Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Luigi Longanesi Cattani

Born  4 May 1908Bagnacavallo (Ravenna)
Died  12 Mar 1991(82)Rome


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


  Croce al merito di guerra
  Croce al merito di guerra
  Cavalliere di gran croce dell'ordine della Republica Italiana
  Cavalliere dell'ordine della stella coloniela
  Cavalliere dell'ordine dei santi Maurizio e Lazzaro della Republica Italiana
28 Sep 1940 Croce di guerra al valore militare
22 Jan 1942 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare
17 Aug 1942 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare
16 Nov 1942 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare
5 Aug 1943 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
12 Apr 1946 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
14 Jan 1948 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare

Career information

BENEDETTO BRIN (T.V. C.O.): from 12.01.1939 to May 1940?
DAGABUR (T.V. C.O.): from 04.06.1940 to 19.06.1940.
BENEDETTO BRIN (T.V. C.O.): from 18.06.1940 to 06.09.1941.
LEONARDO DA VINCI (T.V. C.O.): from 09.10.1941 to 09.08.1942. From 01.02.1943, served at DECIMA FLOTTIGLIA MAS for trials of submarine MURENA.

Commands listed for Luigi Longanesi Cattani

Submarine Type Rank From To
Dagabur (DA)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.4 Jun 194019 Jun 1940
Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)Ocean goingT.V.18 Jun 19406 Sep 1941
Leonardo da Vinci (LV, I.8)Ocean goingC.C.9 Oct 19419 Aug 1942

Ships hit by Luigi Longanesi Cattani

DateSubmarineShip hitTypeGRTNat.Loss type
1.13 Jun 1941Benedetto BrinDjurdjuraCargo ship3,460Free FrenchSunk
2.13 Jun 1941Benedetto BrinEirini KyriakidesCargo ship3,781GreekSunk
3.25 Feb 1942Leonardo da VinciCabedelloCargo ship3,557BrazilianSunk
4.28 Feb 1942Leonardo da VinciEverasmaCargo ship3,562LatvianSunk
5.3 Jun 1942Leonardo da VinciReine Marie StewartSailing ship1,087PanamanianSunk
6.8 Jun 1942Leonardo da VinciChileCargo ship6,956DanishSunk
7.11 Jun 1942Leonardo da VinciAliothCargo ship5,483DutchSunk
8.13 Jun 1942Leonardo da VinciClan MacquarrieCargo ship5,060BritishSunk

War patrols listed for Luigi Longanesi Cattani

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Dagabur (DA)4 Jun 1940Taranto16 Jun 1940TarantoRefitting at Taranto.

1.Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)18 Jun 19401452Augusta28 Jun 19401720Augusta1480Patrolled off north coast of Crete. Apparently sighted only Greek ships and an unidentified destroyer.
  18 Jun 19401708
(0) 090° - San Croce Light (Augusta) - 15 miles.
At 1708 hours, a torpedo wake was sighted. It appeared to be fired by a submarine from a distance of about 2,500 metres. This may have been HMS Grampus,, in which case she would have survived the attack of 16th June 1940. It could also be a porpoise, frequently mistaken for torpedoes by nervous lookouts. An occurrence which was not rare in the war.
  24 Jun 19400115
(0) 20 miles east of Cerigotto.
At 0115 hours, a destroyer was sighted at 3,000 metres. Believing it had also been seen, Benedetto Brin was taken deep to 70 metres but no attack occurred.

2.Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)9 Jul 19400030Augusta12 Jul 19401004Augusta396Patrolled in 36°50'N, 17°20'E.
  9 Jul 19401054
1115Z (e)
At 1054 hours, an aircraft, believed to be a Hawker Osprey 4, was sighted at 6,000 metres, It strafed the submarine and Benedetto Brin replied with her machine guns. The conning tower was hit by a few machine gun rounds, but they caused no serious damage. The aircraft was also believed to have been hit and did not return to the attack.
This was a Swordfish from the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle.
  9 Jul 19401254
1245 (e)
At 1254 hours, a Sunderland aircraft was sighted at a distance of 4.000 metres. Benedetto Brin dived immediately to 60 metres and the bombs fell astern.

The attack was carried out by Sunderland 'T' of 230 Squadron, piloted by Flying Lieutenant P.R. Woodward.It was carrying out a reconnaissance duriing the battle of Punto Stylo. It claimed a direct hit abaft the conning tower, but Benedetto Brin was unscathed.

3.Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)15 Jul 19401312Augusta17 Jul 19401055Augusta322Patrolled west of Malta. Uneventful.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)22 Jul 19401514Augusta22 Jul 19401723Augusta7Exercises.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)25 Jul 19400800Augusta25 Jul 19401044Augusta8Exercises.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)1 Aug 19401515Augusta1 Aug 19401640Augusta6,5Exercises.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)10 Aug 19400827Augusta10 Aug 19401006Augusta7Exercises.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)24 Aug 19400723Augusta25 Aug 19400840Taranto306Passage Augusta-Taranto .

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)5 Oct 19400845Taranto5 Oct 19401806Taranto50Trials.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)9 Oct 19401020Taranto9 Oct 19401718Taranto52Trials.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)18 Oct 19400846Taranto18 Oct 19401627Taranto38Trials.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)21 Oct 19400845Taranto21 Oct 19401602Taranto4Trials.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)25 Oct 19401005Taranto26 Oct 19401625Messina204Passage Taranto-Messina.

4.Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)28 Oct 19402225Messina4 Nov 19401910Tangiers1346On passage to Bordeaux, was attacked by two British destroyers at 1530 hours on 4th November, 2 miles from Cape Malabata, and damaged. Escaped to Tangiers. Passed Gibraltar on 3rd November 1940 [mileage from Taranto].
  3 Nov 19402155
(0) Straits of Gibraltar.
At 2155 hours, a vessel initially believed to be a tug was sighted. It was later identified as a patrol vessel. The submarine submerged and took evading action.
  3 Nov 19402305-0005/24
(0) Straits of Gibraltar.
At 2305 hours, a vessel was sighted at a distance of 4,000 metres. It was later identified as American and was left undisturbed.
  4 Nov 19401530
(0) 2 miles NE of Cape Malabata.
At 1530 hours, after hitting the bottom twice, Benedetto Brin had come to periscope depth when the two destroyers were sighted. She tried to rest on the bottom again, but her battery had drained and she was forced to surface. The submarine was ready to fight it out but, realising she was near Cape Malabata, she raced toward Tangiers while one of the destroyers unsuccessfully attempted to ram her.

5.Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)13 Dec 19400350Tangiers18 Dec 19401308Le Verdon927,5Sailed from Tangiers with submarine Bianchi for Bordeaux.
  18 Dec 19400555+45° 28'N, 2° 27'W
(0) 240. La Coubre Light - 35 miles.
At 0550 hours, a submarine was encountered. It appeared to make a signal with a white light, which only partially corresponded with the recognition signal of the day. Benedetto Brin answered the signal.

Five minutes later, the other submarine - this was HMS Tuna (Lt. Cdr. Cavenagh-Mainwaring, DSO, RN) - fired a shell across the bow of Benedetto Brin. T.V. Luigi Longanesi Cattani was still not sure of her identity. Aware of the presence in the area of the submarine Michele Bianchi, he was hesitant to act, fearing it might be a case of mistaken identity. He signaled "Sono un sommergibile Italiano" ("I am an Italian submarine") and Benedetto Brin turned to bring both of her guns to bear on the submarine.

As she made another recognition signal, it was correctly answered by another vessel at a longer distance straight ahead. At this moment, Longanesi Cattani understood that the distant vessel was Michele Bianchi and the submarine firing at her was indeed enemy. A second round fell at about 50 metres on the port side of Brin's conning tower. The Italian submarine had to turn to avoid a possible torpedo attack, but this maneuver prevented the use of her machine guns. The alteration of course must have been made just in time, as four underwater explosions were heard. These were correctly believed to be torpedoes exploding at the end of their run. At 0630 hours, two torpedo tracks were observed missing the stern as the Italian submarine took avoiding action.

HMS Tuna had fired a salvo of six torpedoes from 1,500 yards. Luckily for the Italian submarine, they all missed. The British submarine fired eight 4" rounds and claimed one hit, but in fact none of them found their mark. The action was observed from a distance by Michele Bianchi, but she could not intervene.

