The San Giogio class were a counterpoint to the previous unsatisfactory Pisa class.
The latter were nevertheless replicated to a copy for Greece under the name Giorgios Averoff, still used in the fifties. Engineer Edoardo Masdea was entrusted with the task of improve them while keeping their hull.
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Plans were thus definitively established while the construction had already been launched at Castellamare di Stabia in July 1905, then in January 1907 for the second when the hold was released. This process saved time. The two ships were launched in reduced shifted, in July and December 1908, and accepted in July 1910 and February 1911. Their main innovation was to raise their forward gailard by a bridge in order to improve the seaworthiness. Compartimentation, but also redistributed machinery spaced, giving these two groups of funnels, lowered after the tests.
The San Marco was equipped with a completely different machinery, since it was equipped with 2 Parsons turbines and 14 Babcock & Wilcox boilers with mixed heaters (coal / oil), the San Giorgio retaining the classical classic triple expansion machines. Less powerful, the latter was barely less rapid, a half-knot. These two units participated in the Balkan conflict and then in the Great War. In 1916 they were fitted with a front mast while their light artillery increased to 10 standard 76 mm and 6 AA.
After the war, the San Marco still served until 1931 before being converted into a radio-controlled target ship, captured in La Spezia by the Germans in September 1943, then scuttled at the end of the war, bailed out and demolished. in 1949. The San Giorgio was completely rebuilt to serve as a training ship before ending his career scuttled in Torbruk in January 1941.
Author’s illustration of the San Giorgio
Displacement: 10,167 t, 11,300 t. FL
Dimensions: 140.8 x 21 x 7.3 m
Propulsion: 2 shaft VTE, 14 mixed boilers Blechynden, 19,600 hp. and 23.2 knots
Protection: Belt 200, Deck 50, Blockhouse 254, Turrets 200-160 mm;
Armament: 4 x 254 mm (2×2), 8 x 190 mm (4×2), 18 x 76 mm, 2 x 47 mm, 4 ML, 3 TLT 450 mm Sub.