Lead:  During the bleak months of late 1940 allied control of the Mediterranean was threatened by a powerful Italian fleet based at Taranto on the eastern instep of the Italian boot.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: By June, 1940 French forces were crumbling under Adolf Hitler's blitzkrieg. Not one to pass up an opportunity, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini came into the war on the side of Germany. The collapse of France and the hostile presence of Italy meant Britain stood alone in maintaining the allied lifeline through the Mediterranean. It would not be an easy task. The British fleet was stretched to its limits and faced an adversary that, at least on paper, was formidable.

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