The first ever illustrated study of the largest and most significant clash between the Royal Navy and the Italian Regia Marina.
The Battle of Matapan witnessed the first use of decisive new technologies to bring about a stunning British victory over the Italian Navy. The Allies had tapped into the Ultra coded messages sent by the Axis powers, and the battle witnessed the use of radar and carrier-based air strikes to bring about a critical night action. The result was the most decisive engagement of the Mediterranean naval war.
Written by renowned naval historian Angus Konstam, this book offers for the first time a unique and fully illustrated exploration of the battle. It also examines why, despite the emphatic and decisive Royal Navy victory, the Allies failed to capitalize on the strategic advantage earned in the months that followed. Battlescene artworks bring to life the cruiser clashes early on 28 March off Gavdos, the Fleet Air Arm attacks on the Italian fleet, and the 28/29 March night action that resulted in the destruction of Admiral Carlo Cattaneo's ships – Italy's worst naval defeat. The progress of the action from the initial Operation Gaudo sweep by Italy's powerful battle fleet towards Crete (aimed at disrupting Allied convoys) to the events of the climactic battle itself is revealed in detailed maps.
Read an extract of Cape Matapan 1941
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION Origins of the campaign CHRONOLOGY OPPOSING COMMANDERS Regia Marina Royal Navy OPPOSING FORCES Regia Marina Royal Navy Orders of Battle OPPOSING PLANS Regia Marina Royal Navy THE BATTLE OF CAPE MATAPAN First contact Pursuits and ambushes The first air strikes The general chase The afternoon air strikes The dusk strike Cattaneo's mission The night action AFTERMATH COMMEMORATING THE BATTLE FURTHER READING INDEX
Dec 19 2023
Colour illustrations throughout, including battlescene artworks, maps, 3D diagrams and photographs.