Italian submarines in World War Two


Beilul (BU)
Beilul

TypeCoastal / Sea going 
ClassAdua (23) 
Laid down 2 Jul 1937 Odero-Terni-Orlando, Muggiano
Launched22 May 1938
Commissioned14 Sep 1938
End service
Stricken
Loss date
Loss position
History Captured by the Germans at Monfalcone on 9th September 1943 while undergoing repairs and refit. Converted into a fuel barge. Sunk at Monfalcone during an Allied air attack in May 1944.
Fate

Commands

CommanderDate fromDate toCommand
C.C. Paolo Vagliasindi24 Sep 19391 Aug 1941
T.V. Giorgio Bacchetti1 Aug 194120 Aug 1941
T.V. Francesco Pedrotti20 Aug 194122 Aug 1942
S.T.V. Laudo Caimmi24 May 194231 Aug 1942
T.V. Pasquale Beltrame24 Aug 19429 Sep 1943

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
1Vagliasindi, Paolo9 Jun 19401450Augusta19 Jun 19400645Augusta660Patrolled between Pantelleria and Lampedusa. Uneventful.

2Vagliasindi, Paolo24 Jun 19402300Augusta27 Jun 19401930Leros650Sailed for patrol in 35°50'N, 23°10'E but then ordered to proceed immediately to Leros. British Intelligence reported the position as 35°40'N, 23°10'E and that she arrived at Leros at 1912 hours on the 27th.

3Vagliasindi, Paolo3 Jul 19402000Leros10 Jul 19400500Leros680Sailed with submarine Tricheco and patrolled between Alexandria and Cape Kupho (Crete) in 32°40'N, 28°10'E.
  7 Jul 19402341
2339 (e)
32° 40'N, 28° 10'EAt 2340 hours, the Officer of the Watch sighted the shadow of a destroyer. He recognised it to be of the "W" class.

At 2341 hours, a single torpedo (450mm, W.200 type) was fired from a bow tube at a range of 1,000-1,200 metres and Beilul crash-dived. About a minute later, the submarine had reached a depth of 25 metres when a loud explosion was heard, followed by six or seven more, causing various damages, especially to the hydroplane control and the depth gauge. The submarine went down to 80 metres. The damages were repaired in a short time. It was believed that the target had been sunk, but the hydrophones detected two other vessels, which were now hunting the submarines.

At 2355 hours, one vessel dropped 10-12 depth charges, which exploded on the port side.

At 0103 hours, another attack followed again with 10-12 depth charges causing further damages. Prudently, C.C. Paolo Vagliasindi took his submarine to a depth of 95 metres.

At 1105 hours, Beilul returned to periscope depth to find the vessels were gone. Still, the submarine surfaced only at 1945 hours. Vagliasindi decided to abort his mission and return to Leros.

The target had been the destroyer HMS Hasty. She had avoided the torpedo and attacked the submarine with a full pattern of depth-charges.

Italian Naval Intelligence heard that HMS Whirlwind had been sunk the next day and attributed her loss to Beilul. Actually, she was sunk on 5th July in home waters.


Vagliasindi, Paolo17 Aug 19401600Leros17 Aug 19401900Leros10Trials.

Vagliasindi, Paolo22 Aug 19400800Leros22 Aug 19401200Leros15Trials.

4Vagliasindi, Paolo16 Sep 19400800Leros21 Sep 19400700Leros502Patrolled in southwest Aegean.

5Vagliasindi, Paolo27 Sep 19401530Leros4 Oct 19401045Naples827Patrol and passage Leros-Naples. At 0530 hours on 30th September, she heard what appeared to be a naval force with her hydrophones, when 20 miles off Zante, but nothing was sighted.

Vagliasindi, Paolo4 Nov 19401000Naples4 Nov 19401700Naples37Trials.

Vagliasindi, Paolo6 Nov 19401300Naples6 Nov 19401800Naples24Trials.

Vagliasindi, Paolo16 Nov 19401000Naples16 Nov 19401700Naples26Exercises.

Vagliasindi, Paolo20 Nov 19400800Naples20 Nov 19401800Naples36Exercises.

Vagliasindi, Paolo21 Nov 19401300Naples21 Nov 19401700Naples22Exercises.

Vagliasindi, Paolo22 Nov 19401215Naples22 Nov 1940?NaplesExercises.

Vagliasindi, Paolo23 Nov 19402300Naples24 Nov 19400900Naples29Exercises.

Vagliasindi, Paolo26 Nov 19400835Naples27 Nov 19401435Augusta292Passage Naples-Augusta.

