Outline of the Vesuvio class.
LOA: 667’, Beam: 90’
22,500 tons designed Standard Displacement; 27,350 tons Full Load.

8-12” guns (3-2-3), 8-5.3” guns (4x2), 4-3.9” guns (HA).

12” (actually 300mm) Belt, 3” (75mm) Main Deck, 10” Barbettes, 12”-4” Turrets, 10” Conning Tower, 1.5” Torpedo Bulkhead.
Rated power: 120,000shp for 32 knots
Vesuvio on trials: 138,200shp for 33.32 knots at 22,780 tons, real sea speed about 31 knots


Well that's a fine looking ship, in the best Italian tradition.

Now depending on your perspective, you could either see them as a faster down scaled version of Hood, a faster but smaller and modern Italian variety of Derfflinger, an improve more cost-effective version of the Alaskas or just a good match for the Dunkirks. But of course, this is with hindsight that TTL people don´t have.

the Greek government then demanded the return of the Dodecanese islands from Italy.

The Greeks always looking to bother someone bigger...🤦‍♂️
 
Now that's a handsome ship! And sure the guns are a bit 'weak' but still you don't wanna get hit by 12-inch guns too often, and she's got considerably better thicker armour protection than the Renowns too.
 
Good Intentions on the Road to Hell

The Washington Treaty of 1921 stated that a ‘light battleship’ of under 23,000 tons Standard Displacement would only use up 14,000 tons of a nations’ capital ship tonnage allocation. The clause was created to massage the figures in favour of the Royal Navy, by allowing them to keep larger numbers of ships, while having tonnage parity with the US Navy.
The classification also helped to keep the French in the Treaty, as it allowed them to have seven battleships for the same Treaty tonnage as Italy’s six (all existing French ships fell under the ‘light battleship’ classification, while Italy’s 30,500-ton Caracciolo did not).

The clause was hastily added and was used as a negotiating tool, changing several times before reaching its final form. In 1921, it never occurred to negotiators that anyone would want to build new 23,000-ton ships. British, American and Japanese concepts had been heading for 50,000 tons, and designers had devoted their efforts towards what could be built on ‘as little as’ 36,000 tons.

However, following the end of the war, old rivalries and new realities began to surface. Italy and France still needed to secure the sea lanes links to their African Empires, while even a limited force in the Mediterranean gave them influence with the British. The French felt the need to deter any possible Italian adventurism in North Africa. The Italians weren’t going to be pushed around by the French, and they also had near-neighbours in Serbia, Greece and the Ottoman Empire who possessed capital ships.
Neither nation was likely to be in a position to challenge the major powers, and both faced financial constraints. Against that, their fleets only had to be capable of fighting their likely enemies – the older, smaller ships of the various Mediterranean nations. Italy had a single 15” fast battleship, and Greece had a lone 14” vessel, but everything else in the region had either 12” or 13.5” guns. With a treaty allocation of just 12,000 tons/year, each power could only complete one new 16” super-dreadnought every three years.

In 1922, the Italian government had tried to arrange an exchange of territory; in return for parts of Slovenia, the Serb government would give Italy a series of islands in the Adriatic, securing access to the port of Fiume. The issue was muddied by Slovenes who sought full independence and who delayed the matter through attempting to arrange a plebiscite organised by the League of Nations. Afraid of angering other powers and scuppering the deal, Italian forces backed off from confronting these Slovenian dissidents on several occasions that summer. The matter was eventually resolved between Italy and Serbia directly, but it left the Italian government looking weak.
Meanwhile, a series of inconclusive skirmishes between Greek and Ottoman forces on the mainland had been defused by the League, leaving the Greek government looking equally ineffective. To try to regain the initiative and boost their own popularity, the Greek government then demanded the return of the Dodecanese islands from Italy, and sent the Greek Navy to exercise near the islands, in what were nominally Italian waters.
The Regia Marina responded by despatching a fleet, including the battleships Cavour and Duilio, to reinforce the islands. Wary of igniting a conflict, the Italians secured the harbours and patrolled the sea lanes, but out at sea the Greeks proved more agile. The battleship Salamis repeatedly intercepted and evaded the Italian squadron in both national and international waters, seemingly trying to goad the Italians into firing first. Neither the Cavour or the Duilio could keep up with the fast Greek ship, and the Italian Admiral requested reinforcements of torpedo boats.

