Italian battleship Leonardo da Vinci

Italian battleship Leonardo da Vinci, Dreadnought battleship of the Italian Royal Navy.

Italian battleship Leonardo da Vinci image

Dreadnought battleship of the Italian Royal Navy

Leonardo da Vinci was the last of three Conte di Cavour-class dreadnoughts built for the Regia Marina (Royal Italian Navy) in the early 1910s. Completed just before the beginning of World War I, the ship saw no action and was sunk by a magazine explosion in 1916 with the loss of 248 officers and enlisted men. The Italians blamed Austro-Hungarian saboteurs for her loss, but it may have been accidental. Leonardo da Vinci was refloated in 1919 and plans were made to repair her. Budgetary constraints did not permit this, and her hulk was sold for scrap in 1923.

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Design and description

The Conte di Cavour class was designed to counter the French Courbet-class dreadnoughts which caused them to be slower and more heavily armored than the first Italian dreadnought, Dante Alighieri. The ships were 168.9 meters (554:ft 2:in) long at the waterline and 176 meters (577:ft 5:in) overall. They had a beam of 28 meters (91:ft 10:in), and a draft of 9.3 meters (30:ft 6:in). The Conte di Cavour-class ships displaced 23,088 long tons (23,458:t) at normal load, and 25,086 long tons (25,489:t) at deep load. They had a crew of 31 officers and 969 enlisted men. They were powered by three sets of Parsons steam turbines, two sets driving the outer propeller shafts and one set the two inner shafts. Steam for the turbines was provided by twenty Blechynden water-tube boilers, eight of which burned oil and twelve of which burned both fuel oil and coal. Designed to reach a maximum speed of 22.5 knots (41.7:km/h; 25.9:mph) from 31,000 shaft horsepower (23,000:...read more

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