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Italy's Naval flag

Italy's Bolzano class Cruisers

Photos

Bolzano after being damaged during British Operation Pedestal on August 13, 1942:
Bolzano after being damaged during British Operation Pedestal on August 13, 1942
Imperial War Museum, HU-52344

Design

The Bolzano class was to be similar to the Trento class but with the armor on the turrets reduced. The Bolzano was ordered under the 1929 - 1930 Program.

Aircraft

There was one catapult located between the funnels. The aircraft were stored on deck or on the catapult as there was no hanger.

Engines

There were two boilers in each of the three forward boilers rooms.

Ships

Bolzano

  • Manufacturer: Ansaldo, Ansaldo at Genoa
  • October 25, 1929: Ordered.
  • June 1930, June 11, 1930: Laid down.
  • August 31, 1932: Launched.
  • August 1933, August 19, 1933: Completed.
  • 1937: Two 100 mm twin mounts removed. Two 37 mm L/54 twin mounts added.
  • 1939: Bridge updated.
  • 1939: Member of 3rd Cruiser Division, 2nd Squadron.
  • June 11 - 12, 1940: Escorting mine laying operations.
  • July 9, 1940: Hit by three shells during Battle of Punto Stilo / Calbria.
  • November 1940: Battled HMS Renown.
  • March 28, 1941: Battle of Cape Matapan.
  • August 1941: Attempted to intercept British Operation Mincemeat.
  • August 25, 1941: Hit by torpedo from HMS Triumph near the Straits of Messina. With aid of tugs made it to Messina.
  • August - October 1941: Repairs in Messina.
  • 1942: 13.2 mm machine guns replaced by four 20 mm L/65 guns.
  • August 1942: Attempted to intercept British Operation Pedestal.
  • 1942, August 13, 1942: Hit by torpedo from HMS Unbroken off Aeolian Islands. Beached near Panarea. Took month before being towed to Naples.
  • September 1943: Captured by Germans.
  • June 21, 1944: Sunk by British/Italian chariot attack from Italian motor torpedo boat MS74.

Specifications

  Bolzano class
Crew 723, 725
Displacement 10,000 tons, 10,890 tons
Displacement - Loaded 13,665 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 646', 646' 6"
196.9 m
Length - Water Line 637' 6"
Length - Between Perpendiculars 615' 6", 627'
187.6 m
Beam 67' 6", 67' 7", 68'
20.6 m
Draft / Height 17' 4", 18' 9", 21' 6"
6.6 m, 6.8 m
Performance  
Speed 35 knots, 36 knots
Range at 16 knots 4,432 nautical miles
Armament 8" / 203 mm L/53 Ansaldo M1929 twin turrets, 203 mm L/53 Model 1929 twin turrets, 8" L/54: 4, 8
Anti-Aircraft 3.9" / 100 mm twin mounts, 100 mm L/47 twin mounts, 3.9" L/47: 8, 12
40 mm Vickers, 40 mm L/39: 4
37 mm: 10
13 mm, 13.2 mm Breda machine gun twin mounts, 13.2 mm machine gun twin mounts: 4, 8
Torpedo Tubes 21", 533 mm: 2 mounts 4 tubes each, 8
Aircraft 2, 3
Armor  
Barbettes 6 cm - 7 cm
Belt - Main 2.75"
7 cm
Bulkheads 5 cm - 6 cm
Control Tower 2"
4 cm - 10 cm, 10 cm
Deck - Main 2"
2 cm - 5 cm, 5 cm
Turrets 3"
10 cm
Turrets - Front 10 cm
Turrets - Sides 8 cm
Turrets - Top 8 cm
Engines  
Boilers 10
Ansaldo: 10
Yarrow-Ansaldo: 10
Shafts 4
Turbines Parsons geared, Parsons SR geared
HP 150,000
Oil 2,224 tons, 3,000 tons

Sources:

  1. Cruisers of World War Two An International Encyclopedia, M. J. Whitley, 1995
  2. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  3. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site