Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

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tommy303
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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Post by tommy303 » Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:51 pm

The guns had even the muzzles closed by their tompion covers (not sure about the translation[, the metal caps of the gun when they are not used /i]) as it was established by our obsolete instructions for night sailing"


Yes, tompion.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned these defended;
And saved the sum of things for pay.

A Raven

Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Post by A Raven » Fri Jul 24, 2015 8:56 pm

Mr Virtuani has asked me for references, re his message of the 24th timed at 8.40 am.

ALL of the data is taken DIRECTLY from official Admiralty files.
Adm 199/ 447.
Adm 199/ 677
Official Intelligence histories written by Birch, Colpoys and Titterson. There is also an official history of 'Y' service, which I have read, but I have temporarily forgotten the authors name.
The Intelligence histories listed above were written soon after the war with the highest grade of classification and therefore include FULL details of the use of SPECIAL INTELLIGENCE. SPECIAL INTELLIGENCE was a term that was more secret than the term ULTRA, the latter being a cover name for the former.
Please make a note of this Mr Virtuani for future reference.

From ADM 447 and 677;

At 0040 the convoy was sighted visually at a range of approximately 8 miles. Radar contact did not occur until later.

At 0045 speed was reduced to 20 knots so as to lessen the chances of the bow waves and stern wakes being seen.

At 0049 the first radar contact is made.

At 0057 Force K opens fire.

The report states that there is no evidence that ANY Italian warship was aware of the presence of British warships until the latter's first gun flashes were seen at 0057.

The report also states that not a SINGLE heavy calibre shell splash was seen by ANY of the lookouts on ANY one of the four RN ships.
Although not stated in any of the reports, there would have been between the four ships, a total of approximately 25 to 30 thirty lookouts; assuming standard practice at the time. After the action, special note was made in one of the reports that all lookouts DID NOT give into the temptation to observe the action but maintained their sector watches. God knows what the Italian cruisers were firing at, but it was not the British.

AGAIN .... It was the ability of Force K to fight so well at night that was THE deciding factor.

ALL of the references that I have listed are available upon demand at the PRO in London.

There are also a number of Admiralty files that give surrounding data but which would take me much time to find and go through.

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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:30 am

@ A.Raven
Hi, thanks a lot for the lines extracted from the ADM reports, most interesting.

However, except the first sighting through radar, where (according to this Admiralty report, presumably related to Aurora...) I was clearly wrong (as per last point of my previous post), still I don't see anything contradicting O'Hara account:
Duisburg2.jpg
Duisburg2.jpg (199.9 KiB) Viewed 1797 times
or even Wikipedia account:
Duisburg2.jpg
Duisburg2.jpg (199.9 KiB) Viewed 1797 times
If the above is confirmed , still I think that IF British had information about the convoy through decoded messages (and radar directed gunnery), then the "ability to fight at night" has a very marginal importance in the outcome of this convoy mission: you know better then me that the knowledge of the convoy date and destination, means almost for sure the loss of the convoy itself.....

However, as I had said already, the equipment for night fighting in the RM were quite poor starting from the optics that were not optimized for the darkness. In addition the training of the RM crews was even poorer.

Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:48 am

Hello everybody,

the battle of Cape Matapan occurred on March 28-29th, 1941.
Allied casualties during the battle were a single torpedo bomber shot down by Vittorio Veneto‍ '​s 90 mm (3.5-inch) anti-aircraft batteries, with the loss of the three-man crew.

Italian losses were up to 2,303 sailors, most of them from Zara and Fiume. The Allies rescued 1,015 survivors, while the Italians saved another 160.[6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cape_Matapan

Can anybody explain me this :

2nd January 1941 - Bombarded Bardia.

28 March 1941 - Battle of Matapan, Barham helps sink cruiser Zara. Juno picks up Italian survivors.

21st April 1941 - Bombarded Tripoli.
http://www.hmsbarham.com/ship/diary.php


Thursday, 3 April 1941

Bahram, ship loss

BALLS, Alfred A G, Seaman, RNPS, LT/KX 206451, MPK

BAUMANN, Henry A, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 200701, MPK

CRAWFORD, John N, 2nd Hand, RNPS, LT/JX 242443, MPK

DYKE, Robert A, Engineman, RNPS, LT/KX 111447, MPK

MARWOOD, Leonard, Leading Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 206447, MPK

MURT, William H T, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 222415, MPK

WALKER, Henry E, Engineman, RNPS, LT/KX 111441, MPK

WHITTLETON, Robert W P, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 206438, MPK
http://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1941-04APR.htm



Thanks for your help ...

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

A Raven

Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Post by A Raven » Sat Jul 25, 2015 11:51 am

For Mr Virtuani,
Everything that I have stated comes DIRECTLY from the official Admiralty files, which I have given the references for.
You are free to believe Wikipedia and O Hara if you wish. I prefere to believe the first hand, contemporary official RN accounts.
AGAIN, radar played an important part, BUT WAS NOT THE DECIDING FACTOR. That was the ability of force K to fight at night. So successful was Captain Agnew's tactics, that a special document was written soon afterward, as to how cruisers should fight at night. This document was distributed throughout the Fleet.
I HAVE THAT DOCUMENT AND HAVE READ IT.

Once again, you are free believe the inferior writer O Hara, and Wikipedia. I will stick to source documentation.

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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Post by pgollin » Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:20 pm

.

Now you are just blustering..

YOU claimed that the Italian Fighting Instructions stated that the turrets should be unmanned - so post the primary source proof.

Your idea that stating an apocryphal " if everybody knows that main gun turrets were not manned at night" when such universal knowledge doesn't exist and that merely because you claim something from tertiary sources it doesn't mean it is true.

You made the claim - back it up.

From what you wrote ( "I will not loose my time to search for original RM Fighting Instructions" ) It would seem that your "knowledge" is nothing more than hot air.

All you are doing is demonstrating that you are willing to write anything without any real information - something which minimises my faith in your motives.

-------------------------

By the way, you seem to have "forgotten" to answer my query as to your seeming hypocrisy regarding your acceptance of political manoeuvring regarding the refusal of the Italians to court martial their admirals, versus your insistence that the British should have court martialled one of their's when his senior commanders didn't think he had a case to answer. Why the seeming hypocrisy ?

.

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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sat Jul 25, 2015 1:10 pm

Hello everybody,

... and here we go again ...
February 5th, 1945 - " Report of Med. Intelligence Centre ADM 223/89 " British and Italian losses at Cape Matapan :

" Our losses - A few hits by gunfire "
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.u ... d=C4122979

... and we even know how it happened now ...

http://www.leganavale.it/wps/wcm/connec ... 7c7e24598d

... it looks like " the propaganda war needs " were a common practice ... even at Matapan ... :wink:

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:10 pm

@pgollin
and you are just speaking and speaking without posting ANY source.

I have posted several (all confirming that Italian main guns, according to our naval doctrine, were not considered usable at night, therefore turrets were unmanned as it happened at Cape Matapan).

I confirm you that I will not loose my time to find for you the primary sources as I have a lot of secondary ones, all stating the same thing, while you apparently have....NOTHING.
If you want to propose a new idea (such as that Italians were manning their main gun turrets at night as they were ready to use them before Matapan) , against all these writers that are against you, it's you who should find A SINGLE proof, not me.
We are all still waiting to see if you can find someone credible who will support your theory........... :lol:

You have been unable to post other than YOUR OWN WORDS. A pity....




@Antonio Bonomi:
I will have a look into these info, much interesting , thanks !

Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sat Jul 25, 2015 6:49 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Alberto Virtuani,

you know you are my reference for everything concerning the Royal Navy best traditions and the Mediterranean sea battles during World War 2, ... since I have never spent much time digging into it, ... being my research area on the Kriegsmarine side.

It has been with great surprise that I have discovered that even on a winning battle like Cape Matapan has been for the Royal Navy against our warships on WW2, ... even in that case somebody thought that it was the case to " change/modify " the reality of the events, ... to make a better story, ... I suppose for war propaganda reasons.

It is the third time that I find something like this happening ... on the HMS Glorious sinking story, ... on the Denmark Strait, ... and now on the Cape Matapan battle too.

You usually sign your post using ABC statement :
" It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition " (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)


Well my friend, ... there are many ways to build a tradition ... this one I do not like nor admire at all ... :wink:

My admiration goes now to the 7 Italian sailors that opened fire with the Breda 37/54 mm gun on the aft side of the Zara according to the best naval tradition, ... firing their gun until the last shell to the Barham and hitting the enemy forcing her out of the line ... fighting until the end.
Zara_Breda_37_mm_crew_members.jpg
Zara_Breda_37_mm_crew_members.jpg (46.29 KiB) Viewed 1734 times
Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Post by pgollin » Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:02 am

.

Merely repeating your false idea that others have to provide written proof to counter YOUR opinion offered with proper proof merely shows, yet again, your stupidity. You made the original claim, please provide your proof.

I notice a bit of backtracking in your latest post. Now you claim it was "naval doctrine", previously it was "in the Fighting Instructions". Now that might be the same thing, or have you actually discovered that it wasn't in the Fighting Instructions ?

You really should remember that it is up to you to back up your claim.

---------------------------

You, yet again, avoid the issue of your hypocrisy regarding your wanting to court martial an RN Admiral for actions that his superiors agreed with, but don't press for the same thing for the actions of two Italian Admirals at Matapan AND NOW, for the actions of Italian admirals regarding their incompetence over adjusting to their knowledge of RN night fighting abilities (pre-radar).

.

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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:49 am

Hello everybody,

there is a lot of difference between unpreparedness, ... and intentional incorrect declarations ... to embellish an event ... and try to provide a different/better version of the real facts to fit your war time propaganda needs on 1941.

It happened at Denmark Strait, ... and it happened at Cape Matapan too, ... and God knows how many other times it happened as well.

But now 74 years after you cannot defend those incorrect declarations anymore ... since the reality surfaced even thru your own official documents.

Enough said ... we know where the truth is now ...

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Post by dunmunro » Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:30 pm

I'll repost here what I posted in this thead: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6728&start=165 at 958PM.



I read the article "I sette dello Zara" with google translation, so correct me if I'm wrong, but the claim is that Zara fired at Barham with a 37mm twin mount and supposedly knocked out Barham's search lights, and the proof for this is the recollection of an Italian PoW who claims to have read a notice in the officer's wardroom on the destroyer Jervis, and further this notice stated there was 100 RN casualties whereas the RN "officially" stated 18 casualties.

So a dubious recollection by a PoW (with an admittedly poor command of the English language) is taken as proof of hidden casualties and damage in preference to all the RN's official reports? Here's the list of fatal casualties for March 1941:
http://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1941-03MAR.htm The idea that 82 men could be injured on Barham with none killed is highly improbable.

BTW, it was standard practise in wartime, in all Navies and other branches of armed services, to forbid personnel to discuss details of actions with non-service individuals.

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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:46 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Dunmunro,

you may need to look in detail this previous post ... and the list of HMS Barham dead sailors on April 3rd, 1941.

After you connect those 8 dead sailors with the Zara firing at Barham at Cape Matapan 5 days before, ... you will realize what really happened and what was ... " covered up " ... as usual on spring 1941.
Antonio Bonomi wrote:Hello everybody,

the battle of Cape Matapan occurred on March 28-29th, 1941.
Allied casualties during the battle were a single torpedo bomber shot down by Vittorio Veneto‍ '​s 90 mm (3.5-inch) anti-aircraft batteries, with the loss of the three-man crew.

Italian losses were up to 2,303 sailors, most of them from Zara and Fiume. The Allies rescued 1,015 survivors, while the Italians saved another 160.[6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cape_Matapan

Can anybody explain me this :

2nd January 1941 - Bombarded Bardia.

28 March 1941 - Battle of Matapan, Barham helps sink cruiser Zara. Juno picks up Italian survivors.

21st April 1941 - Bombarded Tripoli.
http://www.hmsbarham.com/ship/diary.php


Thursday, 3 April 1941

Bahram, ship loss

BALLS, Alfred A G, Seaman, RNPS, LT/KX 206451, MPK

BAUMANN, Henry A, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 200701, MPK

CRAWFORD, John N, 2nd Hand, RNPS, LT/JX 242443, MPK

DYKE, Robert A, Engineman, RNPS, LT/KX 111447, MPK

MARWOOD, Leonard, Leading Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 206447, MPK

MURT, William H T, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 222415, MPK

WALKER, Henry E, Engineman, RNPS, LT/KX 111441, MPK

WHITTLETON, Robert W P, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 206438, MPK
http://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1941-04APR.htm



Thanks for your help ...

Bye Antonio :D
Than you will understand that it was a standard practice to do those things on that period ... for war propaganda needs apparently ... and I can understand the reason.

But now 74 years after ... no more reasons not to admit the reality, ... at least not for me

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Post by dunmunro » Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:05 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote:Hello everybody,

@ Dunmunro,

you may need to look in detail this previous post ... and the list of HMS Barham dead sailors on April 3rd, 1941.

After you connect those 8 dead sailors with the Zara firing at Barham at Cape Matapan 5 days before, ... you will realize what really happened and what was ... " covered up " ... as usual on spring 1941.
Antonio Bonomi wrote:Hello everybody,

the battle of Cape Matapan occurred on March 28-29th, 1941.
Allied casualties during the battle were a single torpedo bomber shot down by Vittorio Veneto‍ '​s 90 mm (3.5-inch) anti-aircraft batteries, with the loss of the three-man crew.

Italian losses were up to 2,303 sailors, most of them from Zara and Fiume. The Allies rescued 1,015 survivors, while the Italians saved another 160.[6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cape_Matapan

Can anybody explain me this :

2nd January 1941 - Bombarded Bardia.

28 March 1941 - Battle of Matapan, Barham helps sink cruiser Zara. Juno picks up Italian survivors.

21st April 1941 - Bombarded Tripoli.
http://www.hmsbarham.com/ship/diary.php


Thursday, 3 April 1941

Bahram, ship loss

BALLS, Alfred A G, Seaman, RNPS, LT/KX 206451, MPK

BAUMANN, Henry A, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 200701, MPK

CRAWFORD, John N, 2nd Hand, RNPS, LT/JX 242443, MPK

DYKE, Robert A, Engineman, RNPS, LT/KX 111447, MPK

MARWOOD, Leonard, Leading Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 206447, MPK

MURT, William H T, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 222415, MPK

WALKER, Henry E, Engineman, RNPS, LT/KX 111441, MPK

WHITTLETON, Robert W P, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 206438, MPK
http://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1941-04APR.htm



Thanks for your help ...

Bye Antonio :D
Than you will understand that it was a standard practice to do those things on that period ... for war propaganda needs apparently ... and I can understand the reason.

But now 74 years after ... no more reasons not to admit the reality, ... at least not for me

Bye Antonio :D
You need to check your spelling:

Bahram, ship loss not BARHAM

The sailors killed were not in the regular RN but were part of the irregular RNPS.

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Re: Cape Matapan and Italian WWII fighting procedures

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:18 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Dunmunro,

... as you can read on the Cernuschi article on ADM 223-89 : " Our losses - A few hits by gunfire ", ... on March 28th, 1941.
Matapan_ADM_223_89.jpg
Matapan_ADM_223_89.jpg (43.24 KiB) Viewed 1631 times
Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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