Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Pasquale Gigli

Born  10 Oct 1912Taranto
Died  1 Sep 2004(91)Rome


  T.V.Tenente di Vascello
  C.C.Capitano di Corvetta


  Croce al merito di guerra
  Croce al merito di guerra
  Croce al merito di guerra
  Cavaliere dell'ordine della Corona d'Italia
  Grande ufficiale dell'ordine della Republica Italiana
26 Sep 1942 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
29 Mar 1943 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare
29 Mar 1943 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare
29 Mar 1943 Croce di guerra al valore militare
24 Dec 1944 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
17 May 1947 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
17 May 1947 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare

Career information

VELELLA (T.V. First Officer): from 01.02.1940 to ?
ARGO (T.V. C.O.): From 15.05.1942 to 14.05.1943.
SQUALO (T.V. C.O.): From 01.06.1943 to 16.06.1943.
JALEA (T.V. C.O.): From 16.06.1943 to 04.10.1943.
Promoted C.C. on ?
DANDOLO: (C.C. C.O.): from 18.02.1947 to 29.09.1947.

Commands listed for Pasquale Gigli

Submarine Type Rank From To
Argo (AO, I.26)Ocean goingT.V.15 May 194214 May 1943
Squalo (SQ)Ocean goingT.V.1 Jun 194316 Jun 1943
Jalea (IA)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.16 Jun 19434 Oct 1943

Ships hit by Pasquale Gigli

DateSubmarineShip hitTypeGRTNat.Loss type
1.12 Nov 1942ArgoHMS TynwaldAuxiliary antiaircraft ship2,376BritishSunk

War patrols listed for Pasquale Gigli

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Argo (AO, I.26)17 May 19420700Cagliari17 May 19421208Cagliari25Trials.

1.Argo (AO, I.26)20 May 19421800Cagliari30 May 19421100Cagliari1165Patrolled area between 37°20'N and 37°40'N, and between 02°20'E and 03°00'E, northwest of Cap Caxine (Algeria) to attack Malta traffic. On 28th May was ordered to move 50 miles east and 10 miles north. Sustained three aerial attacks and was badly damaged.
  27 May 1942235037° 40'N, 2° 10'E
(e) 37° 38'N, 2° 05'E
At 2350 hours, a lookout spotted an aircraft making a run from the stern under the moonlight. Four depth charges straddled the submarine, one actually hitting the forward port hydroplane, and injuring one man in the forward torpedo room. The torpedo tube caps had been opened and three torpedoes had to be ejected. The submarine remained on the surface firing off its antiaircraft machine guns and 19 100mm rounds at the aircraft identified as a Sunderland, which now circled at a distance of 1,000 to 1,500 metres. This was actually Catalina 'C' (AJ162) of 202 Squadron based at Gibraltar and piloted by Flight Lieutenant R.Y. Powell. It had detected the submarine by radar at 6-7 miles and sighted the submarine at 300 yards, and identifying at as of the Italian BALILLA class. It had strafed the submarine releasing eight depth charges from a height of only 50 feet.
  28 May 19421423
1415-1642 (e)
37° 46'N, 2° 47'E
(e) 37° 59'N, 2° 08'E
At 1355 hours, an aircraft was sighted coming from the stern at a distance of 6,000 metres. T.V. Gigli elected to fight on the surface. This was Sunderland "R" of 10 Squadron (RAAF) piloted by Flight Lieutenant H.G. Pockley. At 1423 hours, it dropped a salvo of four depth charges from a height of 50 metres and strafed the submarine. The submarine was near-missed. The aircraft came for a second attack and at 1427 hours dropped another four depth charges (others failed to release) and was met by heavy flak, it took several hits but suffered minor damages. In all Argo fired 17 rounds of 100mm and 1,200 round of 13.2mm but a depth charge lodged in the bow section but failed to explode. It prevented the submarine from diving from fear it would detonate and she made an SOS. The Sunderland came for a third attack and dropped another three depth charges. At 1830 hours, the Sunderland left the scene and was replaced by Hudson 'V' of 233 Squadron.
  28 May 19421820
1841 (e)
37° 55'N, 3° 30'E
(e) 38° 09'N, 3° 27'E
(0) Approximately.
At 1820 hours, an aircraft attacked Argo with four depth charges. This was Hudson "V" (V9168) of 233 Squadron, piloted by Flying Officer Paisey. The charges failed astern. The submarine was strafed but maintained heavy antiaircraft fire. She was believed to have been damaged and the light cruiser HMS Charybdis and the destroyers HMS Westcott and HMS Wrestler were sailed from Gibraltar at 2000 hours on the 28th but failed to locate her.
  30 May 19421030
(0) Anchored at buoy off entrance of Cagliari.
Argo had anchored at 0715 hours off Cagliari as she had been told not to enter the habour because of an unexploded bomb. At 1030 hours, the submarine was visited by Admiral Legnani and Gruppo commander C.F.Criscuolo who congratulated the crew for their escape.

Argo (AO, I.26)8 Jun 19420737Cagliari8 Jun 19421230Cagliari0Gyrocompass tests.

Argo (AO, I.26)10 Jun 19421803Cagliari11 Jun 19422000Naples268Passage Cagliari-Naples for refit, escorted by the torpedo boat Cosenz.

Argo (AO, I.26)18 Aug 19420903Naples18 Aug 19421532Naples27Trials.

Argo (AO, I.26)23 Aug 19420810Naples23 Aug 19421249Naples14Trials and torpedo firing exercises.

Argo (AO, I.26)24 Aug 19421625Naples24 Aug 19422310Naples1417,9Simulated torpedo firing exercises.

Argo (AO, I.26)26 Aug 19421524Naples26 Aug 19421804Naples26,5Trials.

Argo (AO, I.26)28 Aug 19421103Naples29 Aug 19421829La Spezia335,2Passage Naples-La Spezia.

Argo (AO, I.26)2 Sep 19421101La Spezia2 Sep 19421853La Spezia15,3Exercises.

Argo (AO, I.26)3 Sep 19420905La Spezia3 Sep 19421748La Spezia17,5Exercises.

Argo (AO, I.26)4 Sep 19420840La Spezia4 Sep 19421351La Spezia19,8Exercises.

Argo (AO, I.26)5 Sep 19420812La Spezia5 Sep 19421346La Spezia12,6Hydrophone trials.

Argo (AO, I.26)8 Sep 19420739La Spezia8 Sep 19421720La Spezia47,5Radiogoniometry test and hydrophone trials.

Argo (AO, I.26)9 Sep 19420851La Spezia9 Sep 19421305La Spezia5,4Gyrocompass tests.

Argo (AO, I.26)10 Sep 19422149La Spezia12 Sep 19420748Cagliari351Passage La Spezia-Cagliari.

2.Argo (AO, I.26)13 Sep 19421709Cagliari28 Sep 19421158Cagliari1320,5Sailed with Alabastro via (1) Point C (2) 37°08'N, 04°10'E (3) 37°08'N, 02°40'E for a patrol off Algiers between 37°00'N and 37°30'N, and between 02°00'E and 02°20'E.
  14 Sep 1942141937° 30'N, 5° 14'EAt 1419 hours, Argo sighted a submarine believed to be Alabastro who did not return from patrol.
  14 Sep 1942161037° 24'N, 4° 58'EAt 1610 hours, Argo sighted a Sunderland and crash-dived. This was probably the same which attacked Alabastro a few minutes later.
  14 Sep 1942200037° 21'N, 4° 50'EAt 2000 hours, an illuminated vessel was sighted proceeding to Algeria. It was probably a Vichy ship and was left alone.
  15 Sep 1942050237° 14'N, 2° 38'EAt 0502 hours, a submarine was sighted on a parallel course and Alabastro and Argo dived to avoid it. There is little doubt that Alabastro had been sunk the previous day. No other submarine appears to have operated in this area.
  24 Sep 1942220137° 14'N, 2° 15'EAt 2201 hours, a Sunderland was sighted and Argo dived four minutes later.