Vagliasindi, Paolo23 Dec 19401400Augusta28 Dec 19401200Leros674Passage Augusta-Leros via Cerigotto Channel through (1) 35°40'N, 20°20'E (2) 328° - Agria Grabusa Lt. (Crete) - 10' (3) 260° - C. Malaka (Crete) - 29' (4) 158° - Makra Island - 11' (5) Point E of Stampalia . Uneventful.

6Vagliasindi, Paolo7 Jan 19411950Leros13 Jan 19410800Leros541Patrolled off Cape Sidero and in Kaso Strait [or area D for DARIO].
  9 Jan 19410017
After midnight (e)
35° 25'N, 26° 28'EAt 2340 hours, the Officer of the Watch detected a number of vessels. Soon they appeared to be from a convoy in two columns, consisting of five merchant vessels estimated at over 5,000 GRT, escorted by three destroyers proceeding at 10 knots.

At 0017 hours, Beilul fired four bow torpedoes (three 533mm and one 450mm), from the surface, at a distance of 3,000 metres, aimed at three vessels forming a continuous target. The submarine was forced to dive as a destroyer turned toward her. Explosions were heard after 175 and 185 seconds and it was believed that two vessels had been hit. Two minutes later, this was followed by two loud detonations and attributed to secondary explosions on the stricken ships.

This was the convoy A.S. 10 on passage from Piraeus to Port Said and Alexandria, consisting of the freighters British Destro (3,553 GRT, built 1920, convoy leader), Bantria (2,402 GRT, built 1928), Desmoulea (8,120 GRT, built 1939), Christa (2,590 GRT, built 1938), El Hak (1,022 GRT, built 1929), Meroë (3,832 GRT, built 1936), Greek Styliani (1,420 GRT, built 1920), Odysseus (1,065 GRT, built 1922), Maiotis (1,718 GRT, built 1888), Heron (1,516 GRT, built 1906) , Sofia (593 GRT, built 1938) (Sofia was diverted to Suda and was not present) screened by the Hellenic destroyers Vasilefs Georgios (escort leader: Captain Mezeviris), Vasilissa Olga, Spetsai, Psara and Koundouriotis. The closest explosion occurred near Vasilefs Georgios. Captain Meseviris initially thought that one of his destroyers had dropped depth charges. It was only discovered that a submarine attack had taken place after the Italian Radio Station Stefani announced it.

Vagliasindi complained that Beilul did not carry reload torpedoes and, having emptied his forward tubes, he could not effectively mount another attack.

7Vagliasindi, Paolo8 Feb 19412030Leros15 Feb 19410715Leros524Patrolled between 35°40'N and 36°20'N, and between 24°00'E and 24°40'E, between Polykandro and Milo. Uneventful, except for H.E.

Vagliasindi, Paolo5 Mar 19410900Leros5 Mar 19411700Leros37Exercises.

8Vagliasindi, Paolo13 Mar 19412300Leros18 Mar 19411000Leros415Patrolled in Aegean, about 30 miles south of Kasos Strait. Uneventful. Heard only H.E. at 1720 hours on the 17th, believed to be from enemy naval force reported the previous day by Air Reconnaissance.

9Vagliasindi, Paolo10 Apr 19410240Leros23 Apr 19411400Leros901Patrolled in 34°00'N, 27°43'E on axis 60°-240°. Uneventful. Heard only H.E. at a distance.

10Vagliasindi, Paolo8 May 19412000Leros14 May 19410430Leros664Patrolled between 31°20'N and 33°30'N and 34°00'N, and between 28°00'E and 29°20'E,
  11 May 1941200033° 34'N, 29° 08'EAt 2000 hours, information was received of the passage of a convoy and Beilul altered course to intercept.

At 0405 hours on 12th May, the convoy was distinctly heard on the hydrophones at a distance of 40 miles, but the sound grew fainter and disappeared at about 1000 hours in the direction of Alexandria. Beilul gave up the chase at 1045 hours, when she was in 32°40' N, 28°14' E.
  12 May 1941115733° 34'N, 29° 08'E
(0) Approximately.
At 1157 hours, a hydrophone effect was heard and was suspected to be an A/S vessel. Beilul dived to 60 meters. At 1400 hours she was suddenly straddled by depth-charges. Close explosions continued until 1511 hours, causing serious damage to the submarine. Three vessels were detected. Beilul finally surfaced at 1945 hours, ready to battle it out, only to find they had disappeared. However, the damages forced the submarine to abandon the patrol.

Vagliasindi, Paolo19 Jun 19411150Leros20 Jun 19411800CorinthPassage Leros-La Spezia, via Corinth Canal and Patras. Uneventful.

Vagliasindi, Paolo21 Jun 19410352Corinth21 Jun 19411040PatrasPassage Corinth-Patras.

Vagliasindi, Paolo21 Jun 19411255Patras22 Jun 19412115MessinaPassage Patras-Messina.

Vagliasindi, Paolo24 Jun 19411600Messina26 Jun 19411110La Spezia1109Passage Messina-La Spezia for major refit. Uneventful.

Bacchetti, Giorgio1 Aug 1941La Spezia20 Aug 1941La Spezia1109Change in command during refit.

Pedrotti, Francesco22 Sep 19410802La Spezia22 Sep 19411756Portofino49Trials.

Pedrotti, Francesco24 Sep 19410705La Spezia24 Sep 19411750Portofino73,6Trials.

11Pedrotti, Francesco26 Sep 19411635La Spezia29 Sep 19410747Portofino391,1Patrolled in 44°02'N, 08°35'E on a barrage line with the submarines Da Procida, H 1, H 4 and H 6 in Gulf of Genoa in anticipation of an enemy force from Gibraltar. Uneventful.

Pedrotti, Francesco29 Sep 19411635Portofino29 Sep 19412000La Spezia391,1Passage Portofino-La Spezia.

Pedrotti, Francesco8 Oct 19410740La Spezia8 Oct 19411230La Spezia28,6Exercises.

Pedrotti, Francesco10 Oct 19410718La Spezia10 Oct 19411817La Spezia35,5Exercises.

Pedrotti, Francesco16 Oct 19410800La Spezia16 Oct 19411545La Spezia2Gyrocompass tests.

Pedrotti, Francesco17 Oct 19410712La Spezia17 Oct 19411020La Spezia26,3Exercises with the tug San Antonio.

12Pedrotti, Francesco18 Oct 19411220La Spezia18 Oct 19411510La Spezia35,6Defensive patrol.

13Pedrotti, Francesco19 Oct 19411915La Spezia19 Oct 19412045La Spezia10Defensive patrol.

Pedrotti, Francesco20 Oct 19411854La Spezia20 Oct 19412230La Spezia23Exercises, escorted by the tug Torre D'Annunziata.

Pedrotti, Francesco25 Oct 19410800La Spezia25 Oct 19411710La Spezia34,9Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary Capodistria and MAS 570.

Pedrotti, Francesco30 Oct 19412200La Spezia1 Nov 19411030Naples321Passage La Spezia-Naples.

14Pedrotti, Francesco3 Nov 19411617Naples8 Nov 19411605Messina809Sailed for patrol 343° - Cape Blanc - 21 miles (about 30 miles east of Galite Island), then ordered to 30 miles west La Galite Island. A new area was then assigned between 37°40'N and the North African coast and between 08°20'E and 09°50'E but returned due to defective battery. Uneventful.

Pedrotti, Francesco22 Nov 19410847Messina22 Nov 19411128Messina13,8Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary A.S.45.

Pedrotti, Francesco24 Nov 19410957Messina24 Nov 19411725Augusta71,1Passage Messina-Augusta.

15Pedrotti, Francesco26 Nov 19411900Augusta4 Dec 19410115Leros998Patrol and passage Augusta-Leros. First was ordered to relieve the submarine Dagabur between 33°00'N and 33°40'N, and between 22°20'E and 23°00'E. At 1225 hours on the 29th, MARICOSOM ordered her to patrol between 33°20'N and 34°00'N, and between 23°40'E and 24°20'E. Damaged by air attack on 1st December and forced to abandon her patrol. At the issue of this patrol, C.F. Luciano Morra, in charge of V.Grupsom, remarked that the Koritzka binoculars were quite inadequate for submarine use as they were not waterproof. The only dependable binoculars was a pair of Zeiss binoculars which were held on Beilul.
  1 Dec 1941215533° 05'N, 24° 00'E
(0) Position approximate.
At 2155 hours, the forward lookout spotted a four-engine aircraft, believed to be a Sunderland, at a distance of 1,000 metres. It attacked the submarine with machine-gun and cannon fire from a height of 200 metres. Beilul replied with 60 rounds of machine-gun and then four 100mm rounds to keep the aircraft at bay. The aircraft appeared to have been hit and did not drop any bomb. The submarine seized the opportunity that the Sunderland was at some distance, to crash-dive. However, it was noticed that the enemy's fire had perforated the submarine's hull in several places and damaged the hydrophones. Beilul had to return to base.

Pedrotti, Francesco24 Dec 1941Time not givenLeros24 Dec 1941Time not givenLeros19,4Trials.

