Vittorio Emanuele (1904)

Vittorio Emanuele c.1915-18. Regia Marina photo, original believed to be in the public domain.

Laid Down

Vittorio Emanuele was a Regina Elena-class pre-dreadnought battleship of the Regia Marina. Even for a pre-dreadnought, Vittorio Emanuele's armament layout was unusual for the time. Laid down in 1901, most battleships had twin turrets for their main guns, but she had two 305mm (12") guns in single turrets, supplemented by twelve 203mm (8") guns in six twin turrets. Vittorio was commissioned 1 August, 1908, and, with a top speed of 21 knots, she was very fast for the battleships of the time. Vittorio saw service in the Italo-Turkish War of 1911-12, helping take Benghazi in October, 1911, and supporting the Italian army in Libya. Vittorio Emanuele would also see service in the Great War, though she didn't get to meet her Austrian counterparts in battle, or see any action for that matter. Vittorio was used as a training ship after the end of the War, and served in this role until 1923, when she was sold for scrap and broken up.

Bonus Photos

Close-up of the single 305mm gun of Vittorio Emanuele's forward turret. Note the shutters on either side of the gun port to keep out the sea when not in use. Regia Marina photo, original believed to be in the public domain.

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: Vittorio Emanuele escaped execution by the Washington Treaty, due to her age and small size, but the Italians opted to scrap her anyway.