italian submarines

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italian submarines

Post by Ezboard » 30 Sep 2002 19:38

ziggy wiseman
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(8/26/01 8:31:40 pm)
Reply italian submarines
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I know that that italian subs were sent in north atlantic during 1940-41. Anyone knows how many and were there successfull?

Lupo Solitario
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(8/26/01 10:24:08 pm)
Reply Betasom
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essential data for italian subs in atlantic from 1940 to 1943:

submarines employed: 32
lost: 16
merchants sunk: 101
for a total tonnage: 586573 tons

most successful unit: submarine "Leonardo da Vinci", 16 sunks for 116686 tons, lost in action May 23rd, 1943

bye

Lupo


ziggy wiseman
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(8/27/01 6:39:06 pm)
Reply italian submarine-(lonely wolf)
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did a sub named "Capellini"also existed?

Lupo Solitario
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(8/27/01 7:18:41 pm)
Reply Cappellini
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Yes, submarine "Cappellini", 5 sunks for 31684 tons, adapted for trade with Japan and captured by Japanese at Sabang after Italian surrender

do you need something specific?

bye

Lupo

Ziggy Wiseman
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(8/27/01 7:29:59 pm)
Reply italian submarine
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one more thing,were these submarine under italian commandment?(thanks,lupe)

Lupo Solitario
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(8/27/01 11:08:54 pm)
Reply Betasom
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Italian subs in Atlantic operated from the base of Bordeaux where had been activated the "Atlantic Submarine Group" September 1st, 1940 (in second time it became the "Atlantic italian submarine force upper command"). It depended from Supermarina for administration and from Kriegsmarine for operative.

The Bordeaux base was currently indicated as Betasom which became the current name to indicate italian subs in atlantic. It was manned by a contingent of about 700 italians including a marine garrison

bye

Lupo

fabio007
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(8/28/01 8:09:39 pm)
Reply italian submarines
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Hi all,

The first italian submarine who sink an english merchant ship was MALASPINA his victim was BRITISH FAME. Malaspina was based in Bordeaux after France capitulation. But the first Italian submarin who fought in Atlantic Ocean was FINZI.
Between June-July 1940, 2 italian submarine fought in Atlantic Ocean, they was VENIERO and CALVI.
After The german occupation of France, Kriegsmarine and Royal Italian Navy built at Bordeaux a great italo-german base, Italian name for this command was “BETASOM” commanded by admiral PARONA (1° September 1940). In this base in 1940 italians have 21 submarines as the Malaspina who goes a long mission until Japan.
More sinked during the war, they was MALASPINA, BARBARIGO, MARCONI, TARANTINI, FAA’ DI BRUNO, BARACCA, GLAUCO, CALVI, TAZZOLI,DAVINCI, NANI, MOROSINI, MARCELLO, BIANCHI, FERRARIS and ARCHIMEDE.
Durino June 1941 Betasom was 27 submarine, but 14 come back to Italy because they was not siutables at fought in Ocean.
In September 1941 captain POLACCHINI replaced admiral PARONA and in December 1942 he give his command at captain GROSSI (Captain Grossi was only 10 submarine under his command).
At 8 September 1943, germans captured FINZI and BAGNOLINI, in far east Japanese captured TORELLI GIULIANI and CAPPELLINI. Only one escape in Durban (to English).
Italian not have losses during crosses by Mediterranian sea from Atlantic Ocean and back while germans have 5 submarines sinked only while they enter in Mediterranian sea.
From 1940-1943 italian submarines sinked 583.000 tons of merchant ships and 43.000 tons of military ships and demaged ships for 184.000 tons.
During 6 October 1942- 20 February 1943 submarine CAGNI win a permanence’s supremacy, on sea with 137 days of mission. This mission was leaded in Occidental South Afrika, cape of good hope, and Brasil.
During 1942 an other submarine BARBARIGO commanded by captain Grossi fought in Brasil against U.S. cruiser MILWAKEE an U.S. torpedoboat and English corvet PETUNIA, but they not was sinked. Other Italian submarines founded in Italian Oriental Afrika at the capitulation of the Italian colony government circumnavigated Afrika and goes in Bordeaux base, they was ARCHIMEDE, FERRARIS, GUGLIELMOTTI and PERLA.
Short history of submarine Cappellini:
MARCELLO Type; lung. 73 meters; 1060-1313 tons; 57 men; launched beyond 1938.
Was between the first ten Italian submarines who crossed the Straits of Gibraltar.
Trasformed in transport submarine sailed in far east and during 8 September 1943, at the second voyage in far east was captured by japanese in Sabang harbour. Japanese take this submarine at germans (named U.IT.24). At the end of germany Japanese captured this ri-named I.505, at the Japan surrender Americans sinked (or auto-sinked by americans) this submarine at Kobe bay.

