Italian R-class submarine

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For other ship classes of the same name, see British R class submarine and United States R class submarine.
Romolo class submarine.jpg
Romolo-class submarine (Romolo)
Class overview
Name: Romolo
Builders: Tosi, CRDA
Operators:  Regia Marina
Built: 1942-1943
In service: 1943
Planned: 12
Completed: 2
Cancelled: 10
Lost: 2
General characteristics
Type: Transport submarines
Displacement:
  • 2,155 tonnes (2,121 long tons) surfaced
  • 2,560 tonnes (2,520 long tons) submerged
Length: 86.5 m (283 ft 10 in)
Beam: 7.86 m (25 ft 9 in)
Draft: 5.34 m (17 ft 6 in)
Installed power:
  • 2,600 bhp (1,900 kW) (diesels)
  • 900 hp (670 kW) (electric motors)
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph) surfaced
  • 6 knots (11 km/h; 6.9 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 12,000 nmi (22,000 km; 14,000 mi) at 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph) surfaced
  • 100 nmi (190 km; 120 mi) at 3.5 knots (6.5 km/h; 4.0 mph) submerged
Test depth: 80 m (260 ft)
Capacity: 600 tonnes (591 long tons) of cargo
Complement: 63
Armament:

The R-class or Romolo-class submarine was a group of submarines built for the Royal Italian Navy (Regia Marina Italiana) during World War II. They were designed as blockade running transport submarines for transporting high-value cargo from Europe to Japan and vice versa. Axis-occupied Europe lacked strategic materials such as tungsten, tin and some commodities such as rubber.

Design and description[edit]

The R-class submarines displaced 2,155 metric tons (2,121 long tons) surfaced and 2,560 metric tons (2,520 long tons) submerged. The submarines were 86.5 meters (283 ft 10 in) long, had a beam of 7.86 meters (25 ft 9 in) and a draft of 5.34 meters (17 ft 6 in). They had a cargo capacity of 600 tonnes (591 long tons). [1]

For surface running, the boats were powered by two 1,300-brake-horsepower (969 kW) diesel engines, each driving one propeller shaft. When submerged each propeller was driven by a 450-horsepower (336 kW) electric motor. They could reach 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph) on the surface and 6 knots (11 km/h; 6.9 mph) underwater. On the surface, the R class had a range of 12,000 nautical miles (22,000 km; 14,000 mi) at 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph); submerged, they had a range of 110 nmi (200 km; 130 mi) at 3.5 knots (6.5 km/h; 4.0 mph).[2]

The boats were only armed for self-defense with three 20-millimeter (0.79 in) light anti-aircraft guns. Some boats may have been equipped with a pair of internal 45 cm (17.7 in) torpedo tubes in the bow and stern.[1]

Boats[edit]

Twelve boats were ordered, but only two were completed, by Tosi:

  • Remo, named after Remus, launched 28 March 1943 — Sunk by the British submarine HMS United 15 July 1943 in the Gulf of Taranto
  • Romolo, named after Romulus, launched 21 March 1943 — Sunk by Allied aircraft near Augusta 18 July 1943.

The remaining 10 hulls were scuttled incomplete and scrapped after the war.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Chesneau, p. 307
  2. ^ Bagnasco, p. 166

References[edit]

  • Bagnasco, Erminio (1977). Submarines of World War Two. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-962-6. 
  • Chesneau, Roger, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946. Greenwich, UK: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7. 
  • Rohwer, Jürgen (2005). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945: The Naval History of World War Two (Third Revised ed.). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-119-2.