Italian submarines in World War Two
|Type||Coastal / Sea going|
|Laid down||25 May 1931||Cantieri Navale Tosi di Taranto, Taranto|
|Launched||23 Jul 1933|
|Commissioned||29 Nov 1933|
|Loss date||25 Sep 1941|
|Loss position||36° 53'N, 11° 16'E|
|Fate||Lost, exact cause unknown but probably mined off Kelibia (Tunisia) ca. 25 September 1941.|
|Commander||Date from||Date to||Command notes|
|T.V. Carlo Todaro||6 Feb 1940||7 Oct 1940|
|T.V. Giuseppe Roselli Lorenzini||8 Oct 1940||17 Nov 1940|
|C.C. Vincenzo D'Amato||18 Nov 1940||23 Apr 1941|
|T.V. Bartolomeo La Penna||23 Apr 1941||26 Sep 1941|
Ships hitNo ships hit by this submarine.
Patrols and events
|Commander||Date||Time||Port||Arr. date||Arr. time||Arr. port||Miles||Description|
|1||Todaro, Carlo||8 Jun 1940||2200||Tobruk||21 Jun 1940||0815||Tobruk||1091,4||Patrolled 60 miles (or 30 miles?) west of Alexandria.|
|11 Jun 1940||0100||31° 11'N, 28° 44'E|
(0) 60 miles west of Alexandria.
|At 0050 hours, two shadows were sighted and appeared to be two vessels navigating on opposite course to the submarine. One small vessel leading a larger one.|
At 0100 hours, a stern torpedo (533mm, W-H type) was fired at a range of 1,000 metres aimed at the larger vessel. It missed. T.V. Carlo Todaro believed that the rough seas (force 4) had disturbed his aim.
This was the first attack by an Italian submarine in World War Two. It was apparently unobserved.
The target was possibly the tanker British Union (6,987 GRT, built 1927). She had sailed from Alexandria and was proceeding to Monemvasia to refuel H.M. destroyers (but is also reported to have left only on 12th June). Her presence would later be the object of a protest from the Greek government. The freighter African Prince (4,653 GRT, built 1939) was due at Alexandria from Istanbul on 12th June, but is unlikely to have been the target, as this vessel appeared to be leaving from Alexandria.
|2||Todaro, Carlo||3 Jul 1940||2200||Tobruk||9 Jul 1940||2240||Tobruk||524||Patrolled in 34°16'N, 23°24'E on a patrol line with Lafolè. Was victim of the worst recorded anti-submarine attack in World War II (by an Italian submarine) with 200 depth charges dropped on 7th and 8th July. She managed to return to Tobruk but could not be repaired there.|
|8 Jul 1940||1635-2230|
|At 1615 hours, a noise was detected and the submarine went into silence running to get better reception.|
At 1635 hours, Smeraldo was suddenly shaken by a violent explosion. She escaped by going down to 80 metres. The depth charging lasted until 2230 hours and some 200 depth charges were counted (certainly an exaggeration!).
She had been hunted by the destroyers HMS Hasty and HMS Ilex, screening the battleship HMS Malaya.
|Todaro, Carlo||2 Aug 1940||1700||Tobruk||7 Aug 1940||1420||Taranto||679||Passage Tobruk-Taranto for repairs via coastal route till Ras Aamer then direct to Santa Maria di Leuca.|
|Todaro, Carlo||11 Aug 1940||2200||Taranto||14 Aug 1940||0930||Pola||495,3||Passage Taranto-Pola for repairs.|
|Todaro, Carlo||5 Oct 1940||0730||Pola||5 Oct 1940||1510||Pola||29||Exercises.|
|Todaro, Carlo||7 Oct 1940||1430||Pola||7 Oct 1940||1730||Pola||4||Exercises.|
|Roselli Lorenzini, Giuseppe||9 Oct 1940||0730||Pola||9 Oct 1940||1550||Pola||15||Exercises.|
|Roselli Lorenzini, Giuseppe||13 Oct 1940||0645||Pola||13 Oct 1940||1530||Pola||4,5||Exercises.|
|Roselli Lorenzini, Giuseppe||15 Oct 1940||1000||Pola||15 Oct 1940||1820||Pola||44||Exercises, escorted by the auxiliaries San Giusto and Parenzo.|
|Roselli Lorenzini, Giuseppe||19 Oct 1940||0745||Pola||19 Oct 1940||1310||Pola||23||Exercises, escorted by the auxiliaries San Giusto and Marettimo.|
|Roselli Lorenzini, Giuseppe||20 Oct 1940||1200||Pola||22 Oct 1940||1825||Taranto||495||Passage Pola-Taranto.|
|Roselli Lorenzini, Giuseppe||24 Oct 1940||0850||Taranto||24 Oct 1940||1400||Taranto||14,5||Exercises.|
|Roselli Lorenzini, Giuseppe||4 Nov 1940||0830||Taranto||4 Nov 1940||1730||Taranto||51||Exercises.|
|D'Amato, Vincenzo||24 Nov 1940||0815||Taranto||24 Nov 1940||1800||Taranto||48||Exercises.|
|D'Amato, Vincenzo||28 Nov 1940||1035||Taranto||28 Nov 1940||1600||Taranto||41,5||Exercises.|
|D'Amato, Vincenzo||2 Dec 1940||0700||Taranto||3 Dec 1940||1320||Augusta||316,2||Passage Taranto-Augusta.|
|3||D'Amato, Vincenzo||15 Dec 1940||1200||Augusta||27 Dec 1940||0845||Augusta||1528||Operated off Cyrenaic and Egyptian coast, between 32°50'N and North African coast, 23°00'E and 23°40'E. Uneventful.|
|D'Amato, Vincenzo||10 Jan 1941||1430||Augusta||10 Jan 1941||1630||Augusta||7||Exercises.|
|4||D'Amato, Vincenzo||14 Jan 1941||2104||Augusta||20 Jan 1941||0925||Augusta||416||Patrolled off Malta within 15 miles from 35°20'N, 16°40'E in bad weather, but suffered battery defects and had to turn back on 18th January 1941.|
|D'Amato, Vincenzo||21 Jan 1941||0750||Augusta||21 Jan 1941||1525||Messina||76||Passage Augusta-Messina.|
|D'Amato, Vincenzo||17 Feb 1941||0800||Messina||17 Feb 1941||1630||Messina||50||Trials escorted by the auxiliary Castiglia.|
|D'Amato, Vincenzo||21 Feb 1941||0700||Messina||21 Feb 1941||1810||Messina||61||Trials with the submarine Colonna escorted by the auxiliary Castiglia.|
|D'Amato, Vincenzo||23 Feb 1941||0800||Messina||23 Feb 1941||1410||Messina||48,5||Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary Castiglia.|
|5||D'Amato, Vincenzo||7 Mar 1941||2203||Messina||22 Mar 1941||1757||Leros||1342||Patrolled within 20 miles from 33°20'N, 28°20'E.|
|12 Mar 1941||1950||33° 22'N, 22° 13'E||At 1950 hours, a derelict mine was sighted.|
|13 Mar 1941||1118||33° 22'N, 22° 13'E|
|At 1103 hours, an explosion was heard near by. |
At 1105 hours, the hydrophones picked up noises and at 1118 hours, a convoy of seven merchant ships of between 3,000 and 10,000 tons (one was identified as belonging to the Blue Funnel line and two to the P & O Line) escorted by a cruiser and destroyers, was sighted at 10,000 metres, steering 295°. This may have been convoy A.G. 5 escorted by the destroyers HMAS Vampire and HMS Wryneck on their way to Piraeus via the Kythera Channel.
Smeraldo could not close to attack and surfaced at 1347/13 and made an enemy report.
|18 Mar 1941||0410||33° 00'N, 28° 00'E||At 0410 hours, a destroyer was suddenly sighted at a range of 2,000 metres on a parallel course at 20-22 knots. Smeraldo was ready to fire a pair of torpedoes from her bow tubes, when the destroyer suddenly turned toward her and she was forced to submerge but was not attacked.|
|D'Amato, Vincenzo||2 Apr 1941||1000||Leros||2 Apr 1941||1030||Leros||?||Changed anchorage.|
|6||D'Amato, Vincenzo||6 Apr 1941||1600||Leros||21 Apr 1941||0815||Leros||1144,5||Patrolled south of Crete within 20 miles from 34°05'N, 25°20'E on a NE-SW axis.|
|14 Apr 1941||2155|
(0) South of Crete.
|At 2155 hours, an enemy destroyer was sighted at 6-7,000 metres, steering 090°, 15 knots. Smeraldo attempted to close to attack but the destroyer disappeared in the distance.|
|17 Apr 1941||1745-1839|
(0) South of Crete.
|At 2045 hours on 16th April, MARICOSOM signalled a large enemy convoy steering 300° in Italian Grid 2263/6. Smeraldo had received it, as she was starting her return trip. She remained in position until 0145 hours on the 17th, but heard or saw nothing.|
Between 1745 and 1839 many loud explosion were heard at 20-25,000 metres away. It was believed that this convoy was under attack.
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||9 May 1941||0930||Augusta||9 May 1941||1200||Augusta||5||Exercises.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||12 May 1941||0850||Augusta||12 May 1941||1223||Augusta||9,5||Exercises with the submarine Malachite escorted by a tug and MAS 529.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||14 May 1941||0903||Augusta||14 May 1941||1240||Augusta||9,5||Exercises, escorted by the tug Pluto and MAS 528.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||16 May 1941||0912||Augusta||16 May 1941||1204||Augusta||7,5||Exercises with MAS 529 and the tug Pluto.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||19 May 1941||0930||Augusta||19 May 1941||1140||Augusta||4,5||Exercises.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||25 May 1941||1400||Augusta||25 May 1941||1555||Augusta||5,5||Exercises.|
|7||La Penna, Bartolomeo||26 May 1941||2100||Augusta||10 Jun 1941||1616||Augusta||1439,5||Patrolled southwest of Cape Krio in 35°10'N, 23°20'E (or 35°15'N, 23°10'E?) or Grids 6088 and 6092 (Crete).|
|27 May 1941||0917||36° 08'N, 17° 00'E||At 0917 hours, a derelict mine was sunk by machine gun fire.|
|27 May 1941||1712||35° 24'N, 18° 04'E||At 1712 hours, a derelict mine was sunk by machine gun fire.|
|5 Jun 1941||2035|
(0) SW of Crete.
|At 2035 hours, a submarine was sighted at a range of 800 metres. It was believed to be of the FISALIA class and Smeraldo made a recognition signal, but it remained unanswered and the other submarine dived. Smeraldo turned away. |
This had been the submarine Turchese.
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||15 Jun 1941||0855||Augusta||16 Jun 1941||1403||Naples||299||Passage Augusta-Naples for refit.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||7 Aug 1941||0826||Naples||7 Aug 1941||1800||Naples||59,5||Exercises.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||10 Aug 1941||0829||Naples||10 Aug 1941||1930||Naples||45,5||Exercises.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||11 Aug 1941||0829||Naples||11 Aug 1941||1930||Baia||15,5||Passage Naples-Baia.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||11 Aug 1941||1620||Baia||11 Aug 1941||1813||Naples||15,5||Passage Baia-Naples.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||14 Aug 1941||0800||Naples||14 Aug 1941||1650||Naples||37||Exercises.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||16 Aug 1941||0810||Naples||16 Aug 1941||1800||Naples||41||Exercises.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||17 Aug 1941||0800||Naples||17 Aug 1941||0950||Baia||15,5||Passage Naples-Baia.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||17 Aug 1941||1829||Baia||17 Aug 1941||2025||Naples||15,5||Passage Baia-Naples.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||18 Aug 1941||0816||Naples||18 Aug 1941||1527||Naples||56||Exercises.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||19 Aug 1941||1527||Naples||20 Aug 1941||0055||Naples||38||Exercises.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||21 Aug 1941||1333||Naples||21 Aug 1941||1845||Naples||41||Exercises.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||24 Aug 1941||1702||Naples||24 Aug 1941||1930||Naples||20||Exercises.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||26 Aug 1941||0800||Naples||26 Aug 1941||1430||Naples||29,5||Exercises.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||27 Aug 1941||0804||Naples||27 Aug 1941||1810||Naples||63||Exercises.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||30 Aug 1941||0802||Naples||30 Aug 1941||1630||Naples||30||Exercises.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||1 Sep 1941||0905||Naples||2 Sep 1941||1530||Augusta||Passage Naples-Augusta.|
|La Penna, Bartolomeo||8 Sep 1941||0830||Augusta||8 Sep 1941||1210||Augusta||Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary minesweeper Tea.|
|8||La Penna, Bartolomeo||15 Sep 1941||0625||Augusta||26 Sep 1941||Date???||Sunk (with all hands)||Sailed for patrol in zone K2 (between 36°53'N and 36°57'N, and between 11°12'E and Tunisian coast, off Kelibia, Cape Bon) [next to Alagi in zone K.1] and on 21st September also ordered to K.3. Disappeared without a trace. Was to have left her patrol on 25th September and reach home on the 27th. Probably mined (five officers and forty ratings killed).|
|26 Sep 1941||Date approx.|
(0) Sicilian Channel?
|Smeraldo disappeared without a trace. T.V. Bartolomeo La Penna, four officers and forty ratings perished.|
She was probably mined, possibly on minefield 5 AN bis, consisting of 216 ELIA mines laid on the night of 8/9th August 1940 by the destroyers of the X^ Squadriglia (Maestrale, Grecale, Libeccio and Scirocco) from 36°53' N, 11°16.4' E to 36°56' N, 11°30.2' E. The eastern edge of Smeraldo's patrol area was only 3.5 miles west of this minefield and she could easily have strayed in it through an error in navigation.
The minelayer Scilla, escorted by the torpedo-boats Alcione and Sagittario, laid minefield 5 AN the same night but it was further east.
57 entries. 52 total patrol entries (8 marked as war patrols) and 11 events.