There are few things more fascinating than modern naval warfare, right? These massive machines, some of the largest moving objects on Earth slugging it out on the high seas are just kind of mind boggling. The second layer of this fascination for me is the ability for people to maintain their calm, their composure, and their ability to both plan and execute these huge battles on the ocean or in this case, the Mediterranean Sea. Maneuvering whole columns and groups of these monsters in coordinated fashion is just amazing and we’re not sure anyone has ever had a better handle on it than the British.
The British and their world-class Navy have been a protector, an aggressor, and a symbol of the country’s strength for centuries. Their reputation was enough to keep enemies like the Germans and (as we’ll learn here) the Italians effectively in port with their surface ships for fear of being sent to the bottom during engagements with not only superior British fire power but superior British seamanship.
The Battle of Matapan tought the Italian Navy a valuable lesson in WWII and it was one that stuck with them right until the bitter end of the Axis Powers. This video is great for all the footage used in period, explaining the battle, how it was won, and the context it was fought in.
These battle ships, destroyers, cruisers, and other iron giants were capable of amazing speeds and even more amazing destruction. Watch this.