The two ships were particularly impressive in the water, combining an aggressive appearance with considerable elegance of line in the manner common to most Italian warships designed after World War I.” (The Complete Encyclopedia of Battleships, 1983, by Tony Gibbons, at page 264) Almost every third generation battleship constructed, starting in the 1930s was impressive in appearance and most could be considered handsome but as shown from the above quotation, the Italian Vittorio Veneto class had a distinct and particularly Italian beauty in their appearance, just as a Ferrari does in the automobile world.

Before World War One Italy was allied with Germany and Austro-Hungary and considered France as her most likely opponent. Accordingly her naval construction programs were centered to counter French moves. Her first three dreadnought designs centered around the 12-inch gun. With Dante Alighieri of 1909 Italy was first to create a design featuring the triple gun turret. In 1910 three more battleships of a much improved design, the Cavour Class, consisting of Conte di Cavour, Giulio Cesare and Leonardo da Vinci. In 1912 two more ships were ordered to a slightly improved design, the Duilio Class, consisting of Caio Duilio and Andrea Doria. With the last two Italy chose to stay with the 12-inch gun in spite of the fact that Great Britain had moved on to the 13.5-inch as main armament. There were two basic reasons for this: her likely opponent France still built her ships with that armament, as well as did neighbor Austro-Hungary and Italy did not have the necessary infrastructure to prepare a heavier weapon and did not want to delay construction to do so. The next design leaped from the 12-inch to the 15-inch gun in main armament. The four ships of the Francesco Caracciolo Class were laid down in 1914. However, when Italy entered the war on the side of the allies all work on these heavily gunned ships was stopped and ships were cancelled in 1916. 

Hull Casting
Veneto1213pro.JPG (10626 bytes) Veneto1214bowpro.JPG (10267 bytes) Veneto1215midpro.JPG (8816 bytes) Veneto1216aftpro.JPG (9058 bytes)
Veneto1227hull.JPG (8241 bytes) Veneto1223bot.JPG (8737 bytes) Veneto1224hull.JPG (8775 bytes) Veneto1225stern.JPG (9072 bytes)
Veneto1219hullinterior.JPG (11612 bytes) Veneto1220bowint.JPG (13625 bytes) Veneto1217afthull.JPG (14290 bytes) Veneto1221hulledge.JPG (9273 bytes)

Italy suffered one loss to her dreadnought fleet during the war. Late in the night of August 2, 1916 a fire developed near the aft magazine of the da Vinci. The captain ordered the magazines flooded but before that could occur the magazine blew up. The ship capsized in shallow water. Thought was given to raising her but it was decided that it wasn’t worth the effort. After the war Italy did not have the finances to start new construction and saw no problem with her allowance of battleships under the terms of the Washington Treaty. Under the treaty she could start a new 35,000-ton battleship in 1927 with another following in 1929. The Regia Marina still eyed France as the most likely opponent and wanted numbers rather than size. With the allowable tonnage it was thought wiser to build three smaller 23,000 ton battleships armed with the 13.5-inch gun. This was subsequently amended to each ship carrying six 15-inch guns with the appearance of a much larger version of the cruiser Pola. However, the appearance of the French Dunquerque upset the apple cart and Italian designers went back to the drawing board. Now the admirals wanted two 35,000-ton ships rather than the three smaller ships.  

Initially the 16-inch gun was chosen for the main armament but again Italy found that she could not produce the desired ordnance. Since she had produced a 15-inch gun for the cancelled Caracciolo Class, that gun was adopted for the new design. The final design far exceeded the 35,000-ton treaty limit. At 40,724-tons, the pair of Vittorio Veneto and Littorio were the heaviest battleships laid down since HMS Hood to be completed. In the late 1920s the Regia Marina had built heavy cruisers over the treaty limit and lied about their true displacement so it was an easy matter for them to do the same with these twins. As with the earlier cruisers the navy did not want to sacrifice any design requirement to come within the treaty limits. Both ships were laid down on October 28, 1934.  

Main Deck Casting
Veneto1232deck.JPG (9030 bytes) Veneto1235midX.JPG (10788 bytes) Veneto1234AB.JPG (11281 bytes) Veneto1233fc.JPG (11750 bytes)
Veneto1237fc.JPG (10694 bytes) Veneto1238fc.JPG (8291 bytes) Veneto1240fc.JPG (11645 bytes) Veneto1241fc.JPG (8270 bytes)
Veneto1242fc.JPG (7679 bytes) Veneto1243mid.JPG (7802 bytes) Veneto1244X.JPG (10817 bytes) Veneto1245X.JPG (12208 bytes)
Veneto1248chocks.JPG (7398 bytes) Veneto1249AB.JPG (9859 bytes) Veneto1250fc.JPG (8836 bytes) Veneto1251B.JPG (9578 bytes)

In spite of the excess tonnage, the Italian design did sacrifice one key attribute, range. Operations were really not anticipated outside the Mediterranean and therefore the class was never expected to wander too far from an Italian port. A comparison of the ranges of the last battleships to be built upon resumption of modern battleship construction reveals the following: Vittorio Veneto – October 1934, 128,000shp 30 knots, 4,580nm at 16 knots: Richelieu – October 1935, 150,000shp 30 knots, 5,500nm at 18 knots: Bismarck – July 1936, 163,000shp 30 knots, 8,410nm at 15 knots: King George V – January 1937, 110,000shp 28.5 knots, 15,600nm at 10 knots: Yamato – 150,000shp 27.5 knots, 7,200nm at 16 knots: North Carolina – October 1937, 121,000shp 28 knots, 15,000nm at 15 knots. With less than a third of the range of the USS North Carolina the class was clearly limited in the event of Atlantic operations. The ships had four shafts with both Littorio and Vittorio Veneto exceeding the design 30 knots on trials. This is hardly surprising as the ships were not fully loaded. Littorio hit 31.29 knots on 137,649shp on 41,122 tons while Vittorio Veneto was slightly faster at 31.43 knots on 132,771shp on 41,471 knots. 

