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Cape Matapan

Battle Name : Cape Matapan

Date(s) : 27 March 1941 - 29 March 1941

Part of : Second World War , Mediterranean operations ,

Outcome : A victory for British Navy over Italian Navy


Aerial reconnisance on the 27th establish the presence of a significant Italian naval force approaching Crete. After early morning surface contacts between elements of the British and Italian navies the Italians attempted to break off the action. Fleet Air Arm attacks damaged and slowed some major units. Significant, if slightly confused, surface contact was made during the hours of darkness 28/29th March. Three 8" Italian cruisers and 1 destroyer were sunk. Other units including the battleship Vittorio Veneto were damaged.