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Found 10 results

  1. 7_3_PowerStroke

    B-17 Nine-Oh-Nine

    For those of you who may not know, the Collings Foundation's B-17G Nine-Oh-Nine went down this morning at 0954 while trying to land at Bradly International Airport in Connecticut. 2 people confirmed dead, all the rest being treated for various levels of injury. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/vintage-b-17-plane-crashes-erupts-flames-bradley-international-airport-n1061161 More info as it becomes available.
  2. Hello! I always thought this was an interesting question. Aircraft carriers were frankly the game-changer for the big battleship-on-battleship engagements that dominated naval doctrine for years. They can send ordinance from the sky to eliminate heavily-armored warships without too many casualties to the attacker. While aircraft carriers were somewhat used in World War I by the British (HMS Ark Royal and HMS Furious), they didn't really hit their stride until World War II with Taranto, the destruction of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, Pearl Harbor, Coral Sea, Midway and more. XX My question is this: If aircraft carriers were more heavily explored in WW1 (i.e. They were used more in engagements and had their equivalent testing battles...like a bombing of the German High Seas Fleet with British carrier planes. This is just a random example of perhaps a demonstration of good carrier aviation that could happen in a what-if WW1), how would've that affected WW2 naval battles? Under this, there are a few more questions: -How would've technology advanced with the rise of carriers from the prior war (i.e. rise in missile technology to destroy carriers? Better planes to avoid carrier AA fire?) -What mistakes do you think naval commanders would make with carriers in the beginning stages of the conflict? -How would that affect building strategy and the naval treaties during the interwar period? -Would some warships have been prioritized over others (i.e. more carriers vs the Yamato-class battleships for the Japanese? Graf Zeppelin-like carriers over Bismarcks?) XX Feel free to get creative with your answers and expand upon your own lines of observation. Thanks!
  3. Submarine_M1

    LEGO Float Stuka when?

    https://www.brickmania.com/ju-87-b-2-stuka/ i saw these, and did made one a floatplane In ksp (kerbal space program) and I was thinking- did anyone made a float plane version of the Stuka out of legos? I was hoping I can have 1 soon, and hopefully by brick mania.... here’s the J-2/U-1a Stuka variant, if you wanted to know what it looks like
  4. Koogus

    Other naval ww2 games

    Apologies if i am posting in the incorrect area. My question is what other naval ww2 naval games are there? I know there is the battlestations games and victory at sea and victory at sea pacific.
  5. Some first-hand accounts of WW2 by actual Italian Soldiers, I apologize but as their native Italian speakers the Audio is in Italian but there are English Subtitles already incorporated into the video. "Italian and American WWII veterans meet again on the mountains where they fought against each other. Part of the "On the Gothic Line" documentary.": "Corporal Colombo's company did not see frontline action, yet, in spite all the attempts to defuse tension, the situation in the rear was far from peaceful. And when the war was over and the San Marco Marines had laid down their arms, hundreds of them were seized by the partisans and shot dead in cold blood." "On January 17, 1943 at 17:30h, Ugo Balzari - ski messenger of the Tridentina Alpini Division - and the rest of the Italian 8th Army in Russia receives the order to leave the Don River Line and pull back. The Red Army has broken through the Axis lines down South, near Stalingrad. Temperatures as low as -40° and 11 Russian encirclement lines are now awaiting them. They will have to fight through all of them if they want to survive.": "After hundreds of miles on foot in the grip of the Russian winter, Ugo Balzari and what remains of the Italian 8th Army finally reach the last encirclement line at Nikolayevka. The 11th and final battle awaits them. Only 9,000 men are battle worthy, the remaining 30,000 are either wounded, frostbitten or shell-shocked. The long line of stragglers includes Germans, Hungarians, and Romanians. Men of the 40th Russian Army are waiting for them well entrenched in the village behind the railway line. Gen. Reverberi climbs up the self-propelled gun and famously shouts: “ Tridentina , forward!”" : "At the beginning of December 1941 Enzo Giordano's 6th assault company, 2nd Bn, GGFF Regiment, was deployed at the Bir el Gobi outpost. At that time Rommel was still trying to capture Tobrouk. Little he knew that General Norrie's Army Corps was heading towards him from the South in order to encircle his forces. Had Norrie succeeded, it would have been the end of the Africa Korps. Between the British VIII Army Corps and Rommel there were only these 2 battalions of the Italian GGFF Regiment. Taking them out must have looked like a walk in the park. What followed instead was the 2nd Battle of Bir el Gobi, one of the most surprising feat of arms of WWII in Africa.": "Historians often refer to Rommel's retreat in North Africa as a tactical masterpiece. Rarely do they mention that it has only been possible thanks to the fierce fight put up by Italian troops covering the Axis retreat. From El Alamein to Tunisia the men led by General Messe always held their positions against superior forces for an impossibly long time. Among them was 18 year old Enzo Giordano of the 2nd BN of the Italian GGFF Regiment. At Enfidaville the Regiment made its last stand as they kept their positions and even recaptured those lost by the Germans. The regiment kept fighting even when all German forces had surrendered. The GGFF were the last Axis unit to lay down their arms in North Africa.": "Marò Scelto (Corporal) Giovanni Tempra of the Italian Decima Mas Division talks about his close-range combat experience on the Senio River banks against units of the 8th British Army in early 1945. " "Towards the end of WW2, France wanted to payback Italy for its aggression in 1940, and started a series of actions on the border. When the French took Mt Chenaillet, a strategic outpost, from the Germans, Alpino Salvatore Daviddi, Tirano BN of the Monterosa division, volunteered to go take it back.": "In November 1944, Alpino Daviddi volunteered to capture Mt. Chenaillet, a strategic Alpine outpost in French territory. On the 21st the height was taken and he became part of the garrison in charge of defending it. He did not have to wait long for the French counterattack.": "Early in 1944, the Allies land at Anzio. Simultaneously they are also pushing from the South at Cassino where the Germans ask the Italian Decima Mas Divison for help. Egidio Cateni, 1st company of the Barbarigo Battalion and his anti-tank platoon is sent to replace a German SS unit that was in trouble. Since the Allies have more tanks than drivers, the order is to shoot to kill. Cateni in a few days claims the destruction of several Allied tanks. But it wasn't a pretty sight.": "In May 1944, Marò Antonio Crosio could not wait to join the bulk of the Barbarigo Battalion who were desperately trying to stop the Allied forces at Anzio and Nettuno. But by the time he reached his foxhole, the Allies were making progress on the Gustav Line behind them. One month later the Axis forces had to pull back from the Nettuno front to avoid encirclement. Rome was about fall. The Battalion had lost almost half of his men and what happened next, brought Crosio's service to an abrupt end.": "In April 1945 "Ardito" Domenico Lombini and his Fireteam of the "1 Battaglione d'Assalto Forlì", deployed North of the High Senio River, has to fight hard to defend his position in order to cover the retreat of Axis units pressed by the advancing Allies." "In the summer of 1944, 63 BN's artillery guns of the Legione Tagliamento were sent to the Southern Italian Front Line to face the advancing tanks of the British 8th Army. But when their 38/42 cannons got replaced with 81mm mortars, artilleryman Ernesto Trentini realized a different and uglier task was awaiting him.": "Following the September 1943 Italian Army breakdown, private Girelli was called to serve in the newly formed Italian Social Republic. As he did not care much about Fascist units, he decided to join the non-political corps of the Bersaglieri. His unit was deployed at the Italian/French border with the task of preventing the Allies from entering the country from there. In spite of the stalemate situation there, from time to time there was some shell fire exchange aimed at disrupting logistics. Little Girelli knew that after the war he would meet a fellow countryman who had been at the receiving end of his shelling..." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Pb8QS8hJJ4 "On April 27 1945, Lt Capecci of the Monterosa Division is trying to take his men back home when he realizes that Shermans of the 5th US army are in hot pursuit. He orders his men to stop, turn their anti-tank cannon around and open fire.": "On Dec 26th 1944, Massimo Zamorani - Bersagliere of the Italian "Mameli" Storm BN - was sent with his platoon to free a German unit that had been surrounded.": "On Jan 17th 1945, Gian Ugo Taggiasco - Sgt of the Italian Alpine Division "Monterosa" - was sent to an advanced outpost in Tuscany's Serchio Valley. In the morning he found out that his position had been surrounded by a 100 man strong US Buffalo Div. patrol.": "Artillery LT Cesare Fiaschi of the Italian Monterosa Alpine Division, takes us through his memories of Operation Winter Storm. one of the Axis' last counter-attacks in WW2.": "On a cold December night of 1944 Helmsman Aurelio Cosatto and his crew set out on a mission. Together with 2 other MAS's (Assault Surface Vehicles) and a few smaller assault vehicles, they had to intercept an Allied supply convoy headed for Nice in the South of France. But when a silhouette finally appeared in the darkness, they quickly realized they were about to take on a tougher nut to crack.": "Lt Aladar Kummer takes us through his last commando mission beyond the Allied lines in WWII Italy." https://forum.worldofwarships.com/topic/162786-carlo-fecia-di-cossato/ Macchi C.202 Folgore "The Macchi C.202 Folgore (Italian "thunderbolt") was an Italian fighter aircraft developed and manufactured by Macchi Aeronautica. It was operated mainly by the Regia Aeronautica (RA; Royal (Italian) Air Force) in and around the Second World War. According to aviation author David Mondey, the Folgore has been considered to be one of the best wartime fighters to serve in large numbers with the Regia Aeronautica. The C.202 was designed by a team headed by the company's chief of design, Italian aeronautics engineer Mario Castoldi. As per company tradition, Macchi aircraft designed by Mario Castoldi received the "C" letter in their model designation, hence the Folgore is commonly referred to as the C.202 or MC.202. The C.202 was a development of the earlier C.200 Saetta, powered by an Italian-built version of the German Daimler-Benz DB 601Aa engine and featuring a redesigned fuselage for greater streamlining. During July 1941, the Folgore went into service with the Regia Aeronautica. In combat, it very quickly proved itself to be an effective and deadly dogfighter against its contemporaries. During its service life, the C.202 was deployed on all fronts in which Italy was involved. During late 1941, it commenced offensive operations over Malta and in North Africa, where Italian and German forces were engaged in heavy combat against British and later American operations. The C.202 continued to be used in North Africa as late as mid-1943, by which point the type was withdrawn to support defensive efforts in Sicily and the Italian mainland following their invasion by Allied forces. It also saw limited use on the Eastern Front. Following the 1943 Armistice with Italy, the type was mostly used as a trainer aircraft. The type was also operated by Croatia. The Australian ace Clive Caldwell, who fought a wide variety of German, Italian and Japanese fighters during 1941–45, later stated that the C.202 was "one of the best and most undervalued of fighters". The C.202 also had its defects: like its predecessor, the C.200, it could enter a dangerous spin. The radios were unreliable, routinely forcing pilots to communicate by waggling their wings and Western historians regard the C.202 as insufficiently armed, being furnished with just a pair of machine guns that had a tendency for jamming. Still in mid-Summer 1942, in North Africa, the Folgore achieved a ratio kill/loss better than that of the Messerschmitt Bf 109s." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macchi_C.202 Macchi C.205 Veltro "The Macchi C.205 (also known as MC.205, "MC" standing for "Macchi Castoldi") Veltro (Italian: Greyhound) was an Italian World War II fighter aircraft built by the Aeronautica Macchi. Along with the Reggiane Re.2005 and Fiat G.55, the Macchi C.205 was one of the three "Serie 5" Italian fighters built around the powerful Daimler-Benz DB 605 engine. The C.205 was a development of the earlier C.202 Folgore. With a top speed of some 640 km/h (400 mph) and equipped with a pair of 20 mm cannon as well as 12.7 mm Breda machine guns, the Macchi C.205 Veltro was highly respected by Allied and Axis pilots alike. Widely regarded as one of the best Italian aircraft of World War II, in action it proved to be extremely effective, destroying a large number of Allied bombers and capable of successfully clashing on equal terms with fighters such as the North American P-51D Mustang, a capability which encouraged the Luftwaffe to use a number of these aircraft to equip one Gruppe. However, while the C.205 was able to match the best Allied opponents in speed and maneuverability, it was introduced late in the conflict. Moreover, due to the poor Italian industrial capacity of the time, only a small production run was delivered before the end of the war. Like the Spitfire, the Veltro was tricky in its construction and thus slow to build. Italy's highest scoring ace, Adriano Visconti, achieved 11 of his 26 credited victories in the few weeks he was able to fly the Veltro, with the top scoring Sergente Maggiore pilota Luigi Gorrini shooting down 14 enemy aircraft plus six damaged with the C.205." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macchi_C.205 Fiat G.55 Centauro "The Fiat G.55 Centauro (Italian: "Centaur") was a single-engine single-seat World War II fighter aircraft used by the Regia Aeronautica and the A.N.R. (Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana, the Airforce of the Northern half of Italy that continued to fight for the Axis after the Armistice, refusing to accept such a humiliating surrender they fought until the war's end.) in 1943–1945. It was designed and built in Turin by Fiat. The Fiat G.55 was arguably the best type produced in Italy during World War II, (a subjective claim also frequently made for the Macchi C.205 Veltro as well as for the Reggiane Re.2005 Sagittario) but it did not enter production until 1943, when, after comparative tests against the Messerschmitt Bf 109G and the Focke-Wulf 190, the Luftwaffe itself regarded the Fiat G.55 as "the best Axis fighter". During its short operational service, mostly under the Repubblica Sociale Italiana insignia, after the 8 September 1943 armistice, this powerful, robust and fast aircraft proved itself to be an excellent interceptor at high altitude. In 1944, over Northern Italy, the Centauro clashed with British Supermarine Spitfire, P-51 Mustang, P-47 Thunderbolt and P-38 Lightning, proving to be no easy adversary. Italian fighter pilots liked their Centauro but by the time the war ended, fewer than 300 had been built.