Andrea Doria-class Battleship
Ships in class: Andrea Doria, Caio Duilio
The Andrea Doria class (usually called Caio Duilio class in Italian sources) was a pair of dreadnought battleships built for the Royal Italian Navy (Regia Marina) during the early 1910s. Like the earlier shipsof the Cavour class, Andrea Doria and Caio Duilio were armed with a main battery of thirteen 305-millimeter (12.0 in) guns.
The two ships spent World War I based in southern Italy to keep the Austro-Hungarian Navy bottled up in the Adriatic, but neither vessel saw any combat. Both ships were placed in reserve a decade later and began a lengthy reconstruction in 1937. The modifications included removing their center main battery turret and boring out the rest of the guns to 320 mm (12.6 in), strengthening their armor protection, installing new boilers and steam turbines, and lengthening their hulls. The reconstruction work lasted until 1940, by which time Italy was already engaged in World War II.
The two ships were moored in Taranto on the night of 11/12 November 1940 when the British launched a carrier strike on the Italian fleet. In the resulting Battle of Taranto, Caio Duilio was hit by a torpedo and forced to beach to avoid sinking. Andrea Doria was undamaged in the raid; repairs for Caio Duilio lasted until May 1941. Both ships escorted convoys to North Africa in late 1941, including Operation M42, where Andrea Doria saw action at the inconclusive First Battle of Sirte on 17 December. Fuel shortages curtailed further activity in 1942 and 1943, and both ships were interned at Malta following Italy's surrender in September 1943.