Naval Academy U. Brokenboro - Hyman G. Army , U. Related Content. Operations Aviation Boats-Ships--Submarine. Document Type. Navy Communities. File Formats. Location of Archival Materials. Author Name. Place of Event. Recipient Name. Cryptologic Documents in the Navy Department Library. Government Cryptologic Agencies. Introduction This collection is composed of naval, military, intelligence, diplomatic, and technical studies prepared largely by the US military utilizing decoded and translated enemy communications.
Use and Reproduction Policy Cryptologic documents are unavailable for loan and must be consulted in the library. War Secrets of the Ether. I, Jan. II, Feb. III, Mar. IV, Apr. V, Jun. VI, Jul. VII, Aug. VIII, Oct. I Aug. II, Jun. II, pp. Strategic Air Force Europe vs. German Air Force. June Prepared in by Major Herbert O. SRH 89 Reports by U. SRH 18 Interview with Mr. Ralph T. Briggs 13 January , concerning "Winds" message. SRH U. Expansion of the Signal Intelligence Service from December PSIS [through] Army Signal Intelligence Activities.
SRH 29 U. SRH 34 U. SRH 9 U. SRH 8 U. SRH 19 U. SRH 6 U. SRH 32 U. SRH 20 U. SRH 44 U. Military Mission to Moscow. SRH 15 U. Navy, SRH 51 U. Navy Basic Course in Elementary Cryptanalysis, SRH 10 U. MacKenzie, P. Box , Bellville, , South Africa. James D. Some time ago I came across several photographs of both teams. Unfortunately, the photos of SA teams do not have the players identified.
However, the teams were at a relatively high level, as theSouth African team in August included former international players H. H 'Howard' Watt. So my enquiry is does anybody have knowledge about cricket or reference sources which would be able to: a provide any information or sources about cricket matches in Egypt played by the SA forces b identify any cricket players in the photograph below: SA Camp Team From: Edward Joffe e-mail: screenscene hotmail.
If anybody can comment on comfort stations or better still on Ostrifsky please contact me. From: Prof Gideon Nieman e-mail: ghnieman up. I would like contact with relatives of players. Alt e-mail: giddi lantic. His internment was a double-tragedy as he and my Grandfather were South African doubles tennis champions 3 times we have the trophy and he was planning to play at Wimbledon in Next summer I intend cycling the "Death March" route from Zagan to Bad-Orb approx km and was wondering if you have details of the exact route.
I am doing a documentary about the Anglo Boer War and want to know if anybody can assist me with the following: Kleinbooi Sabalana was 15 years old and he was a soldier for the Boers. Sabalana is a slave name - this boy's ancestors must have come from Indonesia to the Cape and then migrated to the Free State as slaves. So, there is a lot about Kleinbooi Sabalana that is a mystery. Imagine trying to find out more about Sabalana. I am trying to find other Sabalanas in Free State there are a few - and constructing a story imagining the life of Kleinbooi Sabalana, the mystery 15 year-old child soldier of the White Man's War?
Solomon Mojela is another veteran, and there are quite a few other African veterans who should have been commemorated. There are also quite a few Mojela descendents around. The Swazi soldiers must surely have living descendents, too? I need this as well. I would like to know the name of the white Boer soldier Mojela faught with in the Boer war, and meet their living descendents today - Mojela and Boer - and ask them how they feel about their country's past, and history?
I am particularly interested in Colonel L. Strickland and the Directorate of Internment of which he was the head. I am also interested in the German womens' internment camp in Salisbury, S. From: carolyn thomas e-mail: mrscarolynthomas yahoo. A very interesting original letter from Lieutenant Colonel F. Dawson of the Ist South Africn Infantry Regiment requesting more men dated and discussing the principal lessons from operations carried out so far.
Can anybody help identify the men in the following photographs? I aim to create a definitive reference by recording the key historical details, construction methods, types and creating a register of the surviving Blockhouses with photos. How the lessons learnt in South Africa shaped the early period of the next war will be included and there will be an examination of links with current asymmetric warfare and nascent doctrine.
I would welcome contact from any members who feel they can assist with historical, battlefield or geographical information on Blockhouses. In particular accounts of attacks on Blockhouses seem to be few and far between and any details would be really useful to me. Would welcome any and all correspondence from current and former FC members about regimental customs and traditions. I am particularly trying to find one, Florence Jervis-Butter, who was a lieut. I would be grateful for any information.
From: Gordon e-mail: gspragge hotmail. Date posted: 22 August I have these images of a Maxim 1 Pr. I believe it is a locally made Maxim feed belt. I have one of the Pretoria made 1 Pr. It would make sense that if the 1 Pr. Could this be such a belt, it certainly is not a VSM or Mills made type. Is there known examples or images, information of such a belt? For size a French projectile is shown in the belt. Projectile Pretoria marking Full view of belt Belt details Projectile snugly in belt Does anybody know if belts were made in the Transvaal during the conflict?
From: Caron Milner e-mail: Caron. Milner ckb. Mystery photograph Midge Carter commented as follows I have had no luck in identifying the group of men in the photo. We have gone thru most of the photo books of that era without luck. I thought they might have been a Rhodesian unit from the Pioneer Column or BSA Police by the dark coloured collars and pants but they have no badges I can identify but the number 2 can be identified on one belt buckle 5th man in front row. The rifles are all. The sleeve insignia on the sergeant major centre front row with crown is correct for all British units at the time.
We need someone who can do research for us in Natal of the Town Guards of the erstwhile colony. Is there anyone interested? If so could you please contact him giving telephone number s. From: Howard Chinner e-mail:howardchinner yahoo. His estimated date of birth was I do not know what regiment he was with, but from the time period, Patrick Broderick may have been with the 6th Dragoons Inniskillings or the Third Regiment of Foot, and he may have been from Limerick.
I know my Gran had a sister, whose surname may have been Gambardelli. Apart from the sketchy information above, I have no information about my great grandfather or his family. Any help would be greatly appreciated. From: Mike Steele e-mail: mjhsmjhs hotmail. Lewis MacKenzie, who was serving in the British army, at the Cape, around He is mentioned in a letter that I have recently obtained, written by my great x3 aunt.
She says that he was Governor at the Cape although I can find no record of this ; that he married a Dutch girl and died out there. She also relates what happened to his nephew, John Cameron. One day there was a meeting of the Boer leaders, Jourdan and others. John happened to be among them when a letter was handed to him. She with her sagacity remembered that uncle Louis had been a very popular Governor and much esteemed, mentioned about him in case the knowledge might prove useful.
Although this regiment never went out to the Cape, it is thought that this is the same Lewis who became Captain in the 52nd Foot on 8 February , and Major in the 81st Foot on 20 September He was promoted to captain on 12 April They stayed at the Cape until , when they went to Mauritius.
As the most junior Ensign, he would almost certainly have been allotted to the 2nd battalion. Any information that might help identify which of these Lewis MacKenzies he might be, would be gratefully received. From: Stephen English e-mail: senglish jeanenglishdesigns.
The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the German Nuclear Question Part II, 1965-1969
The St John Ambulance museum in London has given us access to its hand written Roll of Honour as an original source which lists all known names by country see attached example. Willis nhq. The object of our research is to ensure that all St John members lost in the First World War are recorder and remembered and to make an electronic record available to the public.
From: Andrew Prior e-mail: priorandrewjohn gmail. In he was awarded the DFC. We are trying to source as much information as we can about Capt. From: Trevor Snyman e-mail: broadbill50 hotmail. This research has now expanded to include the battle itself, the progress of the South African troops in the days and weeks leading up to it, and then details of the actual battle. I will appreciate any assistance from any quarter on this proud moment for South Africa and its troops. A long shot request is for anyone who is aware of the details of the passing in battle of a Lt.
Richter at Monte Sole. From: Sam May e-mail: bailephitt yahoo. I was wondering whether they wore the same kit as the regular navy crews while on campaign in South Africa i. Khaki tunic and trousers, web gaiters, and sennett hat. I am also looking for what was written on their hat ribbons, and what if any kind of rifles the men were issued.
Any information or suggestions would be a great help. From: Ms Vicky House e-mail: eotoolevc gmail. Date posted: 3 September Further to my enquiries on this iste in and for information on Edmund O'Toole VC, I have been researching him for 10 years, with regards to working out if he was a relation of mine or not, as a family tale goes. So far I have not found the right answers to this question, but in the mean time I have found out a lot of personal information about him, which I have now put onto a website. All enquiries I will do my best to answer.
The website is still work in progress, but for now I hope other interested people will contact me if they require any further information or would like to update their own websites - that list him. I look forward to hearing from anyone who is interested in updating their information on him. I hope my research will now answer so many questions we have had about him for the last odd years since the Zulu War in Amature Genealogist - Vicky House. From: Vincent Phipson e-mail: vince. My question is; were the Maxims used in the Matabele wars or calibre? I have posed this one to various people and got differing answers.
From: Tomas Gustafsson e-mail: tomasgusta gmail. My latest project concerns the Scandinavian ambulance in the second boer war. Would anybody with information kindly contact me? From: Maria Pace Lucioli Ottieri e-mail: mpottieri gmail. Many of those brave soldiers were killed, many others wounded. I would like to find some memories of the survivors and a description of the battle from someone who was there. From: Caroline Barnard e-mail: caroline novanilla. Rodgers, W. Lees, W. Navigator slightly wounded in leg. Alan needs to establish what Hugh's status is i. Alan's email is aghogden aol. From: Frank Estment e-mail: estment telkomsa.
He lived all his adult life in the Plumtree district and served with the Rhodesian forces in the "Boer" War during which he and others were sent to guard the railway line from Mafeking to Bulawayo. He was wounded in the calf of one leg by an "accidental discharge" during this period and either then or later was awarded the "Efficiency Decoration" details of this would be welcome.
I would be glad to have any information about him, such as rank, Platoon details, comrades, photos, etc. He died when I was 22 and did not talk much about his time in what was then Bechuanaland. He looked after a nephew Douglas Randal in the early 's, put him through Plumtree School and was immensely proud of his protege who was one of the early Rhodes Scholars graduating from Oxford. I will respond to all persons providing any information. From: Jason Renshaw e-mail: jrenshaw colesrefrigeration. He told the Doctor no way in hell would he surrender and procured some rations and made good his escape.
I would be eternally grateful for any information or photos or memories of his army service or the Durham Light Infantry service on Kos during World War Two. He has written in his diaries that he was given a boat by a Greek fisherman who used to serve in the British Merchant Navy before the War. Whilst they were readying the boat for the dash to Turkey approx 7 fully armed and kitted out South African air men including a Colonel and a Sergeant emerged from hiding and endeavoured to confiscate the boat.
After a tense stand-off they all set off. I would also like to know the names if possible or if any of those South African Air Force personnel would have any documentation or diaries of their escape with Harrison. On arrival in Turkey a Turkish soldier led them all into the mountains through to the port of Boderum. From there on in I do not know where they ended up, but Grandfather boarded a small boat and was sent to Egypt to meet up with a British Garrison. Sometimes, the letters are written in advance and posted home with instructions only to be opened in the event of my death.
Others are written as a soldier lies wounded on a battlefield or hospital.
Does anyone know of any letters that could fit this remit, relating to the Boer War? Or does anyone have contacts where I could search for such letters? Any help or advice would be gratefully received. From: Linky Smith e-mail: linky yebo. I was hoping somebody can help me with photographs of the beautiful victorian wooden houses with corrugated iron on the outside that used to line Lyttleton Road.
We first lived in number 1 and later in number 7. But any photographs of these particular houses in "Roberts Heights" will be welcome. Cell: Fax: From: Peter Kassak e-mail: peterkassak2gmail. Can anyone share memories, photos and data about crews, planes that joined these dangerous night operations? Any help would be much appreciated. In replying please replace 2 with From: Nicky e-mail: nflint geoscience. My grandfather, Malcolm Rex Flint joined the Guard around where he moved through the ranks, including Company Sergeant Major.
He was then seconded to the British Forces during WW2. He was involved in the armoured car division. Due to the circumstances surrounding Malcolm's death, I have never really heard anything about my grandfather, nor are there any photographs. Apologies for the long story below but it may make the task easier or prompt a memory Major Edwin Swales VC DFC and the Rangitata pilot contingent My interest in my late father's wartime involvement was sparked by a Dutch military historian who had gone to considerable lengths to corroborate his information with an entry in my fathers flying logbook and, while looking for information, I found the attached photograph mounted in an album with a number of signatures including Edwin Swales, on the page.
The lack of detail relating to the picture was intriguing and created a challenging project which, although incomplete, suggests that the group in the picture, many of whom were seconded to the RAF, made an illustrious if not major contribution to South African military history during WW2. One desperately sea sick pilot apparently remained in Montevideo.
Edwin Swales is one of 29 signatures and, whilst it may be impossible to identify all of the individuals in the photograph 66 years later, the signatures provided a base to work off and, one of the signatories, Capt AM Cooke DFC, provided useful but incomplete information regarding names. Reduced Photograph The 30 names highlighted on the list below include my late father and pilots who signed the picture. Full detail for eight pilots is missing although all are confirmed as being in photograph.
But there are hopefully others, including relatives or historians able to add pieces to this incomplete puzzle and, corrections or additions to the list of names, as amongst others, if there are any other signed photograph album pages in existence; they are likely to have a unique set of signatures. I hope that someone has additional information in one form or another to enable an illustrious page of SAAF wartime history to be preserved with accuracy.
From: Chris e-mail: zanitazoe yahoo. His obituary states that he was in the volunteer corps in the Kaffir War. As this war finished in he must have been in it for this year. From: Matt Davie e-mail: matt. Can anyone provide any maps, narratives especially from the Boer perspective , pictures or generally any further information on this confrontation.
Thank you all for any help that can be provided. From: John MacMahon e-mail: ronjonma optusnet. I rather imagine that a fair few of the survivors or their relatives ended up in South Africa. The site is well regarded and is even recommended by the NIH regimental history site. It contains unit dairies, war stories, casualties and roll call including photos of then-serving personnel and scenes from their time in France which my nephew, Philip Tardif, has been able to gather from the relatives of those who served.
I would be most appreciative if there is anyone who has any detail of the NIH in WWI, who would be willing to make this available. We are especially interested in photos to supplement those already on the site. Anyone who is able to assist could get in touch with me or directly with Philip at philliptardif taniaparkes. M HAMM. Are there any records of prisoners anywhere? From: Dan Lyon e-mail: danlyon globalnet.
Another website has the same information but shows him as a Private, which I very much doubt could have been the case. I would like to know a little more about a the Native Barotse Regiment : was it the same as the Rhodesia Native Regiment? What was it involved in up to December in general, and in early December in particular? I would be very grateful for whatever help you can give, either about his military career or indeed about his civilian life - residence, occupation, marriage, children.
Of course, if anyone has a studio portrait photograph of him! Latter Grothaus Heinrich Christiaan W. It is my understanding he retired from the SA military as a Colonel. From: Stephen Bowker e-mail: stephenbowker telkomsa. Their aircraft, a Boston of 24 Squadron was damaged when another aircraft collided with them. Their plane had to peel off and leave the formation.
Unfortunately a German fighter was lurking around and shot them down. My Dad and this gentleman were fortunate enough to bail out but the pilot and observer died in the impending crash. From: Derek Turner e-mail: hardeepturner googlemail. Unfortunately all I have left of him are his medals MC and various campaign medals.
I would love to know more about his history. I know that he was taken by Rommel after Tobruk, but have no idea to which camp he was sent, or indeed of much else. Any help would be appreciated, including any reference pointers or former comrades reminiscences. From: Iain Wilkinson e-mail: iain wilkinsonclan. I am writing the history of the Oldham Volunteers and also their role in the Anglo-Boer war.
They were attached to the 1st Manchester Regiment and took part in the Battle of Bergendal. From: Mark Scott e-mail: mark tags. This person is my great grandfather and Lyn Wood would be able to help me with certain genealogy issues I have. I am trying to track down the location of the transit camp the men were held in on the Peloponnese following this tragedy. From: Bruce de Saxe e-mail: fairland mweb. If anyone has any info, pics, stories etc pertaining to this squadron or any of its crew members I would really appreciate hearing from you.
I know alot of the basic info that is out there now but if anyone knows anything new I would be glad to hear from them. It's been 10 years since my last message on this notice board see below and due to email change I may not of heard from you before. I would welcome any details or contact from anyone who feels they may have a connection to him. Regards Vicky House, England. Date: Tue, 7 Dec Deed on 3rd July at Ulundi, Zululand along with Capt.
