Yugoslav torpedo boat T1
T1's sister ship, T3
|Builder:||Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino|
|Laid down:||24 June 1913|
|Launched:||15 December 1913|
|Commissioned:||20 July 1914|
|Out of service:||1918|
|Fate:||Assigned to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes|
|Kingdom of Yugoslavia|
|Out of service:||April 1941|
|Fate:||Captured by Italy|
|Out of service:||September 1943|
|Kingdom of Yugoslavia|
|Fate:||Transferred to Yugoslav Navy post-war|
|Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia|
|Acquired:||post-World War II|
|Out of service:||1959|
|Class and type:||250t-class, T-group sea-going torpedo boat|
|Length:||58.2 m (190 ft 11 in)|
|Beam:||5.7 m (18 ft 8 in)|
|Draught:||1.5 m (4 ft 11 in)|
|Speed:||28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph)|
|Range:||980 nmi (1,810 km; 1,130 mi) at 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)|
|Complement:||39 officers and enlisted|
The Yugoslav torpedo boat T1 was a sea-going torpedo boat that was operated by the Royal Yugoslav Navy between 1921 and 1941. Originally built as 76 T, a 250t-class torpedo boat built for the Austro-Hungarian Navy in 1914, she was armed with two 66 mm (2.6 in) guns and four 450 mm (17.7 in) torpedo tubes, and could carry 10–12 naval mines. She saw active service during World War I, performing convoy, escort and minesweeping tasks, and anti-submarine operations. She was part of the escort force for the Austro-Hungarian dreadnought SMS Szent István during the action that resulted in the sinking of that ship by Italian torpedo boats in June 1918. Following Austria-Hungary's defeat later that year, 76 T was allocated to the Navy of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, which became the Royal Yugoslav Navy, and was renamed T1.
During the German-led Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, the vessel was captured by the Italians and served with the Royal Italian Navy under her Yugoslav designation. Following the Italian capitulation in September 1943, she was returned to the Royal Yugoslav Navy-in-exile. She was commissioned by the Yugoslav Navy after World War II, and after a refit which included replacement of her armament, she served as Golešnica until 1959.
In 1910, the Austria-Hungary Naval Technical Committee initiated the design and development of a 275-long-ton (279 t) coastal torpedo boat, specifying that it should be capable of sustaining 30 knots (56 km/h) for 10 hours. This specification was based an expectation that the Strait of Otranto, where the Adriatic Sea meets the Ionian Sea, would be blockaded by hostile forces during a future conflict. In such circumstances, there would be a need for a torpedo boat that could sail from the Austro-Hungarian Navy (German: kaiserliche und königliche Kriegsmarine) base at the Bay of Kotor (Bocche di Cattaro) to the Strait during darkness, locate and attack blockading ships and return to port before morning. Steam turbine power was selected for propulsion, as diesels with the necessary power were not available, and the Austro-Hungarian Navy did not have the practical experience to run turbo-electric boats. Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino (STT) of Trieste was selected for the contract to build eight vessels, ahead of one other tenderer. The T-group designation signified the builder, STT.
Description and construction
The 250t-class T-group boats had a waterline length of 58.2 m (190 ft 11 in), a beam of 5.7 m (18 ft 8 in), and a normal draught of 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in). While their designed displacement was 262 tonnes (258 long tons), they displaced about 320 tonnes (310 long tons) fully loaded. The crew consisted of 39 officers and enlisted men. The boats were powered by a Parsons steam turbine driving two propellers, using steam generated by two Yarrow water-tube boilers, one of which burned fuel oil and the other coal. The turbine was rated at 5,000 shp (3,700 kW) with a maximum output of 6,000 shp (4,500 kW) and designed to reach a top speed of 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph). They carried 18 tonnes (17.7 long tons) of coal and 24 tonnes (23.6 long tons) of fuel oil, which gave them a range of 980 nautical miles (1,810 km; 1,130 mi) at 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph). The T-group had one funnel rather than the two funnels of the later groups of the class. Despite the specifications of the contract being very close to the requirements for the coastal torpedo boat, the STT boats were classified as sea-going. The 250t-class, T-group were the first small Austro-Hungarian Navy boats to use turbines, and this contributed to ongoing problems with them.
