Fiume (1930)

Fiume in Taranto harbor, 1933. Note the crew manning the rails, with the ship dressed overall, indicating a fleet review. Photo by A. Bernini, released to the public domain.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

Laid down 29 April, 1929, Fiume was a Zara-class heavy cruiser of the Italian Navy. After commissioning, 23 November, 1931, she had some excitement pre-War, conducting experiments with shipborne autogyros in 1935, and putting on a gunnery demonstration for Hitler and Mussolini in 1938. Once Italy entered World War II, Fiume was soon in the thick of the action, engaging the British Mediterranean Fleet 8 July, 1940, in the Battle of Calabria. Escaping damage during the raid on Taranto, Fiume soon after engaged the British again during the Battle of Cape Spartivento, where she may have hit the HMS Berwick twice. Fiume's luck ran out 29 March, 1941, during the Battle of Cape Matapan. While attempting to assist her disabled sister Pola, she was illuminated by searchlights from HMS Warspite at a range of less than 3,000 yards. Fiume was virtually annihilated by three salvos from Warspite and Valiant, taking at least ten 15" shells. Fiume stayed afloat for forty-five minutes, before she sank, with 812 of her crew.