Operation ME7

'ME7' was a British naval undertaking to find and destroy an Axis convoy carrying troops, weapon and supplies to North Africa (20/25 November 1941).

The undertaking used the same forces as 'ME4' (battleships Barham, Queen Elizabeth and Valiant, light cruiser Galatea, light anti-aircraft cruisers Euryalus and Naiad, destroyers Decoy, Hasty, Hotspur, Jackal, Jervis, Kandahar, Kimberley, Kingston, Kipling and Australian Napier and Nizam, and escort destroyers Avon Vale and Eridge), the cruiser force now searching for the Axis troop reinforcement convoy heading for the North African port of Benghazi, and the rest of the force seeking to make a diversion and thereby draw Axis air strength away from the 'Crusader' (i) land battle in the Western Desert.

On 25 November the Barham was struck on her port side by three torpedoes from Oberleutnant Hans-Diedrich Freiherr von Tiesenhausen’s U-331, which caused an after magazine to explode and the ship to sink in only four minutes with the loss of about 862 men, only 450 surviving.