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Sister ships: ANDREA DORIA
Notes: Designed by Eng Vice-Admiral Giuseppe Valsecchi as a slight improvement over the preceding CAVOUR class battleships, the DORIA class had their secondary batteries situated in a better arrangement, and the midships turret was mounted one deck lower. In addition, the foremast was placed ahead of the funnel, which helped to reduce the problems of heat and smoke in the foretop. The funnels were also lengthened, which improved the draught of the boilers.
CAIO DUILIO did not see active duty during World War I. After World War I, the 3" AA guns were replaced with improved versions, and two 40mm / 39 cal. AA guns were also fitted. In April, 1925, an explosion damaged the midships main battery turret; repairs were not completed on it until April, 1928. In 1925, CAIO DUILIO was fitted with an M 18 reconnaissance seaplane, and in 1926, a fixed catapult was added on the forecastle for the seaplane.
CAIO DUILIO was taken in for a major rebuild at Cantieri del Tirreno, Genoa, in April, 1937. Sections were added to both the bow and stern, increasing her overall length to 613' 2". While armor was slightly improved, the Pugliese underwater protection system was utilized, providing more extensive subdivisions. CAIO DUILIO was re-engined and re-boilered, with two shaft-geared turbines and eight boilers, producing 75,000shp, good for 26 knots. Oil bunkerage was increased to 2,472 tons, increasing her range to 6,400nm at 13 knots. The midships main battery turret was removed, and the remaining ten guns were re-bored to 12.6" / 43.8 cal. Their mountings were modified to give an elevation of 27°, increasing the range to 31,000 yards. The superstructure was rebuilt, and the secondary batteries were removed (their old positions plated over) and replaced by 12 - 5.4" / 45 cal. guns in four triple turrets mounted abreast the bridge; 10 - 3.5" / 90 cal. AA guns in single mounts amidships; 15 - 37mm / 54 cal. AA guns (6x2 and 3x1) and 16 - 20mm / 65 cal. AA guns (8x2). When completed, CAIO DUILIO's deep displacement had risen to 29,391 tons, but her draught was reduced to 28' 3" She re-entered active service on 15 July, 1940.
From August through early November, 1940, CAIO DUILIO made several sorties protecting convoys and in search of British forces, but no combat occurred. On 12 November 1940, CAIO DUILIO was hit by a single 18" torpedo in the British air raid at Taranto. She was repaired at Genoa, and re-entered service in May, 1941. She once again saw duty escorting convoys, and on 17 December 1941, battled with British cruisers and destroyers, but with no notable result. CAIO DUILIO was taken in for refit in May, 1942; radar was added, as well as four more 37mm AA guns. She was still undergoing refit at the time of the Italian surrender on 9 September 1943, and was transferred to Allied control. Following World War II, CAIO DUILIO served as a training ship, and was the flagship of the C-in-C, Italian Navy from 1947 through 1949. CAIO DUILIO was deleted from the roster on 15 September 1956, and broken up in 1957-58.