Italian submarines in World War Two
Barbarigo (BO, I.15)
|Laid down||6 Feb 1937||Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Monfalcone|
|Launched||12 Jun 1938|
|Commissioned||19 Sep 1938|
|Loss date||20 Jun 1943|
|History||Was converted as a transport submarine, code name "AQUILA V". Most likely sunk on 20th June 1943 off Cape Ortegal (Spain) by aircraft bombs from USAAF aircraft. She had departed Bordeaux on 16th June on a supply mission to the Far East. Not heard of since.|
|Commander||Date from||Date to||Command notes|
|C.C. Giulio Ghiglieri||25 May 1940||10 Jun 1941|
|C.C. Francesco Murzi||28 Jun 1941||11 Aug 1941|
|C.C. Enzo Grossi||10 Aug 1941||15 Dec 1942|
|T.V. Roberto Rigoli||15 Dec 1942||7 May 1943|
|T.V. Roberto Rigoli||7 May 1943||31 May 1943|
|T.V. Umberto De Julio||7 May 1943||20 Jun 1943|
|Date||Commander||Ship hit||Type||GRT||Nat.||Loss type|
|1.||25 Jul 1941||C.C. Francesco Murzi||Macon||Cargo ship||5,141||Sunk|
|2.||27 Jul 1941||C.C. Francesco Murzi||Horn Shell||Tanker||8,272||Sunk|
|3.||24 Jan 1942||C.C. Enzo Grossi||Navemar||Cargo ship||5,301||Sunk|
|4.||18 May 1942||C.C. Enzo Grossi||Comandante Lyra||Tanker||5,753||Damaged|
|5.||29 May 1942||C.C. Enzo Grossi||Charlbury||Cargo ship||4,836||Sunk|
|6.||24 Feb 1943||T.V. Roberto Rigoli||Monte Igueldo||Cargo ship||3,453||Sunk|
|7.||2 Mar 1943||T.V. Roberto Rigoli||Affonso Penna||Cargo ship||3,540||Sunk|
|8.||3 Mar 1943||T.V. Roberto Rigoli||Stag Hound||Cargo ship||8,591||Sunk|
Patrols and events
|Commander||Date||Time||Port||Arr. date||Arr. time||Arr. port||Miles||Description|
|1||Ghiglieri, Giulio||6 Jun 1940||1715||Naples||15 Jun 1940||1406||Naples||1107,4||Patrolled off Cape Bengut (36°55'27'N, 03°54'00'E, 10 miles from coast).|
|10 Jun 1940||2358|
(0) Near Algiers.
|At 2358 hours, Barbarigo was proceeding on the surface when an enemy escort vessel suddenly appeared from the mist and attempted to ram her. The submarine crash dived. She was at a depth of 12 metres when the vessel was heard to pass nearly above her but she was not depth charged.|
|11 Jun 1940||0912|
(0) Off Cape Bengut.
|At 0912 hours, Barbarigo was at a depth of 22 metres when she was suddenly bombed. To avoid further attacks, she went down to 60 metres and heard the noises of an approaching vessel. This time depth charges exploded at depths deeper than 40 metres as the submarine escaped by going down to 70 metres. Nani, which was in the vicinity, reported hearing explosions at 1025 hours.|
|2||Ghiglieri, Giulio||27 Jun 1940||1817||Naples||5 Jul 1940||1107||Cagliari||1473||Patrolled in 36°00'N, 01°12'W, between Cape de Gata and Cape Falcon. Damaged by A/S forces.|
|3 Jul 1940||1910-2300|
(e) 35° 58'N, 5° 05'W
|Barbarigo was at a steady depth of 30 metres using the Rovetto (device used to maintain the trim) when, at 1910 hours, a series of depth charges began to explode. The hydrophones detected the noise of two turbines and the submarine was damaged but escaped by going down to 60 metres and then to 110 metres. At 0030 hours on the 4th, Barbarigo surfaced with two forward torpedo tubes and two aft ready to fight it out, but the hunters were gone. The damage compelled the submarine to abort her patrol. The attacker had been the destroyer HMS Faulknor.|
|Ghiglieri, Giulio||6 Jul 1940||1637||Cagliari||7 Jul 1940||1120||Naples||270||Passage Cagliari-Naples.|
|Ghiglieri, Giulio||18 Jul 1940||0920||Naples||18 Jul 1940||1705||Naples||35,3||Exercises.|
|Ghiglieri, Giulio||23 Jul 1940||0922||Naples||23 Jul 1940||1557||Naples||33,4||Exercises.|
|3||Ghiglieri, Giulio||7 Aug 1940||0100||Naples||8 Sep 1940||1635||Bordeaux||4837||Passed Gibraltar on 14th August 1940. Patrolled between 30°00'N and 33°00'N. Passage from Naples to Bordeaux. Arrived at Bordeaux with 4 x 533mm and 4 x 450mm torpedoes.|
|18 Aug 1940||0600|
(0) East of Madeira.
|At 0600 hours, with visibility down to about 1,000 metres, Barbarigo sighted two vessels, initially believed to be minesweepers. With gunners at action station, the submarine stopped one of them to verify her papers. It proved to be the Spanish Cierto (316 GRT, built 1915) traveling from Barcelona to Cadiz. She was allowed to proceed. During the day, the submarine observed another four fishing vessels.|
|19 Aug 1940||2005-2022|
|32° 00'N, 13° 00'W|
(e) 31° 15'N, 13° 02'W
|At 1400 hours, a vessel was barely seen on the horizon. Barbarigo moved to intercept at 14 knots. At 1626 hours, the vessel suddenly turned toward the submarine, and she submerged to a depth of 18 metres. At periscope depth, Barbarigo closed at her maximum speed of 7 knots for an hour and then surfaced to attack. However, the vessel was still some 7,000 metres away. As the enemy vessel altered course several times, the submarine was forced to adjust accordingly, but the range had now increased.|
At 2000 hours, a first round was fired at 12,000 metres. The sea was rough, aiming was difficult and it fell some 2,000 metres from the target. The submarine altered its course to starboard to bring both guns to bear. The range had now dropped to 9,500 metres and a first salvo was fired. At the same time, two flashes were observed from the vessel. She had opened fire with two guns, but they fell quite short. The gun duel lasted 17 minutes, the heavy seas making the situation of the Italian gunners perilous, especially those of the stern gun because the deck there was not as high. The firing range had varied from 9,000 to 10,000 metres.
Between 2005 and 2025 hours, the freighter had made repeated SOS signals, identifying her as Aguilar. At 2017 hours, the range has increased to 12,000 metres and, reluctantly, C.C. Ghilglieri decided to break off the action. Barbarigo had fired a total of 30 rounds (23 from the forward gun and 16 from the aft gun).
