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> Alba-Julia
crolick
Posted: January 11, 2006 10:26 pm
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Hello all,

can anyone provide me the story of Romanian troop-ship Alba-Julia?! I would love to receive as much detailed info as it is possible. Though I have one question. Do you know whether Alba-Julia ever left Black Sea [when under Romanian flag]?!

Cheers,
crolick
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Victor
Posted: January 12, 2006 06:46 pm
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On 10 June 1941, the ship was approaching the Dardanelles under the command of captain Maugus (the "s" is a "sh"). Romania was at that time still neutral. It was attacked by the HMS Torbay. Luckily the sea was calm and the torpedo was spotted and the ship could avoid it and suffer only minor damage, which was later repaired in Istanbul.

The war had started on the Eastern Front. For more than two years the Alba Iulia operated on the Istanbul - Piraeus - Corinth - Trieste route transporting food and bronze. In the summer of 1942, four light AA gun platforms were installed in the San Rocco shipyard, Trieste.

On 16 November 1942, the Alba Iulia and two tankers were sailing from Piraeus to Istanbul under the escort of the destroyer Hermes and of UJ 2102 and two seaplanes. As it passed through the Doro Straits, the ship hit something underwater, but its hull didn't brake. That meant that it was probably a submarine, not a rock and the escorts soon found it and depth charged it. The submarine surfaced some 90 m behind the Alba Iulia and it was captured. It was the Greek Triton submarine.

The Alba Iulia returned to the Black Sea at the end of September 1943.
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Dénes
Posted: January 12, 2006 06:59 pm
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An interesting sidenote is that accoring to an internet post, this ship was also attacked by the Polish submarine ORP "Dzik", at 07.01.1944, pos. 39'42"N, 26'02"E, and probably damaged.
http://www.warsailors.com/phorum/read.php?f=1&i=5248&t=5248

Gen. Dénes

P.S. It's quite possible the period spelling was actually 'Alba Julia'.

This post has been edited by Dénes on January 12, 2006 07:00 pm
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crolick
Posted: January 12, 2006 07:21 pm
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Hello Victor and Dénes,

many thanks for your replies. I was thinking exactly about what Dénes quted. In Dzik's patrol report lt. cdr. Romanowski stated that the attacked ship was similar to the Romanian Alba-Julia I was curious if it is true, since sometimes German Brunhilde is also claimed. If Alba-Iulia [this is correct spelling, rigth?!] was from September 1943 in Black Sea, she couldn't be attacked by Dzik on 7.I.1944 in the Aegean :)

And this answers my question. Thank you Gentelman for your cooperation :D

Edit: One more question. Do you have by any chance list of such movements of Romanian ships from Black Sea to Mediterranen?! Thank you in advance!

This post has been edited by crolick on January 12, 2006 07:23 pm
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Victor
Posted: January 12, 2006 08:11 pm
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The Polish submarine attacked another ship, not the Alba-Iulia. After Italy quit the Axis the "Bosphoros-route" was abandoned by the Romanian Navy and I found no mention of convoys with that destination in Koslinski & Stanescu after the Alba-Iulia returned to the Black Sea. The ship was escorted by 3 destroyers to Varna and, in late October, it sailed back into Constanta escorted by 3 destroyers. This was a serious escort by Romanian Navy standards. If it was to sail back into the Aegean it would have again been escorted to the Bosphoros and such an event would have been reported in the book.
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crolick
Posted: January 12, 2006 10:43 pm
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Yes Victor, know I'm sure that Alba-Iulia was not attacked by Dzik. It was probably German Brunhilde as I stated before...

I belive that none Romanian ship left Black Sea after Italy surrender but I'm asking for the convoys before September 1943. How many ships and how many times traveled to Mediterranean?!

Cheers,
crolick
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Victor
Posted: January 13, 2006 11:53 am
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Are you interested in Romanian ships or in Italian ones?
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crolick
Posted: January 13, 2006 12:33 pm
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If it is possible both. If not Romanian comes first!

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crolick
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Victor
Posted: January 14, 2006 09:05 am
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OK, but it will take a while to complete it.

The last Italian tanker that loaded its cargoi in Constanta before Operation Barbarossa began was the Tarvisio, which left the port on 20 June 1941.

After the war began, the ChF put a lot of pressure on the Constanta area in the first month. After this pressure eased up and the Navy was able to organize a minimal defense on the Southern route to the Bosphoros, two Italian tankers arrived at Constanta on 31 July 1941: the Albaro and the Maya.

