Italian submarine fates

Ships hit by Italian submarines

HMS Lady Somers

TypeOcean boarding vessel
CountryBritish British

Date of attack15 Jul 1941Time1002
FateSunk by submarine Morosini (C.C. Athos Fraternale)
Position of attack37° 10'N, 20° 42'W
Complement175 (37 dead and 138 survivors)
Notes At 0344 hours, a smoke was sighted and Morosini moved to intercept.

At 0524 hours, she fired a single torpedo (533mm) from a bow tube at a range of 1,000 metres. The torpedo was believed to have hit forward after 45 seconds. Fraternale did not observe a column of water, but rather boiling bubbles next to the hull. In fact, the torpedo had missed. The target was the ocean boarding vessel HMS Lady Somers (8,194 GRT, built 1929).

A minute later, a second torpedo (450mm) left a bow tube and this time it did hit astern. The enemy vessel now opened fire on the submarine with two guns of about 120mm, one forward and one aft, forcing the submarine to submerge at 0530 hours. Fraternale observed that the vessel was still afloat but immobilised, and decided to renew the attack at daybreak. He had no torpedoes left in the forward tubes.

As Morosini was getting ready to finish off HMS Lady Somers, a tanker appeared on the scene at 0832 hours. Fraternale maneuvered for a stern attack on the new arrival, but soon recognised it as Spanish and aborted.

This was the Spanish tanker Campeche (6382 GRT, built 1934) who was answering the SOS from Lady Somers.

At 1002 hours, a torpedo (533mm) had been loaded in a forward tube and it was fired from a short distance at Lady Somers. It hit after 15 seconds and she finally sank. The Spanish ship rescued her 138 survivors from a total of 175.

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

Position of attack

Ships hit by Italian submarines