‘The First Fleet Victory Since Trafalgar’: the Battle of Cape Matapan and Signals Intelligence, March 1941

By L. Johnman & H. Murphy , published August 2005


A synthesis of the available material on the battle and an evaluation of its strategic significance with particular emphasis on the role played by ‘Ultra’, the British decrypts of Axis signals in the lead up to the battle. Matapan was the first fleet action in which carrier-borne aircraft played a vital and indispensable role in search, attack and defence and it was the first time that radar-equipped ships, acting as eyes in the night, tracked down an unsuspecting enemy.

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Filed under: WW2 | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Naval Aviation | Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy | Weapons

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