British Forces

  • Rear Admiral A L St G Lyster


  • CV Illustrious
    Commanding officer: Capt. Boyd
    • 813 Sqn.
      Notes: Swordfish.
    • 815 Sqn.
      Notes: Swordfish.
    • 819 Sqn.
      Notes: Swordfish.
    • 824 Sqn.
      Notes: Swordfish.
    • 806 Sqn.
      Notes: 14 Fulmars and 4 Sea Gladiators for air defense.1
  • ^At least one source reports only 2 Sea Gladiators embarked at this time.

Attack Force

Drawn from 813, 815, 819, & 824 Sqns.
  • 1st wave
    Commanding officer: Lt.-Cdr. M. W. Williamson, 815 Sqn.
    Notes: 12 Swordfish.
  • 2nd wave
    Commanding officer: Lt.-Cdr. J. W. Hale, 819 Sqn.
    Notes: 9 Swordfish.

3rd Cruiser Squadron

  • CL Gloucester
    Notes: 1a
  • CA York
  • ^At least one source reports Gloucester was part of 7th Cruiser Sqn. at this time.

Other Cruisers

  • CA Berwick
  • CL Glasgow

2nd Destroyer Flotilla

  • DD Hasty
  • DD Havock
  • DD Ilex

14th Destroyer Flotilla

  • DD Hyperion

Italian Forces

Known forces present at Taranto
  • Vice-Admiral Arturo Riccardi
    Position: Port commander
  • Vice-Admiral Inigo Campioni
    Position: Commander of the Main Battlefleet

9th Naval Division

  • Rear Admiral Carlo Bergamini
  • BB Littorio
  • BB Vittorio Veneto

5th Naval Division

  • BB Conte di Cavour
  • BB Giulio Cesare

Other Battleships

  • BB Caio Duilio
    Notes: Recommissioned July 7th, 1940 after rebuild.
  • BB Giulio Cesare
    Notes: Recommissioned October 20, 1940, not considered operational; crew still in training after rebuild.

1st Cruiser Division

  • Vice Admiral Angelo Iachino
  • CA Pola (flagship)(flagship)
  • CA Zara
  • CA Goriza
  • CA Fiume

3rd Cruiser Division

  • CA Trento
  • CA Trieste
  • CA Bolzano

8th Cruiser Division

  • CL Abruzzi
  • CL Garibaldi


  • DD Carducci
  • DD Alfieri
  • DD Oriani
  • DD Gioberti
  • DD Lampo
  • DD Baleno
  • DD Folgore
  • DD Libeccio

Evidence leads me to believe there were more Italian DD's in the inner harbor, but I have no references that detail the names of these additional DD's.


  • Seaplane Tender Giuseppe Miraglia


  • The Naval War in the Mediterranean 1940-1943 by J. Greene & A. Massignani
  • Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945 by J. Rohwer & G. Hummelchen
  • Warship Profile No. 17 RN Zara/Heavy Cruiser 1929-1941 by Aldo Fraccaroli, Lt. Commander (Pay), INR
  • Regia Marina Italian Battleships of World War II by E. Bagnasco & M. Grossman
  • Sea Battles in Close-Up: World War 2 by M. Stephen edited by E. Grove
  • Warship Profile No. 11 HMS Illustrious/Aircraft Carrier 1939-1956 Operational History by David Brown
  • Man O' War 5, Town Class Cruisers by A. Raven & J. Roberts