Paolo Thaon di Revel

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For the later Italian fencer and politician, see Paolo Ignazio Maria Thaon di Revel.
His Grace
Paolo Emilio Thaon
Marquess of Revel
Amiral Paolo Thaon di Revel N53030881 JPEG 1 1DM (cropped).jpg
Nickname(s) "Duke of the Sea"
Born (1859-06-10)June 10, 1859
Turin, Piedmont-Sardinia
Died March 24, 1948(1948-03-24) (aged 88)
Rome, Italy
Allegiance  Kingdom of Italy
Service/branch Italian Royal Navy
Years of service 1873–1926
Rank Captain at sea
Counter admiral
Grand admiral

Italo-Turkish War (1911—1912)

World War I (1915—1918)

Spouse(s) Irene Martini di Cigala (m. 1898–1906); her death
Relations Giovanna Thaon (daughter)
Clotilde Thaon (daughter)
Other work Politician

Paolo Emilio Thaon, Marquess of Revel (10 June 1859 – 24 March 1948), laterly titled by Benito Mussolini with the honorary title of 1st Duke of the Sea, was an Italian admiral of the Royal Italian Navy (Regia Marina) during World War I and later a politician.


Thaon di Revel was born in Turin from a family of the Savoyard and Niçard nobility of Scottish descent, a minor son of Marquess and Count Ottavio Thaon di Revel.

He took part as Rear-admiral in the Italo-Turkish War, commanding Italian cruisers in the Battle of Beirut.

He twice served as Naval Chief of Staff during World War I and was reluctant to risk the Italian battlefleet in anything other than a major surface action. On 3 February 1917, he replaced the Duke of the Abruzzi as commander of the Italian Navy.[1] After the Italian rout at Caporetto in November 1917, he secured the coastal area. He favoured the action of smaller vessels, as the MAS which sunk the Austrian battleship Szent István in June 1918. In the late days of the war he led the bombardment of Durazzo[2] and the quick occupation of the coasts of Istria and Dalmatia.

In 1917 he was named to the Italian Senate. In November 1921, while serving as the Chief of the Italian Naval Staff, he was Italy's naval representative to the Washington Armaments Conference.[3]

In 1922, he was ennobled by King Victor Emmanuel III and given the victory title of 1st Duca del Mare ("Duke of the Sea"). In October 1922 he was appointed Minister of the Navy and chief advisor of King Victor Emmanuel III; he resigned as Minister in 1925. He was promoted to Grand Admiral on 4 November 1924. He was President of the Italian Senate from 1943 to 1944 after the fall of fascist regime.

Thaon di Revel died in Rome in 1948. He was buried in the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, next to general Armando Diaz.

Political offices
Preceded by
Giacomo Suardo
President of the Italian Senate
Succeeded by
Pietro Tomasi Della Torretta