Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders


Alfredo Musotto

Born  16 Sep 1909Pollina (Palermo)
Died  11 Dec 1941(32)Killed in action

Ranks

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

Decorations

Career information

ALESSANDRO MALASPINA (T.V. First Officer): from 17.03.1940 to ?
ALESSANDRO MALASPINA (T.V. C.O.): from 20.06.1940 to 04.07.1940.
Promoted to C.C. ca. August 1940?
OTARIA (C.C. C.O.): from 07.09.1941 to 15.11.1941 .
AMMIRAGLIO CARACCIOLO (C.C. C.O.): from 27.11.1941? to 11.12.1941 (sunk, Musotto was killed).

Commands listed for Alfredo Musotto


Submarine Type Rank From To
Alessandro Malaspina (MP, I.6)Ocean goingT.V.20 Jun 19404 Jul 1940
Otaria (OA, I.25)Ocean goingC.C.7 Sep 194115 Nov 1941
Otaria (OA, I.25)Ocean goingC.C.7 Sep 194115 Nov 1941
Ammiraglio Caracciolo (CC)Ocean goingC.C.27 Nov 194111 Dec 1941

War patrols listed for Alfredo Musotto

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Alessandro Malaspina (MP, I.6)20 Jun 1940La Spezia20 Jun 1940La SpeziaEntered service on 20th June 1940.

1.Otaria (OA, I.25)7 Sep 19410820Bordeaux7 Sep 19411400Le VerdonPassage Bordeaux-Le Verdon and trials off Le Verdon.

2.Otaria (OA, I.25)7 Sep 19411400Le Verdon7 Sep 19412000La Pallice112Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice and trials at Le Pertuis d'Antioche. Escorted by V-414 and another patrol boat.

3.Otaria (OA, I.25)7 Sep 19412337La Pallice19 Sep 19411025Naples2483Passage La Pallice-Naples. Passed Gibraltar on 14th September 1941 [Note: C.C. Musotto replaced C.C. Vocaturo who was still sick]. Refit in Naples from 24th September to 4th November.
  12 Sep 19410632
0540-0555 (e)

(e) 36° 28'N, 9° 09'W
A submarine chaser or destroyer, was observed proceeding toward the submarine at 2,500 metres. This was HMS Vimy proceeding independently who attacked a contact with a full pattern. The submarine dived immediately to 90 meters; she heard depth-charges exploding less than 150 meters away, but escaped.
  12 Sep 19411010
0903 (e)

(e) 36° 28'N, 9° 09'W
HMS Vimy obtained another contact and attacked with fourteen depth-charges set at 100 to 225 feet. The submarine heard a depth-charge followed by six to eight more exploding less than 150 meters away but escaped.

Ammiraglio Caracciolo (CC)27 Nov 19412145Pola29 Nov 19411029Taranto496Passage Pola-Taranto.

4.Ammiraglio Caracciolo (CC)5 Dec 19411445Taranto10 Dec 19411830 or 1845 BardiaSupply mission to Bardia (122 tons of fuel [7,000 tins of 20 litres of petrol], 16.5 tons of ammunition, 1.6 ton of food supplies). Carried only eight torpedoes for this mission.
  8 Dec 1941
0700 (e)
As Caracciolo was lost during this patrol. the following attack could not be reconstructed in great details.

At about 0700 hours, a Blenheim (No. 7407) of 55 Squadron piloted by Squadron Leader Pirie sighted a submarine who submerged immediately. The aircraft attacked but the bombs overshot by 150-200 feet.

This was Caracciolo and she apparently escaped damage.
  8 Dec 1941
1357 (e)
As Caracciolo was lost during this patrol. the following attack could not be reconstructed in great details.

At 1357(C?) hours, Blenheim 'Z' of 203 Squadron piloted by Squadron Leader Hoggarth sighted a submarine steering 058° at 8 knots. He immediately went to the attack but the submarine fired a green smoke signal, which was the recognition signal of the day until 1300 hours. The submarine was only 15 miles of Bombing Restriction lane and Hoggarth hesitated to attack. She opened fire with a machine gun and her flag was recognised to be Italian. As the aircraft turned to attack, the submarine crash-dived and disappeared.

This was Caracciolo and during the firing of her machine gun, a cadet was accidentally killed. He was buried at sea. According to some testimonies, during the action his body fell in the control room. However, the personal diaries of First Officer Vittorio Spadoni reported that that he was eating at the time when he heard some shots and climbed to the bridge to find that the cadet had been killed during the air attack.

5.Ammiraglio Caracciolo (CC)11 Dec 19410030Bardia11 Dec 19410430Sunk700Return trip to Suda via 34°30'N, 24°10'E, with twenty-two passengers (including Italian General Guido Lami, four officers, seventeen other ranks and British PoWs). Sunk by HMS Farndale. She was to have loaded with petrol and returned to Cyrenaica. She was erroneously reported to have reached Suda at 0400 hours on 13th December.
  11 Dec 1941
0250 (e)
32° 09'N, 25° 19'EAs Caracciolo was lost during this patrol. the following attack could not be reconstructed in great details.

At 0250 hours, Caracciolo attempted a stern attack on a convoy of three merchants ships escorted by a destroyer, but the torpedo misfired and the submarine was discovered. She reverted course, fired two torpedoes (450mm) from bow tubes and dived.

This was the T.A. 2 convoy (code name BOSOM), consisting of the steamer Darien II (459 GRT, built 1892), escorted by the escort destroyer HMS Farndale and the minesweeping trawler Sotra (313 tons, built 1925), steering 123°, 7.5-8 knots. Darien II had been involved in carrying Jewish refugees to Palestine. She had been purchased for special operations by the SOE, before reverting to a more traditional role. A second escort destroyer, HMS Eridge, had been detached earlier to locate the rest of the convoy, about 20 miles to westward. A lookout on HMS Farndale sighted the submarine from about 3,000 yards and as the destroyer turned toward her, a torpedo fired from about a mile, missed ahead.

At 0312 hours, having obtained an ASDIC echo, HMS Farndale dropped a pattern of 6 depth charges set at depths from 100 to 250 feet, but then temporarily lost contact. The attack had put out a number of lights.

At 0352 hours, ASDIC contact was regained at the remarkable range of 3,300 yards and, a second pattern of 6 depth charges was released at the same depths. More light were put out and the electric motors of the submarine were disabled. Three minutes later, Caracciolo was brought to the surface and was about 1,000 yards from the destroyer. The submarine turned away at high speed (estimated at 18 knots) with HMS Farndale giving chase and firing with the forward 4" mounting and oerlikons. The destroyer increased speed to 23 knots, pulled ahead of the submarine and crossed her bows at 400 yards. Two 4" shells were direct hits and HMS Farndale dropped three depth charges just a few yards from the submarine. Caracciolo sank immediately. The destroyer had expended 25 S.A.P. 4" , 152 2-pdr, 138 20mm and 200 .303 rounds.

Six officers, forty-two ratings and five passengers were rescued, including a German airman. Seventeen were killed. C.C. Musotto was not among the survivors and was awarded the Medaglia d’Argento al Valor Militare. Brigadier-General Guido Lami (who had been commanding the 5th Engineer Regiment) drowned. It was reported that twenty-two British PoWs were on board (? survived) but this was not confirmed?

9 entries. 7 total patrol entries (5 marked as war patrols) and 5 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines