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Wings_of_wrath
Posted: February 05, 2006 06:07 pm
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Caporal
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I agree to that.
The only aditional units Romania could have used during WW2 would have been some other 4-8 submarines- They're realtively cheap, and would have served well as a deterrent against any major russian surface operations, as well as helped with the blockade on Sevastopol or the Kerch Strait.
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crolick
Posted: November 19, 2006 12:14 am
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Soldat
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QUOTE (Imperialist @ October 21, 2005 04:22 pm)
QUOTE (Andreas von Mach @ Nov 1 2003, 11:01 PM)


Pogram 1912/1915
6 cruisers 3500t
12 destroyers 1500t (4 ordered in Italy)
1 submarine (ordered in Italy)
1 Danube tug (MACIN)
2 Danube patrolships  (built, - I think there were 3 ships)


In 1914 Romania ordered a sub, but from my sources it was ordered in France, not Italy.

Hello,

what names were given to ex Romanian destroyers?!

And what was the name of ex Romanian sub?! Any idea how could it be named under Romanian flag?!

Cheers,
Andrzej
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Victorian
Posted: January 05, 2007 09:21 am
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Soldat
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Hello friends,

About the submarine to be purchased from France in the beginning of the 20th century:

I have a book published by the staff of the Maritime Museum in Constanta, which is called "Noi contributii la istoria Marinei Militare Romane" (New contributions to the Romanian Navy's History" authors: Ion Ionescu, Georgeta Boranda, Marian Mosneagu, Muntenia & Leda Publishing house, 2001 ISBN 973-8082-47-1 ISBN: 973-8304-12-1).

At page 78:

Based upon M.R. Order (Royal Navy order) Nr. 3829/ july 1920 lt. comandor Gheorghe Koslinski (which will later become admiral) was sent to France and started discussions in october 1920 to purchase a french submarine. However, after all the technical issues were put in good order, Koslinski was called back home by the Romanian War Ministry.

The submarine in question was named O'Byrne and the agreed price was 3.250.000 francs. The submarine would have been handed over completely functional, with all necessary spare parts, fittings and ammunition including torpedoes. The price also included some modifications asked by the Romanians to adapt the sub to the Black Sea.

Finally, the sub was never purchased due to insuficient funding. However, there was also a legal issue: during the signing of the Versailles treaty (1919) Britain asked for a complete ban on war use of submarine ships. Therefore, for a very short interval (1919-1922) having a submarine warship would have violated the international treaties. This matter was finally settled upon during the Washington Naval conference in 1922.

I have no means to check if there was any French submarine called O'Byrne. The name sounds distinctively Irish, but this may be misleading. For instance there also was a ship called O'Higgins, another typical Irish name. The ship was however a Chilean corvette! :)
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crolick
Posted: January 06, 2007 12:52 am
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Hello Victorian,

You are quite right! There was in French Navy submarine called O'Byrne.
342/513 t
52,4 x 4,7 x 2,7 m
14 / 8 w
4 x 450 mm TT
1 x 47 mm
It was builid in the Schneider yard in Chalon-sur-Saone launched on 22.V.1919 and commisioned on 31.VIII.1922.

Lieutenant de Vaisseau John Joseph Gabriel O'Byrne was CO of French submarine Curie which on 20.XII.1914 was trying to enter the Austro-Hungarian base in Pola. During this passage sub was caught in the anti-sub net and subsequently sunk with the lost of 3 ratings.

What is interesting 2 other boats of its class Louis Dupetit-Thouars and Henri Fournier were in fact builiding for... Turkey but after WWI started taken over by French Navy.

Do you know how the sub would be named in Romania??

BTW. In 1914 when 4 destroyers were ordered in Pattison yard there was also sub ordered in Fiat yards in La Spezia. It was one of the Medusa class submarines but I do not know still which one it was! As in the case of destroyers it was also taken over by Italians in june 1915.

Cheers,
Andrzej
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Victorian
Posted: January 07, 2007 10:03 am
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Soldat
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Hello Andrzej!

There is no mention of any Romanian name given to the O'Byrne. Generally speaking, it was King's job to give names to the new Romanian Navy units. I only came across this matter occasionally when seeping through papers in Bucharest Archive. I believe there was first a paper issued from the War Ministry which requested for a name, then there was a King's decree for this name to be given.

Insofar I saw, this happens only in late stages, when the new hull is almost built and is ready to be launched prior of completion on the yard. Until this, the new ship is only spoken of in the ministry papers under terms such as "the brick" (in case of "Mircea" I) or "the cruiser" in case of "Elisabeta".

Anyway, at the time the Romanian authorities fiddled well enough around the idea of having a submarine. There was also the story of the submarine seized by the Austrians on the Danube, when the famous Von Trapp was involved. Do you know that story?
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crolick
Posted: January 07, 2007 10:56 pm
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Hello Victorian,

Hmm, then something is wrong here. Sub was ordered somewhere in 1916. Since the ship was launched on 22.V.1919 hence according to your words 'when the new hull is almost built and is ready to be launched' O'Byrne should have Romanian name!!

And there is another surprising fact. If the order to lt. cdr. Koslinski was given in VI.1920 then it does not make much sense since the sub was already launched and ordered for about 4 year already!

You are wrong with the Washington Naval conference. Submarine matters were not discussed there for sure but were the topic during London Naval Treaty [1930]. And subs weren't in fact never 'illigal' according to the international law...

Cheers,
A.

PS. No I do not know the story of Austro-Hungarian sub. What is it?!
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Victorian
Posted: January 13, 2007 03:00 pm
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Soldat
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Well Crolick, in fact I don't know too much on submarines. As my nick says, my epoch of interest is mainly the 19th century. What I wrote here about the Washington Treaty is only what is stated in the named book ( "Noi contributii la istoria Marinei Militare Romane" (New contributions to the Romanian Navy's History" authors: Ion Ionescu, Georgeta Boranda, Marian Mosneagu, Muntenia & Leda Publishing house, 2001 ISBN 973-8082-47-1 ISBN: 973-8304-12-1)., page 79.

The whole story of the O'Byrne submarine was quoted on page 78 as being taken from the papers of Nicolae Koslinski, son of (later) adm. Gheorghe Koslinski. These papers are now kept in the Maritime Museum of Constanta Library.
Here they found a handwritten paper, never previously published, called "The Story of Buying the O'Byrne Submarine".

As I understand the story, the O'Byrne was initially launched and armed as French submarine during the end of the war. This is why she was given the name of a French hero. She was not INTENDED for the Romanians. Only after the war, the French considered the sub wasn't necessary anymore so a good alternative to scrapping was to be sold to the Romanians. In fact this is exactly the same story as with the four "Chiffonne" units which were sold to Romania just one year earlier.



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crolick
Posted: January 30, 2007 01:37 pm
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Hello Victorian,

if so then sub was launched in V.1919, offered to Romania in VII.1920 and finally in X.1920 lt. cdr. Koslinski was sent to Bordeaux to negotiate. Right?!
When Koslinski was sent back to Romania?!

Though on the French site: http://perso.orange.fr/sous-marin.france/SC7.htm
It is written
QUOTE
- Construit par le chantier Schneider pour la marine Roumaine.
- A été utilisé pendant et après la guerre par la marine Française.
Which means that the construction started for Romanian Navy and only during the war sub was taken by the French. Is it possible that after the end of the war it was offered to Romania?! Or do you think it is improbable that sub was building from the very beginning for the Romanian Navy?!

What's the story with 'Chiffonne' class vessels?!

This post has been edited by crolick on January 30, 2007 01:38 pm
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Victorian
Posted: February 01, 2007 05:19 pm
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Hello Andrzej,

Very interesting that French site about submarines!

So it seems you were right... the O'Byrne submarine was INTENDED for the Romanian Navy, but perhaps because was finished during the war was used finally by the French Navy. After the war, Koslinski was sent to negotiate the returning of the ship to Romanians, but at a certain moment the Romanians withdrew from negotiations. The said book does not say a date when Koslinski was called back home. Moreover, I am sure the story is more complex and since not all documents survived, now we can only guess the whole picture. Perhaps government officials considered not suitable to buy a submarine which was already used by the French and which was by now heavily outdated. In fact, after the war many pre-war submarines were outdated due to the German advances in the field...

The story with "Chiffones" is as it follows: (source... the same book, page 80 and following):

After the war, in 1918 there were many mines left floating in all former battle zones. This problem was dealed with by the "Inter-allied Naval Council" which in his 31 october 1918 meeting decided how the waters are divided and who is responsible for clearing the mines.
But the Romanians had no mine-clearing ships, so the French sent four units to help, which at first were manned by the French, then romanian mariners were trained to use them, then there were discussions about the units to be lent to the romanians. Finally in his 15 december 1919 meeting the Romanian War Ministry got approuval to buy the four "Chifonne" units. The units were transferred to the Romanians in 9 january 1920. It may be possible, but I have no documents to check it, that also these ships were at first intended for the Romanians, but when the war started the ships were used by the French.

From "Navomodele, vechi nave romanesti"/"Shipmodels, old Romanian ships" by Cristian Craciunoiu (Editura/Publishing House Sport-Turism, 1979) :

"Chiffonne" (built Lorient, 1917) became "Locotenent Lepri Remus"
"Frippone" (built Lorient, 1916) became "Lt-comandor Stihi Eugen"
"Impatiente"(built Brest, 1916) became "Sublocotenent Ghiculescu"
"Mignonne" (built Brest, 1916) became "Capitan Dumitrescu".

These ships were in fact not only mine-clearing but multi-role. The French built many of them during the war which were used as escorts. Romanians called them "canoniera" from the French "cannoniere" meaning "gunboat". They had two 100 mm guns, anti-submarine grenade launchers and also could sustain a decent 15kn speed due to their twin 450HP Diesels.

One of these units survived until our days. Until 1995 I could see her in the "Tomis" Marina here in Constantza, just several streets away from my home. Disarmed, she was used as a patrol boat for the "Romanian Sea Life Institute". Nowadays it seems she lays as a hulk somewhere in Constantza Harbour, awaiting to be broken up.
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