Italian submarines in World War Two


Bronzo (BZ)
Bronzo

TypeCoastal / Sea going 
ClassPlatino 2 (25) 
Laid down 2 Dec 1940 Cantieri Navale Tosi di Taranto, Taranto
Launched28 Sep 1941
Commissioned2 Jan 1942
End service
Stricken
Loss date12 Jul 1943
Loss position37° 06'N, 15° 24'E
History

Captured on 12th July 1943 in 37°06'N, 15°24.5'E (off Syracuse, Sicily) by the minesweepers HMS Boston, HMS Cromarty, HMS Poole and HMS Seaham.

Commissioned by the Royal Navy as HMS P 714.

Transferred to France on 29th January 1944 being renamed Narval. Scrapped in France in 1948.

Fate

Commands

CommanderDate fromDate toCommand
C.C. Giuseppe Vocaturo2 Jan 194224 Apr 1942
T.V. Cesare Buldrini24 Apr 1942Jul 1943
T.V. Antonio Gherardi8 Jul 194312 Jul 1943

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
27 Oct 19411150Taranto27 Oct 19411515TarantoTrials, escorted by MAS 7/D.

4 Nov 19410805Taranto4 Nov 19411155TarantoTrials, escorted by MAS 3/D.

13 Dec 19410910Taranto13 Dec 19411445TarantoTrials with Brin, escorted by auxiliary Dalmazia.

15 Dec 19410825Taranto15 Dec 19411325TarantoTrials.

Vocaturo, Giuseppe18 Jan 19420815Taranto18 Jan 19421140Taranto6Tests.

Vocaturo, Giuseppe5 Feb 19420810Taranto5 Feb 19421452Taranto15,7Trials.

Vocaturo, Giuseppe12 Feb 19421000Taranto12 Feb 19421910Taranto13,1Trials.

Vocaturo, Giuseppe20 Feb 19421210Taranto20 Feb 19421839Taranto6,8Trials.

Vocaturo, Giuseppe21 Feb 19421404Taranto21 Feb 19421843Taranto4,6Trials.

Vocaturo, Giuseppe24 Feb 19420833Taranto24 Feb 19421351Taranto0,7Trials.

Vocaturo, Giuseppe25 Feb 19420825Taranto25 Feb 19421705Taranto4,7Trials.

Vocaturo, Giuseppe26 Feb 19420800Taranto26 Feb 19421230Taranto4,2Trials.

Vocaturo, Giuseppe5 Mar 19421520Taranto5 Mar 19421630Taranto0,5Trials bubbleless torpedoes.

Vocaturo, Giuseppe7 Mar 19420840Taranto7 Mar 19421220Taranto1Trials with trackless torpedoes.

Vocaturo, Giuseppe17 Mar 19420715Taranto17 Mar 19421212Taranto7Trials.

Vocaturo, Giuseppe18 Apr 19421355Taranto18 Apr 19421547Taranto5Exercises, escorted by the minesweeper R.D.13.

Vocaturo, Giuseppe19 Apr 19420737Taranto19 Apr 19421308Taranto30Exercises with Atropo in 40°28'N, 17°00'30'E.

Vocaturo, Giuseppe22 Apr 19421146Taranto22 Apr 19421934Taranto37Exercises, escorted by the minesweeper R.D.6.

Vocaturo, Giuseppe23 Apr 19420823Taranto23 Apr 19421934Taranto42,5Exercises, escorted by the minesweeper R.D.6.

Buldrini, Cesare26 Apr 19421322Taranto26 Apr 19421940Taranto35Exercises, escorted by the minesweeper R.D.6.

Buldrini, Cesare27 Apr 19420645Taranto27 Apr 19421305Taranto37Exercises, escorted by the minesweeper R.D.6.

Buldrini, Cesare29 Apr 19420634Taranto29 Apr 19421425Taranto33Exercises, escorted by the minesweeper R.D.6.

Buldrini, Cesare30 Apr 19420834Taranto30 Apr 19421604Taranto29Exercises with submarine Micca, escorted by torpedo boat Audace.

Buldrini, Cesare2 May 19420838Taranto2 May 19421400Taranto38Exercises, escorted by the torpedo boat Aretusa.

Buldrini, Cesare3 May 19420948Taranto3 May 19421300Taranto37Exercises, escorted by the torpedo boat Aretusa.

Buldrini, Cesare6 May 19420845Taranto6 May 19421815Taranto34Exercises, escorted by the minesweeper R.D.13.

Buldrini, Cesare7 May 19422037Taranto7 May 19422342Taranto52Exercises with torpedo boat Sagittario.

Buldrini, Cesare12 May 19421423Taranto12 May 19421920Taranto37Exercises.

Buldrini, Cesare13 May 19421501Taranto13 May 19421756Taranto21Exercises.

Buldrini, Cesare22 May 19421031Taranto22 May 19422301Taranto20Exercises.

Buldrini, Cesare23 May 19421245Taranto23 May 19421550Taranto21Exercises, escorted back by the minesweeper R.D.6.

Buldrini, Cesare24 May 19421229Taranto24 May 19421426Taranto25Exercises.

Buldrini, Cesare2 Jun 19421200Taranto2 Jun 19421627Taranto17,2Exercises.

Buldrini, Cesare3 Jun 19421634Taranto3 Jun 19422004Taranto25,5Exercises.

Buldrini, Cesare5 Jun 19421919Taranto9 Jun 19421455Cagliari649Passage Taranto-Cagliari. Escorted through the Messina Strait by the torpedo boat Abba. Uneventful.

1Buldrini, Cesare12 Jun 19421400Cagliari29 Jun 19420944Cagliari1516During operation HARPOON, patrolled between 37°00' N and 37°20' N, and between 04°00' E and 04°20' E with Acciaio, Emo, Giada, Otaria and Uarsciek. She had barely reached the area, when on 14th June, she was ordered to a new area between 36°40' N and 37°00' N, and between 00°00' E and 00°20' E. On 17th June, she was moved to a new area between 37°20' N and 37°40' N, and between 03°00' E and 03°20' E. During the evening of 18th June, she was ordered again to a new area between 37°50' N and 38°10' N, and between 03°00' E and 03°20' E.
  13 Jun 19420730At 0730 hours, a Sunderland aircraft was sighted and the submarine dived. At 0735 hours, two explosions were heard in the distance.
  13 Jun 19421826At 1826 hours, an aircraft was seen at a distance of 8,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  13 Jun 19422110At 2110 hours, a submarine similar to the 600-ton type was sighted, steering 290-295°. It was believed to be probably Giada. Bronzo went down to 20 meters.
  14 Jun 19422205At 2205 hours, a Sunderland aircraft was sighted and Bronzo dived.
  15 Jun 19420555At 0555 hours, a steamer with a large tug were observed. Since the submarine was on the French traffic route, T.V. Buldrini decided to avoid contact.
  15 Jun 19421015At 1015 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  15 Jun 19422342
0049/16 (e)
36° 50'N, 0° 10'EAt 2342 hours, an enemy escort vessel of the KINGFISHER class was sight. It opened fire on the submarine. This was the corvette HMS Coltsfoot in company with HMS Geranium escorting the Fleet tanker Brown Ranger (Operation HARPOON). She reported attacking a submarine.

Bronzo turned to attempt a stern shot but as the vessel was approaching at 20 knots, T.V. Buldrini elected to go deep. As the submarine was passing 60 meters, four depth-charges exploded very close and four more when the submarine was at 90 meters. At midnight another four depth-charges were heard and by 0050 hours on the 16th, the submarine had now reached a depth of 117 meters. At 0115 hours, the submarine surfaced with the gun crew ready to fight it out but the enemy vessel was gone.
  16 Jun 1942223336° 30'N, 0° 20'E
(0) Italian Grid 7741.
At 2233 hours, a battleship of the QUEEN ELIZABETH class and an aircraft carrier believed to be HMS Eagle. No destroyers were sighted. Bronzo attempted to carry out an attack but could not get into a favourable position.

These were probably the battleship HMS Malaya and the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle.
  17 Jun 19420900At 0900 hours, information was received that a cruiser and four destroyers were sighted at 0632 hours, in Italian Grid 8289 (or 350° - Cape Bon - 50 miles) steering 300°, 14 knots. Bronzo attempted to intercept and at 2046 hours, only heard H.E. but sighted nothing.
  21 Jun 19422330
2328 (e)
38° 00'N, 3° 10'EAt 2330 hours, a submarine similar to the British TRITON class was sighted steering straight for Bronzo. T.V. Cesare Buldrini had orders not to attack submarines encountered and was not in a favourable position for action. Moreover, Zaffiro was known to be in the adjacent area. Yet Bronzo had been alerted by a signal from MARICOSOM (1215/18) that a British submarine was in the vicinity. The enemy submarine turned away and then three explosions were heard. Buldrini assumed that the enemy submarine had fired three torpedoes at him before turning away although no torpedo tracks were seen.

This was HMS P 43 (Lieutenant A.C. Halliday, RN) (later to be named HMS Unison) who sighted the Italian submarine at a distance of 1.6 miles and, at 2328 hours, fired four torpedoes at a range of 1,200 yards and they all missed.

Buldrini, Cesare3 Jul 19420745Cagliari3 Jul 19421310Cagliari25Exercises.

Buldrini, Cesare10 Jul 19420805Cagliari10 Jul 19421745Cagliari67Exercises.

2Buldrini, Cesare16 Jul 19420235Cagliari20 Jul 19421538Cagliari598Patrolled 4 miles east of La Galite. Sighted only French ships.
  16 Jul 1942124537° 32'N, 10° 07'EAt 1245 hours, a derelict mine was sighted but no action was taken.
  20 Jul 19420640At 0640 hours, the submarine Dagabur was encountered and recognition signals were exchanged.

Buldrini, Cesare22 Jul 19420938Cagliari22 Jul 19421325Cagliari28Exercises.

Buldrini, Cesare31 Jul 19421610Cagliari1 Aug 19421125La Maddalena196Passage Cagliari-La Maddalena.

3Buldrini, Cesare11 Aug 19420511La Maddalena17 Aug 19421215Cagliari1025Patrolled in an area between 37°20' and 38°00' N, and between 10°00' E and 10°40' E, against the PEDESTAL convoy.
  12 Aug 1942190537° 37'N, 10° 15'EAt 1905 hours, a convoy was sighted at a distance of 10,000 metres, steering 100° at 12 knots. This was the PEDESTAL convoy. The submarine moved eastward to close, sighting several ships burning.

At 1956 hours, a freighter was observed to be hit aft.

At 1958 hours, a freighter was hit by a torpedo and was listing. Shortly after, another vessel was hit beyond it. Twelve freighters and warships could be counted.

At 2023 hours, another vessel was hit.
  12 Aug 1942220537° 30'N, 10° 10'EAt 2205 hours, two cruisers and a destroyer were sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres, course 090°, 12 knots. Bronzo tried in vain to close to attack.
  12 Aug 1942234637° 34'N, 10° 34'EAt 2302 hours, a 13,000-ton tanker on fire astern and crawling at 3 knots was sighted.

At 2346 hours, two torpedoes were fired from bow tubes at a range of 1,200 metres. They missed due to a defect in the gyro angles.

At 2348 hours, a third torpedo was fired from a bow tube. It was claimed to have hit. Due to the confusion of the action, it is difficult to determine the target.

This was probably Empire Hope (12,688 GRT, built 1941) who had been abandoned or Clan Ferguson (7,347 GRT, built 1938). Clan Ferguson is reported to have been hit by Junkers 88 and blew up at about 2015 hours. Survivors reported that she was hit by an Italian torpedo-bomber at 2103 hours. Twelve of her crew were killed, including two gunners, as well as twenty passengers. Fifty-three survivors were picked up by the Italians. Empire Hope had been damaged by bombers at 2030 hours and abandoned in position 37°35' N, 10°25' E. The destroyer HMS Penn picked up her survivors and sank her by torpedo. She had no casualties.
  13 Aug 19421106
Noon (e)
37° 29'N, 10° 25'E
(0) Approximately.
At 1106 hours, a lifeboat with survivors from Clan Ferguson was sighted. Buldrini asked them if they had any wounded and required any help. They replied negatively and defiantly claimed that they had reported their position and were waiting to be rescued. Buldrini did not insist and sailed away.
  13 Aug 1942134737° 29'N, 10° 25'EAt 1347 hours, two three-funnel cruisers were sighted at a distance of 20,000 metres, steering 300° passing between Cani Island and the coast. Bronzo tried to close then, at 1410 hours, sighted what appeared to be a damaged aircraft tender and made an enemy report.
  13 Aug 1942182037° 29'N, 10° 25'E
(0) Approximately.
At 1820 hours, a Savoia 79 torpedo-bomber was sighted at a distance of 6,000 metres and it appeared to attack the submarine. The aircraft closed to 3,000 meters but then apparently recognised the identity of the submarine and broke off the attack.
  13 Aug 1942185837° 29'N, 10° 25'E
(0) Approximately.
At 1858 hours, a Savoia 79 torpedo-bomber was sighted and it appeared to attack the submarine. The aircraft closed to 2,500 meters but then apparently recognised the identity of the submarine and broke off the attack.
  13 Aug 19421934
1915 (e)
37° 29'N, 10° 25'E
(0) Approximately.
At 1934 hours, the submarine Emo was encountered. They closed to voice range and exchanged information.
  14 Aug 19422350At 2350 hours, a signal from the submarine Otaria was received. It reported an unknown vessel northwest from her. Bronzo altered course to 278.5° to intercept but sighted nothing.

4Buldrini, Cesare18 Aug 19420100Cagliari19 Aug 19420101Cagliari207Patrolled in an area between 37°20' and 37°50' N, and between 09°20' E and 10°20' E, against the PEDESTAL convoy.
  18 Aug 19420632
(0) South of Cavoli Island (Sardinia).
At 0632 hours, the italian steamer Perseo was sighted steering 345°, from Tunisia to Cagliari. Bronzo was at periscope depth and although only 400 meters away, her hydrophones had not detected anything.
  18 Aug 19422029
2031 (e)

(0) 161° - Cape Spartivento (Sardinia) - 20 miles (Bronzo) or 214° - Cavoli Isalnd - 24 miles (P.211)
At 2029 hours, a loud torpedo explosion was heard some 4,000 metres distant.

This was HMS P 211 (Commander Ben Bryant, DSC, RN) (later to be named HMS Safari). She had sighted the Italian U-boat and fired six torpedoes at a range of 3,500 yards. Tthe first four equipped with DCR (Duplex Coil Rod) magnetic pistols and the next two with CCR magnetic pistols (compensated coil rod) which would gradually replace the DCR pistols. All missed.

Buldrini, Cesare24 Aug 19421602Cagliari25 Aug 19420937La Maddalena193Passage Cagliari-La Maddalena.

Buldrini, Cesare14 Sep 19420015La Maddalena15 Sep 19421454AugustaPassage La Maddalena-Augusta with submarines Acciaio and Platino.

Buldrini, Cesare26 Sep 19420830Augusta26 Sep 19421305AugustaExercises.

Buldrini, Cesare5 Oct 19420835Augusta5 Oct 19421200Augusta20,4Exercises.

Buldrini, Cesare14 Oct 19420700Augusta14 Oct 19421345Augusta79,2Trials.

Buldrini, Cesare5 Nov 19421135Augusta6 Nov 19420920Trapani277Passage Augusta-Trapani.

5Buldrini, Cesare7 Nov 19420046Trapani19 Nov 19420957Cagliari1648Sailed for a patrol in an area between 37°18' and 37°41' N, and between 09°54' E and 10°15' E. However, on the night of 8th November, she was ordered to an area off Algiers. She was off Cape Sigli (Bougie) when she was ordered to an area between 38°20' and 38°40' N, and between 06°40' E and 07°00' E. During the evening of 12th November, she was ordered to do a reconnaissance of the Bay of Bougie. She was then posted to an area 60 miles north of Bone and on the 17th within 20 miles of Cape Bougaroni.
  8 Nov 19421803At 1803 hours, a submarine was sighted and Bronzo turned away.
  9 Nov 19421838
(0) Gulf of Philippeville.
At 1838 hours, a red light was seen, from what was believed to be a patrol-boat. Bronzo tried to close the vessel but lost contact.
  10 Nov 19420135
0020 (e)

(0) Gulf of Philippeville.
At 0135 hours, a submarine believed to be Italian was sighted. Prudently, Bronzo turned away.

This was actually HMS P 45 (Lieutenant H.B. Turner, RN) (later to be named HMS Unrivalled). She had sighted an Italian submarine steering 240° and had dived to attack, but lost contact.
  13 Nov 1942070036° 46'N, 5° 11'EAt 0700 hours, a destroyer of the WITCH class was sighted at a distance of 4,500-5,000 metres, proceeding at 10 knots. Bronzo could not close the range.
  13 Nov 1942165836° 46'N, 5° 11'E
(0) Approximately.
At 1658 hours, five aircraft were seen at a distance of 12,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  15 Nov 19421900At 1900 hours, a submarine was sighted making smoke. Bronzo turned away.

6Buldrini, Cesare2 Dec 19421834Cagliari11 Dec 19421320Cagliari961Sailed for patrol between 37°00' N and 37°20' N, and between 05°20' E and 05°40' E (Grid 6288). During the evening of 10Th November, she made a reconnaissance of Bone and was also ordered to make a reconnaissance of Bougie.
  4 Dec 1942195437° 37'N, 8° 08'EAt 1954 hours, two steamers escorted by two corvettes or MTBs, were sighted at a distance of 2,500 metres. One of the escorts turned toward Bronzo who was forced to go deep at 2005 hours.
  10 Dec 1942191637° 14'N, 8° 03'EAt 1912 hours, two ships were sighted at a distance of 2,500-3,000 metres.

At 1916 hours, they were now seen to be two "SOUTHAMPTON" class cruisers with two destroyers steering northward at 15 knots. Four torpedoes (533mm) were fired at 6-second firing intervals at a range of 1,500 metres. Two torpedoes had an irregular run, one breaking surface. Bronzo dived and reached a depth of 30 metres when a hit was heard after 85 seconds.

This success has not been confirmed.
  11 Dec 19420650At 0650 hours, a German aircraft was sighted and exchanged recognition signals.

Buldrini, Cesare18 Dec 19421330Cagliari18 Dec 19421735Cagliari20Exercises.

Buldrini, Cesare28 Dec 19420840Cagliari28 Dec 19421200Cagliari25Exercises.

7Buldrini, Cesare6 Jan 19432010Cagliari13 Jan 19431159Cagliari?Patrolled in the western Mediterranean between 37°20'N and the African coast, and between 05°40'E and 06°20'E. Sighted a convoy on 10 January, but could not mount an effective attack.
  10 Jan 1943141237° 03'N, 5° 06'EAt 1412 hours, a convoy of three 5-6,000-ton steamers escorted by three large minesweepers and two aircraft, was sighted at a range of about 2,500 metres. They had not been detected by the hydrophones. Bronzo closed to a distance of 600 meters for a bow attack but, unable to use the periscope effectively because of the escorts, she failed to get into a good attacking position. The same convoy was sighted a few hours later by Mocenigo, but she was too far away to carry out an attack.

8Buldrini, Cesare21 Jan 19431803Cagliari6 Feb 19430636Cagliari?Sailed for a patrol between 37°40' N and 38°00' N, and between 06°20' E and 06°40' E. On 23rd January, she was ordered to a new area between 37°20' N and the Algerian coast, and between 04°40' E and 05°00' E. On 3rd February, she was ordered to an area between 37°20' N and the Algerian coast, and between 05°40' E and 06°00' E. Sighted several ships but was unable to carry out an attack.
  22 Jan 19430442At 0442 hours, a submarine was sighted at a distance of 4,000 metres. Bronzo turned away.
  24 Jan 1943124037° 24'N, 4° 47'EAt 1240 hours, a patrol vessel was sighted at a distance of 7-8,000 metres, steering 100°, 10-12 knots. It had not been detected with hydrophones. Bronzo turned away.
  26 Jan 1943163736° 58'N, 5° 02'EAt 1637 hours, two corvettes or MTBs were sighted at a distance of 3,000 metres. Bronzo turned away.
  27 Jan 19430305At 0305 hours, a bomber, which was almost certainly a Douglas DB - 7B Havock or Boston, was sighted. The aircraft circled five times but did not attack and Bronzo did not open fire with her machine-guns as she was close to the coast.
  29 Jan 1943180337° 00'N, 4° 43'EAt 1803 hours, a convoy of fourteen ships, including at least six destroyers, was sighted at a distance of 13-14,000 metres. Bronzo closed, but apparently the convoy was under air attack and, at 1840 hours, bombs fell near the submarine which went deep and could not regain contact.
  31 Jan 1943120136° 54'N, 4° 55'EAt 1201 hours, two patrol vessels of about 300-400 tons were sighted at a distance of 8-10,000 metres.
  31 Jan 1943140136° 54'N, 4° 55'E
(0) Approximately.
At 1401 hours, an MTB, which had not been detected by hydrophones, was sighted at a distance of 2-3,000 metres. Bronzo went deep.
  31 Jan 1943161536° 54'N, 4° 55'E
(0) Approximately.
At 1615 hours, Bronzo was proceeding at a depth of 70 metres, when she was depth-charged by an A/S vessel detected with hydrophones at 1555 hours. The submarine went deep, but suffered some minor damage.

Buldrini, Cesare12 Feb 19431712Cagliari13 Feb 19431640La MaddalenaPassage Cagliari-La Maddalena.

Buldrini, Cesare11 Mar 19431003La Maddalena12 Mar 19430824NaplesPassage La Maddalena-Naples.

Buldrini, Cesare25 May 1943Naples25 May 1943NaplesExercises with the torpedo boat Orsa.

Buldrini, Cesare31 May 19430302Pozzuoli1 Jun 19430200La MaddalenaPassage Pozzuoli-La Maddalena.

Buldrini, Cesare10 Jun 19430538La Maddalena10 Jun 19430812BonifacioPassage La Maddalena-Bonifacio.

9Buldrini, Cesare18 Jun 19430155Bonifacio3 Jul 19431002La MaddalenaPatrolled between 37°20'N and Algerian coast, and between 04°30'E and 05°07'E then from 20th June, between 38°20'N and 39°00'N, and between 04°20 and 05°00'E. On 28th June, ordered to patrol south of 37°10'N between 05°00'E and 06°00'E. Uneventful except for H.E. and distant explosions.

Buldrini, Cesare3 Jul 19430155La Maddalena3 Jul 19431142Porto Palma (Caprera Island)Changed anchorage.

Buldrini, Cesare3 Jul 19432145Porto Palma (Caprera Island)5 Jul 19431204PozzuoliPassage Porto Palma (Caprera Island)-Pozzuoli.

10Gherardi, Antonio10 Jul 19432230Pozzuoli12 Jul 19431326Syracuse (Captured)She sailed for a patrol off eastern Sicily, east of 15°40' E and off Syracusa and Augusta, to attack the Allied invasion forces. She was reported at Point C at 2350 hours on 10th July, proceeding toward Messina and point M 3 at 12 knots. She carried six torpedoes (four G7e in the bow tubes and two Italian S.I.L. torpedoes in the stern tubes). Captured off Augusta and taken in tow to Syracuse by British minesweepers HMS Boston, HMS Cromarty, HMS Poole and HMS Seaham as she was not aware that the town had fallen. At 0007 hours on the 14th, MARICOSOM, unaware of her capture, ordered her to occupy the southern half of zone 80. Her captain and eight men were killed.
  11 Jul 19431609
1605 (e)

(0) 30 miles south of Cape Vaticano
At 1609 hours, an enemy submarine was sighted and Bronzo made a signal to report her presence.

This was HMS Unruly (Lieutennat J.P. Fyfe, RN). She had sighted the Italian submarine at 1550 hours and fired four torpedoes at 1605-1606 hours at a range of 3,000 yards. They all missed.
  12 Jul 1943
1050Z (e)
37° 06'N, 15° 24'EAt 1050Z hours, the minesweeper HMS Seaham sighted a U-boat at a distance of 2,000 yards.

This was Bronzo approaching Syracuse, unaware that the town had fallen.

The minesweeper went full speed as the submarine crash-dived. HMS Seaham was in company with the minesweepers HMS Boston, HMS Cromarty and HMS Poole.

At 1100 hours, the submarine re-surfaced and HMS Seaham opened fire with her 3" gun at a range of 200 yards and was soon imitated by HMS Poole and HMS Boston from about 900 yards. Seaham swept the submarine's deck with her 2-pdrs as she passed close on her port side and at 1112 hours, the submarine's crew waved the white flag. Nine had been killed including T.V. Antonio Gherardi. Bronzo was boarded and nineteen men were taken prisonners by HMS Seaham. Eleven were picked up by HMS Boston and another six by HMS Poole. Bronzo was taken in tow by HMS Seaham and brought to Syracuse.

During the brief action, HMS Seaham had expended 4 3" (scoring 3 hits), 40 2-pdr, 650 0.5" MG and 12 20mm oerlikon rounds. HMS Boston fired 7 3", 50 2-pdr and 130 20mm oerlikon rounds.

18 Jul 1943Date???Syracuse19 Jul 1943MaltaPassage Syracuse-Malta. On 18th August, it was proposed to giver her to the Hellenic Navy and, if they refused, to the Yugoslav Navy.

17 Feb 194417 Feb 1944The French destroyer Forbin sailed from Algiers to Malta bringing the new crew for the ex-Bronzo. Renamed Narval II.

100 entries. 66 total patrol entries (10 marked as war patrols) and 43 events.

Events

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

CommanderDateTimePositionDescription
Cesare Buldrini13 Jun 19420730At 0730 hours, a Sunderland aircraft was sighted and the submarine dived. At 0735 hours, two explosions were heard in the distance.
Cesare Buldrini13 Jun 19421826At 1826 hours, an aircraft was seen at a distance of 8,000 metres and the submarine dived.
Cesare Buldrini13 Jun 19422110At 2110 hours, a submarine similar to the 600-ton type was sighted, steering 290-295°. It was believed to be probably Giada. Bronzo went down to 20 meters.
Cesare Buldrini14 Jun 19422205At 2205 hours, a Sunderland aircraft was sighted and Bronzo dived.
Cesare Buldrini15 Jun 19420555At 0555 hours, a steamer with a large tug were observed. Since the submarine was on the French traffic route, T.V. Buldrini decided to avoid contact.
Cesare Buldrini15 Jun 19421015At 1015 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
Cesare Buldrini15 Jun 19422342
0049/16 (e)
36.50 N, 00.10 E
(e) 37.09 N, 00.07 E
At 2342 hours, an enemy escort vessel of the KINGFISHER class was sight. It opened fire on the submarine. This was the corvette HMS Coltsfoot in company with HMS Geranium escorting the Fleet tanker Brown Ranger (Operation HARPOON). She reported attacking a submarine.

Bronzo turned to attempt a stern shot but as the vessel was approaching at 20 knots, T.V. Buldrini elected to go deep. As the submarine was passing 60 meters, four depth-charges exploded very close and four more when the submarine was at 90 meters. At midnight another four depth-charges were heard and by 0050 hours on the 16th, the submarine had now reached a depth of 117 meters. At 0115 hours, the submarine surfaced with the gun crew ready to fight it out but the enemy vessel was gone.
Cesare Buldrini16 Jun 1942223336.30 N, 00.20 E
(o) Italian Grid 7741.
At 2233 hours, a battleship of the QUEEN ELIZABETH class and an aircraft carrier believed to be HMS Eagle. No destroyers were sighted. Bronzo attempted to carry out an attack but could not get into a favourable position.

These were probably the battleship HMS Malaya and the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle.
Cesare Buldrini17 Jun 19420900At 0900 hours, information was received that a cruiser and four destroyers were sighted at 0632 hours, in Italian Grid 8289 (or 350° - Cape Bon - 50 miles) steering 300°, 14 knots. Bronzo attempted to intercept and at 2046 hours, only heard H.E. but sighted nothing.
Cesare Buldrini21 Jun 19422330
2328 (e)
38.00 N, 03.10 E
(e) 37.58 N, 03.00 E
At 2330 hours, a submarine similar to the British TRITON class was sighted steering straight for Bronzo. T.V. Cesare Buldrini had orders not to attack submarines encountered and was not in a favourable position for action. Moreover, Zaffiro was known to be in the adjacent area. Yet Bronzo had been alerted by a signal from MARICOSOM (1215/18) that a British submarine was in the vicinity. The enemy submarine turned away and then three explosions were heard. Buldrini assumed that the enemy submarine had fired three torpedoes at him before turning away although no torpedo tracks were seen.

This was HMS P 43 (Lieutenant A.C. Halliday, RN) (later to be named HMS Unison) who sighted the Italian submarine at a distance of 1.6 miles and, at 2328 hours, fired four torpedoes at a range of 1,200 yards and they all missed.
Cesare Buldrini16 Jul 1942124537.32 N, 10.07 E
At 1245 hours, a derelict mine was sighted but no action was taken.
Cesare Buldrini20 Jul 19420640At 0640 hours, the submarine Dagabur was encountered and recognition signals were exchanged.
Cesare Buldrini12 Aug 1942190537.37 N, 10.15 E
At 1905 hours, a convoy was sighted at a distance of 10,000 metres, steering 100° at 12 knots. This was the PEDESTAL convoy. The submarine moved eastward to close, sighting several ships burning.

At 1956 hours, a freighter was observed to be hit aft.

At 1958 hours, a freighter was hit by a torpedo and was listing. Shortly after, another vessel was hit beyond it. Twelve freighters and warships could be counted.

At 2023 hours, another vessel was hit.
Cesare Buldrini12 Aug 1942220537.30 N, 10.10 E
At 2205 hours, two cruisers and a destroyer were sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres, course 090°, 12 knots. Bronzo tried in vain to close to attack.
Cesare Buldrini12 Aug 1942234637.34 N, 10.34 E
At 2302 hours, a 13,000-ton tanker on fire astern and crawling at 3 knots was sighted.

At 2346 hours, two torpedoes were fired from bow tubes at a range of 1,200 metres. They missed due to a defect in the gyro angles.

At 2348 hours, a third torpedo was fired from a bow tube. It was claimed to have hit. Due to the confusion of the action, it is difficult to determine the target.

This was probably Empire Hope (12,688 GRT, built 1941) who had been abandoned or Clan Ferguson (7,347 GRT, built 1938). Clan Ferguson is reported to have been hit by Junkers 88 and blew up at about 2015 hours. Survivors reported that she was hit by an Italian torpedo-bomber at 2103 hours. Twelve of her crew were killed, including two gunners, as well as twenty passengers. Fifty-three survivors were picked up by the Italians. Empire Hope had been damaged by bombers at 2030 hours and abandoned in position 37°35' N, 10°25' E. The destroyer HMS Penn picked up her survivors and sank her by torpedo. She had no casualties.
Cesare Buldrini13 Aug 19421106
Noon (e)
37.29 N, 10.25 E
(o) Approximately.
At 1106 hours, a lifeboat with survivors from Clan Ferguson was sighted. Buldrini asked them if they had any wounded and required any help. They replied negatively and defiantly claimed that they had reported their position and were waiting to be rescued. Buldrini did not insist and sailed away.
Cesare Buldrini13 Aug 1942134737.29 N, 10.25 E
At 1347 hours, two three-funnel cruisers were sighted at a distance of 20,000 metres, steering 300° passing between Cani Island and the coast. Bronzo tried to close then, at 1410 hours, sighted what appeared to be a damaged aircraft tender and made an enemy report.
Cesare Buldrini13 Aug 1942182037.29 N, 10.25 E
(o) Approximately.
At 1820 hours, a Savoia 79 torpedo-bomber was sighted at a distance of 6,000 metres and it appeared to attack the submarine. The aircraft closed to 3,000 meters but then apparently recognised the identity of the submarine and broke off the attack.
Cesare Buldrini13 Aug 1942185837.29 N, 10.25 E
(o) Approximately.
At 1858 hours, a Savoia 79 torpedo-bomber was sighted and it appeared to attack the submarine. The aircraft closed to 2,500 meters but then apparently recognised the identity of the submarine and broke off the attack.
Cesare Buldrini13 Aug 19421934
1915 (e)
37.29 N, 10.25 E
(o) Approximately.
At 1934 hours, the submarine Emo was encountered. They closed to voice range and exchanged information.
Cesare Buldrini14 Aug 19422350At 2350 hours, a signal from the submarine Otaria was received. It reported an unknown vessel northwest from her. Bronzo altered course to 278.5° to intercept but sighted nothing.
Cesare Buldrini18 Aug 19420632(o) South of Cavoli Island (Sardinia).At 0632 hours, the italian steamer Perseo was sighted steering 345°, from Tunisia to Cagliari. Bronzo was at periscope depth and although only 400 meters away, her hydrophones had not detected anything.
Cesare Buldrini18 Aug 19422029
2031 (e)
(o) 161° - Cape Spartivento (Sardinia) - 20 miles (Bronzo) or 214° - Cavoli Isalnd - 24 miles (P.211)At 2029 hours, a loud torpedo explosion was heard some 4,000 metres distant.

This was HMS P 211 (Commander Ben Bryant, DSC, RN) (later to be named HMS Safari). She had sighted the Italian U-boat and fired six torpedoes at a range of 3,500 yards. Tthe first four equipped with DCR (Duplex Coil Rod) magnetic pistols and the next two with CCR magnetic pistols (compensated coil rod) which would gradually replace the DCR pistols. All missed.
Cesare Buldrini8 Nov 19421803At 1803 hours, a submarine was sighted and Bronzo turned away.
Cesare Buldrini9 Nov 19421838(o) Gulf of Philippeville.At 1838 hours, a red light was seen, from what was believed to be a patrol-boat. Bronzo tried to close the vessel but lost contact.
Cesare Buldrini10 Nov 19420135
0020 (e)
(o) Gulf of Philippeville.At 0135 hours, a submarine believed to be Italian was sighted. Prudently, Bronzo turned away.

This was actually HMS P 45 (Lieutenant H.B. Turner, RN) (later to be named HMS Unrivalled). She had sighted an Italian submarine steering 240° and had dived to attack, but lost contact.
Cesare Buldrini13 Nov 1942070036.46 N, 05.11 E
At 0700 hours, a destroyer of the WITCH class was sighted at a distance of 4,500-5,000 metres, proceeding at 10 knots. Bronzo could not close the range.
Cesare Buldrini13 Nov 1942165836.46 N, 05.11 E
(o) Approximately.
At 1658 hours, five aircraft were seen at a distance of 12,000 metres and the submarine dived.
Cesare Buldrini15 Nov 19421900At 1900 hours, a submarine was sighted making smoke. Bronzo turned away.
Cesare Buldrini4 Dec 1942195437.37 N, 08.08 E
At 1954 hours, two steamers escorted by two corvettes or MTBs, were sighted at a distance of 2,500 metres. One of the escorts turned toward Bronzo who was forced to go deep at 2005 hours.
Cesare Buldrini10 Dec 1942191637.14 N, 08.03 E
At 1912 hours, two ships were sighted at a distance of 2,500-3,000 metres.

At 1916 hours, they were now seen to be two "SOUTHAMPTON" class cruisers with two destroyers steering northward at 15 knots. Four torpedoes (533mm) were fired at 6-second firing intervals at a range of 1,500 metres. Two torpedoes had an irregular run, one breaking surface. Bronzo dived and reached a depth of 30 metres when a hit was heard after 85 seconds.

This success has not been confirmed.
Cesare Buldrini11 Dec 19420650At 0650 hours, a German aircraft was sighted and exchanged recognition signals.
Cesare Buldrini10 Jan 1943141237.03 N, 05.06 E
At 1412 hours, a convoy of three 5-6,000-ton steamers escorted by three large minesweepers and two aircraft, was sighted at a range of about 2,500 metres. They had not been detected by the hydrophones. Bronzo closed to a distance of 600 meters for a bow attack but, unable to use the periscope effectively because of the escorts, she failed to get into a good attacking position. The same convoy was sighted a few hours later by Mocenigo, but she was too far away to carry out an attack.
Cesare Buldrini22 Jan 19430442At 0442 hours, a submarine was sighted at a distance of 4,000 metres. Bronzo turned away.
Cesare Buldrini24 Jan 1943124037.24 N, 04.47 E
At 1240 hours, a patrol vessel was sighted at a distance of 7-8,000 metres, steering 100°, 10-12 knots. It had not been detected with hydrophones. Bronzo turned away.
Cesare Buldrini26 Jan 1943163736.58 N, 05.02 E
At 1637 hours, two corvettes or MTBs were sighted at a distance of 3,000 metres. Bronzo turned away.
Cesare Buldrini27 Jan 19430305At 0305 hours, a bomber, which was almost certainly a Douglas DB - 7B Havock or Boston, was sighted. The aircraft circled five times but did not attack and Bronzo did not open fire with her machine-guns as she was close to the coast.
Cesare Buldrini29 Jan 1943180337.00 N, 04.43 E
At 1803 hours, a convoy of fourteen ships, including at least six destroyers, was sighted at a distance of 13-14,000 metres. Bronzo closed, but apparently the convoy was under air attack and, at 1840 hours, bombs fell near the submarine which went deep and could not regain contact.
Cesare Buldrini31 Jan 1943120136.54 N, 04.55 E
At 1201 hours, two patrol vessels of about 300-400 tons were sighted at a distance of 8-10,000 metres.
Cesare Buldrini31 Jan 1943140136.54 N, 04.55 E
(o) Approximately.
At 1401 hours, an MTB, which had not been detected by hydrophones, was sighted at a distance of 2-3,000 metres. Bronzo went deep.
Cesare Buldrini31 Jan 1943161536.54 N, 04.55 E
(o) Approximately.
At 1615 hours, Bronzo was proceeding at a depth of 70 metres, when she was depth-charged by an A/S vessel detected with hydrophones at 1555 hours. The submarine went deep, but suffered some minor damage.
Antonio Gherardi11 Jul 19431609
1605 (e)
(e) 38.34 N, 15.45 E
(o) 30 miles south of Cape Vaticano
At 1609 hours, an enemy submarine was sighted and Bronzo made a signal to report her presence.

This was HMS Unruly (Lieutennat J.P. Fyfe, RN). She had sighted the Italian submarine at 1550 hours and fired four torpedoes at 1605-1606 hours at a range of 3,000 yards. They all missed.
Antonio Gherardi12 Jul 1943
1050Z (e)
37.06 N, 15.24.5 E
At 1050Z hours, the minesweeper HMS Seaham sighted a U-boat at a distance of 2,000 yards.

This was Bronzo approaching Syracuse, unaware that the town had fallen.

The minesweeper went full speed as the submarine crash-dived. HMS Seaham was in company with the minesweepers HMS Boston, HMS Cromarty and HMS Poole.

At 1100 hours, the submarine re-surfaced and HMS Seaham opened fire with her 3" gun at a range of 200 yards and was soon imitated by HMS Poole and HMS Boston from about 900 yards. Seaham swept the submarine's deck with her 2-pdrs as she passed close on her port side and at 1112 hours, the submarine's crew waved the white flag. Nine had been killed including T.V. Antonio Gherardi. Bronzo was boarded and nineteen men were taken prisonners by HMS Seaham. Eleven were picked up by HMS Boston and another six by HMS Poole. Bronzo was taken in tow by HMS Seaham and brought to Syracuse.

During the brief action, HMS Seaham had expended 4 3" (scoring 3 hits), 40 2-pdr, 650 0.5" MG and 12 20mm oerlikon rounds. HMS Boston fired 7 3", 50 2-pdr and 130 20mm oerlikon rounds.

All Italian submarines