Destroyer Cesare Rossarol (1931)

Would you like to see Cesare Rossarol (1931) implemented into the Italian Bluewater tree?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

How should Cesare Rossarol (1931) be implemented?
  • Tech Tree ship
  • Premium ship
  • Event Ship
  • Battle Pass reward
  • Squadron-ship
  • I said no in the previous question.

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What BR should Cesare Rossarol (1931) be?
  • 3.0
  • 3.3
  • 3.7
  • 4.0
  • Other (please explain in the comments)
  • I said no to the first question

0 voters

image
(Photo Caption: Destroyer Cesare Rossarol in 1930)

This is a suggestion for the Italian Destroyer Cesare Rossarol as of her 1931 refit. The ship known as Cesare Rossarol began life as the German B 97-class destroyer SMS B 97 which had been transferred to Italy as part of war repatriations in 1921. Following the ship’s entry into Italian service, the ship was extensively refitted initially serving the role of a Light Scout cruiser before being once again refitted in 1931 and reclassified as a Destroyer. I believe this ship would provide an interesting and unique addition to the Italian Tech Tree, as well as add another Destroyer to the Italian Bluewater lineup owing to its decently impressive armament (for a First World War Era Destroyer) and decent characteristics.

Background

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Following the end of the First World War, the victorious powers began enforcing the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Under the treaty, the defeated Kaiserliche Marine was disbanded and many of its warships were made available to the various powers as war repatriations. Among the many ships presented to the various powers was a massive flotilla of the surviving German High Seas Fleet Destroyers and Torpedo boats. Among the nations to get some of these surviving Destroyers as part of their war repatriations was Italy which received several including the Ex-B 97 which was renamed Cesare Rossarol in 1921. The ship following her commissioning was sent in for a major refit that saw most of the German weaponry removed and replaced with modern Italian weaponry. Following this drydock period, the ship was redesignated as an Esploratore Leggero (Light Scout Cruiser), a designation she would hold from 1925 to 1931. In 1931 the ship was again refitted and this time the ship’s German torpedo tubes were removed and replaced with a pair of Italian 450mm torpedo tubes which had been relocated to the port and starboard sides respectively. She served in this configuration as a Destroyer until the late 1930s when she was decommissioned and assigned the role of a training ship in La Spezia. She served until 1939 when she was decommissioned and sold for scrap.

History

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(Photo Caption: An Drawing depicting the General Arrangement of the B-97-class)

The B-97 class destroyers were a class of eight large destroyers designed and laid down following the entry of the German Empire into the First World War. The ships were initially proposed by the AG Vulcan shipyard in Stettin which had a large quantity of machinery that had been built for the Imperial Russian Orfey-class Destroyers but never delivered due to the start of the war. Thus, rather than waste this valuable new machinery it proposed the construction of several large Destroyers loosely based on the Novik-class using this machinery. Initially, the Kaiserliche Marine reacted to this proposal rather cooly as German Naval doctrine did not include large destroyers and was instead based on smaller torpedo boats. Nonetheless, the proposals intrigued German Grand Admiral Alfred Peter Friedrich von Tirpitz who ordered that four such destroyers be immediately built by both Vulcan and the Blohm und Voss shipyards. The initial four ships of this class were ordered on 7 August 1914 and had been launched only four months after being laid down with SMS B-97 the prototype launching 15 December 1915 and the rest of its sister ships following. Ships of this class which were among the first German warships to be classified as Zerstörer rather than torpedo boats Torpedoboote’s all saw extensive service during the First World War partaking in engagement across the North Sea, Baltic Sea, and the English Channel and participating in multiple engagements such as the Battle of the Gulf of Riga, Operation Albion, and the Battle of Jutland. Following the cessation of hostilities all ships of this class except for B97 were seized and interred at Scapa Flow until they were scuttled in 1919. Following this the two remaining afloat Destroyers were assigned to Italy and France as war repatriations while the rest were slowly salvaged from 1919 to 1926 by the Cox & Danks Shipbreaking Company.


(Photo Caption: SMS B-97 in ~1918)

Following the end of hostilities, SMS B-97 herself was transferred in 1921 to the victorious Italian Regia Marina and subsequently renamed Cesare Rossarol after the Poerio-class Scout Cruiser of the same name which had been sunk in 1918 by a German sea mine. Upon arriving in Italy in 1921 the ship was immediately ordered to undergo a massive refit that saw all the German armaments save the torpedo tubes removed and replaced by Italian armaments. During this refit, the ship’s four 10.5cm SK L/45 naval guns were removed and replaced by one twin and one single 120mm/45 Schneider-Canet-Armstrong 1918 naval guns mounted fore and aft, whereas the amidship 10.5cm guns were replaced with a pair of 76mm/40 Ansalso 1917 AA guns. She would also receive a pair of Colt 6.5mm Machine Guns that could be moved around the ship as needed. Following the conclusion of this refit in 1924 the ship entered service with the Regia Marina as Light Scout Cruiser (Esploratore Leggero) and would spend the next year assigned to various scouting squadrons including the one in Pola. In December 1924 the ship was reassigned to the Divissione Leggera of the Regia Marina where it would serve for the next servals years performing various duties and partaking in naval exercises that saw it win the coveted Coppa di Thaon di Revel for Naval exercises as well as the Coppa del Ministero delle Guerra for artillery exercises. On 1 March 1927 however the ship was replaced by the Destroyer Premuda (Ex-SMS V116) and was assigned instead to the Reserve division of the Divisione Esploratori for the Second Squadron, and later was transferred back to Taranto as part of the I squadron’s reserves.

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(Photo caption: Cesare Rossarol in Regia Marina Service, note the forward twin 120/45)

By 1929 It was apparent that Cesare Rossarol was becoming increasingly obsolete and that its time as a frontline unit was ending. With this in mind, the ship was reclassified on 1 October 1926 as a Destroyer. It was later assigned to the 2nd Destroyer Group’s 2nd Torpedo Squadron before being transferred to the 5th Reserve Group based out of La Spezia. In June 1931 after a survey was undertaken it was decided to once again refit the ship due to the need for serious work. As part of this refit the ship’s German torpedo tubes were removed and replaced by 450mm Italian torpedo tubes and one of the ship’s boilers was also removed thus dropping the ship’s speed to only 32 knots. Following the conclusion of this refit in 1932 the ship returned to service firefly before being disarmed for use as a training ship. However, as the political situation in the Mediterranean began to deteriorate the ship was again rearmed and entered service in 1935 as an experimental test ship for new armaments. By 1939 however, with Cesare Rossarol showing its age the Regia Marina finally decided to retire the venerable old Destroyer and it was sold for scrap on 2 February 1939.

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(Photo Caption: The Destroyer Cesare Rossarol at La Spezia in 1936, from the collection of Gustavo Masseglia)

Specifications as of the 1931 refit:

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Specifications
Displacement 1,163 tons (standard) 1,701 tons (Normal) and 1,774 tons (full combat load)
Length: 98m (oa) 94.22m (pp)
Beam: 9.35m
Draft: 3.46m (Normal) 3.78m (Full draft)

Machinery:
Propulsion: 3 x Water tube boilers, 2 x Steam Turbines, and 2 x triple bladed Screws
Power: 30,000 SHP
Speed 32 knots

Complement:
7 Officers and 110 men

Armament:
Primary Armament:
1 x 2 and 1 x 1 120 mm/45 Canet-Schneider-Armstrong Mod.1918-19

Secondary/Anti-Aircraft Armament:
3 x 1 76mm/40 AA Guns
2 x 1 6.5mm Machine Guns

Torpedo Tubes
2 x 2 450mm torpedo tubes

Minelaying Equipment
29 Mines

Text Sources

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B 97-class destroyer - Wikipedia
Bargoni, Franco, and Franco Gay. Esploratori Italiani . Ufficio Storico Della Marina Millitare, 2019.
Britain 12-pdr [3"/40 (7.62 cm)] 12cwt QF Marks I, II and V - NavWeaps
CESARE ROSSAROL flotilla leader (1915 / 1920) (navypedia.org)
Italy 120 mm/45 (4.7") Model 1918, 1924 and 1926 - NavWeaps
SMS B 97 - Wikipedia
SMS B-98 (1915) — Wiki. Lesta Games
Zerstörer Typ B 97 – Wikipedia

Image Sources

Spoiler

Aviso and Scouts of Italy (narod.ru)
Navi e Armatori - Approdi di Passione
Navi e Armatori - Approdi di Passione
SMS B-98 (1915) — Wiki. Lesta Games
Zerstörer Typ B 97 – Wikipedia

1 Like

+1

+1 yes to italian boats