Incursion of Buccari by MAS 94, 95 & 96 Under CF Costanzo Ciano

Google Translation

After the forcing of Trieste, and the sinking of the battleship Wien , at the beginning of 1918 it was decided to realize a new forcing operation , even more audacious, to be realized in the Bay of Buccari , set inside a narrow channel in proximity to the main opposing bases.

On 4 February 1918 a seaplane surveyed Pula, Rijeka and Buccari, at the end of which reported an important photographic material showing the presence at Pula of 4 “Viribus”, 3 “Radetzki”, 3 “Erzherzog”, a ” Monarch “, two explorers and various destroyers, 23 steamers in the port of Fiume and 4 ships in Buccari.

The night between the 10th and 11th of February , a surprise action was taken to destroy the military and merchant shipping that was in the Bay of Buccari.

The MAS 94 , 95 and 96 under the command of the frigate captain Costanzo Ciano , supported by three naval groups of destroyers and explorers in function of escort, carried out to the tow of torpedo boats the long route between the two Adriatic coasts, for about 25 miles through canals restricted between the enemy islands and then sailing to arrive night time to launch against the four merchants at the bottom, which occurred regularly without reaction from the adversary.

The attacking units then resumed their return journey, arriving unharmed at Ancona. The Austrian ships, however, protected by antisylur networks did not report damage.

The poet Gabriele D’Annunzio , on board of the MAS 96 under the command of corvette captain Luigi Rizzo , threw three bottles in the bay containing a mockery message that gave the action the name of ” Beffa di Buccari “.

Even if no damage was caused, in fact, the company forced the enemy to engage in the search for new strategies of defense and vigilance, and had ” an incalculable moral influence “.

After Buccari, even, the Austrian Navy Command attempted a direct attack against the MAS at the mooring in Ancona, having found that there were no other possibilities to hit the new weapon decisively. However, this attempt failed and the operation ended with the surrender of the Austrians.