Monday, 20 February 2017

The Italian seaplane carrier Giuseppe Miraglia

The Spanish Navy was not the only Mediterranean Navy to operate a seaplane carrier. The Royal Italian Navy's Giuseppe Miraglia began life as a railway ferry called the Citta di Messina, but in 1923, before she was completed, she was bought and converted into a seaplane carrier. Just before she was completed in 1925 she sank during a storm, and she was not salvaged and completed until 1927.

Ship’s characteristics:
  • Displacement: 5,400 tons normal
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 397’ 8” (121.22m)
    • Beam: 49’ 3” (15m)
    • Draught: 19’ (5.82m)
  • Maximum Speed (when new): 21 knots
  • Armament: 4 x 4” (102mm) (4 x 1); 12 x 0.5” (13.2mm) Machine Guns (12 x 1)
  • Complement: 396
  • Aircraft carried: 17 seaplanes
  • Aviation facilities: 2 catapults
Giuseppe Miraglia took an active part in operations during the Spanish Civil War and the Italian invasion of Abyssinia as well as the Second World War. In December 1943, as one of the conditions of the Armistice, she sailed to Malta with the other units of the Royal Italian Navy. She was taken over by the British to be used as a Motor Torpedo Boat depot ship, and returned to the Italians in 1945. She was then used as a barracks ship and floating workshop until she was scrapped in 1950.

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