mark.au Posted July 7, 2022 Share Posted July 7, 2022 (edited) As I come close to the conclusion of my HMS Wren build over in the Maritime section, I'd like to drop a place marker for the next project. On the night of 10/11 November 1940 21 Fairey Swordfish Mk.I's launched from HMS Illustrious and Eagle in two waves on a six hour round-trip to attack the Regia Marina in its harbour at Taranto. The mission was the culmination of a highly coordinated operation by the Royal Navy involving six separate Forces and two convoys. The total RN units engaged was three carriers, a battle squadron of four vessels led by HMS Warspite, a destroyer squadron of 12 destroyers, plus another 33 vessels of varying types. The plan of attack was elegantly simple; two waves were sent an hour apart. Approaching their targets from the west, two Swordfish were tasked with dropping flares along the eastern side of the harbour creating backlighting to sillouhette the target capital ships at anchor in the Mar Grande. Each wave comprised both torpedo and bomb armed aircraft - those with torpedoes attacked the capital ships and those with bomb went after the cruisers and destroyers in the Mar Piccolo. The attack was a success, aside form the not inconsiderable damage caused, it had the additional effect of pinning the Italian Navy in its northern ports for the remainder of its involvement in the war. Two of the attacking Swordfish were lost, one of the crews was picked up and made POW, sadly the other perished when their Swordfish sustained a direct hit hit from shore-based AA fire. I am building the Tamiya 1/48 scale Swordfish Mk.I more or less out of the box for this project. I haven't decided which of the attacking aircraft I will mark mine up as, but I'm erring towards either L4M flown by Lt H. Swayne of 815 Squadron off HMS Illustrious or L5F flown by Lt. E. W. Clifford of 819 Squadron also off HMS Illustrious. For reasons I'll touch on later, both of these pilots had epic nights, even more so than their squadron-mates if that were possible. I'll likely begin the build in a week or so I expect. I know we have a lot of FAA experts on board, I look forward to my continuing eduction of all things FAA with this build. Cheers. Edited August 5, 2022 by mark.au I like this title better :-) 25 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now