Concept

Italian battleship Impero

Summary
Impero was the fourth built for Italy's Regia Marina (Royal Navy) during the Second World War. She was named after the Italian word for "empire", in this case referring to the newly (1936) conquered Italian Empire in East Africa (Somaliland, Eritrea and Ethiopia territories) as a result of the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. She was constructed under the order of the 1938 Naval Expansion Program, along with her sister ship Roma. Impero was laid down in May 1938 and launched in November 1939. The entrance of Italy into World War II forced the Regia Marina to refocus its construction priorities on escort warships, so Impero was left incomplete. After Italy surrendered to the Allies on 8 September 1943, the rest of the Italian Navy steamed to Sardinia to rendezvous with their American contemporaries. Still incomplete in Trieste, Impero was captured by the Germans, who used the hulk for target practice. Sunk by Allied bombers in February 1945, she was refloated in 1947 and scrapped in Ven
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