The shoreside staff at BETASOM

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narikis
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The shoreside staff at BETASOM

Post by narikis » 25 Sep 2020 15:08

Hello. Does someone know what sort of people were responsible for shoreside duties at the Italian BETASOM base in Bordeaux? For example maintenance, security, construction, and other support jobs? Were they all taken from the Regia Marina, or did they also use any civilian workers? I ask because I recall hearing that the Kriegsmarine base at Lorient had some civilians working there in support roles.

LColombo
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Re: The shoreside staff at BETASOM

Post by LColombo » 25 Sep 2020 22:23

A detachment of marines from the "San Marco" Regiment was tasked with security, as far as I know. Maintenance of the submarines was carried out by Regia Marina engineering personnel. No idea about the rest.

narikis
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Re: The shoreside staff at BETASOM

Post by narikis » 25 Sep 2020 22:27

Thank you LColombo. Do you know approximately how many of these marines were present at any one time at the base?
Hopefully we can find some info about other support roles too (such as maintenance/construction on shore facilities).

LColombo
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Re: The shoreside staff at BETASOM

Post by LColombo » 29 Sep 2020 10:36

According to this: https://web.archive.org/web/20130416000 ... artic3.asp the marines stationed at Betasom were one company, 225 men. Altogether base personnel amounted to some 800 men, military and civilian (so it seems there were some civilians), including 35 officers (32 naval officers and three Army officers, the latter belonging to the "San Marco") and 426 enlisted men of the Regia Marina.

LColombo
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Re: The shoreside staff at BETASOM

Post by LColombo » 29 Sep 2020 10:43

I also found this: http://www.regiamarina.net/detail_text. ... id=1&cid=1 where the following is stated: "The local repair shops did not have the equipment and machinery necessary for precision work aboard submarines, and much was shipped from Italy, along with 70 specialized technicians. Later, the base began utilizing French personnel, but it always limited access to the vessel only to Italian workers. Despite the fear of sabotage, the relationship with the local work force was overall very positive. Despite the miserable living conditions and the German occupation, the base did not experience any act of violence or sabotage".

The page is translated from the Italian (http://www.regiamarina.net/detail_text.asp?nid=90&lid=2) where it is specified that French civilians were employed as workers (manovalanza). They were not allowed onboard the submarines.

narikis
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Re: The shoreside staff at BETASOM

Post by narikis » 29 Sep 2020 12:31

Thank you LColombo for sharing that, it's the sort of info I was looking for.
I would welcome any more detail that can be found on this by anyone.

zaptiè
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Re: The shoreside staff at BETASOM

Post by zaptiè » 30 Sep 2020 15:41

After 8/11/1943 the San Marco men made the cadre of Btg of volunteer from italian commuity in France , the "Volontari di Francia". The Btg was trained here and then send in Italy to fight Tito's partisans on oriental border.

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