Operation Squawk

This was a British naval radio signal deception operation for the ‘Hats’ reinforcement of Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham’s Mediterranean Fleet, undertaken by the destroyers Velox and Wishart in a position to the north of the Balearic islands group in the western part of the Mediterranean (31 August 1940).

At 21.50 on 31 August the two destroyers were detached from Vice Admiral Sir James Somerville’s Force 'H', which was escorting 'Hats' from Gibraltar to the central part of the Mediterranean, to proceed to the north and, when in a position to the north-east of the Balearic islands group, make radio transmissions which, it was hoped, would persuade the Italians that Force 'H' was making for the Gulf of Genoa on a shore bombardment operation. The transmissions were also designed to mask the low-power transmissions of the fleet carrier Ark Royal as she launched aircraft for the 'Smash' (i) attack on targets in the Cagliari area of Sardinia.