Vittorio Veneto was the lead ship of her class of battleships that served in the Regia Marina during World War II. She was named after the Italian victory at Vittorio Veneto, during World War I.
Vittorio Veneto took part in the battle of Cape Teulada (27 November 1940), where her firepower (19 shells in seven salvos from long range) caused the seven-cruiser British squadron to withdraw.
During a mission of 26–29 March 1941, Vittorio Veneto participated in the dramatic events of the battle of Cape Matapan, fought along the Peloponnesus coast, where, after scaring off a squadron of four British cruisers near the island of Gavdos and inflicting minor damage on them, she was hit by a torpedo bomber and obliged to return to Italy; the Italian fleet adopted an exceptional formation on five lines to protect the Vittorio Veneto, but a second aircraft attack — and a subsequent night battle — caused the sinking of three heavy cruisers and two destroyers to British battleship gunfire. Despite taking on 4,000 long tons (4,100 t) of water due to the extensive torpedo damage, the battleship was able to reach Taranto, but remained out of service for about five months.
During the war in the Mediterranean Sea, Vittorio Veneto took part in 56 war missions, 11 of which had as their mission the hunting of enemy ships.