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Mystery Picture #69
This is the Italian (former) battleship (ex-)Italia, hulked at Brindisi as floating battery, between 1915 and 1917. Italia was completed in 1885 as a rather unusual battleship. She originally had six funnels (3 forward and 3 aft), and a single central mast; her speed of about 18 knots was very high for the day. She could accommodate thousands of troops, making her somewhat of a cruiser-transport rather than a pure battleship. The arrangment of her main armament was equally unusual, as she had four guns in a large armored citadel, with no turret or other overhead protection at all. This was the era of giant guns, so she was fitted with 17 inch pieces; three 17"/26 caliber, and one 17"/27 caliber. In 1905-1908 she was modified to the form seen here, with the funnels reduced to four, and a pair of masts fitted.
Her near-sister Lepanto had four funnels from the start, but always carried one central mast; she had a uniform battery of four 17"/27 caliber guns.
Italia served in a variety of auxiliary roles after 1909; she was stricken in 1914 but continued in these duties, and was re-instated on the navy list in 1915. After several conversions and years in auxiliary roles, she was finally stricken in 1921 and subsequently scrapped.
Correct answers were received from: Andreas von Mach, Sergei Myagkov, Patricio Meezs R., Ian Mills, Barry Gerrard, Ric Pelvin, James Wade, John Bradford, Edgar Dutkowski, Pierluigi Malvezzi, Milton Kelly, Mark Lawden, Ingo Hohm, Espen Arnestad, Yves Grangeon, Byron P. Connell, Yves Hubert, Czéh György, Klebert L. Hall, Jimmy Reynolds, C. Patrick Hreachmach.
Photo Credit: Photo provided by Brooks Rowlett.
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