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TheMasterDragon

Italian Battleships. The first tier X premium and more

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During World War II, the Italian Navy was the fourth most powerful and largest navy in the world, composed of a large variety of destroyers, cruisers, battleships and submarines, except for aircraft carriers, that were built too late to be used and were never completed. One of the most interesting facts about the Italian Navy, it's the huge number of projects and blueprints that were developed among the years, even before the outbreak of the Great War. Some of these projects were particularly ambitious for their time and even if most of them remain unknown to those not interested in naval warfare (or the Italian Navy itself), in our case, these projects represent what World of Warships is or in some cases could be.

As i already said in my previous post, which you can find here if you are interested,

in this post i'll deal with one of the projects i previously wrote about, a project that in my opinion, can be one of the most (if not the most) particular and interesting ships in the game, and the best candidate to be the first Italian premium tier X battleship.

 

The Edgardo Ferrati Battleships

 

A very important (and forgotten) figure of naval design in the period between the two wars, Rear Admiral and General of naval engineering Edgardo Ferrati was the creator of the Caracciolo class battleships, the first attempt to create a fast and powerful battleship in response to the British Queen Elizabeth class. The class was composed by four ships: "Francesco Caracciolo", "Cristoforo Colombo", "Marcantonio Colonna" and "Francesco Morosini". These battleships were designed in 1913 and commissioned the following year, unfortunately, only the first ship of the class was built and only partially. The battleship was launched in 1920 but due to economic reasons its completion was first stopped and then cancelled. Having the hull as the only completed part, it was proposed in two occasions to convert the ship in an aircraft carrier, firstly in a vessel similar to the British HMS Argus (or a floatplane carrier), and the second time in 1921 when a new design featuring an island superstructure was proposed, even a total conversion in a merchant ship was considered, but again, for economic problems, all these projects were cancelled and in the fall of 1921 the ship was started to demolition that was completed in 1926.

 

679170167_CorazzataFrancescoCaracciolo.thumb.jpg.db7c20c9ad4a3214c747d778e0023994.jpg


As already said, the Caracciolo Class would have been a ship very similar to the HMS Queen Elizabeth, but the real interesting fact about these ships it's the initial stage of their design, because the one that we have just discussed, was only the final version, revisioned in multiple occasions by General Ferrati and all the other members responsible of the project. The original designs, were way moooore interesting, audacious and ambitious then the final one! And here, the real discussion of this post begins.

 

The Edgardo Ferrati Projects

 

Thinking about the Caracciolo class, it would be logical to think that during the development of the project, the first design proposal would be somehow similar to the final model, and that it evolved gradually into what would have eventually become the Caracciolo class battleships. However, in this case, the initial design that General Ferrati had in mind for the Caracciolo class did not resemble in the slightest the final version. Ferrati designed not one, but 3 series of possible variants for his ships, called F,D and G; these projects were quite similar to each other, and in a sense, each of them was the evolution of the previous one. The F series was the first variant, the D the second, and the G the third and last one. All these ships were designed as super-dreadnought battleships, featuring 381 mm guns, a great number of secondary guns, a quite armoured hull, and a top speed of about 28 knots. Features that they passed on to the final model of the Caracciolo class, but what catches immediately the eye, and that's what makes these ships really interesting and totally different from any other italian battleship, is that all these ships had 381 mm guns mounted in a quadruple configuration.

 

The first one, the F series, was the lighter of all the 3 variants. It was designed with 2 turrets with quadruple 381 mm guns, a great set of secondary guns that comprehended 8 turrets with dual 170 mm guns, 24 single mounted 102 mm guns and 8 533 mm torpedo launchers. Its engines with a power between 55000 and 75000 HP would have allowed her to reach a speed of 25~27 knots. The armour would have been quite light, being only 270 mm in the most armoured parts of the hull. The F series was composed of 2 ships:


the F type:

 

537361659_EdgardoFerratiF.jpg.dd0c7bf173cb7ecb3fd55c8d02a8da96.jpg


and the F' type, almost identical to the F type but slightly bigger and with a more powerful engine (95000~115000 Hp for a top estimated speed of 31 knots)
 

520263088_EdgardoFerratiF1(scuro).jpg.e72029c6fae4696eb3d03590df92cece.jpg

 

The second one, the D series, was similar to the F' type but with a different armament and a more powerful engine. Instead of 2 quadruple 381 mm gun turrets, the D series was armed with 12 guns in 3 turrets. The secondary guns were almost the same of the F series, but it differed from type to type in quantity terms. The engine power was estimated between 65000 and 85000 HP for a top speed of 25~27 knots, pratically the same of the F series. The series was composed of 5 ships and all these variants had a different layout regarding the armament and its configuration.


The D type (16 dual mounted 152 mm guns, 20 single mounted 102 mm):

 

287445409_EdgardoFerratiD.jpg.0157719d195e19bd1d1bcc3624a362b3.jpg


the D bis type (12 dual mounted 170 mm guns, 20 single mounted 102 mm):

 

1308891480_EdgardoFerratiDbis.jpg.a1e1bdfe8b7482eb06d33bb9dc4cd572.jpg


the D' type (16 dual mounted 170 mm guns, 20 single mounted 102 mm):

 

1837968347_EdgardoFerratiD1.jpg.d5a8cf0523c55a3cb1c2bc075b6d136a.jpg


the D'' type (12 dual mounted 170 mm guns, 20 single mounted 102 mm):

 

1378382890_EdgardoFerratiD2.jpg.616c4fc74ab5e1c930d960d2db1db871.jpg


and the D''' type (20 single mounted 102 mm, no 170 mm or smaller guns, also less engine power than the previous models but mantaining the same top speed not having the bigger secondaries):
 

828578399_EdgardoFerratiD3.jpg.3480e6eb8f29ff4aef9b6fd9a4851f5e.jpg

 

And finally, the G series. The biggest, heaviest and most powerful of all the series, comprehending General Ferrati's favourite model. This series was armed with not 2, and neither 3, but with 4 quadruple 381 mm turrets! A huge number of guns for such a big caliber. Just like the F series, the G one was composed of 2 ships:


the G type (20 single mounted 102 mm):

 

972098185_EdgardoFerratiG.jpg.968fed8de3d8f882c8a4491008018c19.jpg


and Ferrati's favourite version, the G' or G1:
 

450416085_EdgardoFerratiG1.jpg.4e1095b95204b2ab2508c2c7674d9e1a.jpg

 

At this point, i guess it's clear what's the ship that i consider as the best candidate to be the first Italian premium tier X battleship, so without further ado, let's take a better look at the protagonist of this post, the Edgardo Ferrati G1!

 

The G1 battleship is wituout a doubt the apex of all Ferrati's projects. Its greatest feature is certainly the armament; 16 381 mm guns, 16 dual mounted 170 mm guns and 24 single mounted 102 mm. It's something you don't see very often. But being only a project, and developed in 1915, here comes again the same little problem related to all projects and blueprints, the appearence that they should have in game. But this is not something that a little work cannot resolve, and as i already did for Ferdinando Cassone's Battleship, or as i called her, the "Imperatore Augusto", i've made the same thing for the Edgardo Ferrati G1. After almost 9 months of long and satisying work (always done in my free time), here is what should be (according to me) the first tier X Italian premium battleship.

 

The "Regia Nave Goffredo Mameli" of the "Unità d'Italia" class!

 

279742768_RNGoffredoMameli.thumb.jpg.38237a26b2ca2f1e2ba8a0e10a4c201a.jpg


As for the "Imperatore Augusto", everything was made with Photoshop, and design and ship features apart, it was organised and completed in the same way. Documentation on the project, reworking the original design, developing a model similar to contemporary Italian ships, finalization of the work with details and technical informations, everything. It was a very long work but in some ways, easier than the first one. Now let's talk about the ship's features. As i've already said, the main armament consists in 4 turrets with quadruple 381mm/50 guns, the same guns used for the Littorio class (the original project intended to use 381mm/40 guns, the same expected for the Caracciolo class, but being a rejected project and a "what-if" more modern design, with also all the 381mm/40 built never installed on a ship and used for other purposes, such as coast defense and railroad guns, i opted for the newest and most advanced versions of these guns). The secondary guns are 8 turrets with twin 170mm/55 guns, an unusual caliber for the Italian navy and probably the biggest ever installed on a ship for a secondary gun (except for the 1908 italian armored cruiser RN San Giorgio class which mounted 190mm/45 guns, but this is another story). The AA armament is composed by 3 types of weapons, the well-known 65mm/64 gun (14 in twin mounted configuration and 4 in single mounted), the 37mm/54 autocannons, and the 20mm/70 machine guns. The ship possesses one catapult that can be used by a Scout or a Fighter. Regarding the ship features such as armor and engine power, General Ferrati wrote that the armor was 270 and 170 mm distributed all along the hull, while there are no info on the engine power (or simply i couldn't find them), but realistically speaking and considering the size and the weight of the ship, it had to be more than 150000 HP. For dimensions and weight even though they were specified in the project, i had to compromise, because considering the dimensions of the armament, the bridges, the funnels and so on, the ship could have never been like in the project. And in some sense is also logical; the original dimensions and weight should have been 225 m (lenght) and 37200 t. Considering that the Littorio was 237,8 m long for 41377 t of weight (45963 t full load), a ship like Ferrati G1 smaller and lighter than that is literally impossible. In the end, the G1 ended up looking like the Yamato, a little bit longer and with a similar weight.

 

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

 

  • DIMENSIONS:                                      LENGTH:                           269,65 m


                                                                          BEAM:                                40 m

 

  • DISPLACEMENT:             71000 t
  • ARMOR BELT:                                      380 mm , 270 mm, 170 mm
  • DECK:                                                    MAIN:                                35 mm

 

                                                                          SECOND:                           120 mm

 

  • HIT POINTS:                     88000
  • MAIN BATTERY:                                  381mm/50 OTO 1934              4x4

 

                                                                          RATE OF FIRE:                  2 shots/min
                                                                          RELOAD TIME:                 30 s
                                                                          MAX AP DAMAGE:          12000
                                                                          FIRING RANGE:                25,8 km

 

  • SECONDARY ARMAMENT #1:         170mm/55 OTO 1942               8x2

 

                                                                          RATE OF FIRE:                  7,5 shots/min
                                                                          RELOAD TIME:                 8 s
                                                                          MAX HE DAMAGE:          3000
                                                                          FIRING RANGE:                8 km

 

  • AA DEFENSE:                                      65mm/64 Mod. 1939                14x2  -  4x1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

                                                                          FIRING RANGE:                3,69 km

                                                                          37mm/54 Breda 1933               12x4
                                                                          FIRING RANGE:                3,51 km

                                                                          20mm/70 Breda 1935               16x6
                                                                          FIRING RANGE:                2,01 km

 

  • PROPULSION:                185000 hp
  • MAXIMUM SPEED:         27 knots


This battleship is somehow the opposite of her regular counterpart "Imperatore Augusto", but nonetheless interesting. Sligthly littler but more massive, with more main guns but less firepower per shell, bigger secondaries with longer range but fewer guns with a longer reload, a larger number of AA defenses but with less range, less armored but yet slower; in a few words, what you'd expect from a super-dreadnought. A ship like this has very good pros but also some dangerous cons, for example the size. Even if slightly littler than "Imperatore Augusto", the bridges are big and the superstructure is massive, making it easy (if not easier) to spot and to attack, the ship's speed is also low for a tier X, only 27 knots (just like the Yamato), this means that would be difficult to reach safe zones when under fire, also try to bounce some shots and especially dodge several torpedoes from multiple directions would be a serious problem. Also even if well armored (though less than "Imperatore Augusto"), both the hull and the citadel (this one being protected under the waterline), broadsides from short range or accurate shots from great distances can be really dangerous. So in the end, i think that the ship in itself is quite balanced.

 

Anyway, an aspect that i want to discuss with particular care, is the main armament. As i already said, the ship is armed with the same guns that equipped the Littorio class. Now, for those who are not familiar with the Littorio class, and in particular the Roma in game, the 381 mm guns on the Roma have a range of fire of 18,1 km. This feature is a value that WG has given to the ship trying to make it well balanced. Now, not only Roma is not balanced in different ways but this feature in particular is wrong both phisically and most important, historically speaking. In fact, the 381mm/50 on the Littorio class were the most powerful weapons of their caliber, comparable to those of much greater caliber, and one of the most powerful naval guns ever built. This was largely due to their exceptional muzzle velocity, although this came at a cost. The high velocity and energies in the firing chamber lead to a much faster rate of barrel wear compared to other naval guns, and also resulted in excessive dispersion at long range. Because of this, the final velocity of the "Palla" rounds was reduced from 870 m/s to 850 m/s. Even with this reduced velocity, the 381mm/50 had the longest range of any guns ever mounted on a battleship, having the 884.8 kg AP rounds able to reach 42,8 km at the maximum elevation of +36°. This out-ranged the 46cm/45 Type 94 of the Yamato-class by almost 800 meters, and the 16"/50 Mk.7 of the Iowa-class by over 4000 meters.

 

From Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannone_da_381/50_Ansaldo_M1934

 

Having said that, it's obvious that the "Goffredo Mameli" can't have the same range as Roma for his main guns, also and more important, WG should change Roma's range to a more realistic one, cause 18,1 km on a tier VIII battleship is penalizing and pretty ridiculous, even if the guns are capable of penetrate everything this range is nothing more than a joke, especially when is given to the ship that had the guns with most range ever built, but this is again, another story. So to sum up, in the specifications of the armament, i gave the 381/50 a more suitable fire range, leaving however the record to Yamato and Shikishima for fame reasons.

 

Obviously, all the features of the ship are arranged, and many things have not been considered, the only thing that i considered in particular when re-designing the G1 is that i don't want Semi AP shells on this ship. For a battleship like this i think that the usual AP and HE system is the best option. Anyway going back on the main topic, the most important thing and what i wanted to convey to you all, is the fact that there are a lot of projects that could be added in game to make the Italian tech tree a fine and great addition to WoWs, both for regular and premium ships.

 

And finally, the reasons behind the ship name. Goffredo Mameli was an Italian patriot, poet, writer and one of the most important figures of the italian period called Risorgimento. He is also the author of the Italian National Anthem, "Il Canto degli Italiani". The Italian Risorgimento is also the period in which Italy was united under a single flag, with the help of some of the most important italian figures of all times, like Giuseppe Garibaldi, Giuseppe Mazzini, Camillo Benso, and of course, Goffredo Mameli. Now, the Edgardo Ferrati battleships may even have been the projects for the Caracciolo class, but in WoWs, they have the possibility to be a new and totally different class, and here comes the name. The "Unità d'Italia" class, that unites the F,D and G series just like the Italian flag united all its regions, for which i created this emblem, that could be used for example as special flag, together with the small hull detail on the bow


1084182655_StemmaClasseUnitdItalia.thumb.jpg.d395c3e8903488ed810e1e0e8a61f19b.jpg

 

And as i did for the G1, i plan to make a new design for a model of both the F and D series, placing the new ships as premiums for the Italian tech tree, in order to have tier VIII, IX and X. And who knows, maybe even something more.

I won't anticipate anything here but i think you have already an idea of what i want to make :)

 

I think that the Ferrati G1 could be a great addiction to the game, both for the italian Navy fans and for those who simply like playing with battleships; it would be fantastic to see it in game (Who wouldn't like to fire a full salvo with 16 381 mm guns?). And just like the Ferdinando Cassone project i made, it would be an honor if WG decided to take inspiration from my design for this ship.

 

Anyway, always hoping to see the Italian BB line in game and in general a full Italian tech tree (and possibly a good one, not one done just to stop the community requests), thank you very much for your patience and for reading my article!

 

 

Sites used for references:

https://stefsap.wordpress.com/2015/11/06/general-ferratis-1915-battleship-designs-f-and-f/

https://stefsap.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/general-ferratis-1915-battleship-d-serie-designs/

https://stefsap.wordpress.com/2015/11/26/general-ferratis-1915-battleship-g-series-designs/

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[COFC]
Players
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7,630 battles

another great job obviously this ship to its why. well now I want to see the aircraft carriers!:cap_haloween::cap_like:

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