Eritrea (ship)

Eritrea (ship)

The Italian colonial ship "Eritrea" was constructed in the Castellammare Shipyards. Construction started in 1935 and she was commissioned in 1937.

Design

"Eritrea" was constructed for duties as a typical "colonial ship" and was sometimes referred to as a "sloop." She had a novel diesel-electric machinery outfit designed to maximise range.

She was armed with four 120 mm guns, two 40 mm guns, and two 13.2 mm machine guns. The ship also had an extensive engineering workshop on board and could provide repair support to Italian submarines based in East Africa.

A modified sister ship to be called "Etiopia" was planned, but cancelled on the outbreak of war.

ervice

Following Italy's declaration of war on 10 June 1940, colonial ship "Eritrea" became part of the Italian Royal Navy ("Regia Marina"). "Eritrea" was part of the Italian Navy's Red Sea Flotilla located at the port of Massawa in Eritrea.

In February 1941, as the East African Campaign started to go badly for the Italians, Massawa, the home port for "Eritrea" became more endangered. Along with . The submarine had just arrived from occupied France after a long and difficult voyage. As soon as the Reuters message about the surrender of Italy was picked up by the crew of "Eritrea", the vessel changed course at once and headed at full speed to Colombo in Ceylon to surrender when it was intercepted and escorted to Colombo by units of the Ceylon Naval Volunteer Force. "Eritrea" passed by Sumatra and escaped despite the presence of the Japanese aerial and naval units.

After the war, "Eritrea" was turned over to France. The French Navy used "Eritrea" in colonial service with the name "Francis Garnier". "Francis Garnier" was then declassed to become a target ship. She was sunk during an air attack drill in Pacific Ocean in 1966.

ee also

* Italian Royal Navy - "Eritrea"
* French Navy - "Francis Garnier"
* East African Campaign
* Armed merchantmen
* Merchant raider
* Commerce raider
* Francis Garnier - French Explorer
* "Francis Garnier" - French Light Ferry Ship launched in 1973

References

Conway's "All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946"

External links

* [http://www.combinedfleet.com/I-503.htm Sesuikan]


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