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Enzo Grossi - an italian war hero

Discussion in 'Submarines and ASW Technology' started by Triton, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Yes, 62 were sent to the Med, of these, 9 were sunk during passage, and 10 aborted due to damage



    Exactly! Even though Italy had surrendered, Germany still continued to send U-Boats to the Med - 5 more from late September thru December 1943, and another 13 in 1944. Of these 18, 3 were sunk and 1 aborted. The last U-boat sent to the Med was U-960, and she arrived on May 16, 1944. but was sunk 3 days later, on May 19th.

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  2. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    After the Italians surrendered, the German U-Boats used Toulon(France), Marseille(France), Pola(Italy), La Spezia(Italy), and Salamis(Greece).

    There were no complete U-Boat pens in the Med. Although one, named Martha, was under construction at Marseille, France, however it was never completed. Still, it remains today
    http://www.battlefieldsww2.com/Photo_of_bunker_martha_in_Marseille.html
    http://en.tracesofwar.com/article/15579/U-Boat-Bunker-Martha.htm

    There were plans for others to be constructed at Toulon, France, and Salamis, Greece, as well as a new U-Boat base on the Greek island of Lemnos, but they never made it past the planning stage.

    With regards to the current of the straits...You go, IIRC, 100 meters or so down, and it is flowing at roughly the same rate and in the opposite, thus out of, direction. Although, I am uncertain as to how well the British had mined this area.
     
  3. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    IIRC the had Germans ports in Northern Italy until the surrender and in Greece and Southern France for much of 1944, just handful of operational boats keep busy a disproportionate amount of allied ASW assets that may have been useful elsewhere. There were no massive concrete pens but camouflage would be more than enough to make destruction in port unlikely. Submarines have no specific requirements, so any decent port with a reserve of diesel oil will do and the Italian shipyards could make repairs. I wonder if they tried to adapt Italian 21" torpedoes, as they did with lots of other equipment left behind in Northern Italy.

    I still don't see where the "unsuitable to the Atlantic weather" comes from, I would rather be in a 1500t Cagni or Calvi class than in a 750t Type VII in an Atlantic gale, the biggest shortcoming of Italian submarines was slow diving speed, but that's got nothing to do with seakeeping. The Germans exchanged some Betasom boats against 9 Type VIIC (some sources have U1162 as the 10th boat but she was not ready at the time of the Italian surrender) as the German hulls were too small for conversion to effective transport subs.
     
  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I certainly would prefer a Type VII or Type IX over a Pietro Calvi class. The Pietro Calvi reportedly had lost some of her superstructure/conning tower, as well as, having her conning tower deformed due to storm damaged on December 11th, 1940. It was also reported that several tons of water enter the pressure hull through the conning towers' sprung hatches. She was also reported to have lost a great quantity of diesel fuel.
    http://submarinersworld.blogspot.com/2012/02/royal-italian-navy-submarines-of-ww2_3214.html
    Also, the Giuseppe Finzi, a Calvi class boat, suffered severe problems on third patrol, when extremely rough weather caused the mushroom valves on her diesel air intakes to close for an extended period of time. Thereby causing the submarine's diesel engines to suck air from the interior of the boat, causing extremely low pressure inside the hull(most diesel boat submariners can relate to the effects of this). The only possible option was to open a deck hatch, which in turn allowed seawater to cascade into the boat's interior.
    http://www.regiamarina.net/detail_text_with_list.asp?nid=84&lid=1&cid=21

    As a result of these ongoing problems, the Italian boats were shifted to more southerly patrol areas.
     
  5. Triton

    Triton New Member

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    The turrets of the italian submarines were too big when they entered the war. The usual and successful tactic of the Kriegsmarine to attack on surface at night was based on the experience that the small turrets of the german submarines couldn't be seen from surface vessels, especially in bad weather conditions.

    Type VII - boats were underestimated, not spectacular on paper, but as a weapon system they were almost perfect. It is true, they were uncomfortable for the crew, but nevertheless liked for their strength, reliability and good handling. That they could dive below 200 Meters depth was a long time unknown and unbelieved fact to the Allies saved the lifes of many crews in the early years.
     
  6. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    As a warship a type VII was very effective up to late 1943 when Allied ASW technology demanded something better, though on paper they were less spectacular than a lot of their contemporaries. The rather conservative design and huge numbers produced resulted in very reliable ships.

    Italian submarine designs suffered from unrealistic peacetime testing and quality control that was not up to peacetime/early war German standards, the defects in the air condition system that led to a number of early war losses are the most glaring ones, but still 500+ tonns of additional steel gives me confidence.
    As far as I know valve blockage leading to diesels sucking internal air was not a rare occurrence on diesel electric boats, and the large sails of the Italian boats were replaced early in the war.

    I believe the Italian boats were shifted to more distant areas as they had better range than the Type IX and were less suitable to attacking well escorted convoys than the German boats not because of seakeeping qualities. Would not like to attempt the 13.000+ miles trip from Massawa to France in a Type VII.
    (and

    BTW anyone really interested in Italian submarines should contact these guys www.betasom.it/forum/index.php but beware that you may get more than you bargained for, half the members seem to be former Marina Militare submariners ........ There is also a not very complimentary article on Grossi by his former driver when he was commander of Betasom
     
  7. Pytor

    Pytor New Member

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    I didn´t want to ridicule Italian effort. I only wrote the reality of who was the best Italian submarine commander.
     

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