Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Battle of Cape Spada
An Allied squadron commanded by the Australian Captain John Collins in the light cruiser HMAS Sydney together with the destroyers Havock, Hyperion, Hasty, Ilex, and Hero, encountered the Italian 2nd Cruiser Division commanded by Rear Admiral Ferdinando Casardi of the high-speed light cruisers Giovanni delle Bande Nere and Bartolomeo Colleoni .
When the Italians encountered the Allied destroyers at about 07:30, Sydney and Havock were 40 miles (64 km) to the north on a sweep for submarines. The other destroyers led the Italians cruisers on a chase northwards to give Sydney time to come to the rescue. Sydney sighted the Italians at 08:26, opened fire at 08:29, and the Italian cruisers turned away to the southwest.
In the running battle which followed, Bartolomeo Colleoni was hard hit by Sydney, and after a shell locked the rudder (at 09:23) she stopped dead in the water. She fought on, but unable to manoeuvre she was sunk by torpedoes from Ilex and Hyperion at 09:59. The Sydney disengaged because was short of ammunitions, and the Giovanni dalle Bande Nere returned to Benghazi. 555 survivors of Bartolomeo Colleoni were rescued; 121 died.
Order of Battle
- Rear Admiral Ferdinando Casardi
- Captain John Collins
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