Affondatore was a strong ship from the Italian Royal Navy in the 1860s. It was built in London and meant to be an armored ram, a ship designed to ram into and sink enemy vessels. However, during construction, it was equipped with two large guns in addition to the ram. Affondatore arrived near the island of Lissa for a battle in July 1866. It was the flagship of Admiral Carlo Pellion di Persano and engaged in close combat with Austrian ships, getting hit by Austrian gunfire many times. It sank in a storm in August, likely due to damage sustained in the battle, but was later repaired and used by the Italian fleet. It served various roles over the years, including guard duty and as a depot ship.
Design-wise, the ship was ordered from a British shipyard and initially supposed to be unarmed, relying solely on its ram. However, it ended up having two large guns due to changes in plans. The ship was about 293 feet long, 40 feet wide, and had a draft of about 20 feet. It weighed around 4,000 to 4,300 tons, depending on how loaded it was. It had a crew of around 300 to 350 people.
For propulsion, the ship had a steam engine that powered a single propeller shaft. The engine generated about 2,700 horsepower, allowing the ship to reach speeds of up to 12 knots. It could travel about 1,647 nautical miles at a speed of 10 knots. Additionally, for longer journeys, the ship had a two-masted schooner rig.
In terms of weaponry, Affondatore had two large 300-pounder guns placed in turrets at the front and back. It also had two smaller 80 mm guns for land operations. The ship had strong iron armor, with its sides and turrets protected by about 5 inches of wrought iron, and an armored deck that was about 2 inches thick.
Builder: Harrison, Millwall, London, United Kingdom
Laid down: 11 April 1863
Launched: 3 November 1865
Type: Ironclad ram
Displacemen: Normal: 4,006 long tons (4,070 t); Full load: 4,307 long tons (4,376 t)
Length: 89.56 m (293 ft 10 in) between perpendiculars; 93.89 m (308 ft) length overall
Beam: 12.20 m (40 ft)
Draught: 6.35 m (20 ft 10 in)
Installed power: 8 × boilers; 2,717 ihp (2,026 kW)
Propulsion: 1 × marine steam engine; 1 × screw propeller
Speed: 12 knots (14 mph; 22 km/h)
Range: 1,647 nautical miles (3,050 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
2 × 300-pounder guns
2 × 80 mm (3.1 in) landing guns
Belt: 127 mm (5 in)
Deck: 50 mm (2 in)
Turrets: 127 mm