The Swordfish etched a heroic record of service. Michael E Haskew profiles the antiquated biplane that helped changed the course of World War Two

On the evening of November 13, 1940 Winston Churchill rose before the House of Commons. “I have some news for the House,” he intoned. “The Royal Navy has struck a crippling blow to the Italian Fleet…

“I feel it my duty to bring this glorious episode to the immediate notice of the House. As a result of a determined and highly successful attack, which reflects great honour on the Fleet Air Arm, only three of the Italian battleships remain effective.”

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