Italian battleship Vittorio Veneto

"Vittorio Veneto" was the lead ship of the Italian "Vittorio Veneto"-class battleships, that served in the Regia Marina during World War II. She was named after the Italian victory at Vittorio Veneto, during World War I.


"Vittorio Veneto's" keel was laid in 1934 at "Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico", Trieste; she was launched on 25 July 1937, and her construction was completed in 1940, after Italy had entered in war against France and the United Kingdom.

"Vittorio Veneto" was designed by General Umberto Pugliese, and was the first battleship to exceed the limits of the Washington Treaty (35,000 tons of displacement). In 1942, "Vittorio Veneto" was the first Italian battleship to be equipped with a radar device, a "Gufo" E.C. 4".


"Vittorio Veneto" took part in the battle of Cape Teulada (27 November 1940), where her firepower (19 shells in 7 salvos from long range) caused the seven-cruiser British squadron to withdraw.

During a mission of 26 March29 March 1941, "Vittorio Veneto" participated in the dramatic events of the battle of Cape Matapan, fought along the Peloponnesus coast, where, after scaring off a squadron of British cruisers near the island of Gavdos and inflicting minor damage on them, she was hit by a torpedo-bomber and obliged to return to Italy; the Italian fleet adopted an exceptional formation on five lines to protect the "Vittorio Veneto", but a second aircraft attack, and a subsequent night battle, caused the sinking of three heavy cruisers and two destroyers to British battleship gunfire. Despite taking on 4,000 tons of water due to the extensive torpedo damage, the battleship was able to reach Taranto, but remained about five months out of service.

During the war in the Mediterranean Sea, "Vittorio Veneto" took part in 56 war missions, eleven of which had as their mission the hunting of enemy ships.

* 1 September: operation "Hats";
* 29 September: operation MB 5;
* 11 November: Battle of Taranto;
* 27 November: Battle of Cape Spartivento or Battle of Cape Teulada;

* 8 February: bombardment of Genoa;
* 27 March: Battle of Gavdos island;
* 28 March: Battle of Matapan. The commander of the ship was "Capitano di Vascello" Giuseppe Sparzani and the commander of the Italian fleet, flagship "Vittorio Veneto", was "Ammiraglio di Squadra" Angelo Iachino;
* 27 September: convoy "Albert" to Malta;
* 14 December: cancelled Italian convoys in the Mediterranean Sea;

* 15 June: "Vittorio Veneto" also participated in the Battle of Mid-June, where she and the "Littorio" successfully fenced off a large British convoy from Alexandria by their mere presence at sea;

* 9 September: surrender of the Italian fleet.

After the armistice of 8 September 1943, "Vittorio Veneto" was sent to Egypt, and was interned in the Great Bitter Lake, in the Suez Canal; a proposal to allow the battleship to fight side-by-side with the Allies in southern France and in the Pacific Ocean was dismissed because of political and operational considerations. After the war she was taken by the United Kingdom as war compensation. "Vittorio Veneto" was eventually returned to Italy where she was dismantled, in 1948.

External links

* [ Vittorio Veneto statistics]

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