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Osvetnik-class submarine

The Osvetnik-class consisted of two submarines built by Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire, Nantes, France, for the navy of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia). Launched in 1928–1929, the vessels were named Osvetnik (Avenger) and Smeli (Daring) in Serbo-Croatian. They were built to a partial double hull Simonot design similar to the French Circé-class submarines. The Osvetnik-class was the second class of submarines to serve in the Royal Yugoslav Navy, and joined the two larger British-made Hrabri-class submarines to make up the pre-war Yugoslav submarine force. They were armed with six 550 mm (22 in) torpedo tubes, one 100 mm (3.9 in) gun, and one 40 mm (1.6 in) anti-aircraft gun, and could dive to 80 metres (260 ft).

Osvetnik class
black and white photograph of a submarine underway on the surface
Osvetnik, the lead submarine of the class, underway in 1930
Class overview
Builders: Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire, Nantes, France
Operators:
Preceded by: Hrabri-class submarine
Succeeded by: Sutjeska-class submarine
Built: 1928–1929
In commission: 1928–1943
Completed: 2
Lost: 2
General characteristics
Type: Diesel-electric submarine
Displacement:
  • 630 long tons (640 t) (surfaced)
  • 809 long tons (822 t) (submerged)
Length: 66.5 m (218 ft 2 in)
Beam: 5.4 m (17 ft 9 in)
Draught: 3.8 m (12 ft 6 in)
Propulsion: 2 × shaft MAN diesel engines 1,480 bhp (1,100 kW), 2 × Nancy electric motors 1,000 shp (750 kW)
Speed:
  • 14.5 knots (26.9 km/h) (surfaced)
  • 9.2 knots (17.0 km/h) (submerged)
Range:
  • 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km; 4,000 mi) at 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph) (surfaced)
  • 75 nautical miles (139 km; 86 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) (submerged)
Test depth: 80 m (260 ft)
Complement: 43
Armament:

Prior to World War II both submarines participated in cruises to Mediterranean ports. Both submarines were captured by Italian forces at the Bay of Kotor during the German-led Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941. After refit, they saw service as experimental and training vessels with the Regia Marina as Francesco Rismondo and Antonio Bajamonti respectively. They were both scuttled in September 1943 following the Italian surrender, Francesco Rismondo by the Germans following her capture, and Antonio Bajamonti by the Italians themselves.

Description and constructionEdit

Yugoslav naval policy in the interwar period lacked direction until the mid-1920s,[1] although it was generally accepted that the Adriatic coastline was effectively a sea frontier that the naval arm was responsible for securing with the limited resources made available to it. In 1926, a modest ten-year construction program was initiated to build up a force of submarines, coastal torpedo boats, torpedo bombers and conventional bomber aircraft to perform this role. The Osvetnik-class submarines were one of the acquisitions aimed at developing a naval force capable of meeting this challenge.[2]

The Osvetnik-class was built for the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia) by the Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire company (ACL) at Nantes, France. Their design was based on a partial double hull design developed by ACL's chief engineer, G. Simonot,[3] which was similar to the French Circé-class submarine.[4] Their Serbo-Croatian names of Osvetnik and Smeli translate as "Avenger" and "Daring" respectively. They had an overall length of 66.5 m (218 ft 2 in), a beam of 5.4 m (17 ft 9 in), and a surfaced draught of 3.8 m (12 ft 6 in). Their surfaced displacement was 630 long tons (640 t), or 809 long tons (822 t) submerged, and their crews consisted of 43 officers and enlisted men.[3] They had an operational depth of 80 m (260 ft).[4]

For surface running, the Osvetnik-class boats were powered by two MAN (Maschinenfabrik) diesel engines which were rated at 1,480 brake horsepower (1,100 kW) that drove two propeller shafts. When submerged, the propellers were driven by two Nancy electric motors generating 1,000 shaft horsepower (750 kW). They could reach a top speed of 14.5 knots (26.9 km/h) on the surface, and 9.2 knots (17.0 km/h) on their electric motors when submerged. They were armed with six 550 mm (22 in) torpedo tubes (four bow-mounted, two stern-mounted), one 100 mm (3.9 in) gun, and one 40 mm (1.6 in) anti-aircraft gun.[3] On the surface, the boats had a range of 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km) at 9 knots (17 km/h), and 75 nautical miles (139 km) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h) submerged.[4]

Service historyEdit

Smeli was launched on 1 December 1928, and Osvetnik on 14 January 1929.[3] They arrived in the Bay of Kotor on the southern Adriatic coast on 9 December 1929.[5] In 1932, the British naval attaché reported that Yugoslav ships engaged in few exercises, manoeuvres or gunnery training due to reduced budgets.[6]

OsvetnikEdit

First of the class, Osvetnik was involved in a series of visits to Mediterranean ports during the interwar period.[7] She was captured in port by the Italians during the German-led Axis invasion of Yugoslavia.[8][9] She was refitted and modernised before being commissioned by the Italians as Francesco Rismondo, but was only used for training and experimentation.[10] After the Italian surrender, she was captured then scuttled by the Germans in September 1943.[3]

SmeliEdit

Smeli was the second and last of her class.[3] She also participated in several cruises in the Mediterranean during the interwar period.[11] After capture by the Italians, Smeli was refitted and modernised before being commissioned as Antonio Bajamonti, but was only used for training and experimentation.[10] She was scuttled by the Italians in September 1943 at the time of the Italian surrender.[3]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Jarman 1997a, p. 732.
  2. ^ Jarman 1997a, p. 779.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Chesneau 1980, p. 358.
  4. ^ a b c Fontenoy 2007, p. 188.
  5. ^ Jarman 1997b, p. 183.
  6. ^ Jarman 1997b, p. 451.
  7. ^ Jarman 1997b, pp. 453, 641, 738.
  8. ^ Terzić 1982, pp. 267, 457.
  9. ^ Bagnasco 1977, p. 251.
  10. ^ a b Bagnasco 1977, pp. 170–171.
  11. ^ Jarman 1997b, p. 544, 838.

ReferencesEdit

BooksEdit

  • Bagnasco, Erminio (1977). Submarines of World War Two. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-962-7.
  • Chesneau, Roger, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1922–1946. London, England: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 978-0-85177-146-5.
  • Fontenoy, Paul E. (2007). Submarines: An Illustrated History of Their Impact. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-85109-563-6.
  • Jarman, Robert L., ed. (1997a). Yugoslavia Political Diaries 1918–1965. 1. Slough, Berkshire: Archives Edition. ISBN 978-1-85207-950-5.
  • Jarman, Robert L., ed. (1997b). Yugoslavia Political Diaries 1918–1965. 2. Slough, Berkshire: Archives Edition. ISBN 978-1-85207-950-5.
  • Terzić, Velimir (1982). Slom Kraljevine Jugoslavije 1941 : uzroci i posledice poraza [The Collapse of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1941: Causes and Consequences of Defeat] (in Serbo-Croatian). 2. Belgrade, Yugoslavia: Narodna knjiga. OCLC 10276738.