Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Augusto Migliorini

Born  31 Mar 1911Piombino (Leghorn)
Died  2 Aug 1983(72)Finale Ligura (Savona)


  T.V.Tenente di Vascello


  Croce al merito di guerra
  Croce al merito di guerra
  Cavaliere dell'ordine della Corona d'Italia
  Cavaliere dell'ordine coloniale della Stella d'Italia
  Ufficiale dell'ordine della Republica Italiana
17 Oct 1941 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
5 Mar 1942 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare
16 May 1945 Croce di guerra al valore militare
3 Aug 1947 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
3 Aug 1947 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
18 Jan 1957 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
16 Jan 1969 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare

Career information

TEMBIEN (T.V. First Officer): from 19.10.1938 to ?
NEREIDE (T.V. C.O.): from 21.01.1941 to 22.04.1942.
LUIGI TORELLI (T.V. C.O.): from 19.05.1942 to 21.09.1942.
From 06.11.1942, in command of the corvette CICOGNA.

Commands listed for Augusto Migliorini

Submarine Type Rank From To
Nereide (NE)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.21 Jan 194122 Apr 1942
Luigi Torelli (TI, I.9, UIT.25)Ocean goingT.V.19 May 194221 Sep 1942

Ships hit by Augusto Migliorini

No ships hit by this Commander.

War patrols listed for Augusto Migliorini

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Nereide (NE)5 Feb 19411305Taranto5 Feb 19411805Taranto37Exercises escorted by the torpedo boat Pleiadi.

Nereide (NE)7 Feb 19410955Taranto7 Feb 19411750Taranto74Trials escorted by the minesweeper R.D.13.

Nereide (NE)10 Feb 19410810Taranto10 Feb 19411816Taranto95Exercises escorted by the minesweeper R.D.30.

Nereide (NE)18 Feb 19410820Taranto18 Feb 19411645Taranto60Exercises.

1.Nereide (NE)22 Feb 19410032Taranto22 Feb 19411110Taranto96Defensive patrol in 160° - Cape San Vito - 35' following a report of a battleship off Cephalonia.

2.Nereide (NE)26 Feb 19410753Taranto3 Mar 19411520Leros749Patrol and passage Taranto-Leros. Uneventful, heard only H.E.

Nereide (NE)17 Mar 19411425Leros17 Mar 19411504Leros8Exercises?

3.Nereide (NE)19 Mar 19411634Leros2 Apr 19411000Leros683Patrolled off Cyrenaica, off Ras el Kenayis, within 20 miles from 33°00'N, 28°40'E on a NE-SW axis . Uneventful. On 24th March, moved 200° - 50 miles to intercept an enemy naval force. Heard only distant H.E.

Nereide (NE)19 Apr 19411357Portologa (Leros)19 Apr 19411545Portologa (Leros)12Exercises.

4.Nereide (NE)20 Apr 19412320Leros26 Apr 19411440Leros731,5Patrolled in Aegean, within 20 miles from 32°40'N, 28°00'E on a NE-SW axis. Heard only H.E. and abandoned patrol due to defects.

Nereide (NE)16 May 19411610Portologa (Leros)16 May 19411823Portologa (Leros)5Exercises.

Nereide (NE)17 May 19411050Portologa (Leros)17 May 19411220Portologa (Leros)4Exercises.

Nereide (NE)17 May 19411640Portologa (Leros)17 May 19411807Portologa (Leros)3,7Exercises.

Nereide (NE)25 May 19410830Portologa (Leros)25 May 19411025Portologa (Leros)7,2Exercises.

5.Nereide (NE)27 May 19411445Leros1 Jun 19410830Leros518Patrolled in Aegean 12 miles north of Cape Kersoneso, near Cape Sidero. Uneventful.

Nereide (NE)9 Jun 19410830Portologa (Leros)9 Jun 19411050Portologa (Leros)17Exercises.

Nereide (NE)25 Jun 19410737Portologa (Leros)25 Jun 19410842Portologa (Leros)4,2Exercises.

6.Nereide (NE)10 Jul 19411800Leros19 Jul 19410820Leros310Patrolled in Aegean between Naxos, Mykoni, Nikaria and Danusa, near 37°50'N, 25°40'E.
  12 Jul 19410325
(0) Off Nikaria.
At 0325 hours, the Italian steamer Apuania, towing a MAS boat, was sighted steering 110°.
  16 Jul 19410107
0115 (e)

(0) 230° - Cape Papas (Nikaria) - 8 miles
At 0053 hours, Nereide was cruising on the surface when a submarine was sighted at 6,000 metres.

