Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Adalberto Giovannini

Born  12 Aug 1904Capodistria (Pola)
Died  29 Nov 1972(68)Dunkeld (Johannesburg)


  C.C.Capitano di Corvetta


  Croce al merito di guerra
  Croce al merito di guerra
  Croce al merito di guerra
  Ufficiale dell'ordine della Corona d'Italia
  Cavaliere dell'ordine dei Santi Maurizio e Lazzaro
31 Oct 1941 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
21 Sep 1945 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
11 Apr 1946 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare
12 Apr 1946 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare

Career information

At Marina Roma since 05.12.1938.
MICHELE BIANCHI (C.C. C.O.): from 19.06.1940 to 07.04.1941.
REGINALDO GIULIANI (C.C. C.O.): from 11.04.1941 to 01.06.1942.
From 05.07.1942, served as First Officer of battleship LITTORIO.

Commands listed for Adalberto Giovannini

Submarine Type Rank From To
Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)Ocean goingC.C.19 Jun 19407 Apr 1941
Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)Ocean goingC.C.11 Apr 19411 Jun 1942

Ships hit by Adalberto Giovannini

DateSubmarineShip hitTypeGRTNat.Loss type
1.14 Feb 1941Michele BianchiAlnmoorCargo ship6,573BritishSunk
2.24 Feb 1941Michele BianchiHuntingdonCargo ship10,946BritishSunk
3.27 Feb 1941Michele BianchiBaltistanCargo ship6,803BritishSunk

War patrols listed for Adalberto Giovannini

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)25 Jun 19401655La Spezia26 Jun 19401920Naples347,5Passage La Spezia-Naples.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)2 Jul 19400915Naples2 Jul 19401655Naples48Exercises.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)4 Jul 19400920Naples4 Jul 19401602Naples40Exercises.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)6 Jul 19400910Naples6 Jul 19401635Naples40Exercises.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)8 Jul 19401340Naples9 Jul 19401505La Spezia347Passage Naples-La Spezia.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)15 Jul 19400800La Spezia15 Jul 19401748La Spezia81Exercises.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)24 Jul 19400800La Spezia24 Jul 19401650La Spezia43Exercises.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)26 Jul 19400755La Spezia26 Jul 19401821La Spezia76Exercises.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)28 Jul 19400800La Spezia28 Jul 19401558La Spezia7,5Exercises.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)30 Jul 19400550La Spezia30 Jul 19401226La Spezia7,3Exercises.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)31 Jul 19401330La Spezia31 Jul 19401646La Spezia4Exercises.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)3 Aug 19400800La Spezia3 Aug 19401811La Spezia6Exercises.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)6 Aug 19400450La Spezia6 Aug 19401907La Spezia15Exercises.

1.Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)13 Aug 19402100La Spezia7 Sep 19400907La Spezia2027Patrolled off Gibraltar, between Gibraltar meridian, Spanish coast, Cape de Gata, Alboran Island and Cape Tres Forcas. The submarine had problems caused by leaks of methylene chloride fumes, emanating from her air conditioning unit.
  25 Aug 19400603
(0) Off Europa Point (Gibraltar) and Cape de Gata.
In the receding daylight, Michele Bianchi had made several sightings, mostly of presumed Spanish merchant and fishing vessels.

At 0558 hours, a small warship, of the BARRICADE class or sloop, was sighted and T.V. Giovannini ordered a single torpedo fired. Due to a misunderstanding, two were fired (533mm, G.I.H. type) from a distance of 500 metres. Two explosions were heard in the torpedo room, but nowhere else.
  2 Sep 19401230-1301
(0) Near Alboran and Tre Forcas.
At 1230 hours, two ACASTA class destroyers were sighted. C.C. Giovannini had intended to fire two torpedoes from the stern tubes, but the submarine was detected. Bianchi was taken down to 80 metres and was shaken by five depth charges at 1301 hours. At 1308 hours, six depth charges exploded at a distance, followed by four more at 1314 hours. The submarine escaped by going down to 124 metres.

These were actually the destroyers HMS Wishart and HMS Velox. The latter attacked the submarine. Bianchi had been sighted at 1020 hours by an aircraft and the destroyers were sent to investigate.

At 2307 hours, the submarine surfaced to an empty horizon.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)16 Oct 19400900La Spezia16 Oct 19401718La SpeziaExercises.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)18 Oct 19400725La Spezia18 Oct 19401905La SpeziaExercises.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)19 Oct 19400705La Spezia19 Oct 19401731La Spezia56Exercises with submarine H.6 in position 273° - Bonassola steeple - 5' [mileage reported by H.6 as 56 miles].

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)25 Oct 19401330La Spezia25 Oct 19401815La SpeziaExercises.