16Pedrotti, Francesco31 Dec 19411703Leros8 Jan 19420525Leros984Sailed through Kaso Strait and 20 miles south of Cape Koupho and patrolled in area between 33°20'N and 34°00'N, and between 21°40'N and 22°20'E, or 40 miles north of Appolonia. Uneventful. Heard only distant explosions.

Pedrotti, Francesco6 Feb 19420700Leros6 Feb 19421250Leros28Exercises.

17Pedrotti, Francesco10 Feb 19421800Leros25 Feb 19421150Leros1542,5Patrolled off Beirut between 33°10'N and 34°20'N, and between 33°00'E and 34°00'E. Uneventful. Heard only H.E. Had a defective attack periscope.

Pedrotti, Francesco28 Mar 19420758Leros28 Mar 19421156Leros19,5Exercises.

Pedrotti, Francesco25 Apr 19420555Leros25 Apr 19421355Leros21,2Exercises.

Pedrotti, Francesco16 May 19421249Leros16 May 19421739Leros18,8Exercises.

18Pedrotti, Francesco23 May 19421316Leros6 Jun 19421117Leros1252Sailed with the submarine Ondina and locally escorted by the destroyer Sella for a patrol between 33°40'N and 34°40'N, and between 21°40'E and 22°40'E. On 26th May, Beilul was ordered to an area between 32°10'N and the African coast and between 26°00'E and 26°40'E (off Ras Haleima). On her return to Leros, the local escort was provided by the torpedo boat Libra.
  2 Jun 19420110At 0110 hours, a biplane (Swordfish?) was sighted. Beilul dived.
  4 Jun 19421350
1530 (e)

(0) 10 miles NE of Ras Haleima [Sidi Barrani].
At 1345 hours, the hydrophone picked up noises and Beilul came to periscope depth. She observed three steamers, preceded by a corvette, in single file, with a four-engined aircraft circling above. Another steamer, escorted by a corvette, was also sighted in a separate group, as well as a third corvette proceeding independently.

At 1350 hours, three torpedoes were fired from bow tubes at a range of 2,500 metres. The first two corvettes turned toward the submarine. Beilul reached the bottom at 54 metres, expecting the inevitable counter attack. It came at 1510, 1516 and 1522 hours. The submarine was damaged, but this was not realised until she reached her base.

This was probably convoy T.A.46 consisting of three empty ships escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Airedale, HMS Aldenham and the corvettes HMS Peony, and HMS Erica. The previous day, the convoy had sailed from Tobruk for Alexandria. The escort reported depth charging a U-boat at about this time but believed the attack had been ineffective. Before the day was over, the convoy would come under attack by U-453 (KL Freiherr Egon Reiner von Schlippenbach) but escape damage.

Pedrotti, Francesco21 Jun 19421315Leros26 Jun 19421712Pola1142Passage Leros-Pola. Sighted only Axis ships and German aircraft.

Caimmi, Laudo1 Jul 19420905Pola1 Jul 19421538Monfalcone68,5Passage Pola-Monfalcone.

Pedrotti, Francesco22 Aug 1942Monfalcone22 Aug 1942MonfalconeCompleted refit.

Beltrame, Pasquale1 Sep 19420813Monfalcone1 Sep 19421440Monfalcone30Trials.

Beltrame, Pasquale2 Sep 19421640Monfalcone2 Sep 19422038Monfalcone30,5Trials.

Beltrame, Pasquale4 Sep 19420650Monfalcone4 Sep 19421357Venice78Passage Monfalcone-Venice (one source gives the date as 3rd September).

Beltrame, Pasquale5 Sep 19420925Venice5 Sep 19421125Venice15Exercises.

Beltrame, Pasquale7 Sep 19420715Venice7 Sep 19421728Pola88Passage Venice-Pola.

Beltrame, Pasquale9 Sep 19420607Pola9 Sep 19422102Pola129Exercises with torpedo boat Insidioso.

Beltrame, Pasquale10 Sep 19420930Pola10 Sep 19421934Pola11Gyrocompass tests.

Beltrame, Pasquale12 Sep 19421603Pola16 Sep 19420950Messina620,7Passage Pola-Messina. Uneventful.

Beltrame, Pasquale19 Sep 19420706Messina19 Sep 19421226Messina13,3Exercises.

Beltrame, Pasquale20 Sep 19420706Messina20 Sep 19421226Messina13Exercises.

Beltrame, Pasquale21 Sep 19421300Messina21 Sep 19421731Messina15Exercises.

Beltrame, Pasquale23 Sep 19420805Messina23 Sep 19421241Messina13Exercises.

Beltrame, Pasquale26 Sep 19420800Messina26 Sep 19421146Messina17Exercises.

Beltrame, Pasquale5 Oct 19421320Messina5 Oct 19421700Messina6Exercises.

Beltrame, Pasquale15 Oct 19420800Messina15 Oct 19421101Messina6Exercises.

Beltrame, Pasquale19 Oct 19421750Messina23 Oct 19421418Leros865Passage Messina-Leros. Uneventful. Sighted only an Italian convoy at 0730 hours on 23rd October.

Beltrame, Pasquale14 Nov 19420640Leros14 Nov 19421104Leros15,5Exercises.

19Beltrame, Pasquale15 Nov 19420706Leros30 Nov 19421310Leros1625Sailed for patrol near Rhodes. MAS 542 escorted her only until 0930 hours on the 15th as the bad weather forced her to turn back. An aircraft escorted her until 1130 hours on the 15th.
  19 Nov 19422040At 2040 hours, an aircraft was seen at a distance of 1,000 metres. It made a green signal. Beilul dived.

Beltrame, Pasquale28 Dec 19420805Leros28 Dec 19421140Leros7Exercises.

20Beltrame, Pasquale7 Jan 19431200Leros23 Jan 19430450Leros1519Patrolled south of 34°00'N, between 21°30'E and 22°00'E. Uneventful. Heard only H.E.
  17 Jan 1943225833° 14'N, 21° 52'EAt 2258 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  18 Jan 1943025733° 14'N, 21° 36'EAt 0257 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.

Beltrame, Pasquale6 Feb 19430218Leros6 Feb 19430645StampaliaPassage Leros-Stampalia.

Beltrame, Pasquale9 Feb 19430803Leros9 Feb 19431116Leros12,5Exercises.

Beltrame, Pasquale16 Feb 19430930Leros16 Feb 19431202Leros10,5Exercises.

21Beltrame, Pasquale25 Feb 19430800Leros12 Mar 19431240Leros1487Patrolled west of Cyprus between 35°00'N and 36°00'N, and between 30°00'E and 30°40'E. Uneventful. Heard only H.E.

Beltrame, Pasquale30 Mar 19430936Leros30 Mar 19431205Leros8Exercises.

Beltrame, Pasquale1 Apr 19430908Portolago (Leros)1 Apr 19431055Parteni (Leros)5,8Passage Portolago-Parteni (Leros).

Beltrame, Pasquale7 Apr 19430903Parteni (Leros)7 Apr 19431032Portolago (Leros)6,2Passage Parteni-Portolago (Leros).

Beltrame, Pasquale13 Apr 19430836Leros13 Apr 19431147Leros19Exercises.

Beltrame, Pasquale20 Apr 19431004Leros20 Apr 19431200Leros6Exercises.

Beltrame, Pasquale1 May 19430856Leros1 May 19431056Leros9Exercises.

22Beltrame, Pasquale26 May 19431545Leros15 Jun 19431820Leros1297Sailed escorted by a MAS until 1705 hours on the 26th, via 34°28'N, 26°20'E for a patrol in Gulf of Sirte in area bounded by the African coast and 34°00'N, and the parallels 14°00'E and 20°00'E.
  28 May 19430844
0955 (e)
34° 00'N, 24° 00'E
(0) Submarine position is approximate.
At 0844 hours, two Blenheim bombers were sighted at a distance of 4-5,000 metres, flying toward the submarine at an altitude of 500 metres. There was no time to crash-dive and, when when range was 1,200 metres, the submarine opened fire with her machine-guns. The two aircraft did not drop any bomb but attacked with cannon fire. As soon as they were over the submarine, T.V. Pasquale Beltrame seized the opportunity to order the crash-dive. Beilul was undamaged.

These aircraft were actually Beaufighters from 227 Long Range Fighter Squadron (201 Group) piloted by Flight Lt. M.B. Curtis and Flight Officer M.B.E. Amos. They had apparently already expended their bombs in an attack on a caique earlier in the morning.
  31 May 19432252Two small warships were sight at respectively 600 and 800 metres. Beilul dived.
  13 Jun 19430200At 0200 hours, information was received from SUPERMARINA of five enemy vessels near Ras-El-Tin (Libya), course and speed were not given. It was believed this was a convoy earlier reported and was probably steering toward Benghazi. Beilul moved southward to be in a position to intercept.
  13 Jun 19431440-1517At 1233 hours, Beilul initiated her return trip.

At 1440 hours, a depth-charge exploded near the submarine. No enemy craft had been heard approaching.

At 1450 hours, a second explosion occurred, followed by two more at 1457 hours and another two at 1459 hours. At 1501 hours, noises from a vessel nearing the submarine were heard. More followed until 1517 hours.

23Beltrame, Pasquale25 Jun 19432000Leros17 Jul 19430800Taranto1760,5Patrol and passage Leros-Brindisi via Rhodes. Patrolled in 32°15'N, 25°55'E. From 1st July, patrolled between 34°00'N and the African coast, and between 23°40'N and 27°00'E. Ordered to Pola on 9th July. On 10 July was ordered to proceed to 37°00'N, 16°00'E (east of Syracuse). Ordered to leave patrol on 14th July.
  28 Jun 1943150432° 00'N, 26° 00'E
(0) Approximate position.
At 1504 hours, Beilul was submerged when she was shaken by a loud explosion, followed minute later by another one. The submarine was undamaged.
  2 Jul 19430613At 0613 hours, after noises were detected with the hydrophones, five explosions were heard near Beilul. The noises were heard off and on.

At 1651 hours, another five depth charges exploded near her.
  12 Jul 1943215536° 54'N, 15° 35'EAt 2143 hours, the forward lookout noticed the shadows of two vessels. A minute and a half later, three destroyers of the JERVIS class could be made out.

At 2155 hours, three torpedoes were fired from the bow tubes (a fourth misfired) at a range of 1,500 metres. Shortly after, two explosions were heard 3 seconds apart. There is no evidence that the attack was successful.

The targets were possibly the light cruisers HMS Cleopatra and HMS Euryalus screened by the destroyers HMS Ilex and HMS Echo. They had sailed from Malta at 1600 hours for a patrol off the East Sicilian coast.
  16 Jul 19432234
2247 (e)

(0) 304° - Punta Alice - 24 miles.
At 2234 hours, a dark shadow was sighted but could not be identified. This was actually the submarine HMS United (Lieutenant John Charles Young Roxburgh, DSC, RN) who observed a submarine generating a great deal of smoke, but this suddenly stopped.

Beilul's diesels were indeed produced a great deal of smoke and when the shadow was seen, T.V. Beltrame prudently ordered the crew to shut down the main engines, switch to the electric motors and, take avoiding action. HMS United (who had sunk Remo the previous day) refrained from attack as British submarines were operating in the adjacent areas.

Beltrame, Pasquale22 Jul 19431030Taranto25 Jul 19430704Pola536Passage Taranto-Pola. Uneventful.

Beltrame, Pasquale27 Jul 19430454Pola27 Jul 19431138Monfalcone68Passage Pola-Monfalcone.

Beltrame, Pasquale31 Jul 19430910Monfalcone31 Jul 19431155Monfalcone4Trials.

Beltrame, Pasquale9 Sep 1943Monfalcone9 Sep 1943MonfalconeBeilul could not sail because she lacked part of her machinery. She was to have been sunk on 11th September 1943, after the submarine Argo was scuttled, but her C.O. T.V. Beltrame reported receiving orders to surrender the submarine to the Germans. Seized by the Germans, but was in need of a major overhaul. In February 1944, she was mentioned as ceded to the Decima Flottiglia MAS and transformed as a special operation submarine.

25 May 1944Monfalcone25 May 1944SunkSunk by air attack (see entry of 27th June for another source).
  25 May 1944
(0) At Monfalcone.
During the day, 61 Liberators, escorted by 47 Lightnings of the USAAF, conducted an air raid on Monfalcone. Beilul was reportedly destroyed during this air attack.

27 Jun 1944Trieste27 Jun 1944SunkSunk by air attack (see also entry of 25th May for another source).

18 Jul 194422 Jul 1944Beilul is mentioned in German documents without comments on her being lost on an earlier date.

103 entries. 94 total patrol entries (23 marked as war patrols) and 19 events.

Events

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

CommanderDateTimePositionDescription
Paolo Vagliasindi7 Jul 19402341
2339 (e)
32.40 N, 28.10 E
(e) 32.35 N, 28.30 E
At 2340 hours, the Officer of the Watch sighted the shadow of a destroyer. He recognised it to be of the "W" class.

At 2341 hours, a single torpedo (450mm, W.200 type) was fired from a bow tube at a range of 1,000-1,200 metres and Beilul crash-dived. About a minute later, the submarine had reached a depth of 25 metres when a loud explosion was heard, followed by six or seven more, causing various damages, especially to the hydroplane control and the depth gauge. The submarine went down to 80 metres. The damages were repaired in a short time. It was believed that the target had been sunk, but the hydrophones detected two other vessels, which were now hunting the submarines.

At 2355 hours, one vessel dropped 10-12 depth charges, which exploded on the port side.

At 0103 hours, another attack followed again with 10-12 depth charges causing further damages. Prudently, C.C. Paolo Vagliasindi took his submarine to a depth of 95 metres.

At 1105 hours, Beilul returned to periscope depth to find the vessels were gone. Still, the submarine surfaced only at 1945 hours. Vagliasindi decided to abort his mission and return to Leros.

The target had been the destroyer HMS Hasty. She had avoided the torpedo and attacked the submarine with a full pattern of depth-charges.

Italian Naval Intelligence heard that HMS Whirlwind had been sunk the next day and attributed her loss to Beilul. Actually, she was sunk on 5th July in home waters.

Paolo Vagliasindi9 Jan 19410017
After midnight (e)
35.25 N, 26.28 E
At 2340 hours, the Officer of the Watch detected a number of vessels. Soon they appeared to be from a convoy in two columns, consisting of five merchant vessels estimated at over 5,000 GRT, escorted by three destroyers proceeding at 10 knots.

At 0017 hours, Beilul fired four bow torpedoes (three 533mm and one 450mm), from the surface, at a distance of 3,000 metres, aimed at three vessels forming a continuous target. The submarine was forced to dive as a destroyer turned toward her. Explosions were heard after 175 and 185 seconds and it was believed that two vessels had been hit. Two minutes later, this was followed by two loud detonations and attributed to secondary explosions on the stricken ships.

This was the convoy A.S. 10 on passage from Piraeus to Port Said and Alexandria, consisting of the freighters British Destro (3,553 GRT, built 1920, convoy leader), Bantria (2,402 GRT, built 1928), Desmoulea (8,120 GRT, built 1939), Christa (2,590 GRT, built 1938), El Hak (1,022 GRT, built 1929), Meroë (3,832 GRT, built 1936), Greek Styliani (1,420 GRT, built 1920), Odysseus (1,065 GRT, built 1922), Maiotis (1,718 GRT, built 1888), Heron (1,516 GRT, built 1906) , Sofia (593 GRT, built 1938) (Sofia was diverted to Suda and was not present) screened by the Hellenic destroyers Vasilefs Georgios (escort leader: Captain Mezeviris), Vasilissa Olga, Spetsai, Psara and Koundouriotis. The closest explosion occurred near Vasilefs Georgios. Captain Meseviris initially thought that one of his destroyers had dropped depth charges. It was only discovered that a submarine attack had taken place after the Italian Radio Station Stefani announced it.

Vagliasindi complained that Beilul did not carry reload torpedoes and, having emptied his forward tubes, he could not effectively mount another attack.
Paolo Vagliasindi11 May 1941200033.34 N, 29.08 E
At 2000 hours, information was received of the passage of a convoy and Beilul altered course to intercept.

At 0405 hours on 12th May, the convoy was distinctly heard on the hydrophones at a distance of 40 miles, but the sound grew fainter and disappeared at about 1000 hours in the direction of Alexandria. Beilul gave up the chase at 1045 hours, when she was in 32°40' N, 28°14' E.
Paolo Vagliasindi12 May 1941115733.34 N, 29.08 E
(o) Approximately.
At 1157 hours, a hydrophone effect was heard and was suspected to be an A/S vessel. Beilul dived to 60 meters. At 1400 hours she was suddenly straddled by depth-charges. Close explosions continued until 1511 hours, causing serious damage to the submarine. Three vessels were detected. Beilul finally surfaced at 1945 hours, ready to battle it out, only to find they had disappeared. However, the damages forced the submarine to abandon the patrol.
Francesco Pedrotti1 Dec 1941215533.05 N, 24.00 E
(o) Position approximate.
At 2155 hours, the forward lookout spotted a four-engine aircraft, believed to be a Sunderland, at a distance of 1,000 metres. It attacked the submarine with machine-gun and cannon fire from a height of 200 metres. Beilul replied with 60 rounds of machine-gun and then four 100mm rounds to keep the aircraft at bay. The aircraft appeared to have been hit and did not drop any bomb. The submarine seized the opportunity that the Sunderland was at some distance, to crash-dive. However, it was noticed that the enemy's fire had perforated the submarine's hull in several places and damaged the hydrophones. Beilul had to return to base.
Francesco Pedrotti2 Jun 19420110At 0110 hours, a biplane (Swordfish?) was sighted. Beilul dived.
Francesco Pedrotti4 Jun 19421350
1530 (e)
(o) 10 miles NE of Ras Haleima [Sidi Barrani].At 1345 hours, the hydrophone picked up noises and Beilul came to periscope depth. She observed three steamers, preceded by a corvette, in single file, with a four-engined aircraft circling above. Another steamer, escorted by a corvette, was also sighted in a separate group, as well as a third corvette proceeding independently.

At 1350 hours, three torpedoes were fired from bow tubes at a range of 2,500 metres. The first two corvettes turned toward the submarine. Beilul reached the bottom at 54 metres, expecting the inevitable counter attack. It came at 1510, 1516 and 1522 hours. The submarine was damaged, but this was not realised until she reached her base.

This was probably convoy T.A.46 consisting of three empty ships escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Airedale, HMS Aldenham and the corvettes HMS Peony, and HMS Erica. The previous day, the convoy had sailed from Tobruk for Alexandria. The escort reported depth charging a U-boat at about this time but believed the attack had been ineffective. Before the day was over, the convoy would come under attack by U-453 (KL Freiherr Egon Reiner von Schlippenbach) but escape damage.
Pasquale Beltrame19 Nov 19422040At 2040 hours, an aircraft was seen at a distance of 1,000 metres. It made a green signal. Beilul dived.
Pasquale Beltrame17 Jan 1943225833.14 N, 21.52 E
At 2258 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
Pasquale Beltrame18 Jan 1943025733.14 N, 21.36 E
At 0257 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
Pasquale Beltrame28 May 19430844
0955 (e)
34.00 N, 24.00 E
(e) 34.00 N, 22.48 E
(o) Submarine position is approximate.
At 0844 hours, two Blenheim bombers were sighted at a distance of 4-5,000 metres, flying toward the submarine at an altitude of 500 metres. There was no time to crash-dive and, when when range was 1,200 metres, the submarine opened fire with her machine-guns. The two aircraft did not drop any bomb but attacked with cannon fire. As soon as they were over the submarine, T.V. Pasquale Beltrame seized the opportunity to order the crash-dive. Beilul was undamaged.

These aircraft were actually Beaufighters from 227 Long Range Fighter Squadron (201 Group) piloted by Flight Lt. M.B. Curtis and Flight Officer M.B.E. Amos. They had apparently already expended their bombs in an attack on a caique earlier in the morning.
Pasquale Beltrame31 May 19432252Two small warships were sight at respectively 600 and 800 metres. Beilul dived.
Pasquale Beltrame13 Jun 19430200At 0200 hours, information was received from SUPERMARINA of five enemy vessels near Ras-El-Tin (Libya), course and speed were not given. It was believed this was a convoy earlier reported and was probably steering toward Benghazi. Beilul moved southward to be in a position to intercept.
Pasquale Beltrame13 Jun 19431440-1517At 1233 hours, Beilul initiated her return trip.

At 1440 hours, a depth-charge exploded near the submarine. No enemy craft had been heard approaching.

At 1450 hours, a second explosion occurred, followed by two more at 1457 hours and another two at 1459 hours. At 1501 hours, noises from a vessel nearing the submarine were heard. More followed until 1517 hours.
Pasquale Beltrame28 Jun 1943150432.00 N, 26.00 E
(o) Approximate position.
At 1504 hours, Beilul was submerged when she was shaken by a loud explosion, followed minute later by another one. The submarine was undamaged.
Pasquale Beltrame2 Jul 19430613At 0613 hours, after noises were detected with the hydrophones, five explosions were heard near Beilul. The noises were heard off and on.

At 1651 hours, another five depth charges exploded near her.
Pasquale Beltrame12 Jul 1943215536.54 N, 15.35 E
At 2143 hours, the forward lookout noticed the shadows of two vessels. A minute and a half later, three destroyers of the JERVIS class could be made out.

At 2155 hours, three torpedoes were fired from the bow tubes (a fourth misfired) at a range of 1,500 metres. Shortly after, two explosions were heard 3 seconds apart. There is no evidence that the attack was successful.

The targets were possibly the light cruisers HMS Cleopatra and HMS Euryalus screened by the destroyers HMS Ilex and HMS Echo. They had sailed from Malta at 1600 hours for a patrol off the East Sicilian coast.
Pasquale Beltrame16 Jul 19432234
2247 (e)
(e) 39.19 N, 17.40 E
(o) 304° - Punta Alice - 24 miles.
At 2234 hours, a dark shadow was sighted but could not be identified. This was actually the submarine HMS United (Lieutenant John Charles Young Roxburgh, DSC, RN) who observed a submarine generating a great deal of smoke, but this suddenly stopped.

Beilul's diesels were indeed produced a great deal of smoke and when the shadow was seen, T.V. Beltrame prudently ordered the crew to shut down the main engines, switch to the electric motors and, take avoiding action. HMS United (who had sunk Remo the previous day) refrained from attack as British submarines were operating in the adjacent areas.
25 May 1944(o) At Monfalcone.During the day, 61 Liberators, escorted by 47 Lightnings of the USAAF, conducted an air raid on Monfalcone. Beilul was reportedly destroyed during this air attack.

All Italian submarines