Italian submarine fates

Ships hit by Italian submarines


CountryPalestinian Palestinian

Date of attack21 Sep 1941Time2224
2300 (e)
FateSunk by submarine Ascianghi (T.V. Olinto Di Serio)
Position of attack33° 57'N, 35° 04'E
Complement15 (no casualties, 15 survivors)
Notes At 2142 hours, a vessel believed to be a 12,000-ton tanker, was sighted at a distance slightly over 1,000 metres, travelling at 8 knots.

At 2146 hours, a single torpedo was fired from a bow tube at a range of 700 metres. It missed narrowly ahead. Shortly after, a second torpedo was fired but the target must have seen it and altered course. It also missed.

This was the Palestinian tanker Antar (385 GRT, built 1890) on passage from Beirut to Haifa.

At 2152 hours, a pair of torpedoes were fired from the bow tubes. T.V. Olinto Di Serio claimed both torpedoes hit, one forward and one aft. It is surprising if they did, as surely such a small vessel would have been destroyed by them. The vessel was observed to fire three rockets, two red and one green. The crew abandoned ship in lifeboats.

At 2159 hours, the submarine opened fire to finish her off. Some hits registered but, after the fifth round the gun jammed.

At 2218 hours, the gun had not yet been repaired, so two torpedoes were fired from the stern tubes at a range of 400 metres. They both had erratic courses and missed the target.

At 2224 hours, gunfire was resumed with 21 rounds from close range. Most of them hit and the tanker was set afire and sank at 2229 hours. At least, this was as reported by T.V. Olinto Di Serio. Despite the punishment, Antar was still afloat.

There were no casualties. The fifteen survivors were reported picked up by a Lebanese fishing vessel. Later the armed trawler HMSAS Southern Isles took the hull in tow and was bombed in the process but was undamaged. However, Antar finally sank on 23 September.

Position of attack

Ships hit by Italian submarines