Taranto under attack!

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by Lawrence1967, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. Lawrence1967

    Lawrence1967 Member

    On the night of November 11, 1940, the Royal Navy launched the Operation Judgement against the Italian port of Taranto. This famous operation was the first planned attack against ships launched from aircraft carriers and was the seed aircraft to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, a year later. The following link provides a full report with photos and information about this famous military operation of WW2. I hope you enjoy it and I count on your visit.

  2. Okie55

    Okie55 New Member

    Key factors in the RN success were recon photos of the anchorage, deceptive ship movements in the week prior to the attack, radar(RDF to the Brits) aboard Illustrious directing fighters to shoot down or chase away Italian recon planes, "practice" attacks earlier in the year on smaller harbors such as Tobruk and Benghazi, and a new method to allow torpedoes to run in shallow water. What's more, the whole thing was witnessed by an American naval officer on board the British carrier! Check it out at tarantobook.com.
  3. Watson

    Watson Member

    Read somewhere that this attack implanted the idea for a similar style of action against the US fleet at Pearl Harbor in the minds of Japanese planners.
  4. Okie55

    Okie55 New Member

    No, Yamamoto first mused about hitting Pearl Harbor in May of 1940, six months before the Taranto attack. He felt that smashing the US Navy on day one of the war was strategically necessary, before any thought was given to how to do that, tactically. As the Japanese developed their attack plan, using dive bombers, high level bombers, and torpedo planes, the latter became primary because of greater effectiveness: they were better at torpedo plane attacks than the other two types of airborne assault. In May of 1941, a Japanese Naval Mission visited Italy, conducted extensive talks with the Italian Navy, and visited Taranto. The returning officers certainly brought encouraging news about the success of the British attack, and may have reported on the Italian Navy's use of wooden fins attached to torpedoes to reduce the initial dive and allow torpedoes to run true in shallow water. No Japanese documents have been recovered to prove such a connection, but it seems to be a reasonable conclusion.
  5. Diptangshu

    Diptangshu Active Member

    V Adm Shigaru (chief of staff/com flt) told that Yamamoto first discussed the plan to attack PH by April'40, atleast six months prior to Taranto! Not only this, long back when he was at his naval war college, as a captain he lectured on the Pacific raid against PH . Yamamoto probably the only one who nurtured the Plan since long past. To the conservative admirals of the NGS, a direct confrontation in the central Pacific with the USN was just unthinkable. Apart from this, it is known to all that Yamamoto once was not wanted war against America. However he still kept something in his mind to raid the PH, but within Dec'40. He engaged R Adm Takijiro to study his plan secretly.
    Once he wrote, ' .. I can't see myself doing anything so boring and I'd like to get Yonai to take over, so that if the need arose I could play a more active role .. ' Meanwhile, he promoted to C in C of the combind fleet by Nov. He tried for several times by presenting the raid plan infront of the NGS, every time he was negated and the plan delayed by some nine months, untill he threatened the NGS that he could resign alongwith his officers!
  6. Watson

    Watson Member

    Sorry. I should have been more specific. It was the use of torpedoes in shallow harbors to which I was referring not the overall attack.
  7. Okie55

    Okie55 New Member

    OK, so the British success certainly was encouraging to the Japanese. But, there was no internet then to look up the depth of water in Taranto harbor. CNO Harold Stark wrote to Admiral Kimmel, CINCPAC, on 2/14/1941 that the depth of water in the Taranto anchorage was "84 to 90 feet," and that "a minimum depth of water of 75 feet may be assumed necessary to successfully drop torpedoes from planes." Taranto anchorage, in fact, ran from 40-60 feet, and the Royal Navy at that time could successfully drop airborne torpedoes in 24 feet of water. Pearl Harbor ran 40-50 feet deep. The Japanese knew nothing of these facts. They simply worked and practiced and drilled over and over and over again to fly their planes lower and slower and adapt and adjust the torpedoes again and again, until they found a way to make them work on December 7, 1941.

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