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Saturday, November 19th 2005, 10:08pm

Il Mundo 1929 - i

[size=4]Il Mundo[/size]

Despite the recent downturn in military spending by the government, part of Ianucci's low tax-high growth, new ships are still being built. Compared to the rapid production in 1927-28, things have slowed considerably as budgets are decreased. There is still considerable pressure from the Fascisti and the workers for shipbuilding to continue, their reasons being opposite; defense and employment. Industrial development in the Romagna and Po Valley continues to be the main source of employment, with iron workings and various chemical industries growing rapidly. The recent investment in East Africa is paying off, with improved port facilities enabling more raw materials to flow into Italy. The extensive mineral deposits in the country, along with agricultural output is serving to buoy the economy. A considerable number of entrepreneurs have relocated to EA, along with more established companies setting up small-scale production. The largest injection to the economy remains the oil flowing from Libya. Following its discovery in the early 1920s, production was slow to take off, with large scale development of the countryside around Tripoli and Benghazi. Now oil is flowing more freely, with the majority of exports going to Italy, Iberia, France and the UK. Ianucci, in what must be considered a masterstroke, has managed to keep both parties happy, along with maintaining his own tax-cutting agenda. The recent contract from Argentina has been most welcome, giving a large influx into the Tyrol and Dalmatia. The two Battlecruisers, Patagonia and Pampas, are being constructed at the CRDA Yard in Trieste. This should serve to ensure that the vital skills needed for capital ship construction are not lost. Still, new heavy guns are not being produced. With the cancellation of Prince Eugenio di Savoia, this could lead to considerable problems in the future. Pressure on this issue from Mussolini has forced the RMI to order some turrets and guns which will be stockpiled for future use. Capital ship construction is expected to resume at some point, but when exactly is not known, officials mooting dates from 1933-35.

Reporters were keen to ask the RMI's opinion on the new Battleships laid down by Atlantis. The official in question replied that they should serve to be most beautiful ships, then muttered something about re-reading the treaty. Other observers have been more critical, “from the information we have available, she[Memnon] seems to retain some features that are considered outdated.” Their new cruisers have attracted considerable praise, but only for their aesthetics; the actual design being considered inferior to Zara, and most definitely to the latest sketches for the ACRs. On that subject, not much information can be found. It is expected that they will be enlarged versions of the Zara class but with more firepower.

In aviation news there are few points of interest. The aging Macchi M.24 fighters are to be replaced with Macchi M.71 aircraft. Their flying-boat configuration remaining the same, but with a more powerful engine and strengthened for catapult launching. The Regia Aeronautica have opened a fighter competition for 1931/32, so far Fiat, Caproni and Breda have signalled that they will take part. Conte Caproni is in the news again, this time with a new record-setting aircraft – the Ca. 90 which is an extremely large aircraft. Trials have shown that it can lift up to 15.000kg, which is extremely impressive. The trials are still continuing, with limited production being expected, possibly of long-range aircraft for joint operations with the RMI.

Grandi, in his position as Foreign Minister, has not been sitting idly the last few months. He headed the delegation Italy sent to Copenhavn, and was modestly successful in re-negotiating the treaty. Of greater importance was what he has managed to achieve outside the talks there. In concert with the British and French delegations, he has solved a major problem for Italian shipping. The British and French governments agreed to decrease their stake in the Suez Canal and let Italy buy in as a minor partner. In return, Italy will finance the dredging of the Canal to a greater depth. This historic agreement ensures that Italian shipping be allowed easy transfer between EA and the Mediterranean. After this was announced in Rome and Copenhavn, more talks were seen to be made with the British delegation, but it is assumed that the two parties were just hammering out a few details.


Sunday, November 20th 2005, 1:27am

Interesting stuff Gavin, nice to see Atlantis is making some news in Italy. Do Italian designers see Atlantis as a rival in the asthetics department?


Sunday, November 20th 2005, 2:12am

Personally, I prefer the looks of my own ships. I have some really beautiful ones planned over the next few years.