Aircraft Carrier Impero

The Axis Powers' V-1 Carrying Capital Ship

Davide Jabes, Stefano Sappino

From late 1941 Italy had been developing a secret project to arm aircraft carriers with shipboard strategic weapons. Naval architect Lino Campagnoli's archives unveil the plans of a fleet aircraft carrier, the converted Impero battleship, which was to be provided with embarked German V-1 as testified by the blueprints developed in 1941-43.
Date Published :
July 2018
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781556771
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9.75 X 6.75 inches
Stock Status : In stock


From late 1941 Italy had been developing a secret project with her German allies to move the V1 wunderwaffen aboard aircraft carriers. Hitler required one million victims to get the British and American governments on their knees and force them to sign an honourable ceasefire. The personal archives of Ansaldo’s naval architect Lino Campagnoli (1911–1975), bring back to life the plans for a modern aircraft carrier, the unprecedented transformation of the Impero battleship into a fleet carrier. The new documentation reveals the draft terms of conversion of the last of the four Littorio class modern battleships which were in a state of advanced preparation (hull components and engines completed). In the period 1941–43 a series of plans was drawn for Impero’s conversion to an aircraft carrier providing, inter alia, for the embarkation of Fi-103 (the German V1), to provide substance to Italo-German cooperation in strategic military sectors. The Kriegsmarine’s underwater tests on the protection of RN Impero’s incomplete hull in 1944 put an end to the dream of using her as strategic weapons carrier.

About The Author

Dr Davide F. Jabes received his PhD in History from The University of York (UK). He has worked as a consultant and researcher in Modern History for the University of Siena and several research Institutes as well as many publishing houses He wrote also a book on the Italian soldiers during the Second World War (Rizzoli, 2015). Stefano Sappino, born in Rome, has a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a career as executive in large service companies. Involved as a scholar in naval history from the 1970s, he focuses on Navies’ building strategy, design and operational history of capital ships and cruisers. The ‘what ifs’, warships designed but not built, on not entered in service, constitute his special interest field. His maritime history blog,, is a reference for naval enthusiast all around the world. Enrico M. L. d’A. von Staufen, is a doctor of medicine and a specialist in forensic pathology; from 2002 professor in legal medicine. Before his medical studies, he attended the Army Officers’ School and graduated as airborne Lieutenant, he served in Gulf War as army officer. As Forensic Pathologist he attended the Bosnia mission 1999 for UN-ICTY and Kossovo 2000 for UN-ICTY.

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