Members variously report memories of there being wrecks of ships in the vicinity of Trieste in the forties. The wrecks were those of the Italian battleship Conte di Cavour and the liner SS Rex. The Rex was sunk by RAF Beaufighters operating from North Afica.
SS Rex Pride of Italy and holder of the Blue Riband for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic
The SS Rex under air attack by RAF planes
The attack continues. SS Rex on fire
Salvage crews cut up the ship for scrap
A sad end
The anchor can still be seem in Llubljana
Conte di Cavour - Italian battleship
Conte di Cavour after a refit in the thirties, said to be one of the most beautiful of warships
The Cavour, together with two other Italian battleships, were holed during the Raid on Taranto carried out by Fairey Swordfish, known as Stringbags.
The Swordfish were based on the aircraft carrier, HMS Illustrious.
The battleship Conte di Cavour, holed by torpedoes from Fairy Swordfish aeroplanes during the raid on Taranto.
Two other Italian battleships were also holed. The Cavour, however, although patched up after the Taranto raid, never again became operational. The Germans had decided to strip her of her turrets and guns and to use them in the defence of Norway but it is uncertain whether this had happened before she was sunk off Trieste. She is said to have been scuttled by the Germans when it became clear that their position in Trieste was becoming untenable.
Larry Southgate remembers there being three wrecked ships at Zaule. Ricky draws our attention to this remarkable photo of a British Blenheim flying over the Risiera with four sunken ships in the background. The ships were the CAIO DUILIO, GIULIO CESARE, CAVOUR and STOCKHOLM.
We are greatly indebted to Ricky for his help. These pictures and others can be seen on his website:
which is a remarkable piece of work.