Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Mario Paolo Pollina

Born  13 Jul 1909Forte dei Marmi (Lucca)
Died  20 Sep 1979(70)Senigallia (Ancona)


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


22 Jan 1942 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare
14 Nov 1942 Croce di guerra al valore militare
12 Apr 1946 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
28 Feb 1950 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare

Career information

MOROSINI (T.V. First Officer): from 07.07.1940 to ?
GUGLIELMO MARCONI: from 24.05.41 to 29.08.1941?
Promoted C.C. in January 1942.
GIOVANNI DA PROCIDA (C.C. resp.): from 21.01.1942 to 27.03.1942 (not operational at Taranto).
LUIGI SETTEMBRINI (C.C. resp.): from 31.01.1942 to 28.03.1942 (refit at Taranto).
RUGGIERO SETTIMO (C.C. resp.): from 31.01.1942 to 28.03.1942 (refit at Taranto).
TITO SPERI (C.C. resp.): from 20.02.1942 to 03.03.1942 (not operational at Taranto).
PIETRO MICCA (C.C. resp.): from 10.03.1942 to 31.03.1942 (refit at Taranto).
FRANCESCO RISMONDO (C.C. C.O.): from 16.04.1943 to 16.06.1943.

Commands listed for Mario Paolo Pollina

Submarine Type Rank From To
Guglielmo Marconi (MN, I.7)Ocean goingT.V.24 May 194129 Aug 1941
Tito Speri (TS)Ocean goingC.C.20 Feb 19423 Mar 1942
Giovanni da Procida (DP)Ocean goingC.C.21 Jan 194227 Mar 1942
Luigi Settembrini (ST)Ocean goingC.C.31 Jan 194228 Mar 1942
Ruggiero Settimo (RS)Ocean goingC.C.31 Jan 194228 Mar 1942
Pietro Micca (MC)MinelayingC.C.10 Mar 194231 Mar 1942
Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)C.C.16 Apr 194316 Jun 1943

Ships hit by Mario Paolo Pollina

DateSubmarineShip hitTypeGRTNat.Loss type
1.30 May 1941Guglielmo MarconiCairndaleTanker8,129BritishSunk
2.1 Jun 1941Guglielmo MarconiExportador ITrawler318PortugueseSunk
3.6 Jun 1941Guglielmo MarconiBaron LovatCargo ship3,395BritishSunk
4.6 Jun 1941Guglielmo MarconiTabergCargo ship1,442SwedishSunk
5.14 Aug 1941Guglielmo MarconiSudCargo ship2,520YugoslavianSunk

War patrols listed for Mario Paolo Pollina

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Guglielmo Marconi (MN, I.7)24 May 19410730Le Verdon24 May 19411955La Pallice56Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice.

1.Guglielmo Marconi (MN, I.7)24 May 19412145La Pallice10 Jun 19410800Le Verdon3043Sailed for Atlantic patrol in area between 34°45'N and 35°45'N and 11°15'W and 11°45'W. Carried twelve torpedoes.
  27 May 1941113044° 16'N, 11° 28'WAt 1130 hours, Marconi had just surfaced, when a Sunderland was sighted on opposite course at 3,500 metres. The submarine dived.
  28 May 19412050
1852 (e)
37° 18'N, 10° 27'W
(0) Italian Grid 1362/44.
Following the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck, at 2215 hours on the 27th, BETASOM ordered Marconi to form a patrol line with Argo, Veniero and Mocenigo to intercept a battleship, an aircraft carrier and a cruiser [Force H] discovered proceeding to Gibraltar at 1600 hours in Italian Grid 0326/22.

At 2050 hours, a submarine was sighted proceeding at 12 knots on an undetermined course.

This was HMS Severn (Lt. Cdr. A.N.G. Campbell, RN) which did not answer a recognition signal and did not manage to get into an attacking position.
  29 May 1941193235° 37'N, 9° 35'WAt 1932 hours, Marconi had just surfaced when a Sunderland was sighted at 10,000 metres. The submarine dived to 40 metres.
  29 May 1941205035° 35'N, 8° 30'WAt 2050 hours, Marconi had just surfaced when a Sunderland was sighted at 5,000 metres, flying toward her. The submarine dived to 50 metres.
  30 May 19411015
0818 (e)
35° 20'N, 8° 45'W
(0) Italian Grid 1538/42
At 0805 hours, a merchant ship was sighted.

At 0910 hours, Marconi dived to launch a submerged attack. The ship was identified as a large tanker of the CARELIA class, escorted by a warship of the ENCHANTRESS class.

At 1015 hours, the submarine fired her four torpedoes from the bow tubes (2 x 533mm, 2 x 450mm) from a distance of 900 metres. Upon firing, Marconi went down to 109 metres and at 1027 hours six to eight depth charges exploded near her. The submarine was hunted until 1330 hours. A number of items were damaged, but nothing serious. T.V. Pollina noted with some humour that the shock had internally locked the door to the forward officers' latrine.

The target was the British motor tanker (from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary) Cairndale (8,129 GRT, built 1939), escorted by the corvettes HMS Fleur de Lys and HMS Coreopsis, proceeding from Gibraltar to Curacao. She was hit by one torpedo and sank. Four men were killed and survivors were picked up by the British tug HMRT St. Day.

The destroyers HMS Forester and HMS Faulknor were diverted to hunt the submarine, while the corvettes HMS Woodruff and HMS Azalea and the armed trawler HMS Imperialist were dispatched from Gibraltar to assist the tanker, but arrived too late.
  1 Jun 19411638-1713
1500 (e)
35° 31'N, 10° 30'W
(0) Italian Grid 2572/11.
At 1305 hours, a vessel was sighted steering approximately 340°. Marconi trailed her, gradually increasing speed so as not to make smoke.

At 1452 hours, the submarine submerged but could not close to torpedo range.

At 1638 hours, Marconi surfaced and opened fire as the vessel turned away at full speed. The fourth round hit, silencing the vessel's radio as she began to make an SOS. At 1713 hours, fire was checked after about 50 rounds. The submarine closed to 500 metres, as her victim was sinking and being abandoned. It was identified as the Portuguese Exportador I (318 GRT, built 1917). T.V. Pollina renounced the idea of rescuing her survivors. Two men were killed, twenty survived, including two wounded.
  1 Jun 19411745-224335° 40'N, 11° 00'WAt 1745 hours, a vessel was sighted and Marconi gave chase. She turned out to be Spanish and the attack was aborted.
  5 Jun 1941200736° 00'N, 10° 58'WAt 2007 hours, the submarine Emo was encountered and recognition signals were exchanged.
  6 Jun 1941042235° 05'N, 11° 45'WA signal from BETASOM (1921/5) had informed the submarines that a convoy had been sighted by Velella at 1830 hours in 35°38' N, 11°22' W. The submarines Marconi, Mocenigo, Em and Brin were ordered to converge.

At 2312 hours, Marconi sighted the convoy of sixteen vessels with escorts in 35°17' N, 11°40' W (Italian Grid 8572/51). This was convoy O.G. 63 (Liverpool to Gibraltar).

At 0422 hours, she fired a pair of torpedoes from the bow tubes at a distance of 800 metres, aimed at a large tanker of the DAGHESTAN class and another ship. Although both were claimed to have hit, this has not been confirmed.

At 0425 hours, another pair of torpedoes was fired from stern tubes at a merchant ship. Both hit and the vessel sank.

This was the British Baron Lovat (3,395 GRT, built 1926). All thirty-five crew members were rescued by the sloop HMS Wellington.

At 0427 hours, a third pair of torpedoes was fired from stern tubes at a merchant ship. One hit and the vessel sank.

This was the Swedish Taberg (1,442 GRT, built 1920). Sixteen were killed, only six were saved.

The submarine was hunted until 0930 hours.
  6 Jun 1941200335° 38'N, 11° 22'WAt 2003 hours, the submarine Velella was encountered and exchanged recognition signals.

Guglielmo Marconi (MN, I.7)10 Jun 19411400Le Verdon10 Jun 19411900BordeauxPassage Le Verdon-Bordeaux.

Guglielmo Marconi (MN, I.7)27 Jul 19411030Bordeaux27 Jul 19411335Le Verdon50Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

Guglielmo Marconi (MN, I.7)28 Jul 19410805Le Verdon28 Jul 19411516La Pallice64Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice.

2.Guglielmo Marconi (MN, I.7)29 Jul 19412142La Pallice29 Aug 19411345Bordeaux5466Sailed for Atlantic patrol via (a) 43°30'N, 20°30'W (b) 30°00'N, 20°30'W, to 32°00'N, 16°00'W, 200 miles west of Gibraltar. At 1750 hours on 4th August, the submarine was ordered to Grid 3911/34. Throughout the patrol the gyro compass gave much trouble.
  5 Aug 1941055737° 13'N, 18° 13'WAt 0557 hours, a silhouette was sighted at 1,500 metres. It was initially believed to be that of a small submarine chaser, but turned out to be an Italian submarine. Marconi turned away and the other submarine did the same. The next day the submarine was ordered to Grid 1897/24.
  11 Aug 19410342
0245 (e)
37° 32'N, 10° 20'W
(0) Italian Grid 5978/34
On 10th August, Marconi had been ordered to attack a convoy.

At 0335 hours on the 11th, an alarm was sounded which immediately brought T.V. Pollina to the bridge. Two shadows had been sighted, quickly recognised to be destroyers.

At 0342 hours, two torpedoes were fired from the stern tubes at a distance of 1,200 metres. One was claimed to have hit. In fact both had missed.

These were the destroyers HMAS Nestor and HMS Encounter. HMAS Nestor sighted a torpedo track and turned away. She then returned to the attack, dropping twelve depth-charges. HMS Encounter could not get any contact. Later the submarine heard depth-charges, but at a distance.
  12 Aug 1941154739° 02'N, 12° 30'WAt 1547 hours, an aircraft with brown camouflage was seen and Marconi dived.

At 1628 hours, she surfaced only to be forced down by a Sunderland fifteen minutes later.

At 1735 hours, she was forced down again by a Sunderland (the same?).
  12 Aug 1941193538° 50'N, 13° 10'WAt 1905 hours, BETASOM had informed Marconi that convoy of 25 merchant ships and 4 destroyers was located at 1800 hours in Italian Grid 9502/61 steering 300°.

At 1935 hours, a German U-boat was encountered. It was initially mistaken for Finzi.

At 1955, Marconi was forced to dive by a Sunderland.
  13 Aug 1941044639° 17'N, 14° 26'WAt 0446 hours, a convoy was sighted. Marconi trailed it and emitted a beacon signal every 30 minutes to enable other submarines to converge.
  13 Aug 1941111039° 33'N, 14° 54'WAt 1110 hours, a German U-boat was sighted and shortly after a Sunderland forced Marconi to submerge and contact was lost with the convoy.
  13 Aug 1941163540° 14'N, 15° 33'W
(0) Approximately.
At 1635 hours, an Italian submarine was sighted. This was probably Finzi.
  13 Aug 1941170540° 14'N, 15° 33'W
(0) Approximately.
At 1705 hours, a German U-boat was sighted. Marconi tried to follow her in the hope of rejoining the convoy.
  13 Aug 1941191040° 14'N, 15° 33'WAt 1910 hours, the convoy was finally sighted steering 270°. Marconi trailed it and, at 2130 hours, made a beacon signal which appeared to have attracted a Sunderland forcing the submarine to submerge for the seventh time this day.

At 2245 hours, Marconi surfaced but had again lost contact with the convoy.
  14 Aug 1941013840° 50'N, 15° 59'WAt 0138 hours, a destroyer was sighted at 3,000 metres. Marconi turned away and she passed 600 metres astern the submarine.
  14 Aug 19411339
1300 GMT (e)
40° 45'N, 17° 45'WAt 0910 hours, a smoke was sighted on the horizon.

At 1201 hours, Marconi had maneuvered ahead of the vessel and submerged to launch a submerged attack.

At 1339 hours, two torpedoes were fired from the forward tubes at a distance of 600 metres. They both missed.

This was the Yugoslav Sud (2,520 GRT, built 1901) on her way to Halifax after leaving convoy H.G.70.

From 1434 to 1509 hours, the submarine opened fire from a distance of 3,500 to 4,000 metres, damaging the steamer. One lifeboat was observed to have been lowered in the sea. Shortly after, a second one followed. The vessel was on fire and listing to port but remained afloat.

At 1509 hours, a torpedo was fired from a bow tube at a distance of 600 metres. It missed under. At about the same time, more rounds were fired near the waterline, creating ten holes. The freighter began to sink slowly.

U-126 (KL Ernst Bauer) arrived (in 40°48' N, 17°45' W) and also hit her with gunfire claiming the sinking (Rohwer attributes only damage to Marconi and the sinking to U-126). The entire crew of thirty-three was picked up by the Portuguese Alferrarede and landed at Horta.
  24 Aug 1941104040° 00'N, 18° 32'WAt 1040 hours, a steamer was seen at 14,000 metres steering 105°. Marconi closed to attack, and identified her as Spanish, of the "MONTE" class, proceeding to Lisbon. At 1438 hours, the chase was abandoned .

Giovanni da Procida (DP)21 Jan 1942Taranto27 Mar 1942TarantoIn Taranto. Change in command. Not operational until Armistice.

Luigi Settembrini (ST)31 Jan 1942Taranto28 Mar 1942TarantoRefit at Taranto. Change in command.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)31 Jan 1942Taranto28 Mar 1942TarantoLong refit in Taranto.

Tito Speri (TS)20 Feb 1942Taranto3 Mar 1942TarantoIn reserve at Taranto.

Tito Speri (TS)5 Mar 19420800Taranto5 Mar 19421730Taranto46Exercises.

Pietro Micca (MC)10 Mar 1942Taranto31 Mar 1942TarantoRefit. Change in command.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)28 Apr 19430730La Spezia28 Apr 19431332La Spezia20A/S exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)6 May 19430730La Spezia6 May 19431305La Spezia25A/S exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)8 May 19432017La Spezia9 May 19430941La Spezia3Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)10 May 19432035La Spezia11 May 19432337La Spezia5Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)17 May 19431025La Spezia18 May 19430050La Spezia68Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)20 May 19430705La Spezia20 May 19431638La Spezia29A/S exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)22 May 19430810La Spezia22 May 19431147La Spezia8Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)28 May 19430931La Spezia28 May 19431521La Spezia24A/S exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)31 May 19430807La Spezia31 May 19431140La Spezia1,5Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)1 Jun 19430855La Spezia1 Jun 19431143La Spezia3Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)5 Jun 19430915La Spezia5 Jun 19431837La Spezia6Exercises.

Francesco Rismondo (ex-N.1, ex-Osvetnik) (RI)8 Jun 19430725La Spezia8 Jun 19431905La Spezia41A/S exercises.

44 entries. 24 total patrol entries (2 marked as war patrols) and 22 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines