Sinking cruiser HMS Calypso

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Jordi Comas
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Sinking cruiser HMS Calypso

Post by Jordi Comas » 20 Mar 2022 10:12

Hi all,

On June 12, 1940, the Italian submarine Bagnolini torpedoed and sank the British CL Calypso.
In his logbook, Commander Tosoni reported the sighting of 4 destroyers forming part of an advanced antisubmarine screen and soon after he sighted the CL's Calypso and Caledon which he attacked.
They were part of a force that departed from Alexandria to disrupt Italian traffic in the Central Mediterranean and composed by the following warships: BB Warspite, Malaya, CV Eagle, CL Gloucester, Liverpool, Neptune, Orion, Sydney, Calypso, Caledon, DD Diamond, Dainty, Ilex, Imperial, Janus, Juno, Nubian, Mohawk, Hasty, Havock, Hero, Hereward, Hostile, Hyperion.

It would be possible to know the identity of those 4 destroyers? Perhaps DD Dainty was one of them because took part in the rescue operations.

Thank you very much

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Urmel
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Re: Sinking cruiser HMS Calypso

Post by Urmel » 20 Mar 2022 15:39

This may help:

June

Joined 1st Battle Squadron and deployed with Fleet for convoy defence and offensive operations against enemy shipping in eastern Mediterranean.
(Note: During this period extensive exercises were carried out by Mediterranean Fleet units in anticipation of the outbreak of hostilities with Italy. Italy declared war at 0001hours on 11/6/40)

12th - At 0230 hours sailed from Alexandria in company with battleship WARSPITE, aircraft carrier EAGLE screened by destroyers DAINTY, HASTY, ILEX, JANUS, JUNO, NUBIAN and HMAS's STUART, VAMPIRE and VOYAGER to carry out a sweep west along the African coast.
At 0840 hours, cruiser CALEDON joined the fleet at sea.
At 1325 hours, cruiser CALYPSO joined the fleet at sea and destroyer MOHAWK joined later.
At 1840 hours, destroyers HAVOCK, HEREWARD, HERO, HOSTILE, HYPERION and IMPERIAL joined the fleet.
At 1953 hours, HMAS's STUART, VAMPIRE and VOYAGER detached from the fleet. Later destroyer DIAMOND joined the fleet.
https://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chron ... Malaya.htm
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: Sinking cruiser HMS Calypso

Post by Jordi Comas » 21 Mar 2022 20:21

Thank you,

My information has been taken from that website

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Urmel
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Re: Sinking cruiser HMS Calypso

Post by Urmel » 22 Mar 2022 12:14

I understand. What I am pointing out is that if you go into different ship histories, you get additional information. For example, the history of Malaya has what looks like the full list of destroyers with the fleet. From there you can go by a process of elimination by checking each individual history of a destroyer, rather than just that of Calypso.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: Sinking cruiser HMS Calypso

Post by Jordi Comas » 22 Mar 2022 18:32

Ok,

I know how to look for information and check all the ships involved in a specific action but in this case no more results I've got and also Italian sources are checked, not only British. So, is for that I'm asking if anyone else has more information about this subject.

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Urmel
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Re: Sinking cruiser HMS Calypso

Post by Urmel » 23 Mar 2022 10:53

Around 2015B/11, HMS Caledon, HMS Calypso and HMS Dainty split off from the fleet for a sweep to the south of Crete. During this sweep HMS Calypso was torpedoed by the Italian submarine Bagnolini around 0300B/12. She sank at 0334B/12. HMS Caledon and HMS Dainty then picked up the survivors and landed them on the 13th at Alexandria.
This, in particular the time stamps, indicates that there were no other destroyers nearby.

https://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/4366.html
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: Sinking cruiser HMS Calypso

Post by Jordi Comas » 23 Mar 2022 19:29

Thank you,

But Cdr. Tosoni saw 4 DD in an antisubmarine sweeping before seeing the 2 CL, according to his notebook. So 4 DD were several miles ahead of the main fleet.

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Urmel
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Re: Sinking cruiser HMS Calypso

Post by Urmel » 23 Mar 2022 23:02

You are assuming that what he saw was what was actually happening. You are also making assumptions about the meaning of 'soon after'. In my experience, these are risky assumptions to make.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: Sinking cruiser HMS Calypso

Post by Jordi Comas » 25 Mar 2022 18:34

Yes, but I'm trying to find out the truth.

Also, in his book "A sailor's Odissey" Adm. Cunningham reports that cruisers Calypso, Caledon were astern of a destroyer screen............

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Re: Sinking cruiser HMS Calypso

Post by Darius333 » 26 Mar 2022 21:14

Hi Jordi,

data from "Preliminary Narrative Op Medi Fleet & Force H, 10.06.40 to 30.06.41".

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Darius
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Re: Sinking cruiser HMS Calypso

Post by Darius333 » 26 Mar 2022 22:07

Add - maybe with more data:

a) ADM 1/10507 - FOREIGN NAVAL VESSELS - DAMAGE AND LOSS (30): Loss of HMS CALYPSO: Board of Enquiry
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov. ... r/C4789720

b) ADM 358 - Admiralty: Casualty Branch: Enquiries into Missing Personnel, 1939-1945 War
ADM 358/3120 - HMS Calypso: 12 June 1940; sunk by an underwater explosion
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov. ... /C13444152


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Darius

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Re: Sinking cruiser HMS Calypso

Post by Jordi Comas » 27 Mar 2022 12:33

Thank you very much Darius!

Perhaps some day I'm able to go the National Archives to look for this subject.

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Re: Sinking cruiser HMS Calypso

Post by Jordi Comas » 28 Mar 2022 18:17

Hi again!

:idea: I was thinking that, according to Darius file, at 1840 on 11 June 1940 the following destroyers joined the fleet: Havock, Hero, Hereward, Hostile, Hyperion, Imperial.............so perhaps 4 of them went ahead for antisubmarine duties...

But

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Urmel
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Re: Sinking cruiser HMS Calypso

Post by Urmel » 28 Mar 2022 18:22

But then again, Dainty was ordered to stand by her. So maybe it was another set of DDs. At least Darius' file confirms the observations of the captain of Bagnolini, i.e. that there was a DD screen four miles ahead of her.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

Jordi Comas
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Posts: 43
Joined: 06 Jan 2022 13:27
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Re: Sinking cruiser HMS Calypso

Post by Jordi Comas » 28 Mar 2022 18:59

Yes, it's only a theory.........

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