The importance of the second great collection being exhibited in „Gallerion“, presenting naval operations on the Adriatic and the Mediterranean during the World War Two, is constantly growing. It was forgotten that numerous seamen from Istria, the areas of Zara/Zadar, Fiume/Rijeka, Pola/Pula and Trieste, up to the Slovenian Alps, were serving during the WW II on ships of the Italian Royal Navy (Regia Marina), and that almost 2000 of them perished in this conflict. Only with the battleship Roma, sunk off Sardinia by German sea mines in September of 1943, more than hundred were drowned! After the Italian armistice, many of these seamen served with the British Royal Navy or on partisan warships, and others remained on Italian warships operating with the Allies, helping to support the people on the coast and the islands with provisions, and evacuating civilians via Italy to the refugees camps in North Africa, including to the best known of these at El Shatt. The collection dedicated to the world War Two is constantly growing and she would probably become bigger than the initial collection about the A-H Navy.
A special theme are seamen from Eastern Istria pressed into service for the Regia Marina together with almost 200 coastal motor sailing ships (trabacle), for transport and supporting roles, even to the North African duties, and less than ten of these ships returned to their home harbours.
A part of the exhibition is showing the intensive air warfare over Istria and off the coast. This collection is becoming greater each day, and today it includes a German 8.8 cm Flak, other guns from the WW II, aircraft bombs, torpedoes, parts of downed aircraft and airborne mines.
We are starting to research the theme “Cold War on the Adriatic”, and the another theme “War in Croatia”, together with the situation after having been accepted to the NATO, covering the present and future development.
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