Italian Gabbiano-class Corvette
The Italian Navy was a professional force that had high hopes for its performance in WWII. Italian light forces were to gain a reputation for skill, daring and great bravery under Mussolini and his cohorts, and even after.
By the start of the war, as well as capital ships, it fielded 59 destroyers and 67 torpedo boats, a fast class of small destroyers. The navy, modern in other ways, was short of fuel, hampering many operations despite the bravery and elan of its crews.
An excellent maid of all work was the Gabbiano-class Corvette. They were 660 tons and specialised in anti-submarine work. The bridge was built to give maximum visibility and it could remarkably switch to electric propulsion like a submarine when in sub-hunting stealth mode, so the submarine could not detect its approach and its diesel engines interfere with the vessel's sonar and hydrophone. They carried a 100 mm main gun forward, three 20 mm A/A and four 20 mm in dual mounts. They were also equipped with two torpedo tubes.
Gabbiano-class Corvettes were excellent ships, well-built and pleasing to the eye. Their depth charges could be modified to fit a pattern of twelve bombs in a barrage all around the boat to increase its chances of getting a submarine kill. They were not fast, 18 knots at best, and generally patrolled at twelve knots. They had a crew of 100, and of 60 ordered, 28 saw action.
Models supplied unassembled and unpainted