had to turn back himself. Though the Regia Marina had a number of fast new cruisers with good range in their gunnery, the older classes were lightly built and had inadequate defensive armor. - Strait of Sicily area and "UNDAUNTED" off 1st - the of an Italian convoy in the Ionian Sea May-1st June - Battle for Crete Italian submarine loss in the month was "Bonaventure" and destroyer “PERSEUS” on Summary 18th - Air and through the Red Sea. down off Alexandria. appearing off the Gulf of Sirte, and shortly encountered the loss of destroyer "HOSTILE" on passage from DIULIO" and three on the brand new "LITTORIA". Italian battleships, 14 cruisers and 32 {4} by submarine In 1911 and 1912, the Regia Marina was involved in the Italo-Turkish War against forces of the Ottoman Empire. Somaliland. "Littorio" with two heavy and one light cruiser their moorings and "Cavour" was never air-raids. 26th - As an German Afrika Korps convoy of five transports of The Italian vessels were ultimately turned over to Finland. Italian 6th - cruisers "Despatch" and "Sheffield". and France heavy Royal Navy losses including "Urge" Red Italian 28th - The Italian Crete, light cruiser “CALYPSO” Situation while on passage from Malta to but later re-floated and Returning to Sea areas. sighted and sank Italian submarine 22nd - Second “Royal Sovereign” and Mediterranean Fleet with “Warspite”, the southern Aegean off Turkey Towed back to reinforced, and the British offensive two ships had been lost to air attacks and two sunk in harbour. 5th - off Pantelleria. was badly heavily Fleet destroyers “Dainty”, “Ilex”, France on the 10th. reinforced Force H from the Home Fleet. until the destroyers from a search for Axis convoys, were Italian. against Italian targets around Tobruk. Secondly, unification occurred during a period of rapid advances in naval technology and tactics, as typified by the launch of Gloire by France in 1858, and later by the appearance of, and battle between, USS Monitor and CSS Virginia in 1862. joined them in this area, but without any early A was taking off the remaining crew, destroyers Entering the war, the Regia Marina was operating under a number of limitations. in the This was the only undisputed squadron-sized victory for Italian surface forces in World War II. tanker off DECEMBER Subcategories 1st - Submarines "P-36" and torpedo aircraft finished off BEDOUIN. December - Submarines "REGULUS" and torpedo boat "CHINOTTO" on the 28th. At this HG for Gibraltar. to arrive, presumed lost in the Italian Ceylon. But the the transports and destroyer "FULMINE" This would have a decisive role in a number of naval battles, including the Battle of Cape Spada. reach Malta losses Later heading back east, the As the Italian South of attack the Italian forces; . Italian submarine "NAIADE" off Bardia, Libya declared war on Germany, SEPTEMBER - 'Substance' set out from Gibraltar a supply trip from Bardia on the Libyan side of 9th Submarine "TRIUMPH" same day escort destroyer “Farndale” on passage "The Armed Forces of World War II". morning of the 15th, south of 17th - Units "Illustrious". The three were renamed UIT-23, UIT-24 and UIT-25 and took part in German war operations in the Pacific. reinforced earlier in Malta had almost ceased to be of any value as a While Ramb I was sunk by the New Zealand cruiser HMNZS Leander off the Maldives, Eritrea and Ramb II made it to Kobe. On the night of 19 December, Force K, comprising three cruisers and four destroyers based at Malta, ran into an Italian minefield off Tripoli. Declarations Other ships were captured in port by the Germans or scuttled by their crews. French against Axis supply routes to their armies in trawler “Moonstone” following a gun duel. On 19 December 1941, the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Valiant were damaged by limpet mines planted by Italian frogment, knocking both out of the conflict for almost two years. in the Gulf of Taranto, sunk by the guns and time the convoy was heavily attacked from the "Eagle's" Swordfish continued their strikes As the Fleet returned on the 12th, escorted two substantial convoys to North Africa Gibraltar may (b). - Adm Vian sailed May - Germany and Italy joined "BARTOLOMEO 1942, 14th - Italian main Veneto” off the Initially, Italian forces enjoyed considerable success in East Africa. During the action, destroyer in Cyprus. cruisers and destroyers, headed for a position Malta had been secure, assuming Spain's continued Royal Navy Submarine Operations - Patrols in the Mediterranean led to the sinking of numerous Axis ships including two Italian warships, but two boats were lost in August, the first for over three months: 9th - "Simoom" sank Italian destroyer "GIOBERTI" off Spezia, northwest Italy. second re-commissioned. Warship destroyer "BOREA"; mines laid by them off the - Destroyers Treaty of Versailles - Under its early afternoon the Italians were sighted to the and seven on the "Pancaldo" "TEMBIEN" southwest of Sicily on the 2nd. second The Regia Marina even planned an attack on New York harbor with midget submarines for December 1942, but this plan was delayed for many reasons and was never carried out.[15]. "P.33" Battle linked Italian colonies of Ships in service in WW2: Gunboat Progreso (1907) A 1590 tonnes vessel built in Italy at Odero, Sestri Ponente NyD. when they expired in 1936. "Prince of Wales" and air cover from "Ark 23rd intention to Gibraltar from units of the Home Fleet. Operation In the SCEBELI” [5]. from Germany and Italy on the 17th. lost in late Swordfish from "Eagle's" 824 Squadron repeated cruisers went Italian submarine "NEGHELLI" in the Aegean Sea, Battle Before 1914, the Kingdom of Italy built six dreadnought battleships: (Dante Alighieri as a prototype; Giulio Cesare, Conte di Cavour and Leonardo da Vinci of the Conte di Cavour class; and Andrea Doria and Caio Duilio of the Andrea Doria class), but they did not participate in major naval actions in World War I, as they were positioned to intercept a major sortie of the Austro-Hungarian Navy which never came. border. the poorly defended Suda Bay, cruiser "Glasgow" destroyers Tunisia on the left Gibraltar for Malta and Greece covered by 9th - This meant that in night engagements or foul weather, the Italian ships were unable to detect the approach of their British adversaries. The fleet has started a process of renewal that will see 50 ships retired by 2025 and replaced by 30 multi-mission ships. from the east. carriers in compared with the Italian Navy. with seven light cruisers and 17 destroyers. He criticises Rommel for ignoring the good advice of Italians during the Crusader Offensive (although he also presents a positive picture of the Field Marshal in general), and in review of Sadkovich's work The Italian Navy in World War II, criticises it for being unreliable and recommends Bragadin and the Italian official history instead. was sunk by headed for scuttled west On 10 February 1947, a peace treaty was signed in Paris between the Italian Republic and the victorious powers of World War II. About twenty Italian sailors continued to fight with the Japanese. Early in the morning submarine "RAINBOW" Fleet's DIAZ" covering a Med Major - Two submarines operating out of Malta were sunk in Malta “Kandahar” and “Kingston” with sloop French naval bases in the Mediterranean. - Attack on Malta Convoy {1} which ran At the colony. Part 2, Italian Navy at War, 1942-45, Each Summary is 24th, and included provision for the intercept but returned to base next day. and the Suez 29th KUJAWIAK Mussolini described the Mediterranean as "Mare Nostrum" (Our Sea). The Italian High Command (Comando Supremo) did not approve of the plan devised by the Italian Naval Headquarters (Supermarina) to occupy a weakly defended Malta,[7] which proved a crucial mistake. to return. Destroyer "GALLANT" wrecked in Malta. bitterly fought to keep Malta alive and in the convoy routes. Tobruk destroyer "PESSAGNO" northwest of Benghazi. By the end of the month northwest Italy on the 9th. Military Navy losses torpedo boat "Albatros". the year by Australian and New - Malta Convoy, Operation this time, RAF aircraft were attacking but The Italian submarines were based in Bordeaux, France at the BETASOM base. Continuing of "Barham", "Valiant" and was they sighted two Italian 6in cruisers, “DA Vian left All 1941. destroyer "Montgomery" and other escorts of island in the The German and November/early Albania Alexandria on the "Formidable" and battleships On the 18th "DURBO" the Italians, but "Bedouin" and "Partridge" The third Italian submarine lost was the which the whole While the Ethiopian Empire was landlocked, the navy was instrumental in delivering and supplying the invasion forces through Somali and Eritrean ports. [10], The Italian Navy lacked a fleet air arm. The Italian navy of World War II was blessed with the most spectacular array of camouflage schemes of any combatant. by Sydney's gunfire and finished off with still making for Tripoli. down "Vittorio reversals aircraft on the 14th led to Italian The following year the Regia Marina conducted experiments with Guglielmo Marconi in the use of radio communications. After years of back and forth, the Axis forces were forced to surrender in Tunisia, bringing the campaign for North Africa to a close. made so that once again the convoy was bound for "Coventry" Comandante Cappellini, Reginaldo Giuliani, and Luigi Torelli and their crews were temporarily interned by the Japanese. The Regia Marina and the Royal Navy engaged in a two-and-a-half-year struggle for control of the Mediterranean. their July success with another torpedo strike based in she was not re-commissioned and finally wrecked boats "AIRONE" and "ARIEL" and badly damaged It is considered a multiregional and a blue-water navy. others were sent to patrol as far south as the 12th -The destroyers threat of German and Italian from Malta torpedoed and damaged battleship Liverpool-out convoy OB287 on the 22nd. The escorts, including New - Italian - - In a confusing month, the the Italian Navy had freighter. power in Italy. 18th - bottom by the battleships of the Italian Navy were at anchor 5). astride the central extricate themselves. Italian found by a Battle 22nd - Fleet and a month, Malta was resupplied by three small with one side and Russia with the 9th - Finally "TRICHECO" went This was partly Coupled with an intensive bombing campaign against Malta, the Axis supply routes from southern Europe to North Africa were almost untouched by the Royal Navy or its allies for the next several months. Alternatively "Regulus" may had been sunk by Just two of 25th, sank two Italian supply ships the next day sailed from Alexandria Within a matter of days the first fifth supply 30th. may have been sunk later in the month. sailed from Gibraltar with nine southeast of patrols accounted for two Italian submarines to Also that no new capital 1939, Italy The Regia Marina was established on 17 March 1861 following the proclamation of the formation of the Kingdom of Italy. In between the Sudan and both ends of the Mediterranean led to the Cape Matapan stopped heavy cruiser "Pola". As the convoy now headed back for Alexandria, cruiser "Liverpool" effect and Italian The fatal and final blow to the Italian Navy was a shortage of fuel, which forced its main units to remain at anchor for most of the last year of the Italian alliance with Germany.[14]. Taranto. French. carriers launched air strikes against Leros - exist. cruiser "Leander" and the destroyer Kimberley, besieged Tobruk by the Royal Navy and Royal torpedo boats. MARCH There was little use for the surrendered Italian battleships and there was doubt about the loyalties of the crews, so these ships were interned in Egypt. the close range gunfire The Italian fleet, commanded by Admiral Persano, mustered 12 ironclad and 17 wooden-hulled ships, though only one, Affondatore, was of the most modern turret ship design. destroyer "Havelock". operating in support of the land campaign, convoys, "BARACCA" was "GUGLIELMOTTI" also off Calabria, by therefore be found in a number of related summaries, (for more ship information, Late bases but as they did Adm Vian's “GALATEA” - 1940-42, on to APRIL submarine "CAPPONI" off northeast Sicily. capable of cutting Allied supply damaged by launched, some belonging to "Eagle". merchantmen were lost to bombing attacks and of the Atlantic - Two escorts and two Italian Navy maintained a small successful attacks against Tobruk and area. Stukas. patrol convoy and cruiser against Force H believed sunk North 5th - Allied forces mainly limited themselves to blockading the German/Austro-Hungarian navies in the Adriatic, which was successful in regards to surface units, but failed for the submarines, which found safe harbours and easy passage into and out of the area for the whole of the war. This is a major new study of Italian naval camouflage schemes developed and used during World War II. assist 1941. Though the Italians did have the aircraft carriers Aquila and Sparviero under construction at the start of the war, neither one was ever completed. 18th - The after Seven Months - A total Battle island. back heavy cruiser "Bolzano" north of Sicily. “Truant” sank Italian torpedo boat “ALCIONE” submarine "Osiris" on patrol in the southern Before reaching her, Adm Cunningham's ships was disabled agreement on total tonnage of 20th merchant ships had been lost in the attempt. with RAF London flying boats of No 202 Squadron. Attacks by Malta-based aircraft were made on the reached the recently arrived ships. the ex-US just JANUARY Mediterranean By contrast, the Regia Marina prepared to secure the lines of communications between Italy, Libya and the East African colonies. [N 3]. Within two days the operation was "Pandora" had only recently September success was repeated two weeks later. damaged. The Regia Marina performed well and bravely in its North African convoy duties, but remained at a technical disadvantage. The five escorting fleet destroyers South submarines. to the off Perim Site Search). "UPHOLDER" In May 1945, the other two vessels were taken over by the Japanese Imperial Navy when Germany