Wednesday, 16 March 2011

(1917-1931) Breguet XIV

Greek Breguet XIV (No3844, I believe). Somewhere in Asia Minor, 1921-22.French built biplane bomber and reconnaissance aircraft that entered French and Greek service in 1917. It equipped the 532 and 533 Squadrons operating in the Macedonian front. It remained in service throughout the 1920s before becoming a trainer for observers in 1931.

Operational History

November 1917 - The Breguet XIV enters Greek Breguet XIV in Smyrna, 1919service, equipping the 532 and 533 Squadrons which operate in the Macedonian front.
22 Dec. 1918 - Commander Denain lends his personal plane to A. Moraitinis, the leader of the Greek Navy Air Service, to fly from Thessaloniki to Phaliron. The plane never arrives to its destination. A month later Moraitinis is declared dead.
21 Sep. 1921 - A Breguet XIV A2 is captured by the Turks and will serve from now on with them. It takes the name "Sakarya".
17 Apr. 1922 - On the third attempt to land, a Greek Bre XIV Breguet XIV A2 captured by the Turkscrashes and burns at Afion Kara Hissar, with one of two crew dead.
22 Aug. 1922 - A second Breguet XIV A2 is forced to land due to enemy fire and is captured by the Turks. It will serve from now on with them and it takes the name "Garipçe". These are the first two Breguets XIV A2 in Turkish service. After the foundation of the Turkish Republic another 16 will be bought from the French and will serve Turkey until 1926.
October 1931 - From now on, 7 Bre XIV aircraft are used for the training of observers.

Breguet XIV that reads 'Peloponnisos' and has a bee painted on itBreguet XIV A2 Reconnaissance Length: 8.87 m Height: 3.3 m Wing area: 47.5 m² Wingspan: 12.4 m Weight: 1,010 kg (empty), 1,536 kg (max takeoff) Engine: 1x Renault 12Fe, 224 kW (300 hp) Service Ceiling: 6,000 m Speed: 184 km/h Armament: 1 fixed 0.303-in (7.7-mm) Vickers machine gun on fuselage port side, 2 ring-mounted 0.303-in (7.7-mm) Lewis machine guns in observer’s cockpit, 40 Kg bomb payload. Range: 3 hours Crew: 2

Breguet XIV B2 Bomber Length: 8.87 m Height: 3.3 m Wing area: 47.50 m² Wingspan: 14.36 m Weight: 1,010 kg Engine: 1x Renault 12Fe, 224 kW (300 hp) Service Ceiling: 6,000 m Rate of climb: 292 m/s Wing loading: 32 kg/m² Power/mass: 0.14 W/kg (0.09 hp/lb) Speed: 175 km/h Range: 900 km Armament: 1x fixed 7.7 mm (.303 in) Vickers machine gun, 2x flexible 7.7 mm (.303 in) Lewis Gun for observer, 300 Kg bomb payload. Crew: 2

For Gamers and Game designers
Apart from its widespread usage, it was noteworthy for becoming the first aircraft in mass production to use large amounts of metal rather than wood in its structure. This allowed the airframe to be lighter than a wooden airframe of the same strength, in turn making the aircraft very fast and agile for its size, able to outrun many of the fighters of the day. Its strong construction was able to sustain much damage, it was easy to handle and had good performance. The Breguet 14 is considered one of the best aircraft of World War I.

For Modellers
A profile of the No3846 Breguet XIV A2 that fought in Asia Minor in 1921, taken from Issue No. 15 of Insignia Magazine: 1:33 Paper model by Fitter's Models The text is from the Insignia Magazine: "This aircraft was one of at least 30 Breguet 14 A2 and B2 types which served with the joint French-Hellenic 522 and 523 Reconnaissance-Bomber Squadrons. Finished in a Green and Brown camouflage scheme, with Natural Metal forward and upper fuselage areas. Lower flying surfaces are Clear Doped Linen. Struts, undercarriage legs and wheel covers are Light Grey. Greek roundels in Blue and White, adapted from French roundels, are worn on the upper and lower wings as well as the fuselage. The Asia-Minor 'wavy line' theatre marking in Dark Grey/Black partially obscures the fuselage roundel. Serial number and rudder data are Black."

