Simone Antonio Saint-Bon
Leaving the Naval Academy in 1847, he attained the rank of commander in 1860, and that of vice-admiral in 1867. He took part in the Crimean war, distinguished himself in 1860 at the siege of Ancona, and was decorated for valor at the Siege of Gaeta. At the battle of Battle of Lissa (1866), his vessel, the Formidabile, forced the entrance of the port of San Giorgio and silenced the Austrian batteries, for which exploit he received a gold medal. In 1873 he was elected deputy, and appointed by Marco Minghetti to be minister of marine, in which position he revolutionized the Italian navy. Insisting upon the need for large battleships with high powers of attack and defense, and capable of fighting as single units, he introduced the colossal types of which Caio Duilio and Enrico Dandolo were the earliest examples. Falling from power with the Right in 1876, he resumed active service, but in 1891 was again appointed minister of marine.
He died at Rome on 26 November 1892, while still in office. He is remembered in Italy as the originator of the modern Italian fleet.
Two Italian Navy ships were named after him
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Saint-Bon, Simone Arturo". Encyclopædia Britannica. 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 1018. (Note the error "Arturo" instead of the correct "Antonio".)
- Guido Almagià: SAINT-BON, Simone Antonio Pacoret de. In Enciclopedia Italiana, vol. 30, Rome 1936 (online at treccani.it)