203 mm/50 Ansaldo mod.1924 (203 mm)

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General info

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Available ammunition

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Italy was one of the signatories of the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty. Intended to prevent another arms race like the Anglo-German Arms Race that occurred prior to World War I, the treaty restricted heavy cruisers to 8-inch (203 mm) guns. With Austria-Hungary dismantled at the end of World War I, the Regia Marina (Royal Italian Navy) turned their focus west towards the Marine Nationale (French Navy) which they perceived as a threat to their dominance in the Mediterranean Sea. When the Marine Nationale laid down the Duquesne-class heavy cruisers in 1924, Italy decided to respond by building the Trento-class heavy cruisers RN Trento and RN Trieste. These ships were armed with the 203 mm/50 Ansaldo mod. 1924.

The performance of these guns was hampered by the fact the Trento class mounted the guns in a common cradle and were too close together, leading to wild dispersion. The attempts to fix the problem by moving from 176-pound shells with a muzzle velocity of 2,970 feet per second to 160-pound shells with a reduced muzzle velocity of 2,800 feet per second did little to improve the performance due to poor quality control in the shell manufacturing. The Trento-class heavy cruisers would see service against the Royal Navy during World War II. They engaged in the 1940 battles of Calabria and Cape Spartivento and the 1941 Battle of Cape Matapan during the Greece Campaign. Notably, the Battle of Cape Spartivento saw one of these ships damage the boiler of HMS Brunswick. Trento would spend her remaining service life during the war acting as a convoy escort engaging in the First and Second Battles of Sirte before being sunk in June 1942 by both an air-dropped and submarine-launched torpedoes in the Ionian Sea while attempting to intercept the Royal Navy convoy supplying Malta as part of Operation Harpoon. Her sister ship Trieste engaged in convoy escort duties also and was damaged by a Royal Navy submarine while escorting a convoy from Sicily to Libya in 1941. She survived however and was sent first to Messina and later to La Maddalena for repairs before being sunk in April 1943 by American B-24 Liberators. A spare turret existed that used these Ansaldo mod. 1924 cannons in a coastal defense role.


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See also

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External links

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Italy naval cannons
20 mm  20 mm/65 Breda · 20 mm/70 Oerlikon 3S · 20 mm/70 Scotti-Isotta Fraschini mod.1939
37 mm  37 mm/54 Breda Mod.32 · 37 mm/54 Breda Mod.38 · 37 mm/54 Breda Mod.39
40 mm  40 mm/39 Vickers-Terni mod.1915/1917 · 40 mm/39 Vickers-Terni mod.1915/1917, Modif.1930 · 40 mm/70 Breda-Bofors type 107
65 mm  65 mm/64 Ansaldo-Terni Mod.1939
76 mm  76 mm/40 Armstrong mod.1897/1910 · 76 mm/40 Armstrong mod.1897/1912 · 76 mm/40 Ansaldo mod.1917 · 76 mm/45 Schneider mod.1911 · 76 mm/50 Vickers mod.1909 · 76 mm/62 OTO-Melara Compact · 76-mm/62 SMP 3
90 mm  90 mm/50 Ansaldo model 1939
100 mm  100 mm/47 O.T.O. Mod. 1928 · 100 mm/47 O.T.O. Mod. 1937
120 mm  120 mm/45 Canet-Schneider-Armstrong mod.1918-19 · 120 mm/50 Armstrong model 1909 · 120 mm/45 O.T.O. Mod. 1926 · 120 mm/50 Ansaldo mod.1926 · 120 mm/50 O.T.O. Mod.1936
135 mm  135 mm/45 O.T.O. Mod. 1937
152 mm  152 mm/45 Schneider mod.1911 · 152/53 mm Ansaldo mod.1926 · 152/53 mm O.T.O. Mod.1929
203 mm  203 mm/50 Ansaldo mod.1924 · 203 mm/53 Ansaldo mod.1927
305 mm  305 mm/46 Armstrong model 1909 · 305 mm/46 Vickers model 1909
320 mm  320 mm/44 OTO model 1934 · 320 mm/44 Ansaldo model 1936
20 mm  2 cm/65 Flakvierling 38 (Germany) · 20 mm/70 Oerlikon Mk.II (USA)
40 mm  Bofors L/60 Mark 1 (USA) · Bofors L/60 Mark 3 (USA)
76 mm  76 mm/50 Mk.33 (USA)
127 mm  127 mm/38 Mk.12 (USA)