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Found 10 results

  1. So I was playing my Duca degli Abruzzi yesterday, and it plays ok, but compared to many of the other tier 7 cruisers, it is a very lacking ship. It got me thinking, is this supposed to be how the Italian line of cruiser will be represented and I then began thinking of some ways of improving the cruiser line that might bring this meh ship to something more that might stand out better among its tier of ships. I will also include some about the Duca d'Aosta, though I don't own the Duca d'Aosta, so can't quite compare how it plays to other tier 6, but I can get some of its details from the wiki page. Now then, to get started, the Italian cruisers that we currently have are light cruisers, though the play style doesn't quite match how some play current light cruisers, so much. When I think mostly about a light cruiser, I think of the American line of light cruiser of spamming HE from behind a island, or hiding in smoke while firing rapidly at targets that are spotted, or using long range firing of HE to set fires on distant targets. The Abruzzi, on the other-hand, can't really do those things. It has very low arcs, which are good for getting your ammo to the target quick, but doesn't allow for you to fire over an island, like the American or British cruisers, so can't quite use islands for cover as well as, other light cruisers. The Italian cruisers also have the lowest fire starting chance of all cruiser lines and their AP shells have terrible penetration, compared to other lines. Yes they can be used to fight close combat fights with their tier and below with there 30mm belt armor, but that still doesn't stop a heavier cruiser from getting it from the front. Now, I started to think of some ways of fixing the line. First off, the HE of the Italian line. Now before people get all uptight about the fire chance, I think that its good. We don't really need any more flame throwers in the game but my suggestion is adding the Italian line to the growing group of ships that gain the 1/4 penetration of their HE. This would make their HE penetration a lot better and be less reliant on captains perk, IFHE, to have your HE shells stick into the target. Actually, I would want it to be taken a step farther and possible make the Italian line have a special HE that would have a lower fire chance but would deal 200 to 300 more damage then what they currently do, bring the Abruzzi from the lowest damaging HE of tier 7 to the highest, while leaving the 1/4 penetration would allow its shells to stick more into its target. I think this would make it more effective as a HE spammer without it having to be a fire thrower. Onto the AP shells. Italian AP sucks. Everyone knows it. Its tied with the Fiji for lowest AP shell of tier 7, but unlike the Fiji, it doesn't get the good penetration or the improved angles of the British or American cruisers. Currently it has a chance of Ricocheting at 40% with a guaranteed at 30%. I always thought of the Italian line as being a line with powerful AP shells, so perhaps they could be improved some? Maybe give it the same improved angles as the Stalingrad, of chance of bouncing at 35% with a guarantee at 25%, or somewhere between that and the plain bounce stats. I know that the reason that its shells have the least potency of shell aerodynamics and poor ammunition quality control and they weigh about the same amount as the Fiji. But then, why does the Nurnberg at tier 6, have better penetration, though it has a 45 lb shell that does 800 more damage then the Abruzzi at tier 7? I know it possibly the german AP that does it, as it beats out the Helena as well with its AP damage, but the Helena has 15 turrets. The Abruzzi has 10, and they both reload at about the same time. Abruzzi might have a heal, but will it recover enough to keep itself alive when fighting an Helena or a Boise, who has a better heal then the Abruzzi. My way of improving the Abruzzi and possible the Italian lines of AP is possible increase the Autobounce angle slightly and maybe add an additional 100 to 200 more damage to the AP. Now onto the belly of the ship and boy, does it need something. Abruzzi's angles suck just as much as its shells suck. Just to get your back turrets off, you have to basically sail broadside to the enemy, which will cause you to return to the dock much quicker then you would like. Its health though is ok, as its about middle of the pack of light cruisers for health, only falling behind the Helena with just 800 less health. If there was a way of improving its fire arcs, it would be a better ship, but I don't know if that would be able to be done. Its torps, are interesting. On one side of the argument, it tied with the tier 10 Japanese cruiser for having the longest reaching torps but they are so slow that they should be classified as sea mines. But that hasn't stopped me from sniping battleships from 10km with them and they most certainly can be used in some situations but maybe the could be improved some. Either give the speed a boost or lower the reload time a bit more. I know that asking for a lot, so we will leave that be. Its AA is bad, and though I would love to say that light cruiser should be able to take out planes easier then others, much of the Italian Navy was taken out by Aviation, so....ya. Maybe touch it up a bit, but its most likely won't make a difference. So though I said that I wanted to compare the Italian line, it appears that I only wanted to improve the Abruzzi, but those slight changes could also help out the Duca d'Aosta as well, and possible the future Italian cruiser line, if it comes in the future. Improve its HE by moving it to the 1/4 penetration and possible buff the HE damage, with either leaving its low fire chance where it is or lowing it more, I guess. Next increase its auto-bounce angles slightly and or buff its damage output. Finally give it some better angles please. This is technically my first created topic, and could defiantly improve some but you can only get somewhere only if you push yourself to go there. If you wish to add some constructive criticism to it, or if you see of other ways of improving the ships, go ahead. I would appreciate hearing them, as long as its not trying to provoke a terrible reaction to the post. All I want, is for the line to feel a little bit more coherent with other lines.
  2. Totenliste

    Italian Battleship Lineup

    Really need some more BB action. So killing time made a possible lineup based on comparisons: Battleships T II: Regina Margherita (come on you know you want another Mikasa) T III: Regina Elena T IV: Dante Alighieri T V: Conte Di Cavour T VI: Duilo (different people call this class Duilo or Dorea depends on the person I guess) T VII: Francesco Caracciolo T VIII: Littorio T IX: * T X: * *: still looking to see if Italy had plans for future ships. Tier V and VIII were already decided.
  3. Recently I watched Flamu’s and sea raptor’s quick review of Leone. After seeing the concealment, reload of guns, the double torp mounts with only 4 torps, and the low speed, I’m thinking that some of the stats will change once this ship goes into testing. May tier 6 better it seems like it cannot compete. Not to mention that if one decides to treat this ship as a gun boat, they will only be able to use HE as an option because the AP appears to be horrid. Plus the low speed and short smoke duratiOn, I’m thinking that I will be hard to put gun and evade other dd’s. Especially if up tiered. Even though there seem to be a lot of bad areas, I’m hoping that once it undergoes testing it will receive some buffs in some of the areas. What are your thoughts at first glance? ( , flamu’s review starts at 10:26)
  4. Totenliste

    Italian Cruiser Lineup

    We really need to get some Italian ships out there to fight the French Cruisers Cruisers T I: Piemonte T II: Regioni T III: Vettor Pisani (Armor) [Compares to St. Louis]/ Etna 1941 (Cruiser) [Compares to Friant] T IV: Giussano (lighter armor than Mont) / Cadorna about the same T V: Montecuccoli (lighter armor than Duca) T VI: Duca d'Aosta (already done) T VII: Duca d'Abruzzi (already done) T VIII: Trento T IX: Zara T X: Bolzano (retro fitted Trento last cruiser built) Having had the T VI-VII done already doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room. Just killing time. :)
  5. Durante un largo tiempo me he dedicado a recolectar información sobre ciertos buques construidos durante, entre, y después de las guerras mundiales y que podrían destacar como candidatos al juego que actualmente nos presenta WG. Traté de meterme en la cabeza de los desarrolladores deduciendo las ecuaciones a partir de las cuales se determina los puntos de vida de cada buque basándose en el deslazamiento de este, aunque como se darán cuenta algunos no concuerdan con los presentados en el juego. Algunas ramas también presentan problemas relacionados con la ubicación de sus buques en el tier adecuado, como es el caso de los destructores franceses e italianos, otros como los cruceros japoneses presentan problemas por la información poco clara respecto a sus desplazamientos en tonelaje. Algunos buques no están situados en el mismo tier en el archivo que en el juego, eso se debe a una diferencia de opiniones personal contra WG. También hay buques que no están dentro de las ramas pero se indican en las tablas o debajo de las ramas mismas, esto se debe a que su ubicación es difícil de decidir. Las ramas están ordenadas por colores y estas incluyen; portaaviones, acorazados, cruceros de batalla, grandes cruceros, cruceros y destructores. Los asteriscos representan navíos que fueron inventados por el equipo de desarrollo de WG o por mi. Las fechas indicadas entre paréntesis indican que el buque es un diseño que nunca se construyó o terminó su construcción y el año indica su fecha de diseño. Esto aplica para casi todos los buques excepto cruceros holandeses de tier 6 y 7 en cuyo caso indica solamente una diferenciación entre buques ya que se trata del mismo barco en sí pero antes y después de su modernización. No se incluyen barcos que pertenezcan a clases ya mencionadas en naciones mas grandes, un ejemplo claro sería el crucero argentino General Belgrano que ya está representado por la clase Brooklyn. Los cuadros de distinto color dentro de las tablas de HP representan tonelajes modificados por WG o por mí haciendo referencia a un incremento del tonelaje original debido a una modernización ficticia del buque. Espero sus comentarios y sus críticas. Compartanlo si lo consideran oportuno o interesante. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1wckrRPErjwJ46erYOaJ1Cx3ycs8AClPx
  6. https://imgur.com/a/VOLypad More in the album above.
