RM Verona (CA-1938)


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Once the restrictions were removed in 1930, following the failure of the Japanese to sign the current treaties, then the advent of the smaller six inch cruisers would tail off. The only reason those ships continued in production was the recovery from the financial crash and following Depression from 1929-30 extended into the middle of the decade. The Regia Marina knew it would be laying down big cruisers in the 16-20,000 ton level to rival other being laid down and built in other navies. Two contenders were designed, a cheap nine gun version and a bigger, more expensive, twelve gun version.

The nine gun version really was the stripped down el cheapo version. Smaller, less armament, less engine power, less armour, etc. Only two units of this class were to be contemplated. So much lire was already going out of the Navies coffers to pay for the half dozen capital ships under construction. These ships were only slightly smaller than the converted battleships and battlecruisers from World War One. The ships were to be Squadron Flagships to the heavy cruisers (during the war, also mixed with the smaller 6" cruisers). One of the biggest changes of the designs was to replace the 3.9" twin mountings, of the earlier cruisers, with the newer 5.3" twin dual purpose weapon systems. A faction in the design bureau wanted to increase the gun size from 8" to 10", but adding another gun size to the inventory was deemed unnecessary.

There was no doubt which design the Regia Marina wanted. The twelve gun version was streets better than the nine gun version. Two units were laid down in 1935, with completion dates for 1939 and 1940.

  9 gun version 12 gun version
Displacement 14,100 tons std 16,900 tons full load 17,250 tons std, 20,400 tons full load
Length 631 ft 647.5 ft
Breadth 70 ft 74 ft
Draught 24 ft 25 ft
Machinery 4 shaft, steam turbines, 120,000shp 4 shaft, steam turbines, 150,000shp
Speed 31 knots sea speed 32 knots
Range 5000 miles at 10 knots 5000 miles at 10 knots
Armour 3.9" side, 1.5" deck, 3.5" turrets 5.9" side, 3" deck, 5.3" turrets.

9 x 8" (3x3)

14 x 5.3" (7x2)

12 x 37mm (6x2)

10 x 20mm (10x1)

12 x 8" (4x3)

16 x 5.3" (8x2)

20 x 37mm (10x2)

10 x 20mm (10x1)

Aircraft 2 3
Complement 825 910
Notes RM Verona


The twin 135mm guns were a vast step up from the older 3.9" guns. Power worked turrets versus open backed hand worked mountings. No contest.


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