The Italian fleet made another attempt to intercept a British convoy in the eastern Mediterranean south of Crete in late March. This operation resulted in the Battle of Cape Matapan on 27–29 March. For most of the daytime engagement, Pola and the rest of the 3rd Division were stationed on the disengaged side the Italian fleet, and so did not see action during this phase. Vittorio Veneto was torpedoed by British aircraft from the carrier Formidable and was forced to withdraw, and the 3rd Division remained on the port side of the Italian fleet to screen against another possible British attack.  A second British airstrike later in the day failed to locate the retiring Vittorio Veneto and instead scored a single torpedo strike on Pola , hitting her amidships on her starboard side. In the confusion of the attack, Pola had nearly collided with Fiume and had been forced to stop, which had prevented her from taking evasive action.  The damage filled three compartments with water and disabled five of her boilers and the main steam line that fed the turbines, leaving her immobilized.