Regia Marina
Overview
 
The Regia Marina dates from the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy (Regno d'Italia) in 1861 after Italian unification
Italian unification
Italian unification was the political and social movement that agglomerated different states of the Italian peninsula into the single state of Italy in the 19th century...

 (il Risorgimento). In 1946, with the birth of the Italian Republic
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 (Repubblica Italiana), the Regia Marina changed its name to (Marina Militare
Marina Militare
The Italian Navy is the navy of the Italian Republic. It is one of the four branches of military forces of Italy; formed in 1946, from what remained of the Regia Marina . As of 2008, the Italian Navy had 35,200 active personnel with 180 commissioned ships, 19 Floating Docks, and 123 aircraft...

, (Italian) Navy) as it was now the navy of the Italian Republic.
The Regia Marina was established on 17 March 1861 following the proclamation of the formation of the Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

.
Encyclopedia
The Regia Marina dates from the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy (Regno d'Italia) in 1861 after Italian unification
Italian unification
Italian unification was the political and social movement that agglomerated different states of the Italian peninsula into the single state of Italy in the 19th century...

 (il Risorgimento). In 1946, with the birth of the Italian Republic
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 (Repubblica Italiana), the Regia Marina changed its name to (Marina Militare
Marina Militare
The Italian Navy is the navy of the Italian Republic. It is one of the four branches of military forces of Italy; formed in 1946, from what remained of the Regia Marina . As of 2008, the Italian Navy had 35,200 active personnel with 180 commissioned ships, 19 Floating Docks, and 123 aircraft...

, (Italian) Navy) as it was now the navy of the Italian Republic.

Origins

The Regia Marina was established on 17 March 1861 following the proclamation of the formation of the Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

. Just as the Kingdom was a unification of various states in the Italian peninsula, so the Regia Marina was formed from the navies of those states, though the main constituents were the navies
Real Marina (Kingdom of the Two Sicilies)
The Royal Navy of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was the official term in documents of the era for the naval forces of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies - it and the Royal Army together formed the Kingdom's armed forces...

 of the former kingdoms of Sardinia
Kingdom of Sardinia
The Kingdom of Sardinia consisted of the island of Sardinia first as a part of the Crown of Aragon and subsequently the Spanish Empire , and second as a part of the composite state of the House of Savoy . Its capital was originally Cagliari, in the south of the island, and later Turin, on the...

 and Naples
Kingdom of Naples
The Kingdom of Naples, comprising the southern part of the Italian peninsula, was the remainder of the old Kingdom of Sicily after secession of the island of Sicily as a result of the Sicilian Vespers rebellion of 1282. Known to contemporaries as the Kingdom of Sicily, it is dubbed Kingdom of...

. The new Navy inherited a substantial number of ships, both sail- and steam-powered, and the long naval traditions of its constituents, especially those of Sardinia and Naples, but also suffered from some major handicaps.

Firstly, it suffered from a lack of uniformity and cohesion; the Regia Marina was a heterogeneous mix of equipment, standards and practice, and even saw hostility between the officers from the various former navies. These problems were compounded by the continuation of separate officer schools at Genoa
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

 and Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

, and were not fully addressed until the opening of a unified Naval Academy
Accademia Navale di Livorno
The Italian Naval Academy is a coeducational military university in Leghorn , which is responsible for the technical training of military officers of the Italian Navy.-The Hospital of St. James:...

 at Livorno
Livorno
Livorno , traditionally Leghorn , is a port city on the Tyrrhenian Sea on the western edge of Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Livorno, having a population of approximately 160,000 residents in 2009.- History :...

 in 1881.

Secondly, unification occurred during a period of rapid advances in naval technology and tactics, as typified by the launch of La Gloire by France in 1858, and later by the appearance of, and battle between, the USS Monitor
USS Monitor
USS Monitor was the first ironclad warship commissioned by the United States Navy during the American Civil War. She is most famous for her participation in the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862, the first-ever battle fought between two ironclads...

 and CSS Virginia
CSS Virginia
CSS Virginia was the first steam-powered ironclad warship of the Confederate States Navy, built during the first year of the American Civil War; she was constructed as a casemate ironclad using the raised and cut down original lower hull and steam engines of the scuttled . Virginia was one of the...

 in 1862. These innovations quickly made older warships obsolete. Italy did not possess the shipyards or infrastructure to build the modern ships required, but the then Minister for the Navy, Admiral Carlo di Persano
Carlo di Persano
Count Carlo Pellion di Persano was an Italian admiral and politician, who was commander of the Regia Marina fleet at the Battle of Lissa....

, launched a substantial programme to purchase warships from foreign yards.

Seven Weeks War

The new navy's baptism of fire came on 20 July 1866 at the Battle of Lissa
Battle of Lissa (1866)
The Battle of Lissa took place on 20 July 1866 in the Adriatic Sea near the Dalmatian island of Lissa and was a decisive victory for an outnumbered Austrian Empire force over a superior Italian force...

 during the Third Italian War of Independence
Third Italian War of Independence
The Third Italian War of Independence was a conflict which paralleled the Austro-Prussian War, and was fought between the Kingdom of Italy and the Austrian Empire.-Background:...

 (parallel to the Seven Weeks War). The battle was fought against the Austrian Empire
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

 and occurred near the island of Vis
Vis (island)
Vis is the most outerly lying larger Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea, and is part of the Central Dalmatian group of islands, with an area of 90.26 km² and a population of 3,617 . Of all the inhabited Croatian islands, it is the farthest from the coast...

 in the Adriatic sea
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

. This was one of the few fleet actions of the nineteenth century, and as a major sea battle that involved ramming, it had a profound, though with hindsight a detrimental, effect on warship design and tactics.

The Italian fleet, commanded by Admiral Persano, mustered 12 ironclad and 17 wooden-hulled ships, though only one, the Affondatore, was of the most modern turret ship
Turret ship
Turret ships were a 19th century type of warship, the earliest to have their guns mounted in a revolving gun turret, instead of a broadside arrangement....

 design. Despite a marked disadvantage in numbers and equipment, superior handling by the Austrians under Admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff
Wilhelm von Tegetthoff
Wilhelm von Tegetthoff was an Austrian admiral. Considered one of the prominent naval commanders of the 19th century, Tegetthoff was known for his innovative tactics as well as his inspirational leadership....

 resulted in a severe defeat for Italy, which lost two armoured ships and 640 men.

Following the defeat at Lissa the Regia Marina made significant advances towards recovery. In 1881, the battleship Duilio was commissioned, followed in 1882 by the battleship Enrico Dandolo
Italian ironclad Enrico Dandolo
Enrico Dandolo was an ironclad battleship built in Italy for the Regia Marina in the 1870s. Designed by Benedetto Brin, together with her sister ship , and armed with 100-ton, 450 mm muzzle-loading Armstrong guns, she was considered the most powerful battleship of the time...

; at the time these were the most powerful warships in the world. In 1896 the corvette Magenta completed a circumnavigation of the world. The following year the Regia Marina conducted experiments with Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian inventor, known as the father of long distance radio transmission and for his development of Marconi's law and a radio telegraph system. Marconi is often credited as the inventor of radio, and indeed he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand...

 in the use of radio communications. 1909 saw the first use of aircraft with the fleet.

Italo-Turkish War

In 1911 and 1912, the Regia Marina was involved in the Italo-Turkish War
Italo-Turkish War
The Italo-Turkish or Turco-Italian War was fought between the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Italy from September 29, 1911 to October 18, 1912.As a result of this conflict, Italy was awarded the Ottoman provinces of Tripolitania, Fezzan, and...

 against forces of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

.

World War I

Before 1914, the Kingdom of Italy built and maintained six dreadnought
Battleship
A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. Battleships were larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a...

 battleships: (Dante Alighieri
Italian battleship Dante Alighieri
Dante Alighieri was the first dreadnought battleship built for the Regia Marina . Named after the medieval Italian poet Dante Alighieri, she was the first ship built with triple gun turrets for the main armament...

 as a prototype; Giulio Cesare
Italian battleship Giulio Cesare
Giulio Cesare , motto Caesar Adest was a Conte di Cavour-class battleship that served in the Regia Marina in both World Wars before joining the Soviet Navy as the Novorossiysk. Her keel was laid down on 24 June 1910 at Cantieri Ansaldo, Genoa...

, Conte di Cavour
Italian battleship Conte di Cavour
Conte di Cavour was an Conte di Cavour class battleship, that served in the Regia Marina during World War I and World War II. It was named after the Italian statesman Count Camillo Benso di Cavour.-Construction and first years:...

 and Leonardo da Vinci
Italian battleship Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci was a Conte di Cavour class battleship of the Regia Marina . She was 170 metres long, small for a battleship. Her twenty boilers and four shafts generated 24MW and gave a top speed of 11 m/s . She was crewed by about 1,000 men.Leonardo da Vinci was built between 18 July 1910...

 of the Conte di Cavour class
Conte di Cavour class battleship
The Conte di Cavour class was a battleship class of the Regia Marina in World War I and World War II.-Design:This class was the second group of dreadnoughts in the Regia Marina. The ships were designed by Admiral Edoardo Masdea....

; and Andrea Doria and Caio Duilio
Italian battleship Caio Duilio
Caio Duilio was an Italian that served in the Regia Marina during World War I and World War II. She was named after the Roman fleet commander Gaius Duilius. Caio Duilio was laid down on 24 February 1912 and after a year and two months of construction, she was launched on 24 April 1913...

 of the Andrea Doria Class
Andrea Doria class battleship
The Andrea Doria class was a class of dreadnought battleships of the Regia Marina . Only two were built, in the La Spezia and Castellammare shipyards, in Italy, between 1912 and 1915....

), but they did not participate in major naval actions in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

.

During the war, the Regia Marina spent its major efforts in the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

, fighting the Austro-Hungarian Navy
Austro-Hungarian Navy
The Austro-Hungarian Navy was the naval force of Austria-Hungary. Its official name in German was Kaiserliche und Königliche Kriegsmarine , abbreviated as k.u.k. Kriegsmarine....

. The resulting Adriatic Campaign of World War I
Adriatic Campaign of World War I
The Adriatic Campaign of World War I was a naval campaign fought during World War I between the Central Powers, and the Mediterranean squadrons of Great Britain, France, the Kingdom of Italy, Australia and the United States.-Characteristics:...

 consisted mainly of Austro-Hungarian coastal bombardments of Italy's Adriatic coast, and wider-ranging German/Hungarian submarine warfare into the Mediterranean. Allied forces mainly limited themselves to blockading the German/Hungarian navies in the Adriatic, which was successful in regards to surface units, but failed for the submarines, which found safe harbours and easy passage into and out of the area for the whole of the war. Considered a relatively minor part of the naval warfare of World War I, it nonetheless tied down significant forces.

For most of the war the Italian and Austro-Hungarian navies each kept a relatively passive watch over their adversaries. The Italian fleet lost the pre-dreadnought battleship Benedetto Brin
Regina Margherita class battleship
The Regina Margherita was a class of battleships built for the Italian Regia Marina between 1898 and 1905. The class comprised two ships: Regina Margherita and Benedetto Brin....

 at Brindisi
Brindisi
Brindisi is a city in the Apulia region of Italy, the capital of the province of Brindisi, off the coast of the Adriatic Sea.Historically, the city has played an important role in commerce and culture, due to its position on the Italian Peninsula and its natural port on the Adriatic Sea. The city...

 (27 September 1915) and the dreadnought Leonardo da Vinci
Italian battleship Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci was a Conte di Cavour class battleship of the Regia Marina . She was 170 metres long, small for a battleship. Her twenty boilers and four shafts generated 24MW and gave a top speed of 11 m/s . She was crewed by about 1,000 men.Leonardo da Vinci was built between 18 July 1910...

 at Taranto
Taranto
Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, Southern Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto and is an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base....

 (2 August 1916) due to a magazine explosion (although there were rumours of Austrian sabotage). In the last part of the war, the Regia Marina developed new, insidious weapons: the MAS boats
MAS (boat)
Motoscafo Armato Silurante , commonly abbreviated as MAS was a class of fast torpedo armed vessel used by the Regia Marina during World War I and World War II...

, that sank the Austro-Hungarian battleship SMS Szent István
SMS Szent István
SMS Szent István was a dreadnought , the only one built in the Hungarian part of Austria-Hungary. The Ganz & Company's Danubius yard in Hungarian-owned Fiume was awarded the contract to build the battleship in return for the Hungarian government agreeing to the 1910 and 1911 naval budgets...

 in the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

 on 10 June 1918; and an early type of human torpedo
Human torpedo
Human torpedoes or manned torpedoes are a type of rideable submarine used as secret naval weapons in World War II. The basic design is still in use today; they are a type of diver propulsion vehicle....

 (Mignatta) entered the harbour of Pula
Pula
Pula is the largest city in Istria County, Croatia, situated at the southern tip of the Istria peninsula, with a population of 62,080 .Like the rest of the region, it is known for its mild climate, smooth sea, and unspoiled nature. The city has a long tradition of winemaking, fishing,...

 and sank the Austro-Hungarian flagship
Flagship
A flagship is a vessel used by the commanding officer of a group of naval ships, reflecting the custom of its commander, characteristically a flag officer, flying a distinguishing flag...

 Viribus Unitis
SMS Viribus Unitis
SMS Viribus Unitis was the first Austro-Hungarian dreadnought battleship of the . Its name, meaning "With United Forces", was the personal motto of Emperor Franz Joseph I.Viribus Unitis was ordered by the Austro-Hungarian navy in 1908...

 on 1 November 1918 after the end of hostilities. The battleship Teggetthoff
SMS Tegetthoff
SMS Tegetthoff was an Austro-Hungarian dreadnought battleship of the Tegetthoff class named after Wilhelm von Tegetthoff, a 19th-century Austrian admiral most notable for defeating the Italian Navy in the Battle of Lissa....

 (sister of the former two) was handed over to Italy as a war prize in 1919.

Interwar years

During the interwar period
Interwar period
Interwar period can refer to any period between two wars. The Interbellum is understood to be the period between the end of the Great War or First World War and the beginning of the Second World War in Europe....

, the Italian government decided to enhance the Regia Marina with a view to challenging the British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

's Mediterranean Fleet. In order to minimize contact with the British vessels and their more experienced crews, the Regia Marina based its strategy on fast ships with long-range artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

. Accordingly it had new guns developed which had smaller calibres but longer ranges than their British counterparts; furthermore, in order to allow higher speeds, new Italian ships had designs with thinner armour (such as Giovanni dalle Bande Nere
Italian cruiser Giovanni dalle Bande Nere
Giovanni delle Bande Nere was an Italian light cruiser of the first group of the Condottieri class, which served in the Regia Marina during World War II. She was named after the eponymous 16th century condottiero and member of the Medici family...

).

In 1925, the Regia Marina ordered two school ships to be built following a design by Lieutenant Colonel Francesco Rotundi of the Italian Navy Engineering Corps, inspired by the style of large late 18th century 74-cannon ships of the line
Ship of the line
A ship of the line was a type of naval warship constructed from the 17th through the mid-19th century to take part in the naval tactic known as the line of battle, in which two columns of opposing warships would manoeuvre to bring the greatest weight of broadside guns to bear...

. The first of these two ships, the Cristoforo Colombo, was put into service in 1928 and was used by the Italian Navy until 1943. After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, this ship was handed over to the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 as part of war reparations and was shortly afterwards decommissioned.

The second ship of the design was the Amerigo Vespucci
Amerigo Vespucci (ship)
The Amerigo Vespucci is a tall ship of the Marina Militare, named after the explorer Amerigo Vespucci. Its home port is Livorno, Italy; It is still in use as a school ship....

. The ship was built in 1930 at the (formerly Royal) Naval Shipyard of Castellammare di Stabia
Castellammare di Stabia
Castellammare di Stabia is a comune in the province of Naples, Campania region, southern Italy. It is situated on the Bay of Naples about 30 kilometers southeast of Naples, on the route to Sorrento.-History:...

 (Naples). She was launched on 22 February 1931, and was put into service in July of that year.

Italo-Ethiopian War

The Regia Marina played a limited role in the invasion of Ethiopia. While the Ethiopian Empire
Ethiopian Empire
The Ethiopian Empire also known as Abyssinia, covered a geographical area that the present-day northern half of Ethiopia and Eritrea covers, and included in its peripheries Zeila, Djibouti, Yemen and Western Saudi Arabia...

 was landlocked, the navy was instrumental in delivering and supplying the invasion forces through Somali
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

 and Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

n ports.

Spanish Civil War

At the time of the Italian intervention in the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

, the Regia Marina sent naval units in support of the Italian Corps of Volunteer Troops (Corpo Truppe Volontarie
Corpo Truppe Volontarie
The Corps of Volunteer Troops was an Italian expeditionary force which was sent to Spain to support General Francisco Franco and the Spanish Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War...

). Approximately 58 Italian submarines took part in operations against Republican naval forces of Spain. These submarines were organized in a Submarine Legion and complemented German U-boat
U-boat
U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

 operations as part of Operation Ursula. At least two Republican freighters, one Soviet and another Panamanian were either sunk or forced to run aground by Italian destroyers near the Strait of Sicily
Strait of Sicily
The Strait of Sicily is the strait between Sicily and Tunisia. It is about wide and divides the Tyrrhenian Sea and the western Mediterranean Sea from the eastern Mediterranean. Its maximum depth is ....

. Two light cruisers took part in the shelling of Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

 and Valencia in 1937, resulting in the deaths of more than 30 civilians.

Albania

In 1939, the Regia Marina supported the invasion of Albania
Italian invasion of Albania
The Italian invasion of Albania was a brief military campaign by the Kingdom of Italy against the Albanian Kingdom. The conflict was a result of the imperialist policies of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini...

. All ground forces involved in the invasion had to cross the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

 from mainland Italy and the crossings were accomplished without incident.

World War II

On 10 June 1940, the Kingdom of Italy declared war on France
French Third Republic
The French Third Republic was the republican government of France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed due to the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, to 1940, when France was overrun by Nazi Germany during World War II, resulting in the German and Italian occupations of France...

 and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and entered World War II. Italy went to war with the fourth largest navy in the world. Italian dictator Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

 saw the control of the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 as an essential prerequisite for expanding his "New Roman Empire" into Nice
Nice
Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, with a population of 348,721 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of more than 955,000 on an area of...

, Corsica
Corsica
Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located west of Italy, southeast of the French mainland, and north of the island of Sardinia....

, Tunis
Tunis
Tunis is the capital of both the Tunisian Republic and the Tunis Governorate. It is Tunisia's largest city, with a population of 728,453 as of 2004; the greater metropolitan area holds some 2,412,500 inhabitants....

, and the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

. Italian naval building accelerated during his tenure. Mussolini described the Mediterranean as "Mare Nostrum
Mare Nostrum
Mare Nostrum may refer to:*Mare Nostrum, the Roman term for the Mediterranean Sea, adopted by Italian nationalists and fascists.*Mare Nostrum , a Spanish-language novel by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez...

" (Our Sea).

Before the declaration of war, Italian ground and air forces prepared to strike at the beaten French forces across the border with France
Italian invasion of France
The Italian invasion of France in June 1940 was a small-scale invasion that started near the end of the Battle of France during World War II. The goal of the Italian offensive was to take control of the Alps mountain range and the region around Nice, and to win the colonies in North Africa...

. By contrast, the Regia Marina prepared to secure the lines of communications between Italy, Libya
Italian Libya
Italian Libya was a unified colony of Italian North Africa established in 1934 in what represents present-day Libya...

, and the East Africa
Italian East Africa
Italian East Africa was an Italian colonial administrative subdivision established in 1936, resulting from the merger of the Ethiopian Empire with the old colonies of Italian Somaliland and Italian Eritrea. In August 1940, British Somaliland was conquered and annexed to Italian East Africa...

n colonies. The Italian High Command (Comando Supremo) did not approve of the plan devised by the Italian Naval Headquarters (Supermarina) to occupy a weakly defended Malta.

At the time that Italy declared war, the Regia Marina consisted of six capital ship
Capital ship
The capital ships of a navy are its most important warships; they generally possess the heaviest firepower and armor and are traditionally much larger than other naval vessels...

s. The four most modern of these ships were being re-equipped. Only the two oldest capital ships were in a state of operational readiness. In addition to the six capital ships, the Italians had 19 cruisers, 59 destroyers, 67 torpedo boats, and 116 submarines. Numerically the Italian fleet was strong but there was a large number of obsolete units and the service suffered in general from insufficient training of crews. The shortage of oil precluded extensive operations.

The warships of the Regia Marina had a general reputation as being well-designed. Italian small attack craft lived up to expectations and were responsible for many brave and successful actions in the Mediterranean. But some Italian cruiser classes were rather deficient in armour and all Italian warships lacked radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

, although the lack of radar was partly offset by the fact that Italian warships were equipped with good rangefinder
Rangefinder
A rangefinder is a device that measures distance from the observer to a target, for the purposes of surveying, determining focus in photography, or accurately aiming a weapon. Some devices use active methods to measure ; others measure distance using trigonometry...

 and fire-control
Fire-control system
A fire-control system is a number of components working together, usually a gun data computer, a director, and radar, which is designed to assist a weapon system in hitting its target. It performs the same task as a human gunner firing a weapon, but attempts to do so faster and more...

 systems. In addition, whereas Allied commanders at sea had discretion on how to act, the actions of Italian commanders were closely and precisely governed by Italian Naval Headquarters.

