TANKER ARSIA

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geosub1978
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Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:47 am

TANKER ARSIA

Post by geosub1978 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:58 am

Hello!
I am looking information about an attack of the greek submarine PAPANIKOLIS at Lero on 10th Septmeber 1942.
According to "La difesa del traffico con l'Albania, la Grecia e l'Egeo" I found out that this could be the tanker ARSIA. However it seems that the ARSIA had been sunk by HMS UNIQUE since 1941.

However in "http://conlapelleappesaaunchiodo.blogsp ... Enrichetta" the there is a statement:
"10 agosto 1942
Compie un viaggio da Lero al Pireo, in convoglio con i piroscafi Arsia e Fanny Brunner e con la scorta della torpediniera Lira."

Is there some forther info about this ship maybe?
Thank you
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t-geronimo
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Re: TANKER ARSIA

Post by t-geronimo » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:52 am

According to uboat.net the Arsia that was damaged (total loss) by HMS Unique was a cargo ship, not a tanker:

https://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/3534.html
(see 03.06.1941)


Wiki says that Papanikolis on her patrol from 31. August to 15. September 1942 unsuccessfully attacked an 8000t oil carrier without giving a exact date and name:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_sub ... olis_(Y-2)
Platon Alexiades
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:49 pm

Re: TANKER ARSIA

Post by Platon Alexiades » Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:06 pm

At 1320/10 September, Papanicolis sighted a convoy described as an 8000 ton tanker and two escorts coming from the westward 5 miles east of Piskopi, range was over 10,000 yards and the submarine tried to close but the convoy passed at about 4,000 metres and torpedoes were not fired.

Commander Spanidis could have closed at a faster speed but was reluctant to do so as he feared his higher speed would disclose his presence to the escorts and he was relieved from his command.

The targets were probably the freighters Arsia (ex Irma Calzi, 668 GRT, built 1907) [not the same Arsia as the one torpedoed by HMS Unique in 1941) and Pola escorted by the auxiliary Orsini proceeding from Piraeus to Rhodes where they arrived at 1900/10 September. The description does not match closely with that of Spanidis but he probably used his periscope very sparingly and had only a quick look. The war diaries of the Italian Northern Aegean Command (Comando Gruppo Navale Italiano Egeo Settentrionale) does not reveal any other convoy that could have been the target of the Greek submarine.

By a curious coincidence there was also a schooner Arsia (175 GRT) which was damaged by bomb at Tobruk on the same day. She was present during the failed raid on Tobruk (operation AGREEMENT). She managed to reach Tripoli and eventually reached Trapani on 2 December 1942. She was at Pola at the Italian Armistice.

Perhaps my friend Francesco de Domenico can enlighten us with details on these vessels?

Best regards,

Platon
de domenico
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Re: TANKER ARSIA

Post by de domenico » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:35 am

Dear Platon, full details in my answer at http://www.aidmen.it/topic/1413-mercantile-arsia-1942/
Platon Alexiades
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:49 pm

Re: TANKER ARSIA

Post by Platon Alexiades » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:53 am

Dear Francesco,

Many thanks!

All the best,

Platon
geosub1978
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:47 am

Re: TANKER ARSIA

Post by geosub1978 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:59 pm

Gentlemen,
thank you very much for you replies.
These days I try to reconstruct all the occasions that the greek submarines met their opponents during ww2. I have already found photos of ARSIA (LE SORCOFF), GIORGIO ORSINI (F-110) and POLA (not the MV) so, if anyone is intrested I can send them.

Best regards
George
geosub1978
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:47 am

Re: TANKER ARSIA

Post by geosub1978 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:06 pm

As I see this place is an endless source of information, so I grab the chance to ask if there is a way to establish the identity of a merchant ship which submarine NIREFS met in the KAFIREAS straight on 20th July 1942 (not on 19th when it met the hospital ship SICILIA).

The submarine didn't attack because a series of malfunctions set the submarine into danger.

Anyway thank you once more!
Platon Alexiades
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:49 pm

Re: TANKER ARSIA

Post by Platon Alexiades » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:45 pm

The target sighted at 0953/20 July may have been the Italian Pontinia (715 GRT) escorted by the torpedo-boat Cassiopea but this does not quite match the description given by Lt. Cdr. Rallis as they were on a trip from Heraklion to Piraeus where they arrived at 1350/20 July. Rallis seems to indicate that they were coming up the channel which would be wrong. His report is not very detailed so perhaps there is an error somewhere. If he mistook the direction of the two vessels then it is quite possible that they were the vessels sighted as they would have had about 5 hours to reach Piraeus, a distance of about 30 miles which is quite plausible. There was another convoy using the channel: these were the freighters Adriana and Potestas escorted by the torpedo-boat Monzambano but they were proceeding from Saloniki to Piraeus where they arrived at 1615/20 July but these does not match Rallis' description either. Perhaps there were two other vessels which I am not aware of.

Platon
geosub1978
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Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:47 am

Re: TANKER ARSIA

Post by geosub1978 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:21 pm

If there is a mistake of one day forward in the italian book, these ships could also be the aux.cruiser ZARA and the auxiliary KRETA (ex Ile de Beauté) from Patra to Dardanells. Rallis identified the escort as a destoyer, though the small AOB could be misleading. The Pontinia is an excellent candidate as NIREFS had been patroling south of Makronisos-Kea.
A rare photo of it: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/1062x6 ... 8oaPKL.jpg

Mr Platon, if you have time, take a look at these cases which are pending for classification although I have spent much time in fruitless and frustrating research.

1. On the 9th November 1942 (the day before HERKULES) GLAFKOS sighted a northbound and then westbound large merchant north οf Souda. There is no indication of which ship that was.

2. On the 6th November 1942 NIREFS sighted a merchant in the visinity of Kantheliousa island coming from south heading NE. No indication of the idenity of that ship.

3. On the 15th August 1941 NIREFS fired three torpedoes against an armed tug north of Rhodes. No indication of which it was or if it was a tug indeed or a gun boat or minesweeper. All those italian types were quite similar.
Last edited by geosub1978 on Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
Platon Alexiades
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:49 pm

Re: TANKER ARSIA

Post by Platon Alexiades » Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:04 pm

Hello,

For your Zara/Kreta hypothesis: my source is not an Italian book but an official report, although these can make occasional errors!

Your three questions:

1. I assume you mean the 9th November 1941 (not 1942). The ships sighted by Glafkos (spelled as Glaukos in British sources) were certainly the Italian transport Sant'Agata (4299 GRT, built 1905) escorted by the torpedo-boat Sirio. They sailed from Heraklion at 0700/9 (Rome Time) and arrived at Suda at 1500/9.

2. The ship sighted by Nirefs (spelled as Nereus in British sources) is very difficult to ascertain as the target appeared to be moving to the NW then to the SE. This may have been the fast Italian auxiliary Rovigno (451 GRT, 1941) escorted by MAS 521 which were operating on that day between Rhodes and Syros. By the way, Nirefs had just completed special operation HOLLYM a few days before which I covered in my book on the Corinth Canal.

3. This is also difficult to verify. The Supermarina diaries mention that Rhodes had reported the presence of a submarine 1430/15 August 1941 10 miles west of the island. The Rhodes command reported in its entry dated of 16 August that a submarine had fired two torpedoes at a local minesweeper at 1345 hours (but this could refer to an event on the previous day). Since the minesweeper Impero was the only unit sweeping the area on that day, it is quite possible that she was the vessel attacked.

Best regards,

Platon
geosub1978
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:47 am

Re: TANKER ARSIA

Post by geosub1978 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:32 pm

Perfect! Impresive!

I have just the "La difesa del traffico con l'Albania, la Grecia e l'Egeo" which I consider reliable to a great extent though incomplete...
I just put the order for the Corinth Canal at last. I have been skirting around that book since I was studying the torpedoing of HELLEE. I hope to find the rest special operations with the participation of submarines in the Aegean.

I had also been suspecting IMPERO or AGUGLIA, otherwise NEREUS wouldn't report it as a tug! However, the IMPERO was a tug indeed. Here it is: https://imgur.com/lBQF6mV

Could you please confirm the following when you have time:
1.The convoy that GLAUKOS was instructed to intercept on the 17th Novenber 1942 while transiting to Malta was:
CITTA DI GENOA/CITTA DI NAPOLI/PIGAFETTA/DE VERAZZANO
2.Hospital ship sighted by PAPANICOLIS on the 14th March 1942 north of Rhodos: GRADISCA. They had identified it as possible JERUSALEM, however that ship was confined in Portugal that date though sister ship to GALILEA.
3.Merchant sighted by KATSONIS on 29th December 1940 south of San Giovani di Medua: BRIONI (a gun was observed)
4. Ferry sighted by NEREUS on 21st January 1941 emerging from Avlona: GALILEA (maybe a SESIA class landing ship otherwise). No description for the ships is provided other than (3000tn postale=ferry). GALILEA was much bigger and part of a convoy. However, the speed of the events (3minutes), the very rough sees and the odd acoustic conditions may have obstracted the proper identification.

Many, many thanks and regards!
Platon Alexiades
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:49 pm

Re: TANKER ARSIA

Post by Platon Alexiades » Wed Oct 30, 2019 2:10 pm

Hello "Geosub1978",

I would suggest that you post new questions as new (and perhaps separate) postings as it is easier to identify.

1. I do not think that the convoy Glaukos was supposed to intercept was "CITTA DI GENOA/CITTA DI NAPOLI/PIGAFETTA/DE VERAZZANO" as you suggested. This convoy had already reached Benghazi in the afternoon of 16th November 1941 (I think you have the year wrong as Glaukos was lost in April 1942). The convoy she was ordered to intercept must have been Tinos and Bolsena escorted by the torpedo-boat Orione. They sailed from Brindisi at 1700/16 and were expected at Benghazi at dawn on the 19th and ULTRA intercepts had revealed their route. However, Glaukos had developed defects and was unable to comply. In any case, the submarine could not have intercepted the convoy as the latter was attacked by Blenheim bombers at 1450/17 in position 37°49' N, 19°45' E and diverted to Navarino where it arrived at 0740/18. This convoy had a somewhat convoluted history, it sailed again at 1815/18 from Navarino but Supermarina had second thoughts and it was recalled at 0130/19 and returned to Navarino, arriving at 0900/19. The convoy was reinforced by the arrival from Brindisi of the destroyer Strale at 0755/21 and sailed again at 1945/21, finally arriving at Benghazi at 0840/23.

2. The hospital ship sighted by Papanicolis on 14th March 1943 (not 1942, she was not on patrol on that day in 1942) was not the Gradisca as you suggested but Aquileia which arrived at Rhodes at 0845/14 (Rome time).

3. I do not think that Katsonis sighted Brioni on 29th December as the latter apparently was at Bari since 1230/27. There was not much trafic to and from San Giovanni di Medua (today Shëngjin) at that time. A possibility is Pescara (1048 GRT, 1898) which sailed from Trieste on 19th December for San Giovanni di Medua and sailed back at 1500/30. This does not quite match Katsonis but there is always a possibility that she sailed on 29th December but turned back for some reason.

4. Your suggestion of Galilea is most likely correct. The convoy Galilea, Monrosa and Aprilia escorted by Andromeda sailed from Valona on this day and arrived at Brindisi at 2345/21. The Valona war diaries do not mention any other vessel that could fit the description.

Best regards,

Platon
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