Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Luigi Riccardi

Tenente di Vascello

Born  13 Oct 1911Cuneo
Died  30 Sep 1941(29)Killed in action


28 Feb 1941 T.V.Tenente di Vascello


17 May 1947 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare (posthumous)
17 May 1947 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare (posthumous)
5 Aug 1951 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare (posthumous)

Career information

ADUA (T.V. C.O.): from 28.02.1941 to 21.04.1941.
ADUA (T.V. C.O.): from 23.04.1941 to 30.09.1941 (sunk, Riccardi was killed).

Commands listed for Luigi Riccardi

Submarine Type Rank From To
Adua (AD)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.28 Feb 194121 Apr 1941
Adua (AD)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.23 Apr 194130 Sep 1941

Ships hit by Luigi Riccardi

No ships hit by this Commander.

War patrols listed for Luigi Riccardi

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Adua (AD)1 Mar 19410830Pola1 Mar 19411626Pola45Exercises with the submarine Toti, Bragadino and Fisalia. Escorted by the torpedo boat Audace and the auxiliary Jadera.

Adua (AD)3 Mar 19411745Pola4 Mar 19410145Pola57,5Sailed with the submarine Balilla for night torpedo firing exercises with Audace. Escorted by the auxiliary San Giorgio.

Adua (AD)12 Mar 19410030Pola14 Mar 19411145Taranto506Passage Pola-Taranto. Uneventful.

Adua (AD)22 Mar 19411120Taranto22 Mar 19411717Taranto26,5Exercises.

1.Adua (AD)22 Mar 19412112Taranto23 Mar 19411010Taranto84Hydrophone patrol off Taranto. Uneventful.

2.Adua (AD)26 Mar 19411200Taranto26 Mar 19412033Gallipoli63,5Passage Taranto-Gallipoli.

3.Adua (AD)29 Mar 19412255Gallipoli9 Apr 19411636Taranto1004,2Patrolled in Adriatic within 10 miles of 39°20'N, 19°30'E, on line 150° - 330° during the day and 065° - 245° during the night. The submarine was informed that, at 0600 hours on 6th April, a state of war existed with Yugoslavia.

Adua (AD)10 Apr 19411400Taranto10 Apr 19411643Taranto6,7Exercises.

4.Adua (AD)24 Apr 19411200Taranto11 May 19411538Portolago (Leros)1731,1Passage Taranto-Leros and patrol. Uneventful.

Adua (AD)18 May 19410800Portolago (Leros)18 May 19411014Portolago (Leros)3,6Exercises.

5.Adua (AD)24 May 19411830Portolago (Leros)7 Jun 19410644Taranto1451,7Patrolled between Alexandria and Crete in 34°40', 24°50'E or Grids 2449 and 1649, then transferred to Taranto.
  29 May 19410350
(0) Off Cape Littinos (Crete).
At 0350 hours, dark shapes were seen in the distance. Adua steered toward them and sighted one cruiser and three destroyers proceeding at 26 knots at a distance of 9,000 metres. The submarine could only close to 6,000 metres and, at 0415 hours, gave up the chase and made an enemy report.

These were probably the destroyers HMAS Napier, HMS Kandahar, HMS Kelvin and HMAS Nizam who had just embarked 744 troops from the fishing village of Skafia.
  31 May 19410340
(0) Messara Bay.
At 0340 hours, two destroyers were sighted at a distance of 8,000 metres. They passed out of range.
  31 May 19411025
(0) Messara Bay.
At 1025 hours, a merchant vessel was sighted but again the submarine could not close the range.
  3 Jun 19410130
(0) Off Cape Littinos (Crete).
At 0130 hours, Adua stopped a small barge carrying British soldiers. She took eight British prisoners on board and ordered the remainder to turn back.

This was the British Army barge A.2 under Captain J.B. Fitzhardinge, Artillery, with 72 British soldiers (some sources say 75) trying to flee from Heraklion to Alexandria. It actually included four airmen of a Maryland II bomber (24 Squadron SAAF) which had been shot down over Maleme airfield. Ordered to swim to the submarine, the pilot Lt. E.G. Ford (SAAF) was captured but the co-pilot 2nd Lieutenant G.L.W. Gill drowned. Although the barge was ordered back, it eventually changed course and thanks to a small compass carried by Sergeant McWilliam (SAAF) from the same aircraft, they managed to reach Mersa Matruh three days later.

Adua (AD)7 Jun 19410820Taranto7 Jun 19410846Taranto2,5Exercises.

Adua (AD)9 Jun 19411943Taranto12 Jun 19410448Pola502,4Passage Taranto-Pola. Uneventful.

Adua (AD)13 Jun 19411400Pola13 Jun 19411940Fiume57,8Passage Pola-Fiume.

Adua (AD)6 Aug 19410715Fiume6 Aug 19411720Fiume67Sortie for trials and exercises.

Adua (AD)10 Aug 19410823Fiume10 Aug 19411735PolaSortie for trials and exercises and passage Fiume-Pola.

Adua (AD)13 Aug 19410820Pola13 Aug 19411634Pola12Exercises.

Adua (AD)14 Aug 19410752Pola14 Aug 19410922Pola7Exercises.

Adua (AD)15 Aug 19410800Pola15 Aug 19411816Pola15Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary Salvore.

Adua (AD)16 Aug 19410828Pola16 Aug 19411824Pola75Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary San Giorgio.

Adua (AD)19 Aug 19412000Pola19 Aug 19412333Pola37Night gun firing exercises.

Adua (AD)21 Aug 19410814Pola21 Aug 19411732Pola61Exercises with the submarines Bausan and Mameli, escorted by the auxiliary Salvore and the torpedo boat Insidioso.

Adua (AD)22 Aug 19411733Pola23 Aug 19410120Pola54Sailed with the submarine Pisani for torpedo firing exercises with the torpedo boat Insidioso. Escorted by the auxiliary Salvore.

Adua (AD)25 Aug 19412229Pola28 Aug 19411955Messina679Passage Pola-Messina.
  28 Aug 1941
1708 (e)
At 1658 hours, the submarine HMS Unbeaten sighted a BALILLA class submarine proceeding westward (toward Messina) and turned immediately to the attack

At 1708 hours, HMS Unbeaten fired four torpedoes from a range of 2,500 yards. They all missed and exploded on the coast beyond.

This was Adua on passage from Pola to Messina, but she did not observe the attack.

Adua (AD)1 Sep 19411904Messina3 Sep 19410830Cagliari345,5Passage Messina-Cagliari.

Adua (AD)6 Sep 19410800Cagliari6 Sep 19411145CagliariExercises.

6.Adua (AD)11 Sep 19411345Taranto18 Sep 19411130Cagliari848,5Patrolled off Minorca, on 6° E Meridian (12-13th September), 4° E (14th September) and off Cape Bengut (15-16th September). Uneventful.
  16 Sep 19410336
(0) Off Cape Bougaroni.
At 0336 hours, a suspicious vessel was stopped with a warning shot. She turned out to be the French Penerf (2,151 GRT, built 1930), on passage from Tunis to Sète. She was allowed to proceed.

Adua (AD)22 Sep 19410720Cagliari22 Sep 19411220CagliariExercises with the submarines Serpente and Turchese, escorted by the torpedo boat Abba and the minesweeper Balear.

7.Adua (AD)23 Sep 19411910Cagliari30 Sep 19411030Sunk (with all hands)Sailed for patrol between 37°00'N and 37°40'N, and between and 00°40'E and 01°00'E, (northwest of Cape Tenes) off Cape Palos and north of Cartagena (Spain). She was probably sighted by U-371 at 1655 hours on 24th September in German grid CH 6899 (38°27'N, 05°08'E). Sunk at 1030 hours on the 30th in 37°10'N, 00°56'E (northwest of C. Tenes, Algeria) by the destroyers HMS Gurkha and HMS Legion. There were no survivors (five officers and forty-two ratings lost). She should have returned to Cagliari on 3rd October by following the 37°30'N parallel.
  30 Sep 1941
0928 (e)
At 0928B hours, the destroyer HMS Gurkha was screening the HALBERD convoy when an ASDIC contact was made at 2,000 yards.

At 0933 hours, she dropped a pattern of fourteen depth charges, set at depths of 100, 140 and 225 feet. After this attack, a round black object was seen coming to the surface.

At 0945.5 hours, a loud explosion was heard and felt and at 0947.5 hours, light oil was observed and confirmed by a Swordfish plane.

At 0954 hours, HMS Legion dropped a pattern of fourteen depth charges.

At 1010 hours, HMS Legion dropped another fourteen depth charges. The area was littered with wreckage and HMS Gurkha lowered a boat and picked up a number of items, including an Italian dictionary, a mattress pillow, numerous pieces of wood including one with a piece of human scalp attached to it by a splinter of metal.

There is little doubt that Adua was lost in this attack. There were no survivors. T.V. Luigi Riccardi, four officers and forty-two ratings perished.
  30 Sep 1941035036° 55'N, 0° 45'E
(0) Italian Grid 5093/4.
Adua was lost during this patrol, so the details of her attack are not well known.

At 0350 hours, she fired a salvo of four torpedoes at a group of eleven destroyers steering 270°, 12 knots. They all missed.

These were certainly units of the HALBERD convoy.

At 0525 hours, she reported the attack in the last signal received from her.

33 entries. 29 total patrol entries (7 marked as war patrols) and 8 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines