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Perla class equipment


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I am intrested to learn two important things about the equipment of the italian submarines of PERLA class

1. Whether they had an automatic plotting table onboard.

2. Whether they had two or one periscope. From some drawings that I found it is obvious that they had two. However, I learned that the submarine MATROZOS, ex-PERLA sailed in Tarando in June 1944 and exchanged one periscope with a taller one in order to increase the periscope depth (the original periscope depth was 8.5 meters but I don't know the new one)

I would appreciate your help on this matter as I cannot find this info to any related book.

Thank you,



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  • 1 month later...

Welcome Georgios,

Italian submarines carried two periscopes, one attack and one search, as did most subs in most Navies. They served different purposes, the attack as its name implies was much more slender at the top with different lenses and was always used by the C O whilst approaching and attacking any shipping, an extremely vital and valuable piece of kit. The search periscope, usually the aft one, was used for everything else whether dived or surfaced and had very different lens configurations as it had many more functions including navigation fixing, sextant sometimes, vertical vision for aircraft, camera and general search uses, also considerably more bulky and visible once raised. The positions of periscopes in many submarines from the 1930's / 1940's era are easily identified as they sit in a periscope standard. A submarine is at periscope depth when the keel is at a depth when the periscopes will be 60 centimetres above the wave, dependent on conditions so very tricky in a running sea. Periscopes are not telescopic.

Any plots from this era were manual graphs bearing in mind submarines did not carry radar until later, the plots would be input from visual 'takes' from the periscope(s) and if fitted asdic / sonar when dived. Equipment for firing solutions was electro mechanical as was the means for instructions to fire.

Not the definitive answer but hope you find this helpful.


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