chapter  1
19 Pages

Italian Warship Construction and Maritime Strategy, 1873-1915

In the half-century after national unification, Italian warship designs and naval theories reflected great ingenuity but lack of capital and raw materials, geography and technological backwardness constrained the Royal Italian Navy (Regia Marina). None the less, in the period c. 1862-89, Italian seapower theorists developed many concepts later attributed to Alfred Thayer Mahan. They argued that national security, prosperity and influence depended on seapower. After the Suez Canal opened, greatly increasing Mediterranean sea traffic, this seemed obvious to educated Italians.