Italian submarines in World War Two


Ascianghi (AS)
Ascianghi

TypeCoastal / Sea going 
ClassAdua (23) 
Laid down 20 Jan 1937 Odero-Terni-Orlando, Muggiano
Launched5 Dec 1937
Commissioned25 Mar 1938
End service
Stricken
Loss date23 Jul 1943
Loss position37° 03'N, 15° 24'E
History
Fate Sunk on 23rd July 1943 north-east of Syracuse, Sicily, in position 37°03.5'N, 15°24'E by gunfire from the destroyers HMS Laforey and HMS Eclipse after being forced to surface by depth charging.

Commands

CommanderDate fromDate toCommand
T.V. Ugo Gelli17 Jul 193828 Apr 1941
T.V. Piero Pailli29 Apr 194110 Jun 1941
T.V. Olinto Di Serio28 Jun 194114 Mar 1942
C.C. Mario Resio15 Mar 194220 May 1942
T.V. Rodolfo Bombig20 May 194227 Aug 1942
T.V. Rino Erler1 Sep 194230 Jun 1943
S.T.V. Mario Fiorini1 Jul 194323 Jul 1943

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Gelli, Ugo11 Jun 19400100La Maddalena11 Jun 19401630Cagliari177Passage La Maddalena-Cagliari.

1Gelli, Ugo17 Jun 19402350Cagliari30 Jun 19401245Cagliari1458Patrolled between 38°20'N and 39°00'N, and between 00°10'E and 01°00'E. off Balearic Islands between Cape San Antonio and Fermentara Island. Sighted many neutral ships.
  19 Jun 1940035238° 30'N, 3° 30'E
(0) Italian Grid 1664.
At 0352 hours, five cruisers were sighted at a distance of 10,000 metres, steering 020°, 20 knots. Ascianghi could not close within attacking range.
  22 Jun 19400130
0055 (e)

(0) Near Cape San Antonio (Balearic Islands).
At 0125 hours, a darkened 15,000-ton steamer was sighted.

At 0130 hours, four torpedoes (three 533mm, one 450mm) were fired in quick succession from the bow tubes, at a range of 1,700 metres. They all missed.

This was the British Ashcrest (5,645 GRT, built 1920).

Ascianghi then opened fire, claiming hits with her second and third salvoes. The enemy vessel turned sharply to starboard and replied very accurately with its gun, immediately straddling the submarine. Ascianghi had to crash-dive and the vessel escaped.
  25 Jun 19400125
(0) Italian Grid 1422/3.
At 0125 hours, four large enemy warships were sighted, steering 180°, 22 knots. They passed out of range.
  25 Jun 19400125
(0) Near Italian Grid 1422/3.
At 0125 hours, dark shapes were sighted at a distance of 10,000 metres. Aradam closed to 8-9,000 metres and recognised four large warships believed to be cruisers. They passed out of range and the submarine made an enemy report.
  25 Jun 19400223
(0) Near Italian Grid 1422/3.
At 0223 hours, a destroyer was sighted. It was suspected to have located the submarine after she had sent an enemy report for the four warships sighted earlier. Aradam dived to 74 metres, then returned to 35 metres and used the Rovetto apparatus to remain motionless until the warship went away.
  25 Jun 19401748
(0) Near Italian Grid 1422/3.
At 1748 hours, a large tanker of the MÉKONG class was sighted at a distance of 8-9,000 metres. It was then observed to be escorted by a destroyer of the AUDACIEUX class. They passed out of range.
  26 Jun 19401625At 1625 hours, a merchant ship was sighted, but the attack was aborted when she was recognised as Greek.
  26 Jun 19401940At 1940 hours, four merchant ships, two of them Yugoslav, one Panamian and the fourth not displaying any flag but suspected to be French. The submarine proceeded to attack the latter. The attack was aborted as Ascianghi could not close the range.

Shortly after, a light cruiser of the PERTH or BERTIN class was sighted at a distance of 4-5,000 metres. Again, the target passed out of range.
  29 Jun 19401615At 1615 hours, a large submarine, probably Italian, was sighted at a distance of 7,000 metres moving away, steering 110° at 15-16 knots.
  30 Jun 19400605
(0) Near Cagliari.
At 0605 hours, the Italian torpedo-boat Vega was met and informed Ascianghi that the points of approach to Cagliari C and E were dangerous because of suspected mines.

2Gelli, Ugo9 Jul 19400045Cagliari12 Jul 19400920Cagliari316Patrolled near Sardinia in 37°30'N, 09°40'E, on a barrage line with Turchese.

Gelli, Ugo28 Jul 19402015Cagliari29 Jul 19401315La Maddalena177Passage Cagliari-La Maddalena.

3Gelli, Ugo2 Aug 19402230La Maddalena19 Aug 19400815La Maddalena1913Patrolled off Alboran, between Cape Quilates and Cape de Gata on parallel 36°00'N, on a barrage line with Marcello. Sighted vessels only at long range.

Gelli, Ugo5 Sep 19401345La Maddalena5 Sep 19401955La Maddalena48,5Trials.

Gelli, Ugo28 Sep 19401400La Maddalena28 Sep 19401740La Maddalena14Trials.

Gelli, Ugo30 Sep 19400930La Maddalena30 Sep 19401240La Maddalena8Trials.

Gelli, Ugo1 Oct 19401930La Maddalena2 Oct 19401415Cagliari180Passage La Maddalena-Cagliari.

Gelli, Ugo7 Oct 19402355Cagliari9 Oct 19400850Messina336Passage Cagliari-Messina.

4Gelli, Ugo13 Oct 19400040Messina25 Oct 19401330Augusta1952Patrolled between meridians 25°35'E and 26°40'E, and between 32°30'N and points 20 miles and 12 miles from the coast respectively for each meridian, on a barrage line with Toti, Anfitrite, Topazio and Speri.

Gelli, Ugo5 Nov 19400700Augusta7 Nov 19401235La Spezia566Passage Augusta-La Spezia.

Gelli, Ugo11 Dec 19400900La Spezia11 Dec 19401040La Spezia6Trials.

Gelli, Ugo14 Dec 19400850La Spezia14 Dec 19401800La Spezia60Trials.

Gelli, Ugo21 Dec 19400815La Spezia21 Dec 19401200La Spezia18Trials.

Gelli, Ugo11 Jan 19411305La Spezia11 Jan 19411823La Spezia43Trials.

Gelli, Ugo14 Jan 19410835La Spezia14 Jan 19411458La Spezia46,6Trials.

Gelli, Ugo15 Jan 19411250La Spezia15 Jan 19411745La Spezia35Trials.

5Gelli, Ugo2 Feb 19411920La Spezia5 Feb 19411310La Spezia426Patrolled in Gulf of Genoa from 43°50'N, 08°30'E, in a line 180° - 20 miles and a line 240° - 20 miles, on a barrage line with Scirè. Uneventful.

6Gelli, Ugo16 Feb 19412200La Spezia18 Feb 19411805La Spezia200Patrolled in Gulf of Genoa, between 43°20'N and between 43°50'N, and between 08°50'E and 09°00'E. Uneventful.

Gelli, Ugo28 Feb 19411115La Spezia28 Feb 19411635La Spezia46Tests.

7Gelli, Ugo10 Mar 19412230La Spezia12 Mar 19411333La Spezia232Patrolled in Gulf of Genoa, from 44°12'N, 09°00'E, on a line 5 miles SW, on a barrage line with Colonna. Uneventful.

Gelli, Ugo14 Mar 19411555La Spezia16 Mar 19411415Messina488Passage La Spezia-Messina.

8Gelli, Ugo19 Mar 19411700Messina5 Apr 19411720Messina1225Patrolled between Alexandria and Cape Krio, on a patrol line 20 miles SW and NE from 32°40'N, 27°20'E.
  22 Mar 19410055At 0055 hours, a small vessel was sighted at a range of 3,000 metres steering 280° at fast speed.
  26 Mar 19410230At 0230 hours, a vessel believed to be a destroyer was sighted at a distance of 1,000 metres.proceeding at 25 knots. Ascianghi did not have time to carry out an attack.

At 1355 hours, explosions were heard very near (perhaps bombs as the hydrophones did not detect anything).

Gelli, Ugo22 Apr 19410815Messina22 Apr 19411700Messina65Trials with the auxiliary Castiglia.

Gelli, Ugo24 Apr 19410935Messina24 Apr 19411745Messina47Trials.

9Gelli, Ugo25 Apr 19412050Messina26 Apr 19411210Messina147,7Defensive patrol following a report of an enemy naval force from the east. Recalled very quickly.

Gelli, Ugo28 Apr 19410825Messina28 Apr 19411450Messina44Exercises escorted by R.D.57.

10Pailli, Piero2 May 19411900Messina14 May 19411500Leros1393Patrolled southwest of Crete, between (1) 35°20'N, 23°00'E (2) 35°00'N, 23°00'E (3) 35°00'N, 24°00'E (4) 34°40'N, 24°00'E then off Sollum and Mersa Matruh. Uneventful.

Pailli, Piero9 Jun 19410810Leros9 Jun 19411108Leros17Exercises.

Di Serio, Olinto10 Jul 19410700Portolago (Leros)10 Jul 19411235Portolago (Leros)34Exercises.

Di Serio, Olinto17 Jul 19410710Portolago (Leros)17 Jul 19411710Portolago (Leros)59Exercises.

Di Serio, Olinto18 Jul 19410705Portolago (Leros)18 Jul 19411648Portolago (Leros)41Exercises.

Di Serio, Olinto19 Jul 19410726Portolago (Leros)19 Jul 19411725Portolago (Leros)43Exercises.

Di Serio, Olinto22 Jul 19410945Portolago (Leros)22 Jul 19411150Portolago (Leros)7,7Exercises.

Di Serio, Olinto23 Jul 19410710Portolago (Leros)23 Jul 19410752Portolago (Leros)4,8Exercises.

Di Serio, Olinto24 Jul 19410715Portolago (Leros)24 Jul 19411735Portolago (Leros)61Exercises.

Di Serio, Olinto25 Jul 19410715Portolago (Leros)25 Jul 19411747Portolago (Leros)53Exercises.

Di Serio, Olinto1 Aug 19410715Portolago (Leros)1 Aug 19411715Portolago (Leros)41,5Exercises.

Di Serio, Olinto2 Aug 19410700Portolago (Leros)2 Aug 19411722Portolago (Leros)46Exercises.

Di Serio, Olinto6 Aug 19410650Portolago (Leros)6 Aug 19411718Portolago (Leros)42Exercises.

Di Serio, Olinto9 Aug 19411350Portolago (Leros)9 Aug 19411804Portolago (Leros)26Exercises.

Di Serio, Olinto16 Aug 19410640Portolago (Leros)16 Aug 19411242Portolago (Leros)29,3Exercises.

Di Serio, Olinto20 Aug 19410640Portolago (Leros)20 Aug 19411125Portolago (Leros)25,5Exercises.

11Di Serio, Olinto24 Aug 19412000Leros31 Aug 19410815Leros555Patrolled in the Cyclades, off Kalogeri, Cape Koraka, Karlovassi and Panormos Point. Uneventful.

12Di Serio, Olinto17 Sep 19410720Leros25 Sep 19410613Rhodes938Patrolled between 33°40'N and 34°40'N, and between 34°40'E and the Syrian coast (off Beirut) and reconnaissance of the bay of Famagusta.
  21 Sep 19412146
2300 (e)
33° 57'N, 35° 04'E
(0) 332° - Ras Beirut - 7.8 miles.
At 2142 hours, a vessel believed to be a 12,000-ton tanker, was sighted at a distance slightly over 1,000 metres, travelling at 8 knots.

At 2146 hours, a single torpedo was fired from a bow tube at a range of 700 metres. It missed narrowly ahead. Shortly after, a second torpedo was fired but the target must have seen it and altered course. It also missed.

This was the Palestinian tanker Antar (385 GRT, built 1890) on passage from Beirut to Haifa.

At 2152 hours, a pair of torpedoes were fired from the bow tubes. T.V. Olinto Di Serio claimed both torpedoes hit, one forward and one aft. It is surprising if they did, as surely such a small vessel would have been destroyed by them. The vessel was observed to fire three rockets, two red and one green. The crew abandoned ship in lifeboats.

At 2159 hours, the submarine opened fire to finish her off. Some hits registered but, after the fifth round the gun jammed.

At 2218 hours, the gun had not yet been repaired, so two torpedoes were fired from the stern tubes at a range of 400 metres. They both had erratic courses and missed the target.

At 2224 hours, gunfire was resumed with 21 rounds from close range. Most of them hit and the tanker was set afire and sank at 2229 hours. At least, this was as reported by T.V. Olinto Di Serio. Despite the punishment, Antar was still afloat.

There were no casualties. The fifteen survivors were reported picked up by a Lebanese fishing vessel. Later the armed trawler HMSAS Southern Isles took the hull in tow and was bombed in the process but was undamaged. However, Antar finally sank on 23 September.

Di Serio, Olinto26 Sep 19411950Rhodes27 Sep 19410830Portolago (Leros)110Passage Rhodes-Leros.

Di Serio, Olinto10 Oct 19410800Portolago (Leros)10 Oct 19411215Portolago (Leros)23Trials.

Di Serio, Olinto17 Oct 19410750Portolago (Leros)17 Oct 19411035Portolago (Leros)23Trials.

13Di Serio, Olinto17 Oct 19411805Leros24 Oct 19410235Leros580Patrolled in Scarpanto Channel from 36°40'N, 26°40'E to 35°20'N, 27°34'E. Uneventful.

Di Serio, Olinto10 Nov 19411030Leros10 Nov 19411218Leros2,5Trials.

Di Serio, Olinto11 Nov 19410910Leros11 Nov 19411120Leros1,5Trials.

14Di Serio, Olinto11 Nov 19411705Leros26 Nov 19410825Leros1464Patrolled in 33°20'N, 33°00'E then, after a week, in area north of 33°40'N and Bay of Morphon, mostly off Beirut and Haifa. This patrol was marred by numerous defects.
  13 Nov 1941030732° 28'N, 32° 50'EAt 0307 hours, a small fishing vessel or a patrol boat was sighted. Ascianghi turned away.

15Di Serio, Olinto10 Dec 19410310Leros22 Dec 19411525Brindisi1418,5Patrolled south of Crete, between 32°50'N and 35°20'N, and between 22°50'E and 24°25'E (Grids 4456 and 9856). Returned via 36°36'N, 20°35'E and Point A from Santa Maria di Leuca.
  14 Dec 19411408
(0) About 100 miles north of Sidi Barrani.
At 1408 hours, information was received from MARICOSOM (1009/14) that an enemy naval force of three battleships and nine destroyers had been sighted at 96 miles NNW of Ras Haleima (Sidi Barrani), steering 315°, 22 knots. T.V. Olinto Di Serio altered course to an intercept position six miles away, which he expected the enemy would cross at 1630 hours.

At 1714 hours, Ascianghi received a new signal reporting a change of course, which would put the enemy much farther south. The submarine surfaced at 1730 hours and proceed at full speed on a 225° course in the hope that the enemy might slow down. At 2200 hours she had sighted nothing.

Di Serio, Olinto26 Dec 1941Brindisi26 Dec 1941BrindisiWhile changing moorings, the cable towing the M.R. Zara snapped and the vessel collided with Ascianghi causing slight damage to the submarine.
  26 Dec 19410925+
(0) At La Spezia.
At 0925 hours, the auxiliary Zara (1,976 GRT, built 1931) had arrived at Brindisi from convoy escort duty. While being towed by tugs to her moorings, a cable snapped and she collided with the stern of Ascianghi. Only minor damages were inflicted to a hydroplane and torpedo tube no. 6. They did not affect the seaworthiness of the submarine.

Di Serio, Olinto30 Dec 19411535Brindisi1 Jan 19420900Pola365Passage Brindisi-Pola.

Di Serio, Olinto3 Jan 19420812Pola3 Jan 19421510Monfalcone74Passage Pola-Monfalcone.

Resio, Mario6 May 19420850Monfalcone6 May 19421530Monfalcone66Trials.

Resio, Mario18 May 19421020Monfalcone18 May 19421655Monfalcone55Trials.

Bombig, Rodolfo22 May 19420930Monfalcone22 May 19421616Pola46Trials.

Bombig, Rodolfo25 May 19420906Monfalcone25 May 19421610Pola55Trials.

Bombig, Rodolfo27 May 19420835Monfalcone27 May 19421555Pola75Passage Monfalcone-Pola with the submarine Toti.

Bombig, Rodolfo28 May 19421845Pola28 May 19422052PolaDiving trials in harbour.

Bombig, Rodolfo30 May 19420622Pola30 May 19422105Pola138,5Diving trials, escorted by the auxiliary San Giorgio.

Bombig, Rodolfo1 Jun 19420940Pola1 Jun 19422018Pola14Exercises.

Bombig, Rodolfo2 Jun 19420630Pola2 Jun 19421220Fiume68Passage Pola-Fiume.

Bombig, Rodolfo3 Jun 19421000Fiume4 Jun 19420240FiumeExercises with the submarines Manara and Menotti, escorted by the torpedo boat Insidioso.

Bombig, Rodolfo6 Jun 19420930Fiume6 Jun 19421825FiumeExercises with the submarines Bandiera and Serpente, escorted by the torpedo boat Insidioso.

Bombig, Rodolfo7 Jun 1942Fiume7 Jun 1942FiumeExercises.

Bombig, Rodolfo9 Jun 19421005Fiume13 Jun 19421130Trapani883,5Passage Fiume-Trapani.

16Bombig, Rodolfo14 Jun 19420930Trapani18 Jun 19421630Trapani494Sailed escorted by the torpedo boat Dezza until 1604 hours on the 14th and patrolled west of Malta, between 35°40'N and 36°00' N, and between 13°00'E and 13°20'E, to intercept a large convoy.
  15 Jun 1942130035° 47'N, 13° 06'EAt 1300 hours, a smoke was sighted on the horizon. Ascianghi attempted to close but lost sight of it.
  15 Jun 1942160035° 51'N, 13° 05'EAt 1600 hours, a convoy of four merchant vessels with six destroyers were sighted (operation HARPOON). Ascianghi could not close to attack.
  16 Jun 1942091535° 50'N, 13° 05'EAt 0915 hours, the wreck of a CANT Z.506 no 288-7 seaplane was sighted. Ascianghi looked for survivors without success.

Bombig, Rodolfo19 Jun 19421740Trapani20 Jun 1942MessinaPassage Trapani-Messina.

Bombig, Rodolfo20 Jun 19422120Messina21 Jun 19420652Augusta303,5Passage Messina-Augusta.

Bombig, Rodolfo26 Jun 19420025Augusta27 Jun 19420645Trapani303,5Passage Augusta-Trapani.

17Bombig, Rodolfo28 Jun 19420800Trapani11 Jul 19421728Trapani1215Patrolled east of La Galite Island and north of Cape Blanc, between 37°20'N and 37°50'N, and between 09°20'E and 10°00'E, to intercept enemy traffic. Uneventful. Sighted only French ships. Dived twice because of unknown aircraft.

18Bombig, Rodolfo11 Aug 19421206Trapani17 Aug 19421736Trapani708,5Sailed with the submarines Dessiè and Alagi. Escorted by the auxiliary minesweeper R.D.4 until 1530 hours on the 11th. Patrolled between 37°20'N and 38°00'N, and between 10°00'E and 10°40'E, off the north coast of Tunisia.
  12 Aug 1942194037° 40'N, 10° 30'EAt 1940 hours, a convoy was sighted at 15-20,0000 metres. This was the PEDESTAL convoy. Ascianghi could not close to attack, but observed columns of smoke and explosions at long range.
  16 Aug 19420555At 0555 hours, the silhouette of a submarine, probably Italian, was sighted at less than 1,000 metres. Ascianghi turned away.

19Bombig, Rodolfo17 Aug 19422350Trapani19 Aug 19420245Trapani245Sailed with Alagi and Asteria, escorted by an R.D. (minesweeper) vessel until 0245 hours on the 18th, for patrol between 37°20'N and 37°50'N, and between 09°20'E and 10°20'E, and patrolled off north coast of Tunisia. Upon her return was met by escort at 2355 hours on the 18th.
  18 Aug 19420617At 0617 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  18 Aug 19421154At 1154 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.

Bombig, Rodolfo20 Aug 19420911Trapani20 Aug 19421930Trapani100Passage to Messina but then ordered back.

Bombig, Rodolfo22 Aug 19420505Trapani23 Aug 19420645Messina247,5Passage Trapani-Messina.

Erler, Rino6 Sep 19420900Messina6 Sep 19421415Messina33,5Exercises.

Erler, Rino9 Sep 19420835Messina9 Sep 19421325Messina33,5Exercises.

Erler, Rino14 Sep 19420750Messina14 Sep 19421305Messina36Exercises.

Erler, Rino17 Sep 19420800Messina17 Sep 19421255Messina31,5Exercises.

Erler, Rino19 Sep 19420800Messina19 Sep 19421305Messina31Exercises escorted by AS.16.

Erler, Rino4 Oct 19421345Messina4 Oct 19421757Messina26Exercises and trials.

Erler, Rino16 Oct 19420820Messina16 Oct 19421224Messina25Exercises and trials.

Erler, Rino21 Oct 19420834Messina21 Oct 19421231Messina28Exercises and trials.

Erler, Rino23 Oct 19421800Messina24 Oct 19421431Naples195Passage Messina-Naples.

Erler, Rino27 Oct 19420000Naples27 Oct 19422145Messina197,5Passage Naples-Messina.

20Erler, Rino1 Nov 19422135Messina4 Nov 19420940Tobruk594Supply mission to Tobruk (18 tons of German ammunition), escorted by the torpedo boat Abba across the Straits of Messina, until 0035 hours on 2nd November. She rescued twenty Germans whose aircraft had been shot down and landed them at Tobruk.
  3 Nov 19420625-1200During the period of 0625-1200 hours, many German aircraft were seen. Ascianghi exchanged recognition signals on eight occasions during the morning.
  3 Nov 19421330+
(0) Off the Libyan coast.
At 1330 hours, a formation of eighteen German transport aircraft (probably Junkers 52) were observed flying to Libya. One of them suddenly began to gradually lose altitude and crashed into the sea. Ascianghi rushed in heavy seas and managed to pick up twenty German survivors, including several wounded. They were later landed at Tobruk.

At 1600 hours, two Germans seaplanes were sighted, apparently looking for survivors. The submarine signalled them that she had picked them up.
  3 Nov 19421600+
(0) Off the Libyan coast.
After 1600 hours, the submarine Zoea was encountered. She was also proceeding to Tobruk and they exchanged recognition signals.
  3 Nov 19421828
(0) Off the Libyan coast.
At 1828 hours, a hospital ship was sighted.
  3 Nov 19421840
(0) Off the Libyan coast.
At 1840 hours, a submarine that could not be identified was sighted. Ascianghi turned away.
  3 Nov 19422307
(0) Off the Libyan coast.
At 2307 hours, an hospital ship was sighted.

20bErler, Rino4 Nov 19421740Tobruk7 Nov 19421300Augusta606Return trip from Tobruk. At 1900 hours on the 6th, had been ordered to patrol off Pantelleria but was short on fuel.
  6 Nov 19420510At 0510 hours, an hospital ship was sighted.

20cErler, Rino7 Nov 19421900Augusta8 Nov 19421920Trapani220Passage Augusta-Trapani. Uneventful.

20dErler, Rino9 Nov 19420217Trapani18 Nov 19420957Naples1580Patrolled off Bougie and Philippeville, between 37°00'N and 37°20'N, 05°55'E and 06°35'E. Then refit at Naples.
  12 Nov 1942003036° 44'N, 5° 10'EAt 0030 hours, a corvette was sighted. Ascianghi crash-dived at dropped to the bottom at a depth of 57 metres.
  12 Nov 19420800+
0855 (e)

(e) 36° 43'N, 5° 12'E
(0) Off Bougie.
At 0800 hours, Ascianghi had dived to the bottom, which this proved very muddy and, she became stuck. As efforts were being made to free the submarine by blowing the ballasts, she was sighted by the frigate HMS Spey at 0810A hours. She was also sighted at 0855 hours by the destroyer ORP Blyskawica which was oiling from the tanker Dewdale (8,265 GRT, built 1941). At 0900 hours, the Polish destroyer observed two trawlers and three sloops (one of them probably HMS Spey) depth charging the submarine and joined the hunt, dropping four depth charges at 0912 hours. At 0951 hours, ORP Blyskawica followed up with two more attacks, delivering five depth charges each time.

Ascianghi reported about 100 depth-charges dropped in all but managed to escape by going down to a depth of 70-80 meters. Since the harbour and anchorage were under heavy air attacks during the day (1110-1153, 1440, 1521 hours), it is possible that the submarine mistook these for depth-charges.
  15 Nov 1942034236° 45'N, 5° 11'EAt 0339 hours, Ascianghi was about 4 miles from then entrance of the harbour of Bougie, when the stern lookout spotted a dark mass. At first, it was believed it could be a submarine but then was identified as a CALEDON class cruiser with two destroyers.

At 0342 hours, she fired two torpedoes from her stern tubes at a range of 3,300 metres, but it was then realised that the cruiser was proceeding at a slower speed than estimated, causing them to miss ahead. After 167 seconds, an explosion was heard, which T.V. Rino Erler assumed to be that of the torpedo having hit another vessel. Immediately after, G.M. Ansaldo drew Erler's attention to another ship in the vicinity.

At 0346.5 hours, the newcomer was identified as a cruiser of the LEANDER class and two torpedoes were fired (533mm, Italian type, speed 46 knots), aimed at it, at a range of 700 metres. Both torpedoes hit, after 30 seconds with a loud explosion,followed shortly after by a third explosion, believed to have been caused by a boiler blowing up. The vessel was broken in two and sank.

The "cruiser" was actually the minesweeper HMS Algerine (J213, 1,040 tons, Lieutenant Commander Wilfrid Alan Cooke, RN) ). Survivors confirmed that she was struck by two torpedoes and sank in five minutes. Nine officers and seventy-one ratings were killed or missing. Thirty-two survivors were picked up by the minesweeper HMS Cadmus. Seventeen survivors were picked up by H.M. ships HMS Alarm, HMS Hoy and HMS Mull. Four died of their wounds.

Erler, Rino12 Dec 19420840Naples12 Dec 19421311Naples23Trials.

Erler, Rino18 Dec 19421055Naples18 Dec 19421700Naples36Trials.

Erler, Rino20 Dec 19420832Naples20 Dec 19421715Naples23Exercises and gyrocompass tests.

Erler, Rino21 Dec 19421330Naples21 Dec 19421725Naples29Trials.

Erler, Rino23 Dec 19420903Naples23 Dec 19421320Naples38Trials.

Erler, Rino24 Dec 19420650Naples25 Dec 19420715Augusta250Passage Naples-Augusta.

Erler, Rino2 Jan 19430905Augusta2 Jan 19431236Augusta21,5Exercises.

21Erler, Rino3 Jan 19431710Augusta21 Jan 19430845Augusta1611Patrolled off Cyrenaica, between Ras Hilal and Derna, between 34°00'N and Libyan coast, and between 21°00'E and 21°30'E. Uneventful except for the bad weather encountered.

Erler, Rino9 Feb 19430900Augusta9 Feb 19431130Augusta14,5Exercises.

22Erler, Rino18 Feb 19431810Augusta5 Mar 19431020Augusta1724,5Patrolled in Gulf of Sirte, between 31°54'N and 32°06'N, and between 15°50'E and 16°40'E.
  22 Feb 1943230032° 03'N, 16° 04'EAt 2300 hours, an escorted convoy was sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres. Ascianghi closed to about 2,000 meters and dived at 2307 hours but lost contact.
  2 Mar 1943023131° 47'N, 16° 43'EAt 0227 hours, the First Officer, who was Officer of the Watch, alerted T.V. Erler that he had a destroyer and an undetermined number of merchant ships in his sights, steering 300°, 12 knots.

At 0231 hours, three torpedoes (533mm) were fired from the bow tubes at a range of 800 metres aimed at the destroyer described as of the JERVIS classs. A fourth torpedo misfired. Ascianghi immediately crash-dived. After 40.5 seconds, she had reached a depth of 16 metres, when a double explosion was heard followed by a third one after 73 seconds. This led Erler to believe he had hit the destroyer with two torpedoes and a merchant ship behind with the third.

Unfortunately, Allied records have not confirmed these claims.
  4 Mar 19430755At 0755 hours, a Blenheim bomber was sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres. Ascianghi dived.

Erler, Rino20 Mar 19431520Augusta21 Mar 19431815Naples274Passage Augusta-Naples for docking.

Erler, Rino23 Mar 19431310Naples23 Mar 19431828Naples4Exercises.

Erler, Rino28 Mar 19431325Naples28 Mar 19431535Naples18Exercises.

Erler, Rino30 Mar 19431115Naples30 Mar 19431300Naples11Exercises.

Erler, Rino4 Apr 19430400Naples5 Apr 19430850La Maddalena250,2Passage Naples-La Maddalena.

Erler, Rino6 Apr 19430950La Maddalena6 Apr 19431640Ajaccio68,1Passage La Maddalena-Ajaccio.

Erler, Rino26 Apr 19431430Ajaccio28 Apr 19430755Naples299Passage Ajaccio-Naples.

Erler, Rino12 May 19430050Castellamare Di Stabia13 May 19430740CagliariPassage Castellamare Di Stabia-Cagliari.

Erler, Rino14 May 19432200Cagliari16 May 19430800Castellamare Di StabiaPassage Cagliari-Castellamare Di Stabia.

Erler, Rino26 Jun 1943Time?Pozzuoli26 Jun 1943Time?Naples12,9Passage Pozzuoli-Naples.

Fiorini, Mario11 Jul 1943Time?Naples11 Jul 1943Time?Pozzuoli?Exercises.

23Fiorini, Mario16 Jul 19431650Pozzuoli23 Jul 19431530Sunk?Sailed for patrol southeast of Sicily in 36°50'N, 15°50'E, about 30 miles SE of Augusta. On 20th July, ordered to area between Augusta and Catania. Sunk in 37°03.5'N, 15°24'E by HMS Laforey and HMS Eclipse. Twenty-seven of her crew were picked up (including her commanding officer), twenty-three were lost.
  23 Jul 19431500
1349Z (e)
The details of this attack are not well known as Ascianghi did not return from patrol.

In the afternoon of 23rd July, the light cruiser HMS Newfoundland was torpedoed by U-407. As the stricken vessel managed to limp away to Malta, the destroyer HMS Laforey (D.19) was left behind to hunt the U-boat.

At 1428B hours, HMS Laforey had carried out an attack, believed to be on a non-sub contact. At 1440 hours, she had been joined by the destroyers HMS Faulknor (D.8), HMS Inglefield, HMS Ilex, HMS Raider and HMS Eclipse for the antisubmarine sweep.

At 1549B hours, two torpedo tracks were sighted by HMS Laforey and HMS Eclipse, apparently fired from about 3,500 yards. The two destroyers combed the tracks.

This was Ascianghi who had fired two stern torpedoes at the destroyer, mistaking her for a cruiser.

At 1550B hours, Laforey dropped a pattern of eight depth charges set from 150 to 300 feet.

At 1554B hours, Eclipse dropped a pattern of eight depth charges set at 100 feet.

At 1557B hours, Laforey dropped a second pattern of eight depth charges set from 350 to 550 feet.

At 1608B hours, Eclipse dropped a pattern of eight depth charges set from 250 to 350 feet.

At 1615B hours, Laforey dropped a third and final pattern of eight depth charges set from 150 to 385 feet. About a minute and half after this attack, Ascianghi surfaced in the wake of Laforey and was immediately engaged with gunfire by all the destroyers in the group. Laforey fired 62 4" rounds, claiming six certain hits, and 83 20mm rounds from about 800 yards. Ascianghi sank stern first at 1623 hours.

Twenty-three men perished. Twenty-seven survivors (including S.T.V. Mario Fiorini) were picked up.

138 entries. 115 total patrol entries (23 marked as war patrols) and 37 events.

Events

GH 09.03.2021: This table kept here until we make fix the possible missing events in table above

CommanderDateTimePositionDescription
Ugo Gelli19 Jun 1940035238.30 N, 03.30 E
(o) Italian Grid 1664.
At 0352 hours, five cruisers were sighted at a distance of 10,000 metres, steering 020°, 20 knots. Ascianghi could not close within attacking range.
Ugo Gelli22 Jun 19400130
0055 (e)
(e) 38.38 N, 00.13 E
(o) Near Cape San Antonio (Balearic Islands).
At 0125 hours, a darkened 15,000-ton steamer was sighted.

At 0130 hours, four torpedoes (three 533mm, one 450mm) were fired in quick succession from the bow tubes, at a range of 1,700 metres. They all missed.

This was the British Ashcrest (5,645 GRT, built 1920).

Ascianghi then opened fire, claiming hits with her second and third salvoes. The enemy vessel turned sharply to starboard and replied very accurately with its gun, immediately straddling the submarine. Ascianghi had to crash-dive and the vessel escaped.
Ugo Gelli25 Jun 19400125(o) Italian Grid 1422/3.At 0125 hours, four large enemy warships were sighted, steering 180°, 22 knots. They passed out of range.
Ugo Gelli25 Jun 19400125(o) Near Italian Grid 1422/3.At 0125 hours, dark shapes were sighted at a distance of 10,000 metres. Aradam closed to 8-9,000 metres and recognised four large warships believed to be cruisers. They passed out of range and the submarine made an enemy report.
Ugo Gelli25 Jun 19400223(o) Near Italian Grid 1422/3.At 0223 hours, a destroyer was sighted. It was suspected to have located the submarine after she had sent an enemy report for the four warships sighted earlier. Aradam dived to 74 metres, then returned to 35 metres and used the Rovetto apparatus to remain motionless until the warship went away.
Ugo Gelli25 Jun 19401748(o) Near Italian Grid 1422/3.At 1748 hours, a large tanker of the MÉKONG class was sighted at a distance of 8-9,000 metres. It was then observed to be escorted by a destroyer of the AUDACIEUX class. They passed out of range.
Ugo Gelli26 Jun 19401625At 1625 hours, a merchant ship was sighted, but the attack was aborted when she was recognised as Greek.
Ugo Gelli26 Jun 19401940At 1940 hours, four merchant ships, two of them Yugoslav, one Panamian and the fourth not displaying any flag but suspected to be French. The submarine proceeded to attack the latter. The attack was aborted as Ascianghi could not close the range.

Shortly after, a light cruiser of the PERTH or BERTIN class was sighted at a distance of 4-5,000 metres. Again, the target passed out of range.
Ugo Gelli29 Jun 19401615At 1615 hours, a large submarine, probably Italian, was sighted at a distance of 7,000 metres moving away, steering 110° at 15-16 knots.
Ugo Gelli30 Jun 19400605(o) Near Cagliari.At 0605 hours, the Italian torpedo-boat Vega was met and informed Ascianghi that the points of approach to Cagliari C and E were dangerous because of suspected mines.
Ugo Gelli22 Mar 19410055At 0055 hours, a small vessel was sighted at a range of 3,000 metres steering 280° at fast speed.
Ugo Gelli26 Mar 19410230At 0230 hours, a vessel believed to be a destroyer was sighted at a distance of 1,000 metres.proceeding at 25 knots. Ascianghi did not have time to carry out an attack.

At 1355 hours, explosions were heard very near (perhaps bombs as the hydrophones did not detect anything).
Olinto Di Serio21 Sep 19412146
2300 (e)
33.57 N, 35.04 E
(o) 332° - Ras Beirut - 7.8 miles.
At 2142 hours, a vessel believed to be a 12,000-ton tanker, was sighted at a distance slightly over 1,000 metres, travelling at 8 knots.

At 2146 hours, a single torpedo was fired from a bow tube at a range of 700 metres. It missed narrowly ahead. Shortly after, a second torpedo was fired but the target must have seen it and altered course. It also missed.

This was the Palestinian tanker Antar (385 GRT, built 1890) on passage from Beirut to Haifa.

At 2152 hours, a pair of torpedoes were fired from the bow tubes. T.V. Olinto Di Serio claimed both torpedoes hit, one forward and one aft. It is surprising if they did, as surely such a small vessel would have been destroyed by them. The vessel was observed to fire three rockets, two red and one green. The crew abandoned ship in lifeboats.

At 2159 hours, the submarine opened fire to finish her off. Some hits registered but, after the fifth round the gun jammed.

At 2218 hours, the gun had not yet been repaired, so two torpedoes were fired from the stern tubes at a range of 400 metres. They both had erratic courses and missed the target.

At 2224 hours, gunfire was resumed with 21 rounds from close range. Most of them hit and the tanker was set afire and sank at 2229 hours. At least, this was as reported by T.V. Olinto Di Serio. Despite the punishment, Antar was still afloat.

There were no casualties. The fifteen survivors were reported picked up by a Lebanese fishing vessel. Later the armed trawler HMSAS Southern Isles took the hull in tow and was bombed in the process but was undamaged. However, Antar finally sank on 23 September.
Olinto Di Serio13 Nov 1941030732.28 N, 32.50 E
At 0307 hours, a small fishing vessel or a patrol boat was sighted. Ascianghi turned away.
Olinto Di Serio14 Dec 19411408(o) About 100 miles north of Sidi Barrani.At 1408 hours, information was received from MARICOSOM (1009/14) that an enemy naval force of three battleships and nine destroyers had been sighted at 96 miles NNW of Ras Haleima (Sidi Barrani), steering 315°, 22 knots. T.V. Olinto Di Serio altered course to an intercept position six miles away, which he expected the enemy would cross at 1630 hours.

At 1714 hours, Ascianghi received a new signal reporting a change of course, which would put the enemy much farther south. The submarine surfaced at 1730 hours and proceed at full speed on a 225° course in the hope that the enemy might slow down. At 2200 hours she had sighted nothing.
Olinto Di Serio26 Dec 19410925+(o) At La Spezia.At 0925 hours, the auxiliary Zara (1,976 GRT, built 1931) had arrived at Brindisi from convoy escort duty. While being towed by tugs to her moorings, a cable snapped and she collided with the stern of Ascianghi. Only minor damages were inflicted to a hydroplane and torpedo tube no. 6. They did not affect the seaworthiness of the submarine.
Rodolfo Bombig15 Jun 1942130035.47 N, 13.06 E
At 1300 hours, a smoke was sighted on the horizon. Ascianghi attempted to close but lost sight of it.
Rodolfo Bombig15 Jun 1942160035.51 N, 13.05.5 E
At 1600 hours, a convoy of four merchant vessels with six destroyers were sighted (operation HARPOON). Ascianghi could not close to attack.
Rodolfo Bombig16 Jun 1942091535.50 N, 13.05 E
At 0915 hours, the wreck of a CANT Z.506 no 288-7 seaplane was sighted. Ascianghi looked for survivors without success.
Rodolfo Bombig12 Aug 1942194037.40 N, 10.30 E
At 1940 hours, a convoy was sighted at 15-20,0000 metres. This was the PEDESTAL convoy. Ascianghi could not close to attack, but observed columns of smoke and explosions at long range.
Rodolfo Bombig16 Aug 19420555At 0555 hours, the silhouette of a submarine, probably Italian, was sighted at less than 1,000 metres. Ascianghi turned away.
Rodolfo Bombig18 Aug 19420617At 0617 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
Rodolfo Bombig18 Aug 19421154At 1154 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
Rino Erler3 Nov 19420625-1200During the period of 0625-1200 hours, many German aircraft were seen. Ascianghi exchanged recognition signals on eight occasions during the morning.
Rino Erler3 Nov 19421330+(o) Off the Libyan coast.At 1330 hours, a formation of eighteen German transport aircraft (probably Junkers 52) were observed flying to Libya. One of them suddenly began to gradually lose altitude and crashed into the sea. Ascianghi rushed in heavy seas and managed to pick up twenty German survivors, including several wounded. They were later landed at Tobruk.

At 1600 hours, two Germans seaplanes were sighted, apparently looking for survivors. The submarine signalled them that she had picked them up.
Rino Erler3 Nov 19421600+(o) Off the Libyan coast.After 1600 hours, the submarine Zoea was encountered. She was also proceeding to Tobruk and they exchanged recognition signals.
Rino Erler3 Nov 19421828(o) Off the Libyan coast.At 1828 hours, a hospital ship was sighted.
Rino Erler3 Nov 19421840(o) Off the Libyan coast.At 1840 hours, a submarine that could not be identified was sighted. Ascianghi turned away.
Rino Erler3 Nov 19422307(o) Off the Libyan coast.At 2307 hours, an hospital ship was sighted.
Rino Erler6 Nov 19420510At 0510 hours, an hospital ship was sighted.
Rino Erler12 Nov 1942003036.44 N, 05.10 E
At 0030 hours, a corvette was sighted. Ascianghi crash-dived at dropped to the bottom at a depth of 57 metres.
Rino Erler12 Nov 19420800+
0855 (e)
(e) 36.43 N, 05.12 E
(o) Off Bougie.
At 0800 hours, Ascianghi had dived to the bottom, which this proved very muddy and, she became stuck. As efforts were being made to free the submarine by blowing the ballasts, she was sighted by the frigate HMS Spey at 0810A hours. She was also sighted at 0855 hours by the destroyer ORP Blyskawica which was oiling from the tanker Dewdale (8,265 GRT, built 1941). At 0900 hours, the Polish destroyer observed two trawlers and three sloops (one of them probably HMS Spey) depth charging the submarine and joined the hunt, dropping four depth charges at 0912 hours. At 0951 hours, ORP Blyskawica followed up with two more attacks, delivering five depth charges each time.

Ascianghi reported about 100 depth-charges dropped in all but managed to escape by going down to a depth of 70-80 meters. Since the harbour and anchorage were under heavy air attacks during the day (1110-1153, 1440, 1521 hours), it is possible that the submarine mistook these for depth-charges.
Rino Erler15 Nov 1942034236.45 N, 05.11 E
At 0339 hours, Ascianghi was about 4 miles from then entrance of the harbour of Bougie, when the stern lookout spotted a dark mass. At first, it was believed it could be a submarine but then was identified as a CALEDON class cruiser with two destroyers.

At 0342 hours, she fired two torpedoes from her stern tubes at a range of 3,300 metres, but it was then realised that the cruiser was proceeding at a slower speed than estimated, causing them to miss ahead. After 167 seconds, an explosion was heard, which T.V. Rino Erler assumed to be that of the torpedo having hit another vessel. Immediately after, G.M. Ansaldo drew Erler's attention to another ship in the vicinity.

At 0346.5 hours, the newcomer was identified as a cruiser of the LEANDER class and two torpedoes were fired (533mm, Italian type, speed 46 knots), aimed at it, at a range of 700 metres. Both torpedoes hit, after 30 seconds with a loud explosion,followed shortly after by a third explosion, believed to have been caused by a boiler blowing up. The vessel was broken in two and sank.

The "cruiser" was actually the minesweeper HMS Algerine (J213, 1,040 tons, Lieutenant Commander Wilfrid Alan Cooke, RN) ). Survivors confirmed that she was struck by two torpedoes and sank in five minutes. Nine officers and seventy-one ratings were killed or missing. Thirty-two survivors were picked up by the minesweeper HMS Cadmus. Seventeen survivors were picked up by H.M. ships HMS Alarm, HMS Hoy and HMS Mull. Four died of their wounds.
Rino Erler22 Feb 1943230032.03 N, 16.04 E
At 2300 hours, an escorted convoy was sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres. Ascianghi closed to about 2,000 meters and dived at 2307 hours but lost contact.
Rino Erler2 Mar 1943023131.47 N, 16.43.5 E
At 0227 hours, the First Officer, who was Officer of the Watch, alerted T.V. Erler that he had a destroyer and an undetermined number of merchant ships in his sights, steering 300°, 12 knots.

At 0231 hours, three torpedoes (533mm) were fired from the bow tubes at a range of 800 metres aimed at the destroyer described as of the JERVIS classs. A fourth torpedo misfired. Ascianghi immediately crash-dived. After 40.5 seconds, she had reached a depth of 16 metres, when a double explosion was heard followed by a third one after 73 seconds. This led Erler to believe he had hit the destroyer with two torpedoes and a merchant ship behind with the third.

Unfortunately, Allied records have not confirmed these claims.
Rino Erler4 Mar 19430755At 0755 hours, a Blenheim bomber was sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres. Ascianghi dived.
Mario Fiorini23 Jul 19431500
1349Z (e)
(e) 37.03.5 N, 15.24 E
The details of this attack are not well known as Ascianghi did not return from patrol.

In the afternoon of 23rd July, the light cruiser HMS Newfoundland was torpedoed by U-407. As the stricken vessel managed to limp away to Malta, the destroyer HMS Laforey (D.19) was left behind to hunt the U-boat.

At 1428B hours, HMS Laforey had carried out an attack, believed to be on a non-sub contact. At 1440 hours, she had been joined by the destroyers HMS Faulknor (D.8), HMS Inglefield, HMS Ilex, HMS Raider and HMS Eclipse for the antisubmarine sweep.

At 1549B hours, two torpedo tracks were sighted by HMS Laforey and HMS Eclipse, apparently fired from about 3,500 yards. The two destroyers combed the tracks.

This was Ascianghi who had fired two stern torpedoes at the destroyer, mistaking her for a cruiser.

At 1550B hours, Laforey dropped a pattern of eight depth charges set from 150 to 300 feet.

At 1554B hours, Eclipse dropped a pattern of eight depth charges set at 100 feet.

At 1557B hours, Laforey dropped a second pattern of eight depth charges set from 350 to 550 feet.

At 1608B hours, Eclipse dropped a pattern of eight depth charges set from 250 to 350 feet.

At 1615B hours, Laforey dropped a third and final pattern of eight depth charges set from 150 to 385 feet. About a minute and half after this attack, Ascianghi surfaced in the wake of Laforey and was immediately engaged with gunfire by all the destroyers in the group. Laforey fired 62 4" rounds, claiming six certain hits, and 83 20mm rounds from about 800 yards. Ascianghi sank stern first at 1623 hours.

Twenty-three men perished. Twenty-seven survivors (including S.T.V. Mario Fiorini) were picked up.

All Italian submarines