  7. Phoenix_jz’s Italian Battleship Tech Tree Hello all, I’m back at it again with tech trees, and this time I’m throwing out an idea for the Regia Marina, and its options for a battleship line. Now, as of we’ve got two Italian battleships in the game – the tier V rebuilt Cavour-class battleship Giulio Cesare, and the tier VIII Littorio-class battleship Roma. Italian battleships are fairly well represented by these two. Italian battleships fall short on AA, and their citadels tend to be somewhat tall (No magic boilers like in the Royal Navy, I guess) – but they’re usually fairly well protected. They’re quite mobile and tend to handle well for their size, and carry powerful, high-velocity guns with questionable accuracy. They tend to be quite stealthy for battleships, but at the cost of range. While I did initially draft out two lines, for this post I decided to only post the ‘main’ line, while I will perhaps make a post on the second at a later date (Spoiler – It’s lots of Ferrati designs - #outquadthefrogs). This main line is essentially the majority of what historical Italian battleships were. Like many Italian designs, speed tended to triumph over armor in order to sustain firepower – in order to defend Italy’s long coastlines from attack, Italian ships had to be able to rapidly deploy against enemy ships, dashing up or down the coast. Likewise, they also stressed artillery performance at range, thus the use of heavier than average shells at infamously high velocities. As a note, I’m not going to try and guess AA suites for B-hulls, but hitpoints would be for a B-hull. Major Line Features: You get: High Speed/Mobility – Generally speaking, these ships will be faster and have better handling than most other battleships Generally good levels of stealth, better than other battleships at the same tier Powerful guns with very high velocities, leading to high penetration, and good gun handling with their fast turret traverse times Unique SAP/AP flavor - Explained below Armor profile starts out as sub-par to mediocre, but becomes very powerful in higher tiers La bella figura– these ships look good. At the cost of; Generally sub-par AA for their tier The main battery range tends to be average to poor The guns share the poor dispersion of German and French battleships, offsetting their ease-of-aim. The main battery lacks HE The health pool of these ships is generally average, but at higher tiers falls behind the competition to a serious degree. They also have relatively high citadels compared to other lines with lower citadels (or physics-bending like the British) The SAP/AP Flavor, and Lack of HE There is only one part of the Italian battleship line’s flavor that can be defined as gimmicky, in the same way the French battleship’s speed boost, the German super-hydro, or British… everything? I’m not even sure where to start with them. This gimmick is that Italian battleships are unable to fire High-Explosive shells from their main battery. Why? Because that’s what the Italians did historically. Unlike their cruisers and destroyers, Italian battleships did not carry HE shells (In Italian; Granata Dirompente – I may refer to this round as ‘GD’ later in this write-up. These shells had an instant fuse and a bursting charge of 5-7% the mass of the shell). Rather, Italian battleship fired two types of Armor-Piercing shells; Palla (or sometimes Proiettile Perforante - PP) – These rounds were the pure Armor-Piercing rounds used by the Italian navy, designed to punch through as much armor as possible, and had small bursting charges of between 1-2% of the shell’s mass. Palla translates to literally ‘ball’, although it can also be used to describe a bullet. Proiettile Perforante would be in a literal sense Piercing Projectile, but the term is analogous to an Armor-Piercing shell in English. These terms describe the same kind of round regardless. This was the primary round to be used against the heavy armor on enemy battleships, and that was essentially their only purpose – the only exception is a curious note from a September 1942 document that advises the use of 320mm Palla against the American Baltimore-class heavy cruisers. This round was used outside of battleships only as the armor-piercing rounds of the 152mm guns used aboard Italian light cruisers. Granata Perforante (GP) – This type of round, with a name that blended that of the two other types of round, is often erroneously dubbed a High-Explosive by English sources (such as navweaps.com, and English translations of Italian books). Their name translating directly as Piercing Shell, these shells were essentially a Semi Armor-Piercing shell, with more explosive power than the pure AP rounds but less penetration, and like the AP used a delay fuse. These shells tended to be about 90% of the mass of Palla, and had on average only about 55-60% of the penetrative potential at most given ranges, but their bursting charges tended to be 2-5% the mass of the shells. This was the general-use round on Italian battleships, and was meant for use against carriers, cruisers, destroyers, and even the lighter armor of some battleships. These rounds also performed as the primary Armor-Piercing ammunition for the 203mm guns of Italian heavy cruisers as well as Italian 120 to 135mm destroyer guns – however performance did vary. As Italian heavy cruisers were still meant to duel and defeat enemy cruisers their shells tended to favor ‘palla’-style performance and had a smaller than average bursting charge, while the destroyers had higher values approaching those of GD rounds, as they were meant for use against very light armor only. An example of the qualitative differences of the two Italian AP types from official documents Essentially, what this boils down to is that Palla is the ‘Anti-Battleship’ round, while Granata Perforante is the ‘whatever else’ shell for Italian battleships, and that’s the flavor that will be reflected in the line. The performance of the round types thus will be as such: Palla (AP)– The same AP shells you’ve always known, these shells have the normal fuse time, and have high penetration. They’re great against battleships, being very punishing even against heavy belts because of their high penetration – however against cruisers, due to that penetration and their velocity retention, this will lead to over-penetrations in many cases. Weaker AP like that found on the 320mm and 305mm Italian guns will still be appropriate for use on cruisers, especially those with heavier armor, as their lower overall penetration and also higher tendency to lose speed (the WWI-era 305mm shells having poor drag performance typical of the era, while the 320mm shells of these guns when re-bored was still rather poor at about 4crh). Granata Perforante (SAP)–These shells will perform differently than regular AP. With higher velocity usually, these lighter shells might feel easier to aim, but they have fundamental differences. They deal less damage than the pure AP, and have much less penetration – they’re not going to do well against the main armor belts of enemy dreadnoughts. They also have short fuses similar to British battleship AP, meaning they’ll have a harder time reaching battleship citadels. However, the combination of less penetration and a shorter fuse time means they’ll tend to over-penetrate cruisers less in the way that Roma’s 381mm Palla does chronically in-game. They’ll also be better for hitting destroyers then regular AP, as well getting regular penetration against the softer areas of battleships that are too angled to penetrate – this will mean excellent damage farming off of German battleships, who’s incremental armor schemes guarantee regular 33% penetrations with ammunition of this type. To compensate for the lack of 'auto damage' that HE gives from raw penetration and fires, these shells have auto-ricochet angles identical to those of Hood's AP - 60° and 67.5°, rather than the normal 45° and 60°> The Tree: Quick Breakdown: III: Cuniberti 17t – Designer Vittorio Cuniberti’s 17000t dreadnought design – the real first dreadnought. IV: Dante Alighieri – Italy’s first dreadnought, Nikolai Iis a Russian version of her. V: Conte di Cavour – The original version of what Cesare’s sister once was, a heavy broadside defines this WWI battleship, with thirteen guns. VI: Caio Duilio – The successor class to the Cavour as rebuilt, this is essentially a better Giulio Cesare. VII: BB1935 – A design that existed beforeLittorio, it uses the 320mm guns in a modern layout with high speed and balanced armor VIII: Littorio – Roma’s sister, she’s similar to Romabut a more comfortable ship with more reliable performance IX: Impero – The third Littorio, this is Littorio as intended, essentially the tier VIII turned up to 10, if the Littorio’s performance was tuned down to 8 (which it kind of is) X: BB1936 – The 406mm design that existed next to Littorio, it was the ultimate expression of Italian battleship design – she’s dwarfed by the tier X BBs of other nations, but is faster, well protected, and has a very strong armament. Tier III – (Cuniberti 17000t) Napoli The design that started it all. The Italian Naval Engineer Vittorio Cuniberti first put his name on the map when he designed the 1901 Regina Elena-class battleships. Pre-dreadnoughts, they had followed the high speed stereotype Italian ships had already gathered for themselves in the latter half of the 1800s, despite the country being so young. At 22 knots, they were the fastest battleships in the world, even after the first dreadnoughts were completed. This, of course, came at the cost of armor (their belt was 250mm, which actually was fairly average for the era). These pre-dreadnoughts were unusual as although their medium battery of guns was exceptionally heavy (6x2 203mm guns, six to a broadside), their heavy battery was very light – only two 305mm/40’s in single turrets, one fore, one aft. The reason for this was more important than one might think, at first glance. The Regina Elena-class in fact had its origins in Cuniberti’s own work, on a 1899 design for a powerful 8000 ton armored cruiser featuring a uniform main battery of twelve 203mm guns, a top speed of 22 knots, and a 150mm belt. It was to be the ultimate Armored Cruiser, faster and better armed than any other. Such a design would ultimately be realized eight years later by the German Kaiserliche Marine in the Armored Cruiser Blücher of 1907 (6x2 210mm, 25 knots, 180mm belt), but not so for the Regia Marina. The design was rejected, and Cuniberti turned it into the 13000 ton ‘battlecruiser’-style Regina Elena-class, whose design philosophy was to be faster than any enemy battleship, and far outgun any enemy cruiser – which it accomplished for its era. Two were built, the Regina Elena and Vittorio Emmanuelle, both laid down in 1901. However, the Italian navy wanted two more battleships, and this time Cuniberti decided to revisit his old concept, and put it on a battleship as he had originally envisioned it – the ‘all-big-gun’ battleship. Thus he took the Regina Elena design to the same place he had taken his armored cruiser design – the ship grew to a displacement of 17000 tons, and featured the single most powerful armament ever put to sea – twelve 305mm guns in four twin and four single turrets. It is important to understand the context in which this came about. Fire Control Systems had come far from their origins, but were still extremely primitive in this era. The range to which they were effective was out to a few thousand yards – massively superior to where they had been only a few decades prior, where a few hundred yards was the extreme limit of naval gunnery. For this reason, the big guns of a battleship were of less use. At the ranges they fought, their main guns had more than enough penetration, and fired slowly. Smaller-caliber weapons still had enough penetration, but could fire faster, and more could be mounted for much less weight. Thus, they were much more effective at closer ranges. However, Cuniberti envisioned that as fire control became better, battles would increasingly be dominated by longer-ranged gunnery from the heavy guns. His ‘all-big-gun’ battleship would simply be able to overwhelm the enemy with large-caliber fire, smashing them under a deluge of heavy shells, and moving on to the next in line. The ships’ own armor would be strong enough to resist enemy fire in return. One of these ships would be worth many of the enemy’s battleships, and six of these would be a force powerful enough to deter any fleet in the world from challenging them. This behemoth was meant to go 24 knots as well, thus being able to run down any major warship in the world – but this is unlikely on a 17000 ton hull, 21 knots being a more realistic speed given the size of machinery of the era. 24 knots would have required a much greater displacement of about 21000 tons. Ultimately the Italian navy rejected the design due to its prohibited cost, but allowed Cuniberti to publish his idea in Jane’s All the World’s Fighting Ships 1903, where he recommended the design be pursued by the British Royal Navy. Meanwhile, the Italian navy built two further Regina Elena’s, laid down in 1903 as Roma and Napoli (hence why I’ve adopted the name Napoli for ours in-game). In May 1905, Cuniberti’s ideas were vindicated. The Russo-Japanese War saw the Battle of Tsushima fought, which was decided primarily by long-range gunnery, at staggering ranges exceeding 5 km reaching all the way to 7 km. The evidence was enough for Britain’s First Sea Lord Admiral Sir John Fisher, who had been exploring the idea of these big-gun ships already. That October, Britain laid down their first all-big gun battleship as the HMS Dreadnought, obsoleting every battleship afloat overnight. Roma, the sister to the Napoli that was ultimately built. Napoli was Italy's last pre-dreadnought battleship. Survivability: 21800 tons – 36600 HP Belt: 305mm belt, 305mm turrets and barbettes Main Armament: 4x2, 4x1 305mm/40 RoF: 2 rpm (30 sec) Dispersion/Sigma: German, 1.8 Traverse: ?