Main Deck & Quarterdeck Casting
Veneto1252AB.JPG (8503 bytes) Veneto1246X.JPG (10332 bytes) Veneto1253Bsec.JPG (8547 bytes) Veneto1254A.JPG (11141 bytes)
Veneto1255AB.JPG (9517 bytes) Veneto1256AB.JPG (10320 bytes) Veneto1257X.JPG (10039 bytes) Veneto1258Xsec.JPG (9946 bytes)
Veneto1259edge.JPG (10370 bytes) Veneto1247X.JPG (10905 bytes) Veneto1260qd.JPG (15621 bytes) Veneto1261qd.JPG (16968 bytes)
Veneto1262qd.JPG (16584 bytes) Veneto1263qd.JPG (11902 bytes) Veneto1264qd.JPG (18634 bytes) Veneto1265qd.JPG (13221 bytes) Veneto1266qd.JPG (12278 bytes)

The armor scheme for the pair incorporated the uniquely Italian Pugliese cylinder system. This system had been previously used on the rebuilds of the older battleships and used a hollow steel cylinder twelve ½ feet in diameter. The cylinder ran the length of the armored citadel of the ship and served as a shock absorber against torpedo hits. In theory the cylinder would absorb the shock of torpedo damage and crush before the shock reached the inner armored bulkhead. The class carried a respectful scheme of armored protection. The disposition was somewhat odd in that the external belt was only 70mm in thickness with the main belt of 280mm located inboard from the side by 250mm. The external belt was designed to decap AP shells before they reached the main belt. The belt ran from the front of A barbette to the end of X barbette with 210mm transverse bulkheads connecting the side belts, forward and aft. Turret armor was 350mm on their faces and 200mm on the sides. Barbette armor was 350mm above the deck and 280mm below. Even the secondary turrets had an impressive 280mm of armor on their faces. The central conning tower tube was a tapering structure that extended uo through all of the levels of the forward superstructure. At the lower levels the armor here was only 60mm but from there key levels had up to 250mm of armor.

All of the armament was of new design. The 15-inch guns were not repeats of those built for the Caracciolo but a 1934 Model 15-inch/50 built by Ansado for the Littorio and OTO for the Vittorio Veneto. The 6-inch/55 secondary guns were also apportioned between the two manufacturers. The Ansaldo Model 1934 equipped the Littorio and the OTO Model 1936 equipped the Vittorio Veneto. These were designed for surface combat and not DP work, although they did have special AA barrage rounds. Antiaircraft defense was surprisingly extensive for the time and particularly impressive when compared against the USN and RN designs. Heavy AA came in the form of twelve 3.5-inch/50 guns mounted singly in turrets flanking the superstructure. Light AA comprised twenty Breda 37mm/54 guns in eight twin and four single mounts and sixteen 20mm Breda 20mm/65 guns organized in eight twin mounts.  

Decks Dry-Fitted to Hull
Veneto1311bowon.JPG (8428 bytes) Veneto1315AB.JPG (10921 bytes) Veneto1312sternon.JPG (9862 bytes)
Veneto1302pro.JPG (9271 bytes) Veneto1303bowpro.JPG (11991 bytes) Veneto1304midpro.JPG (10150 bytes) Veneto1305aftpro.JPG (10797 bytes)
Veneto1307pfdia.JPG (13388 bytes) Veneto1308padia.JPG (15050 bytes) Veneto1309sadia.JPG (14177 bytes) Veneto1310sfdia.JPG (14992 bytes)
Veneto1316fc.JPG (10602 bytes) Veneto1313qd.JPG (12999 bytes) Veneto1314qd.JPG (10152 bytes) Veneto1317qd.JPG (12027 bytes)

On unique feature of this class was the break at the extreme aft to the low quarterdeck. For one thing that limited blast damage from the guns of X turret, which was also limited by the high X barbette. As originally proposed there were to be two catapults amidships with hangars but this was declined. Then a truly visionary proposal was made. Why not use the low quarterdeck to operate six La Cierva autogyros, which was an early form of the helicopter. That too was ditched in favor of a conventional single catapult with two, then three Meridianali RO.43 floatplanes. By 1942 one Ro.43 in Littorio was landed in favor of loading a wheeled Re.2000 fighter and Vittorio Veneto landed two of the floatplanes for two of the land fighters. Given the deteriorating aerial situation it was decided that it would be better to have the limited "fire and forget" protection of the non-recoverable fighters, rather than scout floatplanes.

As ambitious projects, the first pair were slow in building. Almost three years passed from them being laid down to being launched in the summer of 1937. Also in 1937 two more of the class, slightly modified, were ordered as the Roma and Impero, both of which were laid down in 1938. The initial pair were just completing when Italy jumped into World War Two with Vittorio Veneto completed on April 28, 1940 and Littorio completed on May 6, 1940 after almost six years in construction. Vittorio Veneto had actually been first used for machinery trials in October 1939. She joined the fleet at Taranto on May 15, 1940. Neither ship was made fully operational until August 2, 1940. "On 2 August the newly constructed battleships Littorio and Vittorio Veneto entered service. They were the splendid products of the Navy’s best designers and of Italian master workmanship. At that time they were probably the best battleships in the world, not so much for their firepower as for the technical improvements which had overcome those hundred and one problems that must be solved to make a great ship fully effective." (The Italian Navy in World War II, 1957, by Commander Marc’ Antonio Bragadin, at page 32)  

Superstructure Level
Veneto1289msup.JPG (9439 bytes) Veneto1290msup.JPG (9784 bytes) Veneto1291msup.JPG (8656 bytes)
Veneto1292msup.JPG (9078 bytes) Veneto1294msup.JPG (9713 bytes) Veneto1295msup.JPG (9896 bytes)
Veneto1297msup.JPG (11057 bytes) Veneto1383msup.JPG (10182 bytes) Veneto1384msup.JPG (9549 bytes) Veneto1385msup.JPG (11669 bytes)
Veneto1387msup.JPG (10763 bytes) Veneto1388msup.JPG (9742 bytes) Veneto1390msup.JPG (11071 bytes) Veneto1389msup.JPG (7798 bytes)

The pair quickly made two quick sorties accompanied by three of the older battleships and numerous smaller ships. On August 31 as part of five battleships, ten cruisers and 34 destroyers, they set off to intercept British warships "Operation Hats" "Thus five battleships, the Littorio, Vittorio Veneto , Cesare, Cavour, and Duilio, took to sea with 10 cruisers and 34 destroyers. The Italian naval forces were at that moment were in magnificent condition as to effectiveness, readiness for action, and fighting spirit." ." (The Italian Navy in World War II, 1957, by Commander Marc’ Antonio Bragadin, at page 33) However, due to poor reconnaissance missed contact after coming within 100 miles of the British Alexandria force and returned to port the next day. Four weeks later as part of a force of five battleships, eleven cruisers and 23 destroyers they sortied on September 29 to intercept the British Mediterranean Fleet which was supporting two cruisers taking troops to Malta . Again they returned to port the next day after no contact was made. Vittorio Veneto was at Taranto with the rest of the fleet on the night of November 11, 1940 when British Swordfish scored a spectacular success against the Italian fleet. She was lucky and was not damaged. Littorio was not so lucky as she took two torpedoes. One hit forward on the starboard side and one aft on the port side. She had significant internal flooding and her bow settled on the bottom of the harbor. She was docked on December 11, 1940 and repairs lasted until March 11, 1941.

