Garibaldi class armoured cruisers (1901)

Italy (1901)
6 Armoured Cruisers

The best Italian Armoured Cruiser

These Italian battlecruisers were among the best of their time: They were built to more than 10 units, and sold to Argentina, Spain, Japan. Italy kept three of these ships: Varese (launched in 1899), Garibaldi (1899) and Francesco Ferrucio (1901). Designed by the chief engineer Edoardo Masdea in 1893, they combined elements that would make their success: Rapidity, powerful armament, and satisfactory protection given their measured proportions.

This post is a placeholder for a future fully-fledge article

In short, they were very versatile and in their place within the fleets line, designed as perfect intermediaries between heavy cruisers and battleships. In addition, they were built quickly (4 years against 6 to 9 for French ships) and at a lower cost than other European shipyards. It was the first major export success of Italian military shipbuilding.

Cristobal Colon
Spanish Cruiser Cristobal Colon, the only one sunk.


Ships of this class, as well as those sold abroad, were all on fire: The only Spanish Colombo was sunk during the Battle of the Bay of Santiago de Cuba, when barely delivered, the two Japanese Kasuga saw the fire at Tsushima, and the four Argentine ships of the General Garibaldi class (the first dating back to 1895) a civil war. When the three Italian ships were in combat during the Great War, and only the Garibaldi (Italian) was sunk, torpedoed by the U4 July 18, 1915. The Varese was used as a training ship from 1920 onwards. the retreat in 1922 and demolished in 1923 while the Ferrucio suffered the same fate from 1924, and until 1934. It then served as a floating barracks before being removed from the lists in 1930.

Illustration of the Garibaldi in 1914

Sardegna (1914) specifications

Dimensions 111.75 x 18.25 x 7.10m
Displacement 7235t, 7929t FL
Crew 510
Propulsion 4 mach. VTE, 24 boilers, 14,000 hp
Speed 20.2 knots max.
Range ?
Armament 1 x 254, 2 x 203 (1×2), 14 x 152, 10 x 76 mm, 2 x Maxim MGs, 4 x 450 mm TTs.
Armor Belt 190, conning tower 190, turrets 190, decks 30, casemates 51 mm


Marco Polo on wikipedia
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