Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Wreck of battleship Roma found

Discussion in 'North Africa and the Mediterranean' started by TiredOldSoldier, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
    TiredOldSoldier likes this.
  2. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,984
    Likes Received:
    2,385
    FalkeEins is a member of this forum , if he comes around he might add a few things too
     
  3. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
    hopefully he will Skip now to try and find a copy of the magazine Janaur 2011 Flugzeug Classic might be a good reference to have besides going furher and try to obtain the KG 100 Wiking book by Ulf Balke. have another possible LW reference if I can find it will post on the two gruppen of KG 100
     
    Skipper likes this.
  4. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
  5. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,984
    Likes Received:
    2,385
    This is getting interesting Erich , it's good to have you back .
     
  6. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
    all smiles here Skip, again now to find a copy of the OP Balke book, no joy so far here in the states. ToS is adding some incredible unknown information to this thread ............... so yes getting very interesting and hopeful good reading for our members.
     
  7. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,984
    Likes Received:
    2,385
    a useful link here Erich if you want to order Flugzeug classic copies:


    flugzeugclassic.de
     
  8. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
    thanks Skip just ordered Klaus Deumling book so will be interesting to get his first hand impressions and thanks to ToS schematics of the Roma being hit by the two missiles we can now at least see that two KG 100 crew memers gave the blows and it was not flearly from one Do 217K-2 craft.
     
  9. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,223
    Likes Received:
    452
    Nice info thanks, I found no trace of a "first unsuccesful attack" in Italian sources, it shoud be possible to find out if any units besides III./KG 100 was involved, AFAIK they were the only ones equipped with the Fritz-X but that doesn't mean there couldn't be other units.
    The pilot's recollection of comming in at 7000m changes the attack parameters a lot, from that altitude, the launch distance goes up to 3.5Km and an unguided bomb is very unlikely to hit so seeing the planes that high would leave the defenders even more uncertain, if I get my math right 7000m and 3.500m out is also at the limit of the 90/50 capabilities which matches with the pilot's account. It does seem to contraddict the "comming in low and then climbing" story (BTW I believe the photo on the jacket of his book is from the second hit not the first one which is the one he claims, there is also a chance his hit was the one on Littorio/Italia, at least there'se nothing in his account so far to remove that possibility). Operating that far North the bombers had little to fear from allied fighters, the closest ones were in Sicily and busy covering the Salerno landings. Italian fighters from Cagliari could be a bigger theoretical threat but most airfieds also had LW forces stationed there and IIRC 29 Pz Grenadier was also on the island so any planes that fly such a sortie are unlikely to find a friendly base on return, AFAIK many Italian pilots flew with their planes south of the lines but practically none went looking for combat while doing so, also Italian air/navy cooperation was iffy at it's best, in the caos of the armistice the chances of it working are non existent.

    Going to do some more math ... that 41 seconds opens a lot of possibilities, and possibly means there were 41 seconds of camera film somewhere for each of the attacking planes !.

    EDIT: Math looks something like this, but there may be something wrong in my calculations, 7000m altitude and 60 degrees gives 7826m total distance, for 41 seconds that gives 191 m/s or 697 Km/h average speed, assuming constant (1g) acceleration (actually only on the vertical axis on the horizontal axis it's slowing) impact velocity would be close to supersonic speed, no armour is going to stop a one ton warhead at that speed though it looks like the Gerrmans were pessistic with the fuses as two out of 3 hits exploded outside the ships despite hitting substantial armour on the way.
     
  10. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
    agreed ToS 7,000m is quite high and I think we need to discard the idea of coming in low and then climbing up to high altitude. can we say with any certainty how close the Italia was to the Roma during the attack(s) ? also we have other shipping like destroyers and cruisers if I am right that were suitable targets but that were not hit ?
     
  11. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
  12. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,223
    Likes Received:
    452
    AFAIK the air attacks against the Salerno beachead included some use of both Fritz-X and HS 293, but by the time of Anzio only the HS 293 appears to be in use; HMS Spartan, the only Dido class cruiser to be lost to air attack, was sunk by one off Anzio.

