" and Greek "Queen Olga" sank Italian submarine "UARSCIEK" south of Malta.



APRIL 1943

21st - Royal Navy submarine "SPLENDID" was sunk by German destroyer "Hermes" (ex-Greek) south of Capri.

'The Man Who Never Was'- Submarine "Seraph" released the body of a supposed Royal Marine officer into the sea off Spain. His false papers help to persuade the Germans that the next Allied blows would fall on Sardinia and Greece as well as Sicily.

MAY 1943

Resistance Forces - In occupied Europe, Tito's partisan armies continued to hold down large numbers of German troops in Yugoslavia.

JUNE 1943

2nd - Destroyers "Jervis" and Greek "Queen Olga" sank two merchantmen and Italian torpedo boat "CASTORE" off Cape Spartivento, southwest Italy.  

JULY 1943

Invasion of Sicily: Operation 'Husky'


11th - British submarine "PARTHIAN" was overdue on this date. She left Malta on 22nd July for the southern Adriatic and failed to return to Beirut.


Italy - Surrender and Invasion

British Aegean Campaign - With the surrender of Italy, Winston Churchill wanted to seize the Italian Dodecanese islands in the southern Aegean before the Germans could establish themselves. From here the Allies could threaten Greece and support Turkey, but the Americans and some British commanders were lukewarm to what they saw as a sideshow compared with the battle for Italy. Insufficient forces and especially aircraft were made available, and the Germans soon took Rhodes from where, together with other bases, they maintained air superiority throughout the coming campaign.

On the 15th and 16th, British troops occupied Kos, Leros, Samos and other smaller islands. The Royal Navy had the task of supplying and reinforcing them, as well as attacking German supply routes. The potential parallels with Norway, Greece and Crete all those many months back were obvious, if only in hindsight. 26th - After carrying troops to Leros, destroyers "Intrepid" and Greek "Queen Olga" were attacked by Ju88s while at anchor in the harbour. "QUEEN OLGA" soon went down and "INTREPID" capsized next day.


HHMS Adrias of the Royal Hellenic Navy (CyberHeritage)

British Aegean Campaign - On the 3rd, German troops landed on British-held Kos, which fell next day. More German forces headed for the Kos and on the 7th a convoy of seven small ships and one escort was annihilated by cruisers "Penelope" and "Sirius" and two destroyers. As they withdrew through the Scarpanto Strait, "Penelope" was damaged in attacks by Ju87s and Ju88s. More sweeps and more supply trips led to further losses, particularly amongst the 'Hunts', through to November: 9th - Returning from a sweep west of Kos, cruiser "Carlisle" and destroyers were dive-bombed in the Scarpanto Strait area by Ju87 Stukas. "CARLISLE" was seriously damaged and never fully repaired; destroyer PANTHER was sunk. 17th - Cruiser "Sirius" was damaged by bombs south of Scarpanto Strait. 22nd - Greek 'Hunt' "ADRIAS" was badly damaged off Kos on mines laid by the German "Drache", and as sister ship "HURWORTH" went to her aid, was also mined. She sank with heavy casualties. 24th - Destroyer "ECLIPSE" fell victim to the same minefield. 30th - Cruiser "Aurora" was damaged in bombing attacks.

Mid-October - A Royal Navy submarine failed to return. "TROOPER" set out from Beirut in the Lebanon on 26th September for Dodecanese patrol and did not get back on the 17th. German records claim she was sunk by a Q-ship off Kos on the 14th


British Aegean Campaign, Conclusion - German forces landed on Leros on the 12th and captured the Island after four day's heavy fighting against the British and Italian defenders. The campaign came to an end when Samos was evacuated on the 20th, but not before two more 'Hunts' fell victim, this time to Hs293 glider bombs: 11th - "ROCKWOOD" was severely damaged off Kos following an attack with other destroyers on Kalymnos (Calino). She was not repaired and went into reserve. 13th - "DULVERTON" was sunk off Kos as she withdrew from searching for German shipping making for Leros. The cost of this abortive campaign to the Royal Navy could now be added up - four cruisers damaged with one never repaired, six destroyers lost or permanently out of action and others damaged. In addition the small Greek Navy had lost two destroyers.