This could lead to action being avoided when the Italian forces had a clear advantage. For example, during "Operation Hats" the Regia Marina had superior forces at sea, but avoided the opportunity to exploit its advantage. Italian Naval Headquarters was conscious that the British could replace ships lost in the Mediterranean, whereas Italian resources were limited.

The Italian Navy also lacked a proper fleet air arm. The aircraft carriers Aquila
Italian aircraft carrier Aquila
Aquila was an Italian aircraft carrier converted from the trans-Atlantic passenger liner during World War II. Work on Aquila began in late 1941 at the Ansaldo shipyard in Genoa and continued for the next two years. With the signing of the Italian armistice on 8 September 1943, however, all work...

 and Sparviero
Italian aircraft carrier Sparviero
Sparviero was an Italian aircraft carrier designed and built during World War II. She was originally the ocean liner MS Augustus. The conversion was started in 1942 and was almost completed, but the ship was never delivered to the Regia Marina...

 were never completed and most air support during the Battle of the Mediterranean
Battle of the Mediterranean
The Battle of the Mediterranean was the name given to the naval campaign fought in the Mediterranean Sea during World War II, from 10 June 1940-2 May 1945....

 was supplied by the land-based Regia Aeronautica
Regia Aeronautica
The Italian Royal Air Force was the name of the air force of the Kingdom of Italy. It was established as a service independent of the Royal Italian Army from 1923 until 1946...

.

Mediterranean

The Allies gained the upper hand after several actions. On the night of 11 November 1940, the British carrier HMS Illustrious launched two waves of torpedo-bombers against the Italian Fleet moored at the naval base of Taranto
Taranto
Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, Southern Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto and is an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base....

, where they sank three battleships, in what became known as Operation Judgement
Battle of Taranto
The naval Battle of Taranto took place on the night of 11–12 November 1940 during the Second World War. The Royal Navy launched the first all-aircraft ship-to-ship naval attack in history, flying a small number of obsolescent biplane torpedo bombers from an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea...

. Another major defeat was inflicted on the Regia Marina at Cape Matapan
Battle of Cape Matapan
The Battle of Cape Matapan was a Second World War naval battle fought from 27–29 March 1941. The cape is on the southwest coast of Greece's Peloponnesian peninsula...

, where the British Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Navy
Royal Australian Navy
The Royal Australian Navy is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the ships and resources of the separate colonial navies were integrated into a national force: the Commonwealth Naval Forces...

 intercepted and destroyed three heavy cruisers (Zara
Italian cruiser Zara
Zara was an Italian Zara class heavy cruiser, which served in the Regia Marina during World War II. The cruiser was named after the Adriatic city of Zara ....

, Pola
Italian cruiser Pola
The Pola was a Zara class heavy cruiser of the Italian Regia Marina. She was built in the OTO shipyard at Livorno and entered service in 1932...

 and Fiume
Italian cruiser Fiume
The Fiume was a Zara class heavy cruiser of the Italian Regia Marina. Her name derives from the city of Fiume and her motto Sic indeficienter virtus derived from the city's motto since 1659, Indeficienter-Service:...

; all of the same class) and two Poeti class
Oriani class destroyer
The Oriani Class were a group of four destroyers built for the Italian Navy in the late 1930s. They were a repeat of the Maestrale class destroyers, but had increased machinery power and a different anti-aircraft armament. The increase in power, however, disappointed in that there was only a...

 destroyers in a night ambush, with the loss of over 2300 seamen. The Allies had Ultra
Ultra
Ultra was the designation adopted by British military intelligence in June 1941 for wartime signals intelligence obtained by "breaking" high-level encrypted enemy radio and teleprinter communications at the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park. "Ultra" eventually became the standard...

 intercepts, which uncovered the Italian movements, and radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

, which enabled them to locate the ships and range their weapons at distance and at night. The better air reconnaissance skills of the British Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm
Fleet Air Arm
The Fleet Air Arm is the branch of the British Royal Navy responsible for the operation of naval aircraft. The Fleet Air Arm currently operates the AgustaWestland Merlin, Westland Sea King and Westland Lynx helicopters...

 and their close collaboration with surface units were other major causes of the Italian debacle.

The most successful attack performed by the Regia Marina was a human torpedoes raid
Raid on Alexandria (1941)
The Raid on Alexandria was carried out on 19 December 1941 by Italian Navy forces attacking Royal Navy forces in the harbour of Alexandria.-Background:...

 on Alexandria
Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

 harbour. On 19 December 1941, the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth
HMS Queen Elizabeth (1913)
HMS Queen Elizabeth was the lead ship of the Queen Elizabeth-class of dreadnought battleships, named in honour of Elizabeth I of England. She saw service in both World Wars...

 and Valiant
HMS Valiant (1914)
HMS Valiant was a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship of the British Royal Navy. She was laid down at the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Govan on 31 January 1913 and launched on 4 November 1914...

 were sunk in shallow water by limpet mine
Limpet mine
A limpet mine is a type of naval mine attached to a target by magnets; they are so named because of their superficial similarity to the limpet, a type of mollusk....

s planted by Italian manned torpedoes. It took almost two years before both warships could be raised and returned to active service. This action brought important strategic consequences.

On the night of 19 December, Force K
Force K
Force K was the designation for three British Royal Navy task forces during World War II. The first Force K operated from West Africa in 1939. The second and third Force Ks operated from Malta in 1941-1943.-First Force K:...

, comprising three cruisers and four destroyers based at Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

, became stranded in an Italian minefield off Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

. Force K had accounted for the destruction of some 60,000 tons of Axis
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

 shipping in 1941. The cruiser
Cruiser
A cruiser is a type of warship. The term has been in use for several hundreds of years, and has had different meanings throughout this period...

 HMS Neptune
HMS Neptune (20)
HMS Neptune was a Leander class light cruiser which served with the Royal Navy during World War II.Neptune was the fourth ship of its class and was the ninth Royal Navy vessel to carry the name...

 and the destroyer
Destroyer
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast and maneuverable yet long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller, powerful, short-range attackers. Destroyers, originally called torpedo-boat destroyers in 1892, evolved from...

 HMS Kandahar
HMS Kandahar (F28)
HMS Kandahar was a K-class destroyer of the Royal Navy, named after the Afghan city of Kandahar.-History:Kandahar was launched on 21 March 1939. On 21 February 1941, in company with and , she captured the German blockade runner off Iceland...

 were lost. In addition, three other ships were seriously damaged and more than 800 men died. Force K was put out of action and Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

's offensive capabilities were reduced to a minimum.

This sudden series of Allied
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 defeats allowed the Regia Marina to achieve naval supremacy in the central Mediterranean. The Axis supply routes from southern Europe to North Africa were almost untouched by the British Royal Navy or its allies for several months.
The Italian fleet took advantage of the situation and went on the offensive. The fleet blocked or decimated at least three large Allied convoys bound for Malta. This led to a number of naval engagements, such as the Second Battle of Sirte
Second Battle of Sirte
The Second Battle of Sirte was a naval engagement in which the escorting warships of a British convoy to Malta frustrated a much more powerful Regia Marina squadron. The British convoy was composed of four merchant ships escorted by four light cruisers, one anti-aircraft cruiser, and 17 destroyers...

, the Battle of Mid-June
Operation Harpoon (1942)
Not to be confused with Operation Harpoon Operation Harpoon was one of two simultaneous Allied convoys sent to supply Malta in the Axis-dominated Mediterranean Sea in mid-June 1942, during the Second World War. One convoy, Operation Vigorous, left Alexandria. The other, Operation Harpoon, travelled...

, Operation Harpoon
Operation Harpoon (1942)
Not to be confused with Operation Harpoon Operation Harpoon was one of two simultaneous Allied convoys sent to supply Malta in the Axis-dominated Mediterranean Sea in mid-June 1942, during the Second World War. One convoy, Operation Vigorous, left Alexandria. The other, Operation Harpoon, travelled...

, Operation Vigorous
Operation Vigorous
Operation Vigorous was a World War II Allied operation to deliver a supply convoy that sailed from Haifa and Port Said on 12 June 1942 to Malta. The convoy encountered heavy Axis air and sea opposition and returned to Alexandria on 16 June....

, and Operation Pedestal
Operation Pedestal
Operation Pedestal was a British operation to get desperately needed supplies to the island of Malta in August 1942, during the Second World War. Malta was the base from which surface ships, submarines and aircraft attacked Axis convoys carrying essential supplies to the Italian and German armies...

. All of these engagements were favourable to the Axis. Despite this activity, the only real success of the Italian Fleet was the aerial and surface attacks on the Harpoon convoy. These attacks sank several Allied warships and damaged others. Only two transports of the original six in the convoy reached Malta. This was the only undisputed squadron-sized victory for Italian surface forces in World War II.

However, this was only a brief happy time for the Axis. The oil and supplies brought to Malta, despite heavy losses, by Operation Pedestal in August and the Allied landings in North Africa, Operation Torch
Operation Torch
Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....

, in November, turned the fortunes of war against Italy. After years of stalemate, the Axis forces were ejected from Libya and Tunisia in just six months, their supply lines harassed day after day by the overwhelming aerial and naval supremacy of the Allies. The maritime lane between Sicily and Tunisia became known as the "route of death".

The Regia Marina performed well and bravely in its North African convoy duties, but remained at a technical disadvantage. The Italian ships relied on a speed advantage, but could easily be damaged by shell or torpedo, due to their relatively thin armour. The fatal and final blow to the Italian Navy was a shortage of fuel, which forced its main units to remain at anchor for most of the last year of the Italian alliance with Germany.

Atlantic

From 10 June 1940, submarines of the Regia Marina took part in the Battle of the Atlantic alongside the U-Boats of the German Navy (Kriegsmarine
Kriegsmarine
The Kriegsmarine was the name of the German Navy during the Nazi regime . It superseded the Kaiserliche Marine of World War I and the post-war Reichsmarine. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches of the Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany.The Kriegsmarine grew rapidly...

). The Italian submarines were based in Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 at the BETASOM
BETASOM
BETASOM BETASOM BETASOM (an Italian language acronym of Bordeaux Sommergibile. was a submarine base established at Bordeaux by the Italian Regia Marina Italiana during World War II....

 base. While more suited for the Mediterranean Sea than the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

, the thirty-two Italian submarines that operated in the Atlantic sank one-hundred-and-nine Allied ships for a total of 593,864 tons.

The Regia Marina even planned an attack on New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 harbour for December 1942, but this plan was delayed for many reasons and was never carried out.

Red Sea

From 10 June 1940, the Regia Marina Red Sea Flotilla
Red Sea Flotilla
The Red Sea Flotilla was a unit of the Italian Royal Navy based in Massawa, Eritrea, when Massawa was part of Italian East Africa...

, based in Massawa
Massawa
Massawa, also known as Mitsiwa Massawa, also known as Mitsiwa Massawa, also known as Mitsiwa (Ge'ez ምጽዋዕ , formerly ባጽዕ is a city on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea. An important port for many centuries, it was ruled by a succession of polities, including the Axumite Empire, the Umayyad Caliphate,...

, Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

, posed a potential threat to Allied shipping crossing the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 between the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

 and the Mediterranean Sea. Initially, the East African Campaign
East African Campaign (World War II)
The East African Campaign was a series of battles fought in East Africa during World War II by the British Empire, the British Commonwealth of Nations and several allies against the forces of Italy from June 1940 to November 1941....

 went well for Italy. In August 1940, the threat to Allied passage of the Red Sea was increased after the Italian conquest of British Somaliland
Italian conquest of British Somaliland
The Italian conquest of British Somaliland was a military campaign in the Horn of Africa, which took place in August 1940 between forces of Italy and those of Great Britain and its Commonwealth...

. This allowed the Italians the use of the port of Berbera
Berbera
Berbera is a city and seat of Berbera District in Somaliland, a self-proclaimed Independent Republic with de facto control over its own territory, which is recognized by the international community and the Somali Government as a part of Somalia...

 in what had been British Somaliland
British Somaliland
British Somaliland was a British protectorate in the northern part of present-day Somalia. For much of its existence, British Somaliland was bordered by French Somaliland, Ethiopia, and Italian Somaliland. From 1940 to 1941, it was occupied by the Italians and was part of Italian East Africa...

. In January 1941, British and Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 forces launched a counterattack
Counterattack
A counterattack is a tactic used in response against an attack. The term originates in military strategy. The general objective is to negate or thwart the advantage gained by the enemy in attack and the specific objectives are usually to regain lost ground or to destroy attacking enemy units.It is...

 in East Africa and the threat posed by the Red Sea Flotilla disappeared when Italian East Africa fell.

Much of the Red Sea Flotilla was destroyed by hostile action during the first months of war or when the port of Massawa fell in April 1941. However, there were a few survivors. In February 1941, prior to the fall of Massawa, the colonial ship Eritrea and the auxiliary cruisers
Armed merchantmen
Armed merchantman is a term that has come to mean a merchant ship equipped with guns, usually for defensive purposes, either by design or after the fact. In the days of sail, piracy and privateers, many merchantmen would be routinely armed, especially those engaging in long distance and high value...

 Ramb I
Italian ship Ramb I
The Italian ship Ramb I was a pre-war "banana boat" that was converted to be an auxiliary cruiser during World War II. The Ramb I operated in the area around the Horn of Africa. It was sunk in the Indian Ocean before it could take a single prize....

 and Ramb II
Italian ship Ramb II
The Italian auxiliary cruiser Ramb II was built at Monfalcone by the Re-United Yards of the Adriatic in 1937.-Design:...

 broke out and sailed to Kobe
Kobe
, pronounced , is the fifth-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, approximately west of Osaka...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. While Ramb I was sunk by the New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 cruiser Leander
HMNZS Leander
HMNZS Leander was a light cruiser which served with the Royal New Zealand Navy during World War II. She was the lead ship of a class of eight ships, the Leander class light cruiser and was initially named HMS Leander.- History :...

 off the Maldives
Maldives
The Maldives , , officially Republic of Maldives , also referred to as the Maldive Islands, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean formed by a double chain of twenty-six atolls oriented north-south off India's Lakshadweep islands, between Minicoy Island and...

, Eritrea and Ramb II made it to Kobe. As the port of Massawa was falling, four submarines—Guglielmo, Gauleo Ferraras, Perla, and Archimede—sailed south from Massawa, rounded the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.There is a misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, because it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact, the...

 and ultimately sailed to German occupied Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. ne or two Italian merchant ships from the Red Sea Flotilla made it to Vichy French-controlled Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

.

On 10 June 1941, the British launched Operation Chronometer and a battalion from the Indian Army
Indian Army
The Indian Army is the land based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. With about 1,100,000 soldiers in active service and about 1,150,000 reserve troops, the Indian Army is the world's largest standing volunteer army...

 was landed at Assab
Assab
Assab is a port city in the Southern Red Sea Region of Eritrea on the west coast of the Red Sea. In 1989, it had a population of 39,600. Assab possesses an oil refinery, which was shut down in 1997 for economic reasons...

, the last Italian-held harbour on the Red Sea. By 11 June, Assab had fallen. On 13 June, two days after the fall, the Indian trawler Parvati became the last naval casualty of the East African Campaign when it struck a moored mine near Assab.

Black Sea

In May 1942, at German request, the Regia Marina deployed four 24 ton anti-submarine motorboats (Motoscafo Anti Sommergibile, MAS), six CB class midget submarine
CB class midget submarine
The CB class was a group of midget submarines built for the Italian Navy during World War II.-Design:The boats were designed as coast defence units with diesel electric propulsion. There was a mini conning tower to aid navigation...

s, five torpedo motorboats, and five explosive motorboats to the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

. The vessels were transported overland to the Danube River
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 at Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, and then transported by water to Constanca
Constanta
Constanța is the oldest extant city in Romania, founded around 600 BC. The city is located in the Dobruja region of Romania, on the Black Sea coast. It is the capital of Constanța County and the largest city in the region....

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

. The flotilla had an active and successful campaign, based at Yalta
Yalta
Yalta is a city in Crimea, southern Ukraine, on the north coast of the Black Sea.The city is located on the site of an ancient Greek colony, said to have been founded by Greek sailors who were looking for a safe shore on which to land. It is situated on a deep bay facing south towards the Black...

 and Feodosia.

After Italy quit the war, most of the Italian vessels on the Black Sea were transferred to the German Navy (Kriegsmarine
Kriegsmarine
The Kriegsmarine was the name of the German Navy during the Nazi regime . It superseded the Kaiserliche Marine of World War I and the post-war Reichsmarine. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches of the Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany.The Kriegsmarine grew rapidly...

). By August 1944, they were ultimately captured by Soviet forces when Constanca was captured. The six submarines were transferred to the Royal Romanian Navy.

Lake Ladoga

The Regia Marina operated four MAS boats on Lake Ladoga
Lake Ladoga
Lake Ladoga is a freshwater lake located in the Republic of Karelia and Leningrad Oblast in northwestern Russia, not far from Saint Petersburg. It is the largest lake in Europe, and the 14th largest lake by area in the world.-Geography:...

 during the Continuation War
Continuation War
The Continuation War was the second of two wars fought between Finland and the Soviet Union during World War II.At the time of the war, the Finnish side used the name to make clear its perceived relationship to the preceding Winter War...

 (1941–1944). As part of Naval Detachment K
Naval Detachment K
The Finnish Naval Detachment K was a flotilla that operated on Lake Ladoga during World War II.-Background:The Continuation War began in the summer of 1941. The Finns, who had operated naval units on Lake Ladoga before World War II, began reestablishing a flotilla on the lake as soon as their...

, German, Italian, and Finnish vessels operated against Soviet gunboats, escorts and supply vessels during the Siege of Leningrad
Siege of Leningrad
The Siege of Leningrad, also known as the Leningrad Blockade was a prolonged military operation resulting from the failure of the German Army Group North to capture Leningrad, now known as Saint Petersburg, in the Eastern Front theatre of World War II. It started on 8 September 1941, when the last...

 between 21 June and 21 October 1942. Ultimately the Italian vessels were turned over to Finland.

Far East

The Regia Marina had a naval base in the concession territory
Concession (territory)
In international law, a concession is a territory within a country that is administered by an entity other than the state which holds sovereignty over it. This is usually a colonizing power, or at least mandated by one, as in the case of colonial chartered companies.Usually, it is conceded, that...

 of Tiensin
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

 in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. The primary Italian vessels based in China were the mine-layer Lepanto and the gunboat Carlotto. During World War II, Italian supply ships, auxiliary cruisers and submarines operated throughout the waters of the Far East, often in disguise. The Italians also utilized Japanese-controlled port facilities such as Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

, China, and Kobe, Japan.

Seven Italian submarines operating from France were converted by the Italians into "transport submarines
Merchant submarine
A merchant submarine is a type of submarine intended for trade, and being without armaments, it is not considered a warship like most other types of submarines...

" in order to exchange rare or irreplaceable trade goods with Japan. The Bagnolin, the Barbarigo
Italian submarine Barbarigo
Barbarigo was a World War II Italian built for the Italian Royal Navy . The submarine was converted into a transport to carry materiel between Germany and Japan in 1943, but disappeared on her first mission in that capacity, sometime after 16 June 1943....

, the Cappellini
Italian submarine Cappellini
Comandante Cappellini or Cappellini was a World War II Italian built for the Italian Royal Navy .Operating under the BETASOM command, Comandante Cappellini made war patrols in the Atlantic Ocean sinking or damaging 31,000 tons of enemy shipping. She participated in the rescue of the survivors of...

, the Finzi, the Giuliani, the Tazzoli, and the Torelli
Marconi class submarine
The Marconi-class was a class of six submarines built for the Royal Italian Navy . The submarines were all launched between 1939 and 1940, and all but one, , were lost in the Atlantic during the Second World War....

 were converted for service with the Monsun Gruppe
Monsun Gruppe
The Monsun Gruppe or Monsoon Group was a force of German U-boats that operated in the Pacific and Indian Oceans during World War II...

 ( "Monsoon Group") The name of the Cappellini was changed to Aquila III.

Twelve additional Romolo Class
Italian R class submarine
The R-class or Romolo-class were a group of submarines built for the Italian Royal Navy during World War II. These submarines were designed as blockade running transport submarines for transporting high-value cargo from Europe to Japan and from Japan to Europe...

 blockade running
Blockade runner
A blockade runner is usually a lighter weight ship used for evading a naval blockade of a port or strait, as opposed to confronting the blockaders to break the blockade. Very often blockade running is done in order to transport cargo, for example to bring food or arms to a blockaded city...

 transport submarines were specifically designed for trade with the Far East, but only two of these vessels were completed before Italy quit the war. Both of these submarines were destroyed by Allied action almost as soon as they were launched.

The Armistice of 1943

In 1943, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was deposed and the new Italian government agreed to an armistice with the Allies
Armistice with Italy
The Armistice with Italy was an armistice signed on September 3 and publicly declared on September 8, 1943, during World War II, between Italy and the Allied armed forces, who were then occupying the southern end of the country, entailing the capitulation of Italy...

. Under the terms of this armistice, the Regia Marina had to sail its ships to an Allied port. Most sailed to Malta, but a flotilla from La Spezia
La Spezia
La Spezia , at the head of the Gulf of La Spezia in the Liguria region of northern Italy, is the capital city of the province of La Spezia. Located between Genoa and Pisa on the Ligurian Sea, it is one of the main Italian military and commercial harbours and hosts one of Italy's biggest military...

 headed towards Sardinia
Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

. This was intercepted and attacked by German aircraft and the Roma
Italian battleship Roma
Roma was the name of three battleships of the Regia Marina , and may refer to:, a broadside ironclad, the lead ship of the Roma class, completed in 1869 and stricken in 1895, a predreadnought battleship of the Regina Elena class completed in 1908 and stricken in 1927, a dreadnought battleship of...

 was sunk by two hits from Fritz X
Fritz X
Fritz X was the most common name for a German guided anti-ship glide bomb used during World War II. Fritz X was a nickname used both by Allied and Luftwaffe personnel. Alternate names include Ruhrstahl SD 1400 X, Kramer X-1, PC 1400X or FX 1400...

 guided glide-bombs. Among the 1600 sailors killed onboard the Roma was the Italian Naval Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Carlo Bergamini
Carlo Bergamini (admiral)
Carlo Bergamini was an Italian admiral.-Early life:Born in San Felice sul Panaro, Bergamini became a Guardiamarina in 1908. He participated in the Italian-Turkish war as an officer on the armoured cruiser Vettor Pisani. During World War I, he was the chief of artillery on the cruiser Pisa...

.

As vessels became available to the new Italian government, the Italian Co-Belligerent Navy
Italian Co-Belligerent Navy
The Italian Co-Belligerent Navy , or Navy of the South or Royal Navy , was the navy of the Italian royalist forces fighting on the side of the Allies in southern Italy after the Allied armistice with Italy in September 1943...

 was formed to fight on the side of the Allies. Other ships were captured in port by the Germans or scuttled by their crews. Few Regia Marina crews chose to fight for Mussolini's new fascist regime in northern Italy, the Italian Social Republic
Italian Social Republic
The Italian Social Republic was a puppet state of Nazi Germany led by the "Duce of the Nation" and "Minister of Foreign Affairs" Benito Mussolini and his Republican Fascist Party. The RSI exercised nominal sovereignty in northern Italy but was largely dependent on the Wehrmacht to maintain control...

 (Repubblica Sociale Italiana, RSI). Mussolini's pro-German National Republican Navy (Marina Nazionale Repubblicana) hardly reached a twentieth the size attained by the co-belligerent Italian fleet. In the Far East, the Japanese occupied the Italian concession territory of Tiensin.

There was little use for the surrendered Italian battleships and there was doubt about the loyalties of the crews, so these ships were interned in Egypt. In June 1944, the less powerful battleships (Andrea Doria, Caio Duilio and Giulio Cesare) were allowed to return to Augusta harbour in Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 for training. The others (Vittorio Veneto
Italian battleship Vittorio Veneto
Vittorio Veneto was the lead ship of her class of 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.-Construction:...

 and Italia—ex Littorio
Italian battleship Littorio
|-External links:...

), remained at Ismaïlia
Ismaïlia
-Notable natives:*Osman Ahmed Osman, a famous and influential Egyptian engineer, contractor, entrepreneur, and politician, was born in this town on 6 April 1917....

 in the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

 until 1947. After the war, the Giulio Cesare was passed to the Soviet Union.

In the Co-belligerency period, until "VE" (Victory in Europe) Day
Victory in Europe Day
Victory in Europe Day commemorates 8 May 1945 , the date when the World War II Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. The formal surrender of the occupying German forces in the Channel Islands was not...

, Italian light cruisers participated in the naval war in the Atlantic Ocean with patrols against German raiders.Smaller naval units (mainly submarines and torpedo boats) served in the Mediterranean Sea. In the last days of war, the issue of whether Italian battleships and cruisers should participate in the Pacific War
Pacific War
The Pacific War, also sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War refers broadly to the parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in East Asia, then called the Far East...

 was debated by the Allied leaders.

There were also Italian naval units in the Far East in 1943 when the new Italian government agreed to an armistice with the Allies. The reactions of their crews varied greatly. In general, surface units, mainly supply ships and auxiliary cruisers, either surrendered at Allied ports (Eritrea at Colombo
Colombo
Colombo is the largest city of Sri Lanka. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte, the capital of Sri Lanka. Colombo is often referred to as the capital of the country, since Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte is a satellite city of Colombo...

, Ceylon) or, if in Japanese controlled ports, they were scuttled by their own crew (Conte Verde, Lepanto, and Carlotto at Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

). Ramb II was taken over by the Japanese in Kobe and re-named Calitea II. Four Italian submarines were in the Far East at the time of the armistice, transporting rare goods to Japan and Singapore: Ammiraglio Cagni, Cappellini (Aquilla III ), Giuliani, and Torelli
Marconi class submarine
The Marconi-class was a class of six submarines built for the Royal Italian Navy . The submarines were all launched between 1939 and 1940, and all but one, , were lost in the Atlantic during the Second World War....

. The crew of the Ammiraglio Cagni heard of the armistice and surrendered to the Royal Navy off Durban
Durban
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

. The Cappellini, Giuliani, and Torelli and their crews were temporarily interned by the Japanese. The boats passed to German U-boat command and, with mixed German and Italian crews, they continued to fight against the Allies. The German Navy assigned new officers to the three submarines.The three were re-named U.IT.23, U.IT.24 and U.IT.25 and took part in German war operations in the Pacific.The Giuliani was sunk by the British submarine Tallyho in February 1944. n May 1945, the other two vessels were taken over by the Japanese Imperial Navy when Germany surrendered.About twenty Italian sailors continued to fight with the Japanese. The Torelli remained active until 30 August 1945, when, in Japanese waters, this last Fascist Italian submarine shot down a North American B-25 Mitchell bomber of the United States Army Air Forces
United States Army Air Forces
The United States Army Air Forces was the military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II, and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force....

.

After World War II

After the end of hostilities, the Regia Marina started a long and complex rebuilding process. At the beginning of the war, the Regia Marina was the fourth largest navy in the world with a mix of modernised and new battleships. The important combat contributions of the Italian naval forces after the signing of the armistice with the Allies on 8 September 1943 and the subsequent cooperation agreement on 23 September 1943 left the Regia Marina in a poor condition. Much of its infrastructure and bases were unusable and its ports mined and blocked by sunken ships. However, a large number of its naval units had survived the war, albeit in a low efficiency state. This was due to the conflict and the age of many vessels.

The vessels that remained were:
  • 2 incomplete and damaged aircraft carriers
  • 5 battleships
  • 9 cruisers
  • 11 destroyers
  • 22 frigates
  • 19 corvettes
  • 44 fast coastal patrol units
  • 50 minesweepers
  • 16 amphibious operations vessels
  • 2 school ships
  • 1 support ship and plane transport
  • various submarine units


On 2 June 1946, the Italian monarchy was abolished by a popular referendum. The Kingdom of Italy (Regno d'Italia) ended and was replaced by the Italian Republic (Repubblica Italiana). The Regia Marina became the Navy of the Italian Republic (Marina Militare).

The Peace Treaty

On 10 February 1947, a Peace Treaty was signed in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 between the Italian Republic and the victorious powers of World War II. The treaty was onerous for the Italian Navy. Apart from territorial and material losses, the following restrictions were imposed:
  • A ban on owning, building or experimenting with atomic weapons, self-propulsion projectiles or related launchers
  • A ban on owning battleships, aircraft carriers, submarines and amphibious assault units.
  • A ban on operating military installations on the islands of Pantelleria
    Pantelleria
    Pantelleria , the ancient Cossyra, is an Italian island in the Strait of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea, southwest of Sicily and just east of the Tunisian coast. Administratively Pantelleria is a comune belonging to the Sicilian province of Trapani...

     and Pianosa
    Pianosa
    The small island of Pianosa , about in area, forms part of Italy's Tuscan Archipelago. Its name comes from the Italian pianura . Its highest point stands above sea level. Pianosa is part of the Elba island municipality. On clear days, Elbans see Pianosa as a dark blue line over the lighter blue sea...

    ; and the Pelagie Islands
    Pelagie Islands
    The Pelagie Islands , from the Greek pélagos - πέλαγος meaning "open sea", are the three small islands of Lampedusa, Linosa, and Lampione, located in the Mediterranean Sea between Malta and Tunisia, south of Sicily. To the northwest lie the island of Pantelleria and the Strait of Sicily...

    .
  • The total displacement, battleships excluded, of the future navy was not allowed to be greater than 67,500 tons, while the staff was capped at 25,000 men.


The treaty also ordered Italy to put the following ships at the disposals of the victorious nations United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Soviet Union, Great Britain, France, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

, and Albania as war compensation:
  • 3 Battleships: Giulio Cesare, Italia, Vittorio Veneto;
  • 5 Cruisers: Emanuele Filiberto Duca d'Aosta, Attilio Regolo, Scipione Africano, Eugenio di Savoia and Eritrea;
  • 7 Destroyers; 5 of the Soldati
    Soldati class destroyer
    The Soldati class were a group of destroyers built for the Italian Navy during World War II. The ships were named after military professions...

     class, Augusto Riboty and Alfredo Oriani;
  • 6 Minesweepers;
  • 8 Submarines, including three of the "Acciaio" class;
  • 1 Sailing School ship: Cristoforo Colombo.


The convoy escort Ramb III
Italian ship Ramb III
The Italian auxiliary cruiser Ramb III was built at Genoa by Ansaldo in 1938.Ramb III was the third of four sister ships all built to the same design. The other ships were the , the , and the . The four ships were built for the Royal Banana Monopoly Business...

 ultimately became the Yugoslav Navy Yacht Galeb
Yugoslav Navy Yacht Galeb
Yugoslav Navy Yacht Galeb, also known as The Peace Ship Galeb , was used by the late President of the Yugoslav Republic Marshal Josip Broz Tito on his numerous foreign trips and to entertain heads of state, as well as other persons of worldwide renown...

. The Galeb was used by the late President of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

 Marshal
Marshal of Yugoslavia
Marshal of Yugoslavia was the highest rank of Yugoslav People's Army , and, simultaneously, a Yugoslav honorific title...

 Josip Broz Tito
Josip Broz Tito
Marshal Josip Broz Tito – 4 May 1980) was a Yugoslav revolutionary and statesman. While his presidency has been criticized as authoritarian, Tito was a popular public figure both in Yugoslavia and abroad, viewed as a unifying symbol for the nations of the Yugoslav federation...

 on his numerous foreign trips and to entertain heads of state.

Battleships

Battleships

  • Duilio class: Dandolo
    Italian ironclad Enrico Dandolo
    Enrico Dandolo was an ironclad battleship built in Italy for the Regia Marina in the 1870s. Designed by Benedetto Brin, together with her sister ship , and armed with 100-ton, 450 mm muzzle-loading Armstrong guns, she was considered the most powerful battleship of the time...

  • Ruggiero di Lauria class
    Ruggiero di Lauria class battleship
    The Ruggiero di Lauria class was a class of Italian battleships which served in the Regia Marina during the late 19th and early 20th centuries...

    : GR104 (ex-Andrea Doria)
    Italian battleship Andrea Doria (1885)
    The Andrea Doria was an Italian battleship, the first named after Andrea Doria, launched in 1885. She was the third and final ship of the Ruggiero di Lauria-class pre-dreadnoughts, and served in the Regia Marina during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.-Design:The Ruggiero di Lauria class was...

  • Re Umberto class
    Re Umberto class battleship
    The Umberto Re class were a group of pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Italian Navy in the 1880s. All three ships of the class saw service during World War I in secondary roles.-Description:...

    : Sardegna
    Italian battleship Sardegna
    Sardegna was a pre-dreadnought battleship built for the Italian Navy in the 1880s. She was the third ship of her class laid down, but the second finished.-General characteristics:...

  • Ammiraglio di Saint Bon class
    Ammiraglio di Saint Bon class battleship
    The Ammiraglio di Saint Bon-class were a pair of pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Italian Navy during the 1890s.-Service:Ammiraglio di Saint Bon was built by the Venice Naval Shipyard. She was laid down on 18 July 1893, launched on 29 April 1897, and completed on 24 May 1901, although she...

    : Ammiraglio di Saint Bon, Emanuele Filiberto
    Italian battleship Emanuele Filiberto
    The Emanuele Filiberto was a pre-dreadnought battleship built for the Italian Navy during the 1890s.-Service:Emanuele Filiberto was named after Prince Emanuele Filiberto, Duke of Aosta. She was built by the Castellammare Naval Shipyard in Castellammare di Stabia, Naples...

  • Regina Margherita class
    Regina Margherita class battleship
    The Regina Margherita was a class of battleships built for the Italian Regia Marina between 1898 and 1905. The class comprised two ships: Regina Margherita and Benedetto Brin....

    : Regina Margherita
    Italian battleship Regina Margherita
    Regina Margherita was a pre-dreadnought battleship built for the Italian Regia Marina between 1898 and 1904.-Service:Regina Margherita was launched at La Spezia in 1901, and completed three years later. She was the flagship of the Italian Mediterranean Fleet until 1910...

    , Benedetto Brin
    Italian battleship Benedetto Brin
    Benedetto Brin was a pre-dreadnought battleship built for the Italian Regia Marina between 1899 and 1905. She was destroyed by an explosion during World War I.-Service:...

  • Regina Elena class
    Regina Elena class battleship
    The Regina Elena class was a class of battleships built for the Italian Regia Marina between 1904 and 1911. They were considered to be the fastest pre-dreadnought battleships in any navy at that time. Designed by Vittorio Cuniberti, they saw service during the Italo-Turkish War of 1911-1912 with...

    : Regina Elena
    Italian battleship Regina Elena
    Regina Elena was a Regina Elena class battleship built for the Regia Marina in 1901. Designed by Vittorio Cuniberti, she was active in both the Italo-Turkish War with the Ottoman Empire in 1911-1912 and World War I, in which Italy participated from 1915 to 1918. After Italy signed the Washington...

    , Vittorio Emanuele
    Italian battleship Vittorio Emanuele
    The Vittorio Emanuele was an Italian battleship, laid down in 1901, launched in 1904 and completed in 1908. It fought in the Italo-Turkish War and the First World War and served until 1923....

    , Napoli
    Italian battleship Napoli
    The Regina Elena class battleship was a class of battleships built for the Italian Regia Marina between 1904 and 1911. They were considered to be the fastest pre-dreadnought battleships in any navy at that time...

    , Roma
    Italian battleship Roma (1907)
    The Regina Elena class battleship was a class of battleships built for the Italian Regia Marina between 1904 and 1911. They were considered to be the fastest pre-dreadnought battleships in any navy at that time...

  • Dante Alighieri
    Italian battleship Dante Alighieri
    Dante Alighieri was the first dreadnought battleship built for the Regia Marina . Named after the medieval Italian poet Dante Alighieri, she was the first ship built with triple gun turrets for the main armament...

  • Conte di Cavour class
    Conte di Cavour class battleship
    The Conte di Cavour class was a battleship class of the Regia Marina in World War I and World War II.-Design:This class was the second group of dreadnoughts in the Regia Marina. The ships were designed by Admiral Edoardo Masdea....

    : Conte di Cavour
    Italian battleship Conte di Cavour
    Conte di Cavour was an Conte di Cavour class battleship, that served in the Regia Marina during World War I and World War II. It was named after the Italian statesman Count Camillo Benso di Cavour.-Construction and first years:...

    , Giulio Cesare
    Italian battleship Giulio Cesare
    Giulio Cesare , motto Caesar Adest was a Conte di Cavour-class battleship that served in the Regia Marina in both World Wars before joining the Soviet Navy as the Novorossiysk. Her keel was laid down on 24 June 1910 at Cantieri Ansaldo, Genoa...

    , Leonardo Da Vinci
    Italian battleship Leonardo da Vinci
    Leonardo da Vinci was a Conte di Cavour class battleship of the Regia Marina . She was 170 metres long, small for a battleship. Her twenty boilers and four shafts generated 24MW and gave a top speed of 11 m/s . She was crewed by about 1,000 men.Leonardo da Vinci was built between 18 July 1910...

  • Andrea Doria class
    Andrea Doria class battleship
    The Andrea Doria class was a class of dreadnought battleships of the Regia Marina . Only two were built, in the La Spezia and Castellammare shipyards, in Italy, between 1912 and 1915....

    : Andrea Doria, Caio Duilio
    Italian battleship Caio Duilio
    Caio Duilio was an Italian that served in the Regia Marina during World War I and World War II. She was named after the Roman fleet commander Gaius Duilius. Caio Duilio was laid down on 24 February 1912 and after a year and two months of construction, she was launched on 24 April 1913...


Cruisers

  • Garibaldi class: Giuseppe Garibaldi
    Giuseppe Garibaldi class cruiser
    The Giuseppe Garibaldi class were a group of armoured cruisers built in Italy at the end of the nineteenth century. Ten ships were built for both the Regia Marina and for export.-Design and history:...

    , Varese, Francesco Ferruccio
  • Vittor Pisani class: Vittor Pisani, Carlo Alberto
  • Pisa class: Pisa, Amalfi
    Italian armored cruiser Amalfi
    Amalfi was a of the Italian Royal Navy built in the first decade of the 20th century. She was a participant in the Italo-Turkish War and the First World War before she was sunk in July 1915....

  • Marco Polo class: Marco Polo
  • San Giorgio class: San Giorgio, San Marco
  • Piemonte class: Piemonte
  • Lombardia class: Lombardia, Liguria, Elba, Puglia, Etruria
  • Libia class: Libia
  • Calabria class: Calabria
  • Campania class: Campania, Basilicata

Destroyers

  • Lampo class: Ostro, Lampo, Euro, Strale, Dardo
  • Nembo class: Nembo, Turbine, Espero, Borea, Aquilone, Zeffiro
  • Soldati Artigliere class: Granatiere, Bersagliere, Garibaldino, Corazziere, Lanciere, Artigliere
  • Soldati Alpino class: Alpino, Fuciliere, Pontiere, Ascaro
  • Indomito class: Impetuoso, Impavido, Insidioso, Irrequieto
  • Ardito class: Ardito, Ardente
  • Audace class: Audace, Animoso
  • Pilo class: Francesco Nullo

Aircraft carriers

  • Aquila
    Italian aircraft carrier Aquila
    Aquila was an Italian aircraft carrier converted from the trans-Atlantic passenger liner during World War II. Work on Aquila began in late 1941 at the Ansaldo shipyard in Genoa and continued for the next two years. With the signing of the Italian armistice on 8 September 1943, however, all work...

     (modification of the liner Roma, built but never used)
  • Sparviero
    Italian aircraft carrier Sparviero
    Sparviero was an Italian aircraft carrier designed and built during World War II. She was originally the ocean liner MS Augustus. The conversion was started in 1942 and was almost completed, but the ship was never delivered to the Regia Marina...

     (modification of the liner Augustus, never completed)

Seaplane carriers

  • Giuseppe Miraglia (extensively converted merchant ship Citta de Messina for the seaplane carrier role, commissioned as a seaplane transport by 1940)

Battleships

  • Cavour
    Conte di Cavour class battleship
    The Conte di Cavour class was a battleship class of the Regia Marina in World War I and World War II.-Design:This class was the second group of dreadnoughts in the Regia Marina. The ships were designed by Admiral Edoardo Masdea....

     class: Conte di Cavour
    Italian battleship Conte di Cavour
    Conte di Cavour was an Conte di Cavour class battleship, that served in the Regia Marina during World War I and World War II. It was named after the Italian statesman Count Camillo Benso di Cavour.-Construction and first years:...

    , Giulio Cesare
    Italian battleship Giulio Cesare
    Giulio Cesare , motto Caesar Adest was a Conte di Cavour-class battleship that served in the Regia Marina in both World Wars before joining the Soviet Navy as the Novorossiysk. Her keel was laid down on 24 June 1910 at Cantieri Ansaldo, Genoa...

     (modernised World War I battleships)
  • Andrea Doria
    Andrea Doria class battleship
    The Andrea Doria class was a class of dreadnought battleships of the Regia Marina . Only two were built, in the La Spezia and Castellammare shipyards, in Italy, between 1912 and 1915....

     class: Andrea Doria, Caio Duilio
    Italian battleship Caio Duilio
    Caio Duilio was an Italian that served in the Regia Marina during World War I and World War II. She was named after the Roman fleet commander Gaius Duilius. Caio Duilio was laid down on 24 February 1912 and after a year and two months of construction, she was launched on 24 April 1913...

     (modernised World War I battleships)
  • Vittorio Veneto class: Littorio/Italia
    Italian battleship Littorio
    |-External links:...

    , Vittorio Veneto
    Italian battleship Vittorio Veneto
    Vittorio Veneto was the lead ship of her class of 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.-Construction:...

    , Roma
    Italian battleship Roma (1940)
    Roma, named after two previous ships and the city of Rome, was the fourth Vittorio Veneto-class battleship of Italy's Regia Marina...

    , Impero
    Italian battleship Impero
    The Impero was an Italian battleship built for Italy's Regia Marina during the Second World War. She was the fourth ship of her class and was named after the Italian word for "empire," in this case referring to the newly conquered Italian Empire in East Africa as a result of the Second...

     (not completed)

Heavy cruisers

  • Trento
    Trento class cruiser
    The Trento class was an Italian heavy cruiser design of the Regia Marina from the late 1920s. The three ships of the class were named after the three unredeemed cities taken from the Austro-Hungarian empire after the victory in World War I, Trento, Trieste, and Bolzano.The Trentos were the first...

     class: Trento, Trieste, Bolzano
  • Zara
    Zara class cruiser
    The Zara class was an Italian heavy cruiser design of the Regia Marina from the early 1930s, considered by many to be one of the best cruiser designs of World War II...

     class: Zara
    Italian cruiser Zara
    Zara was an Italian Zara class heavy cruiser, which served in the Regia Marina during World War II. The cruiser was named after the Adriatic city of Zara ....

    , Fiume
    Italian cruiser Fiume
    The Fiume was a Zara class heavy cruiser of the Italian Regia Marina. Her name derives from the city of Fiume and her motto Sic indeficienter virtus derived from the city's motto since 1659, Indeficienter-Service:...

    , Pola
    Italian cruiser Pola
    The Pola was a Zara class heavy cruiser of the Italian Regia Marina. She was built in the OTO shipyard at Livorno and entered service in 1932...

    , Gorizia
    Italian cruiser Gorizia
    Gorizia was an Italian Zara class heavy cruiser, which served in the Regia Marina during World War II. The ship was named after the city of Gorizia. She was the only surviving cruiser of her class after the Battle of Cape Matapan....

  • San Giorgio class: San Giorgio
    Italian cruiser San Giorgio
    San Giorgio was an armoured cruiser of the Italian Royal Navy . Commissioned in 1910, it served in both the First World War and the Second World War, being scuttled at Tobruk in 1941.-Design and construction:...


Light cruisers

  • Condottieri classes
    Condottieri class cruiser
    The Condottieri class was a sequence of five, different, light cruiser classes of the Regia Marina , although these classes show a clear line of evolution. They were built before World War II to gain predominance in the Mediterranean Sea...

    • Di Giussano class
      Di Giussano class cruiser
      The Di Giussano class light cruisers were built before World War II for the Italian Regia Marina, to gain predominance in the Mediterranean Sea. They were designed by general Giuseppe Vian and were named after military commanders of the Italian Mediaeval and Renaissance periods.Between the two...

      : Alberto da Giussano, Alberico da Barbiano
      Italian cruiser Alberico da Barbiano
      Alberico da Barbiano was an Italian Condottieri class light cruiser, that served in the Regia Marina during World War II. She was named after Alberico da Barbiano, an Italian condottiero of the 14th century....

      , Bartolomeo Colleoni
      Italian cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni
      Bartolomeo Colleoni was an Italian Condottieri class light cruiser, that served in the Regia Marina during World War II. It was named after Bartolomeo Colleoni, an Italian military leader of the 15th century....

      , Giovanni dalle Bande Nere
      Italian cruiser Giovanni dalle Bande Nere
      Giovanni delle Bande Nere was an Italian light cruiser of the first group of the Condottieri class, which served in the Regia Marina during World War II. She was named after the eponymous 16th century condottiero and member of the Medici family...

    • Cadorna class: Luigi Cadorna
      Italian cruiser Luigi Cadorna
      Luigi Cadorna was an Italian light cruiser, which served in the Regia Marina during World War II. She was launched on 30 September 1931. This ship was named after Italian Field Marshal Luigi Cadorna who was commander in Chief of the Italian Army during World War I.During her early service she did...

      , Armando Diaz
      Italian cruiser Armando Diaz
      Armando Diaz was a light cruiser of the and the sister-ship of the . She served in the Regia Marina during World War II. She was built by OTO, La Spezia, and named after Armando Diaz, an Italian Field Marshal of World War I....

    • Duca d'Aosta class: Emanuele Filiberto Duca d'Aosta
      Italian cruiser Emanuele Filiberto Duca d'Aosta
      Emanuele Filiberto Duca d'Aosta was an Italian light cruiser of the fourth group of the , that served in the Regia Marina during World War II. She survived the war, but was ceded as war reparation to the Soviet Navy in 1949...

      , Eugenio di Savoia
      Italian cruiser Eugenio di Savoia
      Eugenio di Savoia was a Condottieri class light cruiser, which served in the Regia Marina during World War II. She survived the war but was given as a war reparation to the Hellenic Navy in 1947...

    • Duca degli Abruzzi class: Luigi Savoia Duca degli Abruzzi
      Italian cruiser Duca degli Abruzzi
      Luigi di Savoia Duca Degli Abruzzi was an Italian Duca degli Abruzzi class light cruiser, which served in the Regia Marina during World War II. After the war, she was retained by the Marina Militare and decommissioned in 1961...

      , Giuseppe Garibaldi
    • Montecuccoli class: Raimondo Montecuccoli
      Italian cruiser Raimondo Montecuccoli
      Raimondo Montecuccoli was a Condottieri class light cruiser serving with the Italian Regia Marina during World War II. She survived the war and served in the post-war Marina Militare until 1964.-Design:...

      , Muzio Attendolo
      Italian cruiser Muzio Attendolo
      Muzio Attendolo was a light cruiser of the Italian Regia Marina, which fought in World War II. She was sunk in Naples by bombers of the United States Army Air Forces on 4 December 1942...

  • Capitani Romani class
    Capitani Romani class cruiser
    Capitani Romani was a class of light cruisers of the Italian navy. They were essentially designed to out-run and out-gun the large new French destroyers of the Fantasque and Mogador classes. Twelve hulls were ordered in late 1939, but only four were completed, just three of these before the...

    :
    • Attilio Regolo
    • Giulio Germanico
    • Pompeo Magno
    • Scipione Africano
    • Ulpio Traiano
  • Taranto class:
    • Taranto
    • Bari
  • Alessandro Poerio class:
    • RN Cesare Rossarol
    • Guglielmo Pepe
    • Alessandro Poerio

Aviation and Transport Cruisers

  • Bolzano class: Bolzano aviation & transport cruiser (as regular heavy cruiser, extensively damaged by submarine torpedoes and proposed for reconstruction to a hybrid carrier/transport design)

Destroyers

Leone
Leone class destroyer
The Leone class were a group of destroyers built for the Italian Navy in the early 1920s. Five ships were planned and three completed. All three ships were based at Massawa, Eritrea during World War II and were sunk during the East African Campaign....

 class: 3 vessels - 2283 t, Leone, Pantera, Tigre

Navigatori
Navigatori class destroyer
The Navigatori class were a group of Italian destroyers built in 1928-29. These ships were named after Italian explorers. They fought in World War II. Just one unit, the Nicoloso Da Recco, survived the conflict.-Design:...

 class: 12 vessels - 2010 t, among which Alvise da Mosto, Antonio da Noli, Antonio Pigafetta, Antoniotto Usodimare, Emmanuele Pesagno, Giovanni da Verazzano, Lanceloto Malocello, Leone Pancaldo, Luca Tarigo, Nicoloso da Recco
Italian destroyer Nicoloso da Recco
The Nicoloso da Recco was a built for the Royal Italian Navy in the early 1930s. Named after the Italian Renaissance seaman Nicoloso da Recco, she served during World War II in which she was the sole survivor of her destroyer class...

, Nicolo Zeno, Ugolino Vivaldi

Oriani
Oriani class destroyer
The Oriani Class were a group of four destroyers built for the Italian Navy in the late 1930s. They were a repeat of the Maestrale class destroyers, but had increased machinery power and a different anti-aircraft armament. The increase in power, however, disappointed in that there was only a...

 or Poeti class: 4 vessels - 1950 t, Vittorio Alfieri, Giosué Carducci, Vincenzo Gioberti, Alfredo Oriani

Soldati
Soldati class destroyer
The Soldati class were a group of destroyers built for the Italian Navy during World War II. The ships were named after military professions...

 class: 12 vessels (divided into First Soldati or Camicia Nera and Second soldati class) - 1620 t, among which Alpino, Artigliere, Ascari, Aviere, Bersagliere, Carabiniere Corazziere, Fuciliere, Geniere, Granatiere, and Lanciere

Maestrale
Maestrale class destroyer
The Maestrale class were a group of destroyers built for the Italian Navy and served in World War II. They were an enlarged version of the Dardo class destroyers. They were 10 m longer and introduced new pattern 120 mm guns...

 class: 4 vessels - 1449 t, Grecale, Libeccio, Maestrale, and Scirocco

Dardo
Freccia class destroyer
The Freccia class destroyer was a class of destroyers built for the Regia Marina, the Italian Royal Navy, in the 1930s. It was basically an enlarged version of the earlier Turbine class destroyers...

 class: 4 vessels - 1450 t, Dardo, Fraccia, Saetta, Strale
Italian destroyer Strale
Strale was a built for the Regia Marina in the early 1930s. The ship was built by Odero of Sestri Ponente and was launched on 26 March 1931. During the Second World War, Strale rammed and sunk the British submarine HMS Odin along with the destroyer Baleno on 14 June 1940...



Mirabello class: 2 vessels - 1383 t, Carlo Mirabello, Augusto Riboti

Folgore
Folgore class destroyer
The Folgore Class were a group of destroyers built for the Italian Navy in the 1930s. All four ships fought in World War II and were sunk. They were a modified version of the Freccia class destroyers, but had the beam reduced to try to increase speed...

 class: 4 vessels - 1220 t, Baleno, Folgore, Fulmine, Lampo

Borea (Turbine)
Turbine class destroyer
Turbine class was a class of destroyers built for the Italian Regia Marina in the late 1920s. They were essentially larger versions of the earlier .- Turbine class ships :*Aquilone -...

 class: 8 vessels - 1092 t, Aquilone, Borea, Espero, Euro, Nembo, Ostro, Turbine, Zeffiro

Sauro
Sauro class destroyer
The Sauro Class were a group of destroyers built for the Italian Navy in the late 1920s. They were based in the Red Sea Italian colony of Eritrea and all fought in World War II being sunk during the East African Campaign in 1941....

 class: 4 vessels - 1058 t, Cesare Battisti, Daniele Manin, Francesco Nullo, Nasario Sauro

Sella
Sella class destroyer
Sella class destroyer were a group of destroyers built for the Italian Regia Marina in the 1920s. Two of these ships fought in World War II and both were sunk after the Italian capitulation to the Allies...

 class: 2 vessels - 935 t, Quintino Sella, Francesco Crispi

Torpedo boats

  • Spica class
    Spica class torpedo boat
    The Spica-class were a class of torpedo boats of the Regia Marina during World War II. These ships were built as a result of a clause in the Washington Naval Treaty, which stated that ships with a tonnage of less than 600 tons could be built in unlimited numbers...

    : 30 vessels
  • R. Pilo class: 7 vessels
  • Audace class: 1 vessel
  • G. Sirtori class: 4 vessels
  • G. La Masa class: 7 vessels
  • Palestro class: 4 vessels
  • Generali class: 6 vessels
  • Curtatone Class
    Curtatone class destroyer
    The Curtatone class were a group of destroyers built for the Italian Navy. They were the first destroyers to be built in Italy after the end of World War I and were the first ships of this type to use twin rather than single mountings. The ships were originally ordered at the same time as the...

    : 4 vessels
  • Orsa class
    Orsa class torpedo boat
    The Orsa class were a group of large torpedo boats or destroyer escorts built for the Italian Navy in the late 1930s. They were an enlarged version of the , with more endurance and a greater depth charge load but less powerful machinery and a lighter gun armament. The surviving pair were rebuilt as...

    : 4 vessels
  • Ciclone class
    Ciclone class torpedo boat
    The Ciclone class were a group of torpedo boats or destroyer escorts built for the Italian Navy which fought in the Second World War. They were slightly enlarged versions of the previous Orsa class, they had improved stability and heavier anti-submarine armament. These ships were built as part of...

     16 vessels
  • Ariete class
    Ariete class torpedo boat
    The Ariete class torpedo boats were a group of destroyer escorts built for the Italian Navy during World War II. They were enlarged versions of the s and designed to escort convoys to North Africa...

     16 vessels

Submarines

  • 600-Serie Acciaio class: 13 vessels - 715 t, Acciaio, Alabastro, Argento, Asterio, Avorio, Bronzo, Cobalto, Giada, Granito, Nichelio, Platino, Porfide and Volframio (ex-"Stronzio")
  • 600-Serie Adua class
    600-Serie Adua class submarine
    The Italian Adua-class submarine was the fourth subclass of the 600 Series of coastal submarines of the Regia Marina that served during World War II....

    : 17 vessels - 698 t, coastal submarines, among which Alagi
    Italian submarine Alagi
    Italian submarine Alagi was an Italian Adua-class submarine serving in the Regia Marina during World War II. She was named after the Amba Alagi mountain in Ethiopia.Alagi was built in the CRDA shipyard, in Monfalcone...

    , Ascianghi, Axum
    Italian submarine Axum
    The Italian submarine Axum was an Italian Adua-class submarine serving in the Regia Marina during World War II. She was named after the holy city of Axum, in Ethiopia. She was built in the CRDA shipyard, in Monfalcone...

    , Dagabur, Dessiè, and Sciré
    Italian submarine Sciré (1938)
    The Italian submarine Scirè was an Italian Adua-class submarine, which served during World War II in the Regia Marina. It was named after the Ethiopian region of Shire, at the time part of Italian East Africa.At the beginning of the war, Scirè was commanded by Junio Valerio Borghese, and based in...

  • 600-Serie Argonauta class: 7 vessels - 665 t: among which Argonauta, Salpa
  • 600-Serie Perla class: 10 vessels - 700 t, among which Iride
    Italian submarine Iride
    The Italian submarine Iride was a 600-Serie Perla-class submarine, serving with the Regia Marina during World War II.She was originally armed with six 21 inch torpedo tubes, 12 torpedoes, one 100 mm deck gun and room for up to four 13.2 mm machine guns...

     and Ambra
  • 600-Serie Sirena class: 12 vessels - 701 t:
  • Archimede class: 2 vessels - 985 t, Gallileo Ferraris, Galileo Galilei
  • Argo class: 2 vessels - 794 t:Argo, Velella
  • Balilla
    Balilla class submarine
    The Balilla-class were the first submarines to be built for the Italian navy following the end of World War I. They were large ocean-going cruiser submarines designed to operate in the Indian Ocean based in Italy's East African colonies. The design was double-hulled and based on the German Type UE...

     class: 4 vessels - 1450 t, Balilla, Dominico Millelire, Antonio Sciesa, Enrico Toti
    Enrico Toti (submarine)
    Enrico Toti was a Balilla-class Italian submarine laid down on 26 January 1925 at the Odero-Terni-Orlando Naval Yard, located in Muggiano, La Spezia. She was one of four in her class, launched on 14 April 1928 and commissioned on 19 September. Her name pays homage to Major Enrico Toti, a First...

  • Bandiera class: 4 vessels - 941 t:Fratelli Bandiera, Luciano Manara, Ciro Menotti, Santore Santarossa,
  • Bragadin class: 2 vessels - 981 t:Marcantonio Bragadin, Filippo Corridoni
  • Brin
    Brin class submarine
    The Brin-class submarines were five Italian submarines that served in the Regia Marina during World War II. All ships were built by Tosi. Two boats were replacements for Archimede-class submarines secretly transferred to the Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War in 1937. The class were...

     class: 5 vessels - 1016 t, Brin, Galvani, Guglielmotti, Archimede, and Torricelli
  • Cagni
    Cagni class submarine
    The Cagni- or Ammiraglio Cagni-class was a class of submarines built for Italy's Regia Marina during World War II.-Design:...

     class: 4 vessels - 1708 t, Ammiraglio Cagni, Ammiraglio Saint-Bon, Ammiraglio Caracciolo, Ammiraglio Millo
  • Calvi class: 5 vessels - 1550 t, Pietro Calvi, Giuseppe Finci, Enrico Tazzoli
  • Classe R
    Italian R class submarine
    The R-class or Romolo-class were a group of submarines built for the Italian Royal Navy during World War II. These submarines were designed as blockade running transport submarines for transporting high-value cargo from Europe to Japan and from Japan to Europe...

     class: 2 vessels - 2210 t
  • Fieramosca class: 1 vessel - 1556 t Ettore Fieramosca
    Italian submarine Ettore Fieramosca
    The Ettore Fieramosca was an Italian submarine which served with the Regia Marina in World War II. She was named after Ettore Fieramosca an Italian condottiero of the 16th Century.-Design:...

  • Flutto - 1st series class: 8 vessels - 958 t
  • Flutto - 2nd series class: 8 vessels - 958 t
  • Foca class: 3 vessels - 1333 t, Foca, Zoea, Atropo
  • Glauco
    Glauco class submarine
    The Glauco-class was a class of two submarines built by CRDA in Trieste for the Royal Italian Navy . The submarines had initially been ordered by the Portuguese government in 1931, but were finished for the Regia Marina when Portugal cancelled the order. Both boats were launched and commissioned in...

     class: 2 vessels - 1055 t, Glauco and Otaria
  • Liuzzi class: 4 vessels - 1187 t, Reginaldo Guilliani, Console Generale Liuzzi
    Italian submarine Console Generale Liuzzi
    Console Generale Liuzzi was an Italian Liuzzi-class ocean-going submarine of the Regia Marina, launched in 1939 and sunk in 1940 by Royal Navy destroyers.-Construction:Liuzzi was built at the Tosi Shipyard in Taranto...

    , Bagnolini, Tarantini
  • Mameli class: 3 vessels - 830 t: Goffredo Mameli, Pier Capponi, Giovanni da Procida, Tito Speri
  • Marcello
    Marcello class submarine
    The Marcello-class was a class of eleven submarines built by CRDA in Trieste for the Royal Italian Navy . The submarines were built from 1938 to 1939, and all eleven served in the Mediterranean at the start of the Second World War. After s 1940 sinking, the remaining boats were transferred to the...

     class: 11 vessels - 1063 t, Mocenigo, Dandolo, Veniero, Provana, Marcello, Nani, Barbarigo
    Italian submarine Barbarigo
    Barbarigo was a World War II Italian built for the Italian Royal Navy . The submarine was converted into a transport to carry materiel between Germany and Japan in 1943, but disappeared on her first mission in that capacity, sometime after 16 June 1943....

    , Emo, Morosini, Cappellini
    Italian submarine Cappellini
    Comandante Cappellini or Cappellini was a World War II Italian built for the Italian Royal Navy .Operating under the BETASOM command, Comandante Cappellini made war patrols in the Atlantic Ocean sinking or damaging 31,000 tons of enemy shipping. She participated in the rescue of the survivors of...

    , Faà di Bruno
  • Marconi
    Marconi class submarine
    The Marconi-class was a class of six submarines built for the Royal Italian Navy . The submarines were all launched between 1939 and 1940, and all but one, , were lost in the Atlantic during the Second World War....

     class: 6 vessels - 1195 t, Magiore Baracca, Michele Bianchi, Alessandro Malaspina, Guglielmo Marconi, Leonardo da Vinci
    Italian submarine Leonardo da Vinci
    Leonardo da Vinci was a of the Italian navy during World War II. The unit operated in the Atlantic from September 1940 until its loss in May 1943, and became the top scoring non-German submarine of the all war.-Construction:...

     and Luigi Torelli
    Italian submarine Luigi Torelli
    Luigi Torelli was a of the Italian navy during World War II. The vessel operated in the Atlantic from late-summer 1940 until mid-1943, then was sent to the Far East. After Italy’s surrender in 1943, the Torelli was taken over by the German Navy then, in the waning months of the war, the Japanese...


  • Micca class: 1 vessel - 1570 t Pietro Micca
  • Pisani class: 4 vessels - 880 t, among which Vettor Pisani
    Italian submarine Vettor Pisani
    Vettor Pisani was an Italian , serving the Regia Marina during World War II. It was named after Vettor Pisani, a Venetian admiral.Vettor Pisani was laid down in the Cantiere Navale Triestino yards in Monfalcone on 18 November 1925, launched on 24 November 1927, and completed for the Regia Marina on...

  • Settembrini class: 2 vessels - 953 t, among which Luigi Settembrini, Ruggiero Settimo
  • Squalo class: 4 vessels - 933 t

Auxiliary cruisers

  • Ramb class: 4 vessels (only 2 converted to auxiliary cruisers) - 3,667 t, Ramb I
    Italian ship Ramb I
    The Italian ship Ramb I was a pre-war "banana boat" that was converted to be an auxiliary cruiser during World War II. The Ramb I operated in the area around the Horn of Africa. It was sunk in the Indian Ocean before it could take a single prize....

    , Ramb II
    Italian ship Ramb II
    The Italian auxiliary cruiser Ramb II was built at Monfalcone by the Re-United Yards of the Adriatic in 1937.-Design:...


See also

  • Italy's Mare Nostrum
    Italy's Mare Nostrum
    Italy's Mare Nostrum was the name given, during World War II, by Benito Mussolini and his fascist propaganda to the Mediterranean Sea under the domination of the Kingdom of Italy, mainly in 1942.-The Mare Nostrum of Mussolini:...

  • Aviazione Ausiliara per la Marina World War II Italian Navy Air Service
  • Concessions in Tianjin
    Concessions in Tianjin
    The Concessions in Tianjin were concession territories ceded by the Chinese imperial Qing Dynasty to the great powers in Tianjin, also known as Tientsin or Tien-Tsin.-General context:...

  • List of all Italian battleships

Sources

  • Blitzer, Wolf; Garibaldi, Luciano. Century of War. Friedman/Fairfax Publishers. New York, 2001. ISBN 1-58663-342-2
  • Borghese, Junio Valerio (1952). Sea Devils, translated into English by James Cleugh, with introduction by the United States Naval Institute
    United States Naval Institute
    The United States Naval Institute , based at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, is a private, non-profit, professional military association that seeks to offer independent, nonpartisan forums for debate of national defense issues...

    ISBN 1-55750-072-X
  • Greene, Jack & Massignani, Alessandro (1998). The Naval War in the Mediterranean, 1940–1943, Chatam Publishing, London. ISBN 1-86176-057-4
  • Mollo, Andrew. "The Armed Forces of World War II". ISBN 0-517-54478-4
  • Piekalkiewicz, Janusz. Sea War: 1939-1945. Blandford Press, London - New York, 1987, ISBN 0-7137-1665-7

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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