Italian WoWS tech tree part 8: Battleships – from Cuniberti 17.000 t to Caio Duilio

BATTLESHIPS

Tier III: Cuniberti 17.000 t dreadnought

Story

On 1899 Italy issued the specifications for a new class of battleships, supposed to be fast and armed enough to fight against armored cruisers. Cuniberti issued a design which became the Regina Elena-class, a pre-dreadnought fast(over 22 knots as maximum speed 19.000 hp of installed power), with a relatively poor primary armament(only two 305 mm guns), a fairly strong secondary armament(6×2 203 mm guns) and reasonably protected(250 mm of maximum belt protection). Two ships of this class were originally planned: Regina Elena and Vittorio Emanuele.

He then took the design and completely reworked it: the armament was changed from the two 305 mm and twelve 203 mm guns to twelve 305 mm guns, mounted in four singles and four twin turrets. The armor also increased from 250 mm to 305 mm as maximum thickness. Sadly i don’t have any data regarding the installed power thought for this ship although it’s safe to assume it’s more than Regina Elena and that it was based on the new turbines instead of the old steam engines. This project was proposed to the Italian Navy for the 1902 program but it was rejected(the Navy chose to build two more Regina Elena-class, Roma and Napoli). The year after Cuniberti wrote an article on Jane’s Fighting Ship about his latest design, becoming the first to theorize the all big gun battleships.

Tier IV: Conte di Cavour(WWI)

Story

The Conte di Cavour-class is the second class of dreadnoughts built by Italy, after the Dante Alighieri. Compared to the original project of Cuniberti, developed years before, the Conte di Cavour follow the typical Italian philosophy: armament and speed over protection. Compared to the very first Italian dreadnought design there’s a huge jump in firepower: from eight guns on a broadside to thirteen. Speed is also high, comparable to the old Regina Elena even though there difference in displacement is over 10000 tons. The downside is protection: belt armor dropped from 305 mm of the Cuniberti’s Dreadnought to 250 mm, yet again comparable to the older Regina Elena. There were three ships of this class: Conte di Cavour, Giulio Cesare and Leonardo Da Vinci. The Da Vinci was lost during WWI due to an internal explosion on 2/8/1916 while at port at Taranto. She was recovered after WWI and scrapped. The other two remained in service and were rebuilt when the French built the Durkerque class(on 1933).

Technical data

Standard displacement: 22922 tons

Full load displacement: 24250 tons

Length: 168.9 m(water line), 176.1 m(full length)

Beam: 28 m

Draught: 8.7(standard load), 9.35(full load)

Installed power: 31.000 hp

Maximum speed: 21.5 knots

Armor: 250 – 80 mm(belt), 220 mm(upper belt), 280 mm(turrets), 280 mm(barbettes), 130 mm(battery), 280 mm(CT), 24 mm with 40 mm slopes(main deck), 30 mm(middle deck), 30 mm(upper deck), 44 mm(forecastle deck)

Armament: 3×3 305/46, 2×2 305/46, 18×1 120/50, 13×1 76/50

Refits:

-1920, both survived: +6×1 76/40

-1925, both survived: +2×1 40/39

Tier V: Conte di Cavour(WWII)

Story

After the refit they changed drastically, becoming some sort of battle-cruiser. The whole ship was modernized: the central triple gun turret was removed, the guns were changed(in this case better say rebored) to the 320/44, the secondary armament was changed with the modernized 120/50 in turrets plus the 100/47 acting as tertiary armament. The anti aircraft armament was modernized with the newer 37/54 and the 13.2/76 replacing the old AAA based on WWI designs. Also the armor was modified although the changes were less drastic. Of the two surviving ship one was lost during WWII: Conte di Cavour. She was disabled on the Raid on Taranto by the British on 11/11/1940, repaired at Taranto and then sent to Trieste for a refit. On that refit she was supposed to mount better AAA: 6×2 135/45 on DP mounts, 12×1 65/64, 10×2 20/65 and 3×1 20/65. The ship was still at Trieste when on 8/9/1943 and scuttled by her crew two days later. She was raised by the Germans and then destroyed by an aerial bombardment on 15/2/1945. Giulio Cesare survived the whole war, after becoming famous for one of the longest shots in history(hit by HMS Warspite). She was at Pola during the Armistice and she was able to sail to Taranto safely even though the captain had to handle a munity, some German attacks along the way and the fuel which was barely enough to reach the port safely. After WWII she was given to the Soviet Union as war prize.

Technical data

Standard displacement: 26400 tons

Full load displacement: 29032 tons

Length: 168.6 m(water line), 186.4 m(overall length)

Beam: 28.6 m

Draught: 9.15(standard displacement), 10.4 m(full load displacement)

Installed power: 75.000 hp(93.000 hp forced)

Maximum speed: 27 knots( 28 knots forced)

Armor: 250 – 220 mm(belt), 170 mm(upper belt), 280 mm(turrets), 280 + 50 mm(barbettes), 120 mm(secondary turrets),  130 mm(battery), 260 mm(CT), 100 – 80 mm(main deck), 44 mm(upper deck)

Armament: 2×3 320/44, 2×2 320/44, 6×2 120/50, 4×2 100/47, 6×2 37/54, 6×2 13.2/76

Refits:

-late 1940, both: -6×2 13.2/76; +6×2 20/65

-1941, Giulio Cesare: +2×2 37/54, +2×2 20/65

-1941, Conte di Cavour: -6×2 120/50, 4×2 100/47, 6×2 37/54; +6×2 135/45, 12×1 65/64, 4×2 20/65, 3×1 20/65

Tier IV: Caio Duilio(WWI)

Story

Also known as Andrea Doria-class by the name of the second ship this class is an iteration of Conte di Cavour with small improvements. The main difference was the secondary armament, based on 152 mm guns instead of 120 mm guns, and on the tertiary armament which increased in number(and acted as AA guns). Two ships were built: Caio Duilio and Andrea Doria. Both served during WWI, survived the war and remained in service until both went under reconstruction on 1937.

Technical data

Standard displacement: 22956 tons

Full load displacement: 24729 tons

Length: 168.9 m(water line), 176.1 m(overall length)

Beam: 28 m

Draught: 8.9(standard load), 9.5 m(full load)

Installed power: 30.000 hp

Maximum speed: 21 knots

Armor: 250 – 80 mm(belt), 220 mm(upper belt), 280 mm(turrets), 280 mm(barbettes), 130 mm(battery), 280 mm(CT), 24 mm with 40 mm slopes(main deck), 30 mm(middle deck), 44 – 30 mm(upper deck), 44 mm(forecastle deck)

Armament: 3×3 305/46, 2×2 305/46, 16×1 152/45, 13×1 76/50, 6×1 76/50 AA

Refits:

-1925, both: +6×1 76/40

Tier V: Caio Duilio(WWII)

Story

They had a similar reconstruction of Conte di Cavour with the difference in the secondary armament: the secondary was based on the newer 135/45 in three gun mounts while the tertiary was based on the newer 90/50 in single mounts. The anti aircraft armament was also considerably improved, making them more protected against enemy planes(that happened before the raid on Taranto). They survived WWII and served with the MMI until 1956 when both were stricken.

Technical data

Standard displacement: 23887 tons

Full load displacement: 28882 tons

Length: 168.9(water line), 186.9 overall length

Beam: 28.6 m

Draught: 9.1 m(standard load), 10.4 m(full load)

Installed power: 75.000 hp(87.000 hp when forced)

Maximum speed: 26 knots(28 when forced)

Armor: 250 – 220 mm(belt), 170 mm(upper belt), 280 mm(turrets), 280 + 50 mm(barbettes), 120 mm(secondary turrets),  130 mm(battery), 260 mm(CT), 100 – 80 mm(main deck), 44 mm(upper deck)

Armament: 2×3 320/44, 2×2 320/44, 4×3 135/45, 10×1 90/50, 6×2 37/54, 3×1 37/54, 8×2 20/65

Refits:

-1942, both: +2×2 37/54

-1944: -3×1 37/54; +2×2 20/65

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