Because Soviet bombers damaged the oil pipe going to Constanta during the bight of 9/10 August, the oil was diverted to Bulgaria through Giurgiu and the tankers went to load it in Varna. So the info on the arrivals of Italian tankers in this period is rather sketchy, because it was usually the Bulgarians job to escort them:

- on 15 August, the Italian tanker Superga was part of a convoy together with the Romanian cargo-ships Peles and Suceava, ewcorted by a Bulgarian torpedo-boat, going from Burgas to Varna. It was attacked by Sc-216, which managed to hit and sink the Peles
- after 26 August (I don't know the date exactly), the M-34 attacked the Italian tanker Tampico near Varna, without success
- 9 September, the tankers Superga and Tampico made the trip from Varna to Constanta. From Cape Sabla, they were escorted by NMS Ghiculescu, which also took them back to Cape Sabla, after they loaded the oil, where a Bulgarian escort took over.
- 29 September, the Sc-211 disabled the Tampico between Burgas and Varna and sank it during the following night

After this, it was decided to launch a large mining operation off the Bulgarian coast, in order to better protect the convoys going South.

Thenext mention of an Italian tanker is on 28 December 1941, when the Albaro was escorted from Cape Sabla to Constanta by the NMS Regina Maria, the NMS Marasesti and the NMS Stihi. It left for the Bosphoros on 30 January 1942 at 0045 hours escorted by the NMS Regina Maria and the NMS Regele Ferdinand. The two destroyers had the mission to escort it all the way to the straits, where it arrived safely on 31 January.
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Victor
Posted: January 16, 2006 08:12 am
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On 16 April 1942, the NMS Regina Maria and the NMS Marasesti rendezvoused near the Bosphoros with the German cargoships Arkadia and Salzburg the tanker Prodromos and took them to Burgas. From there they moved to Varna on 17 (the tanker) and 23 April (the cargo ships), and then, to Constanta on 18 and 26 under different escorts. The Germans also brought some MFPs through the straits.

The Italian tankers returned in May 1942. On 27, the NMS Regina Maria and the NMS Regele Ferdinand took the Albaro and the Celeno from Istanbul to Constanta and on 13-14 June took them back to the straits.

On 29 June, the German tanker Dresden entered the Black Sea and made it to Varna unescorted. On 2 July it entered Constanta, escorted by the NMS Viscolul MTB and the armed tug Duca.

On 18 July, at 0700 hours, the NMS Regina Maria and the NMS Regele Ferdinand met up with the same Albaro and Celeno near the Bosphoros and took them to Constanta. The return trip was made in two stages. First to Varna on 1 August, escorted by teh same destroyers and R-133 and R-164 and then to the Bosphoros on 3 August. The two R-boote were sent in advance to rendezvous with the Hungarian tanker Szeged, which was supposed to pass through the straits. because of the bad weather, the Szeged could only enter the Black Sea and arrive to Constanta several days later escorted by the two R-boote.

On 7 September, at 1935 hours, the same two destroyers were waiting for the Albaro and Celeno near the Bosphoros. Two torpedoes passed by the Regina Maria, but the destoryer managed to evade them. They launched several depth charges in the area were the torpedoes came from and then returned to the tankers, which had just exited the straits. They arrived at Constanta on 8 September, at 2200 hours. The tankers were taken back on 12-13 September.

On 5 October 1942, the Celeno and Albaro returned to the Black Sea at 1230 hours and were escorted by the R-class destroyers to Constanta, where they arrived the following day at 1330 hours. On 7 October, another tanker, the Arca, passed through the Bosphoros and arrived at Constanta on 16 October.

On 14-15 October, the Celeno was escorted back to the straits by the NMS Regele Ferdinand and the NMS Marasesti. On 18 October, the Arca was escorted by the NMS Stihi and two MFPs to Cape Sabla, from where it was taken over by Bulgarian torpedo-boats. The Arca was torpedoed on 26 October 1942 in the Aegean, by the HMS Taki, 9 miles South of the Island of Kios. The Albaro left Constanta on 28 October escorted by the NMS Regina Maria and the NMS Marasesti to Varna. It arrived at the Bosphoros under German escort on 4 November.

On 14 November, at 1510 hours, the NMS Regina Maria and the NMS Regele Ferdinand met up with the German tanker Ossag near the straits. The ship, unfortunately didn't have any radio on board and the signal lights were probably malfunctioning. At 1645 hours three torpedoes were sighted. They had been fired by the L-5, which laid in waiting in the area. The Regina Maria soundedt ehalarm, launched flares and fired a round in the direction of the torpedoes, but the Ossag took no evasive action. On torpedo hit it in the stern and it was immobilized. The two destroyers evaded the other torpedoes and started to look for the submarine. They launched 40 depth charges. By 2030 hours, the Ossag had drifted into Turkish waters and there it was towed by tugs from Isntanbul and taken for repairs.

