Battle of Spartivento

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Jordi Comas
Posts: 224
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:21 pm

Battle of Spartivento

Post by Jordi Comas » Mon Oct 11, 2021 6:53 am

Hi all again,

Just two questions about this battle:

1) Which rol played DD Vidette during the battle: Was she with the convoy or left it and returned to Gibraltar before the battle?

2) Was DD Corazziere with the Italian fleet or didn't took part in the engagement?

Thank you very much
Jordi
Platon Alexiades
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:49 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Platon Alexiades » Mon Oct 11, 2021 3:16 pm

Hi Jordi,

1) Vidette was ordered back to Gibraltar shortly after crossing the Strait with the convoy. AFAIK she did not take part in the battle.

2) the destroyer Corazziere sailed from Messina at 1130/26 with Lanciere and Ascari screening the heavy cruisers Trieste and Bolzano. During the battle, Lanciere was hit in the boiler room and taken in tow by Ascari, Corazziere screened them and the three destroyers arrived at Cagliari at 0400/28.

Best regards,

Platon
Jordi Comas
Posts: 224
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:21 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Jordi Comas » Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:00 pm

Thank you very much one more time Platon, as always,

1) I thought that DDs Velox and Wrestler were the ones that returned to Gibraltar after the passage of the convoy through the strait but not DD Vidette.

2) So, didn't DD Carabiniere take part in the engagement? I thought that DD Lanciere, Ascari and Carabiniere were the ones that escorted 3rd Division of cruisers (Trento, Trieste, Bolzano) and some sources tell also DD Corazziere that took part in this battle (watch "con la pelle appesa a un chiodo: Corazziere"), that's my doubt.

Regards
Jordi
Platon Alexiades
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:49 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Platon Alexiades » Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:25 pm

Hi Jordi,

1) according to my information Vidette, Velox and Wrestler were ordered to Gibraltar after being relieved from convoy escort duty.

2) Carabiniere did not take part in the battle. She was in Messina repairing defects to her boiler tubes and only sailed to Naples on 2 December. Trento sailed from Messina at 1235/26 and joined the squadron shortly after.

Best regards,

Platon
Jordi Comas
Posts: 224
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:21 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Jordi Comas » Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:04 pm

Thank you one more time,

Regards Platon
Jordi Comas
Posts: 224
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:21 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Jordi Comas » Sat Oct 16, 2021 8:57 am

Hi again,

From Battle Summary no.9

Operation “Collar”:

Force “B"
BC Renown, CV Ark Royal, CLs Sheffield, Despatch, DDs Faulknor, Firedrake, Forester, Fury, Wishart, Encounter, Kelvin, Jaguar

Force "F"
CLs Manchester, Southampton, DDs Duncan, Hotspur, Vidette, CTs Peony, Salvia, Gloxinia, Hyacinth

Force “D"
BB Ramillies, CLs Newcastle, Coventry, DDs Berwick, Defender, Greyhound, Gallant, Hereward, Diamond

Regards
Jordi Comas
Posts: 224
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:21 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Jordi Comas » Sat Oct 16, 2021 8:58 am

Sorry,

CA Berwick, not DD
Platon Alexiades
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:49 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Platon Alexiades » Sat Oct 16, 2021 2:43 pm

Hi Jordi,

Even "Official" versions have errors...

According to the report by Admiral Somerville (ADM199/1049):

Force “B"
BC Renown, CV Ark Royal, CLs Sheffield, Despatch, DDs Faulknor, Firedrake, Forester, Fury, Wishart, Encounter, Kelvin, Jaguar and Duncan

Force "F"
CLs Manchester, Southampton, DD Hotspur, CTs Peony, Salvia, Gloxinia, Hyacinth (remove Duncan and Vidette)

Force “D"
BB Ramillies, CLs Newcastle, Coventry, CA Berwick, DDs Defender, Greyhound, Griffin and Hereward (remove Gallant and Diamond)

Best regards,

Platon
Last edited by Platon Alexiades on Sat Oct 16, 2021 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jordi Comas
Posts: 224
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:21 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Jordi Comas » Sat Oct 16, 2021 3:49 pm

Hi Platon,

Thank you one more time,

My reflexions about this subject are the followings:

DD Duncan sailed first with Force F to reinforce the convoy during the passage through the Strait of Gibraltar and then joined Force B to join back with Force F during the battle.
DD Griffin could'nt have been with Force D because she belonged to Force A and the only destroyers that formed Force D were from Forces C and D when they entered Malta escorting convoy MW.4. As far as I know no destroyer from Force A joined Force D after this renewed force sailed from Malta to join Force B. So I think destroyers Defender, Diamond, Hereward, Gallant and Greyhound were the right destroyers of Force D.
In the source "The Somerville papers" the Admiral mentions that the convoy was escorted by the destroyers Velox, Vidette and Wrestler and then were joined by Duncan, Hotspur and the 4 corvettes from Force F when they were heading towards the Strait. Also he says that Velox and Wrestler returned to Gibraltar shortly after the convoy entered the Mediterranean Sea but not Vidette. Also many sources say that Vidette took part in the Operation Collar. This is why I think that Vidette took part in the operation.

But perhaps I'm wrong

Regards
Platon Alexiades
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:49 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Platon Alexiades » Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:03 pm

Very difficult to assess which destroyer was part of which group at a given time. Reports are contradictory. Perhaps we will never know for sure.

Platon
Jordi Comas
Posts: 224
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:21 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Jordi Comas » Sun Oct 17, 2021 8:13 am

Sure Platon,

It's a pity!

I think DD Vidette was all the time with convoy but independent from Force F because Force F had to head towards Malta but Vidette not. She had to return to Gibraltar. But after entering in the Mediterranean she's not mentioned any more.

Thank you very much again

Regards
Brian Corijn
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:31 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Brian Corijn » Mon Oct 18, 2021 7:20 pm

Hi Jordi,

I checked some logbooks and was able to find out that HMS Diamond was not with Force D. There were only four destroyers present, Defender, Gallant, Greyhound and Hereward. These four destroyers are named two times, on the 26th and the 27th, in the logbook of HMS Ramillies.
I've seen HMS Diamond mentioned on the 27th in the logbook of HMS Eagle so she for sure was not with Force D.

Kind regards,
Brian Corijn
Jordi Comas
Posts: 224
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:21 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Jordi Comas » Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:14 pm

Thank you Brian,

More confussing news!

Regards
Jordi Comas
Posts: 224
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:21 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Jordi Comas » Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:31 pm

Hi again,

If you look at battle honours during Batlle of Spartivento you can see the following ships:

https://www.naval-history.net/xGM-aContents.htm

Hereward, Diamond, Defender, Greyhound, Gallant, Vidette: All of the have battle honours for this battle but Griffin not.

Regards
Jordi Comas
Posts: 224
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:21 pm

Re: Battle of Spartivento

Post by Jordi Comas » Sat Oct 30, 2021 8:08 am

Hi all again,

DD Libeccio also took part in this battle but I wonder which Squadron joined: 1st Battleship Squadron, 1st Cruiser Division or 3rd Cruiser Division?

Thank you very much
Jordi
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