I've finally had some spare time to tackle one of my remaining pages. This time it's the seminal raids by the fledgling British Pacific Fleet against the oil refineries of Palembang in Operation Meridian.
It's yet another one of the Forgotten Fleet's forgotten actions. Even at the time, British media barely mentioned the fact that four of its fleet carriers had operated in concert to seriously damage two of Japan's largest oil production facilities.
Like all battles, its impact on the war effort is a matter of eternal debate. While neither refinery was ever fully repaired, Japan was eventually able to increase production elsewhere to make up the shortfall. But, by that time, the lack of tankers meant the much needed aviation and bunker fuel ended up just sitting in its storage tanks.
Henry Adlam argues Palembang was the Royal Navy's greatest achievement of World War II. He also argues that it leaves Taranto in its shadow.
I don't fully agree. But it was certainly the largest, most complex and well-opposed operation the FAA ever engaged in.
Judge for yourselves.