From late 1941 Italy had been developing a secret project with her German allies to move the V1 wunderwaffen aboard aircraft carriers. Hitler required one million victims to get the British and American governments on their knees and force them to sign an honourable ceasefire. The personal archives of Ansaldo's naval architect Lino Campagnoli (1911-1975), bring back to life the plans for a modern aircraft carrier, the unprecedented transformation of the Impero battleship into a fleet carrier. The new documentation reveals the draft terms of conversion of the last of the four Littorio class modern battleships which were in a state of advanced preparation (hull components and engines completed). In the period 1941-43 a series of plans was drawn for Impero's conversion to an aircraft carrier providing, inter alia, for the embarkation of Fi-103 (the German V1), to provide substance to Italo-German cooperation in strategic military sectors. The Kriegsmarine's underwater tests on the protection of RN Impero's incomplete hull in 1944 put an end to the dream of using her as strategic weapons carrier.
- Publication Date:
- 22 / 09 / 2018