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For its final battleship design Italy ignored all treaty restrictions on tonnage, and produced one of Europe's largest and most powerful capital ships, comparable with Germany's Bismarck class which were also built in defiance of international agreements. The three ships of the Littorio class were fast and elegant, but also boasted a revolutionary protective scheme which was tested to the limits, as all three were heavily damaged in the hard-fought naval war in the Mediterranean. The book combines a detailed analysis of the design with an operational history, evaluating how the ships stood up to combat. It is illustrated with an amazing collection of photographs, detailed plans, and colored artwork of camouflage schemes, adding up to as complete a study of this class of battleship ever published.