Italian submarines in World War Two

Glauco (GU, I.24)

TypeOcean going 
ClassGlauco (9) 
Laid down 12 Oct 1932 Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Monfalcone
Launched5 Jan 1935
Commissioned20 Sep 1935
End service
Loss date27 Jun 1941
Loss position35° 06'N, 12° 41'W
Fate Scuttled on 27th June 1941 to the west of Gibraltar, in position 35°06'N, 12°41'W after being forced to surface by depth charges and then being damaged by gunfire from the destroyer HMS Wishart.


CommanderDate fromDate toCommand notes
C.C. Ferdinando Corsi15 Feb 1940Aug 1940
C.F. Giuseppe Mellina26 Aug 194030 Nov 1940
C.C. Luigi Baroni8 Dec 194027 Jun 1941

Ships hit

No ships hit by this submarine.

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Corvetti, Candido3 Jun 19402300La Spezia5 Jun 19400250CagliariPassage La Spezia-Calgari with the submarines Tazzoli, Finzi and Cappellini, escorted by the torpedo boat Curtatone.

1Corvetti, Candido21 Jun 19401820Cagliari28 Jun 19400130CagliariPatrolled west of Cape Carbon near Cape Corbelin, in 37°20'N, 04°00'E on the parallel.
  26 Jun 19400250+
0200 (e)

(e) 37° 16'N, 4° 45'E
Two merchant ships were sighted proceeding on a 270° course at 13 knots. One was described as a 10,000-ton and the other as a 1,500-ton transport. The submarine fired one torpedo (533mm) at 1,700 metres at the largest. The torpedo missed ahead. These were the British freighters Baron Erskine (3,657 GRT, built 1930) and Baron Newlands (3,628 GRT, built 1930), on passage from Oran to Bizerta, when they were recalled to Gibraltar due to the French Armistice.

Shortly after, a second torpedo (533mm) was fired from 1,400 metres at Baron Erskine. This time the torpedo missed astern.

C.C. Corvetti ordered his gun crew to open fire from 1,200 metres on Baron Erskine. The forward gun alone could be used as the aft gun crew was exposed to the heavy seas. Although many hits were claimed, only one round hit the British ship causing minor damage. Not to be outdone, Baron Erskine replied with her gun, claiming two hits from a distance of 2.5 cables (about 450 metres) but the submarine escaped damage. Corvetti wanted to fire a third torpedo, but the British ship was coming head on, intending to ram the submarine, and presented a poor target. As Baron Newland was now coming to the assistance of her sister ship and was opening fire, the Italian captain decided to take his submarine down. He thought that his victim was slowly sinking and he now attempted to fire another torpedo from periscope depth to finish her off. He could not regain contact and the two ships escaped.

2Corvetti, Candido3 Jul 19401437Cagliari6 Jul 19402205Cagliari330Short patrol in 37°31'N, 10°14'E and on axis 125-305°. Uneventful.

3Corvetti, Candido9 Jul 19400225Cagliari12 Jul 19401225Cagliari360Short patrol near Sardinia within 5 miles from 38°00'N, 09°20'E, on a patrol line with Ascianghi, Turchese and Axum. On 10th July, ordered to move 305° - 100 miles.
  12 Jul 19401025
(0) Between Cape Spartivento (Sardinia) and Cape Pula.
An Italian seaplane was observed flying at an altitude of 400 metres on opposite course. The plane returned on a second run to fly over the submarine from the stern. Despite the Italian flag being well displayed on the conning tower, it appeared to be threatening and the Glauco machine gun crew fired off 56 rounds before the error was recognised and the aircraft left.

4Corvetti, Candido31 Jul 19401540Cagliari8 Aug 19400150Naples1515Sailed for the Atlantic. However, experienced fuel leaks which apparently revealed her presence to enemy aircraft and had to turn back.
  3 Aug 1940082537° 35'N, 0° 38'WThe submarine was submerged at a depth of 30 meters, when four explosions were followed by two more very close. Glauco had apparently come under air attack, but was undamaged. RAF records do not seem to show such an air attack and the aircraft may have been Italian.

Corvetti, Candido25 Aug 19400940Naples25 Aug 19401500Naples19Exercises.

Mellina, Giuseppe14 Sep 19400735Naples14 Sep 19401200Naples26Exercises.

Mellina, Giuseppe21 Sep 19400755Naples21 Sep 19401205Naples28Exercises.

