Military Review

Facts and slander. Italian fleet in World War II

47
Facts and slander. Italian fleet in World War II



“The only successful operation of the Italian General Staff”,
- commented on his arrest B. Mussolini.

“Italians are much better at building ships than they can fight them.”
Old British aphorism.


... The submarine of the Evangelista Torricelli patrolled the Gulf of Aden when faced with strong opposition from the enemy. Because of the damage received, it was necessary to return to the surface. At the entrance to the Red Sea, the boat met the English sloop "Shoreham", which urgently called for help.

Torricelli first opened fire from its only 120-mm gun, hitting the sloop with a second projectile, which was forced to retreat and go to repair in Aden.

Meanwhile, an Indian sloop and then a division of British destroyers approached the site of the ensuing battle. Nineteen 120-mm and four 102-mm guns plus many machine guns turned against the only cannon of the boat.

The boat commander Salvatore Pelosi took the fight. He fired all the torpedoes into the destroyers Kingston, Kandahar and Khartoum, while continuing to maneuver and conduct an artillery duel. The British dodged torpedoes, but one of the shells hit Khartoum. Half an hour after the start of the battle, the boat received a shell in the stern, which damaged the steering device and injured Pelosi.

After some time, the Evangelista Torricelli gun was broken by a direct hit. Having exhausted all possibilities for resistance, the commander ordered the ship to sink. The survivors were taken aboard the destroyer Kandahar, and Pelosi was met by British officers with a military salute.

From the board of the Kandahar, the Italians watched a fire break out on Khartoum. Then the ammunition detonated, and the destroyer went to the bottom.

Khartoum (1939 built, the displacement of 1690 tons) was considered the newest ship. The case when the submarine drowns the destroyer in an artillery battle has no analogues in the sea stories. The British praised the valor of the Italian submariners. Commander Pelosi was received as a senior naval officer in the Red Sea by Rear Admiral Murray.

In addition to the losses suffered by British ships, the British launched 700 shells and five hundred machine gun stores to sink one submarine. “Torricelli” went under the water with a waving battle flag, which can be raised only in full view of the enemy. Captain 3-rank Salvatore Pelosi was awarded the highest military award of Italy, "Medal d'Or Al Valor Military" (Gold Medal for Military Valor).

The aforementioned “Kandahar” did not long ply the seas. In December 1941, the destroyer hit a mine near the Libyan coast. Together with him went to the bottom of the light cruiser "Neptune". The other two cruisers of the British strike force (the Aurora and the Penelope) also hit mines, but were able to return to base.


Light cruisers "Duke d'Aosta" and "Eugenio di Savoia" put up a minefield off the coast of Libya. Total for the period of hostilities Italian Navy warships put on communications in the Mediterranean 54 457 min


The descendants of the great Marco Polo fought around the world. From the icy blue of Lake Ladoga to the warm latitudes of the Indian Ocean.

The two sunken battleships (“Valiant” and “Queen Elizabeth”) are the result of the attack of the “MAS Decim” swimmers.

His Majesty's sunk cruisers “York”, “Manchester”, “Neptune”, “Cairo”, “Calypso”, “Bonaventcher”.

The first one fell victim to sabotage (a boat with explosives). “Neptune” hit the mines. "Manchester" was the largest warship of all ever sunk by torpedo boats. “Cairo”, “Calypso” and “Bonavevencher” were torpedoed by Italian submarines.

400 000 gross registered tons - this is the total “catch” of the top ten Regia Marina submariners. In the first place is the Italian “Marinesco”, Carlo Fezia di Cossato with the result of 16 victories. Another ace of the submarine warfare, Gianfranco Gazzana Prirodzha, sank 11 transports with a total displacement of 90 thousand grt.

The Italians fought in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, off the coast of China, in the North and South Atlantic.

43 207 out to sea. 11 million miles of combat path.

According to official figures, Regia Marina sailors secured dozens of convoys delivering 1,1 million troops and 60 thousand Italian and German trucks and tanks to North Africa, the Balkans and the Mediterranean islands. The return route brought precious oil. Often, cargo and personnel were placed directly on the decks of warships.

And, of course, the golden page in the history of Italian fleet. Tenth assault fleet. Fighting swimmers of the “black prince” Valerio Borghese is the first naval special forces in the world that terrified opponents.

The British joke about “Italians who do not know how to fight” is fair only from the point of view of the British themselves. It is obvious that the Italian Navy, both in quantitative and qualitative terms, was inferior to the “sea wolves” of Albion. But this did not prevent Italy from becoming one of the strongest sea powers and leaving its unique imprint in the history of naval battles.

Anyone familiar with this story will pay attention to an obvious paradox. The bulk of the victories of the Italian Navy came in small ships - submarines, torpedo boats, and man-torpedoes. While large combat units did not achieve much success.

The paradox has several explanations.

First, cruisers and battleships of Italy can be counted on fingers.

Three new LCs of the “Littorio” type, four upgraded battleships of the First World War, four TKRs of the “Zara”, “Bolzano” type and a pair of first-born “Washingtonians” (“Trento”).

Of which only Zara and Littorio + ten light cruisers, the size of the destroyer leader, were real combat-ready.

However, even here there is no need to speak about the lack of success and complete uselessness.

None of the ships listed was moored. Battleship Vittorio Veneto performed 56 combat missions during the war years, having fought 17 970 miles. And this is on the limited “patch” of the Mediterranean theater of operations, in the presence of a constant threat from under the water and from the air. Regularly falling under the blows of the enemy and getting damage of varying severity (the battleship spent on repairs 199 days). While he still managed to live to the end of the war.



It is enough to trace the combat path of any of the Italian ships: there is an epic event or a famous battle in each line.

“Shot at Calabria”, a fight with escort Espero, a shootout at Spartivento, a fight at Gavdos and a battle at Cape Matapan, the first and second battles of the Gulf of Sidra ... Salt, blood, sea foam, shooting, attacks, combat damage!

What are those who managed to take part in so many vicissitudes of this scale! The question is rhetorical, does not require an answer.

The enemy of the Italians was “tough nut”. Royal Navy of Great Britain. “White Ensign”. Steeper nowhere.

In fact, the forces of the opponents turned out to be approximately equal! Italians did without Tsushima. The main part of the battles ended with a tie.

The tragedy at Cape Matapan was caused by one and only circumstance - the lack of radar on the Italian ships. British battleships invisible in the night approached and shot three Italian cruisers at close range.

This is the irony of fate. In Gulemo Marconi's homeland, not much attention was paid to radio engineering.

Another example. In the 30s. Italy held the world speed record in aviation. Which did not prevent the Italian air force from being the most backward air force among the Western European countries. During the war years the situation did not improve at all. Italy had neither the worthy Air Force nor naval aviation.

So is it any wonder that the German Luftwaffe achieved more success than the Italian sailors?

You can still remember the shame in Taranto, when low-speed "shelves" for one night knocked out three battleships. The fault lies entirely with the command of the Italian naval base, which was too lazy to tighten the anti-torpedo network.

But the Italians were not alone! Episodes of criminal negligence took place throughout the entire war - both at sea and on land. Americans - Pearl Harbor. Even the iron “Kriegsmarine” fell into the mud with its Aryan face (the battle for Norway).

There were completely unpredictable cases. Blind luck. Record hit “Worspayt” in “Giulio Cesare” from 24 distance of a kilometer. Four battleships, seven minutes firing - one hit! "Hitting can be called pure coincidence" (Admiral Cunningham).

Well, the Italians were almost unlucky in that fight. Just as unlucky British “Hood” in a battle with LC “Bismarck”. But this does not give grounds to consider the British as worthless sailors!

As for the epigraph to this article, we can doubt its first part. The Italians know how to fight, but at some point they have forgotten how to build ships.

Not the worst on paper, the Italian “Littorio” has become one of the worst ships in its class. The second since the end of the high-speed battleships ranking, in front of the deliberately discounted “King George V”. Although even the British battleship with its shortcomings, it is possible to furnish the Italian. Radar not. Fire control systems at the level of Perovoi world. The picky guns beat like a hit.

The first of the Italian “Washingtonians”, the cruiser “Trento” - a terrible end or horror without end?

Destroyer "Maestrale" - which became a series of Soviet destroyers of the project 7. Our fleet had enough grief with them. Designed for the “greenhouse” Mediterranean conditions, the “sevens” simply collapsed in the conditions of northern storms (the death of the destroyer “Smashing”). Not to mention the flawed concept of “everything in exchange for speed”.

Heavy cruiser type “Zara”. They say the best of the “Washington cruisers”. How is it that the Italians for once got a normal ship?

The answer to the problem is simple. “Pasta” did not care at all about the cruising range of their ships, rightly believing that Italy is located in the center of the Mediterranean Sea. What do you mean - all the bases nearby. As a result, the cruising range of the Italian ships of the selected class, compared with ships of other countries, was less than 3 — 5 times! This is where the best security and other useful qualities come from.

In general, the ships of the Italians were below average. But the Italians really knew how to fight them.

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  1. fa2998
    fa2998 30 September 2015 06: 53 New
    +5
    Kaptsov did not convince! The Italians are good shipbuilders, but sailors, no. The impressive "big" fleet of Italy did not show itself in the 1st and 2nd MVs. The swimmers, TCs and submarines suffered more damage to the enemy. Set up big toys, and then they stand at the walls are either lost — a waste of money. hi
    1. yehat
      yehat 30 September 2015 10: 56 New
      +8
      the development of the fleet of Italians looks strange in a number of aspects:
      for example, they poorly developed mine-torpedo equipment, but at the same time
      developed the original (and controversial) artillery of battleships and engine building, the air defense of ships is extremely uneven, the defense of many bases is weak and disorganized. The development of universal guns, small-caliber artillery is convulsive. A large number of technical solutions are very different in quality - from magnificent to poor. In my opinion, Italians have not fully utilized their potential.
    2. svp67
      svp67 30 September 2015 20: 47 New
      0
      Quote: fa2998
      ! Italians are good shipbuilders-

      Let's just say it is debatable. LC "Novorossiysk" died, in particular due to the fact that the bulkheads, in order to reduce weight, were made of aluminum alloy ...
  2. Ayujak
    Ayujak 30 September 2015 07: 05 New
    +10
    Thank you for the article. It would be interesting to hear about the French fleet.
    1. Uncle VasyaSayapin
      Uncle VasyaSayapin 30 September 2015 21: 05 New
      +2
      More interesting about ours. Only truth without embellishment.
    2. yehat
      yehat 30 September 2015 22: 22 New
      +1
      the French fleet was not very bad!
      The problem is that he did not have any normal goals, so he almost did not show himself.
  3. samoletil18
    samoletil18 30 September 2015 07: 42 New
    +11
    The author, it seems to me, re-read Italian authors of memoirs such as Braghadin.
    But the "bad ships" served back in the 1970s and not only in Italy.
  4. Engineer
    Engineer 30 September 2015 08: 41 New
    +4
    Having such beautiful ships, Italians managed to use them as ineptly as possible. With the neutrality of the French fleet, the joint fleet of Germany and Italy could smash the British.
  5. Anton Gavrilov
    Anton Gavrilov 30 September 2015 09: 05 New
    +14
    Once again, by the way ... Here the comrade lists the battles-Matapan, Gavdos, etc. - is it nothing that the Italians lost everything? And sometimes with a big bang?

    Everything was exactly the opposite — their ships were very personal, but they really didn’t know how to fight them.
    1. ava09
      ava09 30 September 2015 10: 48 New
      -4
      (C) Everything is exactly the opposite — their ships were very personal, but they really didn’t know how to fight them
      I do not agree - they were able. And the character of the descendants of Etruscans is inherited from the ancestors, what is Prince Borghese worth?
      1. Anton Gavrilov
        Anton Gavrilov 30 September 2015 11: 12 New
        +13
        The battle at Cape Matapan - loss of 3 heavy cruisers (3 of 4 strongest in the fleet), 2 destroyer, damaged 1 battleship. The British have no losses

        Duisburg convoy - losses of 7 transports from 7 and 1 destroyer, 2 heavy cruisers fired several hundred shells at Italians - they didn’t even notice enemy fire (the battle was at night)! The British had no losses

        The battle at Cape Bon is sunk by 2 cruisers by four destroyers. The British have no casualties

        Night Taranto-battleship Cayo Duilio and Andrea Doria received an 1 torpedo from the aircraft, the first sank, the second put aground, Cayo Duilio was never rebuilt. Littorio was damaged by 3 torpedoes, and he was aground, too, to avoid flooding, but it was restored. That's how the Italians lost half a linear fleet overnight, and the 1 ship is generally irretrievably in the end. Loss of shaving-2 aircraft.

        Only Prince Borghese and the activity of the X flotilla, as well as several separate episodes, do not correct the overall picture. They lost the character of the descendants of the Etruscans.

        Anyway, if you do not take into account the loss, but also analyze the battles of the Italian fleet, then there is complete ahutng. LCs of the Littorio type achieved presumably only 1 (!!!) direct hit during the whole war. Heavy cruisers are only 3 from my memory. Hear the ability to fight sho.
        1. Anton Gavrilov
          Anton Gavrilov 30 September 2015 20: 25 New
          0
          Pravochka about Duisburg-2 Italian heavy cruiser fired several hundred type shells in Britons, but they did not even notice.
        2. yehat
          yehat 30 September 2015 22: 25 New
          0
          it was not only the ability to fight. for example, there were claims to the manufacture of both shells and guns.
  6. unknown
    unknown 30 September 2015 09: 06 New
    +6
    On these beautiful ships was absolutely disgusting artillery.
    Guns with over-boosted ballistics - quick burnout, loss in range and accuracy. In the installations, the guns were located close, often in one cradle, there was a large spread in the salvo. But, for some reason, they forget that the Japanese, Americans, and we had the same problems, with cruisers of types 26 and 26 bis (three guns in one cradle). And the quality of ammunition among Italians was low.
    But, despite this, ships up to and including the destroyers fought stubbornly, to the last. The actions of large ships were influenced by politics and lack of fuel.
    The British in the Mediterranean Sea suffered heavy losses, and the Italians merit considerable in this.
    The Soviet fleet during the war years did not show itself particularly brightly either. But the losses were huge. It is enough to recall the Tallinn Crossing-this Baltic Tsushima. What was more there: incompetence or betrayal?
    1. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 30 September 2015 14: 29 New
      +2
      Quote: ignoto
      Guns with over-boosted ballistics - quick burnout, loss in range and accuracy. In the installations, the guns were located close, often in one cradle, there was a large spread in the salvo. But, for some reason, they forget that the Japanese, Americans, and we had the same problems, with cruisers of types 26 and 26 bis (three guns in one cradle). And the quality of ammunition among Italians was low.

      EMNIP, the problems were not in the ballistics of the guns, but in the disgusting control of the production and acceptance of ammunition. The weight of the charges in one cellar could vary by percent. Plus non-compliance with temperature conditions. As a result, the scatter of theoretically good guns in real battles was epic.
      At the same time, in tests before and after the war, Italian guns showed results not inferior to other artillery systems.
  7. tlauicol
    tlauicol 30 September 2015 09: 06 New
    +11
    Oleg, the largest of the warships ever sunk by a torpedo boat, the Austrian battleship Sainte-Istvan (22 tons). MAS - 000 under the command of Luigi Rizzo (yes, also Italian)
    1. tlauicol
      tlauicol 30 September 2015 09: 11 New
      0
      here is his agony
  8. Monster_Fat
    Monster_Fat 30 September 2015 09: 09 New
    +8
    The article is good. I, too, am of the opinion that the actions of the Italian fleet during WWII were unjustly underestimated, however I also am of the opinion that if the Italian light forces acted just fine and the "heavy" forces proved to be simply mediocre, this happened for a banal reason: the light forces were are free in their operations and controlled by the so-called “young lieutenants” - energetic, unconnected by stereotyped thinking, etc., the “heavy” were under the command of “served officers — in the ranks” —grown with “fat” and connections, for them maintaining their position and calm was a priority. The same Borghese has many episodes in his memoirs when he had to visit large ships and there he observed the hardened, stony atmosphere of luxurious “salons” as opposed to the Spartan way of life and democracy that reigned in the light forces of the fleet. So, the thing is again in the “frames”. "Shots" - decide everything.
    1. yehat
      yehat 30 September 2015 22: 31 New
      +1
      one of the main problems of the fleet was an acute shortage of fuel - the fleet gave up the reserves of the army.
      This created enormous problems, which boiled down to apathy of all forces. Not even sufficient forces were allocated for the escort from the "light" forces, patrolling, raiding and reconnaissance were minimized. To show success under such conditions is difficult. In addition, the Italians miscalculated somewhat with the engines and speed of their heavy ships, which led to the fact that the British themselves chose when and where to start a fight.
  9. anip
    anip 30 September 2015 09: 33 New
    +5
    In general, the ships of the Italians were below average.

    Is it the Italians ships were below average ??? Hm ...
  10. Per se.
    Per se. 30 September 2015 09: 41 New
    +8
    The Italian Navy has become a hostage to politics, where the race for records in the "Italian Lake", overshadowed the true possibilities of Italian shipbuilding. Who needed record firing ranges of the main caliber of new battleships if the dispersion of shells was more suitable for firing at areas than for naval targets? Who needed the record speeds of cruisers and destroyers, if instead they could strengthen their protection, weapons, seaworthiness? Nevertheless, he always found the Italian warships to be the most beautiful, and, it seems, no matter what, one of the best in their classes. Yes, "7", as Oleg noted, was made from an Italian destroyer, but not therefore "Our fleet had grief with them", not because "Designed for “greenhouse” Mediterranean conditions, the “sevens” simply fell apart under the conditions of northern storms (the destruction of the destroyer “Crushing”). Not to mention the very flawed concept of “all in exchange for speed”“The Italian“ prototype ”was perfectly balanced, having 120 mm guns, we overloaded the project, not only with chronic building loads, but also with various changes, including heavier 130 mm guns. But, the next, improved series of our destroyers, was already Not only the Italians helped us build the Italians, but also the cruisers, where, again, we initially shoved instead of 152 mm guns 180 mm with a forced firing range (cruisers like "Kirov" and "Maxim Gorky"). Our project of the battleship type "Soviet "Union" is also the result of cooperation with Italian shipbuilders. Finally, do not hurry up Italy to get involved in World War II in 1940, wait for the commissioning of new battleships by the end of 1941, the beginning of 1942, the alignment of forces in the Mediterranean would be much stronger for Italy , and with the initiative of a surprise attack on the British Navy, like the British strike at Taranto or the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, it is possible that the fleet dominated the sea and the army in North Africa. Whatever it was, but the oldest battleship in Italy in World War II, “Giulio Cesare”, becoming “Novorossiysk”, was the most powerful and modern ship of the Soviet Navy. One can only assume that it would be if we got a more modern ship of the Littorio type. The whole appearance of our modern fleet has developed not to a small degree under the influence of pre-war cooperation with the Italians, which may be why all Soviet warships preserved the beauty and grace of the Italians, adding Russian military power.
  11. inpu
    inpu 30 September 2015 09: 59 New
    +5
    Are you serious??
    Is the British fleet in the Mediterranean then a serious adversary? Yes, perhaps the most formidable opponent was the wooden model of the British battleship erected in Alexandria. Which, however, managed to deploy the Italian flotilla. The rest collected from the world on a string from various places and different times, including Australia, and the First World Fleet. Unless the Spanish galleons did not confront them in World War II.

    The listed ships were indeed sinking, but as the article says, they are either special forces, mines, or a “miracle” - torpedo boats that were really successful.

    And the listed “battles” for the convoys are surprising. Where else is the battle fleet, which included battleships, put a smokescreen and dumped home at the sight of security ships?

    Separately, it is worth mentioning that in the military history of Italy during the Second World War there are five battles for Malta. While the Germans fought, not a little, for the USSR, Italy fought for the fucking Malta)) Moreover, the same Germans with the help of the Luftwaffe, helping Italians, twice suppressed its resistance. Although it would seem ...
  12. tomket
    tomket 30 September 2015 10: 12 New
    +7
    Oleg ! Again deuce! Another attempt to give wishful thinking. Not convincing and far-fetched. The next article will be about how Italians almost crushed the Red Army near Stalingrad?
    1. Bayonet
      Bayonet 30 September 2015 11: 08 New
      -1
      Quote: tomket
      The next article will be about how Italians almost crushed the Red Army near Stalingrad?

      What for? Better about our fleet, which crushed everyone and in general - the coolest in the world!
      1. inpu
        inpu 30 September 2015 18: 01 New
        0
        Quote: Bayonet
        Quote: tomket
        The next article will be about how Italians almost crushed the Red Army near Stalingrad?

        What for? Better about our fleet, which crushed everyone and in general - the coolest in the world!

        Well, you can still somehow manage the fleet, the main thing is not to let sailors ashore!
      2. The comment was deleted.
  13. Stirbjorn
    Stirbjorn 30 September 2015 10: 40 New
    +7
    His Majesty's sunk cruisers “York”, “Manchester”, “Neptune”, “Cairo”, “Calypso”, “Bonaventcher”.
    Very nice, only the Germans, having three hundred aircraft, two dozen submarines and a dozen torpedo boats, managed to sink much more, including a battleship and two aircraft carriers. exact loss table below http://militera.lib.ru/h/bragadin/19.html table XII

    Sunk by the Germans
    Carriers: Ark Royal, Eagle Battleship: Barham Light cruisers: Coventry, Calcutta, Galatea, Penelope (*), Southampton, Glouchester, Fiji, Hermione, Naiad, Spartan (*)
    Barrage Cruisers: Abdiel, Latona, Welsman
    Destroyers: Dainty, Defender, Diamond, Eclipse, Inglefield (*), Greyhound, Hasty, Hereward, Imperial, Intrepid, Ithuriel, Maori, Sikh, Zulu, Jackal, Jersey, Jaguar, Kashmir, Kingston, Kipling, Janus (*), Nestor, Gurkha, Lance, Legion, Lively, Laforey (*), Loyal (*), Lightning, Martin,
    Panter, Partridge, Porcupine, Quail (*),
    Escort destroyers: Tynedale, Dulverton, Grove, Puckeridge, Airedale, Btean, Holcomfae, Heythrope, Southwold, Derwent, Hurworth (*), Alderham (*), Rockwood
    Sunk by Italians:
    Heavy Cruiser: York
    Light cruisers: Calypso, Cairo, Manchester, Bonaven-ture, Neptune Destroyers: Waterhen, Escort, Fearless, Gallant (+), Hostile, Hyperion, Bedouin, Mohawk, Juno, Kandahar, Khartoum, Pakenham, Quentin (+)
    Escort destroyers: Eridge.
    hi
  14. Selevc
    Selevc 30 September 2015 11: 12 New
    +5
    Yes, Oleg’s article really somehow does not convince ... A good fleet is not one that shoots a lot, that goes a lot on combat missions, in which there are a lot of ships - a good fleet is the one that performs the tasks assigned to it !!! None of the tasks set before the Italian fleet in the Second World War were 100% completed !!! Moreover, neither global nor local tasks were performed !!! The English fleet was not decisively defeated in the Mediterranean Sea, the allied sea communications were never completely blocked, the complete blockade of Malta which was right at the very side of Italy failed, the supply of resources for Rommel in 1940 was insufficient and in 41-1942 threateningly small, the Italian fleet failed to prevent or even impede the landing of the Americans in Morocco and Algeria, and then failed to block the landing on Sicily ...
    In general, what can I say? - Of course, the Italian Navy periodically shone with individual victories, but on a large scale this did not affect the course of the war ... And the Anglo-Americans throughout the war and especially in the second half felt themselves masters of the Mediterranean !!!
    1. Bayonet
      Bayonet 30 September 2015 11: 57 New
      +1
      Quote: Selevc
      A good fleet is not one that shoots a lot, that goes a lot on combat missions, in which there are a lot of ships - a good fleet is the one that performs the tasks assigned to it !!!

      Only here without the first three points, the last is unlikely to be fulfilled. winked Well, it seems to me ...
      1. Selevc
        Selevc 1 October 2015 12: 47 New
        +1
        The thing is that everything is relative - the Italian Navy, for example, has never had such problems as the USSR Navy, for example. Let me explain: the Baltic and Black Sea Fleets throughout the war had a limited theater DB. This is especially true of the Baltic Fleet, which for most of the war was locked in the Gulf of Finland ... And even then, in incredibly difficult conditions, Soviet submarines broke into the open Baltic. And at the end of the war, Marinesco was already active there ... The Northern Fleet often experienced difficulties associated with difficult weather conditions and lack of resources ... The Pacific fleet had a very large distance from the country's industrial regions and thereby also experienced a shortage of supplies.

        Italy didn’t know anything like this ... Moreover, the Italians had from the very beginning one important trump card which they made little use of - this was the country's top-ranking location. The Italian boot controls the entire water area of ​​Middle-earth ... Being on the boot, you can successfully block the communication of the British or, for example, catch them leaving Gibraltar ... That's what you had to do in Italy and not get sprayed throughout the Mediterranean !!!

        As a vivid example, we can compare the effectiveness of the Italian Navy and the Pacific Fleet of the USSR ... In the Pacific Ocean, the Union didn’t even have the capabilities like Italy !!! But the Pacific Fleet quite successfully coped with the tasks assigned to it !!! He did not smash the Japanese fleet, but on the other hand, landings were quickly organized on the Japanese islands and in the ports of Korea and naval artillery also successfully provided fire support to the paratroopers ... And the enemy was defeated on land ... At the same time, note to the Far East that led everything ONE !!! the railway branch, that is, the supply of resources and the transfer of troops were extremely limited !!!
        Conclusion: The smaller and weaker but well-organized Pacific Fleet quite successfully solved the tasks set before it, and the huge but ostentatious fleet of Italy brought them more problems than real benefits !!!
        1. yehat
          yehat 1 October 2015 14: 05 New
          0
          your findings are superficial
          blocking requires adequate supplies, but the Italians did not have a lot of autonomy and the fleet experienced a shortage of fuel
          therefore, the advance of the fleet could only give an effect with great success, but it would be more likely to be a dispersion of forces even in the absence of aviation activity — just a banal setting up of ships for strikes. I recall that Gibraltar did not have a single base in Italy. Tripoli coast is also weak.
          1. Selevc
            Selevc 2 October 2015 10: 46 New
            +1
            Quote: yehat
            your findings are superficial

            No, not at all superficial !!!
            Quote: yehat
            but the Italians ships did not have great autonomy

            Are you serious ? Ships class battleships do not have great autonomy? And why, by the way, should she possess to solve combat missions in the Mediterranean basin?
            Here everything is nearby - the distances are not at all ocean !!!
            Quote: yehat
            and in the absence of aviation activity - just a commonplace setting up of ships for strikes

            How is this in the absence of aviation? And what about the Luftwaffe? The Germans could perfectly cover the raids of the Italian fleet in the Mediterranean Sea !!!
            Quote: yehat
            I recall that Gibraltar did not have a single base in Italy. Tripoli's coast was also weak.

            And why does Italy need a base in Gibraltar if it is very close to Italy itself? Gibraltar was in the range of both Italian surface ships and submarines !!! But the coast of Tripoli they generally didn’t need to see what they wanted - they needed to block the British sea communications - and for this, there’s better place than the Gibraltar region and the Suez region !!!
            The fact is that Italy did not want to seriously fight - Malta is a prime example ... Several decisive and unexpected attacks on Malta and the British would lose their main base in the Mediterranean ... British aviation could not cover its convoys from the island and provide fuel fleet. That's all - but the pasta pretended to be at war, and they themselves cowardly waited for how the Fuhrer would deal with the union?
    2. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 30 September 2015 14: 35 New
      0
      Quote: Selevc
      the supply of resources for Rommel in 1940 was insufficient and in 41-1942 threateningly small,

      But if you open the table to Bragadin, then it suddenly turns out that Rommel received 1500– 2500 tons of supplies per day.

      Rommel's supply problems lie entirely with him and with the headquarters. His DAK and Italian forces received more supplies than was required for a full-fledged 6th army in Stalingrad. It's just that it was normal to deliver it to the advanced Rommel. Among the particularly epic blunders of the Desert Fox, one can recall at least the fact that he simultaneously complained about the insufficient air cover of his supply columns ... and took away the trucks that supplied the airfields from the backlashes.
    3. yehat
      yehat 1 October 2015 14: 00 New
      0
      put a minus: how are you going to win if the ships are at the piers due to fuel economy? This is not the fault of the fleet. Look carefully at the course of hostilities and you will see that at least 70% of failures are directly or indirectly associated with a fuel shortage.
  15. Taoist
    Taoist 30 September 2015 12: 26 New
    0
    Kaptsov - defender of the "humiliated and insulted" Italian Navy ;-) This is something new ...
  16. Taoist
    Taoist 30 September 2015 12: 55 New
    +9
    By the way, the systematic error of the article (and indeed it can be traced in the work of the author) is the translation of particular examples of courage and heroism to the general, i.e. to the fleet. The fleet is a system - and any examples can be found within this system. But it is not at all that they evaluate the effectiveness of the system as a whole.
    The effectiveness of the system is evaluated by the overall result.
    Why was the Italian fleet created? to control the Mare Nostrum. Did he fulfill his functions? Not. It was not ensured that none of the strategic tasks of the fleet was fulfilled (however, there were not many tactical tasks there either). And the courage and crazy courage of the individual representatives of this Navy absolutely did not determine anything.
  17. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
    Andrei from Chelyabinsk 30 September 2015 13: 40 New
    +9
    The article is pure trolling :)) Although there is a grain of truth in it.
    In some cases, Italians really showed themselves to be good sailors. These are isolated cases of battles against the superior British forces (the same “Torricelli”), the actions of light forces (torpedo boats and saboteurs) and - the escort of convoys to Africa. There, yes, the Italian sailors, of course, went to their deaths (the last months of the German “Africa Corps” are concerned) - the “Roma” transports and security ships were beaten from the air, they were destroyed by submarines, the losses exceeded 50% - but the Italians sent the convoy at the escort.
    Everything else…
    400 000 gross registered tons - this is the total “catch” of the ten best Regia Marina submariners.

    Honest noble word, I would not brag about it :) The Italians before WWII had one of the largest submarine fleets in the world (116 submarines), and the result? It’s enough to recall that they did two dozen German submarines on the same Mediterranean Sea (the aircraft carrier Eagle, Ark Royal, the battleship Barham, etc.) to understand the true “value” of Italian submariners.
    Obviously, the Italian Navy was both quantitatively and qualitatively inferior to the "sea wolves" of Misty Albion

    It is obvious that the Italian Navy exceeded the “sea wolves” of Misty Albion in quantitative and qualitative terms. The forces that the British possessed at the theater could not be compared to the Italian fleet. Three of the latest Italian battleships and four modernized old Englishmen could usually oppose 3-4 old battleships, each of which was more powerful than the old Italian, but weaker than the latest Italian, and in terms of speed inferior to both. Seven Italian heavy cruisers the British could oppose a single "York", which can be called heavy with a very big stretch. For light cruisers and destroyers, the ratio is clearly not in favor of the British in both quantity and quality. The only thing the Italians did not have was the aircraft carriers, but the British, although the aircraft carriers were, didn’t work out with the air groups at all - the “whatnots” were torpedo bombers and zero fighter aircraft. In general, the Italian Air Force significantly surpassed naval aviation in Britain.
    None of the listed ships stood at the pier. The battleship “Vittorio Veneto” completed 56 combat missions during the war years,

    It would be more correct to say - 56 combat missions were assigned to the battleship. Not completed
    having fought 17 miles.

    Yeah. The Italians had the same battles: for example, the first battle in Sirte Bay (Veneto, however, was not there) - 4 battleships 5 cruisers (including two heavy ones) and 21 Italian destroyers against 5 light cruisers and 13 destroyers - while the Italians, unlike the British, were supported by aviation. After a long difficult maneuvering, Iakino ventured to fight with the British for 11 minutes, on which he considered his duty fulfilled
    1. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
      Andrei from Chelyabinsk 30 September 2015 13: 42 New
      +8
      And this is on the limited “patch” of the Mediterranean theater, in the presence of a constant threat from under water and from the air.

      M-dya. Where is the Italian air battleship threat from? Two dozen British deck "whatnots"? Well, yes, the fear is terrible ....
      “Shot at Calabria”, a fight with escort Espero, a shootout at Spartivento, a fight at Gavdos and a battle at Cape Matapan, the first and second battles of the Gulf of Sidra ... Salt, blood, sea foam, shooting, attacks, combat damage!

      Rather, trash, fumes and sodomy. In the battle of Calabria, the Italian fleet flees after the first hit in its own battleship. Spartivento has an “Epic” fight between Campioni and Somerville, two battleships - the newest Vittorio Veneto and the modernized Cesare, 6 heavy cruisers and 14 destroyers fleeing Rinaun and Ramillis ... The second battle at Sirte, when the Italians intercepted the English convoy. Their battleship, two heavy cruisers and a light one fight for five hours with the five British air defense cruisers and can do nothing to them, the British manage to protect their transports in the conditions of the wildest inequality of forces!
      About all sorts of little things about how, under the noses of two heavy cruisers Brivonezi, a couple of British nerds about six six-inch each drowns the convoy guarded by them, or how two Italian cruisers flee one Sydney but one of them still dies I am silent.
      What are those who managed to take part in so many vicissitudes of this scale! The question is rhetorical, does not require an answer.

      Truly so. Such a mediocrity and fear of the enemy no longer demonstrated a single fleet of the world.
      The bulk of the battles ended with an equal score

      Well, yes, as in the second battle at Sirte - the Italians got hit and the English cruiser got hit. We ignore the fact that LINCOR could not defeat the air defense cruiser, but the score is equal! :)
      The Italians fought in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, off the coast of China, in the North and South Atlantic.

      It would be more correct to say: "Italians were spread rot by all who are not lazy they are the Mediterranean Sea to China through the Atlantic" 
      The tragedy at Cape Matapan was due to one single circumstance - the lack of radar on Italian ships. Invisible at night, the British battleships approached and shot at point blank range three Italian cruisers

      The tragicomedy at Cape Matapan was due to two factors:
      1) "Strongly-moody" air defense of Italian ships, which, having a battleship and six cruisers, not counting the destroyers, could not beat off two dozen British whatnots. The British, in a similar situation, withstood the attacks of hundreds of German aircraft, by the way.
      2) The indecisiveness of the Italian commander, who, having great superiority in light forces, did not dare to attack the British with destroyers at night.
      1. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
        Andrei from Chelyabinsk 30 September 2015 13: 44 New
        +5
        Not the worst on paper, the Italian Littorio has become one of the worst ships in its class. Second from the end in the ranking of high-speed battleships, before the obviously discounted “King George V”. Although even the British battleship with its shortcomings may beat the Italian. There are no radars. Fire control systems at the level of the First World. Reversed guns hit horribly

        The guns were nevertheless re-Forced, there was no pile on them. At the same time, there is still no data on the anomalously large dispersion of the main caliber of the Italians, although most likely this was the case. But the main problem was not reformed artillery, but large tolerances in the manufacture of shells, which is why shells of the same caliber and type to the same gun were very different in weight and gave a huge spread. The Italians had, by the way, a fire control system for WWII, which was quite modern, good CACs, a bunch (over 20) of rangefinders, etc.
        Ratings are ratings, but Littorio is not so much inferior to the same Bismarck - it was quite comparable in quality to any modern fifteen-inch battleship (Tirpitz, Richelieu), and even fight against the American Dakot could have been. Well, against King, of course, too. In fact, what ratings do not draw, and the European WWII battleships were quite comparable.
        The first of the Italian “Washingtonians”, the cruiser “Trento” - a terrible end or horror without end?