Beresford saved a NCO's life. In thebook by Ian S. Uys it says that in Edmund is recorded at being a Trooper under Capt. Heany at a Pioneer Coloumn in Mashonaland, Rhodesia. All six men died and their bodies were laid to rest in the local cemetery. At that time, only five crew member was positively identified by the German authorities. The local Belgian people paid tribute to the airmen's sacrifices, flowers were laid on their graves and crosses erected.
After the war all six of the bodies were identified, and they are now at the Commonwealth War Cemetery of Heverlee, Belgium. A thin ground fog hampered the accurate aiming for the bombing load. Beside that, they were attacked by several German night fighters. It is highly probable that the plane broke apart.
I do not need specifics on personnel, but a clear indication of the fact and numbers involved will assist me a great deal. More detail will be welcome as well. I have compiled a nominal roll and have various bits of information from War Diaries etc. Officers Commanding e. Cols Harvey, Bouwer, Brink, Armstrong , names, dates, photos etc. His name was Ashley Murgatroyd. I'm not sure if he was in the South African army or perhaps from the UK.
From: Bruce Cherry e-mail: d. If any one has either information or suggestions of where I might find such I would be very pleased to hear from them. From: Peter R Dreyer e-mail: prdreyer embarqmail. We have a photograph of him as one of the men lining the route at the victory parade in Tripoli in January as Churchill, Montgomery, and Alexander drive past in an open car.
At some point--it may have been in Sicily--he suffered minor wounds. I know little of his military service and would very much like to know more. From: Joan Bailie e-mail: stevebailie webmail. I met some members of the Senekal family many years ago in Senekal. I would like to obtain information on his family-tree and also of his descendants. If possible I would like to make contact with any living descendants of his.
Any information would be most appreciated. I am working on the subject about Mayotte during the second world war. I had informations from the R. From: Kathy Gatenby e-mail: kathy. Information required in respect to a book being written on a soldier who fought, and survived, this battle. From: Dr Mauro Almaviva e-mail: mauro realnet. Date posted: 12th November While hiking on Sondeza Range in Northern Swaziland close to South Africa border, we came across a block of melted lead with bullets and cartridges incorporated within. It was in the middle of a bush forest without signs of human presence.
We believed that, during preparation of bullets, an unwanted fire somehow melted the lead and cartridges and bullets. The bullets are about 1. Although not experts, we think that these are old rifle's bullets and cartridges it was gold mining area at the end of 19th Century. We would like to know if there are weapon history experts who, sending pictures of bullets and of remaining of cartridges with size markers next to them can tell us which type of rifle was and possibly the period? I am a retired U. I hold a Ph. In addition to over published articles and book reviews, I have written or edited six books.
I am now compiling a comprehensive bibliography of the Anglo-Zulu War, and have completed over pages so far. Many members of the South African Military History Society are experts and very knowledgeable in this field. My goal is to compile the most comprehensive and useful Zulu War bibliography as possible, and I want to highlight the contributions of the British Army and "colonial" soldiers involved, and include books and journal articles written in South Africa and by South African historians. I would be grateful, and will acknowledge by name in writing in this book, the excellent assistance and any information one can provide.
Thank you. Raugh, Jr. Lieutenant Colonel, U. Army Ret. From: Dick de Scally e-mail: descally quicknet. He died in Benoni in In he ended up in Europe where he married a girl from Holland, my grandmother. One of them is my grandfather Thomas de Scally from Klerksdorp and the other one is a certain Willie Klesse of Lydenburg.
In Thomas de Scally went back to South Africa. His wife had passed away in the meantime and his son, my father was left with his maternal grandparents. Any information will be gratefully acknowledged. From: William Gould e-mail: williamgould hotmail. He came from Rondebosch, lived in Sandown Road.
From: John Hart e-mail: Hartj ukzn. Does anyone know of any references concerning this topic?
From: Marilyn Honikman e-mail: marilyn. Alexander Pebble Stone No. Alexander Stone from No. His nickname was Pebble. The last letter we have from him was written in December I think he was shot down shortly after this letter was written.
My grandparents were told he was missing presumed dead. I was born after his death but have a box of his letters. I would like to write a story about him for my grandchildren and great nephews and nieces and would like to hear from anyone who knew him or knew of him. From: Felicity Phelan e-mail: felicity. From: Angus Trumble e-mail: angus. William Porter Finlay's uncle his mother's brother was The Hon.