At 0640 hours, the British submarine was observed coming out from a fog bank at just 500 metres. Benedetto Brin altered course to starboard and at 0641 hours fired two stern torpedoes (533mm) and very quickly five rounds of 100mm, one of which was believed to have hit the enemy's bow (HMS Tuna was not hit). The enemy submarine then disappeared. Shortly after the action, two vessels were seen but they proved to be fishing boats.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)19 Dec 19400350Le Verdon19 Dec 19401308Pauillac10Passage Le Verdon-Pauillac.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)20 Dec 19400925Pauillac20 Dec 19401515Pauillac20Passage Pauillac-Bordeaux but then turned back.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)22 Dec 19401104Pauillac22 Dec 19401404Bordeaux40Passage Pauillac-Bordeaux.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)21 Feb 19411525Bordeaux21 Feb 19411945Le Verdon40Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)23 Feb 19411220Le Verdon24 Feb 19410045La Pallice50Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice with submarine Argo, escorted by the German minesweepers M-2, M-6 and M-21 and Sperrbrecher 16.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)25 Feb 19410845La Pallice25 Feb 19411600La Pallice?Exercises at Le Pertuis d'Antioche. On her return, Brin met with Finzi which was arriving from Le Verdon and they reached La Pallice together.

6.Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)26 Feb 19411713La Pallice25 Mar 19411615Bordeaux4570Sailed for patrol west of Ireland via 46°15'N, 09°00'W and 51°50'N, 18°00'W.
  5 Mar 19411203
1101 (e)
At 1203 hours, an aircraft was seen at a distance of 16 miles. Benedetto Brin dived slowly because of the heavy seas and had reached a depth of 25 metres when three bombs exploded at proximity. At 1215 hours, a fourth bomb exploded but far astern.

The submarine moved at high speed underwater toward the sun for seven miles then surfaced at 1343 hours. An aircraft was seen in the distance but the submarine managed to move away without being seen.

In fact, two aircraft had been involved in the attack. The first was Sunderland 'B' of 10 Squadron (RAAF), piloted by Flying Officer V.A. Hodgkinson. It had spotted the submarine at 12 miles and closed quickly. When still at 6 miles, the submarine was observed to submerge. Four 450-lb depth charges were dropped from a height of 100 feet, two set at a depth of 100 feet and two at a depth of 150 feet. A patch of oil was observed. Shortly after, Whitley bomber 'K' of 502 Squadron appeared on the scene and dropped a single depth charge from a height of 150 feet, it was set at 100 feet. This was most probably the one that had been heard by Brin at 1215 hours.

The depth charges dropped by the Sunderland had indeed caused a small leak to one of the fuel tanks of the submarine. It was decided to switch the supply to this tank before all its fuel was lost.
  9 Mar 19411842At 1842 hours, the submarine Velella was sighted and exchanged recognition signals.
  19 Mar 19411110At 1110 hours, Benedetto Brin was informed by BETASOM of the position of a convoy of 25 merchant ships with gunboats. The submarine altered course at 12 knots intending to intercept it at 1700 hours on the 20th.

At 1810 hours on the 19th, another signal was received reporting a new position of the convoy and Brin altered course and speed reduced to 7 knots because of weather damage. The submarine arrived the next day at 1440 hours in the intercept position and cruised until 2200 hours, but sighted nothing.
  21 Mar 19411731At 1504 hours, a signal from BETASOM was received reporting a convoy and Benedetto Brin was proceeding toward it, intending to intercept at 2000 hours.

At 1731 hours, a submarine chaser was sighted and Brin dived.

At 1805 hours, depth-charges were heard at a distance and again at 2016 hours.

At 0010 hours on 22 March, the submarine received a signal reporting a new position for this convoy, but she was short of fuel and started her return voyage.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)24 May 19410700Bordeaux25 May 19412030BordeauxSailed for trials off Le Verdon then returned to Bordeaux.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)27 May 19410820Bordeaux27 May 1941Le VerdonPassage Bordeaux-Le Verdon (dropped anchor awaiting escort).

7.Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)27 May 19412030Le Verdon20 Jun 19411640Bordeaux5764Patrolled off Azores between 34°45'N and as far south as fuel permitted and between 11°15'W and 11°45'W [mileage from 24th May].
  1 Jun 1941115035° 57'N, 11° 00'WAt 1150 hours, a steamer was sighted at 22,000 metres. It was determined to be steering 085° at 12 knots.

At 1525 hours, Benedetto Brin dived with the intention of carrying a stern attack.

At 1610 hours, from a distance of 3,000 metres she was recongnised to be Spanish.

At 1621 hours, she passed 500 metres astern the submarine and her name could be read. She was the Spanish Motomar (5,675 GRT, built 1921).
  3 Jun 1941094523° 51'N, 8° 42'WAt 0945 hours, several fishing vessels and, shortly after, a steamer appeared. Benedetto Brin closed to investigate.

At 1404 hours, the submarine submerged on an attacking course.

At 1510 hours, the vessel passed 400 metres astern and was recognised as the Spanish Marte (3,714 GRT, built 1900). The attack was aborted.
  5 Jun 19410730
(0) 140° - Cape St. Vincent - 6 miles.
At 0410 hours, two vessels were sighted and Benedetto Brin closed to 500 metres only to recognise them as submarine chasers. The submarine turned away to avoid them and moved 10 miles northward.

At 0734 hours, a submarine chaser was sighted and at 0813 hours, five depth charges were heard exploding at a distance. It appeared to be hunting a submarine. Benedetto Brin reached the bottom at 89 metres.

At 1425 hours, propeller noises were heard this was followed by a single depth charge which exploded near the submarine.

At 1428 hours, the vessel returned and dropped another six depth charges which detonated very close to the submarine.

At 2330 hours, Benedetto Brin surfaced with all weapons at the ready and the destruction of secret documents prepared. The submarine chaser was sighted at 1,500 metres but did not notice the submarine who made good her escape.

  7 Jun 1941074833° 54'N, 14° 36'WAt 0748 hours, a small convoy was sighted steering 250°, 8 knots. Benedetto Brin attempted to trail it but lost contact in a rain squall at 1100 hours.
  7 Jun 1941115433° 10'N, 15° 30'WAt 1154 hours, the submarine Mocenigo was encountered and exchanged recognition signals.
  9 Jun 19411320
1420 (e)
34° 16'N, 14° 28'WAt 1320 hours, an aircraft was seen at 6,000 metres, making directly for Benedetto Brin. C.C. Longanesi Cattani decided to fight it out on the surface and the submarine's Breda guns opened fire. The aircraft veered away, but circled the submarine outside the range of the machine guns. Longanesi Cattani hesitated to dive, fearing the aircraft would attack it at a vulnerable time.

This was Catalina 'J' (AH553) of 202 Squadron, piloted by Flight Lieutenant E.M. Pain. It had spotted the U-boat steering 20° at 14 knots and reported it. It was taking photos and waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

At 1425 hours, Longanesi Cattani observed the aircraft making an attack run and four depth charges dropped. One exploded near the submarine but caused no damage. The aircraft appeared to have been hit by the antiaircraft fire. Flight Lieutenant Pain reported only three actually dropped, the fourth hung up but was dropped on a second run. It failed to explode.

At 1610 hours, a new attack was repelled by machine guns and judging the aircraft to be at the limit of its autonomy, Benedetto Brin finally dived and escaped.

  12 Jun 1941125537° 25'N, 23° 15'WThe submarine had been ordered by BETASOM to a new position on 10th June.

At 1255 hours on 12th June, the enemy convoy was sighted. The submarine tried to remain in contact by alternately submerging and running on the surface but finally lost contact at 2345 hours.
  13 Jun 1941051538° 40'N, 24° 00'WAt 0440 hours, in in 38°34' N, 23°56' W, Benedetto Brin sighted the convoy in three columns. Earlier, she had received a signal from BETASOM ordering her with Veniero and Velella to proceed to 40°20' N, 25°00' W. This was convoy SL. 76 bound from Freetown to Liverpool. The submarine maneuvered for an attack with the intention to fire stern torpedoes at two steamers in the central column and bow torpedoes at steamers on the port column. C.C. Longanesi Cattani miscalculated and was forced to change his plans.

At 0515 hours, two torpedoes were fired from the bow tubes at a steamer in the port column, but there was a premature explosion leading Longanesi Cattani to believe that the two torpedoes had collided (!). Very shortly after, two more torpedoes were launched from the bow tubes, aimed at another steamer on the port column. One torpedo misfired but the other appeared to hit the target after 23 seconds but the 4,000-ton vessel did not appear to sink and fired off rockets to give the alarm.

The target was the British steamer Ulla (1,575 GRT, built 1930). She had not been hit but had observed the torpedo missing under her keel. She was the fifth vessel in the seventh column between Djurdjura (fifth vessel in fifth column) and Eirini Kyriakides (fifth vessel in ninth column), which were both sunk shortly after. Sheridan, who was the fifth vessel in the eighth column, sighted the submarine at 0340 hours but her gun misfired.
  13 Jun 19410536-0538
0335 (e)
38° 40'N, 24° 00'WFrom 0536 to 0538 hours, Benedetto Brin launched four stern torpedoes aimed at three merchant ships in convoy SL. 76. Longanesi Cattani claimed that all four hits and the three merchant ships immediately sank. In fact two had been hit, the Free French Djurdjura (3460 GRT, built 1922), carrying iron ore from Pepel to Oban, and the Greek Eirini Kyriakides (3781 GRT, 1922) carrying iron ore from Lourençô Marques to Adrossan. Both sank.

Djurdjura had a crew of thirty-eight, only five were saved. Eirini Kyriakides had a crew of thirty-one, none survived. The submarine then dived for eight hours to reload tubes and lost contact with the convoy.

At that time, it was the only instance of an Italian submarine penetrating a convoy for a successful attack.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)8 Aug 19410830Bordeaux8 Aug 19411600Le VerdonPassage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)9 Aug 19410800Le Verdon9 Aug 19411650La PallicePassage Le Verdon-La Pallice.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)12 Aug 19410800La Pallice12 Aug 19411130La PalliceTrials at Le Pertuis d'Antioche.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)12 Aug 19412004La Pallice16 Aug 19411830BordeauxSailed for Messina but turned back because of defects.
  14 Aug 19411040At 1040 hours, an aircraft of the Consolidated PBY 28 type was observed at 4,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  15 Aug 19410830
0754 (e)

(e) 45° 02'N, 9° 02'W
(0) Italian Grid 2530/12.
At 0830 hours, a submarine was sighted at 5,000 metres. It appeared similar to Velella and both submarines prudently dived. This was possibly HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. M.G. Rimington, DSO, RN) who sighted an unknown vessel and dived.
  16 Aug 19410705
(0) In the Searched Channel.
At 0705 hours, the submarine Cappellini was encountered and exchanged recognition signals [the encounter is not mentioned in the Cappellini patrol report].

8.Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)20 Aug 19410900Bordeaux20 Aug 1941Time?Le Verdon.Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

9.Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)20 Aug 19412100Le Verdon1 Sep 19411840MessinaPassage Le Verdon-Messina. Passed Gibraltar on 28th August 1941.
  24 Aug 19411300At 1300 hours, a submarine chaser and aircraft were observed on the horizon. Benedetto Brin dived.
  24 Aug 19411930
(0) West of Gibraltar.
At 1930 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived. Two explosions were heard at 2040 and 2041 hours.

10.Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)3 Sep 19411245Messina4 Sep 19410945Taranto3922Passage Messina-Taranto [mileage from Bordeaux].

Leonardo da Vinci (LV, I.8)15 Nov 19411320Bordeaux15 Nov 19411735Le VerdonPassage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

Leonardo da Vinci (LV, I.8)16 Nov 19410930Le Verdon16 Nov 19411700La PallicePassage Le Verdon-La Pallice.

Leonardo da Vinci (LV, I.8)17 Nov 19411200La Pallice17 Nov 19411825La PalliceTrials in Le Pertuis d'Antioche.

11.Leonardo da Vinci (LV, I.8)19 Nov 19411816La Pallice8 Dec 19411020Le Verdon3775Sailed for patrol off the Azores marred by mechanical defects and, on 22nd December, T.V. Longanesi Cattani decided to turn back. Note: on 29th November the submarine took 3-4 minutes to submerge, by 2nd December the time was still 3 minutes and 25 seconds.
  3 Dec 1941232041° 30'N, 24° 02'WAt 2320 hours, a shadow was sighted emerging from a dense fog bank. Da Vinci closed only to recognise a corvette, followed by a second corvette and a destroyer. Two merchant ships were also sighted at long range but because the submarine had difficulty in diving quickly, the submarine continued on her way home.

Leonardo da Vinci (LV, I.8)8 Dec 19411630Le Verdon8 Dec 19411815PauillacPassage Le Verdon-Pauillac.

Leonardo da Vinci (LV, I.8)9 Dec 19410930Pauillac.9 Dec 19411130BordeauxPassage Pauillac-Bordeaux.

Leonardo da Vinci (LV, I.8)23 Jan 19421140Bordeaux23 Jan 19421900Le Verdon60Trials and passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon and gyrocompass tests.

Leonardo da Vinci (LV, I.8)24 Jan 19420916Bordeaux24 Jan 19421910La Pallice75Passage Bordeaux-La Pallice.

Leonardo da Vinci (LV, I.8)25 Jan 19420850La Pallice25 Jan 19421215La PalliceExercises.

Leonardo da Vinci (LV, I.8)26 Jan 19420850La Pallice26 Jan 19421330La PalliceExercises.

Leonardo da Vinci (LV, I.8)27 Jan 19421522La Pallice27 Jan 19421845La PalliceExercises.

12.Leonardo da Vinci (LV, I.8)28 Jan 19421450La Pallice15 Mar 19421930Bordeaux7789,35Patrolled off Brazil (carried fourteen torpedoes).
  2 Feb 1942104544° 10'N, 12° 54'WAt 1045 hours, an aircraft was seen at 8,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  2 Feb 1942154543° 54'N, 13° 00'WAt 1545 hours, a large aircraft was seen at 10,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  11 Feb 1942162028° 00'N, 31° 12'WAt 1620 hours, a steamer was observed and chased until 2350 hours but Da Vinci could not catch up.
  25 Feb 1942094415° 15'N, 52° 40'WAt 0922 hours, a darkened steamer was seen.

At 0944 hours, Da Vinci fired a pair of torpedoes (533mm) from the bow tubes. Both hit and the vessel sank in six minutes.

This was the Brazilian Cabedello (3,557 GRT, built 1912) with a cargo of coal bound from Philadelphia for Rio de Janeiro.

Da Vinci sighted three lifeboats. She attempted to close them for interrogation, but 3the sea was very rough and in the darkness, she nearly rammed one. She finally desisted for fear of ramming another. There were no survivors (54 killed).
  28 Feb 1942014317° 50'N, 54° 15'WAt 1955 hours on 27th February, a steamer was sighted on an opposite course. Da Vinci maneuvered to get into a position ahead, for a surface attack after dusk.

At 0143 hours on the 28th, it was a full moon night, Da Vinci fired a pair of torpedoes from her stern tubes at a distance of 800 metres, followed immediately by a second pair. Four explosions were heard. In fact all had missed.

This was the Latvian Everasma (3,562 GRT, built 1920), detached from convoy TAW12 and bound from Norfolk to Rio de Janeiro.

At 0234 hours, Da Vinci fired a pair of torpedoes from the bow tubes at a distance of 800 metres. The heavy seas suddenly propelled the submarine upward and the torpedoes were fired in the air. They missed.

At 0235-0236 hours, two torpedoes were fired in short succession from the bow tubes. They appeared to be missing under. Da Vinci her eight torpedo tubes emptied, now had to reload with the reserve torpedoes ( 450mm, A 115 type, which were more reliable according to C.C. Longanesi Cattani).

At 1043 hours, the stern tubes were ready and a pair of torpedoes were fired. Both hit. Four lifeboats were observed to move away from the steamer, but she was still afloat. Fourteen 100mm rounds were fired, but she refused to sink.

At 1130 hours, a stern torpedo was fired, hitting the stern section and she finally sank.

Of her crew of thirty-three, fifteen survivors reached St. Lucia (British West Indies) five days later. Another lifeboat was missing.

  2 Mar 1942225022° 00'N, 47° 00'W
(0) Italian Grid 9722/61.
At 2250 hours, the submarine Morosini was met and Da Vinci came alongside to cede her 20 tons of fuel. The procedure was made difficult by the heavy seas and the hose was only 50 meters long. It finally broke and the attempt was abandoned.
  9 Mar 1942135046° 36'N, 28° 00'WAt 1350 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.

Leonardo da Vinci (LV, I.8)7 May 19421110Bordeaux7 May 19421600Le Verdon60Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

Leonardo da Vinci (LV, I.8)8 May 19420800Le Verdon8 May 19421400La Pallice65Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice.

Leonardo da Vinci (LV, I.8)9 May 19420810La Pallice9 May 19421210La PalliceTrials.

13.Leonardo da Vinci (LV, I.8)9 May 19421740La Pallice1 Jul 19422135Bordeaux8245,75Patrolled between Porto Natal and Bahia, between 05°40' S and 08°10'S, and between 34°00'W and the Brazilian coast. In late summer of 42, her hull was adapted to carry out human torpedoes, but later reverted to normal use.
  18 May 1942132035° 30'N, 18° 53'WAt 1320 hours, two corvettes were sighted. Da Vinci followed them but lost contact after dusk.
  19 May 1942144032° 45'N, 20° 15'WAt 1440 hours , a steamer was sighted. Da Vinci attempted to close but without success.
  2 Jun 194222507° 00'N, 13° 15'WAt 1745 hours, a sailing ship was sighted. Da Vinci chased her.

At 2250 hours, the submarine stopped her with three 100mm rounds and machine gun fire.

This was the Panamanian windjammer Reine Marie Stewart (1,087 GRT, built 1920) on passage Lourenço Marques to New York. She stopped and was evacuated.

Da Vinci sent a three-man boarding party. They attempted to blow it up with a demolition charge of 20 kgs. She was damaged but did not sink.

A new boarding party of four men attempted to set her afire but she was still afloat.

At 0655 hours on 3rd June, a stern torpedo was fired but, after a run of about 50 metres, it disappeared from view.

At 0730 hours, a second torpedo was fired and hit the vessel amidship and she finally sank. The following evening, tubes 7 and 8 were reloaded while the submarine was surfaced.
  7 Jun 194212403° 10'N, 13° 30'WAt 1240 hours, a steamer was sighted but quickly lost from view.
  7 Jun 194223284° 17'N, 13° 17'WAt 1815 hours, a four-masted 9,000-ton vessel was sighted. Da Vinci took an interception course.

At 2328 hours, a pair of torpedoes was fired but missed.

This was the Danish Chile (6,956 GRT, built 1915). She was on a trip to Liverpool carrying 6,380 tons of ground nuts, 2,500 tons of pig iron and 800 tons of cotton seed.

At 0005 hours on 8th June, a second pair of torpedoes was fired. Both hit on the port side of the engine room and she sank. Five were killed. The thirty-nine survivors were picked up by the trawler HMT Spaniard.
  10 Jun 19422333
2356 (e)
0° 01'S, 17° 45'WAt 2024 hours, a motor ship was sighted zigzagging on a mean 170° course.

At 2333 hours, two torpedoes were fired. As soon as the first torpedo left the tube, the ship was observed to alter course. Both torpedoes missed.

This was the Dutch Alioth (5,483 GRT, built 1937) on passage from Liverpool to Table Bay and Middle East.

At 0022 hours on 11th June, another pair of torpedoes was fired. It missed ahead.

At 0149 hours, a fifth torpedo was fired from a bow tube. This time it hit the vessel aft but she was only damaged. She made an SOS which identified her. This was repeated by the Slangkop radio station (Capetown) and retransmitted but the Da Vinci radio operator noted that this transmission made an error of 11 degrees in the position.

At 0212 hours, a sixth torpedo was fired from a stern tube. It missed.

At 0355 hours, Da Vinci finished her off by gunfire. The whole crew of forty-four survived and reached Freetown under sail. The escort carrier HMS Archer sighted the lifeboat and towed it for the last 4-5 miles to Freetown.
  13 Jun 19420830
0630Z (e)
5° 15'N, 25° 55'WAt 0830 hours, a merchant vessel was sighted. She was armed with two stern guns. Shortly after, Da Vinci, proceeding on the surface, fired a fan of four stern torpedoes from 2,200 metres. One hit and damaged the vessel and she was abandoned. The submarine submerged to observe the result.

This was the British Clan Macquarrie (5,060 GRT, built 1913) in ballast, proceeding from Durban to New York.

At 1153 hours, a fifth torpedo (450mm, A 115 type) was fired from 500 metres. It missed.

At 1200 hours, Da Vinci surfaced and opened fire from a distance of 3,000 metres and, at 1258 hours, the vessel sank.

There were 92 survivors in three lifeboats. Twenty-eight survivors (the chief engineer died in this lifeboat and was the only victim), were picked up by the Norwegian steamer Glarona and landed at Port of Spain. The 63 survivors in the other two lifeboats were picked up by Desirade and landed at Capetown.
  20 Jun 1942185625° 15'N, 29° 50'W
(0) Italian Grid 2639/26.
At 1856 hours, the submarine Giuseppe Finzi was met and, between 2000 and 2300 hours, took Leonardo Da Vinci in tow and supplied her with 14 tons of fuel.
  21 Jun 1942020025° 40'N, 29° 45'WAt 0200 hours, a fast destroyer was sighted. The submarine took evasive action and continued her route home.
  21 Jun 1942101026° 40'N, 28° 55'WAt 1010 hours, a steamer was sighted. Da Vinci took avoiding action.

82 entries. 49 total patrol entries (13 marked as war patrols) and 44 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines