Italian submarines in World War Two

Balilla (BL)

TypeOcean going 
ClassBalilla (1) 
Laid down 12 Jan 1925 Odero-Terni-Orlando, Muggiano
Launched20 Feb 1927
Commissioned21 Jul 1928
End service28 Apr 1941
Stricken18 Oct 1946
Loss date
Loss position
History Disarmed on 28th April 1941. Converted to oil-carrying pontoon G.R.247.Stricken on 18th October 1946.


CommanderDate fromDate toCommand notes
C.C. Michele Morisani10 Apr 194022 Jul 1940
C.C. Cesare Girosi22 Jul 194031 Oct 1940
C.C. Vittorio Emanuele Tognelli1 Nov 194020 Dec 1940
T.V. Ugo Gentili23 Dec 194028 Mar 1941

Ships hit

No ships hit by this submarine.

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Morisani, Michele2 Jun 19400503Pola4 Jun 19401430Brindisi270Passage Pola-Brindisi.

1Morisani, Michele9 Jun 19400900Brindisi13 Jun 19401115Brindisi665Patrolled south of Corfu in 38°50' N, 20°00' E. Encountered both aerial and naval A/S forces on 12th June. Suffered some damage, which forced her to abandon the mission on 13th June.
  12 Jun 19400715
(0) South of Santa Maria di Leuca.
The submarine was proceeding at a depth of 20 meters when an explosion occurred. She escaped by going to 60 meters. A total of 35 explosions were heard but this was odd as no enemy craft had been observed when at periscope depth at 0700-0710 hours. No British or French aircraft or A/S vessel reported any attack at this time and place. Could this have been an Italian aircraft? Apparently not, Italian aircraft were looking for Balilla but could not locate her. The submarine had to interrupt her patrol.

Morisani, Michele11 Jul 19400619Brindisi11 Jul 19401139Brindisi25Exercises.

2Morisani, Michele12 Jul 19401417Brindisi19 Jul 19401330Brindisi734Patrolled in 34°00'N, 25°00'E. Early return because her commander was seriously sick. He was then considered inapt to command a submarine.

Girosi, Cesare23 Jul 19401339Brindisi23 Jul 19401605Brindisi0Dived in harbour.

Girosi, Cesare24 Jul 19400753Brindisi24 Jul 19401159Brindisi18Exercises.

Girosi, Cesare26 Jul 19400753Brindisi26 Jul 19401120Brindisi20,5Exercises.

Girosi, Cesare29 Jul 19400804Brindisi29 Jul 19401207Brindisi20Exercises.

Girosi, Cesare2 Aug 19401329Brindisi2 Aug 19401830Brindisi23,5Exercises.

3Girosi, Cesare3 Aug 19401330Brindisi22 Aug 19401220Brindisi1812Patrolled south of Crete, between 33°20'N and 34°00'N, and between 27°10'E and 28°10'E. On 14th August, Balilla, Micca and Naiade were the object of A/S searches.
  14 Aug 19401405-1532
(0) South of Crete
Throughout her patrol, Balilla had heard a number of distant explosions. This time she appeared to have been detected by an enemy craft and depth-charged. At 1532 hours, two depth charges, exploding near her hull caused a multitude of minor defects. The attacking vessel has not been identified.
  16 Aug 19400823
(0) South of Crete
The submarine was proceeding submerged when she was shaken by the explosion of a bomb, followed two minutes later by more explosions, which caused more minor damages. The attacker has not been identified.
  16 Aug 19401210
(0) South of Crete
The submarine was again depth-charged by unknown vessels.

Girosi, Cesare26 Sep 19401404Brindisi26 Sep 19401730Brindisi42Exercises.

Girosi, Cesare27 Sep 19401415Brindisi27 Sep 19401645Brindisi25Exercises.

Girosi, Cesare30 Sep 19400855Brindisi30 Sep 19401219Brindisi25Exercises.

Girosi, Cesare4 Oct 19401430Brindisi4 Oct 19401902Brindisi25Exercises.

Girosi, Cesare24 Oct 19400820Brindisi24 Oct 19401145Brindisi10Exercises.

Girosi, Cesare30 Oct 19400850Brindisi30 Oct 19401206Brindisi13Exercises.

Tognelli, Vittorio Emanuele5 Nov 19400822Brindisi5 Nov 19401158Brindisi12,5Exercises.

Tognelli, Vittorio Emanuele17 Nov 19400845Brindisi18 Nov 19401620Pola370Passage Brindisi-Pola.

Gentili, Ugo30 Jan 19410825Pola30 Jan 19411423Pola48Trials after refit, escorted by the auxiliary Jadera.

Gentili, Ugo3 Feb 19410835Pola3 Feb 19411527Pola56Exercises with the submarine Ammiraglio Cagni, escorted by the auxiliary Laurana.

Gentili, Ugo12 Feb 19410822Pola12 Feb 19411455Pola5Exercises.

Gentili, Ugo13 Feb 19410832Pola13 Feb 19411750Pola52Exercises with torpedo boat Audace, escorted by the auxiliary San Giorgio.

Gentili, Ugo23 Feb 19410815Pola23 Feb 19411611Pola47Exercises, escorted by the auxiliaries Jadera and San Giorgio.

Gentili, Ugo25 Feb 19410807Pola25 Feb 19411638Pola51Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary Jadera.

Gentili, Ugo26 Feb 19410808Pola26 Feb 19411703Pola57Exercises.

Gentili, Ugo28 Feb 19410804Pola28 Feb 19411753Pola69Exercises.

Gentili, Ugo3 Mar 19411745Pola4 Mar 19410145Pola69Sailed with the submarine Adua escorted by San Giorgio for night torpedo firing exercises with the torpedo boat Audace.

Gentili, Ugo6 Mar 19410845Pola6 Mar 19411830PolaExercises, escorted the auxiliary Jadera and the tug Tenace.

Gentili, Ugo9 Mar 19410900Pola9 Mar 19411420MonfalconePassage Pola-Monfalcone.

Gentili, Ugo28 Mar 19410900Monfalcone28 Mar 19411440PolaPassage Monfalcone-Pola to be disarmed.

28 Apr 1941Pola28 Apr 1941PolaDisarmed and used as floating oil pontoon.

6 May 19420800Pola6 May 1942AfternoonPolaTowing trials as oil depot pontoon. Towed by the destroyer Riboty). Towed back with the help of Tug no.90.

6 Jun 19421140Pola8 Jun 19420000BrindisiPassage Pola-Brindisi as oil-carrying pontoon towed by the destroyer Da Verazzano (the maximum speed attained was 18 knots equivalent to 21 knots if the destroyer was not towing).

9 Jun 19422030Brindisi10 Jun 19420000BrindisiTowed to Messina by the destroyer Saetta. At 0325 hours on the 10th, the towing cable broke and she had to turn back assisted by the pilot vessel Cismondi and the destroyer Euro.

27 Jun 19420708Brindisi27 Jun 19421302ArgostoliPassage Brindisi-Argostoli as oil depot, towed by the destroyer Saetta and escorted by the destroyer Stocco and torpedo boat Castore.

29 Jun 19420500Argostoli29 Jun 19421600NavarinoPassage Argostoli-Navarino as oil depot, towed by the destroyer Saetta and escorted by the destroyer Stocco and torpedo boat Castore.

13 Jul 19420313Navarino13 Jul 19422107SudaPassage Navarino-Suda as oil depot, towed by destroyer Saetta. On 9th August, she was reported to act as a refuelling station at Suda, with the tanker Cerere, replacing Arca, who was returning to Brindisi.

8 Aug 1942Date???Suda10 Aug 19420930BenghaziPassage Suda-Benghazi as oil depot (carrying 1,000 tons of oil?), towed by destroyer Saetta in company with the German transport Sante Fe (4,627 GRT, built 1921). Initially, she was to have gone to Tobruk. On 29th August 1942, she was authorised to carry 1,000 tons of German fuel.

23 Sep 194223 Sep 1942Renamed G.R. 247 (G.R. stood for Gallegiante Rifornimento or oil pontoon).

1 Mar 1943Piraeus1 Mar 1943PiraeusReported at Piraeus as floating oil depot G.R.S. 247. This is apparently an error and should read G.R. 247.

17 Apr 19431805Suda19 Apr 19430145PiraeusPassage Suda-Piraeus, towed by the tugs Tenax and Instancabile together with steamer Olna (7,023 GRT, built 1921) and the tank-lighter Aris towed by the tug Cataldo, escorted by the German submarine chaser UJ-2101.

1 May 1943Piraeus2 May 19431700ChalkisPassage Piraeus-Chalkis to provide fuel to the destroyer Turbine, which had the Italian Generals Manzi and Galla on board and was part of a large scale operation to clear the area of Greek partisans. On 4th May, she was to have gone to Volos, but it appears she remained in Chalkis and the Germans used her to block the harbour at the time of their evacuation from Greece. She was refloated and taken over by Greece as war booty.

44 entries. 42 total patrol entries (3 marked as war patrols) and 4 events.

All Italian submarines