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Raffaele de Courten file photo [27649]

Raffaele de Courten

Surnamede Courten
Given NameRaffaele
Born23 Sep 1888
Died23 Aug 1978


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, Città 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 attaché 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.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Jun 2018

Raffaele de Courten Timeline

23 Sep 1888 Raffaele de Courten was born in Milan, Lombardia, Italy.
23 Sep 1943 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 1978 Raffaele de Courten passed away in Frascati, Lazio, Italy.


Raffaele de Courten with Italian Navy officers, 1940s

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
23 Sep 2019 04:32:00 PM

Raffaele de Courten was born in Milan, Italy in 1888. Between 1906 and 9110, should be 1910.
In Dec 1936, he resigned his position as the Italian Royal Navy Chief of, I believe should be 1946.
2. Commenter identity confirmed C. Peter Chen says:
24 Sep 2019 10:12:50 AM

To Anonymous of 23 Sep 2019: Thank you for pointing out the two errors. They have been corrected.

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Event(s) Participated:
» Malta Campaign
» Merano Conference
» Invasion of Sicily and Italy's Surrender

Raffaele de Courten Photo Gallery
Raffaele de Courten with Italian Navy officers, 1940s

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