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Yugoslav torpedo boat T8

T8 was a sea-going torpedo boat that was operated by the Royal Yugoslav Navy between 1921 and 1941, after spending World War I in Austro-Hungarian Navy service. Originally 97 F, she was a 250t-class torpedo boat, which saw active service during World War I, performing convoy, patrol, escort and minesweeping tasks, and anti-submarine operations. Following Austria-Hungary's defeat in 1918, 97 F was allocated to the Navy of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, which later became the Royal Yugoslav Navy, and was renamed T8. At the time, she and the seven other 250t-class boats were the only modern sea-going vessels of the fledgling maritime force.

T8
a black and white photograph of a small ship underway
T8's sister ship, T3, the only significant external difference was that T8 had two funnels
History
Austria-Hungary
Name: 97 F
Builder: Ganz & Danubius
Laid down: 5 March 1915
Launched: 20 August 1916
Commissioned: 22 December 1916
Out of service: 1918
Fate: Assigned to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Name: T8
Acquired: March 1921
Out of service: April 1941
Fate: Captured by Italy
Italy
Name: T8
Acquired: April 1941
Out of service: September 1943
Fate: sunk by German aircraft
General characteristics
Class and type: 250t-class, F-group sea-going torpedo boat
Displacement:
  • 266 t (262 long tons)
  • 330 t (325 long tons) (full load)
Length: 58.5 m (191 ft 11 in)
Beam: 5.8 m (19 ft)
Draught: 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in)
Installed power:
Propulsion:
Speed: 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph)
Range: 1,200 nmi (2,200 km; 1,400 mi) at 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)
Complement: 38–41
Armament:

During the interwar period, T8 and the rest of the navy were involved in training exercises and cruises to friendly ports, but activity was limited by reduced naval budgets. The ship was captured by the Italians during the German-led Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941. After her main armament was modernised, she served with the Royal Italian Navy under her Yugoslav designation, conducting coastal and second-line escort duties in the Adriatic. Following the Italian capitulation in September 1943, she was sunk by German aircraft while evacuating Italian troops from Dalmatia.

BackgroundEdit

In 1910, the Austria-Hungary Naval Technical Committee initiated the design and development of a 275-tonne (271-long-ton) coastal torpedo boat, specifying that it should be capable of sustaining 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph) for 10 hours. This specification was based on an expectation that the Strait of Otranto, where the Adriatic Sea meets the Ionian Sea, would be blockaded by hostile forces during a future conflict. In such circumstances, there would be a need for a torpedo boat that could sail from the Austro-Hungarian Navy (German: kaiserliche und königliche Kriegsmarine) base at the Bocche di Cattaro (Bay of Kotor) to the Strait during the night, locate and attack blockading ships and return to port before morning. After the first contract for eight 250t-class torpedo boats was signed, another tender was requested for four more boats, but when Ganz & Danubius reduced their price by ten percent, a total of sixteen boats were ordered from them, designated the F-group.[1] The F-group designation signified the location of Ganz & Danubius' main shipyard at Fiume.[2] 97 F was the sixteenth and last boat of the F-group to be completed.[3]

Description and constructionEdit

The 250t-class F-group boats had a waterline length of 58.5 metres (191 ft 11 in), a beam of 5.8 m (19 ft), and a normal draught of 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in). While their designed displacement was 266 tonnes (262 long tons), they displaced about 330 tonnes (325 long tons) fully loaded.[2] The crew consisted of 38–41 officers and enlisted men.[1][2] The boats were powered by two AEG-Curtiss steam turbines driving two propellers, using steam generated by two Yarrow water-tube boilers,[1] one of which burned fuel oil and the other coal. The turbines were rated at 5,000 shaft horsepower (3,700 kW) with a maximum output of 6,000 shp (4,500 kW) and designed to propel the boats to a top speed of 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph).[2] They carried 20 tonnes (19.7 long tons) of coal and 34 tonnes (33.5 long tons) of fuel oil,[4] which gave them a range of 1,200 nautical miles (2,200 km; 1,400 mi) at 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph).[2] The F-group had two funnels rather than the single funnel of the preceding T-group.[1] Due to inadequate funding, 97 F and the rest of the 250t class were essentially coastal vessels, despite the original intention that they would be used for "high seas" operations.[5] They were the first small Austro-Hungarian Navy boats to use turbines, and this contributed to ongoing problems with them.[1]

The boats were armed with two Škoda 66 mm (2.6 in) L/30 guns,[a] and four 450 mm (17.7 in) torpedo tubes.[1] They could also carry 10–12 naval mines.[2] 97 F was laid down on 5 March 1915, launched on 20 August 1916 and completed on 22 December 1916.[3]

CareerEdit

World War I and the interwar periodEdit

During World War I, 97 F was used for convoy, patrol, escort and minesweeping tasks, and anti-submarine operations.[1] In 1917, one of her 66 mm guns was placed on an anti-aircraft mount.[2] 97 F survived the war intact.[1]

Map of the Independent State of Croatia showing the location of Dubrovnik

In 1920, under the terms of the previous year's Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye by which rump Austria officially ended World War I, she was allocated to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (KSCS, later Yugoslavia). Along with three other 250t-class F-group boats, 87 F, 93 F, and 96 F, and four 250t-class T-group boats, she was transferred in March 1921 to the Navy of the KSCS, which later became the Royal Yugoslav Navy (Serbo-Croatian Latin: Kraljevska Jugoslovenska Ratna Mornarica, KJRM).[7] Renamed T8 in KJRM service,[2] she and the other seven 250t-class boats were, at the outset, the only modern sea-going vessels in the KJRM.[8] In 1925, exercises were conducted off the Dalmatian coast, involving the majority of the navy.[9] In May–June 1929, six of the eight 250t-class torpedo boats accompanied the light cruiser Dalmacija, the submarine tender Hvar and the submarines Hrabri and Nebojša, on a cruise to Malta, the Greek island of Corfu in the Ionian Sea, and Bizerte in the French protectorate of Tunisia. It is not clear if T8 was one of the torpedo boats involved. The ships and crews made a very good impression on the Royal Navy while visiting Malta.[10] In 1932, the British naval attaché reported that Yugoslav ships engaged in few exercises, manoeuvres or gunnery training due to reduced budgets.[11]

World War IIEdit

In April 1941, Yugoslavia was drawn into World War II when it was invaded by the German-led Axis powers. At the time of the invasion, T8 was assigned to the 3rd Torpedo Division located at Šibenik, which included her three F-group sisters.[12] On 8 April, the four boats of the 3rd Torpedo Division, along with other vessels, were tasked to support an attack on the Italian enclave of Zara (Zadar) on the Dalmatian coast. They were subjected to three Italian air attacks and, after the last one, sailed from the area of Zaton into Lake Prokljan, where they remained until 11 April.[13] On 12 April, the 3rd Torpedo Division arrived at Milna on the island of Brač, and refused to follow orders to sail to the Bay of Kotor.[14] All four F-group boats were captured by the Italians.[15]

T8 was then operated by the Italians under her Yugoslav designation, conducting coastal and second-line escort duties in the Adriatic. Her guns were replaced by two 76 mm (3 in) L/40 anti-aircraft guns,[16] but no other significant alterations were made to her.[17] The Italians capitulated in September 1943, and T8 was sunk 37 km (23 mi) north-west of Dubrovnik by German aircraft while evacuating Italian troops from Dalmatia on 10 or 11 September 1943.[1][18][19][20]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ L/30 denotes the length of the gun. In this case, the L/30 gun is 30 calibre, meaning that the gun was 30 times as long as the diameter of its bore.[6]

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Gardiner 1985, p. 339.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Greger 1976, p. 58.
  3. ^ a b Greger 1976, p. 60.
  4. ^ Jane's Information Group 1989, p. 313.
  5. ^ O'Hara, Worth & Dickson 2013, pp. 26–27.
  6. ^ Friedman 2011, p. 294.
  7. ^ Vego 1982, p. 345.
  8. ^ Chesneau 1980, p. 355.
  9. ^ Jarman 1997a, p. 733.
  10. ^ Jarman 1997b, p. 183.
  11. ^ Jarman 1997b, p. 451.
  12. ^ Niehorster 2016.
  13. ^ Terzić 1982, p. 333.
  14. ^ Terzić 1982, p. 404.
  15. ^ Greger 1976, pp. 58 & 60.
  16. ^ Brescia 2012, p. 151.
  17. ^ Chesneau 1980, p. 304.
  18. ^ Chesneau 1980, p. 357.
  19. ^ Whitley 1988, p. 186.
  20. ^ Brown 1995, p. 92.

ReferencesEdit

  • Brescia, Maurizio (2012). Mussolini's Navy. Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-59114-544-8.
  • Brown, David (1995). Warship Losses of World War Two. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-55750-914-7.
  • 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.
  • Friedman, Norman (2011). Naval Weapons of World War One. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-84832-100-7.
  • Gardiner, Robert, ed. (1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1906–1921. London, England: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 978-0-85177-245-5.
  • Greger, René (1976). Austro-Hungarian Warships of World War I. London, England: Allan. ISBN 978-0-7110-0623-2.
  • Jane's Information Group (1989) [1946/47]. Jane's Fighting Ships of World War II. London, England: Studio Editions. ISBN 978-1-85170-194-0.
  • 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.
  • Niehorster, Leo (2016). "Balkan Operations Order of Battle Royal Yugoslavian Navy 6th April 1941". World War II Armed Forces: Orders of Battle and Organizations. Leo Niehorster. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  • O'Hara, Vincent; Worth, Richard & Dickson, W. (2013). To Crown the Waves: The Great Navies of the First World War. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-61251-269-3.
  • 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 [The People's Books]. OCLC 10276738.
  • Vego, Milan (1982). "The Yugoslav Navy 1918–1941". Warship International. XIX (4): 342–361. ISSN 0043-0374.
  • Whitley, M. J. (1988). Destroyers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-326-7.