2.Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)27 Oct 19401900La Spezia3 Nov 19401912 (1810 local time)Tangiers927Passage to Bordeaux, Damaged near Gibraltar by strong current on the bottom (went down to 150+ meters), she took refuge in Tangiers. Passed Gibraltar on 3rd November 1940.
  3 Nov 19400220-0423
(0) Straits of Gibraltar.
At 0105 hours, Bianchi entered the Straits of Gibraltar at a depth of 90 metres.

At 0220 hours, an enemy destroyer was hunting her.

At 0355 hours, the enemy vessel appeared to be using a towing mine (British destroyers did not use them) and dropped five depth charges but left the area at 0423 hours.

Encountering very strong currents, Bianchi had gone down to various depths, reaching 118 metres, 142 metres and a little over 150 metres. The submarine was short of air and had difficulty in steering manually, as the Calzoni system had to be shut down because of its noises.

On surfacing, a destroyer was sighted at 6,000 metres and with little time to renew its air supply, Bianchi proceeded to enter Tangier.

3.Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)13 Dec 19400248Tangiers19 Dec 19401303Le Verdon1150Sailed for Bordeaux with submarine Benedetto Brin. Both submarines eluded the only British trawler in surveillance, as the destroyers had all been sent on Operation RATION. At the dawn of the 15th, sighted the submarine Velella and exchanged signals.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)19 Dec 19401925Le Verdon19 Dec 19401920Pauillac27Passage Le Verdon-Pauillac.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)20 Dec 19400954Pauillac20 Dec 19401456Pauillac50Exercises.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)22 Dec 19401057Pauillac22 Dec 19401405Bordeaux25Passage Pauillac-Bordeaux.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)1 Feb 19410945Bordeaux1 Feb 19411554Le Verdon53Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)2 Feb 19410855Le Verdon2 Feb 19411620La Pallice55Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice.

4.Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)5 Feb 19411750La Pallice4 Mar 19411430Pauillac4436Patrolled off Ireland (1) in zone E between 54°00'N and 55°00'N, and between 18°00'W and 20°00'W (2) from 14th February, in zone C between 56°00'N and 57°00'N, and between 15°00'W and 23°00'W (3) from 19th February, in zone A between 58°45'N and 59°30'N, and between 15°00'W and 25°00'W and then chasing convoys.
  14 Feb 1941032255° 16'N, 19° 07'W
(0) Approximately.
At 0145 hours, Bianchi had just entered zone C, when a dark vessel was sighted steering on a NE course.

At 0322 hours, a single torpedo (450mm) was fired from a bow tube at a distance of 600 metres. It appeared to miss closely ahead or perhaps to have passed under. The submarine maneuvered to gain a more favourable position ahead.

This was the British Alnmoor (6,573 GRT, built 1922). She had sailed from Halifax on 31st January 1941 for Glasgow. She disappeared during that period, she was last heard of on 10th February in 51°26' N, 29°03' W.

At 0436 hours, a pair of torpedoes (533mm) were fired from bow tubes at a distance of 700 metres. The vessel was hit and sank, stern first, in 65 seconds.

Forty were killed, there were no survivors.

It has been suggested that it was the British Belcrest (4,517 GRT, built 1939), a straggler of convoy S.C.21, which sailed from Halifax on 31st January for Newport (UK) and would have likely passed south of Ireland. Belcrest was probably sunk by U-101 on 15th February 1941 and Holystone (5,462 GRT, 1927) by U-123. The latter had sailed from Oban for Halifax. (Special thanks to David Sibley for solving this case)
  14 Feb 1941045255° 16'N, 19° 07'W
(0) Approximately.
At 0452 hours, a dark ship was sighted steering NW. It must have witnessed the sinking of Alnmoor and escaped in a rain squall.
  21 Feb 1941130058° 55'N, 16° 15'WAt 1300 hours, Bianchi altered course to intercept a convoy reported by BETASOM some 70 miles away.

On her way, an Italian submarine was sighted at 1945 hours (perhaps Marcello?) Bianchi then crossed the presumed course of the convoy, first at 2245 hours and again at 0045 hours on 22nd February without sighting anything.
  22 Feb 1941111657° 46'N, 17° 41'W
(0) Approximately.
At 1116 hours, a periscope was sighted. Bianchi took altered course to avoid it. Later in the afternoon, she heard some 40 depth-charges in the distance.
  23 Feb 19412256
2346 (e)
59° 29'N, 20° 43'W
(e) 58° 13'N, 21° 33'E
At 1745 hours, a steamer was sighted on the horizon. Five minutes, later a 750-ton German submarine was seen at 1,500 metres, apparently maneuvering to attack the same target.

