Italian submarine fates

Ships hit by Italian submarines

Alfred Olsen

CountryNorwegian Norwegian

Date of attack10 May 1941Time0051-1127
FateSunk by submarine Enrico Tazzoli (C.C. Carlo Fecia di Cossato)
Position of attack2° 50'N, 20° 55'W
Complement34 (no casualties, 34 survivors)
Notes At 2016 hours on 9th May 1941, a steamer was sighted at a distance of 14,000 metres. It was briefly lost in a rain squall before the submarine regained visual contact at a distance of 3,000 metres at 0051 hours on the 10th.

At 0106 hours, one torpedo was fired from 700 metres. FECIA DI COSSATO was persuaded that it had hit but saw no explosion.

This was the Norwegian tanker Alfred Olsen (8817 GRT, built 1934).

At 0110 hours, the submarine fired a stern shot (533mm, W 270 type) but it apparently missed under. The submarine opened fire but it was inaccurate because of the darkness. Firing was suspended after a few rounds.

At 0114 hours, the submarine turned for a bow shot (450mm, type W 200). Fecia Di Cossato believed it had hit but it did not explode. It was followed by another bow torpedo was fired but it missed. A stern shot (450mm, W 200 type) was now attempted but, although it squarely hit the Norwegian ship, it failed to sink her. Gunfire was resumed from a distance of only 200 metres and several hits were scored.

At 0152 hours, another torpedo was fired (450mm, W 200 type) from about 300-400 metres. Fecia Di Cossato believed it had hit but failed to explode. It is possible that the torpedo passed under the target, as the short range may not have allowed to reach its correct depth at the moment of impact.

At 0200 hours, a seventh torpedo (533mm, type W 270) was now fired from 300-400 metres and again Fecia Di Cossato believed that it had hit but failed to explode! Reserve torpedoes were now loaded.

At 0605 hours, an eighth torpedo (533mm, type W 270) was fired but missed, due to an irregular run as the torpedo turned to an angle of 90°.

At 0651 hours, a ninth torpedo (533mm, W 270 type) was fired at Alfred Olsen. This time it hit but the Norwegian ship still remained afloat!

At 1033 hours, a tenth torpedo (533mm, W 270 type) was fired. It hit but the Norwegian ship still refused to sink!

From 1100 to 1127 hours, the submarine finally finished off the Norwegian tanker by gunfire from a distance of 200 metres and she sank at 1152 hours. All thirty-four crew members were later rescued.

Position of attack

Ships hit by Italian submarines