Italian submarine fates

Ships hit by Italian submarines

HMS Escort

CountryBritish British

Date of attack11 Jul 1940Time0320 or 0330
0215 or 0240 (e)
FateSunk by submarine Guglielmo Marconi (C.C. Giulio Chialamberto)
Position of attack36° 20'N, 3° 40'W
Complement (2 dead, no survivors)
Notes At 0300 hours, G.M. Giovanni Botti pointed out two shadows astern, to C.C. Chialamberto, . The first could not be identified, but the second appeared to be a large submarine of the British "P" class. Chialamberto had been informed by Italian Intelligence that either HMS Pandora or HMS Proteus was expected in Gibraltar and this may have influenced his thinking. In fact, HMS Pandora had arrived the previous afternoon in Gibraltar, after a patrol off Oran during Operation CATAPULT.

At about 0320 hours, a torpedo (533mm) was fired at the "submarine" from a distance of 2,000 metres and she dived immediately but slowly, as the forward hydroplane was stuck. Marconi had reached a depth of 40 metres, when a loud explosion was heard indicating she had scored a hit.

In fact, the target was the destroyer HMS Escort. She was hit in boiler room no. 1. She was screening Force H returning from a raid on Cagliari. HMS Forester sighted the submarine submerging at short range, opened fire and attempted to ram. Her depth charges could not be released in time as they were set at "safe", but at 0310 hours (0410 hours, Rome Time) she dropped six depth charges, one set at 200 feet and the rest at 300 feet, without result.

HMS Escort did not sink until 1115 hours, after an attempt to tow her away had failed. HMS Forester with HMS Faulknor were standing by to pickup the survivors. There were two killed and thirteen wounded.

See full details on this warship in our Allied Warships section.

Position of attack

Ships hit by Italian submarines