Italian submarine fates
Ships hit by Italian submarines
|Date of attack||12 Aug 1942||Time||2105|
|Fate||Damaged by submarine Alagi (T.V. Sergio Puccini)|
|Position of attack||37° 26'N, 10° 36'E|
|Complement||(3 dead, no survivors)|
|Notes||At 2000 hours, a huge column of smoke was observed through the periscope at about 20,000 metres. Alagi steered toward it. |
At 2020 hours, the convoy came under air attack and put a up a fierce antiaircraft barrage. A destroyer was hit by a bomb. T.V. Puccini counted fifteen vessels of the cruisers, destroyers and freighter types.
At 2100 hours, a violent air attack occurred and two steamers were hit by bombs. At that time the submarine was about 3-4,000 metres away.
At 2105 hours, four torpedoes (533mm) were fired from the bow tubes at a distance of 1,500-2,000 metres aimed at a SOUTHAMPTON class cruiser. Alagi heard three explosions as she dived to the bottom at a depth of 90 metres. Puccini believed that no three hits could have hit the cruiser so perhaps a freighter or a destroyer had also been hit.
The light cruiser HMS Kenya was indeed damaged, hit in the bow (three killed, one wounded), a second torpedo passed under and two more narrowly missed her stern and she returned to Gibraltar escorted by four destroyers. In some books, Clan Ferguson was claimed sunk in this attack. She was actually sunk by JU-88s at 0810 hours on the 13th. Survivors of Clan Ferguson (of a crew of 101+13 passengers, 12 were killed) reported to have been torpedoed at 2105 hours (according to Italian authorities), although they claimed to have been hit by a torpedo-bomber, there were no torpedo-bomber attacks at the time. The destroyers HMS Ashanti, HMS Penn and the escort destroyer HMS Derwent hunted the submarine but without success.