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Italy's Naval flag

Italy's Duilio class Battleships

Photos

Andrea Doria in May 1919:
Andrea Doria in May 1919
Imperial War Museum, Q-14186
Andrea Doria in May 1919:
Andrea Doria in May 1919
Imperial War Museum, Q-14187
Andrea Doria in Malta in 1943:
Andrea Doria in Malta in 1943
Imperial War Museum, Q-14186

Design

In the Mediterranean battleship arms race the Italians needed to increase their number of battleships as France had several new building programs in progress.

The Duilio class were to be based upon the Cavour class design. The secondary armament was increased to 6" L/45 Schneider guns. The armor layout was almost identical.

Orders were placed in September 1911 for the Caio Duilio and Andrea Doria.

Ships

Caio Duilio

  • Manufacturer: Cant di Stabia, Castellammare
  • February 24, 1912, April 25, 1912: Laid down.
  • April 24, 1913: Launched.
  • May 1915, May 10, 1915: Completed.
  • 1918: Equipment added to operate a kite balloon.
  • November 1918 - April 1919: Based at Taranto.
  • November 10, 1918 - January 26, 1919: Based at Corfu.
  • April 25, 1919: Sailed to Izmir from Taranto and confronted Greek warships.
  • June 9, 1919: Sailed to Constantinople.
  • June 23 - July 13, 1919: Supported White Russians in the Black Sea. Joined Levant Squadron.
  • September 9 - 12, 1919: Sailed to Taranto.
  • September 12, 1919: Put into reserves.
  • 1920: Recommissioned.
  • June 30 - September 5, 1920: Sailed to Albania to support Italian troops.
  • July 27 - September 10, 1921: Member of Allied Squadron at Constantinople.
  • August 29 - September 30, 1923: Corfu crisis.
  • 1925: 19 3" L/40 M1917 and two 40 mm L/39 Vickers guns added.
  • April 8, 1925: No. 3 turret cordite explosion. Repairs at La Spezia.
  • 1926: Catapult added. Macchi M18 flying boat used.
  • April 1928: Returned to service.
  • March 18 - June 15, 1930: Refit at Taranto.
  • August 11, 1932: Placed into reserves.
  • August 11, 1933: Became flagship of Reserve Fleet.
  • 1937 - 1940, April 1, 1937 - July 15, 1940: Modernization at Genoa. All superstructure and No. 3 turret removed. Engines updated. Armor layout updated. 36' long section added to the bow. Main guns rebored to 12.59". Torpedo tubes removed. Secondary armament updated. Catapult removed.
  • August 31, 1940: Tried to intercept British forces but failed to find them.
  • September 7, 1940: Tried and failed to intercept Force H.
  • November 11, 1940: Hit by torpedo during British air raid on Taranto.
  • January 1941: Refloated and moved to Genoa.
  • January 26, 1941 - May 1941: Repairs.
  • May 16, 1941: Arrived in Taranto.
  • November 29, 1941: As flagship escorted convoy to North Africa.
  • December 13, 1941: Escorted convoy M41. Was not damaged in attack by British forces.
  • December 16, 1941: Flagship of convoy M42 escort.
  • January 3 - 6, 1942: Convoy M43 escort.
  • February 14, 1942: Sailed from Taranto and failed to intercept British convoys.
  • February 21, 1942: Covered convoy K7.
  • Spring 1942: Two 37 mm twin mounts added.
  • September 9, 1943: Sailed to Malta to surrender. Attacked by German aircraft but not damaged.
  • June 27, 1944: Sailed to Taranto. Became training ship.

Andrea Doria

  • Manufacturer: La Spezia Navy Yard, Spezia
  • March 24, 1912: Laid down.
  • March 30, 1913: Launched.
  • March 1916, June 13, 1916: Completed.
  • November 1918 - July 1919: Based at Taranto.
  • November 10, 1918 - February 19, 1919: Based at Corfu.
  • July 9 - November 9, 1919: Based at Constantinople.
  • October 24 - November 1, 1919: Sailed to Sevastopol.
  • November 1920 - January 1921: Participated in operations at Fiume to remove the Legionaries of D'Annunzio.
  • December 26, 1920: Fired on mutinied destroyerEspero. Fired on D'Annunzio's headquarters and injured him.
  • 1923: Corfu operations. Visit to Spain.
  • 1925: 19 3" L/40 M1917 and two 40 mm L/39 Vickers guns added.
  • January 16, 1925: At Lisbon for 400th anniversary of death of Vasco da Gama.
  • February 7, 1925: Arrived in La Spezia for refit.
  • June 1925: Recommissioned.
  • November 5, 1925: Sailed to Leros with destroyer squadron.
  • 1926: Catapult added. Macchi M18 flying boat used.
  • August 1932: Put into reserves in Taranto.
  • March 26 - 30, 1937: Sailed from La Spezia to Trieste.
  • April 8, 1937 - October 26, 1940, 1937 - 1940: Modernization at Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico in Trieste. All superstructure and No. 3 turret removed. Engines updated. Armor layout updated. 36' long section added to the bow. Main guns rebored to 12.59". Torpedo tubes removed. Secondary armament updated. Catapult removed.
  • October 26, 1940: Rejoined fleet.
  • November 12, 1940: Sailed to Naples.
  • November 15, 1940: Arrived at La Spezia to complete working up.
  • December 1940: Sailed with Vittorio Veneto to intercept British Force H but were unsuccessful.
  • February 1941: Attempted to intercept Force H after its raid on Genoa but failed.
  • December 17-19, 1941: Escort for convoy M42. First Battle of Sirte.
  • January 3 - 5, 1942: Escort for convoy M43. Bearing problems forced Andrea Doria back to Taranto.
  • Spring 1942: Two 37 mm twin mounts added.
  • September 9, 1943: Sailed to Malta to surrender.
  • June 8, 1944: Sailed to Augusta and Syracuse.
  • March 14, 1945: Arrived in Taranto.

