Italian submarine fates

Ships hit by Italian submarines


TypeCargo ship
CountryTurkish Turkish

Date of attack23 Jun 1941Time2130
FateSunk by submarine Ondina (T.V. Corrado Dal Pozzo)
Position of attack36° 08'N, 34° 44'E
Complement200 (168 dead and 32 survivors)
Notes At about 2000 hours, a vessel was sighted coming from the direction of Mersin (Turkey). At 2100 hours, Ondina began closing for the attack. The vessel was flying the Turkish flag and estimated at about 9,000 GRT.

At 2130 hours, two torpedoes (533mm) were fired from the bow tubes at a range of 1,000 metres, They missed ahead.

This was the Turkish Refah (3,512 GRT, built 1901) on her way from Mersin to Alexandria (or Port Said) carrying Turkish naval officers destined to England for a submarine course.

Ondina turned sharply to port to revert course and fired a stern torpedo (533mm) from 1,000 metres. It squarely hit the vessel, followed 30 or 40 seconds later by a secondary explosion, believed to be from boilers exploding. She sank at 2200 hours.

The sinking could have proven an embarrassment to the Italian government, as Turkey was sought as an ally in the war against the Soviet Union. The Italians were ready to deny their involvement. Dal Pozzo had refrained from using his gun so as not to reveal that the vessel had been sunk by a submarine and this was justified as British authorities attributed the sinking to a mine. Captain Christopher Michael Cadogan of SOE was travelling on this ship (he was drowned).

Of some 200 passengers and crew, 168 were missing and 32 survived.

Position of attack

Ships hit by Italian submarines