Main & Secondary Armament
Veneto1325arm.JPG (19929 bytes) Veneto1333tur.JPG (10722 bytes) Veneto1334tur.JPG (12031 bytes)
Veneto1327main.JPG (17308 bytes) Veneto1329main.JPG (14385 bytes) Veneto1330main.JPG (13350 bytes)
Veneto1331main.JPG (15223 bytes) Veneto1332main.JPG (6574 bytes) Veneto1337main.JPG (17310 bytes) Veneto1318sec.JPG (13706 bytes)
Veneto1319sec.JPG (16768 bytes) Veneto1321sec.JPG (17404 bytes) Veneto1322sec.JPG (23430 bytes) Veneto1324sec.JPG (20178 bytes)

Battle of Cape Teulada
After the attack Vittorio Veneto sailed for Naples to operate from a more secure area. As fleet flagship she led the fleet in a sortie on November 26, 1940 that result in a brief engagement with the British fleet south of Sardinia . Less than two weeks after the British strike on Taranto, the Regia Marine could still muster Vittorio Veneto, Cesare, six heavy cruisers and 14 destroyers and the force made contact with the Royal Navy. This was known as the action off Cape Spartivento by the British and the Battle of Cape Teulada by the Italians. By 1130 on November 27 the British Gibraltar force had joined with the British Alexandria force for a total strength of Renown, Ramilles , Ark Royal, seven cruisers and 15 destroyers. When Admiral Campioni finally received reconnaissance reports, they overestimated the British force to include three battleships as well as the carrier. Campioni, based on this information, decided to decline an engagement. Nonetheless contact was made, as Campioni was retiring towards Naples . The Italian 3rd Cruiser Division was steaming south of the main force and at 1215 sighted a British cruiser force. The 1st Cruiser quickly joined the 3rd in firing on the British cruisers. Italian fire was accurate and after a couple of hits HMS Berwick was forced to retire. Then at 1224 Renown came charging in and the tables were turned. The destroyer RN Lanciere was hit twice and left dead in the water. The Italian cruisers were ordered to deploy a smokescreen and fall back upon Vittorio Veneto. AT this time 11 Swordfish from Ark Royal made their attack. Six went for Veneto and five for the cruiser Fiume but both evaded the torpedoes launched against them. Veneto also engaged British cruisers with the 15-inch guns from her aft turret. Veneto only fired 19 shells before the range opened beyond effective range and no hits were scored. "At 1300 the British cruisers had come within range of the Vittorio Veneto, and the battleship opened fire. By the forth salvo the Italian battleship had the cruisers ‘zeroed in.’ As soon as the cruisers saw that they were under the fire of 381-mm guns, they broke off quickly toward the southeast, laying down heavy smoke screens as they went. Thus contact was quickly lost. By 1310 both sides had ceased fire." ." (The Italian Navy in World War II, 1957, by Commander Marc’ Antonio Bragadin, at page 52)  

Anti-Aircraft Armament
Veneto1358ter.JPG (13903 bytes) Veneto1339ter.JPG (16306 bytes) Veneto1355AA.JPG (17001 bytes)
Veneto1356AA.JPG (10825 bytes) Veneto1357AA.JPG (11045 bytes) Veneto1354AA.JPG (12097 bytes) Veneto1341AA.JPG (12412 bytes)
Veneto1342AA.JPG (10888 bytes) Veneto1344AA.JPG (14671 bytes) Veneto1347AA.JPG (11803 bytes) Veneto1348AA.JPG (10137 bytes)
Veneto1346AA.JPG (11112 bytes) Veneto1350AA.JPG (13932 bytes) Veneto1353AA.JPG (11646 bytes) Veneto1352fit.JPG (10485 bytes)

Although Campioni still continued towards Naples , Admiral Somerville also did not press the action. The 3rd Cruiser Squadron made contact with the immobile Lanciere and towed her to safety. The fleet returned to Naples . One area that was abundantly clear was the contrast between the British and Italian aerial support of naval units. The Fleet Air Arm as represented by Ark Royal was integral to the British naval operations. The response was almost instantaneous to the naval commander. On the other hand the Italian aerial-naval cooperation was hapless. Although Campioni had immediately requested aerial attacks on the British force and fighter protection, it did not arrive until the end of the day, long after it was needed, even though the engagement was very close to the Italian airfields on Sardinia . The request for support had to overcome layer after layer of inertia as it wended its way through the Italian airforce bureaucracy.  

Over the night of January 8 through 9, 1941 RAF bombers attacked the fleet in Naples . Veneto but was not hit but Cesare was, leaving the Veneto as the only serviceable battleship. Because of the attack and this situation she was moved north to La Spezia as an escort for the damaged Cesare. Operating from here she, along with other units, made two sorties south, both without contact.

Bridge, Aft Tower & Stacks
Veneto1402bri.JPG (8397 bytes) Veneto1403bri.JPG (10480 bytes) Veneto1404bri.JPG (11458 bytes)
Veneto1405bri.JPG (9646 bytes) Veneto1406bri.JPG (10095 bytes) Veneto1407bri.JPG (13060 bytes)
Veneto1410bri.JPG (10150 bytes) Veneto1411tow.JPG (14305 bytes) Veneto1412tow.JPG (10049 bytes) Veneto1413tow.JPG (9618 bytes)
Veneto1393stacks.JPG (15422 bytes) Veneto1394stacks.JPG (15107 bytes) Veneto1398stacks.JPG (10824 bytes) Veneto1395fstack.JPG (12528 bytes)
Veneto1396astack.JPG (15223 bytes) Veneto1397astack.JPG (8343 bytes) Veneto1399stacks.JPG (12955 bytes) Veneto1400stacks.JPG (13717 bytes)

Gavdos and Matapan
On March 22, 1941 she was again based at Naples . On March 26 the fleet sortied to attack British shipping around Greece . She was joined by eight cruisers and thirteen destroyers as she proceed around the Italian boot. The force was south of Crete on the morning of March 28 near the small island of Gavdos when Veneto engaged four British light cruisers. The Orion, Ajax , Perth and Gloucester had been sighted at 0635 by a Ro.43 from Veneto . The cruisers with four destroyers were only 50 miles from the Italian battleship. The 3rd Cruiser Division consisting of Trieste , Trento and Bolzano closed the British. At 0758 they were sighted and at 0812 opened fire at 25,000 meters. The British force withdrew from the Italian heavy cruisers and for forty minutes an ineffective long range gun duel was maintained. At 0850 the 3rd Division was ordered to reverse course and the British turned to follow them in turn. It was clear that the British did not know Veneto was close by. Admiral Iachino, the Italian commander, hoped to catch the British in a vice between the 3rd Cruiser Division on one side and the Vittorio Veneto on the other and at 1030 reversed the course of his flagship the Veneto . "At 1050 the Vittorio came within sight of Pridham-Wippell’s ships, which were taken completely by surprise. Iachino now ordered the 3rd Division to reverse its course to form the other half of the pincers, and at 1056 the Vittorio Veneto opened fire with her heavy guns at a range of about 25,000 meters. The British cruisers immediately pulled away at full speed toward the southeast. Covering themselves with heavy smoke screens, zig-zagging, and replying to the Italian fire with only a few salvos, they fled from the 381-mm. Shells, their higher speed increasing their distance from the battleship all the while. In the official British report it is noted that the Italian fire was`well aimed, and that one shell fell so close to the Orion that the ship was damaged considerably. The report said that the Gloucester – in the very moment in which the firing stopped – was in ‘very grave danger." ." (The Italian Navy in World War II, 1957, by Commander Marc’ Antonio Bragadin, at page 88) The Italian trap was imperfectly formed because the scouting Ro.43s had already departed for Rhodes much earlier because of their limited endurance.

