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September 1943: Welche italienischen KT´s in La Maddalena erbeutet?

Begonnen von Peter K., 21 November 2010, 15:08:49

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de domenico

Peter K.


Thanks for this information!
I know all the mentioned Italian MZ´s situated at La Maddalena on 08.09.1943, but not the exact circumstances of the MZ785-story!
BTW, the Deutscher Stabschef Maddalena was Fregattenkapitän HUNÄUS, not UNEUS!
Do you have any information concerning two Italian KT´s captured by the Germans at Bonifacio?
Grüße aus Österreich
Peter K.

de domenico

The USMM book mentions two submarines, H 6 and RISMONDO, the tanker GARIGLIANO and 6 small auxiliaries at Bonifacio on Sept. 8. On Sept. 10 German naval forces inhibit the sailing of the two subs and force them to stay inside the harbour, while German flak batteries shoot down 2 Regia Aeronautica aircraft. On Sept. 12 general fighting breaks out between Italian and German forces. On Sept. 14 H 6 and RISMONDO are captured by German forces together with 2 "armed fishing vessels", and scuttled on Sept. 18 off Bonifacio. The tanker GARIGLIANO, captured on Sept. 13, was sent to Genova with a German crew on Sept. 16. No mention of KTs.
I should add that MONTE GRAPPA and MONTE CUCCO were both still operational with the Regia Marina in 1946, and had not been captured, while MONTE CENGIO (according to "Navi Militari Perdute", 1975) was captured at La Spezia on 9.9.1943. As for MONTE SANTO, Francesco Mattesini (USMM, "La Marina e l'8 settembre vol. II", 2002) mentions her with the other 3 as in service on Sept. 8, but without giving a commanding officer  (which are named for CENGIO, CUCCO and GRAPPA).
Erminio Bagnasco, in "Le navi da guerra italiane 1940-1945", 2003, says that only CUCCO and GRAPPA were actually operated by Regia Marina: SANTO, even if actually delivered, was sunk by Allied bombers at La Maddalena on 26.5.1943 while still fitting out, while NERO and CENGIO were never delivered before the Armistice. So I don't see how 2 KTs could have been taken over at Bonifacio. Perhaps a mistake for GARIGLIANO (which, as you know, was actually a water tanker/infantry landing ship, so could well have been considered the equivalent of a KT).

de domenico

For the sake of completeness, I would like to add that both Groener vol. 3 and Cernuschi & O'Hara in "Dark Navy", 2009, state that GARIGLIANO was seized at La Maddalena (and not in Bonifacio) on the same date, Sept. 13. Groener curiously adds that she was at first renamed F 844 (?), then commissioned as DWARSLAEUFER on 25 Nov. 1943. Groener Vol. 4 (and Tullio Marcon, "I muli del mare", that I consider reliable on the subject) identify MZ 785 as the MZ seized at La Maddalena (but on Sept. 9), later renamed F 4785 by the KM (while "Navi militari perdute" says that she sailed from LM on Sept. 9 still in Italian hands - which seems rather unlikely, in the circumstances of that base - and was captured on Sept. 16 at Portoferraio).
Everything considered, I stand by my idea that the two "Italian KTs" were MZ 785 and GARIGLIANO.

Peter K.

Many thanks for the data and your thoughts, DE DOMENICO!

The war diary of the "Seetransportstelle Bonifacio" also mention the submarine H6 and RISMONDO, but only two small Italian auxiliaries, B73 and B120. They were manned by the crews of the German boats VP7012 und VP7013, which were not more serviceable.
Noteable is the fact, that the war diary do not mention the GARIGLIANO, but the CISTERNE 844, which was sent to Porto Vecchio with a German crew on 17.09.1943, 15.00 o´clock. I think both were the same ship and this was the reason for the name "F844" for the later DWARSLÄUFER/OLDENBURG at Gröner!

Nevertheless it seems strange that both SKL and "Marinekommando Italien" claimed the capture of two Italian KT´s ...

Are there any records concerning the use of the Italian KT´s after September 1943?
Grüße aus Österreich
Peter K.

Enrico Cernuschi

Hello Peter K.,

844 was the number painted on that water tanker stern. It was the number of order for the planned landing at Malta! Scrivia, for example, was 841.

The Italian Navy (or, better, the merchant navy, as the ships were formally passed to the Cooperativa Garibaldi, a partially state controlled enterprise) commissioned, on 1943, two KTs only: Monte Cucco (former KT 32) and Monte Grappa (former KT 10). The Monte Santo (former KT 15) was sink by USAAF bombers at La Maddalena on 26 May 1943 before to be commissioned. As that ship had almost completed her trials there before to be lost her revcoery was attempted, but by the 8 sept. 1943 it was only an hulk which was lost again during the various skirmishes between Italians and Germans around that base.

It had been planned the delivery by the KM of Monte Nero (former KT 20) and Monte Cengio (KT 16), but the 25 July 1943 deferred the delivery date and the 8 Sept. 1943 compromised the wholòe bargain.

The futher KTs had been scheduled to be sold to the Italian navy, but the whole program stopped during Summer 1943.       



Peter K.

Thanks ENRICO!

Especially this information
Zitat844 was the number painted on that water tanker stern. It was the number of order for the planned landing at Malta!
was completely new for me!
Grüße aus Österreich
Peter K.

de domenico

Enrico Cernuschi is right: the book "Le navi da guerra italiane 1940-1945" by Erminio Bagnasco and himself has a photo (page 317) of two SESIA class tankers/landing craft in 1942 bearing the "operational numbers" 841 and 844 at bow and stern. I had clean forgotten. Mariano Gabriele's  "Operazione C3: Malta", USMM, 1990, has another picture of what it purports to be GARIGLIANO (but probably is a sister-ship instead) with the number 841 at the bow during the training landings in July-August 1942. In Bagnasco and Cernuschi there's also a photo of a lagoon motor-boat no. 819, and a "bragozzo" no. 928; in Gabriele's book bragozzi nos 902, 913 etc.
An idea could be that the serial numbers in the 601 to 700 range (those in the 100 range were DV, in the 200 and 300 range were VAS, in the 400 and 500 range were MAS) were given by Regia Marina  to the small ML (100 landing motor-launches of 15.5 tons); those in the 701 to 800 range to the MFP/MZs (later extended to 801/820); the 800 and 900 range would have been attributed to the four SESIA-class vessels, plus the prototype ADIGE, the Messina Straits ferries (ASPROMONTE, MESSINA), the steamer PRINCIPESSA MAFALDA, the bragozzis etc. Therefore Groener's F 844 is not so far off the mark, after all..If you need the pictures, just let me know.
Now to the other point: the small auxiliaries at Bonifacio. B 73 ALBA and B 120 DINA were two small fishing boats from Viareggio, both 21 grt (we're rather far from KTs), both ketches built in 1937 and requisitioned as inshore minesweepers in their home port in May 1940: USMM's "Navi Mercantili Perdute" (1997) says that ALBA was sunk by unknown causes at Livorno on 13.9.1943 (the date seems doubtful) and later raised; as for DINA,  she was at Bonifacio in August 1943, was sunk at Genova, again on 13.9.1943, and raised later to become the Kriegsmarine IS 18 (Italien, Spezia) local defence boat. A third small vessel at Bonifacio was the tug MARIO M. from Genova, 28 grt/1913, requisitioned by the Regia Marina in March 1943 as Z 106 and sunk at Bonifacio by German forces on 13.9.1943. Yet another small fishing ketch from Viareggio, LIDO, 17 grt/1929, requisitioned  by the Regia Marina as the subchaser AS 54 in March 1941, was at nearby Portovecchio on 10.9.1943 and escaped to Capraia, were she was scuttled on 14.9.1943. Later raised.

Platon Alexiades


If that is any help, I have a Comando Supremo file which indicates that MONTE GRAPPA arrived at Maddalena on 5 September 1943, carrying ammunition for the Regia Marina. Apparently still there when the armistice came but I have not given a very thorough look at my files.


Peter K.

That´s an interesting detail, PLATON!  top
Thanks for sharing this information!
Grüße aus Österreich
Peter K.

de domenico

Enrico Cernuschi, in the latest part of his essay on "La Marina tedesca nel Mediterraneo, 1941-1945", in "Storia Militare" n.211, April 2011, writes a list of KT-Verbleib that includes KT 20 then Italian MONTE NERO, captured 9 Sept. 1943 at La Maddalena, October 1943 again KT 20, gunfire damage 28.1.1944 off Porto Santo Stefano, sunk by bombs 4.9.1944 at Genoa; and KT 16 then MONTE CENGIO, also captured in Sept. 1943 and sunk by bombs at Genoa on the same date.
The same author, however, together with Erminio Bagnasco, wrote  in the book "Le Navi da Guerra Italiane 1940-1945" (2004),and in his recent post above (Antwort #20, 25 Nov. 2010),  that KT 20 and KT 16 were only earmarked as MONTE NERO and MONTE CENGIO, but never actually delivered to Regia Marina before the Armistice. So I would like to know if new information has since come to light on the subject.

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