Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Gaetano Arezzo Della Targia

Born  30 Jul 1911Syracuse
Died  15 Dec 1942(31)Killed in action


  T.V.Tenente di Vascello


  Croce al merito di guerra
  Croce al merito di guerra
18 Jul 1942 Croce di guerra al valore militare
17 Dec 1942 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare (posthumous)
  Medaglia d'argento al valore militare (posthumous)
18 Dec 1951 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare (posthumous)

Career information

MEDUSA (T.V. First Officer): from ? to 30.01.1942 (sunk, one of the two survivors ). He was training at MARISCUOLASOM.
UARSCIEK (T.V. First Officer): from 11.06.1942 22.06.1942.
UARSCIEK (T.V. C.O.): from 22.06.1942 to 15.12.1942 (sunk, killed).

Commands listed for Gaetano Arezzo Della Targia

Submarine Type Rank From To
Uarsciek (UR)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.22 Jun 194215 Dec 1942

Ships hit by Gaetano Arezzo Della Targia

No ships hit by this Commander.

War patrols listed for Gaetano Arezzo Della Targia

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
1.Uarsciek (UR)23 Jun 19420600Cagliari24 Jun 19420715Cagliari209Sailed to form a patrol line with Velella, Malachite and Giada off Cape Blanc, between 37°20'N and 37°50'N, and between 09°20'E and 09°40'E, but then recalled at 2010 hours on the 23rd.

Uarsciek (UR)1 Jul 19421600Cagliari2 Jul 19421110La Maddalena200Passage Cagliari-La Maddalena.

Uarsciek (UR)25 Jul 19420728La Maddalena25 Jul 19421312La Maddalena44Exercises.

2.Uarsciek (UR)4 Aug 19420404La Maddalena17 Aug 19420818La Maddalena889Sailed with Giada for a patrol north-west of Cape Caxine, between 37°40'N and 38°00'N, and between 01°40'E and 02°00'E.
  11 Aug 19420442
0431 (e)
37° 52'N, 1° 48'EAt 0340 hours, the hydrophones picked up vessel noises to the west. The submarine surfaced at 0400 hours and proceeded toward them in low visibility.

At 0438 hours, a shadow was sighted and soon recognised as an aircraft carrier of the SARATOGA class (but later believed to have been perhaps HMS Furious) steering 090° at 16 knots on opposite course.

At 0442 hours, three torpedoes (533mm) were fired from the bow tubes at a range of 1,000 metres. However the phosphorescence of the tracks must have been observed and T.V. Gaetano Arezzo Della Targia decided to dive before firing the fourth torpedo (450mm). He had barely slid down to the control room when two loud explosions were heard about 50 seconds after firing. At 0447 hours, the first depth charges exploded, followed by several more.

The targets were vessels of Force "R": Fleet oil tankers Brown Ranger (3,417 GRT, built 1941) and Dingledale (8,145 GRT, built 1941) with the tugs HMS Jaunty and HMS Salvonia screened by the corvettes HMS Jonquil, HMS Coltsfoot, HMS Geranium and HMS Spiraea (operation PEDESTAL). All the torpedoes missed.

HMS Coltsfoot, screening force "R", reported two torpedoes breaking surface and dropped five depth charges at 0447 hours. This was followed by three patterns of five, five and ten depth-charges.
  13 Aug 1942060537° 14'N, 0° 31'EAt 0605 hours, the submarine submerged and in the next hours heard several explosions, some distant and some quite near, attributed to aircraft bombs.

Uarsciek (UR)2 Sep 19422050La Maddalena4 Sep 19420900Messina368Passage La Maddalena-Messina. Slightly damaged while docking upon arrival.
  3 Sep 1942103040° 17'N, 12° 02'EAt 1030 hours, two German sumarines were sighted on opposite course (probably U-565 and U-83 on passage from Messina to La Spezia).

Uarsciek (UR)15 Sep 19421105Messina15 Sep 19421340Messina12,6Trials, escorted by AS.45.

Uarsciek (UR)16 Sep 19420907Messina16 Sep 19421130Messina13Trials.

Uarsciek (UR)5 Oct 19420830Messina5 Oct 19421209Messina24Exercises.

Uarsciek (UR)17 Oct 19420843Messina17 Oct 19421134Messina16Exercises.

Uarsciek (UR)22 Oct 19420842Messina22 Oct 19421142Messina1Exercises.

3.Uarsciek (UR)31 Oct 19421833Messina4 Nov 19421310TobrukTransport mission to Tobruk (19 tons of ammunition).
  2 Nov 1942080835° 18'N, 21° 54'EAt 0808 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived. Numerous Italian aircraft were also seen during the forenoon.
  2 Nov 1942125234° 54'N, 22° 31'EAt 1252 hours, three aircraft were seen and the submarine dived.
  3 Nov 1942012433° 11'N, 23° 31'EAt 0124 hours, an Axis barge convoy was seen. Uarsciek turned away.

4.Uarsciek (UR)4 Nov 19421830Tobruk9 Nov 19420134TripoliReturn trip. Ordered to intercept an enemy convoy, but developed engine defects and had to be diverted to Tripoli.
  5 Nov 1942053032° 34'N, 23° 28'EAt 0530 hours, a vessel initially believed to be a submarine was sighted. Since an enemy submarine had been reported in the area, Uarsciek investigated it but discovered that it was actually a minesweeper.
  6 Nov 1942091534° 22'N, 21° 23'EAt 0915 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived. She later sighted several aircraft, a convoy and sailing vessels.
  6 Nov 1942131734° 56'N, 20° 58'EAt 1317 hours, a German aircraft was seen and exchanged recognition signals.

At 1815 hours, the submarine was informed of the passage of an enemy convoy and proceeded to intercept, but engine defects forced her to be diverted to Tripoli for repairs.
  7 Nov 1942144534° 44'N, 16° 28'EAt 1445 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.

5.Uarsciek (UR)14 Nov 19421300Tripoli16 Nov 19421434Messina1906Passage Tripoli-Messina.
  15 Nov 1942135134° 59'N, 16° 20'EAt 1351 hours, two aircraft were seen and the submarine dived.

Uarsciek (UR)30 Nov 19421430Messina30 Nov 19421830Messina27Trials.

Uarsciek (UR)1 Dec 19421700Messina2 Dec 19421207Naples195Passage Messina-Naples, transporting four G7e torpedoes.

Uarsciek (UR)8 Dec 19421700Naples9 Dec 19421904Augusta255Passage Naples-Augusta.

6.Uarsciek (UR)11 Dec 19421725Augusta15 Dec 19421133SunkSailed for patrol between 35°00'N and 35°20'N, and between 14°30'E and 14°50'E (or 35°00'N and 35°10'N, 14°20'E and 14°40'E) via 37°00'N, 15°40'E, this was to cover, with Topazio, the passage of convoy Foscolo escorted by the destroyer Freccia. Sunk south of Malta by the destroyers HMS Petard and RHS Vasilissa Olga. Two officers and fifteen ratings were killed, thirty were rescued.
  15 Dec 1942
0305 (e)

(e) 35° 08'N, 14° 22'E
At 0305 hours, Lieutenant Dunbar Nasmith, Officer of the Watch of the destroyer HMS Petard, sighted a vessel at 3,000 yards on the port bow. This was soon recognised to be a surfaced submarine. As there was a possibility that the British submarine HMS P 35 was in the area, a challenge was made. The submarine did not reply and dived. The destroyer turned to the attack and dropped a single depth charge.

This was Uarsciek and she fired her two stern torpedoes at the destroyer. The depth charge explosion was mistaken for a torpedo hit. The British destroyer was soon joined in the hunt by the Hellenic destroyer RHS Vasilissa Olga (aka Queen Olga) who dropped a pattern of six depth charges.

The submarine was seen to break surface on the port bow of HMS Petard and she opened fire with her 4.7" guns. In a short span of time, ten rounds were fired of which four were direct hits. The submarine crew was observed to abandon ship and the British destroyer tried to come alongside but she came too fast and collided with Uarsciek. During this time, the smaller weapons were raking the unfortunate submarine, killing a number of men. A whaler was lowered and Lieutenant Nasmith managed to board the submarine and recover a number of books (among them the SM45S Codice Operativo Sommergibili and Meteo Marina Code S.M.502S Allegato no.5). An attempt was made to take the U-boat in tow and bring her to Malta but, at 1133 hours, she sank rapidly in 35°18'N, 14°25'E.

T.V. Gaetano Arezzo Della Targia, another officer and fifteen ratings were killed. Thirty men were rescued.

23 entries. 17 total patrol entries (6 marked as war patrols) and 12 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines