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On this day in 1915, the Royal Navy finally managed to severely damage the stranded SMS Königsberg after deploying monitors to the treacherous waters of the Rufiji Delta. The raider, gaining fame among other things by sinking British cruiser HMS Pegasus, was abandoned by crew and scuttled by a torpedo, her guns taken ashore and used as  field artillery by German army in Africa.

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In a relatively rare event, a fast troopship convoy was intercepted in the Atlantic by long range FW-200 bombers and both troopships were sunk. Subsequent attack on the next day damaged the last surviving ship of the convoy transporting survivors to Casablanca, but the attacking planes were chased away eventually in an unusual aerial duel by Catalina patrol planes.
 
 
While loss of life was not as serious as it could have been, the sinking of troopships caused a significant delay in building and deployment of a West African division to Burma.

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Submitted by @Jellicoe1916
 
In another pitched battle in the Kula Gulf, another edition of "Tokio Express" - 4 transport destroyers escorted by 5 destroyers and a light cruiser - was intercepted by Allied light cruisers. Same as in the previous battle, however, the Japanese ships were shown to be a dangerous opponent. While outnumbered, outgunned and losing the light cruiser Jintsu, their torpedoes found the nmark, heavily damaging all three cruisers and sinking destroyer USS Gwin - while at the same time providing enough distraction for the transport group to land the 1,200 men at Vila.

USS St. Louis and HMNZS Leander firing.
 
 
Japan:
Covering Force (RAdm Shunji Izaki) Jintsu  (flagship) - sunk Kiyonami Yugure Yukikaze Hamakaze Mikazuki Transport Force (1,200 soldiers for Vila) Satsuki Minazuki Matsukaze Yunagi  
Allies:
Task Force 36.1 (RAdm Ainsworth) Cruiser Division 9 USS Honolulu (CL-48, flagship) - damaged USS St. Louis (CL-49) - damaged HMNZS Leander - damaged Destroyer Squadron 21 USS Nicholas (DD-449) USS O'Bannon (DD-450) USS Taylor (DD-468) USS Jenkins (DD-447) USS Radford (DD-446) Destroyer Squadron 12 USS Ralph Talbot (DD-390) USS Buchanan (DD-484) USS Maury (DD-401) USS Woodworth (DD-460) USS Gwin (DD-433) - sunk

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On this day in history in 1945 the series of bombardment and air raids against Japanese coastal targets started. In the first of the series of bombardments, battleships South Dakota, Indiana and Massachusetts, heavy cruisers Quincy II and Chicago II and nine destroyers shelled iron works at Kamaishi (Northern Honshu) while carrier aircraft attacked shipping around Hokkaido and Honshu.
 
This bombardment started a series of other attacks spanning the end of July and beginning of August:
July 14th: Iron Works at Kamaichi (USS South Dakota, Indiana, Massachusetts, two cruisers, nine destroyers) July 15th: Iron works at Muroran (USS Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, two cruisers, eight destroyers) July 17/18th: Various targets around Hitachi (USS Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Alabama, HMS King George V, two cruisers, eight American and two British destroyers) July 18th: Cape Nojima radar station (cruisers USS Astoria II, Pasadena, Springfield, Wilkes-Barre, six destroyers) - no damage July 24/25th: Seaplane base at Kushimoto and airfield near Cape Shionomisaki (same ships, little damage) July 29th: Various targets around Hamamatsu (USS South Dakota, Indiana, Massachusett, two cruisers, nine destroyers for USN; HMS King George V, three destroyers for the Royal Navy) July 30th/31st: Shimizu aluminum plant (Destroyer Squadron 25) August 9th - 10th: Second bombardment of Kamaishi (USS South Dakota, Indiana, Massachusett, four cruisers, nine destroyers for USN, one cruiser and three destroyers for Royal Navy, one cruiser for New Zealand)  

USS Indiana shelling Kamaishi, July 14th 1945.

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After the British Pacific Fleet joined US Navy off the coast of Japan, British ships joined in the series of coastal bombardments in a night attack on targets around Hitachi. Despite considerable firepower limited visibility lead to less damage inflicted than expected.
 
USA:
USS Iowa USS Missouri USS Wisconsin USS North Carolina USS Alabama USS Atlanta II USS Dayton eight destroyers Alabama Royal Navy:
HMS King George V two destroyers

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On this day in history in 1945, Allied naval aviation attacked Yokosuka. While the attack caused considerable damage, the main prize - the battleship Nagato - survived.


 

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This day in 1918 marked the very first aircraft carrier raid - a seven-plane attack on airship hangar in Tondern (today Tønder, Denmark). While the strike group lost all planes and one man and damage amounted only to two airships destroyed, this raid sparked plans for a torpedo plane raid on the German Hochseeflotte and was revived during WWII for the raid on Italian fleet at Taranto.
 

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Submitted by @Salentine
 
On this day in 1940 two Italian cruisers transferring to Leros were intercepted by an Allied patrol off Crete. Initially encountering just enemy destroyers, the two cruisers gave chase until running into HMAS Sydney. After a 50-minute running battle Bartolomeo Colleoni suffered damage to her boilers and despite fierce resistance even after main guns were disabled, she was sunk by torpedoes. Bande Nere managed to escape to Benghazi, escaping pursuit by HMS Warspite.

 
 

2nd Cruiser Division (RAdm Ferdinando Casardi) Bartolomeo Colleoni - sunk Giovanni delle Bande Nere - damaged  

2nd Destroyer flotilla (Capt. John Collins) HMAS Sydney HMS Hasty HMS Havock HMS Hero HMS Hyperion HMS Ilex

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On this day in history the last surface action of World War II took place off the tip of the Bōsō Peninsula. Destroyer Squadron 61 of the US Navy intercepted a Japanese coastal convoy of two freighters, escorted by one minesweeper and one submarine chaser. One of the freighters was sunk and the other damaged.
 
Destroyer Squadron 61 Destroyer Division 121 USS De Haven (DD 727) - flagship USS Mansfield (DD 728) USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD 729) USS Collett (DD 730) USS Maddox (DD 731) Destroyer Division 122 USS Blue (DD 744) USS Brush (DD 745) USS Taussig (DD 746) USS Samuel N. Moore (DD 747)  

USS De Haven (DD 727), flagship of DesRon 61, on May 14th, 1944.

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Following the attack on Yokosuka, the carrier aviation focused on the port of Kure where the bulk of Japanese Navy surviving warships sheltered. In a series of attacks spanning several days, most of the heavy units including aircraft carriers Amagi and Katsuragi, Combined Fleet's flagship cruiser Oyodo, battleships Ise, Hyuga and Haruna, cruisers Tone and Aoba and a number of other ships were sunk, ensuring almost complete freedom of operation for the Allied fleet. The success however came at a steep price of 133 aircrafts - one of the heaviest losses the US Navy 3rd Fleet suffered.
 



 

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On this day in history in 1945, the Japanese submarine I-58 hit heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis with a torpedo. Ship sunk 12 minutes later and her disappearance was not noticed until a patrol plane chanced to spot the survivors on August 2nd. This failure was caused both by lapses in the coordination between two commands and by a secret nature of the previous journey of the Indianapolis - carrying parts of the first nuclear bombs to the Mariana islands.
 
This was the last large ship being lost during the World War II.
 
Note: Time of the event is set to the actual time of attack, July 30 at 00:15 local time.
 

I-58

USS Indianapolis, July 10th, 1945
 

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On July 2, 1915, a Russian cruiser squadron (including Oleg, Bogatyr and Novik) sent for a bombardment mission clashed in a series of running fights with German minelaying squadron off the Swedish territorial waters. Outgunned and dispersed, the German squadron split, with the minelaying cruiser SMS Albatross running aground in the Swedish waters - as such she was the only loss of the battle, as Sweden interned her until the end of the war.

Grounded SMS Albatross.

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On this day in history, in 1940, after the French commanders refused the ultimatum posed to them by the Royal Navy, British warships opened fire on French fleet anchored in Mers-el-Kébir. As the French crews did not expect an attack, the results were devastating, with only the battleship Strasbourg (Dunkerque's sister) managing to escape to safety. The battleship Bretagne exploded and sunk after her ammunition was hit and her sister, Provence, sank as well, even though she was later refloated.
Subsequent air attacks augmented the damage done to battleship Dunkerque and lead to retaliatory bombing raids against the Gibraltar.
 

Battleship Strasbourg leaving the anchorage under fire.
 

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On this day in history, in the evening hours, a fatal order was given to scatter the arctic convoy PQ 17. While the feared sortie of battleship Tirpitz did not happen, submarines and aircrafts sunk 24 of 35 convoy ships.
 
Three merchant ships were protected thanks to quick thinking of commander of one of smaller escort ships:
 

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On this day in history in 1942, submarine USS Growler managed to find three Japanese destroyers at anchor off the recently occupied island of Kiska. Firing one of the most devastating torpedo spreads in the submarine warfare history, her six torpedoes resulted in at least three hits, one on each of the destroyers.  The Asashio class Arare exploded and sunk, remaining two destroyers managed to get back home with serious damage.
 

USS Growler

Shiranui (Kagero class) - damaged
Arare (Asashio class) - sunk Kasumi (Asashio class) - damaged

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As the Allies advanced through the Solomons island chain, a pattern evolved - US troops landed on a new island, Japanese destroyers - the infamous "Tokyo Express" - were redirected to new port to ship supplies and reinforcements. Exactly this happened on the night of 6 July, 1943, when a group of American cruisers and destroyers intercepted a convoy of 10 destroyers. The confused night battle did see sinking of two Japanese destroyers, while USS Helena fell victim to torpedoes after she expended all her flashless powder supplies and in turn was the most visible.
 

USS Helena and USS St. Louis in action.
 
 

Cover Force (Radm Akiyama Terou) Niizuki (Flagship) - sunk Suzukaze - damaged Tanikaze 1st Transport Group Mochizuki - damaged Mikazuki Hamakaze 2nd Transport Group Nagatsuki - damaged, beached, later destroyed by air raid Satsuki Amagiri - damaged Hatsuyuki - damaged
Task Group 36.1 (RAdm Ainsworth) Cruiser Division 9 USS Honolulu (CL-48) (Flagship) USS St. Louis (CL-49) USS Helena (CL-50) - sunk Destroyer Squadron 21 USS Nicholas (DD-449) USS Radford (DD-446) USS O'Bannon (DD-450) USS Jenkins (DD-447)

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Submitted by @Salentine
 
9 July 1940 - On this in history The Battle of Calabria took place it was one of the first large battles between the Italian Royal Navy (16 DD's, 6 CA's, 8 CL's and 2 BB's including the Guilio Cesare) and the British Royal Navy (16 DD's, 5 CA's, 1 CV and 3 BB's including the Warspite) both forces were escorting vital convoys, the Italians to north Africa and the British to Malta, both sides exchanged fire and retreated. 
 
The Italians suffered damage to 1 battleship, 1 heavy cruiser and 1 destroyer and the British suffered damage to 1 light cruiser and 2 destroyers.
 
The Warspite hit the Giulio Cesare at well over 24,000 metres (26,000 yd), which at the time was one of the longest-range naval artillery hits in history.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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