Trento-class Heavy Cruiser
Ships in class: Trento, Trieste, Bolzano
The Trento-class of heavy cruisers were Italy's first treaty cruisers. In attempting to meet the treaty requirements protection and enduranced were sacrificed to produce cruisers that could carry the heaviest allowed guns at a high rate of speed to respond to threats quickly off of Italy's extensive coastline. Sporting 8 203mm/50 guns in four twin mountings, combined with sixteen paired 100mm/47 guns and two quadruple torpedo mountings the design should have been comparable to French heavy cruisers, but problems related to the ammo hoist for the main battery made for a noticeable difference in rate of fire. The first two ships in class, Trento and Trieste both succumbed to torpedo hits. The third ship, Bolzano, really represents an intermediate class between the Trentos and Zaras, but is often grouped with the Trentos. Bolzano differed in that she carried a newer gun with revised ammo hoists for higher rate of fire and possessed marginally heavier armor. There was a tradeoff in topspeed, but Bolzano survived torpedo hits on two separate occasions. It was later concluded that the Trentos, like the early Condottieris had sacrificed too much protection for speed.