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Found 6 results

  1. LL_JuneBug

    Andrea Doria A doable ship

    So while working on USS Nevada, (thanks goes out to Maxromash for base ship base models) I was referencing the other 10 gun Battle ships that are known. The 5 old Battleships of Italy. The Conte di Cavour class, and the Andrea Doria class. These were all WW1 Battleships built between 1910 nd 1916. They were all somewhat weak by WW2 standards but Italy had put quite a bit of time and money into modernizing them with modern propulsion and enlarging their main guns from 12 inch (305mm) to 12.6 inch (320mm), along with adding more aa guns and modern secondary turrets. They were sufficient to act as Battle Cruisers and should have been able to hold their own against the French Dunkerque's and the Pocket Battleships/armored cruisers of the Germans. They could outgun any British cruisers so could be used to tie up larger Battleships in the Mediterranean theater. Anyway I posted some pics of altering Giulio Caser into Andria Doria on the topic of the converted Nevada post. I got to thinking that this was probably not good as it skewed the topic over there and would make it to big and confusing. Plus some one might be interested in Nevada and not Italian ships, and or visa versa, so I started this as a new topic. A nice color line drawing showing the layout of Andrea Doria in the WW2 era. The ONI chart for her shows basic layout with out all of the small equipment onboard. This helps as some times the cluttered pics are good for information but hides basic deck detail. Roma model on bottom as seen from the top. Giulio Caser in the center, and reference image of Andrea Doria in scale with the models. A top angle view show again the difference in size between Roma and Giulio Cesar. Roma (45,000 tons) Giulio Cesar (23,000 tons) Here I am clearing the midship deck area of secondary guns and equipment to make room for the 10-90mm 90/50 Ansaldo 1938 DP guns, and the 12-135mm secondary triple turrets.
  2. Fair warning/Disclaimer: This post is rather long, but it is so for a reason. This is a very important topic and nothing about the discussion about the problems around the proposed changes can be left out without properly portraying every failure and flaw in its current situation Although Giulio Cesare was arguably too strong at tier V, (Okt Rev, Texas, and the ARP Kongo clones were about the same level as her performance wise let's be honest, especially the ARP Clones since if we're to judge things based on other ships stats of the same tier the ARP ships global average stats are practically the same.) but that isn't exactly the fault of the GC directly, think about it: what's the main thing that makes the GC tend to perform better than her contemporaries? Her accuracy. GC by far has the best accuracy of all the other battleships at her tier, and for most of the tech tree BB's at her tier their accuracy is downright atrociously bad (looking at you Texas/New York, König, and Bretange). So of course If you're more likely to actually land more shells on target, even though they're smaller, you're going to be doing more damage as a result. Again this isn't at fault of the GC for most of the other TV BB's just being mediocre at best, if anything they should be getting some tweaks to bring them more in line with the rest. But that's just a fraction of what's wrong at Tier B currently, which I'm planning to make a post on later today covering that in-depth, this is on the TVI problems so I'll get back to that. There are currently a lucritave amount of issues with her being at tier VI. So let's start off with a simple one: None of her stats have been buffed, aside from a pointless armor buff (since every cruiser and destroyer you're going to be facing can pen your bow with IFHE anyway it doesn't matter. Plus the fact that even some of your new Tier VI counterparts like the Warspite, QE, and Bayern can just lol-pen your bow anyway it again means your armor doesn't matter, which is beyond infuriating for a ship that is supposed to rely on its armor.), and a slight HP increase nothing has been done to make her even be able to be mediocre at her tier at best. Tier VIII and VI carriers will be able to strike you with impunity, Notser has even shown off how over the course of being constantly hounded by a carrier he never shot own a single attack aircraft. That's a pretty damn big problem. Then there's the fact that although her armor's been "improved" it hasn't actually made it better, let alone be enough to withstand shots at tier VI like she used to at Tier V, since this is a whole new ballpark of ships to face. Since beforehand when you fought Tier VII BB's you actually had a chance of fighting back with your armor and guns if you played your cards right. But when facing Tier VIII BB's you have zero chance of even having so little as a hope of being capable of fighting back, since your gun caliber is so low for its tier (beating out the previous Champ Dunkerque with its 330mm guns with GC's 320mm guns), imcombination of its short range for its tier now (that even most cruisers at tier VI can outrage her now, let alone higher tier ones,) with the addition of the fact that your armor doesn't stand up like it used to against your highest tier possible opponents, as literally every single tier VIII BB will be able to just rip you apart no matter how you angle, as they all overmatch your bow, allowing them to do massive damage to you while you won't be able to do even moderate damage in return unless they're presenting practically a perfect broadside. Which isn't something that can be corrected to no longer make it the case without completely overhauling every other Tier VI BB, and at that point it'd make more sense to just leave her at tier V. Then there's the issue that the reload is now appalling given its new tier placement, given how ships like Dunkerque with its 2x4 330mm guns has a full 4 second faster reload, that's with 4 guns packed into two turrets and being 10mm larger yet still reloading faster than the GC. Then there's the Fuso: she has 6x2 356mm guns that reload in 28 seconds, while the GC has two less guns, again of a lower caliber, that still bafflingly manage to reload a full 2 seconds slower. Then there's the problem of her now having Tier VI MM, which not only is a far more aggressive MM tier than Tier V as you're far more likely to be bottom tier at tier VI than Tier V. Then there's the issue with that MM not being what those who bought the Giulio Cesare bought into: they bought a Tier V battleship because they wanted to play a battleship at tier V with that specific MM, if they wanted to play a BB at tier VI with tier VI MM they would have bought something else like the Warspite or Dunkerque. Which that same new MM placement also completely ruins the enjoyability of the ship due to you now running into so many tier VIII ships that are entirely designed around killing BB's: the Asashio (which I detest that monstrosity), the Akizuiki/HSF harakazae (with the Akizuiki gun turret hull) due to their ludicrous fire rates and being able to