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Historynerd

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  1. Nice mention of the Invergordon mutiny. A bit weird having Edinburgh mention it, since she was still in mente Dei when it happened, but she is closest geographically, I guess...

    Speaking of which, apart from some old destroyers derated to torpedo boats, by 1939 there weren't any Italian ships around involved in what could be defined instances of mutiny regarding D'Annunzio's occupation of Fiume (nowadays Rijeka) in 1919-20. 

    For the Marine Nationale, though, the Provence is still around, for the ships that were involved in the Black Sea mutiny.

  2. On 1/3/2021 at 11:48 AM, Käpt'n Korky said:

    I'm German. I call every U-Boot an U-Boot. Also German is an official Italian (regional) language. In Südtirol the Germanophones will call it U-Boot as well, no?

    I'm sure the persons in Südtirol who care about Italian WWII-era submarines could be counted on just one hand.

  3. 10 hours ago, Käpt'n Korky said:

    Art. 435 has two side agreements between France and the Swiss Confederation yes and calling 1919 "medieval diplomacy" is interesting. The main point however is the third written guarantee of the neutrality of Switzland (after 1648 and 1815), but the first Italy signed, because it didn't exist the previous two times in its entirety. And somehow she got those puppies from St. Bernhard directly, so she claims. And St. Bernhard is located fully on Swiss territory. So the Savoy neutral zone has nothing to do with it. 

    Actually, I was referring to the mere existence of the Savoy neutral zone (or not, I'm not sure, the Italians sure would have loved for it to exist when they were drawing plans for a war against France, during the Triple Alliance, but France sure thought it was no longer an issue), and the fact that somehow a deal between the Duchy of Savoy and the Swiss Confederation had somehow kept going since the Middle Ages, till it was finally abolished at Versailles.

    I see what you mean, I misunderstood then.

  4. 8 hours ago, Käpt'n Korky said:

    Über den Deutschen Wäldern liegt Ruh and we're pretty much back to normal. 

    Yay, my favourite Italian valchiria. Even when it could be debated, if she violated Art. 435 of the treaty of Versailles. Keep in mind she is Duce d'Aosta, not Valle d'Aosta... and the hospital is only half in the valley anyways and fully not in Italy. Violating the treaty is sexy in 1939 Germany. *schmacht*

    Here a puppy for distraction.
    Bernhardiner-Welpe-sitzt-auf-dem-Rasen-678x381.jpg

    I'm sorry, I don't understand; in which way did she violate the abrogation of the Savoy neutral zone (a nice piece of medieval diplomacy that somehow survived till the modern age, much to the befuddlement of the Stato Maggiore of the Regio Esercito, when they were trying to come up with a war plan against France...)?

    Anyway, really nice; Aosta is nice. And she does look out for her own.

    Just a warning, guys, don't get used to it, since in the Regia Marina there is usually a divide between captains and officers, and the enlisted men. Only in submarines, eventually, things got a bit better.

  5. It took me a while to think about that, but a similar, if more reduced, situation would be present in the Regia Marina as well, since in 1938 all the servicemen in all Italian armed forces of Jewish origins were cashiered. I believe I mentioned that when, in the topic I opened back in the day, I discussed General Umberto Pugliese, the guy who designed the Littorio-class battleships among other things.

  6. So, what is the best way to come back with a bang, after being absent for months and years?

    Write a fanfic, duh! 😜

    ...So, being Italian, I chose to write something about the Regia Marina. And I chose to delve into a confusing situation, between an unclear international situation, infighting between the politicians and the brass, and uncertainty towards navies that may be both allies and enemies... or not.

    I am open and welcome towards any constructive criticism, I know well that my style can use several improvements. But I hope the setting of this work may prove sufficiently interesting. Also, I'll put in a few historical domain characters (admirals, engineers and the likes).

    I would like to preface that I took a small liberty, and without spoilering anything, I'll just drop here that, unlike IRL, in this story a certain large ship that was never completed had a different fate than the blowtorch... Chapter 2 may clarify things.

    ...

