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Benedetto Brin : biography

17 May 1833 - 24 May 1898

Benedetto Brin (17 May 1833, Turin, Piedmont – 24 May 1898) was an Italian naval administrator and politician.


Born in Turin, he worked with distinction as a naval engineer until the age of forty. In 1873, Admiral Simone Antonio Saint-Bon, Italy's Naval Minister, appointed him undersecretary of state. The two men collaborated on major projects: Saint-Bon conceived a type of ship, Brin made the plans and directed its construction.

On the advent of the Left to power in 1876, Brin was appointed Naval Minister by Agostino Depretis, a capacity in which he continued the policies of Saint-Bon, while enlarging and completing the project in such way as to form the first organic scheme for the development of the Italian fleet. The huge warships and were his work, though he afterwards abandoned their type in favor of smaller and faster vessels of the and the es. Through his initiative, the Italian naval industry, almost non-existent in 1873, made rapid progress.

During his eleven years in the ministry (1876-1878 with Depretis, 1884-1891 with Depretis and Francesco Crispi, 1896-1898 with Antonio Starabba, Marchese di Rudinì), he succeeded in creating large private shipyards, engine works and metallurgical works for the production of armour, steel plates and guns.

In 1892, he entered the Giovanni Giolitti cabinet as Minister of Foreign Affairs, accompanying, in that capacity, King Umberto I and Queen Margherita to Potsdam, but chose not to act against France on the occasion of the massacre of Italian workmen at Aigues-Mortes.

He died while Naval Minister in the Rudini cabinet.


  • A named for him was launched by the Regia Marina in 1901.
  • The was named after him.
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Living octopus

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