We have already seen how the Italian designers and consistently enough for the purpose to improve the quality of their light cruisers of the “condottieri”. However, with all the advantages come down to a decent level of protection, the armament remained the same — eight 152-mm guns, which, moreover, could not be called rapid-fire. Even on paper they are inferior competitors last generation from other countries. For example, the British, with their twelve 6-dyuymovymi, not to mention pyatnadcatiletnij the Japanese and the Americans. If the meeting with the latter seemed unlikely because of the terms of policy and geography, Britain remained among the most likely opponents. More likely the traditional “foe” was France, just started building a new strong light cruisers “La Galissoniere”. Were in the ranks “, condotieri” potentially lost a duel such formidable adversaries.
So the admirals of the supermarket or commercial-Rina — manual Italian Navy — have asked their designers to create a new project. I must say that already at the level of requirements common sense has prevailed.
By that time (mid 30 years) of operating experience of its supermicrobikini for tabular data ships the Italians figured out that their “guard” in the service of show results that are very far from the original records. Therefore, the new type with respect to a maximum stroke is not brought against specific claims: justice was believed that the 31 knot, but consistently achievable, will be enough to solve the vast majority of tasks.
A vacant as a result of “cutting” power of mechanical installations and tonnage appropriate to put on the offensive and defensive.
With the last of the Italians as not to overdo it, having decided to be limited to only 10 guns (the bottom of the tower was to be treboradice, sublime was “Sparky”). And, most importantly, finally managed to refuse the setting of guns in one cradle, so much reduced accuracy on early “condotieri”. Now the gun was located at a respectable distance from each other, and their projectiles do not interfere in the flight of each other “blowing” neighbor air jet. Loading can occur at almost any elevation angles used in combat, and the projectile weight and range of fire increased. So the designers solved them by the sailors of the new cruisers were supposed to shade in the battle with the largest light and even heavy units of the enemy of the same class.
Improved anti-aircraft armament, presented eight “acres” of the same system Minisini, that is, it is also now consistent with the current “international standard”. Has undergone the inconvenience of only naval aviation, and that is very peculiar. Due to the complete redevelopment of the location of the add-ons and tubes for catapults in the middle of the hull left. Had to install two at both sides of pipe: solid, but heavy. But in the theory of “beginners” could take from 4 seaplane, although in practice it was limited to only two — one for each of the catapults.
A much more rational has become and mechanical installation, partly because of the slightly increased width (due to a moderate speed is no longer required to “pull” the body in length), partly due to smaller boilers, which managed to place in two rows. The result was a reduction in the length of the turbine and boiler rooms one and half times compared to its predecessors. All this had a beneficial impact on the protection capabilities. Strapped to the middle of the body mechanisms and the cellar has managed to cover a solid armor on the sides and top.
By the way, armor belt “condottieri” is now the fifth generation deserves special mention. This design was not applied previously or subsequently in any of the countries the Italians remained true to the posted protection: outer Board had a thickness of 30 mm and is quite normal, almost flat shape. It was intended primarily for the “decapitation” of enemy projectiles, armor-piercing tips which were broken or completely deformed when encountering the first obstacle. But domestic plate solid 100-mm thickness were bent in an arc shape adjacent to the outer zone at the top and bottom and leaving it in the middle. In cross section the structure resembled a kind of a lentil or a lens. In the form of an equally tricky “dvuhletki” was executed and a closing belt at the ends of the traverse. It is difficult to say what exactly caused the appearance of such an unusual system, but it provided very good cover from projectiles of all types. But problems in the manufacture of curved plates in such a significant number, no doubt, existed.
Oddly enough, but the cuts of the propulsion system went to cruisers only benefit. Tests, they still significantly exceeded the design capacity and speed. “Garibaldi” (national hero of Italy and Argentina, according to the supporters of Mussolini, too, fell into the cohort of “condottieri”) without problems exceeded 33.5 node, and his “partner” with the sonorous name “Luigi di Savoia Duca degli Abruzzi” has developed another site more.
Given the fact that the modified hull shape with more extremities to provide them a decent seaworthiness, we can say that the last Italian light cruiser turned out really good. It is not surprising that Supermarine wanted to continue. Which followed in the face of the curious project. In the last pre-war program of development of the fleet includes six units for design parameters close to the “Garibaldi”. Half of them were intended for action in the good old cruising spirit. These units were supposed to be based in the ports of the red sea, and the operating area would be the Indian ocean. Realizing the weakness (or rather, absence) of basing, the designers have introduced additional diesel plant with a capacity of 15 thousand HP, a third rotating Central shaft. It was considered that such measure will allow to expand the scope of krakerstva to the shores of Australia! Simultaneously to the project made other useful changes — thickening of the deck armor up to 45 mm, the new 90-mm anti-aircraft guns and so on. If ideas failed to carry out, the Italians would have received one of the most interesting and successful cruisers for the coming war. But prevented it the war itself. The order was issued, the lead ship is even called — “Costanzo Ciano” (curiously, usually in directories appears unsubstantiated, the name “Venice” — evidence of a kind of misinformation), but the outbreak of hostilities were not even allowed to establish.
But both “condottieri” series E war had. And “Garibaldi”, “Abruzzi” participated in all the “polygeneration” battles of the Italian Navy. If you remember the fate of the rest of the cruisers Mussolini, almost without consequences. Although each received the British torpedo (“Garibaldi” — from the submarine, “Abruzzi” — the aircraft-torpedo bomber), both experienced trouble quite calm and have reached the bases. The capitulation of Italy they made it safely to Malta and, after a time, became part of the allied forces. They even sent into the Atlantic to catch the court-blagopriyatny former “friend” — Nazi Germany. However, success in this field of the cruiser had, but in the section of the Italian Navy legally remained in its ranks. “Ebruli” served its legitimate 20 years until 1961, and the “Garibaldi” was expecting a much more interesting fate. He was one of the first rocket ships, but this is a far post-war history, to which we will return.