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On this day 26 November 1940

Published: 26 Nov 2012

Swordfish from 815 and 819 Squadrons from HMS Illustrious raided the Italian seaplane base in Port Laki, Leros, Dodecanese Islands to distract Italian forces while Allied convoys of Operation Collar traversed the Mediterranean.

The Italians did not fall for the feint and launched a powerful fleet of 2 battleships (Vittorio Veneto and Giulio Cesare) and 3 cruisers (Fiume, Gorizia and Pola); plus 11 destroyers from Naples and 3 more cruisers (Trieste, Trento and Bolzano); plus 3 destroyers from Messina, Sicily.

They intercept an allied convoy protected by HMS Ark Royal, resulting in action off Cape Spartivento on 27 November 1940.


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