31 July, 2011

Ship sunk by Tuskegee Airmen: The Auriga

Ariete-class torpedoboat. Doesn't look like much, but how about
you go and try to sink one with nothing but .50 cals?
In the trailer for the upcoming Tuskegee Airmen movie Red Tails we see them attacking and sinking a (German) destroyer. I was intrigued - and skeptical - when I saw that and deciced to dig around a bit. The ship in question was the TA-27, an Italian torpedoboat (not a destroyer) built as the RM Auriga in 1943 and taken over by the Germans after the Italians surrendered. TA stands for Torpedoboot Ausland or Foreign Torpedoboat. The Wiki entry plainly lists TA-27 as "Lost 9 June 1944 to air attack by P-47s of the U.S. 332nd FG".

Here's the technical data as taken from Wikipedia:
Type: Torpedo boat
Displacement: 745 long tons standard
1,100 long tons full load
Length: 83.5 m (273 ft 11 in)
Beam: 8.62 m (28 ft 3 in)
Draught: 3.15 m (10 ft 4 in)
Propulsion: 2 shaft geared steam turbines
2 boilers
22,000 hp (16,400 kW)
Speed: 31.5 knots
Complement: 158
Armament: • 2 × 100 mm (3.9 in) guns
• 10 × 20 mm (0.79 in) anti-aircraft guns
• 6 × 450 mm (18 in) torpedo tubes
• 20 mines


  1. Actually, the trailer shows them sinking a Deutschland-class pre-dreadnought battleship, either Schleswig-Holstein or Schlesien: one more phony image in a very phony movie.

    1. phony? what movie did YOU see? Or have you even bothered to watch it?

  2. The film doesn't show them *sinking* anything. Although there sure was a lot of fire.

  3. At 1100 tons, that is in the range of destroyer. Fletchers of the time were 2100 tons, but pre WWII destroyers were under 1000.