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Encyclopedia > Giovanni Luppis
Giovanni Biagio Luppis von Rammer (1813-1875)
Giovanni Biagio Luppis von Rammer (1813-1875)

Giovanni Biagio Luppis von Rammer (August 27, 1813January 11, 1875) was a navy officer from Fiume (today Rijeka, in Croatia) who had the idea of the first self-propelled torpedo. Image File history File links Ivan_Giovanni_Lupis. ... Image File history File links Ivan_Giovanni_Lupis. ... August 27 is the 239th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (240th in leap years), with 126 days remaining. ... 1813 is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... January 11 is the 11th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1875 (MDCCCLXXV) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Rijeka (in local Croatian dialects Rika and Reka; Fiume in Italian and Hungarian, Reka in Slovene; Sankt Veit am Flaum in older German; R(ij)eka and Fiume both mean river) is the principal seaport of Croatia, located on Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea. ... A modern torpedo, historically called a locomotive torpedo, is a self-propelled projectile that (after being launched above or below the water surface) operates underwater and is designed to detonate on contact or in proximity to a target. ...

Contents

Early years

Giovanni Luppis or Lupis was born in Fiume in 1813, from a local aristocratic family with Ragusan and Apulian roots. In that time the city belonged to the Austrian Empire (after 1867 to Hungary) and was an ethnic Italian enclave (it had Italian majority). Lupis attended a gymnasium in Fiume/Rijeka and the Austrian Navy's academy: the "Collegio di marina" of Venice. Then he married a noble woman of Fiume, Elisa de Zotty. Lupus (Latin for Wolf) is a southern constellation. ... Rijeka (Fiume in Italian and Hungarian; Rijeka and Fiume both mean river) is the principal seaport of Croatia, located on the Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea. ... 1813 is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... Ragusa can refer to: The city of Ragusa in Sicily, Italy. ... This article is about the Italian region. ... Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy The Crown of the Austrian Emperor For the history of these states before 1804, see Holy Roman Empire, Habsburg Monarchy, and articles on each of the component countries. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Secondary education. ... Rijeka (in local Croatian dialects Rika and Reka; Fiume in Italian and Hungarian, Reka in Slovene; Sankt Veit am Flaum in older German; R(ij)eka and Fiume both mean river) is the principal seaport of Croatia, located on Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea. ... Venice (Italian: Venezia, Venetian: Venexia) is the capital of the region of Veneto and the province of the same name in Italy. ...


He served in the Austrian Navy and rose in ranks up to the Frigate Captain (Fregattenkapitan). In 1848/49 he was an officer on the ships that blockaded Venice[citations needed]. The Austro-Hungarian Navy was the naval force of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. ... 1848 (MDCCCXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1849 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Venice (Italian: Venezia, Venetian: Venexia) is the capital of the region of Veneto and the province of the same name in Italy. ...


The 'Salvacoste'

About the middle of the nineteenth century, an officer of the Austrian Marine Artillery conceived the idea of employing a small boat carrying a large charge of explosives, powered by a steam or an air engine and remotely steered by cables to be used against enemy ships. Upon his death, before he had perfected his invention or made it public, the papers of this anonymous officer came into the possession of Capt. Giovanni Luppis.


He envisioned a floating device for destroying ships that would be unmanned and controlled from the land, while the explosive charges would detonate at the moment of impact. His first prototype was one meter long, had glass wings, and was controlled via long ropes from the coast. It didn't succeed due to a primitive implementation.


The second model was built with a clock mechanism as the engine for the propeller. The explosives were in the stern and were ignited through a pistol-like control, which in turn was activated through the bow, the sides or the mast. It had two rudders: one turned to the right, the other to the left, that were moved by ropes/wires from the land. After numerous experiments, this design, marked "6 m", finally performed well enough. He nicknamed it "salvacoste" ("coastsaver"). To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Aft of the Soleil Royal, by Jean Bérain the Elder. ... The worlds oldest depiction of a rudder. ...


In 1860, when Luppis was already retired from the Navy, he managed to demonstrate the "6 m" design to the emperor Franz Joseph, and it was a success, but the naval commission refused to accept it without better propulsion and control systems. 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... Franz Joseph I Franz Joseph (in English also Francis Joseph) (August 18, 1830 - November 21, 1916) of the Habsburg Dynasty was Emperor of Austria and King of Bohemia from 1848 until 1916 and King of Hungary from 1867 until 1916. ...


The meeting with Robert Whitehead

In 1864 the Fiume/Rijeka mayor Giovanni de Ciotta, introduced Luppis to the British machine engineer Robert Whitehead, manager of the local factory "Stabilimento Tecnico Fiumano", with whom signed a contract to develop the 'salvacoste' further. 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Robert Whitehead (January 3, 1823 - November 14, 1905), British engineer. ...


Whitehead built a model but decided that the idea was not viable. He did however start to think about the problem of setting off explosive charges remotely below a ship's waterline-this being far more effective than above water bombardment. So, Whitehead made a device running under water and installed an engine running on compressed air, as well as automatic guidances for the depth and direction. So, Whitehead significantly altered the original design; anyway he always credited Lupis with the invention.


On December 21, 1866 the first automobile torpedo, now named Minenschiff, was officially demonstrated in front of the Austro-Hungarian state commission for evaluation. This model was 355 mm in diameter and 3.35 m in length, weighing 136 kg (8 kg of explosives). The naval commission accepted it, and subsequently on March 6, 1867 the government contracted the inventors for a test production and agreed to pay all the production costs. December 21 is the 355th day of the year (356th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1866 (MDCCCLXVI) is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... March 6 is the 65th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (66th in Leap years). ... 1867 (MDCCCLXVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...


Whitehead retained the copyrights and even negotiated a new contract with Luppis which gave Whitehead full control of all future sales. On May 27, 1867, the navy paid 200,000 forints of royalties to the inventor. The invention was generally regarded as a promising one, but in the first years of production there were not enough orders, so “Stabilimento” went through a crisis and bankrupted in 1873. R. Whitehead took it over and at the beginning of 1875 transformed it into a private company called “Torpedo-Fabrik von Robert Whitehead”. May 27 is the 147th day (148th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 218 days remaining. ... The forint (currency code HUF) is the currency of Hungary. ...


Giovanni Luppis was given the noble title von Rammer ("the sinker") on August 1, 1869. He died in Milan on January 11, 1875. Milan (Italian: Milano; Milanese: Milán (listen)) is the main city of northern Italy, located in the plains of Lombardy. ... January 11 is the 11th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1875 (MDCCCLXXV) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ...


The family of Giovanni Luppis

Luppis was descended from a branch of the Italian noble family of Lupis, that has moved to Dalmatia from Giovinazzo, Puglia. This branch moved first to Ragusa (Dubrovnik) and then to the Ragusan peninsula of Pelješac/Sabbioncello (today in Croatia), where Slavicized the name in Vuk or Vukašinovic (another adaptation of lupus, "wolf"). When, in XVII century, one of his ancestors had moved to Fiume, that in that time had a mostly Italian urban population, he Italianized again his name in Luppis. Anthem: Unknown Borders of the Republic of Ragusa, 1426-1808 Capital Ragusa Language(s) Latin, Italian since 1492 Religion Roman Catholic Government Republic Duke  - 1808 Auguste Marmont Historical era Renaissance  - Treaty of Zara June 27 1358  - Invasion by France January 31, 1808  - Annexation into the Illyrian provinces October 14 1809... PeljeÅ¡ac (Italian Sabioncello) is a peninsula in southern Croatia, in the Dubrovnik-Neretva county. ... Rijeka (Fiume in Italian and Hungarian; Rijeka and Fiume both mean river) is the principal seaport of Croatia, located on the Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea. ...


Even if often used in Croatia, the name 'Ivan Blaž Lupis Vukić' (a possible translation of 'Giovanni Biagio Luppis') is not historically documented. Similar problems, consequence of nationalism, are common in Croatia and in all the Balkans. As a matter of fact, Giovanni Luppis was an Austro-Hungaric citizen of Italian ethnicity.


Further reading

  • Gray, Edwin. The Devil's Device: Robert Whitehead and the History of the Torpedo, Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1991 310pp, ISBN 0-87021-245-1
  • Wilson, H. W. Ironclads in action;: A sketch of naval warfare from 1855 to 1895, London: Sampson Low, Marston and Company, 1895, Fourth Edition 1896 (Two Volumes), pre ISBN

Edwyn Gray in an English author who specializes in naval writing although at times has written short stories. ... The H. W. Wilson Company is a publisher of reference books and databases, specializing in indexing and abstracting, and based in the Bronx, New York. ...

External links and references

    • The Lupis family (Site about the noble family of Giovanni Luppis)
    • Site about the Lupis Family in the Italian Wikipedia
    • History of the Lupis Family (in Italian).
    • History of the torpedo factory in Fiume/Rijeka (Acts of the 1st International Conference on the occasion of 150th anniversary of torpedo factory in Rijeka)
    • History of the Whithead Factory (part one)
    • Evolution of the submarine weapons in XIX century (in Italian)
    • History of R. Whitehead (site about Royal Navy)
    • History of the torpedo: the early days (Journal of the Royal Navy Scientific Service Vol 27 No 1)
    • Torpedo History (Naval Undersea Museum of U.S. Navy)

     
     

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