:: VITTORIO VENETO (1937) ::

Vittorio Veneto battleship (1937) High resolution picture

Vittorio Veneto battleship (1937) High resolution picture

The Vittorio Veneto was an Italian battleship launched in 1937, belonging to the Littorio class, the last group of battleships built by Italia and the only one built by this nation after the First World War. Ships of fine and elegant line, they were born as response to the French battleships of the Dunkerque class; when they were completed it was seen that the projected displacement of 35560 tonnes had increased to 46736 tonnes, largely exceeding the tonnage allowed by the Washington Naval Treaty.

These ships had a well designed protection scheme regarding the overwater part, but the "Pugliese" underwater protection was unfortunate, considering the experience in Taranto. The antiaircraft battery was above the standards for european battleships in that time; according to one of the participants in the attack at Taranto, it could trigger a "volcano of fire". In every aspect, excepting underwater protection, these ships were equivalent to any of their contemporary foreign counterparts. According to the Allied technicians that inspected these ships during their postwar internment period: "from a constructional point of view, the Italians were ahead of us in 1939" (Shipbuilding and Shipping Record, 25 November 1948).

The historial of the four ships of the Littorio class was unfortunate in every case. After the Armistice of September 1943 between Italy and the Allies, the Italian Fleet was intercepted while in route towards Malta by German bombers, which managed to sink the Roma with two guided bombs and to damage the Italia (ex Littorio). The Vittorio Veneto and the Italia remained in reserve in Suez and were not allowed to participate in operations with the British Fleet in the Pacific due to logistical reasons. In the end, the two ships, along with the incomplete, targetted and sunk Impero, were scrapped during 1947-50.

Class: Littorio (3 units - Littorio (later Italia), Roma, Vittorio Veneto)

Type: Battleship

Length: 237.8 meters

Beam: 32.9 meters

Draught: 9.6 meters

Displacement (standard): 41166 tonnes

Propulsion: 4 x shaft, 4 x steam turbine Belluzzo, 8 x boiler Yarrow, 134600 horsepower

Speed: 31.4 knots (58.2 kilometers/hour)

Range: 3980 nautical miles (7370 kilometers) at 16 knots

Fuel: 4064 tonnes of petrol

Complement: 1861

Armament: 9 x 381-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 12 x 152-millimeter 55-caliber cannon, 4 x 120-millimeter 40-caliber cannon (illuminating), 12 x 90-millimeter cannon, 20 x 37-millimeter cannon, 32 x 20-millimeter cannon, 3 x aircraft

Armor: 100-350 millimeters in belt, 60-130 millimeters in ends, 36-45 millimeters in main deck, 100-204 millimeters in armored deck, 350 millimeters in barbettes, 100-350 millimeters in main turrets, 35-150 millimeters in secondary turrets, 260 millimeters in conning tower

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