The Cesare Rossarol was a light scout cruiser built for the Italian Navy, Marina Militare. During the Arms Race, in advance of the escalation of World War I, the need for more weapons got obvious and the Italian goverment decided to built more "smaller" vessels.
The Cesare Rossarol was one out of three ships built according the design of the so called “Poerio Class”. This meaning the Rossarol had two sister ships carrying the names of “Alessandro Poerio” and “Guglielmo Pepe”. Like her sister ships, the Cesare Rossarol was named after a famous Neapolitan cavalryman who helped defend Forte Marghera Venice from attacks by the Austro-Hungarian Army during the revolutions in 1848. All three ships were built on the yard of S.A.I. Gio. Ansaldo & C. in Liguria, Italy. (Genua)
Gio. Ansaldo & C.
The company Gio. Ansaldo & C. was founded in 1853 as Gio. Ansaldo & C. S.A.S. by renowned players in the Genoese business world, such as Giovanni Ansaldo, Raffaele Rubattino, Giacomo Filippo Penco and Carlo Bombrini. Until the end of the 19th century, the company focused on manufacturing and repairing railway components. THe company quickly became a 10.000-worker company with seven differend factories. Vision opened up and the company started to expand into other sectors such as shipbuilding and other mechanical works.
In 1904, Ansaldo was bought by Ferdinando Maria Perrone who, along with his sons Mario and Pio, bound the name of the Perrone family to the history of the company. Over the next twenty years, Ferdinando aimed at making Ansaldo fully independent, in as well the ironworks and weapon-making areas, thanks to strong vertical integration in these markets. The start of World War I was of obvious potential benefit to the company, though Italy was initially neutral. Ansaldo advocated for Italian entry into the war, both directly and by funding political groups that supported the war, such as Benito Mussolini's proto-Fascist movement.
The efforts paid off when Italy entered the war. In 1914 the company was worth 30 million lire, but its market value grew to 500 million in 1918. When the company issued shares in the summer of 1918 worth 400 million lire, Ansaldo employed 80,000 workers, had dozens of factories and controlled companies such as A. Cerpelli & C., Banca industriale Italiana, Cantieri Officine Savoia, Dynamit Nobel, Gio.Fossati & C., Lloyd Italico, Nazionale di Navigazione, Pomilio, Società Idroelettrica Negri, and Transatlantica Italiana.
6. Metalworkers working on a ships propeller in the Ansaldo factory
Poerio Class vessels
The Cesare Rossarol and the sister ships “Alessandro Poerio” and “Guglielmo Pepe” where built as Italian light scout cruiser vessels. (Italian:esploratore leggero). These where the first large cruisers after the disappointment of the explorer cruiser “Nino Bixio” which wasn't satisfactory in practice. Originally the ships started as destroyers with a heavy focus in torpedo armament. Equipped with eight torpedo tubes in total (two twin torpedo racks per side) and four 102/35 guns as main armament. But even before entering into service the armament was changed. Two of the torpedo racks were removed and replaced by additional guns.
The vessels measured 85m (279ft) overall length and 8m (26ft) beam. All ships where equipped with Yarrow type three-drum water tube boilers with water pipes, two groups of Belluzzo steam turbines producing 24,000 HP, two 3-blade propellers and a fuel capacity of 325 tons giving her a range for 2,400 nautical miles at 13 knots (approx. 4400km at 24km/h).
She could launch torpedoes while maintaining a constant speed of over 30 knots. (approx. 55km/h) With a displacement of 1028 tons or 1,216 tons when full, she was fitted with six 102/35 mm, two double 450mm torpedo tubes and equipped with a mine positioning system, making her the equivalent opponent of the Austro-Hungarian Novara-class light cruisers
7. Poerio Class Vessels – Allesandro Poerio – Cesare Rossarol and Guglielmo Pepe at the Ansaldo yard
8. Cesare Rossarol on steam
General facts and charasteristics- Name: R.N. Cesare Rosarol
In 1917, also before putting the ships into service, all ships got two extra smaller 40/39 caliber machine guns. One on the front and one on stern deck.
In 1918 the “Alessandro Poerio” armament was changed and six 102/35 canons where replaced by five 102/45 caliber canons. During this same time period, but also before even set into service both the Gugliemo Pepe” and “Cesare Rossarol” got the six 102/35 replaced by six 102/45 caliber canons.
102/45 caliber canon