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  • Italian Coastal Artillery Upgraded

    ... for purposes I will reveal below.

    First of all, I want to show you this very interesting item-
    http://wordforge.net/index.php?posts/2367449/

    The one in Finland that is kept operational is especially interesting!


    I am going to try to find what Italy had operational in WW2, and then add to it what could have been gained by husbanding what was taken from warships crapped in the 1920s, there were a lot of them.

    The Germans had a very thrifty approach, the guns saved from the pre-dreadnoughts they scrapped to make room for the Pocket Battleships were used for railroad guns or to arm Commerce Raiders during the war.
    How different would things have been for Italy had they done something similar?

    No, not RR guns, Italy had a more defensive mindset. They were also concerned with their long an vulnerable coastline ... actually they have been since Italy was made one solid country in the 1860s.
    What I will aim to do it beef up the coastal defenses to the point where Italy would not have to consider building the 2nd pair of Roma-Class Battleships, this saving about 100,000 tons of steel and other materials during the period when such materials would have been crucial for the war effort elsewhere.
    "Why is the Rum gone?"

    -Captain Jack

  • #2
    There is an article in the latest "After The Battle" magazine on Ancona, Italy. It was a famous victory for the Polish Corps. One picture had a 15cm Austrian gun that was war booty from the First World War. I would imagine that there lots of similar foreign pieces along the Italian coast. The problem with Italy was a lack of industry. They never were able to properly arm their Infantry Divisions with modern Artillery and they used really old and ancient artillery at times. If they had been able to "catch up" to Army needs they might have been able to produce more Coastal Batteries.

    Pruitt
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
      There is an article in the latest "After The Battle" magazine on Ancona, Italy. It was a famous victory for the Polish Corps. One picture had a 15cm Austrian gun that was war booty from the First World War. I would imagine that there lots of similar foreign pieces along the Italian coast. The problem with Italy was a lack of industry. They never were able to properly arm their Infantry Divisions with modern Artillery and they used really old and ancient artillery at times. If they had been able to "catch up" to Army needs they might have been able to produce more Coastal Batteries.

      Pruitt
      Right, my idea would be to make better use of guns freed up by scrapping old ships, turrets and all, to relieve the Army of that burden... and to eliminate the building of the last 2 BBs for the Navy.

      The number of guns involved is impressive, and I'm skipping the old pre-dreads, the best two were lost in WWI and the rest were just too old and out of date all-round.
      And holding to what would have been available to Fascist Italy rather than what was before their time.


      The Regina Elena class was a sort of pre-battle cruiser set of 4 13,000-ton ships. Harvested from them would be 8 x 12" single gun turrets, and 24 x 8" twin turrets. (the 12" guns are of an older type than the rest here and would not match well for fire-control purposes) Each also had 1 x 3" guns.
      Dante Alighieri was a battleship scrapped in 1928, and it has 4 x 12" triple turrets and 4 x 4.7" turrets, and also 16 x 3" guns on pedestal mounts.
      Leonardo Da Vinci suffered a magazine explosion and sank in place during WW1 and was scrapped by 1923. It gives us 3 x 12" triple and 2 x 12" twin turrets, as well as 18 x 4.7" casemate guns (not turrets)
      Two Caio Duilo class were modernized, giving up a total of 2 x 12" tripple turrets, 32 x 6" and 36 x 3" guns.
      Two Conte di Cavours were also modernized, giving up 2 x 12" triples, 36 x 4.7" and 26 x 3" guns.

      There was also Tegetthoff, the A.H. Battleship taken by Italy after WW1. Scrapped in 1925, it gives up 4 x 12" triples and some 5.9" guns.... which may be of limited use considering ammo supplies.

      I'll do totals and my ideas for distribution later.
      ...
      its a lot of shootin' iron, eh?
      "Why is the Rum gone?"

      -Captain Jack

      Comment


      • #4
        Er, ...

        Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
        Right, my idea would be to make better use of guns freed up by scrapping old ships, turrets and all, to relieve the Army of that burden... and to eliminate the building of the last 2 BBs for the Navy.

        The number of guns involved is impressive, and I'm skipping the old pre-dreads, the best two were lost in WWI and the rest were just too old and out of date all-round.
        And holding to what would have been available to Fascist Italy rather than what was before their time.


        The Regina Elena class was a sort of pre-battle cruiser set of 4 13,000-ton ships. Harvested from them would be 8 x 12" single gun turrets, and 24 x 8" twin turrets. (the 12" guns are of an older type than the rest here and would not match well for fire-control purposes) Each also had 1 x 3" guns.
        Dante Alighieri was a battleship scrapped in 1928, and it has 4 x 12" triple turrets and 4 x 4.7" turrets, and also 16 x 3" guns on pedestal mounts.
        Leonardo Da Vinci suffered a magazine explosion and sank in place during WW1 and was scrapped by 1923. It gives us 3 x 12" triple and 2 x 12" twin turrets, as well as 18 x 4.7" casemate guns (not turrets)
        Two Caio Duilo class were modernized, giving up a total of 2 x 12" tripple turrets, 32 x 6" and 36 x 3" guns.
        Two Conte di Cavours were also modernized, giving up 2 x 12" triples, 36 x 4.7" and 26 x 3" guns.

