Italian cruiser Emanuele Filiberto Duca d'Aosta
|Name:||Emanuele Filiberto Duca d'Aosta|
|Laid down:||29 October 1932|
|Launched:||22 April 1934|
|Commissioned:||13 July 1935|
|Fate:||Ceded to the Soviet Union as war reparation, March 1949|
|Struck:||20 February 1959|
|Class and type:||Condottieri-class cruiser|
|Length:||186.9 m (613 ft 2 in)|
|Beam:||17.5 m (57 ft 5 in)|
|Draught:||6.1 m (20 ft 0 in)|
|Speed:||36.5 knots (67.6 km/h; 42.0 mph)|
|Range:||3,900 nmi (7,200 km) at 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)|
|Aircraft carried:||2 or 3 Ro.43 floatplanes|
|Aviation facilities:||1 catapult|
Emanuele Filiberto Duca d'Aosta was an Italian light cruiser of the fourth group of the Condottieri-class, that served in the Regia Marina during World War II. She survived the war, but was ceded as war reparation to the Soviet Navy in 1949. She was finally renamed Kerch and served in the Black Sea Fleet until the 1960s.
Duca d'Aosta was the namesake of the fourth subclass of Condottieri light cruisers. The design of the Duca d'Aostas derived from the preceding Montecuccoli class, with a slight increase in size and a significant increase in armour. The machinery was also re-arranged.
The ship joined the 7th Cruiser Division and in 1938 departed on a circumnavigation with her sister-ship, Eugenio Di Savoia. The deteriorating world political situation caused this to be cut short after visits to the Caribbean and South America, and the ships returned La Spezia in March 1939.
World War II
At the Italian entry into the war, d'Aosta was part of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron and participated in the Battle of Punta Stilo between 6–10 July. In addition, she protected North Africa convoys, took part in a fleet sortie against British cruisers and bombarded Corfu on 18 December.
During 1941, d'Aosta served mostly with the 8th Cruiser Division, laying minefields off North Africa and protecting convoys. One of the convoy duties, in December, led to the First Battle of Sirte, in which d'Aosta took part.
Her duties in 1942 were much as before, but with aggressive actions against Allied convoys, including the Operations Harpoon and Vigorous, in June, to resupply the British controlled island of Malta. She sailed in August to intercept the critical Pedestal convoy, but, being without air cover, this sortie was abandoned. On 13 June 1942, d'Aosta survived a torpedo attack by the British submarine HMS Unison, while south of Sardinia with the Raimondo Montecuccoli.
In 1943, d'Aosta was inactive due to fuel shortages for most of the remainder of the year, but in August, she attempted, unsuccessfully, a bombardment of Allied positions around Palermo.
d'Aosta was a "lucky ship" in that she never was damaged in any of the naval actions in which she participated nor was she ever damaged by air attack or submarine attack.
After the Italian Armistice, d'Aosta had a minor refit at Taranto and in October 1943, with the cruisers Duca degli Abruzzi and Giuseppe Garibaldi, she sailed to the South Atlantic, to serve with the Allies on shipping blockade duties, based at Freetown. There were seven patrols between November 1943 and February 1944; she returned to Italy in April and, thereafter, was used only for transport.
After the war, d'Aosta was inactive. On 2 March 1949, transferred to the Soviet Union as Z15. She was first renamed as Stalingrad, then as Kerch and served with the Soviet Black Sea Fleet until she was stricken on 20 February 1959 and scrapped in the 1960s (possibly 1960).
- Chalcraft, Geoff (2000–2008). "Unison". British Submarines of World War II. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
- Rohwer, Jürgen; Mikhail S. Monakov. Stalin's Ocean-going Fleet: Soviet Naval Strategy and Shipbuilding. Routledge. p. 268.