Italian submarines in World War Two


Ambra (AM)
Ambra

TypeCoastal / Sea going 
ClassPerla (22) 
Laid down 28 Aug 1935 Odero-Terni-Orlando, Muggiano
Launched28 May 1936
Commissioned4 Aug 1936
End service
Stricken
Loss date
Loss position
History Scuttled at La Spezia on 9th September 1943, to prevent her capture by the Germans.
Fate

Commands

CommanderDate fromDate toCommand
T.V. Adriano Pini22 Dec 193824 Jun 1940
T.V. Giovanni Tarabini Castellani25 Jun 19409 Aug 1940
T.V. Teucle Meneghini7 Aug 194027 Oct 1940
T.V. Leone Monteleoni27 Oct 194025 Jan 1941
T.V. Mario Arillo20 Jan 194121 May 1943
C.C. Renato Ferrini21 May 19439 Sep 1943

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Pini, Adriano10 Jun 1940Taranto10 Jun 1940TarantoAt Taranto refitting.

Tarabini Castellani, Giovanni25 Jun 1940Taranto9 Aug 1940TarantoRefit.

Meneghini, Teucle9 Aug 19400817Taranto9 Aug 19401908Taranto37Trials.

Meneghini, Teucle10 Aug 19400857Taranto10 Aug 19401047Taranto1Trials.

Meneghini, Teucle11 Aug 19400627Taranto11 Aug 19401447Taranto42,5Exercises.

Meneghini, Teucle12 Aug 19400835Taranto12 Aug 19401708Taranto38Exercises.

Meneghini, Teucle18 Aug 19401145Taranto18 Aug 19401716Taranto31,5Exercises.

Meneghini, Teucle19 Aug 19402140Taranto20 Aug 19401022Taranto81,62Hydrophone watch.

Meneghini, Teucle21 Aug 19402126Taranto22 Aug 19401120Taranto83,5Hydrophone watch.

Meneghini, Teucle24 Aug 19402126Taranto25 Aug 19401030Taranto81,52Hydrophone watch.

Meneghini, Teucle27 Aug 19402140Taranto28 Aug 19400933Taranto82,6Hydrophone watch.

Meneghini, Teucle28 Aug 19402400Taranto29 Aug 19401027Taranto68,8Hydrophone watch.

Meneghini, Teucle30 Aug 19401305Taranto30 Aug 19401500Taranto3Trials.

Meneghini, Teucle13 Sep 19400617Taranto13 Sep 19401100Taranto29,5Exercises.

1Meneghini, Teucle18 Sep 19401115Taranto13 Oct 19401610Taranto2229Patrolled southeast of Crete, between 34°10'N and 34°50'N, and between 25°35'E and 26°45'E, on a barrage line with Serpente.
  29 Sep 1940142032° 50'N, 26° 20'E
(0) Approximately.
At 1420 hours, Ambra was proceeding at a depth of 55 meters when a metallic object hit her (possibly an unexploded depth-charge?).

The submarine went down to 65 meters, then to 75 meters. At 1548 hours, two depth-charges exploded near her and four more at 1553 hours. The enemy vessel abandoned the chase at 1725 hours.
  5 Oct 19400615-065532° 50'N, 26° 20'E
(0) Approximately.
Between 0615 and 0655 hours, five bombs were heard to explode. Ambra was not damaged.
  9 Oct 19401930
(0) West of Crete.
At 1930 hours, a submarine was sighted at a range of 4,000 metres. She apparently sighted Ambra as she immediately dived. At this time, Ambra was returning home, steering 320°. The other submarine may have been Zoea as there were no British or Hellenic submarines in the vicinity.

Monteleoni, Leone10 Nov 19400942Taranto10 Nov 19401418Taranto34,5Exercises.

Monteleoni, Leone17 Nov 19400940Taranto17 Nov 19401656Taranto28Exercises.

Monteleoni, Leone22 Nov 19401330Taranto22 Nov 19401415Taranto0,3Exercises or change moorings?

Monteleoni, Leone29 Nov 19401700Taranto29 Nov 19401745Taranto0,1Exercises or change moorings?

Monteleoni, Leone2 Dec 19400931Taranto2 Dec 19401128Taranto4Exercises.

2Monteleoni, Leone12 Dec 19400705Taranto21 Dec 19401758Taranto886,6Patrolled southwest of Corfu, within 10° miles on the parallel from 39°20'N, 19°30'E, on a barrage line with Sciesa. On 2nd October, the patrol was shifted 10 miles to the south.
  16 Dec 1940034639° 20'N, 19° 44'EAt 0346 hours, two destroyers were sighted at a range of 2,500 metres, steering 120°. The leading one turned toward Ambra and apparently dropped depth-charges at a distance. The submarine submerged and escaped.

3Monteleoni, Leone30 Dec 19400710Taranto11 Jan 19411738Taranto832Patrolled south of the Otranto Straits on a line 090° - 10 miles from 39°00'N, 19°40'E. Uneventful.

Arillo, Mario25 Jan 19411130Taranto25 Jan 19411155Taranto2Changed moorings?

Arillo, Mario1 Feb 19411031Taranto1 Feb 19411642Taranto12Gyrocompass tests.

Arillo, Mario4 Feb 19410815Taranto4 Feb 19411045Taranto13Exercises.

Arillo, Mario6 Feb 19410715Taranto6 Feb 19411438Taranto40,5Exercises.

4Arillo, Mario8 Feb 19412120Taranto9 Feb 19411000Taranto78Hydrophone watch.

Arillo, Mario10 Feb 19411100Taranto11 Feb 19410109Taranto53Exercises.

Arillo, Mario12 Feb 19410012Taranto12 Feb 19411845Taranto59Exercises.

Arillo, Mario13 Feb 19410807Taranto13 Feb 19411705Taranto61Exercises.

5Arillo, Mario15 Feb 19410938Taranto27 Feb 19411247Augusta1130Patrolled between 39°20'N and Libyan coast, and between the meridians of Tolmeita (20°57'E) and Ras El Tin, Libya (23°07'E).
  19 Feb 1941120032° 44'N, 21° 03'E
(0) Approximately.
At 1042 hours, noises were detected with hydrophones.

