Lead: Off Cape Matapan (mat ta 'pan) in March 1941, the World War II threat of the Italian Navy in the Mediterranean was largely ended.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Cape Matapan or as it is now known Cape Tainaron (‘tay n ron) is the southernmost point on the mainland of Greece. In early 1941 naval action off the Cape determined the role of Benito Mussolini's navy in the war. Hoping to win territory independent of his arrogant German Axis partner Mussolini had invaded British occupied Egypt from bases in Libya and sent his army into Greece. Both invasions were easily repulsed by British and Greek counterattacks and the humiliated Mussolini turned to Hitler for help. The Germans responded by sending troops into Greece, Crete and under Edwin Rommel, into North Africa.

 

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