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TORPEDO SHIPS
SPICA torpedo boats (1935 - 1938)


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Climene

Ships


Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate Modification
Astore AS   BSN, Napoli 1933 22.4.1934 6.1935 to Sweden 3.1940 (Remus) Spica group
Spica SP   BSN, Napoli 5.1933 11.3.1934 5.1935 to Sweden 3.1940 (Romulus) Spica group
Canopo CA   CT, Riva Trigoso 12.1935 1.10.1936 3.1937 sunk 3.5.1941 Climene group
Cassiopea CS, 1953- F553   CT, Riva Trigoso 12.1935 22.11.1936 4.1937 discarded 10.1959 Climene group
Castore CT   CNR, Ancona 1.1936 27.9.1936 1.1937 sunk 2.6.1943 Climene group
Centauro CO   CNR, Ancona 5.1934 19.2.1936 6.1936 sunk 4.11.1942 Climene group
Cigno CG   CNR, Ancona 3.1936 24.11.1936 4.1937 sunk 16.4.1943 Climene group
Climene CN, CE   CNR, Ancona 7.1934 7.1.1936 4.1936 sunk 28.4.1943 Climene group
Aldebaran AL   Ansaldo, Genoa 10.1935 14.6.1936 12.1936 sunk 20.10.1941 Perseo group
Altair AT   Ansaldo, Genoa 10.1935 26.7.1936 12.1936 sunk 20.10.1941 Perseo group
Andromeda AD   Ansaldo, Genoa 10.1935 28.6.1936 12.1936 sunk 17.3.1941 Perseo group
Antares AN   Ansaldo, Genoa 10.1935 19.7.1936 12.1936 sunk 28.5.1943 Perseo group
Perseo PS   CNQ, Fiume 11.1934 9.10.1935 2.1936 sunk 4.5.1943 Perseo group
Sagittario SG, 1953- F557   CNQ, Fiume 11.1935 21.6.1936 10.1936 discarded 7.1964 Perseo group
Sirio SI, 1953- F554   CNQ, Fiume 11.1934 16.11.1935 3.1936 discarded 10.1959 Perseo group
Vega VG   CNQ, Fiume 11.1935 21.6.1936 10.1936 sunk 10.1.1941 Perseo group
Airone AO   Ansaldo, Genoa 10.1936 23.1.1938 5.1938 sunk 20.10.1941 Alcione group
Alcione AC   Ansaldo, Genoa 10.1936 23.12.1937 5.1938 sunk 11.12.1941 Alcione group
Aretusa AU, 1953- F556   Ansaldo, Genoa 10.1936 6.2.1938 7.1938 discarded 8.1958 Alcione group
Ariel AE   Ansaldo, Genoa 10.1936 14.3.1938 7.1938 sunk 12.10.1940 Alcione group
Calipso CI   Ansaldo, Genoa 9.1937 12.6.1938 11.1938 sunk 5.12.1940 Alcione group
Calliope CP, 1953- F551   Ansaldo, Genoa 5.1937 15.4.1938 10.1938 discarded 8.1958 Alcione group
Circe CC   Ansaldo, Genoa 9.1937 29.6.1938 10.1938 collision 27.11.1942 Alcione group
Clio CL, 1953- F555   Ansaldo, Genoa 10.1936 3.4.1938 10.1938 discarded 10.1959 Alcione group
Libra LB, 1953- F552   CNQ, Fiume 12.1936 3.10.1937 1.1938 discarded 4.1964 Alcione group
Lince LC   CNQ, Fiume 12.1936 15.1.1938 4.1938 sunk 28.8.1943 Alcione group
Lira LR   CNQ, Fiume 12.1936 12.9.1937 1.1938 scuttled 9.9.1943 Alcione group
Lupo LP, LU   CNQ, Fiume 12.1936 7.11.1937 2.1938 sunk 2.12.1942 Alcione group
Pallade PD   BSN, Napoli 2.1937 19.12.1937 10.1938 sunk 5.8.1943 Alcione group
Partenope PN   BSN, Napoli 3.1937 27.2.1938 11.1938 scuttled 11.9.1943 Alcione group
Pleiadi PL   BSN, Napoli 1.1937 5.9.1937 7.1938 damaged 13.10.1941, never repaired Alcione group
Polluce PC   BSN, Napoli 2.1937 24.10.1937 8.1938 sunk 4.9.1942 Alcione group


Technical data


Displacement standard, t

Spica group: 638

Climene group: 780

Perseo group: 775

Alcione group: 785

Displacement full, t

Spica group: 885

Climene group: 995

Perseo group: 1005

Alcione group: 1035

Length, m

Spica group, Canopo, Cassiopea, Perseo, Sagittario, Sirio, Vega, Alcione group: 75.0 pp 80.4 oa

others: 75.0 pp 82.0 oa

Breadth, m

Spica, Climene, Perseo groups: 8.20

Alcione group: 7.92

Draught, m

2.83 - 3.09

No of shafts

2

Machinery

2 sets Tosi geared steam turbines, 2 Yarrow boilers

Power, h. p.

19000

Max speed, kts

34

Fuel, t

oil 207

Endurance, nm(kts)1900 - 1960(15)
Armament

Spica group: 3 x 1 - 100/47 OTO 1931, 2 x 2 - 40/39 Vickers-Terni 1917, 2 x 2 - 13.2/76, 4 x 1 - 450 TT, 2 DCT, 18 - 28 mines

Climene group except Centauro and Climene: 3 x 1 - 100/47 OTO 1931, 4 x 2 - 13.2/76, 4 x 1 - 450 TT, 2 DCT, 18 - 28 mines

Centauro, Climene: 3 x 1 - 100/47 OTO 1931, 4 x 2 - 13.2/76, 1 x 2 - 450 TT, 2 x 1 - 450 TT, 2 DCT, 18 - 28 mines

Perseo group: 3 x 1 - 100/47 OTO 1931, 4 x 2 - 13.2/76, 2 x 2 - 450 TT, 2 DCT, 18 - 28 mines

Alcione group except Libra, Lince, Lira, Lupo: 3 x 1 - 100/47 OTO 1937, 4 x 2 - 13.2/76, 2 x 2 - 450 TT, 2 DCT, 18 - 28 mines

Libra, Lince, Lira, Lupo: 3 x 1 - 100/47 OTO 1937, 4 x 2 - 13.2/76, 4 x 1 - 450 TT, 2 DCT, 18 - 28 mines

Complement

99



Standard scale images


<i>Canopo</i> 1940
Canopo 1940
<i>Sagittario </i>1963
Sagittario 1963
<i>Sirio </i>1954
Sirio 1954


Graphics


<i>Cassiopea</i> 1953
Cassiopea 1953
<i>Clio</i> 1953
Clio 1953
<i>Climene</i>
Climene
<i>Lupo</i> 1941
Lupo 1941


Project history

In the early thirties for replacement of out-of-date torpedo boats the decision to build a series of new ships of such type was accepted, thus their standard displacement was limited by 600t. It allowed to take advantage of an opening in total documents of the London Naval Conference of 1930 according to which the ships with displacement under 600t did not fall under limitations and could be built in any number. According to naval shipbuilding experts, to create something except coastal torpedo boat with low seaworthiness and low endurance, it was impossible. For Italy, whose interests have been centred on Mediterranean sea with its rather small distances and good weather conditions, the endurance and seaworthiness paled into insignificance. It is clear to use desire of Italians this opening for the renewal torpedo fleets, not spending on it precious contractual tonnage and having left it on rigorous destroyers.

It is interesting, that determination to build the 600t ships had, besides economic also political underlying reason as Italy, after France, did not ratify total documents of the London conference and formally had the full right not to follow any limitations.

First two torpedo boats laid down in 1933 structurally presented strongly moderated version of Freccia class destroyer with 100mm main guns and 450mm torpedoes. In total 32 ships were completed differing from each other by an arrangement of torpedo banks. On trials many have exceeded 37kts, however, after commission speed was significantly decreased at the expense of overload (to 630-670t design standard displacement it was added from 115-150t) and has averaged 30kts.

Successful from the point of view of an applied naval architecture design of 600t torpedo boat at the same time had doubtful practical value as approached for the decision of the majority of the tasks facing destroyer a little. For operations against enemy destroyers she has been too small and poorly armed. For torpedo attacks on enemy surface ships on the contrary, she was too large and had in side salvo only 2-4 weak 450mm torpedoes. Much in larger degree 600t torpedo boats approached for patrol and escort services, but also in this case their anti-aircraft and anti-submarine armaments were too weak.

Modernizations

1939 - 1941, all survived: were armed with 3 x 1 - 100/47 OTO 1931/1937, 3 x 2 - 20/65 Breda 1935, 1 x 2 - 13.2/76, 2 x 2 - 450 TT, 2 DCT, 18 - 28 mines, hydrophone

1941 - 1942, all survived: + 2 DCT (40 DC at all)

1942 - 1943, all survived: - 1 x 2 - 13.2/76; + 4 x 1 - 20/70 Scotti-Isotta Fraschini 1939

early 1950s, all survived: + radars, sonar

1952, Cassiopea: - 2 x 2 - 450 TT; + 1 x 24 - 178 Hedgehog Mk 10 ASWRL

1952, Sirio: - 2 x 1 - 100/47, 2 x 2 - 450 TT; + 1 x 24 - 178 Hedgehog MK 10 ASWRL

1952, Clio, Libra; 1953, Aretusa, Calliope: - 1 x 1 - 100/47, 2 x 2 - 450 TT; + 1 x 24 - 178 Hedgehog Mk 10 ASWRL

1958, Sirio: - 1 x 1 - 100/47; + 2 x 1 - 40/60 Mk 3

1958, Clio, Libra, Aretusa, Calliope: - 2 x 1 - 100/47; + 2 x 1 - 40/60 Mk 3

Naval service

Airone and Ariel 12.10.1940 were sunk by British cruiser Ajax E off Malta. Calipso 5.12.1940 was sunk on mines laid by British submarine Rorqual E off Tripoli. Andromeda 18.3.1941 was sunk by British aircraft at coast of Albania. Canopo was sunk 3.5.1941 by British aircraft at Tripoli. Pleiadi 31.5.1941 was wrongly damaged by Italian aircraft at Tobruk, towed off to Tripoli, 13.10.1941 hard damaged by British aircraft and was not repaired. Aldebaran and Altair 20.10.1941 were sunk by mines laid by British submarine Rorqual off Piraeus. Alcione 11.12.1941 was sunk by British submarine Truant N off Crete. Vega 10.1.1942 was damaged by gunfire of British cruiser Bonaventure off Pantelleria and sunk by a torpedo from British destroyer Hereward. Polluce 4.9.1942 was sunk by British aircraft N off Tobruk. Centauro 4.11.1942 was sunk by American aircraft at Bengasi. Circe 27.11.1942 was sunk at collision with auxiliary cruiser Citta di Tunisi at Sicily. Lupo 2.12.1942 was sunk by British cruisers Aurora, Argonaut and Sirius off Kirkenah. Cigno 16.4.1943 was sunk by gunfire and torpedoes of British destroyers Paladin and Pakenham W off Sicily. Climene 28.4.1943 was sunk by British submarine Unshaken W off Sicily. Perseo 4.5.1943 was sunk by British destroyers Nubian, Paladin and Petard at coast of Tunisia. Antares 28.5.1943 was sunk as result of American air raid to Leghorn. Castore was sunk 2.6.1943 by gunfire of British destroyer Jervis and Greek Vasilissa Olga off Calabria. Lince 4.8.1943 ran aground at Taranto and 28.8.1943 was finished by British submarine Ultor. Pallade 5.8.1943 was sunk by American aircraft at Naples. Lira was captured by German troops in September, 1943, renamed TA49 and sunk 4.11.1944 by Allied aircraft at La Spezia. Partenope was captured by German troops in September, 1943 and 11.9.1943 blown up at Naples.

Some ships after war were modernised as fast corvettes: Cassiopea (1950-1952), Sirio (1951-1952), Aretusa (1952-1953), Calliope (1952-1953), Clio (1951-1952), Libra (1950-1952). Sagittario in 1952-1953 was converted to armament trials ship.