Awards Won
Have a look at these
Valid HTML 4.01
Valid HTML 4.01!

At June, 10th, 1940 (at the very beginning of war) the Regia Marina (Italian Royal Navy) was composed by

  • 6 battleships, two of them of modern 35,000 ton.. type (Littorio type)
  • 7 cruisers of 10,000 ton..
  • 12 light cruisers between 5.000 and 8.000 ton..
  • 12 flotilla leader destroyers
  • 28 modern destroyers
  • 19 old model destroyers
  • 69 torpedo boats
  • 117 submarines of varied type and tonnage.

It was therefore a navy numerous and powerful, even if unbalanced for type of unit and with some technical gap that reduced the real efficiency, without consider the great difficulty to find a supply of liquid combustible sufficient to the units for an extended war period.

This last factor was not a fault of the Navy, but a deficiency of Italy, that, at the moment of the war, has not yet discovered oil in its underground; moreover it could not count on regular refueling from the foreign countries, for between its enemy there were some of the stronger navy of the world that could stop the supply lines. From this point of view the Navy was even far-sighted: at the beginning of the war there were sufficient fuel supplies for one year of war (about 2.000.000 ton..) but the lacks of fuel weighed like a negative factor on the course of the operations for all the duration of the war.

During the war the unit number was increased further on, but after the armistice the ships of Italian Navy remained unused by the Allies, and after the War nearly remained nothing, and the Italian Navy was slowly reconstructed from zero.

On the other side the second World war definitively marked the sunset of major surface unit armed of guns (even if the USA in recent years make good use of the battleships) in favor of the submarines, the aircraft carriers and the missiles.

In this page it is my intention to illustrate the concept of warship, obviously according to the period, and then to examine those that were the preparations, in Naval craft and in technical abilities of the Regia Marina. A short historical description of the events cannot then lack , even if, for matter of space, based on a grand strategic view.

In last I have attached a directory of the names, divided for classes, of the main units of the Regia Marina at the beginning of the war, in activity and in construction, with their technical data.

Why I have decided to make this page?

The two ships in the picture below were my first toy-ships, or, better, my father gave me a gift, when I was a child: two of those plastic ships, shaped as warships, of the type propelled by a small battery engine, and my father said to me that they were the Cavour and the Zara. I did not have the very idea, at the time, of who was Cavour and of what was Zara, but the names appealed to to me and the two ships were the Cavour battleship and the Zara cruiser.

The Cavour and the Zara firing at a target

Later on, during the adolescence, I matured the decision to attend the naval Academy; unfortunately the life carried me for other roads, as it often happens, and the Academy remained a dream in the drawer. But two passions remained in me: the war navy, from the origins to today, and the history of the second World war. History was not my course of study but I am an hungry reader; on W.W.II I have read very much (I have not lived it, I was born in '66), also because the Italian scholastic system easily omits the history of W.W.II; in fact that part of history is taught at the end of the history course of the last year (in grammar, medium or high school), and often there is no time to end the course program...

As I have said I have read a lot, the most were history books but also some "technical" books (between the other things I am also a wargamer) and I noticed a great lack: the overwhelming majority of the authors published in Italy is English-speaking and often they have the tendency to speak of the ally Armed Forces (obviously) and to ignore those that were their adversaries.

The Italian Navy of the second War (if not quite all our Armed Forces) is often ignored, dealt like a qualitatively inferior force: this is not all exact. The Italian Navy had surely some defects and some lacks but also some good points.

From this the idea of this page is born: to give a vision of the Regia Marina at the beginning and during the years of the War, making the point on its problems and deficiencies in order to exalt what it was made in spite of these. It does not want to be an history page, because this space is not sufficient to be exhausting, but a page that looks on the facts, the ships, the preparation, in order to say why, in my opinion, the war went that way.

Top of the page


Search the site for: Google
"Children's Online Privacy Protection Act" Statement
Children under the age of 13 must have permission from a parent or legal guardian to sign my guestbook. Please read Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of April 21, 2000. Children: do not provide information to this website either by signing my guestbook or email which involves your name, age, email address, telephone number, home address, or any other personal or contact information. You must obtain permission outlined above before doing so.

Content may not be republished nor be mirrored on another server without written permission by the webmaster.