Italian submarines in World War Two


Anfitrite (AN)
Anfitrite

TypeCoastal / Sea going 
ClassSirena (21) 
Laid down 11 Jul 1931 Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Monfalcone
Launched3 Aug 1933
Commissioned22 Mar 1934
End service
Stricken
Loss date
Loss position34° 55'N, 26° 43'E
History Scuttled on 6th March 1941, in 34°55'N, 26°43'E (south of Kaso Strait) after being forced to surface by depth charges and being damaged by gunfire from the destroyer HMS Greyhound.
Fate

Commands

CommanderDate fromDate toCommand
T.V. Bruno Ghersina1 Apr 194028 Dec 1940
S.T.V. Gaetano Napoli28 Dec 1940Jan 1941
T.V. Bruno Ghersina7 Jan 19416 Mar 1941

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
1Ghersina, Bruno9 Jun 19402200Brindisi16 Jun 19400600Brindisi542,2Patrolled in Otranto Straits on a line 340° - 160° from 40°25'N, 18°57'E. Had periscope defects.
  15 Jun 19400025
0124 (e)
40° 26'N, 18° 57'EAt 0025 hours, a large enemy submarine was seen at 1,000 metres. Its course was undetermined. Anfitrite dived to attack but lost contact.

This was HMS Rorqual (Lieutenant Commander R.H. Dewhurst, RN), who had laid a minefield off Brindisi the previous day. She now sighted a submarine at 2,000 yards, steering 340°, who appeared to be returning to Brindisi or Bari. Rorqual had first made a challenge, then fired three torpedoes from 2,500-3,000 yards when the submarine was recognised as a PISANI or MAMELI class. They all missed. This was the first attack by a British submarine in the Mediterranean Theatre in World War Two.

2Ghersina, Bruno27 Jun 19400900Brindisi30 Jun 19401500Brindisi493Patrolled in 34°43'N, 23°40'E, on a barrage line with Salpa, Ondina and Uebi Scebeli from a point 15 miles southwest of Gaudio to a point 40 miles northeast of Derna.
  28 Jun 19401136
1148 (e)
37° 18'N, 19° 45'EAt 1136 hours, an aircraft was sighted at 7-8,000 metres flying at an altitude of 1,000 metres. It disappeared in the clouds only to re-emerge four minutes later. Anfitrite crash-dived had reached a depth of only 6 meters when two bombs exploded, but she suffered no damage. She escaped to a depth of 50 meters where she remained until 1315 hours. At 1325, she surfaced and resumed her course.

This was Sunderland 'Q' (L5806) of 228 Squadron piloted by Wing Commander G.E. Nicholetts. It had sighted the submarine steering 170° and dived from 5,000 feet . Three bombs were dropped but they fell over and no claim of damage was made.
  28 Jun 19401402
1405 (e)
37° 18'N, 19° 45'E
(0) Approximately.
At 1402 hours, an aircraft was sighted at a distance of 5-6,000 metres. Anfitrite crash-dived. The submarine had reached a depth of 30 meters when she was badly shaken by an explosion which inflicted quite a bit of minor damages. The submarine went to a depth of 65 meters to escape further attacks. Later, upon surfacing, it was realised that the two periscopes were no longer in working order and the patrol was abandoned.

The attack was made by Sunderland 'S' (L.5804) of 230 Squadron piloted by Flight Lieutenant W.W. Campbell). It dived from 5,000 feet and dropped two 250 lb A/S bombs. They were seen to explode abaft the conning tower. The bow of the submarine rose sharply and then slide vertically downward. Huge air bubbles were observed, followed by smaller bubbles and then oil began to surface. Some debris was seen. Two hours later the oil slick covered an area of 300 by 500 yards. The submarine was claimed destroyed.

Ghersina, Bruno20 Jul 19400800Brindisi20 Jul 19401328Brindisi20,5Trials.

3Ghersina, Bruno23 Jul 19401330Brindisi9 Aug 19401205Brindisi1455Patrolled in area between 34°00'N and 34°40'N, and 21°40'E and 22°40'E.
  25 Jul 19400910-1140
(0) South of Crete?
From 0910 hours to 1140 hours, Anfitrite had been proceeding at a depth of 40 metres when she she heard a total of thirty-five explosions (probably bombs). They appeared to explode at a distance but, as a precaution, the submarine was taken down to 78 meters.

4Ghersina, Bruno11 Oct 19401900Brindisi28 Oct 19401158Augusta?Patrolled off Alexandria between 32°45'N and 14 miles from coast, between 28°45'E and 30°00'E. Uneventful.

Ghersina, Bruno5 Nov 19401342Augusta6 Nov 19401856Taranto278Passage Augusta-Taranto for refit.

Napoli, Gaetano28 Dec 1940TarantoJan 1941TarantoRefit at Taranto.

Ghersina, Bruno15 Jan 19410915Taranto15 Jan 19411630TarantoExercises, escorted by the minesweeper R.D.6.

Ghersina, Bruno18 Jan 19410940Taranto18 Jan 19411435TarantoExercises.

Ghersina, Bruno27 Jan 19410950Taranto1 Feb 19410745Porto Lago (Leros)662Passage Taranto-Leros. Uneventful.

Ghersina, Bruno16 Feb 19410750Porto Lago (Leros)16 Feb 19411210Porto Lago (Leros)Sailed for trials escorted by MAS 541.

5Ghersina, Bruno4 Mar 19412055Leros6 Mar 19410715-0740SunkPatrolled 15' - 170° of Cape Sidero (near island of Kaso, Aegean) [Zone D]. Sunk by depth charges and gunfire from HMS Greyhound (seven killed, thirty-nine survivors).
  6 Mar 1941
0715-0740 (e)
At 0713 hours, the destroyer HMS Greyhound was escorting convoy A.S. 16 from Greece to Alexandria when an ASDIC echo was obtained at 950 yards. She attacked with six depth charges set at depths from 100 to 250 feet. A minute later, the submarine surfaced and immediately engaged with gunfire. The second 4.7" round was a direct hit on the conning tower and killed five men.

This was Anfitrite and she surrendered. She had been proceeding at a depth of 55 metres when she was attacked. The depth charge attack had come as a complete surprise. Her hydrophones had not picked up the noises of the convoy. She had gone down to 95 metres before surfacing. A boarding party was sent over, it consisted of Lieutenant Robert Scott and two ratings. They penetrated the submarine and recovered documents.

Seven of the submarine's crew had been killed. Thirty-nine survivors (including all six officers) were picked up.

13 entries. 12 total patrol entries (5 marked as war patrols) and 5 events.

Events

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

CommanderDateTimePositionDescription
Bruno Ghersina15 Jun 19400025
0124 (e)
40.26.4 N, 18.57 E
At 0025 hours, a large enemy submarine was seen at 1,000 metres. Its course was undetermined. Anfitrite dived to attack but lost contact.

This was HMS Rorqual (Lieutenant Commander R.H. Dewhurst, RN), who had laid a minefield off Brindisi the previous day. She now sighted a submarine at 2,000 yards, steering 340°, who appeared to be returning to Brindisi or Bari. Rorqual had first made a challenge, then fired three torpedoes from 2,500-3,000 yards when the submarine was recognised as a PISANI or MAMELI class. They all missed. This was the first attack by a British submarine in the Mediterranean Theatre in World War Two.
Bruno Ghersina28 Jun 19401136
1148 (e)
37.18 N, 19.45 E
(e) 37.31 N, 19.55 E
At 1136 hours, an aircraft was sighted at 7-8,000 metres flying at an altitude of 1,000 metres. It disappeared in the clouds only to re-emerge four minutes later. Anfitrite crash-dived had reached a depth of only 6 meters when two bombs exploded, but she suffered no damage. She escaped to a depth of 50 meters where she remained until 1315 hours. At 1325, she surfaced and resumed her course.

This was Sunderland 'Q' (L5806) of 228 Squadron piloted by Wing Commander G.E. Nicholetts. It had sighted the submarine steering 170° and dived from 5,000 feet . Three bombs were dropped but they fell over and no claim of damage was made.
Bruno Ghersina28 Jun 19401402
1405 (e)
37.18 N, 19.45 E
(e) 37.29 N, 19.51 E
(o) Approximately.
At 1402 hours, an aircraft was sighted at a distance of 5-6,000 metres. Anfitrite crash-dived. The submarine had reached a depth of 30 meters when she was badly shaken by an explosion which inflicted quite a bit of minor damages. The submarine went to a depth of 65 meters to escape further attacks. Later, upon surfacing, it was realised that the two periscopes were no longer in working order and the patrol was abandoned.

The attack was made by Sunderland 'S' (L.5804) of 230 Squadron piloted by Flight Lieutenant W.W. Campbell). It dived from 5,000 feet and dropped two 250 lb A/S bombs. They were seen to explode abaft the conning tower. The bow of the submarine rose sharply and then slide vertically downward. Huge air bubbles were observed, followed by smaller bubbles and then oil began to surface. Some debris was seen. Two hours later the oil slick covered an area of 300 by 500 yards. The submarine was claimed destroyed.
Bruno Ghersina25 Jul 19400910-1140(o) South of Crete?From 0910 hours to 1140 hours, Anfitrite had been proceeding at a depth of 40 metres when she she heard a total of thirty-five explosions (probably bombs). They appeared to explode at a distance but, as a precaution, the submarine was taken down to 78 meters.
Bruno Ghersina6 Mar 1941
0715-0740 (e)
(e) 34.55 N, 26.43 E
At 0713 hours, the destroyer HMS Greyhound was escorting convoy A.S. 16 from Greece to Alexandria when an ASDIC echo was obtained at 950 yards. She attacked with six depth charges set at depths from 100 to 250 feet. A minute later, the submarine surfaced and immediately engaged with gunfire. The second 4.7" round was a direct hit on the conning tower and killed five men.

This was Anfitrite and she surrendered. She had been proceeding at a depth of 55 metres when she was attacked. The depth charge attack had come as a complete surprise. Her hydrophones had not picked up the noises of the convoy. She had gone down to 95 metres before surfacing. A boarding party was sent over, it consisted of Lieutenant Robert Scott and two ratings. They penetrated the submarine and recovered documents.

Seven of the submarine's crew had been killed. Thirty-nine survivors (including all six officers) were picked up.

All Italian submarines