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
Completed: 10
Lost: 3
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)
Propulsion: 2 shaft Reciprocating Vertical Triple Expansion (VTE) Engines
8 boilers
13,500 shp (10,100 kW)
Speed: 20 knots (23 mph; 37 km/h)
Range: 7,000 nmi (13,000 km) at 10 kn (12 mph; 19 km/h)
Complement: 600

2 turrets, each with
1 × 10-inch (254 mm) gun
or 2 × 8-inch (203 mm) guns
14 × 6-inch (152 mm) rapid fire guns
10 × 3-inch (76.2 mm) rapid fire guns
6 × 3-pounder rapid fire guns
2 × Maxim guns

4 × 457 mm (18 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 Ansaldo in Genoa, except ARA San Martin and ARA Belgrano which were subcontracted to Orlando of Livorno

Navy Ship Launched Fate
Argentina Garibaldi 27 May 1895 Decommissioned 20 March 1934
Argentina General Belgrano 1896 Decommissioned 8 May 1947
Argentina Pueyrredón 25 July 1898 Decommissioned 2 August 1954
Argentina San Martín 1896 Decommissioned 18 December 1935
Italy Francesco Ferruccio 23 April 1902 Decommissioned 1 April 1930
Italy Giuseppe Garibaldi 29 June 1899 Sunk 18 July 1915 by Austro-Hungarian submarine SM U-4
Italy Varese 6 August 1899 Decommissioned 4 January 1923
Japan Kasuga 22 October 1902 Disarmed 1920s, sunk by bombing 18 July 1945
Japan Nishin 9 February 1903 Disarmed 1920s, scuttled 1936

Later raised and expended as a target ship, sunk by Yamato on 18 January 1942

Spain Cristobal Colon September 1896 Scuttled by the crew 3 July 1898 after being run aground and surrendering during the Battle of Santiago de Cuba the US Navy tried to save the ship but it

slid off the beach and capsized

Spain Pedro de Aragon N/A Cancelled, never built



  • Fraccaroli, Aldo (1970). Italian Warships of World War I. London: Ian Allan. ISBN 978-0-7110-0105-3. 
  • Cowan, Mark and Sumrall, Alan "Old Hoodoo" The Battleship Texas, America's First Battleship (1895-1911) 2011

External links[edit]

Media related to Giuseppe Garibaldi class cruiser at Wikimedia Commons