Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

70th Anniversary, Battle of Cape Matapan


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 George Patton

George Patton

    Canadian Delegation

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,972 posts
  • LocationOntario, Canada

Posted 27 March 2011 - 03:32 PM

Tomorrow (March 28th) marks the 70th anniversary of the decisive Battle of Cape Matapan. The battle was fought between the Royal Navy and the Regia Marina (Italian Navy), and resulted in the Italians ceding control of the Eastern Mediterranean to the Allies: the Italian Navy never attempted to enter it until after the capture of Crete.

The fighting involved the following major warships:

An asterisk (*) indicates that the ship was sunk before the end of the war.

Royal Navy (Adm Andrew Cunningham)
28 Ships


Aircraft Carriers:
HMS Formidable
Posted Image

Battleships:
HMS Barham*
Posted Image
HMS Valiant
Posted Image
HMS Warspite
Posted Image

Light Cruisers:
HMS Ajax
Posted ImagePosted Image
HMS Gloucester*
Posted ImagePosted Image
HMS Orion
Posted ImagePosted Image
HMAS Perth
http://upload.wikime...AWM_301166).jpg
HMS Carlisle
http://en.wikipedia....MS_Carlisle.jpg
HMS Calcutta* (see above, same class as HMS Carlisle)
HMS Bonaventure*
http://en.wikipedia...._IWM_A_1733.jpg

and 17 destroyers

Regia Marina (Adm Angelo Iachino)
26 Ships

Battleships:
Vittorio Veneto
http://svr225.stepx..../file/26072.jpg

Heavy Cruisers:
(from the right) Fiume*, Zara*, Pola*
http://upload.wikime...che_Kreuzer.jpg
Trieste*
http://www.worldnava...ges/trieste.jpg
Trento*
http://www.worldnava...ages/trento.jpg
Bolzano*
http://www.worldnava...zanompl5659.jpg

Light Cruisers:
Duca degli Abruzzi
http://upload.wikime...gli-Abruzzi.jpg
Giuseppe Garibaldi
http://upload.wikime...di_original.jpg

and 17 destroyers

In the battle, the Italian force was heavily battered. Vittorio Veneto suffered heavy damage. The Heavy Cruisers Zara, Pola and Fiume were sunk. Additionally, the destroyers Vittorio Alferi and Giosue Carducci were sent to the bottom. Italian casualties numbered over 2300 killed.

The British casualties were much lighter: the Ajax, Orion, Gloucester and Perth suffered superficial damage, and only three men were killed (when their aircraft was shot down).

Due to the Italian defeat, the Allies were able to allocate more naval resources to the North Africa theater, which was played a part in Rommel's eventual defeat.

Further Reading
Battle of Cape Matapan: World War II Italian Naval Massacre » HistoryNet
Battle of Cape Matapan - World War II Battle of Cape Matapan

---

Note: I have also had to make some modifications so I could fit all the ships in one message: HMS Calcutta doesn't have a photo (see HMS Carlisle photo for reference, they are the same class), and the Fiume, Pola and Zara are combined in one photo.
http://en.wikipedia...._IWM_A_1733.jpg
  • LRusso216, Biak, Slipdigit and 2 others like this

Best Regards,
Alan


#2 Tiornu

Tiornu

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 263 posts

Posted 27 March 2011 - 06:46 PM

The Zaras were fantastic cruisers.

#3 RabidAlien

RabidAlien

    Ace

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,084 posts

Posted 28 March 2011 - 01:56 AM

Dang. The Italians got it handed to them!

#4 LRusso216

LRusso216

    Graybeard

  • ModeratorsOKF Moderator
  • 10,350 posts
  • LocationPennsylvania

Posted 28 March 2011 - 02:16 AM

Nice work, Alan. I'm not sure I've heard of this battle before. I'll be sure to follow your links. Thanks.

image001.png

Lou


#5 George Patton

George Patton

    Canadian Delegation

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,972 posts
  • LocationOntario, Canada

Posted 28 March 2011 - 09:04 PM

Nice work, Alan. I'm not sure I've heard of this battle before. I'll be sure to follow your links. Thanks.


Thanks Lou - it was just a good way to use my free time on Sunday.

Best Regards,
Alan


#6 George Patton

George Patton

    Canadian Delegation

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,972 posts
  • LocationOntario, Canada

Posted 28 March 2011 - 09:05 PM

Dang. The Italians got it handed to them!


They sure did. Even when compared to the combat record of the rest of the Italian Navy during WWII, this was particularly bad ;)

Best Regards,
Alan





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users