top of page

In the 1920s, the Italian Navy faced great challenges. Mussolini’s ambitious Italy turned away from its alliance with Britain and France, and the Regia Marina faced the prospect of confronting both the French Navy and the Mediterranean Fleet of the Royal Navy. In the years leading up to World War II, the Regia Marina built and deployed a powerful battleship-led fleet – known in Italy as ‘La Squadra’ – intended to make the Mediterranean an Italian sea once more.


In this book, Italian naval historian Enrico Cernuschi offers a fresh assessment of the wartime Italian battle fleet, based on his lifetime of primary-source research from both Italian and Allied sources. It offers a comprehensive portrait of this proud armada, how it was devised and built, and how it operated and fought. It covers a multitude of factors often overlooked, such as Italy's naval codebreakers, the fleet's logistics, and the qualities and limitations of Italian industry that supported it. The book also provides a concise account and analysis of the battle fleet’s activities through the war, from major clashes such as the Battle of Calabria to lesser-known expeditions. The author's research into Italian wartime primary sources overturns some myths still commonplace in Anglo-American accounts.


Illustrated with superb new artwork, maps and 3D diagrams, and featuring rare photos, this book is a fascinating account of Italy's great fleet of World War II.

Italian Battle Fleet 1940–43

  • Enrico Cernuschi

    A comprehensive, illustrated account of the wartime Italian battle fleet, from its ships and technology to command structure, logistics, codebreaking and more.
  • Rights Sold

    All rights available
  • Book Details

    Imprint: Osprey Publishing
    Publication Date: 25-04-2024
    Format: Paperback | 248 x 184mm | 80 pages
  • About the Author

    Enrico Cernuschi is a naval historian based at Pavia, Italy. He has written dozens of books and monographs and more than 500 articles in Italian, English, and French. He has contributed to USNI books and has published extensively with Italy’s professional naval organizations. His major works include “Ultra” La fine di un mito (2014) and Sea Power the Italian Way (2016). He is a regular contributor to Warship.

  • Material Available

bottom of page