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Weapons of World War Two

Platino submarine

Platino submarine

The submarine Platino, delivered to the Regia Marina the 2nd October 1941, was part of a class formed by 13 units, denominated Acciaio or Platino, which entered service already started the war. The units were built in La Spezia by the shipyards OTO (four units), in Montefalcone by the shipyards CRDA (six units) and in Tarento by the shipyards Tosi (three units). These latter differed slightly from the others in the propulsion plant, fitted with two Diesel engines Tosi of 750 horsepower, instead of the Fiat of 700 horsepower, which increased the maximum speed in surface from 14 knots to up to 14.7 knots. Also the armament was increased, raising from six to eight the number of torpedo tubes.

The silhouette of the submarines of this class was somewhat different to the usual one in the Italian submarines, because it was preferred to adopt a smaller turret of oceanic type, similar to the one of the German U-Boote Type VII. Also the silencing of the propulsion plant was improved, and it was installed a launching central of more adequate type. The units were later fitted with radio devices and radar localizators.

These units, of satisfying qualities, had almost all of them a rather short life. Some were sunk in their first mission, hence it is not possible to make a fair estimation of their performance in respect of the former classes. The Platino, during her operative life, sank a British escort unit, the corvette Samphire, damaged severely a steamship and downed an antisubmarine fighter aircraft. At the arrival of the Armistice she marched to Malta, due to the orders received, and until the end of the conflict her activity consisted of taking part in some exercises along with Allied units.

Unarmed at the end of the war, she was scrapped the 1st February 1948. Along with her survived the war other two units of the same class, the Nichelio and the Giada. The first one, after being submitted to reparations, was yielded to the Soviet Union in 1949, and the second one, modernized, remained in service with the Marina Militare until the 1960s.

Launched: 1 June 1941 in the shipyards Odero Terni Orlando of La Spezia

Length: 60.18 meters

Beam: 6.45 meters

Draught: 4.75 meters

Displacement: 870 tonnes in immersion; 718 tonnes in surface

Propulsion: Two Diesel engines Fiat of 700 horsepower plus two electric motors CRDA of 400 horsepower; two propellers

Maximum speed: 7.7 knots in immersion; 14 knots in surface

Operational range: 9300 kilometers with Diesel engines; 150 kilometers with electric motors

Armament: One 100-millimeter 47-caliber cannon; four 13.2-millimeter machine guns (2 x 2) in telescopic folding mounting; six 533-millimeter torpedo tubes (four at prow and two astern) with 12 torpedoes

Complement: 44

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