Regards
Fabio

Cowboy Spike
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(8/29/01 3:58:26 am)
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Re: italian submarines
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Woah, sweet info. Never knew much (make that ANY) about Italian subs. Learn something new every time I come to this forum. :)
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MARKLV
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(8/29/01 10:28:41 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Betasom
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Interesting. It seems that, despite their high losses, these Italian submarines were reasonably successful. Having said that, if the 32 subs had been employed in the Mediterrenean they would probably have been more useful.



schwalbe
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(8/29/01 10:48:40 pm)
Reply Re: Betasom
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They only had 38 subs? how many did German make? only if they made that many what could have been.

tovarich2
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(8/29/01 10:50:17 pm)
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They're not just for lunch.

MARKLV
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(8/29/01 10:58:11 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Submarines
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My information is that in 1940 Italy possessed around 110-115 submarines, many of them of outdated design. Only a minority of Italian submarines were adequate for oceanic operations. By September 1943 around half of Italy's submarines had been lost in action and 10 or 12 newly built.

Germany utilised around 1000 U-boats during the whole of WW2, around 78%-80% of which were destroyed in action. German submariners suffered the highest casulaties of any military unit during the whole of the conflict.

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tigre
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Re: italian submarines

Post by tigre » 31 Dec 2015 17:49

Hello to all :D; a little complement............................

Sommergibile Barbarigo!

Commanded by capitano di corvetta Giulio Ghiglieri she carried out two operational missions and one of transport in the Mediterranean at the beginning of the war. In August 1940 she was transferred to the Atlantic where she carried out eleven missions. First (early August - September 8, 1940). Second (October 14 - November 13, 1940). Third (February 10 - March 8, 1941) was part of the Group Bianchi with Bianchi, Otaria and Marcello. Fourth (early to May 30, 1941) was part of the Group Morosini with Morosini, Bianchi, and Otaria; on May 15 attacked and damaged? the British cargo ship Manchester Port of 7,071 tons. Fifth (13 till end of July 1941) commanded by capitano di corvetta Francesco Murzi, on July 25 sank the British cargo ship Macon of 5,135 ton and on the following night July 26 sank the British tanker Horn Shell of 8,272 ton. Sixth (22 October to ??) commanded by capitano di corvetta Enzo Grossi. Seventh (January 14 - February 15, 1942) on January 23 sank the Spanish cargo ship Navemar of 5,473 tons. Eighth (April 30 - June 16, 1942) on May 18, 1942 damaged the Brazilian ship Comandante Lyra of 5,052 ton, on May 20 detected a US Battle ship Maryland class and fired two torpedoes while in the surface (as per the Commander the Battleship sank quickly - in fact they were the cruiser Milwaukee and destroyer Moffett which were unharmed); In the night from 28 to 29 May sank the British merchant Charlbury of 4,835 tons. Ninth (August 29 - October 30, 1942) on the night of October 6 attacked a US battleship Mississippi class (the target was the corvette HMS Petunia and she was unharmed). Tenth (January 24 - April 3, 1943) under the command of tenente di vascello Roberto Rigoli, on February 24 sank the Spanish ship Monte Igueldo of 3,453 ton; on March 2 sank the Brazilian ship Alfonso Pena of 3,540 ton and on March 3 the US ship Stag Hound of 8,591 tons. Eleventh (June 16, 1943 - sunk) under the command of tenente di vascello Umberto July transport mission to Singapor. No news of the boat was heard again.

Sources: http://www.archeologiaindustriale.it/se ... oto_id=790
http://www.naviecapitani.it/LE%20NAVI%2 ... barigo.htm
http://www.delcampe.net/page/item/id,28 ... age,G.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

Feliz Año Nuevo - Happy New Year - feliz Ano Novo - gluckliches Neues Jahr - Bonne Année - Felice Anno Nuovo - Szczęśliwego nowego roku!! :thumbsup:
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tigre
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Re: italian submarines

Post by tigre » 01 Jan 2016 18:37

Hello to all :D; a little more..............................

Enzo Grossi and Karl Dönitz.

Source: http://historicalsocietyofgermanmilitar ... -10071942/

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

Feliz Año Nuevo - Happy New Year - feliz Ano Novo - glückliches Neues Jahr - Bonne Année - Felice Anno Nuovo - Szczęśliwego nowego roku!! :thumbsup:
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Re: italian submarines

Post by LColombo » 03 Jan 2016 20:05

Seeing the first post, I'd like to make a couple of corrections:
most successful unit: submarine "Leonardo da Vinci", 16 sunks for 116686 tons, lost in action May 23rd, 1943
Actually, Da Vinci sank 17 ships for 120,243 GRT (which makes her the most successful non-German submarine of WWII. (USS Tang, by comparison, sank 116,454 GRT, HMS Upholder sank 93,031 GRT. In terms of tonnage sunk, Da Vinci was the twenty-sixth most successful submarine of WW2, submarines 1 to 26 all being German U-Boats).
Interesting. It seems that, despite their high losses, these Italian submarines were reasonably successful. Having said that, if the 32 subs had been employed in the Mediterrenean they would probably have been more useful.
Nothing more wrong could ever be said. The Mediterranean was a terrible theatre for Axis submarines. Thirty Italian submarines operating in the Atlantic for slightly more than two years and a half sank 109 merchant ships and lost fifteen boats; some 120 Italian submarines operating in the Mediterranean for three full years and three months sank a pitiful 21 merchant ships and 13 warships, while losing over 70 boats. The Mediterranean was a narrow sea, where aircraft could find and attack submarines much more easily, where there was nearly no traffic of isolated merchants, and very rare convoys, with a small number of ships and huge escorts (the opposite of the Atlantic). It would have been much more useful to send more boats to Atlantic.
My information is that in 1940 Italy possessed around 110-115 submarines, many of them of outdated design. Only a minority of Italian submarines were adequate for oceanic operations. By September 1943 around half of Italy's submarines had been lost in action and 10 or 12 newly built.
Not really. The vast majority of the Italian submarines were rather modern, the problems were some features such as overly large turrets (longer immersion times) and oudated naval doctrine for most of the war.

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Re: italian submarines

Post by Dili » 04 Jan 2016 08:51

Tonnage is not the only factor to measure success. Target quality and target defense is also one. German submarines sunk a carrier and a battleship in Mediterranean, Italians with more submarines - and much more time in combat since 10 June 1940 not 1941 like Germans -were not able to do that.

Italian submarines sinking comparatively high tonnage in the South Atlantic with less enemy defense does not matter much for Italian war effort neither is as valuable has attacks against highly escorted targets.

The fact that the 600t submarines had only 4 forward torpedo tubes and no reloads also didn't helped. Instead the Royal Navy training submarines of U class that were even not to have torpedo tubes had after project change 6 tubes forward and 2 or 4 reloads.

Initially Italian commander fired 1 or 2 torpedoes salvo at most.

Italian submarines also were sent to a patrol area where they will be almost standing still.
Tactics changed later and Axum sent a spread of all 4 torpedoes that sunk HMS Cairo, damaged HMS Nigeria and SS Ohio in one of most successful submarine attacks of the war.

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Re: italian submarines

Post by LColombo » 04 Jan 2016 10:22

Initially Italian commander fired 1 or 2 torpedoes salvo at most.

