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?
These landing ships were officially classified as motocisterne per acqua (water-carrying diesel tankers, MC in short) for deception purpose.sallyg wrote:I have also found ships of the name at :
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.
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):
Laid down 09.05.1927 at Castellamare di Stabia
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
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.
Laid down: Spring 1933
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 Adige)
Armament: 4x 13.2mm MG (1934), 2x 20/65 + 3x 8mm MG (1939), up to 118 mines
Engines: 2x 315hp
Range: 5,000nm at 6kts or 3,454nm at 9.5kts
Laid down: ?
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
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
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.
- 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
Source: Enrico Cernuschi, Quelle cinque navi segrete e incomprese, RID December 1993
C3 training exercises
Source: Mariano Gabriele, Operazione C3: Malta, 2nd Ed., USMM 1990