Aviation & Aerospace - Airpower 2024 - Aircraft by Country - Aircraft Manufacturers Vehicles & Artillery - Armor 2024 - Armor by Country - Armor Manufacturers Infantry Small Arms - Warfighter 2024 - Small Arms by Country - Arms Manufacturers Warships & Submarines - Navies 2024 - Ships by Country - Shipbuilders U.S. Military Pay 2024 Military Ranks Special Forces by Country

Littorio (Italia)


Kingdom of Italy | 1940

"The lead-ship of her class, Littorio was commissioned in time for the fighting of World War 2 - she lasted into the early 1950s."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/10/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The arrival of the Dunkerque-class fast battleships for the French Navy in the 1930s prompted the Italians to counter with their Littorio-class, a group of four warships that marked the last battleships to be completed for the Italian Navy. Littorio became the lead ship of the class which included sisters Vittorio Veneto, Impero and Roma. Littorio herself managed to the survive the war and was given up for scrap in the early 1950s. Beyond becoming one of the first true modern battleships to join the Regia Marina, Littorio also marked the first battleship vessel to be commissioned by the service since the close of World War 1 (November of 1918) - a 35,000-ton steel beast intended to fulfill the role of Capital Ship.

Ordered on June 10th, 1934, she was built by Ansaldo, Genova-Sestri Ponente with construction beginning on October 28th of that year. The vessel was launched on August 22nd 1937 and formally commissioned into service on May 6th, 1940. World War 2 began with the German invasion of Poland on September 1st,1939 so Europe was already at war by this time.

She held three triple-gunned turrets armed with 15" guns, two fitted forward and one aft. The aft turret was notably raised from the main deck in an effort to protect it from blast damage. A catapult was fitted over the stern for launching recoverable floatplane aircraft (three total aircraft were carried). At midships were a pair of smoke funnels seated in line and the bridge superstructure towered aft of the second gun turret. Beyond the main guns were 4 x 6" guns in triple-gunned turrets, 4 x 120mm illumination guns, 12 x 90mm guns, 20 x 37mm guns and 10 x 20mm guns (double-gunned turrets). Armor protection reached 14" at the main belt and 10" at the conning tower. Power was form 8 x Yarrow boilers feeding 4 x Steam turbines developing 128,000 horsepower to 4 x Shafts. Maximum speed was 30 knots with a range out to 4,000 miles. Well armed and relatively fast, Littorio was a sound addition to the Italian Navy ranks.

Article Continues Below Advertisement...
Littorio was unfortunate enough to find herself berthed at Taranto when the British Royal Navy conducted its famous aerial assault on November 11th, 1940 (Battle of Taranto), leaving the warship damaged by three torpedoes from "Swordfish" bombers which led to her undergoing repairs until the following March. From then on, the warship was part of the Italian fleet charged with running down British naval forces in the Mediterranean, waterways so crucial to both sides of the war - particularly in securing and reinforcing elements in North Africa and the Balkans.

The Second Battle of Sirte was had on March 22nd, 1942 which involved Littorio as the only battleship present amongst a fleet of cruisers, destroyers and a few submarines. The outnumbered Royal Navy convoy was able to damage the mighty battleship by torpedo but a pair of enemy destroyers were disabled and three cruisers and three destroyers damaged in turn. The battle is largely viewed as a British victory.

In July of 1943, Littorio was renamed as "Italia" following the fall of the Fascist-led government in Italy. Now aligned against the Axis, Italia journeyed towards internment but became a target of German bombers on September 9th. Her bow was heavily damaged by a Fritz X radio-controlled bomb in the attack and her sister, Roma, was sunk (the official Italian surrender arrived in September of 1943). She eventually interred at Malta, Alexandria before ending her war time in the Suez Canal until 1947. Given to the United States as a war prize, the she was stripped of her usefulness and scrapped at La Spezia from the period spanning 1952 to 1954.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one sea-going vessel design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for Littorio (Italia).
8 x Yarrow boilers feeding 4 x Steam turbines developing 128,000 horsepower to 4 x Shafts.
30.0 kts
34.5 mph
Surface Speed
3,476 nm
4,000 miles | 6,437 km
The bow-to-stern, port-to-starboard physical qualities of Littorio (Italia).
780.1 ft
237.77 meters
O/A Length
107.7 ft
32.83 meters
31.0 ft
9.45 meters
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of Littorio (Italia).
3 x 15" (381mm) /50 cal main guns (three triple-gunned turrets).
4 x 6" (152mm) /55 secondary guns (four triple-gunned turrets).
4 x 4.7" (120mm) illumination guns
12 x 3.5" (90mm) /54 cal Anti-Aircraft (AA) guns
20 x 1.5" (37mm) /54 AA guns (eight twin-gunned turrets; four single-gunned turrets).
10 x 20mm /65 cal AA guns (ten twin-gunned turrets)
Air Arm
Available supported fixed-wing / rotary-wing aircraft featured in the design of Littorio (Italia).
1 x Floatplane aircaft (catapult-launched, recoverable)
Ships-in-Class (4)
Notable series variants as part of the Littorio (Italia) family line as relating to the Littorio-class group.
Littorio I Italia; Vittorio Veneto; Impero; Roma
Global operator(s) of the Littorio (Italia). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national naval warfare listing.
National flag of Italy National flag of the Kingdom of Italy

[ Kingdom of Italy ]
1 / 1
Image of the Littorio (Italia)
Image from the German Federal Archives.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to seaborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
Littorio (Italia) Battleship appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.

©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)