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Italy's Naval flag

Italy's Da Barbiano class / Condottieri class cruisers

Photos

Bartolomeo Colleoni:
Bartolomeo Colleoni
Imperial War Museum, A-233
Bartolomeo Colleoni after being hit by HMAS Sydney on July 19, 1940:
Bartolomeo Colleoni after being hit by HMAS Sydney on July 19, 1940
Imperial War Museum, A-219
Bartolomeo Colleoni after being hit by HMAS Sydney on July 19, 1940:
Bartolomeo Colleoni after being hit by HMAS Sydney on July 19, 1940
Imperial War Museum, A-220

Design

The Da Barbiano class were built to be able to handle the French contre-torpilleurs (Jaguar class, Lion class, and Aigle class) that were armed with 5.1" guns. To have superior speed the Da Barbiano class sacrificed armor.

These were built under the 1927 - 1928 Program.

Aircraft

There was one explosive charged catapult to launch the aircraft. The Cant 25 AR was initially carried. These were replaced by the Imam Ro 43.

Armament

  Velocity Rate of Fire Shell Weight Range Rounds Carried
6" / 152.4 mm L/53 Ansaldo 1926
152 mm L/53 Mod 1926
2,790'/sec
900 m/s
5 rpm 105 lb
47.5 kg
24,700 yards at 45° 1,800
3.9" / 100 mm L/47 OTO 1927     13.8 kg    

The 3.9" guns were located between the funnels.

Except for the Di Giussano all in the Da Barbiano class could lay mines.

Engines

The starboard shaft was powered by two forward boiler rooms and the port shaft was powered by the aft boiler rooms.

Ships

Alberto Di Giussano, Amberto Di Giussano

  • Manufacturer: Ansaldo at Genoa
  • March 29, 1928: Laid down.
  • 1930, April 27, 1940: Launched.
  • February 5, 1931: Completed.
  • ?: Tripod main mast and rangefinder removed. Hull strengthened after incurring sea damage.
  • 1930s: 2nd Cruiser Squadron.
  • 1936 -1937: Spanish Civil War.
  • 1938 - 1939: 37 mm guns removed. Four 20 mm L/65 Breda twin mounts added.
  • June 10, 1940: Member of 1st Squadron, 4th Cruiser Division.
  • July 1940: Battle of Punto Stilo.
  • August 1940: Mined off Pantelleria.
  • December 12, 1941: Sailed from Palermo with Da Barbiano to Libya.
  • December 13, 1941: Sunk. Hit by torpedo and sank shortly after Da Barbiano.

Alberico Da Barbiano

  • Manufacturer: Ansaldo at Genoa
  • April 16, 1928: Laid down.
  • 1930, August 23, 1930: Launched.
  • June 9, 1931: Completed.
  • ?: Tripod main mast and rangefinder removed. Hull strengthened after incurring sea damage.
  • 1936 - 1937: Spanish Civil War.
  • 1938 - 1939: 37 mm guns removed. Four 20 mm L/65 Breda twin mounts added.
  • 1940: Member of 3rd Cruiser Division.
  • June 10, 1940: Member of 4th Cruiser Division.
  • July 1940: Battle of Punto Stilo.
  • July 1940: Distant cover for convoy from Naples to Benghazi.
  • September 1, 1940 - March 1, 1941: Refit at Pola. Converted to training ship for the Naval School. Additional work was done at Trieste.
  • December 1941: Flagship of 4th Cruiser Division.
  • December 12, 1941: Sailed from Palermo with Di Giussano to carry supplies, gasoline and ammunition, to Libya.
  • December 13, 1941: Sunk. Intercepted off Cape Bon by the destroyers Sikh, Legion, Maori, and Isaac Sweers. Hit by three torpedoes and quickly sank.