Mid-November - Submarine "SIMOOM" sailed from Port Said on the 2nd for the Aegean and failed to answer a signal on the 19th. She was presumed mined although German records claim she was torpedoed by "U-565" off Kos on the 15th.


Eastern Front - In the centre/south all the Ukraine east of the Dnieper River together with deep bridgeheads across much of its length were now in Russian hands. They prepared to recover the rest of the Ukraine, push into the Crimea and move on Poland and Rumania.

Mediterranean War at Sea - With the surrender of the Italian fleet, the big ships of the Royal Navy were released for the Eastern Fleet and to prepare for the landings in Normandy. The remaining smaller vessels continued to escort the convoys needed to supply the Allied forces in Italy, and to support both Fifth and Eighth armies on their seaward flanks. The RN also went over to the offensive against Germany supply traffic down the west coast of Italy and from the northeast through the Adriatic to Yugoslavia. From bases such as Corsica and Bari, light and coastal forces struck regularly at shipping, and also at land targets along the coast of Yugoslavia in support of Tito's partisan armies.




Anzio Landings, western Italy, Operation 'Shingle'

MARCH 1944

Eastern Front - Nearly all the Ukraine was now back in Russian hands and in the south the advance towards the southwest brought the Russians to the foothills of the Carpathian mountains, just inside pre-war Rumania. Thoroughly concerned about the potential collapse of the Balkans, Hitler orders troops into Hungary to prevent the country leaving the Axis.

MAY 1944

Eastern Front - Against fierce German resistance, the Russians in the south had now re-captured all the Ukraine including the Crimea. In the centre, they were over the border into pre-war Poland and Rumania.

Mediterranean Merchant Shipping War - U-boats had only managed to sink 10 merchantmen in the Mediterranean in the first five months of 1944. In return 15 had been lost, including three breaking through the Strait of Gibraltar and four in USAAF raids on Toulon, southern France and Pola in the northern Adriatic.

JUNE 1944

Normandy Invasion: Operation 'Overlord' 

Early/Mid June - Submarine "SICKLE" on patrol in the Aegean failed to return to Malta when recalled on the 14th, and was presumed lost on mines.

18th - Destroyer "QUAIL", damaged by a mine in the southern Adriatic seven months earlier in November 1943, foundered off south-eastern Italy on tow from Bari around to Taranto.


Eastern Front - Nearly all pre-war Russia had now been liberated. The summer offensive started in the far south, aimed at clearing the Balkans. The Russian armies attacked on the 20th from the Ukraine south and west into Rumania. Events moved rapidly. Three days later Rumania accepted the Russian armistice terms, on the 25th declared war on Germany, and by the 31st the Russians were entering Bucharest. Now Bulgaria tried to declare its neutrality and withdraw from the war, just as the Russian forces swung west and north towards Hungary and on to Yugoslavia threatening to cut off the Germans in Greece.


Eastern Front - In the Balkans, Rumania signed an Allied armistice in Moscow on the 12th, by which time its troops were in battle alongside the Russians. The country was almost free of the Germans by the end of the month. From Rumania, the Russians reached the eastern border of Yugoslavia by the 6th and crossed into southern Hungary before September was out. Russia declared war on Bulgaria on the 5th, which in turn declared against Germany three days later as Russian forces crossed into the country near the Black Sea. They entered Sofia on the 16th and at the end of October an armistice was signed with the Allied powers. By then Bulgarian troops were attacking into Yugoslavia with the Russians.

Greece - As the Russians attacked through Rumania and Bulgaria towards Yugoslavia, German troops started to evacuate Crete, southern Greece and the islands of the Aegean. However right up until May 1945, garrisons held out on Rhodes, western Crete and some of the Greek Islands.

