Navigatori-class destroyer

Destroyer Nicoló Zeno
Class overview
Name: Navigatori class
Preceded by: Turbine class
Succeeded by: Freccia class
Built: 1928-1929
In commission: 19291954
Completed: 12
Lost: 11
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
  • 1,900 long tons (1,930 t) standard
  • 2,650 long tons (2,693 t) full load
Length: 107 m (351 ft 1 in)
Beam: 10.2 m (33 ft 6 in)
Draught: 3.5 m (11 ft 6 in)
  • 2 shaft geared turbines
  • 4 boilers
  • 50,000 hp (37,300 kW)
  • 630 tons fuel oil
Speed: 38 knots (43.7 mph; 70.4 km/h)
Complement: 224
  • 6 × 120 mm (4.7 in) guns (3×2)
  • 2 × 40 mm pom-pom guns (2×1)
  • 8 × 13.2 mm machine guns
  • 6 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes
  • 56 mines

The Navigatori class were a group of Italian destroyers built in 1928-29, named after Italian explorers. They fought in World War II. Just one vessel, Nicoloso Da Recco, survived the conflict.


These ships were built for the Regia Marina as a reply to the large contre-torpilleurs of the Jaguar and Guépard classes built for the French Navy. These ships were significantly larger than other contemporary Italian destroyers and were initially classed as esploratori or scouts. They were re-rated as destroyers in 1938.

The main armament was a new model 120 mm gun (Ansaldo 1926 pattern, 50 calibre)[1] in 3 twin turrets which allowed for 45° elevation. The torpedo launchers consisted of two triple banks, each unusually comprising two 533 mm (21 in) separated by one 450 mm (18 in). Two rangefinder positions were provided; one above the bridge and one in the after superstructure.

Unit machinery was used comprising 4 boilers in two widely spaced boiler rooms and two turbine rooms. The forward unit drove the port shaft and the aft unit drove the starboard shaft. Trials were run light and with overloaded machinery leading to speeds of up to 43.5 knots (80.6 km/h; 50.1 mph) which were not achievable under service conditions.

The ships were fast, but were found to lack stability and were rebuilt with a clipper bow, increased beam and reduced superstructure in the late 1930s.

During the war the torpedoes were replaced by triple 21 inch tubes and extra AA guns were added.


Ship Named after Builder Commissioned Operational History
Alvise Da Mosto Alvise Cadamosto CNQ of Fiume 15 March 1931 Sunk by HMS Aurora and HMS Penelope near Tripoli, 1 December 1941, while escorting the tanker Iridio Mantovani. There were 138 crew killed and 135 survivors.
Antonio da Noli Antonio da Noli CT at Riva Trigoso 29 December 1929 Sunk on mines in the Strait of Bonifacio on 9 September 1943, there were 218 killed and 39 survivors among her crew.
Nicoloso da Recco Nicoloso da Recco CNR at Ancona 20 May 1930 She shot down three Beaufort bombers while escorting a two-freighter convoy on 21 June 1942 off Tunisia.[2] The only destroyer of this class to survive the war, she was decommissioned on 15 July 1954 and scrapped.
Giovanni da Verrazzano Giovanni da Verrazzano CNQ Fiume 25 September 1930 On 3 July 1942, while escorting three freighters from Taranto to Benghazi she shot down two Beaufort bombers along with the destroyers Euro and Turbine.[3] Sunk 19 October 1942 by British submarine HMS Unbending while escorting a convoy from Napoli to Trupoli, 20 killed and 255 survivors.
Lanzerotto Malocello Lanzerotto Malocello Ansaldo at Genoa 18 January 1930 Lost on 24 March 1943 to a mine north of Cape Bon while transporting German troops to Tunis, 199 crew lost (42 survivors) in addition to some hundreds of German soldiers.
Leone Pancaldo Leon Pancaldo CT of Riva Trigoso 30 November 1929 Bombed and sunk on 30 April 1943 near Tunisia during a troop transport mission, 156 killed and 124 survivors including Commander Tommaso Ferreri Caputi.
Emanuele Pessagno Emanuele Pessagno CNR of Ancona 10 March 1930 Torpedoed and sunk by British submarine HMS Turbulent on 29 May 1942 while escorting a convoy from Brindisi to Benghazi. 159 crew lost, 86 survivors.
Antonio Pigafetta Antonio Pigafetta CNQ of Fiume 1 May 1931 She rescued survivors from Trento after the Italian cruiser was torpedoed and sunk by British submarine HMS Umbra during Operation Vigorous, on 15 June 1942. Captured by the Germans after the Italian armistice with the Allies, served as TA44. Sunk at Trieste by air raid on 21 February 1945.
Luca Tarigo Luca Tarigo Ansaldo Genoa 16 November 1929 Sunk by British destroyers on 16 April 1941, but not before torpedoing and sinking the British destroyer HMS Mohawk. See Battle of the Tarigo Convoy. Only 36 crew survived.
Antoniotto Usodimare Antoniotto Usodimare Odera of Sestri Ponente 21 November 1929 Sank British submarine P38 on 25 February 1942. Sunk by submarine Alagi in a friendly fire incident on 8 June 1942 while escorting a convoy from Naples to Tripoli, 141 killed and 165 survivors.
Ugolino Vivaldi Ugolino Vivaldi Odera, Sestri Ponente 6 March 1930 Sank British Submarine HMS Oswald on 1 August 1940. She led the close escort of a four-freighter convoy to Tripoli on 26 May 1941,[4] when she and a screen of destroyers and torpedo boats shot down two Blenheim bombers.[5] Scuttled after having been bombed by German aircraft while attempting to reach internment in Spain after having been damaged by German coastal artillery in the Strait of Bonifacio, following the Italian Armistice, on 10 September 1943. 58 crew killed and 240 survivors.
Nicolò Zeno Nicolò Zeno CNQ of Fiume 27 May 1930 Scuttled in Trieste on 9 September 1943 to prevent capture by the Germans following the Italian Armistice


  1. Campbell, pp.335-338
  2. Shores, Cull & Malizia, p. 364
  3. Shores, Cull & Malizia, p. 387
  4. Naval Events, May 1941, Part 2 of 2
  5. Shores, Cull & Malizia, p. 223


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