º/sec AP: MV: 780mps Mass/Dmg: 417 kg (MaxDmg: 8100) SAP: MV: 780mps Mass/Dmg: 386 kg (MaxDmg: 7800) Secondary Battery: 12x1 76mm/40 Ansaldo 1916 RoF: 15 rpm (4 sec) HE: MV: 680mps Mass/Dmg: 6.5 kg (MaxDmg: 1100, 4% FC) Maneuverability: Engine Power: 50606 shp Top Speed: 24 knots All in all she’s your pretty standard tier III – probably faster than most, but still only having an eight-gun broadside. You’ll be out of it in a second, so I don’t think I need to elaborate on her. Sail around derping eight-gun broadsides into enemy ships, and profit, like any other battleship at this tier. Tier IV – Dante Alighieri … con l’animo che vince ogni battaglia The first Italian dreadnought, the Alighieri was unusual and ambitious. Her design was meant to maximize Cuniberti’s vision, by allowing all of the ship’s main guns to fire to her broadside. She was light for her size, but had a heavy broadside of twelve 305mm guns, with a sub-par 254mm belt and a top speed of 22 knots. She carries the distinction of being the only battleship to ever be named after a Poet, but make no mistake – Dante Alighieri is no mere poet, at least not in Italy. While to most he is the famed author of la Divina Commedia, in Italy he is something more, considered the father of the modern Italian language. La Commedia was one of the first European works written outside of Latin, and Alighieri chose to write it in a Tuscan dialect he referred to as ‘Italian’ – marking one of the first ‘modern’ appearances of the concept as Italy as a nation and an identify. This was grasped onto by the Risorgimento movement, and formed an important pillar of the Italian identity used to unify the peninsula. Laid down on the 9th of June 1909, she was the first battleship to be laid down with its armament mounted in triple turrets, and was completed in 1913. Her career remained uneventful, and despite taking part in the First World War and several Adriatic operations, due to the nature of Adriatic Theater in WWI she never saw action against Austrian dreadnoughts. She served as a testing platform for important gunnery and fire control technologies, and was scrapped in 1928. Her motto, “… con l’animo che vince ogni battaglia” comes from Canto 24 of L’Inferno, words Virgil speaks to Alighieri to boost his moral – the line is usually translated in (modern) English as “...with the spirit that overcomes every battle”. Survivability: 21800 tons – 36600 HP Belt: 254mm between end barbettes, 100mm to bow. Main deck is 50mm with 50mm turtleback slopes, upper deck is 30 or 38mm. 254mm turret faces. Main Armament: 4x3 305mm/46 Modello 1909 (Broadside: 12 guns) RoF: 2 rpm (30 sec) Dispersion/Sigma: German, 1.8 Traverse: ?º/sec AP: MV: 840mps Mass/Dmg: 452 kg (MaxDmg: 8700) SAP: MV: 840mps Mass/Dmg: 401.2 kg (MaxDmg: 8200) Secondary Battery: 4x2, 12x1 120mm/50 Modello 1909 (Broadside: 10) RoF: 6 rpm (10 sec) HE: MV: 850mps Mass/Dmg: 22.1 kg (MaxDmg: 1700, 6% FC) Anti-Aircraft Battery: 4x1 76mm/50 Modello 1909 - 16.8 dps @ 3.00 km 2x1 40mm/39 Vickers 1917 - 11.2 dps @ 2.01 km Maneuverability: Engine Power: 32190 shp Top Speed: 22.8 knots Dante Alighieri is going to look somewhat similar to some people, because of Russia’s own version – the Imperator Nikolai I. While it is true that Italian design did have influence on Russian dreadnought design of the period, it has not actually been indicated by any surviving documents that the Russian 4x3 designs, very similar to the Alighieri, were actually inspired by it, and so such Russian battleship design appears to be an independent development. So, what you should expect from Dante is something of a Nikolai-lite. While less armored, she has similarly powerful guns – a lighter shell (452 kg vs 470.9 kg), but fired at a much higher velocity (840 mps vs 762 mps). She’s got a 1.8 knot speed edge over the Russian dreadnought, but overall weaker armor (270mm belt on Nikolai) and their secondary battery being about equal – both having a 10-gun broadside, the Russian battleship bringing larger 130mm guns while the Italian 120mm guns fire faster. AA armament of both is rather minimal. However, the playstyle will be similar. Despite her thinner armor, Dante is well suited to bow-on tactics, and with three of her four turrets facing forwards, is well suited to swapping fire from port to starboard rapidly, regardless of what her turret traverse may be. Tier V – Conte di Cavour A nessuno secondo The follow-on class to Italy’s first dreadnought, the Cavour-class battleship was meant to be a response to French building, but as Italy lacked a 13.5” (343mm) gun to upgrade to for their battleships, they sought to use an even heavier armament of 12” guns – this time mounting thirteen 305mm rifles. The same as those used on Dante, these had a superior layout, a triple turret with a twin turret super-firing over it both fore and aft, while a single triple turret found a home amidships. Less ambitious in speed, it saw an engine power increase to compensate the increased displacement, and typical of Italian design, to achieve a speed advantage of 1-2 knots over the 20-21 knot dreadnoughts of foreign navies. Armor was slightly improved over the Alighieri, but speed saw a decrease - despite the target speed of 22.5 knots, the top speed was only 22 knots. Cavour was named for the Count of Cavour, Camilo Benso. Prime Minister of Sardinia-Pedimonte, he was instrumental in the formation of Italy as a nation, essentially Italy’s counterpart to Otto von Bismarck. He became the country’s first Prime Minister. Her motto was ‘Second to none’, written by the famous writer, war hero, and eventual proto-fascist Gabriele D’Annunzio. Survivability: 24250 tons – 39500 HP Belt: 250mm between end barbettes, 80mm to bow. Main deck is 50mm with 50mm turtleback slopes, upper deck is 30 or 38mm. 280mm turret faces. Main Armament: 2x2, 3x3 305mm/46 Modello 1909 (Broadside: 13 guns) RoF: 2 rpm (30 sec) Dispersion/Sigma: German, 1.8 Traverse: Dunno lol AP: MV: 840mps Mass/Dmg: 452 kg (MaxDmg: 8700) SAP: MV: 840mps Mass/Dmg: 401.2 kg (MaxDmg: 8200) Secondary Battery: 18x1 120mm/45 Modello 1909 (Broadside: 9) RoF: 6 rpm (10 sec) HE: MV: 850mps Mass/Dmg: 22.1 kg (MaxDmg: 1700, 6% FC) Anti-Aircraft Battery: 6x1 76mm/50 Modello 1909 - 25.2 dps @ 3.00 km 2x1 40mm/39 Vickers 1917 - 11.2 dps @ 2.01 km Maneuverability: Engine Power: 31278 shp Top Speed: 22.3 knots Conte di Cavour is an interesting ship, especially considering that her sister, Giulio Cesare, is Italy’s tier V premium battleship. Well, here’s the thing to keep in mind. Cesare is utterly OP at tier V. It’s outright comedic how well she does, and legend has it that in a lost Canto, Dante places her in the forgotten tenth circle of hell where not even the Devil himself was made to suffer. So we’re not comparing these sisters. No, rather, we’re comparing Cavour to other WWI dreadnoughts like Bretagne, Iron Duke, and König. With an identical turret layout to these ships, they’re pretty easy to compare. König, with her thick belt and turtleback, is by far the most durable, Iron Duke not far behind her, with Cavour trailing and Bretagne in last. Pretty much the same order follows for speed, at 24, 22.5, 22.0, and 21 knots. Firepower is where they vary. The Entente dreadnoughts bring 10x 340/343mm guns firing 2 rpm, and while König brings 10 guns as well, they’re only 305mm guns… but fire faster, at 2.3 rpm. Cavour only fires at 2 rpm with 305mm guns… but has 13 of them. Her penetration should be the best among 12” guns, and the extra three barrels allows her to easily keep up in shell output. Meanwhile, the extra barrels also let her compete with the damage output of the British and French battleships, which she also has more penetration than. Thus, she has similar flexibility to the other battleships with her speed, and although her armor is hardly stellar, it’s adequate. Her main battery is fearsome, thirteen guns throwing heavy shells at high speeds allowing her to hit hard father away then her caliber would seem to suggest. Like many other Italian battleships, her weakness is her mediocre-at-best AA battery, and relatively low health pool for her tier. Tier VI – Caio Duilio Nomen numen The Caio Duilio-class battleships were a follow-on of the prior Cavour-class, and a response to the French Bretagne-class battleships. Since the Regia Marina was satisfied with the prior class and considered them on-par with the Bretagne-class, the Duilio-class ultimately ended up being largely an improved version of the Cavour-class with a revised secondary battery, superstructure, and the decision to accept a lower speed being the primary differences. Caio Duilio was named for the famous Roman admiral Gaius Duilius, who commanded the republic’s fleet at the Battle of Mylae and won Roma’s astounding first naval victory against Hannibal Gisco’s superior Carthaginian fleet. In the inter-war period, as tensions rapidly shot up in the 1930s the Regia Marina began a major revision to its main battleline, which had changed little since the end of the First World War, save for the losses of Dante Alighieri and Leonardo da Vinci and minor modernizations to the battleships as a whole. In response to the French construction of the Dunkerque, the Italian Navy essentially rebuilt the Cavour-class, leaving barely 40% of the original ships behind. As tensions continued to rise, and it became clear that war with Britain was likely, the Regia Marina sought to bring its battleline up to snuff as rapidly as possible, and thus the decision was made to rebuild the Duilio-class in the same radical manner as the Cavour’s. An improved version of the Cavour project, the rebuilding of Caio Duilio and Andrea Doria saw something similar to the Cavour rebuilds, with several notable differences. Like the Cavour-class, their armor was slightly increased, the hull lengthened, and machinery replaced, making the ships capable of 26 knots (one knot slower than the Cavour rebuilds which could make 27 knots, but both classes were still able to force up to 28 knots). The middle turret was removed, and the other guns were bored out from 305/46’s to 320/44’s, greatly increasing their punching power. The Duilio-class had an extra 3º of elevation compared to the Cavourrebuilds giving them an extra 800m of range, but more importantly had a better Fire Control System, making them more capable of engaging targets at range. Their AA battery was far superior to Cavour’s, mounting a battery of 10x1 of the excellent 90mm/50 AA guns rather than the obsolete 100mm/47’s. It also included more 37mm AA guns. Finally, instead of the 6x2 120mm battery of Cavour, Duilio had a 4x3 battery of 135mm guns. Survivability: 24250 tons – 39500 HP Belt: 250mm between end barbettes, 80mm to bow. Main deck is 100mm over magazines, 80mm over machinery spaces, 30mm outboard. A lower portion of deck armor (vertical armor was 70mm) was 74mm thick 24mm turtleback, upper deck is 44mm. 240mm turret faces. Main Armament: 2x2, 2x3 320mm/44 Ansaldo Modello 1936 (Broadside: 10 guns) RoF: 2 rpm (30 sec) Dispersion/Sigma: German, 1.9 Traverse: 5º/sec (36 sec) AP: MV: 830mps Mass/Dmg: 525 kg (MaxDmg: 9300) SAP: MV: 830mps Mass/Dmg: 475 kg (MaxDmg: 8900) Secondary Battery: 4x3 135mm/50 Modello 1937 (Broadside: 6) RoF: 7 rpm (8.57 sec) HE: MV: 825mps Mass/Dmg: 32.7 kg (MaxDmg: 2000, 7% FC) 10x1 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 (Broadside: 5) RoF: 15 rpm (4.0 sec) HE: MV: 860mps Mass/Dmg: 10.1 kg (MaxDmg: 1300, 5% FC) Anti-Aircraft Battery: 10x1 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 - 95.0 dps @ 3.99 km 6x2 37mm/54 Breda 1932 - 69.6 dps @ 3.51 km 3x1 37mm/54 RM 1939 - 26.7 dps @ 3.51 km 8x2 20mm/65 Breda 1935 - 27.2 dps @ 2.01 km Maneuverability: Engine Power: 75000 shp Top Speed: 26.0 knots Special Consumables: Speed Boost - Standard So, what is Caio Duilio at her core? Well, she looks very similar to Cesare on the surface, and… well, simply put, that’s exactly what the case is. The class was originally built very similarly, and the rebuilds followed a similar path. The biggest diversion between the two ships comes in raw speed and secondary/AA firepower. Duilio’s broadside of six 135mm guns hit harder than the six 120mm guns of Cesare… but fires more slowly (7 rpm vs 10 rpm), albeit firing HE rather than AP. The 90mm guns on Doria are more numerous and fire faster, although less damaging (40x 100mm shells per minute versus 75x 90mm shells per minute). Her AA firepower is head and shoulders above that of Cesare, but she’s also one knot slower for her base speed. Given the fact that Cesare is OP as sin at tier V regardless of being uptiered… Caio Duilio makes for a strong contender at tier VI, being fast, stealthy, and still hard-hitting. She’s got the speed and stealth to escape ships that are more powerful than her, and yet she’s fast enough to run down other battleships at similar tiers, as well as chase down cruisers that are doing the wiggles – especially with her speed boost, which allows her to force her engine power in order to reach just over 28 knots (28.08 knots). However, she will struggle more at higher tiers. Being able to meet tier VIII battleships, she will encounter battleships that are faster, better armored, and better armed than her. For this, her great level of stealth inherited from Cesare will need to be exploited. The motto is an ancient Roman phrase that explains itself handily; "The name means power.” Tier VII – (BB1935) Leonardo da Vinci Non si volta chi a stella è fiso ‘BB1935’ finds its origins in one of the 1935 studies for a 26500 ton battleship to counter French construction following their decision to build the Dunkerque. The study called for a 26500 ton battleship armed with main guns of either 305 or 320mm, and a top speed of 30 knots. General Pugliese, who was in charge of the project, went around to over a dozen Admirals in attempt to get a consensus of what was most wanted. Although I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you the obvious, the results were… diverse, to say the least. Layouts varied drastically, using everything from triples to twins to quads. In total some 9 different designs were drawn up, which looked like everything from Nelson to Dunkerqueto reverse King George V... well, you get the idea. Oh, and Admiral de Feo had a design in there too, which is pretty much all you need to know about thatone. The one we’re looking at is one of the larger designs, which managed to grow to 30000 tons. It featured a main battery of 3x3 320mm guns, a top speed of 30 knots, and protection similar to Littorio. The secondary battery included 140mm guns in either triple or quad turrets, but since no 140mm guns existed within the Regia Marina, I’d assume the most likely choice of armament would have been the 135mm/45. The intended TDS system was Pugliese’s own. The name I’m borrowing form the third member of the Conte di Cavour-class battleships, which suffered a magazine detonation in port and was ultimately scrapped after an ambitious yet expensive recovery operation. Unlike some of the other names on this list, I’m sure I don’t need to cover her name, as da Vinci is quite famous and well-known far beyond Italy’s borders. The motto is a quote from the MC himself, which in English usually comes out as “He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind” Survivability: 30000 tons – 46300 HP Belt: 350mm between end barbettes inclined, at 11º, Main deck most likely at least 100mm on 12mm plating with a 36mm on 9mm upper deck. Upper belt perhaps 70mm. Main Armament: 3x3 320mm/44 Ansaldo Modello 1936 (Broadside: 9 guns) RoF: 2 rpm (30 sec) Dispersion/Sigma: German, 2.0 Traverse: 5º/sec (36 sec) AP: MV: 830mps Mass/Dmg: 525 kg (MaxDmg: 9300) SAP: MV: 830mps Mass/Dmg: 475 kg (MaxDmg: 8900) Secondary Battery: 4x3 135mm/45 Modello 1937 (Broadside: 6) RoF: 7 rpm (8.57 sec) HE: MV: 825mps Mass/Dmg: 32.7 kg (MaxDmg: 2000, 7% FC) 12x1 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 (Broadside: 6) RoF: 15 rpm (4.0 sec) HE: MV: 860mps Mass/Dmg: 10.1 kg (MaxDmg: 1300, 5% FC) Anti-Aircraft Battery: 12x1 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 - 114.0 dps @ 4.50 km 6x2 37mm/54 Breda 1932 - 69.6 dps @ 3.51 km 3x1 37mm/54 RM 1939 - 26.7 dps @ 3.51 km 8x2 20mm/65 Breda 1935 - 27.2 dps @ 2.01 km Maneuverability: Engine Power: 100000 shp Top Speed: 30.0 knots Perhaps best described as a link between Caio Duilio and Littorio, the 1935 mini-Littorio design (Littorino?) combined the firepower of the Italian rebuilds with the speed and protection that the Littorio-class was to have. Littorino would find such an ‘in-between’ playstyle in-game, the first truly tanky Italian battleship, with a similar combination of the tankiness and mobility available to Roma, with a similar AA suite. The main battery, three triple 320mm mounts, would start to sag, the guns being excellent at tier V, comfortably adequate at tier VI, but starting to get long in the tooth at tier VII, where tier IX battleships are a potential opponent. However, this weakness in firepower is the price that will have to be paid for having such a capable hull – 30 knots at tier VII with a hull that’s supposed to be as durable as Roma, and similar anti-aircraft firepower. I’ve also decided to extend the range of the 90mm/50 AA guns to 4.5 km, as: A) 4.0 km range on a tier VII+ BB is just stupid (side glance at Roma) B) This shows the greater performance of the 90mm mounts on Littorio versus Caio Duilio– the smaller battleship’s mounts were simply to close to the waterline and invasion of water was impossible to prevent – thus their RPC systems had to be disabled, while Littorio’s RPC systems remained intact for the 90mm AA guns It’s possibly the guns would need a RoF higher than 2 rpm in order to stay competitive, but as of now I’ve kept it there because I desire to avoid dipping into unrealistic reload times, and 2 rpm is the highest I’ve seen for these guns. Tier VIII – Littorio Molte nemici, molto onore The largest and most powerful class of battleships built by the Italian Navy, the ‘35000 ton’ (standard displacement was in excess of 40000 tons in reality) Littorio-class was a response to France building a second Dunkerque-class battleship and the subsequent breakdown in negotiations of battleship construction that had been taking place between the two nations. The design ended up being a bit of a test bed for the Italian Navy, featuring Pugliese’s torpedo defense system in full, and a new system of armor defense revolving around decapping of Armor-Piercing projectiles. The deck armor system had a 36mm upper deck laminated on 9mm plating to decap incoming shells, while the main deck was either 100mm (machinery) or 150mm (magazines) laminated on 12mm plating. The result was somewhat contradictory – her magazines were probably better protected from deck penetration than those of any other battleship save Yamato, but its machinery deck protection rates as one of the worst of the modern fast battleships, closer to ships like Bismarck and North Carolina than South Dakota, Iowa, Yamato, or Richelieu. However the belt was a different matter, a composite structure consisting of a 70mm homogenous armor decapping plate, a 250mm gap filled with cellulite, and a 280mm belt of Terni Cemented FH armor. The result was a belt that was largely immune to penetration from almost any gun ever put to sea – and even if splinters should result, two layers of splinter bulkheads existed within the ship before the splinters could actually hit the citadel bulkhead itself. The Littorio also mounted the most powerful guns ever mounted on an Italian battleship, the 381mm/50 Modello 1934. Firing an 884.8 kg Armor-Piercing shell at 850mps, and an 824.3 kg SAP shell at 880mps, it was the most powerful 15” rifle ever created, with belt penetration surpassing that of the American 16”/50 Mk.7 (WWII shells) or the Japanese 46cm/45 – although its deck penetration was inferior by a wide margin due to the shallow angles of impact. Although the full engine power was 160,000 shp, a lower operating speed of 128,200 shp was generally used during the wartime, on which she could make 30 knots. In-game, she’s largely a variation of Roma. Littorio was named after the Lictor, the one who would carry the fasces in ancient Rome – the fasces being the symbol of fascism. The motto used an oft-used saying of fascism – “Many enemies, much honor”. Littorio was the only ship of her class to use a motto. In what is probably the most famous picture of the class, Littorio and Vittorio Veneto conduct gunnery exercises together Survivability: 45236 tons – 64300 HP Belt: 375mm between end barbettes inclined at 11º with an internal 40mm bulkhead (yes, I'm keeping the nerfed internal armor, for the sake of balance with Roma), Main deck is 162-112mm with a 45mm upper deck. Upper belt is 70mm. Turret Faces are 380mm sloped at 30º Main Armament: 3x3 381mm/50 Ansaldo Modello 1934 (Broadside: 9 guns) RoF: 2 rpm (30 sec) Dispersion/Sigma: German, 1.8 Traverse: 6º/sec (30 sec) AP: MV: 850mps Mass/Dmg: 884.8 kg (MaxDmg: 12000) SAP: MV: 880mps Mass/Dmg: 824.3 kg (MaxDmg: 11800) Secondary Battery: 4x3 152mm/55 OTO Modello 1936 (Broadside: 6) RoF: 5 rpm (12 sec) AP: MV: 910mps Mass/Dmg: 50 kg (MaxDmg: 3100) 12x1 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 (Broadside: 6) RoF: 15 rpm (4.0 sec) HE: MV: 860mps Mass/Dmg: 10.1 kg (MaxDmg: 1300, 5% FC) Anti-Aircraft Battery: 12x1 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 - 114.0 dps @ 4.50 km 8x2 37mm/54 Breda 1932 - 92.8 dps @ 3.51 km 4x1 37mm/54 RM 1939 - 35.6 dps @ 3.51 km 8x2 20mm/65 Breda 1935 - 27.2 dps @ 2.01 km Maneuverability: Engine Power: 128200 shp Top Speed: 30.0 knots So, how does Littorio differ from Roma, our already existing premium? In subtle, but telling ways, as she’s not a straight clone. First and foremost, she loses out on durability, with 1100 less hitpoints and a less effective TDS (-10% - and yes, I know I haven't been listing TDS. This is the only time it really mattered). She also trades away her generally ineffective HE for the trademark Italian SAP rounds. She also isn’t as stealthy, visible from 820m further than Roma (from 14.94 km to 15.76 km, or a drop from the fully built 11.22 km to 11.82 km), but also able to fire farther away, base range increasing from 18.12 km to 18.94 km (21.74 to 22.73 km with a spotter aloft). You also have a considerably more capable mid-range AA suite and an extra 500m range on your long-range AA, making you somewhat more capable of defending yourself. With this changes, Littorio will still play similarly to Roma, but with a greater emphasis on staying a little farther away, as well as being less reliant on someone else’s AA. You’re not as stealthy, and torpedoes will hurt you more, not to mention you’ve got slightly less health overall – but at least you’ve got a little more breathing room when it comes to firing back, and you’ve got SAP shells to use so you don’t overpen cruisers quite as often. Tier IX – Impero Laid down as the third Littorio sister but never completed, Impero was one of the ‘second’ generation Littorio-class battleships along with her sister Roma, making the pair somewhat of a slightly different set of siblings… perhaps a second set of twins, if you consider both pairs to be Irish twins? Originally the successors to the Littorio-class would have been the ‘BB1936’ designs (which was adapted into the Ansaldo’s Project 41, which was then sold to the Soviet Union and played an important role in the design of the Projekt 23 Sovetsky Soyuz-class’s design), essentially much larger, 406mm gun armed Littorio’s, but as raw material came harder to come by in the years running up to WWII (due to Allied sanctions), and the need to finish the projects quickly for a 1943/44 war, a second set of slightly improved Littorio’s was chosen instead – Impero laid down in May of 1938, and Roma four months later. Impero, as I’m choosing to represent her here, is the Littorio-class unleashed. As we know it in-game (Roma), the class underperforms in many aspects, especially protection (many of the interior bulkheads scrapped) and the efficiency of the main belt, 375mm in game… which is a fraction of what it was capable. While technically speaking the MAB’s strength is a blank check (decapping against Face-Hardened is different then against homogenous – essentially if you decap the shell, it’s just going to either fail to penetrate, or just shatter, unless it’s of sufficient caliber. You’d need a 470mm shell to actually guarantee punching through Littorio’s belt), we do have one strength figure – able to resist her own shells at 16 km through tests. In-game, Roma has just over 490mm of penetration at this range. Likewise, the engine only operates at about 80% power in-game, compared to its 160000 shp full output. On top of that output, it was able to boost power by a further 12% in emergency situations – getting you just short of 180000 shp. In terms of their actual ability, Littorio somewhat straddles the line between tier VIII and IX with our in-game system – her biggest drawbacks are the raw dpm cap of only nine 381mm guns at tier IX, the low health, and the weak AA… but her protection, speed, and absurd penetration balance this out considerable. Impero (lit. “Empire” in English) was named for the new ‘Italian Empire’ proclaimed by Mussolini. Survivability: 45236 tons – 64300 HP Belt: 420mm between end barbettes inclined at 11º with an internal 36mm bulkhead, with a 24mm bulkhead ~4 meters further inside the hull. Main deck is 162-112mm with a 45mm upper deck. Upper belt is 70mm. Turret Faces are 380mm sloped at 30º Main Armament: 3x3 381mm/50 Ansaldo Modello 1934 (Broadside: 9 guns) RoF: 2.14 rpm (28 sec) Dispersion/Sigma: German, 2.0 Traverse: 6º/sec (30 sec) AP: MV: 850mps Mass/Dmg: 884.8 kg (MaxDmg: 12000) SAP: MV: 880mps Mass/Dmg: 824.3 kg (MaxDmg: 11800) Secondary Battery: 4x3 152mm/55 OTO Modello 1936 (Broadside: 6) RoF: 5 rpm (12 sec) AP: MV: 910mps Mass/Dmg: 50 kg (MaxDmg: 3100) 12x1 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 (Broadside: 6) RoF: 15 rpm (4.0 sec) HE: MV: 860mps Mass/Dmg: 10.1 kg (MaxDmg: 1300, 5% FC) Anti-Aircraft Battery: 12x1 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 - 114.0 dps @ 4.50 km 8x2 37mm/54 Breda 1932 - 92.8 dps @ 3.51 km 4x1 37mm/54 RM 1939 - 35.6 dps @ 3.51 km 8x2 20mm/65 Breda 1935 - 27.2 dps @ 2.01 km Maneuverability: Engine Power: 160000 shp Top Speed: 32.0 knots Impero becomes Roma on steroids. Or rather, she’s Roma, but without a broken ankle and a few cracked ribs. She’s