RM Duca D'Aosta (CL-1935)


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With the Condottieri type four the Italian Navy added some real armour to the ships. Not just the gesture of armour fitted to the Condottieri types 1-3. Better hull form and machinery meant that the ships were better able to maintain a 33 knot  sea speed in moderate conditions. As shown below the real life d'Aosta class were elegant ships of a well balanced design. At wars end one went to Russia and served till the late 1950's, while the other went to Greece as the Elli and served till the mid 60's. A testament to the good design of the ships. But that is in that other world. In this world these ships will introduce the triple 6" to the Italian Navy with three turrets.

The change from four twins to three triples requires quite a bit of movement of superstructure to take the change in weight distribution. The next thing is to decide on the main armament arrangement. Two turrets forward and one aft or the reverse with one turret forward and two aft. With two turrets forward the superstructure would need to be pushed aft of the current position till the balance is returned to zero. With only one turret forward, it is easier to maintain the balance. The other thing to take into consideration is barbette placement. The triple barbette is bigger and requires movement fore and aft to maintain a decent distance between hull and barbette for the structural steel that is used to hold the barbette in place. I will try a drawing of each layout to see which I prefer. The only class of cruiser built with the one forward, two aft layout is the Swedish Gota Lejon.

I quite like the one forward, two aft lay out and would think it a useful layout for ships undertaking the 'scout' duties of a fleet still unused to aircraft operations. Send out your scouts till contact is made with your enemy. Larger vessels are sent to chase the scouts away, so when the scout is running you want the majority of your armament firing at your pursuers.

That came out nicely done without too much movement of superstructure required. The increase of secondary weapons from six to ten also improves the ships survivability rating. Now for the normal fore and aft layout drawing. That will require a bit more movement of superstructure. Lets see what it turns out like. (I have typed this before I have even started the drawing, so I will be as surprised as everyone else!)

It is hard to harm a good looking cruiser design unless you really work hard at it. I like the look of both drawings and they would certainly be as good as the equivalent British Leander type of the same vintage.



Displacement 8,500 tons std 10,500 tons full load
Length 613 ft
Breadth 58 ft
Draught 20 ft
Machinery 2 shaft steam turbines, 110,000shp
Speed 36 knots (in light conditions) 32-33 knots sea speed
Range 4000 miles at 14 knots
Armour 3" side, 1.5" deck, 3.5" turrets
Armament Original

8 x 6" (4x2)

6 x 3.9" (3x2)

4 x 37mm (4x1)

8 x 20mm (1x4 4x1)


Uprated 9x6" designs

9 x 6" (3x3)

10 x 3.9" (5x2)

8-10 x 37mm (4-5x2)

8-12 x 20mm (4-6x2)


Aircraft 2
Torpedoes 6 x 21" (2x3)
Complement 510
Eugenio di Savoia

Emanuele Filiberto Duca d'Aosta


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