Italy finds battleship sunk in 1943 by German warplane

June 28, 2012
An Italian Navy picture of a cannon on the Roma battleship, found at a depth of 1,000 metres around 25 km off Sardinia's coast. A German plan sank the Roma on September 9, 1943, killing 1,352 sailors while only 622 people survived.

An Italian battleship which sank during World War II off the coast of Sardinia after it was bombed by a German warplane has been found, Italy's navy said in a statement on Thursday.

"The battleship Roma was sunk on September 9, 1943, by a German plane, in an attack which killed 1,352 . Only 622 people survived," it said.

The wreck was found by an named Pluto Palla, designed by Italian engineer Guido Gay. It was discovered around 16 nautical miles (30 kilometres) off the northern coast of Sardinia at a depth of around 1,000 metres (3,300 feet).

The Roma was one of the Italian navy's most modern vessels in the period, with cannons with a range of 42.8 kilometres, greater even than those on Japanese battleships, which had a range of 42 kilometres.

The ship, launched just 15 months previously, was sunk soon after Italy announced it had gone over to the Allies following the fall of fascist leader Benito Mussolini.

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