The Italian warship “Cesare Rossarol” was built during the period from 1913 to 1914 in the shipyard “Giovanni Ansaldo” in the city of Sestri Ponente near Genova (Italiy).

It belonged to the class of light exploration ships. The purpose of such ships was to patrol, escort and protect larger armoured warships, lay mines, fight smaller warships and aircrafts. “Cesare Rossarol” became part of the Italian Navy on 1 February 1915 and she conducted combat tasks along the whole Adriatic Sea. In the last days of World War II (4 November 1918) the ship sailed from the south to the north Adriatic. At the admiral Umberto Cagnia’s command, on 16 November 1918 at 11:40 the “Cesare Rossarol” sailed out from Pula to Rijeka as a support to the Italian troupes which were part of the San Marco battalion. At 12:45 sharp the ship struck an underwater anchored mine and the powerful explosion broke her into two parts. The stern and bow of the ship soon sank to the depth of 50 meters, and they were about 300 meters distant from each other. There were 36 crew members who survived and the north-east wind blew them to the Munat Veliki cape. At about 7:30 p.m. they were transferred to the Tegetthof military barracks in Pula, while those who were more seriously injured were transferred to the naval hospital in Pula. The warship “Cesare Rossarol” was officially cancelled from the fleet by a decree dated 23 January 1919. To remember the huge naval tragedy which befell the warship “Cesare Rossarol”, the bereaved families raised a monument which was unveiled on 10 November 1919.

BASIC INFORMATION

Type: light exploration ship
Built: “S.A.I. Giovanni Ansaldo e C.” shipyard in the city of Sestri Ponente near Genova, Italy (keel laid down on 30 June 1913)
Launching: 15 August 1914
Belonging to: Italian Navy (1 August 1915 in the 4th group of warships in the south Adriatic; from 4 November 1918 part of the 4th Venetian division)
Commissioning: November 1915
Armament: eight torpedo launchers, four cannons of the calibre 102/35 mm, minelaying rails for 42 mines
Captain: Ludovico de Filippi
Crew: five officers and 104 petty officers and sailors
Movement radius: 2,145 miles
Last war action: Durres (Albania), 2 October 1918
Last war harbour: Pula – Pola
Status: sank at a 50 m depth on 16 November 1918 at 12:45 by striking an underwater anchored mine in the waters of today’s Ližnjan Municipality

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Tonnage: 1,235 t (fully armed)
Length: 85 m
Breadth: 8.01 m
Draught: 3.11 m
Propulsion: three “Yarrow” steam boilers, two “Belluzo” turbines of 24,000 KS
Motor fuel: oil (24 tanks of the overall capacity of 285 t)
Speed: 31.5 knots (two three-bladed propellers)

 

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