Force K

Force K was a British Royal Navy task force of the Second World War. It operated out of Malta and was responsible for intercepting convoys carrying supplies to the Italian and German forces in North Africa, including Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps.

Force K was created in 1941 following the first siege of Malta. Allied submarines and aircraft could not inflict significant damage to Axis convoys supplying their forces in Africa, so Winston Churchill established Force K. At its inception the Force consisted of two cruisers, Aurora and Penelope, and two L class destroyers, Lance and Lively.

In November of 1941, Force K successfully destroyed an entire German convoy, forcing the Italians to consider Tripoli ‘practically blockaded’. Soon after Force K was reinforced with two light cruisers, Ajax and Neptune, and two K class destroyers. Force K was so effective that during November of 1941 the Axis supply line suffered 60 percent losses. However in December of 1941 Force K ran into a mine field while pursuing a convoy, sinking one cruiser, damaging another, and sinking one destroyer. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/siege_malta_02.shtml BBC - History - The Siege of Malta in World War Two ] ]

ee also

* Force H
* Leander class cruiser (1931)
* Italian Mare Nostrum
* Malta Convoys

References


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