Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders


Livio Piomarta

Born  29 Mar 1908La Spezia
Died  28 Oct 1941(33)Killed in action

Ranks

  C.C.Capitano di Corvetta

Decorations

  Medaglia d'argento al valore militare
  Medaglia d'argento al valore militare
  Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
  Cavaliere dell'ordine della Corona d'Italia
  Medaglia d'oro al valore militare (posthumous)

Career information

GALILEO FERRARIS (C.C. C.O.): from 15.12.1939 to 21.09.1941?
GUGLIELMO MARCONI (C.C. C.O.): from 30 August 1941? to 28.10.1941 (sunk, Piomarta was killed).

Commands listed for Livio Piomarta


Submarine Type Rank From
Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)Ocean goingC.C.15 Dec 193921 Sep 1941

War patrols listed for Livio Piomarta

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
1.Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)10 Jun 19401235Massawa14 Jun 19401412Massawa720Patrolled off Massawa. Orders were to have patrolled off Djibouti, but apparently not implemented.

Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)7 Aug 19400600Massawa7 Aug 19401738Massawa35Exercises.

Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)9 Aug 19400648Massawa9 Aug 19401630Massawa31Exercises.

2.Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)14 Aug 19401057Massawa17 Aug 19401600Massawa242Patrolled off Massawa, on an axis 090°-270° of 20 miles, 35 miles northeast of Harmil Island.
  15 Aug 1940235516° 55'N, 40° 40'E
(0) 35 miles NE of Harmil Island.
At 2000 hours, the submarine sighted a shape in the dark and closed on one Diesel. This appeared to be a British cruiser of the LEANDER class or a large destroyer. The submarine fire two torpedoes (533mm). Both missed. This may have been HMNZS Leander, which had sailed from Aden the previous day, to join the escort of convoy B.N.3. The submarine was counter attacked, she dived to 85 meters, but suffered no damage. She was later informed that the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign and three destroyers (these were HMS Dainty, HMS Decoy and HMS Defender) had reached Aden on 17th August (they had actually reached it on the 16th).

3.Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)26 Aug 19401312Massawa1 Sep 19401145Massawa650Patrolled off Massawa [between Tair and Gebel Zucur?].

4.Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)5 Sep 19401615Massawa8 Sep 19401137Massawa390Patrolled ca. 18°10'N, 40°00'E. Off Dahlak Island?

5.Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)14 Sep 19400950Massawa16 Sep 19401327Massawa445Patrolled off Massawa, but aborted her patrol when some of her crew were stricken by methylene chloride poisoning. She was the last submarine in Massawa still using this gas for her air conditioning system, and this was to be converted to use Ircon gas in October.

Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)10 Oct 1940Massawa10 Oct 1940Massawa25Exercises.

6.Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)12 Oct 19401230Massawa18 Oct 19401215Massawa593,4Patrolled off Massawa.

7.Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)20 Oct 19401335Massawa23 Oct 19401300Massawa480Patrolled off Massawa.

8.Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)7 Nov 19401235Massawa13 Nov 19401011Massawa561Patrolled off Massawa.

9.Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)23 Nov 19401300Massawa27 Nov 19401107Massawa478Patrolled between 18°00' and 18°20'N, 40°00' and 40°30'E. The patrol was curtailed because of defects to the air conditioning system.
  26 Nov 19400250
0010Z-0015Z (e)
18° 00'N, 40° 00'EThree British merchant vessels, escorted by two cruisers and destroyers, were observed proceeding on a SE course and the submarine closed to attack on the surface. This was convoy S.W.3 convoy consisting of Georgic, Monarch of Bermuda, Duchess of York, Orontes, City of Capetown, Brisbane Star and Highland Brigade escorted by the light cruiser HMS Caledon. They had left Suez at 0805 hours on the 23rd. The escort was reinforced by the sloop HMS Flamingo at 1545 hours on the 25th and by the destroyer HMS Kimberley and the sloop HMAS Parramatta at 1705 hours (they had just left escorting convoy BN9 1/2. Ferraris fired three torpedoes from the surface, but the submarine submerged upon firing and only heard three explosions. Piomarta claimed that all three torpedoes hit, two vessels were damaged and one sunk. The torpedoes actually missed and three explosions were heard by HMS Caledon.

10.Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)4 Dec 19401357Massawa8 Dec 19401010Massawa623Patrolled off Massawa. Off Masamaruh?

11.Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)23 Dec 19400935Massawa30 Dec 19401606Massawa786,6Patrolled off Massawa. Off Port Sudan?

12.Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)20 Jan 19411243Massawa27 Jan 19410956Massawa634Patrolled off Massawa [between Tair and Gebel Gebel Zucur?].

13.Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)20 Feb 19411341Massawa22 Feb 19411554Massawa359Patrolled off Massawa.

14.Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)3 Mar 19411713Massawa9 May 19412015Bordeaux12715Passage Massawa to Bordeaux with Archimede. She reached the first refuelling point (25°00'S, 20°00'W) at 1200 hours on 9th April 1941, and started cruising on electric motors. She was advised by Guglielmotti on 14th April 1941, that the rendezvous had been changed to 25°00'S, 26°00'W. Refuelled from the German supply ship Nordmark on 17th April 1941, in 25°00'S, 26°00'W. For this passage, spare torpedoes were not carried, their place being taken by food and stores.
  5 Mar 19412200
(0) North of Strait of Bab El Mandeb.
An enemy convoy, escorted by warships, was sighted on a northerly course. However, Piomarta had instructions to avoid being seen as he was embarking on his long periple to France and he took his submarine deep.
  6 Mar 19410132
(0) Strait of Bab El Mandeb.
A patrol vessel was seen and again, Ferraris took avoiding action and submerged.
  11 Mar 19410840
(0) Between Cape Guardafui and the Comores Islands.
A vessel was sighted on opposite course and the submarine dived to avoid detection.
  12 Mar 19410345
(0) Between Cape Guardafui and the Comores Islands.
Another vessel was sighted on opposite course and again Ferraris dived.
  13 Mar 19411400
(0) Between Cape Guardafui and the Comores Islands.
Another vessel was sighted on opposite course and again Ferraris dived.
  16 Mar 19410218
(0) Between Cape Guardafui and the Comores Islands.
Another vessel was sighted on opposite course and again Ferraris dived.
  17 Mar 19411205
(0) Mozambique Channel.
Another vessel was sighted on opposite course and again Ferraris dived.
  17 Apr 19411100-173025° 00'S, 26° 00'WThe German supply ship Nordmark was initially sighted by Guglielmotti, at 1550 hours on the 14th in 25°00' S, 20°00' W. She had informed the other submarines to change the refuelling point to 25°00' S, 26°00' W, as the first position might be compromised. Ferraris had reached the initial rendezvous point at 1200 hours on 9th April, but had not seen the German ship. She now refuelled and took provisions.
  23 Apr 194111504° 15'S, 26° 52'WAn unknown vessel was sighted on a southwest course and the submarine altered course to avoid her.
  26 Apr 194116008° 00'N, 26° 00'WAnother unknown vessel was sighted on a southwest course and the submarine again altered course to avoid her.
  2 May 1941164031° 00'N, 24° 00'WAnother unknown vessel was sighted on a southwest course and the submarine again altered course to avoid her.
  3 May 1941115034° 00'N, 24° 00'WA convoy of about ten ships was sighted on 110° course. The submarine altered course to avoid it and proceeded toward 43°00' N, 20°00' W.
  5 May 1941023037° 00'N, 22° 00'WAn unknown ship was sighted and Ferraris moved away.
  8 May 1941181345° 41'N, 3° 30'WAn unknown ship was sighted and the submarine submerged to avoid being seen.

Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)26 Aug 1941Bordeaux26 Aug 1941Le VerdonPassage Bordeaux-Le Verdon (dates to be confirmed and it is not certain if Piomarta had been replaced by Flores at this time).

Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)27 Aug 19410745?Le Verdon27 Aug 19411910?La PallicePassage Le Verdon-La Pallice with Archimede escorted by the German patrol boats V-404 and V-411.

15.Galileo Ferraris (FE, I.32)2 Sep 1941EveningLa Pallice?7 Sep 19412300?Bordeaux782Short antisubmarine patrol in Bay of Biscay between Italian grids 2599 and 2540, between 44°00'N and 45°00'N and 08°10'W and 10°00'W.

Guglielmo Marconi (MN, I.7)2 Oct 1941Bordeaux2 Oct 1941Le VerdonPassage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

Guglielmo Marconi (MN, I.7)3 Oct 1941Le Verdon3 Oct 1941La PallicePassage Le Verdon-La Pallice.

16.Guglielmo Marconi (MN, I.7)5 Oct 1941La Pallice28 Oct 1941Sunk with all handsShe was sailed for a patrol off the Portuguese coast then to proceed to an area northeast of the Azores. On 16th October, she was ordered to an area between 40°00'N and 41°00'N and between 21°00'W and 22°00'W. On 22nd October, information was received of the departure of a convoy from Gibraltar. This was convoy H.G. 75 proceeding to the UK. Marconi was immediately diverted to attack convoy it. On 28th October, she was trailing the convoy when she was attacked and sunk by HMS Duncan. There were no survivors.

Note: The Italian Official account made an error in translating the grid by stating it was 42°55'N, 21°55'W, about 60 miles north of her true position giving rise to speculation that she could not have been the submarine attacked by HMS Duncan.
  28 Oct 1941
1232 (e)

(e) 41° 57'N, 21° 56'E
On the morning of 28th October, the destroyer HMS Duncan was carrying an A/S sweep astern of convoy H.G. 75 before returning to Gibraltar.

At 1232 hours, she sighted a submarine on the surface. She rushed and dropped five depth-charges before her ASDIC broke down, five more were dropped by eye and another attack was made at 1334 hours with a depth-charge set at 500 feet. HMS Duncan only had five depth charges left and had to abandon the chase.

There is little doubt that this was Marconi and she disappeared with all hands. Five officers and fifty-five ratings were killed.

36 entries. 23 total patrol entries (16 marked as war patrols) and 17 events.

Events listed for Livio Piomarta

GH 09.03.2021: This table kept here until we make fix the possible missing events in table above

SubmarineDateTimePositionDescription
Galileo Ferraris15 Aug 1940235516.55 N, 40.40 E
(o) 35 miles NE of Harmil Island.
At 2000 hours, the submarine sighted a shape in the dark and closed on one Diesel. This appeared to be a British cruiser of the LEANDER class or a large destroyer. The submarine fire two torpedoes (533mm). Both missed. This may have been HMNZS Leander, which had sailed from Aden the previous day, to join the escort of convoy B.N.3. The submarine was counter attacked, she dived to 85 meters, but suffered no damage. She was later informed that the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign and three destroyers (these were HMS Dainty, HMS Decoy and HMS Defender) had reached Aden on 17th August (they had actually reached it on the 16th).
Galileo Ferraris26 Nov 19400250
0010Z-0015Z (e)
18.00 N, 40.00 E
Three British merchant vessels, escorted by two cruisers and destroyers, were observed proceeding on a SE course and the submarine closed to attack on the surface. This was convoy S.W.3 convoy consisting of Georgic, Monarch of Bermuda, Duchess of York, Orontes, City of Capetown, Brisbane Star and Highland Brigade escorted by the light cruiser HMS Caledon. They had left Suez at 0805 hours on the 23rd. The escort was reinforced by the sloop HMS Flamingo at 1545 hours on the 25th and by the destroyer HMS Kimberley and the sloop HMAS Parramatta at 1705 hours (they had just left escorting convoy BN9 1/2. Ferraris fired three torpedoes from the surface, but the submarine submerged upon firing and only heard three explosions. Piomarta claimed that all three torpedoes hit, two vessels were damaged and one sunk. The torpedoes actually missed and three explosions were heard by HMS Caledon.
Galileo Ferraris5 Mar 19412200(o) North of Strait of Bab El Mandeb.An enemy convoy, escorted by warships, was sighted on a northerly course. However, Piomarta had instructions to avoid being seen as he was embarking on his long periple to France and he took his submarine deep.
Galileo Ferraris6 Mar 19410132(o) Strait of Bab El Mandeb.A patrol vessel was seen and again, Ferraris took avoiding action and submerged.
Galileo Ferraris11 Mar 19410840(o) Between Cape Guardafui and the Comores Islands.A vessel was sighted on opposite course and the submarine dived to avoid detection.
Galileo Ferraris12 Mar 19410345(o) Between Cape Guardafui and the Comores Islands.Another vessel was sighted on opposite course and again Ferraris dived.
Galileo Ferraris13 Mar 19411400(o) Between Cape Guardafui and the Comores Islands.Another vessel was sighted on opposite course and again Ferraris dived.
Galileo Ferraris16 Mar 19410218(o) Between Cape Guardafui and the Comores Islands.Another vessel was sighted on opposite course and again Ferraris dived.
Galileo Ferraris17 Mar 19411205(o) Mozambique Channel.Another vessel was sighted on opposite course and again Ferraris dived.
Galileo Ferraris17 Apr 19411100-173025.00 S, 26.00 W
The German supply ship Nordmark was initially sighted by Guglielmotti, at 1550 hours on the 14th in 25°00' S, 20°00' W. She had informed the other submarines to change the refuelling point to 25°00' S, 26°00' W, as the first position might be compromised. Ferraris had reached the initial rendezvous point at 1200 hours on 9th April, but had not seen the German ship. She now refuelled and took provisions.
Galileo Ferraris23 Apr 1941115004.15 S, 26.52 W
An unknown vessel was sighted on a southwest course and the submarine altered course to avoid her.
Galileo Ferraris26 Apr 1941160008.00 N, 26.00 W
Another unknown vessel was sighted on a southwest course and the submarine again altered course to avoid her.
Galileo Ferraris2 May 1941164031.00 N, 24.00 W
Another unknown vessel was sighted on a southwest course and the submarine again altered course to avoid her.
Galileo Ferraris3 May 1941115034.00 N, 24.00 W
A convoy of about ten ships was sighted on 110° course. The submarine altered course to avoid it and proceeded toward 43°00' N, 20°00' W.
Galileo Ferraris5 May 1941023037.00 N, 22.00 W
An unknown ship was sighted and Ferraris moved away.
Galileo Ferraris8 May 1941181345.41 N, 03.30 W
An unknown ship was sighted and the submarine submerged to avoid being seen.
Guglielmo Marconi28 Oct 1941
1232 (e)
(e) 41.57 N, 21.56 W
On the morning of 28th October, the destroyer HMS Duncan was carrying an A/S sweep astern of convoy H.G. 75 before returning to Gibraltar.

At 1232 hours, she sighted a submarine on the surface. She rushed and dropped five depth-charges before her ASDIC broke down, five more were dropped by eye and another attack was made at 1334 hours with a depth-charge set at 500 feet. HMS Duncan only had five depth charges left and had to abandon the chase.

There is little doubt that this was Marconi and she disappeared with all hands. Five officers and fifty-five ratings were killed.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines