LIGHT CRUISER SCIPIONE AFRICANO
In 1937 Italian Navy started work on a design of small, but heavily armed and very fast small cruisers thought as a counter to French Le Fantasque and Mogador class destroyers. In 1939 first 12 ships were ordered, to be named after famous Roman military commanders, hence the class was named "Capitani Romani".
According to Italian practice new Italian ships were fast: their designed speed was 41 kts., but reportedly 43 kts. were noted in action. On the other hand they were practically without armour; only some splinter protection was fitted to CT and gunshields. However they were sturdily built and of two that entered service during the war Regolo survived a torpedo hit due to good internal division, while high speed and strong armament helped Africano to escape MTB attack. The Scipione Africano was laid down on 28 September 1939 in Odero-Terni-Orlando yard in Livorno. She was launched on 12 January 1941 and completed on 23 April 1943. When proceeding to Taranto she was found by four British MTBs during night of 17 July 1943. In a skirmish she escaped damages and sunk the MTB.316. Then she was employed in minelaying operations off Calabria and Taranto.
After the armistice with Italy, during a night of 9/10 September 1943 Scipione Africano brought Italian King from Ortone to Brin-disi. On 29 September marshall Badoglio sailed on Scipione Africano to Malta to sign the Italian surrender.
Since 1 February 1944 Scipione Africano operated along the Allied navies. She was employed primarily on escort or trooping duties. On 9 August 1948, according to peace treaty regulations Africa-no was transferred to France as part of war reparations. Renamed Guichen, she bore the pennant number D 607. She was accompanied by Attilio Regolo, renamed Chaterenault. Between 1951 and 1954 she was rebuilt as a fast frigate and rearmed with 6-105 mm, 10-57 mm and 12-550 mm TTs. By the end of 1950s both ships were rebuilt as flotilla leaders; one of after 105 mm guns was replaced by living quarters. Guichen was deleted on 1 April 1961; later she was used a barrack ship and then laid up in Landevennec. In mid seventies she was still to be found in Po-lulme as a part of breakwater. Only three ships of "Capitani Romani" class were completed during the war: Scipione Africano and Attilio Regolo (mentioned earlier) were followed by Pompeo Magno which after the war was renamed San Giorgio by Italians. Another one - almost completed Giulio Germanico - was scuttled on 28 September 1943 by retreating Germans. Raised after the war, she was rebuilt and in 1951 entered Italian service as San Marco. Other ships of the class were in various stages of construction and all were dismantled post war.
DESTROYER ANTONIO PIGAFETTA
In 1926 Italian Navy ordered 12 large destroyers of "Navigatori" class as a reply to French boats of Jaguar and Guepard classes. Although slightly smaller, the Italian ships were 2 kts. faster, while their armament was similar. The trial speed exceeded 40 kts. by a large margin (Da Mosto reached almost 45 kts!), but their sea speed was usually about 32 kts. In the thirties they were rebuilt: first the funnels and forward conning position were lowered, and later the ships were widened by 1 m and fitted with new bows. The Pigafetta entered war on 9 July 1940 when - together with 14, 15 and 16 Destroyer Divisions - she accompanied battleships Conte di Cavour and Giulio Cesare escorting a convoy to North Africa. A month later, on 6 August, she was among a flotilla that laid almost 400 mines off Pantellaria. By the end of 1940 she shelled Greek positions off Korfu. In the second half of April 1941 Italian 7th Cruiser Division (including Pigafetta) laid over 1000 mines off Cap Bon and ano
ther mine barrage on 1 May off Tripoli. On 4 May 1941 Pigafetta - while was escorting a convoy to Africa - sunk (togehter with destroyer Zeno) British submarine Usk.
Then came another numerous minelaying and convoy operations. In June 1942 she screened (together with other destroyers) battleships Littorio and Vittorio Veneto sent against British ships participating in "Harpoon" and "Vigorous" operations.
After the armistice with Italy on 8 September 1943 was signed many Italian warships were taken over by German Navy, among them Pigafetta which was renamed TA44.
Her first and only action under German colours took place on November 1944 when TA44 with other two destroyers escortec minelayer Kiebitz in northern part of Adriatic. On 17 Februa 1945 TA44 was sunk in Trieste by British bombers.
Количество листов: 4 х А4
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