RN Eritrea was laid a specially designed vessel for service in Italy's colony Eritrea, according to a design by General Esposito. While entered on the Italian navy list as a colonial cruiser, she was actually halfway between a destroyer and a light cruiser in her dimensions, and armed like a fleet destroyer. She was designed and equipped to be capable to act as depot ship for submarines, and to lay mines.
She was completed in 1937, and given to France in 1948 as war reparation. During the war she served in East Africa. When the colony was about to fall, she escaped to Japan, leaving Massaua on 18 February 1941, following the order of the Italian navy command to do so, which was given on 8 February 1941. There she stayed until 1943. When Italy entered into an armistice on 8 September 1943 she escaped again, this time to India, where she was interned. At the end of the war she returned to Italy.


Captain of Frigate Marino Janucci

Career Timeline

1935 laid down at Castellammare di Stabia
1936 launched
1937 commissioned
1940-1941 Eritrea, east Africa
1941-1943 Japan
1943-1945 India (interned)
1948 stricken from the navy list, to France

Technical Data

Displacement: 2,969 tons (3,119 tons fully loaded)
Dimensions: 87/96.6 m long (waterline/overall); 13.3 m wide; 4.7 m draught
Armour: none
Armament: 4x120/45; 2x 40/39; 4x13.2mm MG
Aircraft: None
Propulsion plant: 2x boilers; 2x diesel engines; 2x propellers; 9,100 HP
Speed: 20 knots
Endurance: 6,950 miles at 12 knots
Fuel capacity: 283 tons of fuel oil
Crew: 234

Sources used

Research by Andreas

Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -