Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Giuseppe Caridi

Born  4 Mar 1905Turin
Died  19 Jun 1978(73)Voghera (Pavia)


  C.C.Capitano di Corvetta


  Croce al merito di guerra
  Croce al merito di guerra
  Croce al merito di guerra
  Ufficiale dell'ordine della Corona d'Italia
  Grande ufficiale dell'ordine della Republica Italiana
2 Dec 1941 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
14 Jan 1948 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare

Career information

PIETRO CALVI (C.C. C.O.): From 20.08.1939 to 13.05.1941?
From 10.10.1941 to ca. March 1943, Chief of Naval Staff (Capo di Stato Maggiore) at BETASOM.

Commands listed for Giuseppe Caridi

Submarine Type Rank From To
Pietro Calvi (CV, I.1)Ocean goingC.C.20 Aug 193913 May 1941

Ships hit by Giuseppe Caridi

DateSubmarineShip hitTypeGRTNat.Loss type
1.20 Dec 1940Pietro CalviCarltonCargo ship5,162BritishSunk

War patrols listed for Giuseppe Caridi

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Pietro Calvi (CV, I.1)10 Jun 1940La Spezia10 Jun 1940La SpeziaRefitting at La Spezia.

Pietro Calvi (CV, I.1)1 Jul 19400735La Spezia1 Jul 19401900La SpeziaTrials.

1.Pietro Calvi (CV, I.1)3 Jul 19401825La Spezia6 Aug 19400830La Spezia4907Patrolled in Atlantic NW of Madeira and off Funchal (Portugal). Returned passage across Gibraltar on the surface. At the issue of this patrol, C.C. Caridi made the observation that his SAFAR hydrophones were not satisfactory and ought to be replaced by the GELOSO type. He also noted that the 120/45 guns required a gun crew of nine each and whereas the 100/47 guns could be manned by just four.

2.Pietro Calvi (CV, I.1)1 Oct 19400000La Spezia23 Oct 19401230Bordeaux3781Passage La Spezia to Bordeaux. Passed Gibraltar on 6th October 1940. On 8th October she was ordered to patrol within 30 miles of 45°05'N, 13°35'W to intercept a convoy reported by Glauco and reached the area at 1900 hours on the 10th. With Tazzoli escorted in by the German minesweepers M-6, M-9 and M-10.
  8 Oct 19400950
(0) Off Portuguese coast?
The Spanish sailing vessel Angel De La Guardia, carrying 120 tons of salt on passage from Cadiz to Villanueve de Arosa (Galicia), was stopped but released after examination.

Pietro Calvi (CV, I.1)1 Dec 19400840Bordeaux1 Dec 19401255Le Verdon50Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

Pietro Calvi (CV, I.1)1 Dec 19401730Le Verdon1 Dec 19401910Le Verdon20Trials.

3.Pietro Calvi (CV, I.1)3 Dec 19401715Le Verdon31 Dec 19401810Le Verdon4097Patrolled off Ireland between 54°20'N and 55°20'N, and between 17°00'W and 20°00'W.
  6 Dec 19401000The submarine was informed by BETASOM of a damaged British vessel in Italian Grid 9624 (49°30' N, 13°30' E). This was 86 miles away and she altered course to intercept. The bad weather slowed down the submarine causing some superficial damage and she only reached the position at 0800 hours on the 7th but low visibility preventer her from locating the vessel.
  12 Dec 1940111055° 16'N, 19° 34'WAn unknown 5,000-ton steamer was sighted at a distance of 7-8,000 metres, zigzagging at 8 or 9 knots steering 240° (armed with one gun forward and one aft). Pietro Calvi submerged but could not close to less than 4,000 meters and aborted the attack. Caridi decided to surface to intercept. The submarine trailed the vessel for most of the day steering 240°, but she suffered a breakdown of the starboard engine at 2300 hours and at dawn the next day abandoned the chase.
  17 Dec 1940135554° 29'N, 20° 04'WAn unknown tanker was sighted from a distance of 10 miles steering 240-260°. The submarine gave chase, but again suffered the breakdown of one of her diesel engines and abandoned the attempt.
  17 Dec 1940182054° 29'N, 20° 04'W
(0) Approximately.
Through radiogoniometry, the submarine detected a strong radio transmission on 600 m at a range estimated at 30 miles and gave chase. Having sighted nothing, the submarine gave up at 2100 hours.
  18 Dec 1940055754° 14'N, 19° 43'WAt 0535 hours, a dark shape was observed at a distance of 3,000 metres. Having closed the range to 1,000 metres at 0557 hour, one torpedo (533mm) was fired from a bow tube. It was set at a depth of only 2 metres (an experimental setting) but it had an erratic course and missed. The target was the armed merchant cruiser HMS Worcestershire (11,432 GRT, built 1931).
  18 Dec 19400558.554° 14'N, 19° 43'WA second torpedo (533mm) was fired at the armed merchant cruiser from a bow tube from the same distance, but again it had an erratic course and missed.
  18 Dec 19400925-093854° 14'N, 19° 43'WThe submarine now opened fire at the armed merchant cruiser with her deck gun at a distance of 4-5,000 metres but the rough seas made the fall of shots difficult to see. HMS Worcestershire replied at 0950 hours, apparently using two guns. After the submarine had fired ten rounds without securing a hit, Caridi decided to break off the action and Pietro Calvi submerged.
  18 Dec 1940132554° 09'N, 19° 36'WA small vessel steering 240-260° was observed from a distance of 9-10 miles. The submarine lost contact at 1500 hours in a rain squall. At 1540 hours, she sighted another smoke on the horizon but the vessel (estimated at less than 2,000 GRT) went straight for the submarine, forcing her to submerge. When it came to periscope depth, the range was already 2,000 meters and the vessel was showing her stern. The heavy seas precluded the submarine from making use of her guns.
  20 Dec 19401013
0840 (e)
55° 00'N, 17° 46'W
(e) 55° 33'N, 18° 10'W
At 1000 hours, Pietro Calvi observed a dark vessel at a distance of 2,000 metres. At 1013 hours, the distance had closed to 600 metres when C.C. Caridi ordered tube no.2 to be fired. Due to a malfunction of the interphone, both torpedoes that had been readied (one 533mm and one 450mm) were fired. They both missed, but were observed by the target who opened fire with a machine gun and sent an SOS. This was the British Carlton (5,162 GRT, built 1924) from convoy OB.260d.
  20 Dec 19401448
1359 (e)
55° 00'N, 17° 46'W
(e) 55° 18'N, 18° 49'W
The submarine turned for a stern shot (450mm) at the same target from a distance of 1,000 metres but the torpedo missed ahead.
  20 Dec 1940145555° 00'N, 17° 46'WA second stern shot (533mm) was fired from a distance of 1,300 metres. It squarely hit the target after 62 seconds, and Carlton (5162 GRT, built 1924) sank in six minutes. The submarine found 30 survivors in two boats and asked them if they needed anything (the captain asked for cigarettes). Thirty-one were lost, and four rescued. According to C.C. Caridi the vessel's SOS gave a position 30 miles to the north of the actual position.
  21 Dec 1940180054° 43'N, 19° 02'WAn enemy destroyer was sighted steering 090°, but the submarine was not in a favourable attack position and made no attempt to intercept.
  26 Dec 1940211554° 49'N, 20° 00'WA single bow shot (533mm) was fired at a 10,000-ton vessel from a range that was difficult to ascertain due to the poor visibility. A hit was claimed and the target sunk. No vessel was reported sunk at this time.

Pietro Calvi (CV, I.1)1 Jan 19411740Bordeaux1 Jan 19412140Pauillac25Passage Bordeaux-Pauillac.

Pietro Calvi (CV, I.1)4 Jan 19410930Pauillac4 Jan 19411300Bordeaux25Passage Pauillac-Bordeaux.

Pietro Calvi (CV, I.1)21 Mar 19411345Bordeaux21 Mar 19411955Le Verdon55Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon escorted by Sperrbrecher 34.

Pietro Calvi (CV, I.1)22 Mar 19411700Le Verdon22 Mar 19411810Le Verdon8Trials perhaps escorted by Sperrbrecher III and the minesweeper M-21.

Pietro Calvi (CV, I.1)23 Mar 19411610Le Verdon23 Mar 19412040Le Verdon25Trials.

Pietro Calvi (CV, I.1)24 Mar 19410805Le Verdon24 Mar 19411420La Pallice70Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice.

Pietro Calvi (CV, I.1)25 Mar 19411155La Pallice25 Mar 19411820La Pallice22Trials.

Pietro Calvi (CV, I.1)28 Mar 19410800La Pallice28 Mar 19411630La Pallice26Trials.

4.Pietro Calvi (CV, I.1)31 Mar 19411930La Pallice13 May 19412125Bordeaux8202Patrolled between Canary and Azores Islands in approximately (1) 40°00'N, 15°00'W (2) 00°00'N, 21°00'W (3) 15°00'N, 20°00' W. The submarine was escorted back by the German minesweepers M-30 and M-32 from point 36.
  2 Apr 1941044543° 21'N, 14° 00'WA neutral passenger ship proceeding toward northern Spain was observed but left to proceed undisturbed.
  5 Apr 1941160045° 29'N, 4° 29'WThe submarine was informed of the presence of two convoys and altered course to 150° to intercept. The first convoy was reported by Finzi at 1800 hours on the 2nd in 26°15' N, 17°55' W, course 000°, 8 knots. The second convoy was reported by BETASOM at 1900 hours on the 4th in 35°55' N, 05°35' W, steering 270°, 8 knots. Caridi decided to intercept the first convoy between meridians 17°50' W and 18°00' W and reached the area at 1115 hours on the 6th, but by 1730 hours they still sighted nothing, and then took a course of 045°. At 2130 hours, the gyrocompass failed and she was unable to determine her position with accuracy.
  7 Apr 1941091540° 44'N, 15° 14'WA 500-ton Portuguese fishing vessel was observed and left undisturbed. At 1200 hours on the 7th, the submarine reached 15°W and having sighted nothing, resumed her westward course.
  8 Apr 1941030045° 29'N, 4° 29'WThe submarine received a signal from BETASOM reporting a convoy in 25°30' N, 18°30' W and altered course to 145° to intercept. At 2000 hours on the 9th, she received a new signal and altered course to the south to intercept, but by 1600 hours on the 11th had sighted nothing and abandoned the attempt.
  10 Apr 1941054539° 00'N, 18° 45'WAn illuminated vessel was observed, apparently proceeding to Lisbon. The vessel could not be closed enough to identify and the submarine abandoned the attempt to intercept.
  22 Apr 194117361° 21'N, 21° 00'WAt 1420 hours, a smoke was sighted on the horizon and the submarine took an intercepting course. While closing it was identified as an enemy medium-sized vessel. At 1736 hours, the first torpedo misfired due to a defective valve. One torpedo was fired after a 5-6 second-delay and another with a 25-second delay which naturally missed the target. The torpedo crew was criticised by Admiral Parona (head of BETASOM) as these delays were inexcusable.
  28 Apr 1941141410° 06'N, 18° 57'WA steamer was observed at 1318 hours. The submarine made a submerged approach (hampered by a defective attack periscope) and it appeared to be 5,000-ton vessel steering 100°, apparently proceeding to Conakry. At 1414 hours, a single torpedo (533mm) was fired from a bow tube at a range of 1,500 metres. It missed. The vessel made an SOS identifying herself as the British Carperby (4,890 GRT, built 1928) and opened fire on the periscope. Caridi had trouble keeping his submarine at periscope depth and finally lost contact.
  3 May 1941211518° 40'N, 20° 20'WA smoke was seen over the horizon and the submarine closed. It proved to be a Spanish vessel and she was allowed to proceed.
  4 May 1941191520° 20'N, 19° 30'WA vessel was sighted on a 200° course. It proved to be the Spanish Jupiter (4,833 GRT, built 1900) and was allowed to proceed.
  5 May 1941034521° 18'N, 19° 10'WA 20,000-ton ship, escorted by a destroyer, was observed at a distance of 5,000 metres, travelling at 18-20 knots, probably proceeding to Gibraltar. Because of the excellent visibility, the attempt to close was abandoned at 0440 hours.
  7 May 1941082526° 58'N, 15° 35'WA smoke was seen on the horizon and the submarine maneuvered to intercept. but at 1135 hours this was recognized as a fishing vessel proceeding to Grand Canary island and was ignored.
  7 May 1941114026° 58'N, 15° 35'W
(0) Approximately.
An unknown vessel was sighted and the submarine dived to attack. The vessel proved to be Swiss but despite closing to a distance of 500 metres, the name could not be deciphered and she was left undisturbed.
  8 May 1941081528° 55'N, 14° 52'WThe submarine closed a vessel, which proved to be the Spanish Cilurnum (3,863 GRT, built 1919), proceeding to Santander and she was left undisturbed.
  9 May 1941230035° 00'N, 13° 10'WBETASOM ordered the submarine to patrol between 33°00' N and 34°00' N and between 09°00' W and 10°00' W. Caridi had to inform BETASOM that he could not comply because of engine defects.
  10 May 1941100036° 22'N, 12° 48'WPietro Calvi was ordered by BETASOM to intercept a convoy reported in 51°52' N, 19°20' W on southerly course. Caridi had to inform BETASOM that he could not comply because the submarine was short of fuel.

42 entries. 16 total patrol entries (4 marked as war patrols) and 29 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines