Italian battleship Vittorio Veneto
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Vittorio Veneto firing upon Allied cruisers during the daytime phase of the Battle of Cape Matapan near the Island of Gavdos
|Namesake:||Battle of Vittorio Veneto|
|Ordered:||10 June 1934|
|Builder:||'San Marco' Trieste, Cantieri Riuniti dell' Adriatico (C.R.D.A.)|
|Laid down:||28 October 1934|
|Launched:||25 July 1937|
|Sponsored by:||Signora Maria Bertuzzi|
|Commissioned:||28 April 1940|
|Decommissioned:||1 February 1948|
|Struck:||1 February 1948|
|Fate:||Scrapped at La Spezia 1951-54|
|Class & type:||Littorio-class battleship|
|Displacement:||37,613 long tons (38,217 t) (light)
40,516 long tons (41,166 t) (standard)
42,935 long tons (43,624 t) (normal)
45,029 long tons (45,752 t) (full load)
|Length:||780.05 ft (237.76 m) oa
734.070 ft (223.745 m) pp
|Beam:||108.104 ft (32.950 m) max beam
106.408 ft (32.433 m) waterline
|Draft:||34.252 ft (10.440 m) @ 45,029 long tons (45,752 t; 50,432 short tons)|
|Installed power:||128,222 shp (95,615 kW) (normal)
138,085 shp (102,970 kW) (overload)
|Propulsion:||8 × Yarrow boilers
4 × steam turbines
4 × shafts
|Speed:||29 kn (33 mph; 54 km/h) (full-load)
31.428 kn (36.167 mph; 58.205 km/h) (speed trials)
|Range:||4,580 mi (7,370 km; 3,980 nmi) at 16 kn (30 km/h; 18 mph)
3,920 mi (6,310 km; 3,410 nmi) at 20 kn (37 km/h; 23 mph)
1,770 mi (2,850 km; 1,540 nmi) at 30 kn (56 km/h; 35 mph)
|EC 3 ter 'Gufo' Radar|
|Armament:||3 × 3 381 mm (15.0 in)/50 cal guns
4 × 3 152 mm (6.0 in)/55 cal guns
4 × 1 120 mm (4.7 in)/40 guns for illumination
12 × 1 90 mm (3.5 in)/50 anti-aircraft guns
20 37 mm (1.5 in)/54 guns (8 × 2; 4 × 1)
10 × 2 20 mm (0.79 in)/65 guns
6 × 1 8 mm (0.31 in) guns
|Armor:||max 350 mm (14 in) (vertical)
max 207 mm (8.1 in) (horizontal)
|Aircraft carried:||3 aircraft (IMAM Ro.43 or Reggiane Re.2000)|
|Aviation facilities:||1 stern catapult|
Vittorio Veneto was the lead ship of the Littorio class of battleships that served in the Regia Marina during World War II. She was named after the Italian victory at Vittorio Veneto, during World War I.
Vittorio Veneto's keel was laid in 1934 at Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Trieste; she was launched on 25 July 1937, and her construction was completed in 1940, after Italy had entered in war against France and the United Kingdom.
Vittorio Veneto was designed by General Umberto Pugliese, and was the first battleship to exceed the limits of the Washington Naval Treaty (35,000 long tons (36,000 t) of displacement). In 1942, Vittorio Veneto was the first Italian battleship to be equipped with a radar device, a "Gufo" E.C. 4.
Vittorio Veneto took part in the Battle of Cape Spartivento (known as Battle of Cape Teulada to the Italians) on 27 November 1940. The Italian fleet - including Vittorio Veneto - despite the recent attack by the British on Taranto had interrupted a British convoy to Malta earlier in the month. The British follow-up convoy was much better defended and when the Italian fleet sortied on the 27 November to intercept it they were met with a covering force including two British battleships and an aircraft carrier preceded by light cruisers. Following instructions not to engage unless the odds were in their favour, the Italians were preparing to leave but their cruisers found themselves engaged with the British ones. A British battleship closed to open fire on the Italian cruisers but Vittorio Veneto, firing seven salvos from around 27 km, was sufficient to cause the British cruisers to disengage. The two fleets separated without causing significant damage on either side.
