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Battle of the Espero Convoy

This Day in History

This event repeats every year forever

Event details

First surface engagement between the Italian and Allied units in WWII - a small convoy of Italian destroyers carrying antitank units to Africa was intercepted by the 7th Cruiser Squadron.


Order of battle:


  • 7th Cruiser Squadron (VAdm John Tovey)
    • 1st Cruiser Division
      • HMS Orion (flagship)
      • HMS Neptune
      • HMAS Sydney
      • HMS Gloucester
    • 2nd Cruiser Division
      • HMS Manchester
      • HMS Gloucester


  • 2nd Destroyer Squadron (Capitano di Fregata Enrico Baroni)
    • Espero (flagship) - Sunk
    • Ostro
    • Zeffiro




Allied victory - Espero sunk

On the flip side, remaining destroyers escaped and ammunition consumption halted cruiser squadron activities for some time, leading to delays in convoys to Malta.

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