[3] By comparison, the Germans produced 35,000 Bf 109s." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_G.55 Why the M38 Carcano Fucile Corto is one of the best thought-out rifles for WWII To quote the Video Description: "I would like to propose that the M38 Carcano short rifle was, despite the poor reputation of the Carcano series of rifles, one of the best thought out bolt action weapons of World War 2. Why, you ask? Well, let's consider... Only a few nations actually recognized the short ranges at which combat actually took place. Germany was one, as seen with it's 8x33mm cartridge development, and Italy was another. The sights on the M38 series of carbines were made as simple fixed notches, with no adjustments to be knocked out of place unintentionally. With a 200 meter zero (or 150 meters, with the Finnish replacement front sight), the weapon needed no adjustment to make hits out to 300 meters, which is as far as anyone could realistically engage a target. The M38 is a light and handy weapon compared to its contemporaries - 8.1 pounds and 40.2 inches (3.7kg and 1.02m) - and it fired a significantly lighter cartridge as well. The 7.35x51mm round used a 128gr (8.3g) bullet at 2400-2500 fps (735-755 m/s) depending on barrel length. This produced noticeably less recoil than rounds like the .30-06 or 8mm Mauser, which made it easier for troops to shoot effectively. The Carcano also had a 6-round capacity and fed with Mannlicher type clips, which are potentially faster to load than Mauser-type stripper clips. Today we will discuss the M38 and these features (along with its predecessor, the M91 rifle) as they appear on paper. At the same time, over on InRangeTV, today we have the first stage of a 2-Gun Action Challenge Match in which I am shooting this M38 Carcano against Karl, who is using a Mauser K98k - so we will see how the theory works out in the field!" The Beretta 38A "The Beretta 38A is not a gun that comes to mind for many people today when discussing World War Two submachine guns, but at the time it was one of the most desirable guns of its type. So - does it live up to that reputation?" As for tanks the Italians are continuously and unjustly treated as a laughing stock by modern historians, yet they seemingly lack understanding of why such designs were used; As Italy at the outbreak of the war lacked the Manufacturing capabilities to produce a "Jack-Of-All-Trades" tank like the American M4 Sherman. As such Italy had a dilemma on it's hands; It needed armored vehicles that could fulfill a multitude of different Roles, but lacked an industry to develop a tank that could do all of them. As such Italy opt'ed to set about developing a multitude of smaller vehicles that would each fulfill a very specific role, and only to be designed with that role in mind. Which in turn led to a drastically different Tank Warfare Doctrine, which leads to confusion for those trying to look at their actions through the lens of the Doctrines of the US, UK, Germany etc. In that for Italy Tankettes like the CV.33 were never designed nor intended to engage in Tank v Tank combat, instead, they were designed to be used as an Infantry support vehicle, a Reconnaissance Vehicle, and could be easily modified to function as a tow vehicle to move larger Italian 90mm Anti-Air/Anti-Tank batteries. Thusly Light tanks were designed with the belief via their doctrine that Light Tanks are solely for Reconassaince and light infantry support, and under-no controllable circumstances were they supposed to engage enemy Armor. Medium tanks were designed for the task of giving infantry support in more heavily defended areas such as trenches or fortifications and were designed with a caliber of gun (as in the M15/42) that could realiably take out any tank it would encounter in the areas it would be engaging (the Cruiser series of tanks, and the Crusaders), and were to be accompanied by an Infantry Anti-Tank division (for example the Folgore) who would be tasked with taking out tanks like M4 Shermans and Matildas, which time and time again they did so bravely, and effectively. To give you a visual idea of how the Italian Infantry Anti-Tank style divisions would go about doing so here's a clip from an old WW2 movie that shows the Folgore (a division worthy of praise and more recognition today), and should give a relative understanding of what it was like, even though some of the vehicles in the clip weren't actually used in WW2 at the time, due to it being an older film its somewhat understandable. British General Hughes of the 44th Infantry Division: "I wish to say that in all my life I have never encountered soldiers like those of the Folgore." According to American historian John W.Gordon, whose book Behind Rommel's Lines was recently translated into Italian, the British special forces were so impressed by the methods and tactics of the Italian desert corps that they actually copied them. Italy's crack paratrooper regiment, the "Folgore", sent some 5,000 of its men to El Alamein. Only 304 returned. ''The paratroopers threw themselves against oncoming tanks with Molotov cocktails and live mines,'' said Francesco Marini Dettina, a survivor of the battle who was awarded a silver medal for valor. Interviewed for a documentary, Dettina said: ''They urged us to surrender but the only answer they got came from the artillery with our last remaining shells. The British were surprised by the Italians' behavior.'' Churchill said in a speech to the House of Commons a month after El Alamein: ''We must honor the men that were the Lions of the Folgore''. As for Tank Destroyers, the Philosophy was rather simple: They were designed to deal with anything the rest of their armor couldn't deal with. And at that, they excelled! Not to mention Germany were quite fond of the Italian Tank Destroyers, using them extensively in their own ranks in the Deserts of Africa. As for a while, until they got their hands on the Italian Semovente da 75/18, besides Flak 8,8 and Italian 90mm gun emplacements, the Axis didn't have anything that could effectively take out tanks like the Matildas. The Semovente da 75/18 ( Sturmgeschütz M42 mit 75/18 850 (i) in German use ) "The Semovente da 75/18 was an Italian self-propelled gun of the Second World War. It was built by mounting the 75 mm Obice da 75/18 modello 34 mountain gun on the chassis of a M13/40, M14/41 or M15/42 tank. The first 60 were built using the M13/40 chassis and a subsequent 162 were built on the M14/41 chassis from 1941 to 1943, when the M15/43 chassis were introduced. The Semovente da 75/18 was intended to be an interim vehicle until the heavier P40 tank could be available." "Although these machines were not widely known, the vehicle performed well in its role. Though it was technically similar to the StuG III, it had a totally different role, serving as divisional artillery instead of a pure assault gun. The organic structure consisted of two artillery groups for every armored division, with two batteries each (four 75/18 each and a command vehicle). The total was of 18 75 mm L/18 (included two in reserve) and 9 command vehicles, which were characterized by additional radio equipment and a Breda 13.2 mm heavy machine gun mounted instead of the main gun. The number originally ordered, 60 total, was enough for the three armored divisions." "The Semovente da 75/18s were deployed in the North African campaign and during the Allied invasion of Sicily, alongside M tank units to provide additional firepower. Despite the fact that they were not designed to fight other tanks, their 75 mm howitzer proved ideal (thanks to its low muzzle velocity) for firing HEAT shells; its 5.2 kg HEAT shell ("Effetto Pronto" in Italian) could pierce 80 mm of armour at 500 meters, and could thus defeat tanks such as the US built M3 Grant and M4 Sherman used by the British Army. As such, these machines were responsible for many of the successes by the Italian armoured troops during 1942–43, when the medium tanks (all armed with a 47 mm gun) were no longer effective. On another account, the Semovente da 75/18 on M14 chassis allowed the Ariete and the Littorio division a somewhat wider tactical repertoire until British deployment of U.S. medium tanks negated that small advantage." "The most successful action fought by Semovente da 75/18 took place on 10 June 1942, south of Knightsbridge, during the Battle of Gazala. Thirty M3 Grant and ten M3 Stuart of 1st and 6th Royal Tank Regiment attacked a position held by the Ariete division but were repelled by Semovente da 75/18s as well as some M13/40s and gun trucks, losing three Grants and two Stuarts from 6th Royal Tank Regiment and twelve Grants and three Stuarts from 1st Royal Tank Regiment. The Italians lost two M13/40s." "Despite its limitations (namely its cramped interior and the insufficiently powerful engine in the M40 and M41 variants), the Semovente da 75/18 proved successful both in the direct support role and in anti-tank fighting; its main advantages, other than their sheer firepower, was in its thicker armor (relative to the medium tanks) and lower silhouette that made it more difficult to hit. Due to these features, the Semovente da 75/18 has been regarded as one of the few Italian armored fighting vehicles to be seriously feared by Allied tank crews, and despite the fact that it was originally conceived for a totally different role, the 75/18 often ended up replacing the standard M13/40." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semovente_da_75/18 Semovente da 90/53 "The Semovente da 90/53 was primarily developed in response to demands by Italian forces on the Eastern Front for a vehicle-mounted anti-tank weapon that could take on Soviet T-34 and KV tanks. Italian armored forces on the Eastern Front were equipped only with the L6/40 tank and Semovente 47/32 self-propelled gun; neither of these had the firepower to cope with the Soviet medium and heavy tanks. However, no Semoventi da 90/53 was ever sent to the Eastern Front." "The major drawback of the Semovente da 90/53, as with many self-propelled gun types of World War II, was the open top and rear of the gun compartment, which left the gun crew exposed to shrapnel and small arms fire. In addition, the Semovente da 90/53 had little or no armor in most areas. Because these vehicles were designed to operate far enough away from enemy vehicles to not be subject to incoming fire, this was initially not considered a problem. The small ammunition capacity of the vehicle—six rounds—was also a problem, necessitating the creation of special ammunition carriers out of Fiat L6/40 tanks, one accompanying each Semovente da 90/53 in the field. The L6 ammunition carrier carried 26 rounds, plus an additional 40 rounds in a towed trailer. It fired Effetto Pronto, or HEAT rounds, which could pierce 200mm armor plating at a range of 2,200 meters." "In the North African Campaign, the Semovente da 90/53 proved to be an effective weapon and its long-range was well suited to the flat and open desert terrain. 24 Semovente 90/53s saw service against the Allies in the 10° Raggruppamento Semoventi, which was stationed in Sicily during the Allied invasion in 1943. Following the Armistice of Cassibile in September 1943, the few surviving Semoventi da 90/53 were seized by the German Army, but were of little value in the mountainous terrain of Northern Italy where they operated. As a result, most finished their careers as long-range artillery." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semovente_da_90/53 Semovente da 75/34 "The Semovente da 75/34 was an Italian self-propelled gun developed and used during World War II. It was a 75 mm L/34 gun mounted on a M15/42 tank chassis. It saw action during the defense of Rome in 1943 and later served with the Germans in Northern Italy and the Balkans. 141 were produced during the war (60 before the Armistice of Cassibile in September 1943, 81 later under German control)." "While derived from the earlier Semovente, it differed somewhat from it; instead of two conjoined plates each 21 millimeters (0.83 in) thick, the frontal armor was made of a single 42 millimeters (1.7 in) thick plate and the casemate was modified to fit the longer gun. It had the same 192 HP petrol engine of the M15/42 which allowed for a reasonable top speed of 38.4 kilometers per hour (23.9 mph)." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semovente_da_75/34 Semovente da 105/25 or StuG M43 mit 105/25 853 (i) ^^German Semovente da 105/28 and Semovente Da 75/34 with name Heidi 3 from 71 Inf.Div. "The development of a self-propelled gun with high firepower was initiated during 1942 in parallel by Odera-Terni-Orlando (OTO) and Ansaldo. OTO proposed the installation of a 105/25 gun on the hull of a P26/40 tank. Ansaldo, for its part, proposed to use the hull of the Semovente M42 already in production and was, therefore, able to present, on 28 February 1943, its prototype to the Centro Studi Della Motorizzazione while the OTO model was still in development. The production of the Ansaldo proposal was therefore approved by the Royal Italian Army. In the final version, with an improved hull and the 105/25 gun, it was adopted on April 2, 1943, as the self-propelled M43 105/25, Bassotto ("Dachshund"). Twelve units were built and used in 1943 by the 135ª Armored Division "Ariete II", which clashed with German troops near Rome in the days following the armistice of Cassibile that went into effect on 8 and 9 September 1943. They acquitted themselves well in combat. Following the Italian surrender, the Germans, who regarded the Semovente 105/25 "Bassotto" as a very good vehicle, captured them and built an additional 91 units, renamed StuG M43 mit 105/25 853 (i) and used them against the Anglo-American forces." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semovente_da_105/25 Semovente da 75/46 or Sturmgeschütz M 43 mit 75/46 (852) (i) "After the armistice of Cassibile signed in September 1943, Northern and Central Italy fell under German control. In 1944 the progress of the war led them to order a new Italian armoured vehicle for a tank-fighting role, based on the Semovente da 105/25 self-propelled gun. The result was the Semovente da 75/46, which was renamed Sturmgeschütz M 43 mit 75/46 (852) (i) by the Germans, following their naming convention. The 75/46 shared the same "M 43" hull of the 105/25. However, the 105 mm L25 howitzer was replaced by a longer 75 mm L46 cannon – originally conceived as a FlaK cannon but also used as an anti-tank gun – which ensured a higher muzzle velocity (750 m/s instead of 510) and a far greater effective range, being able to fire a 6.5 kg (14 lb 5 oz) shell up to 13,000 m (43,000 ft) away. This gun could be loaded with HE or AP rounds; when loaded with the latter, it could pierce up to 90 mm (3.5 in) of armour from 500 m. The other main difference with its precursor was in the overall increased armour: sloped plates were applied to the casemate and others were added on the sides, above the tracks. Due to these features and despite its origins, the 75/46 is considered a tank destroyer in every respect." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semovente_da_75/46 Semovente da 149/40 This vehicle was literally just the Italian "Cannone da 149/40 modello 35" field artillery gun placed onto a modified Carro Armato M15/42 tank chassis. Didn't really do much of anything but I found the design interesting enough to include. Now onto a big screw-up on wargaming's end when it comes to Roma in-game: (Commentor Nathan Stahlwirth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9YS3GcycNQ) "When it comes to the Roma and Littorio class, There is one major misconception that really should be clarified, and that is the cause of the problems with main battery dispersion for this class. After the war, remaining ammunition for the Ansaldo 1934, the 381mm gun used on the Littorio and Veneto (Roma's guns were made by OTO/Terni) was inspected for compliance with design specifications on mass, dimensions, and assembly. It was discovered that the overwhelming majority of the ammunition did not pass this inspection in one manner or another, with most of the problems being found in the condition of the critical driving bands on the shells. This reality was glaringly demonstrated in the contrast between the shooting manifested by the Littorio/Italia, vs. that of the Vittorio Veneto. Littorio/Italia demonstrated that its grouping was accurate enough, and tight enough to cause splinter damage to RN DDs during the first "battle" of Sirte Gulf (17 December, 1941 - I don't consider it much of a battle, since the action lasted under 7 minutes), starting from a range of 35,000 yards (Source; Robert O. Dulin & William H. Garzke: Battleships Axis and Neutral Battleships of WWII, page 397). What is even more telling about the main gun accuracy, and the exceptional fire control of the Vittorio Veneto class, was that range was determined, main battery was trained, and accurate salvos delivered repeatedly against fast-moving destroyers, in under 7 minutes, with only a single turret firing, with shell flight time being roughly 65 seconds. The splintering was not a single, lucky shell, but rather, was repeated in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th salvos fired, prompting the enemy to lay down a smokescreen for protection from further damage - from a ship that was over 35,000 yards (about 20 miles) away. Keep in mind that during Bismarck's last battle, Rodney, closing from 22,000 yards, required over 10 minutes for her gunlayer to get his first straddle on Bismarck ( a huge target compared to the DDs Littorio fired at, moving at only 8 knots, not 30+). Littorio doubtlessly had properly fabricated ammunition, but Vittorio Veneto suffered from wildly misplaced groups during her Guado encounter (28 March 1941), and at 24,000 yards only scored one near miss (splinters) against RN cruisers, during 25 minutes of firing. It should be fairly obvious that, had the gun been that fundamentally defective, the ships would never have been allowed to go into service with such a glaring defect in place, especially since the gun was first designed and tested in 1934 (hence the name; "Ansaldo Model 1934"), while the first two ships were fully operational by 1940. A far more likely scenario, supported by empirical evidence and assay, is one in which Italian industry, for whatever reason, was not fabricating projectiles of consistent, and proper quality, for the M1934, and other naval rifles. Had this problem been unique to the 381mm gun, there might have been a basis for the position that the guns were to blame for the dispersion; however, given that the problem was erratic, unpredictable, and happening on other Italian ships at the same time, it's possible that the increased demands and pressures of a wartime economy may have been cause for a breakdown of the serialized production of ordnance in Italy, and lead to some units leaving the factory in less than perfect working condition." Not to mention how incorrect the layout of her Ingame armor scheme is when compared to what it was historically, and actually should be Ingame. As this has continually Irritated me as the historical placement of her armor would (Imho) make her a much more sturdy and resilient battleship. And not so prone to getting half her HP chunked off in a moments notice, and that's if your lucky and dont get just flat-out deleted.
  6. Chaos_EN2

    The Movie: Task Force (1949)

    I found a Gary Cooper Movie that I hope will be interesting to some of us "Task Force (1949)" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Task_Force_(film)
  7. Una pregunta bastante simple. ¿Qué nueva línea, aunque sea ya de una nación presente en el juego, les gustaría ver? Por mi parte, me gustaría ver a los cruceros italianos y en segundo lugar a los destructores británicos RN Alberico da Barviano( hundido durante la batalla del Cabo Bon). HMS Lookout.
  8. TheDgamesD

    Carlo Fecia Di Cossato

    Captain Carlo Fecia Di Cossato's life and legacy: Fecia di Cossato was born in Rome in 1908 from a family of the Piedmontese nobility. In his youth, he attended the Royal Military College of Moncalieri and then the Italian Naval Academy in Livorno, where he graduated in 1928 as an Ensign. Immediately after graduation, he was assigned on the submarine Bausan. In 1929, after promotion to Sub-Lieutenant, Fecia di Cossato was assigned to the Italian Naval Detachment in Beijing and sent to China on the scout cruiser Libia. He returned to Italy in 1933, was promoted to Lieutenant and was assigned on the light cruiser Bari, stationed in Massawa during the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. He then participated in two special missions on submarines during the Spanish Civil War. In 1939 Fecia di Cossato attended the Italian Navy Submarine School in Pola, after which he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and given command of a submarine. When Italy entered World War II, Fecia di Cossato was the commanding officer of the submarine Ciro Menotti, based in Messina as part of the 33rd Submarine Squadron. In this role he participated in several missions in the Mediterranean Sea. In the autumn of 1940 he was transferred to the BETASOM submarine base, in occupied France, where he started his participation in the Battle of the Atlantic as executive officer of the submarine Enrico Tazzoli, whose commanding officer was Lieutenant Commander Vittore Raccanelli. On 5 April 1941 Fecia di Cossato was given command of Tazzoli, with Lieutenant Gianfranco Gazzana-Priaroggia as executive officer. Fecia di Cossato and Gazzana Priaroggia (who was later given command of the submarines Archimede and Leonardo da Vinci) were to become Italy's most successful submariners in World War II. On April 7, 1941 Tazzoli left Bordeaux for its first mission under Fecia di Cossato. After reaching a patrol area off the coast of West Africa, on April 12 the submarine attacked two British cruisers with torpedoes, but no hits were obtained. On April 15, Tazzoli sank the British steamer Aurillac (4,733 GRT) with torpedoes and gunfire. On May 7th, Tazzoli sank the Norwegian steamer Fernlane (4,310 GRT) and two days later the Norwegian tanker Alfred Olsen (8,817 GRT). The latter required two days of pursuit, all remaining torpedoes and a hundred artillery rounds, forcing Tazzoli to return to base after sinking it. On the way back, Tazzoli was attacked by an enemy plane, but the reaction of its machine guns damaged the plane and forced it to fly away. On May 25, Tazzoli reached Bordeaux, where Fecia di Cossato was awarded a Silver Medal of Military Valor. On July 15, 1941, Fecia di Cossato sailed for a new mission during which, on August 12, he destroyed the grounded wreck of the British steamer Sangara (5,449 GRT, already damaged by a previous attack by the German submarine U 69) and on August 19 he sank the Norwegian tanker Sildra (7,313 GRT) about fifty miles off Freetown. He returned to base on September 11 and was awarded a Bronze Medal of Military Valor and an Iron Cross Second Class. In December 1941 Tazzoli left Bordeaux to take part in the rescue of 400 survivors from the German commerce raider Atlantis and the German supply ship Python, that had been sunk off the Cape Verde islands. German U-Boats had rescued the survivors from the sea, but did not have enough space to adequately house them, therefore the German command requested the intervention of the larger Italian submarines. Tazzoli and three other Betasom submarines (Torelli, Calvi and Finzi) thus sailed from Bordeaux after disembarking nonessential personnel and loading substantial supplies of food and water. At the rendez-vous with the German U-Boats, Tazzoli took onboard about 70 survivors, including Atlantis' executive officer Ulrich Mohr. On Christmas Eve Tazzoli, sailing on the surface, was attacked by an enemy plane and forced to crash dive. On the following day, the submarine reached Saint-Nazaire, where the survivors were landed. For his part in the rescue of the survivors from the two German ships, Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz awarded Fecia di Cossato the Iron Cross First Class. On 11 February 1942, after the United States’ entry into the war, Tazzoli under Fecia di Cossato left for a new mission, off the coasts of America. On 6 March the submarine sank the Dutch steamer Astrea (1,406 GRT), and on the following day the Norwegian motorship Torsbergfjord (3,156 GRT). On 9 March Tazzoli sank the Uruguayan steamer Montevideo (5,785 GRT), on 11 March the Panama-flagged steamer Cygnet (3,628 GRT), on 13 March the British steamer Daytonian (6,434 GRT) and two days later the British tanker Athelqueen (8,780 GRT). In the fight against the latter, Tazzoli suffered some damage, following which Di Cossato decided to return to base, where he arrived on 31 March. Following this mission Fecia di Cossato was awarded another Silver Medal of Military Valor by the Italian authorities and an Iron Cross Second Class with Sword by the German authorities. On 18 June 1942 Di Cossato sailed with Tazzoli for a new mission in the Caribbean. On 2 August he attacked and sank the Greek merchant Castor (1,830 GRT), an four days later he sank the Norwegian tanker Havsten (6,161 GRT), allowing her crew to abandon ship and be rescued by a nearby Argentinian ship, before sinking her. On 5 September, Tazzoli returned to base; for this mission Fecia di Cossato received a Bronze Medal of Military Valor. On 14 November 1942 Fecia Di Cossato sailed for his last mission on Tazzoli. On 12 December the submarine sank the British steamer Empire Hawk (5,032 GRT) and the Dutch merchant Ombilin (5,658 GRT); on 21 December the British steamer Queen City (4,814 GRT) became Tazzoli's next victim, followed on Christmas by the American motorship Dona Aurora (5,011 GRT). During the return voyage, the submarine was attacked by a British four-engined plane, that was shot down by Tazzoli's machine gunners. On 2 February 1943, Tazzoli ended her patrol in Bordeaux. On 19 March 1943, Fecia di Cossato was awarded a Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross by the German authorities, for his successes in the Atlantic. n February 1943 Fecia di Cossato left the command of Tazzoli, was promoted to Commander and was then given command of the brand new Ciclone-class torpedo boat Aliseo and of the 3rd Torpedo Boat Squadron. He assumed command of Aliseo on 17 April 1943. In May 1943 Di Cossato learned that Tazzoli, having been converted into a transport submarine, had disappeared with all hands after sailing towards the Far East; the loss of his old crew deeply affected him. On 22 July 1943 Aliseo left Pozzuoli together with the German torpedo boat TA11 and two submarine chaser, escorting the steamers Adernò and Colleville towards Civitavecchia. In the morning of 23 July, the convoy was attacked by Allied aircraft; one of the attacking planes was shot down, while one of the Axis escorting planes was damaged and forced to ditch. Aliseo was strafed, and suffered minor damage to her deck and rudder. Fecia di Cossato ordered the convoy to go on, then Aliseo took the ditched plane in tow and towed it towards the coast, while the damage to the rudder was repaired; Aliseo rejoined the convoy at 17:30. Around 19:30, the convoy was attacked by the submarine HMS Torbay, that torpedoed Adernò, sinking her. Aliseo launched a motorboat to pick up the survivors, then hunted the attacking submarine for several hours, but without result. Following other escort missions in the Tyrrhenian Sea, Fecia di Cossato was awarded another Bronze Medal of Military Valor by the Italian authorities, and a War Merit Cross by the German authorities. When the armistice between Italy and the Allied forces was announced, on the evening of 8 September 1943, Aliseo was moored in the harbour of Bastia, in Italian-occupied Corsica. The harbour was packed with several vessels, both Italian and German; besides Aliseo, these included her sistership Ardito, the Italian merchant ships Sassari and Humanitas, and a small German flotilla which included the submarine chasers UJ 2203 (former French survey vessel Austral) and UJ 2219 (former Belgian yacht Insuma) and five Marinefährprahme (F 366, F 387, F 459, F 612 and F 623). The local Italian and German commanders soon reached a "gentlemen’s agreement" according to which the German forces would be allowed to safely retreat to mainland Italy. Meanwhile, however, the German forces secretly prepared to launch a surprise attack on the Italian ships moored inside the harbour, planning to capture them. The attack started at 23:45 on 8 September, when two groups of German soldiers, after hearing a whistle (the signal to attack), stormed Ardito; the torpedo boat was heavily damaged (70 of her 180 crew were killed) and captured, and the merchant ships Sassari and Humanitas also fell into German hands. Aliseo had just left the harbour when the German attack began. Shortly after dawn on 9 September, a combat group of the Tenth Bersaglieri Group (10° Raggruppamento Celere Bersaglieri) staged a counterattack which led to the recapture of the port, as well as of Ardito, Sassari and Humanitas; the German flotilla was ordered to leave the harbour, but the ships were immediately fired upon by the Italian coastal batteries, which damaged UJ 2203 and some of the MFPs. Aliseo, under the command of Fecia di Cossato, was then ordered by the port commander to attack and destroy the German units. Shortly after 7:00 the flotilla, proceeding in a column led by UJ 2203, opened fire on Aliseo, which returned fire at 7:06, from a distance of 8,300 metres (9,100 yd); at 7:30 Aliseo was hit by an 88 mm shell in the engine room and temporarily left dead in the water, but the damage was quickly repaired and the torpedo boat closed in and engaged her adversaries in succession, destroying them one after the other. At 8:20 UJ 2203, after suffering several hits, blew up; ten minutes later UJ 2219 was also destroyed when her magazines exploded. Between 8:30 and 8:35 Aliseo also sank F 366, F 459 and F 623; the corvette Cormorano intervened during the final phase of the battle and, together with Aliseo, forced F 387 and F 612 to run aground, after which they were abandoned and destroyed. Aliseo picked up 25 German survivors, then proceeded towards Portoferraio, as ordered, together with the damaged Ardito. Elba Island had become the collection point for Italian torpedo boats, corvettes and minor ships escaping from harbours on the northern Tyrrhenian coast; Aliseo and Ardito reached Portoferrario at 17:58 on 9 September. In the morning of 11 September, Aliseo left Portoferraio along with six other torpedo boats (including sisterships Animoso, Ardimentoso, Indomito and Fortunale) and some corvettes and smaller vessels, heading for Allied-controlled Palermo, where the group arrived at 10:00 on 12 September. The ships remained in the roads till 18 September, when they entered the harbor in order to receive water and food supplies; on 20 September they left Palermo and reached Malta, where Aliseo delivered part of the foodstuff she had been given to the Italian warships that had arrived there in the previous days. On 5 October 1943, Aliseo left Malta and returned to Italy. For both his achievements in the Battle of the Atlantic and his victorious action off Bastia, Fecia di Cossato was awarded a Gold Medal of Military Valor. Based in Taranto, Aliseo carried out numerous escort missions during the co-belligerence between Italy and the Allies, always under Di Cossato's command. In June 1944, the new government chaired by Ivanoe Bonomi refused to swear loyalty to the king; on 22 June Fecia di Cossato, a staunch monarchist, refused in