|War at Sea: Action Deferred|
|by Paul Rohrbaugh|
Following the raid on Taranto, the Regia Marina (the Italian Navy) was under extreme pressure to avenge the loss of three battleships and regain the initiative from the British. The need to securely escort Axis convoys between North Africa and Italy, while intercepting Allied convoys to Malta, provided plenty of opportunities to shift the balance of power. One of these presented itself off Cape Teulada, when on November 27th both sides attempted to prevent the other from performing their convoy escort missions.
War at Sea- Action Deferred: The Battle of Cape Teulada
Note: This scenario makes use of the all sea maps of the Two Player Starter Set.
Scenario WAS-1: Action Deferred - The Battle of Cape Teulada (3.8 MB zipped.pdf)
Cruisers from both fleets were the first to encounter each other. The Italians fell back, hoping to draw their British opponents within range of their Battleships’ guns. The Ramillies and Renown, however, were not long in arriving to the battle and shortly had the Bolzano in range. Just when things looked bleakest for the Italians, the Vittorio Veneto emerged from a smoke screen laid by Italian destroyers. The British, realizing they were out-gunned, broke from the action. Admiral Campioni, utterly frustrated by the lack of promised air support, and fearing the entire British Mediterranean Fleet was just over the horizon, decided not to pursue.
Neither side suffered significant damage, but the British were forced to recall their supply ships destined for Malta. What could have been the first major fleet action of the war instead turned out to be a rather desultory exchange. The lengthy siege of Malta, however, was just beginning and its surrounding waters would become known as “bomb alley” where many vessels would be destroyed before war’s end.