KM001A - Barchino/Sentry Helmet


The Barchino motorboat was developed for the Italian navy during WW2. These were a series of small motor boats designed to carry 330 kilos of explosives in the front of the boat and were intended to be rammed into their opponents at high speed. The boats had a length of 5.62 metres and a beam of 1.62 metres, they were powered by a 95 HP Alfa Romeo outboard motor and had a maximum speed of 33 knots. Barchino were designed to be launched from a surface ship near the target area and make a silent run to within 200 metres of the target, it was then that the pilot would set a collision course and run on full gear the final 200 metres or so to the target. Unlike the Japanese Shinvo motorboats, Barchino were not designed as suicide craft and the pilots were able to eject using a crude ejector seat that also acted as a raft. The Barchino were first deployed in March 1941 and were used in a night attack on Crete harbour, where the British Cruiser HMS York, the Norwegian tanker Pericles and two other ships were all hit by Barchino. All the Italian pilots ejected safely and were captured by the Allied forces defending Crete. Another raid took place in Malta but with not as much success as the Crete operation. With the invasion of the USSR in 1941 Barchino were deployed to the Black sea and used in minor operations against the Russians. After the war the Israeliís used an improved version of the Barchino against the Egyptian Navy in 1948 with some success sinking or damaging 2 vessels during 1 operation. However unlike the Italians the Israeliís kept a boat in reserve which was used to pick up the boat pilots and transport them back to safety in Israel. Our version of the Barchino comes with a German sailor acting as a sentry (A version with helmet and B version with soft Matelot hat) and is priced at $125 with a limited run of 50 of the A and 50 of the B version being available.

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This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 20 June, 2017.

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