Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Giovanni Sorrentino

Born  9 Jul 1916Taranto


  S.T.V.Sottotenente di Vascello
  T.V.Tenente di Vascello


16 Nov 1942 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare
29 Dec 1942 Croce di guerra al valore militare
12 Apr 1946 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
4 Jan 1953 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare

Career information

LEONARDO DA VINCI (S.T.V. officer): from July 1940? to ?
C.B.3 (S.T.V. C.O.): from 10.05.1941 to 31.10.1942?
Promoted to T.V. on ?
From ca. June 1943, transferred to MARISCUOLASOM
AXUM (T.V. C.O.): from 25.11.1943? to 28.12.1943 (sunk, Sorrentino survived).
In 1944-1945: Head of 2° Squadriglia Sommergibili "C.B.".

Commands listed for Giovanni Sorrentino

Submarine Type Rank From To
CB 3 ()S.T.V.10 May 194131 Oct 1942
Axum (AX)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.25 Nov 194328 Dec 1943

Ships hit by Giovanni Sorrentino

No ships hit by this Commander.

War patrols listed for Giovanni Sorrentino

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
CB 3 ()10 May 1941La Spezia10 May 1941La SpeziaCommissioned.

CB 3 ()30 May 1941La Spezia30 May 1941La SpeziaExercises.

1.CB 3 ()14 Jun 19412050La Spezia15 Jun 19410950La Spezia65Patrolled with CB 2. On 15th June 1941 joined MARICOSOM.

CB 3 ()23 Jun 19411900La Spezia23 Jun 19411300La Spezia14Exercises.

CB 3 ()26 Jun 19410900La Spezia26 Jun 19411220La Spezia15,5Exercises.

CB 3 ()28 Jun 19411430La Spezia28 Jun 19411610La SpeziaExercises.

CB 3 ()8 Jul 19410830La Spezia8 Jul 19411200La Spezia11Exercises.

2.CB 3 ()8 Jul 19411630La Spezia9 Jul 19410815La Spezia57Antisubmarine patrol with CB 2. Uneventful.

CB 3 ()11 Jul 19410830La Spezia11 Jul 19411800La Spezia31Exercises.

CB 3 ()13 Jul 19410730La Spezia13 Jul 19411205La Spezia15Exercises.

CB 3 ()15 Jul 19411535La Spezia15 Jul 19411815La Spezia7,7Exercises.

CB 3 ()18 Jul 19410845La Spezia18 Jul 19411225La Spezia15,8Exercises.

CB 3 ()22 Jul 19411420La Spezia22 Jul 19411800La Spezia18,5Exercises.

CB 3 ()28 Jul 19411340La Spezia28 Jul 19411640La Spezia3Exercises.

CB 3 ()31 Jul 19410945La Spezia31 Jul 19411220La Spezia3Exercises.

3.CB 3 ()3 Aug 19411800La Spezia4 Aug 19411140La SpeziaPatrolled with CB 2.

CB 3 ()9 Aug 19412140La Spezia10 Aug 1941Date?La SpeziaExercises.

CB 3 ()11 Aug 19410940La Spezia11 Aug 19411310La SpeziaExercises.

CB 3 ()12 Aug 19411605La Spezia12 Aug 19411900La SpeziaExercises, escorted by the auxiliary Crotone.

CB 3 ()12 Aug 19412110La Spezia13 Aug 19410030La SpeziaExercises, escorted by the tug Porto Sdoba.

CB 3 ()9 Sep 19410925La Spezia9 Sep 19411142La Spezia10Exercises.

CB 3 ()10 Sep 19410752La Spezia10 Sep 19411115La Spezia10Exercises.

CB 3 ()11 Sep 19411610La Spezia12 Sep 1941NaplesPassage La Spezia-Naples (by train).

CB 3 ()15 Sep 19410325Naples15 Sep 19410940Salerno42Passage Naples-Salerno.

CB 3 ()22 Sep 19411550Salerno22 Sep 19411718Salerno5,5Exercises.

4.CB 3 ()29 Sep 19411700Salerno30 Sep 19411050Salerno96Antisubmarine patrol with CB 5. Uneventful.

5.CB 3 ()10 Oct 19411730Salerno11 Oct 19411300Salerno93Antisubmarine patrol. Uneventful.

6.CB 3 ()16 Oct 19411700Salerno17 Oct 19411155Salerno70Antisubmarine surface patrol. Uneventful.

CB 3 ()25 Oct 19410300Salerno25 Oct 19411055Naples43Passage Salerno-Naples with CB 4.

CB 3 ()26 Oct 19410810Naples26 Oct 19411445Salerno43Passage Naples-Salerno.

7.CB 3 ()27 Oct 19411800Salerno28 Oct 19410920Salerno74Antisubmarine patrol with CB 4. Uneventful.

CB 3 ()19 Nov 1941Salerno19 Nov 19411530SalernoExercises.

CB 3 ()23 Nov 19410900Salerno23 Nov 19411000SalernoExercises or change of anchorage?

8.CB 3 ()25 Nov 19411800Salerno26 Nov 19410900Salerno77Antisubmarine patrol. Uneventful.

CB 3 ()1 Dec 19410845Salerno1 Dec 19411225Salerno15Exercises with the motorboats A.S.83 and A.S.65.

CB 3 ()3 Dec 19410840Salerno3 Dec 19411235Salerno11Exercises with the motorboats A.S.75 and A.S.83.

CB 3 ()5 Dec 19410900Salerno5 Dec 19411215Salerno11Exercises with the motorboat A.S.83.

CB 3 ()10 Dec 19410900Salerno10 Dec 19411200Salerno7,5Exercises with the motorboat A.S.83.

CB 3 ()11 Dec 19410955Salerno11 Dec 19411215Salerno7Exercises with the motorboats A.S.65 and A.S.83.

CB 3 ()12 Dec 19410835Salerno12 Dec 19411150Salerno7,5Exercises with the motorboats A.S.83.

CB 3 ()13 Dec 19410810Salerno13 Dec 19411210SalernoExercises.

CB 3 ()4 Jan 19420825Salerno4 Jan 19421440Naples40Passage Salerno-Naples on the surface at 6 knots then by rail to La Spezia.

CB 3 ()25 Feb 19420900La Spezia25 Feb 19421605La SpeziaExercises.

CB 3 ()26 Mar 19421155La Spezia26 Mar 19421530La SpeziaExercises.

CB 3 ()28 Mar 19421100La Spezia28 Mar 19421540La SpeziaExercises.

CB 3 ()5 May 1942Galatz7 May 19421945CostanzaPassage Galatz-Costanza.

CB 3 ()22 May 19420945Costanza22 May 19421400CostanzaExercises.

9.CB 3 ()2 Jun 19422340Costanza6 Jun 19420540Yalta286Passage Costanza-Yalta and patrol south of Sevastopol with CB 1 and CB 2.
  5 Jun 19420330At 0330 hours, a destroyer was sighted at a distance of 6,000 metres, proceeding at 25 knots.
  5 Jun 19420510
(0) Near Cape Sarytsch.
At 0510 hours, a submarine was sighted at a distance of 5-6,000 metres and passed out of range.
  5 Jun 19421710
(0) Near Cape Sarytsch.
At 1710 hours, a Soviet submarine was sighted at a distance of 3,000 metres, steering 300° at 10 knots. CB 3 could not close the range and could only make an enemy report, which was not acknowledged.

10.CB 3 ()7 Jun 19421924Yalta9 Jun 19420645Yalta145Patrolled south of Sevastopol, between 44°10'N and 43°50'N, and between 33°38'E amd 33°52'E. Uneventful.

11.CB 3 ()12 Jun 19421412Yalta13 Jun 19421400Yalta93Patrolled south of Sevastopol, on the meridian of Cape Sarych, 35 miles from the cape, then at dawn of the 13th 200° - Cape Chersonese - 22 miles.
  13 Jun 19420417
(0) South of Sevastopol.
At 0404 hours, a cruiser [destroyer leader] of the TASCHENT [TASHKENT] class followed at a distance of 2,000 metres by a cruiser of the KIROV class, were sighted at a distance of 8,000 metres, steering 180° at 20 knots.

At 0417 hours, two torpedoes (450mm) were fired at a range of 1,800 metres, aimed at the KIROV class cruiser. The torpedoes sank almost immediately upon firing due to lack of maintenance at Yalta (the staff had not arrived yet).

The target was the light cruiser Molotov, escorted by the destroyer Bditelniy. and they were evacuating wounded from Sebastopol. They did not observe the attack.

12.CB 3 ()14 Jun 19421230Yalta16 Jun 19420805Yalta160Patrolled south of Sevastopol with CB 4. Proceeded to 43°40'N, 34°00'E then from dawn on 15th June moved westward for 10 miles until the meridian of Cape Sarych was reached.
  15 Jun 19421226
(0) 40 miles south of C, Sarytsch.
At 1212 hours, a Soviet submarine of the DEKABRIST class was sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres on a northerly course at 3 knots.

At 1215 hours, the enemy submarine began to emit a lot of smoke and had probably started the diesels. Three men could be observed on the bridge.

At 1226 hours, CB 3 fired two torpedoes (450mm) at a range of 1,200 metres and dived to 14 metres. One hit was heard after 63 seconds. Nothing could be seen when the midget returned to periscope depth.

At 1345 hours, the midget surfaced in the area and found a floating corpse and assumed it was from the sunken submarine.

The target was the Soviet submarine S-32 (Captain 3rd rank Stefan Klimentievich Pavlenko) on a supply mission to Sebastopol. She was missed but would be sunk by a German bomber on 26th June.
  15 Jun 19421540At 1540 hours, two Soviet aircraft were seen at a distance of 1,000 metres.

CB 3 ()19 Jun 19421300Yalta19 Jun 19421300YaltaAt Yalta damaged under air attack.
  19 Jun 19421300
(0) At Yalta.
At 1300 hours, CB 2 and CB 3 were anchored at Yalta when they came under air attack.

The periscope of CB 3 was seriously damaged and could only be repaired at Costanza.

CB 3 ()21 Jun 19421615Yalta25 Jun 19421715Costanza362Passage Yalta-Costanza with CB 2 through 43°47'N, 31°38'E. Uneventful except for the rough weather encountered. Needed repairs that lasted three weeks.

CB 3 ()15 Aug 19421215Costanza17 Aug 19421315Costanza15Passage Costanza-Yalta with CB 2 and CB 6, but all returned because of defects.

CB 3 ()18 Aug 1942Date???Costanza19 Aug 1942CostanzaExercises.

CB 3 ()13 Sep 19421300Costanza14 Sep 19421500BurgasPassage Costanza-Burgas with CB 2.

13.CB 3 ()16 Sep 19421800Burgas19 Sep 19420700BurgasPatrolled with CB 2 near Bosphorus, between 41°30'N and the Turkish coast, and between 29°10'E and 29°30'E. She carried C.C. Luigi Longanesi Catani (Capo Squadriglia) as a passenger.
  16 Sep 19422145At 2145 hours, a large sailing vessel was sighted on a southerly course. The following days sighted only Turkish sailing vessels.

CB 3 ()21 Sep 19420830Burgas22 Sep 19421540Costanza530Passage Burgas-Costanza with CB 2 [mileage from 13th September].

CB 3 ()16 Oct 19421250Costanza17 Oct 19420745SulinaPassage Costanza-Sevastopol with CB 2, but due to bad weather was diverted to Sulina.

CB 3 ()17 Oct 19421100Sulina19 Oct 19421100Bay of KaradschaPassage Sulina-Sevastopol with CB 2, but her engine failed and she had to use a makeshift sail at 1010 hours on the 18th in heavy seas (Force 6-7). She took refuge in the Bay of Karadscha (near Cape Tarkhan, 45°27’32” N, 36°26’54” E).

CB 3 ()20 Oct 19420540Bay of Karadscha20 Oct 19420540Bay of KaradschaShe lost an anchor in bad weather and was beached at 0540 hours on the 20th. A German minesweeper finally arrived at 0600 hours on the 21st to help out.

CB 3 ()21 Oct 19421430Bay of Karadscha21 Oct 19421800Ak MetchetAt 1100/21 she was freed with the help of the tug RA-56 and was taken in tow to Ak Metchet.

CB 3 ()27 Oct 19422330Ak Metchet28 Oct 19421800OtschakovPassage Ak Metchet-Otschakov towed by the German tug Wagrein.

CB 3 ()27 Oct 19422330Ak Metchet31 Oct 19421630CostanzaPassage Ak Metchet-Costanza, towed by the German tug Wagrein with stops at Ociak, Bugaz and Sulina.

CB 3 ()29 Oct 19420600Otschakov29 Oct 19421700BugazPassage Otschakov-Bugaz.

CB 3 ()30 Oct 19420600Bugaz30 Oct 19421600SulinaPassage Bugaz-Sulina.

CB 3 ()31 Oct 19420400Sulina31 Oct 19421630Costanza565Passage Sulina-Costanza.

Axum (AX)25 Jul 19432400La Maddalena27 Jul 19430830La Spezia297Passage La Maddalena-La Spezia.
  26 Jul 19431330-143041° 54'N, 7° 50'EAt 1300 hours, a convoy of four ships was sighted. The submarine was hunted ineffectively and fifteen depth charges were dropped. Recognising the Italian flag, Axum surfaced, made the recognition signal and the vessels parted company.

These were the Italian destroyer Orsa with a German UJ-boat, escorting the French Ville De Bastia (1,336 GRT, built 1920) and Ville D'Ajaccio (2,444 GRT, built 1929) on passage from Marseilles to Ajaccio.

Axum (AX)25 Nov 19430836Taranto26 Nov 19430800Brindisi?Passage Taranto-Brindisi.

14.Axum (AX)30 Nov 19431620Brindisi7 Dec 19430840Brindisi805,5Special Operation DECENCY. Landed a group of fifteen OSS agents (SOE gave some assistance) near Castel di Mezzo (at Pesaro, see Max Corvo). Apparently, this was the "Vittorio" mission which sent valuable intelligence until the station was captured by the Germans on 17th March 1944.
  1 Dec 19430230At 0230 hours, two British destroyers were sighted. They had sailed earlier from Brindisi.
  4 Dec 19432330+
(0) Castel di Mezzo ( south of Chioggia).
During the night, Axum landed fifteen OSS agents for Operation DECENCY. This was the "Vittorio" mission, which sent valuable intelligence until the station was captured by the Germans on 17th March 1944. André Pacatte, a French OSS officer (who was a teacher of French at the Berlitz school in Cleveland, joined the party as an observer but did not land. He was supposed to be sent to Corsica, but was then assigned to the Italian SI section, although he did not speak Italian).

Axum (AX)9 Dec 19431525Brindisi10 Dec 19430834TarantoPassage Brindisi-Taranto with the submarine Marea, escorted by the corvette Pomona.

15.Axum (AX)19 Dec 19431500Taranto21 Dec 19431445TarantoSpecial Operation to pick up personnel on the Greek coast, but returned because a diesel engine broke down.
  19 Dec 19431500
(0) Taranto harbour.
At 1500 hours, as Axum was clearing the quay, she was involved in a slight collision with the British corvette C.13 [?]. The submarine incurred only superficial damage.
  19 Dec 19432340At 2340 hours, an Allied convoy of seven ships was sighted on an opposite course, at a distance of 700-1,000 metres.

16.Axum (AX)25 Dec 1943Taranto28 Dec 1943PMScuttledSailed from Taranto, to land a British agent and pick up seven Allied Military Mission personnel, one I.S.L.D. agent and two USAAF personnel (Operation VOUCHSAFE 1) in the Gulf of Arcadia (south of the Channel between Zante and Morea). Ran aground on the Morean coast in 37°31'N, 21°35'E in Ionian Sea on 27th December. Scuttled on 28th December. There were no casualties, but the survivors could not linger near the wreck for fear of being captured by the Germans. They had to trek over mountainous terrain with the help of the Greek Resistance and the RAF, which parachuted boots and warm clothing. They were picked up by the torpedo boat Ardimentoso on 29th January 1944 at Marathopolis (in front of Proti Island) in 37°03'N, 21°34'E and brought to Taranto on the next day. At the time of her loss, consideration had been given to send Axum to Bermuda for ASW training.
  27 Dec 19432000+37° 31'N, 21° 35'EAt about 2000 hours, a British I.S.L.D. agent, Captain Peter, was successfully landed (operation VOUCHSAFE 1). Axum was also to extricate seven Allied Military Mission personnel, one I.S.L.D. agent and two USAAF personnel, but accidentally ran aground on Kaifas Beach.

Despite numerous efforts, she could not free herself and had to be abandoned at 2200 hours. She was scuttled during the afternoon of 28th December.

The crew (six officers and thirty-eight ratings), with the help of the Greek Resistance and the parachuting of warm clothes by a RAF aircraft, eluded the efforts of the Germans to capture then. They walked for five days across the mountains of Morea and were picked up along with three British and two Greek officers, two British and four Greek other ranks by the torpedo-boat Ardimentoso (C.C. Domenico Ravera) on Proti Island on 29th January 1944 and returned to Taranto on the next day (operation VOUCHSAFE 3).

78 entries. 73 total patrol entries (16 marked as war patrols) and 14 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines