Gabbiano-class corvette

The Gabbiano class corvettes were built during the Second World War when there was the need to have numerous escort convoys to Libya. After you answer this need by using vessels as diverse as the destroyer of the old team torpedo boats of World War I, in 1941 it was decided to build sixty unity of the Gabbiano class corvettes, suitable for convoy escort and hunting enemy submarines.

Building

Ships are very versatile, these units equipped with sonar and a powerful armament proved to be the best and the most modern among the ships of the Royal Navy. Their implementation was assigned to various domestic shipyards.

The propulsion, as well as diesel engines for driving conditions, consisted of two electric motors for silent march to allow the unit during the hunt submarines, to perform the search in the almost total absence of vibration and noise sources thus making it easier to approach the target without being detected.

Unit

The units were built in five series:

•Series Seagull: Seagull, Ardea, Stork, Cormorant, Coot, Crane, Ibis, Cormorant, Pelican, Petrel, Common Loon, Grebe.

•Series Bee: Bee, Hornet, Grasshopper, Cicada, Cochineal, Chrysalis, Butterfly, Cricket, Dragonfly, Firefly, Beetle, Vespa.

•Series Antelope: Antelope, Elk, Deer, Roe Deer, Fallow Deer, Gazelle, Reindeer, Ibex.

•Series Artemis: Artemis, Berenice, Chimera, Danaide, Driade, Egeria, Eurydice, Euterpe, Phoenix, Flora, Melpomene, Minerva, Persephone, Pomona, Sphinx, Sybil, Terpsichore, Urania.

•Series Scimitar: Scimitar, Bayonet, Bombard, Rifle, Club, Culverin, Axes, Rampart, Zagaglia.

The units of Series Gull had names of seabirds, the Series Bee, names of insects, the Series Antelope names of mammals, and the Series Artemis female mythological names and the Series Scimitar names of weapons.

Of the sixty units planned it entered service only twenty-nine, three of which were lost in the war and seven captured by the Germans after the armistice. Other twenty were captured still under construction, completed by the Germans and later sunk and a further six units captured by the Germans were not completed. Two other units were completed after the war and went into service in the Navy for two units while the construction was canceled due to ‘armistice. Of the sixty units ordered only twenty-eight entered service in the last twelve months of the war before the Armistice, plus made at a difficult time for the availability of materials and components, with three of the units lost by armed conflict. After the ‘armistice, the construction of some units was canceled, a part merged into the Kingdom of the South working with allies, while a part was captured by the Germans, many still under construction or under construction. For six units captured by the Germans was not possible to complete their construction. Units entered service with the Kriegsmarine, some were sunk in naval battles or in port as a result of Allied air attacks, others were scuttled at the end of the war by the German retreat.

At the end of the war survived the units that had participated in the co-belligerence with four retrieved in the north, and to the two units whose construction was suspended after the events armistice, was resumed after the war, they would continue their working life in the Navy, subjected to various works of modernization.

Series GullThe Series Gull was built in Genoa by ‘Ansaldo shipyards in Sestri Ponente and Voltri. Cormorant, Gull, Pelican and Petrel were built in Voltri, the other in Sestri Ponente.

Units built in VoltriThe unit class president Seagull (C 11 – GB – F 571) was set to January 14, 1942, was launched on June 23 and delivered on 3 October. After the war, joined the Navy, was subjected to a 1st cycle of works in La Spezia from 1 January to December 1951, a 2nd cycle of works in La Spezia from 1 December 1954 to 26 May, 1955. It was decommissioned in 1971.

The corvette Petrel (C 12), which was set in 1942 and during the same year launched on 4 September and delivered November 29, 1942 January 14, 1942, on mine sank in the Channel of Sicily January 31, 1943.

The Cormorant (C 13 – CO – 575 F) set in 1942 and during the same year launched November 17 was delivered to the Royal Navy March 6, 1943. After the war, joined the Navy, he was subjected to a 1st cycle of works in La Spezia from June to December 1952, a 2nd cycle of works in Taranto from April to September of 1954. He was disbarred in 1966 in the shipyard of La Spezia.

Il Pellicano (C 14 – PE – 574 F) set to 15 September 1942 was launched on 20 February 1943, and delivered April 15, 1943. After the war, joined the Navy, he was subjected to a 1st cycle of works in Taranto from September 1952 to March 1953 to a 2nd cycle of works in La Spezia from January to

May 1956, for a 3rd cycle of works in Taranto from April to September 1960 and a 4th cycle of works in La Spezia from October 1961 to April 1962. Radiata was on 1 January 1970.

Units built in Sestri Ponente

The corvette Stork STORK (C 15) set in 1942, launched on October 12 of the same year and entered service on 11 January 1943 he was sunk in Messina during an air raid ally July 24, 1943 and October 18, 1946 radiata.

The corvette Marangone (C 52) set in 1943, was captured while under construction 9 September 1943, completed by the Germans, incorporated into the Kriegsmarine and renamed Uj-2223 was sunk April 16, 1944 during an air raid ally in Genoa and radiata 20 December 1946.

Ardea, Common Loon and Grebe, whose construction was initiated in 1943 were captured under construction 9 September 1943 and completed by the Germans had been renamed Uj-2225-2224 Uj and Uj-2222 and 24 April 1945 were scuttled by the Germans in retreat.

The corvette Coot (C 16 – FO – F 576) is set to 15 June 1942, launched 13 November of the same year and entered service 16 February 1943 joined the Navy has been subjected to a 1 cycle of jobs La Spezia from January to May 1950 and a 2nd cycle of works in Taranto from May to August 1953 going to disarmament in 1965 and radiata on 1 August of the same year.

The corvette Crane (C 18 – OJ – F 566) is set to 6 July 1942, launched 23 December of the same year and entered service April 29, 1943 became part of the Navy has been subjected to a 1 cycle of jobs Taranto between 1951 and 1952 and a 2nd cycle of works in La Spezia in 1953, going on Disarmament in 1970 and radiata on 1 August 1971.

Ship Ibis set on the slips in 1942, launched 12 December of the same year and entered service April 3, 1943, joined the Navy has been subjected to a 1st cycle of works in La Spezia from 20 May until October 1950 to a 2nd cycle of works in Taranto from November 16, 1952 to April 1, 1953, to a 3rd cycle of works in Taranto al 8 July 1954 12 January 1955 going to disarmament in 1971 and decommissioned in 1972.

Bee Series

The Series Ape was built in factories Navalmeccanica of Castellammare di Stabia.

The construction of corvettes and Cochineal Beetle was canceled due to ‘armistice.

Of completed units, the Ape after the war he served in the Navy until 1979, while the Vespa after the ‘armistice was captured in Pozzuoli on September 11, 1943, incorporated into the Kriegsmarine, where it was renamed Uj-2221 and scuttled in Genoa April 24, 1945.

The other units were captured while they were under construction or under construction. When the Germans abandoned Castellammare di Stabia, units under construction were sunk and those under construction damaged.

For two of these, the corvettes and Chrysalis Butterfly, the construction was completed after the war and the two units became part of the Navy lent service until 1971.

For other units that were Hornet, Grasshopper, Cicada, Cricket, Dragonfly and Firefly, the construction was not resumed.

Antelope Series

The Series Antelope was built in the OTO shipyard in Livorno.

The corvette was lost Gazelle August 5, 1943 by a mine near the island of ‘Asinara.

Antelope Suede were captured by the Germans and renamed Uj and Uj-6082-6081. The first was sunk in a battle with the British gunboats Aphis and Scarab and the American destroyer Endicott near Marseille August 17, 1944, the second the day before had been sunk south of Toulon by the American destroyer Somers.

The other units captured while they were under construction: Moose, Reindeer, Fallow Deer, Red and Roe, were finished by the Germans and enter the Kriegsmarine, were renamed as Uj-6084, Uj-6085-6087 Uj, Uj and Uj-6086-6083 . Fallow deer and reindeer were sunk during Allied bombing, while Moose, deer and roe deer were scuttled April 24, 1945 in Genoa.

The construction of the Corvette instead Ibex was not completed.

Series Artemis

The Series Artemis was built in the factories of the Cantieri Riuniti di Monfalcone and Trieste in the Adriatic.

In Monfalcone shipyard were built corvettes Artemis, Berenice, Egeria, Eurydice Euterpe, Melpomene, Minerva, Persephone, Terpsichore and Urania, while at San Marco di Trieste were built corvettes Chimera, Danaide, Driade, Phoenix, Flora, Pomona, Sphinx and the Sibyl.

Complete units to the armistice, the corvettes that after the war were part of the Navy, were struck off the Pomona in 1965, in 1966 the Dryad, the Danaide in 1968, the Minerva in 1969, in 1970 the Plant, in 1971 Sibyl, Urania and Chimera, the Sphinx in 1975.

The Berenice was sunk 9 September 1943 by the German coastal batteries while he was leaving the port of Trieste.

The Artemide was captured while carrying out the work at Livorno and renamed Uj-2226, Euterpe and Persephone scuttled by their crews Italians, were recovered by the Germans and renamed as Uj and Uj-2228-2227. These units were found sunk April 25, 1945, the first in the port of Genoa, the other two in the port of La Spezia.

The corvette Egeria, Melpomene, Terpsichore and Eurydice captured while they were under construction, were completed by the Germans and renamed UJ-201 UJ-202 UJ-203 and UJ-204 were sunk during Allied bombing except Melpomene sunk in combat together with the Rampart and the torpedo boat TA 20 former Audace on 1 November 1944 by the action of two destroyers of the Royal Navy Hunt Class.

Among the acts of war before the Armistice, August 14, 1943, during a patrol near Bastia, the corvettes Minerva and Euterpe sighted the British submarine HMS Saracen (P247) and attacked him using depth charges. The Saracen was forced to resurface damaged and the crew English, nell’abbandonarlo, it sank to avoid capture.

Scimitar Series

The Scimitar Series was built by Breda of Porto Marghera.

Of this series, entered the service in the Royal Navy corvette Bayonet and Scimitar only after the war were part of the Navy while serving until 1971 as well as the Bombard that captured by the Germans and renamed Uj-206 was then recovered and completed the post-war while serving until 1975.

Other Carbine Culverin and Spingarda, completed by the Germans and renamed UJ-207, UJ-205 and UJ-208 were sunk as a result of allied actions, while Axe, Club, Zagaglia, were captured, but were not completed.

On the Corvette Bayonet boarded the King Vittorio Emanuele III, the Royal Family and members of the Badoglio government, fleeing from Rome after the proclamation of the ‘armistice on 8 September 1943, to travel to Brindisi under the protection of the Allies. The ship entered service in the Royal Navy in the summer of 1943, on August 17 ​​was transferred to Pula for a short period of tutorials. The day after the proclamation of the armistice was ordered to head to Malta in accordance with the armistice terms. Diverted to Pescara boarded the head of government, General Pietro Badoglio and the Chief of Staff of the Navy Admiral Raffaele De Courten and then headed towards Ortona, where the King embarked with all his followers, then moved to Brindisi.

The Class Seagull in the Navy

After the war, the surviving units, became part of the Navy were undergoing major redevelopment especially in the armament and were landed electric motors. In 1947, anti-submarine armament concentrated in the stern area was replaced with equipment for dredging and electronic equipment were installed relatively modern. Further modernization works were made ​​later between 1952 and 1954 and in the course of these works were recovered and completed three other corvette class: Bombs, chrysalis and butterfly. After several changes, were divided into two groups, escort convoys to anti-aircraft and anti-submarine escort of convoys.

The corvette Gabbiano Bombard and were armed for anti-aircraft component by two guns 40/56 mm machine guns and two 20/70 mm and for the anti-submarine component from a porcupine grenade launchers and two four scaricabombe.

The corvette Bee, Chimera, Cormorant, Danaide, Phoenix, Plant, Fogala, Pelican, Pomona, Sybil and Sphinx were armed for anti-aircraft component by four cannons and 40/56mm for anti-submarine component from a porcupine grenade launchers and two four scaricabombe.

The corvette Bayonet, Chrysalis, Driade, Butterfly, Cranes, Ibis, Minerva, Urania and Scimitar were armed for the three-component anti-aircraft guns and 40/56mm for anti-submarine component from a porcupine grenade launchers and two four scaricabombe.

The Gabbiano class corvettes were used for the training activities of the team, for patrol duties, supervisory fishery and for training in command of the TT. VV in the school of Augsburg. In their activities were accompanied by the corvette Aladarda a former British minesweeper and three class corvettes Antelope, three former minesweeper from Germany that engaged in various tasks before being used as a corvette, resumed the names of three units of the Class Seagull: Antelope, fallow deer and gazelle. Subsequently, the unity of the Gabbiano class were accompanied by the units of the first class Alcione spare unit built in Italy after the war. Part of the unit was laid up in the second half of the sixties while the other left the scene in the seventies with the entry into service of the class corvettes De Cristofaro.

Currently all units of the Class Minerva bear the names of units that had been part of the Class Seagull.

Identification code and pennant

The Corvette mentioned were all marked at the time of their entry into service by a number preceded by a capital. The Seagull, for example, was marked C11, the C25 Ape and so on. Then after the Second World War were marked by a two-letter identification code. For example, the initials GB distinguished the Seagull. With the entry into NATO Navy has introduced the use of freshman and corvettes and frigates have been identified by the letters F followed by a number.

Classes of warships

Corvette

Military boats of World War II

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