William Porter, attorney-general at the Cape from to William Porter Finlay led an extraordinarily interesting life, and eventually ended up as a sergeant-major in the U. Army fighting the Mormons in Utah. He eventually published a short series of cheerful despatches in the Saint Louis Leader in December , in one of which he recalled that on Christmas Eve, "I was on the banks of the Kel [River], far in the interior of southern Africa, in the British army, engaged in the Caffre war. Talbot was the main vehicle supplier to the RNAS.
I am looking for information on the activities of this squadron. Is this written about anywhere? Are there any photos I have a photo of them leaving Kensington? Any help will be much appreciated. From: Janet Szabo e-mail: szaboj sabc. Please e-mail me at: bedstone hotmail. Wheatley, J. I'd be interested in speaking to people with a similar interest as well as descendents of the early gunmakers J.follow
Footage Farm: World War II B/W
Hayton and others who may have some family history and knowledge on the origin and development of the Cape Gun, which was centred around Grahamstown in the mid s. I can be reached on or mark awsolutions. The nominal role for the camp of January has the South Africans below present. I am trying to find personal notes, diaries, letters and photographs from the march.
I am also interested in learning where they were captured. Finally any photographs of them, which will help me identify people in the photographs I already have of the POWs. Died in freak accident, at Rundu, drowned. Stepson of Mr. Killed in action, in Sector 10, landmine. Son of Mr. Special Memorial. Killed in action, Ops Askari, claymore mine detonated. Hanekom Hanekom, BP. Civilian, Died 16 Mar Rand Rebellion Hanekom, Johannes Petrus.
Rand Rebellion. Pieter Albertus. Burgerlike, Civilian Died 16 Mar He also mentioned a fourth brother while all the other sources I could find only mention three. I would like to try and find out everything I can about the men mentioned above. From: ianmackersey e-mail: imp ihug. Ian would welcome hearing from anyone who knows the whereabouts of any private diaries and papers that these men may have left.
It should be recorded as part of our heritage. He became the Lt. He was in command of the army in the frontier region from to In early he resigned his post and died on St. Helena on 6 March on his way home to England. He was a Delville Wood survivor, joining in till his discharge due to illness in My request may seem a little unusual, but it is important that I have the correct context for the events of this man's life. The hospital was the "Con. I have learnt that Australian and British soldiers used to be sent home if they contracted a Venereal Disease, primarily to shame them and set an example to other soldiers.
But it appears it may have been a different situation for South African soldiers serving abroad, given this man's records which indicates he did get treatment and was then dispatched to fight in Europe. I am also interested in the impact of the Flu Pandemic on South African troops during the war as this man also succumbed to Flu a few times, and it ultimately brought about his discharge due to ill health.
The man I am researching did in fact contract Influenza while serving abroad in and was hospitalised for it in Etaples. I am looking for my grand father Keith Alexander American. He apparently resided in Los Angeles - we estimate that he is between the ages of 85 and 90years. I am hoping to get in touch with any of his family should he be deceased. He married my grand mother who is an Oldrieve. I do not know her name If anyone has any information about the RAF pilots in Pietersburg - or how I can get further info regarding my grand father - please email me on howard hambatravel.
The book will cover the history of women's service and include their own stories. If you know of any who served, please pass on my request. Nevertheless, the Australian destroyers were kept busy with their routine of escort and patrol work, singly and in pairs, which took them from one end of the Mediterranean to the other. Vendetta entered Alexandria for the first time on 12 January and until March her escort and patrol duties took her to Marseilles, Malta, Gibraltar and Haifa.
In April Vendetta spent 13 days in Malta's Grand Harbour, two days at Gibraltar and the remainder of the month patrolling at sea. At the close of May she began a refit at Malta where she remained throughout June. The entry of Italy into the war on 10 June and the collapse of French resistance on 22 June completely changed the naval situation in the Mediterranean. Formerly, all coastlines were either Allied or neutral, and the Anglo-French fleets were in undisputed control of the seas.
Now all coasts except those of Egypt, Palestine and Cyprus in the east, Malta in the centre, and Gibraltar in the west were closed to the Royal Navy. Moreover, the Allies had lost the support of the French fleet, which had provided seven capital ships and nineteen cruisers, and had acquired a new enemy in Italy with her menacing naval potential.
