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The Littorio Class
Italy's Last and Largest Battleships 1937-1948
by Erminio Bagnasco and Augusto de Toro

Reviewed by Sean Hert
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The Littorio class of battleships was initially laid down as a response to the construction of the French Dunkerque class of battleships, which were a response to the German Deutschland class. This book on the Littorios was originally published in Italian and released in 2007. This English translation of the 2nd Italian edition has just become available the summer of 2011. Covering design, construction, operational history and post-war dispostions, this book completely details this battleship class.

This conventionally laid out book has three chapters, but each of these chapters covers a large variety of topics and spans over 350 pages. This includes over 300 photographs to document and illustrate each chapter and section.

Book Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Battleships and Italian Naval Policy between the Two World Wars
  • Chapter 2: Design and General Characteristics
  • Chapter 3: Technical Description
  • Chapter 4: Construction, Sea Trials, and Commissioning
  • Chapter 5: Operational History
  • Chapter 6: Comparisons and Conclusions
  • Appendices
  • Sources and Bibliography
  • Acknowledgements
  • Index

This work convers in good detail the processes and decisions that went into the Littorio design. Each weapon system is discussed; the various guns, as well as including the uncommon aircraft arrangements of this class.

The book's photographs are of varied sizes, but close up, detailed shots are uncommon. Many of these photos come from the personal collections of the authors, or has the source cited in the caption. The authors took care to attempt to date most of the images, which is an important detail for modelers.

This book also has drawings and plans from a variety of sources; ones drawn for publication by Roberto Maggi, Maurizio Brescia and Angelo Brioschi, as well drawings taken from original shipyard plans or drawings based on them from the archives of the Associazione Navimodellisti Bolognesi (Naval Modellers Association of Bologna). There are also some color plates showing some of the camoflague schemes and colors sported by the aircraft carried by these battleships, some of which are fold- out for size.

Scans are reduced quality.


This comprehensive, well-researched book is the reference for this class of battleships, bar none. There really aren't any other works on this subject that approach the breadth of information this book has. A timely release as well, given Trumpeter's new Roma kits in both 1/700 and 1/350.

There are three types of people who should buy this book; those who have an interest in Italian warships, those who aspire to have a complete warships reference library, and those serious modelers looking to accurize their Littorio class battleships. If you love battleships, get this book- you won't be dissappointed. Highly Recommended!

The Littorio Class Italy's Last and Largest Battleships 1937-1948 by Erminio Bagnasco and Augusto de Toro is available direct from the publisher, Seaforth Publishing (an imprint of Pen and Sword books), US and UK, and the Naval Institute Press (800-233-8764). List Price is $85.00; actual prices vary. US/Naval Institute Press release date is November 15, 2011. Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.