During a mission on 26–29 March 1941, Vittorio Veneto participated in the battle of Cape Matapan, fought along the south western coast of Crete. In the action near the island of Gavdos she drove off a squadron of four Allied light cruisers and three destroyer shadowing the Italian heavy cruisers, inflicting minor splinter damage on them. In the course of the battle she fired 94 shells in 29 salvos but suffered 11 rounds jammed in her guns. A British air attack did not damage her but caused the Italian fleet to head back towards their own air cover at Taranto. A second British air strike damaged one of Vittorio Veneto's propellers, stopping her for over an hour for repairs and reducing her speed to 19 knots. The Italian fleet adopted an exceptional formation on five lines to protect the Vittorio Veneto and she survived a third attack by British aircraft though one of her defenders, the Pola, was torpedoed and part of the Italian force was dispatched to help her. In the subsequent night battle three heavy cruisers and two destroyers of the helping force were sunk by British battleships at close range. Despite taking on 4,000 long tons (4,100 t) of water due to the extensive torpedo damage, the battleship was able to reach Taranto, but remained out of service for about five months.
During the war in the Mediterranean Sea, Vittorio Veneto took part in 56 war missions, 11 of them sorties against enemy shipping.
- 1 September: operation Hats;
- 29 September: operation MB 5;
- 11 November: Battle of Taranto;
- 17 November: operation White
- 27 November: Battle of Cape Spartivento;
- 27 March: Battle of Gavdos island;
- 28 March: Battle of Matapan. The commander of the ship was Capitano di Vascello Giuseppe Sparzani and the commander of the Italian fleet, flagship Vittorio Veneto, was Ammiraglio di Squadra Angelo Iachino;
- 27 September: convoy Albert to Malta;
- 14 December: attacked by British submarine HMS Urge, cancelled Italian convoys in the Mediterranean Sea;
- 15 June: Vittorio Veneto also participated in the Battle of Mid-June, where she and her sister ship Littorio successfully fenced off a large British convoy from Alexandria by their mere presence at sea;
- 9 September: surrender of the Italian fleet.
After the armistice between Italy and the Allies announced on 8 September 1943, Vittorio Veneto and the majority of the Italian fleet sailed for Malta and North Africa to join the Allies. She ended up on "care and maintenance" in the Great Bitter Lake, in the Suez Canal, Egypt. A proposal to allow the battleship to fight side-by-side with the Allies in southern France and in the Pacific Ocean was dismissed because of political and operational considerations. After the war, she was taken by the UK as part of war reparations. Vittorio Veneto was eventually returned to Italy where she was dismantled, at La Spezia 1951-54.
Twelve anti-aircraft Ansaldo 90/53 guns taken from the Vittorio Veneto were reused by the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) as armament of its Žirje Island coastal artillery battery. The battery surrendered without resistance to the Croatian National Guard on 14 September 1991, during the Croatian War of Independence, and played a pivotal role in 16–22 September Battle of Šibenik, helping defend the city of Šibenik against the JNA.
- Whitley, "Battleships of World War Two", 171
- Bagnasco and de Toro, "The Littorio Class", 46
- Bagnasco and de Toro, "The Littorio Class", 34
- Bagnasco and de Toro, "The Littorio Class", 118
- Garzke and Dulin, Axis and Neutral Battleships, 428
- Garzke and Dulin, Axis and Neutral Battleships, 430
- Garzke and Dulin, Axis and Neutral Battleships, 434
- Garzke and Dulin, Axis and Neutral Battleships, 425
- Garzke and Dulin, Axis and Neutral Battleships, 435
- Bagnasco and de Toro, "The Littorio Class", 112
- Bagnasco and de Toro, "The Littorio Class", 101-102
- Bagnasco and de Toro, "The Littorio Class", 48
- Bagnasco and de Toro, "The Littorio Class", 86
- Battle of Cape Teulada, by Cristiano D'Adamo
- Greene & Massignani The Naval War in the Mediterranean, 1940–1943 pages 151-152
- Čutura, Dinko (June 2010). "Topovi - branitelji Šibenika" [Guns - defenders of Šibenik]. Hrvatski vojnik (in Croatian) (Ministry of Defence (Croatia)) (297). ISSN 1333-9036.
- Reljanović, Marijo (November 2001). "Hrvatska ratna mornarica u obrani Jadrana" [Croatian Navy in defence of the Adriatic]. Hrvatski vojnik (in Croatian) (Ministry of Defence (Croatia)) (77). ISSN 1333-9036.
- Bagnasco, Erminio; de Toro, Augusto (2010). The Littorio Class. S Yorkshire: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-59114-445-8.
- Garzke, William H.; Dulin, Robert O. (1985). Battleships: Axis and Neutral Battleships in World War II. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-101-3.
- Whitley, M.J. (1998). Battleships of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-184-X. OCLC 40834665.