A model exhibited in the National War Museum, Athens.
A model exhibited in the National War Museum, Athens

A Breguet XIV A2 from AZ Models (seems to be No3844):
AZ Models: Greek Breguet XIV A2 AZ Models: Greek Breguet XIV A2
A 1:33 paper model by Fitter's Models:
1:33 Paper model by Fitter's Models
A Microsoft Flight Simulator model by Manuele Villa:
A Microsoft Flight Simulator model by Manuele Villa

Thursday, 10 March 2011

(1919-1941) Torpedo Boat "Proussa"

Torpedo Boat Proussa

Formerly the Austrohungarian Fiume-class torpedo boat SMS Tb 94 F., Proussa, together with her two sister ships "Panormos" and "Pergamos", was transferred to Greece in 1919 as war reparation from the Central Powers. Little is known about Proussa in Greek service other than that she was sunk in Corfu during the 4 April 1941 Italian bombing of the port. She stayed half-sunk for quite a while. Later, when the Italians were in control of the island, they wrote "V" (for "Vinceremo" - we will win) on one of the funnels. According to one version of the story, the Italians tried to raise the ship, but she sank while being towed.

Operational History
In Austro-Hungarian Service
30 Nov. 1914 - Laid down at the Ganz & Co.- Danubius shipyard.
1915 - Commissioned. Serves the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the end of World War I.

In Greek Service
1919 - Transfered to Greece as war reparations.
3 April 1941 - Sails from Patra during the evening. Captain: N. Kotsilyris.
4 April 1941 - Arrives early morning at Agioi Saranta for Rear Admiral D. Economou to inspect the naval command there. For a few hours, she stays by the coast to avoid detection by enemy aircraft. Around noon, she sails towards Corfu where she arrives at 14:10 for D. Economou to inspect the naval command there and find out how the minesweepers Strymon and Aliakmon were damaged a few days earlier. Proussa stays 100 m from the dock (between Kafe Gyali and Vido). The Rear Admiral disembarks, but before his boat reaches land, Proussa is attacked by nine (or 6 according to some sources) Italian Ju-87 Pichiatelli belonging to the 239th Sqn, 97th Dive-bombing group (Captain Mario Larket) from Galatina, near Lecce. Evasion manoeuvres are attempted, but the ship's engines are damaged by the near misses of the Pichiatelli that were dive bombing. The AA gun managed to fire only 7 rounds. The Pichiatelli dropped five 500kg bombs at distances of 5 to 100m from the Torpedo boat Proussa sunk
ship. After the attack finishes, the Greeks pull the ship with ropes to the dock. The fire service, the auxiliary "Evangelistria" and several civilians try to save the ship until 11 o'clock, but unsuccessfully. Proussa settles at a depth of 4 m at the Kafe Gyali dock.
During the attack, the crew is said to have managed to disarm the torpedoes on Proussa to Torpedo boat Proussa sunkreduce the chance of catastrophic damage from a bomb hit. 8 crew are wounded, but nobody is killed.
This is one of three attacks carried out by this air group against Greek naval vessels this day, including the 932-ton cargo ship "Souzana" that was skip-bombed and sunk during the morning.

Fiume class Torpedo Boat "Proussa"

Displacement: 243 tons (standard)
Propulsion: 2 Yarrow water-tube boilers, 2 AEG-Curtis steam turbines, 2 shafts. 5,000 / 6,000 shp
Length: 57.76 m
Width: 5.8 m
Draft: 1.5 m
Speed: 31 knots (initially), 32 knots (after 1925) [other sources have it at 28 knots]
Armament: 2x Skoda 70 mm / 30-cal guns, 1x 8 mm AA machine gun (added in 1914), 3x or 4x 450 mm torpedo tubes (2x2).
Crew: 41

For Gamers and Game designers
While in 1919 she was a relatively modern torpedo boat, by World War II, Proussa was completely outclassed by her Italian counterparts. However, she was not slow and if undetected she could still use her torpedoes.

For Modellers
A profile of the Fiume class torpedo boats from an unknown source:
Profile of Fiume Class

Saturday, 5 March 2011

(1881-1919) Steam Gunboat "Aktion"

Steam Gunboat Aktion in 1896 by Körner & Dietrich

Built specifically for the shallow waters of the Amvrakikos Gulf, Aktion and her sister "Amvrakia" saw action in the gulf during the 1897 and Balkan Wars. Aktion was called Spetses until 1889 when the Greeks decided to use the name for the newer Battleship they had ordered.

Operational History
1881 - Built by Blackwall Dockyards in the UK and named "Spetses".
1889 - Renamed "Aktion".
1897 - Commanded by Lt Cdr E. Tombazis, she sees action against the Turks.
1912-1913 - Commanded by Lt Cdr E. Lambadarios, she sees action against the Turks.
World War I - Used for the service of the Piraeus and Keratsini net barrage.
1919 - Decommissioned after the end of World War I.

Steam Gunboat "Aktion"

Displacement: 433 tons
Propulsion: 380hp steam engine
Length: 39m
Width: 7.6m
Draft: 2.9m
Speed: 11 knots
Armament: (initially) 1x270mm/30cal Krupp gun, (later) 1x 6inch gun and a small quick-firing gun.

For Gamers and Game designers
A gunboat that was designed for shallow waters. Despite its massive size, her initial 270mm gun was of little use against distant targets, as one needed to turn the whole ship to aim the gun.

For Modellers
A model of Amvrakia, Aktion's sistership, at the Hellenic Maritime Museum, Piraeus:
Model of Amvrakia at the Hellenic Maritime Museum, Piraeus

A model of Amvrakia, Aktion's sistership, by TonyH of
Scratchbuild R/C Model of Amvrakia by TonyH at

Thursday, 3 March 2011

(1950-1971) Destroyer Doxa D-20

Destroyer Doxa D-20 (probably in the 1960s)Ex-USS Ludlow (DD-438) and one of two similar destroyers offered by the United States, Doxa was accepted in 1950 by Cdr N.Ritsos HN and arrived in Greece in the summer of 1951. She remained in commission without interruption until 1971, when she was put on reserve. The ship's history in US service is quite rich, as she received six battle stars for her World War II service, but less interesting post-war and after she joined the Greek Navy.