IFHE the entirety of the GC at tier VI, every single tier VI and VIII carrier (they can maul you but good luck shooting down a single plane), and again every Tier VIII BB can just lol-pen your bow and Godspeed trying to do anything to them in return unless they're broadside and even then you'll barely do any substantial damage to them. So unless you can make it not face Tier VIII's it will never be a comfortable fit at that tier like it was at Tier VI. Since it can't stand a chance of holding its ground like it could bottom tier at tier V like it would have to now at tier VI. Not to mention there's no role or job the Cesare can currently fill that another battleship doesn't do it massively better than the GC, which leads to there being no point to ever own or play her, as there's just a better ship for every role that does that job but better than the GC in its current state. Warspite does the accuracy and devastating salvo job better thanks to its 2.1 Sigma and 15" guns, that hit more often and hit harder Arizona also fills that same Accurate BB sniper role better as it is Dunkerque fills the same fast flanker role, but with a much faster reload, it is actually faster, and has all its guns in the front P E F already claims the Secondary/Brawler spot  The West V 1941 has better damage potential by far with the same reload speed.  There's just nothing it can do that any other Tier VI already does but better And this is without bringing up the issues of invalidating prior business agreements by changing a product in this manner after it was sold under the assertion that it would never be changed, nerfed, or made worse farther down the line. (Which wouldn't that technically be an invalidation of their previous EULA/TOS promises during the time it was being sold? As wasn't it advertised that it would never be tampered with later down the line?). That's not even mentioning the legal repercussions an action like this could entail, and am legitimately and rather unfortunately finding myself considering if they don't handle this properly. And finally to the argument of "Premium ships ahould be able to have their stats nerfed or made worse after their sold" I have this to say: alright, I'll take that moving forward from here on out only, but you still can't change those that have been already sold, as they were sold with the promise and contract that they wouldn't be changed or modified later down the line. As that's where I draw the line. Which is another reason every fiber of my being is against this change. In conclusion: what exactly am I wanting to happen? WG to cancel the move to teir VI and instead roll-back the buffs given to the GC over the period of time that she's been on sale, that way she's able to be toned down a notch, without it no longer being what people purchased to begin with. The buffs to her were unnecessary and were done after she was for sale, and would be enough of a change to make her no longer OP to the degree she's at; making the ones for the change happy as she's no longer as strong, and those that own her happy as they keep her at tier V, and not have her trashed by having to fight as a tier VI.
  3. 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!
  4. Some first-hand accounts of WW2 by actual Italian Soldiers, I apologize but as their native Italian speakers the Audio is in Italian but there are English Subtitles already incorporated into the video. "Italian and American WWII veterans meet again on the mountains where they fought against each other. Part of the "On the Gothic Line" documentary.": "Corporal Colombo's company did not see frontline action, yet, in spite all the attempts to defuse tension, the situation in the rear was far from peaceful. And when the war was over and the San Marco Marines had laid down their arms, hundreds of them were seized by the partisans and shot dead in cold blood." "On January 17, 1943 at 17:30h, Ugo Balzari - ski messenger of the Tridentina Alpini Division - and the rest of the Italian 8th Army in Russia receives the order to leave the Don River Line and pull back. The Red Army has broken through the Axis lines down South, near Stalingrad. Temperatures as low as -40° and 11 Russian encirclement lines are now awaiting them. They will have to fight through all of them if they want to survive.": "After hundreds of miles on foot in the grip of the Russian winter, Ugo Balzari and what remains of the Italian 8th Army finally reach the last encirclement line at Nikolayevka. The 11th and final battle awaits them. Only 9,000 men are battle worthy, the remaining 30,000 are either wounded, frostbitten or shell-shocked. The long line of stragglers includes Germans, Hungarians, and Romanians. Men of the 40th Russian Army are waiting for them well entrenched in the village behind the railway line. Gen. Reverberi climbs up the self-propelled gun and famously shouts: “ Tridentina , forward!”" : "At the beginning of December 1941 Enzo Giordano's 6th assault company, 2nd Bn, GGFF Regiment, was deployed at the Bir el Gobi outpost. At that time Rommel was still trying to capture Tobrouk. Little he knew that General Norrie's Army Corps was heading towards him from the South in order to encircle his forces. Had Norrie succeeded, it would have been the end of the Africa Korps. Between the British VIII Army Corps and Rommel there were only these 2 battalions of the Italian GGFF Regiment. Taking them out must have looked like a walk in the park. What followed instead was the 2nd Battle of Bir el Gobi, one of the most surprising feat of arms of WWII in Africa.": "Historians often refer to Rommel's retreat in North Africa as a tactical masterpiece. Rarely do they mention that it has only been possible thanks to the fierce fight put up by Italian troops covering the Axis retreat. From El Alamein to Tunisia the men led by General Messe always held their positions against superior forces for an impossibly long time. Among them was 18 year old Enzo Giordano of the 2nd BN of the Italian GGFF Regiment. At Enfidaville the Regiment made its last stand as they kept their positions and even recaptured those lost by the Germans. The regiment kept fighting even when all German forces had surrendered. The GGFF were the last Axis unit to lay down their arms in North Africa.": "Marò Scelto (Corporal) Giovanni Tempra of the Italian Decima Mas Division talks about his close-range combat experience on the Senio River banks against units of the 8th British Army in early 1945. " "Towards the end of WW2, France wanted to payback Italy for its aggression in 1940, and started a series of actions on the border. When the French took Mt Chenaillet, a strategic outpost, from the Germans, Alpino Salvatore Daviddi, Tirano BN of the Monterosa division, volunteered to go take it back.": "In November 1944, Alpino Daviddi volunteered to capture Mt. Chenaillet, a strategic Alpine outpost in French territory. On the 21st the height was taken and he became part of the garrison in charge of defending it. He did not have to wait long for the French counterattack.": "Early in 1944, the Allies land at Anzio. Simultaneously they are also pushing from