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Autor Thema: Battle of Punta Mesco.  (Gelesen 363 mal)

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Offline cam

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Battle of Punta Mesco.
« am: 24 Februar 2021, 20:33:52 »
Hi,

Colleagues,
Found information about a battle unknown to me off the coast of Liguria on the night of  16/17 December 1944
http://www.harry-tates.org.uk/battleofmescopoint.html

R.Buckley has another description

The trawlers, fairly deep-draft vessels, could not pass over the minefields as did the PT's and British coastal craft, so before they could be used it was necessary to sweep a channel for them. On the night of December 15/16, four minesweeping ML's swept a channel into Mesco Point, guided by Lt. (jg.) Robert Spangenberg's PT 302. The ML's were screened on the north by Lt. (jg.) Edward Groweg's PT 306 and MTB 419, under Lt. Edwin W. Snodgress, USNR, and on the south by Lt. (jg.) Robert Wallace's PT 310 and MTB 422, under Lt. N. Ilett, RNVR.

The ML's completed their sweep by 0200 without encountering any mines, and set course for Leghorn, accompanied by the northern covering force. The southern covering force remained on patrol, and found four F-lighters off Moneglia Point. As the boats closed the range, the F-lighters and shore batteries took them under heavy fire. Each boat got two torpedoes away. There were two huge explosions in the direction of the target but apparently these resulted from the torpedoes exploding on the beach.

On the following night a striking force of the trawlers Minuet, Hornpipe, Twostep, Gulland, and Ailsa Craig, rendezvoused with the control group, Commander Allan in PT 302, with MTB 419; the northern escort group, Lt. E. Good, RNVR, in PT 306, with MTB's 377 and 421, and the southern escort group, Lt. N. Ilett, RNVR, in MTB 420, with MTB 376 and PT 309. Ahead of the main body ranged the northern scouting group, Lt. Eugene G. Wilson, USNR, in PT 304, with PT 313 and MTB 422, and the southern scouting group, Lieutenant Commander Dressling in PT 310, with MTB's 378 and 375. The 17th Squadron, South African Air Force, was to have sent a flight of bombers to illuminate the enemy by starting brush fires ashore with incendiary bombs, but because of low visibility was unable to take part in the operation.

Dressling's scouting group picked up a southbound F-lighter convoy, only to lose it when it moved in close to the beach. Later it picked up a northbound convoy of F-lighters and a coaster escorted by an R-boat, and shadowed it for three-quarters of an hour, giving constant reports of its position to Commander Allan's control group. When the convoy came within range of the trawlers, Commander Allan ordered Dressling's group to retire to seaward. Two of the trawlers illuminated the convoy with starshell and the other three immediately opened fire with their 4-inch guns. The F-lighters fought back savagely with their 88mm. guns, but the trawlers had the advantage of surprise and scored many hits, whereas the best the F-lighters could do was to spray one of the trawlers with shell fragments, slightly damaging its bridge and wounding one officer. By the time the F-lighters began to get the range, Commander Allan ordered MTB 420 to lay a smokescreen to cover the retirement of the trawlers. Commander Allan assessed the damage to the enemy as two F-lighters and one R-boat sunk, but again German records do not confirm this claim.

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/CloseQuarters/PT-6.html
On the German side, I never found a single mention of the battle. Please tell me what forces of the Germans took part in it and what losses they suffered.

cam

Offline t-geronimo

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Re: Battle of Punta Mesco.
« Antwort #1 am: 24 Februar 2021, 22:24:57 »
- 16./17.12.1944 Geleit Nr. 841 (F 947, 759, 799) auf dem Marsch von La Spezia nach Genua. - 02u02 Gefecht mit 1 Korvette und 6 kleineren Einheiten. Eigenes Feuer zwingt Gegner sich einzunebeln. Angriff von 3 PT-Booten abgewehrt.

Keine Verluste, kein Schaden.
Gruß, Thorsten

"There is every possibility that things are going to change completely."
(Captain Tennant, HMS Repulse, 09.12.1941)

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Offline cam

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Re: Battle of Punta Mesco.
« Antwort #2 am: 25 Februar 2021, 10:31:37 »
Thanks Thorsten!   top top top
So the Germans in the convoy did not have R-boats?

Offline TW

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Re: Battle of Punta Mesco.
« Antwort #3 am: 25 Februar 2021, 12:26:41 »
Offenbar wurden in der Dunkelheit und dem Kunstnebel die alliierten kleinen Einheiten (MTB) für deutsche R-Boote gehalten.

Gruß, Thomas

Offline cam

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Re: Battle of Punta Mesco.
« Antwort #4 am: 25 Februar 2021, 13:12:43 »
Offenbar wurden in der Dunkelheit und dem Kunstnebel die alliierten kleinen Einheiten (MTB) für deutsche R-Boote gehalten.
It's incomprehensible. Buckley and the British do not write that the PT boats attacked the convoy - there was only shelling from trawlers. The firing range was up to 2000 yards. What small targets could both the trawlers and the convoy shoot then?

Offline TW

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Re: Battle of Punta Mesco.
« Antwort #5 am: 25 Februar 2021, 17:38:56 »
Tja, dann überlege doch selber einmal, welche andere Lösung Dir einfällt.
R-Boote werden im KTB der Landungsflottille jedenfalls nicht erwähnt.

Wo hatten sich denn Deiner Meinung nach die alliierten Schnellboote "versteckt"?
Meinst du, sie sind hinter den Trawlers "ängstlich" in Deckung gegangen?
Aus anderen Gefechtsberichten ersehe ich, dass die Führung einer großen Gruppe von MTBs immer sehr schwierig war, und dass die Boote durchaus nicht alle immer den Wünschen des Gefechtsführers folgten, wenn Angriffsmöglichkeiten bestanden.

 :MG: Thomas

Offline cam

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Re: Battle of Punta Mesco.
« Antwort #6 am: 25 Februar 2021, 20:43:42 »
R.Buckley writes:
When the convoy came within range of the trawlers, Commander Allan ordered Dressling's group to retire to seaward.
If the R-boats were not part of the escort of the convoy, then they, and possibly the VP-boats/Uj-boats, could be on patrol in the area. And the escort group of three PTs, which, on Allan's orders, covered the trawlers with a smoke screen, was mistaken by the Germans for attacking boats.
« Letzte Änderung: 25 Februar 2021, 22:17:59 von cam »