Naval airship Citta di Jesi fateful night

The second airship, which the Italians lost during the war with their Austro-Hungarian rival, was designated „Naval Airship V.1 Class V (Verduzio)“, later also „Citta di Jesi“. On the fateful night of 5 August 1915, her crew attempted to attack the most important port and military base of the Danube monarchy in the northern Adriatic at Pula

Although the Adriatic War resembled a forgotten, sometimes even sleepy battlefield compared to the massacres of the Western Front, there was no shortage of combat action. One of them occurred after 11pm on the night of 5 August 1915, when the C.A.C. harbour command in Pola (Pula) received an alarm message warning that an enemy airship was approaching from the south-west. This was followed by an immediate general alert of the highest degree.

The ship’s air defence and the harbour’s fortress artillery opened fire immediately from all barrels. Detected by enemy searchlights, the Italians thus lost the advantage of the element of surprise, so they preferred to drop their twenty 25kg bombs, supported by five 5kg incendiary bombs, prematurely and turn to escape.

Soon afterwards the sailors of the light cruiser Novara noticed that the sky vessel had probably taken a hit in the rear of the hull and was slowly sinking towards the sea surface. At 23.52 hrs. The Austrians ceased fire, a few minutes later the coastal signal station Fort Musil reported that the enemy airship was already lying on the surface near the small, 80 m long island of Poreru with a lighthouse.

Citta di Jesi
Length 85,7 m
Diameter 19 m
Max speed 90 km/h
Carrying capacity 800 kg
Reach 200 m
Max. flight time 5 hrs.
Power 530 kW

Torpedo boats 9T, 39T, 79T as well as destroyer Satellit together with four tenders of the c. and k. naval mine command (k. u. k. Seeminenkommando) have now joined the search. Three seaplanes of the Naval Air Corps (k. u. k. Seefliegerkorps) took off simultaneously from the air base on Santa Catarina Island: Lohner type M (with designation E 20), Lohner type Mn bzw. M2 (E 37) and Lohner type T (L 48). uh. sailors discovered the immobile „Citta di Jesi“ in Veruda Bay an hour after midnight on 6 August 1915, while the water surface had already closed over the rear eighth of the length of the semi-rigid vessel.

The torpedo boat 79T then captured and took on board her entire uninjured crew of seven men, including her commander, Naval Lieutenant Bruno Brivonesi. At dawn, the Austrians towed the wreck of the airship with great difficulty to Saccorgiana Bay, where
…where it was inspected in the morning by experts called in. The wreckage was then disposed of. The Kriegsmarine made good use of its success through military propaganda, especially in the press.


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