Italian submarine fates

Ships hit by Italian submarines


TypeCargo ship
CountryBelgian Belgian

Date of attack16 Oct 1940Time0400
FateSunk by submarine Comandante Alfredo Cappellini (C.C. Salvatore Todaro)
Position of attack32° 20'N, 31° 14'W
Complement43 (1 dead and 42 survivors)
Notes At 2315 hours, Cappellini sighted a steamer and closed at high speed. The vessel must have also sighted her as it turned away and increased speed. At a distance of 1,500 metres the steamer opened fire with her stern gun. When the range was reduced to 1,000 metres, the submarine replied with her artillery and scored a hit with her third round, which started a fire and silenced the freighter's gun. She was now repeatedly hit and took a list to port.

Shortly after, Cappellini fired a torpedo (533mm, S.I. type) from 500 metres but it missed under. A second torpedo (533mm, S.I. type), followed by a third (450mm, W 200 type), also appeared to head straight for the target, but without exploding.

The steamer was finally finished off with gunfire and sank at 0400 hours on the 16th. T.V. Athos Fraternale (who was later to command the submarine Morosini and other submarines with great distinction) was in charge of the forward gun. This was the Belgian Kabalo (5,074 GRT, built 1917, captain Georges Vogels) after dispersal of convoy OB.223 (also listed as QB.223d) on passage from Liverpool to Freetown. Only one was killed, a Congolese sailor. There were forty-two survivors.

Cappellini picked up twenty-six survivors and landed them on the Island of Santa Maria (Azores). Sixteen survivors were picked up by the Panamanian tanker Panam in 32°03' N, 30°00' W or 475 miles SW of the Azores. Kabalo had not been a lucky ship, she had collided with the Belgian Flanders on 12 February 1940 and the latter had sunk.

Position of attack

Ships hit by Italian submarines