View Full Version : A relict in Adriatic

01-07-2012, 14:46
From an article in italian (I use Google Transaltor to translate this text) published at this link:


A really interesting history episode:

It was a situation of night and fog. Of those who in late February even disturb the Adriatic coast, returning spectral chills to those who love the sea in winter. And this happens even today, when behind him is a forest of condominiums and houses that have replaced the wild pine trees two hundred years ago. In the night between 21 and 22 February 1812, in the water in front of Lignano, Mercure, Napoleonic Italian Navy brig, struck the powder magazine exploded from the relentless gunfire of Weasel, a warship under the command of His Majesty. The remains of the Mercure, discovered by chance by a vessel Marano few years ago, since 2001 are the subject of a campaign of excavations conducted by Carlo Beltrame University Ca 'Foscari of Venice, which is bringing to light finds exceptional. Many argue that this is one of the most important historic mines in the Mediterranean. We talked with historian Paul Foramitti, passionate lover of napoleoniche.Partiamo materials from one point, which is very close to her heart: the most extraordinary discovery, and gracious, is that of the remains of sailors. What will happen to them? "Their remains were taken to laboratories for analysis of the Arsenal of Venice. Early findings have confirmed that they are men between 20 and 40 years, sailors of military age. "There is one thing that leaves her stunned, right?" These are the first fallen of the Italian navy. Of course by Napoleon. But the Mercure, remember, exposing the tricolor green-white-red. I am amazed that the authorities have not yet moved to honor these fallen unlucky. "Compose the situation. Why do you say that the Hotel was Italian? "This brig, built by the shipyard in Genoa for the French navy, was sold by Napoleon to the Navy of his Kingdom of Italy. So it was in effect an Italian ship. This is confirmed by another element. "What?" The Italian Navy sailors of the time imposed on its a green uniform: it was of French origin, but where the Alps was the blue background color, that we had been transformed in the same key flag of the Republic still has as its symbol. "go back to those years. What happened that night? "First we recall the geopolitical situation of the time. Napoleon had realized the importance of the Adriatic to counteract the force of the British navy in the Mediterranean. "And then?" He retraced the footsteps of the Venetian Republic, occupying the coastal areas and taking possession of the strongholds of the Serenissima had readily agreed to preside over its people. "But?" But Napoleon was an artilleryman, an expert in the things of earth. He tried to make its strategies even the sea, which is not always succeed, because he found the contrast of the same Marine who did not understand his schemes. "In all this, what does the Mercure?" To the land of Bonaparte's conquests the British had responded by intensifying their defense of the sea. With a veritable war of race. "Or?" That piracy was allowed to masters of vessels to seize any vessel were on their way. And what can the British could do it really well: they managed to starve the Adriatic coast seizing fishing boats and transport vessels that supplied the coastal cities. "So the Mercure served to put a stop to this situation?" Not really, this brigantine, armed with twenty carronades, on the night between 21 and 22 February 1812 was part of the escort that accompanied the Rivoli, first-class vessel constructed from the Arsenal of Venice, which was to arm with seventy cannon in Trieste. This was the true remedy designed by Napoleon to the British. "As the events took place?" The convoy Rivoli Hotel, Jena and Mameluck dusk came from the mouths of Malamocco heading for Trieste. But their paths crossed on the ship Victorious and the brig Weasel who were holding a physical assault on another French convoy. Admiral Talbot, a pupil of the great Horatio Nelson, immediately saw that the prey capitatagli Hand was even more appetizing than expected. "It is then that all hell broke loose?" The Weasel immediately focused on mercury, while The Victorious followed the Rivoli. The gap between the two ships was enormous: the British were professionals of the sea, born fighters, cunning and prepared. Our sailors were certainly driven by the great Palinucchia, but they were recruits, Avezzano certainly not very much less fighting and facing an opponent of such magnitude. "The battle was hard?" The logbooks of the British commanders report that the Weasel unloaded their guns to "less than a shot gun" from the Mercure: less then 50 meters. A shot so precise that the brig exploded engulfing the whole crew: died more than a hundred men. The English speak of only three survivors, severely wounded, recovered after the crash. "What happened to the other ships?" The battle continued until Grade. The commodore, who commanded the Rivoli Barre tried to run aground on the shoals in front of his ship at the mouth of the Isonzo not to leave in the hands of the British, but was hit and forced to surrender. "Napoleon lost the Adriatic on that night?" It was definitely a hit irrecoverable. Napoleon went on a rampage for the loss of the Rivoli. But Russia was engaged in the campaign: his concerns were very different. "For all this, therefore, Mercure represents exceptional testimony?" First of all it is for the state of preservation: it is the first time that a ship is found these conditions in a long time. The same finding of the bodies of the sailors is something striking and extraordinary. For those who dive leaves the scene that presents itself indescribable emotions. "What is needed to shed light on this discovery and the story behind it?" Surely the attention of the institutions. The team of the University Ca 'Foscari of Venice directed by Carlo Beltrame in collaboration with the core Nausicaa of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture directed by Louis Fozzie need of funds to complete their work. This is due to their professionalism and attention to the history of our nation. "