Operation Transit (i)

This was a British naval undertaking, in parallel with ‘Dunlop’ and using the same escort forces, to cover the passage of the light anti-aircraft cruiser Dido and other ships from Gibraltar to Alexandria, where the ships were to join Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham’s Mediterranean Fleet (25/29 April 1941).

In addition to Dido, the reinforcements for the Mediterranean Fleet comprised the cruiser minelayer Abdiel and, as replacement for the 14th Destroyer Flotilla, the 5th Destroyer Flotilla (Kelly, Kashmir, Kipling, Kelvin, Jackal and Jersey). The light cruiser Gloucester also arrived in Malta on 24 April to join Force ‘K’, and on 28 April the reinforcements reached the island.

After unloading, Dido, Abdiel and the destroyers Janus, Jervis and Nubian, together with the empty Breconshire, a 9,776-ton commissioned transport, departed during the evening and reached Alexandria in the course of the following day.

The Italian submarines Goffredo Mameli, Luciano Manara, Ruggiero Settimo and Santorre Santarosa, which were patrolling in the areas to the east and west of Malta, did not find and therefore could not attack the British ships.