Usage

World War I

Neither ship saw action in World War I. Caio Duilio did go out on four missions. Andrea Doria had only 70 operational hours.

Taranto

The Caio Duilio was in Taranto the night of the British carrier raid and was hit by an 18" torpedo which opened a large hole and flooded the forward magazines. She was beached with the help of other ships in the harbor.

Specifications

  Duilio class
Crew 1,233
Displacement 22,964 tons
Displacement - Loaded 25,200 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 577' 2"
175.86 m
Length - Water Line 554' 1"
168.9 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 544' 8"
169 m
Beam 91' 2"
27.78 m
Draft / Height 29' 5"
8.96 m
Performance  
Speed 21.5 knots
Range  
Range at 10 knots 4,800 nautical miles
Armament 12" twin turrets: 2
12" triple turrets: 3
6": 16
6" L/45 Schneider: 16
Anti-Aircraft 3": 19
3", 76 mm L/50 Armstrong M1909: 19
Torpedo Tubes - Below Waterline 17.7": 2
Armor  
Barbettes 28 cm
Belt - Aft 13 cm
Belt - Forward 8 cm
Belt - Lower  
Belt - Main 25 cm
Belt - Upper 13 cm
Control Tower 28 cm
Deck - Forecastle  
Deck - Main 2.4 cm
Deck - Middle 2.6 cm
Deck - Upper 4.4 cm
Turrets  
Turrets - Front 28 cm
Turrets - Side 24 cm
Turrets - Top  
Engines  
Boilers 20
Yarrow: 20
Shafts 4
Turbines Parsons geared
HP 32,000
Coal 1,488 tons
Oil 886 tons
  Duilio class after 1940 refit
Crew 1,198, 1,485
Displacement 23,622 tons
Displacement - Loaded 25,000 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 611' 6", 613' 2", 613' 3"
186.91 m
Length - Water Line 597'
Length - Between Perpendiculars 554' 4"
168.96 m
Beam 91' 11", 92'
28.03 m
Draft / Height 28' 3", 30', 33' 10"
8.58 m
Performance  
Speed 26 knots, 27 knots
Range  
Range at 13 knots 6,400 nautical miles
Armament 12.6" L/44: 10
12.59" twin turrets: 2
12.59" triple turrets: 2
5.3" OTO M1937 triple turrets: 4
13.5 cm L/45 triple turrets: 4
5.3" L/45: 12
Anti-Aircraft 90 mm L/50: 10
3.5": 10
3.5" L/48: 10
3.5", 90 mm L/50 Ansaldo M1938: 10
37 mm L/54 Breda twin mounts: 6
37 mm L/54 Breda: 3
37 mm L/54 twin mounts: 6
37 mm L/54: 3
37 mm twin mounts: 6
37 mm: 3
20 mm L/64 Breda twin mounts: 2
20 mm L/64 twin mounts: 8
20 mm twin mounts: 8
Machine Guns: 39
Armor  
Barbettes 9.5"
Belt - Amidships 8" - 9.75"
Belt - Ends 5"
Control Tower 11"
Turrets 11"
Engines  
Boilers 8
Yarrow: 8
Shafts 2
Turbines Belluzzo geared
HP 75,000
Oil 2,000 tons, 2,550 tons
  Caio Duilio
Crew  
Displacement 24,301 tons
Displacement - 1940 26,434 tons
Displacement - Loaded - 1940 29,391 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Water Line  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Beam  
Draft / Height  
Performance  
Speed  
Range  
Range at 10 knots  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft  
Torpedo Tubes - Below Waterline  
Armor  
Barbettes  
Belt - Bow and Stern  
Belt - Main  
Belt - Upper  
Control Tower  
Deck - Forecastle  
Deck - Main  
Deck - Upper  
Turrets  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Coal  
Oil  
  Andrea Doria
Crew  
Displacement 24,340 tons
Displacement - 1940 25,924 tons
Displacement - Loaded - 1940 28,882 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length  
Length - Water Line  
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Beam  
Draft / Height  
Performance  
Speed  
Range  
Range at 10 knots  
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft  
Torpedo Tubes - Below Waterline  
Armor  
Barbettes  
Belt - Bow and Stern  
Belt - Main  
Belt - Upper  
Control Tower  
Deck - Forecastle  
Deck - Main  
Deck - Upper  
Turrets  
Engines  
Boilers  
Shafts  
Turbines  
HP  
Coal  
Oil  

Sources:

  1. Battleships of World War Two An International Encyclopedia, M. J. Whitley, 1998
  2. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  3. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
  4. Italian Battleships of World War II, Mark Stille, 2011
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site