Operation Medium

This was a British naval and air bombardment of Cherbourg on the north coast of the Cotentin peninsula in German-occupied France (10/12 October 1940).

The air element was part of an undertaking by Nos 2 and 3 Groups of Air Marshal Sir Richard Peirse’s RAF Bomber Command, which on this night despatched 157 aircraft of several types against 13 targets in Germany, along the southern side of the English Channel, and the airfield at Eindhoven in the German-occupied Netherlands. Some of the aircraft laid mines, and all the aircraft returned safely to the UK.

The naval element of this undertaking comprised the battleship Revenge, light cruiser Emerald, destroyers Javelin, Jupiter, Kelvin, Kipling, Jackal, Jaguar and Kashmir (5th Destroyer Flotilla) and the motor gun boats MGB-40, MGB-42, MGB-43, MGB-44 and MGB-46 (3rd MGB Flotilla for protection against attack by S-boote) as the bombardment force, and the light cruisers Cardiff, Emerald and Newcastle and destroyers Broke, Vanoc, Volunteer, Wanderer and Free Polish Burza and Garland) as the escort and illuminating force: Emerald, Newcastle, Broke, Wanderer, Garland and Burza patrolled to the west of Cherbourg, and Cardiff, Vanoc and Volunteer to the east.

In this undertaking the battleship fired 120 15-in (381-mm) shells and the destroyers 801 4.7-in (119.4-mm) shells at Cherbourg’s harbour installations.