Italian submarines in World War Two
Vittorio Emanuele Tognelli
|Born||12 Feb 1909||Chioggia (Venice)|
Career informationSERPENTE (T.V. C.O.): from 04.07.1939 to 28.10.1940.
Promoted to C.C. in October 1940.
BALILLA (C.C. C.O.): from 01.11.1940 to 20.12.1940.
Commands listed for Vittorio Emanuele Tognelli
|Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||Coastal / Sea going||T.V.||4 Jul 1939||28 Oct 1940|
|Balilla (BL)||Ocean going||C.C.||1 Nov 1940||20 Dec 1940|
War patrols listed for Vittorio Emanuele Tognelli
|Submarine||Date||Time||Port||Arr. date||Arr. time||Arr. port||Miles||Description|
|Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||12 May 1940||Taranto||29 Jun 1940||Taranto||Refit in Taranto.|
|Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||29 Jun 1940||1020||Taranto||29 Jun 1940||1230||Taranto||0,5||Trials after refit.|
|Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||29 Jun 1940||1400||Taranto||29 Jun 1940||1630||Taranto||3,6||Trials.|
|Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||1 Jul 1940||0800||Taranto||1 Jul 1940||1400||Taranto||33||Trials.|
|Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||2 Jul 1940||0800||Taranto||2 Jul 1940||1315||Taranto||17,5||Exercises.|
|Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||5 Jul 1940||0700||Taranto||5 Jul 1940||1345||Taranto||39,5||Exercises.|
|Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||7 Jul 1940||0720||Taranto||7 Jul 1940||1215||Taranto||1||Exercises.|
|Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||8 Jul 1940||0700||Taranto||8 Jul 1940||1400||Taranto||41,6||Exercises.|
|Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||15 Jul 1940||1000||Taranto||15 Jul 1940||1205||Taranto||1,8||Exercises.|
|1.||Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||15 Jul 1940||2145||Taranto||16 Jul 1940||1030||Taranto||77,9||Antisubmarine patrol in 40°00'N, 17°20'E (hydrophone watch in Gulf of Taranto).|
|2.||Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||17 Jul 1940||2145||Taranto||18 Jul 1940||1045||Taranto||77,9||Antisubmarine patrol in 40°00'N, 17°20'E (hydrophone watch in Gulf of Taranto).|
|3.||Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||21 Jul 1940||1200||Taranto||22 Jul 1940||1045||Taranto||76,9||Antisubmarine patrol in 40°00'N, 17°20'E (hydrophone watch in Gulf of Taranto).|
|4.||Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||22 Jul 1940||1955||Taranto||28 Jul 1940||1615||Taranto||829||Patrolled in Ionian Sea, between 32°10'N and 32°50'N, and between 24°30'E and 25°30'E, on a patrol line with Speri. Interrupted patrol because of defects.|
|Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||6 Sep 1940||1455||Taranto||6 Sep 1940||1830||Taranto||28,9||Exercises.|
|Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||8 Sep 1940||0700||Taranto||8 Sep 1940||1230||Taranto||34,9||Exercises.|
|Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||9 Sep 1940||1330||Taranto||9 Sep 1940||1620||Taranto||24,4||Exercises.|
|Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||10 Sep 1940||1325||Taranto||10 Sep 1940||1425||Taranto||1,2||Exercises?.|
|Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||11 Sep 1940||0700||Taranto||11 Sep 1940||1130||Taranto||33,1||Trials.|
|5.||Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||12 Sep 1940||2148||Taranto||13 Sep 1940||1130||Taranto||88,4||Antisubmarine patrol (hydrophone watch) in 40°00'N, 17°20'E.|
|6.||Serpente (ex-Nautilus) (SE)||18 Sep 1940||1730||Taranto||5 Oct 1940||0835||Taranto||1809||Patrolled between southwest of Crete and Gaudo Island, between 34°15'N and 34°55'N, and between 23°25'E and 24°45'E.|
|19 Sep 1940||2034|
(0) 176° - Cape Santa Maria di Leuca - 59 miles.
|At 2030 hours, a submarine was sighted at 2,000 metres, steering 170° at 1 or 2 knots.|
At 2034 hours, Serpente fired a single torpedo from a bow tube at a distance of 1,000 metres. The electric firing did not work immediately and the delay of 3 or 4 seconds was enough for the torpedo to miss the target by a few metres astern.
At 2037 hours, a second torpedo was fired from a bow tube at 800 metres.
Serpente reverted course and at 2040 hours, fired a third torpedo, this time from a stern tube. After 25-30 seconds a violent shock was felt. C.C. Tognelli was under the impression that the other submarine had dived just before it was hit and this would explain why no traces of survivors or debris were found.
In fact, the "enemy" submarine was Marcantonio Colonna of the Messina Gruppo (Serpente belonged to the Taranto Gruppo). T.V. Gozzi of Colonna had observed the attack and, as his opponent was maneuvering for a stern shot, had immediately dived. A torpedo was heard passing just above her.
Curiously, C.C. Vittorio Emanuele Tognelli and several officers and ratings' names were proposed for medals for this attack.
|1 Oct 1940||1705|
(0) Near Gavdo island?
|At 1705 hours, Serpente was proceeding at a depth of 47 metres, when hydrophone effects were heard. During the next hours, the submarine was hunted by three destroyers and heard 39 depth charges. She escaped by going down to 110 metres.|
|Balilla (BL)||5 Nov 1940||0822||Brindisi||5 Nov 1940||1158||Brindisi||12,5||Exercises.|
|Balilla (BL)||17 Nov 1940||0845||Brindisi||18 Nov 1940||1620||Pola||370||Passage Brindisi-Pola.|
23 entries. 22 total patrol entries (6 marked as war patrols) and 2 events.