On 28 November 1942, the R-class destroyers escorted the Celeno to Constanta, where they arrived in the morning of 29. On 4 December it was escorted to Varna by three R-boote and passed through the straits in the following days. It was the last such mission of the year.
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Miroslav Morozov
Posted: January 19, 2006 12:08 am
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Hello, friends!

Very inyeresting posts, but I have to do some remarks:

Peles was sunk by Sch-211 too, not by Sch-216.

M-34 didn't attack Tampico off Varna on 26.8.1941, likewise any other soviet sub. She attacked Delfinul on 20.8.1941. The soviet subs didn't make any attacks between 20.8.1941 and 4.9.1941.

Dear Victor, you forgot the ocassion with Torcello, which was sunk by Sch-214 on 5.11.1941 some hours before her Romanian escort arrived.

The attack on 7.9.1942 was made by Sch-207.

The attack on 14.11.1942 was made by L-23, not by L-5.

Regards,
Miroslav
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crolick
Posted: January 19, 2006 04:16 pm
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QUOTE (Miroslav Morozov @ Jan 19 2006, 12:08 AM)
M-34 didn't attack Tampico off Varna on 26.8.1941, likewise any other soviet sub. She attacked Delfinul on 20.8.1941. The soviet subs didn't make any attacks between 20.8.1941 and 4.9.1941.

Hello Miroslav,

I have spotted some discrepancy between your post and your great book 'Podvodniye lodki VMF SSSR v velikoy otetchestvennoy voine 1941-1945' Part 2, page 30 where you have written that it was M 33 that attack Delfinul on 20.VIII.1941. So I suppose that M 34 is only a typo?!

Best regards,
Andrzej
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Victor
Posted: January 19, 2006 07:33 pm
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On 7 January 1943, three R-boote from Varna went to the Bosphorus and met up with the Albaro, which arrived at Constanta the following day. From there it went to Sevastopol, also under German escort. It returned to Constanta for reload on 14 February from where the NMS Marasesti and two R-boote took it to the straits.

On 10 March, the NMS Regina Maria and the NMS Marasesti rendezvous-ed with the Celeno at 1307 hours and the convoy arrived at Constanta on 11 March at 1114 hours. On 27 March, the NMS Regele Ferdinand and the NMS Marasti escorted the tanker back to the Bosphorus, where, on 28 March, they picked up the German cargo-ship Birgit, with which they arrived at Varna on 29 March, at 0135 hours.

On 19 April, the NMS Regele Ferdinand, the NMS Marasesti and one R-boot went to the straits and picked up the German PLM 16 transport vessel. The convoy arrived at Constanta the following day.

On 6 May, the Regele Ferdinand and the NMS Regina Maria and four R-boote from Varna headed for teh Bosphorus to rendezvous with the Celeno and the German cargo-ship Burgas. En route they received the news that the ships were four hours late. They waited and waited and the ships didn't show up. Thus the decision was taken to abort the mission and headed Northwards. After two hours they received the news that the two vessels had passed through the straits and the destroyers turned back, speeding with 29 knots. They ran into a thick fog around 2000 hours and reported the situation at Constanta and once again headed to base, because the Celeno and the Burgas had to navigate on their own under these conditions. Around 2300 hours they received orders to rendezvous with the convoy on 7 May at 0400 hours at 42 deg. 24 sec Northern latitude and 28 deg 49 sec Eastern longitude. The fog was as thick as earlier, but the two destroyers rallied with the convoyand took it to Constanta, where they arrived at 2030 hours.
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Victor
Posted: January 19, 2006 07:54 pm
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QUOTE (Miroslav Morozov @ Jan 19 2006, 02:08 AM)
Dear Victor, you forgot the ocassion with Torcello, which was sunk by Sch-214 on 5.11.1941 some hours before her Romanian escort arrived.

Thanks, for the corrections.

I went through the first volume of Koslinski & Stanescu and eventually found the Torcello event (and several other convoys to the Bosphorus) in another chapter not related to the Bosphorus route. I will post more tommorow.
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Miroslav Morozov
Posted: January 19, 2006 09:02 pm
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Dear Crolick!

Of course, you are quite right. I wrote my post deep in the night :)

Regards,
Miroslav
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