The light cruiser Giovanni Delle Bande Nere has been rediscovered

(To Marina Militare)
09/03/19

The minesweeper Vieste of the Navy, during an activity of technical verification and surveillance of the seabed in the Tyrrhenian Sea near the island of Stromboli, has found the wreck of the Light Cruiser Giovanni Delle Bande Nere sunk in the 1942.

The wreck was located and identified about 11 nautical miles south of the island of Stromboli at a depth between 1460 and 1730 meters, in a position compatible with that of its sinking occurred on 1 1942 April, while it was in transfer from Messina to La Spezia, to make some repairs in the Arsenal escorted by the destroyer Aviere and from the torpedo boat Libra.

During navigation, at about 09.00, he was hit by two torpedoes launched by the British submarine HMS Urge. The cruiser, broken into several sections, sank rapidly. In the event, most of the crew died.

The discovery took place thanks to the use of underwater vehicles on board the mine Vieste able to conduct deep-sea research and identification: the autonomous underwater vehicle (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle - AUV) Hugin 1000, of the Kongsberg company, and the wire-guided vehicle Multiplute 03, of the company GAY Marine.

The search area is limited according to the presumed coordinates of the sinking, the minesweeper proceeded to map the seabed with the vehicle Hugin, discovering more contacts that can be correlated with the wreck. Subsequently the contacts were identified thanks to the use of the Multipluto, which made it possible to film the first images of the ship, revealing the three sections in which it broke down in the sinking and ascertaining its identity.

The discovery of the Light Cruiser Giovanni Delle Bande Nere confirms the operational effectiveness of the underwater vehicles supplied to the Navy, capable of operating at deep levels for the control of the seabed and strategic infrastructures, as well as the professionalism of the specialists of the Command of the Mine Countermeasure Forces. The underwater vehicles represent a fundamental asset to maintain the capacity of the mine countermeasures component high, increasing the share and the possibilities of capacity to discover and identify risk situations in deep waters.

The Light cruiser Giovanni Delle Bande Nere, of the class Condottieri type Alberico from Giussano. Set up in the shipyards of Castellammare di Stabia in the 1928, it was launched in 1930 and completed in 1931.

Long 169,3 meters had a displacement of 6950 tons at full load. The propulsion apparatus consisted of 6 Ansaldo boilers, which powered 2 turbines, for a total horsepower of 95000 horsepower. The maximum speed was 36 nodes.

The weaponry consisted of 8 cannons from 152 / 53, 6 cannons from 100 / 47 for air defense and anti torpedo and 2 machine guns from 40 / 39. The ship was also equipped with 8 13,2 mm machine gun and 4 torpedo tube from 533 mm. He also embarked two Imam Ro 43 aerial reconnaissance aircraft, which he launched thanks to the catapult installed on the bow.

The crew was composed of 507 men.

The 21 March 1942 took part in the second battle of Sirte succeeding in hitting the British cruiser Cleopatra without causing serious damage. The prohibitive weather conditions encountered during the battle, forced the ship to return to Messina to buffer some damage suffered by the sea.

The 1 April 1942 the Giovanni Delle Bande Nere sailed from the base of Messina to La Spezia, escorted by the destroyer Aviere and from the torpedo boat Libra. In the morning 9 was intercepted by the British submarine Urge that torpedoed him. The ship broke down, sinking quickly and bringing with it a large part of the crew.