by Mario Busto
1/350 Regia Nave Gorizia (Trumpeter)
Gorizia was the fourth and final member of the Zara class of heavy cruisers to be built for the Italian Regia Marina (Royal Navy) in the 1930s. Named for the town of Gorizia, the ship was laid down at the OTO Livorno shipyard in March 1930, was launched in December that year and was commissioned into the fleet in December 1931. Armed with a main battery of eight 8-inch (200 mm) guns, she was nominally within the 10,000-long-ton (10,000 t) limit imposed by the Washington Naval Treaty, though in reality she significantly exceeded this figure.
During the ship's peacetime career, she frequently took part in fllet reviews. In 1934, she went on a tour with the royal yacht to eastern Africa, and she made another foreign cruise two years later to Germany during the 1936 Olimpics being held there. She was involved in theSpanish Civil War in the late 1930s; she evacuated Italian nationals in August 1936, and while returning to Italy, suffered an explosion in anaviation gas tank that necessitated major repairs. The ship supported the Italian invasion of Albania in 1939.
The ship saw extensive service in World War II, which Italy entered in June 1940. She frequently operated against British convoys to Malta in the Mediterranean, and she escorted Italian convoys to support the Italo-German forces fighting in north Africa. In the course of these operations, she took part in the battles atCape Spartivento, and first and second Sirte gulf. Gorizia was also attacked numerous times by Allied bombers while in port, culminating in a major raid in April 1943 when in Sardinia, that inflicted serious damage to the ship. Under repair when Italy surrendered to the Allies in September, the ship was seized by occupying Germany forces, who found the ship to be unusable and so abandoned her. Italian and British frogmen tried to sink the ship in 1944. After Germany's defeat in 1945, the Italian Navy determined the ship was beyond economical repair, and so she was broken up for scrap in 1947.
The model depicts Gorizia around March 1942, later the white stripes of the dazzling camouflage were removed (too visible by night).
The model is based on the Trumpeter Pola, with major modification, among which:
I find peculiar the sailplane positioning in front of the forward turret, the crane was made with a bit of "freedom". The nice general shape of the ship seems to be finally rendered.
- main superstructure
- forward funnel
- hull swaging in front of the superstructure
- arcuated bow
- side masts added to rear mast
- The IMAM RO.43 sailplane is from Trumpeter, with several modifications.
Just some historical observation on the use of sailplanes by the Italian Navy in the Mediterannean Sea: whenever a sailplane was launched by a ship, it had to land on the mainland, as the Italian captains were not willing to stay still like dead ducks for half an hour to recover their sailplane. Furthermore: the pilots were from the Air Force (Regia Aeronautica), and quite often not really loved by the Navy officers...