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As my history teacher, Mr Rees-Davies, MP, in Rhodesia cautioned us: “Beware the victor’s version of history!” The story of what led up to the Japanese attack on the US Navy at Pearl Harbour is both fascinating and surprising.
Battle of Taranto
On the night of 11 to 12 November 1940, British Naval forces under Admiral Andrew Cunningham, including Aircraft Carrier HMS Illustrious, launched Fairey Swordfish biplane torpedo bombers in the Mediterranean Sea to attack the Regia Marina Battle Fleet at anchor in the harbour of Taranto. Despite the shallow depth of the water, the aerial torpedoes proved devastatingly effective, crippling the Italian Navy, which lost half of its capital ships in one night.
Naval Air Power
The Royal Navy raid on Taranto Bay marked the ascendency of air power over sea power. The Fleet Air Arm proved to be the Navy's most devastating weapon.