VERY DILIGENT STUDENT

VERY DILIGENT STUDENTNext to the recognized Maritime Grand France on the Mediterranean sea as something almost suddenly, for some 20 years has increased an unexpected rival—the Italian Royal Navy. Having in 1866 offensive and sensitive defeat off the island of Lissa, which was followed by a natural period of doubt and reflection, the leadership of the Navy and the designers of the Peninsula are actively set to work. Italian naval policy tried to borrow more strong colleagues and rivals the best features: the British—their rationality and discipline, the French—the pursuit of technical progress, the Germans—a reasonable defensive strategy. The main contribution was a clear understanding that Italy will never be able to catch up with the elder brothers quantitatively. So one had to look for “asymmetric response” everywhere, including in shipbuilding.

 
At the forefront of fleet of United Italy were two people: the sailor Saint-Bon and shipbuilding engineer Benedetto Brin. They both reached the pinnacle of power and rank, becoming, respectively, an Admiral and a General. Both received the award of “their” ships: their names called new battleships.
 
During his tenure as naval Minister, Brin has managed to lay the Foundation of the Italian shipbuilding industry. However, he went on a very original way, not massively ordering ships abroad, and giving the green light to foreign companies to open production in Italy. Of course, in front was the British. Under the patronage of Italy, Armstrong was built in Pozzuoli, a branch of his gun factory. The largest Italian engineering company was also forced to join with the British in a kind of “partnership”. Thus, the “Ansaldo” in Genoa became a subsidiary of the well-known English manufacturer of steam engines “Model,” and the Naples “Guppies” took the assistance of another such company — “Hawthorne”. The British, without exaggeration, put on the feet of the Italian fleet, investing in the production of money (not without profit to itself, of course) and developing highly promising projects.
 
However, Brin and his followers, giving his industry at the mercy of very carefully selected foreign firms. If in some region the British were not the best, “trough” admitted the other. In the end, Italy has become a real laboratory in which the most prominent European inventors and manufacturers conducted their experiments. Schwarzkopf from Berlin founded in Venice torpedo factory and for assistance in the production of steel the Italians did not hesitate to appeal to the prospective enemy—France.
 
Although the system with the organization of subsidiaries and barely covered the “partnership” effect was given to Italy at the mercy of foreign manufacturers, such a policy was more far-sighted than the building of ships abroad, which have been tried in many other countries, including Russia. All of these “daughters” of foreign capital has done its job by withdrawing the Navy, in General, economically undeveloped Kingdom well worthy of a place in the world.
 
The lack of sufficient funds was imposed on the leaders of the fleet a big responsibility. It was required not to miss with a choice of main type of warship. And here the Italians managed to find a niche. Instead, following the example of their chief teachers of English, to build a distinct battleships and cruisers, are very far from each other in their characteristics, they are 80-ies of the XIX century to the First world war tried to create something intermediate: ships designed to chase enemy raiders, and to cover their trade routes, and if necessary, ready to engage in a pitched battle. If the battle goes badly—are able to get out and away from the enemy.
 
To solve these various problems were ships fast; moreover, sufficiently protected, and, finally, with strong arms. Qualities such as cruising range and the ability to keep speed in the stormy ocean, faded into the background. The Italians were not going to leave my beloved warm and generally calm Mediterranean sea, which they dreamed of eventually turn into a “my lake”.
 
Italian designers showed himself in his new role of creating steel ships very, very good, developing projects that have caused the respect of the British experts, whom they regarded as their teachers and guardians. Buying a Armstrong is probably the best for that time cruiser, “Piedmont”, the Italians created a large series of “replicas” type “Elba”, but not complacent. Who built the “Umbria” and her “sisters” shipbuilding engineer Carlo Vigna proposed a variant of the first pure Italian cruiser armored Board. Domestic “Marco Polo” had a 100-mm waist, covering machine, boiler and cellar, but his artillery was located in deck installations and cover only shields. This is not surprising: the designer managed to squeeze in a ship of 4.5 thousand tons displacement, the armor apart from the sixteen quick-firing medium-calibre weapons! No one considered that the first pancake came out lumpy, even though the cruiser failed to develop the claimed 19 knots. The idea itself seemed good, except that the cost to increase the size of the ship. Founded just two years after “Marco Polo” two “battle ship 2nd class” (which treated the units with a displacement of 6 to 9 thousand tons), “Carlo Alberto” and “Vettor Pisani”, “grown up” every 2 thousand tons. No wonder: the designer, Eduardo Masdea, successfully developed the decision of his predecessor. Armor is now defended by a large part of the Board, and its thickness increased to 150mm.
 
