Largest Submarine fleet in the World

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Lord Gort
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Largest Submarine fleet in the World

Post by Lord Gort » 10 Jul 2003 17:07

For the first two years of the war Italy incredibly had the largest submarine fleet in the world, how succesful was it? What were its activities in the atlantic if any at all?



regards,

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 10 Jul 2003 17:32

Hi Gorty

I'm sure I've posted something about this before, back in the mists of time, I'll have a look around for you

Andy H

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 10 Jul 2003 18:53

I think Soviet Union had even more submarines?

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Leonardo
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Post by Leonardo » 10 Jul 2003 19:32

I read somewhere that Italy had 99 submarines at the start of the war. During the war a flotilla was based in Western France (BETASOM) and operated in the Atlantic.

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SM79Sparviero
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italian submarines

Post by SM79Sparviero » 10 Jul 2003 20:11

Italy had 117 submarines in 1940:
http://www.comandosupremo.com/Submarines.html.

In Atlantic Regia Marina submarines were present. They didn't have a schnorkel and were too large for "wolfpack" employement but they were fast, with powerful guns and a large space for torpedoes storage just like Japanese submarines, they usually attacked lone merchant ships as surface raiders did."Tazzoli" class was armed with two 120/45 guns and 8 533 mm torpedo tubes.
Their success was not not comparable to German U-boots but they were well trained for the surface fighting , submarine Torricelli sunk British destroyer Khartoum by its 100/47 mm gun .Submarine Da Vinci was the most successful in Atlantic ocean:

http://www.subnetitalia.it/regiovinci.htm

In 1943 Decima Flottiglia Mas was ready to attack New York and Freetown by SLC(that sunk Queen Elizabeth and Valiant ) carried by submarine Da Vinci.

The Russian fleet in 1940 had more submarines but according to Stalin's strategical projects the role of the fleet and ,in the same way,of the submarines was no more than an auxiliary service for the army.

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 10 Jul 2003 22:33

Well, at least it would be very interesting to hear about these not so commonly known subs and their operations. What kind of subs Italy had? Any photos/pictures and data?

How about Rumania, did they have subs on Black Sea?

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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 10 Jul 2003 23:32

Harri wrote:I think Soviet Union had even more submarines?
Hmm... I think I agree with Harri: http://uboat.net/allies/ships/soviet.htm

Regards, Juha

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Post by Alternative Scenario » 11 Jul 2003 00:56

Harri wrote:Well, at least it would be very interesting to hear about these not so commonly known subs and their operations. What kind of subs Italy had? Any photos/pictures and data?

How about Rumania, did they have subs on Black Sea?
General info and pictures

http://www.regiamarina.net/arsenals/shi ... ubs_us.htm

Information on Italian Black Sea operations

http://www.regiamarina.net/others/black ... a_I_us.htm

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Perfectionistul
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Post by Perfectionistul » 11 Jul 2003 01:42

Harri wrote:How about Rumania, did they have subs on Black Sea?
Hello Harri :)

The Romanian Black Sea Division had 3 subs in all:

NMS Delfinul (launched on 5 May 1936)
NMS Rechinul (" " 5 May 1941)
NMS Marsuinul (date unknown to me)

for their technical specs. and photos I suggest you take a look at Victor's article:
http://www.wwii.home.ro/art04.htm

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 11 Jul 2003 08:08

There were also five CB midget subs, which entered Romanian arsenal after Italy quit the Axis.

I wouldalso like to make one comment on the article, which I did not have time to modify. According to Soviet sources the "Uralles" (1975 brt) (not "Uraletz"!) was sunk by German aircraft at Evpatoria on 29.10.41.

NMS Delfinul torpedoed the motor tanker
"Kreml'" (ex. "Soujz Vodnikov" - 1932 built /tonnage - 7661 brt). "Kreml'"
wasn't sunk, but only damaged.

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 11 Jul 2003 08:17

Thank you very much - everyone!

Octavianus
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The largest submarine fleet

Post by Octavianus » 16 Jul 2003 23:14

Salve amici,

There lies no doubt that the largest submarine fleet at the outbreak of the war in September 1939 was the Red Banner (Soviet) submarine fleet which numbered 168 submarines, of which 24 were obsolete, what is, I believe, more what United Kingdom, USA, Italy or Japan had.

Hope this has helped to solve a dilemma. :wink:

Gratiam, Octavianus

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Post by Mark V » 20 Jul 2003 20:20

Let's settle the dispute who had the largest submarine fleet at the outbreak of war: :)

- USSR had the largest - by number of boats
- Italy had the largest - by tonnage of submarine fleet

Mark V

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Re: The largest submarine fleet

Post by Cantankerous » 16 Aug 2020 02:55

Octavianus wrote:
16 Jul 2003 23:14
Salve amici,

There lies no doubt that the largest submarine fleet at the outbreak of the war in September 1939 was the Red Banner (Soviet) submarine fleet which numbered 168 submarines, of which 24 were obsolete, what is, I believe, more what United Kingdom, USA, Italy or Japan had.

Hope this has helped to solve a dilemma. :wink:

Gratiam, Octavianus
On the eve of Operation Barbarossa, the Soviet Navy had 218 submarines (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_Navy), Italy had a peak strength of almost 170 submarines in WW2 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regia_Marina#Submarines), and the Imperial Japanese Navy boasted 195 submarines on the eve of WW2 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_ ... rld_War_II). Therefore, the Regia Marina had the third-largest submarine fleet.

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Re: Largest Submarine fleet in the World

Post by LColombo » 18 Aug 2020 00:03

What does one mean with "on the eve of WW2" though? Japan entered the war in December 1941, if they built a considerable number of those submarines in 1940-1941 it does not make much sense to compare this number with Italy's numbers of June 1940.

As far as I know Italy had the second largest submarine fleet (the first one being the Soviet) in 1940. Later in the war it was surpassed by several navies that had lower numbers at the start of the war but greater wartime shipbuilding capacity - the Kriegsmarine, the USN, the Royal Navy, the IJN.

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