At 0107 hours, she had closed to 700 metres, to fire two torpedoes from bow tubes at 3-second intervals. The second torpedo broke surface and disappeared. Immediately upon firing, the submarine turned to starboard to bring to bear her deck gun and opened fire with her machine guns. Shortly after, a column of water rose next to the enemy's conning tower and, as the submarine was disappearing, the deck gun scored a hit on the conning tower at less than 200 metres. T.V. Migliorini believed he had sunk the submarine and searched for survivors, but found none.

The submarine was HMS Tetrarch (Lieutenant Commander G.H. Greenway, RN). The confusion had not been one-sided, she was believed to have been attacked by two E-boats (MAS) and crash-dived. Two faint explosions had been heard and thought to be torpedoes hitting the sea bed. She was undamaged.

Nereide (NE)2 Aug 19411627Leros2 Aug 19411840Leros12,2Exercises.

Nereide (NE)16 Aug 19410817Leros16 Aug 19411212Leros32Exercises.

7.Nereide (NE)18 Aug 19411815Leros20 Aug 19410515Rhodes96Patrolled in 36°30'N, 27°40'E and passage Leros-Rhodes. Uneventful. Sighted or heard only Italian vessels.

8.Nereide (NE)24 Aug 19411845Rhodes27 Aug 19410615Rhodes203,3Patrolled near Leros in 35°40'N, 26°38'E. Uneventful.

Nereide (NE)1 Sep 19412115Rhodes2 Sep 19410754Leros115Passage Rhodes-Leros. Uneventful.

Nereide (NE)14 Sep 19412050Leros19 Sep 19411143Brindisi636Passage Leros-Brindisi. Uneventful.

Nereide (NE)21 Sep 19411813Brindisi23 Sep 19410715Pola351Passage Brindisi-Pola. Uneventful.

Nereide (NE)24 Sep 19410540Pola24 Sep 19411205Monfalcone72Passage Pola-Monfalcone. Uneventful. Then refit until February 1942.

Nereide (NE)12 Feb 19421403Monfalcone12 Feb 19421600Monfalcone2Trials.

Nereide (NE)15 Feb 19421100Monfalcone15 Feb 19421600Monfalcone28Trials.

Nereide (NE)19 Feb 19421135Monfalcone19 Feb 19421430Monfalcone15Trials.

Nereide (NE)23 Feb 19421032Monfalcone23 Feb 19421545Pola63Passage Monfalcone-Pola.

Nereide (NE)26 Feb 19421247Pola26 Feb 19421840Pola7Exercises.

Nereide (NE)28 Feb 19420824Pola28 Feb 19421400Pola6Exercises.

Nereide (NE)2 Mar 19420940Pola2 Mar 19421800Pola9Trials and exercises.

Nereide (NE)7 Mar 19420810Pola7 Mar 19421520Pola57Trials and exercises.

Nereide (NE)8 Mar 19420820Pola8 Mar 19421410Pola14Trials and exercises escorted by the auxiliary San Giorgio.

Nereide (NE)9 Mar 19422010Pola11 Mar 19420847Brindisi359Passage Pola-Brindisi.

Nereide (NE)17 Mar 19421203Brindisi21 Mar 19420747Leros935Passage Brindisi-Leros via 35°30'N, 26°36'E, Point E of Stampalia and Point A of Leros.
  18 Mar 1942094338° 12'N, 19° 12'EAt 0943 hours, a derelict mine was sighted and sunk by rifle fire.
  18 Mar 1942105638° 08'N, 19° 15'EAt 1056 hours, a derelict mine was sighted and sunk by rifle fire.
  18 Mar 1942123838° 01'N, 19° 20'EAt 1238 hours, a derelict mine was sighted and sunk by rifle fire.
  19 Mar 1942181534° 23'N, 23° 25'EAt 1815 hours, a derelict mine was sighted and sunk by rifle fire.

Nereide (NE)28 Mar 19421320Leros28 Mar 19421820Leros30Exercises.

Nereide (NE)1 Apr 19420930Leros1 Apr 19421400Leros30Exercises.

9.Nereide (NE)4 Apr 19422340Leros15 Apr 19420805Leros768Antisubmarine patrol off Karlovassi in the Aegean in 37°50'N, 24°30'E and north of Nikaria ca. 37°50'N, 25°32'E.
  6 Apr 19422005
(0) Near Nicaria.
At 2005 hours, a hospital ship was sighted steering 300°.
  6 Apr 19422051
(0) Near Nicaria.
At 2051 hours, a second hospital ship was sighted also steering 300°.
  9 Apr 19420405
(0) North of Nicaria.
At 0405 hours, a hospital ship was sighted steering 220°.
  10 Apr 19420110
(0) North of Nicaria.
At 0110 hours, a hospital ship was sighted steering 220°.
  10 Apr 19421454
(0) North of Nicaria.
At 1454 hours, fishing vessel no. 1519 R (most likely Greek) was stopped and her papers examined.
  13 Apr 19421305At 1305 hours, a vessel was sighted steering 030°. She was too far to be intercepted.

10.Luigi Torelli (TI, I.9, UIT.25)25 May 19421500Bordeaux27 May 19421530La Pallice150Passage Bordeaux-La Pallice.

11.Luigi Torelli (TI, I.9, UIT.25)2 Jun 19421600Bordeaux4 Jun 19422300Aviles (Spain)510Sailed for patrol northeast of Bahamas but, on 4th June, was bombed and seriously damaged. She ran aground near Cape Penas and had to be towed by Spanish tugs to Aviles.
  4 Jun 19420227
0144-0205 (e)
44° 43'N, 6° 46'WAt 0227 hours, on a moonless night, Torelli was proceeding on the surface when she was suddenly surprised by an aircraft with a strong searchlight (Leigh light) at a distance of 300 metres. The Officer of the watch ordered full speed ahead and she turned hard to port. T.V. Migliorini came up and ordered everybody down except for him and three men, the boatswain and two men to man the machine guns. The aircraft returned for a second run and Torelli opened fire with her Breda guns as she turned hard to starboard.

Migliorini had just ordered a turn to port when the submarine was engulfed in columns of water as depth charges straddled her. Torelli was severely damaged with a multitude of defects and broken parts, including the compass, the steering gear, a damaged battery on fire causing chlorine fumes, and a fire in the forward compartments and in the radio room, which produced such a dense smoke that gas masks had to be worn. The helm could only be used manually. The Calzoni system broke down but was partially repaired by 0300 hours, enabling the submarine to be steered from the bridge.

The aircraft was Wellington 'F' of 172 Squadron piloted by Squadron Leader J.H. Greswell. It had detected the submarine with radar and switched on the Leigh Light from the distance of 1 mile. This was the first instance the Leigh Light being used. On the first run the aircraft was too high so could not attack. On the second run, four depth charges were released from 50 feet. One was observed to explode about 5 yards from the submarine's starboard quarter, the other two on port quarter. Two further strafing runs were carried out, the second of which was believed to have been on a second submarine, but was in fact still on Torelli. Search of the area following these attacks did not produce any further contacts.

Torelli was now in mortal danger. The fire was being fought with fire extinguishers and was finally controlled. She was now steering toward St. Jean De Luz.

At 0950 hours, the submarine managed to inform BETASOM of her predicament. There were only general maps of the area and Torelli was forced to follow the Spanish coast at a distance of about 6 miles. Luckily, the diesels had not been affected and she was managing a very credible 15 knots. Migliorini was exhausted and left his First Officer T.V. Mariano Dellino in charge on the bridge while he was taking a nap.

At 1040 hours, the submarine ran hard aground on an sand bank near Cape Peñas. A Spanish fishing vessel was in the vicinity and a midshipman was transferred on Torelli with the mission to reach the nearest harbour and summon all available tugs. About four hours later, two tugs arrived on the scene. They were followed by three smaller tugs, but these were waved away as were not necessary.

At 2100 hours, with the rising tide, the attempts to free her started. The larger tug proved useless and only succeeded to entangle a cable around the starboard propeller, to the great irritation of T.V. Migliorini. It was asked to leave. Torelli was finally freed with the help of the second tug and managed to proceed with her port propeller. She entered the harbour of Avilès at 2300 hours.

12.Luigi Torelli (TI, I.9, UIT.25)6 Jun 19422330Aviles (Spain)7 Jun 19421100Santander (Spain)150Sailed for St. Jean de Luz after brief repairs were carried out. On the way she was bombed again by two Sunderlands (one killed and Migliorini and eight more were wounded). Took refuge at Santander. Carried repairs from 8 June to 14 July and should have been interned, but escaped.
  7 Jun 19420650
0720-0742 (e)

(0) 5 miles from Santander (Spain)
The Italian Naval Attaché in Madrid, C.V. Bona, was informed that Torelli had to leave Avilés by midnight on 6th June or she would be interned. He immediately left for Avilès. The German Embassy in Madrid was also informed, so that adequate escort was provided for the submarine. The British Naval Attaché was informed that the Spanish Authorities had given the Italians 40 hours to execute repairs and leave.

C.F. Giuseppe Caridi (Chief of Staff, BETASOM and former Commanding Officer of Calvi), Maggiore G.N. Giulio Fenu (Capo Servizio G.N., BETASOM) and Maggiore Commissario Guido Villani (Capo Servizi Commisariato, BETASOM) left Bordeaux by car at 1100 hours on 5th June and drove to Avilès to get first hand information. They reached their destination at 1300 hours the following day. They examined the submarine to report on her condition.

At 2330 hours on 6th June, Torelli sailed from Aviles for St. Jean de Luz. She followed the Spanish coast at a distance of about 3 miles and managed to reach a speed of 14 knots. Some of the crew had to sleep on the casing, as the fire had reduced accommodation space.

At 0650 hours on 7th June, an aircraft was sighted and circled the submarine at about 2,000 metres at an altitude of about 200 metres. The submarine went to action station, the deck gun and machine guns were manned. The personnel on the casing assembled close to the conning tower, taking cover as best they could.

This was Sunderland 'X' of 10 Squadron (RAAF) piloted by Pilot Officer T.A. Egerton. The submarine was observed steering 078° from a distance of 5 miles and it ????

At about 0900 hours, the helm on the bridge broke down. It had to be handled manually and was not very responsive.

At 0930 hours, Torelli opened fire with its 100mm from about 3,000 yards, shortly joined by the 13.2mm Breda guns. Eight depth charges were released from a height of 50 feet, set to detonate at a depth of 25 feet. The Sunderland sprayed the submarine with its forward and rear machine guns and caused some casualties. Torelli's antiaircraft fire had also been dense and the aircraft was hit with two crew members wounded. It remained in the area until relieved by a second Sunderland. Torelli kept on proceeding along the coast at a distance of about 3 miles.

At 0945 hours, a second attack occurred. This was Sunderland 'A' also from 10 Squadron (RAAF) and piloted by Flight Lieutenant E.St C. Yeoman. It sighted the submarine from a distance of 6 miles and described her as of the Italian PISANI or DELFINO class. Initially it circled the submarine, but Torelli's deck gun scored a hit on the hull, causing a large hole and wounding a crewman. The Sunderland heavily strafed the submarine and released seven depth charges from a height of 80 feet, set to a depth of 25 feet, which exploded very near the submarine.

Torelli incurred more damage but kept on going. Her deck gun was disabled by the concussion of the depth charges and her crew wounded by splinters or machine gun rounds. In his report, Migliorini wrote that the gun was disabled before the attack of the second aircraft, but this must be a lapse in memory or the confusion of the action, as the second Sunderland reported being hit by the deck gun. One of the twin Breda mounts was also silenced by a direct hit from the aircraft machine guns, but the other Breda guns hit the Sunderland repeatedly, emptying two 13.2mm magazines. Migliorini ordered all the non-essential personnel on deck to jump in the sea to give the aircraft the impression that the submarine was sinking. This seemed to have worked as the aircraft left the scene. Migliorini then proceeded to recover all the men who had jumped overboard, except for seven who had actually been picked up by Spanish fishing vessels in the vicinity. Torelli took refuge in Santander, which was only five miles away. To prevent her from sinking, Migliorini beached his boat on a sand bank.

13.Luigi Torelli (TI, I.9, UIT.25)14 Jul 19421800Santander (Spain)15 Jul 19422100Bordeaux366Returned to Bordeaux for repairs (six months). The submarine had come out of docking with the help of two Spanish tugs, but a Spanish gunboat was blocking the channel to prevent an escape. Torelli had two Spanish officers and a pilot on board and they were told that Torelli had requested some fuel to carry out trials, but this was denied. On being told that she had only a few kgs of fuel, the gunboat was ordered to return to harbour. Suddenly, the submarine cut the towing cables and sailed away to the great fury of the Spaniards. Outside Santander, the Spanish officials were transferred to a fishing vessel. However, a British observer later reported that no fuel had been removed and suspected the harbour commandant of complicity in the escape.

53 entries. 44 total patrol entries (13 marked as war patrols) and 14 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines