Operation MF8

This was a British naval gunfire bombardment of German and Italian targets on the Italian-controlled island of Rhodes by a force of cruisers and destroyers of Rear Admiral P. L. Vian’s 15th Cruiser Squadron of Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham’s Mediterranean Fleet (15 March 1942).

The undertaking was part of the diversionary effort associated with the running of the ‘Pedestal’ convoy to Malta from Gibraltar with the support of Vice Admiral Sir James Somerville’s Force ‘H’. On 10 March Cunningham despatched a dummy convoy from Port Said in Egypt with the support of the 15th Cruiser Squadron, and after the merchant vessels had turned back to Egypt on 12 March, Vian’s warships (light anti-aircraft cruisers Dido and Euryalus, and six destroyers) moved to the north to attack Rhodes.