29th July 1941 (Cont)
The Mediterranean Fleet (Admiral Andrew Cunningham) orders Vice-Admiral Henry Pridham-Wippell's 3rd Cruiser Squadron, comprising HM cruisers Arethusa, Coventry, Galatea and Penelope, in the van. At 0915hrs they fall upon Campioni's destroyer screen - but before Arethusa and Penelope can open up their 6-inch weapons, they are themselves attacked by the Italian battleship Caio Duilio, whose ten 12.6-inch guns open fire from 25,000 yards with deadly accuracy. The light cruisers make smoke to try and evade the onslaught.
Cunningham has already ordered a strike by carrier aircraft and this is delivered first by the Fleet Air Arm Skuas of 803 Squadron flying from HMS Glorious, which attack Caio Duilio and relieve the punishment being meted out to Pridham-Wippell's cruisers. The second strike, by the Swordfish of 811 Squadron from HMS Courageous, is targeted toward the X Destroyer Flotilla to ward off any thought of a torpedo strike against the cruisers.
< Message edited by warspite1 -- 12/26/2016 3:02:34 PM >
England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805