RM Duca degli Abruzzi (CL-1937)


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The final groups of pre-war light cruisers were some of the best ever produced. Think of the French La Galissonnière, the British Edinburgh, he US Brooklyn, the Japanese Mogami, these two Italian cruisers were right up there with the best of them. Just how long all of these ships lasted in service is a testament to their production qualities. The exception would be the Mogami class which had all been sunk. Belfast on the Thames may be the last of this generation of cruisers left.


With these two cruisers, the Italian Navy would like to have put the 5.3" AA system aboard. However, the twin mounting was too big for mounting on the narrow hulls and the only way it may have happened is if the 5.3" was produced as single mountings. So that is what was done. The Italian Navy could see the war that was coming. Single 5.3" mountings would be good on the smaller fleet destroyers.

The two Abruzzi class cruisers were in the thick of all the Mediterranean battles. Both had been fitted as flagships and were used as such for all the cruiser types, light, heavy and AA. Both cruisers had lucky wars in that they survived to serve in the post-War Italian Navy. The Giuseppe Garibaldi was converted to become Italy's first guided missile cruiser.

The CLG conversion utilised triple 5.3" AA guns and then 76mm high speed cannons. Provision had been made to carry four Poseidon missiles for nuclear weapons, but this weapon system was never delivered to the Italian Navy.

Displacement 10,000 tons std 12,100 tons full load
Length 614 ft
Breadth 62 ft
Draught 23 ft
Machinery 2 shaft steam turbines, 100,000shp
Speed 34 knots (in light conditions) 32 knots sea speed
Range 4000 miles at 14 knots
Armour 3" side, 1.5" deck, 3.5" turrets

12 x 6" (4x3)

6 x 5.3" (6x1)

12 x 37mm (6x2)

16 x 20mm (16x1)

Aircraft 2
Torpedoes 6 x 21" (2x3)
Complement 640

Luigi di Savoia Duca degli Abruzzi

Giuseppe Garibaldi 


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