THE APENNINES ON STARTUPIncluded in the First world war later than the other great (or applying for this role) powers, Italy was behind them in many branches of naval Affairs. And probably not due to a lack of creative ideas and their own theorists and designers, but because of the “little things” of a technical nature, the usual for countries that are somehow chained to the lack of resources and backwardness of the material base. This fully applies to the submarine fleet of the Mediterranean Kingdom.

After all, in fact, the Italians started in the creation of their own submarines, really useful as “combat cars”, pretty early. In 1895 the stocks of the state shipyards of the Navy in La Spezia fell into the water, the first submarine was accepted into service in the Royal Navy. Modest boat with a displacement of only about 100 tons, “Delfino”, however, was a completely domestic creation. The author of the project was the engineer Pollino Jacinto, in the future, firmly included in the national history of submarine shipbuilding.
By itself, the “Delfino” was a typical example of a pure “electric” in the French spirit, but with the elimination of some “fleas” projects, Guba. It was assumed that he will act exclusively in a submerged position. Accordingly, as a single motor used electric motor, powered by a very solid (and very heavy) battery. 65-HP engine provided about the same speed (about 5 knots) under water and on its surface – not bad at all apart from his contemporaries. But with the range to do anything was impossible then “batteries” could provide, at best, a “campaign” only 24 miles. And it’s a small distance a boat could travel as much for half a day: economic speed was only 2 knots! But it is difficult to be “Italian products” any shame; as we remember, the same situation was with “electrolime” the French, and with the works of Holland.
Otherwise, the “Delfino” was, as they say, it is well-tailored. Round-shaped case in the form of a spindle looked much more modern than overseas “cucumbers” or “fruit” of Guba. Was well thought out and control system: two horizontal rudder placed in the nose is the only vertical, as expected, in the stern; they all had the drive. The baby had two differentone tanks located in the bow and stern extremities. At almost mandatory tradition of those years, the submarine had discharged lead keel as the last hope for emergency ascent.
In General, this purely experimental small ship as I didn’t want just to send “iron”, despite the clearly inappropriate for the real action range. Moreover, Italy did not possess such financial capabilities, as the United States or the British Empire.
Therefore, the “Delfino” in 1902 put in extensive upgrades abound for almost 2 years, during which he tried to eliminate all the shortcomings of the original project. In addition to the electric motor appeared petrol engine from the famous car company FIAT, and inside the pressure hull placed the tank with fuel. Although he had twice the power compared to the electric motor, the surface speed has grown only slightly: affected by extremely unfavorable to movement on the surface of the rounded hull shape. Engineers tried to “help” the boat by the bow some semblance of a light corps, on which was erected a new cabin. Despite all the tricks, the range has remained more than modest, at the level of two hundred miles (which still exceeded original almost 10 times).
Curiously, the first Italian military submarine… weapons do not have. Although the original version was a two 450-mm outer tubular torpedo tubes, they were never installed. And during the modernization they wanted to move into the body, which was undoubtedly the right decision. However, the apparatus and torpedoes on the “Dolphin” did not appear.
