|Armament||10 x 14" (doubles firing|
over triples) + MCG
|VTS Rating||4 3 4|
Nearly completed by Austria-Hungary at the end of WW I when they were surrendered to the Italians, the formerly named Wien and Budapest were completed by Italy in 1924. These war prizes carried the biggest guns in the Italian Navy and were purposely re-named for cities on the west coast of Italy so there would be no lingering sentiment for their region of origin. They had only medium protection, but fine armament and speed.
Napoli was heavily damaged at Taranto but Genova escaped with minor damage. Both were active in the Mediterranean and helped turn back a British supply convoy to Malta. Napoli was sunk in the Western Med. by the giant British battlecruiser Saint Andrew in the first major sea battle of the war. Genova, partly damaged, braved a gauntlet of Swordfish attacking from battered Malta as she transferred to the East, and engaged and sunk HMS Valiant off Cape Matapan. She transferred to Turkey to fight the Russians in the Black Sea, but saw no action. Just before Italy surrendered, Genova was scuttled in Trieste harbor by Yugoslav partisans before she was able to get underway to defect.