Background EditBoth the Corleones and the Tattaglias were a part of New York's "Five Families", which also included the Barzinis, Cuneos, and the Straccis. The Corleones and the other families fought one another in several mob wars to take over New York City, leading to thousands of mobster and civilian homicides. The Tattaglia family under Underboss Bruno Tattaglia expanded into Little Italy in the Little Italy War of 1945, which caused the Corleones to be without a home for a while. The Corleone family preferred to operate from safehouses, rather than compounds, as they were harder to detect. They rose back in 1945, taking advantage of the decline of the Tattaglia family. In December 1945, the Tattaglia family began to do business with Virgil Sollozzo, a narcotics dealer who had poppy fields in Turkey and had served one jail sentence in Sicily and one in the USA. Sollozzo began to increase the flow of the drug trade, leading to the enrichment of the Five Families, but not the Corleones; it was a little dangerous to be trading drugs, as the politicians that were in Corleone's pocket would not stay friendly if the Corleones began using narcotics. This would be anticipated by Sollozzo, who wanted the Corleones to share their politicians and corrupt officials with the other families; the Tattaglias in his case. If the Corleones would not collapse to the narcotics trade, they would have to go down by force.
First Actions Edit
After a meeting with Sollozzo, in which he refused to take the 30% of the drug trade income, Vito Corleone sent his enforcer Luca Brasi and outsider Aldo Trapani to infiltrate the Tattaglia family. At The Luna Bar, on December 18, Brasi was garroted to death by Adriano Maserati, a Tattagia hitman, while meeting with Bruno Tattaglia and Sollozzo, who had anticipated that he would kill them. But Trapani, glaring through the window to keep watch, shot Maserati dead with a .38 Snub Nose revolver after killing several other Tattaglia buttonmen. Brasi's death began a mob war that resulted in hundreds of Tattaglia and Corleone deaths.
The war against the Tattaglias was the regular mob war: the Tattaglias sent out their men in a drive-by shooting, torched Corleone businesses, targeted every Corleone out on the streets, and turned their life into a living hell. Killings occured everywhere, and Don Corleone was gunned down in the farmer's market in front of his office at Mott Street. He was sent to the hospital, leaving family affairs in the hands of his Underboss and son, Sonny Corleone.
Devastation of the Contraband Edit
Sonny conducted a war of attrition, taking over Tattaglia businesses one by one. He put hits out on Tattaglia made men, including soldato Mikey Saleri, caporegime Donnie Marinelli, and caporegime Tony Bianchi. Their deaths increased the vendetta level of the Tattaglia family, who responded by kidnapping their consigliere Tom Hagen on December 20. The next day, Corleone caporegime Peter Clemenza, soldato Rocco Lampone, and now-enforcer Aldo Trapani snuck into the warehouse on the Brooklyn waterfront where he was being held and rescued him, bringing him back to the Corleone Compound in Little Italy's Washington Street.
Hagen's return was fortunate for Aldo Trapani and the Don's son Michael Corleone, who were nearly arrested after defending Don Corleone from a few Tattaglia goons sent to kill him at the hospital in which he was staying. This was the second failed attempt on Corleone's life, and he would return only after the end of the war.
Corleone associate George "Jaggy" Jovino and caporegime Salvatore Tessio began a campaign to decapitate the Tattaglias, aiming at their transportation and distribution rackets. They sent Aldo Trapani to attack and seize the Verona Warehouse, the Tattaglia racket that decided who would control Little Italy. Trapani killed all 30 Tattaglia buttonmen there, aided by a hit squad of four Corleone buttonmen. He forced the owner, Luigi "Squeegie" McNeese, to give the Corleones the money gained from the racket trucks that departed there. Later, he took down the Chinaware Warehouse.
Peter Clemenza devised a plan to effectively destroy the Tattaglia war machine, hoping to destroy the roots of its criminal income. Aldo Trapani hijacked a Tattaglia racket truck and drove it to Corcoran's Perch in Little Italy, where Clemenza and six Corleone buttonmen climbed in. Trapani drove the truck to Sollozzo's Warehouse in Midtown, using a "Trojan Horse" strategy. Then, they exited the truck and stormed the warehouse, planting bombs in each building. This destroyed Sollozzo's supplies and stashes of narcotics, devastating the Tattaglia family's part in the drug trade.
Even after the raid on his warehouse, Peter Clemenza ordered the Corleone buttonmen to bomb Sollozzo's drug fronts across New York and northeastern New Jersey. The drugs were stored in the basements of abandoned buildings and warehouses, guarded by ten to fifteen Tattaglia buttonmen. The Corleones put time bombs in the cellars and bugged out before the buildings and stashes exploded in a ball of flames. Sollozzo was left without a source of money, and was forced to seek peace terms sooner or later.