These were on their way when a Royal Navy squadron arrived in the Aegean, and the Greeks were persuaded the return to their home waters. The islands were secured, but within the Regia Marina, the inability to intercept the Salamis was grave cause for concern. Their only fast battleship, the Caracciolo, had been under refit, and seemed likely that the Navy would need more fast vessels in the future.

By the autumn of 1923, a new Italian government included members of the Fascist party, whose views reinforced the need to make a bold statement about the nation’s future power and prosperity. In addition to the military requirement, nothing said ‘power’ quite like a battleship.
A 36,000-ton vessel was out of the question financially, but Italian designers had a valuable trick available, if they were prepared to go for something smaller. In 1916, the battleship Da Vinci had suffered an internal explosion in harbour and was deemed to be a total loss. However, the wreck had been salvaged, and four of her five turrets (two twins and two triples) and their 12” guns were in good condition and could be re-used.
What really sold the plan was the idea of using the ‘light battleship’ clause to permit the building of two new ships, each with eight 12” guns, for which only two new triple turrets and six guns would be needed. The Italian Navy had already begun a cruiser programme, and high-powered machinery could be adapted from that.

This pair of fast ships could be used to put the slow French fleet off-balance if needs be, while each would be capable of taking on the Serbian, Greek or Turkish vessels.

View attachment 549391
Etna as completed​

Outline of the Vesuvio class.
LOA: 667’, Beam: 90’
22,500 tons designed Standard Displacement; 27,350 tons Full Load.

8-12” guns (3-2-3), 8-5.3” guns (4x2), 4-3.9” guns (HA).

12” (actually 300mm) Belt, 3” (75mm) Main Deck, 10” Barbettes, 12”-4” Turrets, 10” Conning Tower, 1.5” Torpedo Bulkhead.
Rated power: 120,000shp for 32 knots
Vesuvio on trials: 138,200shp for 33.32 knots at 22,780 tons, real sea speed about 31 knots.

Not to be pedantic but first Greece and Turkey do not share a land border, so have nowhere to skirmish. Except at sea but that's why the Greeks have a British trained fleet. Second no Greek government of the era is going to challenge Italy in such a way for the simple reason that Italy outweighs it 5 to 1, while Greece also has to deal with the Ottomans threatening the east Aegean islands. Not to mention their British unofficial allies would not appreciate it. The Greeks no doubt want the Dodecanese but not at the cost of trying to pick a fight with Italy. I could see the locals petitioning the League of Nations but that's about it.

On the other hand I could easily see Italy trying to bully Greece as a way of recovering prestige after the Slovenian mess, Italy was mildly antagonistic and even expansionist towards Greece well before Mussolini, frex their hopes of taking over Corfu during WW1. So trying something like the OTL Corfu incident is very much possible. Which gets you the same crisis and Salamis embarrassing the Italian navy just as described... then the British show up the Italians back out and build their pair of battleships.

I'll leave the fun of what happens when the Greeks show up in London, sir Basil Zaharoff in tow to order a full battleship or two for later... but I'll note that as early as 1914 they were discussing a Queen Elizabeth clone with British yards. 😇
 

Stenz

Monthly Donor
Well that sets the Italian cat among the Mediterranean pigeons, Vesuvio wouldn't last very long against a real first battlecruiser like HMS Rodney but with 12" armour they have an immune zone against the Sultan Osman/ex-Rio de Janeiro/OTL HMS Agincourt and while Reshadeih/OTL HMS Erin would be more of a problem with her 13.5" guns it wouldn't be a forgone conclusion.

But in a way that’s very smart. Challenge the likely challengers, but don’t threaten the Royal Navy. Build a ship or ships that clearly state the Regina Marina is for the defence of Italian interests, but not to attempt to dominate the Mediterranean.
 
But in a way that’s very smart. Challenge the likely challengers, but don’t threaten the Royal Navy. Build a ship or ships that clearly state the Regina Marina is for the defence of Italian interests, but not to attempt to dominate the Mediterranean.

True to an extent but that sort of ship means Britain can't rely on the Orion's and Iron Duke's to control the Mediterranean, it needs to detach at least a pair of battlecruisers to maintain supremacy.
 
But in a way that’s very smart. Challenge the likely challengers, but don’t threaten the Royal Navy. Build a ship or ships that clearly state the Regina Marina is for the defence of Italian interests, but not to attempt to dominate the Mediterranean.

Any new naval building program in the Mediterranean is a threat to the Royal Navy. This ship will be viewed at least initially as a Battlecruiser and that means commerce raiding is on the cards. That is a BIG threat to the royal navy as they only have a few ships that can deal with a ship that fast. As Thoresby points out it requires a first rate prescence in the Med as the older ships cant match it.
 
OK, I can understand not having the funds to build 1 36000 ton ship. The thing is two 23000 ton ships even with reused turrets wont be cheap. Add to that the fact its going to still use up 3 years worth of tonnage allowance and I have to as, exactly how much cash would Italy have saved?.

I can imagine someone in the Italian government will have made this point. A fact the Fascists will have jumped on I would have thought to call for a monster 36000 ton ship. (Also I am assuming that the point of Fascists being involved in the Italian Government is foreshadowing). In fact I find it hard to imagine It was cheaper, you still have to buy 46000 tons of steel to make the two ships minus any weight saved with the re-used turrets, plus build new turrets. Building a single 36000 ton ship must surely have been a cheaper option. I can understand if the only way to get the ships is to sell the idea as 2 small ships with re-used bits is cheaper but surely that argument must have been made by someone. Or was it a way to keep the Fascists happy for a bit and keep dockyard work going? even then though.
 
The cost effectiveness might be questionable, but the action seems very plausible given how much the Italians spent OTL to rebuild / reconstruct old ships.
 
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There's also this Italian design further down the way.




Dimensions: 194,5 x 28,9 x 8m
Displacement: 23.000tons


Engine Power: 150.000shp, 4 shafts
Maximum Speed: 54km/h (29knots)
Armour Thickness: 9.45-inch belt, 5.5 inch decks, 13 - 5.9-inch turrets, 10-inch conning tower.
Armaments:
3x2 381mm Cannons
4x2 152mm Guns
6x2 100mm DP-AA Guns
2 seaplanes

I can't find that much more on her.
 
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I generally agree, Italy and Greece are in two different league and for Athens picking Italy is litteraly trying to bullying the dragon. The only way that i see that happening is due to the situation in Lybia and Slovenia giving the image of a weak italian goverment and the italian internal situation being complicated (sure much more 'quiet' than OTL but still political violence will happen) and with Greece Italy had also a question in Albania; that nation will be in the italian sphere of influence and Greece had dispute with her, add the Dodecanese and the recent happening in the foreign and internal politics of Italy and someone in Athens can think that creating a little crisis by hoping the italian over react and calling immediately an international conference will be the safest method to get concession, especially because 'surely' their British ally will back them.

I know there is at least a ton of wishfull thinking in this reasoning but it's not that history is not full of idiotic decision taken for very spurious reason.

I can imagine someone in the Italian government will have made this point. A fact the Fascists will have jumped on I would have thought to call for a monster 36000 ton ship. (Also I am assuming that the point of Fascists being involved in the Italian Government is foreshadowing). In fact I find it hard to imagine It was cheaper, you still have to buy 46000 tons of steel to make the two ships minus any weight saved with the re-used turrets, plus build new turrets. Building a single 36000 ton ship must surely have been a cheaper option. I can understand if the only way to get the ships is to sell the idea as 2 small ships with re-used bits is cheaper but surely that argument must have been made by someone. Or was it a way to keep the Fascists happy for a bit and keep dockyard work going? even then though.

