November 11, 1940The Royal Navy launches the first aircraft carrier strike in history, on the Italian fleet at Taranto.
The naval Battle of Taranto took place on the night of 11–12 November 1940 during the Second World War. The Royal Navy launched the first all-aircraft ship-to-ship naval attack in history, flying a small number of obsolescent biplane torpedo bombers from an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea. The attack struck the battle fleet of the Regia Marina at anchor in the harbor of Taranto utilizing aerial torpedoes despite the shallow depth of the harbor. The devastation wreaked by the British carrier-launched aircraft on the large Italian warships was the beginning of the rise of the power of naval aviation, over the big guns of battleships.