Sesia class landing ships

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Davide Pastore
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Sesia class landing ships

Post by Davide Pastore » 04 Mar 2008 13:55

I choose to open a different thread, to ease future search.

sallyg wrote:Dou you have an easy link to the landing ship specs. I have spent 1/2 hour googling and come up dry.


Andreas wrote:Me too please - they are not listed on the Marina part of difesa.it?


sallyg wrote:I have also found ships of the name at :
http://www.regiamarina.net/
which however, lists them as water tankers. Now I expect that a landing ship would be a good water tanker if fitted with internal tankage after withdrawal (temporary or otherwise) from the design role.


These landing ships were officially classified as motocisterne per acqua (water-carrying diesel tankers, MC in short) for deception purpose.

This did not prevent the Jane's in 1937, and the French Revue Maritime in 1939, from guessing their real nature. It has to be said that, in spite of secrecy, Sesia made a number of landing exercises in Summer 1937 near Massaua in AOI, in plain view of the Red Sea shipping lane.

There were five ships built (all named after rivers):

Adige
Laid down 09.05.1927 at Castellamare di Stabia
Launched 31.10.1928
Commissioned 26.04.1929
Displacement 780t
Dimensions 47m x 9.6m x 2.2m (Note: the last value is the official one. Actual immersion was 2.8m at the stern, and just 0.5m at the bow)
Armament 4x 6.5mm Colt MG, up to 48 mines
Engines 2x 140hp
Speed 8kts

A brainchild of Admiral Sirianni, then Sottosegretario di Stato per la Marina (deputy Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary being Mussolini), she could beach and land an infantry battalion through a bow hand-worked gangway (8.15m x 2.38m).

Defects were the impossibility of carry vehicles (gangway too small) and the inability of get under way after landing without external assistance (weak engines).

Adige was soon considered too small and weak, and used only for auxiliary transport work. She was eventually captured by Germans while in Greece.

Sesia
Laid down: Spring 1933
Launched: ?
Commissioned: 1934
Displacement: 1,460t
Dimensions: 65m x 19m x 3.4m (Note: the last value is the official one. As you can see from the drawings, actual immersion decreases from stern to bow as in [i]Adige)
Armament: 4x 13.2mm MG (1934), 2x 20/65 + 3x 8mm MG (1939), up to 118 mines
Engines: 2x 315hp
Speed: 10kts
Range: 5,000nm at 6kts or 3,454nm at 9.5kts

Garigliano
Tirso
Scrivia

Laid down: ?
Launched: ?
Commissioned: Garigliano 1934, Tirso 17.08.1937, Scrivia 18.10.1937
Displacement: 1,055-1,086t (welded hull)
Dimensions: as Sesia
Armament: as Sesia
Engines: 2x 300hp
Speed: 10.5kts
Range: 4,000nm at 8kts, 2,700nm at 10kts

Evolution of the prototype, with ability to carry more troops (29 off, 44 nco, 989 men, 50 mules) plus vehicles and light tank through a bigger and sturdier elctrical-worked gangway (13m x 2.7m).

Two interesting features were the disappearing bow rudder, and a ballast tank in the stern (to further reduce the bow immersion).

The four MCs took part in the occupation of Albania, and on 10.06.40 were at Taranto (except Scrivia at Pola).

It was planned to use them (based now at Valona) against Greece, landing on Corfu troops of Bari division under the newly created FNS (Forza Navale Speciale). The sea state precluded the action until the disastrous situation on the land front lead to total cancellation.

Actually the Greek commander on Corfu had surrendered the very first morning to the only Italian presence on the island - the much embarrassed consul. In the evening, no ship having show herself, the now very irked Greek colonel had all Italians jailed :lol:

Two MCs eventually succeeded to land on Corfu elements of Acqui division, but only after the Greek surrender.

The MCs were not employed in the attack to Crete, although one of the FNS ship (the little merchant Porto di Roma, modified to carry light tanks) was sent to Rodi, embarked 13x L3 and landed them in eastern Crete, as part of the little-publicized Italian contribute to Merkur.

The MCs were moved to Livorno in August 1941 as part of the preparation of C2 (landing in Corsica - to be started by one of the periodic frontier incidents between Italy and France; an adventurous project toyed with until October) and then of the much more serious C3.

The ships were modified so as to carry a disassembled floating bridge 70m long (utilizing Army engineer equipment) to be mounted between the bow and the land in order to overcome the sand bars; this bridge was fully operative 19 minutes after the ship touched the sand.

Having been designed with the L3 in mind as the typical tank, and so being unable to land heavier vehicles, each MC would have transported two 75/18 batteries (8x pieces and 8x TL39 tractors).

The MCs were then employed in the re-born C2 on 11/11/1942, and then in Tunisia.

Further activities:
- Scrivia, scuttled at la Spezia 09.09.1943
- Garigliano, captured at Bonifacio (Corsica) on 14.09.1943, renamed Oldenburg and employed as minelayer until scuttled at Genova on 24.04.1945
- Tirso, employed by Italy until 21.12.1948 then transferred to France as was reparation. Renamed Herault and employed there until late 50s
- Sesia, employed by Italy until 01/06/1972, pennant A5375

phylo_roadking wrote:I wonder how stable those would have been in the Channel?

Due to their low draught they would have suffered somewhat, however in comparison to the typical Seelöwe converted river flatboats they were oceanic vessels.


Drawing of the Sesia class
Image
Source: Enrico Cernuschi, Quelle cinque navi segrete e incomprese, RID December 1993

C3 training exercises
Image
Source: Mariano Gabriele, Operazione C3: Malta, 2nd Ed., USMM 1990

Andreas
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Re: Sesia class landing ships

Post by Andreas » 04 Mar 2008 14:24

Many thanks Davide!

All the best

Andreas

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sallyg
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Re: Sesia class landing ships

Post by sallyg » 04 Mar 2008 19:43

Second the sentiment. Thank you, indeed, Davide.

Doug

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Re: Sesia class landing ships

Post by phylo_roadking » 05 Mar 2008 00:08

Obviously too big to send to the Channel by rail. Could they have handled Atlantic sea states?

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Re: Sesia class landing ships

Post by Jon G. » 05 Mar 2008 00:49

Wouldn't these ships be able to traverse the Route du Midi? Although they were clearly intended for use inside the Mediterranean, just like the rest of the Regia Marina was.

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Re: Sesia class landing ships

Post by phylo_roadking » 05 Mar 2008 01:10

Jon I think it would be too tight a squeeze width-wise - the landing ships are 9.6m wide, the Canal du Mdi was 10 metres. That's only two centimetres clearance to each side, leaving out the question of low bridges that would accomodate 18th and 19th century barges - like English barges - not big continental Rhine type ones, and the question of overall length in staircase locks. I don't think it's a goer for these.

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Davide Pastore
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Re: Sesia class landing ships

Post by Davide Pastore » 05 Mar 2008 01:16

phylo_roadking wrote:Obviously too big to send to the Channel by rail. Could they have handled Atlantic sea states?

I've answered already, a few posts above.

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Davide Pastore
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Re: Sesia class landing ships

Post by Davide Pastore » 05 Mar 2008 01:19

phylo_roadking wrote:the landing ships are 9.6m wide, the Canal du Mdi was 10 metres. That's only two centimetres clearance to each side

Crash course in decimal system:
1m = 100cm
0.1m = 10cm
0.4m = 40cm or 20cm each side
:wink:

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phylo_roadking
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Re: Sesia class landing ships

Post by phylo_roadking » 05 Mar 2008 02:00

LOL you're right I missed the zero! It's still not enough to make it a possibility, though.

Ah, managed at last to find a definitive set of dimensions from the official website as I typed this.

20-24 metres wide AT THE SURFACE, BUT sloping sides and the width at bottom varied from 5 to 10 metres...

The Adige is 9.6m wide....but the Sesias were 19 metres! Therefore only 50 cm or so clearnce on either side in places, not enough for any narrow-radius bends.

BUT WIDTH is academic anyway; the bottom varies from 2.2 to 2.5 metres. That's too shallow by 30cm at the stern for the Adige, and a whopping whole metre too shallow for the Sesias.

And one last barrier - literally - all 63 lock gates are apparently only six metres wide :(

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Re: Sesia class landing ships

Post by gjs » 20 Jul 2015 17:04

Hi,

I've got additional question to Sesia and Tirso. Does anybody know where these ships were located at Armistice? How they managed to get to the ports controlled by Allies?

Thx in advance

Grzegorz

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Re: Sesia class landing ships

Post by karlik » 20 Jul 2015 18:23

Very interesting!
I used to miss this post :( I never heard of these ships!
Tell me please, Italian Navy during World War II were still landing ships or boats except MZ701/MZ801 class?
Best regards!

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Re: Sesia class landing ships

Post by Dili » 23 Jul 2015 22:01

MZ were build in war like the ML's (smaller like LCVP type). The Sesias were operational in war an were employed to reinforce Albania. The could work as minelayers too.

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