Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Giuseppe Aicardi

Born  7 Jan 1906La Spezia
Died  12 Nov 1997(91)La Spezia


  T.V.Tenente di Vascello
11 Sep 1940 C.C.Capitano di Corvetta


24 Oct 1941 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
14 Jun 1943 Croce di guerra al valore militare
14 Jan 1948 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare

Career information

DELFINO (T.V. C.O.): from 20.04.1940 to 14.11.1940.
Promoted to C.C. on 11.09.1940.
TRICHECO (C.C. C.O.): from 14.11.1940 to 28.12.1940.
From early 1943: MARINA TRAPANI C. Serv. A.S. and leader of SOTTOGRUPPO A.S.

Commands listed for Giuseppe Aicardi

Submarine Type Rank From To
Delfino (DL)Ocean goingT.V.20 Apr 194014 Nov 1940
Tricheco (TR)Ocean goingC.C.14 Nov 194028 Dec 1940

Ships hit by Giuseppe Aicardi

DateSubmarineShip hitTypeGRTNat.Loss type
1.15 Aug 1940DelfinoHelleLight Cruiser2,115GreekSunk

War patrols listed for Giuseppe Aicardi

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
1.Delfino (DL)9 Jun 19400740Leros14 Jun 19401540Leros439,1Patrolled in Kaso Straits in 34°48'N, 27°18'E on a patrol line with Jalea and Jantina.

2.Delfino (DL)19 Jun 19400947Leros26 Jun 19401110Leros353Patrolled in Scarpanto Channel between Scarpanto Island and Prassonisi. Uneventful. Route: (a) in 121° - Kandeluisa - 2.5' (1332/19) (b) 163° - Cape Monolito - 6.5' (1650/19)(c) 190° - Prassonisi - ? (1826/19). Patrolled off Prassonisi until 25th June in a static position.

3.Delfino (DL)15 Jul 19402040Leros22 Jul 19400730Leros533,5Patrolled in Doro Channel within 5 miles from 38°10'N, 24°50'E.
  18 Jul 1940010038° 10'N, 24° 50'E
(0) Approximately.
Two torpedo tracks were observed and they missed 50 metres ahead. The "attack" was most likely bogus, as no enemy submarine operated in the vicinity. The "torpedoes" were probably porpoises.
  18 Jul 19400515+38° 16'N, 24° 47'E
(0) Doro Channel.
A submarine was sighted at a distance of 2,700 metres and one bow torpedo (533mm) was fired, claiming a hit after 123 seconds. Aicardi claimed that the enemy "submarine" had fired a torpedo at him before he replied. A large oil patch was observed, but the attack was certainly on a non-sub target as no British or Hellenic submarine operated in the area. Italian Naval Intelligence believed that his target may have been HMS Orpheus as a British communiqué had announced her loss on 17th August. On 29th August 1940, Aicardi was awarded the Bronze medal for "his attack on an enemy submarine on 18th July".

4.Delfino (DL)14 Aug 19402049Leros17 Aug 19401900Leros341Sailed for a special mission, under the orders of Governor De Vecchi, and patrolled off Tinos Island, sank the Greek cruiser Helle.
  15 Aug 1940
0830 (e)

(0) Gulf of Aigina (Tinos Island).
At 0430 hours, Delfino submerged and closed the harbour of Tinos at periscope depth. At a distance of 4,000 metres from the entrance, a steamer was observed sailing northward and could not be attacked. Two steamers of 6-8,000 tons were in the harbour as well as a Greek warship (the 2,115-ton light cruiser Elli). The presence of the warship was also reported earlier by a seaplane of 7/185 Squadriglia based at Leros. At a distance of 700 metres, a bow torpedo (533mm) was fired and squarely hit the cruiser, which sank quickly. A second torpedo (533mm) was fired from a stern tube to finish off the Hellenic cruiser, but missed. Nine were killed, there were 197 survivors including twenty-four wounded. Another torpedo (450mm) was fired from the stern tube, this time aimed at the passenger ships Elsi (1,433 GRT, built 1891) and Esperos (1,461 GRT, built 1918) both anchored in the harbour, but it also missed.

This brazen infringement of Greek neutrality was long denied by the Italians, who blamed the British for the attack. Fragments of the torpedo bearing a "TORRINO 1930" marking were recovered by the Greeks. They are on display at the Piraeus Maritime Museum.

This action may have been in retaliation for alleged Greek involvement in the sinking of the Greek small tanker Ermioni (chartered by Governor De Vecchi) by HMS Neptune (28th July 1940). In fact, British Intelligence had reported the passage of the vessel through the Corinth Canal.

In 1950, the light cruiser Eugenio di Savoia was ceded to Greece as war reparation and renamed Helle. She was in service from 1951 to 1965 and scrapped in 1973.
  15 Aug 19401130
(0) Syra harbour.
Delfino examined Syra harbour, but it was empty of shipping.
  16 Aug 19400100
(0) Southern entrance of Zea Channel.
A small local vessel was observed, but the attack was aborted as it was not worth the expenditure of a torpedo.
  16 Aug 19400530
(0) St. Nicolo harbour (Zea).
The harbour was examined but was empty of shipping.
  16 Aug 19401830
(0) 10 miles NE of S. Giorgio.
A convoy of five large loaded ships, including a large two-funnel liner with a British EXETER class cruiser, was observed from a distance of 7-8,000 metres but was too far to intercept. During the night Supermarina ordered Aiccardi to cancel his patrol.

5.Delfino (DL)20 Sep 19401757Leros26 Sep 19401700Leros562,5Patrolled 8 miles east of Cape Malea and 20 miles east of Cape Spada. Unevenful.

6.Delfino (DL)27 Oct 19401900Leros6 Nov 19400815Leros699,5Patrolled northeast of Doro Channel in 065° - Kalogeri Island - 17 miles. Uneventful patrol marked by poor visibility.

Tricheco (TR)16 Nov 19400928Leros16 Nov 19401118Leros8Exercises.

Tricheco (TR)18 Nov 19402200Leros20 Nov 19402200Leros143Sailed for Taranto, returned because of defects.

Tricheco (TR)22 Nov 19401614Leros22 Nov 19401730Leros6Exercises.

7.Tricheco (TR)28 Nov 19400923Leros3 Dec 19400830Naples885Passage Leros-Naples for repairs. Uneventful. British Intelligence had been informed that an Italian submarine was to leave the Aegean on 27th November 1940 for Italy via 36°00'N, 21°08'E and another would follow. Then refit in Naples.

15 entries. 10 total patrol entries (7 marked as war patrols) and 7 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines