Saturday 15 October 2011

Just after WWI

For Sepia Saturday this week, I'm cheating.  I am away from home without a suitable subject so this is a repeat post from just over a year ago.

Among a collection of old cards, I found these - the ones that make me wonder about the stories that fit the pictures.

The first has the undated message on the back:
This ship is the one I was aboard when I first came to Venice.
The Marco Polo was converted to a troop transport in Venice from 1917-1918 and was sold for scrapping in January 1922.  So that gives me a fairly precise date.

The card was accompanied by several others, mainly of submarines, both Italian and British.

The submarine above I think is almost certainly a Squalo with its fairly distinctive profile.  I really don't know about the second.  Both PTOs say "Italian submarine".

Mounts Bay, where this picture was taken, is a bay in Cornwall near Lands End.  St Michael's Mount is in the centre of the bay and I wonder if the small conical shape on the horizon could be that.

I'm sorry, by the way, for the wonkiness of the cards.  Not one of them is square and it was impossible to straighten them up any more without having to crop too much.

The British L class submarines served in the 1920s, so again the date fits.  The majority were scrapped in the 1930s.

Was the sender a submariner, or merely interested in submarines?  And why would he be in Venice?
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  1. That's an interesting question. I can only imagine cruise ships going to Venice. Not submarines!
    Nancy Javier
    Ladies of the grove

  2. This is a fine collection of postcards recording ships that have probably all been scrapped. Fascinating to see. Glad that Mounts Bay was identified.

  3. I didn't see these the first time you posted them, so I'm glad you re-posted them.

  4. When we think of submarines we tend to think of Uboats, but as this excellent post shows all of the major participants in both wars had submarines.

  5. People that volunteer for submarine duty are brave souls indeed. I know a good portion of the ship is submerged, but they seem so vulnerable. Very nice collection.

  6. Some of my favorite movies are of the battles on ships during WW II. I can only imagine how much more primitive it must have been for those poor souls.

  7. Somebody obviously liked his submarines! The one in third picture has all the ceremonial bunting out; I wonder what the occasion was.

  8. Fascinating post and one that had me diving into the net to learn more about Venice's involvement in WWI. Fascinating! Thanks for sharing.

  9. I think that your first postcard has to date from before 1917-18, as the web site you linked to states, "Converted to a troop transport in Venice from 1917-1918 with a new name of Cortellazzo." This suggests that she was a cruiser in the Italian Navy (Regia Marina) prior to 1917-18, and possibly the author of that note was serving in the Italian Navy prior to the name change.

    The originator of the message on the back of the first postcard may not be the same person who formed the collection of postcards with a naval theme. I suspect not, and that a letr collector had an interest which included these. That's the trouble with collections that have lost their provenance - you are often never quite sure whether they originally belonged together or not.

  10. It's so good it's worth seeing again and over again! I hope you are enjoying yourself where you are! Enjoy!

  11. Great collection of postcards, here. Funny, I wouldn't immediately think of Italian submarines.

  12. It's interesting that sailors have always desired a picture of their ship no mater the size or type. In the pre-photography period, artists made a good livelihood painting accurate "portraits" of warships and battle scenes.

  13. I can't imagine being confined to a submarine. I've done 88 cruises but the atmophere is quite different!!!

  14. put a dark piece of paper when you scan, otherwise, your scanner takes in the whole space and your pic ends up wonky. I know, I had the same issues with my stamps...

    great set!!


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