Operation Anakim (ii)

This was a British naval undertaking within 'Stab' to create a diversion in the Bay of Bengal to prevent the Japanese from releasing naval forces in Malaya for use against the US 'Watchtower' operation on Guadalcanal (1/2 August 1942).

The plan by Vice Admiral Sir James Somerville’s Eastern Fleet for 'Anakim' (ii) included Force 'V' with the Indian sloop Jumna and British destroyer Scout to depart Vizagapatam in India with the 4,637-ton troopship Blackheath and the merchant vessels Trader Cranfield and Mahout; Force 'M' with the cruiser minelayer Manxman and corvette Aster and Indian auxiliary patrol vessel Sonavati to depart from Madras in India with the merchant vessels Tasmania, Hoperange, Clan MacIver, Yuen Sang and Custodian; and Force 'T' with the Indian sloop Hindustan and British corvette Marguerite to depart Trincomalee in Ceylon with the oiler Appleleaf and the merchant vessels Broomdale, Shenking and Marit Maersk.

These three forces were to simulate a British invasion force making for the Andaman islands group, and were to be covered at sea by the larger warships of Force 'A', which was to sortie from Colombo in Ceylon. The operation was launched on 1 August, and the ships started to return to port on the following day to suggest that the proposed assault had been called off.