Raffaele de Courten
|Born||23 Sep 1888|
|Died||23 Aug 1978|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseRaffaele de Courten was born in Milan, Italy in 1888. Between 1906 and 1910, he studied at the Naval Academy in Livorno, Italy. He served on the battleships Vittorio Emanuele and Benedetto before joining the air arm of the Italian Navy. In May 1915, while bombarding Pula, Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia, Austria-Hungary (now Croatia), the airship in which he served aboard, CittÃ di Jesi, was shot down, leading to his capture. He was freed in Jun 1917 when Austria-Hungary collapsed. During the inter-war years, he served in staff positions and in command positions at sea. Between 1933 and 1936, he served as a naval attachÃ© in Germany. In 1938, he was promoted to the rank of counter admiral. Between Aug 1941 and Mar 1942, he was the commanding officer of the 7th Division; in that role he participated in the First Battle of Sirte. In 1942, he was made the commanding officer of the 8th Division; in that role he participated in the successful raid against Allied convoy MW11 (Operation Vigorous). In 1943, when Benito Mussolini was deposed, he was chosen to succeed Arturo Riccardi as the Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy while concurrently holding the position of Minister of the Navy. His first few days in this role was marked his unpreparedness and his disorganization, which was largely the result of the confusing situation, but ultimately he was able to pass on the orders to preserve the Italian fleet before fleeing with the government to Brindisi, Italy. In Sep 1943, at Brindisi, now the temporary capital, he met with British Admiral Andrew Cunningham and struck the Gentlemen's Agreement that outlined the level of collaboration between the Italian Royal Navy and the British Royal Navy. In Jul 1946, he stepped down from his position as the Minister of Navy. In Dec 1946, he resigned his position as the Italian Royal Navy Chief of Staff in protest of Italian territorial losses dictated by the Paris Peace Conference; he would be the final Chief of Staff of the Italian Royal Navy (after which this military branch would be renamed and reorganized for service under the newly established republic). Between 1952 and 1959, he was the president of the Lloyd Triestino shipping company. He passed away in Frascati, Italy in 1978.
Last Major Revision: Jun 2018
Raffaele de Courten Timeline
|23 Sep 1888Â||Raffaele de Courten was born in Milan, Lombardia, Italy.|
|23 Sep 1943Â||British Mediterranean Fleet Commander-in-Chief Admiral Andrew Cunningham and Italian Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Raffaele de Courten at Brindisi, Italy and struck the Gentlemen's Agreement, beginning a period of cooperation between the two navies.|
|23 Aug 1978Â||Raffaele de Courten passed away in Frascati, Lazio, Italy.|
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