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, Ger. Lissa, town (1993 est. pop. 59,500), Wielkopolskie prov., SW Poland. A railway junction, it is a center for metallurgy and light industry. Chartered in 1547, it passed to Prussia in 1793 and again in 1815. It reverted to Poland in 1919.
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an island in the Adriatic Sea; its modern name is Vis Island (Yugoslavia).
During the Austro-Italian War of 1866 the first squadron battle between steam-powered armor-clad ships took place in the vicinity of Lissa on July 20. The Italian squadron (11 armor-clad ships, five gunboats, five frigates, and three corvettes), commanded by Admiral C. P. Persano, approached Lissa on July 18 with the objective of capturing it, but they were unsuccessful. On July 20 an Austrian squadron (seven armor-clad ships, seven gunboats, one sailing ship of the line, five frigates, and one corvette), commanded by Rear Admiral W. von Tegetthoff, appeared near the island. Persano sent nine armor-clad ships (and later a tenth) and one gunboat against the Austrians. During the battle the Austrians sank two Italian armor-clad ships with artillery fire and ramming by the armored ships.
The principal reason for the defeat of the Italian fleet was the lack of a plan of battle and poor reconnaissance. The use of ramming against the underwater part of the ship, which was not covered with armor, and the invulnerability of the armor of the surface part of the armored ships against the artillery shells of that time had a significant influence on the development of the tactics of the armor-clad fleet. Until the end of the 19th century armored ships were built with thickened rams on the bow and with reinforced bow guns.
K. T. TITOV