Argo (AO, I.26)4 Oct 19420803Cagliari4 Oct 19421203Cagliari21,5Trials.

Argo (AO, I.26)21 Oct 19420801Cagliari21 Oct 19421310Cagliari28Exercises.

3.Argo (AO, I.26)29 Oct 19420225Cagliari31 Oct 19420515Cagliari226Patrolled off La Galite in 37°55'N, 08°35'E, on a patrol line with Asteria, Porfido and Nichelio, then recalled. Uneventful.
  29 Oct 1942092338° 13'N, 8° 47'EAt 0923 hours, three Italian aircraft were sighted and exchanged recognition signals.

4.Argo (AO, I.26)7 Nov 19420440Cagliari13 Nov 19421715Cagliari812Sailed for a patrol between 37°50'N and 38°00'N, and between 06°40'E and 07°10'E on an E/W axis. At 0800 hours on the 8th, she was ordered to move 60 miles to west. However, at 2100 hours the same evening, she was ordered to the Gulf of Philippeville, between 37°20'N and the Algerian coast, and between 06°10'E and 07°10'E. During the evening, she was ordered to the Bay of Bougie.
  8 Nov 19420340-044537° 56'N, 7° 00'EBetween 0340 and 0445 hours, about fifty flashes were sighted to the south (probably from Bone) on the horizon. The submarine dived at 0445 and continued her observations from periscope depth.
  8 Nov 1942080537° 53'N, 6° 35'EAt 0805 hours, a submarine was seen and was assumed to be Italian. Argo refrained from attack.
  8 Nov 1942090837° 54'N, 6° 28'EAn unidentified aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  8 Nov 1942092937° 54'N, 6° 28'EAn unidentified aircraft was seen. It was probably Italian.
  8 Nov 1942095937° 56'N, 6° 30'EAn unidentified aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  8 Nov 1942193538° 01'N, 6° 14'EAt 1935 hours, an unidentified aircraft with a red light was observed. At 2125 hours, the submarine was ordered to the Gulf of Philippeville, which it it reached at 2130 hours on the following evening, but nothing was sighted.
  10 Nov 1942025037° 05'N, 6° 42'EAt 0250 hours on 10th November, an unknown submarine was seen, but it was probably Italian and no action was taken.
  10 Nov 1942045037° 05'N, 6° 39'EAt 0450 hours on 10th November, an unknown submarine was seen but it was probably Italian and no action was taken.
  11 Nov 1942081437° 10'N, 6° 44'EAt 0814 hour on 11th November 1942, the submarine was at periscope depth when an aircraft was sighted but no action was taken.
  12 Nov 19420405
(0) Bay of Bougie.
At 0405 hours on 12th November, a steamer on fire and screened by three corvettes was observed moving slowly at 2,000 metres. Argo was in very shallow waters (ca. 20-25 meters) and her echo-sounding gear had just broke down. At 0424 hours, she had closed the steamer and prepared to attack with her bow torpedoes, when a second overlapping steamer appeared at a distance of 3-4,000 meters, the submarine then maneuvered to get into a good attacking position.
  12 Nov 19420601
0505 (e)
36° 42'N, 5° 10'EAt 0601 hours on 12th November, Argo observed two overlapping ships at a distance of 1,000-2,000 metres in the Bay of Bougie.

Four bow torpedoes (533mm, G7e) were fired and three hits were claimed.

The targets were the auxiliary antiaircraft ship HMS Tynwald (2,376 tons, built 1941) standing by the monitor HMS Roberts who was damaged by two bombs the previous day. In fact, two torpedoes had struck HMS Tynwald and she quickly sank in 7 fathoms of water. Three officers and twenty-one ratings were killed, three ratings wounded. Survivors were picked up by HMS Roberts and HMS Samphire (twenty officers and 175 ratings were repatriated on Strathnaver and Ocean Volga).

