Military Review

Fight for the Mediterranean. Fight at Cape Matapan

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Fight for the Mediterranean. Fight at Cape Matapan

Battleship Vittorio Veneto



The fortieth President of the Council of Ministers of Italy, concurrently Duce of fascism and the founder of the Empire, Benito Mussolini, full of greatness, showed with his hand to his guest the columns marching in front of the stands. Printing “Passo Romano”, the Italian version of the “goose pace”, into the land that remembers Caesar’s legions so well, the infantry passed the battalion after the battalion: plain and colonial, bersaliers, alpine shooters, black shirts. The audience applauded loudly and shouted “Bravo!” With her usual temperament. The guest nodded politely, frowned ... Maybe he was tired, or maybe he was just annoyed by this pathos parade, somewhat reminiscent of Verdi's opera with a carnival tinge. The abundance of bright and expensive uniforms in the stands contrasted strikingly with riveted tanks, archaic armored cars and guns of the end of the First World War. Adolf Hitler (namely, he was a guest of the Duce who visited the allied Rome in May 1938) was disappointed. Mussolini, like Moliere’s Petty Bourgeois in the nobility, struggled to pull by no means the most advanced country into the big leagues, for a game in which Italy had neither the strength nor the means - only ambition, reinforced by self-association with the Roman Empire.

New Romans

Duce craved glory. But with this value somehow did not develop. Puffing and straining, the Italian army finally defeated ancient Ethiopia without disregarding the use of poison gases against troops, partly armed with flint-guns and bows. Pompous expeditionary corps sent to Spain suffered huge losses with dubious results. The construction of the Empire turned out to be a matter of not only troublesome, but also expensive, and also dangerous. From the great war that began in Europe, Italy tactfully withdrew at first, because the armies and fleets of England and France were far more dangerous for the “descendants of the ancient Romans” than the “African savages”. So far, Rome has confined to the bursting rhetoric about the inviolability and inviolability of friendship with Germany. The rapid collapse of the Allied western front impressed Mussolini — the cake was nourished quickly, so that you could not make it to the table. With a delay of almost a month, 10 June 1940, Italy declared war on the Anglo-French coalition.

In vain did the marshals and generals persuade Mussolini not to get stuck in the campaign that was actually ending. Neither the state nor its army was ready for such a large-scale fulfillment of the claims of the Duce. Almost 40% of Italian shopping fleet It was located outside Italy, out of a list of 73 divisions that were actually combat-ready and fully staffed, there were only 19. There were no long-term supplies of strategic raw materials, ammunition, and other military equipment. But Mussolini had his lip stuck out. The fighting in the Alps boiled down to sporadic shootouts of patrols and shelling. An attempt to conduct an offensive deep into French territory was unsuccessful. However, the role of the extras in this part of the global conflict allowed Italy to get a piece, albeit modest, from German production.

While in Berlin they calculated how much the maintenance of an ally would cost them, the tireless Mussolini was already carrying plans for an invasion of Greece from the territory of previously occupied Albania. The founder of the Empire was very unhappy that his ally was not in a hurry to coordinate his plans with such an important person. In addition, the Duce tried with all his might to show everyone (maybe, first of all to himself) that “the descendants of the proud Romans” inherited not only the ability to make magnificent parades in peacetime, but also to win victories in the wartime. After the growing diplomatic onslaught and a series of provocations, the Italians of October 28 launched an offensive, which, however, soon triumphantly drowned - armed with an even older one. weaponsthan the enemy, the Greek army threw the aggressor into the territory of Albania. Upon hearing of the ally’s military action, Hitler was infuriated - the inconvenient strategy situation in the Balkans interfered with his ambitious plans for a promising campaign in the East. It was also impossible to let things take their course, in Berlin they were clearly aware that any enemy of the Axis countries automatically became an ally of England under siege. Winter 1940 – 1941 brought a lull to the mountainous Balkan front, and then the German and Italian intelligence received information about sending the British expeditionary force to Greece. The English convoys moved to the shores of Hellas, and the Italian fleet seemed to have the opportunity to influence what was happening.

Favorite child of Duce

If regarding the army construction and ground forces in general, the successes of the fascists were quite controversial (in general, the unsuccessful reforms of General Alberto Pariani contributed greatly to this), the navy could boast, at first glance, more significant achievements. On paper, the royal naval forces were quite impressive: at the time of entry into the war, they counted 4 battleship, 7 heavy, 15 light cruisers, 127 destroyers and destroyers, 121 submarine. The Italian shipbuilding school is rightfully recognized as one of the best in Europe, if not in the world, then for sure. Foreign customers, in particular, the USSR, readily resorted to its services.

In fact, the situation was less rosy. Mussolini's beloved brainchild and pride, the fleet was not ready for war. Of the four battleships, which were also deeply modernized veterans of the First World War, only two were combat-ready (Giulio Cesare and Cavour). The other two (Cayo Duilio and Andrea Doria) have not yet completed modernization in Genoa and Trieste. In summer, however, the launch of the newest Littorio and Vittorio Veneto, high-speed ships equipped with 380 mm artillery, was expected. The heavy cruisers were a high-speed variation of the Washingtonians, and three of the light ones were participants in the First World War (two of them, Taranto and Bari, were former German transferred to Italy by reparations). Italian submarines were distinguished by poor maneuverability under water and high noise. The technical equipment of the fleet (anti-aircraft weapons, fire control devices, etc.) was generally outdated. The Italian sailors had the most common and also vague idea of ​​radar. Many ships (in particular, 12 light cruisers of the Captain Romani type) were at different stages of construction. There were no aircraft carriers in the fleet - it was believed that their function would be successfully handled aviation coast-based. A dangerous delusion, which the Italians then had to repeatedly make sure of through bitter experience. With the outbreak of war, when the export of oil and oil products from neutral countries stopped, the fuel shortage began. By June 1940, the fleet had about 1 million 800 thousand tons of oil in storage. Mussolini, confident that the war would not last long, demanded the transfer of part of the fleet stocks to the air forces and civilian industry, and this did not improve the combat capability of the Navy.

Admiral Kavagnari, the chief of staff of the Navy, identified the main strategy of the fleet in the ensuing war as the active defense of the adjacent water areas and communications and attacks on enemy communications. The advantage in this complex of measures was given to quite numerous light forces. Large ships should not risk if possible, but be used as a support and means of pressure.


Battleship "worspite"


Unfortunately for the Italian command, the British had a slightly different view on the use of large ships and fleets in general. Already in the first armed clash at Calabria Cape 10 in July 1940, the only hit of an 381-mm projectile from the Worspite to Cesare caused a fire, the smoke from which the fans swallowed into the engine room, because of which they had to partially evacuate personnel - this hit led to a fleeting end to the battle. The stake on coastal aviation was untenable - the British Sunderland flying boats absolutely brazenly and with impunity hung over the Italian squadron, despite the insistent requests of Admiral Campioni to send fighters and bombers. And just four months later, the British did not inflict an easy educational slap, but a full blow, besides below the belt. On the night of 11 on 12 in November 1940, the 21 torpedo bomber "Suordfish" from the aircraft carrier "Illastries" visited the main base of the Italian Navy Taranto. The outcome of the visit was more than impressive: the British pilots, at the cost of killing just two aircraft, managed to disable three battleships, including the newest Littorio. “Cavour”, sunk in shallow water, no longer went out to sea, “Kayo Duilio” spent months in repair 5. The last skeptics who arrogantly treated aircraft carriers as servants of battleships in reconnaissance or as air transport, were forced to admit that they were wrong.

The raid on Taranto and the sea battle at Spartivento, which was generally favorable for the British, made it possible to drag the situation to its side and provide General Wavelew in Egypt with all the necessary for a counter-offensive against the Italian army that had invaded Libya. The merciless defeat of the 150-thousandth group of Marshal Graziani, the impressive successes of British troops in Italian East Africa were very strong arguments against the realization of the dream of a New Roman Empire. Duce had to postpone the already tried on crown of Julius Caesar and seek help from the German allies. Hitler, whose thoughts were swallowed up by a huge country in the east, did not want to go to Africa for the time being, but it was necessary to urgently support the rapidly falling Italian pants. Already in February, the “rescue team” represented by the avant-garde of the 5 light division of the German African corps landed in Tripoli. In the Balkans, the ground was prepared for the solution of the question of the existence of Yugoslavia and Greece. The command of the Italian fleet has undergone the expected shuffling - someone must be guilty of so many failures and failures. The place of commander headquarters Cavagnari took Admiral Riccardi. The acting forces were headed by Admiral Angelo Iakino, who previously had a good reputation as commander of a cruiser division. Before the war, Iakino was a naval attache in London and was thought to know the British mentality and their fleet well.

14 – 16 February in Merano, a meeting was held between the tops of two allied fleets - Grand Admiral Raeder and Admiral Riccardi. The Germans, who were very concerned about the appearance of the British in Greece, insisted on the active actions of the Italian fleet. Riccardi maneuvered, complaining about the remoteness of their own bases and the saving umbrella of coastal aviation. In addition, the fleet has already experienced stress with fuel. On this complaint, Raeder objected that soon the Greek Halifax and Wellington might be on Greek airfields, which are quite capable of reaching the Ploiesti oil-bearing regions, and that then the fuel could become quite bad. Ricardi promised assistance.

In early March, the Germans, whose reconnaissance aircraft fixed the increasing flow of transports to Greece, began to put pressure on the allies with a simple goal: to make the Italian fleet forget about cuffs and crackles and go to sea. In order to block the possible excuses of the “new Romans”, who were so worried about the safety of their “triremes”, they were promised help in the person of the German X Air Corps, whose pilots had sufficient experience of flying over the sea. Closer to the Aegean Sea, the squadron should have been picked up by fighters from Rhodes. The Germans reassured their Axis colleagues, telling that 16 in March two British battleships were damaged by torpedoes. Of course, this was not true. Iakino calmed down, although he didn’t quite understand the deliberate need for such an operation - the results could turn out to be zero, and the ships would burn a lot of fuel. But from above they pressed. Until the signing of the directive number 25 on the attack on Yugoslavia and Greece, there were only a few days left. In the evening of March 26, the Italian fleet set sail.

Fleet out

Admiral Iakino left Naples, holding a flag on the newest "Vittorio Veneto." His nine 380-mm guns in the three main-caliber towers personified reliability and instilled confidence. Four bodyguards alongside the flagship were escort destroyers. “Heavy cavalry” also moved ahead: the 3-division of cruisers (“Trieste”, “Trento”, “Bolzano”) and three destroyers. Taranto left the 1-division of cruisers (Zara, Paul, Fiume), and light forces slipped out of Brindisi - 8-division of cruisers (Abruzzi, Garibaldi) accompanied by six destroyers. All connections were to be met in 60 miles east of Augusta.

Secret fears and anxieties often tend to be carried out. As secretly and assumed Iakin, the next day the sky over the squadron was free from the promised aircraft X aircraft corps. But in 12 h. 25 min. Trieste reported that it was observing the English Flying Boat Sunderland. The intensive work of the radio transmitter was recorded on it. The messages were deciphered, and the Italians learned that only three heavy cruisers and the destroyers accompanying them were found from the plane. The fog did not allow to detect the rest of the ships Iakino. However, the news of the detection of enemy ships was most carefully received in Alexandria, the main base of the British Navy at that time. Admiral Andrew Cunningham, comparing the increased activity of the Italian-German aircraft in recent days and the launch of enemy cruisers at sea, came to the very clear conclusion that the enemy was preparing some kind of operation in the waters of Greece. Fortunately, at that time only one convoy (AG-9) was at sea, and he was ordered to follow the same course before dark, and then turn back. The exit of the next convoy was delayed. Realizing that the observed cruisers can only be part of a squadron that went into the sea, Cunningham nevertheless prepared to go to sea to give battle. Vice-Admiral Coming-Whippell (Orion, Ajax, Perth, Gloucester, destroyer 4), operating in the Aegean Sea, received an order in the morning of March 28 to be at the meeting point south-west of Gavdos Island.

The main forces of the Mediterranean fleet, meanwhile, were preparing to leave Alexandria. Cunningham himself tried as far as possible to conceal from the enemy’s intelligence his intention to go to sea. So, in the afternoon, he left the board of the "Worspite" with a suitcase, allegedly intending to spend the night on the beach. However, shortly after dark, he returned to the flagship. Late in the evening the British squadron went to sea. He headed his permanent veteran "Worspayt" under the flag of Cunningham. Two more young but experienced fighters marched along with him - the battleships “Valiant” and “Barem”. British battleships were inferior in speed to their Italian opponents, especially the newest ones, but they had powerful 380-mm artillery. However, the British had a trump ace, which they did not particularly hide. Cunningham's squadron included the newest aircraft carrier, the Formidebl, which came into service only four months ago and arrived in Alexandria on March 10. It was a ship with a displacement of 23 thousand tons, having an armored deck and hangars. In the afternoon of March 27, his air group relocated aboard from the base of Dekheyl three miles from Alexandria. Large ships escorted 9 destroyers.

