Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Mario Spano

Born  31 Oct 1907La Spezia


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


3 Oct 1941 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
29 Dec 1941 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
20 Mar 1942 Croce di guerra al valore militare
13 Nov 1942 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare

Career information

LUIGI GALVANI (T.V. C.O.): from 12.04.1939 to ?
NEREIDE (T.V. C.O.): from 25.04.1940 to 28.12.1940.
Promoted to C.C. in August 1940.
RUGGIERO SETTIMO (C.C. C.O.): from 28.11.1940 to 31.01.1942.
PIETRO MICCA (C.C. C.O.): from 04.02.1942 to 09.03.1942.
From 10.03.1942, served as C.C. on the staff of COMANDO IN CAPO SQUADRA SMG.(MARICOSOM).
Joined RSI.

Commands listed for Mario Spano

Submarine Type Rank From To
Nereide (NE)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.25 Apr 194028 Dec 1940
Ruggiero Settimo (RS)Ocean goingC.C.28 Nov 194031 Jan 1942
Pietro Micca (MC)MinelayingC.C.4 Feb 19429 Mar 1942

Ships hit by Mario Spano

No ships hit by this Commander.

War patrols listed for Mario Spano

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
1.Nereide (NE)9 Jun 19401500Tobruk14 Jun 19401350Tobruk482Patrolled off Sollum (Egypt), 030° - Ras Azzaz - 90 miles (or 80 miles?) (on a line with Lafolè, Diamante and Topazio, 20 miles apart).
  12 Jun 1940050332° 57'N, 26° 05'EAt 0458 hours, Nereide was at periscope depth when a 12-15,000-ton tanker was sighted.

At 0503 hours, one torpedo (533mm, W 270 type) was fired from a bow tube at a range of 500 metres. It was claimed to have hit. The tanker escaped in low visibility.

This was the Norwegian tanker Orkanger (8,029 GRT, built 1928) proceeding to Alexandria (and shortly after sunk by Naiade). She had initially sailed from Port Said for Malta. At the Italian declaration of war, she was ordered to turn back.

Nereide (NE)5 Jul 1940Tobruk5 Jul 19402020TobrukIn Tobruk harbour during an air raid.
  5 Jul 1940
2020 (e)

(0) Tobruk harbour.
During the evening, Nereide was at anchor in Tobruk harbour during an air raid. Her two machine guns fired 180 rounds of 13.2mm at two torpedo bombers who flew only 30 metres away. One of these was Swordfish E4H (lieutenant D.N. Collins, RN) of 813 Squadron from HMS Eagle, actually operating from Dekheila (an airfield just to the west of Alexandria)

At 2020 hours, the aircraft released its torpedo from 350-400 yards aimed at the submarine. Collins claimed that it hit its target and a column of 50-60 feet rose, but Nereide was missed. The Swordfish was hit by three machine gun rounds from the submarine and suffered only minor damage.

On 4th September 1940, Collins, flying the same Swordfish, was shot down by an Italian CR. 42 fighter while attacking the Maritza airfield (Rhodes). The crew of three survived to become PoWs.

Nereide (NE)19 Jul 1940Tobruk19 Jul 1940TobrukIn Tobruk harbour during an air raid.

Nereide (NE)23 Jul 19401635Tobruk29 Jul 19401335Taranto670Passage Tobruk-Taranto.

Nereide (NE)2 Aug 19400400Taranto2 Aug 19401952Brindisi147Passage Taranto-Brindisi.

2.Nereide (NE)30 Aug 19401215Brindisi22 Sep 19401300Taranto1322Patrolled south of Crete, between following points: Cape Melissa, 34°22'N, 23°30'E, 33°45'N, 24°14'E and 8 miles north of Gaidero Island and south of the coast of Crete.
  13 Sep 19402215
(0) South of Cape Littimos.
At 2215 hours, three enemy destroyers were sighted at 4,000 metres. Nereide dived to attack but could not get into a favourable position.
  17 Sep 19400536-1906
(0) 43 miles south of Cape Gaudo.
Between 0536 and 1906 hours, Nereide was the subject of an A/S search and heard many explosions without suffering any damage.

Nereide (NE)22 Oct 19400825Taranto22 Oct 19401600Taranto38Exercises.

3.Nereide (NE)24 Oct 19402110Taranto25 Oct 19401050Taranto70Hydrophone patrol in Gulf of Taranto.

4.Nereide (NE)4 Nov 19402105Taranto5 Nov 19401000Taranto82Hydrophone patrol in Gulf of Taranto.

5.Nereide (NE)6 Nov 19402110Taranto7 Nov 19400955Taranto82Hydrophone patrol in Gulf of Taranto.

6.Nereide (NE)12 Nov 19400405Taranto13 Nov 19401845Taranto121Defensive patrol in 203° - Torre Ovo - 15' (hydrophone watch). Uneventful.

7.Nereide (NE)15 Nov 19400245Taranto15 Nov 19401050Taranto50Hydrophone patrol in Gulf of Taranto. Uneventful.

8.Nereide (NE)21 Nov 19400125Taranto21 Nov 19401116Taranto54Hydrophone patrol in Gulf of Taranto. Uneventful.

9.Nereide (NE)22 Nov 19400925Taranto1 Dec 19401615Taranto824Patrolled west of Corfu in 39°20'N, 19°32'E within 10 miles on parallel, patrol line with Sirena. Uneventful.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)29 Nov 19401015Messina29 Nov 19401724Messina61Exercises.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)14 Dec 19400830Messina14 Dec 19401630Messina72Exercises.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)16 Dec 19400826Messina16 Dec 19401624Messina63Exercises.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)31 Dec 19400806Messina31 Dec 19401530Messina54Exercises.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)5 Jan 19410824Messina5 Jan 19411615Messina60Exercises.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)8 Jan 19410845Messina8 Jan 19411615MessinaTrials, escorted by the auxiliary Cicconetti.

10.Ruggiero Settimo (RS)9 Jan 19410833Messina13 Jan 19411410Messina566Patrolled east of Malta, within 15 miles of 35°40'N, 16°00'E.
  10 Jan 1941222235° 22'N, 16° 15'EThe submarine sighted two cruisers of the LIVERPOOL class and fired a salvo of three torpedoes (533mm) from her bow tubes, at a distance of 1,500 metres, to the leading ship. It was a surface attack and the submarine immediately dived after firing. One explosion was heard after 70 seconds and some crew members claimed it was followed very quickly by a second one. Italian sources later claimed that the cruisers were HMS Gloucester and HMS Southampton (who was sunk by bombers the next afternoon) of the EXCESS convoy, but their position were farther west and no torpedo hit was reported at that time. The targets were perhaps large destroyers as the "cruiser" turned and attacked the submarine with two patterns of depth charges.

11.Ruggiero Settimo (RS)19 Jan 19411045Messina30 Jan 19411815Messina1066Patrolled east of Malta within 15 miles of 35°20'N, 16°40'E, forced to return because of defects. Uneventful except for H.E.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)15 Feb 19410900Messina15 Feb 19411720Messina60Exercises.

12.Ruggiero Settimo (RS)23 Feb 19412210Messina8 Mar 19411410Messina1050,7Patrolled east of Malta, within 15 miles of 35°30'N, 16°10'E. Uneventful (sighted only a hospital ship). Then at Messina, available on 24 hrs notice.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)2 Apr 19410815Messina2 Apr 19411530Messina55,7Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary Castiglia.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)14 Apr 19410816Messina14 Apr 19411620Messina58,8Exercises.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)18 Apr 19412330Messina19 Apr 19410625Augusta81,7Passage Messina-Augusta.

13.Ruggiero Settimo (RS)25 Apr 19412010Augusta26 Apr 19411020Augusta121,5Brief sortie for hydrophone watch with submarine Ambra, from 37°25'N, 15°30'E toward east for 15 miles and then 20 miles to the southeast.

14.Ruggiero Settimo (RS)27 Apr 19412110Augusta12 May 19410740Augusta1226,9Patrolled east of Malta within 15 miles of 35°40'N, 16°05'E.
  4 May 19412335A hospital ship on 320° course was observed and the submarine submerged to avoid being seen.
  8 May 19411718-1721
(0) East of Malta.
The submarine was at a depth of 50 meters when she was bombed by aircraft but was undamaged.
  9 May 1941003835° 37'N, 16° 20'EFour light units were observed steering 300°. The submarine turned toward them and having closed to about 1,500 metres, fired a salvo of three torpedoes (533mm) from her bow tubes but missed. These were possibly Breconshire escorted by the destroyers HMS Havock, HMS Hotspur and HMS Imperial.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)13 May 19410834Augusta13 May 19411614Messina81,4Passage Augusta-Messina.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)30 May 19410819Messina30 May 19411550Messina62,9Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary Castiglia.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)6 Jun 19412202Messina7 Jun 19410525Augusta81,7Passage Messina-Augusta.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)15 Jun 19410830Augusta15 Jun 19411107Augusta4,5Exercises.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)21 Jun 19410830Augusta21 Jun 19411100Augusta4,5Exercises.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)28 Jun 19410830Augusta28 Jun 19411040Augusta5,6Exercises.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)1 Jul 19410845Augusta1 Jul 19411155Augusta13,8Exercises.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)9 Jul 19410800Augusta9 Jul 19411125Augusta13,3Exercises.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)16 Jul 19410835Augusta16 Jul 19411115Augusta12Exercises.

15.Ruggiero Settimo (RS)22 Jul 19411700Augusta28 Jul 19410945Augusta651,7Patrolled southwest of Malta. Uneventful.

16.Ruggiero Settimo (RS)31 Jul 19411310Augusta5 Aug 19411025Augusta341,6Patrolled southeast of Malta.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)10 Aug 19411003Augusta10 Aug 19411700Messina77Passage Augusta-Messina.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)11 Aug 19411803Messina12 Aug 19411510Naples226Passage Messina-Naples.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)11 Oct 19411030Naples11 Oct 19411642Naples37Exercises.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)13 Oct 19410948Naples13 Oct 19411445Naples20,5Exercises.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)27 Oct 19410810Naples27 Oct 19411245Naples26Exercises.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)6 Nov 19410925Naples6 Nov 19411322Naples29Exercises.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)8 Nov 19410720Naples8 Nov 19411326Naples31,5Exercises.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)15 Nov 19410855Naples15 Nov 19411335Naples29,3Exercises.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)17 Nov 19410920Naples17 Nov 19411655Naples51Exercises.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)19 Nov 19411645Naples19 Nov 19412016Naples18,5Exercises.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)25 Nov 19410936Naples25 Nov 19411608Naples37,5Exercises.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)29 Nov 19411340Naples30 Nov 19410855Messina224,4Passage Naples-Messina.

17.Ruggiero Settimo (RS)3 Dec 19411041Messina7 Dec 19411815DernaSupply mission to Derna (9.5 tons of food supplies).

18.Ruggiero Settimo (RS)7 Dec 19412052Derna11 Dec 19410843Messina1200Return trip from supply mission to Derna.
  8 Dec 1941043033° 58'N, 22° 34'ETwo destroyers, in line ahead steering 320°, were sighted. Ruggiero Settimo fired a salvo of three torpedoes (533mm) from the bow tubes; two were aimed at the first destroyer and another at the second destroyer. They missed.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)30 Dec 19410858Messina30 Dec 19411410Messina25,3Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary Nuova Maria.

19.Ruggiero Settimo (RS)1 Jan 19421700Messina4 Jan 19420804Messina609,5Patrolled near Capo Dell'Armi.
  3 Jan 1942043035° 52'N, 19° 20'EA derelict mine was seen. unsuccessful attempts were made to sink it by machine gun fire, but the heavy seas prevented accurate shooting.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)8 Jan 19420117Messina8 Jan 19420855Augusta74Passage Messina-Augusta.

20.Ruggiero Settimo (RS)9 Jan 19421630Augusta13 Jan 19421400Tripoli531,5Supply mission to Tripoli (20 tons of ammunition and 12 tons of food supplies). Encountered heavy seas and took on water, which caused a short circuit and a fire.

21.Ruggiero Settimo (RS)19 Jan 19421400Tripoli21 Jan 19421012Augusta411Return trip from supply mission to Tripoli.

Ruggiero Settimo (RS)28 Jan 19420954Augusta29 Jan 19421440Taranto280Passage Augusta-Taranto.

Pietro Micca (MC)4 Feb 1942Taranto9 Mar 1942TarantoRefit. Change in command.

64 entries. 61 total patrol entries (21 marked as war patrols) and 10 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines