The History of a Destroyer: The Pilade Bronzetti
By Gravitazero and Andrea Moro
Built in 1915, the Pilade Bronzetti was a destroyer named after an honored
Italian patriot who died in the battle of Volturno in 1860. One of eight
sister ships, she was built for the Italian navy after Italy entered
World War I on the side of the Allies.
Based on the Indomito class of destroyer, the Pilo class Pilade Bronzetti
was 73 meters long, displaced 770 tons, and ran at a maximum speed of
30 knots; she had two propellers. Her armament consisted of one 76/40-mm
gun, two 76/30-mm guns, four 450-mm torpedoes and ten mines. Her compliment
of crew consisted of sixty-nine sailors.
After beginning her service in a destroyer squadron, the Pilade Bronzetti
was transferred to the Division of Brindisi, where she was responsible
for patrolling the lower Adriatic Sea in defense of the line of Otranto.
At the conclusion of World War I, she was posted to different areas
of the Mediterranean Sea, where she performed patrol, escort, and maritime
traffic duty. In 1919, she returned to Italy to operate in Albania and
Montenegro, and was then posted to the Adriatic Sea.
Besides her thirty-year service to Italy as a patrol and escort vessel,
the significance of the Pilade Bronzetti to Italian history is also
tied to her role in “The Fiume Question.” This post-war
conflict was to have important consequences for Italy and for the region.