7.  Lessons:

    a)  AA fire is not effective.  Even with RDF instru-
        ments it is questionable whether a gun can be
        kept on the rapidly changing bearing of a fast,
        low flying aircraft.

    b)  Apparently the best night attack on ships in a 
        harbor is to fly so low between ships that if
        the ships fire they will hit each other.

    c)  The Taranto attack was about as near an approach
        to the one man torpedo as will be obtained.
        Seldom will such a determined attack be made.  I
        attended all the conferences of the pilots before
        and after the attack and saw them personally be-
        fore and after they made the attack.  It is doubt-
        ful in my mind whether if the second attack had
        been carried out the pilots could have stood up
        under the strain and gone through AA fire again.

    d)  The difficulties of defending ships on moonlight
        nights in a harbor are numerous and some believe
        it is better to keep the Fleet at sea on such

    e)  I talked to British pilots some days before the
        attack and they expected about 90 percent of the
        pilots to return and to make about 75 percent of
        torpedo hits.  The British believe that the tor-
        pedo plane attack made at dawn or dusk or under
        moonlight conditions is the best form of plane
        attack.  The British Navy has definitely given
        up high level bombing and its second choice to
        the torpedo attack is dive bombing attack.
        They do not advocate steep dive bombing attacks
        because they do not want to lose control of the
        plane and experience loss of correction of aim
        during the dive.

                                  John N. Opie, 3rd.