5Mellina, Giuseppe26 Sep 19401931Naples20 Oct 19401136Le VerdonSailed for Bordeaux via 38°20'N, 09°00'E and Atlantic patrol between 38°37'N and 38°40'N and 16°50'W and 32°00'W. Passed Gibraltar on 2nd October 1940. Escorted in by the German minesweepers M-13, M-21 and two V-boats (patrol boats).
  3 Oct 1940052835° 45'N, 6° 19'WAn enemy escort vessel was sighted and attacked with a stern shot (450mm, W 200 type) from a distance of 1,000 metres, but was missed.
  3 Oct 1940053035° 45'N, 6° 19'WTwo more torpedoes (533mm, S.I. type) were fired at the same target from the stern tubes, at a distance of 1,400 metres, but again missed.
  4 Oct 19400900
(0) West of Gibraltar.
On passage from Port Arthur (Texas) to Barcelona, the Spanish tanker Campero (6,382 GRT, built 1934) was stopped and her papers examined before she was allowed to proceed.
  7 Oct 1940094537° 07'N, 19° 36'WAA convoy was observed, steering 030° at 10 knots. The attack was aborted due to the indecision of C.F. Mellina (who was later dismissed from submarine command due to his lack of offensive spirit).
  12 Oct 19401915
(0) West of Gibraltar.
The Portuguese Corvo (727 GRT, built 1919), on passage from Terceira to Lisbon, was stopped and her papers examined before she was released to resume her passage.

5bMellina, Giuseppe21 Oct 19400845Le Verdon21 Oct 19401530PauillacPassage Le Verdon-Pauillac, escorted by the auxiliary Cap Hadid.

5cMellina, Giuseppe22 Oct 19400815Pauillac22 Oct 19401205Bordeaux3711Passage Le Verdon-Bordeaux for refit [mileage from 26th September].

Baroni, Luigi10 Dec 19401530Bordeaux10 Dec 19401831Pauillac26Passage Bordeaux-Pauillac and trials.

Baroni, Luigi13 Dec 19400925Pauillac13 Dec 19401124Le Verdon25Passage Pauillac-Le Verdon and trials.

Baroni, Luigi14 Dec 19400845Le Verdon14 Dec 19401614La Pallice70Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice and trials.

Baroni, Luigi15 Dec 19400830La Pallice15 Dec 19401757La Pallice25Trials.

Baroni, Luigi18 Dec 1940La Pallice18 Dec 1940La PalliceTrials.

Baroni, Luigi18 Dec 19400910La Pallice18 Dec 19401841La Pallice31Trials.

Baroni, Luigi21 Dec 19400902La Pallice21 Dec 19401630La Pallice25Trials.

6Baroni, Luigi23 Dec 19401600La Pallice16 Jan 19411230Le VerdonSailed for Atlantic patrol between 56°00'N and 57°00'N, and between 17°00'W and 20°00'W. Returned escorted by the German minesweepers M-9 and M-21 and the submarine chaser UJ-E.
  1 Jan 1941105056° 10'N, 19° 25'WA submarine believed to be German, was observed proceeding at 12 knots, at a distance of 5,000 metres. Glauco did not attempt to make contact and was probably not sighted as she was on the dark side of the horizon.
  5 Jan 1941174555° 35'N, 16° 00'W
(0) Position approximate.
Glauco sighted a large aircraft, flying low, at a distance of 6,000 metres and dived. This was possibly Sunderland 'A' (L5798) of 210 Squadron piloted by Flight Lieutenant R.E.G. Van der Kiste. At 1500 hours, a submarine was sighted at 1/3 of a mile. The Sunderland attacked and 45 seconds after the sighting released two 450lb depth charges from 20 feet. They were estimated to fall 100 feet ahead of the track. No results were seen, and visibility was too bad for photographs. The bottom of the hull of the Sunderland was damaged by suspected fragments from the depth charges; on alighting at Bowmore, the aircraft rapidly filled with water. Only after heavy pumping and baling was a diver able to apply a leak stopper from the outside. However, Glauco did not report any attack.
  7 Jan 19410010As the submarine was switching engines (from electric to diesel), a mistake in execution caused the door of cylinder no.2 to exploded, causing a leg injury to the rating responsible. The damage was repaired.
  9 Jan 19410305
0255 (e)
52° 40'N, 17° 25'W
(e) 52° 29'N, 18° 22'W
At 0245 hours, Glauco sighted a steamer at a distance of 3,000 metres. At 0305 hours, she fired a bow shot (533mm) from a distance of 600 metres. It missed. This was the Ocean Boarding vessel HMS Cavina (6,908 GRT, built 1924).

Glauco now opened fire with both her 100mm guns, firing ten rounds and claiming two hits. The Breda machine guns also joined in as the distance got shorter and fired 195 13.2mm rounds. The target (HMS Cavina), replied with what appeared to be two 2 cm guns and a stern gun (estimated at a 120 or 152mm calibre). The gunnery officer of the submarine (Sottotenente di vascello Carlo Marenco Di Moriondo) manning the rear gun, was killed and was posthumously awarded the Medaglia d'Oro.
  15 Jan 1941044545° 48'N, 3° 45'WA group of fishing vessels was encountered, one of which turned toward the submarine as if attempting to ram her. Glauco took evasive action.

Baroni, Luigi16 Jan 19411600Le Verdon16 Jan 19411800Pauillac25Passage Le Verdon-Pauillac

Baroni, Luigi18 Jan 19410915Pauillac18 Jan 19411155Bordeaux25Passage Pauillac-Bordeaux.

7Baroni, Luigi19 Mar 19411010Bordeaux21 Mar 19411715Pauillac456Sailed for patrol between 12°00'W and the Iberian peninsula after a brief stop at Le Verdon. Had to return due to defects. On her way back, met and escorted in by Sperrbrecher III, minesweepers M-9 and M-12, submarine chaser UJ-K and patrol boat V-406.

8Baroni, Luigi22 Mar 19411600Pauillac25 Mar 19411410Pauillac554Sailed, escorted by Sperrbrecher 34 for patrol between 12°00'W and the Iberian Peninsula and but again returned due to defects.

Baroni, Luigi26 Mar 19411733Pauillac26 Mar 19412130Le Verdon26Passage Pauillac-Le Verdon.

9Baroni, Luigi27 Mar 19411927Le Verdon22 Apr 19411540Bordeaux4033Sailed for Atlantic patrol between 12°00'W and the Iberian Peninsula. Sighted several Spanish vessels.
  12 Apr 19411320
(0) Between Cape Espichel and Lisbon.
A destroyer was sighted, proceeding at 14 knots toward Lisbon. The submarine could not close at less than 4,000 meters and gave up carrying an attack.
  14 Apr 19411205
1216 (e)

(e) 38° 29'N, 9° 41'W
A submarine chaser was observed at a distance of 1,000 metres. It had apparently detected the submarine, this was the armed trawler HMT Scottish joined later by HMT Loch Oskaig. Glauco went down to 130 meters but, when passing 30 meters, she was depth-charged and damaged by a first pattern of six depth-charges. A total of 130 depth charges were counted until 2230 hours, but when the submarine surfaced at 2330, she sighted nothing and escaped at high speed to the westward.
  16 Apr 19410200
(0) Off Lisbon.
The Swedish freighter Lisa (?) was sighted. She was navigating with her lights on. The submarine desisted from attack and shortly after abandoned her patrol due to the damage incurred during the depth-charge attack of 14th April.

10Baroni, Luigi18 Jun 19411800Royan21 Jun 1941Date???BordeauxSailed for patrol escorted by Sperrbrecher III, but returned due to defects.

11Baroni, Luigi23 Jun 1941EveningBordeaux27 Jun 19411220SunkSailed from Royan for Italy at 2145 hours on the 23rd, escorted by Sperrbrecher III. She was expected to cross the Strait of Gibraltar on the 28th. Sunk by the destroyer HMS Wishart. She carried four spare torpedoes at the time (1 x 533 mm and 1 x 450 mm forward and the same aft).
  27 Jun 1941
0941 (e)

(e) 35° 06'N, 12° 41'W
The destroyer HMS Wishart had left a convoy at 0655 hours when Glauco was sighted at 0941 hours at a distance of 4 miles. The submarine sighted the destroyer at 5,000 metres and submerged. At 0958 hours, Wishart carried out the first of eight depth-charge attacks and, at 1220 hours, the submarine was finally forced to the surface. The destroyer opened fire with Lewis guns and two 4-inch rounds. One officer and seven ratings were killed or drowned, seven officers and forty-four ratings were picked up. Attempts to tow the submarine to Gibraltar failed. The submarine was finally sunk with gunfire and three torpedoes (they all missed!). Some documents were recovered.

37 entries. 27 total patrol entries (11 marked as war patrols) and 17 events.

All Italian submarines