Italian Vittorio Veneto- Class Battleships...

... from Kagero, via Casemate

Title:  Italian Vittorio Veneto-Class Battleships

Author: Andrzej Perepeczko

Publisher:  Kagero

ISBN:  978-83-66148-24-6

A fine new 164-page softcover book from Kagero which provides us with an excellent reference on this class of Battleships, used by the Italian Navy during WW2. There were 4 of these modern Battleship laid down, one of which would have been an aircraft carrier (the Impero)was never completed other than the basic hull.
The book divides quite neatly into 2 main parts. The first 106 pages are devoted to the history of these Italian battleships. It starts with a brief summary of the various classes of battleships which equipped the Italian Navy in WW2, before it moves on to the detail of the modern Vittorio Veneto class. The four vessels were the Vittorio Veneto itself, the Littorio and the Roma, which were all completed as gun armed battleships, while the fourth hull, the Impero, was destined to be an aircraft carrier but never completed. Accompanied by plenty of clear archive photos, the text details the design, the armament (main and secondary), propulsion systems, fire control, radar, living conditions and more. With that explained, then the story moves on to their service history, including a number of maps, the results of the Fleet Air Arm raid on Taranto and the Battle of Cape Matapan among others. An interesting history of the war in the Mediterranean for the Italian Navy. When the Italians surrendered to the allies in 1943, they were attacked by the Luftwaffe using their Fritz-X guided bombs. The Roma was sunk while the Littorio, by then renamed the Italia, survived.

The remaining pages of the book hold some good scale drawings of the ships, including some full colour profiles. They accompany a whole series of Kagero's marvellous full colour 3D details of the ships, showing all the external elements of them. It makes for a very useful reference for ship modellers in particular, as there are kits available. Another fine book from Kagero.

Distributed by Casemate Books, who kindly provided my review copy.

Robin