Not directly, but you could add a Lookup or Rollup field that’s pointed at the same date. Those will let you sort properly.
I think its happening because linked fields are arrays. While Lookup fields are often arrays, if you’re only linking to one record then the Lookup’s value formatting sometimes matches the original field (in this case a date). Rollup would be your safest bet.
When dealing with link fields in code, they return arrays. However, when virtually anything else looks at a link field, it returns a string, with items separated by commas if there are more links than one. In this case, it’s auto-converting the date into a similar date string.
Many thanks for your replies. I feared extra fields might be the only answer.
I’m finding that I’m having to add so many fields for various workarounds it is making my main table very cluttered. Even with the ability to hide fields I think this is going to result in a confusing UI for different types of users.
It seems to me Airtable has serious limitations in two areas - handling relational data and creating a clean user experience!