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Italy's navy, the Regia Marina was the fourth-largest naval force in the world at the outbreak of World War II, and yet is often overlooked and largely discounted as ineffective. In general the fleet was made up of obsolete vessels, lacked radar functionality, and had a reputation for indiscipline and poorly trained crews. The complex and bureaucratic command system imposed on the fleet further hampered its effectiveness. In this book, Mark Stille details why the Italian battleships were able to maintain a solid reputation, examining their impressive designs and the courage and determination of the fleet at Calabria, Sirte, Cape Spartiveto and Cape Matapan, all illustrated with stunning photographs from the Italian Navy's own archives.
Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Pages: 25. Chapters: Battleships of the Regia Marina, World War II battleships of Italy, World War I battleships of Italy, Italian battleship Giulio Cesare, Italian battleship Roma, Italia class battleship, Vittorio Veneto class battleship, Italian battleship Caio Duilio, Italian battleship Re Umberto, Italian battleship Andrea Doria, Italian battleship Italia, Ruggiero di Lauria class battleship, Andrea Doria class battleship, Italian battleship Vittorio Veneto, Italian battleship Sardegna, Italian battleship Sicilia, Italian battleship Conte di Cavour, Re Umberto class battleship, Italian battleship Littorio, Regina Margherita class battleship, List of Italian steam battleships, Conte di Cavour class battleship, Italian battleship Leonardo da Vinci, Italian battleship Dante Alighieri, Ammiraglio di Saint Bon class battleship, Italian battleship Ammiraglio di Saint Bon, Italian battleship Emanuele Filiberto, Italian battleship Regina Margherita, Regina Elena class battleship, Italian battleship Benedetto Brin, Italian battleship Vittorio Emanuele, Italian battleship Napoli, Italian battleship Regina Elena, List of battleships of Italy, List of Italian dreadnought battleships. Excerpt: Roma, named after two previous ships and the city of Rome, was the fourth Vittorio Veneto-class battleship of Italy's Regia Marina (English: ). The construction of both Roma and her sister ship Impero was planned due to rising tensions around the world and the navy's fear that two Vittorio Venetos and the older pre-First World War battleships were not enough to counter the British and French Mediterranean Fleets. As Roma was laid down almost four years after the first two ships of the class, some small improvements were made to the design, including additional freeboard added to the bow. Roma was commissioned into the Regia Marina on 14 June 1942, but a s...
First Published in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
The Italian Royal Navy (Regia Marina) operated one of largest cruiser forces of World War II. As a signatory to the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty, the Regia Marina immediately attempted to reinforce its treaty-limited battleship force by building seven large 10,000-ton heavy cruisers. Italian light cruisers also possessed an interesting design history and were involved in every major fleet engagement in the Mediterranean, as well as several smaller encounters with units of the British Royal Navy. Fully illustrated with specially commissioned artwork, this fascinating volume examines the history of the Regia Marina's cruisers during World War II where they came up against the might of the British Royal Navy.
The Italian navy fought a tenacious and gallant war.
During World War II's battle for control of the Mediterranean, both the British and Italian navies planned to bring their battle fleets into play. At the centre of both of these fleets was a core of battleships which both sides expected to play a decisive role in the conflict. On 9 July 1940, the two navies met in the central Mediterranean, as two Italian battleships faced off against three of their British counterparts. Christened the Battle of Calabria, the action allowed the ships to play to their strengths, engaging in a long-range gunnery duel, the very thing they had been designed for. Though both sides shot well, the only hit was scored by Warspite on the Italian battleship Giulio Cesare. The Italians were forced to withdraw, and the action ended up being indecisive, but it was the largest fleet action fought in the Mediterranean during the war. As well as this battle, there were other occasions during the war when both British and Italian battleships were present and influential, but during which they never engaged each other directly – the Battle of Spartivento on 27 November 1940, and the Battle of Cape Matapan on 28–29 March 1941. Packed with full-colour artwork, carefully selected archive photographs and expert analysis, this title explores in detail the role played by British and Italian battleships in these encounters, and their influence in the Mediterranean theatre of World War II.

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