Greek Navy raids on Italian Shipping 1940

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PT Dockyard
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Greek Navy raids on Italian Shipping 1940

Post by PT Dockyard » 18 Sep 2021 14:06

I have read that destroyers from the Hellenic Navy conducted several raids on Italian shipping in the Otranto Strait. Can anyone provide details of ships involved and were the Greeks able to damage or sink any Italian ships using surface combatants?

Thanks,
Dave G

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jwsleser
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Re: Greek Navy raids on Italian Shipping 1940

Post by jwsleser » 18 Sep 2021 19:54

The Greek Navy had to protect troopships and convoys bringing supplies to Greece from attacks by Italian naval forces in both the Aegean and Adriatic Seas. Hence their destroyers were only occasionally released for offensive operations. Italian sources don't list any losses due to surface action.

30-31 Oct 40 - Psara and Spetsai shelled Italian positions in Ano Sagiada and the coastal road. No naval contact.

13-15 Nov - Vasilissa Olga, Vasilefs Georgios, Psara, Hydra, and Koundouriotis (latter damaged her propellers and had to turn back) did a sweep but no contact.

14-16 Dec - Psara, Spetsai (turned back due to boiler issues), and Koundouriotis did a sweep off Vlore. No contact.

4-6 Jan 41 - Vasilissa Olga, Vasilefs Georgios, Psara, Spetsai, and Koundouriotis did a sweep. No contact so they shelled Vlore.

Weather was generally poor and the Greeks were operating without any intelligence.

Pista! Jeff
battaglione Alpini sciatori Monte Cervino (Reenacted)
5th Greek Regiment
9th reggimento bersaglieri

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PT Dockyard
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Re: Greek Navy raids on Italian Shipping 1940

Post by PT Dockyard » 02 Oct 2021 16:30

Thank you. This is very helpful!

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Re: Greek Navy raids on Italian Shipping 1940

Post by jwsleser » 03 Oct 2021 19:53

Your are welcome.

A brief comment on these operations. The ships operated out of the Salamis Naval Base. The destroyers would leave harbor in the afternoon so they could traverse the Corinth Canal at night. Tugs would tow/guide the destroyers through the narrow canal which would take several hours against the adverse current. The Gulf of Corinth had multiple minefields that the ships needed to navigate through. The ships would then disperse and hold up in various small anchorages during the day to avoid air attack. The before dark, they would reassemble and sortie northward. Usually by 0200-0300 they would reverse course and dash back to the Gulf of Corinth at high speed and back to Salamis.

Because of the enemy air threat, the squadron couldn't operate very deep into the Adriatic.

Pista! Jeff
battaglione Alpini sciatori Monte Cervino (Reenacted)
5th Greek Regiment
9th reggimento bersaglieri

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