Italian submarine fates
Ships hit by Italian submarines
|Date of attack||15 Nov 1942||Time||0346.5|
|Fate||Sunk by submarine Ascianghi (T.V. Rino Erler)|
|Position of attack||36° 45'N, 5° 11'E|
|Complement||112 (80 dead and 32 survivors)|
|Notes||At 0339 hours, Ascianghi was about 4 miles from then entrance of the harbour of Bougie, when the stern lookout spotted a dark mass. At first, it was believed it could be a submarine but then was identified as a CALEDON class cruiser with two destroyers.|
At 0342 hours, she fired two torpedoes from her stern tubes at a range of 3,300 metres, but it was then realised that the cruiser was proceeding at a slower speed than estimated, causing them to miss ahead. After 167 seconds, an explosion was heard, which T.V. Rino Erler assumed to be that of the torpedo having hit another vessel. Immediately after, G.M. Ansaldo drew Erler's attention to another ship in the vicinity.
At 0346.5 hours, the newcomer was identified as a cruiser of the LEANDER class and two torpedoes were fired (533mm, Italian type, speed 46 knots), aimed at it, at a range of 700 metres. Both torpedoes hit, after 30 seconds with a loud explosion,followed shortly after by a third explosion, believed to have been caused by a boiler blowing up. The vessel was broken in two and sank.
The "cruiser" was actually the minesweeper HMS Algerine (J213, 1,040 tons, Lieutenant Commander Wilfrid Alan Cooke, RN) ). Survivors confirmed that she was struck by two torpedoes and sank in five minutes. Nine officers and seventy-one ratings were killed or missing. Thirty-two survivors were picked up by the minesweeper HMS Cadmus. Seventeen survivors were picked up by H.M. ships HMS Alarm, HMS Hoy and HMS Mull. Four died of their wounds.