The boats were originally to be armed with three Škoda 66 mm (2.6 in)L/30 guns, and three 450 mm (17.7 in) torpedo tubes, but this was changed to two guns and four torpedo tubes before the first boat was completed, in order to standardise the armament with the following F-group. They could also carry 10–12 naval mines.
Eight T-group boats were completed between February and December 1914, designated 74 T – 81 T. 76 T, the third of its class to be completed, was laid down on 24 June 1913, launched on 15 December 1913 and completed on 20 July 1914. In 1914, one 8 mm (0.31 in) machine gun was added.
World War I
At the outbreak of World War I, 76 T was part of the 1st Torpedo Group of the 3rd Torpedo Craft Division of the Austro-Hungarian 1st Torpedo Craft Flotilla. During World War I, 76 T was used for convoy, escort and minesweeping tasks, and anti-submarine operations. She also conducted patrols and supported seaplane raids against the Italian coast. Due to inadequate funding, 76 T and the rest of the 250t class were essentially coastal vessels, despite the original intention that they would be used for "high seas" operations. In 1917, one of the 66 mm (2.6 in) guns on each boat was placed on an anti-aircraft mount.
By 1918, the Allies had strengthened their ongoing blockade on the Strait of Otranto, as foreseen by the Austro-Hungarian Navy. As a result, it was becoming more difficult for the German and Austro-Hungarian U-boats to get through the strait and into the Mediterranean Sea. In response to these blockades, the new commander of the Austro-Hungarian Navy, Konteradmiral Miklós Horthy, decided to launch an attack on the Allied defenders with battleships, scout cruisers, and destroyers.
During the night of 8 June, Horthy left the naval base of Pola in the upper Adriatic with Viribus Unitis and Prinz Eugen. At about 23:00 on 9 June 1918, after some difficulties getting the harbour defence barrage opened, Szent István and Tegetthoff, escorted by one destroyer and six torpedo boats, including 76 T, also departed Pola and set course for Slano, north of Ragusa, to rendezvous with Horthy in preparation for a coordinated attack on the Otranto Barrage. About 03:15 on 10 June, while returning from an uneventful patrol off the Dalmatian coast, two Italian Navy (Italian: Regia Marina) MAS boats, MAS 15 and MAS 21, spotted the smoke from the Austrian ships. Both boats successfully penetrated the escort screen and split to engage the dreadnoughts individually. MAS 21 attacked Tegetthoff, but her torpedoes missed. Under the command of Luigi Rizzo, MAS 15 fired two torpedoes at 03:25, both of which hit Szent István. Both boats evaded pursuit although Rizzo had to discourage 76 T by dropping depth charges in her wake. The torpedo hits on Szent István were abreast her boiler rooms, which flooded, knocking out power to the pumps. Szent István capsized less than three hours after being torpedoed.
76 T survived the war intact. In 1920, under the terms of the previous year's Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, she was allocated to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (KSCS, later Yugoslavia). Along with three other 250t-class T-group boats, 77 T, 78 T and 79 T, and four 250t-class F-group boats, she served with the Royal Yugoslav Navy (Serbo-Croatian: Kraljevska Jugoslovenska Ratna Mornarica, KJRM; Кpaљeвcкa Југословенска Pатна Морнарица). In KJRM service, 76 T was renamed T1. In May and June 1929, six of the eight 250t-class torpedo boats accompanied the light cruiser Dalmacija, the submarine tender Hvar and the submarines Hrabri and Nebojša, on a cruise to Malta, the Greek island of Corfu in the Ionian Sea, and Bizerte in the French protectorate of Tunisia. It is not clear if T1 was one of the torpedo boats involved. The ships and crews made a very good impression while visiting Malta. In 1932, the British naval attaché reported that Yugoslav ships engaged in few exercises, manoeuvres or gunnery training due to reduced budgets.