At 2245 hours, the German boat (this was U-107 under KK Günter Hessler ), had succeeded in torpedoing the vessel but she did not sink.

This was the Ocean Boarding Vessel HMS Manistee (5,360 GRT, built 1920) from O.B. 288. She signalled to the Admiralty: "HAVE BEEN STRUCK BY TORPEDO ON PORT SIDE POSN. IS 058°13' NORTH 021°33' WEST 2145/23".

At 2256 hours, Bianchi fired a torpedo (533mm) from a distance of 600 metres. Giovannini claimed it hit the stern and she was abandoned although this appears to be doubtful. Manistee made another signal: "MAKING WATER IN MAIN BUNKER, COURSE 060° SPEED 6 KNOTS. DAMAGE AT PRESENT UNDER CONTROL. 2245/23".

The next morning, Manistee was finished off by U-107. There were no survivors (141 missing).
  24 Feb 19410437
0235 GMT (e)
59° 55'N, 21° 03'WAt 0345 hours, a large vessel was sighted zigzagging, steering 230°. Bianchi took a parallel course to intercept. The vessel was described as very similar to the British Adrastus (7,936 GRT, built 1923).

At 0437 hours, a pair torpedoes (450mm, W 200 type) were fired from the stern tubes at 6-700 metres. Nothing was heard or observed, but she was in fact hit and the crew was abandoning ship.

Most likely this was the British Huntingdon (11,509 GRT, 1922) zigzagging on mean course 200° bound from Glasgow to Freetown after convoy O.B. 288 had dispersed. She reported torpedoed at about 0235 hours GMT and abandoned ten minutes later. There were no casualties. The survivors were picked up by the Greek Papalemos and landed at Horta (Azores).

At 0529 hours, a third torpedo (450mm, W 200 type) was fired from a bow tube from a distance of 400 metres. It hit in the forward hold. At 0545 hours, the vessel sank bow first.

At 1011 hours, the submarine went deep to reload and heard 28 depth charges (1119-1416 hours) followed by another 17 (2000-2149 hours).

It has been suggested that her victim may have been Waynegate later sunk by U.-73 in 58°01' N, 21°47' W. All forty-four of her crew were rescued (thirty-nine by the French destroyer Léopard at 0900 hours on the 24th. Or perhaps, Linaria later sunk by U-96 in 61°25' N, 25°00' W at 0116 hours (GST).
  26 Feb 19410200At 0200 hours, Bianchi received a signal from BETASOM reporting a convoy. This was followed by six more signals, the last one at 2308 hours. She altered course to intercept.
  27 Feb 1941033253° 54'N, 14° 30'WAt 0145 hours, a large vessel was sighted proceeding at high speed without zigzagging.

At 0332 hours, a pair of torpedoes (450mm, W 200 type) from the bow tubes at 1,500-1,600 metres. They missed. C.C. Giovannini did not see nor hear an explosion but was under the impression that the target had slowed down. The vessel reportedly dropped three depth-charges and was lost in the mist.

This may have been British Empire Ability (7,603 GRT, built 1931).
  27 Feb 19410516
0315 (e)
53° 50'N, 14° 35'WAt 0447 hours, a dark vessel was sighted zigzagging.

At 0516 hours, a torpedo (533mm, S.I. type) was fired from a stern tube at 600 metres. It hit the vessel with a loud explosion under the aft mast and she sank.

This was the British Baltistan (6,803 GRT, built 1937) who was identified by the submarine from her SOS. She had been with convoy O.B. 290, but her position gave her as 90 miles ahead of the convoy.

Fifty-one were killed. Eighteen of the twenty survivors were rescued by the destroyer HMS Brighton and landed on 4th March 1941 at Plymouth, but two had died and were buried at sea.
  27 Feb 19410540At 0540 hours, a dark vessel was sighted at 2,000 metres. Bianchi maneuvered for a stern attack as she had only one torpedo in the forward tubes. However, the vessel was acting suspiciously and C.C. Giovannini decided to take his submarine deep to reload. She had now one 533mm torpedo in a bow tube, one 450mm and two 533mm torpedoes in the stern tubes and one 533mm reserve torpedo aft.