turn to swear loyalty to the new government, which he considered illegitimate. On the same day, Fecia di Cossato was relieved of command, charged with insubordination and imprisoned. His huge popularity, however, led to immediate unrest among the crews of his and other ships, who refused to put to sea and demanded that he be freed and reinstated in his role. Shortly thereafter, Fecia di Cossato was released from prison, but he was given a mandatory three months' leave. With the armistice and the following events, Fecia di Cossato had seen the ideals that had guided him throughout his life – the Fatherland, the Monarchy, the Regia Marina – crumble around him. He perceived the events of 8 September 1943 as a "shameful surrender" for the Royal Italian Navy, which, he felt, had produced no positive effects for Italy; the country was now divided and occupied by opposing foreign armies, and the armistice and the change of sides would become a stain on Italy's honour and reputation for a long time "We have been unworthily betrayed and we discovered to have committed an ignominius act without any result". Di Cossato felt that his personal honor was stained by the surrender; furthermore, he was worried by the rumors that, despite their participation in the co-belligerence against the Germans, the surviving ships of the Italian Navy would still be handed over to the Allies at the end of the war. He was also haunted by the loss of his old crew on Tazzoli; on the letter he wrote before committing suicide, he also wrote "For months, all I've done is thinking about my crew, who rest honorably at the bottom of the sea. I think that my place is with them". Since his family lived in German-occupied Northern Italy, out of his reach, he had to live in a friend's house in Naples. On 21 August 1944, as his mandatory leave was nearing its end, Fecia di Cossato wrote a last letter to his mother, where he explained the reasons for his extreme gesture; on 27 August 1944 he committed suicide by shooting himself in his friend's house in Naples. He is buried in Bologna. This is a man, who in my eyes atleast, more than any other Italian Commander deserves to be put into World Of Warships as a Unique Commander, regardless of the fact he was a Submariner, due to the legacy and life he lived, only to see his very reasons for fighting disappear with the single stroke of a pen. May he rest in peace. None of the military forces of the major participant powers in World War II have been as unjustly maligned as those of the Kingdom of Italy. Italian defeats have been exaggerated and Italian successes often downplayed or ignored entirely. Because of this, the details of the Italian submarine campaign will no doubt come as a surprise to a great many people. However, the Regia Marina (Italian Royal Navy) entered the war with the largest submarine fleet in the world by tonnage and while most tend to think of the “Battle of the Atlantic” as solely a fight between German U-boat “wolf packs” and Allied convoys, the Italians participated as well, in fact, at one point there were more Italian submarines operating in the Atlantic than German ones. Italian boats also saw extensive service in the Mediterranean (naturally) and the Indian Ocean as well as undertaking operations to East Asian waters and the South Atlantic; areas beyond the range of the smaller, typical Type-VIIC German U-boats. Finally, Italian submarines did a great deal of damage, despite facing many difficulties, against the Allies. When the Kingdom of Italy entered World War II with the declarations of war against Britain and France in June of 1940 the Regia Marina possessed 84 operational submarines under the overall command of Admiral Mario Falangola, succeeded at the end of the following year by Admiral Antonio Legnani. At the outset, their failures outnumbered their successes, which is not too surprising as, aside from some secretive operations in support of Franco in the Spanish Civil War, they had never been tested and both men and boats had bugs that needed working out. However, they had a spirit and determination that would prove formidable. The Smeraldo, for example, a Sirena-class boat of the short to medium range 600 series made the first torpedo attack on British shipping by an Italian submarine but the heavy seas caused the torpedo to miss. However, this same boat later endured the most intense anti-submarine warfare attack of any boat in history with British ships dropping 200 depth charges on her, and she still survived (ultimately this boat was sunk by running into a British mine some time later). After the conquest of France and the establishment of German naval bases on the French west coast, Italian submarines were invited to participate in the campaign to strangle the British Isles. This, of course, meant a dangerous passage through the Straits of Gibraltar under the very noses of the British Royal Navy. Many German U-boats were lost in the straits but, though few are aware of it, no Italian submarine was ever sunk slipping through these dangerous waters. The Italians established themselves at Bordeaux under the name BETASOM (Beta [Bordeaux] Som [Sommergibili]) with 27 submarines in early 1941. Originally, the idea was the German and Italian submarines would work together in coordinated attacks against Allied shipping, however, this soon proved to be more troublesome than effective and few seem to understand why. Ultimately the cause was a difference in training and how German and Italian boats operated as well as the Germans not being what we would call “team players”. Fairly quickly in the war, German submarines developed a preferred tactic of attacking on the surface at night, submerging to escape counterattack. Italian submarines, however, usually made underwater attacks during the daytime. This was one of the differences that made cooperation difficult. Probably the most significant, however, was the unwillingness of the Germans to place a German communications officer on Italian submarines, though they held overall command of joint-operations. The result of this was that an Italian submarine making contact with the enemy would have to signal Bordeaux which would then have to send the message to Paris to the German naval command which would then relay the message out to the German submarines in the area. Needless to say, this meant that by the time the Germans were told of an enemy convoy, it was too late for them to do anything about it. There was also an unwillingness on the part of the Germans to train the Italians to fit in with their preferred way of doing things and what training they did provide was inadequate, expecting the Italians to learn in only two months what it had taken the Germans years to develop and become proficient at. There is evidence that when Italian submarine captains were allowed to train with the Germans, the results were obvious. One such officer was Commander Primo Longobardo, one of the few to train with the Germans, and he proved one of the most successful Italian submarine commanders of the war. As captain of the submarine Torelli he once sank four Allied ships on a single patrol and ultimately accounted for 42,000 tons of Allied shipping sunk. In any event, when coordinated training was finally agreed to, joint operations had already been canceled and each submarine force operated on their own with the Italians mostly hunting in waters around the Azores and some boats dispatched for the South Atlantic, such as in the Brazilian shipping lanes, which they were able to reach more easily because of their greater range. A lack of cooperation was also evident in the reluctance of the Germans to share their torpedo technology with the Italians. The Germans tried many innovations with their torpedoes, causing some problems as certain designs didn’t work but ultimately resulting in a more effective weapon. The Italians, on the other hand, simply stuck to their older but more reliable model which was not as effective and the Germans would not share their magnetic trigger technology with Italy until it was too late to be of best use. It is for this reason that Italian submarines frequently engaged in surface action as quite often they would make a successful underwater attack using their torpedoes but the target would be badly damaged but not sunk at which point the Italian submarine would surface and finish off the enemy with their deck gun. Italian sub crews also became, out of necessity, quite adept anti-aircraft gunners and this came about due to the nature of their boats. A submarine on the surface is vulnerable and aircraft are a particularly dangerous enemy. They can be upon you very quickly and do immense damage, making it a life or death matter for a submarine to be able to submerge as fast as possible. As Italian submarines tended to be larger than their average German counterpart, this meant that they were slower to dive. A typical German submarine could submerge in about 20 seconds, whereas the average Italian submarine took between 60 and 120 seconds to get below the waves. One result of this was that, by the time an enemy aircraft was spotted, it was often better to take your chances shooting it out on the surface than be shot full of holes while trying to dive. It was not an enviable situation but it did make Italian AA fire more effective than in other navies. In fact, it was an Italian submarine, which had been shifted to the Germans after 1943 and then to the Japanese after the German surrender, which fired the last shots of World War II, using her AA battery against American bombers while in port in Japan. In spite of their boats having their limitations, torpedoes that were not the best and a less than fully cooperative ally, Italian submarines still did a great deal of damage thanks to having some extremely skilled commanders. None was more famous than Gianfranco Gazzana-Priaroggia, captain of the Leonardo DaVinci, the most successful Italian submarine of the war. Nicknamed “Ursus atlanticus”, Gazzana-Priaroggia would ultimately sink over 90,000 tons of Allied shipping, his biggest score being the massive British troopship the Empress of Canada. He was even set to lead a special forces submarine attack on New York harbor but this was postponed and ultimately never carried out due to the 1943 armistice. Earlier that year, Gazzana-Priaroggia was sadly killed in action but was posthumously awarded both the Gold Medal for Military Valor by the King of Italy and the Knights Iron Cross by the Germans for his achievements. By most accounts (there is some dispute as the U.S. ‘updated’ their stats several times after the war) Gazzana-Priaroggia was the most successful non-German submarine commander of all time. However, the Mediterranean Sea was, of course, always supposed to be the primary area of operations for all units of the Regia Marina and it was an enclosed sea of hazards with major British naval installations at Gibraltar, Malta, Alexandria and Cyprus. Italian submarine commanders pulled off some extremely daring victories against the British in these waters and aside from merchant shipping also took a heavy toll on Royal Navy warships. Notable successes include the cruisers HMS Bonaventure, HMS Calypso and HMS Coventry which were all sunk by Italian submarines in 1940-41. However, Italian industry could not produce new boats fast enough and the Allied breaking of Axis codes was also a huge blow to the submarine campaign. Nonetheless, Italian submarines in the Mediterranean would open up a new type of undersea warfare which had dramatic results, producing a new type of warrior who could be seen as the precursor of America’s feared SEAL teams. A special unit, composed of both fast-attack surface craft and undersea weapons known as “human torpedoes” was formed known as the Decima Flottiglia MAS (for Mezzi d’Assalto) or X-MAS (in English, ‘Tenth Assault Vehicle Flotilla’). One man very much associated with this new unit was Prince Junio Valerio Borghese, captain of the submarine Sciré. The “human torpedoes”, as they are often called, were actually nothing of the sort as no torpedoes were involved and, while highly dangerous, were not suicide weapons. The Italians referred to them as ‘maiale’ or ‘pigs’ because these were basically miniature submarines that Italian sailors would ride ‘piggy-back’ into an enemy harbor after being brought into the vicinity by a submarine making a submerged approach. They would cut through any anti-submarine nets, approach the underside of major ships in the harbor and attach mines to the hull. Once they were safely away the mines would detonate and the ships would be crippled or sunk. The sailors would have no hope of returning to their submarine and so could either try to make it to neutral territory or simply surrender after accomplishing their mission. In December of 1941 such an attack was launched on the British naval base at Alexandria, Egypt with the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Valiant being crippled, a Norwegian tanker sunk and a destroyer, HMS Jervis, being badly damaged. Men of the X-MAS, brought in by the submarine Sciré, launched a similar attack on Gibraltar in September, sinking three enemy ships. Later, operating out of an old tanker in the Spanish port of Algeciras more attacks on Gibraltar were made in December of 1942, sinking two ships and damaging two more. Two more British freighters and an American Liberty Ship were sunk in 1943 prior to the armistice. These attacks, which were almost impossible to guard against, caused considerable panic in the Allied naval forces operating in the Mediterranean. Ultimately, the armistice, division of Italy and finally the end of the war all caused confusion among the Italian submariners. Most remained loyal to the King and followed orders, turning their boats over to their former enemies, some were seized and forced into the German and later Japanese navies and some, like Prince Borghese, cast their lots with Mussolini and the Germans, to carry on to the bitter end. A most tragic case was that of Captain Carlo Fecia Di Cossato, (whom I'll be going into more depth about shortly, as this is all precursor background knowledge) the man who sank more ships than any other Italian submarine commander at the helm of the Tazzoli. Loyal to his King above all, when the armistice came, he followed orders and even sunk seven more ships, German this time, in his new command. However, the abrupt change troubled him, becoming worse as it became clear that the Allies still considered Italy a defeated enemy and would strip Italy of her empire, even territory gained well before the Fascist Era. He was torn apart by conflicting feelings of loyalty and dishonor until he committed suicide in Naples in 1944. When the war was finally over, with all of the confusion, bitterness and divisions which that caused, the feats of the Italian submarine campaign stand out as further proof of how wrong the popular misconception is of the Royal Italian military in World War II. Italian submarines sank about a million tons of Allied shipping from mid-1940 to 1943. This was almost as much, indeed somewhat more according to some statistics as the ultimately far larger submarine force the Imperial Japanese Navy sunk from the end of 1941 to 1945, the disparity in numbers all the more significant given that over-worked Italian industrial capacity meant that Italy could only commission 30 new boats during the war years whereas Japan commissioned 126 additional subs (not counting midget boats) during the conflict. Italy was also not very far behind the tonnage sunk by the British Royal Navy during the entire course of the war from 1939 to 1945. They played a significant part, did considerable damage to the Allied fleets and did so with skill, heroism and gallantry in the face of immense odds.
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