Ship with 1,352 bodies on board discovered off Sardinia
ALMOST seven decades after it was sunk by German aircraft during World War Two, an Italian battleship containing the bodies of 1,352 seamen has been discovered on the sea floor off Sardinia.
The Italian navy has long been searching for the exact location of the wreck of the Roma, which went down on September 9, 1943, a day after the armistice between Italy and the Allies was publicly declared.
It announced the discovery yesterday after identifying the wreck using a deep-sea diving robot.
The Roma, launched 15 months before the attack, was one of the Italian navy's most modern vessels of the period. Its guns had a range of 26.6 miles, half-a-mile more than Japanese guns.
The 787ft long, 44,000-ton ship was part of a flotilla on its way to Malta to surrender to the Allied fleet following the fall of the fascist leader Benito Mussolini and Italy's decision to swap sides, when it was attacked by the Luftwaffe. (©Daily Telegraph, London)