Italian Destroyers of World War II

New Vanguard 292 Italian Destroyers of WW2

Author: Mark Stille

Illustrated by: Paul Wright

This 48-page paperback book is the 292nd book in the New Vanguard series that is available from Osprey Publications.

This is a new illustrated history and analysis of Italy’s World War II destroyers, a formidable foe for Allied forces attempting to attack the sea lanes between Italy and North Africa.

The Regia Marina or RM (the Italian Royal Navy) began the Second World War with one of the largest destroyer fleets in the world. It included a total of 59 fleet destroyers, with others that were added during the war. These were a diverse collection of ships dating back to the First World War with large destroyers built to counter ships of similar size introduced in the French Navy (the RM’s historical enemy), and medium-sized ships which constituted the bulk of the destroyer force. RM destroyers were built for high speed, not endurance since they were only expected to operate inside the Mediterranean. They were also well-armed but lacked radar.

During the war, the Regia Marina destroyers fought well during the Second World War. Except for a small force based in Abyssinia which fought a series of battles in the Red Sea against the British, the Regia Marina destroyers were active in the Mediterranean. The primary mission of the Regia Marina during the war was to keep the supply lines to North Africa open. The Italians were largely successful in this effort, and the destroyers were the key. Regia Marina destroyers were present at every fleet action with the British Mediterranean Fleet. The intensity of these actions is reflected by the fact that the Regia Marina lost a total of 51 destroyers during the war. The Contents of this book are:


    • RM destroyer weapons
    • RM destroyer radar
    • The Battle of Calabria
    • The Battle of Cape Spartivento (Battle of Cape Teulada to the RM)
    • Debacle at Matapan
    • Convoy battles
    • First and Second Battles of Sirte
    • The final phase
    • The Red Sea
    • Mirabello class
    • Leone class
    • Sella class
    • Sauro class
    • Turbine class
    • Navigatori class
    • Freccia class
    • Folgore class
    • Maestrale class
    • Oriani class
    • Soldati class (1st and 2nd series)
    • Comandanti class


This is an especially useful book for the Historian, Modeler or Wargamer.  Throughout the book there are a number of color drawings and black and white photographs of the various classes of Italian destroyers.  The color drawings illustrate the different camouflaged schemes and the pictures show many of the classes of ships in the Regia Marina.  The Historian will enjoy the detailed information and the many photographs and color drawings of the ships.  The modeler can use this book to be sure his models are built correctly.  The Wargamer can use this book for both their painting needs and for the weapon specifications provided in this book.


This book is available from Osprey Publications




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