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MFP F345, 9/09/1943

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I’m looking for clarifications about the fate of German landing craft F345, given as sunk by a torpedo, 5 miles N to Terracina (South of Rome) on sept., 9th, 1943, see [http://www.historisches-marinearchiv.de/marinefaehrprahm/ausgabe.php?where_value=794] .
The most recent version on her fate is given by “Dark Navy” by O’Hara & Cernuschi, as sunk by Italian corvettes “Folaga”, “Ape” and “Cormorano”, which attacked near Terracina a group of five german landing craft on , sept. 9th, 1943 hrs 14:27. Nevertheless, according to “La Marina dall’8 settembre 1943 alla fine del conflitto” (US-MMI, Rome, 1971, page 66) this action took place between Portoferraio (Elba Island) and Populonia (on the mainland), which is approximately 13 nm NNE from Portoferraio and is very, very far from Terracina. Could the old MMI version be uncorrect/incomplete ?
Any info about it ? Any help is appreciated


Peter K.:
lt. KTB 2. Landungsflottille:


Auf dem Marsch von Neapel nach Norden befinden sich folgende Gruppen:
1. F-479, F- 249, F-345, F-509, F-456 und F-587 unter der Führung von Oberfähnrich zur See GARLICHS
2. F-616, F-486 und F-181 unter der Führung von Leutnant zur See REIMER
3. F-514
4. F-553 und F-554
5. F-420 mit 7 Penichen unf R-185 unter der Führung von Leutnant zur See SCHLIEPHACKE

Um 00.30 Uhr läuft F-424 als 6. Gruppe aus Gaeta aus.

Um 02.30 Uhr findet ein Luftangriff auf Formia und Gaeta statt, währenddessen alle von Neapel kommenden Boote den Golf von Gaeta passieren. Sie heben sich dadurch für feindliche Schiffe gut durch den erleuchteten Himmel ab.

Um 03.00 Uhr schiessen S-Boote aus dem Dunkeln, von den durch die Leuchtbomben geblendeten Besatzungen nicht rechtzeitig erkannt, Torpedos auf die 1. Gruppe ab und treffen F-345, das langsam zu sinken beginnt. Es besteht die Möglichkeit, dass es sich um italienische Fahrzeuge gehandelt hat, da der Aktionsradius der feindlichen Boote kaum bis Gaeta reichen dürfte. Jedoch völlig ausgeschlossen ist es nicht, dass es englische Fahrzeuge gewesen sind.

Um 04.00 Uhr passiert die 2. Gruppe zwei auf Gegenkurs laufende Korvetten, um 04.20 Uhr zwei R-Boote.

Um 05.00 Uhr wird nach Bergung der Schiffbrüchigen das Wrack von F-345 versenkt.

Thanks so much, Peter.
If I’ve well understood, the torpedoing of F345 happened at 03:00 of sept., 9th during a trip from Naples northwards of various groups of German craft. The German crew, blinded by the explosion flashes of an air raid against Formia and Gaeta, did not noticed some fast attack craft (probably coming from east ?) which torpedoed F345.
In effect, during that night, two Italian MTBs, MS55 and MS64, were sent from Gaeta (base of the 1. Flottiglia Motosiluranti, see also http://warsailors.com/forum/read.php?1,47179,47191#msg-47191 ) to Ponza: I don’t know the time window of that trip, but the two routes intersect each other. Maybe the first hypothesis of 2. Landingsflottile KTB (Italian craft) is right.
Thanks again

Urs Heßling:
hello, Fabrizio

--- Zitat von: gttf am 08 August 2010, 09:10:38 ---F345, given as sunk by a torpedo, 5 miles N to Terracina (South of Rome) on sept., 9th, 1943,

--- Ende Zitat ---

the source GRÖNER gives the same data.

The data are wrong, however, from a navigator´s point of view. Terracina is situated at the Northern shore of the Gulf of Gaeta, the shore continues towards Ostia first in a south-westerly, then turning at Cape Circeo to a north-westerly direction. The position "5 nm N Terracina" is somewhere near the village of Sonnino in the Ausoni mountains at a height of >500 metres. A position 5 sm South (!) of Terracina would make sense, if the group traveled from Ischia to Cape Circeo (south west of Terracina) on a direct route, crossing the Gulf of Gaeta on a "point connecting line" and did not stay close to the shore.

checking source data from a navigator´s point of view turns out to be quite an occupation ...

greetings, Urs


One can probably rule out that F345 was torpedoed at a height of 500m ueNN. On the other hand, taking this course demonstrates the high dedication of German Kriegsmarine crew to the preservation of their vessels in the face of the enemy.

Or, it could be seen as further confirmation for Peter C. Smith's somewhat dismissive view of German vessel commanders having a pre-occupation with scuttling their vessels instead of fighting it out.

Nice work Urs.

All the best



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