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Navy or Regia Marina

Discussion in 'Italy' started by Dan Morton, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Wikipedia (excerpts)

    The Royal Navy, in Italian: Regia Marina [ˈrɛdʒa maˈrina], was the navy of the Kingdom of Italy (Regno d'Italia) from 1861 to 1946. In 1946, with the birth of the Italian Republic (Repubblica Italiana), the Royal Navy changed its name to Military Navy (Marina Militare).

    Before 1914, the Kingdom of Italy built and maintained six dreadnought battleships: (Dante Alighieri as a prototype; Giulio Cesare, Conte di Cavour and Leonardo da Vinci of the Conte di Cavour class; and Andrea Doria and Caio Duilio of the Andrea Doria class), but they did not participate in major naval actions in World War I, as they were positioned to intercept a major sortie of the Austro-Hungarian Navy which never came.
    During the war, the Regia Marina spent its major efforts in the Adriatic Sea, fighting the Austro-Hungarian Navy. The resulting Adriatic Campaign of World War I consisted mainly of Austro-Hungarian coastal bombardments of Italy's Adriatic coast, and wider-ranging German/Hungarian submarine warfare into the Mediterranean. Allied forces mainly limited themselves to blockading the German/Hungarian navies in the Adriatic, which was successful in regards to surface units, but failed for the submarines, which found safe harbours and easy passage into and out of the area for the whole of the war. Considered a relatively minor part of the naval warfare of World War I, it nonetheless tied down significant forces.

    For most of the war the Italian and Austro-Hungarian navies each kept a relatively passive watch over their adversaries. The Italian fleet lost the pre-dreadnought battleship Benedetto Brin at Brindisi (27 September 1915) and the dreadnought Leonardo da Vinci at Taranto (2 August 1916) due to a magazine explosion (although there were rumours of Austrian sabotage). In the last part of the war, the Regia Marina developed new weapons: the MAS boats, that sank the Austro-Hungarian battleship SMS Szent István in the Adriatic Sea on 10 June 1918; and an early type of human torpedo (Mignatta) entered the harbour of Pula and sank the Austro-Hungarian flagship SMS Viribus Unitis on 1 November 1918 shortly before the end of hostilities. The battleship SMS Tegetthoff (sister of the former two) was handed over to Italy as a war prize in 1919.

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