Italian submarines in World War Two


Maggiore Francesco Baracca (BC, I.10)
Baracca

TypeOcean going 
ClassMarconi (17) 
Laid down 1 Mar 1939 Odero-Terni-Orlando, Muggiano
Launched21 Apr 1940
Commissioned10 Jul 1940
End service
Stricken
Loss date8 Sep 1941
Loss position40° 31'N, 21° 15'W
History
Fate Rammed and sunk on 8th September 1941 north-east of the Azores in position 40°31'N, 21°15'W after being forced to surface by depth charges and being damaged by gunfire from the escort destroyer HMS Croome.

Commands

CommanderDate fromDate toCommand
C.C. Enrico Bertarelli10 Jul 194031 Jul 1941
T.V. Giorgio VianiAug 19418 Sep 1941

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Bertarelli, Enrico20 Jul 19400915La Spezia20 Jul 19401615La Spezia30Trials.

Bertarelli, Enrico25 Jul 19400624La Spezia25 Jul 19401820La Spezia96Trials.

Bertarelli, Enrico28 Jul 19400752La Spezia28 Jul 19401820La Spezia59Trials.

Bertarelli, Enrico29 Jul 19400805La Spezia29 Jul 19401646La Spezia59Trials.

Bertarelli, Enrico31 Jul 19400725La Spezia31 Jul 19401641La Spezia61Trials.

Bertarelli, Enrico5 Aug 19400854La Spezia5 Aug 19401540La Spezia3Gyrocompass tests.

Bertarelli, Enrico6 Aug 19400820La Spezia6 Aug 19401805La Spezia58Exercises.

Bertarelli, Enrico7 Aug 19400805La Spezia7 Aug 19401310La Spezia29Exercises.

Bertarelli, Enrico8 Aug 19400804La Spezia8 Aug 19401740La Spezia52Exercises.

Bertarelli, Enrico13 Aug 19400805La Spezia13 Aug 19401730La Spezia52Exercises.

Bertarelli, Enrico14 Aug 19400708La Spezia14 Aug 19401335La Spezia53Exercises.

Bertarelli, Enrico16 Aug 19400845La Spezia16 Aug 19401335La Spezia34Exercises.

Bertarelli, Enrico24 Aug 19401002La Spezia24 Aug 19401930La Spezia72Exercises.

Bertarelli, Enrico27 Aug 19400733La Spezia27 Aug 19401245La Spezia26Exercises.

Bertarelli, Enrico29 Aug 19400845La Spezia29 Aug 19401325La Spezia31Exercises.

1Bertarelli, Enrico31 Aug 19400130La Spezia5 Oct 1940EveningTalais (Pauillac)Passage La Spezia-Bordeaux. Passed Gibraltar on 7th September 1940. Patrolled off Madeira in area between 33°40'N / 35°20'N and 16°50'W and 30°05'W from 12th to 30th September 1940. Met Giuliani and escorted by M-9 and M-13.
  1 Oct 19401615-195540° 04'N, 17° 10'WAt 1615 hours, a steamer was observed at a distance of 15,000 metres on an easterly course. Baracca increased speed to give chase,which was made difficult by the heavy seas (Force 5). The vessel was finally stopped with a warning burst of machine gun fire. She was ordered to send a boat with her papers.

This was the Greek Aghios Nicolaos (3,687 GRT, 1915) on passage from Santa Fé to Belfast carrying 2,200 tons of zinc and 3,982 tons of wood.

C.C. Bertarelli briefly considered capturing her, but this would prove too difficult. He gave the crew 30 minutes to abandon ship. When the time had elapsed, the submarine opened fire with about 40 rounds and she sank at 1955 hours.

The survivors were later rescued by Spanish vessels.
  5 Oct 19400815
0716 (e)
45° 39'N, 1° 41'WAt 0815 hours, Maggiore Baracca was proceeding in company of Reginaldo Giuliani, escorted by the German minesweepers M-9 and M-13 and by the Sperrbrecher Cap Hadid, when three torpedo wakes were sighted. They apparently missed Baracca 300 metres astern and exploded at the end of their run.

The attack had been by the submarine HMS Tigris (Lt. Cdr. H.F. Bone, RN). She had sighted what was believed to be three U-boats (only two were present), escorted by two ELAN class boats and had fired a salvo of four torpedoes from 2,500 yards range.
Two explosions were heard after 124 and 131 seconds and then only two U-boats were sighted, leading Lt. Cdr. Bone to believe that a U-boat had been sunk.

1bBertarelli, Enrico5 Oct 1940TimeTalais5 Oct 1940EveningPauillacPassage Talais-Pauillac.
  5 Oct 19400815
0716 (e)
45° 39'N, 1° 41'WAt 0815 hours, Maggiore Baracca was proceeding in company of Reginaldo Giuliani, escorted by the German minesweepers M-9 and M-13 and by the Sperrbrecher Cap Hadid, when three torpedo wakes were sighted. They apparently missed Baracca 300 metres astern and exploded at the end of their run.

The attack had been by the submarine HMS Tigris (Lt. Cdr. H.F. Bone, RN). She had sighted what was believed to be three U-boats (only two were present), escorted by two ELAN class boats and had fired a salvo of four torpedoes from 2,500 yards range.
Two explosions were heard after 124 and 131 seconds and then only two U-boats were sighted, leading Lt. Cdr. Bone to believe that a U-boat had been sunk.

1cBertarelli, Enrico6 Oct 1940Time?Pauillac6 Oct 19401132Bordeaux5376Passage Pauillac-Bordeaux.

2Bertarelli, Enrico24 Oct 19401105Bordeaux24 Nov 19401145Le Verdon4822Patrolled west of British Isles in (1) between 56°20 N and 57°20'N, and between 15°10'W and 17°10'W, (2) between 57°20 N and 58°20'N, and between 15°10'W and 20°10'W (3) between 56°20'N and 57°20'N, between 17°10'W and 20°10'W [between Grids 5570 and 5502]. On 28th October took 5 tons of water through the hatch.
  27 Oct 19401505
1800 (e)
47° 03'N, 15° 55'W
(0) German Grid BE 6441.
At 1505 hours, the German raider Schiff 21 (Widder) was encountered on her way to Brest, course 090°, 5 knots. Baracca exchanged recognition signals with her.
  28 Oct 1940During the day, heavy weather was encountered (Force 9) and 5 tons of water were embarked through the conning tower hatch. Baracca had to heave to and during the night managed to resume her course.
  31 Oct 1940210955° 40'N, 16° 23'WAt 1935 hours, a 3-4,000 ton steamer was sighted in rough weather (Force 5) at 8,000 metres, steering 270°.

At 2109, Baracca took advantage of a rain squall to close to 800 metres and fire a single torpedo (533mm, S.I.H. type) from a range of 800 metres. It apparently missed under the bow. The vessel apparently turned toward the submarine and attempted to ram, but was avoided by going full astern. It managed to escape as Baracca had trouble making more than 8 knots. An attempt to chase her was given up at 0020 hours on 1st November.

The identity of this target has not been established.
  1 Nov 19401820-1705/256° 45'N, 17° 55'WAt 1820 hours, a convoy of three to five unescorted ships was sighted at a distance of 6,000 metres on an easterly course. Baracca made an enemy report and trailed it. By darkness, it disppeared from view. Repeated attempts were made to regain contact and some were picked up with the hydrophones, but no visual contact was obtained.

At 1705 hours on 2nd November, the chase was abandoned.
  9 Nov 1940094555° 00'N, 18° 00'W
(0) Approximately.
At 0945 hours, an armed tanker was sighted at 5,000 metres, steering east. Baracca attempted a submerged attack, but the vessel altered course away. She was zigzagging at 15 knots. The submarine surfaced to try to close the range, but had trouble gaining on her and lost sight. An attempt to regain contact was made until 1645 hours when it was given up.
  10 Nov 19401117
1100 (e)
55° 00'N, 18° 00'W
(0) Approximately.
At 1117 hours, two destroyers were sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres. Baracca dived to intercept, but had difficulty in staying at periscope depth and finally went down to 80 meters. She heard three depth-charges at a distance.

At 1100 hours, an Italian submarine was reported damaged in 49°50' N, 11°13' W. It is not clear if this referred to Baracca. The destroyers HMS Jaguar (D.5), HMS Jackal and HMS Jupiter were sailed from the Eddystone area to hunt the submarine and a section of Blenheim bombers was to escort them.
  18 Nov 1940214752° 57'N, 18° 03'WOn 16th November, Baracca had been informed of the presence of a convoy.

At 1200 hours on the 17th, only a German aircraft was seen, apparently looking for the convoy.

At 1130 hours on the 18th, Baracca turned back as she had only enough fuel for the trip home.

At 1740 hours, a smoke was sighted. The submarine proceeded at high speed to intercept, but a fire in her starboard diesel forced her to slow down.

At 2147 hours, a large steamer was sighted at 800 metres steering to the east at 12 knots and Baracca fired a torpedo (533mm, S.I.H. type) from a bow tube. It missed ahead.

This was the British Lilian Moller (5,285 GRT, built 1915), a straggler from convoy SLS.53D. She was on a voyage from Calcutta and Table Bay with a cargo of pig iron for the UK.

C.C. Bertarelli intended to fire another torpedo from 600 metres but was thwarted by a sudden alteration of course from the freighter. Baracca crossed her wake, 200 metres astern and attempted a stern shot but, by this time, the distance of 800 metres was judged too great. A third attempt was equally nullified. The submarine now moved ahead to obtain a more favourable position.

At 2303 hours, a second torpedo was fired (533mm, S.I.H. type) from a bow tube at 500 metres. She was hit astern and sank at 2347 hours. A lifeboat was seen and the submarine closed. Shots were heard. It was not clear if the target was the submarine of if some of the survivors were committing suicide and the submarine broke off its attempt. This lifeboat was never found.

There were no survivors. Forty-nine were killed, forty-two of them were Chinese nationals.

2bBertarelli, Enrico26 Nov 1940Time?Le Verdon26 Nov 19401735BordeauxPassage Le Verdon-Bordeaux.

3Bertarelli, Enrico18 Jan 19410950Bordeaux18 Feb 19411303Pauillac4235Sailed, escorted out by the German minesweeper M-9, for patrol west of British Isles. Initially ordered to area (1) between 55°00'N and 56°00'N, and between 17°00'W and 21°00'W then (2) between 40°00'N and 42°00'N, and between 17°00'W and 21°00'W, (3) 35°00'N, between 20°00'W and 21°00'W (4) between Cape St Vincent and Cape Silleiro and between Iberic coast and 11°00'W. As she returned, was met by M-6, M-9 and M-21 and Sperrbrecher 16 and escorted in.
  19 Jan 1941110545° 17'N, 3° 06'WAt 1105 hours, a German aircraft was seen and recognition signals were exchanged.
  29 Jan 19410909At 0909 hours, a destroyer was sighted at a distance of 10,000 metres. Baracca dived.
  30 Jan 19411112At 1112 hours, the submarine Morosini was encountered and exchanged recognition signals.
  2 Feb 1941131655° 18'N, 17° 30'WAt 1316 hours, a smoke was sighted on the horizon. Baracca vainly tried to close.

At 1540 hours, a destroyer was sighted at 10,000 metres and the submarine turned away, still intent on catching up the vessel sighted at 1316 hours.

At 1910 hours, the vessel first sighted at 1316 hours was closed enough to identify her as a 600-ton escort vessel and Baracca turned away.
  4 Feb 1941100055° 49'N, 19° 29'WAt 1000 hours, in poor visibility, an escort vessel was sighted at a distance of 1,000 metres. Baracca dived immediately.

At 1100 hours, the same escort vessel was apparently sighted again as the submarine surfaced. Baracca dived again immediately and had reached a depth of 40 metres when she was shaken by the explosions of eight to ten depth charges. However there was no apparent damage.
  5 Feb 1941111555° 09'N, 21° 24'WAt 1115 hours, a German submarine was sighted steering east.

3bBertarelli, Enrico19 Feb 19410945Pauillac19 Feb 19411305Bordeaux23Passage Pauillac-Bordeaux.

Bertarelli, Enrico1 Mar 19410940Bordeaux1 Mar 19411030BordeauxChanged moorings.

Bertarelli, Enrico22 Mar 19411703Bordeaux22 Mar 19411747BordeauxChanged moorings.

Bertarelli, Enrico28 Mar 19411600Bordeaux28 Mar 19411650BordeauxChanged moorings.

Bertarelli, Enrico5 Apr 19411000Bordeaux5 Apr 19411600BordeauxDemagnetization.

4Bertarelli, Enrico7 Apr 19411500Bordeaux7 Apr 19411813Pauillac23Passage Bordeaux-Pauillac.

4bBertarelli, Enrico9 Apr 19411303Pauillac9 Apr 19412029Le Verdon31Passage Pauillac-Le Verdon.

4cBertarelli, Enrico10 Apr 19411500Le Verdon4 May 19411345Bordeaux4191Patrolled off Gibraltar between 36°00'N and 37°00'N, and between 06°40'W and 12°00'W. Bertarelli was criticised by Admiral Parona for lacking determination.
  14 Apr 19411240-2300
2230/13 (e)
37° 40'N, 11° 35'WAt 1240 hours, Baracca was proceeding at a depth of 45 meters when she was suddenly bombed whereas no sounds were heard with her hydrophones.

At 2230 hours, H.E. were heard and these were followed by three series of five depth-charges each.

It has been suggested that the corvette HMS Fleur de Lys may have been her attacker. However, the time and position do not match, unless one of the vessels made an error in recording them.

At 2230Z hours on 13th April, HMS Fleur de Lys, in company with HMS Azalea, was returning to Gibraltar, after escorting convoy H.G. 58 when she obtained an ASDIC contact. She carried out attacks at 2240 hours (5 DCs), 2247 hours (4 DCs), 2257 hours (5 DCs), 2305 hours (3 DCs), 2315 hours (4 DCs), 2325 hours (4 DCs), 2340 hours (4 DCs) and 2350 hours (5 DCs). Contact was then lost. HMS Azalea did not understand the signals and did not take part in these attacks. Baracca did not record hearing any depth charge at this time.

At 1116 hours on 14th April, HMS Fleur de Lys observed a small patch of oil and shortly after got an ASDIC contact. At 1116 hours, five depth charges were dropped. Single depth charges followed at 1132, 1145, 1204 and 1209 hours. The corvette had expended 38 depth charges and had none left. She sailed away.
Again, Baracca did not record hearing any depth charge at this time except at 1240 hours when a single explosion was heard. It is curious that no more depth charges were heard during the midday attacks.
  17 Apr 1941083335° 55'N, 11° 30'WBaracca was patrolling in a position to intercept a convoy from Gibraltar reported the previous day (this was convoy HG.59 of nineteen merchant ships escorted by five vessels, including the Dutch submarine HrMs O 24, who had sailed on 15th April).

At 0833 hours, a ship was sighted and the submarine submerged to attack. Having closed to 600 metres, she was identified as Spanish. Baracca resumed the search for the convoy as far west as 18°28' W, before turning back on 19th April to her patrol area off Gibraltar.
  22 Apr 1941230035° 58'N, 8° 35'WAt 2300 hours, a light was seen coming from a ship believed to be an A/S vessel.
  23 Apr 1941043035° 58'N, 9° 35'WAt 0430 hours, a light was seen coming from a ship believed to be an A/S vessel, perhaps the same as encountered a few hours before.
  24 Apr 1941115035° 58'N, 11° 55'WAt 1150 hours, a 4,000-ton vessel was sighted proceeding toward Lisbon. As it was likely the vessel was neutral and the great distance would have forced the submarine for a surface run to intercept, C.C. Bertarelli decided to abandon the chase.
  25 Apr 19411830
(0) West of Gibraltar.
At 1830 hours, Baracca received notice that a convoy had sailed from Gibraltar the previous day (this was HG.60 of sixteen merchant ships with six escorts including the Dutch submarine HrMs O 23). She altered course to the west at 8 knots to intercept.

Only distant explosions were heard at 1900 hours on the 26th, but nothing was sighted. On 28th April the bad weather forced the submarine to submerge and abandon the attempt.

Bertarelli, Enrico12 Jun 19410904Bordeaux12 Jun 19410950Garonne River1Passage Bordeaux-Garonne River.

Bertarelli, Enrico12 Jun 19411025Bordeaux12 Jun 1941Le VerdonPassage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

Bertarelli, Enrico12 Jun 19411400?Le Verdon12 Jun 19411947Bordeaux119Passage Le Verdon-Bordeaux [mileage from Bordeaux].

Bertarelli, Enrico14 Jun 19410943Bordeaux14 Jun 1941Le VerdonPassage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

Bertarelli, Enrico14 Jun 19411400?Le Verdon14 Jun 19411800Bordeaux115Passage Le Verdon-Bordeaux [mileage from Bordeaux].

Bertarelli, Enrico18 Jun 19411226Bordeaux18 Jun 19411835Le Verdon62Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

Bertarelli, Enrico18 Jun 19411844Le Verdon18 Jun 19411922Le Verdon2Gyrocompass tests.

5Bertarelli, Enrico18 Jun 19412047Bordeaux17 Jul 19411320Bordeaux5888Sailed for Atlantic patrol in 34°38'N, 10°17'W or between 34°00'N and 38°00'N, and between 10°00'W and 17°00'W.
  20 Jun 1941203044° 49'N, 9° 46'WAt 2030 hours, two minesweepers were sighted. Baracca turned away to avoid detection.
  23 Jun 1941210043° 20'N, 23° 08'W
(0) Approximately.
At 2100 hours, Baracca was ordered to proceed to 41°35' N, 13°45' W to search for survivors of the German supply ship Alstertor (3,039 GRT, built 1938) sunk the same day by the Ocean Boarding Vessel HMS Marsdale actually in 41°12' N, 13°10' W.

She proceeded at 14 knots. The area was reached at midnight on 24th June but nothing was sighted.
  25 Jun 1941010241° 30'N, 14° 30'WAt 0102 hours, Baracca was informed that a convoy had sailed from Gibraltar and was ordered to intercept in position 35°30' N, 11°30' W.

The submarine proceeded toward the position without sighting anything.
  26 Jun 1941100035° 51'N, 11° 32'WAt 1000 hours, a vessel was sighted proceeding toward Cape St. Vincent. Baracca chased her for two hours without being able to catch up and turned back to resume the search for the Gibraltar convoy.
  27 Jun 1941095835° 10'N, 12° 40'WAt 0958 hours, a destroyer was sighted coming straight at the submarine. Because of the heavy seas the submarine had trouble remaining at periscope depth and C.C. Bertarelli elected to dive to 80 meters but was not attacked.

At 1102 hours, Baracca returned to periscope depth but this time eight depth-charges exploded near by forcing the submarine to return to a depth of 80 meters, this was followed by five more depth-charges which were closer. More followed until 1715 hours, when a total of 50 were counted, mostly exploding above the submarine which was undamaged. This was actually the attack that sank Glauco.
  28 Jun 1941150534° 18'N, 12° 00'WAt 1505 hours, a Spanish vessel was observed steering toward Cape St. Vincent.
  29 Jun 1941122934° 26'N, 15° 10'WAt 1140 hours, BETASOM ordered Baracca to patrol in 34°30' N, 16°30' W Grid 9668). Da Vinci was to proceed to 33°20' N, 16°30' W (Grid 3968).

At 1229 hours, a Portuguese vessel was sighted proceeding toward Madeira.

At 0630 hours on 30th June, Baracca reached her assigned position.
  30 Jun 19411045At 1045/30 BETASOM had ordered the submarines to the following positions:

Torelli in 2533/36 (36°58'N, 12°30'W)
Morosini in 2511/33 (36°30'N, 13°20'W)
Cappellini in 8511/66 (35°58'N, 14°00'W)
Da Vinci in 8511/33 (35°30'N, 13°20'W)
Baracca in 8533/31 (35°10'N, 12°30'W)
Malaspina in 3972/51 (33°00'N, 11°45'W).

Baracca proceeded.
  1 Jul 1941160034° 30'N, 16° 30'W
(0) Approximately.
At 1600 hours, Baracca received BETASOM's order (1045/30) to form a patrol line at dusk on 3rd July:

Baracca in 8533/31 (35°05'N, 12°25'W)
Torelli in 2533/36 (36°35'N, 12°25'W)
Morosini in 2511/33 (36°25'N, 13°25'W)
Cappellini in 8511/66 (35°55'N, 13°55'W)
Da Vinci in 8511/33 (35°25'N, 13°25'W)
Malaspina in 3972/31 (33°05'N, 11°45'W) (3972/31).

Baracca proceeded at 10 knots and reached it at 1700 hours on 2nd July.
  5 Jul 1941162035° 34'N, 12° 24'WAt 1620 hours, a Spanish 7-8,000-ton tanker of the CAMPO class was sighted, steering 250°. Shortly after a passenger ship believed to be the Portuguese Monsinho (?) came into view.
  6 Jul 19411120At 1120 hours, BETASOM ordered the submarine to form a barrage line:

Torelli in 9697/16 (34°55' N, 10°05' W)
Morosini in 8597/16 (35°55' N, 10°05' W) via 2597/13
Cappellini in 8597/13 (35°25' N, 10°05' W)
Da Vinci in 9697/56 (34°55' N, 10°45' W)
Malaspina in 3997/16 (33°55' N, 10°05' W)
Baracca in 9697/13 (34°25' N, 10°05' W)

Baracca proceeded to the new position.
  7 Jul 19411320+34° 38'N, 10° 16'WAt about 1320 hours, Baracca sighted two shells falling at about 1,000 meters from Malaspina [the submarine was probably Torelli], a destroyer and a gunboat were then seen. The submarine dived and attempted to gain an attacking position without success.
  7 Jul 1941161334° 38'N, 10° 16'W
(0) Approximately.
At 1613 hours, the submarine Malaspina was encountered. Baracca exchanged signals and requested a comparison of positions as C.C. Bertarelli was uncertain of his position.
  7 Jul 19411715At 1715 hours, BETASOM had reported a convoy in Italian Grid 8597/32, course 205°, 9 knots and ordered the submarines to assume the following positions unless they were already in contact with the convoy:

Torelli in 9672/32 (34°15'N , 11°25' W)
Da Vinci in 9672/34 (34°35' N, 11°25' W)
Baracca in 9672/12 (34°15' N, 11°05' W)
Malaspina in 9697/42 (34°15' N, 10°35' W).
  8 Jul 19411100At 1100 hours, BETASOM ordered the submarines to the following positions:

Bianchi in 2772/11 (36°05' N, 11°05' W)
Torelli in 8597/61 (35°05' N, 10°55' W)
Morosini in 8597/34 (35°35' N, 10°25' W)
Baracca in 9697/11 (34°05' N, 10°05' W)
Malaspina in 3997/54 (33°35' N, 10°45' W)
Da Vinci in 9697/25 (34°15' N, 10°45' W) (the BETASOM diaries give the position as 35°55' N, 19°15' W but this is a typographical error).
  9 Jul 1941212334° 34'N, 11° 10'WAt 2123 hours, a German aircraft was seen.

On 10th July, Baracca went to 37°25' N, 12°45' W, then on 11th July to 36°25' N, 14°55' W, but failed to locate the convoy.

At 0200 hours on 12th July, she left her patrol.

6Viani, Giorgio31 Aug 1941Bordeaux31 Aug 1941La PallicePassage Bordeaux-La Pallice.

6bViani, Giorgio2 Sep 1941EveningLa Pallice8 Sep 19410800+SunkSailed for patrol in 40°25'N, 14°25'W then to 40°15'N, 17°25'W. At 2240 hours on the 6th, she was ordered to 41°05'N, 17°45'W then 40°25'N, 20°45'W, northeast of the Azores. Was northernmost of a barrage of five submarines. Carried only four reserve torpedoes (2 x 533 mm and 2 x 450 mm) instead of eight. At 1040 hours on the 6th, she reported that she was in 40°25'N, 20°35'W. Depth-charged by the destroyer HMS Croome, brought to the surface, then rammed and sunk. Thirty-four survivors (the captain, five officers and twenty-eight ratings), twenty-eight ratings killed.
  8 Sep 1941
0730 (e)

(e) 40° 31'N, 21° 15'W
At 0200A hours, the escort destroyer HMS Croome (Lieutenant Commander John D. Hayes) of the 13th Destroyer Flotilla had left convoy H.G. 72 in 40°00' N, 22°32' W to join convoy O.G. 73 at 0800 hours. She was to sweep an area ahead of it.

At 0730A hours, the starboard lookout spotted an object on the starboard beam at 8,500 yards. It was identified as a submarine steering south. This was Maggiore Baracca. Speed was increased to 20 knots. The submarine dived immediately.

At a range of 1,100 yards, she was detected by ASDIC. A first pattern of depth was released, it caused only minor damages such as putting out the depth gauge. This was followed by a second one set deeper as the submarine had reached a depth of 90 metres. This time all the lights were put out, the engines stopped, the steering gear disabled and flooding fore and aft.

Baracca surfaced astern the destroyer. Very quickly, HMS Croome reverted course and opened fire with all her guns. The submarine replied with her gun but her shooting was wild. Lewis gun fire quickly silenced her and the crew was seen to abandon ship as the destroyer rammed her just abaft the conning tower. The submarine sank. The destroyer was flooded as far as the central stores and her ASDIC was put out of action. She had to proceed at 8 knots to Gibraltar for repairs.

There were thirty-four survivors (T.V. Viani, five officers and twenty-eight ratings), twenty-eight ratings were killed.

71 entries. 39 total patrol entries (6 marked as war patrols) and 39 events.

Events

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

CommanderDateTimePositionDescription
Enrico Bertarelli1 Oct 19401615-195540.04 N, 17.10 W
At 1615 hours, a steamer was observed at a distance of 15,000 metres on an easterly course. Baracca increased speed to give chase,which was made difficult by the heavy seas (Force 5). The vessel was finally stopped with a warning burst of machine gun fire. She was ordered to send a boat with her papers.

This was the Greek Aghios Nicolaos (3,687 GRT, 1915) on passage from Santa Fé to Belfast carrying 2,200 tons of zinc and 3,982 tons of wood.

C.C. Bertarelli briefly considered capturing her, but this would prove too difficult. He gave the crew 30 minutes to abandon ship. When the time had elapsed, the submarine opened fire with about 40 rounds and she sank at 1955 hours.

The survivors were later rescued by Spanish vessels.
Enrico Bertarelli5 Oct 19400815
0716 (e)
45.39 N, 01.41 W
(e) 45.39 N, 01.24 W
At 0815 hours, Maggiore Baracca was proceeding in company of Reginaldo Giuliani, escorted by the German minesweepers M-9 and M-13 and by the Sperrbrecher Cap Hadid, when three torpedo wakes were sighted. They apparently missed Baracca 300 metres astern and exploded at the end of their run.

The attack had been by the submarine HMS Tigris (Lt. Cdr. H.F. Bone, RN). She had sighted what was believed to be three U-boats (only two were present), escorted by two ELAN class boats and had fired a salvo of four torpedoes from 2,500 yards range.
Two explosions were heard after 124 and 131 seconds and then only two U-boats were sighted, leading Lt. Cdr. Bone to believe that a U-boat had been sunk.
Enrico Bertarelli27 Oct 19401505
1800 (e)
47.03 N, 15.55 W
(o) German Grid BE 6441.
At 1505 hours, the German raider Schiff 21 (Widder) was encountered on her way to Brest, course 090°, 5 knots. Baracca exchanged recognition signals with her.
Enrico Bertarelli28 Oct 1940During the day, heavy weather was encountered (Force 9) and 5 tons of water were embarked through the conning tower hatch. Baracca had to heave to and during the night managed to resume her course.
Enrico Bertarelli31 Oct 1940210955.40 N, 16.23 W
At 1935 hours, a 3-4,000 ton steamer was sighted in rough weather (Force 5) at 8,000 metres, steering 270°.

At 2109, Baracca took advantage of a rain squall to close to 800 metres and fire a single torpedo (533mm, S.I.H. type) from a range of 800 metres. It apparently missed under the bow. The vessel apparently turned toward the submarine and attempted to ram, but was avoided by going full astern. It managed to escape as Baracca had trouble making more than 8 knots. An attempt to chase her was given up at 0020 hours on 1st November.

The identity of this target has not been established.
Enrico Bertarelli1 Nov 19401820-1705/256.45 N, 17.55 W
At 1820 hours, a convoy of three to five unescorted ships was sighted at a distance of 6,000 metres on an easterly course. Baracca made an enemy report and trailed it. By darkness, it disppeared from view. Repeated attempts were made to regain contact and some were picked up with the hydrophones, but no visual contact was obtained.

At 1705 hours on 2nd November, the chase was abandoned.
Enrico Bertarelli9 Nov 1940094555.00 N, 18.00 W
(o) Approximately.
At 0945 hours, an armed tanker was sighted at 5,000 metres, steering east. Baracca attempted a submerged attack, but the vessel altered course away. She was zigzagging at 15 knots. The submarine surfaced to try to close the range, but had trouble gaining on her and lost sight. An attempt to regain contact was made until 1645 hours when it was given up.
Enrico Bertarelli10 Nov 19401117
1100 (e)
55.00 N, 18.00 W
(o) Approximately.
At 1117 hours, two destroyers were sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres. Baracca dived to intercept, but had difficulty in staying at periscope depth and finally went down to 80 meters. She heard three depth-charges at a distance.

At 1100 hours, an Italian submarine was reported damaged in 49°50' N, 11°13' W. It is not clear if this referred to Baracca. The destroyers HMS Jaguar (D.5), HMS Jackal and HMS Jupiter were sailed from the Eddystone area to hunt the submarine and a section of Blenheim bombers was to escort them.
Enrico Bertarelli18 Nov 1940214752.57 N, 18.03 W
On 16th November, Baracca had been informed of the presence of a convoy.

At 1200 hours on the 17th, only a German aircraft was seen, apparently looking for the convoy.

At 1130 hours on the 18th, Baracca turned back as she had only enough fuel for the trip home.

At 1740 hours, a smoke was sighted. The submarine proceeded at high speed to intercept, but a fire in her starboard diesel forced her to slow down.

At 2147 hours, a large steamer was sighted at 800 metres steering to the east at 12 knots and Baracca fired a torpedo (533mm, S.I.H. type) from a bow tube. It missed ahead.

This was the British Lilian Moller (5,285 GRT, built 1915), a straggler from convoy SLS.53D. She was on a voyage from Calcutta and Table Bay with a cargo of pig iron for the UK.

C.C. Bertarelli intended to fire another torpedo from 600 metres but was thwarted by a sudden alteration of course from the freighter. Baracca crossed her wake, 200 metres astern and attempted a stern shot but, by this time, the distance of 800 metres was judged too great. A third attempt was equally nullified. The submarine now moved ahead to obtain a more favourable position.

At 2303 hours, a second torpedo was fired (533mm, S.I.H. type) from a bow tube at 500 metres. She was hit astern and sank at 2347 hours. A lifeboat was seen and the submarine closed. Shots were heard. It was not clear if the target was the submarine of if some of the survivors were committing suicide and the submarine broke off its attempt. This lifeboat was never found.

There were no survivors. Forty-nine were killed, forty-two of them were Chinese nationals.
Enrico Bertarelli19 Jan 1941110545.17 N, 03.06 W
At 1105 hours, a German aircraft was seen and recognition signals were exchanged.
Enrico Bertarelli29 Jan 19410909At 0909 hours, a destroyer was sighted at a distance of 10,000 metres. Baracca dived.
Enrico Bertarelli30 Jan 19411112(e) 55.44 N, 20.20 W
At 1112 hours, the submarine Morosini was encountered and exchanged recognition signals.
Enrico Bertarelli2 Feb 1941131655.18 N, 17.30 W
At 1316 hours, a smoke was sighted on the horizon. Baracca vainly tried to close.

At 1540 hours, a destroyer was sighted at 10,000 metres and the submarine turned away, still intent on catching up the vessel sighted at 1316 hours.

At 1910 hours, the vessel first sighted at 1316 hours was closed enough to identify her as a 600-ton escort vessel and Baracca turned away.
Enrico Bertarelli4 Feb 1941100055.49 N, 19.29 W
At 1000 hours, in poor visibility, an escort vessel was sighted at a distance of 1,000 metres. Baracca dived immediately.

At 1100 hours, the same escort vessel was apparently sighted again as the submarine surfaced. Baracca dived again immediately and had reached a depth of 40 metres when she was shaken by the explosions of eight to ten depth charges. However there was no apparent damage.
Enrico Bertarelli5 Feb 1941111555.09 N, 21.24 W
At 1115 hours, a German submarine was sighted steering east.
Enrico Bertarelli14 Apr 19411240-2300
2230/13 (e)
37.40 N, 11.35 W
(e) 36.06 N, 09.35 W
At 1240 hours, Baracca was proceeding at a depth of 45 meters when she was suddenly bombed whereas no sounds were heard with her hydrophones.

At 2230 hours, H.E. were heard and these were followed by three series of five depth-charges each.

It has been suggested that the corvette HMS Fleur de Lys may have been her attacker. However, the time and position do not match, unless one of the vessels made an error in recording them.

At 2230Z hours on 13th April, HMS Fleur de Lys, in company with HMS Azalea, was returning to Gibraltar, after escorting convoy H.G. 58 when she obtained an ASDIC contact. She carried out attacks at 2240 hours (5 DCs), 2247 hours (4 DCs), 2257 hours (5 DCs), 2305 hours (3 DCs), 2315 hours (4 DCs), 2325 hours (4 DCs), 2340 hours (4 DCs) and 2350 hours (5 DCs). Contact was then lost. HMS Azalea did not understand the signals and did not take part in these attacks. Baracca did not record hearing any depth charge at this time.

At 1116 hours on 14th April, HMS Fleur de Lys observed a small patch of oil and shortly after got an ASDIC contact. At 1116 hours, five depth charges were dropped. Single depth charges followed at 1132, 1145, 1204 and 1209 hours. The corvette had expended 38 depth charges and had none left. She sailed away.
Again, Baracca did not record hearing any depth charge at this time except at 1240 hours when a single explosion was heard. It is curious that no more depth charges were heard during the midday attacks.
Enrico Bertarelli17 Apr 1941083335.55 N, 11.30 W
Baracca was patrolling in a position to intercept a convoy from Gibraltar reported the previous day (this was convoy HG.59 of nineteen merchant ships escorted by five vessels, including the Dutch submarine HrMs O 24, who had sailed on 15th April).

At 0833 hours, a ship was sighted and the submarine submerged to attack. Having closed to 600 metres, she was identified as Spanish. Baracca resumed the search for the convoy as far west as 18°28' W, before turning back on 19th April to her patrol area off Gibraltar.
Enrico Bertarelli22 Apr 1941230035.58 N, 08.35 W
At 2300 hours, a light was seen coming from a ship believed to be an A/S vessel.
Enrico Bertarelli23 Apr 1941043035.58 N, 09.35 W
At 0430 hours, a light was seen coming from a ship believed to be an A/S vessel, perhaps the same as encountered a few hours before.
Enrico Bertarelli24 Apr 1941115035.58 N, 11.55 W
At 1150 hours, a 4,000-ton vessel was sighted proceeding toward Lisbon. As it was likely the vessel was neutral and the great distance would have forced the submarine for a surface run to intercept, C.C. Bertarelli decided to abandon the chase.
Enrico Bertarelli25 Apr 19411830(o) West of Gibraltar.At 1830 hours, Baracca received notice that a convoy had sailed from Gibraltar the previous day (this was HG.60 of sixteen merchant ships with six escorts including the Dutch submarine HrMs O 23). She altered course to the west at 8 knots to intercept.

Only distant explosions were heard at 1900 hours on the 26th, but nothing was sighted. On 28th April the bad weather forced the submarine to submerge and abandon the attempt.
Enrico Bertarelli20 Jun 1941203044.49 N, 09.46 W
At 2030 hours, two minesweepers were sighted. Baracca turned away to avoid detection.
Enrico Bertarelli23 Jun 1941210043.20 N, 23.08 W
(o) Approximately.
At 2100 hours, Baracca was ordered to proceed to 41°35' N, 13°45' W to search for survivors of the German supply ship Alstertor (3,039 GRT, built 1938) sunk the same day by the Ocean Boarding Vessel HMS Marsdale actually in 41°12' N, 13°10' W.

She proceeded at 14 knots. The area was reached at midnight on 24th June but nothing was sighted.
Enrico Bertarelli25 Jun 1941010241.30 N, 14.30 W
At 0102 hours, Baracca was informed that a convoy had sailed from Gibraltar and was ordered to intercept in position 35°30' N, 11°30' W.

The submarine proceeded toward the position without sighting anything.
Enrico Bertarelli26 Jun 1941100035.51 N, 11.32 W
At 1000 hours, a vessel was sighted proceeding toward Cape St. Vincent. Baracca chased her for two hours without being able to catch up and turned back to resume the search for the Gibraltar convoy.
Enrico Bertarelli27 Jun 1941095835.10 N, 12.40 W
At 0958 hours, a destroyer was sighted coming straight at the submarine. Because of the heavy seas the submarine had trouble remaining at periscope depth and C.C. Bertarelli elected to dive to 80 meters but was not attacked.

At 1102 hours, Baracca returned to periscope depth but this time eight depth-charges exploded near by forcing the submarine to return to a depth of 80 meters, this was followed by five more depth-charges which were closer. More followed until 1715 hours, when a total of 50 were counted, mostly exploding above the submarine which was undamaged. This was actually the attack that sank Glauco.
Enrico Bertarelli28 Jun 1941150534.18 N, 12.00 W
At 1505 hours, a Spanish vessel was observed steering toward Cape St. Vincent.
Enrico Bertarelli29 Jun 1941122934.26 N, 15.10 W
At 1140 hours, BETASOM ordered Baracca to patrol in 34°30' N, 16°30' W Grid 9668). Da Vinci was to proceed to 33°20' N, 16°30' W (Grid 3968).

At 1229 hours, a Portuguese vessel was sighted proceeding toward Madeira.

At 0630 hours on 30th June, Baracca reached her assigned position.
Enrico Bertarelli30 Jun 19411045At 1045/30 BETASOM had ordered the submarines to the following positions:

Torelli in 2533/36 (36°58'N, 12°30'W)
Morosini in 2511/33 (36°30'N, 13°20'W)
Cappellini in 8511/66 (35°58'N, 14°00'W)
Da Vinci in 8511/33 (35°30'N, 13°20'W)
Baracca in 8533/31 (35°10'N, 12°30'W)
Malaspina in 3972/51 (33°00'N, 11°45'W).

Baracca proceeded.
Enrico Bertarelli1 Jul 1941160034.30 N, 16.30 W
(o) Approximately.
At 1600 hours, Baracca received BETASOM's order (1045/30) to form a patrol line at dusk on 3rd July:

Baracca in 8533/31 (35°05'N, 12°25'W)
Torelli in 2533/36 (36°35'N, 12°25'W)
Morosini in 2511/33 (36°25'N, 13°25'W)
Cappellini in 8511/66 (35°55'N, 13°55'W)
Da Vinci in 8511/33 (35°25'N, 13°25'W)
Malaspina in 3972/31 (33°05'N, 11°45'W) (3972/31).

Baracca proceeded at 10 knots and reached it at 1700 hours on 2nd July.
Enrico Bertarelli5 Jul 1941162035.34 N, 12.24 W
At 1620 hours, a Spanish 7-8,000-ton tanker of the CAMPO class was sighted, steering 250°. Shortly after a passenger ship believed to be the Portuguese Monsinho (?) came into view.
Enrico Bertarelli6 Jul 19411120At 1120 hours, BETASOM ordered the submarine to form a barrage line:

Torelli in 9697/16 (34°55' N, 10°05' W)
Morosini in 8597/16 (35°55' N, 10°05' W) via 2597/13
Cappellini in 8597/13 (35°25' N, 10°05' W)
Da Vinci in 9697/56 (34°55' N, 10°45' W)
Malaspina in 3997/16 (33°55' N, 10°05' W)
Baracca in 9697/13 (34°25' N, 10°05' W)

Baracca proceeded to the new position.
Enrico Bertarelli7 Jul 19411320+34.38 N, 10.16 W
At about 1320 hours, Baracca sighted two shells falling at about 1,000 meters from Malaspina [the submarine was probably Torelli], a destroyer and a gunboat were then seen. The submarine dived and attempted to gain an attacking position without success.
Enrico Bertarelli7 Jul 1941161334.38 N, 10.16 W
(o) Approximately.
At 1613 hours, the submarine Malaspina was encountered. Baracca exchanged signals and requested a comparison of positions as C.C. Bertarelli was uncertain of his position.
Enrico Bertarelli7 Jul 19411715At 1715 hours, BETASOM had reported a convoy in Italian Grid 8597/32, course 205°, 9 knots and ordered the submarines to assume the following positions unless they were already in contact with the convoy:

Torelli in 9672/32 (34°15'N , 11°25' W)
Da Vinci in 9672/34 (34°35' N, 11°25' W)
Baracca in 9672/12 (34°15' N, 11°05' W)
Malaspina in 9697/42 (34°15' N, 10°35' W).
Enrico Bertarelli8 Jul 19411100At 1100 hours, BETASOM ordered the submarines to the following positions:

Bianchi in 2772/11 (36°05' N, 11°05' W)
Torelli in 8597/61 (35°05' N, 10°55' W)
Morosini in 8597/34 (35°35' N, 10°25' W)
Baracca in 9697/11 (34°05' N, 10°05' W)
Malaspina in 3997/54 (33°35' N, 10°45' W)
Da Vinci in 9697/25 (34°15' N, 10°45' W) (the BETASOM diaries give the position as 35°55' N, 19°15' W but this is a typographical error).
Enrico Bertarelli9 Jul 1941212334.34 N, 11.10 W
At 2123 hours, a German aircraft was seen.

On 10th July, Baracca went to 37°25' N, 12°45' W, then on 11th July to 36°25' N, 14°55' W, but failed to locate the convoy.

At 0200 hours on 12th July, she left her patrol.
Giorgio Viani8 Sep 1941
0730 (e)
(e) 40.30 N, 21.15 W
At 0200A hours, the escort destroyer HMS Croome (Lieutenant Commander John D. Hayes) of the 13th Destroyer Flotilla had left convoy H.G. 72 in 40°00' N, 22°32' W to join convoy O.G. 73 at 0800 hours. She was to sweep an area ahead of it.

At 0730A hours, the starboard lookout spotted an object on the starboard beam at 8,500 yards. It was identified as a submarine steering south. This was Maggiore Baracca. Speed was increased to 20 knots. The submarine dived immediately.

At a range of 1,100 yards, she was detected by ASDIC. A first pattern of depth was released, it caused only minor damages such as putting out the depth gauge. This was followed by a second one set deeper as the submarine had reached a depth of 90 metres. This time all the lights were put out, the engines stopped, the steering gear disabled and flooding fore and aft.

Baracca surfaced astern the destroyer. Very quickly, HMS Croome reverted course and opened fire with all her guns. The submarine replied with her gun but her shooting was wild. Lewis gun fire quickly silenced her and the crew was seen to abandon ship as the destroyer rammed her just abaft the conning tower. The submarine sank. The destroyer was flooded as far as the central stores and her ASDIC was put out of action. She had to proceed at 8 knots to Gibraltar for repairs.

There were thirty-four survivors (T.V. Viani, five officers and twenty-eight ratings), twenty-eight ratings were killed.

All Italian submarines