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Conte di Cavour

The Conte di Cavour-class battleships were a group of three dreadnoughts built for the Royal Italian Navy. The ships were completed during World War I, but did not see action. Leonardo da Vinci was sunk by a magazine explosion in 1916 and later sold for scrap. Conte di Cavour (pictured) and Giulio Cesare supported operations during the Corfu Incident in 1923 and were extensively reconstructed between 1933 and 1937 to add more powerful guns, armor and speed. Both ships participated in the Battle of Calabria in July 1940, when Giulio Cesare was lightly damaged. They were both present when British torpedo bombers attacked the fleet at Taranto in November 1940, and Conte di Cavour was torpedoed; repairs were not completed before the Italian surrender in September 1943, and she was scrapped in 1946. Giulio Cesare escorted convoys and participated in the Battle of Cape Spartivento in late 1940 and the First Battle of Sirte in late 1941. She was designated as a training ship in early 1942, and escaped to Malta after Italy surrendered. The ship was transferred to the Soviet Union in 1949 and used for training until she was sunk by a mine in 1955 and scrapped. (Full article...)

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