The attack had been a very daring one, as there were some fourteen escort vessels in the anchorage. Karanja was sunk by air attack at about the same time.

Shortly after, Argo turned and fired her two stern torpedoes (533mm, G7e) at the same targets from a distance of 2,000 metres. One hit was claimed but they had both missed. The target was probably the monitor HMS Roberts next to the sinking HMS Tynwald. The submarine managed to reach deep waters without interference. At 2325 hours, she received the order to return to base. Some sources have attributed the sinking of the troopship Awatea to her, but she was damaged by three bomb hits at 1700X hours on the 11th in position 310; - Cape Carbon - 2 miles and had been abandoned.

At 1300 hours on the 12th, five Italian torpedo bombers attacked the anchorage and one hit the Tynwald, but she had already been abandoned. A surfaced submarine was sighted. HMS Spey and four escorts (including ORP Blyscawica, HMS Rother, probably HMS Bramham? and ?) went on an A/S hunt but, on the way, were attacked by aircraft and all were damaged by near misses and suffered some casualties.

5.Argo (AO, I.26)16 Nov 19421840Cagliari24 Nov 19421209 Cagliari718Patrolled between 37°00'N and 37°20'N, and between 07°00'E and 07°20'E, on a barrage line with Avorio. During the night of 19/20th November, she was ordered to reconnoitre Philippeville (Skikda).
  22 Nov 19420240
(0) Off Philippeville.
At 0240 hours on 22nd November, Argo encountered the submarine Avorio and exchanged recognition signals.

Argo (AO, I.26)5 Dec 19420749Cagliari5 Dec 19421226 Cagliari16,5Trials.

Argo (AO, I.26)11 Dec 19421336Cagliari11 Dec 19421751 Cagliari20Exercises.

6.Argo (AO, I.26)28 Dec 19421704Cagliari8 Jan 19430930Cagliari812Patrolled between 37°20'N and the Algerian coast, and between 04°00'E and 05°00'E, on a barrage line with Giada and Dandolo. On 1st January, her area was switched to between 37°30'N and the Algerian coast, and between 06°00'E and 07°00'E.
  30 Dec 1942212337° 13'N, 4° 29'EAt 2123 hours on 30th December, a torpedo boat was observed at a distance of 1,500 metres and appeared to be proceeding at 14 knots to ram the submarine. Argo dived but was not attacked.
  1 Jan 1943043437° 16'N, 4° 33'EAt 0434 hours on 1st January 1943, two steamers, escorted by three corvettes, were observed at a distance of 5-6,000 metres. The submarine closed to attack, but a corvette turned toward her and she was forced to dive at 0440 hours.
  2 Jan 1943000737° 24'N, 5° 22'EAt 0007 hours, a warship, which could not be properly identified, was seen at a distance of 1,500 metres. It could have been a submarine, a submarine chaser similar to the Italian Albatros or even an MTB. The submarine readied her bow tubes but the target turned away.
  7 Jan 1943005937° 03'N, 5° 12'EAt 0059 hours on 7th January 1943, two cruisers, one of them of the SOUTHAMPTON class, and four destroyers were seen at a distance of 2,000 metres on a 270° course. The submarine fired a salvo of four torpedoes (533mm) from her bow tubes and claimed one hit, but this was not confirmed. Four depth charges were dropped but Argo escaped by going down to a depth of 100 metres.
  7 Jan 1943184237° 49'N, 7° 04'ETwo unidentified aircraft were seen.
  7 Jan 1943190037° 50'N, 7° 05'EA German aircraft was sighted and it made three recognition signals.

Argo (AO, I.26)10 Jan 19430620Cagliari11 Jan 19430942Naples272Passage Cagliari-Naples.

Argo (AO, I.26)3 Feb 19431357Naples3 Feb 19431740Naples13Trials.

Argo (AO, I.26)7 Feb 19431341Naples7 Feb 19431933Naples16Hydrophone trials.

Argo (AO, I.26)10 Feb 19430917Naples10 Feb 19431532Naples18Exercises.

Argo (AO, I.26)11 Feb 19430738Naples11 Feb 19431849Naples38,2Gyrocompass tests.

Argo (AO, I.26)12 Feb 19431309Naples12 Feb 19431731Naples14Exercises.

Argo (AO, I.26)13 Feb 19430934Naples13 Feb 19431638Naples17,5Exercises.

7.Argo (AO, I.26)16 Feb 19431700Naples23 Feb 19430907Cagliari901Patrolled off Algerian coast between 37°20'N and the Algerian coast, and between 05°20'E and 05°40'E. On 20th February, she was ordered back.
  17 Feb 1943100039° 56'N, 11° 25'EAn unidentified aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  17 Feb 1943155639° 32'N, 10° 58'EAn unidentified aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.

Argo (AO, I.26)26 Feb 19431355Cagliari26 Feb 19431650Cagliari12,5Exercises.

Argo (AO, I.26)28 Feb 19432050Cagliari1 Mar 19430920Cagliari15Exercises.

Argo (AO, I.26)1 Mar 19431115Cagliari2 Mar 19431100La Maddalena226,5Passage Cagliari-La Maddalena via (1) Point B Cagliari (2) 39°20'N, 10°20'E (3) 41°00'N, 10°20'E (4) Point A; 40°55'N, 09°30'E. She was preceding Argento.

Argo (AO, I.26)11 Mar 19431331La Maddalena11 Mar 19431831La Maddalena26Exercises.

Argo (AO, I.26)20 Mar 19431334La Maddalena20 Mar 19431910La Maddalena26Exercises.

Argo (AO, I.26)26 Mar 19431015La Maddalena26 Mar 19431828La Maddalena26,5Exercises.

Argo (AO, I.26)30 Mar 19431008La Maddalena30 Mar 19431731La Maddalena9Exercises.

8.Argo (AO, I.26)3 Apr 19431540La Maddalena16 Apr 19431159Cagliari?Patrolled between 37°08'N and 38°00'N, and between 07°00'E and 07°40'E and off Cape de Fer, on a barrage line with Acciaio, Velella and Axum. On 14th April, she was ordered to the area between 38°00' N and 38°40' N, and between 06°20' E and 07°00' E, to replace Axum who had been forced to turn back. Uneventful.

Argo (AO, I.26)19 Apr 19430100Cagliari20 Apr 19430858Naples?Passage Cagliari-Naples.

Argo (AO, I.26)6 May 19430828Napoli6 May 19431025Pozzuoli18Trilas and passage Napoli-Pozzuoli.

Argo (AO, I.26)11 May 19430904Pozzuoli11 May 19431200Pozzuoli13,5Exercises.

Squalo (SQ)1 Jun 19430920Pola1 Jun 19431240Pola6Demagnetization.

Squalo (SQ)2 Jun 19430800Pola2 Jun 19431905Pola50Exercises.

Squalo (SQ)5 Jun 19430930Pola5 Jun 19431000Pola0Changed anchorage.

Squalo (SQ)7 Jun 19430805Pola7 Jun 19431320Pola35Exercises.

Squalo (SQ)7 Jun 19431502Pola7 Jun 19431844Pola24Exercises.

Squalo (SQ)8 Jun 19430802Pola8 Jun 19431300Pola20Exercises.

Squalo (SQ)8 Jun 19431630Pola8 Jun 19431915Pola18Exercises.

Squalo (SQ)9 Jun 19430800Pola9 Jun 19430820Pola0Changed anchorage.

Squalo (SQ)11 Jun 19431030Pola11 Jun 19431120Pola0Changed anchorage.

Squalo (SQ)14 Jun 19430800Pola14 Jun 19431325Pola30Exercises with the torpedo boat Audace.

Squalo (SQ)14 Jun 19431500Pola14 Jun 19431930Pola19Exercises.

Jalea (IA)16 Jun 19431240Porto Sauro17 Jun 19430040Porto Sauro74,5Exercises.

Jalea (IA)18 Jun 19431504Porto Sauro19 Jun 19430125Porto Sauro66,7Exercises.

Jalea (IA)21 Jun 19431155Porto Sauro22 Jun 19430010Porto Sauro69,5Exercises.

Jalea (IA)23 Jun 19431230Porto Sauro24 Jun 19430145Porto Sauro65Exercises.

Jalea (IA)25 Jun 19431210Porto Sauro26 Jun 19430055Porto Sauro67,5Exercises.

Jalea (IA)28 Jun 19431205Porto Sauro29 Jun 19430448Porto Sauro77,5Exercises.

Jalea (IA)1 Jul 19431220Fiume2 Jul 19430202Fiume69,5Exercises.

Jalea (IA)2 Jul 19431310Fiume3 Jul 19430345Fiume78,5Exercises.

Jalea (IA)5 Jul 19431210Fiume6 Jul 19430030Fiume71,5Exercises.

Jalea (IA)7 Jul 19431214Fiume8 Jul 19430130Fiume79,5Exercises.

Jalea (IA)9 Jul 19431513Fiume10 Jul 19430110Fiume58Exercises.

Jalea (IA)10 Jul 19431150Fiume10 Jul 19431515Fiume18Exercises.

Jalea (IA)12 Jul 19431215Fiume13 Jul 19430035Fiume71,5Exercises.

Jalea (IA)13 Jul 19432240Fiume14 Jul 19430620Pola63,8Passage Fiume-Pola.

Jalea (IA)16 Jul 19430013Pola18 Jul 19431910Brindisi385Passage Pola-Brindisi.

Jalea (IA)5 Aug 19431420Brindisi5 Aug 19431754Brindisi22,2Trials.

Jalea (IA)9 Aug 19432040Brindisi12 Aug 19430717Taranto328Passage Brindisi-Taranto. Uneventful.

9.Jalea (IA)15 Aug 19430513Taranto23 Aug 19430640Taranto688,2Patrolled off Cape Spartivento, between 37°44'N, 16°00'E and 37°44'N, 16°36'E and the coast of Calabria.
  22 Aug 19430300
(0) Off Crotone.
At 0300 hours, heavy anti-aircraft fire was observed coming from the direction of Crotone and, at about the same time, Jalea was informed that an enemy naval force had been reported off Cape Rizzuto steering 45°. The submarine proceeded to intercept.
  22 Aug 1943043338° 48'N, 17° 11'EAt 0433 hours, two small fast vessels (MTBs?) were sighted at a distance of 1,000 metres racing toward the Jalea. The submarine was forced to submerge.
  22 Aug 1943061238° 53'N, 17° 28'EAt 0612 hours, three MTBs were sighted steering toward Crotone.

10.Jalea (IA)7 Sep 19431315Taranto10 Sep 19432135Gallipoli297Sailed for patrol off Crotone, then at the Armistice was diverted to Gallipoli. No patrol report was found.
  9 Sep 19430820At 0820 hours, the submarine Ciro Menotti was encountered. The two submarine commanders discussed the situation and finally T.V. Gigli decided to return to Taranto while Menotti opted for going to Brindisi.

Jalea (IA)11 Sep 19430355Gallipoli11 Sep 19431003Taranto56,6Passage from Gallipoli to Taranto.

Jalea (IA)12 Sep 19430946Taranto14 Sep 19431740Malta310,2Sailed with Atropo and Bandiera, escorted by the destroyer Riboty and HMS Troubridge for transfer from Taranto to Malta, to surrender.

101 entries. 76 total patrol entries (10 marked as war patrols) and 34 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines