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November 11/12, 1940 - Flying from HMS Illustrious, British aircraft attack the Italian fleet at Taranto. Codenamed Operation Judgment, the attack on Taranto was designed to cripple the Italian fleet and permit the re-supply of British forces in North Africa. Led by Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham and Vice Admiral Lumley Lyster, the British task force located the bulk of the Italian fleet in port at Taranto. Launching 21 Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers (right) on the night of November 11, the British caught the Italians by surprise. In the attack, the planes managed to sink one battleship and heavily damage two more, halving the Italian battleship fleet. A heavy cruiser was also damaged. Following the battle, the Italians withdrew their remaining ships to safer anchorages. The raid was heavily studied by the Japanese during their planning for the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Photograph Source: Public Domain

Comments

February 25, 2008 at 4:33 pm
(1) Digix says:

Oh, wonderful!
We expect more and more good and helpfu posts as same from you! :)
My compliments!

September 7, 2008 at 12:37 pm
(2) Major Z says:

Reading about the Taranto, the Italians weren’t completely caught off guard, they had ample coastal and ship defenses, including flood lights, anti-torpedo netting, and tethered balloons to ward off an attack. Other than the fact that the attack was the first from an aircraft carrier, why did fair so poorly?

November 12, 2008 at 7:41 am
(3) peter steventon says:

Short and concise. Thankyou.

November 16, 2012 at 2:39 am
(4) Michael852 says:

In my research the average Italian military personnel wanted nothing to do with being part of the German war machine. The farther the military person was away from Mussolini the less the cared. They knew this was a losing proposition from the start but Mussolini had built up his secret police force to such a level that the people had to go thru the motions.

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