Italian battleship Conte di Cavour
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (July 2009)|
Conte di Cavour at speed in her original configuration
|Name:||Conte di Cavour|
|Namesake:||Count Camillo Benso di Cavour|
|Decommissioned:||18 May 1928|
|Class & type:||Conte di Cavour-class battleship|
23,088 tons standard, 25,086 tons full load
28,800 tons standard, 29,100 tons full load
168.9 - 176.1 m
168.9 - 186.4 m
20 boilers, 4 shafts, 31,000 hp (23,000 kW)
8 boilers, 2 shafts, 93,000 hp (69,000 kW)
21.5 knots (41 km/h)
28 knots (53 km/h)
4,800 nautical miles at 10 knots (19 km/h)
3,100 nautical miles at 20 knots (37 km/h)
13 × 305mm / 46 cal
18 × 120mm / 50 cal
16 × 76mm / 50 cal
6 × 76/40 mm
3 × 450 mm torpedo tubes
10 × 320mm / 44 cal
12 × 120mm / 50 cal
8 × 100mm / 47 cal
8 × 37mm / 54 cal
12 × 20mm / 65 cal
280 mm max (vertical)
111 mm (horizontal)
280 mm max (vertical)
135 mm (horizontal)
Construction and first years
Built to a design by Chief Engineer (Tenente Generale del Genio Navale) Edoardo Masdea, Conte di Cavour was based in Taranto, in the impending war against Austria-Hungary (World War I). At the beginning of the war, 24 May 1915, Conte di Cavour became the flagship of the Rear-Admiral Luigi Amedeo di Savoia. During the war, the battleship had no active missions, since it was impossible to engage the enemy: she performed 966 hours of training exercises compared to 40 hours spent in 3 war actions.
After the war, Conte di Cavour had a propaganda cruise in North America, entering the ports of Gibraltar, Ponta Delgada, Fayal, Halifax, Boston, Newport, Tompkinsville, New York, Philadelphia, Annapolis, and Hampton Roads.
In the summer of 1922, King Victor Emmanuel III traveled on Conte di Cavour to pay visit to the freed Italian cities in the Adriatic Sea. She was also used by Benito Mussolini to travel to Tripoli, in April 1925.
On 12 May 1928, in Taranto, she was disarmed; five years later, in October 1933, Conte di Cavour was transferred to Trieste, to be re-constructed.
Reconstruction and World War II
The reconstruction process left only 40% of the original structure. The central 305 mm turret was removed, and the remaining guns of the same caliber[clarification needed] were upgraded to 320 mm. The new engines were able to provide 93,000 hp (69,000 kW), allowing Conte di Cavour to reach 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph). Overall, it was a good unit, even if with weak anti-aircraft and submarine protections.
Conte di Cavour was returned to the Regia Marina on 1 June 1937; she was in Taranto at the beginning of World War II, on 10 June 1940.
On 9 July 1940 she participated in the Battle of Calabria, which was the first between Italian and British navies. During the Battle of Taranto, 11–12 November 1940, Conte di Cavour was sunk in shallow waters by a torpedo dropped by a British aircraft during the attack on the naval base of Taranto. The ship was raised at the end of 1941, and then sent to Trieste to be repaired and upgraded in the anti-aircraft armament, but she never returned to active duty.
On 10 September 1943, Conte di Cavour was captured by Germans, but later abandoned during the Allied bombing of Trieste on 15 February 1945. She was scrapped on 27 February 1947.
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