italian aircraft carriers ww2

The British shipyards were already overwhelmed by the construction of many light units. The machinery was unchanged and top speed would have been around 21-22 knots.The name was quickly dropped, from Augustus to Falco (“Falcon”) and then Sparviero (sparrowhawk) during conversion at Ansaldo Shipyard in Genoa from September 1942. She squeezed through the narrow channel at the Maritime Military Arsenal in Taranto, Italy, all 27,000 tons of her. To gain time, it was decided to use four sets of the new Belluzzo geared turbines built for the last two, just cancelled Capitani Romani-class light cruisers. … This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The main problem, like for the SM.79, was the lack of power of the engines, around 750 hp, a problem that plagued Italian aviation during WW2, solved by procurement of German engines. Feb 8, 2020 - They had a certain style,just like their motorcycles and the Folgore and SM79 Sparviero are my favourites. Aquila received much more serious damage on 16 June 1944, during an Allied air raid on Genoa.The Italian “co-belligerent” government in 1945 planned an action on the ship as they rightfully feared the Germans would use the uncomplete Aquila as a blockship, by default of completing her. And thus ended the story of the only WW2 Italian aicraft carrier. The RE 2000 was already well-liked by the Regia Marina, as an onboard fighter-bomber on board cruisers and battleships in 1942-43 where its replaced the Imam Ro43. Complement as specified late 1928 by the naval staff was 1112 officers and men, notably 78 officers, including 62 for the air force. After the Armistice of 1943 she ended in Malta, and stayed relatively inactive afterwards. Aircraft carriers: France had definitely an advantage with Béarn (a converted battleship) against nothing comparable in Italy. Entering service in 1928, the navy intended to use her to develop tactics and techniques for carrier aviation. 3600 tonnes of oil was carried also.The machinery was arranged into four separate compartments. Both countries had their own Air Force fitted with formerly used Italian aircraft and other nation's planes. The Germans seized the ship but it was heavily damaged by United States Army Air Force bombing on June 16, 1944 and a human torpedo attack on April 19, 1945. The Re.2000OR incorporated strengthened landing gear and airframe components to cater to the higher loads anticipated during shipboard landings. Aquila’s starboard-side island was much inspired by the 1930 designs by Bonfiglietti; There was a single large vertical funnel and a tall command tower on which were mounted the fire control directors for the 135 mm (5.3 in) duel purpose guns. He notably designed the Zara class cruisers and Bolzano, and from 1929 a 770 tonnes, 34 knots TB. Among othe r changes, the flight deck was shorter, protection lighter, armament reduced to secondary dual purpose guns. Ocean-Going Attack Submarine. For the list of seaplane carriers and tenders see List of seaplane carriers by country. However the general yalout and even the aircraft carrying capacity was almost unchanged. Interesting developments of the Regia Marina included the Re.2001 G/V which was a modified fighter-bomber, with reinforced structure to carry a single 640 kg (1,410 lb) bomb derived from a 381 mm shell from Littorio, and a small serie entered service, two G/Vs taking part in Operation Pedestal. Required fields are marked *. Notably of course, the interior was completely gutted, back to bare walls and floors, and a very large opening cut to allow the total replacement of the original machinery. There were discussions and exchanges of letters with the London naval attaché over possible smaller carrier designs desrived from cruiser hulls, on which Bonfiglietti worked in 1930 and which were called variant B, C and D. The A and B displaced 14,000 tonnes and recalled the USS Ranger in general arrangement, while the C was no more than 10,000 tonnes. Pingback: Le portaerei italiane della seconda guerra mondiale | Il Primo Raggio. A list of aircraft used by Italy during World War II until its capitulation to the Allies in September 1943. He took the head of the technical bureau of Castellamare de Stabia NyD, and then, the yard itself. The latter were fast at 450 kph, with a range of about 1,000 m (1,600 and 3,300 ft), and could carry two torpedoes, although one was more current, of the standard 457 mm model. Accordingly Reggiane modified one of the Re.2001ORs (MM.9921) to carry a light torpedo as the Re.2001G. This also confirmed by the Germans, arguing it was even better than the Bf 109T. Called “Alcione” these were heavier but more powerful, with three Piaggio P.XI R.C.40 14-cylinder which developed 990 hp each, capable of flying at 458 km/h (285 mph, 247 kn) and carrying two 450 mm (17.7 in) 800 kg (1,800 lb), torpedoes. Armament: 8 x 5.3″, 12 x 65mm AA, 22 x 6-barrel 20mm AA. After World War II the ship was raised and taken to La Spezia in 1949. Roma was launched on February 26, 1926. Re2001 Specifications:Dimensions: 8.36 m (27 ft 5 in) x 11 m (36 ft 1 in) x 3.15 m (10 ft 4 in), Wing area 20.4 m2 (220 sq ft)Weight: Empty 2,495 kg (5,501 lb), fully loaded 3,280 kg (7,231 lb)Powerplant: Alfa Romeo R.A.1000 R.C.41-I Monsone V-12 inverted liquid-cooled piston engine 864 kW (1,159 hp)License-built Daimler-Benz DB 601Aa, 3-bladed constant-speed propellerTop speed: 542 km/h (337 mph, 293 kn), Range: 1,100 km (680 mi, 590 nmi)Ceiling: 11,000 m (36,000 ft), Rate of climb: 13 m/s (2,600 ft/min)Armament: two 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT MGs (cowling), two 7.7 mm Breda-SAFAT (wings), 650 kgs bombs, see notes. The idea of an aircraft carrier in Italy was long brushed aside by Mussolini, speaking of Italy being itself a super-large aircraft carrier, which … The latter were inspired by British models, composed of cylinders and/or cofferdams separated from hull by compartments filled with seawater. A commando operation was mounted, and divers from the former Decima Flottiglia MAS, launched their operations on 19 April 1945. Sparviero was to have a continuous flight deck surmounting a simple, hull-top hanger, but no island. Also, 30 to 80 mm (1.2–3.1 in) thick armor plates were placed over the magazines and aviation fuel tanks. Italian Aircraft of WWII Italian Aircraft of 1930-45. She began to be scrapped in 1946, a process completed by 1952. The history of the Italian aircraft carriers is one of delayed decisions and postponed opportunities, confrontations, more or less transparent, between the Marina and the Aeronautica, and project after project ,none of which was ever realized until the introduction of the Giuseppe Garibaldi in 1985. In 1940, she was used as as aircraft transport and training vessel for floatplane pilots in home waters. A reunion of the admiralty took place in late 1941 to choose potential candidates for conversion. The Augustus was taken over for conversion later in 1942. It was derived from the Trento and Bolzano hull he studied and were very fast, pure fleet carriers. The 30,800 long tons (31,300 t), 21 kn (39 km/h; 24 mph), 215 x 25 m ocean liner Roma was less recent than the Augustus. The propellers were 4.4 m in diameter and run at 260 rpm max. But her original, tired diesel machinery would give only a fraction of the earlier carrier’s power—28,000 hp on 4 shafts—and a maximum speed of only 18 knots. With the signing of the Italian armistice on 8 September 1943, however, all work was halted and the vessel remained unfinished. In 1941 they would also damage HMS Manchester and sank a destroyer, HMS Phoebe, HMS Nelson, badly damaged the destroyer HMS Jackal and sank the SS Imperial Star, Empire Pelican, Empire Defender, Glenearn and Xhakdina. The air group was to be limited to 20 aircraft. Their powerplant differences mattered as well as the financed to achieve the conversion. The Archer was the first of the British escort aircraft carriers obtained under the lend-lease agreement, built as standard cargo ships and immediately converted into aircraft carriers. THE WAR OF THE SPANISH SUCCESSION – FRANCE, Le portaerei italiane della seconda guerra mondiale | Il Primo Raggio. The Regia Aeronautica was primarily an independent air force subordinated first and foremost to the Army. For strikes against enemy naval units, all aircraft could carry antiship ordnance, because each of the strike aircraft was capable of defending itself against combat air patrols. The Aquila during her conversion in Genoa The Aquila wasn’t entirely a new production though, but was converted from a Transatlantic ocean liner - the Rome. They could only elevate to 45° but could fire fuse delayed explosives with shrapnel to create a barrage. 8x 135mm/45, 12x 65mm/64, 132 x 20mm AA, 51-66 aircraft. Designed in 1934 to fit the restrictions of the Washington Naval Treaty, Ark Royal was built by Cammell Laird at Birkenhead, England, and completed in November 1938.Her design differed from previous aircraft carriers. The same process than in Germany took place to find suitable carrier-based aircraft and test them for modifications. The goal was to make the fastest and cheapest conversion possible, as an auxiliary carrier, the initial plan approved by Mussolini in 1940 for both ships. The Italians managed to broke up her in 1951. They were indeed spaced to left room for the Pugliese ASW protection system. Both ships were written-off for almost a year in repairs and HMS Glasgow in Suda Bay, Crete. This was totally adequate for the fleet. The upper superstructure has been removed and a small provisional construction erected forward of the deck. Steam came from 9 double ended and 4 single ended boilers, thirteen in all. the principal monoplanes used by the italian air forces during world war two (centauro, saeta, folgore,veltro) made by Fiat and Macchi constructors ( Log Out /  The plan was to block the Genoa harbor. Aquila became the first, and only, aircraft carrier type to be considered / acted upon by the Italian government. For the Italian Navy in World War 2, the battleship was still the centerpiece of its power projection in the Mediterranean while powers like the United States and Britain relied heavily on the aircraft carrier to bring the fight to the enemy wherever he lay. It was certainly a much greater endeavour than just placing a flying deck above an existing ship, and time was gained only because the bottom of the hull already existed, as the shafts and rudders. Cavour (Italian: portaerei Cavour) is an Italian aircraft carrier launched in 2004. WW2 British Amphibious Ships and Landing Crafts, Courageous class aircraft carriers (1928), South Korea unveils initiative to promote eco-friendly ship technologies, Hybrid upgrades to give vessels more attractive environmental profiles, USCG’s 9th national security cutter sails away from shipyard, Taiwan launches improved ‘carrier killer’ corvette, commissions new minelayer, ¿Cuál fue la misión secreta del buque San Jacinto en Cabo Verde? 1. Learn how your comment data is processed. There was an isolating material and air circulation vents. Practically all the rest was changed, not far away from a brand new construction. He considered razing the superstructures and leaving the aft 203 mm turrets and installing four catapults. The greatest challenge was the fact both should be converted to military grade, meaning including protection aspects that did not existed in the original design, and a completely new arrangement. They were however smaller than those adopted on the Trentos. They came straight from the same cancelled last two Capitani Romani-class cruisers as the powerplant. Both proceeded from ideas developed in 1928-1930 as a faction milited for their development, in the country which invented the concept of strategic bombardment, by General Douhet.The uncompleted 1916 Carraciolo class super-dreadnoughts were broken up due to the Washington treaty, and in WW2, the Capitani Romani class cruisers and Medaglie d’Oro class destroyers and many submarines were never completed, as the last of the Litorrio class, Impero. They also attacked shipping in Alexandria, sank a merchant ship in Sept. 1940, and in October also badly damaged the cruiser HMS Liverpool. Each contained two boilers and one set of turbines, they were separated into two equal groups by a midship compartment. Its planned armament comprised four twin 120 mm DP guns and four twin 100 mm HA located on a deck level below the flight deck. Planners also intended to add twelve of the brand new 65 mm (2.56 in) AA guns, on sponsons below flight deck level like allied 75 mm mountings. Pages in category "World War II aircraft carriers of Italy" The following 2 pages are in this category, out of 2 total. In the end, many were aware of Italy’s limited industrial capacity, cramped shipyard and little capital to develop the fleet further. Falco, ex Augustus, would be converted later in 1942, in a much simplified design reminiscent of the first conversion project in November 1940.The conversion of Roma, renamed Aquila in February 1942 to free the name for a fourth Litorrio class battleship, was started at Cantieri Ansaldo, Genoa, in November 1941. The Miraglia was at best a compromise. On the whole, a well thought out, state of the art carrier thus emerged from all of this effort, but, as we shall see, at a fatal cost in time. ( Log Out /  When one thinks of carrier warfare in World War II, the Japanese and U.S. navies usually come to mind. This event saw the best Italian cruiser class decimated, loss which the Italian Navy could ill-afford. When the third wave of Japanese aircraft was ready to take off, loaded with gasoline, bombs and torpedoes, both on the crowded deck and in the hangars, the Douglas SBD Dauntless and Vought Vindicator of USS Yorktown, Hornet and Enterprise (131 aircraft in total) are based on the four Japanese aircraft carriers and try to sink them. Difficulties with license production of the DB 601 engine limited initial orders for the Re.2001 to only 120 aircraft. Between the early 1900s to the late 1930s, Italy created a premier air force. Remember that your success will depend greatly on your flexibility in managing the available fleet resources. There are a total of [ 36 ] WW2 U.S. Aircraft Carriers (1941-1945) entries in the Military Factory. Displacement: 23,350 tons (standard), 27,800 tons (full load), Machinery: Belluzzo geared turbines, 8 Thornycroft boilers, 4 shafts, 140,000 shp = 30 knots, Bunkerage: 2,800 tons = 4,000 nm @ 18 knots. She was originally the ocean liner MS Augustus. One bridge was the command bridge and above was placed the deck operation c&c bridge. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). This topic is good almost for a full-blown post so we will not dive into this in detail. If so, the Italians would have used the most versatile carrier-borne plane of the war. In 1942, they torpedoed again HMS Liverpool, just repaired near Malta, the steamer Tanimbar and they finished off HMS Bedouin. Sparviero (Italian: "Sparrowhawk") was an Italian aircraft carrier designed and built during World War II of the Regia Marina. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The Aerosilurante unit was created in July 1940 and crews had little time to practice (col. Moioli). Your email address will not be published. Conway’s all the world’s fighting ships 1922-1947A. Carrying capacity was 1700 passengers: 375 in the first class, 300 in the second, 300 in the intermediate and 700 in the third class. She was the lead ship in a class ordered by the Navigazione Generale Italiana as transatlantic ocean liners, from the Ansaldo shipyard. The Italian carrier Sparviero profile. In addition, she carried twelve Breda 20 mm (0.79 in)/65 cal. Ammiraglio Cagni. The carrier scenario only arranged the Royal Navy. The other counter-arguments presented were connected always to Italy’s geography.1-The Regia Marina was expected to operate primarily in the narrow confines of the Mediterranean2-The navylacked a fleet air arm and there was no plan to develop one.3-Carriers were expensive, and unproven.4-France seemed not to commit in such endeavour (The Joffre class was projected in 1939 only)5-The Italian coastal area allowed an extensive reach of the aviation.6-Italian islands (Pantelleria, Sicily) were “natural” aircraft carriers, extending this reach to North Africa if needed and Mussolini’s plans to conquer Greece and the Balkans later would, and in case of war, Sardinian Corsica, Malta, Cyprus as well would have further extended the reach of the Regia Aeronautica if Mussolini’s ambitions were fulfilled. It would maximize the number of aircraft that could be accommodated (51, including the deck park), and it would give the air group unparalleled flexibility. The Falco’s twin, nose-mounted, 12.7-mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns were supplemented by a 7.7-mm gun in each wing. Like other carrier warships of the period, Aquila was built atop the framework of an existing ship, in this case the trans-Atlantic passenger liner SS Roma. It was eventually never selected.The Fiat G50B was a two-seat trainer version of which 100 aircraft were built, but its role was to be a fighter/recce plane, eventually not selected.In addition to the Stuka, Italian pilots trained in Germany also on the Arado Ar 96B trainer. On Aquila, they were installed at the forward end of the deck, side by side, ans were taken from the stocks made for “Carrier B”, Graf Zeppelin’s sister ship. Antiaircraft defense was supplied by twelve 65-mm L64 guns in single mounts along the deck edges and 132 x 20-mm L65 Breda machine guns in 22 sextuple mounts along the deck edges and fore and aft of the island. Slow progress on the extensive Aquila conversion and the obvious need for additional carriers led the navy to revive the idea of an austere, minimum-change liner conversion in 1942. Mussolini himself boasted this “aircraft carrier Italy” was unsinkable. Conversion of a liner as an aircraft carrier was not new: This has been already be object of a sturdy in late 1935, as relations degraded quickly between Italy and the United Kingdom around Ethiopia. In the end, 30 aircraft were carried, 12 fighter, 8 bombers, and 10 recce planes, provided these were readily available, but up to 42 with folded wings aircrafts if the project was approved. However they had only a 5 short tons (4.5 t) capacity. In 1939, the British Navy was still the most powerful in the world, with the largest worldwide network of fortified bases and arsenals. A conversion project of two years would meant she would have been serviceable by November 1943, yet at the time Italy had no hindsight on how the war would turn, in particular in North Africa. He was posted during the war at the Genoese technical office fior the Navy, and started teaching at the engineering faculty for naval construction from 1917. The Italians were pioneers in the aviation industry. It is the flagship of the Italian Navy. The Original blueprints of the Aquila are lilely to be lost, since i can’t find it anywhere on internet. In late 1942 the Regia Marina decided to add a second carrier to the fleet and began a simple conversion of the liner Augustus along the lines originally proposed for the Roma. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). Saiman 200: This two-seat primary trainer from the Società Industrie Meccaniche Aeronautiche Navali was designed by Mario Bottini was introduced in 1940 and was thought as a possible reconnaissance biplane. Aquila was nearing completion and even had the time to pass her first static test in September 1943. Wednesday, March 11, 2015. Causa83 via Wikipedia. Two elevators connected the hangar and flight deck, which carried two catapults and full arresting gear. We visit the USS Hornet to see what its like aboard a US Navy Aircraft Carrier. This was ready for flight tests in June of 1943, but crashed before torpedo trials could begin. The high command estimated aviation support was necessary far from home, and the Navy could bring this support in case of a conflict. This was to a simple, fast conversion in the guise of the British HMS Argus, but even more simplified, with a full-length deck deck and small hangar for support operations. One was amidships, and the second not far forward. Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero, the workhorse of the Regia Marina throughout the war. These two ships were the last attempts to build aircraft carriers for the Italian Navy until 1981, when work began on the Giuseppe Garibaldi. There were good marine planes however, like the CANT Z.506 Airone, a beautiful trimotor floatplane with two large floats under the engine nacelles. The Italian Government considered her completion or conversion but eventually due to the lack of funds, it was decided to just scrap her in 1952. 1940. of the Regia Aeronautica, on Ju 87C Stuka, if the latter was to be navalized as it was studied for the German aircraft carrier, with folding wings, arrester hook and catapult attachment points. by Pierluigi Malvezzi. They learned on the fly, quite literally. In 1940 and 1941, a serie of battle saw British planes shattered the last hopes of the Regia Marina to win without a carrier. Cavour Aircraft Carrier - Italian Navy's Flagship. Final plans were even more radical, intended to use no less than twenty-two sextuple 20 mm AA mountings (132 total) in addition to the twelve 65 mm mounts. He really hoped this could be approved for further work, but the admiralty took her time. The SS Rex, famous Italian transatlantic flagbearer, one of the great civilian prestige successes of the Fascist regime, the 45,800 tons, 270 m long, 28 knots liner would have made formidably large carriers, but Rex was laid up at Genoa in late 1940, later Trieste to avoid bombings, and Pola. This design placed them far from the arrester wires for safety. The battle of Punta Stilo, notably turned to disaster because of British aviation, Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers which hit the Vitorrio Veneto, forced to retire, and the Pola, which was assisted by two other heavy cruisers of the Zara class, all lost by during the night by close gunfire by British Battleships. The furnace uptakes were trunked to starboard into a very large stack that was incorporated into a substantial island structure. In alternative, additional twelve Breda 20 mm would have been mounted instead in case the ships would have been completed sooner. The air groups for these carriers were particularly well-conceived. ( Log Out /  Béarn was an aircraft carrier converted from an incomplete Normandie-class battleship for the Marine Nationale (French Navy) during the 1920s. Italy had to wait until 1982 to built another one, now the flagship of the Republica, Sparviero at an unknown date in 1943, Genoa, under construction. In August 1943, the arresting gear installed on the carrier. He proposed two carriers of 17,000 tonnes instead, the object of design D, which ended at 11,500 tonnes. Admiral Giovanni Sechi argued eventually that a balanced fleet with a small core of good battleships backed with carriers was the most flexible option. anti-aircraft (AA) guns in single mounts, placed fore and aft on the island. 1945 . There was no “fleet air arm” per se, and planes were attached by regional squadrons to various task, but without much centralisation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_aircraft_carrier_Aquila Flag images indicative of country of origin and not necessarily the primary operator. The advent of aircraft as primary weapons was driven by the superior range, flexibility and effectiveness of carrier-launched aircraft. Top speed as designed was 22 knots. One was to be placed on the main deck, and three laterally, plus a small island installed on the starboard side of the ship, and a hangar to serve a dozen fighters. He retired, but went on working on engineering projects, like the port of Loano, where he died in 1939. Reconstruction of the Sparviero conversion. 1. Italian German ... Take control of the aircraft carrier, its crew, officers and planes during WW2. However Mussolini was more concerned by parity in terms of capital ships and scrapped aircraft carrier conversion projects. A full-length flight deck topped the hanger, with a large island on a sponson to starboard. If we follow the decision making process of Regia Marina (the Italian Navy) then yes, Italy needed aircraft carriers. They had higher range and precision than naval guns, making them highly effective. The absence of a carrier and its advantages was then obvious to the Regia Marina which rescinded its complaints. Alterations therefore were limited: The superstructures were to be removed and replaced by a hangar, a flight deck above and bulges added to the hull, but no additional protection changes. Permanently on the Reggiane Re.2001, the Aquila aircraft carrier conversion projects operation was mounted, and ship... 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