Paolo Thaon di Revel

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Paolo Emilio Thaon

Amiral Paolo Thaon di Revel N53030881 JPEG 1 1DM (cropped).jpg
President of the Italian Senate
In office
2 August 1943 20 July 1944
Monarch Victor Emmanuel III
Preceded by Giacomo Suardo
Succeeded by Pietro Tomasi Della Torretta
Minister of Navy
In office
31 October 1922 8 May 1925
Prime Minister Benito Mussolini
Preceded by Roberto De Vito
Succeeded by Benito Mussolini
Member of the Italian Senate
In office
27 November 1913 18 June 1946
Monarch Victor Emmanuel III
Personal details
Born(1859-06-10)June 10, 1859
Turin, Piedmont-Sardinia
DiedMarch 24, 1948(1948-03-24) (aged 88)
Rome, Italy
Nationality Italian
Political party Non-partisan
Irene Martini di Cigala(m. 1898–1906)
; her death
Alma mater Italian Naval Academy
Profession Military officer
Military service
AllegianceFlag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg  Kingdom of Italy
Service/branchFlag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg  Regia Marina
Years of service1873–1926
Rank Captain at sea
Counter admiral
Grand admiral
Battles/wars Italo-Turkish War (1911–1912)

World War I (1915–1918)

Paolo Camillo Thaon, Marquess of Revel (10 June 1859 24 March 1948), latterly titled by Benito Mussolini with the honorary title of 1st Duke of the Sea, was an Italian admiral of the Royal Italian Navy ( Regia Marina ) during World War I and later a politician.

Benito Mussolini Duce and President of the Council of Ministers of Italy. Leader of the National Fascist Party and subsequent Republican Fascist Party

Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Italy from his golpe in 1922 to 1943 and Duce of Fascism from 1919 to his execution in 1945 during the Italian civil war. As dictator of Italy and founder of fascism, Mussolini inspired several totalitarian rulers such as Adolf Hitler.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Italian Alps and surrounded by several islands. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and traversed along its length by the Apennines, Italy has a largely temperate seasonal climate. The country covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and shares open land borders with France, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.

Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM". The rank is generally thought to have originated in Sicily from a conflation of Arabic: أمير البحر‎, amīr al-baḥr, "commander of the sea", with Latin admirabilis ("admirable") or admiratus ("admired"), although alternative etymologies derive the word directly from Latin, or from the Turkish military and naval rank miralay. The French version – amiral without the additional d – tends to add evidence for the Arab origin.


Early life and career

Thaon di Revel was born in Turin from a family of the Savoyard and Niçard nobility of Scottish descent, a minor son of Marquess and Count Ottavio Thaon di Revel.

Turin Comune in Piedmont, Italy

Turin is a city and an important business and cultural centre in northern Italy. It is the capital city of the Metropolitan City of Turin and of the Piedmont region, and was the first capital city of Italy from 1861 to 1865. The city is located mainly on the western bank of the Po River, in front of Susa Valley, and is surrounded by the western Alpine arch and Superga Hill. The population of the city proper is 878,074 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat to be 1.7 million inhabitants. The Turin metropolitan area is estimated by the OECD to have a population of 2.2 million.

Savoy Cultural region in Central Europe

Savoy is a cultural region in Central Europe. It comprises roughly the territory of the Western Alps between Lake Geneva in the north and Dauphiné in the south.

Nice Prefecture and commune in Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur, France

Nice is the seventh most populous urban area in France and the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes département. The metropolitan area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits, with a population of about 1 million on an area of 721 km2 (278 sq mi). Located in the French Riviera, on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, at the foot of the Alps, Nice is the second-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast and the second-largest city in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region after Marseille. Nice is approximately 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) from the principality of Monaco and 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the French-Italian border. Nice's airport serves as a gateway to the region.

He took part as Rear-admiral in the Italo-Turkish War, commanding Italian cruisers in the Battle of Beirut.

Italo-Turkish War 1911–12 war between the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Italy

The Italo-Turkish or Turco-Italian War was fought between the Kingdom of Italy and the Ottoman Empire from September 29, 1911, to October 18, 1912. As a result of this conflict, Italy captured the Ottoman Tripolitania Vilayet (province), of which the main sub-provinces (sanjaks) were Fezzan, Cyrenaica, and Tripoli itself. These territories together formed what became known as Italian Libya.

Battle of Beirut (1912)

The Battle of Beirut was a naval battle off the coast of Beirut during the Italo-Turkish War. Italian fears that the Ottoman naval forces at Beirut could be used to threaten the approach to the Suez canal led the Italian military to order the destruction of the Ottoman naval presence in the area. On 24 February 1912 two Italian armoured cruisers attacked and sank an Ottoman casemate corvette and six lighters, retired, then returned and sank an Ottoman torpedo boat.

He was named Chief of Staff of the Regia Marina in 1913; he supported the signing of a naval convention between the nations of the Triple Alliance, knowing of Italy's vulnerability to seaborne threats and its dependence on its sealanes, which was concluded on October of that year. When World War I broke out, he warned the government of Antonio Salandra that chances of Austro-Italian success against the combined force of the French and British fleets was small, and that the Regia Marina could not guarantee the safety of the Italian coast. This factors weighed in Salandra's decision to proclaim Italy's neutrality. [1]

Triple Alliance (1882) 1882 alliance between Germany, Austria–Hungary, Italy, and Romania

The Triple Alliance was an agreement between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. It was formed on 20 May 1882 and renewed periodically until it expired in 1915 during World War I. Germany and Austria-Hungary had been closely allied since 1879. Italy sought support against France shortly after it lost North African ambitions to the French. Each member promised mutual support in the event of an attack by any other great power. The treaty provided that Germany and Austria-Hungary were to assist Italy if it was attacked by France without provocation. In turn, Italy would assist Germany if attacked by France. In the event of a war between Austria-Hungary and Russia, Italy promised to remain neutral. The existence and membership of the treaty was well known, but its exact provisions were kept secret until 1919.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Antonio Salandra Prime Minister of Italy

Antonio Salandra was a conservative Italian politician who served as the 33rd Prime Minister of Italy between 1914 and 1916. He ensured the entry of Italy in World War I on the side of the Triple Entente to fulfil Italy’s irredentist claims.

World War I

When Italy joined the Entente on 24 May 1915, Thaon di Revel became the leading figure of Italy's naval war, and remained so for the duration. He resigned on October 1915 because of friction between him and the Minister of the Navy Camillo Corsi over the respective authority, and took command of the naval base of Venice. On 3 February 1917, he was reappointed Chief of Staff, and combined the position with that of Commander in Chief of the mobilized naval forces (i.e. the Regia Marina's main forces), replacing Prince Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi.

Venice Comune in Veneto, Italy

Venice is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges. The islands are located in the shallow Venetian Lagoon, an enclosed bay that lies between the mouths of the Po and the Piave rivers. In 2018, 260,897 people resided in the Comune di Venezia, of whom around 55,000 live in the historical city of Venice. Together with Padua and Treviso, the city is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area (PATREVE), which is considered a statistical metropolitan area, with a total population of 2.6 million.

Prince Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi Italian explorer

Prince Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi was an Italian mountaineer and explorer, briefly Infante of Spain as son of Amadeo I of Spain, member of the royal House of Savoy and cousin of the Italian King Victor Emmanuel III. He is known for his Arctic explorations and for his mountaineering expeditions, particularly to Mount Saint Elias (Alaska–Yukon) and K2 (Pakistan–China). He also served as an Italian admiral during World War I.

On one hand, Thaon di Revel was "energetic and autocratic", a tireless defender of perceived allied indifference towards Italian needs and merits and of Italian independent command, and the major reason as to why a unified Mediterranean naval command never came to be (which would have led to dangerous ambiguity had a combined fleet action been imminent), which led to a less than optimal relationship with the allied navies and officers; however, he was also "thoroughly realistic", having a picture of the Adriatic theater that discouraged aggressive actions to lure out the Austrian fleet, and which led to his decision not to risk his battleships and to fight the war with smaller ships and insidious means such as the MAS (which would score several successes in the conflict, notably the sinking of the battleship SMS Szent István. [2] [3] After the Italian rout at Caporetto in November 1917, he secured the coastal area. In the late days of the war he led the bombardment of Durazzo [4] and the quick occupation of the coasts of Istria and Dalmatia.

SMS <i>Szent István</i> ship

SMS Szent István was the last of four Tegetthoff-class dreadnought battleships built for the Austro-Hungarian Navy. Szent István was named for the 11th-century saint Stephen I, the first King of Hungary. Szent István was the only ship of her class to be built within the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a concession made to the Hungarian government in return for its support for the 1910 and 1911 naval budgets which funded the Tegetthoff class. She was built at the Ganz-Danubius shipyard in Fiume, where she was laid down in January 1912. Launched two years later in 1914, construction on Szent István was delayed due to the smaller shipyards in Fiume, and further delayed by the outbreak of World War I in July 1914. She was finally commissioned into the Austro-Hungarian Navy in December 1915.

Battle of Caporetto battle

The Battle of Caporetto was a battle on the Italian front of World War I. The battle was fought between the Kingdom of Italy and the Central Powers and took place from 24 October to 19 November 1917, near the town of Kobarid. The battle was named after the Italian name of the town.

Battle of Durazzo (1918) naval battle fought in the Adriatic Sea during the First World War

The Second Battle of Durazzo, or the Bombardment of Durazzo was a naval battle fought in the Adriatic Sea during the First World War. A large allied fleet led by the Regia Marina attacked the enemy held port at Durazzo, Albania. The fleet destroyed the Austro-Hungarian shore defenses and skirmished with a small naval force. Allied forces involved primarily were Italian though British, American and Australian warships also participated. It was the largest naval battle the United States participated in during the war. Most of the city was destroyed in the bombardment.

Later life

In 1917 Thaon di Revel was named to the Italian Senate. In November 1921, while serving as the Chief of the Italian Naval Staff, he was Italy's naval representative to the Washington Armaments Conference. [5]

In 1922, he was ennobled by King Victor Emmanuel III and given the victory title of 1st Duca del Mare ("Duke of the Sea"). In October 1922 he was appointed Minister of the Navy in the Mussolini Cabinet; he resigned in 1925, to protest the creation of the position of Chief of the General Staff, to be assigned exclusively to Army officers. He was named Grand Admiral (Grande Ammiraglio) on 4 November 1924. He was President of the Italian Senate from 1943 to 1944 after the fall of fascist regime.

Thaon di Revel died in Rome in 1948. He was buried in the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, next to general Armando Diaz.

Political offices
Preceded by
Giacomo Suardo
President of the Italian Senate
Succeeded by
Pietro Tomasi Della Torretta

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Translated from the corresponding article in the Italian Wikipedia

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  1. Halpern, p. 54-6 and144
  2. "".External link in |title= (help)
  3. Halpern, p. 359-62
  4. Kabashi, Gezim (December 24, 2012). "Fotot e Rralla - Bombardimi i Durresit me 2 Tetor 1918" [Rare Photos - Bombing of Durres on October 2, 1918]. Gazeta e Durresit. Archived from the original on October 24, 2014.
  5. "To Attend Washington Conference". Norwich Bulletin. Norwich, Connecticut. 12 November 1921. p. 5.