Saturday, March 29, 2008

Today In History: Surprise!

On this date in 1941, under the cover of darkness, a British battleship squadron closed to within 3,500 meters of an Italian fleet that had already been battered by air attacks during the day. Unlike their British opponents, the Italian warships were not equipped with radar, so it was a complete surprise when searchlight beams stabbed through the night and a veritable storm of 2,000-lb 15" shells blew the rigatoni out of Mussolini's fleet at what was, for battleships, point blank range.

BONUS!: Neat-o animation of the gunhouse and barbette (turret thingie to us non-navy types) on a British battleship.


staghounds said...

What, no animation of the R. N. Battle Cruisers at Jutland's shell handling system failing to work as advertised?

And, did you ever read C. S. Forester's lovely book "The Ship?"

Carl H said...

Hitler and Mussolini have a day at the beach (which was NO day at the beach). They see something offshore, and Hitler says 'Hey, Mussolini, is that a U-boat'
Il Douche says 'Can't be my boat! Since-a da battle of Cape-a Matapan, I'ma no have-a no boat'

staghounds said...

Don't forget Taranto.

And this fool made himself a target at both. Habit of a lifetime, he came out of retirement to take a shoot me job at 67.

Of course the shoes he was stepping into were still warm and bloody. His predecessor target had just been shot all to bits, at 86. Another habitual act, since he did his best to let the Hun do it in '14-18.

These people didn't fear fire extinguishers.