Italian submarine fates

Ships hit by Italian submarines


CountryBritish British

Date of attack30 May 1941Time1015
0818 (e)
FateSunk by submarine Guglielmo Marconi (T.V. Mario Paolo Pollina)
Position of attack35° 20'N, 8° 45'W
Complement (4 dead, no survivors)
Notes At 0805 hours, a merchant ship was sighted.

At 0910 hours, Marconi dived to launch a submerged attack. The ship was identified as a large tanker of the CARELIA class, escorted by a warship of the ENCHANTRESS class.

At 1015 hours, the submarine fired her four torpedoes from the bow tubes (2 x 533mm, 2 x 450mm) from a distance of 900 metres. Upon firing, Marconi went down to 109 metres and at 1027 hours six to eight depth charges exploded near her. The submarine was hunted until 1330 hours. A number of items were damaged, but nothing serious. T.V. Pollina noted with some humour that the shock had internally locked the door to the forward officers' latrine.

The target was the British motor tanker (from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary) Cairndale (8,129 GRT, built 1939), escorted by the corvettes HMS Fleur de Lys and HMS Coreopsis, proceeding from Gibraltar to Curacao. She was hit by one torpedo and sank. Four men were killed and survivors were picked up by the British tug HMRT St. Day.

The destroyers HMS Forester and HMS Faulknor were diverted to hunt the submarine, while the corvettes HMS Woodruff and HMS Azalea and the armed trawler HMS Imperialist were dispatched from Gibraltar to assist the tanker, but arrived too late.

Position of attack

Ships hit by Italian submarines