After several exchanges, the British Army gradually took the initiative in the war.
However, the Italian ship has slowly moved from active to passive.
The question of who will win or lose in this naval battle has begun to emerge.
Wilper did his best to catch up with Cunningham’s main fleet, but he never thought that the first task given to him by Cunningham was to ask him to take the lead in chasing Aquino and ask him to agree to keep visual contact with the ship.
At this time, the Aquino fleet south of Crete was hurrying to the port of Taranto.
At 45 nautical miles to the southeast, Cunningham’s three battleships are chasing at a steady speed of 22 knots.
However, Cunningham understands that the Italian ship has an obvious advantage in speed.
If it only catches up in this way, he will not catch up with Aquino in any case, and effective measures must be taken to delay the Italian ship.
So he sent planes to spy and attack Italian ships.
At 1420 hours, three torpedo planes and two fighter planes took off from the aircraft carrier intrepid and bombed the Italian ship at the same time as the Royal Air Force.
When the two torpedo planes saw that the Vittorio Veneto was turning its bow, they immediately rushed down from an altitude of 2440 meters and tried their best to strafe the bridge command platform and deck with machine guns.
The huge white water column immediately splashed around the Italian ship, and the sailors on the ship screamed in horror.
The torpedo plane piloted by dalel steed was desperate and flew up and down in front of the flame of the ship’s mechanism gun.
Pilot cook’s torpedo plane was shot in many places.
At the moment of falling into the sea, its torpedo hit the stern of the Vittorio Veneto, and the sea immediately surged in.
After 20 minutes, the engine of the ship stopped rotating, the ship began to lean to the left and the stern began to sink.
After some intense repair, the wounded battleship moved forward at a speed of 16 knots.
But its situation is not much better than that just now.
The port of Taranto is 420 nautical miles ahead, and the Cunningham fleet is chasing it 65 nautical miles behind.
Cunningham wanted to eat the battleship.
At 1800 hours, he issued an order: if Viper caught up with the wounded battleship, the second and fourteenth destroyer teams would attack first.
If the enemy battleship is not injured, the main fleet will follow up.
If the cruiser cannot determine the exact position of the enemy battleship, I will slowly detour north, then West, and re contact the enemy ship tomorrow morning.
Accordingly, the British destroyers arranged a night attack array.
The tenth destroyer team composed of destroyers “Stuart”, “Griffin”, “hound” and “havoc” commanded by Captain Waller served as a guard in front.
Captain Mike commanded the 14th destroyer team composed of destroyers “Jarvis”, “Miriam”, “Nubia” and “Mohawk” one nautical mile in front of the port side of the fleet.
Captain minkel commanded the second destroyer team composed of destroyers “Holly”, “herrivo” and “Thunderbolt fire” one nautical mile in front of the starboard side of the fleet.
The two teams will launch a torpedo attack immediately after the exchange of fire between viper and the Italian army.
Experienced veteran yakino predicted that the British would not catch up with him before dark.
The biggest danger he is facing now is the air raid before dark and the night attack of destroyers after dark.
In order to ensure safety, he took battleships as the core and closely arranged destroyers and cruisers together.
The left wing of the battleship is the first cruiser unit, and the right wing is the third cruiser unit.
The eighth cruiser unit and the sixth destroyer unit were ordered to return to Brindisi port.
He also ordered that when the British aircraft arrived, all ships would emit black smoke.
At the same time, the left and right escort cruisers and destroyers turned on the searchlights to confuse the eyes of the British pilots.
When it was getting dark, eight British planes circled over the ship like vultures in the dusk, and they had a panoramic view of every move of the Italian army.
But Aquino could only sigh at this, because the air-to-air firepower against these aircraft and Italian ships could not be reached.
While complaining about his dishonesty, he was anxiously preparing for another sea battle.
At 19:15, Aquino ordered the port side to turn 30 degrees and drive due west in an attempt to get rid of the British or disrupt their attack plan through the change of formation.
At 1930 hours, under the cover of darkness, the British plane quickly jumped at the target.
The Italian ship began to riot, and large areas of smoke and rapidly rotating searchlights made the sea a mess.
The net of fire woven by anti-aircraft gunfire in the sky makes people dizzy.
On the chaotic sea, Lieutenant Williams mistook the cruiser Bora for the other side’s battleship and hit it hard.
After the “Bora” was torpedoed, the power equipment failed, three fire compartments were filled with seawater, the main engine also stopped rotating, and the whole ship was completely paralyzed.
What the distraught Aquino hoped for most at that time was the air support of German aircraft, but after repeated urging, the German 10th Air Corps still refused to send troops on the grounds that the location of the British ship was unknown and difficult to identify – what a high sounding reason! Aquino naturally doesn’t believe it, but what can he do? Military power was in Hitler’s hands.
After the air raid that lasted for 15 minutes stopped, the sea became calm again.
Aquino took a long breath and somehow survived the air raid.
But soon he remembered the cruiser Bora, which was paralyzed at sea by torpedoes.
At 20:18, Aquino ordered commander katanio of the first unit to assist the Bora.
At 2100 hours, commander katanio led the cruisers “Zara” and “fum” and four destroyers to leave the main force and drive southeast at a speed of 16 knots to save the “Bora” in TA.
It’s really a careless move and lose everything.
General Aquino only wanted to rescue the Bora, but he didn’t know that the British main fleet was waiting for him 50 nautical miles ahead.
Cunningham always mistook the Bora for the wounded battleship he was looking for, and ordered the main fleet to go into battle and attack the target.
At 22:40, the “warrior” found an unknown ship 4.
5 nautical miles from the bow of the port side.
Canning andang immediately decided to transfer the destroyers “hound” and “Griffin” on the port side to the starboard side to occupy the attack position.
However, this order has not yet been put into action.
The “Stuart” on the starboard side of the fleet sent an alarm again, saying that in the 250 degree position of the starboard bow, huge dark shadows of many ships were found, driving from left to right about two nautical miles in front of the fleet.
This is exactly.