        The funny thing is that the Trento is perhaps the best heavy cruiser of the first generation of European Washington. He nevertheless had some sort of board reservation (70 mm) while the first French and English cruisers can safely be considered armless. In essence, the British could not oppose ANYTHING to cruisers such as the Trento, not to mention the Zara. In addition to training, unbending will, and unshakable confidence in the superiority of British crews. Well deserved, by the way, confidence.
        The destroyer Maestrale, which became a series of Soviet destroyers of Project 7. Our fleet had grief with them. Designed for "greenhouse" Mediterranean conditions, the "sevens" simply fell apart in the conditions of northern storms

        But the Maestrale fought in the Mediterranean theater, so the problems of the northern storms of the Italian sheriff do not care волн
        In general, the ships of the Italians were below average. But the Italians really knew how to fight them

        They troll us again! laughing
        1. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA 30 September 2015 14: 46 New
          +1
          Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
          But Maestrale fought in the Mediterranean theater, so the problems of the northern storms of the Italian sheriff do not care

          The whole joke is that cracks in the stern of the hull were formed on the "novices", to whom the Italians had nothing to do. Also, during the storm, cracks appeared in the hull of the “Baku” aircraft - a domestic-developed ship.
      2. The comment was deleted.
      3. Alexey RA
        Alexey RA 30 September 2015 14: 38 New
        +2
        Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
        M-dya. Where is the Italian air battleship threat from? Two dozen British deck "whatnots"? Well, yes, the fear is terrible ....

        Judging by Braghadin, the worst enemy of the Italian fleet were ... Germans, who regularly reduced Italy's quotas for Romanian oil. EMNIP, by mid-1941 the Italian Navy was in the position of the Japanese in 1945: there are ships, and there is nothing to go to sea - fuel for EM was taken from the LC.
        1. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
          Andrei from Chelyabinsk 30 September 2015 15: 36 New
          +4
          Greetings, dear Alexey! drinks
          Quote: Alexey RA
          Judging by Braghadin, the most terrible enemy of the Italian fleet were ... Germans

          Well, yes, and according to Manstein’s memoirs, the most terrible enemy of the Wehrmacht was Hitler, who spread rot at every step of the archigenic fabrications of the General Staff ... laughing
          Of course, the lack of oil greatly limited the Italian fleet in everything, but the amount of fuel that they did have about ... ehhkm ... rolled through the sea surprisingly mediocre
          1. Alexey RA
            Alexey RA 1 October 2015 09: 56 New
            +1
            So ... the Italians.
            1912, Italian-Turkish war for Cyrenaica, trenches, Turks on the right, Italians on the left. Italians - an order: to occupy the Turkish trenches. The artillery preparation, and the young lieutenant, already seeing his Arkolsky bridge, jumped out of the trench, and with a cry of "Avanti" - rushed to the Turkish trench.
            However, a platoon did not follow him, but instead applause came from the Italian trenches and screams: "Bravo, bravo, lieutenant ..."
    2. The comment was deleted.
  18. Olezhek
    Olezhek 30 September 2015 15: 37 New
    +4
    And, of course, the golden page in the history of the Italian fleet. Tenth Flotilla assault vehicles. The black-swimmer Valerio Borghese is the first naval special force in the world to terrify opponents.


    That's it with this, no one argues. Italians' naval special forces are yes
    but what is Regia Marina here ?? ??

    But this did not prevent Italy from becoming one of the strongest sea powers and leaving its unique imprint in the history of naval battles.
    Anyone who is familiar with this story will pay attention to an obvious paradox. The bulk of the victories of the Italian Navy came in small ships - submarines, torpedo boats, and man-torpedoes. While large combat units did not achieve much success.
    The paradox has several explanations.
    First, cruisers and battleships of Italy can be counted on fingers.


    You see, Italy was VERY well located for a war on the Mediterranean Sea - IDEAL.
    Italian shipbuilders built great ships - I found this recognition even from the British.
    But the descendants of Marco Polo did not know how to fight at sea categorically !!
    To the places of decisive battles - the Italians did not even have to sail thousands of miles - From Gibraltar - to Alexandria, convoys flee - Italy - in the center!
    Malta is the most important base of the Royal Navy of Britain - next to Italy.
    Somehow they didn’t fight, just compare them with the German landing in Norway - where they sealed at sea
    enemy.
    About Japan, I do not say ...
    Tell at least one sensible use of Italian battleships ????
    Somehow sad ...
    No wonder many people do not know about the participation of Italy in WWII ..
    Smishno.
    And practically nobody knows about the Italian battleships - they didn’t show themselves.
    1. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
      Andrei from Chelyabinsk 30 September 2015 16: 17 New
      +3
      Quote: Olezhek
      And practically nobody knows about the Italian battleships - they didn’t show themselves.

      Absolutely real story. The English submarine is returning to Malta after the campaign, the submarine commander writes a report: they say so and so, the Italian battleships found themselves, plunged in readiness to attack, but, crap, the Italian ships did not change course in time and because of this the attack fell off.
      The submarine flotilla commander writes in a report:
      "Too bad. But on the other hand, they never hurt us ..."
      1. Olezhek
        Olezhek 30 September 2015 17: 57 New
        0
        Peaceful Italian tractor ferry... smile
  19. Olezhek
    Olezhek 30 September 2015 16: 04 New
    +2
    The Germans had a very modest fleet - relative to the tasks.
    BUT how he showed himself !!

    The Japanese fleet is generally something with something.
    The samurai were simply unlucky to head-on to fight the US - which elementary produced an order of magnitude more weapons- and more modern!
    If the Japanese Empire fought, for example, with the British - one on one - that would be really interesting.
    Americans stupidly crushed Japan with a mass of modern weapons.
    That is why the Japanese fleet was defeated. Imagine - the Japanese have been fighting with the British for several years -
    Opportunities and achievements of those and others we know ..
    It would be funny ..
    Opponents - close in strength. Two sea nations ..
    It could have something like the Anglo-Dutch Wars.

    If the United States, by virtue of industrial power, could stupidly build many airfields and close the whole sky with airplanes, then neither the Japanese nor the British could do this.
  20. Serg65
    Serg65 30 September 2015 20: 49 New
    +1
    The article is somehow strange !? At the beginning, “Italians are excellent sailors” and, at the end, “Pasta” did not care at all about the range of their ships, rightly believing that Italy is located in the center of the Mediterranean Sea. Which means all bases are nearby. As a result, the range of Italian ships of the chosen class, according to compared to ships in other countries, it was 3 — 5 times smaller! That's where better security and other useful qualities come from. " Those. something always disturbs a bad dancer. Oh well, God bless them, these Italians. I was somehow hurt by the Maestrale destroyer, which became a series of Soviet destroyers of the 7 project. Our fleet had grief with them. Designed for “greenhouse” Mediterranean conditions, the “sevens” simply fell apart under the conditions of northern storms (the destruction of the destroyer “Crushing”) . Not to mention the very flawed concept of "all in exchange for speed." Oleg, as always, somewhere he pulled out something, somewhere he didn’t finish something, but somewhere he came up with it. Man, take it and write the truth that only the appearance of the Italian project in the 7 project is left!
    1. Serg65
      Serg65 30 September 2015 20: 54 New
      +1
      The final design work was carried out in extreme haste, since Stalin demanded that the People's Commissariat of Heavy Industry lay the first destroyers in the 1935 year, and hand over the entire series to the fleet in 1937-1938. The government clearly overestimated the then opportunities of domestic industry.
      The first six "sevens" were able to lay at the end of the 1935 year, and next year - and the rest. However, it soon became clear that it would not be possible to complete the construction of the entire series in 1938. Related enterprises delayed the supply of materials, equipment and mechanisms, and the shipyards themselves were not ready for the planned pace of construction (even the round-the-clock work of the workshops did not help). Design flaws provoked protracted battles between shipbuilders and designers, and each of the conflicting parties tried to blame the other. The project had to make additional changes, which delayed the construction of ships even more. By the beginning of World War II, the Soviet Navy included the 22 destroyer of the 7 project. These were our most massive pre-war ships. The destroyers of the 7 project were created under the "cruising" caliber - 130-mm. In 1935, a new artillery system was created (the best in the world at that time!) B-13 for destroyers of the 7 type.
      Strict requirements for displacement forced the developers of the destroyer of the 7 project to lighten the hull of the ship as much as possible. Therefore, in the design of the seven, many new, but insufficiently tested solutions were introduced. Having started the construction of a large series of destroyers without testing an experimental prototype ship, the designers made a serious mistake. First of all, the riveted hull of the destroyer was made of low-manganese steel, which had increased strength, but also great fragility. As a result, cracks from unsuccessful mooring (even when hitting a wooden beam), holes from fragments and bullets often appeared in the sevens. In addition, a mixed dialing system was used in the 7 project - mostly longitudinal, but laterally at the extremities. The places of transition from one set to another (44 and 173 frames) did not have sufficient reinforcements, and the high concentration of stresses arising there, coupled with the fragility of the skin, sometimes led to breaking of the hull - despite the fact that work to strengthen the ties of the set began even before the war.
      1. Serg65
        Serg65 30 September 2015 21: 38 New
        +1
        Now for the Shattering. Em Shattering, together with the leader of Baku, escorted QP-1942 convoy vessels in November 15. In 400 miles from the Kola Bay, a non-childish storm broke out with a force of 8-9 points, while the air temperature was -18. In conditions of frequent snow charges and almost zero visibility, the ships and ships of the convoy lost each other and Soviet ships, with the permission of the convoy commander, began to return to Polyarny. As a result of the impacts of the 9 ball waves on the leader, the tightness of the hull was broken, all the rooms were flooded to the 26 frame, water entered the 2 and 3 boiler rooms. The roll reached 40 degrees. But “Baku” was lucky, poorly poorly, he reached the base, which can not be said about the “Crushing”. 20 on November 14.30. the destroyer hull could not stand the violence of the elements, it became shorter by 26 meters as a result of the separation of the stern. The remaining feed compartments flooded to the 159-th frame. But there were still chances to save the ship if ... the crew that had glorified itself in battles fell into a stupor, the ship’s command was inactive, while part of the team, opening the storeroom of wet provisions, organized a uniform booze. The commander of the “Crushing” cap.2 Kurelekh, together with the political commander of the ship, were one of the first to escape to the EM “Kuibyshev”, which came up a day later, after which the majority of the command staff also pulled. The death of the “Crushing” lies entirely with his commander !!!! 5 of May 1942 of the year at EM. “Loud” in a similar situation broke the case in the 37 frame area. As a result of the hard work of the emergency party and the resourcefulness of the commander, the destroyer was saved.
  21. Rurikovich
    Rurikovich 30 September 2015 22: 52 New
    0
    Oleg probably wrote his article as a review of the book of the Italian fleet’s staff officer Mark Antonio Bragadin, “The Battle for the Mediterranean Sea. View of the vanquished,” where the successes of the Italian fleet are so magnificent and the ships are so perfect !! 1 That's just why they lost, they didn't understandably what lol
    So that they don’t talk about the successes of any single country, the fact should be only the answer - who are you: winner or loser? wink
    Then the panegerics of the Italian fleet can be sung if he won ... You can win the battle, but lose the war. And the point successes of combat swimmers or a well-placed minefield do not yet make the Italian fleet directly outstanding.
    With the composition and capabilities in the location of the bases, it was possible to drive the British across the Mediterranean Sea! But the question is who drove whom else lol .
  22. Engineer
    Engineer 2 October 2015 11: 28 New
    +1
    the boat received a shell in the stern, which damaged the steering gear and injured Pelosi.

    And what did the captain do in the stern of the boat? Already hiding behind the engine room?
    Two sunken battleships (Valiant and Queen Elizabeth)

    The sunken battleship Queen Elizabeth took part in the war with Japan and was decommissioned only in 48g.