Originally commissioned in 1915, Conte di Cavour and Giulio Cesare (Leonardo da Vinci was destroyed by sabotage during World War One) were rebuilt as first generation fast battleships in a process that left only 40% of the original structure in place. The central tower was removed, as was one main battery turret. The remaining guns were upgraded from 12-inch to 12.6-inch. The new boilers and turbines improved speed from 21.5 knots to 27 knots. Overall, they were good units, even with weak anti-aircraft and submarine protections.