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Other WWI Aviation Airfields, equipment, tactics, training, uniforms and all other WWI aviation topics

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Old 12 May 2002, 01:24 AM   #1
rammjaeger
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Another thread is dealing with the French lighter than air but now I saw a photograph with the caption "Destruction of an Italian airship near Ancona by bombs on 27 September 1917".

Who can give us a short overview about the Italian airships, its activities and losses in WWI?
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Old 12 May 2002, 05:21 AM   #2
AGO
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Rammjaeger,
It's a quite vast argument which' d need for a dedicated research.
The following is a sintetic overview about SOME of only the Italian
airships which went lost while on mission or due to enemy action
(please note that the losses of the D.E.s and of the other small sea
patrol airships are not listed).

"Cittą di Ferrara" (Navy-ex M.2)) - forced to land on the sea
due to adverseweather while returning from a raid on Whitehead torpedo
factory at Fiume on June 8th,1915.Attacked by an Austro-Hungarian
seaplane while immobilized on the sea and fired upon was set on fire.
Claimed as a victory by A-H naval aviators.It had been M.2's second
war mission.

"Cittą di Jesi" (Navy-ex V.1)) - hit by A-A fire and forced to land on
the sea while on a bombing raid on Pola the night between 5th and
6th of August 1915.Towed by the A-Hs to Veruda and later dismantled.
At least part of the material rescued was stored in view of a possible
re-start of the Austro-Hungarian airship construction program.It was
V.1's first mission.

M.4 (Army)- Shot down in flames above Gorizia by Brandenburg CI
61.55 flown by A-H aces Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg and Adolf Heyrowsky
on May,4th 1916 while returning from a raid on the Vippach area.

M.12 (Army) - lost in July 1917 apparently due to A-A fire returning from
a bombing mission.I have to look for further details.

M.13 (Navy)- destroyed in its hangar at Jesi in Sept. 1917 by
raiding A-H seaplanes.

M.8 (Navy) - destroyed in its hangar at Ferrara in Sept. 1917 by
raiding A-H seaplanes

M.17 (Navy) - crashed into the sea the night between February
3rd and 4th 1918 while returning from a raid on the bridge at Latisana
on the Tagliamento river (consequence of A-A fire?).It was its
first mission.

A.1 (Navy)- were "A" is for "alta quota" (high altitude).It was
a big airship of 15000 mc of cubature powered by four engines.
Disappeared in the Adriatic with its crew on a bombing raid on
Cattaro on August 16th,1918. Reasons of crash unknown;it seems
that it had managed to reach the objective.The corpse of its Commander
was later found on the shore near Capo Rodoni.
It was A.1 second mission.

U.5 -("U" for Celestino Usuelli, its designer and pre-WWI airship pioneer).
Crashed killing its crew returning from an escort mission to a naval convoy
on May 2nd, 1918.Causes unknown.

VBR

AGO
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Old 12 May 2002, 12:28 PM   #3
rammjaeger
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AGO,

thank you very much for your very fast and comprehensive reply to my question!

I think there are still many books necessary (or are the right books only unknown?) to enlighten all the different parts of aviation in WWI. The activities of the airships in Italy and France are definitely worth a closer look!

VBR
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Old 12 May 2002, 06:03 PM   #4
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Quote:

A.1 (Navy)- were "A" is for "alta quota" (high altitude).It was
a big airship of 15000 mc of cubature powered by four engines.
Disappeared in the Adriatic with its crew on a bombing raid on
Cattaro on August 16th,1918. Reasons of crash unknown;it seems
that it had managed to reach the objective.The corpse of its Commander
was later found on the shore near Capo Rodoni.
It was A.1 second mission.

AGO,

I was just wondering: In the Kriegstagebuch (war diary) of the Seeflugstation Kumbor (the naval flying station in the Bocche di Cattaro) there is no mention of an airship attack on the 16th of August; However, on the 17th they note a "Luftschiffangriff auf Castelnuovo", which 3 (naval) Phoenix D II tried to counter, failing to find the enemy. Could taht be the same attack (assuming A 1 took of for a night attack on the night from the 16th to the 17th), or was there another airship over the Bocche di Cattaro on the 17th?

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Old 13 May 2002, 05:55 AM   #5
AGO
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Volker,

the mission (or attempted mission) happened in effect
the night between 16th and 17th of August.There was one
other Italian airship in lower adriatic flying that night
and that was the M.15 but it went above Durazzo.
The crew of the M.15 saw from distance the searchlights
of Cattaro illuminating the sky at that led immediately to
the raise of the supposition that the A.1 had in effect reached
its objective.
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Old 14 May 2002, 08:31 PM   #6
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AGO,
Thank you for the overview list of Italian airship losses.
One point.. I believe the M.4 text should read "Villach" not Vippach (?).

I have two AH postcards here=>
http://204.83.160.230/archive/b/postcard/C..._di_Ferrara.jpg
http://204.83.160.230/archive/images4/Sieg.jpg

Cittą di Ferrara and I assumed Cittą di Ferrara as well. Now I take a closer look and they appear to be 2 different airships not to mention the planes! M.4 ?

VBR
Rod
 
Old 15 May 2002, 01:55 AM   #7
jempie
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hello! I finally got registered!
I have at home the book The Italian Airships. Contains 13 pages with roster giving all Italian airships from 1905 until 1936. A column "notes"
indicates of each airship what happened to it!
Rammjeager, if interested in it contact me...
Attaching here is taking too much memory!
Could even not attach one!
Jean-Pierre Lauwers. Belgium.
e-mail: [email protected]
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Old 16 May 2002, 12:32 AM   #8
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Hi all,
I wrote Vippach but I didn't notice I 'd had write "Wippach"
(in Italian "Vippacco").Sorry.
That two images are very beautiful, the second one, in particular.
I've never seen it before (the first one was for the A-H Red Cross;
or am I wrong?).
It's just a personal opinion but it seems to me that the author
just wanted to give an "artist's impression" of the destruction of
the "Cittą di Ferrara".Otherwise it is unexplicable the presence
of the A-H floatplane as the victor of the airship!!!

Just an other correction:I said before that the A.1 disappeared
without trace but in effect U.S. Navy aviators sighted what
seemed to be the canvas of an airship on the surface of the
Adriatic on August 28th.
Was it the wreck of the A.1?
VBR
AGO
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Old 16 May 2002, 12:25 PM   #9
rammjaeger
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Dear Jean-Pierre,

thank you very much for your kind offer. I will e-mail tomorrow on the direct way. I am too tired today.

VBR
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