Italian submarines also were sent to a patrol area where they will be almost standing still.
That's what I meant by outdated naval doctrines.
Italian submarines sinking comparatively high tonnage in the South Atlantic with less enemy defense does not matter much for Italian war effort
But since till Operation Pedestal they sank very little in the Mediterranean, with next to no impact on the Italian war effort, in the Atlantic at least they could contribute to the overall war effort with some degree of success.

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tigre
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Re: italian submarines

Post by tigre » 06 Jan 2016 18:37

Hello to all :D; a little complement............................

Sommergibile Commandante Capellini !

First Patrol: under Capitano de corvetta Cristiano Masi sailed from Cagliari on June 6, 1940 towards the Atlantic but was detected and had to take refuge in Ceuta on June 15, she managed to escape a day later and returned to La Spezia. Second Patrol: under Capitano de corvetta Salvatore Todaro sailed again from La Spezia on September 29, 1940, managing to complete the crossing on October 05. On October 15 she sank the armed ship Kabalo of 5,051 tons with the gun because the three torpedoes launched failed; she took on board the crew and carried them to Santa Maria (Azores) and reached Bordeaux on November 05, 1940. Third patrol: she sailed from Le Verdon on December 22, 1940. On January 5, 1941 sank the British merchant Shakespeare of 5,029 ton and again with the gun, after a duel in which was killed Sgt Azzolin Ferruccio; again she rescued the 22 crewmen and landed them on the Island of Cabo Verde. On January 14 attacked with torpedoes and sank with the gun (again!!) the armed troop transport Eumaeus of 7,472 ton; were killed in action Sgt Francisco Moccia, sailor Giuseppe Bastino and T.G.N. (tenente del Corpo del genio navale) Danilo Stiepovich. After the action was attacked by an aircraft and was severely damaged and so she should take refuge in the Puerto de la Luz (Las Palmas) 20 to 23 January. At month's end returned to Bordeaux. Fourth patrol: sailed on April 16, 1941 with U Boats Da Vinci, Cappellini, Torelli and Malaspina; returned on May 20 without sinkings. Fifth patrol: sailed on June 29 but suffered mechanical failures and returned port on July 06, 1941. Sixth patrol: under tenente di vascello Aldo Lenzi sailed on November 17, 1941 with Morosini and Da Vinci to test a new system with the U Boats sailing in wedge(the center boat about 120 miles ahead); on December 02 the Capellini intercepted and attacked the steamer Miguel de Larringa of 5,230 tons that was damaged? since the sinking of this ship is not registered. The Capellini returned to port on 29 December 1941. Seventh patrol: under Tenente di vascello Marco Revedin; on May 19, 1942 she sank the motorboat Tisnaren of 5,747 ton on May 31 sank the tanker Dinsdale of 8,250 ton. Returned to port on June 19, 1942. Eighth patrol: sailed on August 21, 1942 and took part in the rescue of the Laconia incident. Without other actions returned to port on October 17, 1942. Ninth patrol: sailed from La Pallice on December 26, 1942 and returned on March 4, 1943 without sinkings. Tenth patrol: under capitano de corvetta Walter Auconi and with the name of Aquila III sailed on May 11, 1943 in a shuttle mission to the East, reaching Saipang on 09 July 1943. Before her return trip occurred the Italian armistice and thus ceased her activities in the Regia Marina.

Sources: Fuentes: http://www.regiamarina.net/detail_text_ ... d=1&cid=14
http://www.xmasgrupsom.com/EsempiSom/Ca ... ro1qa.jpeg

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: italian submarines

Post by LColombo » 07 Jan 2016 00:07

On January 14 attacked with torpedoes and sank with the gun (again!!) the armed troop transport Eumaeus of 7,472 ton
A little trivia: the commanding officer of Cappellini during this (and the previous) mission was Lieutenant Commander Salvatore Todaro. When he came back to Bordeaux after the mission, Dönitz (then visiting Betasom) praised him for his aggressiveness, but joked that he should be given the command of a gunboat instead.