It didn’t take long for the Fleet Air Arm to come to the aide of the British cruisers. At 1100 six Swordfish from HMS Formidable were sighted and maneuvered to attack positions. At 1115 they bored in to attack the Veneto . "By 1115 the British torpedo planes had maneuvered into an attack position, and the Vittorio Veneto, at the very moment that its guns were about to reap the harvest of their fire, was forced to maneuver to defend itself against this new threat." ." (The Italian Navy in World War II, 1957, by Commander Marc’ Antonio Bragadin, at page 89) The Vittorio Veneto seemed to have a charmed life. She had never been damaged. She was at Taranto and was untouched from the famed British night attack. Other bombing attacks missed and she didn’t receive a scratch at Teulada. Again the British failed in their attempt to harm the Veneto as all torpedoes missed. However, it did allow the British cruisers to break contact and escape. Under aerial attack and with none of the promised air support materializing, Iachino set course for Taranto at 1130. 

Aircraft - Ro-43 & Re-2000
Veneto1360ac.JPG (19288 bytes) Veneto1362ac.JPG (30318 bytes) Veneto1363ac.JPG (10112 bytes)
Veneto1364ac.JPG (10547 bytes) Veneto1371ac.JPG (18955 bytes) Veneto1373ac.JPG (12251 bytes) Veneto1374ac.JPG (10101 bytes)
Veneto1365ac.JPG (32757 bytes) Veneto1366ac.JPG (9075 bytes) Veneto1369ac.JPG (9217 bytes) Veneto1370ac.JPG (10513 bytes)

Throughout the day the Italian force was subjected to British air attack but there was still no damage. At 1520 the charmed life of the Vittorio Veneto was about to end. She was subjected to a combined bomber and torpedo bomber attack. As the Italian anti-aircraft guns engaged the level bombers, three Swordfish came in at water level from the stern. "Passing close to the Vittorio Veneto, the three planes changed their courses simultaneously and launched their torpedoes from three directions against the battleship. One plane was shot down, but the great hull of the Vittorio could not be swerved in time to escape the torpedo which the plane had launched from a very short distance away. The screws on the port side took the blow." ." (The Italian Navy in World War II, 1957, by Commander Marc’ Antonio Bragadin, at page 89-90) The Veneto temporarily went dead in the water. Her port side propellers were damaged and she also took on over 4,000-tons of water. After ten minutes she got underway again and slowly increased speed to 20 knots on starboard shafts alone on her way back west to Taranto 420 miles away, which she reached in the afternoon of the next day.  

During the attack on Veneto the heavy cruiser Pola was also hit. The Royal Navy thought that they had one of the two modern Italian battleships badly damaged and at their mercy, so they closed in. British pilots had mistakenly reported multiple torpedo and bomb hits from previous attacks. Warspite, Barham and Valiant were with Formidable and moved in for a night engagement. This resulted in the Battle of Cape Matapan in which the damaged Pola and three other Italian heavy cruisers were sunk.  

Smaller Superstructure Parts
Veneto1523sup.JPG (13315 bytes) Veneto1525dir.JPG (12676 bytes) Veneto1526sup.JPG (11742 bytes)
Veneto1530dir.JPG (12180 bytes) Veneto1517plat.JPG (17405 bytes) Veneto1518plat.JPG (10809 bytes)
Veneto1520plat.JPG (11415 bytes) Veneto1522plat.JPG (11416 bytes) Veneto1532plat.JPG (12250 bytes) Veneto1534plat.JPG (12011 bytes)
Veneto1542plat.JPG (26068 bytes) Veneto1536fit.JPG (18724 bytes) Veneto1540fit.JPG (11169 bytes) Veneto1511fit.JPG (14680 bytes)
Veneto1513fit.JPG (17776 bytes) Veneto1508fit.JPG (12212 bytes) Veneto1514fit.JPG (10989 bytes) Veneto1515fit.JPG (9993 bytes)

Because of the damage incurred on this sortie Vittorio Veneto was under repair until July 1941. On August 22 she along with Littorio, four cruisers and fourteen cruisers left to attack a Malta Convoy "Operation Mincemeat" but again no contact was made and the force returned on the 25th. The next month almost the identical force left to go after another Malta convoy, "Operation Halberd", again without result. While providing heavy support for Operation M41 of an Italian convoy to Benghazi in December Vittorio Veneto was struck by a torpedo from the British submarine HMS Urge in the Straits of Messina. Littorio was at the same time on sortie against another Malta convoy but was recalled after her sistership was torpedoed. This again put her into drydock for many months. Littorio was assigned as heavy escort for North African convoys. On December 16, 1942 she was engaged in Operation M42 and the First Battle of Sirte occurred but Littorio played no part in it. On January 3 through 6 1943 she was part of heavy escort for Operation M43. On March 21 Littorio against sortied against a Malta bound convoy and this resulted in the Second Battle of Sirte. The gunfire from Littorio severely damaged the RN destroyers HMS Havock and HMS Kingston as well as hitting the Dido Class light cruiser, HMS Euryalus. Very heavy weather broke up the engagement.  

On June 14, 1942 Vittorio Veneto and Littorio were part of the force that sailed to attack the Royal Navy during "Operation Harpoon/Vigorous". Although the light forces became engaged, the Veneto and Littorio did not. While returning to port on the 16th a bomb from a B-24 Liberator struck the crown of the first turret of Littorio but failed to cause much damage. However, shortly thereafter a British Wellington put a torpedo into her starboard bow. She was repaired at Taranto in a couple of months. With the growing fuel shortage, sorties became more infrequent. Veneto ’s next mission came in November 1942 with the allied "Operation Torch" landings. This amounted to changing ports from Taranto to Naples and then, after another air attack on December 4, back to the north at La Spezia , where she was joined by Littorio. Veneto was still at La Spezia on June 5, 1943 when the USAAF made another attack on the Italian fleet. This time the battleship was hit by two bombs on her portside. Because of this damage, she was transferred all of the way north to Genoa . In that same attack Littorio was hit by three bombs but apparently was not as damaged to the degree of her sistership. Littorio was renamed to Italia on June 30, 1943, after the collapse of the Mussolini government and his arrest, as the name Littorio was the name for the fascist emblem.  

