German Sonar on Italian Vessels – Pt. 3

In the third and, for the moment, final part of this mini series on the use of German S-Gerät sonar on Italian vessels, here is a list of the vessels which had it installed, or were scheduled for installation, as of 28 February 1942. The list excludes Antonio da Mosto, which had been sunk by that date (see this link and this link and this link).

The list is fairly self-explanatory. I am using the Italian abbreviations, so ‘Ct’ stands for Cacciatorpediniere – Destroyer, and ‘Tp’ for Torpediniere, Escort Destroyer or Torpedo Boat. The destroyers listed are an interesting mix, and five were going to be assigned to the Italian fleet following the installation of the S-Geraet. They included the older Navigatori class, of the late 1920s, and the most modern fleet destroyers of the Soldati class.

The Torpediniere are also a bit of a mix, primarily Spica class, but with two older vessels included, the San Martino and the Calatafimi, both of which dated back to WW I destroyer designs and had only recently been downgraded to Torpediniere status. Unlike the destroyers, most of the Torpediniere were going to be assigned to specific stations, Sicily (4), Libya (3), Greece (2), Rhodes (2), Naples (1), and the escort group (1).

A number of destroyers and Torpediniere have no destination allocated to them.

In the table, ‘DC’ stands for depth charge. For Italian depth charges installed, where it reads ‘0 16/50 12/100’, this means ‘no depth charge launcher, 16x50kg depth charges and 12x 100kg depth charges’. For background on the Italian depth charges, please see this link. I am not certain the information in the report is fully correct, but it is given as is.



Destroyers Usodimare and da Noli in port, late 1930s. The picture shows well the range finder, rounded bridge house, and the twin-turret with its 4.75” (12cm) guns. Courtesy Wikipedia.



The obsolete destroyer San Martino entering a port. Courtesy Wikipedia

Apart from the naval vessels, some auxiliaries were also equipped with the S-Geraet, for harbour defense in La Spezia and Taranto, and two motor sailing vessels (Motoveliere) for serving with the submarine defense school at La Spezia, to train new personnel. The only vessel where the future port of service isn’t given is the Cyprus.


12 thoughts on “German Sonar on Italian Vessels – Pt. 3

  1. It is a bit difficult to read the first chart serms there are several destroyers and Tp listed without ASW rails and that is not true and the chart is severely mistaken.

    A typical Italian armament for destroyers were 2 pneumatic DC throwers one in each side and 2 DC rails at stern. The Spica Torpedo boats were also armed this way, but i have seen 4 rails at stern using the space from each mine laying channel to put 2 more rails.
    The Pegaso/Orsa class had 6 DC throwers, 3 in each side and 2 rails at rear.
    Older ships had usually ony 2 rails.
    There is also the oddity Albatros.

    Italian auxiliares which i have with sonar.(Important note by sonar we should mean active sonar)

    AS 107 Antonio Landi (1919/415brt) ex.V106.
    AS 108 Nettuno II (1941/345brt)

    The Paumman is certainly the AS100 Pasman 153tsl
    AS 99 Zuri ex.Neretva 1909/160brt
    AS 96 Quarnaro ex.Kvarner
    AS97 Gino Nais ex. Lika(199tsl)
    AS98 Frangipani ex.Frankopan(1908/144brt)
    AS 101 Malinska or Malinsca ex.Brac

    It is missing from the list or it got Italian sonar or it was later:
    AS 86 Monte Maggiore ex Ucka(1902/142brt
    AS 110 Unie ex. Kobak minelayer
    AS 111 Eso ex. Sokol minelayer
    AS 112 Vergada ex.Orao minelayer
    AS 118 Selve ex. Galeb minelayer
    AS 120 Orieli ex Zuri minelayer
    AS 122 Zagrabia ex.Bjeli Orao

    Italian origin:
    AS105 Equa(1929/243brt)
    AS113 Pertinace (1902/496brt)
    AS 114 Cyprus (1929/1050grt)
    AS 121(ex.F100) Regina Elena 424tsl

    Of course in 1942 started to appear the excellent Gabbiano corvette class.

    PS: the 54 weight for centauro, pegaso/orsa is a typo?


  2. Sorry

    It was a submarine chaser from 1934, not followed up( plan was 25 units) since it was considered a failure due to not be able to sustain heavy sea, but then they should have not based it in coastal torpedo boats hulls. Anyway it is probably more to do with conflicting requirements, maybe changing people at high command or just subsequent revue of the idea. It is said to have the first Italian made sonar installed in 1939.

    Its anti submarine armament were 4 pneumatic DC (2 in each side) , 2 DC rails and an weapon i have forgot that exist in several other classes like Spica class and old Tb boats: the towed torpedo.

    She sunk HMS Phoenix and was in turn sunk by HMS Upright.


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