italian Italian Royal Navy - Regia Marina (1861-1946) RM Leone (+1941)
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nationality italian
purpose war
type destroyer
subtype/class Leone class destroyer (it.)
propulsion steam
date built 1923
weight (tons) 1526  disp (surf)
dimensions 113.4 x 10.4 x 3.4 m
material steel
engine 2 shaft geared turbines, 4 Yarrow type boilers
armament 8 × 120 mm (4.7 in) guns (4×2), 2 × 40 mm pom-pom anti-aircraft guns, 4 × 20 mm machine guns, 4 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes (2×2), 60 mines
power 40000  s.h.p.
speed 34  knots
about the loss
cause lost ran aground (wrecked)
date lost 01/01/1941  [dd/mm/yyyy]
about people
G. Ansaldo & Co., Sestri Ponente (Genoa)
Italian Royal Navy - Regia Marina (1861-1946)
complement >206
about the wreck
depth (m.)
war grave
entered by Lettens Jan
entered 04/04/2011
last update Lettens Jan
last update 04/04/2011
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Lettens Jan04/04/2011The Italian destroyer Leone, built in 1924, was wrecked on an uncharted rock 1 April 1941.
Lettens Jan04/04/2011On 21st October 1940, the Italian destroyers RM Leone, RM Pantera, RM Francesco Nullo and RM Nazario Sauro, shelled the Allied convoy BN7 and its escort, damaging one cargo ship and launching at least two torpedoes on HMAS Yarra, which successfully dodged them.

The attack was nevertheless repulsed by the cruiser HMS Leander, who fired 129 six-inch rounds on the Italian destroyers. Leone, Pantera and Sauro successfully disengaged but Francesco Nullo was chased by HMS Kimberley and forced to run aground on Harmi island, where she was later wrecked by RAF Blenheim bombers.

The three surviving destroyers remained at dock in Massawa until the very end of land operations in East Africa. Their commander ordered them to steam out on 2 April 1941, for an almost suicidal attack on Port Sudan.

The squadron was soon discovered by British air reconnaissance, and immediately bombed by land-based Swordfish aircraft from HMS Eagle. Cesare Battisti managed to reach the Arabian coast, where she was scuttled by her crew. Daniele Manin and Nazario Sauro kept firing their antiarcraft guns until they were sunk by the British planes
Lettens Jan04/04/2011The Italian destroyers Leone, Pantera and Tigre remained at dock in Massawa until the very end of land operations in East Africa. Their commander ordered them to steam out in the night of 31 March 1940, for a naval bombardment against targets around the Suez canal, in a mission without return.

Leone ran aground off Massawa and had to be sunk by gunfire. The delay caused the operation to be cancelled. After being spotted and harassed by British aircraft, Pantera and Tigre reached the Arabian shores, where their crews scuttled them.

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About Builders
 G. Ansaldo & Co., Sestri Ponente (Genoa)
Ansaldo was one of Italy's oldest and most important engineering companies, existing for 140 years from 1853 to 1993, with the main shipyard in Genoa (Sestri Ponente)

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