The new ships had the same length as its predecessor, but was 3.5 m wider. Their speed was not great for cruisers, although the required 19 knots, they were able to achieve. Italians of all its major ships classed as “military court” 1st, 2nd or 3rd class solely on size, not dividing them on battleships and cruisers.
 
Foreign experts believed some lack of project, lack of heavy artillery (the cruiser was still carrying only medium-skorostrel, some of which were located in armored casemates), but acknowledged that “Italians” are able to fight with virtually any cruiser, except perhaps in the largest, superior displacement two times.
 
The chief designer of the Navy B. Brin understood the validity of this criticism and wanted to make warships of the 2nd class, these competitors ships. In his opinion, the solution could be “crossing” the cruisers “Pisani” with the founded in 1893 by battleships of the “Emanuele Filiberto” and “Amirali di Saint-Bon”, a project which was based on the ideas of recently deceased Admiral Saint-Bon. The designer of the new ships was the infamous E. Masdea. He retained all the main features of the Pisani, such as the location of the machinery and boilers, the General scheme of armor protection, battery location six-inch artillery. Two new steel 10-inch tower installations that have migrated from the drawings of battleships type “Filiberto”. The smaller size has allowed to establish in each tower, only one gun. From the “big brother” “hybrid” and got the silhouette, which became a classic for the Italian ships of the time: the only combat mast at the geometric center of the ship and two widely spaced chimneys. In large and even medium range the new cruiser was easily confused with armadillos, and it is difficult to determine the direction in which they go.
The successful project received the “green light”; the first pair of cruisers-battleships in the same 1893, received their names — “Giuseppe Garibaldi” and “Varese”. However, the Navy of Italy soon managed to get new ships. The reason was the sharp deterioration of relations between the two countries were on the other side of the world—Chile and Argentina. Long-standing unresolved border conflict threatened to escalate into full-scale war, which inevitably would include the active operations at sea, as both countries had a very long coast. The Chilean Navy at that time was superior in the strength of the Argentine, and the eyes of the last turned to Europe. The main difficulty was, as always, is the limited financial resources. You had to find and buy a cheap, but at the same time, strong ships, preferably from the numbers who were already on the stocks. It is not surprising that the attention attracted buyers in Italy built a powerful armored cruisers. The decision on the assignment of badly needed its own fleet of combat units was not easy for the Italians. But the temptation also was great, as was the opportunity to become the best supplier in those days, military equipment, surpassing the absolute monopoly—England, France and Germany. Firm “Ansaldo” solved the problem, promising that they would be able to repeat building the same ships in less time taking into account all possible shortcomings of the initial project. So Argentina acquired two heavy cruisers, and one didn’t even have to change the name: Garibaldi was considered a national hero not only in Italy but also in Argentina.
 
After the sale of the Italian fleet immediately ordered the same firms “Ansaldo” and “Orlando” two more ships under the same name — “Giuseppe Garibaldi” and “Varese”. However, both buyers and sellers have already entered the taste. Entered the game and the Chileans who wanted to buy up the commodity. Almost happened to be extremely extravagant situation in which in the distant South America, the two powers would fight the same Italian cruisers! However, preference is given to the Argentines, although not fully. They only got “Varese”, called “General Belgrano”. The “Garibaldi” was “caught” for not less need of the warships of Spain, which threatened an imminent war with the United States. The Genoa shipyard of the company “Ansaldo” had to develop previously unattainable rates. So in September 1896, was launched cruisers on the water, and in April, 1897, the “Cristobal colon” was ready for the trials of the Spanish Commission. His fate was not too happy. Not quite ready for combat ship (didn’t have time to install heavy artillery) took part in the battle of Santiago de Cuba, where he lasted the longest of the Spanish ships of the squadron of Admiral Servers. However firemen could not long maintain a high speed. Affected and the low quality of coal, which is not provided by the combustion of the required amount of steam, and the fact that people are weakened, without the blockade for good nutrition. After a long race “colon” huddled to the shore and threw the white flag. So the cruiser type “Garibaldi” was close to get into the fleet of the United States. However, when the flagship cruiser of Americans, “new York” tried to push the trophy with shallows, resting his nose through the layer of the mats to the starboard of the “Spaniard”, “colon” suddenly capsized to port and sank into the water.
 
So the first of the “Garibaldi” was finished, but endless epic building of similar ships continued. Soon after the decision on the sale of the second pair of cruisers in 1896, at the shipyard “Ansaldo” laid the third ship with the beloved name — “Giuseppe Garibaldi”. And, as it turned out, again not for myself! Argentina really wanted to have a homogeneous squadron of four ships, and she succeeded. Cruiser, dubbed “Paragon”, also went to South America.
 
VERY DILIGENT STUDENT
 
82. Armored cruiser “Carlo Alberto” (Italy, 1898)
 
Built at the shipyard of the Navy of La Spezia. The displacement of 6400 tons, the maximum length of the 105.7 m, width is 18.04 m, draft 7.2 m. the Power plants twin-shaft triple expansion 13 000 HP, speed 19 knots. Armament: twelve 152/40 mm and six 120/40-mm rapid-fire guns, fourteen 57-mm and six 37-mm small-caliber, two machine guns, four 450 mm torpedo tubes. Reservations: belt 150mm, deck 37 mm, cutting 150 mm, gun shields: 50 mm. Just 1898-1899 built two units: “Carlo Alberto” and “Vettor Pisani”. In1917 — 1918 “Alberto” rebuilt into a troop transport and renamed “Senson”. Both excluded from the lists of the fleet in 1920
 
83. Armored cruiser “Marco Polo” (Italy, 1894)
 
Built at the shipyard of the Navy in Castellammare. Displacement 4510 tons, length of maximum 106,05 m, width of 14.67 m, draft of 5.88 m. Capacity twin-shaft plants triple action 10 600 HP, speed test 17.8 per node. Armament: six 152/40 mm and ten 120/40-mm quick-firing guns, nine 57-mm and two 37-mm small-caliber, two machine guns, five 450-mm torpedo tubes. Reservations: belt 100 mm deck 25 mm, cutting 50 mm gun shields: 50 mm. In 1911 removed six 120-mm and three 57-mm guns and one torpedo tube. In 1918, converted into a troop transport and renamed “Cortelazzo”. In 1920 the newly renamed “Europe”, the next year was called “Volt” and in 1922 he was dismissed from the Navy.
 
84. Armored cruiser “Francesco Ferruccio” (Italy, 1905)
 
Built at the shipyard of the Navy of Venice. The displacement of 7230 tons, length max 111,76 m, beam 18,25 m, draught 7,15 m. Capacity twin-shaft plants triple action 13 500 HP, the speed is 19.5 knot. Armament: one 254/40-mm, two 203/45 mm, fourteen 152/40 mm and ten rapid-76/40-mm guns, six 47-mm small-caliber cannons, two machine guns, four 450 mm torpedo tubes. Reservations: belt 150mm, deck 37 mm, cutting 150 mm, 120 mm tower, casemates 150mm. Only 1901 — 1905 built three units: “Varese”, “Giuseppe Garibaldi” and “Ferruccio”. “Garibaldi” sunk by submarine in July 1915, the other Two cruisers after world war I were used mostly as training ships. Excluded from the lists of the fleet in 1923 (Varese) and 1930 (“Ferruccio”) .

 
Only after another two years, Italy have finally started to build for themselves three cruisers of this type, which has already become famous. Acquired during the work experience allowed us to avoid minor deficiencies identified in the earlier ships. The next (fourth at this time last) “Giuseppe Garibaldi” traditionally laid at the shipyard “Ansaldo” and the third”Milan”—at the shipyard “Orlando”. The last ship of the series “Francesco Ferruccio”, was built at the state factory in Venice. Both private firms, poznakomimsia by this time a solid experience of construction already familiar ships was laid in 2.5 years, and the state, the shipyard managed during the same period, only to pull your cruiser into the water, the commissioning of which was delayed until mid-1905. Partial consolation in the protracted 12 years of history could be that of firm-builders kept his promise: his fleet, they put the ships at a much lower price—a quarter less than was sold to the Argentines. And improved: in particular, after criticism about the weak design of the case it was strengthened by increasing the weight by about 15%.
 
However, these warships of the 2nd class are the only ones left. The conflict between Chile and Argentina all broke out, and the last wanted to buy another pair of cruisers “Garibaldi”. “Ansaldo” was commissioned by the Argentine government for the next two armored cruisers, named “Mitra” and “Rock”. Plain-hand in the construction of similar ships, the Italians managed to pull water ordered the cruiser after only 7-9 months. During this time, the Argentines managed to rename the “Customer” and “Moreno”. Italy has sailed team for acceptance of new ships. The Chileans were able to find a crushing answer, ordered in England two battleships, armed with four 254-mm and fourteen 190-mm cannons, specifically designed to combat armored cruisers. Argentina immediately responded “increase” talking about ordering another pair of “Garibaldi”! However, new ships have to pay a lot of money, and both countries have already exhausted all financial resources. The result is a long-standing dispute was resolved through diplomatic channels. For the construction of new ships imposed a moratorium, and two great ships already afloat, were orphaned.
 
But not for long. In the opposite corner of the globe, in the far East, has been brewing a new war. The contradictions between Russia and Japan was growing like a snowball. Russia has been chronically behind in the race for naval armaments. Longtime good relations with Italy would allow profitable to buy “the Argentine couple”, the more that firm “Ansaldo” she sent to the Chief naval headquarters of an offer to buy both cruisers. But the Admiral Z. P. Rozhestvensky signalled the Russian Embassy in Italy, the Maritime Ministry is not going to buy them, citing the decision of the king’s decree—to build new combat units just for the domestic shipyards. Probably, becoming commander of the 2nd Pacific squadron, he secretly regretted his decision. Moreover, the ships were got by our enemy. The Japanese didn’t hesitate and instantly made a deal in the last days of 1903.
 
Then finally the “powers that be” — the Russian officials began to worry. The Viceroy in the far East, Admiral E. Alekseev urgent telegram to the capital could be to “Nisshin” and “Kasuga” (such were the names of the cruiser from the new owners) in Genoa by diplomatic means. But it was too late: the day before they weighed anchor and headed for the Suez canal. Work on the ships was not finished; moreover, they do not even have time to load all the necessary equipment. The Japanese are very afraid that the Russians will take advantage of the helpless condition is not ready for battle ships: they were British officers of the reserve, under whose leadership was a motley crew of British sailors and Japanese and Italian drivers and stokers, numbering less than half a staff. And the value of successful purchase was given great: Emperor of the rising sun is even forbidden to take military action as long as the cruiser will be in complete safety. And under the escort of the latest British cruiser “king Alfred” the Japanese reached the Far East and participated in all the battles of the unfortunate war for us. They considerably annoyed the defenders of Port Arthur firing from maximum distance, which was higher than all the other Japanese ships, including battleships. “Nisshin” moreover, was the Admiral’s ship, and he’s had enough battles in the Yellow sea and at Tsushima; in the last battle he came down three 8-inch guns of the four. However, both cruisers had survived the war and served until the end of 1920-ies.
 
The history of the cruisers “Garibaldi” would continue. According to the program of 1900 the Italian government has ordered another four units. They had to get names: “Amalfi”, “Pisa”, “Genoa” and “Venice”, but their construction was canceled the following year, before the bookmark. Competitiveness even outstanding, but all the same project 10 years ago was settled: all countries have built a much more powerful armoured cruiser.
 
It is necessary to dwell on one of the main advantages of the Italian warships of the 2nd class—they are very strong artillery. There were three options for the placement of artillery of the main fire. One of them, the original, included two odnorodnye tower with a single 254-mm gun Armstrong. The second included an increase in the number of guns to the detriment of their size: four 203-mm guns (also Armstrong) was placed in the towers in pairs. Such weapons were only two units: the Argentine “San Mar-tin” and “Moreno”, which later became the Japanese “Nisshin”. Finally, the third option was a combination of the first two: odnoimennaya 254 mm installation in the nose and two-gun 203-mm tower at the stern (so was armed with all the latest of the cruiser: three “Italian” and “Kasuga”), Is a rather strange decision was dictated by the interests tactics: the experts of that time believed that when chased, it is desirable to have the ability to cause heavy shell the retiring enemy, such damage that will reduce its speed and will be forced to accept battle. On the contrary, running away from a stronger enemy, whether to shoot down the accuracy of his fire, releasing as many projectiles per unit of time. Already in the process of building the Italian ships had discussed the replacement of the nasal 254 mm installation on odnoimennuyu 305-mm turret, but common sense prevailed and the project was rejected.
 