Submarine “Narval”, Italy, in 1907
Built at the state shipyard in Venice. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement underwater/ surface – 160/245 T. Dimensions: length of 36.85 m, the width of 4.32 m, draft of 2.45 m. the case Material of steel. Immersion depth up to 25 m. Engine: 4 gasoline engine capacity of 600 HP and 2 electric motors with a power of 190 HP Speed overwater/underwater – 13/6,2 uz. Armament – two 450 mm torpedo tubes in the nose (4 torpedoes). The crew – 15 people. In 1905 – 1909 built five units: “Glauco”, “Skualo”, “Narval”, “Ataria” and “Tricko”. All excluded from the lists of the fleet at the end of the war, in 1917 – 1918

Submarine “Foca”, Italy, 1909
Built at the shipyard company “FIAT” in La Spezia. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement underwater/surface – 185/280 T. Dimensions: length of 42.51 m, beam 4.3 m, draft of 2.58 m. hull Material – steel. Immersion depth up to 35 m. Engine: 2 diesel engine capacity of 600 HP and 2 electric motors with a power of 160 HP Speed overwater/underwater – 12,5/6,5 ties. Armament – two 450 mm torpedo tubes in the nose (4 torpedoes). The crew – 17 people Excluded from the active fleet in 1916, was used for training purposes, scrapped at the end of the war

However, the first submarine of the Italian Navy lasts surprisingly long, much longer “firstborn” in other fleets even later buildings. Because, frankly, extremely low mobility, district service matched the place where they had been factory work. Accordingly, the first Dolphin was based in La Spezia, where they were built, and after 1904, when the final stages of modernization it was transferred to Venice, obviously due to lack of fighting qualities, the boat was used for crew training, more advanced “relatives”. However, at the time Italy entered the war she was fighting in the 4th submarine flotilla, based in Venice, and in 1916, the “Delfino” which was already the 21st year, was transferred to the 2nd flotilla, where the following year he was appointed flagship! It is clear that this important role is a purely honorary: on a tiny boat would not find a place even for the very modest staff. By the end of the war of the firstborn of the Royal submarine fleet was taken in reserve and then handed over to be scrapped. However, scarce during the war, managed to make 44 of the access to the sea, and some of them for a real combat patrol on the way to the “city of Doges”.
After the first success (and at the time, of course, be considered as such) Italian underwater shipbuilding survived a very long pause – 10 years. The author of the new project was the engineer Cesare Laurent. Speaking of analogies, it can be considered as local Holland and SPIRA “in one bottle”. Indeed, Laurent was able not only to create the first production submarines and supply them to the domestic fleet, but also to ensure their building for foreign customers. Quite a feat for the then Italy!
Project Laurent was very different from the “firstborn.” Most importantly, his boat became dvuhkonusnyj, and as a material used high-quality high-strength steel. In the result, the working depth of the dive jumped from doubtful 10 – 15 to 25 metres confident. Appeared separate propulsion system for surface and underwater travel. The Italians had to go through the same beaten path as others, the engine for movement on the surface and charge the batteries was a gasoline motor. More precisely, a pair of very decent for the time of 6-cylinder engines of firm “Fiat”. Their were electric motors, and batteries, and almost all of the equipment. So the Italians are quite successfully managed to do almost all the components on their own. (Remember, a “construction set” of devices and appliances from different countries had to use at first, in our submarine fleet). However, its engines still not enough, and for a couple of boats have had to buy the English company “Thornicroft”, by the way, appeared not better quality than fiatovskie.
What survived from the “Delphi-but” is the location of the building. Venice has become a real “underwater centre”. At the state dockyard, the Royal Arsenal – the “Regio Arsenale di Venezia” laid all 5 units of the “Glauco”.
The small (about 160 tons) submarines have become a curious mix of very modern forms (in this the Italians have succeeded from the beginning) and some “fossil” of technical solutions. The latter include not only the usual water-filled and air was blown ballast tanks, but “movable ballast” in the form of cargo transported to differentate, and drop keel for an emergency ascent. However, again, remember that these “rudiments” were found on boats the leaders. On submarines, there were two vertical rudder in the stern, one over the other, to facilitate their rotation and at the same time to duplicate the critical “mechanics”. What to the horizontal rudders, in the project, they were supposed to have already three pairs, but actually there were only two in the nose and in the middle of the body.
Looked very interesting weapons. At the head of the “Glauco” there were three torpedo tubes 500 mm of the unit, but on later units, their number limited two, and the caliber dropped to 450 mm. The main reason was to standardize torpedoes: the Italians have decided to stay on 450-mm caliber for all classes of ships. In the list of weapons officially included… a pair of automatic pistols, weapons for the time elite, although quite useless on a submarine. Their owners were, of course, both officers, who headed the crew.
Submarine “Medusa”, Italy, in 1912
Built at the shipyard company “FIAT” in La Spezia. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement underwater/surface – 250/305 T. Dimensions: length of 45.15 m, width 4,22 m, draught 3,0 m. Material of hull – steel. Immersion depth up to 40 m Engine: 2 diesel engine capacity of 650 HP and 2 electric motors with a power of 300 HP Speed overwater/underwater – 12,5/8 ties. Armament – two 450 mm torpedo tubes in the nose (4 torpedoes). The crew of 21 people In 1912 – 1914 built 8 units: “Medusa”, “Velilla”, “Argo”, “Fizaliya”, “Jantina”, “Soya and Jalea”. “Medusa” and “Jalea” died in 1915, remaining excluded from the lists of the fleet in 1918

Submarine “F-1”, Italy, in 1916
Built at the shipyard company “FIAT” in La Spezia. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement underwater/surface – 260/320 T. Dimensions: length 45,63 m, width 4,22 m, draught of 2.62 m. hull Material – steel. Immersion depth up to 40 m Engine: 2 diesel with a capacity of 670 HP and 2 electric motor power of 500 HP Speed overwater/underwater – 12,3/8,5 ties. Armament – two 450 mm torpedo tubes in the nose (4 torpedoes), one 76-mm gun, one machine gun. The crew of 28 people. In 1916 – 1919 built 21 unit: “F-1” “F-21”. “F-W, F-4, F-8, F-10, F-11” excluded from the lists immediately after the war, in 1919, the rest-in the late 1920s – mid 1930s

The line was put into operation slowly, one in each of the years from 1905 to 1909. Their service before the war took place in the same Venice, and was very numerous exercises and maneuvers, including the “big guys” from the composition of its fleet. With the outbreak of hostilities was followed by military campaigns. Again, rather large (from 37 to nearly eight dozen different ones), but equally non-productive. Traditional enemies, the Austrians just didn’t give a reason for the Italian submarines patrolling in the area of their bases. All five had survived the war years, and then was immediately excluded from the list. And it is clear: Italy had already acquired a fairly extensive submarine fleet, in which the “old” place was.
Because Laurent was not asleep, in July 1906, the proposed improved project “Glauco”. This time he had a co-author Giorgio del Muggiano, one of the engineers of Fiat, took energy. So the main difference between “Fock” as he called the boat, was the forerunner of the location of the power plant in two groups located symmetrically about the median plane. In addition, the composition mechanisms included in the pump to replenish the air supply and pumps, designed for draining ballast tanks – they all worked from the electric motors.
Combined with traditionally good forms of housing turned out pretty good submarine. In addition, is inexpensive. This combination of qualities has attracted traditional, though not close contractor – Sweden. Do not forget that the Swedes themselves had a good tradition in the field of underwater shipbuilding (remember Dorenfeld, who left a generous “seed”); however, they gave preference to the Italian ship. Order “Hvalen” received urgently established firm “Cantiere Navale del Muggiano”. Completion of the boat on their own, even without the traditional in those days, the support surface of the vessel (all for the same cost) successfully proceeded Spices from around Europe in Stockholm. All this made the Swedes a good impression, which resulted in the construction of several of the units have their own shipyards and with various improvements. But the type has got its name – “Laurent”; so the money went to one co-author, and the fame way. A firm “Modiano” received another order, this time from neighbors, the Swedes, the Danes. In the end, those received its first submarine from the Italians: “Duckert”, in fact, represent all the same “focus” with minimal changes in equipment.
The main drawback of the product of the interaction of two engineers – boats of the “Laurent” remained part of Modiano: “Foca” and its foreign “sisters” has survived a gasoline internal combustion engines. “Gun on the wall,” fired rather quickly. Immediately after the completion of all works and commissioning in February 1909, “Foca” went out of Spices around the Italian “boot” to the permanent location in one of Venice. Along the way, the boat came to Naples to replenish stocks; here the commander decided to charge the batteries in a relaxed atmosphere at the pier. During charging, an explosion occurred released from the “battery” gases. What is dangerous in and of itself, but it became fatal due to the presence of flammable gas. From the strongest emission of flame and explosion, the boat sank with a huge destruction inside the case. Died or was badly burned almost the entire crew. However, durable steel both buildings survived. Since all of this happened in private and also well-equipped port, the boat picked up, patched up and sent back to the Spice, now in tow. The repair was very thorough and lasted about a year. The replacement was to be almost the whole energy band, first of all, of course, who was at the epicenter of the explosion and fire batteries and electric motors.
But everything ends; the following year, the boat re-entered the Navy and found an active application. In particular, the “Fock” annually participated in fleet maneuvers in the Gulf of Taranto. However, years of peace, we had very little. And with the beginning of the war, the fate of roughly corresponded to such, as the “Glauco”: numerous patrol no clashes.
Submarine “Antonio Pacinotti”, Italy, in 1916
Built at the shipyard company “FIAT” in La Spezia. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement underwater/surface – 710/870 T. Dimensions: length 65,0 m, width 6,05 m, draught 4,12 m hull Material – steel. Immersion depth up to 45 m. Engine: 2 diesel with a capacity of 1100 HP and 2 electric motors with a power of 900 HP Speed overwater/underwater – 14,5/9,5 bonds. Armament: five 450-mm torpedo tubes (3 in the nose and 2 in the stern, 5 torpedoes), two 76-mm universal guns. The crew of 39 people In 1916-1917 built 2 units: “Antonio Pacinotti” and “Alberto Guglielmotti”. The first excluded from the lists in 1921, a second died in 1917

Submarine “Agostino Barbarigo”, Italy, 1918
Built at the shipyard company “FIAT” in La Spezia. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement underwater/surface – 800/940 T. Dimensions: length 67,0 m, width 5.9 m, draught of 3.85 m. hull Material – steel. Immersion depth up to 50 m. Engine: 2 diesel with a capacity of 2600 HP and 2 electric motors with a power of 1300 HP Speed overwater/underwater – 16,5/9,5 bonds. Armament – six 450 mm torpedo tubes (4 in nose and 2 in the stern, 6 torpedoes), two 76-mm universal guns. The crew – 40 persons V1918-1919гг. built 4 units: “Agostino Barbarigo”, “Andrea Provana”, “Sebastiano Veniero” and “Giacomo Nani”. “Sebastiano Veniero” sank in 1925, the First two are excluded from the lists in 1926 – 1928, “Giacomo” “Nani”.got my 1935

Meanwhile, the Saga name, Laurent continued. This time the engineer and his country threatened on a really great streak of 8 units. Type “Medusa” can be called the development “babies” “Glauco” and “Fock”, but this time the changes become more significant. Displacement rose to 250 t, speed, cruising range on the surface and depth has become quite “average” value. The range is primarily due to the emergence of diesels. Plants “FIAT” quite successfully able to implement something pretty tricky these “industrial monsters” as the United States, Britain and France – to implement the production of a new type of engine.
In the “left behind” left the weapons represented the same pair of torpedo tubes in the nose with another pair of spare torpedoes. However, for such a small boat it doesn’t look flawed, although the submarines lagged somewhat in size from its contemporaries of major powers. However, efficient from the financial point of view, the project was very good characteristics of interested potential buyers. And among them were not only the Portuguese, ordered his first submarine “Espadarte” in Italy and that is the type of “Medusa”. Interest was shown and much more serious “players”. The Russian Navy also desired a single submarine-type “Laurent”. The basis for the project was taken the same “Medusa”, although the insistence is known for its demanding customer, MTK, it was made many small changes. However, a Russian ship, commissioned in 1912 piatovskoye the plant has received the name “St. George” and not received. With the entry of Italy into the war is almost finished submarine seized and introduced in the composition of its fleet under the name “Argonaut”. However, before this is still “Saint George” was involved in this adventure which could have very serious consequences. 4 October 1914, the boat was out to sea on the next test under the leadership of Lieutenant Angelo Belloni. But instead of performing boring routine tasks this exalted Italian patriot turned from the Spices to the South, meeting no less, to go to the Adriatic sea and sink any Austrian ship, triggering the traditional enemy, the “patchwork monarchy” itself to start a war. However, the hike (around the Peninsula) was too long. So mysteriously missing submarine finally found out about Corsica is a French destroyer that offered “the fugitive” back to La Spezia.
But the greatest success for Laurent at the time, was another order. Its products he became interested in the Navy “mistress of the seas”. The British acquired the license to build three “jellyfish”, which are safely carried out, calling the submarines “S-1”, “S-2” and “S-Z”. However, by that time, Britain itself has developed quite efficient boats that exceeded their data (and price) Italian import. Therefore, their further distribution in leading sea power is not received. Moreover, the British relief greeted the entry of Italy into the war and the great desire of the Kingdom in the Apennine Peninsula to strengthen its submarine fleet. Was able to quickly solve all financial and organizational issues not caught on in England, the submarine returned to the “historic homeland” in the autumn of 1915. (One of the reasons was a funny story that happened to “S-1” at the time of her service off the coast of Albion. The boat reached the German coast, when it went down immediately, both diesel. Had to literally crawl on the “ship” nearby civilian fishing trawler. The British famously took the unarmed “enemy” on Board the ship, forced to take the “lame” boat in tow and sent into captivity in Britain. Small trawler barely crawling with my “winner” on the rope, until finally exhausted: it is also out of order machine! However, it was easier to repair than outboard engines, and after three days of torment “lame couple” hobbled over to English shores.
But the home boats of type “Medusa” which came into operation in 1912 — 1913, became in fact the first real combat submarines of the Italian Navy, is able not only to patrol close to their ports. Although diesel power plant, as in other countries, shows that “childhood diseases” (hardly did not become fatal for “S-1”), they are very actively used for combat. However, the series was not as good. Her commissioning was long and painful.
Almost immediately after the ceremony in June 1913, the boat had… to go back to the factory for repair. Almost a year has passed; “Medusa” returned to the fleet, and March 15, when towing the boat sat on the stony stranded near Ancona. It quickly took off from there, but the repair was inevitable. Then the war started, the submarine is not prolonged. June 10, “Italian” torpedoed and sank the Austrian “friend” “U-11”, (but in reality – German “UB-13”) with a mixed German-Austrian crew under the command of a renowned submariner background Hamburga. Saved only one person. And 40 years later, in 1956, the “Medusa” was found and raised, solemnly buried the remains of sailors at the military cemetery.
Another casualty of war from this series became “Alea” who in his eighth and last campaign from Venice. Far away she could not: prevent an Austrian mine. And again only one survived member of the crew. Again, the boat found and recovered from the seabed only in March 1954. It also found the remains of the team, who was buried with military honors. Other units successfully served the entire war, having made several dozen trips without any noticeable results. The only success was the torpedoing of the “Calpol” Austrian destroyer “Magnet”, which, however, even drown failed: he just tore off the stern. And the most tenacious was the former “St. George”. While the other units safely and suddenly brought from the fleet before the end of the war, “Argonaut” is not only committed more of all units of a series of military campaigns – 112, but served until 1928, a decade longer than the others.
Meanwhile, Cesare Laurent continued to move forward, developing their ideas from type to type, each of which was an improved of the previous one. Only now, with the onset of the war, the appetite of the fleet resembled those of the hungry giant. The following “Laurent” even got a pure number designations, which is not typical for the Italian Navy. No wonder: their number has already exceeded two dozen. Submarine type “R” was slightly increased “jellyfish” with a modified hull shape. They were the most advanced products “from Laurent”, built for its fleet during the First world war. They retained all the advantages of predecessors: low price, beautiful lines, excellent handling both above-water and submerged. What added another high reliability: none “epoch” had no serious accidents, despite active use for nearly two years of war. (The first unit was commissioned in late autumn of 1916.) Yes, their autonomy was insufficient by the standards of ocean voyages, but in a very small theater of hostilities, in fact, bounded by the Adriatic, this is not a significant problem.
In addition, a new series was in demand from foreign consumers. And in many ways contributed to the success of the previous purchases. Thus, the Portuguese fleet after the acquisition of “Espadarte” previous type, ordered now from three “epoch” called”, Golfino”, “Hydra” and “Fock”.
“Three” turned out to be a lucky number for Italians. As many submarines have desired ourselves the neighbor of Portugal – Spain. And another three entered and the composition of the Brazilian fleet. (Where they got without any philosophising symbols, repeating the Italian “account” and “F-1, F-Z and F-5”. A few dropped out of the magic number “3” only Sweden, also quite satisfied with the characteristics of the previously received “Praise”. The Swedes chose to go the British way and have purchased a license for the construction of submarines of the type “F”. It was implemented at the shipyard of the group “Kocmoc”, which was built by “Swordfishes and Tumlare”.
Finally received my order from Italy and Russia. Instead requisitioned “Argonauts” in the Russian North went one of the “F”. However, the boat received all the same, apparently not happy about the name “St. George”, was not stuck and was sent to “retire” in the course of the war.
Technically, “F” represents some increased and improved “Medusa”. Decreased the time of immersion and emersion; took their place, only now the steering wheel (the original scheme with two turned out to be impractical). But some of the “vestiges” were, for example, drop the ballast for emergency ascent, do fully “dead”, although its weight was up to 2% of the displacement.
A tireless Laurent continued to go forward. And the next leap was more than substantial. Founded in 1913 “Balilla” became the first Italian boat who claimed to be outside of “their” coastal seas. Her displacement in a submerged position approached 900 tons; while maintaining the same damn small “Laurentina” managed to double weapons: a pair of bow torpedo tubes were added the same feed. Trademark was the appearance of two universal 76-mm guns suitable for firing at aircraft. (It should be noted, the Italians soon realized the trouble that can deliver the underwater ships of the Austrian seaplanes.) Decent steel and speed on the surface, and range. Increased to 50 m and depth of immersion.
The most interesting thing to thank for all this ought not only designer, but also the customers, and the camp of the enemy. In fact, a large submarine was originally built for Germany, where she has given a number of “U-42”. However, after the outbreak of hostilities the boat was requisitioned, and it became part of the Italian Navy.
However, deceived by the Teutons avenged his unstable former allies. True, did not the Germans themselves, and as much more than faithful companions -the Austrians. “Balilla” has just completed testing and made a small test “run” in the Adriatic, when it suffered retribution. Off the island of Lissa submarine caught on the surface “with his pants down” (while charging battery) two small destroyers. The boat had only to shoot. Initially it was successful: one of them was damaged by a three-inch shells. But the fight was unequal; to return fire added to the enemy torpedoes, and the submarine sank with all hands.
Submarine “Jacinto Pollino”, Italy, 1915
Built at the state shipyard in La Spezia. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement underwater/surface – 350/405 T. Dimensions: length 42,3 m, width 4,17 m, draft of 3.96 m hull Material – steel. Immersion depth up to 40 m Engine: 2 diesel with a capacity of 1460 HP and 2 electric motors with a power of 520 HP Speed overwater/underwater – 14/9,5 ties. Armament: six 450 mm torpedo tubes (2 in the bow and stern and 2 slatted external, 8 torpedoes), one 57 mm and one 37-mm gun. Crew – 23 people In 1914 – 1915 built 2 units: “Jacinto Pollino” and “Galileo Ferraris”. The first died after stranding in 1916, the second excluded from the lists in 1919.

Italian submarine
Italian submarine “Galileo Ferraris” goes to sea
But Laurent was impossible to stop: the experience gained in building a large enough submarine was embodied in the metal for their country. Since the summer of 1914 at the shipyard “FIAT” began the construction of a pair “Antonio Pacinotti” and “Alberto Guglielmotti”, completed 2 years later. Laurent mostly used their achievements in the construction of “the Germans”, but made more and more innovations. Sizes even managed to reduce some, but to be armed. Nose now had 3 torpedo tubes instead of two. However, it is worth noting a significant disadvantage: spare torpedoes were not supposed to do. But overall, the project proved to be very successful.
“Pacinotti” safely survived until the end of the war, but his “sister ship” suffered a tragic fate. In its waters, in the heart of Capri, he was attacked by the British sloop “Cyclamen” by mistake took a boat for the enemy. And successfully sunk. Few Englishmen justifies the fact that the sloop was accompanied by an important troop transport. But here are the words from the official report of the commander of the “Cyclamen” to justify much more difficult. Brave Briton, without a shadow of a doubt, recorded: “the enemy Sunk the boat, saved speak Italian”. “Guglielmotti” on the bottom left 16 crew members.
But by that time the place has remained empty. In 1915 was followed by a larger series of 4 units of type “Agostino Barbarigo” – the development of its predecessors. Laurent continued to bend the line, increasing the displacement, once again, “Vilisov” body shape and improved separation of compartments. At the same time managed to maintain good maneuverability under water and on its surface. A thicker sheathing surely allowed to dive to a depth of 50 m. the Remake had only the form of the cutting: the practice showed that it was not entirely successful. Intensified and weapons: the number of torpedo tubes in the nose increased to four. As disadvantages are the lack of spare torpedoes and low speed of construction: in the system they entered only at the very end of the war and even after the end of hostilities. Their engine installation was very powerful, which provided a significant speed both above-water and submerged. But the price crash has increased. When in March 1927, “Antonio Provana” exploded diesel, what he took the lives of 6 people. (Boat had then to exclude from the lists of the fleet.) However, here at least most of the crew survived. But “Sebastiano Veniero” died under the prow of his ship during the maneuvers, taking down the whole team.
But it was all in front, and during the war years production Laurent found a fairly wide demand. Its large size and very good for the running and performance of the submarines was interested in a number of States, including the largest “players”. One 500-ton submarine of his design called “the Thresher” built in the United States, and at one time she was the largest submarine in the Navy overseas. A British General distinguished himself by ordering a “Laurentina” already in a displacement of 1470 tons. Three submarines of the intermediate size of the type “the Thresher” built under license in Sweden. Five pieces of the “Pacinotti” mastered the construction of the distant Japan. And our Navy wanted to have boats of the type “Barbarigo”, which was supposed to build in Nikolaev. Bookmark seemed these monsters submarines with a displacement of 1,200 tons was expected in 1917, but the revolution prevented the implementation of this project and many others.
Although Cesare Laurent was undoubtedly the king of Italian submarine shipbuilding of the time, but to development of boats managed to make (although limited compared to a recognized leader within) and other designers. So in 1910, his project has managed not only to develop but also to implement the engineer Curio Bernardis. Two of his submarine, the “Nautilus” and “Nereid”, according to a little different from “jellyfish” Laurent, although many technical solutions not only inferior “Matroskin”, but surpassed them. So, for the first time, the Italians managed to implement a sealed battery of the pit. They were built in Venice at the state of the shipyard and have time to enter into operation almost two years before the outbreak of war. But the fate was waiting for them much different. Boat become painfully familiar with the name “Nautilus” was safely zavoevala until 1918, after which he was disarmed. And the “Nereid,” which in July, 1915, the command elected as a trap for the Austrian ships left from the newly captured island Pelagos, she was a victim. The enemy was clearly defined the place of “ambush” and “U-5” under the command of captain von Trapp’s house (about it we told in the last issue) quite freely shot by the Italian torpedo boat, calmly, as in time of peace, anchored. Payment for carelessness has been the whole team who died along with “the Nereid”.
The same fate befell the submarine, named in honor of the pioneer Italian submarine “Jacinto Pollino”. She, along with “Galileo Ferrais”, also came into operation before the war and was the largest “variety” of pre-war domestic boats. Increased to 355 t displacement gave the opportunity to triple weapons: a pair of nasal increased steam feed and a pair of slatted external torpedo tubes. Both units had new case shape, allowed to develop a rather large surface and underwater speed. Well, ballast tanks in intercase space and many other technical innovations at the beginning of the war was a “last squeak” Italian “fashion”. So what happened to her “CE-PE” has been the subject of careful investigation: in its 31st combat campaign, the submarine ran aground in the area of the enemy base Fiume.
It seems to be, the incident, as the incident, if not for the fact that the Navigator it was someone nicolò Sambo. In fact, under this pseudonym was hiding triestines, respectively, the former Austrian subject Nazario Sauro, escaped to the Italians and voluntarily joined their fleet. A former merchant seaman turned to the Royal Navy a priceless acquisition: he knew all the nooks and crannies of the Istrian coast and made 60 military campaigns on various Italian boats. However, this time it left not only luck, but also the location of his comrades, believing that the Navigator purposely planted “Pullino” stranded and pretty “nacistickih his face”. Sauro desperately tried to sail away from the scene, because they understand that it can be expected, but was caught by his former compatriots and arrested. In this story there is a lot of quite murky. So, there is a version that captured the Italian Navy specifically accused his co-driver in betrayal, trying in this way to save his life. In any case, the Austrians in this release do not believe and shot Sauro. And in Italy, co-defector decided to do a patriot and a hero; later his name even got a new destroyer.
But for the very “secret” submarine struggle between continued. The Italians sent their boats to destroy the wounded animal, the Austrians put up their guard. It is about “Pullino” “Calpe” managed to hit with a torpedo the enemy “Magnet”, just at this time the keepers of this polytrope from the encroachments of the former owners. The sailors of the “patchwork Empire” could pretty quickly remove “Pullino” afloat, but to bring the boat to its port they never happened: the next day she sank during towing. After the war the “tug of war” over the fact that the Italians raised the remains and turned them in for scrap.
However, its shipyards and factories could not cope with the growing appetite of the Royal Navy of Italy. Had to seek help abroad, which gave rise to a curious conflict. So the Italians got the British “return”. In addition to returned with gratitude (and relief) home three built under license “Asok”, the British managed to push newfound allies, some of the worst of their boats. We are talking about 4 units of type “W” built by Armstrong’s project Lobata-Schneider. These are rather large (up to 500 tons submerged) submarine formally had roughly the same characteristics, and is noticeably smaller Italian “F”, but had a smaller depth of immersion and not carrying spare torpedoes. It is unlikely that this disadvantage was offset by a 76-Millie-freestyle (even anti-aircraft, at that time at the underwater ship was a rarity). Because in addition to her “W”, “absolutely free” has received surprisingly nasty power plant and a hideous agility. In the Royal Navy, they spent on average less than a year; British sailors expressed what I think about this “product”, and in 1916 all four alloys Italy. There’s turmoil continued, the result was quite a small number of combat exits, none reaching even a dozen, and some amounting to a few units. The most active of all the “W-4” was lost with all hands, apparently, mine.
But the Italians were few and their submarines, and thoroughly spoiled British “gifts”. Therefore, the fleet went trodden by other countries and appealed for help to the transatlantic trendsetters. It is clear that we are talking about the same timeless “Hollands” from the “electric boat company”. But in 1916, the United States remained a neutral country and, therefore, could not supply arms to the warring powers. However, such a “trifle”, as usual, could not prevent this business. The American company has organized construction in neighboring Canada, which, as a part of the British Empire, of course, fought with the Central powers.
The Montreal branch at the beginning of 1916, and was ordered 8 units. “Hollandskiy” tradition, they were built quickly, starting in the spring of next year, the boats began to arrive in Italy. Crossing the ocean they were accompanied by commercial ships calling at Bermuda. And from Gibraltar to the scene of the submarine was accompanied by warships.
As to the “technique”, then it hardly makes sense to repeat a few already become painfully familiar features of the product “electric boat”. We should notice that a rather backward ideas, such as monohull design, more than offset by the excellent performance. In the end, units of series “N” (without further ADO -the initial letter from Holland) not only took an active part in the hostilities at the end of the First world war, but also long served afterwards. And some have even honored to participate in the second world conflict a quarter century later.
In General, during the war, the Italians managed to form quite a large submarine fleet. Yes, acting is not very successful and lost a number of units literally “for free”, but acquired notable experience and a decent material basis. Italy entered the postwar world the most significant powers of the owners of the submarines.

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