Operational History
In US service as USS Ludlow (DD-438):
18 Dec. 1939 - Laid down.
11 Nov. 1940 - Launched.
5 March 1941 - Commissioned.
Oct. 1941 - Having completed shakedown, Ludlow leaves Boston for Newfoundland and Iceland, convoying supplies ultimately destined for the British Isles.
7 Dec. 1941 - Following the attack on Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war between Germany and the United States, Ludlow's convoy runs are lengthened to include the ports of Derry, Liverpool, Greenoch, and Freetown, South Africa.
7 Nov. 1942 - Assigned to Task Force 34 for the invasion of North Africa, Ludlow arrives off Cape Fedhala, French Morocco. Shortly after the first wave of landing craft headed tor shore, Ludlow finds herself engaging shore batteries, bombers, and a Vichy French naval force comprising a cruiser and two destroyers in the Naval Battle of Casablanca. A 6 inch shell strikes her forward and straddling shots are falling close aboard when Augusta and Brooklyn arrive and help to dispose of the French ships.
Jan. 1943 - Returns to New York to repair battle damage and then conducts training off the coast of Maine.
14 Jan. 1943 - Departs for the first of three convoy runs to Casablanca.
June 1943 - After the third convoy, Ludlow remains in the Mediterranean Sea for the forthcoming invasion of Sicily.
10 July 1943 - Ludlow provides fire support for the invading forces off Licata and Porsa Empedocle.
11 Aug. 1943 - Following daily enemy air attacks, Ludlow downs her first enemy airplane.
9 Sep. 1943 - Participating in the invasion of Italy, Ludlow leads a section of the assault wave through a known minefield to the bloody landing at Salerno. She and her sister ships are warmly commended by the commanding general ashore for their effective close range fire support.
Late 1943 until 11 Jan. 1944 - On convoy duty between Naples and Oran.
22 Jan. 1944 - She covers Allied troops storming ashore at Anzio. In the following days, Ludlow splashes two bombers, one fighter and three rocket glider bombs. A 5 inch shell crashes through the torpedo director deck and the pilothouse, causing Ludlow to retire, but serious damage is averted when Chief Gunners Mate James D. Johnson locate the hot, unexploded shell and manage to get it topside and overboard.
Early 1944 - Repaired at New York. Trained along the Atlantic coast.
20 Apr. 1944 - Returned to the Mediterranean for antisubmarine patrols.
19 May 1944 - Ludlow and Niblack depth charge U-960 to the surface, where Ludlow's main battery sinks her.
11 Aug. 1944 - Following convoy alignments in the western Mediterranean, Ludlow steams from Palermo for the invasion of southern France. 25-30 Aug. 1944 - Following preinvasion bombardment and beachhead screening off Frejus, she joins Augusta (CA-31) to help overcome the last resistance at Marseilles. While on coastal fire support missions around Monaco, she encounters not only floating mines and E-boats, but also attacks by explosive-laden boats and human torpedoes.
5 Sep. 1944 - Ludlow captures three operators of these one-man diving machines after a series of depth charge attacks. Fire support, convoy and patrol duty continue.
23 Jan. 1945 - Ludlow sails for a month's plane guard duty off the west coast of Africa.
28 Feb. 1945 - Returns to Boston.
Apr. 1945 - Ludlow sails to England to escort a convoy of LSTs stateside and then prepares for duty in the Pacific.
27 June 1945 - Crosses the Panama Canal
17 July 1945 - Reaches Pearl Harbor and begins training for operations with the fast carriers. The surrender of Japan, however diverts her to the job of escorting ships filled with occupation troops to the home islands of the defeated Empire.
7 Sep. 1945 - Departs Pearl Harbor
27 Sep. 1945 - Arrives at Wakayama, Japan, and operates in the Far East.
3 Nov. 1945 - Sails for the Aleutians where she sees a brief period of "Magic Carpet" duty. That is the the post-World War II effort by the War Shipping Administration to repatriate the American military personnel.
20 May 1946 - Out of commission in reserve at Charleston, South Carolina. Utilised for reserve training.
6 June 1950 - In commission in reserve on 6 June 1950
21 Nov. 1950 - On active status.
22 Jan. 1951 - Decommissioned

In Greek service as Doxa D-20:
1950 - Accepted by Cdr N.Ritsos
Summer of 1951 - Arrives in Greece
1954 - Overhauled together with sistership Niki in the United States
1972 - Decommissioned

Destroyer Doxa D-20Gleeves class (sub-class Livermore) destroyer "Doxa" D-20

Displacement: 1,639/2,572t
Propulsion: Steam turbines 50.000 shp, twin propeller Length: 106m
Width: 11m
Draft: 5.5m
Speed: 37 knots
Armament: 4x 5inch/38 guns, 12(2x4 + 2x2)x 40 mm guns, 6x 20 mm guns, 5x 21in torpedo tubes,Hedgehog, depth charges.

For Gamers and Game designers
A very capable destroyer during World War 2, but relatively obsolescent by the 1950s.