These were heavily armed -- 13 12" guns -- dreadnoughts built before and during World War I. They were largely reconstructed, with 10 larger (12.6") main battery guns and a much faster (27 vs. their original 21 knots) speed, in part thanks to the lengthening/streamlining of their hulls.
They also had 12 of the new 5.3" guns, which served as secondary batteries on the Littorio super battleships and as primary batteries on the wartime construction Attilio Regolo light cruisers.
They weren't ready for action at the moment of Italy's entrance into the war -- June 1940 -- but they served in many fleet engagements, once they were. They survived the war, and became Italy's main battleline, thanks to the treaty requirement that the big, beautiful Littorios had to be scrapped.
The battleship Andrea Doria should not be confused with the postwar passenger liner which sank after collision with a Swedish ship.
I HAVE DESIGNED A 3-D CARDSTOCK PAPER MODEL SHIP OF THIS SHIP/CLASS.
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