End of the Mediterranean U-boats - The last U-boats in the Mediterranean were lost to sea and air attack. On the 19th schnorkel-equipped "U-407" was sunk north of Crete by destroyers "Terpischore", "Troubridge" and the Polish "Garland" of Adm Troubridge's escort carrier and cruiser force. Five days later in raids on Salamis near Athens, USAAF aircraft sank "U-596" and the damaged "U-565".

Royal Navy Submarine Operations - These too drew to a close. With so few German targets left, the famous 10th Submarine Flotilla was disbanded although some of the boats continued to work out of Malta in the Aegean. The last British submarine sunk was "Sickle" three months earlier in June, the 45th Royal Navy loss in the Mediterranean.


Eastern Front - In the Balkans, the struggle up through Hungary continued, but the Russians could only reach the outskirts of Budapest in early November. Meanwhile the Eastern Allies were advancing into Yugoslavia and joined forces with units of Marshall Tito's partisan armies on the 4th. Belgrade fell on the 20th.

Adriatic - Returning from bombarding shore targets on the northeast coast of Italy, destroyer "LOYAL" was mined in the Adriatic on the 12th and not repaired.

Greece - The Germans were now coming to the end of the evacuation of the Aegean area and northern Greece as British, Greek and Allied troops landed in the south and on many of the islands. On the 12th Allied paratroops dropped near Athens. Adm Troubridge's force continued to sweep the Aegean for German evacuation shipping as Royal Navy submarines also took a toll. 7th - Destroyers "Termagant" and "Tuscan" sank torpedo boat "TA-37" in the Gulf of Salonika. 19th - Further south it was the turn of "TA-18", lost to the same two British destroyers. Both were ex-Italian vessels.


Eastern Front - The main activity was in Hungary where the Russians still battle towards Budapest, and in the Balkans as southern Yugoslavia was cleared by the Eastern Allies.

Adriatic - Off Zara in the northern Adriatic on the 1st, escort destroyers "Avon Vale" and "Wheatland" sank German torpedo boat "TA-20" and two corvettes - all ex-Italian.

Greece & Albania - By mid-month Greece was free of those Germans that could escape and British troops had landed in the north. They also had the job of disarming the various resistance movements. In Albania the Germans were pulling out and on the 21st the capital of Tirana was occupied by Albanian partisans.


Adriatic - 'Hunt' escort destroyer "ALDENHAM" was the 67th and last Royal Navy destroyer lost in the Mediterranean. Returning from bombarding a German-held island off Fiume in the northern Adriatic on the 14th, she was mined and sunk northwest of Zara.

Greece - Disagreements with the Greek communist movement EAM/ELAS over the future government of the country led to fighting and the declaration of martial law. British troops, supported by Royal Navy ships, had the unenviable task of fighting their previous allies. By month's end the fighting started to die down as proposals for the setting-up of a regency were announced. The troubles were not over until February 1945, and trouble flared again with the outbreak of civil war in 1946.

Strategic Situation - Mediterranean - All the Mediterranean except the Ligurian Sea to the north of Corsica, the northern part of the Adriatic and some of the Greek islands were now under Allied maritime control




12th - Attacks by German explosive motorboats were made on shipping in Split harbour, Yugoslavia, hitting a flak landing craft and damaging cruiser "Delhi" laying alongside.

17th - Italian battleship "CONTE DI CAVOUR", sunk in the 1940 Fleet Air Arm attack on Taranto and salvaged but not recommissioned, was finally destroyed in RAF raids on Trieste.

APRIL 1945

Italy - Eighth Army started towards the Argenta gap on the 9th, and by the 18th was through. US Fifth Army moved on Bologna on the 14th and a week later captured the city. British, Brazilian, Indian, New Zealand, Polish, South African and US divisions of Fifth and Eighth Armies then reached the River Po and raced across the north of Italy. By the end of the month, Spezia, Genoa and Venice had been liberated.

Adriatic - Torpedo boat "TA-45" was sunk by coastal forces off Fiume in the northern Adriatic on the 13th, the last major enemy warship to fall victim to the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean.

MAY 1945

German Forces in Italy Surrendered


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