Allied Warships

HMS Sahib (P 212)

Submarine of the S class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassS 
PennantP 212 
Built byCammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.) 
Ordered23 Jan 1940 
Laid down5 Jul 1940 
Launched19 Jan 1942 
Commissioned13 May 1942 
Lost24 Apr 1943 
Loss position38° 30'N, 15° 15'E
History

On 24th April 1943 HMS Sahib (Lt. John Henry Bromage, DSO, DSC, RN) sank the Italian transport Galiola (1917, 1428 GRT) off northeast Sicily and was counter attacked by Italians off Cape Milazzo after broaching the surface. Fired on by a German Ju-88 and attacked by depth charges from Italian torpedo boat Climene (sunk four days later by HMS Unshaken) and the Italian corvettes Gabbiano and Euterpe and the German Ju-88 aircraft. At about 0545 hours, Sahib came under heavy depth charge attack resulting in the pressure hull being holed at the aft ends. With no way of repairing the damage, the order to prepare to abandon ship was given. The submarine surfaced, meeting a machine gun attack from the waiting aircraft and escorts. As the crew left the submarine, Sahib was scuttled in position 38º30'N, 15º15'E. One off the crew was wounded and died on 3 May 1943.  

Former nameP 62

Commands listed for HMS Sahib (P 212)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt. John Henry Bromage, DSC, RNMar 194224 Apr 1943

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Notable events involving Sahib include:


A Memorial plaque is to be dedicated at the National Memorial Arboretum. It is to the Memory of the 2,000+ British and Commonwealth troops who died at sea as POWs including the 787 that died on the Scillin. (1)

The history of HMS Sahib as compiled on this page is extracted from the patrol reports and logbooks of this submarine. Corrections and details regarding information from the enemy's side (for instance the composition of convoys attacked) are kindly provided by Mr. Platon Alexiades, a naval researcher from Canada.

This page was last updated in August 2014.

10 May 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) departed her builders yard for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HrMs Jan van Gelder (Lt. P.L.M. van Geen, RNN). (2)

11 May 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch to begin a period of trials and training. (2)

25 May 1942
HMS 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) is docked at Elderslie. (2)

29 May 1942
HMS Sahib (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) is undocked after which she returned to Holy Loch. (2)

24 Jun 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) departed Holy Loch for Lerwick. She was escorted by HrMs Jan van Gelder (Lt. P.L.M. van Geen, RNN). (3)

26 Jun 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) arrived at Lerwick. She departed later the same day for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Northern Norway to give cover for convoy operations PQ 17 and QP 13 to and from Northern Russia.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 212 during this patrol see the map below.


HMS P 212 1st war patrol click here for bigger map (4)

11 Jul 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) attacked the German submarine U-658 (KL Hans Senke) with a salvo of 6 torpedoes in the Norwegian Sea. No hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -1)
0805 hours - The forward lookout reported a submarine on the surface. She dived 20 seconds later. Nobody else had sighted this submarine. P 212 turned towards and dived. No HE was picked up.

0828 hours - Still no HE had been picked up and it was thought there was no submarine at all an that the lookout was mistaken. Lt. Bromage decided to have one more all round look through the periscope. A submarine was then sighted astern steering a course of 160°. Range was 4000 to 5000 yards. All tubes were flooded (no. 3 and 4 were already flooded).

0832 hours - The submarine altered course to 050°.

0836 hours - The submarine was now identified as German. Speed was estimated to be 12 knots.

0847 hours - In position 63°16'N, 02°00'E fired 6 torpedoes from 3000 yards. No hits were obtained.

0945 hours - Surfaced, nothing in sight.

U-658 heard four explosions at 0856-0858 in Quadrat AF 7338 (63°21'N, 02°23.5'E) and was most likely the target. U-510 also heard three very distant explosions at 0900 in AF 7455 (62°15'N, 02°52.5'E). (4)

12 Jul 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Lerwick. (4)

18 Jul 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) departed Lerwick for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR). (3)

19 Jul 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (3)

3 Aug 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) and HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, DSO, RN) departed Holy Loch for Gibraltar. During the passage South through the Irish Sea they were escorted by HMS White Bear (Cdr. (retired) C.C. Flemming, RN).

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 212 during this passage see the map below.


HMS P 212 passage Holy Loch - Gibraltar click here for bigger map (4)

9 Aug 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) attacked the German submarine U-84 (KL Horst Uphoff) with 5 torpedoes. No hits were obtained. P 212 then surfaced and engaged the enemy with the deck gun. 3 Rounds were fired but then the uboat dived and the action was broken off.

