Italian cruiser Raimondo Montecuccoli
Raimondo Montecuccoli visiting Australia in 1938
|Laid down:||1 October 1931|
|Launched:||2 August 1934|
|Commissioned:||30 June 1935|
|Decommissioned:||1 June 1964|
|Class and type:||Condottieri-class cruiser|
|Displacement:||7,523 t (7,404 long tons) standard
8,994 t (8,852 long tons) full load
|Length:||182.2 m (597 ft 9 in)|
|Beam:||16.6 m (54 ft 6 in)|
|Draught:||5.6 m (18 ft 4 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 shaft Belluzzo geared turbines
6 Yarrow boilers
106,000 hp (79,044 kW)
|Speed:||37 knots (43 mph; 69 km/h)|
|Range:||4,122 nmi (7,634 km) at 18 kn (21 mph; 33 km/h)|
|Armament:||• 8 × 152 mm (6.0 in) guns (4×2)
• 6 × 100 mm (3.9 in) guns (3×2)
• 8 × 37 mm guns (4×2)
• 8 × 13.2 mm guns (4×2)
• 4 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes (2×2)
|Armour:||Deck: 30 mm (1.2 in)
Main belt: 60 mm (2.4 in)
Turrets: 70 mm (2.8 in)
Conning tower: 100 mm (3.9 in)
|Aircraft carried:||2 aircraft|
|Aviation facilities:||1 catapult|
Montecuccoli, which gives the name to its own sub-class, was part of the third group of Condottieri class light cruisers. They were larger and better protected than their predecessors. She was built by Ansaldo, Genoa, and was named after Raimondo Montecuccoli, a 17th-century Italian general in Austrian service.
Montecuccoli entered service in 1935 and was sent out to the Far-East in 1937 to protect Italian interests during the Sino-Japanese War, and returned home in November 1938 after being relieved by the Bartolomeo Colleoni. During the war she participated in the Battle of Punta Stilo and in the successful Battle of Pantelleria. At Pantelleria, she and the cruiser Eugenio di Savoia, forming the 7th Division, fought a long gunnery duel with the escort of the convoy, at the end of which their combined fire crippled the destroyer Bedouin and damaged the cruiser Cairo and the destroyer Partridge; however, despite being decimated by Axis air attacks, a few ships from the convoy successfully reached Malta. During the engagement, according to post-battle reports from both sides, she scored a hit on the minesweeper HMS Hebe at "approx. 26.000 yards".
She was badly damaged by USAAF bombers in Naples on 4 December 1942, with the loss of 44 of her crew, but having been repaired and just weeks before the armistice, on August 1943, she shelled without consequences a small Allied convoy off Palermo during the Allied invasion of Sicily. After the Armistice she was interned by the Allies and returned to Italy after the war to serve as a training cruiser until 1964.
Remains of Montecuccoli today
Some remains of the ship, along with several artillery pieces and armoured vehicles, are located at the Sunday City (it:Città della Domenica in Italian), originally called Spagnolia, theme and amusement park near Perugia, in Italy. There is the forward mast and a dual artillery mount, placed near the mast.
- Da Zara, Appendix 1, p. 38-9
- M.J. Whitley, Cruisers of World War Two, 1995, Arms and armour Press ISBN 1-86019-874-0
- Da Zara, Alberto (1949). Pelle d'Ammiraglio (2014 ed.). Ufficio Storico della Marina Militare. ISBN 8898485913.