During the Second World War, Italy had 5 Battleships. The Littorio (renamed Italia), Vittorio Veneto, Impero and Roma. These 41,400 ton Battleships boasted 15″ guns and a top speed of 31.4 knots. Although these ships were heavily armed, they lacked radar and good armor protection. Littorio class battleships had radar installed by 1942 and it was called the Gufo system. “Gufo” meaning owl in Italian. Only one Battleship was lost in the war, the Roma, which was sunk by a German guided missile called the 1400 FX on September 8, 1943 after the Italian surrender to the Allies. The missile was launched by a bomber and controlled by a bombardier. It struck an ammunition’s magazine which exploded. The ship sank in just under 21 minutes taking the Italian Naval Commander in Chief down with her.
|Main Guns||9 x 15″ in 3 triple turrents|
|Secondary Guns||12 x 6″ in 4 triple turrents|
|Aircraft||3 with 1 catapult|
|Range||4,580 NM at 16 knots|
|Compliment||1,872 – 1,960|
Specifications credit: Collins/Janes Warships of World War II.