Italian submarine fates

Ships hit by Italian submarines


TypeCargo ship
CountryBritish British

Date of attack20 May 1941Time0420
0438 (e)
FateSunk by submarine Otaria (C.C. Giuseppe Vocaturo)
Position of attack51° 36'N, 20° 50'W
Complement40 (no casualties, 40 survivors)
ConvoySL. 73
Notes A 12,000-ton steamer of NORFOLK class in convoy course 070° at 8 knots. This was British Starcross (4,662 GRT, built 1936) in convoy SL. 73, on a voyage from Lagos and Freetown to Hull. The convoy had first been sighted at 0830 hours on the 19th and Otaria had trailed it since, waiting for darkness to attack. At 0420 hours, two torpedoes (533mm) were fired from bow tubes at a range of 450 metres and claimed that both hit. In fact, the freighter had observed the first torpedo to miss but shortly after, the second torpedo struck the ship and she sank. The crew of forty was rescued by the destroyer HMCS St.Francis. The submarine had been seen to move on the opposite course of the convoy at 0415 hours by a lookout from the 12-pdr gun of HMCS St Francis. The submarine was observed to turn to the attack when she had reached a position at the rear of the convoy. The lookout tried to alert the bridge, by telephone, but the rating at the other end had just arrived for the change of the watch and had not yet put his earphones on. Thus the personnel on the bridge of St Francis were not informed before the torpedo hit.

Position of attack

Ships hit by Italian submarines