Italian cruiser Eugenio di Savoia
|Name:||Eugenio di Savoia|
|Namesake:||Prince Eugene of Savoy|
|Laid down:||6 July 1933|
|Launched:||16 March 1935|
|Commissioned:||16 January 1936|
|Fate:||Transferred to Greece, 1950|
|Namesake:||Naval battle of Cape Helle|
|Class and type:||Condottieri-class cruiser|
|Displacement:||8,450 tons standard, 10,539 tons full load|
|Length:||186.9 m (613 ft)|
|Beam:||17.5 m (57 ft)|
|Draught:||6.1 m (20 ft)|
|Propulsion:||2 Belluzzo/Parsons geared turbines, 6 Yarrow boillers, 110,000 hp (82,000 kW)|
|Speed:||36.5 knots (68 km/h)|
|Range:||3,900 nautical miles (7,220 km) at 14 knots (26 km/h)|
|Aviation facilities:||1 catapult|
Eugenio di Savoia was a Condottieri-class light cruiser, which served in the Regia Marina during World War II. She survived the war but was given as a war reparation to the Hellenic Navy in 1947. She was renamed Elli and served until 1964.
Eugenio di Savoia was part of the fourth group of Condottieri-class light cruisers, also known as the Duca d'Aosta class. The design of the Duca d'Aosta class was based on the Montecuccoli class, with a slight increase in size and a significant increase in armour. The machinery was also re-arranged.
Eugenio di Savoia was built by Ansaldo, Genoa, and named after Prince Eugene of Savoy. It is ironic that both Eugenio di Savoia and her Kriegsmarine namesake Prinz Eugen honour a general who was such a staunch ally of the British in an earlier era.
As results of the pact between Franco and Mussolini during the Spanish Civil War, on 13 February 1937, the ship went into action off the coast of Barcelona, Spain, bombarding the city and causing 18 deaths.
The cruiser joined the 7th cruiser division and went on a circumnavigation of the globe with her sister ship in 1938-39, returning to La Spezia in March 1939. During World War II she fought in the following actions:
- Battle of Punta Stilo
- Operation Harpoon (1942) - the battle in which she crippled HMS Bedouin (F67).
- Operation Pedestal
She was hit during an air strike carried out by Liberator bombers while berthed in Napoli on 4 December 1942. Two other cruisers, Raimondo Montecuccoli and Muzio Attendolo were badly hit and the latter sunk. After the armistice in 1943, she was used as a training ship at Suez.
After the end of the war, she was transferred to Greece in 1950 as war reparation. The Greek flag was raised in 1951 and the ship was renamed Elli (Έλλη). The ship became the headquarters for the Commander in Chief of the Hellenic Fleet. The ship was moved to Souda Bay (Crete) in 1959 where she was used as headquarters to the Admiral C-in-C of Cretan and Ionian seas. She also served for state visits of King Paul to Constantinople in June 1952, Yugoslavia in September 1955, Toulon, France in June 1956, and Lebanon in May 1958. In 1959 she was moved to Souda Bay, Crete, where she was used as headquarters of the Ionian and Cretan Seas Command. Decommissioned in 1965, she was used as a naval prison ship. Certain naval personnel were detained there during the 1967-1974 junta because of their resistance activities. She was auctioned off in 1973.
- History of the Second World War. Volume 4, Purnell and Sons Ltd., p. 1412
- C. Paizis-Paradellis (2002). Hellenic Warships 1829–2001 (3rd Edition). Athens, Greece: The Society for the study of Greek History. pp. 64–65. ISBN 960-8172-14-4.
- "Elli II ex Eugenio di Savoia" Hellenic Navy, Retrieved: 18 January 2013.
Further reading and external links
- Whitley, M.J. (1995). Cruisers of World War Two. Arms and armour Press. ISBN 1-86019-874-0.
- Video: Italian newsreel footage of an IMAM Ro.43 reconnaissance floatplane launching from a catapult aboard Eugenio di Savoia can be viewed at I.M.A.M Ro 43 Hidroavion Catapultable Regia Marina.