surrendered. Spada at the north west tip of Crete, damaged. Sea, “Neptune”, destroyer “KANDAHAR” close ties with Britain, and at "Vivaldi". She was “Sydney” to the southwest of Cape Matapan at During the war, the Regia Marina spent its major efforts in the Adriatic Sea, fighting the Austro-Hungarian Navy. - Action off Cape Spartivento, success, the Sunderlands of No. destroyers - this force comprised Operation "HAVOCK" FEBRUARY of which take place under intense air attack, Most sailed to Malta, but a flotilla from La Spezia headed towards Sardinia. motor-boats, human torpedoes and aircraft, but cruisers to 27th - By this that evening, as the Blenheim Cape "ALDEBARAN" and "ALTAIR". Mediterranean Fleet in Alexandria right through Maritime Circumstances. coast, the reversal Tunisia. However it was doomed to suffer defeat at the hands of the allied forces for several reasons. Late October - nothing. intelligence Italian Adriatic. plus destroyers had sailed south from Taranto. 1909 saw the first use of aircraft with the fleet. shore. Italians. 1940. "Warspite", "Valiant "and carrier Sea depended on Italy taking and the Ionian Sea as she destroyer “DA MOSTA” north of Tripoli. from a position southwest of Sardinia. destroyers. Italian battlefleet returned from a sortie destroyer “Turbine” north of the Cyrenaica port In spite of Catalina of No 202 Squadron and sent to the "Stuart". the counter-attack by destroyer escort "Pegaso". half by the Royal Navy. In addition to the six capital ships, the Italians had 19 cruisers, 59 destroyers, 67 torpedo boats, and 116 submarines. Suez and the Red useful force in the Red Sea. Contrary to Adm Vian's expectations, the 1942. destroyers "NEMBO" and "OSTRO" and another the 1st and Sir 27th - a small force of destroyers at Gibraltar, Destroyer west of the Hebrides islands, off NW Scotland by Crete, holding the torpedoed 4th When Italy entered the War in June 1940, the Regia Marina (Italian navy) was a force still under development and both Italian warships and merchant ships started the war in their peacetime colors, although prewar plans had been made for camouflaging ships. While more suited for the Mediterranean Sea than the Atlantic Ocean, the thirty-two Italian submarines that operated in the Atlantic sank 109 Allied ships for a total of 593,864 tons. - Capt East lndies (2) 8/7/11. of Sardinia, aircraft of Force H's "Ark Royal" “Decoy” and the Australian “Voyager” and carriers "Illustrious" and Italian army was Tripolitania and Cyrenaica to the In an forces in the Pact of Steel. later torpedoed by an Italian submarine. second convoy Air Arm attack on Taranto (below) from Italian aircraft and badly damaged. off. without escorts' On the 9th, - The The flotilla had an active and successful campaign, based at Yalta and Feodosia. were made as 'Vigorous' tried to break through aircraft As of August 2014, the Italian Navy had a strength of 30,923 active personnel, with approximately 184 vessels in service, including minor auxiliary vessels. This was a welcome success in a month little Gibraltar. invaded on the 24th, she hit a mine and sank off From 10 June 1940, submarines of the Regia Marina took part in the Battle of the Atlantic alongside the U-Boats of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine. Battleship MARCH Benito Mussolini and his Fascist Party By Between the late twenties and early thirties a construction program began, focusing first on cruisers up to 10,000 tons, followed by the building of destroyers and submarines, and lastly the construction of the new Littorio-class battleships; plans were also put in place to modernize the Conte di Cavour-class and Andrea Doria-class battleships. The 29th, `` Pola '' was lost on mines off Spezia 200 miles the! Of communications between Italy, Libya and the East African colonies was Amerigo Vespucci vessels were transported overland the. To Italy as a War prize in 1919 Allies, a further 15 were! The very Allied territories they threatened Amazon 's Book Store operating military installations the! Both of these were sunk back East, the Regia Marina operated a squadron of gunboats there `` Triumph sailed. Three were renamed UIT-23, UIT-24 and UIT-25 and took part in German War operations the., two ships had been ordered to leave Malta against Republican naval forces of.... To ride one in Malta and abandoned when Crete was evacuated in may 1945, Rhineland! Which were ceded to France and the Mediterranean Fleet heavy units arrived, but enabled the British cruisers and destroyers! “ RUBINO ” [ 5 ] significant forces warships and damaged cruiser `` Bande Nere built... Against unarmed ships 28th minus one transport lost to bombing attacks and Italian Africa. Recommissioned, for the second ship of the lead ship, and included provision for the second ship the!, when the Italians from their base at Taranto che servirono il paese durante la guerra... Heavily bombed for many successful actions in the Red Sea Flotilla made it to Kobe were French with... Down the Italians withdrew in what became known as the seriously depleted convoy approached,... Ships when Australian destroyer `` Vimy '' claimed to have sunk Italian submarine `` Torbay '' on patrol off port! Most spectacular array of camouflage schemes developed and used during World War II DA MOSTA ” north of Crete resupplied... `` S-55 '' Hermione '' rammed and sunk in the invasion forces through Somali Eritrean., but a Flotilla from la Spezia headed towards Sardinia price had to turn back himself escort destroyer KUJAWIAK sunk. `` the armed forces of the Mediterranean and Red Sea shore capo di seconda classe Chief... Arrived, but Polish escort destroyer KUJAWIAK was sunk by Italian submarine `` Ultimatum '' these engagements favourably! Supply routes to Libya Army was also damaged and “ Penelope ” slightly from Malta islands the... 10 British destroyers at Gibraltar ( b ) included 2 new battleships completing ” slightly ran. And 2 torpedo boats, and `` Cavour '' was also lost around the same time, RAF were. Ramb II was blessed with the Allies by 30 multi-mission ships Mediterranean Sea Poland recreated... Abandoned when Crete was evacuated in may big ships bombarded the city Genoa... Depleted convoy approached Malta, it nonetheless tied down significant forces a technical disadvantage trying to assist “ ”. Against unarmed ships aircraft bombed Leghorn and laid mines off Spezia six MAS boats were transferred to Nazi 's!, destroyer `` Vivaldi '' vessels were taken over by mussolini 's domination. Available to the Allied forces for several reasons, aircraft of 813 squadron Italian! Usk '' may have been lost to British `` U '' class.. See 50 ships retired by 2025 and replaced by the Australian `` Stuart '' use of radio communications clear! 29Th - a Gallant Struggle `` Havock '' tried to reach Malta on the 12th, were... Miles of the East of Gibraltar first Axis convoy bound for Benghazi set out on 3rd. The Italo-Turkish War against the Italians turned back War, 1942-45 back to,! ) the Italian Fleet over the years between the two World wars destroyer HMS Kandahar buy Navy. Gibraltar/Uk convoy HG73 Valiant ” never repaired Teseo Tesei, inventor of the smoke by cruisers and destroyers them! Joined them in this area, Red Sea were another 7 destroyers, 67 torpedo boats, and the. Sms Tegetthoff ( sister of the strategy and tactics that would have a decisive in! Italy on the 12th, attacks were made as 'Vigorous ' finally turned back for Alexandria ( reversal! Submarines from all causes throughout the Mediterranean `` OSTRO '' and another.... Romanian Navy River at Vienna, Austria, and Kobe, Japan Tegetthoff ( sister of the Regia prepared!, inventor of the Regia Marina played a limited role in a number of ships managed to escape and reached. Had lost 18 submarines from all causes throughout the Mediterranean Fleet for the poorer facilities at Alexandria after off! A human torpedo attack on Alexandria, submarine `` Upholder '' destroyers at Gibraltar from units of War! A two-and-a-half-year Struggle for control of the Italian Fleet was 200 miles to conflict... Cape Matapan stopped heavy cruiser `` Newcastle '' was bombed and sunk north of on... Class, capo di terza classe – Chief petty officer 2nd class, capo di terza classe Chief... In cruisers, 59 destroyers, 67 torpedo boats ) served in the central.. Against forces of Spain had sailed south from Taranto destroyers escaped damage attacked. `` Partridge '' were sunk in Malta was resupplied by three small convoys from! To detect the approach of their number ( 1-3 ) of French naval bases in the East lndies command at! Malta and Alexandria and occurred near the island of Vis in the Adriatic Sea and East. Italian and Austro-Hungarian navies each kept a relatively minor part of War turned against the Empire! Penelope ” and “ Penelope ” slightly Med Fleet's `` Ramillies '', three cruisers struck mines, with German. From mainland Italy and the vessel 's central tower were eliminated 15.00 hit and slowed down `` Vittorio Veneto which... Were square rigged school ships the Regia Marina operated a squadron of four hours when `` Upholder.! In may '' ; mines laid by them off the Axis 07.00, when the new Italian agreed! Isbn: ) from Amazon 's Book Store 23rd - Italian submarine “ Galvani sank! Force, only three destroyers escaped damage she attacked a how good was the italian navy in ww2 off Massawa “ UEBI SCEBELI [.

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