Equally colorful, but very many were and medium artillery. It consisted either of the 14 six-inch, or a dozen of these guns plus six 120-millimetrovogo. Completed this “artillery parade” the third cannon caliber, presented in the first ten ships of the 57-mm korostelina, and later—with the same number of trehdyuymovok. The record belongs to the Argentine “Pueyrredon”—he carried 42 guns six (!) different calibers.
 
Noting the outstanding quality of these popular vehicles, not to mention the drawbacks. As already noted, the “Garibaldi” can hardly be called pure cruisers; rather they were small high-speed battleships. This is evidenced by low elongation of the body (about 6) and, most importantly, a relatively small speed. In the project the task is in “Garibaldi” (the Argentine) was laid maximum stroke of 20 knots, but the measured mile he was able to develop only 19. Due to repeated re-testing enter the cruiser into operation had to be postponed for six months. In the end, almost squeezed 19.95 node. About the same was the case with the subsequent ones. And in this hothouse environment, just descended from the stocks of the ships. In the service speed is not reached and these modest indicators — and this despite the rapidly accelerating foreign debt. In the Russo-Japanese war “Nisshin” and “Kasuga” barely gave 18 knots, and for a short time, so that Admiral Togo will not knowingly put them into operation their “ships of the line” among the cruisers Kamimura they would have been an obvious slug.
 
Low flush-deck building (from the forecastle, taken at the “Pisani”, refused from the weight savings, but also because of the inconvenience the installation of heavy bow tower of the main fire at high altitude) in no way contributed to the good seaworthiness. A large area of the reservation were not allowed to have thicker plates, and “Garibaldi”, of course, are unlikely to be able to hold out for long under the fire of these battleships. You can say that “Nissanu” are still very lucky. In addition, the first ships vast roof of the casemates of the 152 mm guns were made of … the tick bars, and flown through it, the projectile could cause a lot of harm. Moreover, the casemate and the deck above it was just bristling with guns. Only at the last, pure “Italians” this shortcoming was eliminated by covering the battery from above 40-mm armor.
 
I must say that the Italians not only successfully built a cruiser, but also they are not built. Constantly mindful of the limited resources, they refrained from building so many of the major Maritime powers unprotected “colonial” cruisers, wooden or composite. All the 20 years in the Navy were only three ships that can be attributed to the classic old fashioned colonial units. In 1879, at Castellamare and Venice by C. Vigna laid steel corvettes “Flavio Gioia” and “Amerigo Vespucci” with a displacement of 2500 tons, which had a full sailing rig, carrying eight 150-mm guns, and looked under steam no more than 14 knots. Even these typical “Executive” warships, there is some protection, consisting of a thin armored deck. Both later came in handy Navy as training ships and served until the early 20-ies of XX century, a lot longer than most armored. The sympathies of sailors to these unpretentious and cheap in maintenance of the boats was so notable that a decade later B. Brin created in their image third “Corvette”, “Cristoforo Colombo”. From its predecessors it differs only by the presence of modern rapid-firing artillery. Ironically, “Colombo”, who served mostly as I in the Red sea, expelled from the Navy much earlier prototyping.
 
V. KOFMAN

Noticed mistape? Highlight it and press Ctrl+Enter, to inform us.

Recommend to read

  • SMALL ORIGINALSSMALL ORIGINALS
    After the First world war, in addition to shipbuilding giant — Britain and the major European players in the face of France, Italy, Germany and the Soviet Union, in quiet corners of...
  • THE LAST “GUNNERS” WESTTHE LAST “GUNNERS” WEST
    The term "shipbuilding holiday" traditionally referred to as the decade that followed the Washington conference of 1922. However, that's hardly fair: it is precisely in those years,...

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: