The sinking of Bartolomeo Colleoni in Crete, 19 July 1940

Shipwrecks, WW2, WW2 in Greece, WW2 Wrecks

By Pierre Kosmidis

Photos: IWM

The Italian cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni was sunk during the naval battle off Cape Spatha in north west Crete, on 19 July 1940.

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Out of her crew, 555 were eventually rescued by Allied warships, while 121 perished with the ship.

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The battle started when Allied ships in the Aegean saw two Italian cruisers sailing from Libya to Leros.

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The Imperial War Museum has a collection of the naval battle, which encapsules the final moments of the cruiser, as well as the shipwrecked Italians who survived.

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