The British Aguilar (3,255 GRT, built 1917) was on a trip from Lisbon to the Canary Islands. She reported being shelled by a submarine of the ARCHIMEDE class at 8,000 to 9,000 yards. She had escaped unscathed. Despite the failure of the action, Ghiglieri expressed his satisfaction for the conduct of his gun crew under his executive officer, T.V. Amedeo Stinchi, who would later take command of the submarine Enrico Toti and then Santorre Di Santarosa.
|21 Aug 1940||0800 (0500 local)||31° 39'N, 16° 55'W||At 0800 hours (it was 0500 hours local time, Italian submarines always used Rome Time), a dark shape was sighted astern in the mist. This was a vessel navigating on a parallel course with Barbarigo. It was observed to be zigzagging, while increasing speed and it now opened fire as the submarine submerged. The shells falling near the submarine did not appear to detonate when they hit the water, leading C.C. Ghilieri to believe that they were armed with delay fuses. The submarine fired one torpedo from a distance of 1,300 metres, followed shortly after by a second one.|
Their wakes must have been spotted by the enemy vessel, now identified as a single-funnel armed 8-10,000-ton merchant cruiser. Barbarigo was brought down to 90 metres as about twenty depth charges were counted. About 10 minutes after the last explosion, the submarine returned to periscope depth to watch the enemy warship disappear to the southwest (her initial route).
|4||Ghiglieri, Giulio||9 Oct 1940||1330||Bordeaux||11 Oct 1940||1654||Bordeaux||377,5||The submarine sailed for patrol in zone 11 (between 53°00' N and 55°00' N, and between 23°00' W and 27°00' W) but, while submerged in heavy seas (registering 43° rolls), the acid in her battery spilled out and she was forced to turn back.|
|4b||Ghiglieri, Giulio||14 Oct 1940||0654||Bordeaux||15 Nov 1940||1900||Bordeaux||5417||Patrolled west of Ireland (a) between 53°00'N and 55°20'N, and between 17°10'W and 20°10'W (b) between 56°10'N and 57°20'N, and between 17°10'W and 20°10'W.|
|17 Oct 1940||0958|
|48° 02'N, 9° 25'W|
(e) 47° 37'N, 10° 52'W
|At 0958 hours, an aircraft flying at a altitude of 1,000 metres, was seen at a distance of 7-8,000 metres and the submarine dived to 60 metres. Shortly after, a few explosions were heard in the distance. This aircraft was Sunderland 'D' (N9050) from 10 Squadron (RAAF) piloted by Squadron Leader C.W. Pearce and she was actually attacking Otaria.|
|30 Oct 1940||1551||54° 35'N, 18° 35'W||At 1551 hours, Barbarigo observed masts and a yellow funnel on the horizon and attempted to intercept. The heavy seas (Force 5) restricted her speed to a maximum of 12 knots and after a while the chase was abandoned.|
|10 Nov 1940||0618+||53° 37'N, 17° 40'W||At 0010 hours, Barbarigo was returning home, when information was received from Otaria indicating the presence of an aircraft carrier and three destroyers. She had altered course to intercept when at 0618 hours, the officer of the watch, S.T.V. Angelo Amendolia (who would later command successively Giuseppe Finzi, Alpino Bagnolini and the German-built S 4) observed a shape in the distance to the south. The shape approached rapidly and at 3,000 metres, presented a very narrow target, unsuitable for an attack. The "down the throat" attack, which would later gain a certain popularity with US submarines was not adopted in the Regia Marina.|
The submarine turned away quickly. The enemy vessel was a destroyer traveling alone and it was quickly realised that she had not spotted Barbarigo. The submarine fired a stern torpedo (533mm, type W 270 G) from a distance of 1,500 metres. After 58 seconds, a hit was heard. A tour of the horizon revealed nothing and the destroyer was believed sunk. Ghilieri noted that this torpedo was the very one used during a test at Fiume in the presence of the Duce on 24th June 1939.
|Ghiglieri, Giulio||30 Jan 1941||0931||Bordeaux||30 Jan 1941||1327||Le Verdon||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|Ghiglieri, Giulio||30 Jan 1941||1433||Le Verdon||30 Jan 1941||1745||Le Verdon||51||Trials.|
|Ghiglieri, Giulio||31 Jan 1941||1433||Le Verdon||31 Jan 1941||1815||La Pallice||58||Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice.|
|Ghiglieri, Giulio||2 Feb 1941||0915||La Pallice||2 Feb 1941||1600||La Pallice||58||Exercises.|
|5||Ghiglieri, Giulio||10 Feb 1941||1837||La Pallice||8 Mar 1941||1607||Bordeaux||4471,3||Sailed for patrol west of Ireland in area (a) in zone M, between 55°00'N and 58°00'N, and between 23°00'W and 25°00'W (b) in zone B, between 57°00'N and 58°00'N, and between 15°00'W and 23°00'W (c) south of Zone A, between 58°00'N and 58°45'N, and between 15°00'W and 25°00'W. Met on her return by the German minesweeper M-9 and patrol boats V-401 and V-408 and escorted in.|
|12 Feb 1941||1055||At 1055 hours, an aircraft was seen flying westward at a distance of 6,000 metres. The antiaircraft gun crew were at the ready but the aircraft did not notice the submarine.|
|15 Feb 1941||1946-1950||53° 25'N, 20° 58'W||At 1148 hours, a submarine was observed. It was probably either Bianchi or Otaria. Barbarigo turned away.|
|19 Feb 1941||1900||At 1900 hours, the submarine received a signal from BETASOM (1710/19) reporting the sighting of a convoy. Barbarigo was ordered to Italian Grid 4615/66 (between 58°50' N and 59°00' N, and between 11°50' W and 12°00' W) while Marcello was ordered to Grid 4615/46 (between 58°30' N and 58°40' N, and between 11°50' W and 12°00' W). Barbarigo needed to alter course to 033° but was some 325 miles away and the bad weather prevented her from steering this direction. At 1230 hours the next day, she informed BETASOM of her difficulties stating that she could only make 4 knots.|
|20 Feb 1941||1310||At 1310 hours, Barbarigo received a signal from BETASOM that German forces had discovered a large convoy at 1045 hours in position 59°20/30' N, 10°20/30' W steering 320° at 7 knots. She altered course to intercept.|
|21 Feb 1941||1045||58° 25'N, 16° 55'W|
|At 0300 hours, Barbarigo was ordered to intercept a convoy in 58°25' N, 16°55' W.She had almost reached the position, when, at 1045 hours, she sighted a raft with seven Norwegian survivors, probably from the Norwegian Benjamin Franklin (7,034 GRT, built 1927), a straggler from HX 107 convoy, sunk by U-103 (KK Viktor Schütze) on 19th February in 58°50' N, 16°30' W. The submarine stopped and gave them two boxes of biscuits. The seven men were later picked up by the corvette HMS Pimpernel. At 1310 hours, the submarine was informed of a new position of the convoy and again altered course to intercept.|
|23 Feb 1941||0725||58° 25'N, 16° 55'W|
|At 0725 hours, a shadow was observed at 3,000 metres. Initially, it was taken for a submarine but it proved to be a destroyer and Barbarigo moved away. The submarine was still seeking the convoy reported on 21 February. At 1530 hours, Barbarigo was informed that the convoy was now some 95 miles to the north of her. The next days would be spent to seek it.|
|24 Feb 1941||1115||59° 15'N, 25° 15'W|
(0) Italian Grid 1880/11
|At 1115 hours, a lone steamer was observed. Barbarigo attempted to intercept it and dived to carry out an attack, but her periscope was defective and nothing could be seen or heard. She surfaced later but the vessel had disappeared.|
|25 Feb 1941||2000||At 2000 hours, another signal from BETASOM (1830/25) was received and mentioned another convoy reported at 1400 hours, 450 miles away in Italian grid 2715/25 (56°00' N/56°10' N and 11°40' W/11°50' W) steering 270°, 7 knots. Barbarigo was ordered to Grid 5399/11 (57°00' N/57°10' N and 17°00' W/17°10' W).|
|6||Ghiglieri, Giulio||5 May 1941||1330||Bordeaux||30 May 1941||1132||Bordeaux||4230||Brief stops at Pauillac and Le Verdon. Patrolled in the Atlantic. Attempted to reach the German battleship Bismarck, but was low on fuel.|
|7 May 1941||1300||At 1300 hours, Barbarigo, sailing towards her patrol area, intercepted a signal from(BETASOM 1220/7) to Bianchi, ordering the latter to search for a German aircraft which had ditched in Italian Grid 6005/41 (48°05' N, 15°35' W). Since this was some 120 miles ahead, Barbarigo decided to join the search. She arrived in the area at 0220 hours and searched until 0720 hours without sighting anything and returned to her original course.|
|10 May 1941||0320||51° 52'N, 19° 40'W||At 1100 hours on 9th May, Barbarigo was informed of a convoy in 54°45' N, 17°25' W, some 300 miles north of her position, and raced to intercept. At 0255 hours on the 10th, S.T.V. Amendolia, who was the officer of the watch, spotted a little shadow bearing 045°. More appeared and it turned out to be a large convoy proceeding to the south.|
At 0316 hours, a red Very lights was observed and it was feared that Barbarigo had been discovered. A destroyer was closing, the submarine fired a torpedo (450mm) from a stern tube and then observed the warship take evasive action. The torpedo missed. It was assumed that the torpedo track had been sighted.
At 0337 hours, Barbarigo made an enemy report and kept trailing the convoy. At 0525 hours, the submarine had lost sight of the convoy and submerged to get a hydrophone bearing. She surfaced again and, at 0551 hours, had regained contact.
|10 May 1941||1035||51° 15'N, 19° 15'E|
(0) * Position very approximate.
|Barbarigo had reported the convoy at 0545 hours in 51°40' N/51°50' N, 19°10' N/19°20' E steering 180° and was trying to keep contact [so at 1035 hours, Barbarigo must have been about 30-40 miles south of this position]. At 0621+ hours, an aircraft was sighted over the convoy and again at 0814 and 1000 hours but they do not appear to have seen the submarine. However at 1035 hours, two large aircraft were sighted flying low straight toward the submarine which dived to 30 meters. A big shock was felt but there was no explosion (a bomb that did not explode?). Later the noise of two turbines was heard indicating the presence of surface craft.|
|11 May 1941||1100||At 1100 hours, BETASOM informed Barbarigo that a large convoy, including an aircraft carrier, two cruisers and destroyers, was in 56°00' N, 17°00' W steering 240°. The submarine altered course to intercept. Two hours later, a new signal from BETASOM amplified it by reporting only one steamer escorted by an aircraft carrier, two cruisers and destroyers and at 1600 hours, the submarine was instructed to resume her course to her patrol position.|
|12 May 1941||1259||At 1259 hours, Barbarigo received a signal from Bianchi indicating that a fast convoy was in 57°25' N, 25°05' W, course 080°, 10 knots. She altered course to intercept. A new signal from Bianchi at 1704 hours, put the convoy closer to Barbarigo, but the speed reported (14 knots) made it unlikely it could be caught up.|
|13 May 1941||1900||At 1900 hours, when Barbarigo was informed by Morosini of a single ship in 54°45' N, 21°05' W course 275°, 14 knots she altered course to intercept. By 0800 hours on the 14th, nothing was found and the chase was abandoned.|
|15 May 1941||0239||54° 15'N, 21° 58'W||At 1100 hours on the 14th, Barbarigo had received an order to form a patrol line with three other submarines. It was as follows:|
1. Bianchi Grid 7626/22 (54°15' N, 18°15' W).
2. Barbarigo Grid 5828/66 (53°55' N, 17°55' W).
3. Morosini Grid 5828/33 (53°25' N, 17°25' W).
4. Otaria Grid 5887/61 (53°05' N, 16°05' W).
On her way, at 2226 hours on the 15th, Barbarigo had sighted the dense smoke of a tanker or freighter on fire. At 2244 hours, the smoke was gone but a single vessel was now sighted zigzagging steering between 210° and 270°. After, midnight the course now appeared to be between 260° and 300°.
At 0239 hours, the submarine fired a pair of torpedoes (533mm) from the bow tubes at a distance of 1,800 metres. the first torpedo briefly appeared as a surface runner then disappeared completely from sight. The second torpedo had a normal run but missed.
The target was the British Manchester Port (5,569 GRT, built 1935), routed independently.
Barbarigo was now trying to renew the attack on Manchester Port, by moving ahead to gain a more favourable position.
At 0418 hours a torpedo (450mm) was fired from a bow tube at a range of 1,000 metres, but it missed again. C.C. Ghiglieri had intended to fire a pair of torpedoes but, immediately upon firing the first torpedo, he observed that the target had made a sudden alteration of course. He ordered to withhold the firing of the second torpedo.
The sudden alteration of course of Manchester Port had also led Barbarigo to turn.
At 0420 hours, a pair of torpedoes (533mm) were fired from the stern tubes at a distance of 500 metres. The first torpedo missed under near the bridge area, but the second hit the stern near the mast aft. The vessel appeared to stop her engines and drift slowly to starboard. A large parch of oil was observed. Manchester Port suddenly started her engines and as she moved away she appeared to be dropping a depth charge in her wake. She escaped at high speed. There was no confirmation of her damage.
|16 May 1941||0827|
|53° 12'N, 23° 13'W|
(e) 52° 55'N, 19° 46'W
|At 2208 hours on the 15th, following the discovery by Michele Bianchi of a convoy, Italian submarines had received an order (BETASOM 2155/15) to form a new patrol line which was to be as follow:|
1. Bianchi Grid 1820/51 (50°05' N, 21°45' W).
2. Barbarigo Grid 1894/61 (50°05' N, 20°55' W).
3. Morosini Grid 1826/61 (50°05' N, 18°55' W).
4. Otaria Grid 1835/61 (50°05' N, 19°55' W).
5. Malaspina Grid 1826/31 (50°05' N, 18°25' W).
The chase of Manchester Port had delayed Barbarigo. As she was trying to rejoin the new position assigned, at 0800 hours on the 16th, an aircraft was sighted in the distance. At first, it was not certain if the submarine had been detected, but the aircraft finally turned toward her. At 0817 hours, Barbarigo dived, but the hatch could not be completely shut, despite the efforts by two crew members and at a depth of 20 metres, water was pouring in. Two minutes, later the submarine was forced to surface.
On the bridge, with C.C. Ghiglieri, were his executive officer T.V. Pasquale Gigli (destined to command successively Argo, Squalo and Jalea), the gunnery officer S.T.V. Angelo Amendolia (also destined to command submarines) manning the port twin machine guns, gunner Lino Carbonetti at the starboard twin machine guns and helmsman Michele Lubrano. AT 0827 hours, the three-engine aircraft swooped down and at 500 metres, all four machine guns opened fire.
The aircraft was Catalina 'B' of 210 Squadron piloted by Flying Officer Coutts and it had been trying to locate a convoy to escort when it had sighted Barbarigo. The submarine dense antiaircraft fire had hit the seaplane, damaging the electrical circuits and this prevented it from releasing the depth charges. However, she strafed the submarine with four burst of machine gun fire. The third and fourth hit the submarine. A fuel tank was perforated by a round, the last burst hit the bridge, Ghiglieri, Amendolia and Carbonetti were slightly wounded by fragments. The submarine crash dived to 60 metres and escaped further damage.
|20 May 1941||2016||53° 15'N, 25° 40'W|
|At 2016 hours, a steamer was sighted. Barbarigo attempted to close, but lost it in a rain squall.|
|22 May 1941||1435||At 1435 hours, a steamer was sighted but Barbarigo could not catch up.|
|24 May 1941||2107||At 2107 hours, an enemy cruiser was sighted. Barbarigo dived immediately, but could detect her with her hydrophones. She did not make an enemy report, as she had been struggling in heavy seas for the last three days and had no accurate fix.|
|27 May 1941||1200||At 1200 hours, Barbarigo was returning to base through 51°30' N, 22°30' W and 45°30' N, 15°30' W, when she was ordered by BETASOM to attack the enemy warships engaging the battleship Bismarck in Italian Grid 5587 (centered on 47°30' N, 16°30' W). She altered course to the northeast, but the bad weather prevented her from making good progress. At 1330 hours, she was informed that the Bismarck was sunk.|
|27 May 1941||1356||46° 45'N, 17° 25'W||At 1356 hours, two British cruisers were seen in the mist, course 210°, 20 knots. The submarine dived, but her hydrophones were defective and were not repaired until 1651 hours, so no further contact was made.|
|28 May 1941||1100||At 1100 hours, BETASOM ordered Barbarigo to search for the Bismarck's survivors in Italian Grid 6087/21 (48°05' N, 16°15' W). The submarine did not comply as she was 190 miles away and Ghiglieri believed that many ships were already participating in the search, which was not the case. He was later criticized for not having made the attempt.|
|10 Jun 1941||Bordeaux||28 Jun 1941||Bordeaux||4230||Refit? No commander listed.|
|Murzi, Francesco||9 Jul 1941||0745||Bordeaux||9 Jul 1941||1138||Le Verdon||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|Murzi, Francesco||9 Jul 1941||1648||Le Verdon||9 Jul 1941||1919||Le Verdon||Trials.|
|Murzi, Francesco||10 Jul 1941||0830||Le Verdon||10 Jul 1941||1945||La Pallice||Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice.|
|Murzi, Francesco||11 Jul 1941||1203||La Pallice||11 Jul 1941||1930||La Pallice||44||Trials.|
|Murzi, Francesco||13 Jul 1941||1241||La Pallice||13 Jul 1941||1720||La Pallice||Trials in Le Pertuis d'Antioche.|
|7||Murzi, Francesco||13 Jul 1941||2059||La Pallice||11 Aug 1941||1303||Bordeaux||6234||Sailed for patrol west of Gibraltar in 37°25'N, 15°25'W. On 21st July, was ordered to 34°00'N, 18°30'W and subsequently 32°00'N, 16°30'W. Murzi was on his first Atlantic patrol but was seconded by good officers (T.V. Rodolfo Bombig [later c.o. Ascianghi and Zoea], T.V. Roberto Rigoli [later c.o. of Platino, Barbarigo and S.3] and S.T.V. Angelo Amendolia [later c.o. of Bagnolini and S.4]).|
|22 Jul 1941||1718||34° 55'N, 18° 35'W||At 1818 hours, Barbarigo sighted a convoy steering 250° and trailed it. At 2130 hours, she had reported convoy in German Grid CF 8989 [34°51' N, 19°10' W] steering 330°, but lost contact at 2320 hours. U-203 and U-93 reported that they would intercept this convoy.|
|25 Jul 1941||0112|
2230 GMT (e)
|32° 18'N, 26° 20'W|
(e) 32° 48'N, 26° 12'W
|At 1230 hours on 24th July, in 33°50' N, 24°55' W, a smoke was sighted on the horizon and Barbarigo altered course to intercept. The vessel was steering on a southerly course. The attack was carried out at 0112 hours on the 25th. A torpedo (450mm, type W 200) was fired at 1,000 metres, but missed due to an error in calculating the angle.|
The target was the British Macon (5,141 GRT, built. 1919). After spending the past five months repairing her boilers, she had sailed from Ponto Delgada (Azores) for Freetown, carrying 3,800 tons of general cargo. Back in February 1941, she had been part of convoy O.B. 290, but had been diverted to the Azores due to her boiler problems. Barbarigo maneuvered to get a better position. At 0239 hours, a second torpedo (533mm, W 280 type) was fired from 700 metres and hit under the funnel. The vessel began to settle.
Between 0328 and 0430 hours, Barbarigo fired 49 100mm rounds in the helpless vessel and she finally sank the next day. Of the fifty men on board, twenty-one survivors were picked up by the sloop HMS Londonderry and landed at Freetown, another twenty-seven survivors were picked up by Clan Macpherson and landed at Capetown. Two were killed or missing and two later died of exposure.
|25 Jul 1941||1140||32° 25'N, 24° 43'W||At 1140 hours, a silhouette resembling a submarine emitting smoke was seen.|
|27 Jul 1941||0037||33° 23'N, 23° 33'W||At 1240 hours on 26th July, in 33°22' N, 21°20' W, the masts and superstructure of a ship were sighted. Five minutes later, it was identified as a large tanker approaching rapidly and Barbarigo dived. However, range was more than 2,000 metres and the submarine was not at a favourable angle. She surfaced again at 1503 hours and maneuvered for an interception after dark.|
At 0037 hours on 27th July, a torpedo (533mm, W 280 type) was fired from a bow tube at 3,100 metres and hit. The target was the British tanker Horn Shell (8272 GRT, built 1931), in ballast, bound from Gibraltar to Curacoa, zigzagging at 11,5 knots. She was struck in the engine room on the port side and began to sink by the stern.
At 0127 hours, the submarine fired a second torpedo (450mm, A 115 type) and it hit the tanker amidship on the starboard side.
Six minutes later, a third torpedo (450mm, W 200 type) hit the starboard no.2 tank.
Finally, at 0238 hours, a fourth torpedo (450mm, A 115 type) hit in the engine room on the starboard side and she sank. Of the crew of fifty-six, seventeen were killed or missing. Master and fourteen of her crew were picked up by the Brazilian Cuyaba and landed at Pernambuco, twelve were rescued by the Portuguese Africa Ocidental and nine by the Portuguese trawler Maria Leonor (eight were taken off by the escort destroyer HMS Avon Vale as the radio operator had died).
|30 Jul 1941||1635||36° 45'N, 12° 49'W||At 1635, a German U-boat was encountered and recognition signals exchanged.|
|Grossi, Enzo||18 Oct 1941||1442||Bordeaux||18 Oct 1941||1909||Le Verdon||48||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|Grossi, Enzo||19 Oct 1941||0800||Le Verdon||19 Oct 1941||1540||La Pallice||72||Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice.|
|Grossi, Enzo||20 Oct 1941||1747||La Pallice||21 Oct 1941||1552||La Pallice||166||Exercises.|
|8||Grossi, Enzo||22 Oct 1941||1623||La Pallice||11 Nov 1941||1050||Le Verdon||4708,9||Sailed for patrol between 36°00'N and 37°00'N, and between 18°00'W and 19°00'W, southwest of Ireland, but then ordered to operate against convoy H.G.75 off the Portuguese coast.|
|24 Oct 1941||0910||45° 00'N, 11° 00'W||At 0910 hours, a large steamer, believed to be an armed merchant cruiser, was sighted steering 270° at over 12 knots. The submarine attempted to close to attack, but finally lost contact at 2028 hours.|
|25 Oct 1941||1604||At 1604 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|26 Oct 1941||1425||At 1425 hours, a big wave submerged the submarine and 5 tons of water entered through the hatch.|
|27 Oct 1941||1801||At 1801 hours, two large aircraft were seen and the submarine dived.|
|28 Oct 1941||2255||43° 30'N, 22° 00'W||Barbarigo was being fed with information on a convoy (H.G. 75 from Gibraltar) since the previous day and was trying to intercept. At 1000 hours on the 28th October, she had reached a position ahead and was cruising in the expectation of a contact. At 2255 hours, an enemy destroyer was suddenly sighted at 1,500 metres and passed quite close. The submarine crash-dived and heard the noises of several ships. This was undoubtedly the convoy and Barbarigo waited that it was at a safe distance away to surface. However, contact had been lost and the submarine was now scrambling to catch up.|
|29 Oct 1941||0156||43° 30'N, 22° 00'W|
|At 0156 hours, a torpedo wake was sighted, which missed the submarine by 40 metres. No allied submarine was in the vicinity, so the "torpedo" was probably a porpoise.|
|31 Oct 1941||2002||51° 25'N, 23° 25'W||Although Barbarigo had lost contact with convoy H.G.75, at 2002 hours on 31st October, a new convoy was discovered, apparently escorted by a destroyer and a submarine (note: no Allied submarine operated in the area, HMS P 36 was much farther east).|
This was convoy O.S.10 (thirty-four ships escorted by HMS Landguard (S.O.), HMS Freesia, HMS Lulworth, HMS Culver, HMS Bideford and HMS Verbena, joined the next day by HMS Stanley). The submarine immediately made an enemy report (which enabled U-boats to close in, see KTB BdU) and, at 2040 hours, sighted a white rocket [this was a rocket accidentally fired by Mariso at 1945 hours). Barbarigo attempted to attack, but could only watch the convoy under attack between 2258 and 2320 hours (this was probably the merchant ships firing snowflakes).
In fact, at 2048 hours, Bennekom was torpedoed and sunk by U-96 (KL Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock), the boat made famous by the movie "Das Boot". Barbarigo continued to trail the convoy.
|1 Nov 1941||1120||54° 05'N, 23° 25'W||At 1120 hours, a German U-boat was sighted.|
|1 Nov 1941||1131||54° 05'N, 23° 25'W||At 1131 hours, Barbarigo had renewed contact with the convoy after having lost contact for a while. However, she was apparently sighted by two destroyers, which turned toward her and chased her away.|
|1 Nov 1941||1310||At 1310 hours, a German U-boat was sighted. It was believed to be the same one located earlier. Barbarigo attempted to exchange signals without success.|
|2 Nov 1941||0958||54° 25'N, 25° 30'W||At 0958 hours, Barbarigo had still not given hope of catching up with the convoy. It now sighted a destroyer and crash-dived. Several ship noises were heard on hydrophones, leading Grossi to believe that he may have rejoined the convoy. When the submarine surfaced at 1350 hours, the horizon was empty.|
|4 Nov 1941||1138||51° 30'N, 23° 02'W||At 1138 hours, Barbarigo sighted a large steamer proceeding at 15 knots, at a distance of 18,000 metres. She attempted to close but was forced to abandon the chase due to engine defects.|
|10 Nov 1941||1902||At 1902 hours, A German aircraft was sighted, but it did not seem to notice the submarine.|
|11 Nov 1941||0512||45° 34'N, 2° 24'W||At 0512 hours, an enemy submarine was sighted. Barbarigo was not in a good attacking position and turned away. This was HMS Una (Lt. D.S.R. Martin, RN) patrolling off the Gironde. She did not notice the Italian submarine.|
|8b||Grossi, Enzo||11 Nov 1941||1210||Le Verdon||11 Nov 1941||1623||Bordeaux||50||Passage Le Verdon-Bordeaux.|
|11 Nov 1941||0512||45° 34'N, 2° 24'W||At 0512 hours, an enemy submarine was sighted. Barbarigo was not in a good attacking position and turned away. This was HMS Una (Lt. D.S.R. Martin, RN) patrolling off the Gironde. She did not notice the Italian submarine.|
|Grossi, Enzo||15 Jan 1942||1529||Bordeaux||15 Jan 1942||2003||Le Verdon||48||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|Grossi, Enzo||16 Jan 1942||0900||Le Verdon||16 Jan 1942||1647||La Pallice||74,5||Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice and trials at Le Pertuis d'Antioche.|
|Grossi, Enzo||18 Jan 1942||0653||La Pallice||18 Jan 1942||1125||La Pallice||Trials.|
|9||Grossi, Enzo||18 Jan 1942||1723||La Pallice||16 Feb 1942||1131||Le Verdon||6034||Patrolled west of Azores and north of Madeira.|
|23 Jan 1942||1220||37° 31'N, 14° 50'W||At 1220 hours, a German U-boat was sighted at 6,000 metres and exchanged recognition signals.|
|24 Jan 1942||0120||36° 46'N, 15° 28'W|
(e) 36° 48'N, 15° 46'W
|At 2300 hours on 23rd January, the officer of the watch G.M. Giuseppe Tendi (who later would command C.B. 16 and be murdered by his mutinous crew) spotted an illuminated ship on a 315° course. This course did not seem to coincide with a ship going to the Azores and Grossi decided to attack her.|
At 0120 hours, two torpedoes were fired from the stern tubes at a distance of 1,200 metres and he claimed that both hit, but the ship was only damaged. This was actually the Spanish Navemar (5,301 GRT, built 1921), which had made the news by carrying Jewish refugees to the United States while charging exorbitant prices.
At 0134 hours, a third torpedo was fired but missed.
Finally, at 0145 hours, a fourth torpedo sealed her fate and she sank 12 minutes later. Two were killed and thirty-four survivors were picked by the Spanish Isla De Teneriffe. The Spanish Ministry of Marine informed the British Naval Attaché that the submarine was almost certainly Italian. Grossi, who would have a career marred by controversy, claimed to have sunk an armed merchant cruiser.
|31 Jan 1942||0900||36° 08'N, 33° 42'W||At 0900 hours, two fishing vessels were sighted but left alone.|
|5 Feb 1942||1930||47° 30'N, 30° 15'W||At 1930 hours, the submarine Bagnolini was encountered and they exchanged recognition signals.|
|10 Feb 1942||1510||50° 00'N, 31° 30'W||At 1510 hours, a fast steamer was sighted, zigzagging and steering 060°. Barbarigo trailed her by staying at the limit of visibility, with the intention of attacking after dark. At 2110 hours, distance was now 12,000 metres, when the submarine was sighted and the vessel made an SOS, opening fire, but her rounds fell short. At 2136 hours, Barbarigo abandoned the chase as the she did not seem able to catch up and was using up her fuel. She altered course to intercept a convoy reported by Finzi.|
|13 Feb 1942||1425||46° 25'N, 16° 15'W||At 1425 hours, A Sunderland aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|Grossi, Enzo||16 Feb 1942||1440||Le Verdon||16 Feb 1942||1820||Bordeaux||Passage Le Verdon-Bordeaux.|
|Grossi, Enzo||21 Apr 1942||1005||Bordeaux||21 Apr 1942||1449||Le Verdon||50||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|Grossi, Enzo||22 Apr 1942||0750||Le Verdon||22 Apr 1942||1826||La Pallice||75||Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice.|
|Grossi, Enzo||23 Apr 1942||0751||La Pallice||23 Apr 1942||1133||La Pallice||30||Exercises.|
|Grossi, Enzo||24 Apr 1942||0821||La Pallice||24 Apr 1942||1134||La Pallice||27||Exercises.|
|10||Grossi, Enzo||25 Apr 1942||1528||La Pallice||16 Jun 1942||1900||Bordeaux||9305,7||Patrolled off Cape San Rocco (Brazil) and 300 miles northeast of Cape San Rocco. Note: The submarine sailed at a cruising speed of 7 knots, which gave a daily consumption of 2.8 tons of diesel oil.|
|28 Apr 1942||1140||45° 15'N, 10° 53'W||At 1140 hours, an aircraft was seen and the gun crew went to action station but the aircraft apparently did not notice the submarine.|
|4 May 1942||2100||29° 22'N, 23° 00'W||At 2100 hours, an aircraft was seen trailing smoke. The gun crew went to action station but the aircraft apparently did not pay any attention to the submarine.|
|9 May 1942||1221||16° 15'N, 28° 00'W||At 1221 hours, a steamer was sighted on a northerly course. Barbarigo could not close on the surface, because of the head winds and the smoke from her diesel engines, which would have given her away. At 1225 hours, the submarine submerged but could not close to less than 4,000 meters and the attack was aborted.|
|18 May 1942||2307|
1814 or 2114 (e)
|1° 45'S, 34° 45'W|
(e) 2° 59'S, 34° 10'W
|At 1340 hours, two masts were sighted in the distance. Barbarigo increased speed to 12 then to 15 knots and maneuvered to be in position ahead of the target. At 1807 hours, she was at about 16,000 metres and, at 2230 hours (Rome time) it was dusk and she reverted course to meet the ship head on.|
At 2307 hours, a stern shot was made from 800 metres. It hit, but the vessel was only damaged. This was the Brazilian tanker Comandante Lyra (5,753 GRT, built 1919) on passage from Victoria (Brazil) to Pernambuco.
At 2347 hours, the submarine opened fire to finish her off. Because of heavy seas, only the forward gun was manned. After 19 rounds fired from only 200 metres, 16 of which were claimed to have hit, the vessel was set on fire and abandoned. Barbarigo left the scene.
However, the tanker was later found drifting and was towed by the seaplane tender USS Thrush (AVP-3). She was then joined by the Brazilian Naval tug Heitor Perdigao and the minesweeper Caravelas and brought to Fortaleza on 25th May. Forty-one survivors were picked up by the destroyer USS Moffett (DD-362) and the light cruiser USS Wilwaukee (CL-5), nine reached the Brazilian coast and two men were missing.
|20 May 1942||0250||4° 19'S, 34° 32'W|
(0) Italian Grid 3890/23.
|At 0245 hours, Barbarigo was steering 020°, when officer of the watch, First Officer T.V. Angelo Amendolia, observed a dark dark shadow. He immediately put the helm hard to starboard and summoned C.C. Grossi to the bridge. It was a large destroyer. The submarine was ready to make a stern attack when a much larger shadow appeared, which was identified as an American battleship of the MARYLAND-CALIFORNIA class because of her lattice masts. She was followed by a second destroyer.|
At 0250 hours, two stern torpedoes were fired at 650 metres, aimed at the "battleship" (one of 533mm and one 450mm of type A 115) which was steering 200° at 15 knots. After 35 seconds, two explosions were observed. G.M. Tendi who was observing with binoculars, reported that the battleship was sunk and this confirmed Grossi's impressions. From a distance of 800 metres, Grossi saw the battleship sinking bow first.
Grossi did not waste time in forwarding his claim and, at 1500 hours on 22nd May, he received a signal from Rome informing of his promotion and the congratulations from the Duce and a grateful Nation. Unfortunately, the target was the light cruiser USS Wilwaukee (CL-5), escorted by the destroyer USS Moffett (DD-362) [no second destroyer was present] and neither ships seem to be aware that they were the subject of an attack. The two warships had just rescued the survivors of Comandante Lyra and were on their way to Recife.
|22 May 1942||1830||3° 46'S, 33° 25'W||At 1830 hours, an aircraft identified as a bomber of the Fokker G.1 type was observed diving from the clouds at a distance of 2,000 metres. It dropped what appeared to be eight 100-kg bombs. They fell on the port side, the first one 20 metres from the conning tower and the last two missed the stern by 5 metres.|
The aircraft was a Mitchell (B-25) of the Agrupamento de Avioes de Adaptacao (Brazilian F.A.B.) It was piloted by Captains Parreiras Hort and Pamplona. Brazil was still officially neutral but, after the attack on Comandante Lyra, the Brazilian pilots (with four Americans including a flight instructor) were in no mood for mercy and dropped ten 100-lb bombs. The submarine replied with her deck and machine guns and claimed the aircraft hit.
|26 May 1942||1844||2° 15'S, 30° 35'W||At 1844 hours, Barbarigo sighted two torpedo tracks believed to have been fired by an enemy submarine. There were no allied submarines in the area. Possibly another case of "porpoise" sighting.|
|28 May 1942||2251||7° 15'S, 30° 05'W||At 0915 hours, Barbarigo was informed of a ship traveling alone steering 030°, 12 knots, sighted by Alpino Bagnolini and moved to intercept. At 1132 hours, a ship had been sighted at a range of 7,000 meters and the submarine had trailed her and finally received the permission from BETASOM to attack at 2220 hours.|
At 2251 hours, a torpedo was fired from a bow tube at 1,500 metres, it missed as the vessel had apparently spotted it and took evasive action. This was the British Charlbury (4,836 GRT, built 1940) bound from Cardiff to Buenos Aires with 8,600 tons of coal. She had been in convoy O.N.93, but then dispersed on 13th May.
At 2257 hours, a second torpedo was launched from a stern tube at 1,000 metres but again it missed as the British vessel avoided it. At 2300 hours, a third torpedo was fired from a stern tube at 1,000 metres but again with the same result. In fact, the crew of Charlbury were still not aware that they were under attack. Barbarigo broke off the attack to reload, Grossi intending to renew it again when this was done.
|29 May 1942||0237|
0035 GMT (e)
|7° 15'S, 30° 05'W|
(e) 6° 22'S, 29° 44'W
(0) Italian Grid 2162/33.
|At 0237 hours, with gun crew at the ready, Barbarigo made a new attack on Charlbury by firing a torpedo from a bow tube at a range of 400 metres. The British freighter had seen her breaking surface on the starboard bow and immediately turned hard to starboard, making straight for the submarine. The torpedo track was observed and it passed under the stern.|
According to Charlbury's Master (Captain William Laidler) report, the submarine crash dived, but this may have been a memory lapse. One minute after the torpedo left the tube, Barbarigo opened fire with both her main armament and machine guns, sweeping the aft section to prevent the enemy from manning the stern gun. Survivors confirm that the submarine gunfire was effective and one of their gunners fell wounded before they could reply, forcing them to abandon the 4" gun. Grossi does not mention how many rounds his submarine fired, but Captain Laidler estimated that 25 to 30 shells were fired and four found their mark.
At 0301 hours, a fifth torpedo was fired from a forward tube at a distance of 400 metres. This time it hit the target after a run of 19 seconds and Charlbury sank slowly. Gunfire was finally checked at 0312 hours.
Two minutes later, as the submarine was moving away, Grossi decided to accelerate the sinking by firing a torpedo (450mm, A 115 type) from a distance of 2,000 metres. It was exactly the range limit for this type of torpedo and, unsurprisingly, it did not hit. However, eight minutes later, Charlbury finally disappeared beneath the waves. Two were killed, the light cruiser USS Omaha (CL-4) picked up thirty-nine survivors and landed them at Pernambuco.
|11 Jun 1942||0720||At 0720 hours, the conning tower of a submarine was observed.|
|11 Jun 1942||1020||At 2020 hours, a steamer was sighted on a 300° course. Barbarigo gave chase until 1630 hours, when she she was identified as the Portuguese Lima (4,056 GRT, built 1908). During the chase, at 1330 hours, twenty explosions were observed on the horizon, which were believed to be from depth-charges and five from bombs.|
|12 Jun 1942||0710||At 0710 hours, a Portuguese steamer was sighted and left alone.|
|Grossi, Enzo||23 Aug 1942||1600||Bordeaux||23 Aug 1942||2146||Le Verdon||45||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|Grossi, Enzo||24 Aug 1942||1058||Le Verdon||24 Aug 1942||1904||La Pallice||81||Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice.|
|Grossi, Enzo||25 Aug 1942||1533||La Pallice||25 Aug 1942||1745||La Pallice||10||Trials.|
|11||Grossi, Enzo||29 Aug 1942||1635||La Pallice||29 Oct 1942||2330||Le Verdon||10974,6||Sailed for Brazilian coast, but later moved to Freetown and then off Capo Verde. Operated off French Equatorial Africa and the Belgian Congo.|
|30 Aug 1942||1300||44° 42'N, 3° 58'W||At 1300 hours, three aircraft were seen and the submarine dived.|
|30 Aug 1942||1500||44° 42'N, 3° 58'W|
|At 1500 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|7 Sep 1942||2015||30° 50'N, 20° 15'W||At 2015 hours, a tanker was seen proceeding toward the Azores or Canaries. The submarine gave chase but, at 2150 hours, she was recognised as Spanish.|
|11 Sep 1942||1630||20° 25'N, 20° 30'W||At 1630 hours, four columns of water were seen on the horizon. They were believed to be bombs dropped for intimidation.|
|13 Sep 1942||1055||14° 50'N, 20° 29'W||At 1055 hours, a lifeboat was seen and the submarine closed. Only dead bodies were on board. On 17th September, Barbarigo was ordered to refuel from Cappellini in 00°00' N, 15°00' W. The position was reached at 1900 hours on the 19th, but Cappellini was not at the rendezvous.|
|19 Sep 1942||0520||1° 00'N, 14° 30'W||At 0520 hours, a French cruiser of LA GALISSONIÈRE class was sighted steering 350°.|
|27 Sep 1942||0030||2° 45'N, 6° 40'W||At 0030 hours, a submarine chaser was sighted. Five minutes later, Barbarigo dived to avoid being seen, the hydrophones appeared to detect two ships.|
|1 Oct 1942||1250|
|3° 35'N, 7° 35'W|
(e) 3° 43'N, 7° 34'W
|At 1250 hours, an aircraft surprised the submarine by suddenly diving from the clouds. There was no time to dive and Barbarigo's machine guns opened fire but the rough seas made the aiming difficult. The aircraft, identified of the Hudson type, flew over at a height of 100 metres and dropped four bombs. Two bombs, which were actually estimated as 250-kg depth charges, missed off the port beam and the other two off the starboard bow ahead. They exploded about 20 metres below the surface. In the meantime, both 100mm guns opened fire to keep the aircraft at bay.|
At 1315 hours, the aircraft was near the horizon and Grossi ordered the gun crews below and the submarine dived. The aircraft was Hudson 'W' of 200 Squadron piloted by Flying Officer W. McCallum.
|1 Oct 1942||1730|
|3° 22'N, 8° 00'W|
(e) 3° 24'N, 7° 32'W
|Following the air attack earlier in the day, the submarine surfaced at 1526 hours. The sky was clear of aircraft, but Barbarigo was still 30 miles from the Liberian coast and Grossi decided to move away as fast as possible. At 1730 hours, an aircraft was sighted ahead. The gun crews were immediately called to their stations at the 100mm and Breda guns.|
The aircraft made two runs, dropping two bombs each time, but the submarine put up an effective antiaircraft fire and avoided the bombs. The aircraft returned for a third run, but this time only strafed the submarine without dropping any bomb. The gunner Carlo Marcheselli, at the aft gun, was hit and fell in the water, crying "Viva il Re" ("Long live the King"). At 1750 hours, Barbarigo dived.
The aircraft was Hudson 'V' of 200 Squadron piloted by Sergeant J. Boyd. It was doing a follow-up to the attack by aircraft 'W", and sighted the submarine at a distance of 3 miles on a course of 253 degrees at 10 knots. It had dropped two 250-lb A/S bombs from a height of 700 feet on the first attack and two more from a height of only 50 feet. Boyd believed he had silenced the aft gun and killed all the gun crew on its third attack, but Marcheselli was the only one killed.
|6 Oct 1942||0232|
|2° 05'N, 14° 25'W|
(e) 2° 21'N, 14° 30'W
|At 0220 hours, lookout Pietro Pastorino observed a shadow at 4,000 metres on the port beam. The Officer of the Watch was S.T.V. Sergio Bresina and he immediately ordered the engine (only one diesel was running) to increase speed and summoned Grossi to the bridge. Initially, Barbarigo was turning away for a stern attack and the shadow was shortly identified as a battleship of the MISSISSIPI class. However, due to the apparent absence of escort, Grossi changed his mind and preferred using his forward tubes.|
At 0232 hours, the four bow tubes were emptied at 2-second intervals from a distance of 2,000 metres and the submarine was turning to follow up with a stern attack. After about 90 seconds, four explosions were heard by all (it is interesting to note that the Grossi report does not mention any observation).
At 0235 hours, a new shadow, this time it was a destroyer, was sighted astern at 2,000 metres, Barbarigo did not submerge but left the scene at reduced speed as it was feared that the phosphorescence of her wake at high speed would reveal her presence. At 0238 hours, the "battleship" had disappeared beneath the waves. At 0243 hours, a second destroyer appeared but the submarine made good her escape.
At 0600 hours, Grossi sent a signal to the High Command informing them that he had sunk a second "battleship". On 8th October, the Führer conferred the Iron Cross to Grossi. The Duce had him promoted to C.V. and awarded him the Medaglia d'Oro (Gold Medal, the highest Italian award). Axis propaganda made the best of it, but was met with sarcasm by British and American newspapers.
Unfortunately, the "battleship" was the corvette HMS Petunia who had sighted five torpedo tracks (not four!). One torpedo passed under her (the torpedoes had been set for a depth of 6 metres) and another missed close astern, but her ASDIC and R.D.F. were inoperative and her counter attack, at 2255 hours, with only one depth charge was ineffective.
|7 Oct 1942||2237||0° 08'S, 16° 15'W||At 2337 hours, a small patrol vessel was observed. Barbarigo turned away but at 2240 hours she was illuminated by flares and dived immediately.|
|24 Oct 1942||1030||At 1030 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|24 Oct 1942||1320||At 1320 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|27 Oct 1942||0703||At 0703 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|28 Oct 1942||0645||At 0645 hours, an aircraft was seen which appeared to take off (a seaplane?) and the submarine dived. At 1753 hours, Barbarigo received a signal from BETASOM ordering her to make sure to arrive in Bordeaux on 29th October, as a ceremony was being prepared in her honour.|
|11b||Grossi, Enzo||30 Oct 1942||0830||Le Verdon||30 Oct 1942||1130||Bordeaux||48||Passage Le Verdon-Bordeaux, where an elaborate ceremony was carried out to commemorate the "sinking" of the two battleships. Many German and Italian officials were present and Admiral Doenitz decorated C.C. Grossi with the Iron Cross.|
|Rigoli, Roberto||19 Jan 1943||1457||Bordeaux||19 Jan 1943||1947||Le Verdon||49||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|Rigoli, Roberto||20 Jan 1943||0830||Le Verdon||20 Jan 1943||1650||La Pallice||50||Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice.|
|Rigoli, Roberto||21 Jan 1943||1255||La Pallice||21 Jan 1943||1632||La Pallice||6,5||Exercises.|
|Rigoli, Roberto||23 Jan 1943||1408||La Pallice||23 Jan 1943||1730||La Pallice||5,5||Exercises.|
|12||Rigoli, Roberto||24 Jan 1943||1624||La Pallice||3 Apr 1943||1337||Le Verdon||10280,3||Patrolled between 12°00'S and 15°00'S, and between 36°00'W and the Brazilian coast.|
|27 Jan 1943||2250||At 2250 hours, an aircraft was detected by the Metox apparatus and the submarine dived.|
|28 Jan 1943||0800||At 0800 hours, an aircraft was detected by the Metox apparatus and the submarine dived.|
|28 Jan 1943||1815||At 1815 hours, an aircraft was detected by the Metox apparatus and the submarine dived.|
|29 Jan 1943||1305||At 1305 hours, two aircraft were seen and the submarine dived.|
|1 Feb 1943||1100||At 1100 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|2 Feb 1943||1145||At 1145 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|5 Feb 1943||0640||At 0640 hours, a steamer was sighted proceeding toward the Azores. She proved to be Spanish and the submarine turned away.|
|24 Feb 1943||1318|
1241 GCT (e)
|4° 30'S, 32° 30'W|
(e) 4° 09'S, 32° 18'W
|At 0925 hours, a smoke was seen on the horizon. It appeared to be traveling at less than 10 knots. T.V. Rigoli decided not to wait for darkness and intercept her in broad daylight. At 1225 hours, Barbarigo dived to carry out a submerged attack.|
At 1318 hours, two stern torpedoes (450mm) were fired from a distance of 1,200 metres. Both hit but the vessel was only damaged. This was the Spanish Monte Igueldo (5,441 GRT, built 1921) bound from Buenos Aires to Teneriffe and Las Palmas carrying 5,400 tons of wheat and corn and a single ton of sugar for the British consul in Las Palmas. It was another tragic error, as Spain was a not only neutral, but a tacit ally of the Axis.
|24 Feb 1943||1343|
|4° 30'S, 32° 30'W|
(e) 4° 37'S, 32° 04'W
|At 1343 hours, T.V. Rigoli decided to surface to finish the stricken Monte Igueldo with his artillery. The hatch had barely been opened, when a heavy explosion astern shook the submarine. An aircraft was observed passing about 400 metres on the starboard side. The submarine's helm was hard to port as the gunners rushed to their station. The aircraft, identified as an American Consolidated 31 type, came to about 100 metres from the stern as the Breda machine guns opened fire and it flew away toward the south. The forward 100mm gun fired a round at a range of 1,000 metres and came very close in hitting the aircraft. At about 3,000 metres, the aircraft suddenly turned back for a new attack, but another 100mm exploded near and prevented it from completing the attack. It flew away, but appeared to stay at a distance of 10,000 metres.|
The aircraft was P-6 a PBM-3c (Mariner) of USN squadron VP-74 piloted by Ensign W.J. Barnard, USN, investigating a radar contact, which turned out to be the Spanish Monte Igueldo being torpedoed. It had discovered the submarine surfacing but, as it attacked, the machine guns jammed. It could only deliver a stick of four depth charges from a height of 60 feet. The aircraft was hit by antiaircraft fire in both wings. It had two more depth charges, but the intensity of the antiaircraft fire dissuaded the pilot from carrying out a new attack.
|24 Feb 1943||1354||4° 30'S, 32° 30'W|
(e) 4° 09'S, 32° 18'W
|Rigoli now decided to finish off his victim before other aircraft arrived to the scene.|
At 1352 hours, he ordered his gun crews below but as they were executing the order, Gunnery Sergeant Pietro Picchi, who had undone his safety belt, was carried off by a wave. Not wasting time, Rigoli ordered his submarine to turn back in so doing, fired a third torpedo (450mm) from a stern tube. It had an erratic course and missed.
At 1404 hours, Picchi who had calmly waited for his submarine to fetch him, was recovered. Although by this time, the identity of the target had been confirmed, Rigoli decided to finish her off.
At 1407 hours, a fourth torpedo (533mm) was fired from a bow tube and Monte Igueldo slid beneath the waves. There were thirty-four survivors, and one killed. Her Master, 49 year-old Emilio Ibargurengoitia Aresti, very correctly described the two torpedo hits as made by smaller torpedoes then the third torpedo hit to be a larger one. Monte Igueldo had been stopped the previous day and searched by the light cruiser USS Savannah (CL-42).
|2 Mar 1943||2301|
|16° 44'S, 36° 10'W|
(e) 16° 14'S, 37° 30'W
|At 1703 hours, a vessel was sighted zigzagging at 12 knots, on a mean course of 200°. The submarine moved easily to take position ahead of her. At 2301 hours, a pair of torpedoes (533mm) was fired, angled at 15° to port, at a distance of 540 metres. The second torpedo did not appear to follow the proper path and a third one was immediately fired. All three hit the target.|
At 2302 hours, Rigoli also decided to open fire, but after the first round, it was checked as crew and passengers were observed taking to lifeboats and the ship sank. This was Brazilian Affonso Penna (3,540 GRT, built 1910) on a trip from Pernambuco to Rio de Janeiro. Some 119 survivors were picked up by the American freighter Tennessee. Eight survivors reached land at Porto Seguro on 6th March. Thirty-one crew members and eighty-four passengers were missing.
|3 Mar 1943||2313|
|16° 19'S, 36° 45'W|
(e) 16° 44'S, 36° 33'W
|At 1647 hours, a motorship (later estimated at 12,000 tons) was observed in the distance. It appeared to have spotted the submarine and tried escaping on a straight line without zigzagging, steering 230°. Barbarigo raced to intercept at 15.5 knots. However, the heat in the engine room was such, that a box of provisions was set afire. The fire was quickly extinguished without slowing down the submarine.|
At 2313 hours, three torpedoes (533mm) were fired from the bow tubes at a distance of 780 metres. All three hit, but the vessel did not sink.
At 2329 hours, a torpedo (450mm) was fired from a stern tube, but it missed under.
At 2344 hours, another torpedo (450mm) from a stern tube was the coup-de-grace and the ship sank. This was the American refrigeration ship Stag Hound (8,591 GRT, built 1942) routed independently from New York to Rio de Janeiro. The crew of eighty-four were rescued by the Argentine steamer Rio Colorado and landed at Rio de Janeiro on 6th March.
|11 Mar 1943||1630||The submarine Luigi Torelli was encountered and, from 1656 to 2136 hours, took 20 tons of fuel from Barbarigo.|
|22 Mar 1943||1832||At 1832 hours, a Spanish ship was sighted but left alone.|
|27 Mar 1943||0505||At 0505 hours, an aircraft was detected with Metox and the submarine dived.|
|28 Mar 1943||1312||At 1312 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|29 Mar 1943||0508||At 0508 hours, an aircraft was detected with Metox and the submarine dived.|
|1 Apr 1943||1735||At 1735 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|3 Apr 1943||0703||At 0703 hours, an Italian submarine (Torelli) was encountered with a German escort. Barbarigo requested that a German minesweeper take her in tow as she had great difficulty in maneuvering because of defects to her steering gear. The tow parted three times and the attempt was abandoned. However the submarine managed to keep station and reached Le Verdon where the repairs were completed.|
|Rigoli, Roberto||4 Apr 1943||1440||Le Verdon||4 Apr 1943||1833||Bordeaux||49||Passage Le Verdon-Bordeaux.|
|Rigoli, Roberto||7 May 1943||Bordeaux||31 May 1943||Bordeaux||In Bordeaux.|
|13||De Julio, Umberto||16 Jun 1943||Bordeaux?||20 Jun 1943||Sunk with all hands||Storing trip to the Far East (130 tons) with passengers Colonel Gondo and Colonel Miura (Medical Officer). Sunk. Exact date unknown, probably on 20th June 1943 or later. Six officers, forty-seven ratings and two passengers killed, no survivors.|
|20 Jun 1943|
(e) 45° 28'N, 9° 31'W
|At 1637 hours, Whitley 'J' (EB399) of 10 Squadron sighted a submarine on a SW (outbound) course. The bomber attacked from the starboard beam of the submarine, releasing a stick of six depth charges from 75 feet. The rear gunner saw the stick undershoot, exploding well short. Another aircraft was now observed approaching and carrying out an attack during which it was observed to crash in flames.|
This aircraft was Whitley 'L' (LA814) of the same squadron, piloted by Flight Sergeant H. Martin. It attacked at 1640 hours and was witnessed by bomber 'J' and three Halifaxes of 58 Squadron to approach from a low height and release a stick of six depth charges as the U-boat turned to port. The stick was observed by 'J' to slightly undershoot, the last depth charge falling just short of the U-boat's stern. Though no flak was observed from the submarine, the Whitley was seen to be trailing smoke following the attack. It caught fire, crashing into the sea. There were no survivors of the six man crew. The submarine then dived apparently normally.
Could this have been Barbarigo? Was she perhaps mortally wounded? She disappeared without a trace. T.V. Umberto De Julio, five officers and forty-seven ratings were missing.
139 entries. 49 total patrol entries (13 marked as war patrols) and 104 events.