Thursday, September 6, 2012

Italians IV.

This is coolbert:

Italians - - conclusion.

Hell Ships Italian style.

This does indeed make for very sad reading.

Those Hell Ships in the Pacific theatre of the war I think many have heard of? Merchant vessels en route to Japan vastly overloaded and carrying allied POW [prisoner of war] and impressed Asian laborers [coolie boy labor] attacked and sunk by allied [American and British warships or aircraft]. The allied attackers NOT knowing at the exact time the ships carrying friendlies - - casualties catastrophic and unforeseen, very regrettable.

Such "Hell Ships" too did exist in the Mediterranean and European theatre of operations - - many more than I thought possible under any circumstances.

In the aftermath of the Italian armistice with the allies, Italian troops made POW and detained by the German transferred from Mediterranean island garrisons to the European mainland, ships overloaded [as in the Pacific] with prodigious numbers of Italian POW attack and sunk by allied attack.

Losses catastrophic, staggering even, some of the casualty lists making the Titanic seems small potatoes indeed!!

From the wiki:

"Ships sunk carrying Italian POW's"

* "Donizetti, Sep. 23 1943, Rhodes, 1,796 killed."
* "Ardena, Sep. 27 1943, Kefalonia, 779 killed."
* "Maria Amalia, Oct. 13 1943, Kefalonia, 550 killed."
* "Mario Roselli, Oct. 11 1943, Corfu, 1,302 killed."
* "Sinfra, Oct. 20 1943, Crete, 2,098 killed."
* "Petrella, Feb. 8 1944, Crete, 2,670 killed."
* "Oria, Feb. 12 1944, Cape Sounion, 4,074 killed."

For those of you interested, read from a previous Military Analysis blog entry details of the Pacific "Hell Ship" phenomenon, a matter of which the Japanese proved to be masters of.

And too from a much earlier Military Thoughts blog entry not necessarily "Hell Ships" but German merchant vessels in  catastrophe mode, sunk in the Baltic during WW2, chock full of German military and civilians, losses and deaths at sea unsurpassed at any time in history.

"These ships were the Gustloff [9,000 dead], the Goya [7,000 dead], and the Steuben [5,000 dead]."

The greatest maritime disasters in history without question not "Hell Ships" in the defined sense of the world but HELL nonetheless!!


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