Mafalda di Savoia

SS Conte di Savoia

SS Conte di Savoia (Count of Savoy) was a large Italian ocean liner built in 1932 at Cantieri Riuniti del'Adriatico, Trieste. Originally ordered for the Lloyd Sabaudo line, a merger with the Navigazione Generale Italiana meant that the ship was completed for the newly formed Italia Flotte Riunite. The new Italia line also now controlled the , a similar (though slightly larger) ship completed just two months before the Conte. The Conte di Savoia was more modern in decoration and appearance than the Rex, and was considered to be an exceptionally beautiful ship.


In November 1932 she made her maiden voyage to New York. The voyage almost became a disaster when an outlet valve jammed and blew a large hole below the waterline; in a supreme effort, the engineers and crew plugged the hole with cement. She never held the Blue Riband for fastest Atlantic crossing, although on one attempt she did average just slower than the Blue Riband holder Rex.

Conte di Savoia had one unusual feature designed to increase passenger numbers. Two huge gyroscopes were fitted low down in a forward hold. These rotated at high revolutions and were designed to eliminate rolling - a persistent problem on the rough North Atlantic crossing, that affected all shipping lines. In practice they reduced the rolling, by slowing down the rolling period, but they also caused the vessel to 'hang' annoyingly when the vessel was on the extreme limit of her rolls. For obvious safety reasons the system was quickly abandoned on Eastbound crossings where the prevailing weather produced following seas, although it was still used on westbound crossings. Of course, none of this ever affected the operation of the shipping lines advertising department and the benefits of a "smooth crossing" were heavily promoted during the life of the ship.

During troop service in World War II, Conte di Savoia was set on fire and scuttled by retreating German forces on September 11, 1943. She was refloated in 1945, but eventually was scrapped.


  • 48,502 gross tons.
  • 814 ft (248.1m) overall length, 96 ft (29.3m) beam.
  • Engines: steam turbines geared to quadruple screw, service speed .
  • 2200 passengers (500 first class, 366 second class, 412 tourist class, 922 third class), 786 crew.


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