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Re: italian submarines

Post by tigre » 17 Aug 2017 23:37

Hello to all :D; a little more..............................

The occupation of the French ports. BETASOM.

Source: http://www.ebay.de/itm/Orig-Foto-U-Boot ... 978wt_1109

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: italian submarines

Post by Pips » 18 Aug 2017 00:28

Fascinating topic. Anyone know of books (in English) on the subject of Italian Submarines?

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Re: italian submarines

Post by Wargames » 20 Aug 2017 08:35

Pips wrote:Fascinating topic. Anyone know of books (in English) on the subject of Italian Submarines?
"The Italian Navy at War" is a popular book but, like most Italian WWII books, short on information. Italy entered WWII with one of the world's largest submarine navies. Basically there were two classes, large ocean going submarines intended for the Atlantic and small coastal submarines for the Mediterranean. The large ocean subs fared poorly in the shallow waters of the Mediterranean (The Italian Navy resorted to using them as transports in 1943 and the result was ugly.). There were several coastal submarine classes but they were pretty much the same design. Indeed! Each class of coastal subs was intended to correct the design flaws of the previous class (bow problems) but did so with very little success. Hence, pretty much the same boat was built year after year. A coastal sub could stay on station for about 30 days versus 90 for an ocean submarine.

Their submarines did work as did their torpedoes. They did not perform up to the level of German U-boats but compared to US and British designs. This was mostly owing to less aggressive commanders than German submarines (A German U-boat was far more likely to attempt to penetrate a convoy whereas Italian commanders were more inclined to hope the target came closer on its own.). As another poster noted, most coastal submarines were assigned a patrol position, arrived there, and simply sat. It took about three coastal submarines to maintain just one on station. While one was on station another was either on its way to replace it or on its way back while a third was in port for refit. As I recall, Italy maintained about 10 submarines each on the east and west sides of the Mediterranean (sometimes more on the east).

The primary purpose of the Italian coastal submarine was recon. They were the only way the Italian Navy had of knowing if the British fleet was at sea. It was for this reason Italy had so many submarines. However, at this they performed badly (Most times the British were spotted it wasn't by subs but by commercial aircraft pilots flying the Libya run.). British convoys could also avoid Italian submarines by staying in French coastal waters illegal for Italian submarines to operate in.

The British at Alexandria aggressively targeted eastern Mediterranean Italian submarines, mostly with aircraft but the most effective was the "anti-submarine sweeps" of four DD's. When four British DD's found one Italian submarine, it was pretty much over for the submarine. The Italian Navy tried to counter this with the De Barbiano class light cruisers designed to catch and sink DD's (At which they were complete failures). In addition, Italian submarines ran on the surface in order to reach. and return from, their stations. British submarines at Malta would lie along the routes of these Italian submarines. A very large number of Italian coastal submarines were torpedoed on the surface by other submarines. It is yet one more reason why Italy should have taken Malta in the first months of the war (However, that's another topic.).

Once allowed to hunt in French waters these same coastal submarines could be vectored to intercept British convoys like wolf packs with good results. The addition of about some 25 later U-boats also had a major impact.

Italian ocean subs achieved little in the Atlantic. The boats were good but it was a rare thing for an Italian submarine commander to ever see the US coastline. They wanted to operate beyond the range of US aircraft which also put them out of range of the very shipping they targeted. They too suffered losses. The Allies knew Italian ocean boats had to return to BETACOM in France and so waited for them there with planes and submarines. The last three days of an Italian Atlantic submarine patrol were always the most dangerous.

Nonetheless, Italian submarines made an enormous contribution to the war based almost solely upon fuel consumption. The Italian Navy had no oil for fueling their surface operations (and was, indeed, dependent upon Germany for oil which, obviously, was not good). Italian submarines were very fuel efficient and could easily be maintained at sea. Italy's foresight to build them in such numbers was a well founded decision.

Another subject of possible interest was the British operation of type "O's" submarines in the Mediterranean. They sank Italian ships by the droves in the Mediterranean and, in return, were sunk themselves by the Italian Navy by the droves. They finished the war as dead heroes and few people have ever even heard of them.

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Re: italian submarines

Post by gttf » 20 Aug 2017 15:28

Hello,
only some figures relevant to the activities of Italian submarines in WWII (June 40 – September 43).
The figures are taken from different sources and merged together to give an overall view (unwanted errors are possible, of course)
• 68 boats were lost in Mediterranean Sea (2 captured), 4 in Red Sea/Indian Ocean (1 captured) e 16 in Atlantic Ocean (+ 1 CB-class midget submarine in Black Sea)
• The following allied/neutral merchant ships were sunk or written-off for damages (for some of them the sinking is attributed to different causes)
o 105 (582.421 grt) in Atlantic Ocean (+ 8 damaged, 39.145 grt)
o 7 (44.040 grt) in Red Sea/Indian Ocean
o 18 (72.422 grt) in Mediterranean Sea (+ 6 damaged, 53.578 grt)
• The following allied warships were sunk or written-off for damages
o 1 (356 tds) in Atlantic Ocean (+1 destroyer HMCS Saguenay, damaged)
o 1 destroyer (1.710 tds) in Red Sea/Indian Ocean (Khartoum, but there is a RN report on her loss for accident) + 2 minor vessels (landing craft aboard one of the merchant ship sunk, see above)
o 12 (24.481 Tds) in Mediterranean Sea, amongst them the RN cruisers Calypso (12/06/1940), Bonaventure (31/03/1941), Cairo (12/08/1942) and the RHN Helli (15/08/1940, during a covert operation, before the Italian attack to Greece), 2 destroyers (Escort and Havock, the latter doubtful), one submarine (Triad) and five minor vessels; five other cruisers were torpedoed and damaged (Coventry, 13/12/1940), Kenya and Nigeria (12/08/1942), Argonaut (14/12/1942) and Cleopatra (16/07/1943)
o 1 (Soviet submarine ShCh-203, 586 tds) in Black Sea (26/08/1943, by a CB-class midget submarine)
• Four boats were involved in missions with assault craft and combat swimmers of the X Flottiglia Mas, in particular:
o Iride, one attempted mission against Alexandria, failed as sunk by RN Swordfish aircraft before start (August, 1940)
o Gondar, one attempted mission against Alexandria, failed as sunk by RN Destroyers
o Scirè, four missions against Gibraltar (September and October 1940, May and September 1941), one against Alexandria (December 1941), one against Haifa (August, 1942, sunk by surface vessels and coastal guns)
o Ambra, one mission against Alexandria (May, 1942), one against Algiers (December 1942) and one (failed as damaged in action) against Syracuse (occupied by Allied forces, July 1943)
Malachite and Menotti performed landing of special forces in Algeria (February, 1943) and Libya (August, 1943): probably other missions were performed, not recorded.
Only seven minelaying missions were performed, all of them in 1940, off Alexandria (3 sorties), Haifa (2 sorties), Zante (1 sortie) and Navarino (1 sortie), laying no more than 150 mines without known effects: for the rest of the war, minelayer submarines were used for transportation duties in North Africa.
In Mediterranean Sea, the Italian submarines performed 173 attacks, firing 427 torpedoes, and had 33 gunfights. By comparison, the more efficient U-boote performed 500 attacks, firing 1186 torpedoes and had 70 gunfights.
Hope this could be interesting.

Regards, Fabrizio.

PS only a small correction on a typo of Wargames intervention: the Atlantic command of It. submarines was BETASOM (Beta from the initial letter of Bordeaux, and Som from "sommergibili", the italian word for submarines) not BETACOM.

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Re: italian submarines

Post by Pips » 21 Aug 2017 00:32

Cheers all. Wish I could find a book that dealt with Italian Subs specifically.

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Re: italian submarines

Post by Wargames » 21 Aug 2017 01:05

What would you like to know?

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Re: italian submarines

Post by Pips » 22 Aug 2017 00:43

Pretty well everything! :) Types, bases, commanders, careers, achievements, tactical employment, control hierarchy, personal stories. just the usual. :)

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