Battle of the Malacca Strait

Battle Of The Malacca Strait

Military Conflict
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Battle of the Malacca Strait

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The Battle of the Malacca Strait, sometimes called the Sinking of the Haguro, and in Japanese sources as the Battle off Penang' (ペナン沖海戦), was a naval battle that resulted from the British search and destroy operation in May 1945, called Operation Dukedom, that resulted in the sinking of the Japanese cruiser . Haguro had been operating as a supply ship for Japanese garrisons in the Dutch East Indies and the Bay of Bengal since 1 May 1945.

The action

On 9 May, Haguro left Singapore, escorted by the destroyer , to re-supply the Port Blair garrison on the Andaman Islands and to evacuate troops back to Singapore. The Royal Navy was alerted to this by a decrypted Japanese naval signal,Norman Scott, “Solving Japanese Naval Ciphers 1943 – 45”, Cryptologia, Vol 21(2), April 1997, pp149–157 subsequently confirmed by a sighting by the submarines and . Force 61 of the Eastern Fleet set sail on 10 May from Trincomalee, Ceylon to intercept the Japanese flotilla. The Japanese were unwilling to risk any battle and, on receipt of an air reconnaissance warning, they returned to Singapore.

On 14 May, Haguro and Kamikaze tried again and left Singapore. The next day, they were spotted by aircraft from Force 61. The subsequent dive bombing attack by Grumman Avenger II of 851 Squadron caused only minor damage to Haguro, for the loss of an aircraft whose crew was taken prisoner by the Japanese.

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