Italian WoWS tech tree – Part 1: Destroyers – from Palestro to Dardo

Source: Deamon93, WoWS Supertester (EU)
Palestro – Tier II



The Palestro-class was a project started in 1915 developed by Orlando, a company based in Livorno(which will later on became part of OTO). Due to WWI it was laid down only in 1917 and completed after the end of hostilities. Four ships of this class were built: Palestro, Confienza, San Martino and Solferino. All four of them were still in service when WWII broke out without getting any modifications from the original design, after being re-rated to torpedo boats. Due to their age they served as convoy escort during the war, as most of the other surviving WWI-era destroyers. Two of them, Palestro and Confienza, were sunk early in the war(Palestro got torpedoed by a British submarine off Durazzo on 22/9/40, Confienza due to a collision with the auxiliary cruiser Cecchi off Brindisi on 20/11/40) while the other two survived the war with the Allies. Both San Martino and Solferino got captured by the Germans on 9/9/43 and served under them(renamed TA17 and TA18 respectively). Both got lost in 1944(San Martino on 12/10/1944, Solferino on 19/10/1944).

Technical data

Standard displacement: 875 tons

Full load displacement: 1076

Length: 80 m(water line), 81.9 m(overall length)

Beam: 8 m

Draught: 2.7 m(normal load), 2.8 m(full load)

Installed power: 18.000 hp

Maximum speed: 32 knots

Armament: 4×1 102/45, 2×1 76/40, 2×1 6.5/80, 2×2 450 mm TT


-1942, Solferino, San Martino: -2×1 102/45, 2×76/40; 6×1 20/65

Curtatone – Tier III



Originally the Curtatone-class was part of the Palestro-class but their construction was suspended until after WWI. The design then got improved: the artillery armament was based with two twin mounts placed on the center line and the torpedo armament got improved(triple tubes instead of twin tubes racks). Four ships were built: Curtatone, Castelfidardo, Calatafimi and Monzambano. As the previous Palestro-class they were still in service when WWII broke out after being re-rated as torpedo boats. They served as escort for the convoys to and from East Mediterranean. Curtatone was lost due to a mine off Piraeus on 20/5/41, Castelfidardo and Calatafimi were captured by the Germans(renamed TA16 and TA19 respectively) and lost in 1944(Castelfidardo on 1/6/1944, Calatafimi on 9/8/1944). Mombanzano was the only one remained under Italian control. After the Armistice she was in Greece and she sailed towards Taranto, where what was left of the Regia Marina was grouping before the trip to Malta. She reached Taranto safely and escorted convoys until the end of WWII. She was then stricken in 1951.

Technical data

Standard displacement: 953 tons

Full load displacement: 1214 tons

Length: 84.6 m(water line), 8437(overall length)

Beam: 8 m

Draught: 2.9 m(normal load), 3 m(full load)

Installed power: 22.000 hp

Maximum speed: 32 knots

Armament: 2×2 102/45, 2×1 76/30, 2×3 450 mm TT


-1939/1940, all: -2×1 76/30, +2×1 20/70, 2×1 8/80

-1942/1943, Castelfidardo: +1×2 20/65

-1942/1943, Calatafimi: -1×2 102/45, 2×3 450 mm TT; +1×1 102/45, 2×2 20/65, 1×2 533 mm TT

-1942/1943, Mombanzano: -1×2 102/45; +1×1 102/45, 2×2 20/65

-1946/1947, Mombanzano: -1×1 102/45, 2×1 20/70, 2×1 8/80, 2×3 450 mm TT; +1×2 20/65, 1×2 533 mm TT

Sella – Tier IV



This destroyer class, developed by Pattison(a naval shipyard close to Naples), is an improvement of the Curtatone-class. It was a great improvement over the Curtatone: more powerful machinery, better artillery armament and better torpedo tubes. This came at a cost: the weight increased drastically compared to the older design. Four ships were built: Quintino Sella, Francesco Crispi, Bettino Ricasoli and Giovanni Nicotera. Two of these(Ricasoli and Nicotera) were sold to Sweden in 1940 prior to the Italian declaration of war. The two remaining in Italian serviced were used primarily as convoy escorts although Sella had other roles. She supported the first successful attack of the famous X MAS unit: the raid on Souda Bay(in which HMS York and a Norwegian tanker were sunk). When the Armistice came Sella was at Venice and she was sunk on 11/9/43 in her way to the South(most likely Taranto) by German torpedo boats. Crispi was captured by the Germans(renamed TA 15) and sunk by the British on 8/3/1944. She was raised and towed to Piraeus and then scuttled again on 12/10/1944.

Technical data

Standard displacement: 1140 tons

Full load displacement: 1457 tons

Length: 82.5 m(water line), 84.9 (overall length)

Beam: 8.6 m

Draught: 2.7 m

Installed power: 36.000 hp

Maximum speed: 35 knots

Armament: 1×2 120/45, 1×1 120/45, 2×1 40/39, 2×1 13.2/76, 2×2 533 mm TT


-1929, all: -1×1 120/45; + 1×2 120/45

-1938, all: -2×1 13.2/76; +2×2 13.2/76

-1941/1942, Sella and Crispi: -2×1 40/39; +4×1 20/70

Since Sauro is basically a Sella with 2×3 533 mm TT i add its story here. This class consisted of four ships: Sauro, Nullo, Battisti and Manin. All four of them were based in Italian colonies in East Africa and were lost early on in the war: Nullo was sunk by HMS Kimberley on 21/10/1940 while the other three were lost on 3/4/1941 during a failed attack on Port Sudan.

Turbine – Tier IV Premium


Turbine was another step forward in the development of the previous designs(Sauro/Sella), although not as extensive as the step forward between Curtatone and Sauro/Sella. What makes Turbine better over the previous designs is improved engines and much better anti aircraft armament. With this class starts also the trade off: during WWII this class, as many others which followed, sacrificed one rack of torpedoes for more anti aircraft guns, usually two 37/54 in single mounts. Eight ships of this class were built: Turbine, Aquilone, Borea, Espero, Euro, Nembo, Ostro and Zefiro. All but two(Turbine and Euro) were lost in 1940: Aquilone was lost while sailing to Tripoli due to a mine on 17/9/1940, Borea was sunk by a bomb while in port at Bengasi that same day, Espero was sunk while escorting a convoy towards Libya on 28/6/1940, Zeffiro was during a British attack on Tobruk on 5/7/1940 Nembo and Ostro were sunk in a similar attack on 19/7/1940. The two surviving ships had different fates after the Armistice: Turbine got captured by the Germans(renamed TA 44) and sunk at Salamis on 15/9/1944 while Euro remained under Italian control and got sunk in the battle of Leros on 1/10/1943.

Technical data

Standard displacement: 1220 tons

Full load displacement: 1670

Length: 91.3 m(water line), 93.2 m(overall length)

Beam: 9.2 m

Draught: 3 m

Installed power: 40.000 hp

Maximum speed: 36 knots

Armament: 2×2 120/45, 2×1 40/39, 1×2 13.2/76, 2×3 533 mm TT


-1940, Euro and Turbine: -2×1 40/39; +4×2 20/65

-1942: Turbine: -1×3 533 mm TT; +2×1 37/54

Dardo – Tier V


The Dardo-class was an improvement of the Turbine-class, dictated by the need of escorts for the new Zara-class cruisers. The main changes were in the machinery, added oil tanks(to improve the range) and the new artillery guns(120/50 instead of the older 120/45 used in previous designs). The funnels were changed: the two funnels were reduced to a large one to clear up space for the anti aircraft guns. This class consists of eight ships divided in two subclasses: the first series(Dardo, Freccia, Saetta and Strale) and the second series(Folgore, Baleno, Fulmine and Lampo) also known as Folgore-class. Of the first subclass three were sunk during the war: Strale ran aground on the coast of Tunisia on 21/6/1942 and got sunk by a British submarine on 6/8/1942, Saetta hit a mine on 3/2/1943 and Freccia was sunk by bombs while in port at Genoa on 8/8/1943. Dardo was at Genoa during the Armistice and got captured by the Germans. She got renamed TA 31 and stayed there until on 24/4/1945, the day before the liberation of Italy, she got scuttled. Of the second subclass all four were lost during the war, all four while escorting convoys to Africa: Baleno on 16/4/1941, Fulmine on 9/11/1941, Lampo on 30/4/1943 and Folgore on 2/12/1942. This last ship is worth mentioning for her last action: she fought against HMS Aurora, HMS Sirius, HMCS Quentin and HMCS Quiberon while escorting a convoy. She fought and retreated only after firing every shell and every torpedo at her disposal and sinking soon after due to the extensive damage sustained. Her captain, Corvette Captain Ener Bettica, decided to sink with her ship and for his action he got the highest medal in the Italian military(Medaglia d’Oro). A ship of the Comandanti-class was named after him.

Technical data

Standard displacement:

-Dardo-class: 1400 tons

-Folgore-class: 1450 tons

Full load displacement:

-Dardo-class: 2116 tons

-Folgore-class: 2100 tons


-Dardo-class: 92.2 m(water line), 96.1 m(overall length)

-Folgore-class: 94.3 m(water line), 96.1 m(overall length)


-Dardo-class: 9.75 m

-Folgore-class: 9.2 m


-Dardo-class: 3.15 m

-Folgore-class: 3.30 m

Installed power:

-Dardo-class: 44.000 hp

-Folgore-class: 44.000 hp

Maximum speed:

-Dardo-class: 38 knots

-Folgore-class: 38 knots


-Dardo-class: 2×2 120/50, 2×1 40/39, 2×2 13.2/76, 2×3 533 mm TT

-Folgore-class: 2×2 120/50, 2×1 40/39, 2×2 13.2/76, 2×3 533 mm TT



-1939/1940, all: -2×1 40/39, 2×2 13.2/76; +(5 – 6) 20/65

-1942/1943 Dardo, Freccia, Saetta: -3×1 20/65, 1×3 533 mm TT; +2×1 37/54, 3×2 20/70


-1939/1940, all: -2×1 40/39, 2×2 13.2/76; +(5 – 6) 20/65

-1942 Folgore, Lampo: -1×3 533 mm TT; +2×1 37/54