The Italian fleet boasted five battleships, 25 cruisers, 90 estroyers and nearly submarines. It spelt the beginning of a long and bitter struggle for control of the Mediterranean, first against the Italian fleet and air force and later against the much more formidable German Luftwaffe whose dive bombers took a grievous toll of British warships before they were finally driven from the skies.
For more than a year the 'Scrap Iron Flotilla' took part in the struggle for possession of the sea lines of communication linking east and west. On 8 July Vendetta completed her refit at Malta - too late to take part in the Battle of Calabria on 9 July The defeat of the Italian fleet at Calabria placed the initiative at sea in the Mediterranean firmly in the hands of Admiral Andrew Cunningham, RN commanding the British fleet. Throughout the latter half of the month the fleet cruised at sea to cover several convoys moving across the Aegean without provoking the enemy to retaliation.
On 13 July Vendetta arrived at Alexandria as part of the escort of a convoy from Malta. She spent the following days in harbour and covering the battle fleet at sea. The ships were not sighted from the air and no response came from the defences ashore. The two destroyers reached Port Said on 25 July and sailed the following day escorting the armed boarding vessels HM Ships Chakla and Fiona for a second demonstration.
They met Orion on 27 July and that evening proceeded as if to conduct a landing on Castelorizo. Again the Italians refused to be provoked. Firing lasted from to , on 18 August, causing considerable damage to enemy installations, particularly at Fort Capuzzo. During the withdrawal air attacks on the fleet began at and lasted for half an hour without any hits being scored.
Fighter cover provided by the Royal Air Force and the Fleet Air Arm resulted in the destruction of eleven Italian aircraft without loss to themselves. The fleet returned to Alexandria shortly before midnight on the same day, where Vendetta remained for the next 11 days. To move these new additions to the fleet, from west to east, a large scale operation was prepared which planned cover as far as Sardinia, by forces based at Gibraltar, followed by a rendezvous with the Mediterranean Fleet south of Sicily. Vendetta spent six days screening the fleet during these operations.
No surface attack developed though an enemy battle fleet of two battleships, seven cruisers and eight destroyers was sighted by aircraft from HMS Eagle. In the air the enemy reaction was mainly confined to attacks on Convoy MF2 during which one ship was hit. By on 5 September most of the fleet was back in Alexandria after the safe passage of British forces through the Sicilian Channel for the first time since Italy had entered the war.
On 13 September the long expected Italian invasion of Egypt began. As a result the fleet was involved in operations aimed at harassing the enemy advance in support of the British Army of the Nile. In addition to these commitments the Navy was engaged in protecting the increased movement of convoys bringing supplies and reinforcements to the Middle East and Malta. Vendetta 's duties at this time, however, were confined to local escort. On 12 September she sailed as escort to a two ship convoy to Haifa, then to Port Said where she joined a convoy bound for Alexandria arriving early on 16 September.
The remainder of the month was spent in harbour, except for a day at sea exercising with HMS Eagle. October opened with Vendetta at Alexandria preparing to join the battle fleet at sea on 2 October for Operation BMQ, a fleet sweep into the north west Mediterranean. On 6 October the fleet returned to Alexandria, sailing again two days later to cover the passage of another troopship convoy Operation MB6 to Malta. On arrival at Malta on 11 October, Vendetta detached with engine trouble and was therefore not present during the following operations when the Italian destroyers Airone, Ariel and Artigliere were sunk.
On 28 October the Italian Army invaded Greece, from Albania, and it followed that the reinforcement of Greece and Crete involved a further commitment for the Mediterranean Fleet. In the first days of November, while Vendetta was completing her refit at Malta, steps were taken to support Greek resistance on land and at sea. By the evening of 1 November and despite enemy bombing, Ajax had disembarked her troops, Fiona and Chalka were alongside Suda pier unloading stores, Protector had laid her nets and gun sites and ammunition and supply dumps were being established near Suda Point.
This was the first of a series of convoys to Suda Bay.
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On the same day Vendetta proceeded as a unit on the screen of the 2nd Division battle fleet cruising to Suda Bay, and thence to Alexandria arriving in harbour on the 19 November. It included the first through Mediterranean convoy of merchant ships. An enemy attempt to cut off the east bound convoy south of Sardinia led to the brief engagement with the Italian fleet off Cape Spartivento. As a unit of the large British forces at sea during these operations, Vendetta departed Alexandria on 23 November escorting convoy MW4 four ships to Malta.
