By Mark Stille
Usually neglected as a naval strength of WWII, Italy's Regia Marina used to be, upon the assertion of struggle opposed to France, the fourth greatest army on the planet. regardless of its numbers, the Italian fleet was once made from principally out of date vessels, none being outfitted with radar, and had a name for having inadequately-trained crews. extra to those drawbacks, the Italian commanders didn't benefit from the discretion of command at sea that their opposite numbers within the provider of different international locations did, being directed heavily by way of the Supermarina (Italian Naval Headquarters). regardless of those stumbling blocks, and the heavy losses inflicted upon the fleet via the Royal army whereas in harbour at Taranto, the battleships of the Italian military loved a very good popularity for being well-designed, and served with braveness and backbone at Punto Stilo/Calabria, Sirte, Cape Spartivento, and Cape Matapan. Mark Stille information, due to many attractive images, together with numerous from the Italian Navy's personal files, the battleships of 1 of the forgotten navies of WWII.
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Additional info for Italian Battleships of World War II (New Vanguard, Volume 182)
A later raid on June 5 put two bomb hits on Vittorio Veneto’s forward port side; the Italians were lucky since one bomb was a dud and the other caused relatively minor damage. Vittorio Veneto was sent to Genoa for repairs and subsequently returned to La Spezia. Littorio suffered light damage in the same raid, but was repaired at La Spezia. The Roma was also hit by two bombs in the June 5 raid, which caused severe flooding forward. On the night of June 23–24, two more bombs hit Roma aft. Damage was relatively minor, but the ship was sent to Genoa for repairs, which were completed quickly and the ship was back at La Spezia by August 13.
Of the 1,849 crew, only 596 survived. Doria and Duilio proceeded from Taranto to Malta with no damage from attack. Cesare also sortied to Malta from the naval school at Pola, but en 42 route a portion of the crew mutinied and attempted to scuttle the ship. The officers regained control and the ship arrived in Malta. The Regia Marina’s final two battleships, Impero and Cavour, remained in Trieste. Cavour was still six months away from completion of her repairs and Impero was only 28 percent complete overall.
Close support to the convoy was provided by Duilio. The convoy was recalled after a British submarine attack that sank two freighters, and as the Italian forces returned to port, Vittorio Veneto was torpedoed by a submarine in the Strait of Messina. One of three torpedoes fired hit the ship on the port side abreast the after turret. Despite the fact that the ship took on over 2,000 tons of water, she returned to port. Repairs were not completed until June 1942. Two days later the Italians mounted another major convoy operation.