the South at Cassino where the Germans ask the Italian Decima Mas Divison for help. Egidio Cateni, 1st company of the Barbarigo Battalion and his anti-tank platoon is sent to replace a German SS unit that was in trouble. Since the Allies have more tanks than drivers, the order is to shoot to kill. Cateni in a few days claims the destruction of several Allied tanks. But it wasn't a pretty sight.": "In May 1944, Marò Antonio Crosio could not wait to join the bulk of the Barbarigo Battalion who were desperately trying to stop the Allied forces at Anzio and Nettuno. But by the time he reached his foxhole, the Allies were making progress on the Gustav Line behind them. One month later the Axis forces had to pull back from the Nettuno front to avoid encirclement. Rome was about fall. The Battalion had lost almost half of his men and what happened next, brought Crosio's service to an abrupt end.": "In April 1945 "Ardito" Domenico Lombini and his Fireteam of the "1 Battaglione d'Assalto Forlì", deployed North of the High Senio River, has to fight hard to defend his position in order to cover the retreat of Axis units pressed by the advancing Allies." "In the summer of 1944, 63 BN's artillery guns of the Legione Tagliamento were sent to the Southern Italian Front Line to face the advancing tanks of the British 8th Army. But when their 38/42 cannons got replaced with 81mm mortars, artilleryman Ernesto Trentini realized a different and uglier task was awaiting him.": "Following the September 1943 Italian Army breakdown, private Girelli was called to serve in the newly formed Italian Social Republic. As he did not care much about Fascist units, he decided to join the non-political corps of the Bersaglieri. His unit was deployed at the Italian/French border with the task of preventing the Allies from entering the country from there. In spite of the stalemate situation there, from time to time there was some shell fire exchange aimed at disrupting logistics. Little Girelli knew that after the war he would meet a fellow countryman who had been at the receiving end of his shelling..." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Pb8QS8hJJ4 "On April 27 1945, Lt Capecci of the Monterosa Division is trying to take his men back home when he realizes that Shermans of the 5th US army are in hot pursuit. He orders his men to stop, turn their anti-tank cannon around and open fire.": "On Dec 26th 1944, Massimo Zamorani - Bersagliere of the Italian "Mameli" Storm BN - was sent with his platoon to free a German unit that had been surrounded.": "On Jan 17th 1945, Gian Ugo Taggiasco - Sgt of the Italian Alpine Division "Monterosa" - was sent to an advanced outpost in Tuscany's Serchio Valley. In the morning he found out that his position had been surrounded by a 100 man strong US Buffalo Div. patrol.": "Artillery LT Cesare Fiaschi of the Italian Monterosa Alpine Division, takes us through his memories of Operation Winter Storm. one of the Axis' last counter-attacks in WW2.": "On a cold December night of 1944 Helmsman Aurelio Cosatto and his crew set out on a mission. Together with 2 other MAS's (Assault Surface Vehicles) and a few smaller assault vehicles, they had to intercept an Allied supply convoy headed for Nice in the South of France. But when a silhouette finally appeared in the darkness, they quickly realized they were about to take on a tougher nut to crack.": "Lt Aladar Kummer takes us through his last commando mission beyond the Allied lines in WWII Italy." https://forum.worldofwarships.com/topic/162786-carlo-fecia-di-cossato/ Macchi C.202 Folgore "The Macchi C.202 Folgore (Italian "thunderbolt") was an Italian fighter aircraft developed and manufactured by Macchi Aeronautica. It was operated mainly by the Regia Aeronautica (RA; Royal (Italian) Air Force) in and around the Second World War. According to aviation author David Mondey, the Folgore has been considered to be one of the best wartime fighters to serve in large numbers with the Regia Aeronautica. The C.202 was designed by a team headed by the company's chief of design, Italian aeronautics engineer Mario Castoldi. As per company tradition, Macchi aircraft designed by Mario Castoldi received the "C" letter in their model designation, hence the Folgore is commonly referred to as the C.202 or MC.202. The C.202 was a development of the earlier C.200 Saetta, powered by an Italian-built version of the German Daimler-Benz DB 601Aa engine and featuring a redesigned fuselage for greater streamlining. During July 1941, the Folgore went into service with the Regia Aeronautica. In combat, it very quickly proved itself to be an effective and deadly dogfighter against its contemporaries. During its service life, the C.202 was deployed on all fronts in which Italy was involved. During late 1941, it commenced offensive operations over Malta and in North Africa, where Italian and German forces were engaged in heavy combat against British and later American operations. The C.202 continued to be used in North Africa as late as mid-1943, by which point the type was withdrawn to support defensive efforts in Sicily and the Italian mainland following their invasion by Allied forces. It also saw limited use on the Eastern Front. Following the 1943 Armistice with Italy, the type was mostly used as a trainer aircraft. The type was also operated by Croatia. The Australian ace Clive Caldwell, who fought a wide variety of German, Italian and Japanese fighters during 1941–45, later stated that the C.202 was "one of the best and most undervalued of fighters". The C.202 also had its defects: like its predecessor, the C.200, it could enter a dangerous spin. The radios were unreliable, routinely forcing pilots to communicate by waggling their wings and Western historians regard the C.202 as insufficiently armed, being furnished with just a pair of machine guns that had a tendency for jamming. Still in mid-Summer 1942, in North Africa, the Folgore achieved a ratio kill/loss better than that of the Messerschmitt Bf 109s." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macchi_C.202 Macchi C.205 Veltro "The Macchi C.205 (also known as MC.205, "MC" standing for "Macchi Castoldi") Veltro (Italian: Greyhound) was an Italian World War II fighter aircraft built by the Aeronautica Macchi. Along with the Reggiane Re.2005 and Fiat G.55, the Macchi C.205 was one of the three "Serie 5" Italian fighters built around the powerful Daimler-Benz DB 605 engine. The C.205 was a development of the earlier C.202 Folgore. With a top speed of some 640 km/h (400 mph) and equipped with a pair of 20 mm cannon as well as 12.7 mm Breda machine guns, the Macchi C.205 Veltro was highly respected by Allied and Axis pilots alike. Widely regarded as one of the best Italian aircraft of World War II, in action it proved to be extremely effective, destroying a large number of Allied bombers and capable of successfully clashing on equal terms with fighters such as the North American P-51D Mustang, a capability which encouraged the Luftwaffe to use a number of these aircraft to equip one Gruppe. However, while the C.205 was able to match the best Allied opponents in speed and maneuverability, it was introduced late in the conflict. Moreover, due to the poor Italian industrial capacity of the time, only a small production run was delivered before the end of the war. Like the Spitfire, the Veltro was tricky in its construction and thus slow to build. Italy's highest scoring ace, Adriano Visconti, achieved 11 of his 26 credited victories in the few weeks he was able to fly the Veltro, with the top scoring Sergente Maggiore pilota Luigi Gorrini shooting down 14 enemy aircraft plus six damaged with the C.205." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macchi_C.205 Fiat G.55 Centauro "The Fiat G.55 Centauro (Italian: "Centaur") was a single-engine single-seat World War II fighter aircraft used by the Regia Aeronautica and the A.N.R. (Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana, the Airforce of the Northern half of Italy that continued to fight for the Axis after the Armistice, refusing to accept such a humiliating surrender they fought until the war's end.) in 1943–1945. It was designed and built in Turin by Fiat. The Fiat G.55 was arguably the best type produced in Italy during World War II, (a subjective claim also frequently made for the Macchi C.205 Veltro as well as for the Reggiane Re.2005 Sagittario) but it did not enter production until 1943, when, after comparative tests against the Messerschmitt Bf 109G and the Focke-Wulf 190, the Luftwaffe itself regarded the Fiat G.55 as "the best Axis fighter". During its short operational service, mostly under the Repubblica Sociale Italiana insignia, after the 8 September 1943 armistice, this powerful, robust and fast aircraft proved itself to be an excellent interceptor at high altitude. In 1944, over Northern Italy, the Centauro clashed with British Supermarine Spitfire, P-51 Mustang, P-47 Thunderbolt and P-38 Lightning, proving to be no easy adversary. Italian fighter pilots liked their Centauro but by the time the war ended, fewer than 300 had been built.[3] By comparison, the Germans produced 35,000 Bf 109s." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_G.55 Why the M38 Carcano Fucile Corto is one of the best thought-out rifles for WWII To quote the Video Description: "I would like to propose that the M38 Carcano short rifle was, despite the poor reputation of the Carcano series of rifles, one of the best thought out bolt action weapons of World War 2. Why, you ask? Well, let's consider... Only a few nations actually recognized the short ranges at which combat actually took place. Germany was one, as seen with it's 8x33mm cartridge development, and Italy was another. The sights on the M38 series of carbines were made as simple fixed notches, with no adjustments to be knocked out of place unintentionally. With a 200 meter zero (or 150 meters, with the Finnish replacement front sight), the weapon needed no adjustment to make hits out to 300 meters, which is as far as anyone could realistically engage a target. The M38 is a light and handy weapon compared to its contemporaries - 8.1 pounds and 40.2 inches (3.7kg and 1.02m) - and it fired a significantly lighter cartridge as well. The 7.35x51mm round used a 128gr (8.3g) bullet at 2400-2500 fps (735-755 m/s) depending on barrel length. This produced noticeably less recoil than rounds like the .30-06 or 8mm Mauser, which made it easier for troops to shoot effectively. The Carcano also had a 6-round capacity and fed with Mannlicher type clips, which are potentially faster to load than Mauser-type stripper clips. Today we will discuss the M38 and these features (along with its predecessor, the M91 rifle) as they appear on paper. At the same time, over on InRangeTV, today we have the first stage of a 2-Gun Action Challenge Match in which I am shooting this M38 Carcano against Karl, who is using a Mauser K98k - so we will see how the theory works out in the field!" The Beretta 38A "The Beretta 38A is not a gun that comes to mind for many people today when discussing World War Two submachine guns, but at the time it was one of the most desirable guns of its type. So - does it live up to that reputation?" As for tanks the Italians are continuously and unjustly treated as a laughing stock by modern historians, yet they seemingly lack understanding of why such designs were used; As Italy at the outbreak of the war lacked the Manufacturing capabilities to produce a "Jack-Of-All-Trades" tank like the American M4 Sherman. As such Italy had a dilemma on it's hands; It needed armored vehicles that could fulfill a multitude of different Roles, but lacked an industry to develop a tank that could do all of them. As such Italy opt'ed to set about developing a multitude of smaller vehicles that would each fulfill a very specific role, and only to be designed with that role in mind. Which in turn led to a drastically different Tank Warfare Doctrine, which leads to confusion for those trying to look at their actions through the lens of the Doctrines of the US, UK, Germany etc. In that for Italy Tankettes like the CV.33 were never designed nor intended to engage in Tank v Tank combat, instead, they were designed to be used as an Infantry support vehicle, a Reconnaissance Vehicle, and could be easily modified to function as a tow vehicle to move larger Italian 90mm Anti-Air/Anti-Tank batteries. Thusly Light tanks were designed with the belief via their doctrine that Light Tanks are solely for Reconassaince and light infantry support, and under-no controllable circumstances were they supposed to engage enemy Armor. Medium tanks were designed for the task of giving infantry support in more heavily defended areas such as trenches or fortifications and were designed with a caliber of gun (as in the M15/42) that could realiably take out any tank it would encounter in the areas it would be engaging (the Cruiser series of tanks, and the Crusaders), and were to be accompanied by an Infantry Anti-Tank division (for example the Folgore) who would be tasked with taking out tanks like M4 Shermans and Matildas, which time and time again they did so bravely, and effectively. To give you a visual idea of how the Italian Infantry Anti-Tank style divisions would go about doing so here's a clip from an old WW2 movie that shows the Folgore (a division worthy of praise and more recognition today), and should give a relative understanding of what it was like, even though some of the vehicles in the clip weren't actually used in WW2 at the time, due to it being an older film its somewhat understandable. British General Hughes of the 44th Infantry Division: "I wish to say that in all my life I have never encountered soldiers like those of the Folgore." According to American historian John W.Gordon, whose book Behind Rommel's Lines was recently translated into Italian, the British special forces were so impressed by the methods and tactics of the Italian desert corps that they actually copied them. Italy's crack paratrooper regiment, the "Folgore", sent some 5,000 of its men to El Alamein. Only 304 returned. ''The paratroopers threw themselves against oncoming tanks with Molotov cocktails and live mines,'' said Francesco Marini Dettina, a survivor of the battle who was awarded a silver medal for valor. Interviewed for a documentary, Dettina said: ''They urged us to surrender but the only answer they got came from the artillery with our last remaining shells. The British were surprised by the Italians' behavior.'' Churchill said in a speech to the House of Commons a month after El Alamein: ''We must honor the men that were the Lions of the Folgore''. As for Tank Destroyers, the Philosophy was rather simple: They were designed to deal with anything the rest of their armor couldn't deal with. And at that, they excelled! Not to mention Germany were quite fond of the Italian Tank Destroyers, using them extensively in their own ranks in the Deserts of Africa. As for a while, until they got their hands on the Italian Semovente da 75/18, besides Flak 8,8 and Italian 90mm gun emplacements, the Axis didn't have anything that could effectively take out tanks like the Matildas. The Semovente da 75/18 ( Sturmgeschütz M42 mit 75/18 850 (i) in German use ) "The Semovente da 75/18 was an Italian self-propelled gun of the Second World War. It was built by mounting the 75 mm Obice da 75/18 modello 34 mountain gun on the chassis of a M13/40, M14/41 or M15/42 tank. The first 60 were built using the M13/40 chassis and a subsequent 162 were built on the M14/41 chassis from 1941 to 1943, when the M15/43 chassis were introduced. The Semovente da 75/18 was intended to be an interim vehicle until the heavier P40 tank could be available." "Although these machines were not widely known, the vehicle performed well in its role. Though it was technically similar to the StuG III, it had a totally different role, serving as divisional artillery instead of a pure assault gun. The organic structure consisted of two artillery groups for every armored division, with two batteries each (four 75/18 each and a command vehicle). The total was of 18 75 mm L/18 (included two in reserve) and 9 command vehicles, which were characterized by additional radio equipment and a Breda 13.2 mm heavy machine gun mounted instead of the main gun. The number originally ordered, 60 total, was enough for the three armored divisions." "The Semovente da 75/18s were deployed in the North African campaign and during the Allied invasion of Sicily, alongside M tank units to provide additional firepower. Despite the fact that they were not designed to fight other tanks, their 75 mm howitzer proved ideal (thanks to its low muzzle velocity) for firing HEAT shells; its 5.2 kg HEAT shell ("Effetto Pronto" in Italian) could pierce 80 mm of armour at 500 meters, and could thus defeat tanks such as the US built M3 Grant and M4 Sherman used by the British Army. As such, these machines were responsible for many of the successes by the Italian armoured troops during 1942–43, when the medium tanks (all armed with a 47 mm gun) were no longer effective. On another account, the Semovente da 75/18 on M14 chassis allowed the Ariete and the Littorio division a somewhat wider tactical repertoire until British deployment of U.S. medium tanks negated that small advantage." "The most successful action fought by Semovente da 75/18 took place on 10 June 1942, south of Knightsbridge, during the Battle of Gazala. Thirty M3 Grant and ten M3 Stuart of 1st and 6th Royal Tank Regiment attacked a position held by the Ariete division but were repelled by Semovente da 75/18s as well as some M13/40s and gun trucks, losing three Grants and two Stuarts from 6th Royal Tank Regiment and twelve Grants and three Stuarts from 1st Royal Tank Regiment. The Italians lost two M13/40s." "Despite its limitations (namely its cramped interior and the insufficiently powerful engine in the M40 and M41 variants), the Semovente da 75/18 proved successful both in the direct support role and in anti-tank fighting; its main advantages, other than their sheer firepower, was in its thicker armor (relative to the medium tanks) and lower silhouette that made it more difficult to hit. Due to these features, the Semovente da 75/18 has been regarded as one of the few Italian armored fighting vehicles to be seriously feared by Allied tank crews, and despite the fact that it was originally conceived for a totally different role, the 75/18 often ended up replacing the standard M13/40." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semovente_da_75/18 Semovente da 90/53 "The Semovente da 90/53 was primarily developed in response to demands by Italian forces on the Eastern Front for a vehicle-mounted anti-tank weapon that could take on Soviet T-34 and KV tanks. Italian armored forces on the Eastern Front were equipped only with the L6/40 tank and Semovente 47/32 self-propelled gun; neither of these had the firepower to cope with the Soviet medium and heavy tanks. However, no Semoventi da 90/53 was ever sent to the Eastern Front." "The major drawback of the Semovente da 90/53, as with many self-propelled gun types of World War II, was the open top and rear of the gun compartment, which left the gun crew exposed to shrapnel and small arms fire. In addition, the Semovente da 90/53 had little or no armor in most areas. Because these vehicles were designed to operate far enough away from enemy vehicles to not be subject to incoming fire, this was initially not considered a problem. The small ammunition capacity of the vehicle—six rounds—was also a problem, necessitating the creation of special ammunition carriers out of Fiat L6/40 tanks, one accompanying each Semovente da 90/53 in the field. The L6 ammunition carrier carried 26 rounds, plus an additional 40 rounds in a towed trailer. It fired Effetto Pronto, or HEAT rounds, which could pierce 200mm armor plating at a range of 2,200 meters." "In the North African Campaign, the Semovente da 90/53 proved to be an effective weapon and its long-range was well suited to the flat and open desert terrain. 24 Semovente 90/53s saw service against the Allies in the 10° Raggruppamento Semoventi, which was stationed in Sicily during the Allied invasion in 1943. Following the Armistice of Cassibile in September 1943, the few surviving Semoventi da 90/53 were seized by the German Army, but were of little value in the mountainous terrain of Northern Italy where they operated. As a result, most finished their careers as long-range artillery." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semovente_da_90/53 Semovente da 75/34 "The Semovente da 75/34 was an Italian self-propelled gun developed and used during World War II. It was a 75 mm L/34 gun mounted on a M15/42 tank chassis. It saw action during the defense of Rome in 1943 and later served with the Germans in Northern Italy and the Balkans. 141 were produced during the war (60 before the Armistice of Cassibile in September 1943, 81 later under German control)." "While derived from the earlier Semovente, it differed somewhat from it; instead of two conjoined plates each 21 millimeters (0.83 in) thick, the frontal armor was made of a single 42 millimeters (1.7 in) thick plate and the casemate was modified to fit the longer gun. It had the same 192 HP petrol engine of the M15/42 which allowed for a reasonable top speed of 38.4 kilometers per hour (23.9 mph)." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semovente_da_75/34 Semovente da 105/25 or StuG M43 mit 105/25 853 (i) ^^German Semovente da 105/28 and Semovente Da 75/34 with name Heidi 3 from 71 Inf.Div. "The development of a self-propelled gun with high firepower was initiated during 1942 in parallel by Odera-Terni-Orlando (OTO) and Ansaldo. OTO proposed the installation of a 105/25 gun on the hull of a P26/40 tank. Ansaldo, for its part, proposed to use the hull of the Semovente M42 already in production and was, therefore, able to present, on 28 February 1943, its prototype to the Centro Studi Della Motorizzazione while the OTO model was still in development. The production of the Ansaldo proposal was therefore approved by the Royal Italian Army. In the final version, with an improved hull and the 105/25 gun, it was adopted on April 2, 1943, as the self-propelled M43 105/25, Bassotto ("Dachshund"). Twelve units were built and used in 1943 by the 135ª Armored Division "Ariete II", which clashed with German troops near Rome in the days following the armistice of Cassibile that went into effect on 8 and 9 September 1943. They acquitted themselves well in combat. Following the Italian surrender, the Germans, who regarded the Semovente 105/25 "Bassotto" as a very good vehicle, captured them and built an additional 91 units, renamed StuG M43 mit 105/25 853 (i) and used them against the Anglo-American forces." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semovente_da_105/25 Semovente da 75/46 or Sturmgeschütz M 43 mit 75/46 (852) (i) "After the armistice of Cassibile signed in September 1943, Northern and Central Italy fell under German control. In 1944 the progress of the war led them to order a new Italian armoured vehicle for a tank-fighting role, based on the Semovente da 105/25 self-propelled gun. The result was the Semovente da 75/46, which was renamed Sturmgeschütz M 43 mit 75/46 (852) (i) by the Germans, following their naming convention. The 75/46 shared the same "M 43" hull of the 105/25. However, the 105 mm L25 howitzer was replaced by a longer 75 mm L46 cannon – originally conceived as a FlaK cannon but also used as an anti-tank gun – which ensured a higher muzzle velocity (750 m/s instead of 510) and a far greater effective range, being able to fire a 6.5 kg (14 lb 5 oz) shell up to 13,000 m (43,000 ft) away. This gun could be loaded with HE or AP rounds; when loaded with the latter, it could pierce up to 90 mm (3.5 in) of armour from 500 m. The other main difference with its precursor was in the overall increased armour: sloped plates were applied to the casemate and others were added on the sides, above the tracks. Due to these features and despite its origins, the 75/46 is considered a tank destroyer in every respect." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semovente_da_75/46 Semovente da 149/40 This vehicle was literally just the Italian "Cannone da 149/40 modello 35" field artillery gun placed onto a modified Carro Armato M15/42 tank chassis. Didn't really do much of anything but I found the design interesting enough to include. Now onto a big screw-up on wargaming's end when it comes to Roma in-game: (Commentor Nathan Stahlwirth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9YS3GcycNQ) "When it comes to the Roma and Littorio class, There is one major misconception that really should be clarified, and that is the cause of the problems with main battery dispersion for this class. After the war, remaining ammunition for the Ansaldo 1934, the 381mm gun used on the Littorio and Veneto (Roma's guns were made by OTO/Terni) was inspected for compliance with design specifications on mass, dimensions, and assembly. It was discovered that the overwhelming majority of the ammunition did not pass this inspection in one manner or another, with most of the problems being found in the condition of the critical driving bands on the shells. This reality was glaringly demonstrated in the contrast between the shooting manifested by the Littorio/Italia, vs. that of the Vittorio Veneto. Littorio/Italia demonstrated that its grouping was accurate enough, and tight enough to cause splinter damage to RN DDs during the first "battle" of Sirte Gulf (17 December, 1941 - I don't consider it much of a battle, since the action lasted under 7 minutes), starting from a range of 35,000 yards (Source; Robert O. Dulin & William H. Garzke: Battleships Axis and Neutral Battleships of WWII, page 397). What is even more telling about the main gun accuracy, and the exceptional fire control of the Vittorio Veneto class, was that range was determined, main battery was trained, and accurate salvos delivered repeatedly against fast-moving destroyers, in under 7 minutes, with only a single turret firing, with shell flight time being roughly 65 seconds. The splintering was not a single, lucky shell, but rather, was repeated in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th salvos fired, prompting the enemy to lay down a smokescreen for protection from further damage - from a ship that was over 35,000 yards (about 20 miles) away. Keep in mind that during Bismarck's last battle, Rodney, closing from 22,000 yards, required over 10 minutes for her gunlayer to get his first straddle on Bismarck ( a huge target compared to the DDs Littorio fired at, moving at only 8 knots, not 30+). Littorio doubtlessly had properly fabricated ammunition, but Vittorio Veneto suffered from wildly misplaced groups during her Guado encounter (28 March 1941), and at 24,000 yards only scored one near miss (splinters) against RN cruisers, during 25 minutes of firing. It should be fairly obvious that, had the gun been that fundamentally defective, the ships would never have been allowed to go into service with such a glaring defect in place, especially since the gun was first designed and tested in 1934 (hence the name; "Ansaldo Model 1934"), while the first two ships were fully operational by 1940. A far more likely scenario, supported by empirical evidence and assay, is one in which Italian industry, for whatever reason, was not fabricating projectiles of consistent, and proper quality, for the M1934, and other naval rifles. Had this problem been unique to the 381mm gun, there might have been a basis for the position that the guns were to blame for the dispersion; however, given that the problem was erratic, unpredictable, and happening on other Italian ships at the same time, it's possible that the increased demands and pressures of a wartime economy may have been cause for a breakdown of the serialized production of ordnance in Italy, and lead to some units leaving the factory in less than perfect working condition." Not to mention how incorrect the layout of her Ingame armor scheme is when compared to what it was historically, and actually should be Ingame. As this has continually Irritated me as the historical placement of her armor would (Imho) make her a much more sturdy and resilient battleship. And not so prone to getting half her HP chunked off in a moments notice, and that's if your lucky and dont get just flat-out deleted.
  5. TheDgamesD

    Dasha Captains

    No Italian/Regia Marina Dasha? I'm not mad wargaming, just disappointed and sad. Especially since there's bound to be a line for them eventually, same (possibly) for the Commonwealth. Sure its only premium ships currently but that doesn't mean you couldn't've released one anyway, The Italian Navy is not only my favorite from WW2 from a historical standpoint, but also based on designs/looks. As such it deeply saddens me I wont have a Italian Dasha captain to use on them
  6. TheDgamesD

    Battle of Espero Convoy

    The Battle of the Espero Convoy (Battaglia del convoglio Espero) on 28 June 1940, was the first surface engagement between Italian and Allied warships of the Second World War. Three modern 36 kn (41 mph; 67 km/h) Italian destroyers made a run from Taranto for Tobruk in Libya to transport Blackshirt (Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale) anti-tank units, in case of a British tank attack from Egypt. By coincidence, the Mediterranean Fleet was at sea to conduct a destroyer anti-submarine sweep around Crete and provide cover for three Allied convoys to Egypt, one from Turkey and two from Malta. British aircraft from Malta spotted the Italian destroyers and the 7th Cruiser Squadron turned to intercept them and a running fight took place south-west of Crete, in which the destroyers were impeded by their cargoes and an adverse sea. The Italian destroyer Espero (Capitano di Vascello Enrico Baroni) was sunk while covering the escape of Zeffiro and Ostro to Benghazi; 53 of the 225 crew and passengers were rescued, three of whom died of their wounds. The British and Australian cruisers expended a huge amount of ammunition and the Malta convoys had to be postponed until they had replenished from the 800 6-inch shells in reserve. Convoy AS 1 from Turkey arrived safely by 3 July. On 10 June 1940, Italy declared war on Britain and France. Comando Supremo (Italian Supreme Command of the armed forces) expected a British advance into Cyrenaica (eastern Libya) led by armored forces. An anti-tank unit comprising 162 gunners, ten anti-tank guns and 120 short tons (110 t) of ammunition was ordered to Tobruk by a fast destroyer convoy. On 27 June, five destroyers were to sail from Alexandria on an anti-submarine sweep near the Ionian island of Kythira and them sail on to Malta to form the close escort for convoys MF 1 and MS 2 to Alexandria. Intelligence about Italian submarines led to the sweep being diverted through the Kasos Strait east of Crete, then north of the island, thence past Kythira to Malta. Short Sunderland flying boats of 201 Group RAF, based in Malta, were to co-operate with the naval operations in the Ionian Sea. On the Italian declaration of war, the passenger liner El Nil, en route for Egypt from Marseilles, Knight of Malta and interned Italian ship Rodi were in Malta and in Operation MA 3 these ships formed the fast convoy MF 1 [13 kn (15 mph; 24 km/h)]. Five slower ships, Zeeland, Kirkland, Masirah, Novasli and Tweed carrying naval stores for Alexandria, formed the slow convoy MS 1 [9 kn (10 mph; 17 km/h)] were to depart from Malta for Alexandria. MF 1 carried civilians being evacuated from Malta and all of the Mediterranean Fleet was to sortie to protect them in Operation MA 5. Convoy AS1, with seven ships, was to sail from the Dardanelles to Egypt, with four ships joining from Salonika, Piraeus and Smyrna (İzmir), escorted by the light cruisers HMS Capetown and Caledon of the 3rd Cruiser Squadron and the destroyers HMS Garland, Nubian, Mohawk and Vampire, due to depart from Cape Helles early on 28 June. The timing of the departures was arranged so that on 30 June the three convoys would be at Position K (35°N, 22°E), south of Cape Matapan, about halfway between Malta and Alexandria. Five cruisers of the 7th Cruiser Squadron (also known as Force C, Vice-Admiral John Tovey) with the 1st Cruiser Division, the Leander class cruisers (eight 6-inch guns) HMS Orion (flagship), Neptune, HMAS Sydney and the 2nd Cruiser Division, the Town (Gloucester) class cruisers (twelve 6-inch guns) Liverpool and Gloucester, were to sail west of Crete near Position K. The 1st Battle Squadron (Rear-Admiral Henry Pridham-Wippell) with HMS Royal Sovereign Ramillies, the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle and the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, were to be south-west of Crete also near Position K, ready to intervene according to circumstances. At 6:00 p.m. on 26 June, Caledon, Garland and Vampire sailed from Alexandria to rendezvous with Capetown, Nubian and Mohawk the next day while heading for the Dardanelles. A dawn on 27 June, five ships of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla departed Alexandria and at 11:00 a.m., the 7th Cruiser Squadron left for Position K. The Italians chose the Turbine-class destroyers Espero (flagship, Capitano di Vascello Enrico Baroni), Zeffiro and Ostro to transport the anti-tank units, for their high speed [36 kn (41 mph; 67 km/h)] and loading capacity. Two smaller First World War era escort vessels, Pilo and Giuseppe Missori, which carried 52 troops and additional supplies, departed independently for Tobruk some hours later. As the sun set, the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla of Voyager, Dainty, Decoy, Defender and Ilex were 200 nmi (230 mi; 370 km) north of Alexandria. At 6:28 p.m. while 100 nmi (115 mi; 185 km) south-east of Crete, the flotilla spotted a submarine, Console Generale Liuzzi, which quickly dived. Four of the destroyers made depth-charge attacks and after the fifth an oil slick was seen and trailed by Dainty. The submarine had been badly damaged by the depth charging and was eventually forced to the surface. After a hunt of ninety minutes the submarine was seen again at 2,500 yd (2,300 m) and two destroyers fired on the submarines until a white light was taken to indicate a surrender. Dainty moved closer and began to take on survivors, along with other destroyers which lowered boats to pick up the Italians who had taken to the water. Three hours fifteen minutes lapsed before the last two men from the submarine were taken off and the boat sunk with depth charges. The Italian destroyers were spotted at 12:10 p.m. by a 228 Squadron Sunderland (L.5806) from Malta, about 50 nmi (58 mi; 93 km) west of Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea, west of Greece and about 150 nmi (173 mi; 278 km) from Position K. No course was given by the Sunderland crew and the Italian ships were thought to be heading for Kythira; at 4:10 p.m. the 7th Cruiser squadron turned north to intercept the Italian ships. At 4:40 p.m. a sighting by Sunderland (L.5803) had them still heading south, about 35 nmi (40 mi; 65 km) from Orion. Tovey ordered a turn to the south-west and an increase in speed to 25 kn (29 mph; 46 km/h). The cruisers sailed on a course of 180°, the 1st Cruiser Division, Orion, Neptune and Sydney to overhaul the Italians to starboard and the 2nd Cruiser Division, about 5 nmi (6 mi; 9 km) apart from Liverpool and Manchester to overtake them to port. The Italian destroyers were steaming south-east at high speed when they were spotted by Liverpool at 6:30 p.m., about 100 nmi (120 mi; 190 km) north of Tobruk; the cruiser commenced firing three minutes later at 18,000 yd (8.9 nmi; 10 mi; 16 km). The Italian ships had the notional speed to outrun the cruisers but their age, heavy loads and the sea state meant that the British ships slowly caught up. The Italians had been taken by surprise and could not launch torpedoes because of their deck cargoes but they were difficult to hit as they made smoke, darkness gathered and the ships sailed towards the afterglow of the sun. At 7:05 p.m. Neptune reported torpedoes and the British ships changed course to comb the spread. The 2nd Cruiser Division concentrated on Espero and by 7:20 p.m. had closed the range to 14,000 yd (7 nmi; 8 mi; 13 km) and the 1st Division turned 50° to starboard to bring all their turrets to bear ("opening 'A' arcs") but Espero was not hit until the fifteenth salvo. Baroni realized that his faster ships were doomed and decided to sacrifice Espero to enable the other two to escape, laid smoke and maneuvered evasively as Zeffiro and Ostro raced south-west. At 8:00 p.m. Espero was hit and brought to a stop. As night was falling and short of ammunition, Tovey abandoned the chase ten minutes later and changed course for Malta. Tovey ordered Sydney to finish off Espero and when at 6,000 yd (3 nmi; 3 mi; 5 km) received two shells from Espero and replied with four salvos, scoring hits. Espero began to burn from the bow to midships and at 8:35 p.m., Sydney closed to 2,000 yd (1,829 m) astern of the destroyer. Men jumped from the burning ship and there was an explosion near the bridge. At 8:40 p.m., with a list of almost 90°, Espero sank at 35° 18' N; 20° 8' E. Sydney lowered both of its boats to rescue survivors and used Jacob's ladders and Bosun's chairs to bring them aboard. The glare from Espero before it sank and the presence of Italian submarines led to the rescue effort being ended at 10:19 p.m. when all 47 survivors in sight had been collected. before Sydney sailed away, one of the cutters with oars, sails, foodstuffs, water and rifles was left behind and with a signal projector illuminated so that remaining survivors could board it. Three of the survivors died before the ship reached Alexandria and six others were found alive on a raft by the Italian submarine Topazio fourteen days later. At dawn, the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla was 160 nmi (184 mi; 296 km) west of Crete when the submarine Uebi Scebeli was caught on the surface. The submarine dived and was depth charged by three of the destroyers which forced Uebi Scebeli to the surface, where survivors were rescued. Dainty sank the submarine with gunfire at 8:20 am.; the destroyers made for Alexandria, arriving at about 7:00 p.m. on 30 June. Information was gleaned from the prisoners, of a submarine patrol line between Crete and the African coast; two destroyers were dispatched from Alexandria on an anti-submarine sortie near Derna, detected a submerged submarine on 1 July and claimed its sinking, although this was disproved when the ships returned on 2 July. Zeffiro and Ostro had reached Benghazi on 29 June and arrived at Tobruk shortly after; two-thirds of the convoy had survived. The smaller Pilo and Missori also reached Libya after being diverted to the port of Tripoli. The engagement had lasted for about 130 minutes and the 7th Cruiser Squadron fired about 5,000 shells. An Italian 4.7 in (120 mm) shell hit Liverpool 3 ft (0.91 m) above the waterline but caused little damage. Some of the prisoners on Sydney disclosed the purpose of the operation, that Espero had a company of 225 men and passengers embarked and that Baroni had been killed in the explosion near the bridge. The ammunition consumption of the British cruisers exacerbated a shortage of ammunition at Alexandria, where only 800 6-inch shells were in stock. The Battle of the Espero Convoy demonstrated that a daylight naval action at long range was likely to be indecisive and extravagant of ammunition. The 2nd Cruiser Division was so short of ammunition that it returned to Alexandria and the Malta convoys were postponed. The 1st Cruiser Division reached Alexandria on 1 July, having also been ineffectually bombed. Convoy AS 1 from the Aegean was attacked from 29 June to 1 July by Italian aircraft based in the Dodecanese Islands but reached Alexandria and Port Said undamaged on 2 and 3 July. In 1998, Green and Massignani wrote that had Italian aircraft spotted the Allied cruisers before they came within range, all three destroyers could have escaped. Baroni was posthumously awarded the Medaglia D´oro Al Valor Militare. The lack of ammunition and the danger of Italian submarines, led to the two Malta convoy sailings being postponed for two weeks, followed by Operation MF 5, culminating in the Battle of Punta Stilo (9 July 1940). On 5 July, nine Fairey Swordfish torpedo-bombers of 813 Naval Air Squadron, Fleet Air Arm flew from Sidi Barrani near the Egypt–Libya frontier, to attack the ships in Tobruk harbour. Twelve fighters of 33 Squadron covered the Swordfish and 211 Squadron attacked the airfield, damaged eight Fiat CR.42 fighters and flew reconnaissance sorties. The Swordfish dropped seven torpedoes in the harbour, sank Zeffiro and damaged the destroyer Euro; the merchantmen Manzoni and Serenitas were also sunk and the liner Liguria was damaged. On the evening after the attack on Tobruk, 830 Naval Air Squadron from Malta bombed the airfield at Catania in Sicily. Capetown and Caledon of the 3rd Cruiser Squadron with four destroyers, bombarded the port Bardia from 9,000 yd (5.1 mi; 8.2 km) at dawn on 6 July and hit two ships, before making ready to assist the crews of any aircraft damaged on the Tobruk raid; Italian aircraft attacked the ships to no effect. The guns of Zeffiro were salvaged from the harbour and sent to Bardia to augment the coastal defences.
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