The following day Italian torpedo aircraft attacked but only one succeeded in firing its torpedo which passed harmlessly yards ahead of Vendetta.
Malta was reached without further incident on 26 November. On 10 December Vendetta sailed from Alexandria screening the battle fleet Barham , Valiant , York and Illustrious for the bombardment of Bardia, but were prevented from shelling the Italian positions by low visibility. Bad weather also stopped a projected attack on El Adem airfield by aircraft from Illustrious. On 13 December the fleet returned to Alexandria.
On both days the Australian destroyer was straddled by shells from the Italian shore batteries. On 17 December she returned to Alexandria to refuel. Ashore the British military operations proved a complete success. Sollum and Fort Capuzzo were captured on 16 December and when Vendetta rejoined the Inshore Squadron off Sollum on 18 December the Italians appeared to be rapidly losing their cohesion as a fighting force.
With the capture of Sollum the first phase ended and the role of the Navy turned temporarily from offensive action to supply. Dainty also captured two schooners on the night of 21 December. On 27 December Vendetta returned to Alexandria where she undertook boiler cleaning until the close of the year. On 31 December plans for the assault on Bardia by the 6th Australian Division were completed.
The naval contribution to the attack called for harassing fire by Terror and the inshore gunboats all day on 2 January , followed by a heavy bombardment by the fleet on 3 January with further harassing fire from Terror and the gunboats from dawn to hours. Vendetta sailed from Alexandria with the battle fleet on the evening of 2 January with Diamond and Wryneck in company. The bombardment commenced at on 3 January by Warspite , Valiant and Barham , with destroyers screening and engaging shore batteries on the cliffs on either side of the harbour entrance, while the carrier Illustrious , screened by the 3rd Cruiser Squadron, provided fighter protection.
The bombardment which ended at and the simultaneous land assault were a complete success. The following day the Australians entered Bardia and on 5 January the enemy troops defending the encircled south eastern sector surrendered. The capture of Bardia ended naval offensive action in the Western Desert Campaign until the attack on Tobruk on 21 January, the Navy reverting to the protection of supplies.
Vendetta now joined the Inshore Squadron which besides the destroyers of the 10th Flotilla, minesweepers and local patrol craft comprised Terror and the gunboats Aphis , Ladybird and Gnat. Between January she was engaged on Libyan coast patrols excepting a brief visit to Alexandria when she landed Italian prisoners. On the other side of the Mediterranean the Italians were faring little better in their attempt to occupy Greece. Thus at this stage the feeble efforts of Italian forces on land and at sea provoked the Germans to intervene in an effort to bolster the Axis position.
This they sought to accomplish by the only means open at short notice - the transfer of aircraft to the Mediterranean theatre. The arrival of the Luftwaffe, particularly its dive bombers to reinforce the Italian squadrons operating from Sicilian airfields, was a serious set back to the Mediterranean Fleet, weakening its hitherto almost undisputed control of the Central Mediterranean and curtailing its freedom of movement. The infusion of German pilots and aircraft soon made itself felt, and in the first encounter during the passage of Greece bound and Malta convoys the Mediterranean Fleet lost the cruiser Southampton , suffered severe damage to the carrier Illustrious , and lesser damage to the cruiser Gloucester.
In all it comprised the passage of fourteen ships and its protection employed almost the entire British naval strength in the Mediterranean, namely Force H from Gibraltar under Vice Admiral Sir James Somerville, and the bulk of the Mediterranean Fleet from Alexandria under Admiral Cunningham.
It was intended that Barham and Eagle Admiral Rawlings should join the fleet on 12 January to begin attacks on the Italian shipping routes while the convoys were at sea. The disabling of the carrier Illustrious by German air attack put an end to this plan and Admiral Rawlings' group was eventually frustrated by bad weather. Two days later she sailed escorting convoy AN13 for Piraeus, returning on 27 January as part of the escort for the fifteen ships of AS On 1 February she was again at sea with the battle fleet prior to taking up escort duties of a south bound convoy from Crete two days later.
On 7 February she was back in Alexandria where she remained refitting until 10 March.
Related German Aircraft: New and Projected Types-Circa 1946-Part 2
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