Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Vittore Raccanelli

Born  4 Jul 1904Venice
Died  1 Apr 1942(37)Killed in action (sinking of light cruiser BANDE NERE by HMS URGE)


  C.C.Capitano di Corvetta
  C.F.Capitano di Fregata


31 Oct 1942 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare (posthumous)
28 Jul 1948 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare (posthumous)
28 Jul 1948 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare (posthumous)

Career information

ENRICO TAZZOLI (C.C. C.O.): from 17.05.1940 to 18.01.1941.
Promoted to C.F. ca. January 1941.
REGINALDO GIULIANI (C.F. C.O.): from 20.01.1941 to 10.04.1941. Promoted to C.F. ca. January 1941.

Commands listed for Vittore Raccanelli

Submarine Type Rank From To
Enrico Tazzoli (TZ, I.3)Ocean goingC.C.17 May 194018 Jan 1941
Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)Ocean goingC.F.20 Jan 194110 Apr 1941

Ships hit by Vittore Raccanelli

DateSubmarineShip hitTypeGRTNat.Loss type
1.12 Oct 1940Enrico TazzoliOraoCargo ship5,135YugoslavianSunk
2.27 Dec 1940Enrico TazzoliArdanbhanCargo ship4,980BritishSunk

War patrols listed for Vittore Raccanelli

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Enrico Tazzoli (TZ, I.3)3 Jun 19402326La Spezia5 Jun 19400332Cagliari329Passage La Spezia-Calgari with the submarines Glauco, Finzi, Cappellini, escorted by the torpedo boat Curtatone).

1.Enrico Tazzoli (TZ, I.3)21 Jun 19401941Cagliari28 Jun 19401300Cagliari947Patrolled off Cape Tenès in 36°40'N, 01°20'E.
  22 Jun 1940094538° 20'N, 3° 40'E
(0) Approximately.
Enrico Tazzoli was navigating with Glauco in view bearing 240°. An aircraft was observed and Glauco dived. These were Italian aircraft. RACCANELLI thought that they were under air attack and also took his submarine down. No attack developed.
  22 Jun 1940125538° 20'N, 3° 40'E
(0) Approximately.
A Cant Z.506 seaplane dropped, in error, a bomb estimated at 150kg (160kg?) on the submarine. It had not been advised of the presence of the submarine in the area and had made an error in navigation. Enrico Tazzoli was missed by five meters, but fortunately the bomb did not explode. The submarine escaped by diving to 35 meters.

Enrico Tazzoli (TZ, I.3)1 Jul 19400410Cagliari2 Jul 19401015La Spezia379Passage Cagliari-La Spezia.

Enrico Tazzoli (TZ, I.3)27 Jul 19400646La Spezia27 Jul 19401758La Spezia67Trials with the submarine H.4, 3.5 miles south of Moneglia.

Enrico Tazzoli (TZ, I.3)30 Jul 19400840La Spezia30 Jul 19401545La Spezia7Trials.

2.Enrico Tazzoli (TZ, I.3)1 Aug 19400100La Spezia9 Aug 19400840La Spezia1664Attempted passage to Bordeaux, but turned back because of defects. Repairs at La Spezia from 9th August to 9th September 1940.

Enrico Tazzoli (TZ, I.3)23 Sep 19400816La Spezia23 Sep 19401820La Spezia48Trials.

Enrico Tazzoli (TZ, I.3)27 Sep 19400810La Spezia27 Sep 19401846La Spezia68Trials.

3.Enrico Tazzoli (TZ, I.3)2 Oct 19400045La Spezia24 Oct 19401245Bordeaux3521Passed Gibraltar on 7th October 1940. Passage La Spezia-Bordeaux and patrolled first between (1) 36°00'N, 10°20'W (2) 36°00'N, 10°56'W (3) 35°30'N, 10°20'W (4) 35°30'N, 10°56 W and between 11°00'W and Portuguese coast between 40°00' and 42°00'N. With the submarine Calvi, escorted in by the German minesweepers M-6, M-9 and M-10.
  11 Oct 1940080035° 05'N, 10° 57'W
(0) 220° - Cape St. Vincent - 150 miles.
A convoy of forty ships with escort was sighted over the horizon. It was on a northerly course, 7.5 knots. This was convoy HG.45 from Gibraltar to the UK (forty-nine ships escorted by the destroyers HMS Hotspur, HMS Firedrake and HMS Wishart. The bad weather prevented the submarine from mounting an attack. RACCANELLI waited ten hours before making an enemy report, incurring the wrath of Admiral PARONA. The submarines Viniero, Leonardo da Vinci and Glauco had joined Tazzoli to form a patrol line, while Calvi was farther to the southwest and might have joined. Because of this delay, the convoy managed to slip by.
  12 Oct 19401631
1538 (e)
35° 39'N, 10° 19'W
(e) 35° 43'N, 10° 20'W
At 1252 hours, a smoke was sighted over the horizon. Enrico Tazzoli closed on the surface until 1345 hours when she dived to avoid being seen. At 1520 hours, the submarine surfaced again and eighteen minutes later, the vessel was heard to make an SOS to Gibraltar.

At 1631 hours, despite range still at 13,000 metres the submarine opened fire, claiming several hits.

This was the Yugoslav Orao (5,135 GRT, built 1919), she had been intercepted at 2300 hours on 11th October 1940, in 35°12' N, 12°40' W by HMS Hotspur and was proceeding to Gibraltar with an armed guard on board. Orao had sailed from Rio de Janeiro bound for Freetown and eventually the UK, but (due to trouble with the crew) had elected instead to go to Lisbon when it was seized. Subsequently, survivors reported that their ship sustained about ten hits.

Enrico Tazzoli closed and fired a stern shot (533mm, W type) and left her in sinking condition. The destroyers HMS Gallant, HMS Griffin, HMS Wishart and HMS Vidette arrived on the scene, the first two picked up the thirty-three members of her crew and HMS Hotspur's boarding party. Two men were missing. The four destroyers carried out a hunt for the submarine but without success. HMS Wishart finished her off with a single torpedo.
  22 Oct 1940075545° 49'N, 1° 43'WAt 0755 hours, Enrico Tazzoli came under attack from the submarine HMS Talisman (Lt. Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN). The British submarine had fired a salvo of six torpedoes from a distance of 3,000 yards and opened fire with her 4inch gun. Apparently, a torpedo hit but was a dud. RACCANELLI took his submarine deep and was later criticised by Admiral PARONA who believed the Italian submarine could have engaged the enemy submarine with her two 120mm guns.

Enrico Tazzoli (TZ, I.3)10 Dec 19401535Bordeaux10 Dec 19401900Pauillac28Passage Bordeaux-Pauillac.

4.Enrico Tazzoli (TZ, I.3)13 Dec 19400900Pauillac14 Jan 19411125Le Verdon5202Sailed through 49°30'N, 18°00'W then northward for patrol west of Scotland, between 58°00'N and 59°30'N, and between 17°00'W and 20°00'W. First Officer C.C. Carlo Fecia di Cossato was highly critical of C.C. Raccanelli for his extreme caution during the actions.
  20 Dec 1940220658° 50'N, 22° 30'WAt 2200 hours, a tanker was sighted at distance of 1,000 metres. Six minutes later, the submarine fired a torpedo from no.2 tube (450mm) at a range of 400 metres but missed.
  21 Dec 19401607A smoke was sighted over the horizon, however the submarine could not close because of the heavy seas (Force 8).
  25 Dec 19401408-1559
1015 AT (e)
58° 50'N, 21° 20'W
(e) 58° 36'N, 21° 58'W
The submarine surfaced at 1345 hours and sighted a steamer at 10,000 metres. At 1408 hours, the submarine opened fire with 29 rounds claiming the vessel damaged. This was the British Everleigh (5,222 GRT, built 1930) bound from Halifax to Manchester with 9,000 tons of wheat and general cargo, steering 080°. She replied with her 4" gun firing at least 20 rounds and escaped undamaged.
  27 Dec 19401955
1902 (e)

(e) 59° 16'N, 20° 27'W
At 1445 hours, a steamer was sighted at 12,000 metres proceeding approximately on a 270° course. The submarine maneuvered to gain a favourable position and at 1600 hours submerged to close unseen. However, the vessel appeared to alter course away, so Enrico Tazzoli had to surface again to close the range. At 1625 hours, a new change of route forced her to submerge again. The submarine surfaced again at 1705 hours and took a parallel course, intending to close after dusk.

At 1955 hours, a torpedo (533mm) was fired from tube no.7. It missed. This was the British Ardanbhan (4,980 GRT, built 1929), a straggler of convoy OB.263.

At 2025 hours, a torpedo was fired from tube no.2 (450mm) and squarely hit Ardanbhan. She sank at 2030 hours. The destroyer HMS Antelope, escorting convoy O.B.264, was sent to her assistance but found no survivors, the entire crew of thirty-eight men had gone down with her.
  30 Dec 19401932Enrico Tazzoli had been directed to the area by a signal reporting two vessels damaged in a collision. A vessel was sighted at 1731 hours, but this proved to be a destroyer. The submarine escaped by submerging.
  31 Dec 19401415The submarine sighted a silhouette, which proved to be destroyer. It took avoiding action by submerging.

5.Enrico Tazzoli (TZ, I.3)14 Jan 19411440Le Verdon14 Jan 19411540PauillacPassage Le Verdon-Pauillac, escorted by the German minesweeper M-9 and the submarine chasers UJ-E and UJ-128.

6.Enrico Tazzoli (TZ, I.3)18 Jan 19410900Pauillac18 Jan 19411130BordeauxPassage Pauillac-Bordeaux.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)30 Jan 1941Bordeaux?30 Jan 1941Date?Le Verdon?According to the KTB of 2.MSFL, Giuliani made a sortie on this date escorted by M-12 and M-21. Italian documents do not confirm such a movement.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)5 Mar 19411040Bordeaux5 Mar 19411450Le VerdonPassage Bordeaux-Le Verdon and tested her gyro-compass.

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)6 Mar 19410855Le Verdon6 Mar 19411650La Pallice105,6Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice escorted by M-6 and M-21? [mileage is from Bordeaux].

Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)8 Mar 19410800Le Verdon8 Mar 19411400La Pallice19Exercises.

7.Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)16 Mar 19411850La Pallice30 Mar 19411845Brunsbüttel1458,5Transfer to Gotenhaven and brief Atlantic patrol, passage via 47°30'N, 14°00'W and 53°00'N, 18°00'W then route north to 60°00'N and passage between Iceland and Faroes. Met by Sperrbrecher 32 and escorted in.
  19 Mar 1941During the day, the submarine was informed of an enemy convoy of five merchant ships escorted by gunboats at 1100 hours in 55°05' N, 12°35' W (Italian Grid 0607/44), course 230°, 8 knots.

Giuliani altered course to intercept.

At 1945 hours, a new signal received indicated that the convoy at 1700 hours was now in Grid 0645/13 on course 260°, 8 knots. This forced a new alteration of course, but visibility was only a few hundred meters and the submarine submerged to use her hydrophones, but without success. At 0505 hours the following day, the intersection point had been reached and Giuliani searched an area 10 miles wide along the presumed path. Visibility was only a few hundred meters and the submarine submerged at 0606 hours to use her hydrophones, again without success. At 0900 hours, the chase was abandoned.

8.Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)31 Mar 19410800Brunsbüttel31 Mar 19411410Kiel1816,5Passage Brunsbüttel-Kiel [mileage is from La Pallice].

9.Reginaldo Giuliani (GN, I.14, UIT.23)4 Apr 19410610Kiel6 Apr 19410920Gotenhaven358Passage Kiel-Gotenhaven escorted by the German submarine tender Isar.

28 entries. 20 total patrol entries (9 marked as war patrols) and 12 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines