italian Italian Royal Navy - Regia Marina (1861-1946) RM Zara (+1941)
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general
nationality italian
purpose war
type cruiser (heavy)
subtype/class Zara class cruiser (it.)
propulsion steam turbine
date built 1931
status
live live
details
weight (tons) 14530  disp (surf)
dimensions 182.8 x 20.6 x 7 m
material steel, armoured
engine 8 × 3-drum Thornycroft boilers, 2 × Parsons turbines
armament 8 × 203mm (8 in) / 53 caliber Model 1929 (4x2), 14 x 100mm (6x2, 2x1), 16 x 37mm/54 caliber Breda, 8 × 13.2mm A.A. MG (4x2), 2 x aircrafts
power 95000  h.p.
speed 33  knots
about the loss
cause lost naval battle
date lost 29/03/1941  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  max.782rank: 152
about people
builder
Odero Terni Orlando (OTO), Muggiano
owner
Italian Royal Navy - Regia Marina (1861-1946)
captain C. V. Luigi Corsi
complement 841~1098
about the wreck
depth (m.)
orientation
protected
war grave
updates
entered by Pablobini
entered 18/08/2010
last update Pablobini
last update 02/08/2012
 
  Position  
 
Pablobini18/08/2010
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  History  
 
Pablobini18/08/2010On 29 March, in the battle of Cape Matapan, under commander Capitano di Vascello Luigi Corsi, the Zara was escorting the battleship Vittorio Veneto , which had been damaged by an aerial torpedo and slowed down, to Italy.

The Zara class cruiser, Pola was damaged by a torpedo from a British aircraft, and was also obliged to slow down and later stop. The remainder of the Italian force headed towards home ports, leaving the ship, but at the coming of night, the Zara together with her sister-ship Fiume and four destroyers (Oriani, Vittorio Alfieri, Giosue Carducci and Gioberti) of the IX Squadriglia were dispatched to the Pola.

In a night action the Italian cruisers were taken by surprise by the radar-equipped British vessels. Three British battleships, Barham, Valiant and Warspite, firing from as close a distance as 2,000 m comprehensively outgunned the cruisers.

Zara and Fiume were struck several times within five minutes. Unable to recover the ship, the commander ordered the crew to scuttle and abandon Zara. The Fiume and the ship they had come back for, the Pola, and two destroyers, Vittorio Alfieri and Giosue Carducci, were also sunk.
Lettens Jan02/08/2012BATTLE OF MATAPAN

During the battle of Matapan, the British Navy ships WARSPITE, BARHAM, VALIANT and FORMIDABLE managed to sink heavy cruisers POLA, FIUME, ZARA and destroyers VITTORIO ALFIERI and GIOSUE CARDUCCI.

The Italian plan Operation Gaudo called for a strong naval force to patrol the area in the Mediterranean, sinking any British convoys or escort warships it might encounter. Battleship Vittorio Veneto, six heavy cruisers and 2 light cruisers and a number of destroyers were engaged in the operation.

The Italians, missing air cover and having no radar, seriously underestimated the British power in the Mediterranean and when they returned for Toranto, they nearly escaped with minor damage. However, when POLA was damaged by an aerial torpedo, the entire 1st Cruiser Division (cruisers Fiume and Zara, destroyers Vittorio Alfieri, Giosue Carducci, Vincenzo Gioberti and Alfredo Oriani) was requested to return to help the POLA, who was damaged by an aerial torpedo. They ran right into the entire British force.

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