Italian submarine fates

Ships hit by Italian submarines


TypeCargo ship
CountryVichy French Vichy French

Date of attack10 Jul 1940Time2030
1930 (e)
FateSunk by submarine Scirè (T.V. Adriano Pini)
Position of attack41° 40'N, 7° 23'E
Complement23 (13 dead and 10 survivors)
Notes At 2000 hours, a vessel was sighted at a distance of 7,000 metres on a southerly course. As she appeared armed and her flag could not be determined, T.V. Adriano Pini decided to attack.

At 2030 hours, a single torpedo (533mm) was fired from a stern tube at a distance of 600 metres. The torpedo struck the ship amidship and she sank immediately.

This was the French Cheik (1,057 GRT, built 1920) on passage from Marseilles to Algiers carrying 1,150 tons of cement.

At 2033 hours, the submarine surfaced and picked up ten survivors, including Lieutenant Lenci, the only surviving officer of a crew of twenty-three.

In 1945, the French Government wanted to prosecute T.V. Pini for war crimes as he had sunk the French ship without warning after the Italo-French Armistice. The British government opposed the motion as it was felt that its own submarines had also sunk merchant ships without warning and the case would be weak. Nevertheless, the attack by Scirè on a vessel in an area where most those encountered would likely be French or Italian left little doubt that Pini should have been more careful in choosing his targets.

Position of attack

Ships hit by Italian submarines