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pastore123

Admiral Giuseppe Fioravanzo

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This week I would like to spotlight another Italian Admiral (Technically Vice Admiral). This one was suggested to me by SparvieroVV. This man has quite an interesting history and there is a lot to read about him. I enjoyed learning about his life during his military years. 

 

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Giuseppe Fioravanzo was an Italian Admiral born August 1891 near Padua. He entered the Italian Naval Academy in 1909 at the age of 18. He graduated in 1912 at the rank of Guardiamarina. During the Italo-Turkish war (September 1911- October 1912) he was still a Cadet while serving on the Battleship Benedetto Brin. During WW1, he would be stationed in the Raggruppamento Marina where he would distinguish himself while manning a 152mm gun while defending against Austrian-Hungarian forces near the Northern Adriatic Sea. 

Known as one of the Intellectuals in the Italian Navy, Fioravanzo was a very competent man and quite intelligent. During the time between WW1 and WW2, he was writing articles and publishing books on Naval Theory. In fact, if anyone is interested, you can buy a copy of his "History of Naval Tactical Thought" on amazon. He is also among a group of Naval Officers who supported building and operating Aircraft carriers for the Regia Marina. 

He would eventually serve for a short time on the Cruiser Trieste and shortly after take command of the Destroyer Freccia and the other 7 boats in the squadron. In 1936 he would take command of the Naval Command School and the Destroyer Aquila. So for all you you DD mains, this is your guy ;). 

Now let's jump into the WW2 session of the spotlight. He would obtain many different ranks during this time. He was given the rank of Counter Admiral and subsequently Division Admiral. An interesting fact is that Fioravanzo had a lot of insight on the war itself. He had also made plans that would push an assault on Malta and had an important role on the special tactics carried out by the Regia Marina. It was during this time period also that he was given the task of taking a British supply going to Alexandria, Egypt as part of the 9th Naval Division which consisted of LIttorio class battleships (This is where I start breathing heavily and hope to see the Roma asap).The operation was called Operation Vigorous (which was part of a bigger operation called Operation Harpoon) The actions of the 9th, the 3rd and the 8th naval divisions ended the operation without even firing a shot. (The British abandoned the operation altogether). 

During 1943 he would be given command of the 5th division, which consisted of rebuilt Conte di Cavour and Andrea Class battleships which didn't do too much moving considering they had no fuel to operate with. I know I would love to have that position... (Note the sarcasm). Not too long after he would be going to the 8th division and was ordered to bombard Palermo. This decision consisted of turning back to port after it was reported that a group of unknown ships were heading in their direction. The Emanuele Filiberto Duca d"Aosta and Giuseppe Garibaldi were on their way down to Palermo when Fioravanzo gave the order to return back to port. His foresight may have saved those two ships considering one was having engine troubles and that the USS Savannah, USS Philadelphia and a group of Destroyers were en-route. He would be awarded the Croce di Guerra for this action. This action however would cost him his command, even though at the time, it turns out that he made the best call. 

Post WW2 he would be involved with Naval History and Naval Theory. A direct quote from Wikipedia- From the doctrinal point of view Fioravanzo was an advocate of naval aviation from very early on. His main work was La guerra sul mare e la guerra integrale (War at sea and combined warfare) in which he arrived as far as predicting a real inter-forces strategy. However, when the book was published in 1931, the time was not ripe yet for the Italian military to adopt such a doctrine. His strategical vision consisted of a defensive-active tactic. A smaller Navy like the Regia Marina should have avoided a resolutive clash, instead trying to keep its own communication lines open. Differently from his colleague Di Giamberardino, Fioravanzo never thought that the major naval battle was the key of the strategy; vice versa, one or more naval battles would be sparked only by contrasts on the respective aims - nothing else than traffic operations.

I hope this has peaked more interest for some of you and satisfied others. <0

 

 

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I find it really difficult to take the Italians seriously, when their entire naval war - from start to finish - could essentially amount to a "we told you so" by a depleted Britiain. The Regia Marina got manhandled, from Taranto to Matapan; the resupply of Malta to Spartivento. About the only success they could claim throughout the war was the temporary immobilization of QE and Valiant at anchor thanks to the actions of frogmen... but it hardly counts, since both units returned to service, and it didn't impact the war.

They're the only major branch of any of the powers involved in WWII that I would give an overall F-grade to. The Italians had - at least from a materiel standpoint - the capacity to dominate the Mediterranean, and they slowly pissed it away from day one.

 

**Edit** Nice post, OP. I'm just saying - highlighting anyone in that navy is a little like doing a player feature on someone from the Cleveland Browns.

Edited by Battlecruiser_NewZealand
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20 minutes ago, Battlecruiser_NewZealand said:

I find it really difficult to take the Italians seriously, when their entire naval war - from start to finish - could essentially amount to a "we told you so" by a depleted Britiain. The Regia Marina got manhandled, from Taranto to Matapan; the resupply of Malta to Spartivento. About the only success they could claim throughout the war was the temporary immobilization of QE and Valiant at anchor thanks to the actions of frogmen... but it hardly counts, since both units returned to service, and it didn't impact the war.

They're the only major branch of any of the powers involved in WWII that I would give an overall F-grade to. The Italians had - at least from a materiel standpoint - the capacity to dominate the Mediterranean, and they slowly pissed it away from day one.

 

**Edit** Nice post, OP. I'm just saying - highlighting anyone in that navy is a little like doing a player feature on someone from the Cleveland Browns.

The intent is definitely to bring light to Italian figures considering the influx of Italian premiums and the Italian line due in late 2018. I will be doing a spotlight on different officers from the Italian Navy regardless the impact it did or didn't have during WW2. A lot of these officers had military careers the preceded WW2. 

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While it may not be the most exciting time in his career, you skipped over ~25 years with the mention of a book. What else did he do to garner the higher ranks as I do not assume the Italians put any grade admiral on DDs.

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32 minutes ago, Battlecruiser_NewZealand said:

They're the only major branch of any of the powers involved in WWII that I would give an overall F-grade to. The Italians had - at least from a materiel standpoint - the capacity to dominate the Mediterranean, and they slowly pissed it away from day one.

You should be more specific here.

Rommel found the Italians be good troops and fought well.

They were just led extremely poorly and under equipped.

I believe the Italians worked harder for Deutsch officers than thier own Officer Corps.

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15 minutes ago, _cthulhu_ said:

While it may not be the most exciting time in his career, you skipped over ~25 years with the mention of a book. What else did he do to garner the higher ranks as I do not assume the Italians put any grade admiral on DDs.

This would all start at the Italian Naval Academy. He was considered an Intellectual. This is because he was an officer that was quite studious and thoughtful on naval tactic. I think it possible to assume that he was the right man to be in higher ranking positions considering his support for Aircraft Carriers (which hold such an advantage in any realm of war), tactical thought- referring to his insight on the assault on Malta and not to mention the decision to pull back the d'Aosta and the Garibaldi to La Spezia. He has written a lot. Here is a link to amazon with some selection to his writings. https://www.amazon.it/Libri-Giuseppe-Fioravanzo/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A411663031%2Cp_27%3AGiuseppe Fioravanzo 

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So delivering 90% of supplies and forcing the British to turn the resupply of Malta into major operations. Not to mention forcing the cancellation of other operations and making the British fly off fighters from so far that occasion they where as like to crash also to land on Malta is an F?

 

I’ll take it. 

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5 hours ago, _cthulhu_ said:

You should be more specific here.

Rommel found the Italians be good troops and fought well.

They were just led extremely poorly and under equipped.

I believe the Italians worked harder for Deutsch officers than thier own Officer Corps.

 

1 hour ago, SparvieroVV said:

So delivering 90% of supplies and forcing the British to turn the resupply of Malta into major operations. Not to mention forcing the cancellation of other operations and making the British fly off fighters from so far that occasion they where as like to crash also to land on Malta is an F?

 

I’ll take it. 

Neither of those things are about the Regia Mariana.

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So he was a baddie whose biggest achievement was manning a 152 mm gun?

Every plan/operation he conceived/was tasked with failed and - in accordance with finest Italian military tradition - he was awarded some kind of medal ("military cross") for his failures.

A true representative of the only country that lost the WW2 twice :Smile_amazed: Should have been reported for "plays poorly" instead ...

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19 hours ago, Helstrem said:

 

Neither of those things are about the Regia Mariana.

How is "the Regia Marina supplying almost completely North Africa and messing up with British convoys enough that they have to make major operations out of every supply run for Malta" not about the Regia Marina causing it?

On 13/12/2017 at 7:50 PM, Battlecruiser_NewZealand said:

I find it really difficult to take the Italians seriously, when their entire naval war - from start to finish - could essentially amount to a "we told you so" by a depleted Britiain. The Regia Marina got manhandled, from Taranto to Matapan; the resupply of Malta to Spartivento. About the only success they could claim throughout the war was the temporary immobilization of QE and Valiant at anchor thanks to the actions of frogmen... but it hardly counts, since both units returned to service, and it didn't impact the war.

They're the only major branch of any of the powers involved in WWII that I would give an overall F-grade to. The Italians had - at least from a materiel standpoint - the capacity to dominate the Mediterranean, and they slowly pissed it away from day one.

 

**Edit** Nice post, OP. I'm just saying - highlighting anyone in that navy is a little like doing a player feature on someone from the Cleveland Browns.

If Alexandria hardly counts, Taranto hardly counts as well; almost all the ships went back to service shortly, with only the Cavour left out - and because of an actual decision, not because it was unsalvageable. And the resupply to Malta doesn't exactly paints as a shining example of British victory; operations were often halted, at moments they weren't even attempted, and truly regular convoys only happened after North Africa fell.

Edited by WeissRaben_2
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On 12/13/2017 at 4:54 PM, Helstrem said:

 

Neither of those things are about the Regia Mariana.

True, but neither was the quoted post.

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