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Italian light cruisers - Condottieri class

Italy Lightcruisers Condottieri

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Vulcan92 #1 Posted 14 March 2014 - 01:34 PM

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This post is rather text-heavy, because I decided to include the individual stories of each the ships which make up this class and all of its versions. I decided to do so, because, being CLs, there are still few enough to include the individual stories, but then it does turn out to be rather legthy. I recommend (if you're not into reading large chunks of text) to read only the stories of each ship, after you take a quick look at the characteristics, as they are rather interesting.

 

The Giussano and Cadorna class cruisers are often seen as the same class, due to the very limited differences between them - the Cadorna being only a very slight improvement over the Giussano. They will be referred to as 5000t class in this article, in reference to their minimum displacement.

The 5000t light cruisers were designed as an Italian counterpart of the french Jaguar class DDs. This was because, at the time, Italy had the prospect of a possible war with France for control in the Mediterranean sea, with a possible alliance with the British. Having this mindset, this class does not compare well with other light cruisers of any nationality. This is due to the design requirement that dictated a top speed higher than those of the Jaguar french DDs. To reach such a top speed, armour was greatly sacrificed. This is why these CLs are best put in comparison with other DDs, against whom these cruisers were designed to fight. In these terms the 5000t does fairly well, having light cruiser armament (152mm) and a slighlty improved armour over DDs. Also, in order to keep up with DD flotillas, their top speed was beyond that of most CLs, with one of these 5000t reaching 42kts for ~30min in testing phase. The body of the 5000t was very long and thin (in order to reach such high speeds), which caused some problems on their stability. The first 4 of the 5000t (Giussano class) had a catapult on the bow of the ship, with a plane hangar (not sure if there is better term in eng - sorry) behind turrets A and B. Such an arrangement casud the tower to be overly high, increasing the stability problems and also the visibility of the ship (spotted from further away). In the 2nd batch (Cadorna class) the catapult was moved in front of the aft turrets and the hangar was removed. Thanks to this, the tower could be lowered increasing the ship's stability. The reduced armour of these ships was ultimately going to be their downfall, especially in TDS department: 5 out of the 6 CLs of this class were sunk by torpedoes!

 

  • "Alberto da Giussano" and "Alberigo Barbiano", entered service in 1931, participated in the Battle of Calabria (battle of Punta Stilo in italian records) and subsequently were used to escort convoys bound for North Africa. In the night of 13/12/1940, together with another torpedo boat, while carrying gasoline and ammunition to Libya, were attacked and sunk by enemy DDs with torpedoes.

  • "Giovanni dalle Bande Nere", entered service in 1931, participated in the Battle of Cape Spada, where it was damaged, and later also to the second battle of Sirte, but only because there weren't any more modern CLs available at the time. It was sunk by a British submarine off the coast of Lampedusa on 1/4/1942

  • "Bartolomeo Colleoni", entered service in 1932, was deployed from December 1933 until September 1939 in the Middle East. On 19/07/1940 while, along with the "Bande Nere", it was attacking british DDs off Cape Spada, was in turn attacked by the british cruiser "Sydney" and damaged in the engine compartment. Immobilized, it was sunk by British torpedoes.

  • "Luigi Cadorna", entered service in 1933, participated in the Battle of Calabria, subsequently it was used to escort convoys bound for North Africa, and missions of mine laying. It reached Malta after the declaration of the armistice but was never used in missions against the Germans. It remained in the italian navy after WWII, although it wasn't used much, and was disbanded on 1/05/51

  • "Armando Diaz", entered service in 1933, participated in the Battle of Calabria, and subsequently was used to escort convoys bound for North Africa. On one of these missions it was hit by two torpedoes from a British submarine and sank off Tripoli on 25/02/1941

 

Characteristics:

Length: 169,3 m.

Width: 15,5 m.

Draught: 5,3 m.

Displacement: 6954 t

Power: 95.000 hp

Speed: 38 nodi

Armament: 8 x 152/52 mm (in 4 binary towers)

6 x 100/47 mm ( in 3 twin towers)

16 machine guns (8 x 37/54 mm, 8 x 13,2 mm)

4 x 553 mm torpedo-tubes (in 2 mountings, left/right of the second funnel)

1 catapult for 2 scout planes

Vertical armour: 24 mm (belt)

Horizontal armour: 20 mm

Towers: 23 mm; 40 mm (command tower)

Crew: 19+488

 

Spoiler

 

This evolved into the 3rd version:

The Montecuccoli class light cruisers can be considered the first true italian CL class after WWI. The previous class (5000t) can be seen as large DDs rather than CLs. The Montecuccoli cruisers had better armour than the previous 5000t (not hard to do) but still kept a very streamlined body and powerful engines, which gave than high speeds. Armour was made of a steel-nickel alloy and had two layers: an external 60mm and an internal 25mm, 1,6m apart. One of the greatest differences between the RM (Regia Marina – italian navy) and RN (Royal Navy) cruisers is that the Italian ones had roughly 70% of their ships armoured, with only secondary modules left unprotected. RN cruisers on the other hand, only had 30% of the body covered by armour – meaning some vital parts were left un-armoured (magazines for turrets). The main problem for this class of CL was undoubtedly the insufficient and ineffective AA protection. The main armament also had their problems, because – to reduce weight – the housings of the fore and aft turrets were unified (2 housings for 4 turrets), casing interaction between the turrets in the same housing, affecting negatively the guns' accuracy. These cruisers proved to be excellent seafarers with an superb speed. The armour proved to be sufficient when “Munzio Attendolo” received a torpedo that completely tore the bow off the ship; however “Attendolo” reached a port and was subsequently repaired.

 

  • Raimondo Montecuccoli”, entered service in 1935, it was placed into the VII naval division with which he participated in a few battles, convoy escort and mine laying. At the armistice, it joined the Naval Battle group in Genoa and reached Malta on 10/09/1943 where it surrendered to the British. It then carried out numerous missions with the British and remained the Italian navy after the war. It was subsequently modified as a training ship, disembarking part of the armament and disbanded on the 1st of June, 1964.

 

  • Muzio Attendolo”, entered service in 1935 , was into the VII division together with “Monetecuccoli”. While heading towards Messina, after a planned attack on a British convoy to Malta was canceled, it was struck, along with the CA “Bolzano”, by a torpedo launched by the British submarine “Safari”. The torpedo completely tore off the bow; despite everything the ship went back into port, where it was first given a makeshift bow and then subsequently repaired completely. It was sunk anchored to a dock in the port of Naples by bombing on 4th December, 1942 .

 

 

Characteristics:

Length: 182,8m

Width: 16,6m

Draught: 6m

Displacement: 8 695 t

Power: 106 000 hp

Speed: 37,5 kts

Armament: 8 x 152/52 mm (in 4 binary towers)

6 x 100/47 mm ( in 3 twin towers)

16 machine guns (8 x 37/54 mm, 8 x 13,2 mm)

4 x 553 mm torpedo-tubes (in 2 mountings, left/right of the second funnel)

1 catapult for 2 scout planes

Vertical armour: 60mm + 25-30mm

Horizontal armour: 30mm

Towers: 70mm; 10mm (command tower)

Crew: 27+550

 

Spoiler

 

The 4th version:

 

The “Duca d'Aosta” class was an improved version of the “Montecuccoli” class. Externally, these 2 classes looked very much alike, as the differences were hardly noticeable visually. The “Duca d'Aosta” class had a larger hull – 4m longer and 1m wider – that improved the stability and better armour – went up from 60+25 to 105+35. The armament was only so slightly improved: 2 more twin light machine-guns (10 from previous 8) and 2 extra torpedo tubes (6 from 4). The plane catapult was always between the two funnels. Just like the previous version, the “Duca d'Aosta” class cruisers were excellent seafarers and were extensively used in convoy escort role, the main role of the RM in the whole war.

 

  • Duca D'Aosta” entered service in 1936, it was planned to circumnavigate the globe with its twin “Eugenio di Savoia” from November 1938 to July 1939. The plan was interrupted in South America due to the war. It participated in numerous operations and surrendered to the allies in Malta along with the Naval Battle group. In 1944 it was stationed with the “Duca di Abruzzi” and “Garibaldi” in the UK, to help patrol the Atlantic in search of German raiders. After the end of the war it was given to the USSR as spoils of war.

  • Eugenio di Savoia” like its twin, entered service in 1936, and should have circumnavigated the globe. It participated in numerous missions and, flying the admiral colours, took part in the battle of mid-June (operation Harpoon for the british) where it was damaged slightly. After the armistice, it joined the Battle Fleet to Malta on 10/09/1943. Given to Greece as spoils of war.

 

Characteristics:

Length: 186,8m

Width: 17,6m

Draught: 6,5m

Displacement: 9 650 t

Power: 110 000 hp

Speed: 36,5 kts

Armament: 8 x 152/52 mm (in 4 binary towers)

6 x 100/47 mm ( in 3 twin towers)

20 machine guns (8 x 37/54 mm, 12 x 13,2 mm)

6 x 553 mm torpedo-tubes (in 2 mountings, left/right of the second funnel)

1 catapult for 2 scout planes

Vertical armour: 70mm + 30-35mm

Horizontal armour: 35mm

Towers: 70mm; 10mm (command tower)

Crew: 27+580

 

Spoiler

 

The 5th and final version:

 

The last step of the “Condottieri” light cruisers were the 2 “Duca degli Abruzzi” class. Arguably the best CL of the RM, these ships had a good balance of protection, armament, and seaworthiness. A lot of care was placed in the design of the armour: vertical protection was made of 3 layers – the first being 30mm, a second layer made of 100mm of carburised steel made by Krupp, resting on wood cushions, and finally 12mm as spalling protection. Horizontal protection was variable, between 20mm and 90mm. Barbettes were 100mm thick. The superstructure was also modified, making it possible to place a second catapult, and therefore another 2 scout planes. Armament was increased from 8 to 10 main calibre guns, by placing a third gun in the lower turrets (fore and aft) and a new semi-automatic loading system was used. The rest of the armament was kept, and this was possibly the only problem with the ship: the 100mm AA guns were ineffective against the fast, modern dive bombers. Plans were made to replace them with the new 90mm AA guns, which then proved to be very effective during the war (similarly to the german 88, it was also used in AT role); but these plans were put to halt as WWII started. During the war, the light 13.2 mm were replaced with new 20mm, which proved to be effective, easy to use and easy to maintain. Strangely enough, the best class of CL the RM had were the least used in the war.

 

  • "Duca Degli Abruzzi" entered service in 1937, took part in the battles of Calabria and Matapan then, after the German conquest of Greece and Crete, was stationed in the eastern Mediterranean for the protection of merchant shipping in the area. It returned to Italy at the end of 1942 and was subject to a lot of maintenance, during which a type Fu.Mo. 25 radar was embarked, after the armistice it joined the Battle Group and reached Malta on 10/09/1943, where it surrendered to the allies. In 1944 it was stationed, with the "Duca d'Aosta" and "Garibaldi" in the UK to help patrol the Atlantic in search of German raiders. Remained in the Italian navy after the war, along with his twin "Garibaldi" was the best ship Italy had left. Had some minor changes to the armament and was disbanded 1961.

  • "Giuseppe Garibaldi" entered service in 1937. Was used in conjunction with its twin, "Duca Degli Abruzzi" throughout the war. After the war, in 1957-61, it was converted into a missile cruiser and remained in service until 1971. The story of the missile cruiser “Garibaldi” is something I'll leave for another article (also because it goes in another thread).

 

 

Characteristics:

Length: 187m

Width: 18,9m

Draught: 6,8m

Displacement: 11 450t

Power: 100 000 hp

Speed: 34 kts

Armament: 10 x 152/52 mm (in 2 binary and 2 triple turrets)

8 x 100/47 mm ( in 4 twin towers)

16 machine guns (8 x 37/54 mm, 8 x 13,2 mm; later 8 x 37/54 mm, 8 x 20mm)

6 x 553 mm torpedo-tubes (in 2 mountings, left/right of the funnels)

2 catapults for 4 scout planes

Vertical armour: 30mm+100mm+12mm

Horizontal armour: 20-90mm

Towers: 135mm; 140mm (command tower)

Crew: 29+630

 

Spoiler

 

Sources: http://www.regiamarinaitaliana.it (most info); http://digilander.libero.it/ (double-check to see if it matches); http://www.laseconda...ramondiale.com/ (mostly pics); and ofc http://www.wikipedia.org (only a little bit)

 

In WoWS, I can see these in the tier 4,5 or 6. Depends on how WG wants to balance them. They would be weak in AA, fast, agile cruisers with a few torps. 

 

 


Edited by Vulcan92, 15 March 2014 - 09:56 AM.


Deamon93 #2 Posted 14 March 2014 - 03:09 PM

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The Duca degli Abruzzi had 8 100 mm cannons, not 6. Probably it's a typo(since the four turrets are evident in the image you posted).

 

Anyway the final one is missing, the Ciano(she was a modified Duca degli Abruzzi), she was never completed due to the break of WWII. As the tiers are concerned we'll see.


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RedBear87 #3 Posted 14 March 2014 - 03:31 PM

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I read lately in some Italian forum, I think it was betasom but I'm not completely sure about it, that the 6th Condottieri group was never developed into a formal plan, someone on Warship Projects forum drew some hypothetical configurations.

As for tier placement, they could benefit of improved AA and radar suite using as reference the post-war modifications.


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Czirokay #4 Posted 14 March 2014 - 03:35 PM

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Nice piece of info. Italians had too some nice sea power...but they do not use it too much during WWII. Thats a pitty .

Vulcan92 #5 Posted 14 March 2014 - 03:36 PM

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View PostDeamon93, on 14 March 2014 - 04:09 PM, said:

The Duca degli Abruzzi had 8 100 mm cannons, not 6. Probably it's a typo(since the four turrets are evident in the image you posted).

 

Anyway the final one is missing, the Ciano(she was a modified Duca degli Abruzzi), she was never completed due to the break of WWII. As the tiers are concerned we'll see.

Thanks for pointing it out. Fixed

 

As for the "Ciano" I choose not to include its class as it was never completed (as you pointed out).

It could come as an alternative armament to the "Duca degli Abruzzi" class, as the armour increase was minimal (+5/10mm), and the main difference would have been the improved AA defences (replace the 4x2 100mm AAA with 8 single 90mm on stabilised emplacements + extra machine guns.



Deamon93 #6 Posted 14 March 2014 - 03:47 PM

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View PostVulcan92, on 14 March 2014 - 04:36 PM, said:

Thanks for pointing it out. Fixed

 

As for the "Ciano" I choose not to include its class as it was never completed (as you pointed out).

It could come as an alternative armament to the "Duca degli Abruzzi" class, as the armour increase was minimal (+5/10mm), and the main difference would have been the improved AA defences (replace the 4x2 100mm AAA with 8 single 90mm on stabilised emplacements + extra machine guns.


Your welcome!

 

Well it could be a preset of the Duca degli Abruzzi since the changes are relatively marginal. The problem is that we don't know much about the module system ingame so it's difficult to say if it would work or not


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Gigaton #7 Posted 14 March 2014 - 05:17 PM

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Block Quote

One of the greatest differences between the RM (Regia Marina – italian navy) and RN (Royal Navy) cruisers is that the Italian ones had roughly 70% of their ships armoured, with only secondary modules left unprotected. RN cruisers on the other hand, only had 30% of the body covered by armour – meaning some vital parts were left un-armoured (magazines for turrets).

 

Magazines were armoured on all British cruisers, it just was not external armour (save on some of the later cruisers, like the Fijis). Rather, there was usually a machinery belt of variable height and then internal armoured box protecting the magazines (which was lighter than a belt scheme). Italians used more traditional belt covering both magazines and machinery, and also tended to have topside positions which were better armoured (armament, bridge structure).

 

On the flip side, the practical maximum service speeds for most Italian cruisers seem to have been in the ~30-31 knots region (Montecuccoli, d'Aosta and probably Bolzano aside), which seems to have been about as much as their British counterparts were capable of in similar conditions.

 

Block Quote

The armour proved to be sufficient when “Munzio Attendolo” received a torpedo that completely tore the bow off the ship; however “Attendolo” reached a port and was subsequently repaired.

 

This does not really have anything to do with armour of any sort. Not even battleships have underwater protection system in the bow and aft sections. Cruisers are relatively small, slim ships with large machinery in comparison to their size. They cannot afford a truly effective underwater protection system and will need to rely primarily on subdivision, even amidships.

 

(Japanese heavy cruisers are examples of cruisers with, albit rather slim, TDS of sorts. But they also had a watertight longitudinal centerline bulkhead in the machinery which caused large off center flooding when they were hit by torpedos in the area, often leading to capsize and consequent loss of the ship. American cruisers without TDS actually did better since they did not have lonigtudinal subdivision in machinery. Even if more of the machinery might be flooded, they were in less danger of sinking. An example of type that might at first glance do slightly better doing worse in practice, because it was worse in what was actually important - subdivision in this case)

 

Block Quote

Vertical armour: 105mm + 30-35mm

 

d'Aosta is 70mm external + 30-35mm internal splinter bulkhead (which is not ballistic equivalent to 100-105mm, some special considerations aside two thin plates are weaker than single thick one). Seems like there was a double addition of the splinter bulkhead.

 

Block Quote

Plans were made to replace them with the new 90mm AA guns, which then proved to be very effective during the war (similarly to the german 88, it was also used in AT role); but these plans were put to halt as WWII started.

 

The mount was unreliable though, and the stabilization had to actually be deactivated on the battleships which were modernized with it (not Littorios, IIRC this was because they were more dry). Agreed that the gun itself was good.



Smederevac94 #8 Posted 14 March 2014 - 06:36 PM

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Nice post mate:honoring:


Vulcan92 #9 Posted 15 March 2014 - 09:53 AM

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Block Quote

d'Aosta is 70mm external + 30-35mm internal splinter bulkhead (which is not ballistic equivalent to 100-105mm, some special considerations aside two thin plates are weaker than single thick one). Seems like there was a double addition of the splinter bulkhead.

 

I seem to have taken from a few wrong sources...

http://www.regiamari...a degli Abruzzi

http://www.regiamari...ca d'Aosta.html

Then again, the official records from the Marina Militare's archive do say 70mm  - so my bad :hiding:

(http://www.marina.di...duca_aosta.aspx)

Thx for pointing it out. Will fix it!

 

 

Block Quote

Magazines were armoured on all British cruisers

I thought it was weird that the would not be armoured in such vital parts! Guess I still have to learn which sources to trust.

 

 

Block Quote

the practical maximum service speeds for most Italian cruisers seem to have been in the ~30-31 knots region

 Everywhere I look says that these cruisers (Condottieri) had top speeds of about 35-36 kts, depending on the version. Can you tell me where to look? Would be much appreciated



Gigaton #10 Posted 17 March 2014 - 07:57 PM

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According to John Roberts in Conway's 1922-1946:

 

Trento, 31 knots

Zara, 29 knots

(Nothing gievn for Bolzano, aside legend speed and trials)

Giussano, 30 knots (Anatomy of the Ship for Colleoni gives 31-32 knots)

(Cadorna, See Bolzano)

(Montecuccoli, See Bolzano)

d'Aosta, 34 knots

Abruzzi, 31 knots

 

With Giussanos and Cadornas you can draw some parallels with the Japanese 5500 ton types (Kuma etc.). I doubt they would have been good for much more than 30 knots in service by WW2, they made 32 knots at trials at 7000+ ton trial load in '30s (which, while heavier than the original load they were designed around with greater proportion of fuel oil etc. was still not the full load, and fouling and wartime wear and tear would have further reduce that).







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