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The Condottieri class was a sequence of five different light cruiser classes of the Regia Marina (Italian Navy), although these classes show a clear line of evolution. They were built before World War II to gain predominance in the Mediterranean Sea. The ships were named after condottieri (military commanders) of Italian history.
|Length:||169.3–187 m (555–614 ft)|
|Beam:||15.5–18.9 m (51–62 ft)|
|Draught:||5.2–6.9 m (17–23 ft)|
|Speed:||37 kn (69 km/h; 43 mph)|
|Armament:||8 152 mm (6 in)/53 cal. guns|
|Aircraft carried:||2–4 × reconnaissance floatplanes|
|General characteristics Duca degli Abruzzi-class|
|Length:||187 m (614 ft)|
|Beam:||18.9 m (62 ft)|
|Draught:||6.9 m (23 ft)|
|Speed:||34 kn (63 km/h; 39 mph)|
|Armament:||10 152 mm (6 in)/55 guns|
|Aircraft carried:||4 × IMAM Ro.43 reconnaissance floatplanes|
Each class is known after the first ship of the group:
Duca d'Aosta class:
Duca degli Abruzzi class:
The first group, the four Di Giussanos, were built to counter the French large destroyers (contre-torpilleurs), the first being the 2,500 ton Le Fantasque-class, and therefore they featured very high speed, in exchange for virtually no armour protection.
The following two Cadornas retained the main characteristics, with minor improvements to stability and hull strength.
Major changes were introduced for the next pair, the Montecuccolis. About 2,000 tons heavier, they had significantly better protection, and upgraded power-plants to maintain the required high speed.
The two Duca d'Aostas continued the trend, thickening the armour and improving the power plant again.
The final pair, the Duca degli Abruzzis completed the transition, sacrificing a little speed for good protection (their armour scheme was the same of the Zara-class heavy cruisers) and for two more 6-inch /55 guns.
All ships served in the Mediterranean during World War II.
The ships of the first two subclasses (with the exception of Luigi Cadorna) were all lost by 1942, primarily to enemy torpedoes (with Bartolomeo Colleoni sunk by destroyers at the Battle of Cape Spada after being crippled by HMAS Sydney, Alberico da Barbiano and Alberto da Giussano suffering a similar fate at in a night action of the Battle of Cape Bon, and Armando Diaz sunk by the British submarine HMS Upright), which led many authors (including Preston) to question their real value as fighting ships. However, the subsequent vessels fared considerably better with all, except Muzio Attendolo (torpedoed in August 1942 and sunk by an Allied bombing in December 1942), surviving the war.
After the end of the war, Eugenio di Savoia and Emanuele Filiberto Duca d'Aosta were given to the Greek Navy and the Soviet Navy respectively as war reparations; Luigi Cadorna was quickly stricken, Raimondo Montecuccoli became a training ship, and the Duca degli Abruzzi subclass served on in the Marina Militare until the 1970s, with Giuseppe Garibaldi becoming the first European guided missile cruiser in 1961 .
|Alberto da Giussano||Ansaldo||29 March 1928||1 January 1931 - 13 December 1941|
|Alberico da Barbiano||Ansaldo||16 April 1928||9 June 1931 - 13 December 1941|
|Bartolomeo Colleoni||Ansaldo||21 June 1928||10 February 1932 - 19 July 1940|
|Giovanni delle Bande Nere||Cantieri Navali di Castellammare di Stabia||31 October 1928||1 January 1931 - 1 April 1942|
|Luigi Cadorna||Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico||19 September 1930||11 August 1933 - May 1951|
|Armando Diaz||Odero Terni Orlando||28 July 1930||29 April 1933 - 25 February 1941|
|Raimondo Montecuccoli||Ansaldo||1 October 1931||30 June 1935 - 1 June 1964|
|Muzio Attendolo||Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico||10 April 1931||7 August 1935 - 4 December 1942|
|Duca d'Aosta class|
|Emanuele Filiberto Duca d'Aosta||Odero Terni Orlando||29 October 1932||13 July 1935 - 20 February 1959|
|Eugenio di Savoia||Ansaldo||6 July 1933||16 January 1936 - 1965|
|Duca degli Abruzzi class|
|Duca degli Abruzzi||Odero Terni Orlando||28 December 1933||1 December 1937 - January 1961|
|Giuseppe Garibaldi||Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico||28 December 1933||1 December 1937 - 1971|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Condottieri class cruisers.|