Operation Convent

'Convent' 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, designed to exploit Adolf Hitler’s belief that Norway was a 'zone of destiny' and thus that the landings on Sicily might be a diversion for an imminent invasion of Norway, 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, the elderly 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, the 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 single-engined fighters shot down five Blohm und Voss Bv 138 three-engined reconnaissance flying boats.