Giuseppe Garibaldi-class cruiser

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For the 1930s-era light cruisers, see Condottieri-class cruiser and Italian cruiser Giuseppe Garibaldi (1936).
Armoured cruiser Kasuga
Kasuga in 1900
Class overview
Builders: Ansaldo, Genoa, Italy
Orlando, Livorno
Operators:  Imperial Japanese Navy
 Regia Marina
 Argentine Navy
 Spanish Navy
Built: 1895–1904
In commission: 1896–1954
Planned: 11
Completed: 10
Cancelled: 1
Lost: 3
Scrapped: 7
General characteristics
Type: Armored cruiser
Displacement: 7,628 long tons (7,750 t) Kasuga
7,698 long tons (7,822 t) Nisshin
Length: 108.8 m (356 ft 11 in) w/l
111.73 m (366 ft 7 in) o/a
Beam: 18.9 m (62 ft 0 in)
Draught: 7.32 m (24 ft 0 in)
Installed power: 13,000–13,500 ihp (9,700–10,100 kW)
Propulsion: 2 Shafts
2 Vertical triple-expansion steam engines
Speed: 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph)
Range: 5,500 nmi (10,200 km; 6,300 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Complement: 555 officers and enlisted men
(578 as flagship)
Armament: 2 gun turrets, each with
  • 1 × single 254 mm (10 in) gun or 1 × twin 203 mm (8 in) guns
  • 10–14 × single 152 mm (6 in)
  • 0–6 × single 120 mm (4.7 in) guns
  • 10 × single 76 mm (3 in) guns
  • 6 × single 47 mm (1.9 in) guns
  • 4 × single 450 mm (17.7 in) torpedo tubes
Armour: Main Belt: 70–150 mm (2.8–5.9 in)
Deck: 25–38 mm (0.98–1.50 in)
Barbette, Turret, Casemate & Conning tower: 100–150 mm (3.9–5.9 in)

The Giuseppe Garibaldi class were a group of armoured cruisers built in Italy at the end of the nineteenth century. Ten ships were built for both the Regia Marina and for export.

Design and history[edit]

Right elevation and deck plan as depicted in Brassey's Naval Annual 1902

The design was a private venture by the Italian firm of Gio. Ansaldo & C., which was hoping to profit from the need for the world's navies to modernize towards heavily armoured steam warships.

Designed by Edoardo Masdea, the Garibaldi-class cruiser was a hybrid between a cruiser and a battleship. With a maximum speed of 20 knots (37 km/h) the design was slightly slower than contemporary cruisers, but was both heavily armed and armoured, in a package with very low displacement and moderate dimensions.

The design was so popular that between 1894 and 1902 ten cruisers were purchased by four different countries; the first five by the Italian Navy, four by the Argentine Navy and one by the Spanish Navy. According to Brassey's Naval Annual, Spain was planning to acquire a second "Garibaldi"-class cruiser, to be named Pedro de Aragon. These plans were shelved after the Spanish–American War and the subsequent downsizing of the Spanish Armada.

Two of the Italian ships ordered in 1902 were sold to the Argentine Navy before completion as the Mitre and Roca; they were renamed as the Rivadavia and the Mariano Moreno. The Argentines in turn sold them to the Imperial Japanese Navy before final completion in 1904, and they were renamed the Kasuga and Nisshin

The class was unusual in that they did not have a uniform main armament. Some had single 10-inch (254 mm) guns in gun turrets fore and aft; others (including the Kasuga) had a mixed armament of a single 10-inch (254 mm) gun in one turret and another turret with twin 8-inch (203 mm) guns. A third variation (including the Nisshin) was a uniform armament of four 8-inch (203 mm) guns in twin gun turrets fore and aft. The Cristobal Colon was fitted with defective 10-inch guns which were removed before it was committed to combat. Therefore, it only went to battle with 10 smokeless powder Armstrong six inch guns mounted in the hull (5 on each side).


All ships were built by Gio. Ansaldo & C. in Genoa-Sestri Ponente, except ARA San Martin and ARA Belgrano which were subcontracted to Orlando in Livorno.

Ship Launched Fate
Garibaldi 27 May 1895 Decommissioned, 20 March 1934
General Belgrano 1896 Decommissioned, 8 May 1947
Pueyrredón 25 July 1898 Decommissioned, 2 August 1954
San Martín 1896 Decommissioned, 18 December 1935
Francesco Ferruccio 23 April 1902 Decommissioned, 1 April 1930
Giuseppe Garibaldi 29 June 1899 Sunk, 18 July 1915, by Austro-Hungarian submarine SM U-4
Varese 6 August 1899 Decommissioned, 4 January 1923
Kasuga 22 October 1902 Disarmed 1920s, sunk by bombing 18 July 1945
Nisshin 9 February 1903 Disarmed 1920s, scuttled 1936. Later raised and expended as a target ship, sunk by the battleship Yamato, 18 January 1942
Cristobal Colon September 1896 Scuttled, 3 July 1898, after being run aground and surrendering during the Battle of Santiago de Cuba.
Pedro de Aragon Cancelled, never built



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External links[edit]