Italian submarine fates

Ships hit by Italian submarines


CountryBritish British

Date of attack28 Jun 1941Time2400
FateSunk by submarine Leonardo da Vinci (C.C. Ferdinando Calda)
Position of attack34° 28'N, 11° 59'W
Complement56 (30 dead and 26 survivors)
Notes At 1254 hours. the masts and funnel of a tanker were sighted over the horizon. Later, it was recognised as a 12,000-ton tanker, zigzagging on a mean 080° course.

At 2315 hours, three torpedoes (1 x 450mm, 2 x 533mm) were fired from the bow tubes. Explosions were heard after 40 and 44 seconds. The tanker appeared to have been hit and took a list to starboard.

This was the British tanker Auris (8,030 GRT, built 1935) on passage from Trinidad to Gibraltar and she had been indeed hit by torpedoes but was only damaged.

At 2324 hours, Da Vinci presented her stern and fired a single torpedo (533mm), which appeared to slightly deviate and missed closely astern.

At 2359-2400 hours, two torpedoes (450mm) were fired from the bow tubes. Two explosions were heard and the tanker sank.

Thirty of her crew had been killed. Twenty-six survivors (including Master) were rescued by the escort destroyer HMS Farndale.

At 2334 hours, Da Vinci had reverted course and fired a bow torpedo (450mm), this time it missed ahead.

At 2336 hours, the submarine again reverted course and fired a stern torpedo (533mm), but it apparently missed and its wake could not be observed.

Da Vinci had now expended all her torpedoes (apparently she carried only eight?). C.C. Calda incurred criticism for having expended eight torpedoes on a single ship.

Position of attack

Ships hit by Italian submarines