Jump to content
You need to play a total of 20 battles to post in this section.
dseehafer

Footage of Italian fighting ships

26 comments in this topic

Recommended Posts

4,791
[HINON]
Beta Testers, In AlfaTesters
8,856 posts
3,680 battles

Greetings all,

 

   I'd like to compile a few videos that show Italian warships from the early to mid 20th century. I'll post what I have here. Please feel free to add anything if you have anything to add.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by dseehafer
  • Cool 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,894
[HINON]
[HINON]
Wiki Lead, Beta Testers, Privateers
6,801 posts
5,248 battles

Nice! I'll save these for later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49
[T_D_F]
Members
140 posts
26,333 battles

The video of Taranto Harbor reminds me of the USN footage taken at Kure Harbor, except the Italians are still afloat.:P

 

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Members
646 posts
4,069 battles

The video of Taranto Harbor reminds me of the USN footage taken at Kure Harbor, except the Italians are still afloat.:P

 

Heyo!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18
[_EASY]
Members
20 posts
10,804 battles

I've been collecting Youtube links to color film of WWII ships whenever I find them.  These videos aren't just about ships and there are some British ships too, so you've got to search around in the first one.

 

 

There isn't too much in this one just the first few seconds.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,791
[HINON]
Beta Testers, In AlfaTesters
8,856 posts
3,680 battles

I was expecting to see a bunch of ships retreating in each one.

 

These derogatory French and Italian jokes are really getting old. :sceptic:
Edited by dseehafer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7
[TWFT1]
Members
42 posts
15,203 battles

Those jokes were old 60+ years ago, if you know what you are talking about.

 

Don't take anything away from Italian sailors.  Remember the Regia Marina, actually their entire military, had a traditional ridged promotion system. No one got promoted until a slot opened up above them, usually by death or retirement.  The post of Supermarina (the CNO) was held by Admiral Inigo Campioni when the war broke out and despite getting his butt kicked all over the Med, it took 6 months to get him relieved..  Admiral Angelo Iachino, despite getting the entire 1st Cruiser Division exterminated the Battle of Cape Matapan didn't lose his job.  There was, pretty much, no promotions based on success, only seniority.  The Kriegsmarine and the USN didn't hesitate to junk an officer if he didn't meet expectations.

 

The ships had issues, but that is not the sailors fault.

They had the 30 knot Littorio class (2 completed after 6 years under construction, 1 more completed during the war and 1 never finished) for modern battleships (guns were adequate and the armour OK). The rest of the battleline consisted of 2 Conte di Cavour class (WWI leftovers, but thoroughly modernized with a top speed of 27 knots) and 2 Caio Duilio class (also WWI leftovers and thoroughly modernized with top speed of 26 knots).

 

The heavy cruisers consisted of 2 Trento class, 4 Zara class and 1 Bolzano.  They all suffered from the POLITICAL decision to sacrifice armour for speed so they could patrol the coast.  The high command of the Regia Marina also bought into the belief that speed was more important than armour.

 

The light cruisers were 12 Condottier class in 5 sub-classes and the Capitani Romani class.  The first 4 Condottier (Giussano class) were built to counter the French large contre-torpilleurs, and therefore they featured very high speed (37 knots), in exchange of virtually no armour protection.  The 2 Cadornas retained the main characteristics, with minor improvements.  Major changes were introduced for the next 2, the Montecuccolis. Heavier, they had significantly better protection, and upgraded power-plants to maintain the required high speed. The 2 Duca d'Aostas continued thickening the armour and improving the power plant again.  The final 2, the Duca degli Abruzzis completed the transition, sacrificing a little speed for good protection. (The last ship of this class, Giuseppe Garibaldi was rebuilt into the first missile cruiser in Europe (1961)).  The only other light cruisers were the Capitani Romani class, which were designed to outrun and outgun the large new French destroyers of the Le Fantasque and Mogador classes.  12 hulls were ordered in late 1939, but only 4 were completed, just 3 of these before the armistice in 1943.  Blazing fast, at 43 knots, they had virtually no armour (some authors consider them to have been heavy destroyers)  Only 1 (Scipione Africano) saw combat.

 

The 59 destroyers had some of the same problems as the larger ships but they were the backbone of the fleet.  Look up how many survived the war and tell me they ran.

 

The Regia Marina had successes, most of which no sane person would participate in.  Look up the Raid on Souda Bay or the the Raid on Alexandria, which crippled the Queen Elizabeth and Valiant, blew the stern off a civilian tanker and damaged a destroyer.  The MEN of the Regia Marina have nothing to be ashamed of.  They fought with crap equipment, almost no industrial support, and lousy leadership, but when given the opportunity they FOUGHT facing the enemy.

 

:honoring:

 

Edited by Schroughphie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,791
[HINON]
Beta Testers, In AlfaTesters
8,856 posts
3,680 battles

Those jokes were old 60+ years ago, if you know what you are talking about.

 

Don't take anything away from Italian sailors.  Remember the Regia Marina, actually their entire military, had a traditional ridged promotion system. No one got promoted until a slot opened up above them, usually by death or retirement.  The post of Supermarina (the CNO) was held by Admiral Inigo Campioni when the war broke out and despite getting his butt kicked all over the Med, it took 6 months to get him relieved..  Admiral Angelo Iachino, despite getting the entire 1st Cruiser Division exterminated the Battle of Cape Matapan didn't lose his job.  There was, pretty much, no promotions based on success, only seniority.  The Kriegsmarine and the USN didn't hesitate to junk an officer if he didn't meet expectations.

 

The ships had issues, but that is not the sailors fault.

They had the 30 knot Littorio class (2 completed after 6 years under construction, 1 more completed during the war and 1 never finished) for modern battleships (guns were adequate and the armour OK). The rest of the battleline consisted of 2 Conte di Cavour class (WWI leftovers, but thoroughly modernized with a top speed of 27 knots) and 2 Caio Duilio class (also WWI leftovers and thoroughly modernized with top speed of 26 knots).

 

The heavy cruisers consisted of 2 Trento class, 4 Zara class and 1 Bolzano.  They all suffered from the POLITICAL decision to sacrifice armour for speed so they could patrol the coast.  The high command of the Regia Marina also bought into the belief that speed was more important than armour.

 

The light cruisers were 12 Condottier class in 5 sub-classes and the Capitani Romani class.  The first 4 Condottier (Giussano class) were built to counter the French large contre-torpilleurs, and therefore they featured very high speed (37 knots), in exchange of virtually no armour protection.  The 2 Cadornas retained the main characteristics, with minor improvements.  Major changes were introduced for the next 2, the Montecuccolis. Heavier, they had significantly better protection, and upgraded power-plants to maintain the required high speed. The 2 Duca d'Aostas continued thickening the armour and improving the power plant again.  The final 2, the Duca degli Abruzzis completed the transition, sacrificing a little speed for good protection. (The last ship of this class, Giuseppe Garibaldi was rebuilt into the first missile cruiser in Europe (1961)).  The only other light cruisers were the Capitani Romani class, which were designed to outrun and outgun the large new French destroyers of the Le Fantasque and Mogador classes.  12 hulls were ordered in late 1939, but only 4 were completed, just 3 of these before the armistice in 1943.  Blazing fast, at 43 knots, they had virtually no armour (some authors consider them to have been heavy destroyers)  Only 1 (Scipione Africano) saw combat.

 

The 59 destroyers had some of the same problems as the larger ships but they were the backbone of the fleet.  Look up how many survived the war and tell me they ran.

 

The Regia Marina had successes, most of which no sane person would participate in.  Look up the Raid on Souda Bay or the the Raid on Alexandria, which crippled the Queen Elizabeth and Valiant, blew the stern off a civilian tanker and damaged a destroyer.  The MEN of the Regia Marina have nothing to be ashamed of.  They fought with crap equipment, almost no industrial support, and lousy leadership, but when given the opportunity they FOUGHT facing the enemy.

 

:honoring:

 

 

The Zara class cruisers were very well armored, arguably the thickest armored cruisers of the war. It's not fair to group them in with the Trento's as having weak armor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7
[TWFT1]
Members
42 posts
15,203 battles

Very true, but I was trying to get people to think and not just repeat things they heard.  It is a shame that the Pola, Zara and Fiume were destroyed at Matapan without being able to really show their stuff.

 

Edited by Schroughphie
  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,791
[HINON]
Beta Testers, In AlfaTesters
8,856 posts
3,680 battles

Also, while Lachino certainly made his own mistakes before and during the battle of Cape Matapan, it was the really the Germans who were to blame since they told the Italians that they had severely damaged two of the three British battleships in the Mediterranean, and that the British now only possessed one operational battleship in the Med, when, in reality, there was no such damage and all three battleships were still fully operational. The whole reason the Italian fleet set sail was because they believed this report. Almost certainly the Italian fleet would not have left port if they knew that there were still 3 operation British battleships in the Med.

Edited by dseehafer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,169
[SYN]
[SYN]
Members
9,312 posts
18,907 battles

Armor and speed aside one of the big technological differences was the lack or presence of radar. Armor doesn't matter if radar-equipped battleships get the drop on you. Speed doesn't matter if radar-equipped destroyers can close you from behind undetected and have torpedoes out before you can react.

 

Schroughpie's pretty much on, the incompetence seems at the top, political, Supermarino etc. Unfortunately for the reputation of the Italian forces, with bad leadership, bad war planning and a megalomaniac in overall charge, it's hard to come out looking spectacular - no matter how excellent the performance of individual Italian men, units and ships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,791
[HINON]
Beta Testers, In AlfaTesters
8,856 posts
3,680 battles

Armor and speed aside one of the big technological differences was the lack or presence of radar. Armor doesn't matter if radar-equipped battleships get the drop on you. Speed doesn't matter if radar-equipped destroyers can close you from behind undetected and have torpedoes out before you can react.

 

Schroughpie's pretty much on, the incompetence seems at the top, political, Supermarino etc. Unfortunately for the reputation of the Italian forces, with bad leadership, bad war planning and a megalomaniac in overall charge, it's hard to come out looking spectacular - no matter how excellent the performance of individual Italian men, units and ships.

 

Italian capital ships had EC3 "Gufo" radio rangefinders, which was an early version of modern day radar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,169
[SYN]
[SYN]
Members
9,312 posts
18,907 battles

Some ships, but when and how widespread and how used?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,791
[HINON]
Beta Testers, In AlfaTesters
8,856 posts
3,680 battles

Some ships, but when and how widespread and how used?

 

When: Prototype was developed in 1937 but the project was stalled due to budget cuts. Only after the disaster at Matapan was interest revived. First started being installed on ships in Spring, 1943.

 

How widespread: By September, 1943 12 devices had been installed on various warships including all 3 Littorio class battleships.

 

How used: By design the Gufo radar was an advanced range-finder used to assist in artillery plotting but in practice was most widely used as a search radar, especially during the night (even though the Germans told 'em not to) .

Edited by dseehafer
  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,169
[SYN]
[SYN]
Members
9,312 posts
18,907 battles

 

When: Prototype was developed in 1937 but the project was stalled due to budget cuts. Only after the disaster at Matapan was interest revived. First started being installed on ships in Spring, 1943.

 

How widespread: By September, 1943 12 devices had been installed on various warships including all 3 Littorio class battleships.

 

How used: By design the Gufo radar was an advanced range-finder used to assist in artillery plotting but in practice was most widely used as a search radar, especially during the night (even though the Germans told 'em not to) .

Well today I learned, however if it's a dozen sets by 1943 then although the Allies didn't have a monopoly they had a significant advantage.

 

Radar was brutally effective in 1941 in Allied hands at Cape Bon and to a greater extent Matapan. Getting only 12 sets by 1943 - when it was widespread on Allied cruisers and destroyers by 1941 - was a big disadvantage. Failure to resource key research problems was a problem for almost everyone, one way or another.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,791
[HINON]
Beta Testers, In AlfaTesters
8,856 posts
3,680 battles

Well today I learned, however if it's a dozen sets by 1943 then although the Allies didn't have a monopoly they had a significant advantage.

 

Radar was brutally effective in 1941 in Allied hands at Cape Bon and to a greater extent Matapan. Getting only 12 sets by 1943 - when it was widespread on Allied cruisers and destroyers by 1941 - was a big disadvantage. Failure to resource key research problems was a problem for almost everyone, one way or another.

 

Radar was not seen as a vital resource by the Italians because 1: they were relatively happy with their optical rangefinders and 2: Italian ships tried to avoid night time engagements. Because the Italians saw radar as a pair of night-vision glasses, and Italian ships were told not to engage in night time combat, they didnt feel that they needed it until after the night battle disaster at Matapan. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,889
[HINON]
Members
7,797 posts
2,144 battles

Awesome films, thanks for posting!

 

As for Matapan... What dseehafer said.

 

The Italians believed the British only had one BB, and they were promised air cover.

 

The British had 3 BBs and a CV, and the promised air cover never happened.

 

There was still plenty the Italians did wrong though, too.

 

For one, their belief that the British BBs were much farther away than they actually were was a mistaken entirely of the Italian fleet, which is what lead to the rest of 1° div going back to rescue Pola...

 

And when it came to night fighting, despite Mussolini's delusions about the Royal Navy, Italian command basically recognized the British, who were one of the few navies besides the Japanese to train for night-fighting, were way better than the they would be in a night-fight.

 

And by the time the necessary reforms and advancements had been introduced... Too little, too late.

 

And that's not even bringing up the issue of fuel, which crippled the Italian fleet more than anything else during the war.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,791
[HINON]
Beta Testers, In AlfaTesters
8,856 posts
3,680 battles

Awesome films, thanks for posting!

 

As for Matapan... What dseehafer said.

 

The Italians believed the British only had one BB, and they were promised air cover.

 

The British had 3 BBs and a CV, and the promised air cover never happened.

 

There was still plenty the Italians did wrong though, too.

 

For one, their belief that the British BBs were much farther away than they actually were was a mistaken entirely of the Italian fleet, which is what lead to the rest of 1° div going back to rescue Pola...

 

And when it came to night fighting, despite Mussolini's delusions about the Royal Navy, Italian command basically recognized the British, who were one of the few navies besides the Japanese to train for night-fighting, were way better than the they would be in a night-fight.

 

And by the time the necessary reforms and advancements had been introduced... Too little, too late.

 

And that's not even bringing up the issue of fuel, which crippled the Italian fleet more than anything else during the war.

 

The Germans did send air cover but they failed to locate the Italian Fleet. Lookouts on Veneto spotted a group of German aircraft that were headed back towards land.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,921
Alpha Tester, Alpha Tester
11,461 posts
1,963 battles

And that's not even bringing up the issue of fuel, which crippled the Italian fleet more than anything else during the war.

I read a book recently about Mussolini & the Italian military politics between them coming to power and the Italian entry into the war. 

It was very enlightening. 

It also makes some very clear parallels to the French, for example industrial capacity issues, the French shipbuilding industries & the Italian artillery industries especially, and the lack of a clear policy, in the French case tanks and generally in the Italian case. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,889
[HINON]
Members
7,797 posts
2,144 battles

 

The Germans did send air cover but they failed to locate the Italian Fleet. Lookouts on Veneto spotted a group of German aircraft that were headed back towards land.

 

Really? I've never heard that before... and these weren't the two Ju 88s, correct?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,791
[HINON]
Beta Testers, In AlfaTesters
8,856 posts
3,680 battles

 

Really? I've never heard that before... and these weren't the two Ju 88s, correct?

 

"While Vittorio Veneto, with his escort, crosses the Strait of Messina, suddenly the weather changes. The sea gets rough and the mist gets up, reducing the visibility. The mist makes it impossible to perform the exercise planned with the Luftwaffe and throughout the morning no plane is spotted. Later, when the mist falls, there are no escort aircrafts. The only planes that come across the Italian ships are two old CANT belonging to Regia Aeronautica. In the late afternoon a large formation of bombers belonging to X CAT, flies in the opposite direction, at a great distance. Probably the pilots have long sought the Italian ships without finding them." - Carlo Cestra
Edited by dseehafer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,169
[SYN]
[SYN]
Members
9,312 posts
18,907 battles

For one, their belief that the British BBs were much farther away than they actually were was a mistaken entirely of the Italian fleet, which is what lead to the rest of 1° div going back to rescue Pola...

 

And when it came to night fighting, despite Mussolini's delusions about the Royal Navy, Italian command basically recognized the British, who were one of the few navies besides the Japanese to train for night-fighting, were way better than the they would be in a night-fight.

 

And by the time the necessary reforms and advancements had been introduced... Too little, too late.

 

And that's not even bringing up the issue of fuel, which crippled the Italian fleet more than anything else during the war.

 

I've never read a good enough sequence to understand what happened during the air attack that crippled Pola. Was it not noticed that a 10,000 ton cruiser was out of formation? Was it decided to move on then go back? Why was no destroyer at least peeled off to stand-by the ship?

 

It is night about half the time, but sometimes harsh lessons teach best. The RN's performance in the night action at Jutland was pretty atrocious, in ships' lost and opportunities squandered - hence onus to improve. Similarly Dogger Bank taught the Germans some things, whereas the British had less impetus to improve after a victory.

 

I'm assuming Mussolini thought that Britain would sue for peace once France was out of the war, and only needed to plan for a short war? Having insufficient fuel stocks or ability to replenish fuel is lunacy. Like with night fighting things don't come free, or easy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,791
[HINON]
Beta Testers, In AlfaTesters
8,856 posts
3,680 battles

 

I've never read a good enough sequence to understand what happened during the air attack that crippled Pola. Was it not noticed that a 10,000 ton cruiser was out of formation? Was it decided to move on then go back? Why was no destroyer at least peeled off to stand-by the ship?

 

It is night about half the time, but sometimes harsh lessons teach best. The RN's performance in the night action at Jutland was pretty atrocious, in ships' lost and opportunities squandered - hence onus to improve. Similarly Dogger Bank taught the Germans some things, whereas the British had less impetus to improve after a victory.

 

I'm assuming Mussolini thought that Britain would sue for peace once France was out of the war, and only needed to plan for a short war? Having insufficient fuel stocks or ability to replenish fuel is lunacy. Like with night fighting things don't come free, or easy.

 

This video will tell you everything you need to know about The Battle of Cape Matapan. Just be sure to turn on English captions as the video is in Italian.

 

Also sheds light on why the death toll on the Italian side was so high... "There was not a right evacuation. It was a situation of total chaos. I have been on board many ships but it has never been made a complete exercise to abandon a ship. Combat exercises were made continuously. Evacuation? No one has ever talked about that. Because the ships will not sink. Ever." - Giuseppe Anzevino, sailor aboard Pola.

 

 

Edited by dseehafer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×