Ruggiero di Lauria-class ironclad

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Italian battleship Andrea Doria (1885).jpg
Andrea Doria on 18 April 1899.
Class overview
Name: Ruggiero di Lauria class
Builders: Castellammare Navy Yard, Venice Navy Yard, La Spezia Navy Yard
Operators:  Regia Marina
Preceded by: Italia class
Succeeded by: Re Umberto class
Built: 1881–1891
In commission: 1888–1911
Completed: 3
Retired: 3
General characteristics
Type: Ironclad battleship
Displacement: Normal: 9,886 long tons (10,045 t)
Full load:
Ruggiero di Lauria: 10,997 long tons (11,173 t)
Francesco Morosini: 11,145 long tons (11,324 t)
Andrea Doria: 11,027 long tons (11,204 t)
Length: 328 ft 1 in (100.0 m) between perpendiculars
347 ft 5 in (105.9 m) overall
Beam: 65 ft 1 in (19.8 m)
Draft: Ruggiero di Lauria: 27 ft 2 in (8.3 m)
Francesco Morosini: 27 ft 6 in (8.4 m)
Andrea Doria: 27 ft 3.5 in (8.3 m)
Installed power: Ruggiero di Lauria: 10,591 ihp (7,898 kW)
Francesco Morosini: 10,000 ihp (7,457 kW)
Andrea Doria: 10,500 ihp (7,830 kW)
Propulsion: Ruggiero di Lauria, Andrea Doria: 2-shaft compound engine, 8 cylindrical boilers
Francesco Morosini: 2-shaft compound engine, 8 oval boilers
Speed: Ruggiero di Lauria: 17 knots (20 mph; 31 km/h)
Francesco Morosini: 16 knots (18 mph; 30 km/h)
Andrea Doria: 16.1 knots (18.5 mph; 29.8 km/h)
Endurance: 2,800 nautical miles (5,186 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Complement: 507, later 509
Armament: As built:
  • 4 × 17-inch (432 mm)/27 guns (2×2)
  • 2 × 6-inch (152 mm)/32 guns
  • 4 × 14-inch (356 mm) torpedo tubes (submerged)

Added in 1900:

  • 2 × 75mm guns
  • 10 × 57mm/40 quick-firing guns
  • 12 × 37mm guns
  • 5 × 37mm/20 revolvers
  • 2 × machine guns
Armor: Steel armor
  • Belt: 17 inches (432 mm)
  • Deck: 3 inches (76.2 mm)
  • Conning Tower: 9.8 inches (249 mm)
  • Barbettes: 14.2 inches (361 mm)
  • Citadel: 14.2 inches (361 mm)

The Ruggiero di Lauria class was a class of Italian battleships which served in the Regia Marina (Italian Royal Navy) during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They essentially were improved versions of the Caio Duilio-class battleships which had preceded them.[1]

Technical characteristics[edit]

The Italian Minister of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ferdinando Acton, opposed very large battleships such as the Caio Duilio and Italia classes which had preceded the Ruggiero di Lauria class as well as the use of the giant guns that had armed those classes; he assigned the design of the Ruggiero di Lauria-class ships to Eng Insp Giuseppe Micheli, who had shown originality in his earlier design projects. However, Micheli chose essentially to repeat the Caio Duilio-class design in the Ruggiero di Lauria class. He did, however, improve on the Caio Duilio class by giving the Ruggiero di Lauria-class ships breech-loading 17-inch (432 mm) guns (the Caio Duilio class had been armed with 17.7-inch (450 mm) muzzle loaders) mounted in barbettes rather than turrets, a high forecastle, a better quality of armor, and a better distribution of armor. The main battery was mounted in twin mounts close together en echelon amidships as in the Caio Duilio-class ships, with the port barbette aft of the starboard one.[1]

The three Ruggiero di Lauria-class ships differed in the details of their propulsion machinery and in the power that machinery produced, resulting in different speeds. They also differed in detail in their full-load displacement and draft. All three ships had two large funnels and a single, large, central mast. In 1900, all three had additional tertiary armament installed.[1]


The ships were named after medieval and Renaissance Italian military and naval leaders.


The ships were authorized under the 1880 naval program and were laid down in 1881 and 1882. They underwent protracted construction periods; it took nearly six-and-a-half years to build Ruggiero di Lauria, over seven-and-a-half to construct Francesco Morosini, and nearly nine-and-a-half to build Andrea Doria. By the time the ships entered service between 1888 and 1891, they were of obsolete design.[1]

Operational history[edit]

Quickly outclassed due to the rapid pace of naval technological development, the ships had relatively short operational lives. They were stricken between 1909 and 1911. Francesco Morosini was sunk almost immediately as a target, but the other two lingered for many years; Andrea Doria served in subsidiary duties before and during World War I, and both Andrea Doria and Ruggiero di Lauria served for many years as hulks.[1][2]

Ships in class[edit]

Ruggiero di Lauria[edit]

Ruggiero di Lauria was laid down in 1881, launched in 1884, and completed in 1888. After she was stricken in 1909, she served as a floating oil tank until sunk in shallow water in a World War II air raid in 1943. She was scrapped in 1946–1947.[1][2]

Francesco Morosini[edit]

Francesco Morosini was laid down in 1881, launched in 1885, and completed in 1889. A month after being stricken in 1909, she was sunk as a target in shallow water. Her wreck was scrapped.[1][2]

Andrea Doria[edit]

Andrea Doria was laid down in 1882, launched in 1885, and completed in 1891. After she was stricken in 1911, she served as a depot ship. During World War I she served as a defensive floating battery, then lingered as a floating oil tank until scrapped in 1929.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships, 1860–1905, p. 342.
  2. ^ a b c d Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships, 1905–1921, pp. 255–256.


  • Fraccaroli, Aldo (1970). Italian Warships of World War I. London: Ian Allan. ISBN 978-0-7110-0105-3. 

External links[edit]