The early months of the Second World War saw some of the most dramatic naval battles of all time. A German U-boat entered the Royal Navy's main fleet base at Scapa Flow and sunk the British battleship ROYAL OAK. The Battle of The River resulted in the scuttling of the German pocket battleship GRAF SPEE. Britain's legendary battle cruiser HMS HOOD was sunk by Germany's mighty BISMARCK, and only days later, the BISMARCK was destroyed.In the Mediterranean, British battleships destroyed French battleships at Mers-el-Kabir-carrier-based Swordfish aircraft carried out a daring torpedo attack on the Italian Fleet at Taranto. The success of this raid confirmed the vulnerability of battleships to air attack - a lesson later put to good use by the Japanese in their attack on Pearl Harbour.Immediately after the devastation of the US Pacific battle fleet at Pearl Harbour. Japanese mastery of the air bought new victims off Singapore with the sinking of the REPULSE and PRINCE Of WALES.The great naval battles of the Pacific between the might of the Japanese imperial navy and the power of the US military juggernaught, supported by its Australian and New Zealand allies, battleships play, for the first time in their history, a secondary role to the mighty aircraft carriers and their airborne fire power - bombers, torpedo bombers, plus their cover of wave after wave of fighter aircraft. The role of the fleets major strike weapon had passed, from the battleship, to the aircraft carrier.