A defensive device deployed around a ship at anchor or in harbor to prevent torpedoes striking it. The success of the British attack on Italian ships at Taranto on 11 November 1940 impressed not only the Japanese, who took immediate steps to emulate the feat, but also the Americans. Admiral Harold R. Stark (Stark, Harold R.), Chief of Naval Operations, wrote to the commander of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral James O. Richardson (Richardson, James O.) on 22 November to suggest the deployment of torpedo nets. Richardson responded that they were neither necessary nor practicable.