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Italian cruiser Giuseppe Garibaldi (1936)

Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian Duca degli Abruzzi-class light cruiser, that served in the Regia Marina during World War II. After the war she was retained by the Marina Militare and upgraded. She was built by CRDA, in Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino shipyard Trieste and named after the Italian general Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Giuseppe Garibaldi profile.
Giuseppe Garibaldi in 1938
Name: Giuseppe Garibaldi
Namesake: Giuseppe Garibaldi
Builder: CRDA
Laid down: 28 December 1933
Launched: 21 April 1936
Commissioned: 1 December 1937
Decommissioned: 1953
Refit: 1957-1961
Homeport: Taranto
Motto: "Obbedisco" (Obey)
Fate: Reconstructed in 1957
General characteristics
Class and type: Duca degli Abruzzi-class cruiser
  • Standard: 11,350 t (11,170 long tons; 12,510 short tons)
  • Full: 11,735 t (11,550 long tons; 12,936 short tons)
  • Waterline: 171.1 m (561 ft 4 in)
  • Overall: 187 m (613 ft 6 in)
Beam: 18.9 m (62 ft 0 in)
Draught: 6.9 m (22 ft 8 in)
  • 8 Yarrow boilers
  • 2 turbine gears
  • 2 shafts
  • Total output: 100,000 hp (75,000 kW)
Speed: 34 knots (63 km/h; 39 mph)
Range: 4,125 mi (6,639 km) at 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph)
Complement: 640
  • Outer Belt: 30 mm (1.2 in)
  • Inner Belt: 100 mm (3.9 in)
  • Main Deck: 40 mm (1.6 in)
  • Upper Deck: 10–15 mm (0.39–0.59 in)
  • Turrets: 135 mm (5.3 in)
  • Barbettes: 30–100 mm (1.2–3.9 in)
  • Outer Bulkheads: 30 mm (1.2 in)
  • Inner Bulkheads: 100 mm (3.9 in)
  • Conning Tower: 30–140 mm (1.2–5.5 in)
Aircraft carried: 4 x Ro.43
Garibaldi in 1961
Name: Giuseppe Garibaldi
Builder: La Spezia Arsenal
Launched: 1961
Commissioned: 1961
Decommissioned: 1972
Struck: 1976
Homeport: Taranto
Motto: "Obbedisco" (obey)
Fate: Scrapped
Notes: Pennant 551
General characteristics
Class and type: none
Type: Guided missile cruiser
  • Standard: 9,195 t (9,050 long tons; 10,136 short tons)
  • Full: 11,350 t (11,170 long tons; 12,510 short tons)
  • Waterline: 171.1 m (561 ft 4 in)
  • Overall: 187 m (613 ft 6 in)
Beam: 18.9 m (62 ft 0 in)
Draught: 6.7 m (22 ft 0 in)
  • 6 Yarrow boilers
  • 2 turbine gears
  • 2 shafts
  • Total output: 85,000 hp (63,000 kW)
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Range: 4,125 mi (6,639 km) at 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph)
Complement: 640
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • 1× AN/SPS-6 surface surveillance radar
  • MM/SPQ-2 navigation/surface surveillance radar
  • 1× AN/SPS-39 Freescan 3D anti-air surveillance radar
  • 1× Argos 5000 air surveillance radar
  • AN/SPG-55 tracking radars
  • max 140 mm (5.5 in) (vertical)
  • 40 mm (1.6 in) (horizontal)

Decommissioned in 1953, Giuseppe Garibaldi was converted between 1957 and 1961, at the La Spezia shipyards, into a guided missile cruiser.



The Duca degli Abruzzi-class cruisers were the final version of the Condottieri-class and were larger and better protected than their predecessors. The armament was also increased by two extra 152 mm guns, triple turrets replaced twins in the "A" and "Y" positions. The machinery was also revised which led to these ships having a slightly slower maximum speed than their predecessors.

World War II serviceEdit


On 9 July at the Battle of Calabria Giuseppe Garibaldi along with her sister, Duca degli Abruzzi, fired the first rounds of the engagement. During the engagement, splinters from a 6-inch round fired by Giuseppe Garibaldi[1][2] hit the British cruiser HMS Neptune, damaging her catapult and the reconnaissance aircraft beyond repair.[3][4]

On 1 September, she was part of the fleet that attempted to intercept the Hats convoy and on 29 September, Giuseppe Garibaldi and the rest of the Italian fleet made another ineffectual sortie against Operation MB 5, a successful British attempt to ressuply Malta. On 11 November, Giuseppe Garibaldi was anchored at Taranto when British aircraft attacked the Italian fleet in the harbour.


On 27 March, Giuseppe Garibaldi participated in the Battle of Cape Matapan. The commander of the ship at the time was Captain Stanislao Caraciotti. On 8 May she was part of an Italian force that failed to intercept Tiger convoy. On 28 July the cruiser was torpedoed and damaged by the British submarine HMS Upholder.


On 3 January, the cruiser escorted Italian convoy M 43. On 7 March, Giuseppe Garibaldi took part in Operation V 5, escorting a large Axis convoy to Libya along with another Condottieri-class cuiser, the Eugenio di Savoia. On 14 June the ship participated in the successful action against convoy Vigorous, an attempt to resupply Malta by the Royal Navy.

After the armistice (8 September 1943), she operated in the South Atlantic together with Allied ships against potential German raiders.

Recommissioning as a guided missile cruiserEdit

Launch of a Terrier missile.

After the war she was retained by the Marina Militare and modernized with minor changes of the armament and a radar. She was decommissioned in 1953 and reconstructed as a guided missile cruiser.

The new ship was rebuilt in the La Spezia Arsenal starting from 1957, and, at her completion in 1961, she was named flagship of the Italian Navy.

The reconstruction included a complete overhauling of the superstructure, while the hull kept its original dimensions.

Apart from some minor changes, much of the latter's rebuilding included four launchers for the U.S. designed UGM-27 Polaris nuclear ballistic missiles. Despite the successful launching tests, the US never provided the missiles, due to political convenience. Instead the Italian government set to develop an indigenous missile, called Alfa with a successful program.

The propulsion system remained the same. The rest of the armament was radically altered: a RIM-2 Terrier missile launcher made Giuseppe Garibaldi the first missile cruiser in Europe. The previous artillery was replaced by four 135/45 mm guns in two twin turrets and eight Oto Melara 76/62mm Type MMI AA guns. Electronics included several radars and fire control systems.

She was decommissioned in 1971 and scrapped the following year.

Italian missile cruisers Andrea Doria, Garibaldi and Caio Duilio.


  1. ^ D'Adamo, Christian. "Action off Calabria". Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  2. ^ Jordan, John (2008). Warship 2008. Conway Maritime Press. p. 32. ISBN 1-84486-062-0.
  3. ^ Smith, Peter Charles (1980). Action imminent: three studies of the naval war in the Mediterranean theatre during 1940. Kimber. p. 66. ISBN 0-7183-0197-8.
  4. ^ Cunningham, Admiral Sir Andrew B (28 April 1948). "Report of an action with the Italian Fleet off Calabria, 9th July, 1940" (pdf). London Gazette. HMSO. Retrieved 6 January 2015.


  • Gardiner, Robert; Chumbley, Stephen & Budzbon, Przemysław (1995). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947-1995. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-132-7.

External linksEdit