Operation K.7

'K-7' was an Italian operation to pass two convoys from Messina in Sicily and Corfu in the Ionian Sea to Tripoli in North Africa (21/23 February 1942).

Departing from Messina, the first convoy comprised three freighters (5,324-ton Monginevro, 6,142-ton Ravello and 216-ton Unione), escorted by the destroyers Ugolini Vivaldi, Lanzerotto Malocello, Premuda and Nicolo Zeno, and torpedo boat Pallade. Departing Corfu, the second convoy also comprised three vessels (7,000-ton tanker Giulio Giordani, 6,070-ton freighter Lerici and 5,322-ton freighter Monviso) escorted by the destroyers Antonio Pigafetta, Emanuele Pessagno, Antoniotto Usodimare, Maestrale and Scirocco, and torpedo boat Circe.

Close cover was provided by a force which departed Messina with the heavy cruisers Gorizia and Trento, light cruiser Giovanni delle Bande Nere, and destroyers Alpino, Antonio da Noli and Alfredo Oriani, and distant cover by a force which departed Taranto with the the battleship Caio Duilio and destroyers Aviere, Ascari, Geniere and Camicia Nera.

A British air attack on 22 February was driven off by the operation’s German air cover, and later on the same day the British submarine P-38 was sunk by Antoniotto Usodimare and Circe as the boat attempted to attack the second convoy. The British submarine Ultimatum tried unsuccessfully to attack the first convoy on 23 February.

Both convoys reached Tripoli without loss.