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Groupings of the naval forces

The various units of the Italian Navy were re-united in organic groups, called based on the cases, Squadrons, Flotillas, Groups, Divisions, Squads. Everyone of these groupings are formed with homogeneous units, possibly of the same class, but in any case having equal characteristics of speed and autonomy.

  • The Squadron is a grouping of 4 or more unit. In squadrons were united the M.A.S., the submarines, the torpedo boats and the destroyers.
  • The Flotilla is a grouping of two or more squadrons, commanded by a officer boarded on one unit not making part of the squadrons.
  • The Group is the grouping having more unit of various characteristics: as an example a cruiser and three destroyers. The Group normally did not make part of the organization of Navy but it was constituted for particular necessities or requirements.
  • The Division is the grouping of two or three greater ships (battleships or cruisers), to which one or more torpedo boats squadrons can be combined.
  • The Squad is the grouping of two or more division.

Battleships and cruiser in formation

The Italian Navy of the time was formed in two squads, composed by warships on active duty and reservoirs. Some warships did not make part of these squads: the ships based in foreign country and in the colonies; Italy maintained, just before the war, one Division in Far East with main base in Shanghai and one Division in the seas of the colonies, with main base in Massaua. Moreover, to make easier contacts between the Navy and the Country, and between Central Authority and the elements of the War Navy, national coasts was divided in four large zones, making military naval departments, which were:

  1. High Tyrrhenian sea department, with base in la Spezia.
  2. Low Tyrrhenian sea department, with base in Napoli.
  3. Ionian and Low Adriatic sea department, with base in Taranto.
  4. High Adriatic sea department, with base in Venezia (with Commander in Chief's function).
Map of departments The map (dating 1939) here at the side shows departments and sub-departments.

The submarines were instead united in groups, every made by various squadrons, with main bases in La Spezia, Taranto, Napoli and Messina.

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