A powerful White’s cruiser
Piemonte was designed at the request of the Italian government, which wanted to strengthen its fleet in case of a new war against Austria. The order was placed at the world-renowned Armstrong-Elswick shipyard. Chief Engineer Philip Watts took the opportunity to test a new configuration, giving this vessel much larger than the Dogali (ordered three years earlier at the same shipyard), an artillery fully rapid fire, a first in the world.
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But the optimism of this armament (6 pieces of 152 mm, 6 of 120, and 10 of 57 mm) harmed its stability and was reduced in 1891. It kept 2 pieces of 152 mm, 10 pieces of 120 mm, and 6 37 mm. In 1913, the 152 mm piece was removed and the light armament was again reviewed (see sheet).
Her general protection was good but not complete. In particular, it lacked a double-bottomed hull, and ballasts were missing in the machines. The Piemonte was one of the oldest cruisers in service in the Italian Navy in 1914: It had been started in 1887 and completed in 1889. Its hour of glory came in 1911, after a series of brief engagements against the Navy Turkish, January 7, 1912, off Kunfida in the Red Sea, he defeated a Turkish flotilla composed of no less than 8 Turkish gunboats and an armed yacht. He had no other opportunities so favorable during the Great War where he served mainly as escort. He was disarmed in 1920.
Author’s illustration of the RN Piemonte
Displacement: 2443t, 2500t FL
Dimensions: 97.83 x 11.62 x 4.86 m
Propulsion: 2 mach. VTE, 4 boilers, 13,000 hp. and 22.3 knots max.
Armament: Blockhaus Crew 76, turrets 190, deck 76, shields 52 mm
Armament: 10 x 120, 6 x 57 mm, 2 x 37 mm, 2 x 305 mm SM TTs.
Piemonte Coll. Giorgio Parodi