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11 Nov 1940
  • At 2300 hours, 21 Swordfish aircraft of British carrier HMS Illustrious flew over Taranto Italy, where the Italian fleet was harbored. 11 aircraft attacked with torpedoes, sinking battleship Conte di Cavour was sunk, and damaging battleships Littorio and Caio Duilio. 10 aircraft attacked the inner harbor, causing minor damage on shore facilities. 2 aircraft were shot down (2 killed, 2 captured). ww2dbase [Attack on Taranto | TH]
  • At 1330 hours, British radar at Essex, England picked up incoming aircraft, which turned out to be 12 Italian BR.20M bombers and 12 CR.42 biplane fighters heading for Harwich. Hurricane fighters from No. 257, No. 46, and No. 17 Squadrons RAF were launched to intercept over the Thames Estuary, shooting down 3 bombers and 3 fighters, while damaging 2 bombers, without incurring any losses. Winston Churchill would later quip that the Italian aircraft "might have found better employment defending the fleet at Taranto", referring to the successful British raid to take place later on the same day. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | TH]
  • British destroyer HMS Vega hit a mine and was badly damaged 5 miles north of Westgate-on-Sea, Kent, England, United Kingdom while escorting a convoy; she would later be towed to Sheerness, Kent for repairs. On the same day, British minesweeping trawler HMT Stella Orion hit a mine and sank in the Thames Estuary without any casualties. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British corvette Rhododendron attacked German submarine U-103 with depth charges 200 miles northwest of Ireland; U-103 would be able to escape without any damage. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis stopped British ship Automedon with gunfire in the Bay of Bengal, killing 7 crew and 1 gunner. The crew of Atlantis boarded Automedon, capturing 87 survivors, cargos of food and cigarettes, and top secret Royal Navy documents detailing military deployment in Asia and code schemes. ww2dbase [Atlantis | CPC]
  • The US army took delivery of its first Jeep. The origin of the name is still a mystery. Some say it is from the Army designation GP (General Purpose) but others prefer the reference to a character from the Popeye cartoon strip known as Eugene the Jeep. The character could walk through walls, climb trees, fly and go just about anywhere it wanted, and it is thought that soldiers at the time were so impressed with the new vehicle’s versatility that they named it after the Jeep. ww2dbase [Jeep | CPC]
  • No. 640 Squadron RAF recorded the first Beaufighter "kill" when a German Ju 88A aircraft was shot down with the aid of the A.I.IV radar. ww2dbase [Beaufighter | AC]
  • A convoy launched specifically to coincide with the British attack on Taranto, Italy reached Malta successfullly. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | HM]

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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"Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, 16 Mar 1945

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