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The 211.6 m × 25.2 m deck carried an additional ten planes, providing a total capacity of 51 fighter-bombers. Italian naval ship classes of World War II, Shipwrecks and maritime incidents in October 1944, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Italian_aircraft_carrier_Sparviero&oldid=973125449, Naval ships of Italy captured by Germany during World War II, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2010, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 15 August 2020, at 14:27. Eight boilers powered four steam-geared turbines, which produced 151,000 shp and enabled Aquila to propel herself at 30 knots. Sparviero (Italian: "Sparrowhawk") was an Italian aircraft carrier designed and built during World War II of the Regia Marina. There are a total of [ 58 ] WW2 Italian Aircraft (1939-1945) entries in the Military Factory. With a folding wing variant, she’d have possessed a much more powerful striking arm. Both proceeded from ideas developed in 1928-1930 as a faction milited for their development, in the country which invented the … Give an example of military prowess by choosing the right equipment, crew, and escort for the mission. Remember that your success will depend greatly on your flexibility in managing the available fleet resources. It was not until the outbreak of war that the shortcomings of the ‘unsinkable aircraft carrier’ concept became evident. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. On November 11, 1940, her planes took part in the first successful carrier raid in military history. She was originally the ocean liner MS Augustus. Apart from removing the superstructure little else was done before the Italian capitulation in September 1943. However, she represented a tentative step forward in naval aviation. German forces seized the vessel and it suffered considerable damage from Allied bombardment while moored at the port of Genoa on 16 June 1944. Co-belligerent Italian forces of the former Decima MAS partially sank the carrier on 19 April 1945 before another German attempt to scuttle the vessel to block the port of Genoa. Previously, the Regia Marina began a conversion of SS Roma, the sister of MS Augustus. Her air group was to be either 34 fighters or 16 fighters and 9 torpedo bombers. She would have also been equipped with a single hangar with two lifts and fitted with a flight deck that ended 45 meters (148 ft) before the bow. It was truly their marginal utility that debate fell upon. It inspired Mussolini’s ambitious order to convert the ocean liner SS Roma to a fleet aircraft carrier, christened Aquila. Cavour History Italy Name: Cavour Namesake: Camillo Benso, conte di Cavour Ordered: 22 November 2000 Builder: Fincantieri Cost: €1.39 billion €1.464 billion Laid down: 17 July 2001 Launched: 20 July 2004 Commissioned: 27 March 2008 In service: 10 June 2009 Homeport: Taranto Identification: Pennant number: 550 Motto: In arduis servare mentem Status: Active General characteristics Type: Aircraft carrier … To transfer aircraft from one to the other, the ship possessed two 15m elevators. However, the unique problems of naval aviation posed significant challenges to her prospective operations. The L6/40 light tank was developed prior to World War II and used by the Italian army from 1940 and on and was adopted by the Italian Army when officials learned of the design and expressed interest. However, even in her inaction, Aquila showed positively what the Italian military could accomplish. Only the bow of the scuttled Sparviero can be seen at Genoa Harbor, 1943. Had the political will to construct her been found six years earlier, one has to wonder how they’d have changed the Mediterranean war. Rounding out this defense, Aquila carried 132 20mm guns, in six-barreled mounts. This seems improbable, however, given the relatively narrow scope of the reconstruction. The Italian Navy (Italian: Marina Militare, lit. Damages from a heavy storm disrupted her conversion to a seaplane tender in 1925, which was nonetheless completed in 1927. The superstructure was to be removed. Japanese and American fleet carriers were typically capable of carrying 50 to 90 aircraft into combat. A simple conversion of the ocean liner MS Augustus into an auxiliary carrier laid in limbo until two disasters revived interest. This is all extremely theoretical, however; the only work which the Genoa shipyards completed was the removal of the superstructure. Additionally, the deck was partially armored. Additionally, trouble with the arrester gear was a critical failure that delayed her entry into service. In mid-1940, as Italy prepared to enter the war as an ally of Germany, a design was prepared for a simple conversion of the fast liner Roma into an aircraft carrier, but again was deemed less of a priority than other construction and set aside in January 1941. Aquila became the first, and only, aircraft carrier type to be considered / acted upon by the Italian government. She bristled with a powerful defensive array consisting of 135mm and 20mm guns. Her defensive armament was quite good, as well. Following World War I, the Italian Royal Navy (Regia Marina) began tentatively exploring the use of ship-borne aircraft by converting the merchant ship Città di Messina into the twin-catapult-equipped seaplan… After World War II the ship was raised and taken to La Spezia in 1949. Ironically, even the scrapping of the ship dragged on for years – beginning in 1946, completing in 1951. Giuseppe Miraglia began her life as a civilian train ferry in 1923, but the Regia Marina soon acquired her. A rare photo showing the aircraft carrier Sparviero under construction in 1942. He credits most of his knowledge to independent study and has decided to live abroad since he turned 19. The small, slow ship carried 296 men, cruised at 21 knots, and carried only sixteen seaplanes. The original intention was only to produce another auxiliary carrier, but there was no longer doubt as to the merit of naval aviation. The Italian never was carrier. Béarn was an aircraft carrier converted from an incomplete Normandie-class battleship for the Marine Nationale (French Navy) during the 1920s. Though she was not built from the keel up and never attained operational status, Aquilais considered Italy’s first aircraft carrier. A one-man turret in the center mounted a single Breda Modello 35 20 mm main gun and a Breda Modello 38 8 mm coaxial machine gun. The interior carried 30-80mm of reinforced concrete protection, to protect the internals from splintering. Note: Due to numerous edits in the past, this section, unlike the rest of the current article, does NOT necessarily exclude amphibious assault ships and helicopter carriers.. Argentina. In the next year, Italian command revived the plan to reconstruct MS Augustus as an auxiliary carrier, Sparviero. Flag images indicative of country of origin and not necessarily the primary operator. Courtesy HD Video | Natochannel | Date: 10.02.2013. Aquila was the more ambitious project of the Italian aircraft carrier program. After being captured by the Germans in 1943, they sank Sparviero in Genoa harbor a year later to deny the use of the port to the allies. Robert is an American with a decade-long interest in history, naval matters, and the Second World War. The American aircraft carrier force of World War 2 was instrumental in turning the tide of the War in the Pacific. The frenetic construction of that aircraft carrier holds much more interest. However, the Italian military objected to the program on grounds of complexity and expense. During the 1920s and 1930s, debate raged among the Italian high command. These two ships were the last attempts to build aircraft carriers for the Italian Navy until 1981, when work began on Giuseppe Garibaldi. Ultimately, the fate of the ships was to sail to the scrapyards in the early 1950s. He tends to move often; at the time of writing, he's somewhere between Tbilisi and Tirana. Images, videos and other multimedia published on comandosupremo.com qualifies as Fair Use under U.S. copyright law. Initially the Italian Navy considered refitting the Aquila for service as a carrier but this plan was abandoned and the ship broken up in 1952. There are a total of [ 67 ] WW2 Aircraft Carriers (1939-1945) entries in the Military Factory. A Net Inceptions project. The hangar was sufficiently spacious to carry 41 of the capable Reggiane Re.2001 aircraft. She was originally the ocean liner MS Augustus. The conversion was started in 1942 but was never completed, and the ship was never delivered to the Regia Marina. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). Aquila was the more ambitious project of the Italian aircraft carrier program. As such, even Italian Chiefs of Staff such as Gino Ducci were among the champions of the fleet air arm. Sparviero (Italian: "Sparrowhawk") was an Italian aircraft carrier designed and built during World War II of the Regia Marina. The limitation of 51 planes to her air group was due to Italy’s lack of a folding-wing aircraft. The conversion began in September 1942, the work undertaken by the Ansaldo Shipyard in Genoa. The passenger ship Augustus was first renamed Falco and then to Sparviero. Many contentious issues vied for the attention of Il Duce. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Of these, a particularly divisive matter was the future of Italian naval aviation. Nonetheless, hypothetical interest in developing Italian aircraft carriers persisted. Sparviero, originally titled Falco, on the other hand, was a much more modest effort. No one would discount the value of aircraft carriers entirely. The driver sat in the front right of the hull. There are a total of [ 32 ] WW2 Italian Fighter Aircraft (1939-1945) entries in the Military Factory. 'Military Navy'; abbreviated as MM) is the Navy of the Italian Republic.It is one of the four branches of Italian Armed Forces and was formed in 1946 from what remained of the Regia Marina (Royal Navy) after World War II. There are a total of [ 36 ] WW2 U.S. Aircraft Carriers (1941-1945) entries in the Military Factory. He has experience in English tutoring, volunteering, and other forms of work, but has adopted freelancing as his main mode of work. She would have had a narrow flight deck. © 2000-2019 Comando Supremo. Comando Supremo is an Amazon Associate and earns from qualifying purchases. While construction of the Italian aircraft carriers Aquila and Sparviero eventually neared completion, neither was ever combat worthy. During the Munich Crisis of 1938, Admiral Sir Dudley Pound, the commander of the British Mediterranean Fleet, was concerned about the survival of the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious in the face of Italian opposition in the Mediterranean, and ordered his staff to re-examine all plans for attacking Taranto. [citation needed] The propulsion plant was to remain unchanged, the diesel engines giving an estimated speed of under 20 knots. Take control of the aircraft carrier, its crew, officers and planes during WW2. The idea was initially abandoned but then resumed in 1942. The idea of an aircraft carrier in Italy was long brushed aside by Mussolini, speaking of Italy being itself a super-large aircraft carrier, which was arguably true due to the central position in the Mediterranean. The wreckage was recovered after the war and finally scrapped in 1951. The eight heavy AA guns provided a powerful wall of flack against enemy planes. Accept Read More, Italian Aircraft Carriers of World War Two, Fiat–Revelli Modello 1935 History and Specifications, Whitehead Torpedo: Its Origin and Italian Adaptation, Caproni Campini N.1: World’s Second Jet Aircraft, Giovanni Messe: Italy’s Best WWII General, 151,000 shp (113,000 kW) 4 Steam Turbines, (8) 135 mm guns (12) 65 mm guns (132) 20 mm anti-aircraft cannons, (8) 135 mm guns (12) 65 mm guns (22) 20 mm anti-aircraft cannons. By the time of the 1943 Armistice of Cassibile, she had progressed further along than her sister and neared completion. She was an ambitious conversion that, completed sooner, might well have proven a formidable adversary for her British counterparts in the Mediterranean during World War II. Section 107 specifies usage of copyright material falls under Fair Use when it is applied for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching and research. Practical reality triumphed over theoretic possibility, and no one could deny the necessity of aircraft carriers. Details and sources are provided at Lists of aircraft carriers operational during World War II.. World War II fleet carriers typically displaced 20,000 to 35,000 tons and could sail at 30 to 35 knots. The significant establishment forces standing against aircraft carrier construction did not prevent experimentation. Political developments forced the hand of the Italian command and pushed naval aviation to the sidelines. After all, Italy jutted out into the Mediterranean Sea and possessed bases on numerous Mediterranean islands. Sources on the plans for it are obscure and often contradictory. Bureaucratic inefficiency, a skeptical military establishment, and industrial weakness ended the career of the ship before it began. USC Title 17. The aircraft carrier officially supplanted the mighty battleship as the primary instrument of naval warfare during World War 2. However, Italy’s held limited resources for military construction, and aircraft carriers were an unproven weapon. The first Italian vessel classifiable in any possible way as an aircraft carrier had already entered service during World War I. In 1936, a project to transform the 30,418 GRT ocean liner Augustus into an auxiliary carrier was prepared. The German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin was the lead ship in a class of two carriers of the same name ordered by the Kriegsmarine of Nazi Germany.She was the only aircraft carrier launched by Germany and represented part of the Kriegsmarine ' s attempt to create a well-balanced oceangoing fleet, capable of projecting German naval power far beyond the narrow confines of the Baltic and North Seas. Her projected complement stood at 1,313 sailors and 107 officers. Like Sparviero, the Italian aircraft carrier Aquila, a modification of the sister ship of Augustus, SS Roma, was scuttled and scrapped before the conversion into the aircraft carrier was finished. List of countries that have operated aircraft carriers. All rights reserved. World War II aircraft carrier wreckage found 00:24. Her diesel propulsion would’ve provided a speed around 20 knots, the small hangar could only afford a 34-fighter air group. The versatility of the carrier was demonstrated in November 1940 when HMS Illustrious … While Aquila represented an impressive reconstruction, the internals from the luxury liner days of MS Augustus largely remained within Sparviero. The Aquila aircraft carrier moored at the port of Genoa in 1946. Aircraft Carrier Aquila. Although the Aquila was raised in 1946 it met the scrapyard in 1952. Not until the Battle of Gaudo/Cape Matapan cost the Regia Marina an entire cruiser division later that year did they come onboard. She began to be scrapped in 1946, a process completed by 1952. Despite her service in the Ethiopian and Spanish wars, this foray into the employment of naval aircraft found a dead end. Sources sometimes report the anti-air defenses, armor, and crew size as identical to Aquila. It originally began in 1936 but languished for years until being resumed in September. On April 24, 1945, the ship was scuttled at Genoa. The Italian aircraft carrier has left the Arsenal at Taranto after modernization works and is almost ready for her next chapter: F-35B integration tests. British Aircraft Carriers: The Allies World War II Wonder Weapon . Like other carrier warships of the period, Aquila was built atop the framework of an existing ship, in this case the trans-Atlantic passenger liner SS Roma. Reggiane RE 2001 Serie II was designed for use on Italian aircraft carriers. The primary task of the Regia Marina was to maintain parity with the navy of Italy’s chief rival, France. 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