Italian submarine fates

Ships hit by Italian submarines


TypeCargo ship
CountryAmerican American

Date of attack13 Aug 1942Time2235
FateSunk by submarine Reginaldo Giuliani (C.C. Giandomenico Bruno)
Position of attack9° 31'N, 33° 47'W
Complement38 (1 dead and 37 survivors)
Notes At 1730 hours, a steamer was observed on a westerly course. As she was in a restricted area, C.C. Bruno requested permission to attack from BETASOM.

At 2030 hours, permission was granted and Giuliani closed to 800 metres and fired a pair of torpedoes (450 mm, W 200 type). Both appeared to have missed ahead after an irregular run, but survivors testified that one had actually hit, but failed to explode.

The vessel made an SOS giving her identity as the American California (5,376 GRT, built 1920). .

At 2158 hours, the submarine surface and proceeded at full speed toward the target, opening fire with her deck gun. Thirty-seven rounds were fired. Survivors confirm that nearly twenty hit, but California did not sink, nor was she set afire despite the incendiary rounds from the Breda machine guns.

At 2235 hours, Giuliani presented her stern and fired a torpedo (450mm, W 200 type) from 600 metres, it hit forward and California sank slowly.

The crew abandoned ship in two lifeboats, each carrying nineteen survivors. One boat was picked up by the British City Of Cape Town and the other (eighteen survivors, one having died of exposure) was rescued by the Norwegian Talisman.

Position of attack

Ships hit by Italian submarines