Operation Grab

'Grab' was a British carrierborne air attack on Cagliari on the Italian island of Sardinia in parallel with 'Smash' (i) and 'Squawk' to provide a diversion for 'Hats' (1/2 September 1940).

The escort for 'Hats' was provided by Force 'B', an element of Vice Admiral Sir James Somerville’s Gibraltar-based Force 'H', comprising the battle-cruiser Renown, the fleet carrier Ark Royal, the light cruiser Sheffield and the destroyers Encounter, Faulknor, Firedrake, Foresight, Forester, Fortune, Fury, Velox and Wishart of the 8th Destroyer Flotilla.

In 'Grab', nine Fairey Swordfish carrierborne bombers of Nos 800 and 803 Squadrons, each armed with four 250-lb (113-kg) bombs, took off at 03.30 on 2 September for an attack on the airfield at Elmas and the power station at Cagliari. The raid was not a success as a combination of fog and mist meant, despite the drop of parachute flares, that the attacking aircraft could not locate their designated target. The aircraft instead attacked some searchlights, and after jettisoning their bombs in the sea returned to land on Ark Royal from 08.00 on 2 September.

The ships of Force 'H' returned to Gibraltar, which they reached at 11.00 on 3 September