Operation Bayleaf

'Bayleaf' was a British unrealised anti-shipping sweep planned as a repeat of 'Posthorn' (24 February 1944).

To have been undertaken off the west coast of German-occupied Norway between Lepsøya and Edøya, the operation was based on the fleet carrier Formidable escorted by the light cruisers Bermuda and Sheffield, and destroyers Musketeer, Opportune, Scourge, Venus, Free Norwegian Stord and Free Polish Błyskawica. Musketeer and Błyskawica were damaged in a collision as the force was departing Scapa Flow, however, and the operation was postponed until such time as another two destroyers could be provided.

More distant cover was to be provided by the battleships Anson and Free French Richelieu and two cruisers of the Home Fleet.

On the same date the elderly fleet carrier Furious of the covering force for the JW.57 convoy launched her aircraft in 'Bayleaf' attacks on targets along the north coast of Norway, and closer to the convoy the destroyer Keppel sank Oberleutnant Henri Gosejacob’s U-713 while Kapitänleutnant Hubert Nordheimer’s U-990 sank the destroyer Mahratta with a G7es acoustic-homing torpedo on the following day.