World War II and post-war service
In April 1941, Yugoslavia entered World War II when it was invaded by the German-led Axis powers. At the time of the invasion, T1 was assigned to the Southern Sector of the KJRM's Coastal Defence Command based at the Bay of Kotor, along with her sister ship T3 and a number of minesweepers and other craft. T1 was captured by the Italian Navy shortly after the commencement of hostilities and was operated by them under her Yugoslav designation, conducting coastal and second-line escort duties in the Adriatic. Her guns were also replaced by two 76 mm (3.0 in) L/40 anti-aircraft guns. After the Italians capitulated in September 1943, she was returned by them to the KJRM-in-exile in December 1943. She was commissioned by the Yugoslav Navy (Serbo-Croatian: Jugoslavenska Ratna Mornarica, Југословенска Pатна Mорнарица) after the war, serving as Golešnica. Her post-war fit-out included replacing her guns with two 40 mm (1.6 in) guns on single mounts and four 20 mm (0.79 in) guns, and removing her torpedo tubes. She continued in Yugoslav service until October 1959, when she was stricken.
- L/30 denotes the length of the gun. In this case, the L/30 gun is 30 calibre, meaning that the gun was 30 times as long as the diameter of its bore.
- Sources differ on what the exact time was when the attack took place. Sieche states that the time was 3:15 am when the Szent István was hit, while Sokol claims that the time was 3:30 am.
- One source states that she was captured by the Germans and transferred to the navy of the puppet state, the Independent State of Croatia, but several other sources state that she was returned to the KJRM in December 1943.
- Gardiner 1985, p. 339.
- Greger 1976, p. 58.
- Jane's Information Group 1989, p. 313.
- Greger 1976, pp. 11–12.
- O'Hara, Worth & Dickson 2013, pp. 26–27.
- Sokol 1968, pp. 133–134.
- Sokol 1968, p. 134.
- Sieche 1991, pp. 127, 131.
- Sokol 1968, p. 135.
- Jarman 1997, p. 183.
- Jarman 1997, p. 451.
- Niehorster 2013.
- Brescia 2012, p. 151.
- Chesneau 1980, p. 357.
- Whitley 1988, p. 186.
- Brescia, Maurizio (2012). Mussolini's Navy. Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-59114-544-8.
- Chesneau, Roger, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1922–1946. London, England: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 978-0-85177-146-5.
- Gardiner, Robert, ed. (1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1906–1921. London, England: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 978-0-85177-245-5.
- Greger, René (1976). Austro-Hungarian Warships of World War I. London, England: Allan. ISBN 978-0-7110-0623-2.
- Jane's Information Group (1989) [1946/47]. Jane's Fighting Ships of World War II. London, England: Studio Editions. ISBN 978-1-85170-194-0.
- Jarman, Robert L., ed. (1997). Yugoslavia political diaries 1918–1965. 2. Slough, Berkshire: Archives Edition. ISBN 978-1-85207-950-5.
- Niehorster, Dr. Leo (2013). "Balkan Operations Order of Battle Royal Yugoslavian Navy Coastal Defense Command 6th April 1941". Dr. Leo Niehorster. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
- O'Hara, Vincent; Worth, Richard; Dickson, W. (2013). To Crown the Waves: The Great Navies of the First World War. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-61251-269-3.
- Sieche, Erwin F. (1991). "S.M.S. Szent István: Hungaria's Only and Ill-Fated Dreadnought". Warship International. Toledo, Ohio: International Warship Research Organization. XXVII (2): 112–146. ISSN 0043-0374.
- Sokol, Anthony Eugene (1968). The Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Navy. Annapolis, Maryland: U.S. Naval Institute. OCLC 1912.
- Whitley, M. J. (1988). Destroyers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-326-7.