Ariete-class torpedo boat

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Class overview
Operators:
Preceded by: Spica class
In commission: 1941–45
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)
Installed power: 22,000 hp (16,400 kW)
Propulsion:
  • 2 shaft geared steam turbines
  • 2 boilers
Speed: 31.5 knots (36.2 mph; 58.3 km/h)
Complement: 158
Armament:

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, 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 captured and 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. 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 TA 47, which entered service in the Yugoslavian Navy as Učka. It was decommissioned in 1971.

Design[edit]

Compared to the Spica class it was developed from, the Ariete class had lost one of the three 100 mm (4 in)/47 caliber dual-purpose guns, whereas torpedo armament had grown from four to six 450 mm (18 in) torpedo tubes, in two triple mountings on the ship's centreline. The anti-aircraft suite included ten 20 mm cannons.

Ships[edit]

Ship German
number
Builder Launched Operational history
Alabarda TA 42 CRDA Trieste 7 May 1944 Sunk 21 March 1945 during Operation Bowler in Venice.[1]
Ariete Ansaldo, Genoa 6 March 1942 She was the only unit to be completed before the armistice. She was at La Spezia 8 September 1943 and arrived at Malta, then under Allied control, 20 September 1943. She was transferred as war reparation to Yugoslavia in 1949.
Arturo TA 24 Ansaldo, Genoa 27 March 1943 One of the German units which took part of the bombardment of Bastia on 1 March 1944. Sunk 18 March 1945 in the Battle of the Ligurian Sea by the British destroyers HMS Lookout and HMS Meteor.[2]
Auriga TA 27 Ansaldo, Genoa 15 April 1943 Lost 9 June 1944 to an air attack by P-47s of the U.S. 332d Fighter Group.[3]
Balestra TA 47 CNQ, FiumeA Not completed during the war, damaged by air raid on slipway,[4] subsequently completed for the Yugoslav Navy in 1949 as Učka; scrapped in 1971.
Daga TA 39 CRDA, TriesteB 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, scuttled after hitting a mine off Thessaloniki.[5]
Dragone TA 30 Ansaldo, Genoa 14 August 1943 Sunk 15 June 1944 by U.S. PT boats.[6]
Eridano TA 29 Ansaldo, Genoa 12 July 1943 Sunk 18 March 1945 in the Battle of the Ligurian Sea by the British destroyers HMS Lookout and HMS Meteor.[7]
Fionda TA 46 CNQ, FiumeA Lost 20 February 1945 in Fiume, when still under construction. Scrapped after the war.[8]
Gladio TA 37 CRDA, TriesteB 15 June 1943 Badly damaged by French destroyers Le Terrible and Le Malin in at the Battle of Ist in February 1944.[9] Sunk 7 October 1944.[10]
Lancia TA 41 CRDA, TriesteB 7 May 1944 Sunk 17 February 1945, scuttled after being hit by an aerial bomb in Trieste.[11]
Pugnale TA 40 CRDA, TriesteB 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, TriesteB 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, FiumeA Lost 13 April 1945 to British motor torpedo boats in the Morlacca channel.[15]
Stella Polare TA 36 CNQ, FiumeA 11 July 1943 Towed damaged TA 37 to safety after a battle with French destroyers Le Terrible and Le Malin at Battle of Ist in February 1944.[9] Sunk 18 March 1944 by a German mine.[16]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • ^ Cantieri Navali del Quarnaro, Fiume
  • ^ Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Trieste

Citations[edit]

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

Bibliography[edit]

  • Whitley, M.J. (1988). Destroyers of World War 2. Cassell Publishing. ISBN 1-85409-521-8.