Harpoon – Vigorous – Mezzo Giugno: the pictures.

This pictures, related to a major strategic success of the Axis in the Med (and a demonstration of the beneficial effects of a good cooperation between naval and avio forces) are from Storia Militare, F. Mattesini, November 2012, December 2012 and January 2013.

HMS Liverpool, torpedoed by a R.A. S.79.

Tanimbar motorboat torpedoed

A HMS Eagle fly by after a torpedo release from an Italian aircraft

Operation Harpoon overall map

RN Eugenio di Savoia fires at Pantelleria

HMS Bedouin sinking (by a R.A. S.79 torpedo) after having suffered heavy damage by naval gunfire

Fighting fire onboard RN Vivaldi near Scauri, Pantelleria.

RN Littorio on the morning of June 15, 1942. One Ro.42 fallen due to near bomb miss

Operation Vigorous general map

RN Littorio as seen from RN Vittorio Veneto

RN Littorio, near misses from a “Liberator” squadron

RN Littorio, the damaged seaplane

HMAS Nestor, immobilised by bombs, then sunk with deep charges by HMS Javelin

Mine damage to Orari’s hull while entering Malta’s Grand Harbour





4 thoughts on “Harpoon – Vigorous – Mezzo Giugno: the pictures.

  1. Stefano, do you know if the RN seriously considered to design or even build 406mm cannons? As I’ve seen two type of drawings of the UP-41, one with Italian the other with Soviet secondary and AA guns, I wonder if the main guns were to be of Italian design or the Soviet ones to be used for the Sovietsky Soyuz class?

  2. Do you mean Regia Marina? It depends on what you mean for “seriously”. For sure the Ansaldo designed 406 mm naval guns, but never built them. On of the reasons for the building of RN Roma and RN Impero was the availability of tested 381 mm guns, while the 406 mm would had meet longer testing time. As for the secondaries, until now I only saw drawings with 180/60 mm turrets, but consider they were entirely interchangeable with the well tested 152 triples. I think you can exclude that a 406 mm gun used in the RM would had been of Soviet origin.

  3. Yes RM, Seriously I meant that detail work on the gun was done or just was an idea (like the 20″ for the HMS Incomparable).
    For the secondariness I meant the AA guns mostly 90mm twins instead of 100mm twins. but this was ages ago, I’m not sure if I could re-found the Italian variant again.
    Also, here a person mentions “first alteration” of the UP-41 meaning there could be others, as well as another design labelled UP-54:

    Do you know anything about these?

  4. Tzoli, I have proof that Ansaldo was involved in evaluating the SU fallen in German hands. There is also a clue about the fact it would had been a new design (under a new project name), not the original SU one. Consider that Ansaldo people was working with the Soviet in URSS until the day of the German attack.
    The UP54 design is new to me; for sure the UP41 design is the well known one the originals are in Italian, but the secondaries weapons were the 180 and the 100mm, while the main guns were 406/50. I believe that a complete design process for Italian 406/50 mm guns was made, can’t exclude the projects were actually those implemented by the Soviets for the SS class.

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