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The Battle of Taranto

The Top Ten British Battles of World War Two

Part Four: The Battle of Taranto

The Battle of Taranto took place because the British were keen to reduce the threat of the Italian Navy in the Mediterranean. The Royal Navy used the novel tactic of attacking the Italian fleet at Taranto using Swordfish torpedo planes launched from aircraft carriers.

The success of the Royal Navy in this engagement, in what appears to be little more than a skirmish, was so profound that if the same damage had be wrought on the Italian fleet by the Royal Navy in a full scale naval battle, it would have been written up as a victory of Nelsonian proportions.

Such was the novel success of this British Battle that it inspired the Japanese to use the same tactics at Pearl Harbour.

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