RD 36 was a minesweeper built for the Regia Marina in 1919 and later transferred to the Regia Guardia di Finanza. She saw action during World War II and, for the action that led to her sinking, she became one of the three Italian warships to be awarded the Gold Medal of Military Valor “to the flag” .
During World War II, RD 36 carried out 317 minesweeping and transport missions (besides minesweeping, she was also used in the transport of men and materials to the Aegadian Islands), spending 2,776 hours at sea.
At 18:00 on 19 January 1943, a few days before Tripoli’s fall to the Allies, RD 36 (commanded by GdF Warrant Officer Aldo Oltramonti and carrying on board the flotilla commander, LieutenantGiuseppe Di Bartolo) left Tripoli together with ten other minesweepers and small auxiliary vessels, in an attempt to reach Sicily. About 20 miles east of Zuwarah, the flotilla was intercepted by the British destroyers HMS Kelvin and HMS Javelin. RD 36, whose size was about one tenth of the attacking destroyers’ and whose only armament were a 76 mm gun and two 6.5 mm machine guns, headed towards the destroyers and opened fire on them, in an attempt to buy time for the other ships to retreat towards the coast. Massively outgunned, RD 36 was hit multiple times and went down with all hands.
four files: Regia Marina 3in gun.stl, Regia Marina 20mm Breda.stl, Regia Marina lifeboat.stl, Regia Marina RD 7.stl