fast at 32 knots, second only to the 32 knot + speed boost French battleships and the American battleships Iowa and Missouri. Her armor gives her fantastic resistance – the 70mm upper belt and 45mm upper deck giving very good protection against HE spam, and her defense against AP being out of this world. Her 420mm/11º main armor belt (the thickness being a compromise) is quite strong, allowing her to resist her own shells at just past 18.5 km broadside, and angled at only 30º she can resist her own shells at 15 km, the American 16”/50 within 16 km, and the Japanese 18.1”/45 at just over 19 km… without taking into account her internal bulkheads, and her thin citadel, despite how thin it is… because WG removed her innermost citadel bulkhead… Blue is actual, green is the current citadel. Even if they punch through the main belt, it’s almost impossible for any short fuse (hi, Royal Navy) BBs to thus hit the citadel – which means it has to be travelling at least 164mps. Shooting a broadside Impero at 10 km or greater with the French 380/45 would penetrate the belt, sure (well, until you hit 18 km) – but the shell won’t actually reach the citadel. You’ve got to be within 10 km to still have enough time to hit the belt before the shell’s fuse runs out after going through the main belt and first splinter bulkhead. In terms of firepower, she uses the same guns as Roma, but this time comes with 2.0 sigma, and a 28 second reload – somewhat offsetting the fact that you’re somewhat hurt by autobounce and having just nine barrels (Alsace still had similar caliber-weapons, but has twelve of them!). In terms of her actually getting hits, however, she should be fine. Alsace generally averages higher rates of hitting than Richelieu(7.9 shells per minute versus Richelieu’s 4.9 rpm), but that’s only a product of having 12 vs 8 guns and access to the RoF module. Without said module, it drops to 7 shells per minute, and with only 8 guns this would be 4.6 shells – Richelieu’s higher sigma (1.8 vs 1.7) coming into play. Roma, with 1.8 sigma, averages 5.4 shells. Keeping that sigma would give you 5.8 spm, 6.6 spm with the reload module. With 2.0 sigma, you’re easily seeing a similar number of shells as what Alsace achieves… and the 381/50’s AP is stronger than that of the 380/45. She’s Roma turned up to 12. Her AA is still anything but stellar, but it’s at least somewhere just under ‘on-par’ for tier IX. She’s fast, she’s durable, and she still hits hard – just more often. Tier X – (BB1936) Piave The ultimate evolution of the Italian battleship, ‘BB1936’, often known as UP.41 (Ufficiale Progetto 41 by Ansaldo’s nomenclature), this wasn’t so much an evolution past Littorio so much as it was the original idea. The Littorio’s design work was largely done under the jurisdiction of the WNT, which limited battleship design to 35000 tons standard displacement with an armament not exceeding 406mm. Naturally, just as every country had rushed to design a ship fitting the most 203mm (maximal caliber) guns as possible on a 10000 ton hull with their heavy cruisers, they did the same as with the battleships. This evolution was part of the same process that lead to Littorio, but the designers struggled as they felt it was too difficult to for nine 406mm guns on a sufficiently protected hull and get it to go 30 knots under an operational load. The weight reduction in terms of armament from choosing lower caliber weapons, in combination with the relative ease of developing new 381mm guns versus 406mm guns, lead them to shrink the armament down to ‘only’ nine 381mm guns as the project developed into what eventually became Littorio. However, development did not stop there, as Ansaldo continued to play with the design, and it grew, BB1936 being the ultimate product of these efforts, a 45000 ton vessel. However, the design did not take advantage of the more advanced protection methods used in Littorio’s armoring (such as the composite belt). Ultimately, as war came ever closer, despite the effort made to upgrade the Navy’s facilities to build and operate these large ships, it was decided to go with a repeat of the Littorio-class for the next battleship order (and thus Impero and Roma were ordered). However, Ansaldo had also sold the design to Russia, as UP.41 – with heavy modification to Russian preferences, and without the Pugliese TDS. This is the project we have data for, but needless to say it varies significantly from any design that would’ve succeeded Littorio. So, stat-wise, that is why I will try to recreate (including a composite belt, to explain the increased thickness). Her name is an interesting leap of logic for me – while personally speaking I’d love to name her Giuseppe Garibaldi, the fact of the matter is that A) by tradition only cruisers bared his name and B) By this period battleships were no longer named after people – that went out with the rise to power of the Fascists. Thus, the names of Italian battleships afterwards usually had to do with the glory of fascism (Littorio), a new Roman Empire (Impero), while Roma had a somewhat less neutral name, being named after the eternal city of Rome itself, although that still had ancient connotations to bit, as Rome always will. However, one of these ships had a name that that did not call back to a long-ago past, or a new fascist age. One ship had a name that simply spoke to Italy, the relatively young nation that existed here and now – the one that actually mattered. This was the Vittorio Veneto, named after the major victory achieved by Italy over Austria in 1918 that brought down the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Such a name was a powerful symbol that spoke more about a modern Italy – the one that mattered – than any name harking to some militaristic past or future that involved the subjugation of foreign nations. The Battle of Vittorio Veneto marked an important moment in Italian history – the final defeat, after hundreds of years of struggle, of the Hapsburg Empire, who had dominated Italy for about half a millennium. The victory not only avenged the defeat at Caporetto a year earlier, but also the centuries of foreign rule suffered by the Italian states. Thus the name I decided to go with was named after an earlier battle, but equally important, fought not long after Caporetto. Fought a little over 100 years ago, the Battle of the Piave River was where Italian troops halted and broke the Austrian offensive after the route at Caporetto. This was done in spite of the fact the Entente powers insist they fall further back, as they did not believe the Piave could be held... But hold it did. The Austrians were beaten back again on the Piave when they attempted their last offensive with a counter-attack launched 100 years ago today, and the utter defeat of this effort marked the first point where the Central Power’s command staff realized the war was beginning to end, despite the triumphs of 1917. Piave, although typically unanimously ignored by histories outside of Italy, stood as an important moment, a 20thcentury Legnano, and because of that I think that such a name is appropriate for Italy’s tier X battleship. Survivability: 49506 tons – 69300 HP Belt: 450mm between end barbettes inclined at 11º with an internal 36mm bulkhead, with a 24mm bulkhead ~4 meters further inside the hull. Main deck is 162mm with a 55mm upper deck. Upper belt is 150mm. Turret Faces are 400mm sloped at 30º Main Armament: 3x3 406mm/56 Ansaldo Modello 1936 (Broadside: 9 guns) RoF: 2.0 rpm (30 sec) Dispersion/Sigma: German, 2.0 Traverse: 6º/sec (30 sec) AP: MV: 850mps Mass/Dmg: 1350 kg (MaxDmg: 14800) SAP: MV: 870mps Mass/Dmg: 1100 kg (MaxDmg: 13500) Secondary Battery: 4x3 152mm/55 OTO Modello 1936 (Broadside: 6) RoF: 5 rpm (12 sec) AP: MV: 910mps Mass/Dmg: 50 kg (MaxDmg: 3100) 12x2 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 (Broadside: 6) RoF: 15 rpm (4.0 sec) HE: MV: 860mps Mass/Dmg: 10.1 kg (MaxDmg: 1300, 5% FC) Anti-Aircraft Battery: 12x2 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 - 160.8 dps @ 4.50 km 24x2 37mm/54 Breda 1932 - 378.4 dps @ 3.51 km 4x1 37mm/54 RM 1939 - 35.6 dps @ 3.51 km 24x2 20mm/65 Breda 1935 - 81.6 dps @ 2.01 km Maneuverability: Engine Power: 180000 shp Top Speed: 32.0 knots Alright, so I lied. This is not quite true to BB1936. That design intended to use a 406/50, with characteristics similar to the Russian 406mm/50 B-37, which the Italians helped develop. The planed 406/50 was to extend the given range of penetration compared to the 381/50 gun by 2000 meters – meaning it far exceeded any other gun that actually saw service in raw power. This ship doesn’t use that gun. Instead, this ship uses the monstrous 406mm/56 that was considered for the 4-16/16-40, a monstrous design that was intended to mount sixteenof these guns on a hull with 406mm of steeply inclined hull armor, and a top speed of 29 knots. The gun is your Vittorio Veneto, with the ability to rip through just short of 700mm of armor at 20 km, even the most heavily armored battleships will struggle to protect themselves from these guns, the raw penetrative power of a 1350-kilogram projectile fired at an initial muzzle velocity of 850 meters per second more than making up for the smaller caliber and the low gun count for that caliber. The raw kinetic force behind its armor-piecing gives it as high a damage potential as Yamato’s monstrous 460mm guns, and the SAP as much as American SHS! With the ridiculous velocity retention of such heavy shells, you’ll likely have issues over-penetrating cruisers just with your SAP shells – these might just be a more viable weapon than your AP at closer ranges against battleships! If your offensive armament is your Vittorio Veneto, then your armor is your Piave, because it’s a tough nut to crack. With 450mm of armor inclined at 11º, your belt is essentially 18” before angle of fall is even considered. Such a belt is seriously thick, and you retain the series of internal bulkheads to keep your citadel safe from stray rounds and the like. Angled at 45º, even Yamato’s 460mm APC won’t penetrate the belt by itself beyond 11 km. Your thick main armor deck is highly resistant to AP bombers, while your overall HE protection is improved. With a 55mm upper deck, even German 203mm HE will shatter on it, as will regular HE up to 330mm. IFHE will need to be greater than 254mm to penetrate it, and higher-penetration HE with IFHE will need to be 170mm or greater. Your 150mm upper belt provides significant protection against destroyers and light cruiser AP, and is immune to HE and IFHE of any penetration type. Even your AA protection isn’t terrible, although nor is it fantastic. Adequate is the best way to describe it. And if your armor is your Piave, then your mobility is your Carica della Savoia Cavalleria, because it’s going to get you out of (and into) trouble. Able to make 32 knots, you’re in the fastest tier X battleship, and because of your relatively small size, you’re probably able to turn much better than any other tier X battleship, too, handling more like a tier VIII than anything else. This will combine well with your good stealth. Exploit this brutally. However, that brings us on to the final point, which is your endurance. Watch how far you extend yourself, or it will be your Caporetto. You pack a huge wallop offensively, you’re fast, and you’re well armored, a tough nut to crack. However if that nut is cracked? Well, you’re light, and that means you’ve got a fairly small healthpool. You’re sitting on less than 70000 health at a tier where the lightest competitor has 82900 health, over 10000 more than you. That’s the price you pay for this unusual combination of characteristics. The Line overall So how does the line overall bring something new to WoWs? A good line can’t just be ‘more stuff’. It should bring something new to the table, and ideally do it without relying on a crazy gimmick, such as a super heal or speed boost. Nor should it rely on incredibly unrealistic rebuilding (side glance at Normandie and Lyon), or massive buffs to shell penetration (side glance at French 305 and 340mm guns). The Italian battleships start out being fairly unique from the start. While Napoli is fairly standard for a tier III battleship, SAP rounds aside, Dante Alighieri immediately takes you for something unique – a unique armament layout allowing you to bring twelve powerful 305mm barrels to bear against enemy ships at a tier where most ships can only manage ten barrels at best. Your armor is less than most of your foes, but your speed is better than most. Conte di Cavouris your last dance with a WWI-era battleship, which is a nice development – most nations don’t ditch the WWI battleships until tier VII. She again stresses a powerful broadside, boasting thirteen barrels to a broadside, and very nice firing angles – the lower turrets can traverse ±150º, and the superfiring turrets ±155º - past autobounce angles! The amidships ‘Q’-turret, meanwhile, rotates a full 360º. The armor and speed are hardly spectacular, armor being average to sub-par for the tier, and unlike before, where only the Japanese battlecruisers beat Dante in speed at tier IV – at tier V, Cavour is only about as fast as Iron Duke – well behind Kongo and Cesare, and an appreciable gap between her and König. At tier VI you start to push into the higher-tier face of the Italian battleship line, and playstyle starts to become more unique. Higher speeds with better handling, punchier guns with fast traverse and fairly sneaky for you tier. Your healthpool also starts to look a little short. However, you’re still carting over the poor armor of your predecessor with a citadel a deck over the waterline, and you’re not that fast. Both French tier VI battleships are faster than you, as is Mutsu, and Bayern’s only behind by a knot. However, with speed boost active, only the French battleships are faster than you. Tier VIII battleships will be a major threat given your low health and poor armor, and the fact that many are faster than you. Your AP is punchy, however – you’ve got more penetration than Bayern’s 380mm guns! Use your stealth to get where you need to be, and surprise enemies with powerful AP volleys. You’re probably not going to want to directly fight many other tier VI or VII battleships, but you can certainly hold your own against them. In tier VIII games, play in support of cruisers and destroyers, using your SAP rounds to gut targets most battleships would simply overpenetrate. At tier VII, you’ll be finding yourself having to do something similar, albeit with much, much thicker armor and a full 30 knots – no more speed boost, however! This puts you ahead of most, ultimately – tied only with Ashitaka and 2 knots behind Hood and Gneisenau. With a 2.0 sigma, however, your shells are going to be quite accurate, so good aim will be rewarded. As a famous American admiral said; Hit hard, Hit fast, Hit often. Your guns will be feeling fairly anemic by this point, comparing poorly to the other guns of tier VII battleships, so speed, stealth, and armor must be exploited ruthlessly in order to come out on top. Finally at tier VIII you hit Littorio. With it’s powerful, high-velocity guns and strong belt, those familiar with Roma will be at home, although the Littorio trades TDS for better AA, especially with upgrades adding to light AA. Unlike Roma, while Littorio lacks HE, its SAP rounds help it significantly to aid with one of Roma’s major issues with her main battery – chronic overpenetration of light armor. With still well over 200mm of penetration at 20 km, the 381mm SAP rounds and their shorter fuses make ideal weapons for shots against cruisers, or the upper works of angled battleships, while the AP shells will simply punch through almost any battleship armor one might expect to find in her MM range. At 30 knots you’re in the average for tier VIII battleships, but your handling is still slightly above average for the 30-knot+ club. Tier IX gives you quite a gem. Impero is a capable battleship, using the same guns but with much-improved sigma and a slight RoF boost (to 28 seconds – about the fastest RoF at loading angle the guns achieved that is known of). She’s also 2 knots faster, and has a thicker armor belt – whereas in-game Roma is proof against her guns at 22 km and beyond, Impero is proof at ranges of 18.7 km and beyond – still not quite the 16 km figure the belt was rated at (this would require a 462mm/11º belt), but still quite powerful – a moderate angle of 30º will see you safe from the American 16”/50 Mk.7 at beyond 15 km, and even Yamato’s monster 460mm guns can’t penetrate your belt from outside of 24 km, or about 19 km at a 30º angle. This drops to 13 km at 45º. However, you do pay for this with lower than average health for the tier. Tier X gives you the pinnacle of the line, Piave. This tier X battleship has stupidly strong guns and its main AP rounds may be seldom used due to the ridiculous penetration, able to punch past the belts of even well angled tier X battleships at the range of 20 km. The gun averages 9-10” more penetration at a given range than the vaunted American 16”/50 Mk.7, the most powerful 406mm gun to ever see service. At sub-5 km ranges, this 406mm Palla can penetrate over a meter of armor. Your own armor isn’t too shabby, 450mm of inclined armor, the most powerful belt at tier X. However, you’re light for your tier, and you don’t have the power of overmatch over 30mm+ plating – with only nine guns to boot! Using your stealth, speed, handling, and armor to survive will be vital to success, as otherwise damage will stack up rapidly. Thus while the lower tiers may feel very vanilla – a high gun count, but otherwise a familiar story aside from the lack of HE – the mid and higher tiers adopt their own unique flavor. Mid tiers are more modern and faster than many counterparts, but often just don’t compare in the armor department, and start to look a little underweight. This is somewhat of an experimental version of the tree, but I wanted to try it because I tend to like avoiding paper where possible, and I also though the 406/56 was simply too awesome not to use. So I do acknowledge that the tree does have other options for tier IX & X. For example, Deamon93’s version sees BB1936/UP.41, with the 406/50, at tier IX, with tier X being an unknown – the 4-16/16-40 somewhat being a placeholder due to the fact it would be absurdly overpowered in-game. That being said, there are easily other options if WG fudges it like the last three tier X BBs – a 10-gun BB with either 406mm gun would work well if still fast and well armored, using the iconic gun layout of the Abruzzi-class and the rebuilt battleships. It would also not be unrealistic to see on a modern Italian battleship – at one point this familiar layout was considered for Littorio in order to equally divide firepower fore and aft. Obviously, that route was not taken, due to weight concerns. Likewise, I should point out – the weight for many of the SAP rounds are guesstimated. I only have data for the 320mm and 381mm Granata Perforante, so I could only guess based on those shells for those that equip other guns. So, what do you guys think? As always, constructive criticism is welcome (and I'm sure I'll hear it on the tier X...). Happy Hunting!
  8. one-two punch. noun. A combination of two blows delivered in rapid succession in boxing, especially a left lead followed by a right cross.
  9. The Seccond Battle of El Alamein, a turning point in World War II and a proud, though tragic, page in the history of the Royal Italian Army. It is unfortunate that so many people outside of Italy have never heard of the heroic part played by the Italians in this critical battle and the astonishing courage and determination displayed by the Italian forces. All too often, English-speaking accounts of the battle tend to ignore Italian participation entirely and focus only on the Germans with many never mentioning the Italians at all. It should be mentioned at the outset to what ultimately proved to be a doomed campaign that the commander of Italian forces in north Africa, Marshal of Italy Ettore Bastico, opposed the offensive into Egypt believing it would end in disaster. Not only was he correct about that but he was also correct in estimating why this would happen. He warned that the Axis supply lines would be stretched too thin and their forces would wither in the barren countryside if their attack became stalled for any appreciable length of time which, given the defensive tenacity of the British forces, was bound to happen. This is what came about and, in this regard, mention must be made of the decision to call off the invasion of Malta, a key British island fortress that sat athwart the Axis supply lines across the Mediterranean from Italy to north Africa. Malta had been bombed to rubble, the Italian Royal Navy had taken control of the central Mediterranean Sea and the island was ripe for the taking. However, though German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was technically subordinate to Marshal Bastico, he was able to convince Hitler and Mussolini to postpone the attack on Malta to divert German and Italian air forces to cover his Egyptian campaign. He argued that Malta had been effectively neutralized and if his offensive succeeded in seizing Alexandria and the Suez Canal there would be no need to take Malta by force anyway. One particularly elite unit that was to play the leading role in the conquest of Malta was the Italian airborne division “Folgore” which was instead transported to Africa. The Axis offensive went well enough at first but finally ground to a halt at El Alamein. The Allied forces, built around the British 8th Army, gained information about the disposition of the Axis forces and all their plans. While Rommel was away in Europe on medical leave British Field Marshal Montgomery attacked with overwhelming force and by the time Rommel arrived back on the scene defeat was a foregone conclusion. Despite Hitler’s order to stand fast and fight to the last man, Rommel decided to retreat. This was possible for the German units which were highly mechanized and had plenty of transportation but the largely infantry formations of the Italian army would be left in the lurch. The Italian army was deployed at the southern end of the Axis line which ran from the coast to the edge of the impassable Qattara Depression. It would fall to the Italians to stand their ground and hold off immensely superior British forces in order for the Germans to have time to retreat to safety. As the British attacked, the Italian armored units were the first to endure the worst. Their modest M13/40 medium tanks were totally outmatched by their British enemies both in armor protection and in firepower (as well as rang, mechanical reliability and virtually every other aspect). Still, the Italian tanks fought to the finish as best they could, holding on until they were wiped out to the last man. Field Marshal Rommel himself wrote that, “In the ‘Arieta’ [Italian tank division] we lost our oldest Italian comrades, from whom we had probably always demanded more than they, with their poor armament, had been capable of performing.” In terms of armor, the best the Italians could put forward was their Semovente 75/18 self-propelled gun or tank-destroyer which did considerable damage on the British but there were simply too few of them to have much of an impact. The Cannone-Mitragliera Da 20/65 Modello 35, a 20mm anti-aircraft gun, was also quite effective but, likewise, was never available in sufficient numbers. At the outset, Montgomery had at his disposal some 1,230 tanks including British Crusaders, Valentines and Matildas as well as American Lees/Grants and Shermans. By contrast Rommel had only 210 German panzers and 280 Italian tanks. Yet, the Italian forces fought with astounding ferocity and effectiveness. At the start of the British offensive, Operation Lightfoot, the front held by the Folgore Division repulsed four British attacks in four days despite being outnumbered 5 to 1 in guns, 13 to 1 in men and 70 to 1 in tanks. The Littorio Armored Division and Trieste Motorized Division also inflicted heavy losses on the British, fighting to the last man. Survivors of the Bologna and Trento Divisions were overrun by the British but fought their way out only to die of exposure in the desert without transportation. In one attack by British imperial troops the Italians lost 45 men compared to 400 of the enemy but the numerical superiority of the British was still able to make up such losses. Most focus, however, has always been on the highly trained Italian paratroopers of the Folgore. They were ordered to hold their positions to buy time for the other Axis forces to escape back into Libya. Against repeated attacks by superior British forces they fought literally to their last round of ammunition. Throwing back one British advance after another, eventually all of their tanks were destroyed, all of their heavy guns were destroyed, all of the trench mortars were destroyed or out of ammunition and yet still they continued to hold on. The innovative Italians improvised their own anti-tank weapons by slipping out into the desert to dig up their land mines and using these along with Molotov cocktails, hurled themselves at the attacking enemy forces until they were almost completely wiped out. The men of the Folgore had been ordered to hold for 24 hours. Instead, they held off the forces of the British Empire for 72 hours and destroyed over 120 enemy tanks and vehicles in the process. The fact that any German forces survived the battle at all was thanks entirely to the Italian troops, like those of the Folgore, who paid with their lives to buy the time for them to escape to safety. Their sacrifice is not always remembered, outside of Italy anyway, but it certainly should be as no soldiers anywhere ever fought better. When Marshal of Italy Ugo Cavallero, chief of the Supreme Command, agreed with Rommel and ordered the retreat, Italian forces remaining in the field often had no real chance of survival. Chronically short of transportation to begin with, by the time the order to retreat came, most units had nothing left at all and were too far forward to extricate themselves. Many were left helpless without ammunition, surrounded by the British with no means of escape and left with no other option but to surrender. Others tried to escape on foot but while some covered astounding distances, most were quickly overtaken by the enemy, exhausted and dehydrated with no means of resistance. There were also some occasions of bitterness due to a few cases of Germans commandeering Italian transport for their own men or repairing broken down Italian vehicles and thus claiming them as their own, leaving the Italians stranded. The Second Battle of El Alamein was a tragedy for Italy, costly and painful. Yet, at the same time, it is also a source of pride to remember how valiantly the Italians fought and how dearly they sold their lives in a desperate battle against an overwhelming foe.
