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War in the Mediterranean - Taranto

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War in the Mediterranean - The Battle of Taranto

In November 1940, a year before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, twenty-one Fleet Air Arm aircrews of the Royal Navy carried out the world's first successful carrier-borne air attack. 

The attack on Mussolini's fleet at Taranto was vital to protect Britain's interests and supply routes in the Mediterranean.  Seen in the full context of the war in the Mediterranean the Taranto raid is a key event that usefully illustrates the importance of control of the seas to the successful prosecution of war on land. This pack tells the story of Taranto with particular reference to the experience of Captain Alan Sutton. 

The web film in this pack is 66Mb in size, and will NOT play while you are downloading it.Unlike other online video, it has been designed for saving to your hard disc and viewing offline more than once (maybe in the classroom). Please allow plenty of time for downloading. 


You will need to register to access some of the content available. You can do so here.

A VISIT TO THE MUSEUM is an ideal way to put the resources in this pack in context using the Museum's exhibitions and activity workshops. 

The WW2 Hall at the Museum includes the Swordfish Exhibition which tells the story of some of the most significant missions undertaken by this singular aircraft.  The remainder of this substantial exhibition provides an historical and aviation context for the Second World War

Workshops and talks available at the Museum are listed in the Secondary School History and Citizenship Brochure

Of particular relevance to this pack are:

  • The Role of the Aircraft in WW2 - Presentation - 1 hour
  • WW2 Artefacts and Archives
  • Carrier Wars - Presentation - 45 mins
  • Carrier Wars - Archive workshop using documents and objects from the Collection

Useful external links with resources for this pack:

  • Sea Your History - go to:  InFocus:WorldWarTwo/FleetAirArm/Taranto  for images and information

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