Vittorio Veneto CGH Guided Missile Helicopter Cruiser
Sometimes called the third unit of the Andrea Doria class, the design of the Vittorio Veneto was so strongly modified as to constitute a new class. The Vittorio Veneto has a much larger hull, resulting from the hangar, positioned below the flight deck. Entering service in 1970, it could carry up to 9 Agusta-Bell AB212 or 6 Agusta-Sikorsky ASH-3H Sea King helicopters. The characteristics of the the ship provide flexibility of employment in multiple assigned tasks, which include antiaircraft protection, antisubmarine and antiship protection of naval forces and convoys; antisubmarine warfare; and antiaircraft defense of a zone.
Projected under the 1959-60 New Construction Program, her design was recast several times. A second unit - Italia - was cancelled in favor of the "Garibaldi" project.
The Cruiser "Vittorio Veneto", built at the Shipbuilding Yards of Castellammare di Stabia, was the concrete result of research and reaching a compromise solution between the demands of air defence and anti-submarine operations. The changes with Vittorio Veneto were evident, in particular, the constructive and operational experiences gained on the class "Andrea Doria" with the development of a new type of platform. The hangar, was positioned below the flight deck, a raised level compared to that deck to which it was connected by an elevator, was the most obvious constructive solution for a unit of this size, able to provide aircraft embarked a good degree of protection compared to traditional accommodations. Fitted with two sets of stabilisers.
Improved and updated over the years, the Vittorio Veneto had a collection of electronic and weapon systems capable of satisfying the most varied operational needs and allowing, to unity, a high flexibility of use in multiple tasks, such as anti-aircraft, anti-submarine protection and anti-ship naval forces and convoys; anti-submarine warfare; and area air defence. In hand from 1981 to early 1984 for modernisation which included the four Teseo launchers and the three twin Breda compact 40 mm. Vittorio Veneto was refitted in the late 1980s. Six 40mm guns in twin turrets were added, and the Terrier missiles were removed and replaced by 40 Standard SM1 and 20 ASROC ASM. Two SPG-55C Standard fire control systems were added, as were 4 Otomat SSM launchers.
After 1985 the guided-misstle helicopter-carrying cruiser ITS Vittorio Veneto was mainly if not exclusively operated as a training ship for annual 2-3 month long deployments to different parts of the world. As of 2001 it was anticipated that this ship was to be replaced by the carrier Andrea Doria in 2007. Several dates had been indicated for the retirement of that cruiser (2000, 2001, 2002, ...), and she was decommissioned in 2003.
The battle of Vittorio-Veneto was the largest coherent engagement fought during the Great War and was, therefore, the largest battle in all history up until that time. It engaged nearly two million combatants, these troops being used in this particular battle and not in merely related or fortuitiously adjacent actions; the battle was a concerted one along a front of about 250 kilometers, through snow- and ice-trenches, among lofty peaks, on top of rugged plateaus above the clouds, and through a land so swampy that only breastworks could be built; it was planned and prepared in secret by one commander-in-chief and his staff, and was executed by that same command so nearly per schedule that it might have been a vast tactical exercise.
It was the only decisive victory on such a large scale for either side during the World War; its immediate results were greater than those of any other battle since Waterloo. Practically nothing is known about this battle either in England or in America. In the popular mind its magnitude and importance were obscured by the closely following general armistice.
Italy, from the day she declared war on Austria until the armistice, was confronted with a problem which was not appreciated by anyone except those few who had studied her strategical situation. The civilian part of the Allied world wondered to the end why Italy did not simply march across the plains cut by the Piave, the Livenzia, and the Tagliamento, cross the parapeted Isonzo, and hurl the divided Austrians back upon Vienna. But Austria could not be driven from her positions between the Giudicaria and the Piave by any sort of an attack directly upon the Trentine Alps, the most complex mass of peaks, lofty plateaus, glacial canyons, steep precipices, inaccessible divides, andplunging streams through which an army ever attempted to operate. Austria's position was doubtless the strongest natural position ever occupied by so large an army on the defensive.
The fighting began on 23 October 1918, and the Austrian's defeat had become a certainty hy the evening of the 30th. The British, in Italian Tenth Army commanded by Frederic Lambert, Earl of Cavan (XIV Corps Commander in France, supported with his own corps HQ) forced a crossing of the Piave, split the front open, and drove forward. The action from the 30th to the 4th was properly a pursuit in force. Large units lost cohesion and their elements wandered to the roads as to magnets; once upon these highways leading to home and hearing the truth as to the situation, the Austrians threw away rifles and equipment. The victory was the direct cause of the overthrow of the Hapsburg dynasty, the oldest in Europe. If it had not been for this battle it would have been highly possible for Germany to have made an indefinite stand along the Rhine; after this battle this was impossible.
||Power|| 73,000 HP|
|Helicopters||6 helicopters AB-212 A/S|
|Crew||53 Officers + 504 sailors|
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