Battle of Spartivento

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Jordi Comas
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:21 pm

Battle of Spartivento

Post by Jordi Comas » Sat Dec 12, 2020 10:20 am

Hi all,

I'm trying to know which was the British battle fleet during the engagement with the Italian fleet during de battle of Cape Spartivento 27/11/40.

British Forces: BB Ramillies, BC Renown, CA Berwick, CL Manchester, Newcastle, sheffield, Southampton, DD Faulknor, Firedrake, Fury, Forester, Encounter, Greyhound, Griffin, Hereward, Defender. Some sources also say that DD Diamond and Gallant were present. Is that true?

Thank you very much
Jordi
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t-geronimo
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:39 am

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by t-geronimo » Sat Dec 12, 2020 10:18 pm

Hello Jordi!

Uboat.net has extended their website a lot with war diary based pages about british ships.
It is always worth to take a look there.

HMS Diamond

HMS Gallant
phil morgan
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:41 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by phil morgan » Sat Dec 12, 2020 11:15 pm

Greetings Jordi
Strangely, Cunningham's book and The War at Sea have very little to say on Spartavento.
All donations will gratefully be received!!

Phil
Jordi Comas
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:21 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Jordi Comas » Sun Dec 13, 2020 4:10 pm

Thank you!

It's still doubtful because others sources don't mention them.

Regards
Brian Corijn
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:31 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Brian Corijn » Sun Dec 13, 2020 8:45 pm

Hi Jordi,

I checked file ADM 234/325 again and both destroyers are listed as being part of 'Force D'.

I also noticed that both are mentioned in the log of HMS Ramillies (ADM 53/113048) on the pages for 26 and 27 November 1940.

I don't recall having seen action reports of individual ships so what their exact role was during the battle ?, i have no idea.

Going through all these files one can find a lot of answers but also a lot of new questions come up. It would be very helpful that by now the 'time machine' had been invented :D


Kind regards,
Brian Corijn
(Admin. Allied warships section uboat.net)
Platon Alexiades
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:49 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Platon Alexiades » Mon Dec 14, 2020 3:27 pm

Hi Jordi & al,

Extracted from my book on Italian submarine operations (compiled from various sources):

The force was divided in three groups:
Force B: the battlecruiser Renown (flagship of Vice-Admiral Sir James F. Somerville, Force H), the aircraft carrier Ark Royal, the light cruisers Sheffield and Despatch and the destroyers Faulknor (D.8), Firedrake, Forester, Fury, Duncan (D.13), Wishart, Encounter, Kelvin and Jaguar.
Force F: the light cruisers Manchester (flagship of Vice-Admiral L.E. Holland, CS.18) and Southampton, the destroyers Hotspur and Vidette and the corvettes Peony, Salvia, Gloxinia and Hyacinth with the transports Clan Forbes, Clan Fraser and New Zealand Star.
Force D: the battleship Ramillies, the heavy cruiser Berwick, the light cruisers Newcastle and Coventry and the destroyers Defender, Greyhound, Gallant, Hereward and Diamond.

Best regards,

Platon
Jordi Comas
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:21 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Jordi Comas » Mon Dec 14, 2020 3:42 pm

Thank you Platon,

So, DD Griffin didn't take part in the battle.
Many sources say that she was in the Renown group from Force D at time of the battle.

So, British battle group at Spartivento:

Renown Group:
BB (1): Ramillies
BC (1): Renown
CA (1): Berwick
CL (4): Manchester, Newcastle, Southampton, Sheffield
DD (10 or 11): Defender, Diamond, Encounter, Faulknor, Firedrake, Forester, Fury, Gallant, Greyhound, Hereward and perhaps Griffin

Ark Royal Group:
CV (1): Ark Royal
DD (2): Jaguar, Kelvin

Convoy Group:
T (3): Clan Forbes, Clan Fraser, New Zealand Star (Convoy Collar)
CL (2): Coventry, Despatch
DD (4): Duncan, Hotspur, Vidette, Wishart

Corvettes Group:
CT (4): Gloxinia, Hyacinth, Peony, Salvia

Is it right?
Regards
Jordi Comas
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:21 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Jordi Comas » Mon Dec 14, 2020 4:34 pm

Thank you Brian!

Regards
Brian Corijn
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:31 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Brian Corijn » Mon Dec 14, 2020 8:09 pm

Hi Jordi,

HMS Griffin was with 'Force A' so she was not present during the battle of Spartivento.
She did not return to Alexandria with the fleet on conclusion of the operation though but was detached to Malta with defects which were to be made good at the Malta Dockyard. I believe she even remained at Malta until mid/late December if i am not mistaken.

Kind regards,
Brian Corijn
(Admin Allied warships section uboat.net)
Jordi Comas
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:21 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Jordi Comas » Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:08 am

Thank you Brian!

Yes, I knew that. So, I think that Griffin didn't take part in the engagement

Regards
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