At 1200 hours, an unidentified warship, perhaps an auxiliary, was sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres. Ambra tried to move to the attack but lost sight at 1220 hours.
  20 Feb 1941095232° 44'N, 21° 03'E
(0) Approximately.
At 0952 hours, a destroyer was sighted at a distance of 4,000 metres. It appeared to be French, similar to the LE FIER class.
  21 Feb 1941201032° 44'N, 21° 03'E
(0) Approximately.
At 2010 hours, Ambra was informed of a convoy off Cyrenaica. The submarine attempted to intercept but heard only distant H.E. effects.

Arillo, Mario16 Mar 19410850Augusta16 Mar 19411300Augusta15Exercises.

Arillo, Mario19 Mar 19410857Augusta19 Mar 19411120Augusta7Exercises.

6Arillo, Mario21 Mar 19411910Augusta6 Apr 19410850Augusta1553Patrolled in 32°50'N, 26°20'E on a line 035° - 215°, 20 miles in each direction.
  31 Mar 19410244
0250 (e)
From 23rd to 30th March, Ambra had detected noises with her hydrophones, but without being able to sight anything.

At 0030 hours on the 31st, she received a signal ordering her home and steered accordingly.

At 0237 hours, Ambra was proceeding on the surface when, from the bridge, S.T.V. Ignazio Spinale observed a shadow in the mist at a distance of 2,000 metres, followed by another at about 1,000 metres.

At 0244 hours, three torpedoes were fired from bow tubes at 4-second intervals. After a lapse of time, T.V. Arillo thought the torpedoes had missed. He was about to order the firing of more torpedoes when a double explosion was observed. He immediately gave orders to crash-dive. ASDIC pings (described as "Hastings" in the Italian report) were heard and many depth charges followed but the submarine escaped.

The target had been the light cruiser HMS Bonaventure, who was indeed struck by two torpedoes and sank. She was stationed astern of convoy GA. 8, consisting of HMS Breconshire and the steamer Cameronia escorted by destroyers HMAS Stuart, HMS Griffin and HMS Hereward, proceeding from Piraeus to Alexandria and steering 131° at 16.5 knots.

Twenty-three officers and 115 ratings were killed. HMAS Stuart was missed by a torpedo and carried out a heavy counter attack, dropping 29 depth-charges in seven deliberate runs. HMS Hereward carried out two attacks, the submarine breaking surface after the second attack, but then contact was lost. HMS Hereward picked up 310 survivors and brought them to Alexandria. Following this attack, British vessels were ordered to zig-zag day or night unless the weather was such that a submarine attack was unlikely.

Ambra had at least partially avenged the battle of Matapan.

Arillo, Mario19 Apr 19410915Augusta19 Apr 19411155Augusta7Exercises.

7Arillo, Mario25 Apr 19412020Augusta26 Apr 19410935Augusta109Hydrophone watch in 37°05' N, 15°30' E with the submarine Settimo.

8Arillo, Mario1 May 19411858Augusta7 May 19410800Augusta?Sailed for patrol off Alexandria, between 31°40'N and 33°00'N, and between 28°00'E and 29°20'E. Early return due to a leak in one of the torpedo tubes. Arillo and his chief engineer were reprimanded as Admiral Falangola judged that the defect was not serious enough.

9Arillo, Mario13 May 19411810Augusta21 May 19410905Augusta617Patrolled southeast of Malta on an NE-SW axis within 15 miles from 35°15'N, 15°25'E. Uneventful.

Arillo, Mario31 May 19410400Augusta2 Jun 19411630La Spezia631Passage Augusta-La Spezia, then long refit.
  1 Jun 19412155At 2155 hours, the destroyer Libeccio, towed by two tugs and escorted by the torpedo-boat Curtatone, was encountered and recognition signals exchanged.
  2 Jun 19411433
(0) 8 miles SE of Palmaria.
At 1433 hours, a derelict mine was sighted.

Arillo, Mario5 Aug 19410826La Spezia5 Aug 19411747La Spezia26Trials.

Arillo, Mario7 Aug 19410818La Spezia7 Aug 19411711La Spezia40Exercises.

Arillo, Mario10 Aug 19410739La Spezia10 Aug 19411345La Spezia34Exercises.

Arillo, Mario11 Aug 19410830La Spezia11 Aug 19411958La Spezia57Exercises, escorted by auxiliary S. Antioco.

Arillo, Mario13 Aug 19410845La Spezia13 Aug 19411242La Spezia39Exercises.

Arillo, Mario15 Aug 19412015La Spezia16 Aug 19410425La Spezia42Exercises.

Arillo, Mario17 Aug 19410811La Spezia17 Aug 19411339La Spezia24Exercises.

Arillo, Mario18 Aug 1941Date1308La Spezia18 Aug 19411736La Spezia23,3Exercises.

Arillo, Mario19 Aug 19410809La Spezia19 Aug 19411548La Spezia12Gyrocompass trials.

Arillo, Mario20 Aug 19410713La Spezia20 Aug 19410930La Spezia16Exercises.

Arillo, Mario21 Aug 19410520La Spezia23 Aug 19412002Augusta638Passage La Spezia-Augusta.
  23 Aug 19411100-1125
(0) Gulf of Policastro.
At 1100 hours, an Italian squadron of four cruisers and four destroyers was sighted on opposite course.

At 1125 hours, at a distance of 6-7,000 metres, one of the destroyers appeared to have sighted an enemy submarine and dropped depth-charges. Ambra continued on her course.

Arillo, Mario5 Sep 19410815Augusta5 Sep 19411236AugustaExercises.

Arillo, Mario6 Sep 19411052Augusta6 Sep 19411820Messina73Passage Augusta-Messina.

10Arillo, Mario8 Sep 19411352Messina9 Sep 19411145Messina?Anti-submarine patrol off Cape Orlando with the auxiliaries Marras and Castiglia.

10bArillo, Mario12 Sep 19411302Messina14 Sep 19411445Messina?Anti-submarine patrol with MAS 563 and MAS 564 in zone delimited by (a) Punta Stilo, (b) 130° - Punta Stilo - 9 miles, (c) 191° - Punta Stilo - 17 miles (d) Siderno Marina. Uneventful. The combination of a MAS/submarine was viewed favourably at the time, the submarine providing better hydrophones and the MAS providing the speed to intercept.

10cArillo, Mario18 Sep 19411915Messina19 Sep 19410850Messina59Anti-submarine patrol south of 38°30'N, between 15°20'E and 15°50'E with the auxiliaries Castiglia and Diversi. Uneventful. Heard hydrophone noises but sighted nothing.

11Arillo, Mario23 Sep 19411209Messina24 Sep 19410958Messina165Antisubmarine patrol with the torpedo boat Albatros, in 38°02.5'N, 16°14'E, 38°11.5'N, 16°19.5'E, 38°18'N, 16°29.5'E and 38°12'N, 16°40'E. Uneventful.

12Arillo, Mario2 Oct 19411828Messina3 Oct 19410920Messina57Anti-submarine patrol north of the Strait of Messina. Heard five depth-charges at 1925 hours on 2nd October (this was torpedo boat Pilo hunting a bogus contact), otherwise uneventful.

13Arillo, Mario3 Oct 19411758Messina5 Oct 19411845Messina450Sailed for patrol 13 miles north of Ras Zebib on a line 5 miles west from this point (on a barrage line with Ametista 23 miles north, and Corallo 33 miles north of the Cape) via the north coast of Sicily, but then recalled. Uneventful.

Arillo, Mario18 Oct 19410940Messina20 Oct 19411840La Spezia561Passage Messina-La Spezia. Surfaced at 10 knots.
  20 Oct 1941043042° 18'N, 11° 22'EAt 0430 hours, four unidentified steamers were sighted. Ambra made the recognition signal but was not answered.
  20 Oct 19411351
(0) 1 mile NW of the Melaria Lightship.
At 1351 hours, a derelict mine was sighted. Ambra attempted to sink it without success and finally just reported it.

Arillo, Mario9 Dec 19410845La Spezia9 Dec 19411645La Spezia20Exercises with the submarine Acciaio, escorted by the auxiliaries Taormina, Capodistria and Crotone.

Arillo, Mario12 Dec 19410835La Spezia12 Dec 19411800La Spezia37Exercises with the submarine Colonna, escorted by the destroyer Premuda, MAS 507 and the auxiliaries Santantioco, Capodistria, Crotone and Favignana.

Arillo, Mario15 Dec 19410820La Spezia15 Dec 19411640La Spezia54Exercises, escorted back by the torpedo boat Carini and auxiliaries Crotone, Capodistria, Favignana and Rimini.

Arillo, Mario17 Dec 19410828La Spezia17 Dec 19411225La Spezia28Exercises.

Arillo, Mario19 Dec 19410805La Spezia19 Dec 19411645La Spezia22Exercises.

Arillo, Mario20 Dec 19410830La Spezia20 Dec 19411730La Spezia8Exercises.

Arillo, Mario7 Jan 19420845La Spezia7 Jan 19421715La Spezia41,3Exercises, escorted by the auxiliaries Crotone and Capodistria. Escorted back by the auxiliaries Porto Sdobba, Crotone, Capodistria, Giasone and Favignana.

Arillo, Mario12 Jan 19420847La Spezia12 Jan 19421740La Spezia39,5Exercises. Escorted by the auxiliaries Crotone and Rimini.

Arillo, Mario16 Jan 19420838La Spezia16 Jan 19422135La Spezia60,8Exercises with the German submarine U-453 escorted by MAS 510.

Arillo, Mario21 Jan 19420815La Spezia21 Jan 19421657La Spezia44,1Exercises.

Arillo, Mario23 Jan 19420819La Spezia23 Jan 19421731La Spezia35,9Exercises, escorted by the auxiliaries Favignana and Capodistria.

Arillo, Mario5 Feb 19421005La Spezia5 Feb 19421641La Spezia33,7Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary Torre Annunziata.

Arillo, Mario13 Feb 19420830La Spezia13 Feb 19421630La Spezia8Trials.

Arillo, Mario14 Feb 19420830La Spezia14 Feb 19421123La Spezia24,5Exercises.

Arillo, Mario16 Feb 19420826La Spezia16 Feb 19421755La Spezia76,1Exercises with the torpedo boat Libra.

Arillo, Mario17 Feb 19420835La Spezia17 Feb 19421845La Spezia38,8Exercises.

Arillo, Mario19 Feb 19420830La Spezia19 Feb 19421915La Spezia32,6Exercises with the submarines Acciaio and Rismondo, escorted by the auxiliaries Crotone and Porto Sdobba.

Arillo, Mario20 Feb 19421310La Spezia20 Feb 19421740La Spezia32,8Trials.

Arillo, Mario21 Feb 19420830La Spezia21 Feb 19421430La Spezia3,8Gyrocompass tests.

Arillo, Mario23 Feb 19420837La Spezia23 Feb 19421755La Spezia32,5Exercises with the submarine H.6, escorted by the auxiliaries Crotone and Santantioco.

Arillo, Mario25 Feb 19420829La Spezia25 Feb 19421535La Spezia3,6Gyrocompass tests.

Arillo, Mario3 Mar 19420855La Spezia3 Mar 19421905La Spezia41,4Exercises with the submarine H.6, escorted by the torpedo boat Carini and the auxiliaries Favignana and Crotone.

Arillo, Mario4 Mar 19421520La Spezia4 Mar 19421920La Spezia28,8Exercises.

Arillo, Mario11 Mar 19421545La Spezia11 Mar 19421930La Spezia24,5Exercises.

Arillo, Mario14 Mar 19420830La Spezia14 Mar 19421755La Spezia49,2Exercises, escorted by the tug Favignana.

Arillo, Mario23 Mar 19420825La Spezia23 Mar 19421656La Spezia41,9Exercises.

Arillo, Mario28 Mar 19420825La Spezia28 Mar 19421735La Spezia26,5Exercises with the submarine H.6, escorted by the torpedo boat Climene. Escorted back by MAS 509, MAS 525, MAS 567 and MAS 569.

Arillo, Mario1 Apr 19420825La Spezia1 Apr 19422100La Spezia45,8Exercises with the submarines H.1 and Bajamonti, escorted by the auxiliary Crotone.

14Arillo, Mario11 Apr 19421820La Spezia19 Apr 19421015La Spezia704,1Sailed, escorted for about an hour by MAS 505 and MAS 510, for patrol west of Sardinia [40°07'N, 08°27'E] for 10th MAS Flotilla SLC test.
  13 Apr 1942023041° 48'N, 7° 26'EAt 0230 hours, a submarine was sighted. This report was apparently bogus, as no allied or enemy submarines operated in this area at that time.

Arillo, Mario20 Apr 19421930La Spezia21 Apr 19420850La Spezia5,5Trials.

Arillo, Mario25 Apr 19421600La Spezia26 Apr 19420930La Spezia6Trials.

15Arillo, Mario29 Apr 19421225La Spezia5 May 19421845LerosPassage La Spezia-Leros for a Maiali operation. Escorted through the Messina Strait by the torpedo boat Abba, then through (a) 34°40'N, 22°00'E (b) 34°10'N, 24°40'E (c) 34°20'N, 26°20'E (d) 34°56'N, 27°50'E (e) 35°40'N, 27°54'E. At 0515/5, met by the destroyer Sella who escorted her to Leros.
  2 May 1942144536° 48'N, 17° 46'EAt 1445 hours, a derelict mine was sighted and disposed with light machine gun fire (180 rounds expended).
  3 May 1942074535° 21'N, 20° 40'EAt 0745 hours, a derelict mine was sighted and disposed with light machine gun fire (160 rounds expended).

Arillo, Mario9 May 19420620Portolago (Leros)10 May 19420940LerosExercises, escorted by the destroyer Sella.

15bArillo, Mario11 May 19420626Leros24 May 19421120La Spezia3602,9Launched Maiale attack from 1.5 mile from Ras el Tin light at 2025-2050 hours on 14th May (operation G.A.4). Returned via Rhodes (brief stop to pick up her secret papers) and Messina (escorted locally by the torpedo boat Abba on 22nd May 1942) through (1) 35°35'N, 28°00'E (2) 34°20'N, 26°25'E (3) 34°05'N, 24°40'E (4) 34°20'N, 23°00'E.
  14 May 19422025-+2050
(0) 030° - Ras el Tin -1.75 mile or north of Kait Bey Fort (Alexandria).
At 2110 hours on 13th May, the searchlights of Alexandria were observed as Ambra arrived off her objective.

At 0130 hours on the 14th, antiaircraft fire coming from the city could be observed as an air raid had been arranged to provide cover.

At 0300 hours, the submarine closed submerged, T.V. Arillo using bathometric data to guide himself.

At 1925 hours, Ambra reached the sea floor and stopped at a depth of only 10.5 metres. The Ras-El-Tin light was observed at 1.75 mile.

Between 2025 and 2050 hours, the three SLCs were launched. They were piloted by:

GM Giovanni Magello/2o Capo Palombaro Giuseppe Morbelli
TGN Luigi Feltrinelli/Sottocapo Palombaro (Diver) Luciano Favale
S.T.V. (Medical) Giorgio Spaccarelli/Sg Palombaro Armano Memoli.

The mission failed because of currents, which diverted the 'maiales' several thousand meters off course.

The British were alerted when the crossing of the western loop was detected at 2340 hours and contacts were depth-charged at 0130 and 0140 hours. The three SLCs were scuttled off Agami, Mex and Anfouchy (to the west of the harbour entrance), they blew up at 1030 hours. Two Italians were captured at 0600 hours (Mex) and two more at 1030 (Anfouchy), the latter had scuttled their SLC about one mile from the wreck of the City of Pittsburg where they took refuge. The third team [Feltrinelli/Favale] eluded capture until 19th June. The Mediterranean Fleet had been put on alert as an attempt on Alexandria was known since 6th May and the floating dock was believed to be the main target.
  21 May 1942105236° 50'N, 17° 40'EAt 1052 hours, a derelict mine was sighted and disposed with light machine gun fire (120 rounds expended).

Arillo, Mario29 May 19420907La Spezia29 May 19421036La Spezia12Trials.

Arillo, Mario7 Aug 19421300La Spezia7 Aug 19421830La Spezia33,4Trials.

Arillo, Mario10 Aug 19420827La Spezia10 Aug 19421925La Spezia58,9Trials.

Arillo, Mario12 Aug 19420815La Spezia12 Aug 19421840La Spezia50Trials.

Arillo, Mario17 Aug 19420809La Spezia18 Aug 19420750La Spezia42,3Trials.

Arillo, Mario19 Aug 19420815La Spezia20 Aug 19420750La Spezia10,9Exercises and gyrocompass tests.

Arillo, Mario25 Aug 19421540La Spezia26 Aug 19420307La Spezia11,5Exercises.

Arillo, Mario29 Aug 19420810La Spezia29 Aug 19421710La Spezia16,7Exercises.

Arillo, Mario1 Sep 19420837La Spezia1 Sep 19421650La Spezia37,7Exercises.

Arillo, Mario11 Sep 19421545La Spezia11 Sep 19421800La Spezia5,3Exercises.

Arillo, Mario12 Sep 19421510La Spezia12 Sep 19421723La Spezia4,5Exercises.

Arillo, Mario13 Sep 19420830La Spezia13 Sep 19421255La Spezia9,7Exercises.

Arillo, Mario21 Sep 19420910La Spezia21 Sep 19421852La Spezia29,8Exercises.

Arillo, Mario23 Sep 19420845La Spezia23 Sep 19422005La Spezia49Exercises.

Arillo, Mario28 Sep 19420850La Spezia28 Sep 19421205La Spezia23Exercises.

Arillo, Mario30 Sep 19420820La Spezia30 Sep 19420958La Spezia7,2Exercises.

Arillo, Mario3 Oct 19420732La Spezia3 Oct 19421050La Spezia12Trials.

Arillo, Mario5 Oct 19420740La Spezia5 Oct 19420951La Spezia5,3Trials.

Arillo, Mario6 Oct 19420745La Spezia6 Oct 19421925La Spezia57,6Exercises, escorted by MAS 505.

Arillo, Mario7 Oct 19421550La Spezia8 Oct 19421440La Spezia142,5Exercises, escorted by MAS 505.

Arillo, Mario13 Oct 19420745La Spezia13 Oct 19421638La Spezia58,7Exercises with the submarines H.4 and H.6, escorted by MAS 556.

Arillo, Mario15 Oct 19420948La Spezia15 Oct 19421149La Spezia5,2Exercises.

Arillo, Mario20 Oct 19421536La Spezia20 Oct 19422249La Spezia2,6Exercises.

Arillo, Mario27 Oct 19420747La Spezia27 Oct 19421635La Spezia57,9Exercises.

Arillo, Mario28 Oct 19421625La Spezia29 Oct 19420800La Spezia5,2Exercises.

Arillo, Mario9 Nov 19421730La Spezia9 Nov 19420802La Spezia1Trials.

Arillo, Mario10 Nov 19420830La Spezia10 Nov 19421210La Spezia27,2Trials.

Arillo, Mario10 Nov 19420900La Spezia10 Nov 19421055La SpeziaExercises.

Arillo, Mario16 Nov 19421045La Spezia16 Nov 19421220La Spezia5,3Exercises.

Arillo, Mario17 Nov 19421542La Spezia17 Nov 19421917La Spezia5,3Exercises.

Arillo, Mario19 Nov 19420835La Spezia19 Nov 19421715La Spezia5,3Exercises.

Arillo, Mario20 Nov 19421455La Spezia20 Nov 19421850La Spezia5,3Exercises.

Arillo, Mario23 Nov 19421537La Spezia23 Nov 19422045La Spezia5,3Exercises.

Arillo, Mario24 Nov 19421315La Spezia24 Nov 19421750La Spezia6Exercises.

Arillo, Mario25 Nov 19420942La Spezia25 Nov 19422100La Spezia26,6Exercises.

Arillo, Mario25 Nov 19421245La Spezia25 Nov 19421545La SpeziaExercises.

Arillo, Mario27 Nov 19421545La Spezia27 Nov 19422212La Spezia7Exercises.

Arillo, Mario3 Dec 19421020La Spezia3 Dec 19421943La Spezia11Exercises.

16Arillo, Mario4 Dec 19421452La Spezia15 Dec 19421120La Spezia1539,26Launched frogmen and SLC attack on Algiers [Operation N.A.1]. The operation was delayed by 24 hours as SUPERMARINA had been informed of the arrival of a large convoy to Algiers on 9th November. Arillo was awarded the Medaglia D'Oro for his exploits.
  11 Dec 19422300-2320
(0) 105° - Southern entrance of Algiers harbour - 2000 m.
At 2145 hours, Ambra had reached a position just 2,000 metres from the entrance of the harbour of Algiers.

By 2300 hours, the ten Gamma men had left the boat.

At 2320 hours, the three SLCs left.

SLC:

1. TV Giorgio Badessi (Group Leader)/ S.C. Palombaro Carlo Pesel
2. TNG Guido Arena/ Sotto Capo Palombaro Ferdinando Cocchi
3. GM Giorgio Reggioli/S.C. Palombaro Colombo Pammolli


Gamma men (each pair given 5 objectives):

1. Serg. Alberto Evangelista/Serg. Luigi Rolfini
2. Serg. Gaspare Ghiglione /Soldato Luciano Luciani
3. Marò (or S.C, Fuochista) Rodolfo Lugano/Marò Giovanni Lucchetti (Lucchetti had threatened Morello who had ordered him to return to the submarine. He disobeyed and carried on)
4. S.C. Palombaro Giuseppe Feroldi/Marò Evideo Boscolo (Boscolo attacked target no. 5, Feroldi was unable to reach his objective).
5. STAN Agostino Morello (Gamma leader)/2° Capo Inf. Oreste Botti

Reserve:

T,V, Augusto Jacobacci
2° Capo Armando Battaglia

At that time, the following vessels were present in Algiers: the British Empire Centaur (7,041 GRT, built 1942), the Norwegian Berto (1,493 GRT, built 1918), the British Harmattan (4,558 GRT, built 1930), Ocean Vanquisher (7,174 GRT, 1942) and an unidentified vessel [the USS Thomas Stone beached after being crippled by a German torpedo bomber]. They were the five objectives of the operation [operation N.A.1]. Also present were the light cruisers HMS Sirius and HMS Dido and the sloop HMS Deptford.

Berto was sunk at 0620 hours (all the crew was saved) and the others badly damaged (Empire Centaur had no. 2 and 3 holds flooded, Harmattan had her engine room flooded and had beached herself, Ocean Vanquisher had run aground with engine room and boiler rooms flooded).

The sixteen men of the Decima Flottiglia MAS were all captured. It had been a great success.

Arillo, Mario6 Mar 19430810La Spezia6 Mar 19431351La Spezia24Trials.

Arillo, Mario10 Mar 19430810La Spezia10 Mar 19431215La Spezia23Trials.

Arillo, Mario12 Mar 19430805La Spezia12 Mar 19431530La Spezia29Trials.

Arillo, Mario21 Mar 19430800La Spezia21 Mar 19431625La Spezia57,8Trials.

Arillo, Mario22 Mar 19431200La Spezia22 Mar 19431620La Spezia10Trials.

Arillo, Mario24 Mar 19431200La Spezia24 Mar 19431620La Spezia2,5Gyrocompass tests.

Arillo, Mario30 Mar 19431300La Spezia30 Mar 19431615La Spezia2,5Exercises.

17Arillo, Mario31 Mar 19430800La Spezia5 Apr 19430745La Spezia668Sailed for area west of Bonifacio Strait for test, with twelve Gamma combat swimmers, three M.T.R. and four operators.
  3 Apr 1943120041° 31'N, 6° 31'EAt 1200 hours, a Spanish vessel was sighted.

Arillo, Mario10 Apr 19430800La Spezia10 Apr 19431740La Spezia49,6Exercises.

Arillo, Mario12 Apr 19430731La Spezia12 Apr 19431730La Spezia52Exercises.

Arillo, Mario3 May 19430645La Spezia3 May 19431615La Spezia57Exercises, escorted out by MAS 525.

Arillo, Mario8 May 19430715La Spezia8 May 19431715La Spezia66,6Exercises.

Arillo, Mario16 May 19430700La Spezia16 May 19431303La Spezia24,6Exercises.

Arillo, Mario17 May 19430845La Spezia17 May 19431730La Spezia28,7Exercises.

Arillo, Mario19 May 19430755La Spezia19 May 19432345La Spezia84,4Exercises.

Ferrini, Renato28 May 19431435La Spezia29 May 19430025La Spezia16,9Exercises.

18Ferrini, Renato2 Jun 19430920La Spezia7 Jun 19430655La Spezia450Sailed for area west of Bonifacio Strait for test with twelve Gamma combat swimmers, three M.T.R. and four operators. Escorted out by MAS 525?

Ferrini, Renato28 Jun 19430930La Spezia28 Jun 19431600La Spezia5Exercises.

Ferrini, Renato2 Jul 19430820La Spezia3 Jul 19430100La Spezia70,7Exercises.

Ferrini, Renato6 Jul 19431740La Spezia7 Jul 19431700La Spezia68,3Exercises.

Ferrini, Renato11 Jul 19431350La Spezia12 Jul 19430100La Spezia7,7Exercises.

19Ferrini, Renato14 Jul 19431532La Spezia18 Jul 19431410MessinaPassage La Spezia-Messina, carrying three human torpedoes destined to force the harbour of Syracuse (also reported as three explosive boats to attack Augusta). At 2030 hours on the 16th, she met the torpedo boat Partenope in point M3 to escort her through the Strait of Messina.
  16 Jul 1943224338° 23'N, 15° 46'EAt 2243 hours, an hospital ship was seen on opposite course.
  17 Jul 19430210-0215
0230 (e)

(0) South of San Rainieri Light (Strait of Messina).
At 0035 hours, Ambra was being escorted by the torpedo-boat Partenope, when they received the order to stop off Messina as the light cruiser Scipione Africano was expected to cross the Straits shortly.

At 0210 hours, Scipione Africano was observed firing at unidentified naval targets.

A vessel was set afire. This actually was MTB-316 . She was sunk and none of her eleven-men crew survived. MTB- 313 was hit and had one killed and one wounded. The MTBs claimed two torpedo hits on the cruiser, but Scipione Africano was undamaged.
  17 Jul 1943223237° 28'N, 15° 58'EAt 2232 hours, five enemy vessels were sighted at a distance of 12,000 metres. Ambra had instructions not to reveal its presence until her special mission was accomplished and desisted from attacking.
  18 Jul 19430320
0320B (e)
At 0320 hours, an aircraft was sighted, which made a recognition signal before bombing the submarine with depth-charges. Ambra was straddled by seven or eight bombs, damaged by near-misses and had a few wounded. As she could no longer submerge, she was forced to abort her mission. She returned through the Strait of Messina escorted by the corvette Cicogna and the torpedo-boat Partenope who took her in tow part of the trip back to Naples. A submarine was reported lurking near them at 1915 hours on the 18th and the corvette Cicogna was detached to hunt it. Ambra and Partenope proceeded together to Naples.

This was Wellington 'B' (HZ.116) of 221 Squadron piloted by Pilot Officer E. Austin. Post-war, this attack was initially credited to have sunk the submarine Romolo, although she was assessed at the time as "probably slightly damaged". The aircraft had detected the submarine from a range of 6 miles and made an attack by keeping the target in its moonpath. Five 250-lb depth charges set at 25 feet and three A/S 100-lb bombs were released from a height of 200 feet. The submarine was reported to have fired a short burst of machine gun fire as the aircraft flew away. It was not hit. The aircraft attempted to contact British destroyers known to be operating in the area, without success.

19bFerrini, Renato18 Jul 19431715Messina19 Jul 19431850Naples799,5Passage Messina-Naples.
  18 Jul 19430320
0320B (e)
At 0320 hours, an aircraft was sighted, which made a recognition signal before bombing the submarine with depth-charges. Ambra was straddled by seven or eight bombs, damaged by near-misses and had a few wounded. As she could no longer submerge, she was forced to abort her mission. She returned through the Strait of Messina escorted by the corvette Cicogna and the torpedo-boat Partenope who took her in tow part of the trip back to Naples. A submarine was reported lurking near them at 1915 hours on the 18th and the corvette Cicogna was detached to hunt it. Ambra and Partenope proceeded together to Naples.

This was Wellington 'B' (HZ.116) of 221 Squadron piloted by Pilot Officer E. Austin. Post-war, this attack was initially credited to have sunk the submarine Romolo, although she was assessed at the time as "probably slightly damaged". The aircraft had detected the submarine from a range of 6 miles and made an attack by keeping the target in its moonpath. Five 250-lb depth charges set at 25 feet and three A/S 100-lb bombs were released from a height of 200 feet. The submarine was reported to have fired a short burst of machine gun fire as the aircraft flew away. It was not hit. The aircraft attempted to contact British destroyers known to be operating in the area, without success.

Ferrini, Renato25 Jul 19431400Naples27 Jul 19430445La Spezia390,5Passage Naples-La Spezia. Joined up with the steamer Saluzzo, escorted by the torpedo boats Ardito and Animoso who went to La Maddalena. Ambra left them at 1840 hours on the 26th, off Piombino. She was reported damaged more seriously than at first thought. It was proposed that following the entry in service of Murena (at the end of September) and Grongo (on 20th October 1943), she was to revert to ordinary submarine operations.

Ferrini, Renato9 Sep 1943La Spezia9 Sep 1943ScuttledScuttled after armistice.

168 entries. 157 total patrol entries (19 marked as war patrols) and 25 events.

Events

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

CommanderDateTimePositionDescription
Teucle Meneghini29 Sep 1940142032.50 N, 26.20 E
(o) Approximately.
At 1420 hours, Ambra was proceeding at a depth of 55 meters when a metallic object hit her (possibly an unexploded depth-charge?).

The submarine went down to 65 meters, then to 75 meters. At 1548 hours, two depth-charges exploded near her and four more at 1553 hours. The enemy vessel abandoned the chase at 1725 hours.
Teucle Meneghini5 Oct 19400615-065532.50 N, 26.20 E
(o) Approximately.
Between 0615 and 0655 hours, five bombs were heard to explode. Ambra was not damaged.
Teucle Meneghini9 Oct 19401930(o) West of Crete.At 1930 hours, a submarine was sighted at a range of 4,000 metres. She apparently sighted Ambra as she immediately dived. At this time, Ambra was returning home, steering 320°. The other submarine may have been Zoea as there were no British or Hellenic submarines in the vicinity.
Leone Monteleoni16 Dec 1940034639.20 N, 19.44 E
At 0346 hours, two destroyers were sighted at a range of 2,500 metres, steering 120°. The leading one turned toward Ambra and apparently dropped depth-charges at a distance. The submarine submerged and escaped.
Mario Arillo19 Feb 1941120032.44.5 N, 21.03 E
(o) Approximately.
At 1042 hours, noises were detected with hydrophones.

At 1200 hours, an unidentified warship, perhaps an auxiliary, was sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres. Ambra tried to move to the attack but lost sight at 1220 hours.
Mario Arillo20 Feb 1941095232.44.5 N, 21.03 E
(o) Approximately.
At 0952 hours, a destroyer was sighted at a distance of 4,000 metres. It appeared to be French, similar to the LE FIER class.
Mario Arillo21 Feb 1941201032.44.5 N, 21.03 E
(o) Approximately.
At 2010 hours, Ambra was informed of a convoy off Cyrenaica. The submarine attempted to intercept but heard only distant H.E. effects.
Mario Arillo31 Mar 19410244
0250 (e)
(e) 33.20 N, 26.35 E
From 23rd to 30th March, Ambra had detected noises with her hydrophones, but without being able to sight anything.

At 0030 hours on the 31st, she received a signal ordering her home and steered accordingly.

At 0237 hours, Ambra was proceeding on the surface when, from the bridge, S.T.V. Ignazio Spinale observed a shadow in the mist at a distance of 2,000 metres, followed by another at about 1,000 metres.

At 0244 hours, three torpedoes were fired from bow tubes at 4-second intervals. After a lapse of time, T.V. Arillo thought the torpedoes had missed. He was about to order the firing of more torpedoes when a double explosion was observed. He immediately gave orders to crash-dive. ASDIC pings (described as "Hastings" in the Italian report) were heard and many depth charges followed but the submarine escaped.

The target had been the light cruiser HMS Bonaventure, who was indeed struck by two torpedoes and sank. She was stationed astern of convoy GA. 8, consisting of HMS Breconshire and the steamer Cameronia escorted by destroyers HMAS Stuart, HMS Griffin and HMS Hereward, proceeding from Piraeus to Alexandria and steering 131° at 16.5 knots.

Twenty-three officers and 115 ratings were killed. HMAS Stuart was missed by a torpedo and carried out a heavy counter attack, dropping 29 depth-charges in seven deliberate runs. HMS Hereward carried out two attacks, the submarine breaking surface after the second attack, but then contact was lost. HMS Hereward picked up 310 survivors and brought them to Alexandria. Following this attack, British vessels were ordered to zig-zag day or night unless the weather was such that a submarine attack was unlikely.

Ambra had at least partially avenged the battle of Matapan.
Mario Arillo1 Jun 19412155At 2155 hours, the destroyer Libeccio, towed by two tugs and escorted by the torpedo-boat Curtatone, was encountered and recognition signals exchanged.
Mario Arillo2 Jun 19411433(o) 8 miles SE of Palmaria.At 1433 hours, a derelict mine was sighted.
Mario Arillo23 Aug 19411100-1125(o) Gulf of Policastro.At 1100 hours, an Italian squadron of four cruisers and four destroyers was sighted on opposite course.

At 1125 hours, at a distance of 6-7,000 metres, one of the destroyers appeared to have sighted an enemy submarine and dropped depth-charges. Ambra continued on her course.
Mario Arillo20 Oct 1941043042.18 N, 11.22 E
At 0430 hours, four unidentified steamers were sighted. Ambra made the recognition signal but was not answered.
Mario Arillo20 Oct 19411351(o) 1 mile NW of the Melaria Lightship.At 1351 hours, a derelict mine was sighted. Ambra attempted to sink it without success and finally just reported it.
Mario Arillo13 Apr 1942023041.48.5 N, 07.26.5 E
At 0230 hours, a submarine was sighted. This report was apparently bogus, as no allied or enemy submarines operated in this area at that time.
Mario Arillo2 May 1942144536.48 N, 17.46 E
At 1445 hours, a derelict mine was sighted and disposed with light machine gun fire (180 rounds expended).
Mario Arillo3 May 1942074535.21 N, 20.40 E
At 0745 hours, a derelict mine was sighted and disposed with light machine gun fire (160 rounds expended).
Mario Arillo14 May 19422025-+2050(o) 030° - Ras el Tin -1.75 mile or north of Kait Bey Fort (Alexandria).At 2110 hours on 13th May, the searchlights of Alexandria were observed as Ambra arrived off her objective.

At 0130 hours on the 14th, antiaircraft fire coming from the city could be observed as an air raid had been arranged to provide cover.

At 0300 hours, the submarine closed submerged, T.V. Arillo using bathometric data to guide himself.

At 1925 hours, Ambra reached the sea floor and stopped at a depth of only 10.5 metres. The Ras-El-Tin light was observed at 1.75 mile.

Between 2025 and 2050 hours, the three SLCs were launched. They were piloted by:

GM Giovanni Magello/2o Capo Palombaro Giuseppe Morbelli
TGN Luigi Feltrinelli/Sottocapo Palombaro (Diver) Luciano Favale
S.T.V. (Medical) Giorgio Spaccarelli/Sg Palombaro Armano Memoli.

The mission failed because of currents, which diverted the 'maiales' several thousand meters off course.

The British were alerted when the crossing of the western loop was detected at 2340 hours and contacts were depth-charged at 0130 and 0140 hours. The three SLCs were scuttled off Agami, Mex and Anfouchy (to the west of the harbour entrance), they blew up at 1030 hours. Two Italians were captured at 0600 hours (Mex) and two more at 1030 (Anfouchy), the latter had scuttled their SLC about one mile from the wreck of the City of Pittsburg where they took refuge. The third team [Feltrinelli/Favale] eluded capture until 19th June. The Mediterranean Fleet had been put on alert as an attempt on Alexandria was known since 6th May and the floating dock was believed to be the main target.
Mario Arillo21 May 1942105236.50 N, 17.40 E
At 1052 hours, a derelict mine was sighted and disposed with light machine gun fire (120 rounds expended).
Mario Arillo11 Dec 19422300-2320(o) 105° - Southern entrance of Algiers harbour - 2000 m.At 2145 hours, Ambra had reached a position just 2,000 metres from the entrance of the harbour of Algiers.

By 2300 hours, the ten Gamma men had left the boat.

At 2320 hours, the three SLCs left.

SLC:

1. TV Giorgio Badessi (Group Leader)/ S.C. Palombaro Carlo Pesel
2. TNG Guido Arena/ Sotto Capo Palombaro Ferdinando Cocchi
3. GM Giorgio Reggioli/S.C. Palombaro Colombo Pammolli


Gamma men (each pair given 5 objectives):

1. Serg. Alberto Evangelista/Serg. Luigi Rolfini
2. Serg. Gaspare Ghiglione /Soldato Luciano Luciani
3. Marò (or S.C, Fuochista) Rodolfo Lugano/Marò Giovanni Lucchetti (Lucchetti had threatened Morello who had ordered him to return to the submarine. He disobeyed and carried on)
4. S.C. Palombaro Giuseppe Feroldi/Marò Evideo Boscolo (Boscolo attacked target no. 5, Feroldi was unable to reach his objective).
5. STAN Agostino Morello (Gamma leader)/2° Capo Inf. Oreste Botti

Reserve:

T,V, Augusto Jacobacci
2° Capo Armando Battaglia

At that time, the following vessels were present in Algiers: the British Empire Centaur (7,041 GRT, built 1942), the Norwegian Berto (1,493 GRT, built 1918), the British Harmattan (4,558 GRT, built 1930), Ocean Vanquisher (7,174 GRT, 1942) and an unidentified vessel [the USS Thomas Stone beached after being crippled by a German torpedo bomber]. They were the five objectives of the operation [operation N.A.1]. Also present were the light cruisers HMS Sirius and HMS Dido and the sloop HMS Deptford.

Berto was sunk at 0620 hours (all the crew was saved) and the others badly damaged (Empire Centaur had no. 2 and 3 holds flooded, Harmattan had her engine room flooded and had beached herself, Ocean Vanquisher had run aground with engine room and boiler rooms flooded).

The sixteen men of the Decima Flottiglia MAS were all captured. It had been a great success.
Mario Arillo3 Apr 1943120041.31 N, 06.31 E
At 1200 hours, a Spanish vessel was sighted.
Renato Ferrini16 Jul 1943224338.23 N, 15.46 E
At 2243 hours, an hospital ship was seen on opposite course.
Renato Ferrini17 Jul 19430210-0215
0230 (e)
(o) South of San Rainieri Light (Strait of Messina).At 0035 hours, Ambra was being escorted by the torpedo-boat Partenope, when they received the order to stop off Messina as the light cruiser Scipione Africano was expected to cross the Straits shortly.

At 0210 hours, Scipione Africano was observed firing at unidentified naval targets.

A vessel was set afire. This actually was MTB-316 . She was sunk and none of her eleven-men crew survived. MTB- 313 was hit and had one killed and one wounded. The MTBs claimed two torpedo hits on the cruiser, but Scipione Africano was undamaged.
Renato Ferrini17 Jul 1943223237.28 N, 15.58 E
At 2232 hours, five enemy vessels were sighted at a distance of 12,000 metres. Ambra had instructions not to reveal its presence until her special mission was accomplished and desisted from attacking.
Renato Ferrini18 Jul 19430320
0320B (e)
(e) 37.26 N, 16.22 E
At 0320 hours, an aircraft was sighted, which made a recognition signal before bombing the submarine with depth-charges. Ambra was straddled by seven or eight bombs, damaged by near-misses and had a few wounded. As she could no longer submerge, she was forced to abort her mission. She returned through the Strait of Messina escorted by the corvette Cicogna and the torpedo-boat Partenope who took her in tow part of the trip back to Naples. A submarine was reported lurking near them at 1915 hours on the 18th and the corvette Cicogna was detached to hunt it. Ambra and Partenope proceeded together to Naples.

This was Wellington 'B' (HZ.116) of 221 Squadron piloted by Pilot Officer E. Austin. Post-war, this attack was initially credited to have sunk the submarine Romolo, although she was assessed at the time as "probably slightly damaged". The aircraft had detected the submarine from a range of 6 miles and made an attack by keeping the target in its moonpath. Five 250-lb depth charges set at 25 feet and three A/S 100-lb bombs were released from a height of 200 feet. The submarine was reported to have fired a short burst of machine gun fire as the aircraft flew away. It was not hit. The aircraft attempted to contact British destroyers known to be operating in the area, without success.

All Italian submarines