Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Leo Sposito

Born  13 Apr 1912Civitavecchia
Died  9 Nov 1942(30)Killed in action


  T.V.Tenente di Vascello


9 Oct 1942 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
17 Dec 1942 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare (posthumous)
12 Mar 1946 Croce di guerra al valore militare (posthumous)
1 Apr 1949 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare (posthumous)
1 Apr 1949 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare (posthumous)

Career information

BENEDETTO BRIN (T.V. First Officer): from 15.01.1939 to ?
BENEDETTO BRIN (T.V. resp.): from 01.12.1941 to 03.12.1941 (refit at Taranto).
BENEDETTO BRIN (T.V. C.O.): From 14.12.1941 to 31.12.1941.
GRANITO (T.V. C.O.): from 20.05.1942 to 17.08.1942.
GRANITO (T.V. C.O.): from 23.08.1942 to 09.11.1942 (sunk, Sposito was killed).

Commands listed for Leo Sposito

Submarine Type Rank From To
Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)Ocean goingT.V.1 Dec 19413 Dec 1941
Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)Ocean goingT.V.14 Dec 194131 Dec 1941
Granito (GR)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.20 May 194217 Aug 1942
Granito (GR)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.23 Aug 19429 Nov 1942

Ships hit by Leo Sposito

No ships hit by this Commander.

War patrols listed for Leo Sposito

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)1 Dec 1941Taranto3 Dec 1941TarantoRefit in Taranto.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)17 Dec 19410846Taranto17 Dec 19411452Taranto25Trials.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)24 Dec 19410835Taranto24 Dec 19411340Taranto20Trials.

Benedetto Brin (BR, I.23)31 Dec 19410914Taranto31 Dec 19411230Taranto30Trials.

Granito (GR)23 May 19420910Monfalcone23 May 19421430Monfalcone36Exercises.

Granito (GR)29 May 19420750Monfalcone29 May 19421315Venice73Passage Monfalcone-Venice.

Granito (GR)30 May 19420847Venice30 May 19421225Venice15Exercises.

Granito (GR)3 Jun 19420827Venice3 Jun 19421510Pola79,5Passage Venice-Pola.

Granito (GR)5 Jun 19421027Pola5 Jun 19421540Pola24Exercises.

Granito (GR)6 Jun 19421052Pola6 Jun 19421942Pola11Exercises.

Granito (GR)8 Jun 19421238Pola8 Jun 19421729Pola12Exercises.

Granito (GR)9 Jun 19420659Pola9 Jun 19421935Pola3Exercises.

Granito (GR)10 Jun 19420730Pola10 Jun 19421540Monfalcone80Passage Pola-Monfalcone.

Granito (GR)17 Jun 19421325Monfalcone17 Jun 19421926Pola75Passage Monfalcone-Pola.

Granito (GR)18 Jun 19420521Pola18 Jun 19422005Pola176Exercises.

Granito (GR)25 Jun 19420740Pola25 Jun 19422135Pola130Exercises.

Granito (GR)28 Jun 19421347Pola1 Jul 19421150Naples868Passage Pola-Naples, in company with the submarine Avorio. Uneventful.

Granito (GR)3 Jul 19420810Naples3 Jul 19421620Naples25Exercises.

Granito (GR)4 Jul 19420810Naples4 Jul 19421609Naples40Exercises.

Granito (GR)5 Jul 19420815Naples5 Jul 19421410Naples25Exercises.

Granito (GR)8 Jul 19420615Naples8 Jul 19421325Naples25Exercises.

Granito (GR)9 Jul 19420817Naples9 Jul 19421508Naples38Exercises.

Granito (GR)11 Jul 19421434Naples11 Jul 19421805Naples38Exercises.

Granito (GR)12 Jul 19420805Naples12 Jul 19421442Naples22Exercises.

Granito (GR)13 Jul 19420922Naples13 Jul 19421620Naples28Exercises.

Granito (GR)15 Jul 19420815Naples15 Jul 19421614Naples50Exercises.

Granito (GR)16 Jul 19420915Naples16 Jul 19421610Naples33Exercises.

Granito (GR)17 Jul 19420810Naples17 Jul 19421800Naples45Exercises.

Granito (GR)19 Jul 19420625Naples19 Jul 19422300Naples50Exercises.

Granito (GR)20 Jul 19420910Naples20 Jul 19422016Naples35Exercises.

Granito (GR)21 Jul 19420819Naples21 Jul 19421518Naples30Exercises.

Granito (GR)23 Jul 19420815Naples23 Jul 19421600Naples30Exercises.

Granito (GR)24 Jul 19420906Naples24 Jul 19421600Naples35Exercises.

Granito (GR)25 Jul 19420832Naples25 Jul 19421750Naples30Exercises.

Granito (GR)27 Jul 19421405Naples27 Jul 19422330Naples45Exercises.

Granito (GR)28 Jul 19420800Naples28 Jul 19421530Naples40Exercises.

Granito (GR)29 Jul 19421657Naples30 Jul 19421820Naples105Exercises.

Granito (GR)3 Aug 19420540Naples3 Aug 19421530Naples56Exercises.

Granito (GR)4 Aug 19420910Naples5 Aug 19421010Cagliari290Passage Naples-Cagliari.

1.Granito (GR)5 Aug 19422106Cagliari15 Aug 19420845Cagliari700,5Patrolled north coast of Tunisia, between 37°20'N and 37°50'N, and between 09°40'E and 10°00'E, with Velella in an adjacent area to intercept enemy convoy.
  12 Aug 1942123837° 22'N, 9° 55'EAt 1238 hours, Granito went down to 45 metres for a hydrophone watch, after listening to radio communications. Noises from two vessels were picked up and she was returning to periscope depth when at a depth of 20 metres she was suddenly depth charged. Because of the flat sea, T.V. Leo Sposito assumed he had been previously seen and brought his submarine down to 60 metres and shut the electric motors. At 1453 hours, the ASDIC pings were heard and again at 1620 hours. Granito went down to 96 metres before retuning to 60 metres.

At 1838 hours, depth charges were heard and continued until 2130 hours with a total of 301 counted [note: these most certainly included bombs on the convoy which was under air attack].
  14 Aug 19420451
0500 (e)
37° 15'N, 9° 40'EAt 0434 hours, information was received of a naval force reported off Cape Bon at 0143 hours.

At 0447 hours, three shapes were observed moving westward, the two closest were at a distance of about 4,000 metres.

At 0451 hours, at a range of slightly less than 2,000 metres, T.V. Sposito ordered the firing of two bow torpedoes (533mm), but only one left the tube as the bow cap of the other other tube had not been opened in time. The torpedo was aimed at a target believed to be a battleship, but missed. Four destroyers could now be seen on the starboard flank. The target was the light cruiser HMS Kenya.

At 0452 hours, a pair of torpedoes were fired at a second target, believed to be a cruiser of the LONDON class. One explosion was heard.

The target was the destroyer HMS Ashanti and she was missed.

At 0453 hours, the submarine had turned to fire a pair of stern torpedoes aimed at the first target and dived upon firing. After 60 seconds two explosions were heard, leading Sposito to believe that both torpedoes had hit.

HMS Kenya was actually missed and attempted to ram the submarine but Granito was inside her turning circle and dived before any attempt could be completed.

Despite the hits claimed, the Italian High Command concluded that the attacks missed as two cruisers had been located in this area by air reconnaissance, one FIJI and the other of the DIDO class and both appeared undamaged. Later, when they reached Gibraltar, it was reported that the FIJI class had been hit in the bow.

Granito (GR)3 Sep 19421325Cagliari3 Sep 19421630Cagliari20Exercises.

Granito (GR)13 Sep 19422000Cagliari15 Sep 19420708Augusta366Passage Cagliari-Trapani.

Granito (GR)29 Sep 19420835Augusta29 Sep 19421220Augusta20Exercises.

Granito (GR)5 Oct 19420850Augusta5 Oct 19421225Augusta20Exercises.

2.Granito (GR)3 Nov 19420530Augusta5 Nov 19421030TobrukTransport mission (benzine and German ammunition, 22.436 tons) to Tobruk. At 2100 hours on the 4th, she was due to pass through 34°02'N, 23°02'E.

3.Granito (GR)5 Nov 19421600Tobruk8 Nov 19420735AugustaReturn trip from supply mission.

4.Granito (GR)8 Nov 19421555Augusta9 Nov 19421545 (UK)Sunk with all handsSailed through (1) Point M2 (2) 38°55'N, 15°12'E (3) 38°40'N, 13°10'E (4) 38°40'N, 12°00'E, for patrol off Bougie in Grid 5136. Passed Messina at 2125 hours on the 8th. Sunk in 38°34'N, 12°09'E (near Cape San Vito) by HMS P 247 (later named HMS Saracen). Five officers and forty-one ratings lost, no survivors.
  9 Nov 1942
1544.5 (e)
38° 34'N, 12° 09'EAt 1539 hours, the submarine HMS P 247 (Lieutenant M.S.R. Lumby, RN) (later named HMS Saracen sighted an Italian submarine bearing 115° at 2,200 yards. steering 270° at 9 knots.

At 1544.5 hours, four torpedoes were fired at intervals of 6 seconds at a range of 800 yards. Three loud explosions at 6 seconds intervals were heard.

At 1546 hours, a periscope look found no submarine.

This was Granito and there were no survivors. T.V. Leo Sposito, four officers and forty-one ratings perished.

48 entries. 47 total patrol entries (4 marked as war patrols) and 3 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines