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Old 08-03-2011, 12:21 PM   #11
Phil Masters
 
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Default Re: [WWII] Italian submarine comfort

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Slightly smaller ones are already on sale here.
Yeah, I ran across that company when I was doing GURPS Atlantis - and made sure that the book had stats for one of their products.

I keep wondering how many of their bigger designs - the real submarine yachts - they sell. I mean, they don't look insanely expensive, so far as I can tell, and I'm pretty sure that a lot of people I know would be on the 'phone to that company the day after the Lottery Fairy dropped a few million in their laps. But one never sees mention of their products actually in existence and in use anywhere. But on the other hand, the company seems to keep going...
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: [WWII] Italian submarine comfort

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I keep wondering how many of their bigger designs - the real submarine yachts - they sell. I mean, they don't look insanely expensive, so far as I can tell, and I'm pretty sure that a lot of people I know would be on the 'phone to that company the day after the Lottery Fairy dropped a few million in their laps. But one never sees mention of their products actually in existence and in use anywhere. But on the other hand, the company seems to keep going...
I think their primary customers are in research and underwater sightseeing. Most of the luxury craft are likely just (hypothetical?) conversions of their tourist submarines.
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: [WWII] Italian submarine comfort

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
He seems to have felt that making the passage out past Gibraltar would extremely risky, not worth attempting. Which is why the Italians doing it 28 times with no losses is interesting.

The straits are more than 7 miles wide, with depths up to 3000 feet. Not ultra-tight quarters - and the commonest U-Boat, Type VIIC, was only 769 tons, which is not huge. I suspect he felt that going out submerged, which is against the current in the surface layers, would be slow and allow them to be picked up on active sonar. That is fairly plausible, which makes the Italians' feat even more interesting.
The Germans tried to send 62 subs into the mediteranean, 9 were sunk while attempting and 21 had to abort due to damage or turned back due to high risk.

One reason why it is hard was that the british did patrol the Strait quite alot and that the currents going eastwards, into the med, was lighter in density and thus any sub trying to use the current to drift had to be closer to the surface. The current heading west out of the med can be quite strong with speed up to 4 knots and reduces the speed of any sub trying to go deep into the med and thus drains the battery as well as makes it easier to detect. Of course a sub drifting deep out from the med had alot of help from that current and it apparently took 5 hours to drift using no engines and with the current only if heading east. The strait is also at most 300 m deep while it at places is only 100 m deep

see http://formontana.net/uboats.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strait_...ow_and_outflow

Last edited by Urban; 08-03-2011 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:28 PM   #14
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Default Re: [WWII] Italian submarine comfort

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The Germans tried to send 62 subs into the mediterranean, 9 were sunk while attempting and 21 had to abort due to damage or turned back due to high risk.
Thanks. I think I have a hypothesis now. The Italians mostly came out in 1940; the Germans were trying to go in in late 1941 onwards. The patrols could have been significantly improved in that time; the British were a bit amateur about a lot of things in the early part of the war.
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:36 AM   #15
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Default Re: [WWII] Italian submarine comfort

A coupke things I add from some additional reading:

1) One of my books claims that in the winter of 1940-41, Italy was operating more submarines in the Atlantic than Germany. Considering that in September 1939, Italy had 107 submarines* and the Germans only 65, this seems a likely assertion.

2) The same book also blames most of the lack of success of Italian subs to the overcautious nature of their commanders, who apparently were much less willing to risk their boats than U-boat skippers.

* Only Russia, with around 150, had more
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:44 AM   #16
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Default Re: [WWII] Italian submarine comfort

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... blames most of the lack of success of Italian subs to the overcautious nature of their commanders, who apparently were much less willing to risk their boats than U-boat skippers.
That sort of matches the common problems with Italian naval officers. Those weren't confined to WWII: the Battle of Lissa is reckoned one of the worst examples of sea command in history. Deciding to move your flag a few minutes before the engagement starts, and not signaling that you are doing this is actually worse for your fleet than just shooting yourself.
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:06 PM   #17
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Default Re: [WWII] Italian submarine comfort

Italy had a general problem of having recognized early that modern materials and engineering had made current weapons obsolete. Sadly for them WW II held off long enough so that everyone else realized this also and when they rearmed it was with stuff that was even better. A full scale rearming is expensive and they couldn't redo it again. So WW I.5 stuff vs WW II stuff.
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