Carlo Pellion di Persano

Admiral Persano.

Count Carlo Pellion di Persano (11 March 1806 – 28 July 1883) was an Italian admiral and politician, who was commander of the Italian fleet at the 1866 Battle of Lissa.

Persano was born at Vercelli, Piedmont. As a young man Persano joined the Sardinian navy and advanced rapidly through the ranks. He commanded the fleet from 1860 to 1861, and saw action in the struggle for Italian unification. After unification he was elected to the legislature; he became Minister of Marine in 1862 and in 1865 he was nominated a Senator.

Persano was appointed to command the Italian fleet during the third war of Italian independence, and, despite his warnings about the poor state of his ships and his men,[1] he set sail and suffered a defeat at the Lissa. To quell the public outcry after the battles of Lissa and Custoza, Persano was judged by the Italian Senate (which alone had the authority to judge a sitting Senator), condemned for incompetence on 15 April 1867 and cashiered from duty.[2]

He died at Turin in 1883.


  1. Storia Militare n. 214, Parma 2011, p. 8
  2. Storia Militare n. 215, Parma 2011, p. 64

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