Italian submarine fates

Ships hit by Italian submarines


TypeCargo ship
CountryYugoslavian Yugoslavian

Date of attack12 Oct 1940Time1631+
1538 (e)
FateSunk by submarine Enrico Tazzoli (C.C. Vittore Raccanelli)
Position of attack35° 39'N, 10° 19'W
Complement35 (2 dead and 33 survivors)
Notes At 1252 hours, a smoke was sighted over the horizon. Enrico Tazzoli closed on the surface until 1345 hours when she dived to avoid being seen. At 1520 hours, the submarine surfaced again and eighteen minutes later, the vessel was heard to make an SOS to Gibraltar.

At 1631 hours, despite range still at 13,000 metres the submarine opened fire, claiming several hits.

This was the Yugoslav Orao (5,135 GRT, built 1919), she had been intercepted at 2300 hours on 11th October 1940, in 35°12' N, 12°40' W by HMS Hotspur and was proceeding to Gibraltar with an armed guard on board. Orao had sailed from Rio de Janeiro bound for Freetown and eventually the UK, but (due to trouble with the crew) had elected instead to go to Lisbon when it was seized. Subsequently, survivors reported that their ship sustained about ten hits.

Enrico Tazzoli closed and fired a stern shot (533mm, W type) and left her in sinking condition. The destroyers HMS Gallant, HMS Griffin, HMS Wishart and HMS Vidette arrived on the scene, the first two picked up the thirty-three members of her crew and HMS Hotspur's boarding party. Two men were missing. The four destroyers carried out a hunt for the submarine but without success. HMS Wishart finished her off with a single torpedo.

Position of attack

Ships hit by Italian submarines