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TheMasterDragon

Italian Battleships. The top of the line

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Hi everyone!

 

With the release of the Italian tech tree in the next update 0.8.9 (Hooray!) and its cruiser line, its quite obvious that Italian ships fans can expect a lot more in the future. And probably, one of the most awaited lines in the tech tree is the battleships line. The Italian BB line could be completed from tier III to X without too many problems. There are only 2 Italian battleships in game at the moment, both of them premium, the tier V "Giulio Cesare", and the tier VIII "Roma". Between the First and Second World War, several battleships and large battlecruisers were built in Italy, and amongst them, the most advanced and powerful ones were those of the "Littorio" class, composed by 4 ships: "Littorio", "Vittorio Veneto", "Roma" and "Impero". The "Littorio" class, as we have already seen with "Roma", is the perfect candidate to place at tier VIII, so it's logical to assume that in an Italian BB line we'll have the "Littorio" as the regular tier VIII. But after this, here appears a  problem that those who are familiar with the Italian Navy will probably know too well. The high tier battleships will have to be based on blueprints and projects, as no other battleship was built after the "Littorio" class. But the problem is quite easy to resolve, as there is a candidate for both tier IX (almost certain) and tier X.

 

The tier IX, in my opinion, will be the project called "U.P.41", that i'm sure lots of you already know. An improved and most advanced version of the "Littorio" class armed with 406 mm guns. This ship is the perfect successor for the "Littorio", and balancing features and name aside, i'm sure we'll see this ship at tier IX when the Italian BB line will be presented.

 

1485126671_CorazzataU.P_41.jpg.fc2cd11e1e2936b3e18ab4bf0bfd9221.jpg

 

The tier X should be something that resembles all the previous ships, and at the same time adds something valuable and notable to all the line. For this reason i think that the best candidate for the top of the line is the ship i'm gonna talk to you about.


The Ferdinando Cassone Project

 

In 1921 the italian engineer Ferdinando Cassone, published an article in "Rivista Marittima" in which presented the idea of a large (very large) battlecruiser like no other before. This ship was the largest and most powerful ever discussed for the Regia Marina. An innovative design with interesting featurs, Cassone's battlecruiser would have been one of the most powerful battleships in the world, but unfortunately remained only a blueprint. There are two variants of the project.

 

1665079880_CorazzataFerdinandoCassone-Variante1.jpg.d75f4e69c91eb085fabb74995f543c4e.jpg  403036822_CorazzataFerdinandoCassone-Variante2.thumb.jpg.262457f0b2cff8d0b78ca8e180305abb.jpg


I'm quite sure that most of the players who like Italian ships are quite familiar with this project just like the "U.P.41", 'cause the ship itself it's not a mistery, and a ship with these features wouldn't be too hard to place in game, the only real problem regarding the Ferdinando Cassone is literally its appearance. Beeing a project made in 1921, a ship like that would look out of place among the others, but we know that even this is not a real problem, because in the case the ship would be designated as the top of the Italian BB line, old or not, the developers would think to fix it. But not knowing if this will happen and if this ship will actually be inserted in game, i decided to try to give Cassone's battleship a new design myself. After having documented on the subject, and comparing the old ship to the newer ones of the Regia Marina, assuming that it would have been the successor of the "U.P,41", and after a long work of almost 9 months done in my free time (long but funny and satisfying), i've completed the new appearance of the ship, so without further delay, i present you what should be (according to me) the top of the line of the Italian bettleships.

 

The "Regia Nave Imperatore Augusto"!

 

First, i used the ship profile as model and colored it with Photoshop, for having a first idea of what the ship could become.

 

1275197167_CorazzataFerdinandoCassone(acolori).thumb.jpg.f3da80d22868ea0584d3d254d578feff.jpg 

 

As you can see, i chose the first version as model, since i thought that the second one, despite having a more compact structure was lacking the secondary turrets, that in my opinion, made the ship more interesting (and more beautiful) to other players. And after this began the real challenge. The creation of the hull, the bridges, the turrets and all the features and details of the battleship. Again, i made it with Photoshop and it was really (reeeeeally) complex to finalize, as the dimensions of the file, the quality of details, number of layers and groups is obscenely high (the program response was slowed down of 2-3 s sometimes) despite the Paint-like appearance, so here it is, my work completed.

 

2133310091_RNImperatoreAugusto.thumb.jpg.b279d809abf0cb7bc0e74f58deb569ad.jpg

 

For the bridges and the turrets i took inspiration from both "U.P.41" and "Littorio" classes, creating an evolution from tier VIII to X as much natural as possible. The main armament of the ship is composed by 4 turrets with dual 456mm/46 guns, that is the largest caliber ever installed on an Italian ship. The secondaries are composed by 3 types of guns, the 152mm/55 that serve as normal anti-ship guns, the 135mm/45 and the 90mm/53, which are both used as dual purpose guns. And for last, the AA armament is made with 37mm/54 autocannons. The ship possesses also 2 catapults that can be used by a Scout or a Fighter. Some of the ship features such as part of the armor and engine power where specified by engineer Cassone and are quite impressive. The armor belt is 456/350/150 mm, and the deck is 50+120 mm, quite similar to battleships like Montana. The engine power is 216000 HP, that in the original project would have given a top speed of 35-40 knots, but the original project was also estimated to reach a weight of 45000 tons, other fonts claim 57000 t, but considering the new technology and the new structures added, i opted for a weight similar to that of ships like G.Kurfurst and Montana, 65000 t, and for a top speed of 31 knots, a good speed for a battleship of its kind.

 

Here's a summary of its features and of some values it could have in game:

 

  • DIMENSIONS:                                     LENGTH:                           274,75 m

                                                                          BEAM:                               40 m

  • DISPLACEMENT:            65000 t
  • ARMOR BELT:                                      456 mm , 350 mm, 150 mm
  • DECK:                                                   MAIN:                                50 mm

                                                                          SECOND:                          120 mm

  • HIT POINTS:                    99800
  • MAIN BATTERY:                                 456mm/46 OTO 1942                4x2

                                                                          RATE OF FIRE:                 2,31 shots/min

                                                                          RELOAD TIME:                26 s

                                                                          MAX AP DAMAGE:         15000

                                                                          FIRING RANGE:               23,75 km

  • SECONDARY ARMAMENT #1:         152mm/55 OTO 1936                2x3  

                                                                          RATE OF FIRE:                 5 shots/min

                                                                          RELOAD TIME:                12 s

                                                                          MAX HE DAMAGE:         2100

                                                                          FIRING RANGE:               6 km

  • SECONDARY ARMAMENT #2:         135mm/45 OTO 1938                8x2

                                                                          RATE OF FIRE:                 9 shots/min

                                                                          RELOAD TIME:                6,67 s

                                                                          MAX HE DAMAGE:         1900

                                                                          FIRING RANGE:               6 km

  • SECONDARY ARMAMENT #3:         90mm/53 OTO 1939                  16x2

                                                                          RATE OF FIRE:                 15 shots/min

                                                                          RELOAD TIME:                4 s

                                                                          MAX HE DAMAGE:         1300

                                                                          FIRING RANGE:               6 km

  • AA DEFENSE:                                      135mm/45 OTO 1938                8x2

                                                                                            FIRING RANGE:          5,2 km

                                                                          90mm/53 OTO 1939                  16x2

                                                                                            FIRING RANGE:          4,55 km

                                                                          37mm/54 Breda 1933                12x4

                                                                                            FIRING RANGE:          3,51 km

  • PROPULSION:                 216000 hp
  • MAXIMUM SPEED:         31 knots

 

Obviously these features are arranged, i tried to adapt the original model to the actual ships and i think the result is quite well done. Features of the italian battleships as far as we have seen, are good (or even excellent) penetration and high damage with main guns, good mobility and agility, great armor and torpedo protection but weak citadel (especially "Roma", considering that the real ship citadel was placed under the water surface and not so easy to hit, and this is something that in my opinion should be fixed, but this is another story), and secondaries and AA weaker than other counterparts. Cassone's project is an example of what we could expect from a tier X ship. Powerful guns, great secondaries, good AA, good mobility and excellent armor. In few words, a well balanced ship. Obviously even this ship has its weak points, for example dimensions. 274,75 m of length is a big number considering that Yamato is 263 m long, and the super structure is also big so this would make her quite an easy target to spot and to attack. Also, the number of main guns is quite low, only 8 guns when other nations have 9 or 12 cannons on their side, so even if the damage is high and the reload speed is low the DPM can be outclassed by other ships. The armor belt is very thick and the citadel is well protected, but broadsides for short range or accurate shots from great distances could put the ship in serious trouble. And the AA defense is powerful but its firing range is still quite low. Anyway as i already said, these features are arranged and i haven't considered things such as dispersion and initial velocity of the shells, the chance of fire caused by HE shells, the possibility of having the Semi AP shells even on this line and its damage, the maneuverability and the concealment and so on... I've made all of this to give an idea of what this ship originally was and of what it could be if inserted in game, and i sincerely think that i've done it quite well.

 

To sum up, i think that this ship is the best candidate for the top of the Italian BB line, and also being a real project instead of an invented one makes it even more suitable for this role. So i hope that when the time comes, WG will use this project for the BB line, and it would be an honor to see a battleship similar to mine in the tech tree (it would be an even greater honor to see my ship in game with my signature XD).

 

P.S.: The name i chose, "Imperatore Augusto", is due to the fact that the Roman Emperor, Augusto, was one of the greatest rulers of the Roman Empire, and the nephew and heir of the greatest and most famous Roman Emperor of all times, Giulio Cesare. And having the "Giulio Cesare" as a premium tier V battleship, i think that this is a nice and appropriate name to give to the tier X.

 

I plan to make a restyle of another project for a possible tier X premium Italian battleship, when i'll have enough time. And once finished, i'll prepare another article, but i don't anticipate anything not to spoil the surprise ;)

 

Hoping to see the Italian battleships in game as soon as possible, thanks for your patience and for reading my article!

 

 

Sites used for references:

https://stefsap.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/cassones-large-battlecruiser-proposal-1921/

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Wow, this is a great post. First of all, compliments to you.

 

I am very happy to see a well designed Cassone project for ww2 times. I hope to see this one in the game (soon). Maybe you can add some 65mm/64 M1939 on it.

 

I am curious about how you would suggest the whole techtree line. I thought a lot about how a italian BB tree will look alike. I had never a idea how to fit the cassone in the line. Again great work, i like it a lot.

 

I made some ideas for a BB tree and also thaught about a (wg) worstcase scenatio. I think (at the moment) all low and mid tier ships will be either too op (in some way) or suffer for beeing put a tier higher. Maybe we can share some ideas or even discuss a possible BB line.

 

Anyway, i am looking forward to your next design. 

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10 ore fa, Lupin_sansei ha scritto:

Wow, this is a great post. First of all, compliments to you.

 

I am very happy to see a well designed Cassone project for ww2 times. I hope to see this one in the game (soon). Maybe you can add some 65mm/64 M1939 on it.

 

I am curious about how you would suggest the whole techtree line. I thought a lot about how a italian BB tree will look alike. I had never a idea how to fit the cassone in the line. Again great work, i like it a lot.

 

I made some ideas for a BB tree and also thaught about a (wg) worstcase scenatio. I think (at the moment) all low and mid tier ships will be either too op (in some way) or suffer for beeing put a tier higher. Maybe we can share some ideas or even discuss a possible BB line.

 

Anyway, i am looking forward to your next design. 

Thanks a lot :) In the beginning i considered the 65mm/64 as an option for mid-high caliber AA, but having on both "Littorio" and "U.P.41" only the 90mm/53 and low caliber autocannons, i opted for a more similar configuration. From the start i wanted the 135mm/45 as dual purpose secondaries, and having both 90mm/53 and 65mm/64 would have been quite a problem, especially for size reasons. The ship would have been even bigger than now and unfortunately not too realistic XD However i think that the 65mm/64 AA is a great weapon. For the complete BB line i know what you mean (and i'm especially afraid of the worst case scenario), unfortunately the first and in particular the second generation of Italian battleships were built in and after WW1 and almost all of them were updated at the same time and in a very similar way with few differences, (see for example the "Conte di Cavour" and "Caio Duilio" classes). I too have planned a complete BB line (and a complete tech tree too XD maybe one day i'll post the other branches too) and as you already said, the first tiers would be a little OP compared to the others, at tier VI the situation changes and you'd have a ship a little weaker despite being the evolution of the tier V, but this problem would be resolved with a few balancing (more HP, better reload time and accuracy etc...). After that, in the higher tiers, the situation is different, the tier VII would be the first step to the top of the line and the transition between second generation BBs and the "Littorio" class, in a few words, the real change in the line. After that, "Littorio", "U.P.41" (for which probably we'd need another name but i have an option in my line) and finally Ferdinando Cassone, or in my case, "Imperatore Augusto".

 

I'd like to see your ideas too, and a comparison is always welcome, after all two (or more) heads are better than one XD

Thanks again :)

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It took me some time, sorry for letting you wait. But here we go....

 

First things first. I can understand your thoughts about not adding the 65mm/64 to the Imperatore Augusto. It will be too overfilled with all that guns on it. I got an idea how the BB can have the 65mm/64 on it by removing the 90mm/53 and replacing them with additional 135mm/45 on the main deck and the 65mm/64 on the upper deck. To show you this idea i request your permissoin to modify your design. If you like this idea, maybe you can use it on a second T10 BB Design.

 

About the techtree i had initially set up the common known battleships and designs.

T3 Cuniberti / T4 Conte di Cavour (1915) / T5 Caio Duilio (1940) / T6 Francesco Caracciolo / T7 OTO Battlecruiser Design 1930 / T8 Littorio / T9 U.P. 41 / T10 Concetto CRDA

As mentioned the low tiers will have a greater firepower compared to the counterparts and be maybe to strong. Climbing up to the mid tier the 381mm main gun will be introduced at T6. The line ends with the sole design i had found at that time. 

 

Knowing that this setup is hard to ballance and knowing wg i made a worst case scenario techtree.

T3 Cuniberti / T4 Dante Alighieri / T5 Andrea Doria (1916) / T6 Caio Duilio (1940) / T7 Francesco Caracciolo / T8 Littorio / T9 U.P. 41 / T10 Concetto CRDA

The low tier ships will be okish but the mid tier will be somekind weak at this point. Top tier remains the same.

 

In between this margin i have many ideas and found some intersting designs (as well as your cassone design) to use in the tech tree or add as a premium. I will make a little sheet with all ships and designs i consider worth to be discussed and add that later in here.

 

I am looking forward to see what you think about it.

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made a superlative job!!!:cap_like:

now it would take a union between your ship and the centurio-class.:cap_yes:

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Looks awesome, I do hope Italian Battleships come to the game in future. :cap_like:

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First, I believe it is an honor to dedicate a tier to the Italian battleships, given that Vittorio Cuniberti is the first in the world to have designed the single-caliber battleship, then produced by the United Kingdom HMS Dreadnought.
After that, my greatest congratulations for this post and the widespread research, and for the study of the hypothetical project.
I only sincerely hope that in some tiers the "Vittorio Veneto" will be inserted and the "Leonardo da Vinci" will not be forgotten.
Thank you I have faith 

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Good job. I would go for the 65/54mm for A.A. since it was basically ready before the armistice (the aircraft carrier Aquila had them already mounted).

http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNIT_65mm-64_m1939.php  [in English]

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/65/64_Mod._1939.  [in Italian]

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28 minuti fa, Admiral_Bergamini ha scritto:

Good job. I would go for the 65/54mm for A.A. since it was basically ready before the armistice (the aircraft carrier Aquila had them already mounted).

http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNIT_65mm-64_m1939.php  [in English]

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/65/64_Mod._1939.  [in Italian]

Thank you very much :) Yeah i considered the 65/64 when i was working on the initial design of the ship but in the end i opted for the 90/53. There are 2 reasons for that. The first is for the continuity of the line, cause both the Littorio and the project of the U.P.41 had the 90/53 as dual purpose guns, in particular the U.P.41 had these guns in a 2 barrel configuration, and using the same armament on the tier X (with maybe slightly better features) seem more logical. And second is because 90/53 are dual purpose guns while the 65/64 are only AA guns, and i didn't want to loose a secondary armament XD

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Awesome work, I'm really impressed by the level of detail. The only real criticism I have is the use of 90mm, 135mm, and 152mm guns. Even the germans and japanese limited their secondary armaments to only 2 different calibers. Any more and I think the supply process would become more complex than necessary. I think it would make more sense to either remove the 152mm guns completely or replace the 135mm guns with them, so that it looks more in line with the preceding Littorio and UP.41. I'd also consider adding a second funnel for the same reason.

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4 ore fa, LegioDamnatus ha scritto:

Awesome work, I'm really impressed by the level of detail. The only real criticism I have is the use of 90mm, 135mm, and 152mm guns. Even the germans and japanese limited their secondary armaments to only 2 different calibers. Any more and I think the supply process would become more complex than necessary. I think it would make more sense to either remove the 152mm guns completely or replace the 135mm guns with them, so that it looks more in line with the preceding Littorio and UP.41. I'd also consider adding a second funnel for the same reason.

Thanks a lot :) Yeah i considered the "problem" about the variety of gun calibers in the beginning, and as you already said, there could have been different solutions about it. Let me explain why i made it like this.

First, as i already said in the original post, i wanted to use the first variant of Cassone's battleship, cause i really liked the disposition of the 152 mm turrets (similar to that of the Yamato) that made it more interesting and more particular than the second one, and also a little different from other tier X BBs; considering this, i wanted to make the secondaries a little more realistic (compared to other nations) and more powerful (cause the 90/53 even if have 2 barrels instead of the normal one, are still quite weak for a secondary), so i opted to mantain the 135 mm guns together with the 152.

Second, without the 135 guns the ship would have had a configuration almost identical to Littorio and U.P. 41, and it can be a good thing in terms of tier evolution, but a tier X BB with a number of secondaries a little higher than a tier VIII and pratically the same as a tier IX would have been quite mediocre in terms of pure firepower. Also, the presence of these guns can be seen as an evolution of secondary guns already present on older Italian BBs, such as Conte di Cavour or Caio Duilio class; Conte di Cavour battleships mounted the 120/50 together with the 100/47 as secondary dual purpose guns, while the Caio Duilio had the 135/45 and the 90/50. The 135/45 dual purpose on the Imperatore Augusto can be seen as the apex of this category, and i think that considering the global aspect of the ship and its tier, this evolution is acceptable.

And finally, the funnel is only one simply for a reason of space and convenience. As you can see in Cassone's project, the ship did not have an aft superstructure, and this in a more modern warship is unrealistic. Considering the dimension of the hull and the space occupied by weapons and superstructures, the ship could never have had 2 funnels without altering the design in a major and unacceptable way, so i opted for a larger single one.

I hope i explained it well :)

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