World War: MEDITERRANEAN THEATRE: Battle of Lonian Sea

Battle of the Ionian Sea

Aloft in Warspite's eccentrically huge superstructure, a little knot of men was tense. They felt not just the tightness that comes over all sailors at sea after dark—but now the exhilaration of men about to give battle.

It was a few minutes before 9 p.m. The officers talking with Admiral Sir Andrew Browne Cunningham did not even smoke: the whole fleet was blacked out. Sir Andrew—who is brusque and taciturn even in relaxation—spoke only in brief outbursts of instruction.

The situation was clear to all. Yesterday one of...

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