Ciclone-class torpedo boat

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Torpediniera Aliseo.jpg
The Ciclone-class torpedo boat Aliseo
Class overview
Operators:
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 (48 km/h; 30 mph)
Complement: 154
Sensors and
processing systems:
Sonar and hydrophones
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, with improved stability and heavier anti-submarine armament. These ships were built as part of the Italian war mobilization programme and completed in 1942-43.

Armament[edit]

All units were fitted with a sonar, and also torpedo launchers were present in the same quantity and placement for all units of the class. However, there were three different gun configurations in the class:

  • 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 the central mounting was fitted with another dual 20/65mm installation (10 × 20/65mm machine guns).
  • Animoso, Ardito, Ardimentoso, Intrepido with 2 single 100/47mm guns, while the 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 On 8 September 1943, she engaged and destroyed several German auxiliary units off Bastia, right after the Cassibile armistice. 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), broken up 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), broken up 1960
Ardito Ansaldo, Genoa 16 March 1942 She took part of the action off Bastia along Aliseo, but was eventually captured by the Germans in September 1943 and served as TA26.[3] Either sunk 15 June 1944 by US Navy PT boats or destroyed by sabotage at Rapallo on 6 July 1944[4]
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.[5] 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[6]
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[7]
Monsone Navalmeccanica 7 June 1942 She beat off the attack of three British MTBs off Marettimo on 16 February 1943, while escorting a four-ship convoy along with Spica class torpedo boat Sirio and the Gabbiano class corvettes Gabbiano and Antilope. The motor torpedo boats were caught in advance by the escorts' sonar.[8] Sunk 1 March 1943 at Naples by USAAF aircraft[9]
Tifone CRDA Trieste 31 March 1943 Leading vessel of the Cigno convoy on 16 April 1943, when she shepherded the transport Belluno to Trapani. As part of the same mission, she delivered aviation fuel to Bizerte. 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 the armistice of Cassibile, and were sabotaged by the Italians, or captured by the Germans, completed and reclassified as "Torpedoboot Ausland" (Foreign Torpedo-boat).

Aliseo, with Carlo Fecia di Cossato in command, destroyed eight German Auxiliary vessels near the port of Bastia, Corsica.[10][11] For this success, di Cossato was given the highest Italian military decoration, the Gold Medal of Military Valor

Five units survived the war, to be transferred to the USSR, Greece and Yugoslavia as reparation for war damages. None was left in service with Italian Navy.[12]

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. ^ Destroyers of WW2 by M J Whitley page 174
  4. ^ TA 25
  5. ^ Shores, Cull & Malizia (1991).Malta: The Spitfire Year 1942. Grub Street, pp. 522-524. ISBN 0-948817-16-X
  6. ^ TA 23
  7. ^ TA 26
  8. ^ Giorgerini, Giorgio (2001). La guerra italiana sul mare. La Marina tra vittoria e sconfitta 1940-1943 (in Italian). Mondadori. p. 550. ISBN 8804405813. 
  9. ^ Torpediniera Monsone From trentoincina.it (Italian)
  10. ^ The Italian Regia Marina and the Armistice of 8 September 1943
  11. ^ Axis History Forum • View topic - korsika bastia 1943
  12. ^ (Italian) Italian navy website.