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Ursus, first casualty of WW2 in east Adriatic

Discussion in 'Central and Eastern Europe' started by Vicko, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. Vicko

    Vicko Barracuda

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Croatia
    An Italian tugboat, Ursus began its service in the Regia Marina sometimes during June 1940 and was renamed “F-94”
    It’s first missions were done in the relative safety of the North Adriatic and the crew of 18 along with the captain Ettore Da Nuccia got posted for another one on the 30th of June 1941. The Mission was to tow GM-239 armed pontoon from the then Italian port of Zadar (then Zarra) to Albania.

    The mission started favourably with good weather and moral among the crew was high, the plan was to be on the island on Lastove (Lagosta in Italian) in the early afternoon of 31-st. However the easy sailing was stopped in the morning. A submarine ,the most successful of it’s class, “HMS Rorqual” was sighted just a few hundred meters from the Ursus bow. After the first barrage of small gun fire and 4-inch shells Ursus was left paralyzed, it was hit right in it’s boiler room and a fire was spreading fast. The ships crew barely managed to cut the towing line and drop a life boat over the side when a tremendous explosion sealed the ships fate. Only 6 of the crew and a injured captain managed to board the lifeboat while all other hands perished with the ship.

    The wreck today stands upright in the deep and dark waters. It’s shallowest point is at 43 meters and the ships propellers stand at 65 meters making this a technical dive. The strong currents also make the dive dangerous and from times change the visibility from christal clear to chocolate milk in a few hours. The ship is very well preserved considering the beating it took in it’s last moments. The superstructure is very damaged with the ships funnels laying across it, the emblem of “Rimorchiatori Riuniti”, the original owner of Ursus, still clearly visible on them.
    The most impressive part of the ship is the 76mm gun on it’s prow, still looking like it can be used.

    If you want you can read the full text and find some more pictures on my blog: Ursus

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