We had no real excuse, being the architects of Taranto.
This is covered in the book I mentioned at the start of the topic. At Taranto the ships were in a harbour and had no chance of maneouvering. Also, there was no intelligence on Japanase torpedo planes, and the Royal Navy assumed they would be similar to the Swordfish - slow biplane with far less range than Mitsubishi G3M/G4M. On top of that, Royal Navy had been able to fight off torpedo attacks by Italian aircraft in Mediterranean.
Everybody was surprised about the skill and training of Japanese aircraft in the attack. An interesting anecdote is that Stalin suggested that maybe they were German pilotos. According to one of his advisers Germany had transferred 1,500 pilots to Japan, which had also caused a reduction of air operations in the Eastern Front at that period.
Edited by alejandro_, 22 April 2020 - 0114 AM.