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Conte di Cavour was an Italianmarker Conte di Cavour class battleship, that served in the Regia Marina during World War I and World War II. It was named after the Italian statesman Count Camillo Benso di Cavour.

Construction and first years

Built to a design by Chief Engineer (Tenente Generale del Genio Navale) Edoardo Masdea, Conte di Cavour was based in Tarantomarker, in the impending war against Austria-Hungary (World War I). At the beginning of the war, 24 May 1915, Conte di Cavour became the flagship of the rear-admiral Luigi Amedeo di Savoia. During the war, the battleship had no active missions, since it was impossible to engage the enemy: it performed 966 hours of training exercises compared to 40 hours spent in 3 war actions.

After the war, Conte di Cavour had a propaganda cruise in North America, entering the ports of Gibraltar, Ponta Delgada, Fayal, Halifax, Boston, Newport, Tompkinsville, New York, Philadelphia, Annapolis, and Hampton Roads.

In the summer of 1922, King Vittorio Emanuele III travelled on Conte di Cavour to pay visit to the freed Italian cities in the Adriatic seamarker. It was also used by Benito Mussolini to travel to Tripolimarker, in April 1925.

On 12 May 1928, in Taranto, it was disarmed; five years later, in October 1933, Conte di Cavour was transferred to Triestemarker, to be re-constructed.

Re-construction and World War II actions

The reconstruction process left only 40% of the original structure. The central 305 mm turret was removed, and the remaining guns of the same caliber were upgraded to 320 mm. The new engines were able to provide , allowing Conte di Cavour to reach . Overall, it was a good unit, even if with weak anti-aircraft and submarine protections.

Conte di Cavour was returned to Regia Marina on 1 June 1937; it was in Taranto at the beginning of the World War II, on 10 June 1940.

On 9 July 1940 it participated in the battle of Calabriamarker, which was the first between Italian and British navies. During the Night of Tarantomarker, 11 November12 November 1940, Conte di Cavour was sunk in shallow waters by a torpedo dropped by a British aircraft during the attack on the naval base of Taranto. The ship was raised at the end of 1941, and then sent to Trieste to be repaired and upgraded in the anti-aircraft armament, but it never returned to active duty.

On 10 September 1943, Conte di Cavour was captured by Germans, but later abandoned during Trieste bombing (15 February 1945). The battleship was scrapped on 27 February 1947.

See also

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