This was a British naval attack on a German convoy in the North Sea off German-occupied Norway (13/14 October 1940).
The convoy having been spotted by a reconnaissance aeroplane off the Lister Light, the destroyers Cossack, Ashanti, Maori and Sikh of Captain P. L. Vian’s 4th Destroyer Flotilla were despatched to make an interception shortly after 24.00 off Egersund.
The convoy was not of the mercantile type, as originally believed, but a military operation to deliver anti-submarine defence equipment to Trondheim, which the Germans were developing as a major naval base in the aftermath of ‘Weserübung’. The German vessels were three coasters (1,025-ton Netze, 235-ton Triton and 454-ton Rau VI) and the 1,949-ton netlayer Genua, escorted by the auxiliary minesweepers M 1102, M 1105 and M 1106. In a confused gunfire and torpedo engagement during the night, Cossack sank Genua, although it was believed at the time that all four vessels had in fact been destroyed. On the next day Netze sank from the damage she had sustained.