    Oh, I'll drop quite a bit of Italian expressions and words here and there, but I'll strive to keep them easy enough for Google translate! 🙃

    Spoiler

    Chapter 1: Fear itself

    Ligurian Sea – 9 September 1939


    There were few things more frustrating that unsatisfied curiosity. Especially when one does not know who to ask.
    Guardiamarina Franco Pallanca had outright grilled his immediate superior, Tenente di Vascello Bianchini, but he had been met with a shrug and the expression of someone who sincerely can't answer because he doesn't know the answer.


    So now he was still in the dark, and moreover still stuck with this hellish service.
    For somebody, operating as the commander of a MAS would seem like a honor, or a springboard for loftier assignments. For Franco, it was nightmarish.


    As he grunted yet again, the elderly Capo di Seconda Classe who was his XO smiled sympathetically.
    “Another useless patrol, eh?”
    “...How the hell are you still here, Capo? Why haven't you asked to be transferred away? Even a cursed minesweeper is a better post than this!” the young officer grumbled, slamming his fist on the wooden side of the boat.
    “Eh, after the first few weeks, one ends up with brass skin and bones. And I'd never dream to place this curse on anybody else!”
    The chuckling coming from the other seven crewmates caused the reluctant face of Pallanca to open up in a small smile nonetheless.
    Well, no reason to shut down a glimpse of good mood. “Your dedication and self-sacrifice are noted, Capo. Once we're home, I'll put you in for a Croce di Guerra, for saving countless warrant officers from this sad, sad fate.”
    This time the laughter was resounding enough that even the other MAS heard it. It could be barely glimpsed, in the wee hours before the dawn, with the sky just beginning to pale.


    With the two boats bobbing on the sea towards home, Franco wondered idly if somebody would finally say more about what the heck had happened down in Brindisi, and why, since a week, their Squadriglia had been ordered out every goddamn night. As far as they knew, they weren't at war, so what was the issue?
    He looked up to the sky, wondering if they'd hear the aircrafts again. It made him feel a bit better knowing that, whatever was going on, those daddy's boys in the Aeronautica were suffering with them.


    “Signals from the 538, sir!”
    He turned his head, in time to see the familiar sequence with the lamps that told him to go for the safe course and close up.
    “Acknowledge, Sandri.” he ordered, and the warrant officer went for their own lamp.
    It would still take time before they got home.


    Without even saying anything, he stretched and slumped down on his chair, pulling his cap down onto his forehead.
    Franco could almost hear the officers at the Accademia Navale droning on how an officer must never show laxity or laziness before the men, insisting on how this was bad for morale and damaged their reputation beyond repair. They had tried, several times, to rip that disgraceful bit of laziness out of him; he fondly remembered the times when he'd been placed under arrest for such transgressions.
    He almost wished to be able to ask them whether he gave a damn.
    Plus, his secondo was more than able to handle anything, he didn't even need to tell him anything. And he couldn't care less if he looked like a poor officer.
    It was with this less than pleasant thoughts that Pallanca dozed off abord his MAS 539.
    -
    His eyes flew open, a gasp escaping his lips.
    As he hurriedly stood up, bending under the canopy, it took him a few seconds to realize why he had woken up just like that.
    His heart was tight in his chest, something cold was finding its way down its spine, and he could feel his hands shaking a little.
    Franco looked at Sandri, and was even more disturbed by the pale look on the middle aged men's face, his slightly wider pupils.


    Looking around, he could not see anything that justified that. All good, the gaping maw of Genova's harbour breakwater right before them, some three thousand meters away, their sister boat sliding on the water on their starboard side, and the sun sizzling out up the sea and the hills on their right side.
    What was going on?


    “Signore!” A seaman's panicked yell caused him to painfully jerk his head around.

    Oh.
    Damn.


    Gesù Cristo!!” he cursed, disbelief laced with sheer terror.
    Even then, though, the rational part of his mind was hurriedly trying to analyze the situation before his eyes.


    Alright, warships.
    Surely not their own. These were cruisers and destroyers at the very least, and he knew that north of Messina, this side of Italy, there was nothing bigger than a torpedo boat. 
    And what were the chances that the Frenchies had chosen to go for it and drag Italy into conflict?
    Maybe the Brits... yeah, no way. They wouldn't have come this far, not when there were far juicier targets down south.
    So, who the hell was right there, sailing so damn close to one of the biggest cities in the peninsula?
    And why had nobody told them? Had they somehow gotten here unsighted?
    At the end of these hurried reflections, Franco's brain chugged and pushed out an infuriatingly simple verdict on the situation.
    Bad. Bad. BAD!!


    AI VOSTRI POSTI!! AVANTI TUTTA!!” he bellowed.
    As the MAS gathered speed, its bow starting to furiously part the war, he kept his gaze on the unidentified shapes.
    His throat was as tight as it could be, it was almost painful to breathe.
    Looking around at his men, the officer saw similar feelings etched on their faces. Plenty of pale faces, horrified expressions, and cold sweat.
    Another set of bad news for his grey matter to announce.
    No way we can fight, not like this, if they are hostile...


    Almost on cue, the closest ships blinked once, twice, thrice. And an instant later, the deafening noise of gunfire reached them.
    Franco opened his mouth to yell a panicked order, but Sandri had preempted him and had desperately jerked the steering wheel, hard at starboard.
    Not a moment too soon; the water around them exploded, and the MAS shuddered.
    “Make for the harbour!! Evasive maneuvers!”
    It hadn't taken much time to reach that decision, but there was no way he was standing around for that. Not with that hand clenching his insides, not with a crew looking about to piss themselves (speaking of which, were his pants ok?).
    Right now, thinking of a firing squad was almost relieving.


    Pallanca was forced to hold for dear life, as the tiny boat lurched and tilted around, trying to be as difficult a target as possible, while making for safety as quickly as she could.
    Turning around, he saw two ships (destroyers?) following them, still firing. And it seemed like they weren't gaining much.
    Porco Dio!” he growled, anger overcoming for an instant the fear.
    That's what he got for not insisting on having the engine repaired, for not refusing to go out with a MAS unable to make more than thirty-four knots.
    As he remembered Bianchini's shrug on how it didn't matter, he felt the urge to wrap his hands around his neck.


    A loud crash and a crushing pressure made him jerk backwards and hurt his sides on the dashboard. A near miss. Like, really, really near.
    Hissing from the pain, Franco glared at a seaman close to him, who looked back with glass eyes.
    “Alberti, with me!”
    And he jumped out of the canopy and made for the stern, where the 13.2 mm machine gun was hanging limply from its mount.
    The comune followed him, mouth wide open.
    “Sir, what can we do?!”
    He ignored him, and instead pointed at the magazine boxes stowed under it, while unlocking the machine gun and aiming at the lead destroyer.
    As soon as the hesitant crewman had placed the curved magazine box in its place, Franco pushed with his thumbs the firing pin, and the Model 1931 gun began to bark.
    He could almost feel the rational part of himself laughing at him. Even if the ship was (barely) within range, this fire couldn't do anything of substance, except perhaps causing a bit of confusion, in the best case.
    He didn't care. Was it useless and pointless? Sure. Did he feel better? Heck, yeah.
    So he kept blasting away, with a few shots going wild when the MAS jerked one way or another, occasionally drenched by another near miss.


    Four thirty rounds magazines had gone, when a yell made him turn around. They were right upon the breakwater.
    “Go!” he waved at Alberti, who was all too happy to scurry back under the canopy.
    As he took a few careful steps following him, another shot crashed near the boat.
    And his world disappeared.


    For the briefest moment, Franco felt as if the law of gravity had ceased to apply to him, his arms and legs curiously moving about.
    Then a horrible impact, and the cold.
    Something in his mind told him he had fallen overboard.
    Reacting, he trashed with his arms and legs, but just as his head emerged something hard struck it and took away all his strength.
    His limbs still moving weakly, the young officer slowly sank, aware with a curious detachment of the burning sensation in his lungs.
    Another impact, this time on his back, on something large and hard. His mouth twisted in a grimace, and even more water entered, to hurry down into his airways.
    With the light slowly fading before his eyes, Pallanca wanted to chuckle (his body was refusing to obey him, sadly). And he wished he could at least pay... well, whoever was on those strange ships back for a death for which he had no reason, no context to comfort him.
    His right hand twisted onto the hard surface, as a last, tiny rebellion.


    And, just before Franco lost consciousness, he felt heat coming from under it.
    -
    Hurt.
    He was hurt. He was hurting.
    His chest was gripped by convulsions, as his lungs desperately tried to breathe, and ended up expelling the water.
    For long moments, with his eyes kept firmly shut, all that existed was that furious need to breathe, to get air and oxygen.
    Coughs. Water dripping from his mouth and nose.


    At last, with the burning in his chest subsiding a little, he opened his eyelids.
    A rough shape was right before his eyes. He blinked a few times.
    The shape morphed into a face. A face of a woman.
    ...What?
    Wheezing, he tried to say something, to ask something.
    A hand went to his shoulder. The face spoke.
    Andrà tutto bene!
    It took Franco a few seconds to recognize how those soothing words had cleared his heart, that was now beating normally. No more fear.


    Still in the dark, but no longer afraid, he weakly nodded.

  7. @Legate of Mineta

    Sorry for the tag, and likewise sorry, as this is not quite a suggestion per se, but merely a clarification for the future.

    If and when the Italian battleship Duilio will come, I would like to clarify that her name (often put in as Caio Duilio) is in fact the former, not the latter. While the inconsistency showed by the Italian navy throughout its history does not help and can confuse, I have the proof of that; namely, the 1911 decree that established the name for her and her sister ship Andrea Doria.

    I just wanted to bring this to the dev team's attention.

  8. On 3/18/2019 at 10:15 AM, Käpt'n Korky said:

    With Conte I have a few issues on a very special level. She values appearance over efficiency for one and commands a very high level of self discipline, but then slaps Wichita in a clear break of that discipline.....*takes a deep breath* ..... at this point I really regret that Historynerd hasn't shown his avatar in a while. Maybe if I make a magical sign and shout "Pugliese" three times, I can summon him back? (Conte di Cavour was fitted with the Pugliese system and just google Pugliese TDS and look who argues about it everywhere.)

    I have some issues with her self presentation of her service record. In 1922 she hosted the King himself, but doesn't mention it. The Korfu-Incident was not about Korfu being Italian. None of the 7 demands demanded the Island, it was invaded as a very effective tool to pressure Greece into obedience. Italy left after 5 weeks without a fight. So it is interesting she claims the Island as "Italian" while at the same time calls the invasion "abominable", which it was. But because all killed by the naval bombardment were civilians, among them several children. Greece territory being Italian was only formulated later so it makes sense and is awkward at the same time to me. Yeah, Conte's quite possibly a child killer.

    ...Who has awakened me from my slumber...?

    Spoiler

    ThreadNecro.jpg

    -

    Happy to be back! 😉

    As for this battleship that I very obviously missed when she was announced 😪, my impression overall is that she is about "being in control". She knows her stuff and knows how to play the game. I believe that overall she fits well with her namesake, a shrewd statesman, and also quite successful gambler! 😄

    The Corfu incident... I think she references the old claims on some Greek islands because of the longstanding Venetian presence there. Plus, it could have come in handy as a naval base (in WWI it served as such), so the Italians wouldn't have dismissed it out of hand, even though in 1923 it wasn't in the cards, you're right.

    No discussion about her status, unfortunately. The castle that was bombarded didn't have any soldiers, just innocent refugees.

  9. On 29/8/2017 at 0:55 PM, Käpt'n Korky said:

    Why do italian tanks have a rear view mirror?

      Reveal hidden contents

    So they can keep an eye on the frontline.

     

    I'm not going to pick out a fuss, but I just want to point out that this joke, like many others of the same kind about the same thing (for example, the "one gear fowards, four gears in reverse" one) are in contradiction with a little known and somewhat tragic truth.

    The truth that one flaw that the Italian tanks carried with them for a long time (all save the ones built from 1943) was their underpowered engine, and therefore reduced speed both on road and on broken ground. This meant that the Italian tankers not only could not effectively pursue a beaten enemy, but, more importantly, were unable to disengaged if defeated in battle; especially in the later engagements, against overwhelming force and equipment, they could do nothing but literally charge the enemy, hoping to get a few of them before being destroyed. And they did, knowing they couldn't even run away, like after all these years many people believe they did.

    I hope that, in this light, I won't offend anyone if I say that jokes like this don't make me laugh.

  10. On 14/6/2017 at 10:13 PM, von_Lipstig said:

     

      Hide contents

     

     

     

    *no popcorn*

     

    This was the so-called "H Review" (Rivista H), done in honour of Hitler's visit in Italy. It pretty much involved most of the Italian naval forces, and no less than 85 submarines were present.

    There has been some discussion about it, in retrospective. Some find it an impressive show of force, some accuse the Regia Marina of having fallen victim to the show business and having put on an "equestrian show".

    An Italian admiral present wrote that "M. seemed satisfied, H. not that interested, and his chief sailor [likely Admiral Raeder] managed only to ask us wheter we do these kind of things with bad weather.".

     

  11. Thank you! ^_^

    On 16/5/2017 at 0:32 PM, Admiral Korky said:

    Wasn't his underwater defense system, the pugliese-system, a failure and made toprdos attacks even more devastating due to construction mistakes?

    Also I was a bit disappointed to read very few about the ladies man side of Adm. da Zara. But that's just me, maybe.

    And another question: I know from "inside sources" about a spaghetti tuesday in a certain italian casern, not on italian soil. 

      Reveal hidden contents

    And I also know where all the unassigned german soldiers are on tuesday who are stationed in the same country as our culinary much appreciated ally.

    I also know of naval traditions in the german and japanese navy linking food with a certain day of the week.

    So my question is: Is Spaghetti tuesday a italian tradition in the italian navy as well, or does another, similar tradition exist? Please tell me. ^_^

    Actually, the discussion about the Pugliese TDS is rather complicated, also because I have a feeling that not many of the historians who commented on it have looked at the actual damage suffered by the ships so equipped, as stated on primary sources (i.e. damage reports compiled by the Regia Marina). And I believe that this bit about the system actually increasing damage, rather than reducing it, was stated by someone who did not properly look at such sources, but came to that conclusion on his own.

    The recent book by Erminio Bagnasco and Augusto De Toro on the Littorio-class battleships (which i heartily recommend to everyone, although it's pricey) showed, in my opinion, that some of the criticism is excessiv,, relative to the ships where its dimensions were optimal (as on the older rebuilt battleships its dimensions were inadequate and therefore the system was of limited efficacy). For example, about the damage suffered by the Littorio at Taranto, it's interesting to note that the flooding caused by the third torpedo hit was not attributed to an avoidable weakness of the TDS, but to other design and damage control flaws (the latter of whom partly corrected later in the war) and to the hurried fitting out of the ship.

    However, the authors do not try and hide the fact that, as weapon research went on and better and more powerful torpedoes were developed, the Pugliese system (which they detail as having been conceived in the final years of WWI and first tested in the 1920s) was becoming more and more inadequate, and it somewhat showed during the war, as the damage suffered by the Vittorio Veneto at the hands of HMS Urge was more limited thanks to the structural robustness of the ship rather than the Pugliese TDS, which failed completely.

    About that, though, I believe that one has to remind that the Littorio-class battleships were the earliest Washington-type battleships to be finalized and built, with their projects dating from the early 1930s. Therefore, while I don't want to make this an excuse or anything, I believe it would be (to a degree, let me be clear) foolish to expect from them performances and defences that few would have envisioned back then.

    -

    I don't know anything about a "spaghetti tuesday", therefore you may already know more than me about this. Sorry.

  12. 1945

    Aquila - The ex-Italian incomplete aircraft carrier was scuttled at Genoa.

     

    I'm sorry, but this is wrong.

    When the city of Genoa was liberated, the carrier was found to be damaged, but still floating. The attack had failed to cause her sinking.

    In fact, after being towed where she wouldn't be in the way, she remained there all alone until she was scrapped.

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