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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 Result: 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.