• Confronting Italy: Mediterranean Surface Actions in 1940 (Paperback)
  • Confronting Italy: Mediterranean Surface Actions in 1940 (Paperback)

Confronting Italy: Mediterranean Surface Actions in 1940 (Paperback)

Price: £16.20


Confronting Italy: Mediterranean Surface Actions in 1940. Exploding the Myth of Mussolini’s ‘Mare Nostrum (Britannia Naval Histories of World War II)

Publication date: July 2019

ISBN 978-1-84102-439-4 

Paperback 230 x 150mm

182 pages 

The hotly-contested Mediterranean naval battles of 1940 initiated rapid developments that changed the face of naval warfare, yet also had echoes of a previous and less complicated era when gunnery, pure and simple, dominated warfare at sea. The actions were fought when the Royal Navy was still evolving its use of naval air power and when radar at sea was primitive and fitted to only a few ships, while Italy’s Regia Marina was handicapped by having access to neither. Bombastic assertions by Mussolini that the Mediterranean was ‘Our Sea’, preceded his declaration of war on 10th June, when Great Britain was preoccupied with the dire situation in France. But the Royal Navy had two of its most competent and aggressive flag officers commanding the mostly elderly ships based at each end of the Mediterranean. Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham and Vice Admiral Sir James Somerville fought spirited actions against the modern and capable Regia Marina, undermining Mussolini’s rhetoric and boosting morale as Britain focussed on the threat of German invasion. Confronting Italy contains three previously classified Naval Staff Histories describing major naval surface actions of 1940, supported by a modern introduction setting them in context and also illustrates warships involved, using WW2 US Navy Intelligence Dept documents. Confronting Italy is in a series publishing previously classified documents in a new, accessible format. Specially commissioned commentary by expert naval historians published in collaboration with Britannia Royal Naval College Britannia. Naval Histories of World War II – an important source in understanding the critical naval actions of the period.

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