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This Italian torpedo aircraft was launched, probably, from an Italian Savoia-Marchetti SM.82 bomber of 32 Stormo on 12 June 1941, against Gibraltar, falling intact on the beach of La Línea de la Concepción. Master Specialist Antonio Garabito Ramírez and Provisional Assistant Juan Delgado González, disassembled the torpedo fuse.

The torpedo was taken to Seville on a Studebaker vehicle, license number EC-1134, and driven by Gonzalo Márquez Parrilla.

In the morning of 16 July, 1941, in the detachment that the artillery factory had in “Punta Verde”, they proceeded to disassemble the primer. Once removed the primer and on handling it, exploded, causing the death of Master Specialist Juan Cepa Rodríguez and serious injuring Provisional Specialist Manuel Cañete Caro.

The torpedo was a Motobomba, more properly the Motobomba FFF (Freri Fiore Filpa). It was an Italian pattern-running torpedo used by Italian and German air forces during World War II. The FFF was a 500 millimetres (20 in) diameter electric torpedo which was dropped on a parachute and was designed to steer concentric spirals of between 500 and 4,000 metres (550 and 4,370 yards) until it found a target. It weighed 350 kilograms (770 lb), and contained a 120 kilograms (260 lb) warhead. Its speed was 40 knots (46 mph) and it had an endurance of 15–30 minutes. It was acknowledged by the Germans as superior to anything they had and US intelligence was eager to get its hands on it after the Armistice with Italy in September 1943.

500 of these torpedos were ordered for the Regia Aeronautica, the first planned uses for them in combat to be against the British naval bases at Gibraltar and Alexandria in 1940. The limiting factor was the fact that only the Savoia-Marchetti SM.82 bomber had the necessary power and range to deliver such a weapon over such a distance.

The Italian torpedo aircraft is on display at Military History Museum of Seville, Spain. 



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