Etna-class cruiser (1941)

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Etna class.png
Etna class cruiser (1941)
Class overview
Name: Etna class
Built: 1939–1942
Planned: 2
Completed: 0
Lost: 2
General characteristics
Type: Cruiser
Displacement: 5,900 long tons (6,000 t) standard
Length: 153.8 m (504 ft 7 in) overall
Beam: 14.47 m (47 ft 6 in)
Draught: 5.95 m (19 ft 6 in)
  • 2 shaft geared turbines
  • 3 boilers
  • 40,000 hp (29,800 kW)
Speed: 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph)
Complement: 580
  • Belt 60 mm (2.4 in)
  • Deck 20–35 mm (0.8–1.4 in)

The Etna class were two cruisers originally ordered in Italy for the Thai Navy in 1938 and subsequently requisitioned for service by the Italian Navy on the outbreak of World War II, neither ship was completed and the damaged hulls were scrapped after the war.


The Thai government ordered two light cruisers from CRDA, Trieste in 1938. The ships were to displace 5,500 tons and be armed with six 6-inch (152 mm) guns in three twin turrets. Work on the vessels continued after Italy entered the war at a slowed pace until the Italian government took over the contract in late 1941.

The Italians modified the design to have 5.3-inch (135 mm) guns as main armament and 2.6 in (65 mm) guns as anti-aircraft armament. The aircraft equipment and torpedo tubes were also deleted and the superstructure modified. Extra cargo space comprising four holds of 600 cubic metres (21,000 cu ft) total volume, was also included to enable the ships to act as fast transports to North Africa. Collapsible crane derricks were fitted to access the cargo space. Extra accommodation was fitted in the former seaplane hangar and on the main deck.


Ship Laid down Launched Fate
Etna (ex-Taksin) 23 September 1939 28 May 1942 Scuttled September 1943
Vesuvio (ex-Naresuan) 26 August 1939 6 August 1941 Scuttled September 1943

When Italy surrendered to the Allies in September 1943 the hulls of the ships were 53% complete. Although both vessels were sabotaged before being captured by the Germans, they were able to continue some construction work before abandoning the project. The ships were scuttled in Trieste harbour in 1945. The hulls were re-floated and scrapped in the late 1950s.


  • Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1947
  • Whitley M.J. Cruisers of World War Two - an International Encyclopedia, 1995 ISBN 1-86019-874-0