RM Torino (BCV-1935)


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The Italian Navy like all countries navies had to justify the ships they wanted to build (especially capital ships) and their budget to the politicians. The Italians were building the Livorno class of fast battleships utilising the triple 12" turrets removed / recovered from the Cavour and Duillio types, during the early 1930's, a time when battleships were still rated Queen of the Seas. The Italians still had two twin 12" turrets recovered from the Leonardo Da Vinci and refurbished to the 12.6" standard. To try and get the best of both worlds the Italian Navy floated a design that could be the best of both worlds, half a battlecruiser with half an aircraft carrier.

Many of the ideas from the Caraciolo conversion were carried forward while new ideas were tried. One of the major differences was in the scale of gun directors required by the fitting of the 12.6" guns. One large caliber director was fitted at the top of the bridge tripod structure. The other three directors fitted to the ship were for the AA weapons. The fitting of the 12.6" turrets forward took up valuable space that would have been better utilised to house more aircraft. The hangar area provided could take anything from 25-45 aircraft depending on type, whether they had folding wings and the size of the aircraft. Another 15-20 aircraft were lost due to the turrets.

1940 and with the completion of the Aquilla, the Torino was taken in hand for modernisation which included the removal of the 12" guns and their handling equipment, and the plating in of the forward area for more aircraft to be carried. This added a much needed ten more aircraft to the complement. About six weeks after the Torino went in for its rebuilding, the Germans attacked the Low Countries and France. In a lightning campaign the Germans put the French out of the war and suddenly the Italians were faced with honouring their Pact of Steel treaty obligations and entered the war. November 1940 the Torino rejoins the fleet at Taranto.

The need to cut short the rebuilding meant that the upgrades to the armament did not take place and the ship fought the war with the original armament.

Displacement 29,200 tons std 37,400 tons full load
Length 708 ft
Breadth 90 ft
Draught 27 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines, 120,000shp
Speed 30 knots
Range 4000 miles at 15 knots (1,500 nm at 28 knots)
Armour 3" side, 3" deck, 10/7/6" turrets (No turrets after 1940)
Armament 4 x 12.6" (2x2) Zero after 1940 refit

8 x 3.9" (4x2)

8 x 37mm (8x1)

16 x 20mm (16x1)

Aircraft 40 (50 1940)
Complement 1580
Notes RM Torino



Twin 3.9" (100mm) mounting, four were fitted to the Torino.


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