Ariete-class torpedo boat

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Class overview
Operators:  Regia Marina
 Kriegsmarine
 Yugoslav Navy
In commission: 1941–1945
Completed: 16
Lost: 14
General characteristics
Type: Torpedo boat
Displacement: 745 long tons (757 t) standard
1,100 long tons (1,118 t) full load
Length: 83.5 m (273 ft 11 in)
Beam: 8.62 m (28 ft 3 in)
Draught: 3.15 m (10 ft 4 in)
Propulsion: 2 shaft geared steam turbines
2 boilers
22,000 hp (16,400 kW)
Speed: 31.5 knots (36.2 mph; 58.3 km/h)
Complement: 158
Armament: • 2 × 100 mm (3.9 in) guns
• 10 × 20 mm (0.79 in) anti-aircraft guns
• 6 × 450 mm (18 in) torpedo tubes
• 20 mines

The Ariete class torpedo boats were a group of destroyer escorts built for the Italian Navy during World War II. They were enlarged versions of the Spica-class torpedo boats and designed to escort convoys to North Africa. Of the 42 units planned, sixteen ships were eventually ordered but only one was completed by the time of the armistice, the Ariete, built in the Sestri Ponente shipyards and commissioned on 5 August 1943. The namesake ship was also the only one to survive the war. After the war it was ceded to the Yugoslav Navy (1949), and renamed Durmitor.

Most of the other ships were completed by the Germans, entered service with the Kriegsmarine as Torpedoboot Ausland and eventually sunk in the course of operations across the Aegean and the Adriatic. The Fionda (renamed TA 46 by the Germans) was sunk in the Port of Rijeka by an Allied bomber on 20 February 1945, together with her twin Balestra/TA 47. Both ships at the time were unfinished. Recovered by the Yugoslavians in 1947, it was used to complete the TA 47, which entered service in the Yugoslavian Navy as Učka. It was decommissioned in 1971.

Ships[edit]

Italian
Name
German
Number
Builder Launched Operational History
Alabarda TA 42 CRDA Trieste 7 May 1944 Sunk 21 March 1945 by air strike in Venice[1]
Ariete n/a Ansaldo, Genoa 6 March 1942 She was the only unit to be completed before the armistice. She escaped from the Germans and summited to the Allies in September 1943. She was transferred as war reparation to Yugoslavia in 1949.
Arturo TA 24 Ansaldo, Genoa 27 March 1943 One of the units which took part of the bombardment of Bastia on 1 March 1944. Sunk 18 March 1945 in battle with the British destroyers HMS Meteor and HMS Lookout[2]
Auriga TA 27 Ansaldo, Genoa 15 April 1943 Lost 9 June 1944 to air attack by P-47s of the U.S. 332nd FG[3]
Balestra TA 47 CNQ Fiume Not completed during the war, damaged by air raid on slipway,[4] subsequently completed for the Yugoslav Navy in 1949 as the Učka scrapped in 1971
Daga TA 39 CRDA Trieste 15 July 1943 Along with Spada took part in the sinking of British motor boat ML-1227 on 5 October 1944. Sunk 16 October 1944[5]
Dragone TA 30 Ansaldo, Genoa 14 August 1943 Sunk 15 June 1944 by US PT boats[6]
Eridano TA 29 Ansaldo, Genoa 12 July 1943 Sunk 18 March 1945 in battle with the British destroyers HMS Meteor and HMS Lookout.[7]
Fionda TA 46 CNQ Fiume Lost 20 February 1945 in Fiume, when still under construction. Scrapped after the war.[8]
Gladio TA 37 CRDA Trieste 15 June 1943 Badly damaged by French destroyers Le Terrible and Le Malin in February 1944.[9] Sunk 7 October 1944[10]
Lancia TA 41 CRDA Trieste 7 May 1944 Sunk 17 February 1945, scuttled after being hit by an aerial bomb in Trieste[11]
Pugnale TA 40 CRDA Trieste 1 August 1944 Scuttled 4 May 1945 at Monfalcone[12]
Rigel TA 28 Ansaldo, Genoa 22 May 1943 She took part in the shelling of Bastia on 1 March 1944. Sunk 9 June 1944[13]
Spada TA 38 CRDA Trieste 1 July 1943 Sank British motor boat ML-1227 on 5 October 1944. Sunk 13 October 1944, scuttled after being damaged by air strike[14]
Spica TA 45 CNQ Fiume Lost 13 April 1945 to British MTBs[15]
Stella Polare TA 36 CNQ Fiume 11 July 1943 Towed damaged TA 37 to safety after a battle with French destroyers Le Terrible and Le Malin in February 1944.[9] Sunk 18 March 1944 by German mine[16]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ TA 42
  2. ^ TA 24
  3. ^ TA 27
  4. ^ TA 47
  5. ^ TA 39
  6. ^ TA 30
  7. ^ TA 29
  8. ^ TA 46
  9. ^ a b McLean, David and Preston, Antony (1997). Warship 1997-1998. Conway Maritime Press, p. 140. ISBN 0851777228
  10. ^ TA 37
  11. ^ TA 41
  12. ^ TA 40
  13. ^ TA 28
  14. ^ TA 38
  15. ^ TA 45
  16. ^ TA 36

References[edit]