Ciclone-class torpedo boat

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Class overview
Operators:  Regia Marina
 Kriegsmarine
 Yugoslav Navy
 Soviet Navy
Built: 1942–1943
In commission: 1942–1949
Completed: 16
Lost: 11
General characteristics [1]
Type: Torpedo boat
Displacement: 910 long tons (920 t) standard
1,625 long tons (1,651 t) full load
Length: 82.5 m (270 ft 8 in)
Beam: 9.9 m (32 ft 6 in)
Draught: 3.77 m (12 ft 4 in)
Propulsion: 2 shaft steam turbines
2 Yarrow type boilers
16,000 hp (11,900 kW)
Speed: 26 knots (30 mph; 48 km/h)
Complement: 154
Armament: • 2 × 100 mm (3.9 in) guns (3 guns in some ships after refit)
• 8 × 20 mm (0.79 in) anti-aircraft guns
• 8 × 13.2 mm (0.52 in) AA machine guns
• 4 × 450 mm (18 in) torpedo tubes
• 4 × depth charge throwers

The Ciclone class were a group of torpedo boats or destroyer escorts built for the Italian Navy which fought in the Second World War. They were slightly enlarged versions of the previous Orsa class, they had improved stability and heavier anti-submarine armament. These ships were built as part of the Italian war mobilisation programme and completed in 1942-43.

Armament[edit]

All units were fitted with an asdic, and also torpedo launchers were present in the same quantity and placement for all units of the class; about artillery, there were three different configurations:

  • Ghibli, Impavido, Impetuoso, Indomito, Monsone were fitted with 3 single 100/47mm guns, plus 4 dual 20/65mm machine guns.
  • Aliseo, Ardente, Ciclone, Fortunale, Groppo, Tifone, Uragano with 2 single 100/47mm guns, while central mounting was fitted with another dual 20/65mm installation (10 x 20/65mm machine guns).
  • Animoso, Ardito, Ardimentoso, Intrepido with 2 single 100/47mm guns, while central mounting was fitted with a quadruple 20/65mm mounting, for a total of 12 AA machine guns.

Ships[edit]

Ship Builder Launched Operational History
Aliseo Navalmeccanica 20 September 1942 War reparation to the Yugoslav Navy, 1949 as the Triglav
Animoso Ansaldo, Genoa 15 April 1942 Reparation to the USSR, 1949 as destroyer Ladny (Ладный), BU 1958, sunk as target by P-15 missile, 28 August 1959.[2]
Ardente Ansaldo, Genoa 27 May 1942 Sank submarine HMS P48 on 25 December 1942. Sunk in collision with the destroyer Grecale 12 January 1943
Ardimentoso Ansaldo, Genoa 27 June 1942 Reparation to the USSR, 1949 as destroyer Liuty (Лютый), BU 1960
Ardito Ansaldo, Genoa 16 March 1942 Captured by the Germans in September 1943, served as TA25. Either sunk 15 June 1944 by US Navy PT boats or destroyed by sabotage at Rapallo on 6 July 1944[3]
Ciclone CRDA, Trieste 1 March 1942 She took part in the shooting down of three Beaufort bombers and a Beaufighter while escorting a convoy to Libya between 20–21 August 1942.[4] Fought off several British motor launches and amphibious crafts during the botched Allied landing on Tobruk, on 14 September 1942. Sunk by mines 8 March 1943
Fortunale CRDA, Trieste 18 April 1942 Sank submarine HMS P222 on 12 December 1942. Reparation to the USSR, 1949 as destroyer Liotny (Лётный), sunk as target ship 1959
Ghibli Navalmeccanica 28 February 1943 Seized by the Germans in September 1943, but not repaired. Scuttled in La Spezia 25 April 1945
Groppo Navalmeccanica 19 April 1943 Sank submarine HMS Utmost on 25 November 1942. Sunk 25 May 1943, by bombing
Impavido CT Riva Trigoso 24 February 1943 Captured by the Germans in September 1943, served as TA23. Struck a mine on 25 April 1944 and finished off by British MTBs while taken in tow[5]
Impetouso CT Riva Trigoso 20 April 1943 Scuttled 11 September 1943
Indomito CT Riva Trigoso 6 July 1943 War reparation to the Yugoslav Navy, 1949 as the Biokovo
Intrepido CT Riva Trigoso 8 September 1943 Captured by the Germans in September 1943, served as TA26. Sunk by US PT boats 15 July 1944[6]
Monsone Navalmeccanica 7 June 1942 Sunk 1 March 1943 at Naples by Allied bombing[7]
Tifone CRDA Trieste 31 March 1943 Scuttled in Tunis, 7 May 1943
Uragano CRDA Trieste 3 May 1942 Sunk by mines 3 February 1943

History[edit]

Units of this class were heavily operated in escort duties between Italy and Northern Africa, or in antisubmarine patrols. Some units were still incomplete when Italy signed armistice of Cassibile, and were damaged by Italians, or captured from Germans, completed and reclassified as "Torpedoboote Ausland" (Foreign Torpedo-boat).

Aliseo, with Carlo Fecia di Cossato in command, was protagonist of a famous action when, in 9 September 1943, destroyed seven German ships near the port of Bastia, Corsica. Aliseo had cleared the port en route to Malta in order to follow Allied orders in Cassibile armistice about cease fire and ending of the hostilities between Allied Forces and Italy, followeb by her sister ship Ardito, but noticing her under German fire from coastal batteries, ships in port and some units under sail, she inverted her course and started to pepper the eleven German o German-controlled units. As a result, the two submarine chasers UJ 2203 (ex French Minerva) and UJ 2219 (ex French Insuma), escorting armed barges F 366, F 387, F 459, F 612 and F 623, together with Luftwaffe sloop FL B. 412, were disabled and foundered, while Humanitas and Sassari, two Italian steamships fallen in German hands, were disabled.[8][9] During action, Aliseo was supported by sloop Cormorano and some other coastal battery that have been recaptured by Italians and, under orders of Italian military commander of Bastia port, started to fire with her three 100 mm cannons at German ships at 07:06; in doing so, she was immobilized at 07:30 by an 88mm shot that temporarily disabled her motors but, having quickly repaired the damage, at 08:20, destroyed UJ 2203; afterwards, after ten minutes of heavy fire, destroyed UJ 2219, and further three armed barges, while other two where shored after having sustained heavy damage; the Luftwaffe ship was scuttled with the help of Cormorano. For this action, her captain was given the highest Italian military decoration, Gold Medal of Military Valor

Five units survived the war, to be transferred to USSR, Greece and Yugoslavia as reparation for war damages. None was left in service with Marina Militare italiana.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Conway's All the World's Fighting ships 1922-1946
  2. ^ Александр Широкорад: Чудо-оружие СССР -Тайны советского оружия, ISBN 5-9533-0411-0, p. 119
  3. ^ TA 25
  4. ^ Shores, Cull & Malizia (1991).Malta: The Spitfire Year 1942. Grub Street, pp. 522-524. ISBN 0-948817-16-X
  5. ^ TA 23
  6. ^ TA 26
  7. ^ Torpediniera Monsone From trentoincina.it (Italian)
  8. ^ The Italian Regia Marina and the Armistice of 8 September 1943
  9. ^ Axis History Forum • View topic - korsika bastia 1943
  10. ^ (Italian) Italian navy website.