25 February 1941
Arrival and Departure of Subordinated Troops
Arrived in Tripoli
4. and 5./Flak 33, Elements 2.(H) 14 3./N.A.39
During the night 24/25 several enemy air attacks, probably from Malta, on city and port of Tripoli. Slight military damage, e.g. a small Italian ship on the Tripoli roads burned out, 1 Italian supply depot hit. Intense AA fire without visible success. (Ic-report) of X.Fliegerkorps that one English plane probably did not return. Fourth naval supply column arrives around 19.00 hours in Tripoli. It contains:
- 2 batteries of I./Flak 33 and their light columns
- 3 M39
- Reconnaissance plane of A.A.3
- Radio intercept platoon and supply goods.
The convoy was repeatedly threatened by enemy submarines, even right before the entry into the port of Tripoli.
Italian cruiser of the escort was torpedoed by enemy submarine and sank. Admiral Weichold arrived with the convoy.
Armando Diaz in 1934/35, probably during a a visit to Australia. Picture taken by State Library of Victoria –
- 4th and 5th Batteries of 1st Battalion AA Regiment 33;
- 2nd Squadron Army Air Reconnaissance Regiment 14;
- 3rd Company Signals Battalion 39, respectively
Ic = Intelligence officer on the staff. This was Vickers Wellington ‘O’ T2891 of No. 70 Squadron based in Luqa, Malta. The a/c lost its way on the return leg from the attack and ran out of fuel over Catanzano, 375km NW of Malta, forcing the crew to bale out. Both pilots, P/O Green and F/Lt Pain died. Four remaining crew members, including one from the RNZAF were taken POW, Sgts. Mead, Green, and Limbrick, and LAC Norker.
Light columns were organic supply columns
This was the Armando Diaz, a 6 inch cruiser of the Condottieri class, Cadorna subclass. She was sunk by HM/Sub Upright under the command of Lt. E. Norman RN. Armando Diaz went down in six minutes following a magazine explosion with heavy loss of life. Depending on the source, 464-500 of over 600 men on board went down with her.
Admiral Eberhard Weichold was the German naval attache in Rome. He was a highly decorated submarine commander in World War I, and now acted as German Admiral at the High Command of the Italian Navy and was in command of the German Naval Command Italy.