With destroyers in melee at short range, it all happened pretty quickly. Stacy's J-class DDs had some critical hits (fires, leaks and engineering hits) but superior damage control fixed them in fast order. In return they shot up the convoy and two of the escorts Saetta and Dardo, once again evading torpedoes this time from the Dardo. Chad's tribal class hit both the convoy and the Nicolo Zeno. However, the Zeno got off a torpedo salvo that sank HMS Mohawk.
|Jervis (far side) and Janus (near side) shoot up the convoy.|
|HMS Mohawk goes down!|
|Long range shot for perspective. Tribals at the top, escort to the right and J class hunting on the left. Curt's plastic flames are very effective in these shots!|
|Zeno and Dardo pick up survivors from the tail end freighters.|
We called it a wrap at this point. The convoy escort had launched all their torpedoes and had lost almost all of their guns. The raiders were down one ship, but had all their guns and Nubian still had full tubes. We agreed that the escorts would high tail it and leave the convoy to its fate. The British would stick to their objective (the convoy) and elect not to pursue. It was a fun game, with a realistic outcome and Curt definitely did better than the historical result. However, it was still a British strategic victory given that Rommel would have to make due without the reinforcements for the 15th Panzer Division.
In the "War of the Memoirs" the British would focus on the fact that the Italian fleet scampered off and left the convoy to their mercy. The Italians would note that they fought until they had almost no weaponry left, and blame the fact that the convoy was intercepted on traitors (until ULTRA became declassified).