Well, Giolitti (and the liberal enstablishment) original plan was to use the fascist to keep the socialist/communist down and at the same time make them more mainstrean and respectable (aka being easy to control); OTL this plan litteraly exploded in their face but ITTL can work much more easily due to the general less problematic internal situation (even if some level of violence will be uavoidable) and economic situation. So them in the goverment but hardly in control of it it's very plausible, even because without D'Annunzio attempt in Fiume, Benny will lack a lot of examples and bluprint regarding on how to do things and how to make propaganda.
The two ships option will be probably used for both keeping the Fascist happy and the dockyard work, but also because people will think really that they can be done more cheap than a new construction and they probably will try to recycle all possible from the Da Vinci and the ships given to Italy by the treay, plus what built of the others Carracciolo class
 
OK, I can understand not having the funds to build 1 36000 ton ship. The thing is two 23000 ton ships even with reused turrets wont be cheap. Add to that the fact its going to still use up 3 years worth of tonnage allowance and I have to as, exactly how much cash would Italy have saved?.

I can imagine someone in the Italian government will have made this point. A fact the Fascists will have jumped on I would have thought to call for a monster 36000 ton ship. (Also I am assuming that the point of Fascists being involved in the Italian Government is foreshadowing). In fact I find it hard to imagine It was cheaper, you still have to buy 46000 tons of steel to make the two ships minus any weight saved with the re-used turrets, plus build new turrets. Building a single 36000 ton ship must surely have been a cheaper option. I can understand if the only way to get the ships is to sell the idea as 2 small ships with re-used bits is cheaper but surely that argument must have been made by someone. Or was it a way to keep the Fascists happy for a bit and keep dockyard work going? even then though.

I think one factor to remember is the infrastructure. Building a 36,000 ton ship might actually cost more than 2x22,500 tons if you need to spend money on improving your infrastructure.

The Italians have also been reminded by recent events in the Aegean that a single super ship in the years is useless, so having two ships and thus a higher availability is a major bonus to them.
 
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View attachment 549391
Etna as completed​

Outline of the Vesuvio class.
LOA: 667’, Beam: 90’
22,500 tons designed Standard Displacement; 27,350 tons Full Load.

8-12” guns (3-2-3), 8-5.3” guns (4x2), 4-3.9” guns (HA).

12” (actually 300mm) Belt, 3” (75mm) Main Deck, 10” Barbettes, 12”-4” Turrets, 10” Conning Tower, 1.5” Torpedo Bulkhead.
Rated power: 120,000shp for 32 knots
Vesuvio on trials: 138,200shp for 33.32 knots at 22,780 tons, real sea speed about 31 knots.
That's a lot of ship for 22500 tonnes. Statistically it's rather close to the Derfflinger class in terms of armour and weapons and length and beam and 4k tonnes lighter and 5.5 knots faster.

Im not saying it's definitely impossible but I (and the Admiralty may concur) am suspicious and don't trust it.
 
I think one factor to remember is the infrastructure. Building a 36,000 ton ship might actually cost more than 2x22,500 tons if you need to spend money on improving your infrastructure.

The Italians have also been reminded by recent events in the Aegean that a single super ship in the years is useless, so having two ships and thus a higher availability is a major bonus to them.

The infrastructure point is a good one and something I hadn't considered, Thanks.
 
That's a lot of ship for 22500 tonnes. Statistically it's rather close to the Derfflinger class in terms of armour and weapons and length and beam and 4k tonnes lighter and 5.5 knots faster.

Im not saying it's definitely impossible but I (and the Admiralty may concur) am suspicious and don't trust it.

I thought that at first so I SpringSharpe'd it and it is doable. You do have to stretch things to get a balanced-ish design for the speed but you can do it. To get a decent armour scheme and a seaworthy ship the torpedo protection suffers a bit and a lot of the ends of the ship (over a third of the total length) are unarmoured. You also have to really finesse it not to have a wet and uncomfortable ship.
 
I thought that at first so I SpringSharpe'd it and it is doable. You do have to stretch things to get a balanced-ish design for the speed but you can do it. To get a decent armour scheme and a seaworthy ship the torpedo protection suffers a bit and a lot of the ends of the ship (over a third of the total length) are unarmoured. You also have to really finesse it not to have a wet and uncomfortable ship.
That's fine. As i said its not impossible. It looks suspicious though. It should probably be addressed in story somewhere that there's flaws in the design.

It could be the first warship welded in the world too if it wants that weight. That would be an interesting enough fact that it would make it into the story.
 
I generally agree, Italy and Greece are in two different league and for Athens picking Italy is litteraly trying to bullying the dragon. The only way that i see that happening is due to the situation in Lybia and Slovenia giving the image of a weak italian goverment and the italian internal situation being complicated (sure much more 'quiet' than OTL but still political violence will happen) and with Greece Italy had also a question in Albania; that nation will be in the italian sphere of influence and Greece had dispute with her, add the Dodecanese and the recent happening in the foreign and internal politics of Italy and someone in Athens can think that creating a little crisis by hoping the italian over react and calling immediately an international conference will be the safest method to get concession, especially because 'surely' their British ally will back them.

There's a simple flaw here... we do know who is running the show in Athens. TTL you had no national schism with the Ottomans remaining neutral thus no Gallipoli controversary and no national schism. Elections would take place in March 1916, which Venizelos wins in a landslide and again in March 1920 which... he wins again given how close the vote was in OTL 1920 after a near civil war and the blockade of old Greece. Now one thing you cannot accuse Venizelos is lack of diplomatic acumen, he was one of the top diplomats of the era internationally. So no , the Greeks are not going to start a crisis with Italy.

Albania wise... does Albania exists in the first place TTL? The Greeks took North Epirus with Entente blessings in October 1915 and the Italians took over the rest at about the same time. At best there is a rump Albania as an Italian protectorate.
 
There's a simple flaw here... we do know who is running the show in Athens. TTL you had no national schism with the Ottomans remaining neutral thus no Gallipoli controversary and no national schism. Elections would take place in March 1916, which Venizelos wins in a landslide and again in March 1920 which... he wins again given how close the vote was in OTL 1920 after a near civil war and the blockade of old Greece. Now one thing you cannot accuse Venizelos is lack of diplomatic acumen, he was one of the top diplomats of the era internationally. So no , the Greeks are not going to start a crisis with Italy.

Albania wise... does Albania exists in the first place TTL? The Greeks took North Epirus with Entente blessings in October 1915 and the Italians took over the rest at about the same time. At best there is a rump Albania as an Italian protectorate.

IRC things were tense and very complicated even before the war between the King and Venizelos and the war even if different will surely healed nothing, basically IMVHO the can has been just kicked along the road and everybody make errors, Giolitti one of the greatest politician in Italy (the pre-war era in Italy is called Giolittian for a reason) thought that Benny were easily controlled and before he putted Salandra at the helm of the goverment because he thought was loyal and was outmanuvered by him (even if with the help of the king)

The Greeks took over in 1915 and was evicted in september 1916, sure a lot due to the national schism and the chaos that caused, still i doubt that Greece is very quiet in this period and honestly many will think at this war as a lost occasion to reach part of the Megali idea while at the same time.
 
Apologies if I missed this but have we had the Partition of Ireland? I'm thinking access to the Atlantic ports? Or had that been butterflied away?
 
Now that's a handsome ship! And sure the guns are a bit 'weak' but still you don't wanna get hit by 12-inch guns too often, and she's got considerably better thicker armour protection than the Renowns too.

Certainly they could be a good match for R&R, but with some reservations given the british greater punch of the Greenboy shell, that the tests prove were capable of more than a scratch on the Bayern in OTL. But still, would be quite a battle, probably with both sides trying to throw each other firing solution by fast manoeuvring and course changing.
 
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