Italian submarine fates

Ships hit by Italian submarines

Horn Shell

CountryBritish British

Date of attack27 Jul 1941Time0238
FateSunk by submarine Barbarigo (C.C. Francesco Murzi)
Position of attack22° 23'N, 23° 33'W
Complement56 (17 dead and 39 survivors)
Notes At 1240 hours on 26th July, in 33°22' N, 21°20' W, the masts and superstructure of a ship were sighted. Five minutes later, it was identified as a large tanker approaching rapidly and Barbarigo dived. However, range was more than 2,000 metres and the submarine was not at a favourable angle. She surfaced again at 1503 hours and maneuvered for an interception after dark.

At 0037 hours on 27th July, a torpedo (533mm, W 280 type) was fired from a bow tube at 3,100 metres and hit. The target was the British tanker Horn Shell (8272 GRT, built 1931), in ballast, bound from Gibraltar to Curacoa, zigzagging at 11,5 knots. She was struck in the engine room on the port side and began to sink by the stern.

At 0127 hours, the submarine fired a second torpedo (450mm, A 115 type) and it hit the tanker amidship on the starboard side.

Six minutes later, a third torpedo (450mm, W 200 type) hit the starboard no.2 tank.

Finally, at 0238 hours, a fourth torpedo (450mm, A 115 type) hit in the engine room on the starboard side and she sank. Of the crew of fifty-six, seventeen were killed or missing. Master and fourteen of her crew were picked up by the Brazilian Cuyaba and landed at Pernambuco, twelve were rescued by the Portuguese Africa Ocidental and nine by the Portuguese trawler Maria Leonor (eight were taken off by the escort destroyer HMS Avon Vale as the radio operator had died).

Position of attack

Ships hit by Italian submarines