Michele Bianchi (BH, I.11)5 Mar 19410833Pauillac5 Mar 19411030 or 1204Bordeaux24Passage Pauillac-Bordeaux.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)16 Apr 19410800Gotenhaven17 Apr 19411712Gotenhaven175Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)21 Apr 19411325Gotenhaven23 Apr 19410840Gotenhaven175Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)24 Apr 19411000Gotenhaven26 Apr 19410840Gotenhaven232Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)28 Apr 19410840Gotenhaven28 Apr 19411321Gotenhaven8Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)30 Apr 19410945Gotenhaven2 May 19411411Gotenhaven321,5Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)5 May 19410605Gotenhaven8 May 19411454Gotenhaven376,8Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)9 May 19411015Gotenhaven12 May 19410950Danzig398,4Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)19 May 19410846Danzig19 May 19411340Gotenhaven15Passage Danzig-Gotenhaven.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)20 May 19410815Gotenhaven24 May 19410450Gotenhaven407Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)26 May 19411245Gotenhaven29 May 19410520Gotenhaven373Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)30 May 19411300Gotenhaven1 Jun 19410642Gotenhaven380Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)4 Jun 19411049Gotenhaven8 Jun 19410551Gotenhaven555Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)11 Jun 19411100Gotenhaven14 Jun 19410511Gotenhaven411Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)16 Jun 19411025Gotenhaven17 Jun 19410135Gotenhaven70Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)20 Jun 19410625Gotenhaven20 Jun 19411850Königsberg99Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)22 Aug 19410817Königsberg22 Aug 19411935Pillau56,6Passage Königsberg-Pillau.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)23 Aug 19410817Pillau23 Aug 19411935Danzig59Passage Pillau-Danzig.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)9 Sep 19410839Gotenhaven9 Sep 19412120Danzig10,4Passage Gotenhaven-Danzig.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)16 Sep 19410803Gotenhaven16 Sep 19411710Gotenhaven69,5Exercises (firing, etc.).

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)20 Sep 19410900Gotenhaven20 Sep 19411303Gotenhaven5Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)24 Sep 19410858Gotenhaven24 Sep 19411605Gotenhaven77Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)26 Sep 19410858Gotenhaven26 Sep 19411611Gotenhaven61Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)2 Oct 19410600Gotenhaven5 Oct 19410747Gotenhaven552Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)7 Oct 19410730Gotenhaven11 Oct 19410755Gotenhaven557Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)15 Oct 19410802Gotenhaven18 Oct 19410907Gotenhaven544Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)22 Oct 19410720Gotenhaven22 Oct 19411727Gotenhaven90Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)28 Oct 19410840Gotenhaven31 Oct 19412400+Gotenhaven736Exercises. Probably returned on 1st November 1941.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)4 Nov 19410800Gotenhaven7 Nov 19411348Gotenhaven392Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)11 Nov 19410747Gotenhaven13 Nov 19411642Gotenhaven362Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)18 Nov 19410800Gotenhaven21 Nov 19410930Gotenhaven397Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)24 Nov 19410800Gotenhaven28 Nov 19410932Gotenhaven528Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)2 Dec 19410839Gotenhaven4 Dec 19412120Gotenhaven434,5Exercises.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)28 Jan 19420832Gotenhaven28 Jan 19421518Neufahrwasser31,5Passage Gotenhaven-Danzig.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)12 Feb 19420925Neufahrwasser12 Feb 19421150Danzig2,5Passage Neufahrwasser-Danzig.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)13 Apr 19420800Danzig13 Apr 19421708Danzig60,4Trials.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)16 Apr 19420824Danzig16 Apr 19421139Gotenhaven10Passage Danzig-Gotenhaven.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)2 May 19420925Gotenhaven3 May 19421900Kiel350,8Passage Gotenhaven-Kiel.

5.Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)9 May 19420854Kiel10 May 19422145Kristiansand315,3Passage Kiel-Kristiansand for eventual passage to Bordeaux. C.C. Gian Domenico Bruno was a passenger and was to have taken command of the submarine Pietro Calvi, but he actually took over Reginaldo Giuliani.

6.Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)11 May 19420400Kristiansand23 May 19421400Bordeaux2807,4Proceeding under escort off Skudesnes (Norway). At 1730 hours on 12th May, she left escort.
  13 May 1942220261° 30'N, 2° 00'EAt 2202 hours, an aircraft was seen at 9,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  14 May 1942121962° 15'N, 1° 50'EAt 1219 hours, a fast steamer was seen at 18-19,000 metres steering 065°. Giuliani turned away to avoid being seen.
  20 May 1942121547° 30'N, 15° 00'WAt 1215 hours, a German 500-ton submarine was sighted steering 108°. Giuliani took evasive action but, at 1359 hours, the submarine was sighted again and exchanged recognition signals.
  20 May 1942212646° 50'N, 12° 30'WAt 2126 hours, the same U-boat was sighted and exchanged again recognition signals.
  23 May 19420655
(0) Off Le Verdon.
At 0655 hours, while Giuliani was being escorted by a German minesweeper, a mine detonated 100 metres to starboard side.
  23 May 19420830
(0) Off Le Verdon.
At 0830 hours, while Giuliani was being escorted by a German minesweeper, a mine detonated 70 metres on the port side.

81 entries. 66 total patrol entries (6 marked as war patrols) and 19 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines