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The surrender of the Italian Fleet-1943

Discussion in 'Naval War in the Mediterrean, Malta & Crete' started by JCFalkenbergIII, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    With the invasion of Sicily, the Allies hoped to knock Italy out of the war. The Italian government was fed up with the war and the invasion of Sicily threw it into crisis. On 25 July 1943, King Victor Emmanuel had Mussolini arrested and replaced him with Marshal Pietro Badoglio , the Army Chief of Staff.
    Badoglio immediately started secret negotiations with the Allies to take Italy out of the war. The deal was announced September 8 , while the British 8th Army landed in Southern Italy. The Italian Fleet limped into Malta & surrendered on 10 September 1943 .

    THE SURRENDER

    Allied Naval Commander Expeditionary Force (ANCEF) Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham ordered a small allied squadron to sail out & meet the surrendering Italian fleet off the coast of Malta & escort its battleships back into the island, in the morning of 10 September . The Allied Forces assembled to meet the Italian Fleet were:
    The British
    -HMS Warspite
    -HMS Valliant
    -HMS Faulknor
    -HMS Fury
    -HMS Echo
    -HMS Intrepid
    -HMS Raider
    the Greek
    -RHNS Vassilisa Olga/Queen Olga
    & the French
    -FLN Le Terrible

    For the Greeks it was a sign of recognition of the Greek Navy's contribution to the allied cause in WWII.
    For the British this had also a symbolic meaning: Warspite & Valliant were the same vessels present to the surrender of the German Imperial Fleet in 1918.
    At noon of the same day, two Italian Battleships (Caio Duilio, Andrea Doria), set out from Salerno, Italy to Malta. Among the allied ships escorting these vessels to Malta, was RHNS Adrias. Her captain, Commander Ioannis Toumbas RHN , sent this signal to Vice-Admiral Constantine Alexandres RHN, C-i-C of the Royal Hellenic Navy:
    "With profound summit of happiness and national pride, I inform you that I escort to Malta the surrendering Battleships of the Italian Fleet. Everyone on board the Adrias, offers thanks to God for this astounding moment"
    On 13 September , all the Italian ships set sail to Alexandria to disarm. Early in the morning of 16 September , the ships arrived to Alexandria. There, Admiral Cunningham escorted by Vice-Admiral Alexandres, accepted officially the surrender of the Italians. Admiral Alexandres writes in his memoirs:
    "...admiral Cunningham informed me on the 15th, that he intends to wear his own rank flag on the small minelayer "Durby" in order to set out & meet the Italians. He also invited me to do the same & I boarded on the minelayer "Carteria/Endurance". I chose Carteria as a symbol of our nation's power of endurance and because Carteria was the first ever steamer worldwide that took part in a naval engagement, in 1826. Admiral Cunningham with this eloquent gesture, wanted on one hand to abase the Italian Fleet for its unconditional surrender & on the other hand to express his feelings of gratitude towards the Greek Navy. It was an overwhelming experience to be boarded on a small minelayer & accept the surrender of a large Fleet. The Italian ships were sailing before us with black pennants, as signs of defeat. After the ceremony, I said to admiral Cunningham:
    -It's been a memorable day for me, I thank you.
    Admiral Cunningham replied:
    -Yes it has. I hope you'll join me for the surrender of the German Fleet too"

    The surrender of the Italian Fleet-1943 [Archive] - Military Photos
     
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  2. bf109 emil

    bf109 emil Member

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    So what became of these Italian ships after May 8 1945.

    Did the Italian fleet surrender, in the terms of surrendering, i'e raising a white flage, or hands up? While fighting between them and Allied armies where still taking place, or did they sail to Malta as a condition of Italies signing an Armistice, and thus surrender might not be the best term, as did the German navy surrender sailing to Scapa Flow or was this a condition of surrender or armistice.

    bf109 Emil
     
  3. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Following the announcement of the Italian surrender, the bulk of the Italian fleet sailed for Malta - three battleships, cruisers and destroyers from Spezia and Genoa, and three more battleships and other vessels from Taranto and the Adriatic. As the first group came south, battleship "ROMA" was sunk by a FX1400 radio-controlled bomb (unpropelled unlike the Hs293 rocket-boosted, glider-bomb), but next day the remaining ships were escorted into Malta by battleships "Warspite" and "Valiant". Over 30 submarines headed for Allied ports

    Italian Navy, Ondina, Pietro Calvi, Cantore, Morosini, Bolzano, Attendolo

    Ships that surrendered


    Italian Forces
    From La Spezia
    BB Roma* 9th Division
    Vice-Adm. Carlo Bergami – Fleet Cmdr.
    BB Vittorio Veneto 9th Division
    BB Italia (ex-Littorio) 9th Division
    CL Eugenio di Savoia 7th Division Rear-Adm. Romeo Oliva – Div. Cmdr.
    CL Duca d’Aosta 7th Division
    CL Montecuccoli 7th Division
    DD Mitragliere 12th DD Flotilla
    DD Fuciliere 12th DD Flotilla
    DD Carabiniere 12th DD Flotilla
    DD Velite 12th DD Flotilla
    DD Legionario 14th DD Flotilla
    DD Oriani 14th DD Flotilla
    DD Artigliere 14th DD Flotilla
    DD Grecale 14th DD Flotilla
    From Genoa
    CL Abruzzi 8th Division
    CL Garibaldi 8th Division
    CL Regolo 8th Division Captain Marini ?
    TB Libra
    From Castellamare
    DD Da Noli*
    DD Vivaldi*
    From Taranto
    BB Caio Duilio 5th Division
    Vice-Adm. Alberto Da Zara – Div. Cmdr.
    BB Andrea Doria 5th Division
    CL Cadorna
    CL Pompeo Magno
    DD Da Recco
    From Pola
    BB Giulio Cesare 5th Division Commander Vittore Carminati
    (Cesare was under repair and sailed with a reduced crew)
    From other Adriatic ports
    Seaplane Tender Miraglia
    DD Riboty
    TB Sagittario
    * sunk
    Except for the Italian warships mentioned in note #1 below, all of the aforementioned warships proceeded to Malta in accordance with the terms of the Armistance.

    Notes:
    1. After Roma’s loss, the torpedo boats Libra, Orione, Orsa, Impetuoso, and Pegaso were summoned to pick up survivors along with the cruiser Regolo & destroyers Mitragliere, Fuciliere, and Carabiniere. Pegaso and Impetuoso were sunk in a collision after the rescue operation. Libra and Orione proceeded to Bone with survivors. Regolo, Mitragliere, Fucliere, Carabiniere and Orsa ended up at Port Mahon in the Balearics and were interned for the rest of the war. 2. Other surrendered Italian units, including 33 submarines, 11 torpedo boats, 8 corvettes, and other smaller warships, reached Italian ports that were in Allied control.

    Order of Battle - Surrender of the Italian Fleet to the Allies - 8-10 September 1943
     
  4. bf109 emil

    bf109 emil Member

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    I am uncertain, and don't wanna sound as dumb as you will soon find out...but where these ships not the booty of the victor, and renounced their fight in accordance of the armistice...as a surrender to me,seems to mean,is giving up the fight, while hostilities are still taking place...it would be like saying the German fleet in WW1 surrendered to Scapa Flow, where they wherte directed to reluctantly after the Armistice was signed and a condition of terms signed...

    bf109 Emil...if these Italians ships did indeed surrender, might someone help, or paste a direction of war as to terms of surrender, or difference between surrendering, and say terms of an armistice...

    thanks..bf109 Emil
     
  5. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist

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  6. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Part of the document concerning the Italian Military.
    SURRENDER OF ITALY
    Instrument of Armistice and surrender of the Italian Forces to the Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. [1]


    1. (A) The Italian Land, Sea and Air forces wherever located hereby surrender. Italian participation in the war in all Theaters will cease immediately. There will be no opposition to landings, movements or other operations of the Land, Sea and Air Forces of the United Nations. Accordingly, the Italian Supreme
    Page 14
    Command will order the immediate cessation of hostilities of any kind against the Forces of the United Nations and will direct the Italian Navy, Military and Air Force authorities in all Theaters to issue forthwith the appropriate instructions to those under their Command.
    (B) The Italian Supreme Command will further order all Italian Naval, Military and Air Forces or authorities and personnel to refrain immediately from destruction of or damage to any real or personal property, whether public or private.
    2. The Italian Supreme Command will give full information concerning the disposition and condition of all Italian Land, Sea and Air Forces, wherever they are situated and of all such forces of Italy's Allies as are situated in Italian or Italian occupied territory.
    3. The Italian Supreme Command will take the necessary measures to secure airfields, port facilities, and all other installations against seizure or attack by any of Italy's Allies. The Italian Supreme Command will take the necessary measures to insure Law and Order, and to use its available armed forces to insure prompt and exact compliance with all the provisions of the present instrument. Subject to such use of Italian troops for the above purposes, as may be sanctioned by the Allied Commander-in-Chief, all other Italian Land, Sea and Air Forces will proceed to and remain in their barracks, camps or ships pending directions from the United Nations as to their future status and disposal. Exceptionally such Naval personnel shall proceed to shore establishments as the United Nations may direct.
    4. Italian Land, Sea and Air Forces will within
    Page 15
    the periods to be laid down by the United Nations withdraw from all areas outside Italian territory notified to the Italian Government by the United Nations and proceed to areas to be specified by the United Nations. Such movement of Italian Land, Sea and Air Forces will be carried out in conditions to be laid down by the United Nations and in accordance with the orders to be issued by them. All Italian officials will similarly leave the areas notified except any who may be permitted to remain by the United Nations. Those permitted to remain will comply with the instructions of the Allied Commander-in-Chief.
    5. No requisitioning, seizures or other coercive measures shall be effected by Italian Land, Sea and Air Forces or officials in regard to persons or property in the areas notified under Article 4.
    6. The demobilization of Italian Land, Sea and Air Forces in excess of such establishments as shall be notified will take place as prescribed by the Allied Commander-in-Chief.
    7. Italian warships of all descriptions, auxiliaries and transports will be assembled as directed in ports to be specified by the Allied Commander-in-Chief and will be dealt with as prescribed by the Allied Commander-in-Chief. (NOTE. If at the date of the Armistice the whole of the Italian Fleet has been assembled in Allied ports, this article would run-"Italian warships of all descriptions, auxiliaries, and transports will remain until further notice in the ports where they are at present assembled, and will be dealt with as prescribed by the Allied Commander-in-Chief.")
    8. Italian aircraft of all kinds will not leave the
    Page 16
    ground or water or ships, except as directed by the Allied Commander-in-Chief.
    9. Without prejudice to the provisions 14, 15 and 28 (A) and (D) below, all merchant ships, fishing or other craft of whatever flag, all aircraft and inland transport of whatever nationality in Italian or Italian-occupied territory or waters will, pending verification of their identity and status, be prevented from leaving. 10. The Italian Supreme Command will make available all information about naval, military and air devices, installations, and defences, about all transport and inter-communication systems established by Italy or her allies on Italian territory or in the approaches thereto, about minefields or other obstacles to movement by land, sea or air and such other particulars as the United Nations may require in connection with the use of Italian bases, or with the operations, security, or welfare of the United Nations Land, Sea or Air Forces. Italian forces and equipment will be made available as required by the United Nations for the removal of the above mentioned obstacles.

    SURRENDER OF ITALY
     
  7. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Bump as a companian to the other Italian threads recently.
     
  8. adepss

    adepss New Member

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    The Italian Navy did not surrender, they followed the directive from Rome to agree to the armistice, in fact all Italian ships remained under their respective captains and the commander of the fleet, they did work in attacking german ships and U-boats in co-ordination with allied requests but did not hand over their ships to the allies despite what the above documents purport.
     
  9. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    After the war, the most modern battleships, Italia (ex-Littorio) and Vittorio Vento were allocated to Britain and the US as reparations, but scrapped. The modernized WWI-era Giulio Cesare went to the USSR and served in the Black Sea fleet until around 1955 as Novorossisk when she was crippled by an explosion, probably a German mine left over from the war, and subsequenly scrapped. Her half-sisters Andrea Doria and Caio Duilio continued in Italian service for a time, mainly as training ships; the names were later used for a pair of cruisers in the 1960s and today for the new Horizon-class air defense destroyers.

    The cruiser Giuseppe Garibaldi was extensively reconstructed and became Italy's first Terrier guided-missile ship. Two of the small Capitani Romani class, redesignated destroyers, served in the Italian navy and two others in the French.
     
  10. merdiolu

    merdiolu Member

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    Several Italian cruisers and a few destroyers and submarines were also given to Soviet Union as reparations. After seeking refugee in Malta on 8th September 1943 they were complately at mercy of Allies. Allies at the other hand used small Italian craft like torpedo boats , minesweepers , gunboats etc with efficiently in Adriatic Sea and Gulf of Genoa between 1943-45 but had no use for capital vessels and kept them in their harbours with reduced crews and empty fuel bunkers. Italian Navy was as good as surrendered if not formally so. Admiral Cunningham's message to Admiralty on 9th September explains everything "Be pleased to inform their Lordships that the Italian battle fleet now lies at anchor under the guns of the fortress of Malta."
     
  11. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    The western allies were not immediately able to deliver ex-Italian ships to the Soviets, so as a temporary measure they were loaned the old British battleship Royal Sovereign (Soviet name Archangelsk), the American cruiser Milwaukee (Murmansk) and nine of the flush-deck destroyers we had traded to the British in 1940. They were returned after the war when Italian ships were delivered, except for one destroyer which had been lost. One destroyer was returned as late as 1952.
     

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