Italian submarines in World War Two

Ammiraglio Caracciolo (CC)

Ammiraglio Caracciolo (USMM)

TypeOcean going 
ClassCagni (18) 
Laid down 13 Oct 1939 Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Monfalcone
Launched16 Oct 1940
Commissioned1 Jun 1941
End service
Loss date11 Dec 1941
Loss position32° 09'N, 25° 19'E
Fate Depth charged on 11th December 1941 off Bardia, Libya by the destroyer HMS Farndale. Forced to surface and scuttled in position 32°09'N, 25°19'E to avoid capture.


CommanderDate fromDate toCommand notes
C.C. Benedetto Luchetti1 Jun 194130 Sep 1941
C.C. Alberto Agostini1 Oct 194120 Nov 1941
C.C. Alfredo Musotto27 Nov 194111 Dec 1941

Ships hit

No ships hit by this submarine.

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
15 Apr 1941Monfalcone15 Apr 19411100MonfalconeChange moorings? towed by the tug Taurus.

5 May 1941Monfalcone6 May 19411440MonfalconeExercises.

Luchetti, Benedetto17 Sep 19410803Monfalcone17 Sep 19411606Monfalcone39Exercises.

Luchetti, Benedetto29 Sep 19410855Monfalcone29 Sep 19411900Fiume129Passage Monfalcone-Fiume.

Agostini, Alberto3 Oct 19411350Fiume3 Oct 19411858Fiume46Exercises. Upon her return, she slightly damaged her bow while attempting to moor alongside the quay.

Agostini, Alberto4 Oct 19410836Fiume4 Oct 19411817Fiume107Diving trials, reached 104 metres.

Agostini, Alberto7 Oct 19410929Fiume7 Oct 19411305Fiume19Exercises.

Agostini, Alberto8 Oct 19410839Fiume8 Oct 19411245Fiume24Exercises.

Agostini, Alberto16 Oct 19410904Fiume16 Oct 19411151Fiume15Exercises.

Agostini, Alberto18 Oct 1941Fiume18 Oct 1941FiumeSortie (presumably for exercises) but damaged her screw after a collision with the tug Belroire.
  18 Oct 1941
(0) At Fiume.
While shifting position in the port of Fiume, Ammiraglio Caracciolo collided with the tug Belroire and damaged a propeller.

Agostini, Alberto22 Oct 19410806Fiume22 Oct 19411240Pola60Passage Fiume-Pola.

Agostini, Alberto25 Oct 19410940Pola25 Oct 19411640Pola50Exercises escorted by the auxiliary Salvore.

Agostini, Alberto26 Oct 19410810Pola26 Oct 19411809Pola55Trials escorted my the torpedo boat Audace and the auxiliary Grado.

Agostini, Alberto27 Oct 19411230Pola27 Oct 19411812Pola16Exercises.

Agostini, Alberto28 Oct 19410847Pola28 Oct 19411502Pola47Exercises with the submarine Galatea, escorted by the auxiliary Verbano and the torpedo boat Audace.

Agostini, Alberto29 Oct 19410908Pola29 Oct 19411310Fiume60Passage Pola-Fiume.

Agostini, Alberto30 Oct 19410837Fiume30 Oct 19410904Fiume3Exercises.

Agostini, Alberto31 Oct 19410916Fiume31 Oct 19411525Fiume15Exercises escorted by the auxiliary Abbazia.

Agostini, Alberto11 Nov 19410945Fiume11 Nov 19411200FiumeExercises with the destroyer Da Mosto.

Agostini, Alberto12 Nov 19411000Fiume12 Nov 19411700FiumeTrials with the destroyer Da Mosto.

Agostini, Alberto15 Nov 19410855Fiume15 Nov 19411655FiumeTrials.

Agostini, Alberto18 Nov 19410834Fiume18 Nov 19411529Pola72Passage Fiume-Pola and exercising with the destroyer Da Mosto to test her sonar.

Agostini, Alberto19 Nov 19410810Pola19 Nov 19411630PolaExercises.

Agostini, Alberto21 Nov 19411630?Pola21 Nov 19411630PolaExercises then docked.

Musotto, Alfredo27 Nov 19412145Pola29 Nov 19411029Taranto496Passage Pola-Taranto.

1Musotto, Alfredo5 Dec 19411445Taranto10 Dec 19411830 or 1845 BardiaSupply mission to Bardia (122 tons of fuel [7,000 tins of 20 litres of petrol], 16.5 tons of ammunition, 1.6 ton of food supplies). Carried only eight torpedoes for this mission.
  8 Dec 1941
0700 (e)
As Caracciolo was lost during this patrol. the following attack could not be reconstructed in great details.

At about 0700 hours, a Blenheim (No. 7407) of 55 Squadron piloted by Squadron Leader Pirie sighted a submarine who submerged immediately. The aircraft attacked but the bombs overshot by 150-200 feet.

This was Caracciolo and she apparently escaped damage.
  8 Dec 1941
1357 (e)
As Caracciolo was lost during this patrol. the following attack could not be reconstructed in great details.

At 1357(C?) hours, Blenheim 'Z' of 203 Squadron piloted by Squadron Leader Hoggarth sighted a submarine steering 058° at 8 knots. He immediately went to the attack but the submarine fired a green smoke signal, which was the recognition signal of the day until 1300 hours. The submarine was only 15 miles of Bombing Restriction lane and Hoggarth hesitated to attack. She opened fire with a machine gun and her flag was recognised to be Italian. As the aircraft turned to attack, the submarine crash-dived and disappeared.

This was Caracciolo and during the firing of her machine gun, a cadet was accidentally killed. He was buried at sea. According to some testimonies, during the action his body fell in the control room. However, the personal diaries of First Officer Vittorio Spadoni reported that that he was eating at the time when he heard some shots and climbed to the bridge to find that the cadet had been killed during the air attack.

1bMusotto, Alfredo11 Dec 19410030Bardia11 Dec 19410430Sunk700Return trip to Suda via 34°30'N, 24°10'E, with twenty-two passengers (including Italian General Guido Lami, four officers, seventeen other ranks and British PoWs). Sunk by HMS Farndale. She was to have loaded with petrol and returned to Cyrenaica. She was erroneously reported to have reached Suda at 0400 hours on 13th December.
  11 Dec 1941
0250 (e)
32° 09'N, 25° 19'EAs Caracciolo was lost during this patrol. the following attack could not be reconstructed in great details.

At 0250 hours, Caracciolo attempted a stern attack on a convoy of three merchants ships escorted by a destroyer, but the torpedo misfired and the submarine was discovered. She reverted course, fired two torpedoes (450mm) from bow tubes and dived.

This was the T.A. 2 convoy (code name BOSOM), consisting of the steamer Darien II (459 GRT, built 1892), escorted by the escort destroyer HMS Farndale and the minesweeping trawler Sotra (313 tons, built 1925), steering 123°, 7.5-8 knots. Darien II had been involved in carrying Jewish refugees to Palestine. She had been purchased for special operations by the SOE, before reverting to a more traditional role. A second escort destroyer, HMS Eridge, had been detached earlier to locate the rest of the convoy, about 20 miles to westward. A lookout on HMS Farndale sighted the submarine from about 3,000 yards and as the destroyer turned toward her, a torpedo fired from about a mile, missed ahead.

At 0312 hours, having obtained an ASDIC echo, HMS Farndale dropped a pattern of 6 depth charges set at depths from 100 to 250 feet, but then temporarily lost contact. The attack had put out a number of lights.

At 0352 hours, ASDIC contact was regained at the remarkable range of 3,300 yards and, a second pattern of 6 depth charges was released at the same depths. More light were put out and the electric motors of the submarine were disabled. Three minutes later, Caracciolo was brought to the surface and was about 1,000 yards from the destroyer. The submarine turned away at high speed (estimated at 18 knots) with HMS Farndale giving chase and firing with the forward 4" mounting and oerlikons. The destroyer increased speed to 23 knots, pulled ahead of the submarine and crossed her bows at 400 yards. Two 4" shells were direct hits and HMS Farndale dropped three depth charges just a few yards from the submarine. Caracciolo sank immediately. The destroyer had expended 25 S.A.P. 4" , 152 2-pdr, 138 20mm and 200 .303 rounds.

Six officers, forty-two ratings and five passengers were rescued, including a German airman. Seventeen were killed. C.C. Musotto was not among the survivors and was awarded the Medaglia d’Argento al Valor Militare. Brigadier-General Guido Lami (who had been commanding the 5th Engineer Regiment) drowned. It was reported that twenty-two British PoWs were on board (? survived) but this was not confirmed?

28 entries. 27 total patrol entries (1 marked as war patrols) and 4 events.

All Italian submarines