On 19 July 1940 HMAS Sydney was involved in an engagement off Cape Spada, Crete. Sydney damaged two Italian cruisers and though one escaped, The Bartolomeo Colleoni was stopped and later sunk by two British vessels whose crews rescued more than 500 survivors. Sydney emerged largely unscathed and returned to Alexandria, where triumphant crewmen posed for photos in the damaged forward funnel. In Australia, people rejoiced. Flags flew from government buildings and newspaper readers were reminded of Sydney's proud lineage: "Sydney outfought and destroyed the famous Emden and now her younger sister writes another page of naval history to thrill the civilised world".