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seisen

Bolzano planned rebuild in 1943

Does anyone have reference art or line drawings for the proposed rebuild of the Heavy Cruiser Bolzano as an Aircraft Cruiser?  Delphis Models through White Ensign makes a 1/700th kit of this ship but there isnt any background information.  Was this an Italian project or a German project?  The ship would have been similar to the origional rebuild of the HMS Furious... well sort of anyway.  I know she was to have 3 directional catapults and space for 12 seaplanes.  Anyone have any info?

Thanks

Chris
Tiornu

Re: Bolzano planned rebuild in 1943

I can't vouch for the accuracy of this drawing:
seisen

Thanks T!  Just what I needed, much better than the drawings Delphis provides... well what I got in my kit anyway.  Thanks again!
Mad Ghost/0331

where is the bridge and where do the planes land?
Tiornu

We don't need no stinking bridge, and the planes land in North Africa.
Mad Ghost/0331

Tiornu wrote:
We don't need no stinking bridge, and the planes land in North Africa.
well, that's just silly
Tiornu

There was a plan to convert Bolzano into an aircraft carrier, and there was a design (this one) to convert her into a lanceaerei, which I am certain I misspelled. Anyway, it was a catapult ship. This was not the first proposed catapult ship. The RM had tried it before as a desperate measure to get some fighter cover for the fleet. From the start, all RM attempts to acquire an aircraft carrier had been stimied by the Air Force and its loving patron Benito. Only when it was too late did Aquila get the go-ahead.
I have no idea how this Bolzano variant was to be conned. It's possible the drawing fails to show an important feature.
The RN also had a few fighter catapult ships plus roughly 35 mercantile CAM (catapult armed merchant) ships. The Italian plan is much more elaborate
seisen

Delphis describes a small CON on the left forward funnel, essentually no larger than a compass platform on a destroyer or destroyer escourt.  Similar to the Aircraft Control Station on the Saratoga/Lexington's Funnel only much smaller. There was supposed to be a 50/50 deck on the main mast as well, that is an open command platform and partially enclosed COM station just beneath it.  Both look to be kinda like open "weather decks" on the drawing though.

You mention that she isnt the first concept for the RM.  They did have several aircraft carrying ship ideas for sure.  One that interrests me is actually an early Italian concept and later proposed for German adaptation.  This (coming from author Anthony Preston) was to be a rebuilt catapult ship or converted merchant ship to fly off Stuka's essentially to extend their range.  They would one-way trip to their target then fly to an airfield for recovery.  The idea (along with the purpose of this ship Ghost) was to provide a reasonable air strike capability by the RM/KM against naval convoys and transports.  This ship was not concieved to fly off strikes against RN or USN carriers or task groups operating in the Med.  Just merchant search and destroy.
Tiornu

Quote:
the left forward funnel

That one little phrase is all you need, to know that something is wrong here.
Mad Ghost/0331

Tiornu wrote:
Quote:
the left forward funnel

That one little phrase is all you need, to know that something is wrong here.
seems like there are several somethings wrong, not to say I might not take a wack at one...
Schlachtschiff Bismarck

Interesting idea, it might have worked in WWI. The question is though, if you are going to go through all the effort of a conversion, why not go all in and just "flat top" it into a light carrier like Seydlitz?
Tiornu

The Italians apparently had the same thought.
swarbs

Schlachtschiff Bismarck wrote:
Interesting idea, it might have worked in WWI. The question is though, if you are going to go through all the effort of a conversion, why not go all in and just "flat top" it into a light carrier like Seydlitz?


Could it have been lack of proper carrier aircraft?
Schlachtschiff Bismarck

swarbs wrote:
Schlachtschiff Bismarck wrote:
Interesting idea, it might have worked in WWI. The question is though, if you are going to go through all the effort of a conversion, why not go all in and just "flat top" it into a light carrier like Seydlitz?


Could it have been lack of proper carrier aircraft?

that didn't stop the germans did it?
Blackeagle

swarbs wrote:
Could it have been lack of proper carrier aircraft?

My guess would be bureaucratic squabbles with the Regia Aeronautica.  The Italian Navy had trouble getting their own fixed wing aircraft even in the 1980s when they commissioned the Giuseppe Garabaldi (not to be confused with the cruiser of the same name).  Since they already operated ship-based floatplanes, a floatplane cruiser would not have been the big step into the Air Force's territory that a true flattop would have been.
Tiornu

There may be some confusion between the prewar Bolzano hybrid proposal and the wartime Bolzano lanciaerei (there, I looked up the right spelling) proposal. The hybrid would have had seaplanes, but the catapult ships would have had some variant of the Re.2000 fighter, a wheeled aircraft like the one mounted aboard battleship catapults late in Italy's war. And of course, when the catapult ship was passed over in favor of a genuine carrier, that would have involved wheeled planes as well.
zaarin7

Warship 2007 has an article on this very subject giving the political and turf wars backstory to the RMN and CV's.
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