Operation Convent

This was a British naval undertaking, in parallel with ‘Camera’, to provide a diversion off the coast of German-occupied Norway before and during the ‘Husky’ (i) landing on Sicily (8 July 1943).

This diversionary undertaking took the form of a sweep by elements of Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser’s Home Fleet, namely the battleships Anson, Duke of York and Malaya, fleet carrier Furious, two cruiser squadrons and three destroyer flotillas together with Rear Admiral Olaf M. Hustvedt’s US task force comprising the battleships Alabama and South Dakota, heavy cruisers Augusta and Tuscaloosa, and five destroyers.

The demonstration was unsuccessful inasmuch as it went wholly undetected by U-boats and German air reconnaissance. The undertaking was repeated at the end of July by the same forces supplemented by the British fleet carrier Illustrious and light carrier Unicorn, and on this occasion the carriers’ Grumman Wildcat fighters shot down five Blohm und Voss Bv 138 reconnaissance flying boats.