Bartolomeo Colleoni

  • Manufacturer: Ansaldo at Genoa
  • June 21, 1928: Laid down.
  • 1930, December 21, 1930: Launched.
  • February 10, 1932: Completed.
  • ?: Tripod main mast and rangefinder removed. Hull strengthened after incurring sea damage.
  • November 1938: Far East to replace Montecuccoli.
  • December 23, 1938: Arrived in Shanghai.
  • 1938 - 1939: 37 mm guns removed. Four 20 mm L/65 Breda twin mounts added.
  • October 1 - 28, 1939: Sailed from Far East to Italy.
  • November 1939: Member of 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cruiser Division with Bande Nere.
  • June 10, 1940: Laid mines in Sicilian Channel.
  • July 1940: Escort troop convoys from Naples to Tripoli.
  • July 17, 1940: With Bande Nere sailed to Leros to interdict British naval operations around Greece. Intercepted by HMAS Sydney and five destroyers off Cape Spada, Crete. Immobilized by hit to engine room. Sank by the torpedoes from the destroyers.
  • July 19, 1940: Sunk.

Giovanni Delle Bande Nere

  • Manufacturer: Castellammare, Castellamare di Stabia, CCS
  • October 31, 1928: Laid down.
  • 1930, April 27, 1930: Launched.
  • April 1931: Completed.
  • ?: Tripod main mast and rangefinder removed. Hull strengthened after incurring sea damage.
  • 1936 - 1937: Spanish Civil War.
  • 1938 - 1939: 37 mm guns removed. Four 20 mm L/65 Breda twin mounts added.
  • September 1939: Member of 2nd Cruiser Division with Cadorna.
  • June 10, 1940: Laid mines in Sicilian Channel.
  • July 1940: Distant cover for troop convoys to North Africa.
  • July 17, 1940: With Colleoni engaged HMAS Sydney. Hit Sydney with shellfire.
  • December 4, 1940: Member of 4th Division.
  • December 1940 - 1941: Escort large passenger liners carrying troops to North Africa.
  • May 1941: Attempted to intercept Malta bound convoys.
  • June 1941: With Di Giussano laid mines northeast of Tripoli.
  • July 1941: Mine laying in Sicilian Channel.
  • October 20, 1941 - January 3, 1942: Flagship of Special Naval Force.
  • January 1942: Member of 8th Cruiser Division.
  • February 1942: Operation K7, convoy from Corfu and Messina to Tripoli.
  • March 22, 1942: Intercept British convoy MW10. Damaged HMS Cleopatra.
  • March 23, 1942: Damaged during storm.
  • April 1, 1942: Sunk. Hit by two torpedoes from submarine HMS Urge off Stromboli. Broke in two.

Specifications

  Da Barbiano class, Giussano class
Crew 507, 520
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 5,110 tons
Displacement - Loaded 6,844 tons
Length 555' 5", 555' 6"
169.3 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 525'
160 m
Beam 50' 10"
15.5 m
Draft / Height 16' 9", 17' 9"
5.1 m, 5.3 m
Performance  
Speed 36.5 knots
Range  
Range at 18 knots 3,800 nautical miles
Armament 6" L/53 Ansaldo 1926, 152 mm L/53 Mod 1926 twin turrets: 4
Anti-Aircraft 3.9" L/47 OTO 1927, 100 mm L/47 twin mounts: 3
37 mm L/54 twin mounts: 4
13.2 mm twin mounts: 4
Torpedo Tubes 21", 533 mm: 2 mounts 2 tubes each
Aircraft 2
Armor  
Belt - Machinery 2.5 cm
Belt - Magazines 2 cm
Belt - Main 2.4 cm, 2.4 cm + 1.8 cm
Bulkheads 2 cm
Control Tower 2.5 cm - 4 cm, 4 cm
Deck - Main 2 cm
Turrets 2.3 cm
Engines  
Boilers Yarrow: 6
Yarrow-Ansaldo: 6
Shafts 2
Turbines Belluzzo geared
HP 95,000
Oil 1,150 tons, 1,230 tons
  Bande Nere
Crew 500
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 5,069 tons, 5,130 tons
Length 554' 6"
Length - Water Line 547'
Length - Between Perpendiculars  
Beam 50' 9.6"
Draft / Height 14'
Performance  
Speed 37 knots
Range at 25 knots 2,500 nautical miles
Armament 6" L/53: 8
Anti-Aircraft 3.9": 6
37 mm: 8
13 mm: 8
Torpedo Tubes 21": 4
Depth Charge Throwers 2
Aircraft 2
Engines  
Shafts 2
Turbines Belluzzo geared
HP 95,000
  Barbiano
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 5,155 tons
  Colleoni
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 5,170 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
  4. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site