The Italian plan called for advancing into the Aegean Sea, reaching the eastern tip of Crete with most of the cruisers (1 and 8 division) under the cover of "Vittorio Veneto" and in the case of non-detection of the enemy go to the opposite course. Thus, the operation in its essence did not go beyond the usual principle of Britain’s opponents at sea — not to risk ships. Especially careful search and a long stay in the Greek waters were not provided. All the next day of 27 March, the Italians continued to move east and at nightfall they increased the speed to 23 nodes. A reconnaissance aircraft from Rhodes reported to Iakino that he found three battleships, two aircraft carriers and other ships in the harbor of Alexandria. The British were anchored, and this calmed the admiral a little. At 6 in the morning hours of March 28, with Vittorio Veneto, the reconnaissance aircraft Ro-43 was catapulted with an order to reconnoiter and then land on the island of Leros. A little later, his scout raised and heavy cruiser "Bolzano". If they didn’t find anything by 7 in the morning, Jakino planned to reverse the course.

In 6 h. 43 min. The battleship's seaplane radioed on the Vittorio Veneto about the discovery of four cruisers and four destroyers on a course to the southeast of all in any 50 miles. These were the ships Come-Whippella. After another 40 minutes, the English scout referred to the "Worspite" that they had Italian cruisers fixed. Cunningham ordered the battleship's speed to be increased to 22 knots, which is the maximum that the vehicles of the old ship were capable of. Tension on the British squadron subsided - it became obvious that the enemy at sea and the much-desired battle could hardly be avoided. Having received the reconnoitered, extracted by the Formidebl aircraft, We will come to Whippell at first thought that it is a question of its connection, however in 7.45 with Orion they found smoke behind the stern. In 7.58, the heavy cruiser Trieste visually identified the enemy — its presence no longer doubted both squadrons. In 8 h. 12 min. from the distance 25000 meters Italians opened fire and, taking advantage of their high speed, began to shorten the distance. We'll come - Whippell began the march to his main forces, intending to lure the enemy closer to his battleships. They were already on their way to the battlefield, holding the 22 hub, the senior mechanic at Worspite reported that the old man was capable of giving 24, but Barem was not capable of such speed, and Cunningham had to limit the squadron speed.

The distance between the two groups of cruisers was reduced, the Italians concentrated fire on the terminal Gloucester - on the eve the ship had an accident in the engine room and could not reach full speed. Eight-inch volleys lay quite tightly around the British, but the ships of the 3-th division did not achieve a single hit. In 8 h. 55 min. Italian cruisers described the circulation and left the battlefield, turning back. They fulfilled Jacobin’s order not to move too far from the battleship patronizing them. Seeing a change in the behavior of the enemy, Let's come to Whippell also turned back, trying to maintain visual contact with the enemy. Cunningham’s battleships were no more than 50 miles. Neither the commander of the 3 Division, Vice-Admiral Sansonetti, nor Norde-Whipple were aware of the nearby Italian and English battleships. In the 10.58 from the Orion cruiser, at a distance of 16 miles, they found a ship that looked like a battleship. Soon he was identified as a battleship of the type "Vittorio Veneto", which immediately opened fire. Having met such a strong and unexpected opponent, the English cruisers, having set up a smoke screen, turned away.


Torpedo "Fairy Albacore" on the deck of an aircraft carrier


While the front cruising groups were in contact with fire, work was in full swing on the Formidebla deck. Aviation was to join the battle. The first in the case were "Suordfish" from Malia airbase (Crete). In obedience to Cunningham's orders, they unsuccessfully attacked the cruiser Bolzano, which easily turned away from the torpedoes. The word was for the deck air group, which was already in readiness from early morning. In 9 h. 36 min. The Formideb stood up against the wind, and six Albacores (torpedo-bearers) and two Fulmar (a deck-based fighter capable of carrying a torpedo) climbed from it, roaring with engines. The English cruisers at that time had to endure unpleasant moments - not only did the battleship firing at them, whose volleys lay closer and closer, also Sonsonetti turned his ships to join the attack on the enemy. At this critical moment, Formidla aircraft appeared in 11.27. At Vittorio Veneto, they were initially mistaken for a long-awaited destructive cover from Rhodes (Albacore biplanes were mistaken for Falco CR-42), but the joy soon gave way to disappointment. The torpedo bombers began to attack the battleship moving with the 30-nodal stroke, barked 20- and 37-mm Breda anti-aircraft guns, the flagship Iakino began to maneuver, evading six torpedoes launched at him. The British did not hit, but Let's come, Whippell managed to avoid an enemy attack. The air around the Italian squadron was obviously tense, and its commander ordered the retreat to the bases.

"Great God, and yet we hit!"


The battle plan at Cape Matapan


The distance between the two squadrons was no more than 50 miles, but the Italians retreated 28-nodal course. Cunningham could not afford to develop more than 22 because of the low-speed "Barem". Iakino spurred the presence of the enemy aircraft (it does not matter, they flew from Crete, or, worse, from the aircraft carrier) and the lack of air cover. The chance to catch up with the enemy leaving at high speed was to make him slow down. This could be achieved by damaging the Italian battleship - it certainly would not have been abandoned. Therefore, now much depended on the skill of the pilots. At the time of the battle, Formidebl had 27 airplanes (13 Fulmar, 10 Albacor and 3 Suordfish). He, along with two destroyers, separated from the main forces, so as not to hamper Cunningham’s battleships with his maneuvers, and took the second wave into the air - the 3 “Albacore” and the 2 “Suordfish”. Their attack on the cruisers of the 3 Division also ended without result. Having received the first aircraft, and then the next wave, the aircraft carrier went to catch up with the main forces, which it soon joined. His planes were preparing for new sorties - for the time being they were refueled, examined and re-equipped. Contact with the Italian squadron was restored around 14 hours, when she was again discovered from the air. At the beginning of the third, Blenheim bombers, which flew from Greek airfields, attacked it. And again - only close gaps and the lack of direct hits. No sooner had the calculations of anti-aircraft guns taken breath, how did the Albacores and Fulmar appear in the air. While fighters poured their battery of eight 7,7-mm and four 12,7-mm machine guns superstructure "Vittorio Veneto", disorienting observers and defense calculations, link "albacore", led by Lieutenant Commander Dale Steed, squadron commander 829-Squadron, pick up the battleship to an extremely close distance. The lead torpedo bomber under a hurricane fire dropped its cargo in some 100 meters from the side. In the next moments, he was riddled with an anti-aircraft gun and collapsed into the water. From the torpedo "Vittorio Veneto" could not dodge - she got into the left side of the stern of the ship. There was an explosion, about 4 thousand tons of water entered the hole. In 15.30, the battleship's cars stopped, he slowly began to roll, sinking stern. For his feat, Lieutenant Daylil-Steed was posthumously awarded the Order of Distinguished Service.