  10. TheDgamesD

    Carlo Fecia Di Cossato

    Captain Carlo Fecia Di Cossato's life and legacy: Fecia di Cossato was born in Rome in 1908 from a family of the Piedmontese nobility. In his youth, he attended the Royal Military College of Moncalieri and then the Italian Naval Academy in Livorno, where he graduated in 1928 as an Ensign. Immediately after graduation, he was assigned on the submarine Bausan. In 1929, after promotion to Sub-Lieutenant, Fecia di Cossato was assigned to the Italian Naval Detachment in Beijing and sent to China on the scout cruiser Libia. He returned to Italy in 1933, was promoted to Lieutenant and was assigned on the light cruiser Bari, stationed in Massawa during the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. He then participated in two special missions on submarines during the Spanish Civil War. In 1939 Fecia di Cossato attended the Italian Navy Submarine School in Pola, after which he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and given command of a submarine. When Italy entered World War II, Fecia di Cossato was the commanding officer of the submarine Ciro Menotti, based in Messina as part of the 33rd Submarine Squadron. In this role he participated in several missions in the Mediterranean Sea. In the autumn of 1940 he was transferred to the BETASOM submarine base, in occupied France, where he started his participation in the Battle of the Atlantic as executive officer of the submarine Enrico Tazzoli, whose commanding officer was Lieutenant Commander Vittore Raccanelli. On 5 April 1941 Fecia di Cossato was given command of Tazzoli, with Lieutenant Gianfranco Gazzana-Priaroggia as executive officer. Fecia di Cossato and Gazzana Priaroggia (who was later given command of the submarines Archimede and Leonardo da Vinci) were to become Italy's most successful submariners in World War II. On April 7, 1941 Tazzoli left Bordeaux for its first mission under Fecia di Cossato. After reaching a patrol area off the coast of West Africa, on April 12 the submarine attacked two British cruisers with torpedoes, but no hits were obtained. On April 15, Tazzoli sank the British steamer Aurillac (4,733 GRT) with torpedoes and gunfire. On May 7th, Tazzoli sank the Norwegian steamer Fernlane (4,310 GRT) and two days later the Norwegian tanker Alfred Olsen (8,817 GRT). The latter required two days of pursuit, all remaining torpedoes and a hundred artillery rounds, forcing Tazzoli to return to base after sinking it. On the way back, Tazzoli was attacked by an enemy plane, but the reaction of its machine guns damaged the plane and forced it to fly away. On May 25, Tazzoli reached Bordeaux, where Fecia di Cossato was awarded a Silver Medal of Military Valor. On July 15, 1941, Fecia di Cossato sailed for a new mission during which, on August 12, he destroyed the grounded wreck of the British steamer Sangara (5,449 GRT, already damaged by a previous attack by the German submarine U 69) and on August 19 he sank the Norwegian tanker Sildra (7,313 GRT) about fifty miles off Freetown. He returned to base on September 11 and was awarded a Bronze Medal of Military Valor and an Iron Cross Second Class. In December 1941 Tazzoli left Bordeaux to take part in the rescue of 400 survivors from the German commerce raider Atlantis and the German supply ship Python, that had been sunk off the Cape Verde islands. German U-Boats had rescued the survivors from the sea, but did not have enough space to adequately house them, therefore the German command requested the intervention of the larger Italian submarines. Tazzoli and three other Betasom submarines (Torelli, Calvi and Finzi) thus sailed from Bordeaux after disembarking nonessential personnel and loading substantial supplies of food and water. At the rendez-vous with the German U-Boats, Tazzoli took onboard about 70 survivors, including Atlantis' executive officer Ulrich Mohr. On Christmas Eve Tazzoli, sailing on the surface, was attacked by an enemy plane and forced to crash dive. On the following day, the submarine reached Saint-Nazaire, where the survivors were landed. For his part in the rescue of the survivors from the two German ships, Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz awarded Fecia di Cossato the Iron Cross First Class. On 11 February 1942, after the United States’ entry into the war, Tazzoli under Fecia di Cossato left for a new mission, off the coasts of America. On 6 March the submarine sank the Dutch steamer Astrea (1,406 GRT), and on the following day the Norwegian motorship Torsbergfjord (3,156 GRT). On 9 March Tazzoli sank the Uruguayan steamer Montevideo (5,785 GRT), on 11 March the Panama-flagged steamer Cygnet (3,628 GRT), on 13 March the British steamer Daytonian (6,434 GRT) and two days later the British tanker Athelqueen (8,780 GRT). In the fight against the latter, Tazzoli suffered some damage, following which Di Cossato decided to return to base, where he arrived on 31 March. Following this mission Fecia di Cossato was awarded another Silver Medal of Military Valor by the Italian authorities and an Iron Cross Second Class with Sword by the German authorities. On 18 June 1942 Di Cossato sailed with Tazzoli for a new mission in the Caribbean. On 2 August he attacked and sank the Greek merchant Castor (1,830 GRT), an four days later he sank the Norwegian tanker Havsten (6,161 GRT), allowing her crew to abandon ship and be rescued by a nearby Argentinian ship, before sinking her. On 5 September, Tazzoli returned to base; for this mission Fecia di Cossato received a Bronze Medal of Military Valor. On 14 November 1942 Fecia Di Cossato sailed for his last mission on Tazzoli. On 12 December the submarine sank the British steamer Empire Hawk (5,032 GRT) and the Dutch merchant Ombilin (5,658 GRT); on 21 December the British steamer Queen City (4,814 GRT) became Tazzoli's next victim, followed on Christmas by the American motorship Dona Aurora (5,011 GRT). During the return voyage, the submarine was attacked by a British four-engined plane, that was shot down by Tazzoli's machine gunners. On 2 February 1943, Tazzoli ended her patrol in Bordeaux. On 19 March 1943, Fecia di Cossato was awarded a Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross by the German authorities, for his successes in the Atlantic. n February 1943 Fecia di Cossato left the command of Tazzoli, was promoted to Commander and was then given command of the brand new Ciclone-class torpedo boat Aliseo and of the 3rd Torpedo Boat Squadron. He assumed command of Aliseo on 17 April 1943. In May 1943 Di Cossato learned that Tazzoli, having been converted into a transport submarine, had disappeared with all hands after sailing towards the Far East; the loss of his old crew deeply affected him. On 22 July 1943 Aliseo left Pozzuoli together with the German torpedo boat TA11 and two submarine chaser, escorting the steamers Adernò and Colleville towards Civitavecchia. In the morning of 23 July, the convoy was attacked by Allied aircraft; one of the attacking planes was shot down, while one of the Axis escorting planes was damaged and forced to ditch. Aliseo was strafed, and suffered minor damage to her deck and rudder. Fecia di Cossato ordered the convoy to go on, then Aliseo took the ditched plane in tow and towed it towards the coast, while the damage to the rudder was repaired; Aliseo rejoined the convoy at 17:30. Around 19:30, the convoy was attacked by the submarine HMS Torbay, that torpedoed Adernò, sinking her. Aliseo launched a motorboat to pick up the survivors, then hunted the attacking submarine for several hours, but without result. Following other escort missions in the Tyrrhenian Sea, Fecia di Cossato was awarded another Bronze Medal of Military Valor by the Italian authorities, and a War Merit Cross by the German authorities. When the armistice between Italy and the Allied forces was announced, on the evening of 8 September 1943, Aliseo was moored in the harbour of Bastia, in Italian-occupied Corsica. The harbour was packed with several vessels, both Italian and German; besides Aliseo, these included her sistership Ardito, the Italian merchant ships Sassari and Humanitas, and a small German flotilla which included the submarine chasers UJ 2203 (former French survey vessel Austral) and UJ 2219 (former Belgian yacht Insuma) and five Marinefährprahme (F 366, F 387, F 459, F 612 and F 623). The local Italian and German commanders soon reached a "gentlemen’s agreement" according to which the German forces would be allowed to safely retreat to mainland Italy. Meanwhile, however, the German forces secretly prepared to launch a surprise attack on the Italian ships moored inside the harbour, planning to capture them. The attack started at 23:45 on 8 September, when two groups of German soldiers, after hearing a whistle (the signal to attack), stormed Ardito; the torpedo boat was heavily damaged (70 of her 180 crew were killed) and captured, and the merchant ships Sassari and Humanitas also fell into German hands. Aliseo had just left the harbour when the German attack began. Shortly after dawn on 9 September, a combat group of the Tenth Bersaglieri Group (10° Raggruppamento Celere Bersaglieri) staged a counterattack which led to the recapture of the port, as well as of Ardito, Sassari and Humanitas; the German flotilla was ordered to leave the harbour, but the ships were immediately fired upon by the Italian coastal batteries, which damaged UJ 2203 and some of the MFPs. Aliseo, under the command of Fecia di Cossato, was then ordered by the port commander to attack and destroy the German units. Shortly after 7:00 the flotilla, proceeding in a column led by UJ 2203, opened fire on Aliseo, which returned fire at 7:06, from a distance of 8,300 metres (9,100 yd); at 7:30 Aliseo was hit by an 88 mm shell in the engine room and temporarily left dead in the water, but the damage was quickly repaired and the torpedo boat closed in and engaged her adversaries in succession, destroying them one after the other. At 8:20 UJ 2203, after suffering several hits, blew up; ten minutes later UJ 2219 was also destroyed when her magazines exploded. Between 8:30 and 8:35 Aliseo also sank F 366, F 459 and F 623; the corvette Cormorano intervened during the final phase of the battle and, together with Aliseo, forced F 387 and F 612 to run aground, after which they were abandoned and destroyed. Aliseo picked up 25 German survivors, then proceeded towards Portoferraio, as ordered, together with the damaged Ardito. Elba Island had become the collection point for Italian torpedo boats, corvettes and minor ships escaping from harbours on the northern Tyrrhenian coast; Aliseo and Ardito reached Portoferrario at 17:58 on 9 September. In the morning of 11 September, Aliseo left Portoferraio along with six other torpedo boats (including sisterships Animoso, Ardimentoso, Indomito and Fortunale) and some corvettes and smaller vessels, heading for Allied-controlled Palermo, where the group arrived at 10:00 on 12 September. The ships remained in the roads till 18 September, when they entered the harbor in order to receive water and food supplies; on 20 September they left Palermo and reached Malta, where Aliseo delivered part of the foodstuff she had been given to the Italian warships that had arrived there in the previous days. On 5 October 1943, Aliseo left Malta and returned to Italy. For both his achievements in the Battle of the Atlantic and his victorious action off Bastia, Fecia di Cossato was awarded a Gold Medal of Military Valor. Based in Taranto, Aliseo carried out numerous escort missions during the co-belligerence between Italy and the Allies, always under Di Cossato's command. In June 1944, the new government chaired by Ivanoe Bonomi refused to swear loyalty to the king; on 22 June Fecia di Cossato, a staunch monarchist, refused in turn to swear loyalty to the new government, which he considered illegitimate. On the same day, Fecia di Cossato was relieved of command, charged with insubordination and imprisoned. His huge popularity, however, led to immediate unrest among the crews of his and other ships, who refused to put to sea and demanded that he be freed and reinstated in his role. Shortly thereafter, Fecia di Cossato was released from prison, but he was given a mandatory three months' leave. With the armistice and the following events, Fecia di Cossato had seen the ideals that had guided him throughout his life – the Fatherland, the Monarchy, the Regia Marina – crumble around him. He perceived the events of 8 September 1943 as a "shameful surrender" for the Royal Italian Navy, which, he felt, had produced no positive effects for Italy; the country was now divided and occupied by opposing foreign armies, and the armistice and the change of sides would become a stain on Italy's honour and reputation for a long time "We have been unworthily betrayed and we discovered to have committed an ignominius act without any result". Di Cossato felt that his personal honor was stained by the surrender; furthermore, he was worried by the rumors that, despite their participation in the co-belligerence against the Germans, the surviving ships of the Italian Navy would still be handed over to the Allies at the end of the war. He was also haunted by the loss of his old crew on Tazzoli; on the letter he wrote before committing suicide, he also wrote "For months, all I've done is thinking about my crew, who rest honorably at the bottom of the sea. I think that my place is with them". Since his family lived in German-occupied Northern Italy, out of his reach, he had to live in a friend's house in Naples. On 21 August 1944, as his mandatory leave was nearing its end, Fecia di Cossato wrote a last letter to his mother, where he explained the reasons for his extreme gesture; on 27 August 1944 he committed suicide by shooting himself in his friend's house in Naples. He is buried in Bologna. This is a man, who in my eyes atleast, more than any other Italian Commander deserves to be put into World Of Warships as a Unique Commander, regardless of the fact he was a Submariner, due to the legacy and life he lived, only to see his very reasons for fighting disappear with the single stroke of a pen. May he rest in peace. None of the military forces of the major participant powers in World War II have been as unjustly maligned as those of the Kingdom of Italy. Italian defeats have been exaggerated and Italian successes often downplayed or ignored entirely. Because of this, the details of the Italian submarine campaign will no doubt come as a surprise to a great many people. However, the Regia Marina (Italian Royal Navy) entered the war with the largest submarine fleet in the world by tonnage and while most tend to think of the “Battle of the Atlantic” as solely a fight between German U-boat “wolf packs” and Allied convoys, the Italians participated as well, in fact, at one point there were more Italian submarines operating in the Atlantic than German ones. Italian boats also saw extensive service in the Mediterranean (naturally) and the Indian Ocean as well as undertaking operations to East Asian waters and the South Atlantic; areas beyond the range of the smaller, typical Type-VIIC German U-boats. Finally, Italian submarines did a great deal of damage, despite facing many difficulties, against the Allies. When the Kingdom of Italy entered World War II with the declarations of war against Britain and France in June of 1940 the Regia Marina possessed 84 operational submarines under the overall command of Admiral Mario Falangola, succeeded at the end of the following year by Admiral Antonio Legnani. At the outset, their failures outnumbered their successes, which is not too surprising as, aside from some secretive operations in support of Franco in the Spanish Civil War, they had never been tested and both men and boats had bugs that needed working out. However, they had a spirit and determination that would prove formidable. The Smeraldo, for example, a Sirena-class boat of the short to medium range 600 series made the first torpedo attack on British shipping by an Italian submarine but the heavy seas caused the torpedo to miss. However, this same boat later endured the most intense anti-submarine warfare attack of any boat in history with British ships dropping 200 depth charges on her, and she still survived (ultimately this boat was sunk by running into a British mine some time later). After the conquest of France and the establishment of German naval bases on the French west coast, Italian submarines were invited to participate in the campaign to strangle the British Isles. This, of course, meant a dangerous passage through the Straits of Gibraltar under the very noses of the British Royal Navy. Many German U-boats were lost in the straits but, though few are aware of it, no Italian submarine was ever sunk slipping through these dangerous waters. The Italians established themselves at Bordeaux under the name BETASOM (Beta [Bordeaux] Som [Sommergibili]) with 27 submarines in early 1941. Originally, the idea was the German and Italian submarines would work together in coordinated attacks against Allied shipping, however, this soon proved to be more troublesome than effective and few seem to understand why. Ultimately the cause was a difference in training and how German and Italian boats operated as well as the Germans not being what we would call “team players”. Fairly quickly in the war, German submarines developed a preferred tactic of attacking on the surface at night, submerging to escape counterattack. Italian submarines, however, usually made underwater attacks during the daytime. This was one of the differences that made cooperation difficult. Probably the most significant, however, was the unwillingness of the Germans to place a German communications officer on Italian submarines, though they held overall command of joint-operations. The result of this was that an Italian submarine making contact with the enemy would have to signal Bordeaux which would then have to send the message to Paris to the German naval command which would then relay the message out to the German submarines in the area. Needless to say, this meant that by the time the Germans were told of an enemy convoy, it was too late for them to do anything about it. There was also an unwillingness on the part of the Germans to train the Italians to fit in with their preferred way of doing things and what training they did provide was inadequate, expecting the Italians to learn in only two months what it had taken the Germans years to develop and become proficient at. There is evidence that when Italian submarine captains were allowed to train with the Germans, the results were obvious. One such officer was Commander Primo Longobardo, one of the few to train with the Germans, and he proved one of the most successful Italian submarine commanders of the war. As captain of the submarine Torelli he once sank four Allied ships on a single patrol and ultimately accounted for 42,000 tons of Allied shipping sunk. In any event, when coordinated training was finally agreed to, joint operations had already been canceled and each submarine force operated on their own with the Italians mostly hunting in waters around the Azores and some boats dispatched for the South Atlantic, such as in the Brazilian shipping lanes, which they were able to reach more easily because of their greater range. A lack of cooperation was also evident in the reluctance of the Germans to share their torpedo technology with the Italians. The Germans tried many innovations with their torpedoes, causing some problems as certain designs didn’t work but ultimately resulting in a more effective weapon. The Italians, on the other hand, simply stuck to their older but more reliable model which was not as effective and the Germans would not share their magnetic trigger technology with Italy until it was too late to be of best use. It is for this reason that Italian submarines frequently engaged in surface action as quite often they would make a successful underwater attack using their torpedoes but the target would be badly damaged but not sunk at which point the Italian submarine would surface and finish off the enemy with their deck gun. Italian sub crews also became, out of necessity, quite adept anti-aircraft gunners and this came about due to the nature of their boats. A submarine on the surface is vulnerable and aircraft are a particularly dangerous enemy. They can be upon you very quickly and do immense damage, making it a life or death matter for a submarine to be able to submerge as fast as possible. As Italian submarines tended to be larger than their average German counterpart, this meant that they were slower to dive. A typical German submarine could submerge in about 20 seconds, whereas the average Italian submarine took between 60 and 120 seconds to get below the waves. One result of this was that, by the time an enemy aircraft was spotted, it was often better to take your chances shooting it out on the surface than be shot full of holes while trying to dive. It was not an enviable situation but it did make Italian AA fire more effective than in other navies. In fact, it was an Italian submarine, which had been shifted to the Germans after 1943 and then to the Japanese after the German surrender, which fired the last shots of World War II, using her AA battery against American bombers while in port in Japan. In spite of their boats having their limitations, torpedoes that were not the best and a less than fully cooperative ally, Italian submarines still did a great deal of damage thanks to having some extremely skilled commanders. None was more famous than Gianfranco Gazzana-Priaroggia, captain of the Leonardo DaVinci, the most successful Italian submarine of the war. Nicknamed “Ursus atlanticus”, Gazzana-Priaroggia would ultimately sink over 90,000 tons of Allied shipping, his biggest score being the massive British troopship the Empress of Canada. He was even set to lead a special forces submarine attack on New York harbor but this was postponed and ultimately never carried out due to the 1943 armistice. Earlier that year, Gazzana-Priaroggia was sadly killed in action but was posthumously awarded both the Gold Medal for Military Valor by the King of Italy and the Knights Iron Cross by the Germans for his achievements. By most accounts (there is some dispute as the U.S. ‘updated’ their stats several times after the war) Gazzana-Priaroggia was the most successful non-German submarine commander of all time. However, the Mediterranean Sea was, of course, always supposed to be the primary area of operations for all units of the Regia Marina and it was an enclosed sea of hazards with major British naval installations at Gibraltar, Malta, Alexandria and Cyprus. Italian submarine commanders pulled off some extremely daring victories against the British in these waters and aside from merchant shipping also took a heavy toll on Royal Navy warships. Notable successes include the cruisers HMS Bonaventure, HMS Calypso and HMS Coventry which were all sunk by Italian submarines in 1940-41. However, Italian industry could not produce new boats fast enough and the Allied breaking of Axis codes was also a huge blow to the submarine campaign. Nonetheless, Italian submarines in the Mediterranean would open up a new type of undersea warfare which had dramatic results, producing a new type of warrior who could be seen as the precursor of America’s feared SEAL teams. A special unit, composed of both fast-attack surface craft and undersea weapons known as “human torpedoes” was formed known as the Decima Flottiglia MAS (for Mezzi d’Assalto) or X-MAS (in English, ‘Tenth Assault Vehicle Flotilla’). One man very much associated with this new unit was Prince Junio Valerio Borghese, captain of the submarine Sciré. The “human torpedoes”, as they are often called, were actually nothing of the sort as no torpedoes were involved and, while highly dangerous, were not suicide weapons. The Italians referred to them as ‘maiale’ or ‘pigs’ because these were basically miniature submarines that Italian sailors would ride ‘piggy-back’ into an enemy harbor after being brought into the vicinity by a submarine making a submerged approach. They would cut through any anti-submarine nets, approach the underside of major ships in the harbor and attach mines to the hull. Once they were safely away the mines would detonate and the ships would be crippled or sunk. The sailors would have no hope of returning to their submarine and so could either try to make it to neutral territory or simply surrender after accomplishing their mission. In December of 1941 such an attack was launched on the British naval base at Alexandria, Egypt with the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Valiant being crippled, a Norwegian tanker sunk and a destroyer, HMS Jervis, being badly damaged. Men of the X-MAS, brought in by the submarine Sciré, launched a similar attack on Gibraltar in September, sinking three enemy ships. Later, operating out of an old tanker in the Spanish port of Algeciras more attacks on Gibraltar were made in December of 1942, sinking two ships and damaging two more. Two more British freighters and an American Liberty Ship were sunk in 1943 prior to the armistice. These attacks, which were almost impossible to guard against, caused considerable panic in the Allied naval forces operating in the Mediterranean. Ultimately, the armistice, division of Italy and finally the end of the war all caused confusion among the Italian submariners. Most remained loyal to the King and followed orders, turning their boats over to their former enemies, some were seized and forced into the German and later Japanese navies and some, like Prince Borghese, cast their lots with Mussolini and the Germans, to carry on to the bitter end. A most tragic case was that of Captain Carlo Fecia Di Cossato, (whom I'll be going into more depth about shortly, as this is all precursor background knowledge) the man who sank more ships than any other Italian submarine commander at the helm of the Tazzoli. Loyal to his King above all, when the armistice came, he followed orders and even sunk seven more ships, German this time, in his new command. However, the abrupt change troubled him, becoming worse as it became clear that the Allies still considered Italy a defeated enemy and would strip Italy of her empire, even territory gained well before the Fascist Era. He was torn apart by conflicting feelings of loyalty and dishonor until he committed suicide in Naples in 1944. When the war was finally over, with all of the confusion, bitterness and divisions which that caused, the feats of the Italian submarine campaign stand out as further proof of how wrong the popular misconception is of the Royal Italian military in World War II. Italian submarines sank about a million tons of Allied shipping from mid-1940 to 1943. This was almost as much, indeed somewhat more according to some statistics as the ultimately far larger submarine force the Imperial Japanese Navy sunk from the end of 1941 to 1945, the disparity in numbers all the more significant given that over-worked Italian industrial capacity meant that Italy could only commission 30 new boats during the war years whereas Japan commissioned 126 additional subs (not counting midget boats) during the conflict. Italy was also not very far behind the tonnage sunk by the British Royal Navy during the entire course of the war from 1939 to 1945. They played a significant part, did considerable damage to the Allied fleets and did so with skill, heroism and gallantry in the face of immense odds.
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