The Royal Navy's primary torpedo bomber of the Second World War, the Swordfish, despite its obsolescence, proved to be an effective anti-submarine and torpedo bomber right up until the end of hostilities in 1945.
In fact, the Swordfish went on to outlive its intended replacement, the Albacore, in Royal Navy Service.
Involved in such famous actions as the Taranto raid, the Bismarck operation and the Channel Dash, the vulnerable but effective Swordfish firmly cemented its place in aviation folklore. It was big, slow - unbelievably slow if you were an attacking German or Italian pilot, and a
holdover from another age, yet the Fairey Swordfish was to serve until after the end of WWII in one capacity or another. Not bad for something that looked like it belong 20 years earlier in the Kaiser's war
Initially, the Swordfish operated from the large fleet carriers. Later it operated from escort carriers, and were very effective against U-boats. The nickname 'Stringbag' indicated the
versatility of the Swordfish, which could carry an unlikely combination of loads, but also referred to its jungle of bracing wires, which belonged to a past age.
The Swordfish remained operational until the end of the war, gaining the distinction of being
the last biplane to see active service.
Essentially fighting this world war single-handedly, the British call upon the bravery of her Royal Navy to put a dent into the sea-going firepower of the Italians. What this means is attacking the Italian naval base at Taranto. The Royal Navy unleashes the attack in two bomber waves, utilizing the obsolescent Fairey Swordfish biplanes against battleships, barrage balloons and anti-aircraft fire.
The end result could not have been made more perfect. With the loss of just two Swordfish aircraft, the British manage to knock out three Italian battleships and damage four other major vessels.
The attack begins just before 11:00 PM on November 11th and ends in the early morning hours of the 12th.