LSS Pegaso (BC-1912-1938)


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From the series 'My countries first Dreadnought'.

Lisenias first dreadnought cruiser.


The Hercules (armoured cruiser 4x10" 8x7.5") was laid down in July 1906, and the follow up second cruiser Pegaso was to be laid down in December 1906. However the completion and revelation to the world of the Dreadnought, made all of the slower armoured cruisers as well as the pre-dreadnought battleships obsolete. The Pegaso was delayed while the design was recast to bring the ship up to a dreadnought cruiser standard. More powerful boilers and turbines were to be fitted to increase the speed out to 25-26 knots over the 23-24 knots of the Hercules. The larger longer hull helped in achieving and maintaining the better speeds. The main armament was standardised with the 10" guns of the same mark as the earlier Hercules. Instead of four guns, the Pegaso was to mount ten. Single 10" replaced the twin 7.5" broadside turrets and a new twin turret was mounted in a superfiring position aft.

The ship completed in 1912, but because it was armed with 10" little notice was taken of the new ship. All eyes were on the race between the German and British fleets to outbuild each other. One country did take notice as the Japanese armoured cruisers of the Tsukuba and Kurama types paled in comparison to Lisenias new battlecruiser. The Japanese reply with the four Kongo class completely outclassed Lisenias pride and joy.

Lisenia could not afford to build and maintain many large ships and so the ships they had, had to do many years of extra service compared to their peers in other navies. To keep the ship up to date, it was returned to Italy in 1935 for an eighteen month refit to upgrade the fire control equipment, and to add an anti-aircraft armament that had been sadly lacking for the previous ten years. The propulsion system was refreshed (not replaced). The funnels were trunked together, while the bridge structure was remade after the latest Italian cruiser style and fitted with the latest director equipment. Four twin 3.9" mountings were fitted around the new funnel. Five twin 37mm mountings would provide the main cannon AA, with lighter 13.2mm machine guns to round out the armament. In this guise the Pegaso served for another 15 years for Lisenia.


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