Taranto is a port in southern Italy in the province of Puglia, on the arch of the "boot". The city was founded by Spartans in 706 BC as a trading post. Taranto is currently a large commercial port and the home of a major naval base.
World War II
Taranto, the home of most of the Italian fleet at the time, was attacked on November 11, 1940, by British carrier planes (Operation Judgement). The British planes, Swordfish biplanes armed with torpedoes, sank one battleship and damaged two battleships and a cruiser for the loss of two bombers. The attack caused the relocation of Italian naval units to ports further away from the action. The success of the raid inspired Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto to plan a similar attack on Pearl Harbor.