Da Recco near Malta on 10/09/1943
The Navigatori-class “esploratori” were built in 1928-1929 to counter the large destroyers of the French Navy, the Jaguar and Guépard classes.
Designed by general of naval engineering Giuseppe Rota, the class featured a stronger armament, higher speed, displacement, and range than the previous classes of Italian destroyers.
However, while being fast, the destroyers were found to have stability problems. Because of that, all but two of the Navigatori class destroyers were rebuilt with clipper bows, lower superstructure and increased beam.
These modifications fixed the stability problems, but made the speed go down to only 28 knots. One of the two destroyers that did not have their hulls modified for stability, was the Nicoloso Da Recco. Her speed went from 38 knots to 33 knots after the modifications.
The Navigatori-class, compared to the previous classes of italian destroyers, were armed with six guns, instead of four, and 120/50 Ansaldo 1926 instead of the older 120/45 Odero-Terni-Orlando guns. Compared to the previous 120/45 Odero-Terni-Orlando guns, these guns had a higher muzzle velocity, fire-rate and the mounts allowed for an elevation of 45°, allowing for anti-aircraft fire to some degree. The anti-aircraft initially consisted of eight 13.2 Breda Model 1931 in twin mounts and two 40/39 Vickers-Terni cannons in single mounts, but later was upgraded to various combinations of 37 mm and 20 mm Breda cannons, at the cost of a torpedo launcher. Some also received a radar.
Service history of the Nicoloso Da Recco
- 20/05/1930 : short training period before returning back to the shipyard, to make her lighter and modify the superstructure to improve stability
- 1936/1938 : during the Spanish Civil War, she was stationed in Tangier, Cadiz and in the waters of the western Mediterranean
- 03/1939 : Da Recco was in Tripoli and in April of the same year she operated in Albania
- 22/10/1939 : after having been part of the Naviglio of the Command School, she left for Taranto, where she had once again been deployed as Head of the 16th Squadron. She moved to Leros and remained in the Aegean until 4/30/1940. After returning to Taranto, the 16th Squadron was placed under the 8th Division of the 1st Squadron and, with it, Da Recco operated in Albania in May
- 07-09/07/1940 : protection from a distance of convoys to Libya. In the afternoon of the 9th, she took part in firing at enemy planes attacking the 1st Naval Squadron, returning from the Punta Stilo battle.
- 04/03/1941 : took part in the bombardment of the Greek-Albanian coast. On March 26, she went out to participate in the mission south of Crete, which culminated in the battle of Cape Matapan. On her return, on 29 March, she carried out a close escort to the battleship Vittorio Veneto hit by a torpedo.
- summer 1941 : transferred to Palermo to escort Libyan convoys in the Sicilian channel. Carried out escorts to convoys and isolated units, rescue of shipwrecked people, hunt for enemy submarines by launching jet torpedoes, rapid transport of troops and materials, protective cruises and outings in support of national aircraft and ships performing mine barrages . To her credit the shooting down of numerous enemy planes; of these, four during a single attack on 6/21/1942 while escorting a convoy from Naples to Tripoli.
- 02/11/1942 : during a rapid transport of ammunition from Taranto to Tobruk, the Da Recco formation was attacked by enemy bombers and torpedo boats. A torpedo launched by one of these at close range fell on the deck towards the bow, fortunately without exploding, but breaking apart and causing a certain amount of damage to the deck. The plane was shot down
- 01/12/1942 : she departed from Palermo to escort to Tripoli a convoy of four steamers loaded with troops together with the torpedo boats Procione and Clio and the destroyers Folgore and Camicia Nera. During the night, aided by radar and aircraft-launched flares, three enemy cruisers and six destroyers suddenly swooping upon the convoy, opened intense fire on the Italian vessels. The escort units, after trying to cover the merchant ships with smoke screens, launched an attack against the enemy ships, opening fire and launching torpedoes. The destroyer Folgore was sunk and the Da Recco was stopped by two hits in the bow which caused the explosion of the ammunition depot resulting in a very serious fire in the forward part. The merchant ships were sunk while the Da Recco, in flames, remained stationary and fortunately was not attacked again. During the night the crew managed to limit the fire and, once the engines were back in motion, were able to head slowly towards Trapani, also helped by the destroyers Da Noli and Pigafetta come out to help her
- 09/01/1943 - 26/06/1943 : After twenty days in Trapani, she moved to Taranto where she remained in the arsenal
- 07/1943 : she returned to service, performing escorts to Navy units that were laying mine barriers in the waters of the Ionian Sea.
- 08/09/1943 : at the time of the proclamation of the armistice, she was in Taranto and the following day he moved to Malta on the basis of Allied orders.
During 3 years of war, she sailed 68.318 miles, taking part in 176 missions, of which 70 were escorting and protecting other ships
In the post-war period, due to the difficulties of land transport and destruction cause by the war, she was used as a rapid transport of people and materials between Taranto and Naples first, and then between Catania and Malta from 25/9/1945 to 7/2/1946 . Returning to Taranto and, moored at the torpedo boat quay, she concluded his activity in that port. In fact, although she was no longer used in the open sea, she remained in service for a few more years.
Why I’m proposing her?
Yes, we already have a Navigatori-class destroyer in-game, however I don’t think the Da Verazzano is a good destroyer, because of its very low speed and poor AA. Nicolotto Da Recco, in her late 1942 configuration would be a better fit for her Battle rating. She eliminates some of the weaknesses of the Da Verazzano, at the cost of 3 torpedoes, which weren’t that good anyway. Her AA armament consists of 9x 20 mm cannons and 2x 37 mm Breda cannons, which is pretty good, and her speed is 61 km/h, which is on-par with other destroyers, and much better than the Da Verazzano’s 52 km/h. She also has a radar, which would make it easier for her to know about the presence of enemy aircraft.
general specifications ( late 1942)
- Displacement : standard 1900 t; Full load 2599 t.
- Full length : 107,3 m.
- Draught : 3,4 m.
- Breadth : 10.2 m.
- Machinery : 2 sets Tosi geared steam turbines, 4 Odero boilers, 50.000 h. p.
- Max speed : 33 knots.
- Complement : 230.
Armament and equipment
- 3x2 : 120/50 Ansaldo mod.1926
- 2x1 : 37/54 Breda 1939
- 2x1 : 20/70 Scotti-Isotta Fraschini 1939
- 7x1 : 20/65 Breda 1940
- 1x3 : 533 mm torpedo tubes
- 2 depth charge racks
- EC.3/ter radar
Comparison of Lanzerotto Malocello (1943), Leone Pancaldo (1943) and Nicoloso Da Recco (1944). As it seems, the radar has been removed in 1944.