Veneto1376ac.JPG (13408 bytes) Veneto1377aa.JPG (12928 bytes) Veneto1378aa.JPG (12078 bytes) Veneto1379fit.JPG (21563 bytes)
Veneto1382fit.JPG (14607 bytes) Veneto1451masts.JPG (14852 bytes) Veneto1452mast.JPG (10568 bytes) Veneto1453masts.JPG (12718 bytes)
Veneto1454masts.JPG (16701 bytes) Veneto1456props.JPG (16607 bytes) Veneto1458prop.JPG (18662 bytes) Veneto1460anch.JPG (10867 bytes)
Veneto1462anch.JPG (10466 bytes) Veneto1463brace.JPG (7552 bytes) Veneto1498rud.JPG (27101 bytes) Veneto1497fit.JPG (36464 bytes)
Veneto1466fit.JPG (15791 bytes) Veneto1467reels.JPG (12360 bytes) Veneto1470reel.JPG (11843 bytes) Veneto1471reels.JPG (12348 bytes)

When Italy entered into an armistice with the allies, Vittorio Veneto was still at Genoa , which would be shortly occupied by the German Army. On September 9, 1943 she sailed with the rest of the fleet for Malta . On September 14 she was sent to Alexandria , Egypt and on October 17, 1943 to be laid up. Because of politics and limited operational resupply abilities for her armament, she was not used for allied operations like many of the smaller Italian warships were. Littorio along with the Roma were the targets of the first successful usage of the guided missile. Attacked by He-177s armed with Fritz-X radio guided missiles Roma was struck twice and suffered a magazine explosion. Italia was hit once forward of the first turret. Luckily the missile passed through the deck and out of the hull side before exploding when it hit the sea. In spite of this the hit and shock caused significant damage to the hull but at least she was not lost like the newer Roma. Italia went to Egypt with her sister.

They sat neglected in Egypt for three years, well past the end of the year. Finally on October 6, 1946 she left for Augusta . Vittorio Veneto was given to Great Britain as a result of the 1947 Peace Treaty but the RN certainly didn’t need an Italian designed and equipped battleship. They didn’t have the money to maintain their own designs. Veneto returned to La Spezia on October 14, 1946 and was paid off on January 3, 1948 to be stricken and scrapped one month later, less than eight years from when she was first commissioned. Likewise, the same fate awaited Italia. She was awarded to the United States and was stricken on June 1, 1948 at La Spezia and soon broken up. ." (History from Battleships of World War Two, An International Encyclopedia, 1998, by M.J. Whitley; The Italian Navy in World War II, 1957, by Commander Marc’ Antonio Bragadin) 

Veneto1474reels.JPG (11619 bytes) Veneto1475fit.JPG (19429 bytes) Veneto1477lamps.JPG (8987 bytes) Veneto1478fit.JPG (9565 bytes)
Veneto1500sl.JPG (12512 bytes) Veneto1501winch.JPG (12899 bytes) Veneto1502winch.JPG (12997 bytes) Veneto1503sl.JPG (10328 bytes)
Veneto1504sl.JPG (10330 bytes) Veneto1505sl.JPG (11078 bytes) Veneto1479vent.JPG (17616 bytes) Veneto1480vents.JPG (19857 bytes)
Veneto1485vents.JPG (21624 bytes) Vento1488vents.JPG (10554 bytes) Veneto1490fit.JPG (13284 bytes) Veneto1492fit.JPG (9008 bytes)
Veneto1496fit.JPG (10423 bytes) Veneto1506fit.JPG (19653 bytes) Veneto1543fit.JPG (13509 bytes) Veneto1445bases.JPG (15401 bytes)

The Delphis Model Vittorio Veneto
The hull for the 1:350 scale Vittorio Veneto by Delphis Model is huge, measuring about 26 ½-inches at deck level. Delphis took a different tack in casting the hull of the model. The actual hull is one piece with a hollow interior and separate decks that lie on top of the hull. This is the first time that I have seen this technique used in casting a resin hull. With 1:350 scale kits, some companies such as White Ensign Models and Yankee Modelworks, cast the hull in two pieces divided at the waterline. This is a benefit for the modeler who builds this scale model in waterline format but for the modeler who prefers a full hull presentation, it creates a seam at the waterline that must be filled and smoothed no matter how fine the casting. Commanders/Iron Shipwright cast hulls in one piece. With them the hulls are cast upside down so air bubbles trapped in the resin mix rise upwards under pressure and create voids at the bottom of the hull. The Delphis hull is hollow and though hefty in its own right, it is substantially lighter than comparably sized solid resin hulls. The hull edges and bottom are sufficiently thick so as to give the modeler a hull with the rigidity of a solid hull but without the weight of one. 

With this Delphis hull it appears that the hull was cast right side up and air bubbles trapped in the resin mix rose to the top edge of the hull. This created a few small voids at the top edge that will need to be filled and sanded. They are universally small and easily fixed. As a benefit of this process, the hull is remarkably smooth and error free. Indeed, the hull of the Delphis Vittorio Veneto is one of the cleanest hulls of any 1:350 scale kit that I have seen. Any exterior additions to the hull, such as bilge keels, shaft housings, shafts, propellers and rudder are separate resin parts. The ship has three rudders in an unusual arrangement. One is in the traditional centerline stern position but the other two are mounted more forward on the hull, just aft of the two forward shafts. The upper edge of the hull has a series of casting vents through which the resin was poured. These must be removed but this was easily done when I went about dry-fitting the parts for photography.  

Boats & Rafts
Veneto1414boats.JPG (20330 bytes) Veneto1424boats.JPG (20250 bytes) Veneto1433boats.JPG (11502 bytes)
Veneto1430boats.JPG (22132 bytes) Veneto1426boats.JPG (14433 bytes) Veneto1428boats.JPG (12206 bytes) Veneto1431boats.JPG (12600 bytes)
Veneto1420boats.JPG (16291 bytes) Veneto1421boats.JPG (13973 bytes) Veneto1422boats.JPG (13875 bytes) Veneto1423boats.JPG (9286 bytes)
Veneto1435boats.JPG (23697 bytes) Veneto1438boats.JPG (9641 bytes) Veneto1439boat.JPG (13958 bytes) Veneto1441boats.JPG (25534 bytes)
Veneto1416rafts.JPG (25042 bytes) Veneto1417rafts.JPG (18485 bytes) Veneto1419rafts.JPG (14201 bytes) Vento1464davits.JPG (33524 bytes)

The main deck is about 20 inches in length. Both this deck and the quarterdeck part are not flat decks as found in the big 1:350 scale Tamiya kits. They are thin at the edges where they fit on top of the hull but get thicker about a quarter of an inch from the edge. The casting vents were on the bottom on centerline. The fit of the two decks on the hull was very good, once the hull casting vent stubs had been removed. Although not has noticeable as a seam at the waterline, the Delphis Vittorio Veneto still has a small seam where the decks rest atop the hull. It would be best for this seam to be filled and sanded, just as any other significant seam on a large kit. The main deck runs from the bow to the deck break just aft of Y turret. With this design this long deck did not have wooden planking. Even though steel decks create a smooth appearance, planking lines of wooden decks, Delphis has cast a wealth of detail onto the deck, as well as another host of detail to be added at great numbers of locator holes on the deck. 

There is a line of four circular plates for small AA guns starting almost at the bow. These small plates are extremely well detailed with eight pie shaped wedges with a detailed grid pattern making up each circular plate. There are three anchor positions, the chains of each will form V designs on the forecastle. The deck has the rounded fittings where the chain comes out of the locker and runs towards the windlass. At the windlass position there is a detailed base plate upon which the windlass rests and short chain run plates. These plates form a V at each windlass, as one plate angles towards the entrance to chain locker and one angles towards the side anchor hawse. The deck edge hawse also feature another deck plate and are notched where the anchor chain runs over the edge. These various plates are the most delicate of the many forecastle fittings cast on the deck. Larger fittings include six large twin bollards, three per side and two small twin bollards inboard from the middle pair of the larger fittings. There is also a single post bollard associated with each of the three anchor positions. Forward of A barbette there are twin deck rails running athwart ship. They end at a centerline raised fitting with clearly defined doors on top. These rails were used to deploy the ship’s paravanes and this rail deployment system adds something different. Also forward of the first turret are five access hatches in two different styles and three more hour glass windlasses. The semi-circular breakwater is between A and B barbettes. This breakwater goes straight up from the deck, rather than angling forward or to the rear as in other designs. There are assorted details on both sides of the breakwater. Aft of the breakwater there are more access hatches and significant details cast at the base of B barbette. 

Vittorio Veneto with Major Parts Dry-Fitted
Veneto1559bowon.JPG (9544 bytes) Veneto1545bri.JPG (14920 bytes) Veneto1560sternon.JPG (9940 bytes)
Veneto1547pro.JPG (10775 bytes) Veneto1548bowpro.JPG (11543 bytes) Veneto1549midpro.JPG (16673 bytes) Veneto1550aftpro.JPG (9979 bytes)
Veneto1561plan.JPG (13354 bytes) Veneto1562bowplan.JPG (11521 bytes) Veneto1563midplan.JPG (15191 bytes) Veneto1564aftplan.JPG (12240 bytes)
Vento1565sfdia.JPG (18002 bytes) Vento1566padia.JPG (18197 bytes) Veneto1556padia.JPG (14271 bytes) Veneto1544pfdia.JPG (17429 bytes)

There are seven barbettes on this deck, three for the main gun turrets and four for the triple 6-inch secondary gun turrets. One unusual feature of the Vittorio Veneto is the tall barbette for the solitary aft Y barbette. Although not as tall as the barbette for the superfiring B turret, it is almost as tall. The aft turret was raised to eliminate blast damage from the aircraft and their fittings on the lower quarterdeck. This barbette also has a cluster of additional fittings at its base. Details amidship include two more of the fine small AA base plates, three ship’s boats chock sets, base fittings for eight of the tertiary gun turrets, mounting plates for the four 4.7-inch guns and assorted fittings that run along the bulkheads of the amidships deckhouse. All of the fittings and detail was crisply cast. However, several of the fittings had pin hole voids that will need to be filled and sanded and the two small twin bollard plates amidships had one post each that should probably be replaced. To show the add-on detail, I counted 107 locator holes in the main deck for other fittings. The main deck ends with a bulkhead that opens onto the lower quarterdeck. This bulkhead has doors, ventilation louvers, piping and other details cast onto the bulkhead.

The short quarterdeck does have wooden planking. Although short, this deck is crammed with detail. Very prominent are two sets of deck rails associated with aircraft handling. There is a semi-circular single rail running from edge to edge of the deck. This rail serves as a guide for the forward edge of the centerline catapult. The second set of rails are twin rails used to move aircraft on their cradles to the catapult. Cast on detail include eight twin bollard sets, two single bollard sets, four access hatches, two windlasses, catapult pillar and 23 other smaller fittings. Additionally there are a further 25 locator holes for other fittings to be attached to the quarterdeck. The two windlasses had above average detail and there were no defects on the quarterdeck casting.

Vittorio Veneto with Major Parts Dry-Fitted
Veneto1546mid.JPG (16037 bytes) Veneto1553mid.JPG (17719 bytes) Veneto1554mid.JPG (13750 bytes)
Veneto1568bri.JPG (14187 bytes) Veneto1569bri.JPG (14173 bytes) Veneto1557mid.JPG (16386 bytes)
Veneto1570mid.JPG (18567 bytes) Veneto1577stacks.JPG (16719 bytes) Vento1576B.JPG (15798 bytes) Veneto1581ter.JPG (10743 bytes)
Vento1574AB.JPG (10039 bytes) Vento1567bri.JPG (11225 bytes) Vento1596tow.JPG (9000 bytes) Veneto1583sup.JPG (10885 bytes)

There is a large deckhouse that runs from just behind B barbette until it ends with Y barbette. This structure provides the base for the bridge tower, stacks, centerline boat positions and other fittings. This deckhouse is mostly of one level but there two levels between the bridge tower and first stack. There are three very prominent ventilation louvers on this second level on each side. Two 2nd level centerline deckhouses have doors, a vertical ladder and other bulkhead detail cast in place. The side bulkheads of the first level feature a series of doors and square windows on the aft half. There are fire hoses and other fittings also found at this level. Deck detail includes boat chocks with notches for the keels of the boats, access hatches and small ventilation louver fittings. This part was excellently cast with only, almost microscopic pinhole void, at the top of one fitting, which would probably be filled just in painting.

There are four other larger resin parts that form the bulk of the superstructure of the Delphis Vittorio Veneto. These are the forward superstructure tower, the aft tower and the two stacks. The forward tower piece has about the first five or six levels of the uniquely Italian style bridge of this battleship. Delphis has cast detail on the sides, the top and the underside of this piece. Two levels up there is a large platform that is part of this tower piece. The underside of the platform has all of the prominent support ribs cast into the lower surface. Five additional smaller platforms are cast higher up on the tower. Base plates are provided for directors, binocular stands and other fittings with two large ventilator louvers. Most noticeable are the two levels of bridge windows. The lower level presents a very unusual appearance as it has a prominent backward slat to the row of square windows. There are two resin pour vents on the front face of the large platform that should be removed and sanded clean. The much smaller aft tower also support ribbing cast onto the underside of the piece. It also has its own share of detail on the sides and top. Both stacks have a graceful flare outward towards their bases. The stack caps are cast as part of the stack pieces. There is sufficient depth to the inside of the funnels that they both present a very good three-dimensional appearance. Also the apron at the base of each cap is crisp and well defined.  Both stacks have additional side detail and vertical ladder cast onto their front faces. If you feel more comfortable with photo-etch vertical ladder, it can be laid over the existing resin ladder. In the alternative, the resin ladders can be sanded smooth and photo-etch added to the stacks’ front faces.

Vittorio Veneto with Major Parts Dry-Fitted
Veneto1575B.JPG (13380 bytes) Veneto1600A.JPG (9775 bytes) Veneto1591mid.JPG (19792 bytes)
Veneto1579stacks.JPG (15598 bytes) Veneto1580stacks.JPG (11573 bytes) Veneto1589mid.JPG (20325 bytes) Veneto1590stern.JPG (17268 bytes)
Veneto1571mid.JPG (19352 bytes) Veneto1578B.JPG (13740 bytes) Veneto1584C.JPG (12730 bytes) Veneto1588boats.JPG (12511 bytes)
Vento1592boats.JPG (13076 bytes) Veneto1593ter.JPG (15741 bytes) Veneto1599mid.JPG (16772 bytes) Veneto1555sup.JPG (13799 bytes)

Smaller superstructure parts include the upper levels of the forward superstructure, amidships gun galleries, superstructure platforms, and kingposts. These various smaller parts are also loaded with detail from all sorts of fittings on the upper levels of the tower to platform decks of various patterns. One upper level has open grid platforms, while the side gun galleries have very detailed AA base plates.  

I hope you like armament because the Delphis Vittorio Veneto has enough armament to outfit an army. It seems that the Regia Marina fitted their newest battleships with more different types of cannon than found in other navies. The main turrets very angular with a prominent crown a little bit more than halfway back. There re very large, flat aprons at the base of each. Blast bags are cast onto the front faces of each turret. The bags are predrilled to receive the barrels. Thus is a very nice touch as you can use the resin barrels provided in the kit or Steve Nuttal’s brass barrels, although you will probably have to drill a deeper hole for the Nuttal barrels. Additional detail is found in the form of hinged plates on the front and ends of the director ears and vertical ladder cast on the sides. There are pour vent to be removed and their location of attachment sanded. One turret had a void in the apron but that should prove easy to fill. Although all three turrets are the same, once they are finished they will vary because of the different platforms on B and Y turret roofs. A turret had no crown platform. The six-inch secondary turrets are very close to being miniature versions of the main turrets. They too have the flat aprons and same angles of their larger cousins. They also have blast bags cast integral to the turrt and hinged front panels on the director extensions. The barrels for both the 15-inch and 6-inch guns are cast separately. Delphis supplies spares of each, just in case there is a problem with one of them. However, I found that each barrel was as good as possible for resin. Each was perfectly straight with a flare at the muzzle for the 15-inchers. Also the main gun muzzles are slightly bored out.

Brass Photo-Etch Fret #1
Veneto1601frets.JPG (28189 bytes) Veneto1602fret1.JPG (26865 bytes) Veneto1605fret1.JPG (29566 bytes)
Veneto1606fret1.JPG (29260 bytes) Veneto1607fret1.JPG (33846 bytes) Veneto1608fret1.JPG (35184 bytes)
Veneto1609fret1.JPG (28277 bytes) Veneto1610pe.JPG (26602 bytes) Veneto1612pe.JPG (33121 bytes) Veneto1613pe.JPG (26482 bytes)
Veneto1614pe.JPG (27593 bytes) Veneto1615pe.JPG (21655 bytes) Veneto1616inclad.JPG (26082 bytes) Veneto1617pe.JPG (33825 bytes)
Veneto1618pe.JPG (24948 bytes) Veneto1619pe.JPG (25442 bytes) Veneto1621pe.JPG (19313 bytes) Veneto1622pe.JPG (22505 bytes)

If anything, the detail gets even better with the smaller armament. Amidships, running down each side are six tertiary 90mm turrets. They are mounted on tall raised barbettes that flare outwards at the top. The turrets themselves are outstanding with a series of triangular slabs of armor plates. Each has a very thin barrel ending with a blast bag where the gun exits the turret. Flanking the barrel are deeply incised vision ports with their covers in a down position. Here too Delphis supplies extra guns in the form of complete turrets and barbettes. This is a good policy as the barrels are so thin that a couple of them were broken in my kit. One oddity of the armament of Vittorio Veneto was the placement of four 4.7-inch/40 (120mm) guns amidships. These were located, two per side, on small platforms that overhung the sides of the hull. The guns were open mounts with gun shields so there had to be blast danger to their crews from the lines of 90mm turrets firing behind them. These guns have flared muzzles, detailed breach block and wheels for the training mechanism but they have a definite World War One appearance very anachronistic with the other very modern weapons systems on this ship.

The lightest AA guns come in two sizes, 37mm/54 and 20mm/65. These are both in twin gun mounts with the 37mm in the tradition form of both barrels on the same horizontal plane. On the other hand the twin 20mm guns ar mounted on an unusual diagonal plane. In both cases these mounts are one-piece resin castings with exceptional detail. Gun seats, training mechanisms, breach block, flash deflectors and other gun fittings are all cast on these miniature gems. The only downside was some barrels were broken. For an aircraft complement the Vittorio Veneto comes with two Ro-43 floatplanes and one Re-2000 fighter. The Reggiane fighter was the standard land fighter that would be catapulted fron the battleship to provide fighter cover. Once launched, she could not return to the ship until she was reloaded in port. The combination of biplane floatplanes with a monoplane fighter makes for an interesting quarterdeck. Detail on both types of aircraft is excellent, including radial engines inside their cowlings. 

Brass Photo-Etch Fret #2
Veneto1624fretB.JPG (37410 bytes) Veneto1625cat.JPG (37621 bytes) Veneto1626cat.JPG (25244 bytes)
Veneto1627cat.JPG (24072 bytes) Veneto1628acc.JPG (23726 bytes) Veneto1629pe.JPG (38430 bytes)
Veneto1630crane.JPG (34098 bytes) Veneto1632pe.JPG (32677 bytes) Veneto1634pe.JPG (23082 bytes)
Veneto1635pe.JPG (22182 bytes) Veneto1636pe.JPG (23688 bytes) Veneto1638cradle.JPG (29009 bytes) Veneto1641pe.JPG (26101 bytes)

There are hundreds of small fittings with this kit. They are all good but some are of surpassing quality. There are two different sets of cable/hose reels. The reels themselves are of different patterns, which is not so unusual, but what is different is that each type has clearly delineated cables wound around the reel core. Delphis even takes it a step further. With the larger diameter cable, two different wrapping patterns of the cable around the reel are captured. There are 165 small deck emplaced ventilators in two different sizes. Although you probably won’t use all of them, the sheer quantity of those parts reflects the high level of detail that Delphis has built into this kit. Other deck fittings include closed chocks, two sizes of open chocks, twin bollards, winches, paravanes and windlasses. Superstructure fittings include magnificent searchlights in two styles, signal lamps, binoculars and DF loops. There is also a substantial boat and raft complement. Of particular note are the three styles of cabin launch. There are two of each type but each is an example of superb detail and casting. One style looks like a small tug boat and the other two are more standard launches but all have detail such as deck hatches, side doors, windscreens, and individual panes of glass. There is also an assortment of large motorized whale boats and oared, launches, whalers and gigs. The life rafts have side and bottom detailing. Most boat handling was done through booms located on the aft tower but there were some smaller boats handled with davits. The davits are well formed of resin.

Brass Photo-Etched Frets
The Delphis Model RN Vittorio Veneto comes with two large brass photo-etch frets. The larger fret measures roughly 8-inches by 6 ¼-inches and the other is slightly over 8 ¼-inches by 4-inches. Both frets appear to have been designed to be used with other Delphis 1:350 scale kits as well. The instructions state “Photoetched parts scale 1/700 and 1/350 for Italian cruisers and battleships WW2”. This can be confusing because you will not use all of the parts on the fret. There are extra copies of parts that you do use and some parts that are not used in the build. As a consequence, it is necessary to pay strict attention to the instructions. There are two pages in the instructions, which show the frets and appear to designate the photo-etch parts to be used in the Vittorio Veneto build by number.

Photographs of Assembled Vittorio Veneto from Delphis
DVen01.JPG (16940 bytes) DVen02.JPG (12896 bytes) DMVen19.JPG (19733 bytes)
DMVen13.JPG (25089 bytes) DMVen12.JPG (24496 bytes) DMVen17.JPG (27306 bytes)
DMVen22.JPG (25113 bytes) DMVen20.JPG (26364 bytes) DMven11.JPG (32455 bytes) DMVen18.JPG (22038 bytes)

The first fret is dominated by railing. About 70-75% of the fret has railing in two different styles. There are extra relief-etched AA gun deck plates, many inclined ladders, finely done under platform supports, runs of vertical ladder, pulleys and rigging for cranes and many other items. Some of the parts that don’t appear to be used are various netting and small signal guns. There is less confusion with the parts on the second fret, as they are by and large recognizable and are used in the build. Even so there is duplication of some of the parts. As examples, three relief-etched catapults are provided even though the model only needs one. Six aircraft cradles are provided even though you only need three. Four Gufo/Owl radars are provided as optional parts, even though only one was installed at the top of the forward superstructure in June 1943. Other parts include crane arms, aircraft storage towers, long inclined ladders, six runs of anchor chain, windlass tops, aircraft propellers, more pulleys & rigging and a series of solid & perforated supports. The brass is of a medium gage in thickness and the quality of the detail is good but not spectacular.

The instructions for the kit can be confusing and should really be studied in advance before entering assembly. They consist of 17 pages and can be broken down into different categories. One category is for parts identification. There are five pages presented for this purpose as three pages shows drawings of and numbers the resin parts. The other two pages number the parts that are used in the two photo-etched frets. Eight pages are for tradition assembly drawings. Photo-etch parts are designated with as asterisk in front of the number and no asterisk for resin part numbers. The assembly pages sort of hop around from area to area, rather than approach the assembly on an orderly, methodical, step by step guide. The last category can be categorized as informational, as the provide statistics and painting guidance.

Veneto1643inst1.JPG (5924 bytes) Veneto1644inst2.JPG (17285 bytes) Veneto1645inst3.JPG (15244 bytes)
Veneto1646inst4.JPG (17040 bytes) Veneto1647inst5.JPG (9133 bytes) Veneto1648inst6.JPG (16654 bytes)
Veneto1649inst7.JPG (15800 bytes) Veneto1650inst8.JPG (16370 bytes) Veneto1651inst9.JPG (16507 bytes) Veneto1652inst10.JPG (21101 bytes)
Veneto1653inst11.JPG (13343 bytes) Veneto1654inst12.JPG (21353 bytes) Veneto1655inst13.JPG (6322 bytes) Veneto1656inst14.JPG (17052 bytes)
Veneto1657inst15.JPG (16202 bytes) Veneto1658inst16.JPG (32541 bytes) Veneto1659inst17.JPG (16094 bytes) Veneto1661inst18.JPG (15044 bytes)

Page One – This is an informational sheet on the statistics for the Vittorio Veneto class battleships. Text is in Italian. Page Two – This is the assembly instructions for the forecastle from stem to B turret. It features a plan view with detail insets. Page Three – Assembly and rigging for the long 01 level amidships plan view and different levels of the forward tower is provided. Page Four – These provide more assembly drawings for amidships parts but from a profile view, plus AA platform plans. Page Five – This is an informational sheet on painting the RO-43 seaplanes. Page Six – Boat crane detail, aft tower detail and attachment of underwater arts is covered. Page Seven – This page is the first of three with drawings and numbers for the resin parts. Page Eight – Quarterdeck detail assembly is covered here with a large plan view and two smaller profiles. Page Nine – This is the second page of the resin parts drawings. Page Ten – Plan views for the main turrets and boat deck are provided. Page Eleven – The third page of resin parts drawings is here. Page Twelve – This goes back to a plan view of amidships with a medium profile and some detail plan views. Page Thirteen – The information and painting of the Re-2000 as well as painting the RO-43 is displayed. Page Fourteen – This portrays the first brass fret and numbers parts to be used. Page Fifteen – Two different camouflage schemes are shown on this page. One shows the ship as she appeared from March 1941 to spring 1942 and the other as she appeared from spring 1942 to the end of 1943. Ten colors are listed in English and Italian with Humbrol numbers supplied for six. Two of these will require a mix of two colors in two to one proportions. Other colors without Humbrol numbers are white, black, matte red and dark yellow for the rafts. Page Sixteen – This shows the second photo-etched fret. Page Seventeen – A plan and profile of the ship with painting guide. Also included is a two page separate insert of the ship’s plan and profile in gray tone.

The Delphis Model RN Vittorio Veneto in 1:350 scale is a massive and beautiful kit. Delphis provides a huge number resin parts of excellent quality. Some of these resin parts are as good or better than found elsewhere in detail. Two large brass frets of average quality are provided but not all of these parts are used. However, the instructions could have been better organized. However, in the final analysis, Delphis provides all of the ingredients for a lovely prima donna in any collection of warship replicas.