Caio Duilio (1913)

Caio Duilio in Naples, September, 1948. Note that her armament remains the same as it was during World War II. Original photograph believed to be in the public domain.

Nation
Ship Class
Laid Down
1912
Launched
1913
Commissioned
1915
Decommissioned
1956
AD/BC
AD
History

Laid down in 1912, Caio Duilio commissioned on 10 May, 1915, but saw no action during World War I, due to the Austro-Hungarian Navy sitting in port. She spent most of the interwar years cruising the Mediterranean, showing the flag, until 1937, when she was taken in for modernization. Work lasted until 1940, and Duilio was barely recognizable when she emerged: she had been lengthened by 40 feet, her displacement had increased by over 4,600 tons, and a completely new powerplant gave her a top speed of 26 knots. Additionally, P turret had been removed amidships, and the rest of the old 12" guns had been converted to 13". Her secondary and AA armaments were also completely redone. Duilio was run aground after taking a torpedo hit during the raid on Taranto in November, 1940, and remained under repair until mid-May, 1941. She spent the next year escorting convoys without managing to engage the British, before she was forced into reserve by fuel shortage. She surrendered with the rest of the Italian Fleet in September, 1943, and was retained by the Italians post-War, serving as the fleet flagship from 1947-49. Decommissioned in 1953, she was sold in 1956, and scrapped the next year.

Bonus Photos

Caio Duilio still under construction, c.1913-15. Photo in the collections of the US Library of Congress.

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: Caio Duilio was laid down and completed first, making her the name ship of the class. However, most non-Italian sources tend to refer to the pair as the Andrea Doria-class.