Emergency parties on the flagship Iakino immediately rushed to fix the damage. Using the starboard machine group, the ship was soon able to give 10 nodes, then develop 19. Before Taranto, 420 was still miles away, and there was not a single Italian or German aircraft in the sky. Fearing new attacks, Jakino built his squadron so that the damaged battleship was now in its center — cruisers marched to its left and right, and the destroyers formed an outer perimeter. The British received numerous, but contradictory information about the location of the enemy from different reconnaissance aircraft. In the end, the 17.45 from Worspite raised the Suordfish onboard float with an experienced observer aboard, who in 18.10 discovered Vittorio Veneto in 45 miles from his battleship, and already in 18.25, nine Albacores appeared above the Italian squadron . They circled behind the enemy's stern outside the zone of destruction of its fire. Above hovered a scout from the "Worspite", constantly transmitting data. It was already dark when the British rushed to the attack in 19.20. Anti-aircraft fire was very strong, and failed to break through to the flagship, however, the heavy cruiser "Paul" was damaged by a torpedo at 19.46, which soon lost its course. Having only coastal intelligence reports, according to which the British cruisers were spotted in 75 miles behind, the Italian commander did not even know about the presence of battleships.

Under such conditions, assuming that there will be no more air attacks from the night, and the likelihood of meeting with enemy large ships is vanishingly small, in 20.18 Iakino issues an order to the 1 division of Vice-Admiral Cattaneo's cruisers to turn back and assist the damaged "Field". The counter-offer of the divisional commander limited to two destroyers Iakino rejected. Heavy cruisers "Zara" and "Fiume" together with four destroyers changed course, following the order of the commander. They went straight to meet the English squadron. Cunningham deliberately took risks in an effort to impose battle and finish off a wounded enemy, although each mile to the west increased the danger of meeting with enemy aircraft. However, despite the entreaties of the headquarters, the British admiral was determined.

In 20 h. 32 min. one of the cruisers We will come to Whippella "Ajax" radar discovered the immobile "Paul." After receiving the message, Cunningham ordered his battleships to turn and go for a rapprochement, following the wake column. On 22.03, the “Valiant” radar received contact with a target that was no more than 8 – 9 miles from it. The British at first thought hopefully that it was a damaged Vittorio Veneto. The British battleships made a turn "all at once" and now they were in line of bearing. In 22.23, the destroyer Stuart reported that he saw new targets following a column crossing the British course. In 22.27, the destroyer Greyhound illuminated the new arrivals with a searchlight. It was Vice-Admiral Cattaneo’s 1 Division. The towers of the Italian cruisers were turned to zero - they did not even suspect the enemy.

In 22 h. 30 min. British battleships opened fire from a distance of almost three kilometers, which practically negated the blunders. The first volley of the Worspite (five out of six 380-mm projectiles) hit Fiume. The battleship commander, captain of 1 rank Douglas Fisher, himself a former artilleryman, exclaimed: “Great God, we did!” Cunningham subsequently recorded this expression. But the Italians were not joking - the British shells smashed the enemy, quickly turning it into a pile of floating debris. Having made several volleys, the British dodged torpedoes fired by enemy destroyers who tried to counterattack. There was a brawl light forces, the result of which was the death of two Italian destroyers. Two managed to leave. Caught in flames, Fiume sank in 23.15, at half past midnight the torpedoes of the destroyer Jervis were finished off and the burning Zara exploded. Admiral Cattaneo and the cruiser commander were killed along with the ship.


Heavy cruiser "Paul"


In 23 hours, Cunningham gave an order to all ships not engaged in the destruction of the enemy, to depart to the north and northeast. In 00.20, the destroyer "Haywok" again discovered the drifting "Paul", which no one had paid attention to before. The cruiser was in a joyless state, half submerged astern. The destroyer Jervis, who approached and moored to its board, found the Paul in a helpless position: chaos reigned on the ship, part of the crew had already left it, some were crowded on the deck, and many were not quite sober. Having removed a crew man from the 257 cruiser, the British finished him off with torpedoes. At the site of the night battle, the British destroyers carried out rescue work until the morning, until the German Ju-88 appeared on them, after which they had to start the withdrawal. The main forces left the battlefield at night. There were a lot of Italians in the water, and Admiral Cunningham sent a Formidla plane to Crete with a radiogram that should have been sent to Malta, and then to the Italian command. It contained the coordinates of the place where the sailors from the dead cruisers and destroyers were still located.

An attempt to hunt for the English convoys cost the royal navy three heavy cruisers and two destroyers. The battleship was damaged. Archaic methods of warfare at sea, ignoring the role of aircraft carriers, the complete absence of air cover, naturally led the Italian fleet to defeat, from which it did not fully recover until the end of the war.
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  1. Sakhalininsk
    Sakhalininsk 25 March 2016 06: 44
    +15
    The Italians always knew how to build ships, but never knew how to fight on them.
    1. Sweles
      Sweles 25 March 2016 09: 40
      +2
      and these pasta historians recorded as the descendants of the "great Roman empire"? Italian soldiers are complete nonentities both in the Greek campaign and in all other European clashes. Academic historical science in full swing describes the "power of Rome" in those days about which no one really knows anything except suspicious chronicles. It does not happen that the descendants of the greats would suddenly become blown away weaklings both militarily and economically.
      The underdeveloped national spirit, the weakness of the economy, the inability to correlate the desired with the possible only confirms once again that such a modern education as Italy, which was glued together from pieces only in the 19th century, cannot be a continuation of the "Roman Empire" in the traditional sense - and all this is a great myth and the screen behind which the real story is hidden.
      As for Rome, it certainly was, but not in Italy and at the wrong time.
      1. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
        Andrei from Chelyabinsk 25 March 2016 10: 59
        +10
        Quote: Sveles
        It doesn’t happen that the descendants of the great suddenly become blown away weaklings both in the military sense and in the economic

        It happens all the time. A simple example - France during the First World War (fought exemplary) and the Second World War (full of seams and unwillingness to fight)
        1. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA 25 March 2016 11: 33
          +4
          Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
          It happens all the time. A simple example - France during the First World War (fought exemplary) and the Second World War (full of seams and unwillingness to fight)

          You can still recall Spain and Holland.
        2. Sweles
          Sweles 25 March 2016 12: 05
          0
          Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
          It happens all the time. A simple example - France during the First World War (fought exemplary) and the Second World War (full of seams and unwillingness to fight)


          yeah, of course, you don’t know stories, if it weren’t for Rosii, the frogmen would have been full of kapets ...
          1. pigkiller
            pigkiller 25 March 2016 12: 35
            +3
            There was a big disaster from the participation of Italians in the campaign on the Volga - an epidemic of syphilis in the occupied territories.
          2. pigkiller
            pigkiller 25 March 2016 12: 35
            -4
            There was a big disaster from the participation of Italians in the campaign on the Volga - an epidemic of syphilis in the occupied territories.
          3. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
            Andrei from Chelyabinsk 25 March 2016 14: 23
            +7
            Quote: Sveles
            Yes, of course you don’t know stories

            Unlike you, I know.
            Quote: Sveles
            if it were not for Rosia, the frogmen would have been a complete kapets ...

            Firstly, the issue is very controversial. Yes, as a result of our offensive, the Germans were forced to transfer their units to the east, but there would be enough of them to defeat the French (if Russia, say, had not participated in the war) is a fortunate question.
            Secondly. It discusses not who saved whom and whom, but who fought and how. And if you at least read a little about the French in WWI, you would know that they fought in the highest degree exemplary and worthy. Perhaps without Russia they would have lost, but does losing in the Crimean War invalidate the feat or diminish the dignity of the defenders of Sevastopol? And we honor the defenders of the Brest Fortress only because we won in the Second World War, and if we lost, then there was no feat, so what?
            In general, your hypertrophied patriotism is completely inappropriate here.
            1. Sweles
              Sweles 25 March 2016 15: 03
              -4
              Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
              Unlike you, I know.


              it means that in 1mv the French fought well, and in 2mv they fought poorly, then help from Russia was not a decisive contribution to 1mv and the French fought well, but there was no help in 2mv from Russia, but did the frats fight badly? Nnda, you write exactly complete nonsense, because between these two wars, as in the equation, exactly one component is missing - this is the FORCE of RUSSIA, so since the frogmen lost, it was not because they fought valiantly, but because they fought badly in both wars, but in 2mv Rosiya didn’t help them anymore and that’s why they lost, as the logic suggests.
              Yes, in fact, statistics says Mukhin investigated this issue, in order to bring the French to their knees it is necessary to destroy only official data less than 253 thousand soldiers — combat losses, although the population of France with the colonies was 110 mil. people, which makes up 0.2% of the total population of France, but the USSR 170 million people in order to win put only a soldier in the war 6% of the total population 9 million soldiers, so who fights valiantly and with the presence of the spirit of the Russians or the French?
              As for Italians, you don’t even have to go into Wikipedia to understand that the Italians are not warriors, so your parallels are not correct ...
              1. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
                Andrei from Chelyabinsk 25 March 2016 17: 18
                +1
                Quote: Sveles
                Yes, so actually speaking statistics Mukhin investigated this issue

                Well, if for you Mukhin is an expert, I have no more questions :)
                Quote: Sveles
                in order to bring the French to their knees it’s necessary to destroy only official data less than 253 thousand soldiers. combat losses, although the population of France with the colonies was 110 mil. people

                Without even analyzing the figures you quoted (complete nonsense. I hope it’s not yours but Mukhina?), We will simply apply your "logic" to the First World War.
                And in World War I, having a population of 39,6 million, France lost 1 239 thousand people killed, i.e. 3,12% of the population And won.
                Russia, by the way, in the WWII lost 1 670 thousand people from 175 million inhabiting the Russian Empire (0,92%) And ... alas, it did not win.
                And what, guided by your semblance of logic, would you risk asserting that a Russian soldier disgustingly fought in World War I?
                Quote: Sveles
                but the Soviet Union 170 mil. man in order to win put in the war only soldier 6% of the total population 9 mil. soldier

                And even here Mukhin gracefully distorted - 170 million - this is the population of the USSR within the old borders, as of June 1941, taking into account the annexed territories, the population of the USSR exceeded 194 million.
                Quote: Sveles
                , so who fights valiantly and with the presence of the spirit of the Russians or the French?

                In your opinion, if the Russians are fighting bravely, then everyone else can’t fight at all? :) This is not even a kindergarten.
                1. Sweles
                  Sweles 25 March 2016 21: 00
                  -1
                  Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
                  And in World War I, having a population of 39,6 million, France lost 1 239 thousand people killed, i.e. 3,12% of the population And won.


                  you still write, it was not France who won, but the Lombardy deceived the Germans, defeated ANTANT, and even in 17g fresh Americans arrived, no need to fart uncle ...
                  Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
                  Russia, by the way, in the WWII lost 1 670 thousand people from 175 million inhabiting the Russian Empire (0,92%) And ... alas, it did not win.


                  arctic fox Rosiya, what do you think did not win, because she laid few lives? and maybe even what reasons were for example the revolution? such "historians" as you must be slingshot on the spot ...

                  Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
                  And in World War I, having a population of 39,6 million, France lost 1 239 thousand people killed, i.e. 3,12% of the population And won.


                  and the French you count all along with the colonies, otherwise Russia can be counted without the outskirts according to your out-of-order logic ...
                  1. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
                    Andrei from Chelyabinsk 26 March 2016 12: 02
                    +1
                    Quote: Sveles
                    you still write, it was not France who won, but the Lombardy deceived the Germans, defeated ANTANT and even fresh Americans arrived in 17, no need to fart uncle ..

                    Well, do not distort. The result of the First World War for Russia was a series of revolutions, and in the 1918 year Russia emerged from the war by signing the Brest peace humiliating for itself and suffering heavy economic and territorial losses. Do you think this is a victory for Russia? Accordingly, Russia did not participate in the Paris Conference, where the winning countries gathered and did not have any preferences from the victory over Germany and the countries that supported it.
                    But France - participated, took an active part in the reconstruction of the world and enjoyed the other fruits of the victory over Germany. That is why France is one of the victorious powers, but the Russian Empire is not.
                    Quote: Sveles
                    fox Rosia, what do you think did not win, because put few lives?

                    So, if Russia puts its soldiers in the ground more than the rest, then this indicates its unprecedented resilience, and when others do it, is this not an indicator? I do not ask you for historical knowledge, but should you have at least some logic?
                    Quote: Sveles
                    and the French you count all along with the colonies

                    Why should I repeat the ravings of Mukhin? You deal with it much better than me.
                    Although, it would seem, to any HEALTHY person it is clear that the population of Madagascar or the countries of Central Africa could not have any relation to the war on the fields of France.
                    1. Sweles
                      Sweles 29 March 2016 18: 28
                      -1
                      Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
                      Russia began a series of revolutions, and in 1918 Russia emerged from the war by signing the Brest peace humiliating for itself and suffering heavy economic and territorial losses.


                      Listen, you already got a lie, Russia greatly helped France and therefore France was among the winners, and Russia lost / signed, but not Russia !!! and the renegades // Bolsheviks / Jews they sold to Russia and made her sign the Brest peace.

                      Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
                      So, if Russia puts its soldiers in the ground more than the rest, then this indicates its unprecedented resilience, and when others do it, is this not an indicator? I do not ask you for historical knowledge, but should you have at least some logic?


                      you are arctic fox fool Russia laid down lives quite enough for victory, but its feat of 1mv cannot be considered neither for nor against the outcome of the war for Russia, because the main REASON for losing the war is the betrayal of the Bolsheviks i.e. .
                      Those like you who distort causes and consequences must be excommunicated from the forums, because you have sawdust in your head ...

                      Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
                      a person understands that the population of Madagascar or the countries of Central Africa could not have any relation to the war on the fields of France


                      why is it so? Angles, but the French brought both Indians and Algerians, than Madagascans do not suit you for cannon fodder, especially since there were whites ...
                  2. The comment was deleted.
        3. Per se.
          Per se. 25 March 2016 13: 51
          +4
          Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
          It happens all the time. A simple example - France during the First World War (fought exemplary)
          Andrei, here it is better to recall France after the Great French Bourgeois Revolution, and further, on this wave, the arrival of Napoleon, his era. It was power, because there was an idea, the idea gave high morale. Ancient Rome had an idea, there was a high morale among the legendary Roman legions. Without an idea, Rome began to degrade, the legions were completed with barbarians mercenaries, which led to the sunset. If we talk about the war on the Mediterranean Sea (World War II), firstly, the stupid race for records turned out to be at the expense of the fighting qualities of the new Italian ships, and secondly, most importantly, there was no real national idea for high morale. Many Italians at that time noted that Germany was using them, that this was not their war. As for the Italians, as descendants of Rome, well, something still remained, there are examples where the Italian sailors demonstrated both courage and heroism in battle. But, for victory it was necessary to know why the Anglo-Saxons decided to beat their faces, prepare for this ahead of time, and not compete with France in speed records and firing ranges.
      2. pigkiller
        pigkiller 25 March 2016 11: 02
        +4
        The modern inhabitants of Italy have the same ethnic relation to the ancient Romans as the Arabs to the Egyptians of the ancient Egyptian kingdoms.
        1. Maegrom
          Maegrom 25 March 2016 14: 49
          0
          Just a couple of months ago, I listened to the "homeland of elephants" program, a link to the latest research that mostly genetically Egyptian Arabs are direct descendants of the ancient Egyptians.
    2. Megatron
      Megatron 25 March 2016 11: 22
      +2
      And on the land, Eastern Front, they fought completely uselessly.
      But unlike the Germans, I don’t remember the Italians being seen in some atrocities.
      1. 97110
        97110 25 March 2016 17: 12
        +1
        Quote: Megatron
        I don’t remember the Italians being seen in some atrocities.

        Until recently, Ukrainians were not noticed ... Suddenly, it became generally known that both Babi Yar and Katyn were not Germans at all. And even Lviv - not Germans ... Mogherini will agree - they will get information due to a shortage, and it will become known which Italians are Fascists!
    3. Roman 11
      Roman 11 25 March 2016 22: 28
      0
      They won the first Punic in a naval battle!
  2. Aleksandr72
    Aleksandr72 25 March 2016 06: 50
    +9
    From the moment Italy gained independence in Europe, there was a saying: "The Italian army exists only so that the Austrians have someone to beat!" - This is to the question of the combat capability of both the Italian and Austro-Hungarian armies. Back in the years of the First World War, pasta in gold letters entered the name of the village of Caporetto into the military encyclopedia. During World War II, Italians reaffirmed their "highest level" of combat training and the same "highest" moral and volitional qualities of their soldiers (with rare exceptions that did not make the weather). It was said about the Italian navy that "Italians are much better at building ships than fighting on them." One can say about Reggia Marina this way: a thousand warships and 100 sailors is not a fleet yet. In this case, it should be added - especially if this armada is controlled by a thousand donkeys in gilded caps (in the rank of admirals and captains of the 000st rank). But what charming naval tales after the war were written by a former officer of the Supermarine (the main headquarters of the Italian Navy) caperang Mark Antonio Bragadin - Baron Munchausen himself nervously smokes on the sidelines. It's in the style of "if not for them, then we would have them ..." that is, the British.
    I have the honor.
    1. Plombirator
      25 March 2016 10: 47
      +7
      Quote: Aleksandr72
      But what charming naval tales after the war were written by the former officer of the Supermarine (headquarters of the Italian Navy) kaprang Mark Antonio Bragadin - Baron Munchausen himself nervously smokes to the side

      Well, how the same must be explained (even for yourself) constant failures. Now, if the waves were a little lower, the shells flew a little faster, the British went a little slower, then we would have them .. Bragadin, besides, an officer in the armchair, not a ship ... The problem was that the Italians did not fully understand why they needed to fight the British and French, to whom, in principle, they were not hostile. And the British at sea were also afraid. And in the First World War, when Italy was a member of the Triple Alliance, she simply did not side with Germany in the beginning. Then it was "bought" and the Italians went to fight against the recent allies. Also without motivation. And so began - the 5th battle of the Isonzo, 10th, 12th. Lack of fighting spirit (in Bardia at the end of 1940, 36 thousand people surrendered, in Tobruk-25), not wanting to fight and endure hardships was a decisive factor. It is hard to counterbalance the picture - the first wave of the US Marine Corps lands on Iwo Jima, and a crowd of Japanese with white flags is running towards it, led by General Kuribayashi.
      1. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
        Andrei from Chelyabinsk 25 March 2016 11: 03
        +2
        Quote: Plombirator
        And the British at sea were also afraid

        On this occasion, A. Bolnykh walked well in the preface to Bragadin. It sounded something like this: "But how do you order to fight the fleet, whose commanders are able to give the following order:" To the commander of the destroyer flotilla. Return to base for refueling. Destroy the enemy's heavy cruiser along the way "(it was in such terms that the command was given to destroy the Japanese" Haguro ")
      2. The comment was deleted.
      3. 97110
        97110 25 March 2016 17: 16
        0
        Quote: Plombirator
        It is difficult to imagine a picture - the first wave of the US Marine Corps landed on Iwo Jima, and a crowd of Japanese with white flags runs towards her, led by General Kuribayashi.

        Very easy. The Marines climb onto the ships faster than they disembark from them, and the linear forces continue to prepare the landing.
  3. Rurikovich
    Rurikovich 25 March 2016 06: 54
    +2
    This battle is described in detail by S. Pak "Battle for the Mediterranean" as the view of the British, and by M.A.Bragadin in his memoirs, as the view of the losers hi
  4. qwert
    qwert 25 March 2016 07: 08
    +7
    According to some fairly reputable experts, the battleship Vittorio Veneto and its sistership had the most rational defense system among the battleships of that era. Well, besides, these were perhaps the most beautiful battleships. Nearby you can probably put only Reshel.
    But Italians, of course, have forgotten how to fight since the days of the Roman Empire.
    1. Riv
      Riv 25 March 2016 08: 12
      -4
      It’s funny, but the Italians didn’t really know how to fight during the times of Ancient Rome. It's true. Rome won all its major victories with the hands of mercenaries. In the legions by the time of the Empire there were almost no indigenous natives of Italy. Caesar has most of the soldiers the same Gauls-Federates and Germans. Why did he switch to the Rubicon with a clear conscience - what is Italy for these warriors? Another opportunity to rob.

      Well, in all sorts of Africa, Syria and Moesia - there even officers were from the local, which subsequently affected.

      Probably the Italians also had to hire Germans for World War II ... :)
      1. Cartalon
        Cartalon 25 March 2016 09: 49
        +3
        If you decide to share a secret knowledge of a reference to the source, let's
      2. Kenneth
        Kenneth 25 March 2016 13: 01
        -2
        In fact, the Italians, for the most part, are just the descendants of those same barbarians
      3. Cap.Morgan
        Cap.Morgan 25 March 2016 22: 51
        +1
        Roman citizens were no more than 10% in the Empire. The rest were non-citizens. So we can assume that the Roman legions were not Roman.
        Professionals were accepted into the legions. Often from the lower strata of society. For salaries and good social programs.
  5. parusnik
    parusnik 25 March 2016 07: 49
    +3
    Thanks Denis! You do not continue to please us with your articles, I am very grateful ..
    1. parusnik
      parusnik 25 March 2016 08: 48
      +2
      not... superfluous, typo ..
  6. Engineer
    Engineer 25 March 2016 09: 24
    -1
    Yes, besides the beauty of the Italian fleet, there is nothing more to boast of. Although recently, more and more often they began to invent some heroic actions and victories of the Italian fleet. Although, I think they will soon begin to write at all that Italy, in alliance with England and Germany, was defending itself against Stalinist Russia. No, heroically fought on land, water and in the air. By the way, a lot of engineering miscalculation hides behind the beauty of Italian ships, both in terms of reservation and the layout of weapons. As an example, the same Richelieu with the controversial placement of all the main caliber barrels in the bow towers, which deprives him of the ability to fire with a retreating course.
    1. Cartalon
      Cartalon 25 March 2016 10: 14
      +4
      Well, the Britons came up with the placement of all artillery on the nose, on non-fast Nelson and Rodney it’s generally strange to look
    2. 97110
      97110 25 March 2016 17: 22
      0
      Quote: Engineer
      the same Richelieu with the controversial placement of all the main caliber trunks in the bow towers

      Nelson and Rodney in the fleet of her greatness ...
  7. Trapperxnumx
    Trapperxnumx 25 March 2016 10: 51
    0
    Yeah. But even several centuries before that, the inhabitants of the "boot" from Venice and Genoa were in full competition with each other and with Turkey and were very remarkable both at sea and on land!
    How all the same people are changing.
    And about Italy, I was struck at the time how the Italian mafiosi in America had a hand in minimizing the resistance in Sicily to American troops and helped the Amers in every possible way in the war against Italy. That's the whole story (((
    1. Cap.Morgan
      Cap.Morgan 25 March 2016 22: 45
      +3
      Lucky Luciano released after the war.
      It was he who disposed of everything there, sitting in a jail.
      The shipment of land lease also went without a single strike - the Italians controlled the ports and trade unions of port workers.
      The gangsters of Luciano also had a hand in the defeat of the American fascists (there was such a political trend)
  8. unknown
    unknown 25 March 2016 11: 41
    +5
    1. The Italians over-forced the internal ballistics of the guns, which led to the rapid burnout of trunks and increased dispersion.
    2. In the manufacture of shells allowed large tolerances in weight, which also did not contribute to accuracy.
    3. Destroyed cruisers - some of the best late Washingtonians. The British sighed.
    4. In that war there were enough cases of heroism shown by Italians at sea. But, for the most part, they concerned the actions of small ships, boats and combat swimmers.
  9. alovrov
    alovrov 25 March 2016 12: 57
    +4
    - The Führer Italy entered the war!
    - Well ... send a division against her ...
    “But she entered the war on our side!”
    - Shayze! Send her an army to help ...
    1. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
      Andrei from Chelyabinsk 25 March 2016 14: 34
      +2
      Old Germanic joke
      - What is the difference between German tanks and Italian?
      - German tanks have four forward speeds and one rear, while Italians have the opposite
      1. Alex
        Alex 25 March 2016 16: 46
        +4
        Quote: Andrey from Chelyabinsk
        - German tanks have four forward speeds and one rear, while Italians have the opposite

        I remember an even cooler option:
        The German tank has four forward speeds, one neutral and one back. Italian has four back and one neutral.
    2. Cap.Morgan
      Cap.Morgan 25 March 2016 22: 40
      +2
      Quote: alovrov
      - The Führer Italy entered the war!
      - Well ... send a division against her ...
      “But she entered the war on our side!”
      - Shayze! Send her an army to help ...

      About the Romanians, I remember it: "To defeat Romania, we need 15 divisions. To save it from defeat - also 15 divisions. In any case, we are losing only 15 divisions",
  10. Plombirator
    25 March 2016 14: 58
    +2
    Quote: Per se.
    it still remains, there are examples where Italian sailors demonstrated both courage and heroism in battle

    The same 10 MAC flotilla, the crews of torpedo bombers (even Cunningham recognized this). On land, the Germans themselves noted the high combat qualities of the Italian Alpine shooters and Bersaliers. As regards France, its passivity at the beginning of the war was largely due to the fact that the French were not eager to fight. The country was simply shocked by the losses in World War I when out of population in 39 million a man died 1mln 200tys. And these were mostly men of 16-50 years. The population and the government were frightened by the prospect of a new, many-year-long carnage.
  11. Sargaras
    Sargaras 25 March 2016 15: 10
    0
    You can also remember the battle of the Isonzo, number 12, as the "successes" of the Italian army.
  12. timyr
    timyr 25 March 2016 15: 28
    +4
    Such an impression from the Italians only Prince Borghese fought with his 10th flotilla of the IAC and the Garibaldian brigade. Another joke was offered to award Mussolini for his outstanding contribution to the defeat of fascism. They ask for what, but Stalingrad.
    1. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 25 March 2016 16: 50
      +5
      Quote: timyr
      Another joke was offered to award Mussolini for his outstanding contribution to the defeat of fascism. They ask for what, but Stalingrad.

      For Stalingrad, Antonescu should have been awarded. And Mussolini would rely on the reward for the Lesser Saturn and the Ostrogozh-Rossoshanskoy operation. smile

      Moreover, the location of the Italians on the front line was determined primarily not by strategic or operational considerations, but political: The Italians should have served as a layer between the Romanian and Hungarian units, which otherwise could have arranged a small internecine war for the controversial Transylvania right in front of our troops.

      The situation on the border between Romania and Hungary is well described by Friesner: 1944, the Russians are on the verge - and the communication between the two Reich allies is actually blocked, and even German cargo is delayed.
  13. Alex
    Alex 25 March 2016 16: 30
    +6
    Puffing and pushing, the Italian army finally defeated ancient Ethiopia, not disdaining the use of poisonous gases against troops partially armed with flintlocks and bows. The expeditionary force pompously sent to Spain suffered enormous losses with dubious results. The construction of the Empire turned out to be not only troublesome, but also expensive, and also dangerous.

    Herluf Bidstrup like no one vividly and figuratively commented on this in his work.

    German banks refuse Italy financial support for the development of natural wealth in Abyssinia.
    Mussolini: We grabbed an entire empire, but to no avail. Next time you just have to try to rob the bank.
  14. Alf
    Alf 25 March 2016 20: 47
    +1
    two Fulmar (carrier-based fighter capable of carrying a torpedo).

    Fairy Fulmer could never carry a torpedo. Its maximum carrying capacity was 227 kg, and the British aviation torpedo Mk-V weighed 730 kg.
    the “Albacore” link, led by Captain-Lieutenant Dailyl-Steed, a comasque of the 829th squadron, crept to the battleship extremely close. The leading torpedo bomber under heavy fire dropped his load some 100 meters from the side.

    This is what the .. gouging Italians had to be in order to let the torpedo bomber 100 meters?
    1. Plombirator
      25 March 2016 21: 09
      +2
      Quote: Alf
      Fay Fulmer could never carry a torpedo.

      It is interesting that in a number of sources it is stated that the modification of the Mk II, which entered service in 1940, could be equipped with a torpedo MK XII
      Quote: Alf
      This is what rasp..razdolbayami Italians had to be, to let the torpedo on 100 meters

      This, without exaggeration, a feat cost the crew of the Albacore their own lives. In addition, the Vittorio Veneto only just caught his breath from the raid of the Blenheims and the air defense crews focused their attention on the top.
      1. Alf
        Alf 25 March 2016 22: 03
        0
        Quote: Plombirator
        It is interesting that in a number of sources it is stated that the modification of the Mk II, which entered service in 1940, could be equipped with a torpedo MK XII

        I cited load ratings, and numbers are a stubborn thing.
        Quote: Plombirator
        , "Vittorio Veneto" just caught his breath from the raid of "Blenheim" and the air defense crews focused their attention on the top.

        But one hundred meters ???
        1. timyr
          timyr 25 March 2016 22: 30
          0
          These are Italians. During a desert storm, Italian pilots could not master refueling in the air because of which they could not make long-range flights. What if they knock down.
    2. Cap.Morgan
      Cap.Morgan 25 March 2016 22: 33
      +2
      Quote: Alf
      two Fulmar (carrier-based fighter capable of carrying a torpedo).

      Fairy Fulmer could never carry a torpedo. Its maximum carrying capacity was 227 kg, and the British aviation torpedo Mk-V weighed 730 kg.
      the “Albacore” link, led by Captain-Lieutenant Dailyl-Steed, a comasque of the 829th squadron, crept to the battleship extremely close. The leading torpedo bomber under heavy fire dropped his load some 100 meters from the side.

      This is what the .. gouging Italians had to be in order to let the torpedo bomber 100 meters?

      A fight often consists of a series of accidents.
      So, for example, almost by accident, a squadron of torpedo bombers reached Japanese aircraft carriers off Midway Island.
      Or Bismarck. There, too, there would have been seemingly minor injuries, accidentally received and ultimately leading to the death of the coab.
  15. Warrior2015
    Warrior2015 25 March 2016 22: 54
    +3
    Denis, as usual, posted just an exemplary naval article ... hi
  16. Cartalon
    Cartalon 26 March 2016 11: 32
    +1
    Much has been written here about how the Italians do not know how to fight, but after all, as part of the great army, the Italians Eugene Bogarne fought well, so the matter is a little more complicated than it seems))
    1. Alf
      Alf 26 March 2016 15: 35
      +3
      Quote: Cartalon
      Much has been written here about how the Italians do not know how to fight, but after all, as part of the great army, the Italians Eugene Bogarne fought well, so the matter is a little more complicated than it seems))

      It all depends on the era. Spaniards of the 15th century are one thing, and the 20th of a completely different one. Although, it would seem, one people.
      1. Cartalon
        Cartalon 26 March 2016 17: 58
        +1
        Um, this is not a question of epochs: before Napoleon, Italians flee, from Napoleon flee, fight near Napoleon, after Napoleon flee, again the notorious lions and rams.
  17. King, just king
    King, just king 28 March 2016 20: 37
    +1
    Worspite (pictured) enters La Valletta with the French flag on the tower. Apparently, May 1940

    Does anyone know why a flag is?
  18. Pilat2009
    Pilat2009 25 February 2017 16: 27
    0
    Quote: Sveles
    and historians wrote these pasta into the descendants of the "great Roman empire"?

    Twelve battles at Isonzo
    Quote: Sveles
    As for Rome, he certainly was, but not in Italy

    But this is already interesting. Where was Rome then?