        There was also Tegetthoff, the A.H. Battleship taken by Italy after WW1. Scrapped in 1925, it gives up 4 x 12" triples and some 5.9" guns.... which may be of limited use considering ammo supplies.

        I'll do totals and my ideas for distribution later.
        ...
        its a lot of shootin' iron, eh?
        ... the Dorias and Cavours were indeed modernized, but they retained most of their 12" guns, rebored to 12.6", 43.8 calibre, (10 guns each, the Cavours lost their Q turrets) although they tended to droop a bit, causing greater shell dispersion.
        "I am Groot"
        - Groot

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Marmat View Post
          ... the Dorias and Cavours were indeed modernized, but they retained most of their 12" guns, rebored to 12.6", 43.8 calibre, (10 guns each, the Cavours lost their Q turrets) although they tended to droop a bit, causing greater shell dispersion.
          (not great trade-off, sounds like they might have done better by mounting one less 15" in each turret or something)

          Right, I only get one triple from each ship for a total of 4, making 11 plus the 4 Austrian ones.
          There are also 2 x twins and 8 singles, all 12".

          I'm thinking that the Austrian turrets would be best in the Adriatic, two of them around Trieste, one at Brindisi, and Venice would have been another good location, but I just found out Italy already had a turret there... one with twin 15" guns!
          There was a class of BB that was cancelled because of the war (?) but some turrets were already made. One was put on a monitor, and another was placed on a land-mount, northeast of Venice. That's interesting, it shows that it was appreciated how a turret mounting could contribute to land battles as well as fighting naval invasions.

          The other triple 12" would likely be distributed down the west coast or Italy at Genoa, La Spezia, Naples, Messina, Palermo, and a couple at Taranto. The remaining four could be placed along the coast from Anzio to about 40 miles north of there, along an easy invasion coast right near Rome. They would also need comprehensive backing from lesser weapons, I will get into those later.

          You still have twin turrets, one at Tripoli and one at Rhodes?
          The old singles can go to more remote places with lesser engineering availability. 4 at Sardinia, 3 at Masawa in Eretria, and 1 for distant Mogadishu.
          Not a dire threat to Battleships, but a threat nonetheless, and deadly to anything in the Cruiser class.
          As for lesser ships, there are many more guns yet to distribute-
          24 x 8" twin turrets
          4 x 4.7" twin + 54 non-turreted
          32 x 6" casemate type
          152 x 3"
          "Why is the Rum gone?"

          -Captain Jack

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
            ... for purposes I will reveal below.

            First of all, I want to show you this very interesting item-
            http://wordforge.net/index.php?posts/2367449/

            The one in Finland that is kept operational is especially interesting!

            Obuhov, I served in the navy/coastal forces and saw this and plenty of other coastal artillery first hand. Quite obsolete these days with missiles and the kind, which I guess is why the Finnish coast has quite a few decoy guns even during peace time.
            Wisdom is personal

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Karri View Post
              Obuhov, I served in the navy/coastal forces and saw this and plenty of other coastal artillery first hand. Quite obsolete these days with missiles and the kind, which I guess is why the Finnish coast has quite a few decoy guns even during peace time.
              Sweden too, they had a very nice turreted system for 75mm auto-cannons, good for swatting patrol boats or Subs popping up to deliver commandos.
              Coastal artillery retained usefulness for a long time for the same reason that artillery is still in use with Armies everywhere; firepower that is not reliant on electronics.
              ECM can play havoc with those expensive missiles.

              However, big turrets like that one are vulnerable to a major hit. They are not huge targets, but they are immobile.
              You could add layers of concrete to the top for a cheap & easy reinforcement, but there is a limit to what you can do before you ruin the bearing race.
              You could put them next to a cliff and build out an overhead shield so thick it makes them effectively "bomb-proof"... but if you do you are limiting traverse, and if you have a cliff there you may as well go with a cheaper casemate anyway.
              Another idea is to build a massive concrete Hood over the turret, one that traverses with the turret but rotates on its own track. As far as I know, this was never tried, the expense might have something to do with this. And that makes sense; the whole idea here is for cheap, basically re-cycled firepower.
              "Why is the Rum gone?"

              -Captain Jack

              Comment


              • #8
                Placements -

                Starting at the Anzio-Ostia front protecting Rome's area, where there are already 4 triple 12" turrets....
                and I think those turrets should be placed inland a few miles, in depressions that would hide them from spotters at sea. It also avoids displacing a lot of people from a coast where they have been gathering for thousands of years. It would cost a lot, either in money or politically, to make room for guns with a muzzle-blast like those 12" guns have.

                Smaller in size but much more impressive in numbers for that 50-mile stretch;
                80 x 3"
                14 x 4.7"
                8 x 6"
                8 x 8" twin turrets

                That will be the greatest concentration of firepower in any of the locations I will detail, and it can be called a concentration because it has a pretty good overlap for all the gun types as far as range goes.
                This area also gets the majority of the 3" guns because they aren't good for much aside from resisting an actual landing at the point where it is being made. All of them would probably be in open-pit mountings, but the Italians could be pretty clever with those ... same for the 4.7" guns, but at least those could expect to have some sort of shields.

                Thats a very good foundation for an effective coastal defense, a handful of typical 2nd-rate Divisions and some halfway decent air cover is all you would need to break up an invading force, or at least delay it long enough for the rest of the Army to arrive.
                "Why is the Rum gone?"

                -Captain Jack

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have to admit, I do enjoy this sort of mental exercise....


                  Okay, on to the rest.
                  Starting with the most distant outpost of the realm, and working back to the Homeland-

                  In Italian Somaliland is Mogadishu, low and sandy with few cliffs or even large hills. Good for Turrets, bad for casemates.
                  1 x 12" single, 1 x 8" twin, 2 x 4.7" twin turrets, 9 x 3" guns

                  Masawa is totally different, and there are a vast number of rocky little islands offshore.
                  3 x 12" single turrets, 8 x 6", 12 x 3"

                  Rhodes would be surrounded by hostile seas and be more likely to face battleships. it is also not small
                  1 x 12" twin, 2 x 8" twin turrets, 4 x 6", 8 x 4.7", 20 x 3"

                  Libya-
                  Tripoli is low and sandy, as is the next one-
                  1 x 12" twin, 2 x 8" twin, 1 x 4.7" twin turrets, 2 x 6", 9 x 3"

                  Benghazi-
                  2 x 8" twin, 1 x 4.7" twin turrets, 6 x 3"

                  Tobruk has some nice bluffs to work with, but the army is making it a large fortress for some reason. So, better add a turret just in case, and over-stuff with 3" guns for dual-use.
                  1 x 8" twin turret, 2 x 6", 4 x 4.7", 16 x 3"


                  Sardinia is not so isolated, nor is it terribly valuable. It does have a large port at the south end, and at the north there is an opportunity for interdicting the Bonafacio passage with artillery, so an even split with the older guns would be good;
                  4 x 12" single, 2 x 8" twin turrets, 6 x 6", 8 x 4.7", 24 x 3"


                  point defense at home-
                  Palermo on Sicily-
                  1 x 12" triple, 2 x 8" twin, 4 x 4.7", 6 x 3"

                  Massena (the strait, not the town)
                  1 x 12" triple, 4 x 6", 6 x 3"

                  Naples-
                  1 x 12" triple, 3 x 8" turrets, 4 x 4.7", 12 x 3"

                  La Spezia-
                  1 x 12" triple turret, 4 x 6", 2 x 4.7", 6 x 3"

                  Genoa-
                  1 x 12" triple, 1 x 8" twin, 2 x 6", 4 x 4.7", 12 x 3"

                  Taranto isn't getting any more stuff, they already must have had a great deal there and 2 x 12" triple turrets is about the only thing they didn't have already.
                  Massena is probably a waste as well, minefields and air patrols were enough to keep it closed to the enemy in both world wars. It is, however, only prudent to have some anti-invasion artillery there.
                  "Why is the Rum gone?"

                  -Captain Jack

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    No guns for Salerno or Naples?

                    Pruitt
                    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                      No guns for Salerno or Naples?

                      Pruitt
                      Naples is up there, and Salerno was an invasion beach chosen by the Allies after Sicily fell... I thought that it might be a bit much to anticipate such a thing.
                      However, I forgot about 3 x Heavy Cruisers that would have given us 6 x twin 10" twin turrets and 12 x 8" twins as well.
                      Do with them what you will.

                      Okay, back to the OP--
                      Would all this additional firepower have been enough to remove the last pair of Italian BBs from consideration?
                      Would the resources and manufacturing freed up by that move have been significant or even descisive for the Italian war-effort?
                      "Why is the Rum gone?"

                      -Captain Jack

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Wasn't the only effective shore battery action at Wake Island? I'm scratching my head for any other incident that came up.

                        Most of the time it was avoided or bombed into insignificance...

                        West wall is a case in point. Did the kraut naval guns have any significance on D-Day?
                        Credo quia absurdum.


                        Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bwaha View Post
                          Wasn't the only effective shore battery action at Wake Island? I'm scratching my head for any other incident that came up.
                          How about the Norwegians sinking the Blucher during the invasion of Norway in 1940? There was a torpedo battery involved but the guns got their hits in.

                          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German...r_Bl%C3%BCcher

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                          • #14
                            That was a torpedo action that sank her. Not a gun duel.

                            Like I said I think Midway was the only time land based guns got a victory...

                            Do correct me if I'm wrong.
                            Credo quia absurdum.


                            Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bwaha View Post
                              That was a torpedo action that sank her. Not a gun duel.

                              Like I said I think Midway was the only time land based guns got a victory...

                              Do correct me if I'm wrong.
                              HMS Sikh was sunk by shore guns during Operation Agreement, a raid on Tobruk September 1942
                              On January 12 1942 Dutch Coastal artillery sinks two Japanese minesweepers w 14 and w 13. In retaliation the Japanese executed 219 men of the gun crews after they surrendered

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