    The La Spezia squadron that sailed in the night between 8 and 9 September to Malta included:
    The battleships Roma, Italia and Vittorio Veneto (9th division).
    The cruisers Savoia, Montecuccoli (7th cruiser squadron) and Attilio Regolo.
    Destroyers Mitragliere, Fuciliere, Carabiniere, Velite (XII flottilla), Legionario, Oriani, Artigliere, Grecale (XIV flottilla).
    Torpedo boats Pegaso, Impetuoso, Orsa, Orione. (they formed the advance group scouting ahead of the main body)
    The were joined at 6:00 on the 9th by the Genova squadron
    Cruisers Abruzzi, Garibaldi, Aosta (8th cruiser squadron)
    Torpedo boat Libra
    The destroyers Da Noli and Vivaldi were already at sea as they were sent to Civitavecchia to provide an alternative to the Baionetta (that was on on the Adriatic coast) for the Royal family and government's escape, they never rejoined the fleet as both were lost attepting to prevent the Germans crossing from Sardinia to Corsica.
    The fleet was steaming at 22 knots as Italia had some condensers problems.
    The initial formation was the following:
    The torpedo boats (that probably had the best ASW suite) were sweeping in front of the main body beyond the horizon
    Libra led the fleet followed by the cruisers in line abreast 7th squadron on left and 8th on the right
    The battleships steaming line ahead with XIV destroyer squadron on the right and XII on the left.

    By the time they reached the Sardinia minefields the cruisers were also in line ahead with 7th and 8th leading the battleships, I found no "from above" photos of the formation, sometimes Italian ships steamed quite close but the picures taken on that day look to be from at least a Km.

    Bagnasco's book quotes 28 Dorniers from II/KG 100 and III/KG 100 at 6000m, I'm in favour of believeng the pilot is more accurate concerning altitude but the participation of II/KG 100 would explain the "early attack", thought the decisive one was from III/KG 100.
    The last attack was reported at 17:40 (Roma was hit at 15:46 and 15:52 and Italia at 16:29 (so that rules out Deumling but makes II/KG 100 a possibility), AFAIK no other ships besides the battleships appears to have been hit (or attacked).
     
  13. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
    ToS thank you for the Italien line-up of shipping

    the Roma in happier days :

    [​IMG]

    makes sense to me that II. gruppe may have attacked first a note that bombs ? were dropped first and all missed the fleet then III. gruppe came in with Fritz-X's. must confess the chaos or at least confusion as to who really set the missiles into the Roma and even the Italia as Heinrich Schemtz piloting a Do 217 this operation later Ritterkreuz winner claimed sinking the Roma.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
    Launching the Fritz-X

    [​IMG]
     
  15. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,223
    Likes Received:
    452
    If the distances on that drawing are correct the average angle is slightly steeper than 60 degrees, it does seem to confirm wiki is wrong (surprise!) and prefered launch height was higher than 5.500m, funny the He 177 silouette, that as far as I know never used the weapon operationally, where is it from?.
     
  16. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
    not sure where it is from but obviously a book from the looks, a friend sent it to me without any references. KG 40 may used the Hs293 missle under each wing on the He 177 but not the Fritz-X
     
  17. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
    and just to throw this in what II./KG 100 and KG 40 with their Kondors later the He 177 : using the Hs 293, one per A/C depending on the type of bomber the units were using a drop tank added to the other side in case the Do 217E was used to offset the weight of the ehavy missile.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
    somehwere there is video documentary underwater footage, trying to find this maybe on you-tube or ? ................. of the Roma.
     
  19. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
    Finally I new I had this buried somewhere................. showing hits on the Roma from a Do 217K crew photos ...........

    1.JmA - Special German weapons

    Fritz-X as well as the Hs 293
     
    TiredOldSoldier likes this.
  20. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,223
    Likes Received:
    452
    The link to the underwater footage of the finding was on the Marina Militare page IIRC my second post on this thread, it looks like that so far all they found was that 90mm AA mount and at 1000+ meters down and with the ship capsizing before sinking it could be a a considerable distance from the rest of the wreck.

    Some contraddictions on that site, 6 Do 217 dropping 9 bombs ?, the two hits are rather well documented, though of course "one hit one ship" makes for better propaganda. The pictures look to be the second hit from the impact point but the apparent speed of the ship is still pretty high and she looks undamaged.
     

Share This Page