(All times are zone -1)
1219 hours - In position 46°31'N, 13°20'W sighted a U-boat. Range was 2000 yards. Started attack. 5 Torpedoes were fired (4 were intended) from 400 yards. No hits were obtained. Most likely the torpedoes ran under not having reached her running depth. Depth control was lost after firing and P 212 ended up at 130 feet. When P 212 returned to periscope depth the enemy was 4000 yards away. P 212 then surfaced and engaged the enemy with the 3" gun from 5000 yards. 3 Rounds were fired before the enemy dived.

KL Uphoff identified the enemy submarine as of the 'Triton' class. He was not in a good position to engage in a gunfight and elected instead to dive his U-boat. Four explosions were heard which were probably Sahib’s torpedoes at the end of their run. (4)

14 Aug 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (4)

22 Aug 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar. (5)

23 Aug 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Lightning (Cdr. H.G. Walters, DSC, RN). (5)

24 Aug 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar. (5)

27 Aug 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 2nd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Alboran Sea.

For the daily positions of HMS P 212 during this patrol see the map below.


HMS P 212 2nd war patrol click here for bigger map (4)

30 Aug 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) was forced to interrupt her patrol to land a sick rating at Gibraltar and three hours later sailed again to resume her patrol. (4)

1 Sep 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar. (4)

3 Sep 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar with HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN). (6)

6 Sep 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 3rd war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the West of Sardinia.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 212 during this patrol see the map below.


HMS P 212 3rd war patrol click here for bigger map (4)

12 Sep 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) sank the Italian sailing vessel Ida S. (24 GRT) with gunfire and demolition charges in position 40°14'N, 08°27'E.

(All times are zone -1)
1540 hours - Surfaced and attacked a schooner with gunfire that was sailing close inshore. The 5th round hit his rigging from a range of 3800 yards. The crew then abandoned ship in their skiff leaving the engine running and the sails set. After 18 rounds the schooner was stopped but not yet sinking so went alongside and put a boarding party on board. Nothing of interest could be found but the ensign was taken as well as the engine room tools. A demolition charge was then placed and the schooner exploded and sank 10 minutes later.

The crew of four reached the coast in a boat. (4)

14 Sep 1942
At 1304 hours (zone -1) HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) fired a torpedo into the harbour of Buggerru, Sardinia, Italy. The torpedo exploded and the whole scene was covered in smoke and dust so the results could not be observed.

The torpedo detonated on the mole, killing two and wounding several. (4)

16 Sep 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) claims to have sunk an Italian sailing vessel with gunfire west of Sardinia in position 39°46'N, 08°09'E.

(All times are zone -1)
0950 hours - Sighted a schooner. Closed submerged.

1018 hours - Surfaced and opened fire with the 3" gun. The fourth was a direct hit. When the smoke had cleared the schooner was already sunk so it must have been loaded with something very heavy, probably ore.

1021 hours - Dived.

Actually this was only a fishing vessel (unidentified in our Italian sources) which was seriously damaged but managed to reach harbour, one was killed and two were wounded. (4)

21 Sep 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar. (4)

28 Sep 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) is docked at Gibraltar. (6)

29 Sep 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) is undocked. (6)

2 Oct 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for Malta where she was to join the 10th Submarine Flotilla.

For the daily positions of HMS P 212 during this passage see the map below.


HMS P 212 passage Gibraltar - Malta click here for bigger map (7)

9 Oct 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) arrived at Malta. She was swept in by the British minesweeper HMS Speedwell (Lt.Cdr. T.E. Williams, RNR). (7)

16 Oct 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 4th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean). While leaving Malta she was swept out by HMS Speedy (Lt. J.G. Brookes, DSC, RN). During the passage out they were attacked by enemy aircraft but no damage was inflicted.

HMS P 212 was ordered to patrol off the West coast of Greece.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 212 during this patrol see the map below.


HMS P 212 4th war patrol click here for bigger map (4)

22 Oct 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) attacked the Italian passenger/cargo ship Calino (5186 GRT, built 1940) with four torpedoes in the Ionian Sea in position 38°46'N, 20°04'E. All torpedoes missed their target. The escorting Italian torpedo boat Antonio Mosto counter attacked but the depth charges dropped by her did no damahe to P 212.

(All times are zone -1)
1000 hours - Sighted a merchant ship escorted by a Generali-class torpedo boat. Two aircraft were also seen overhead. Range was about 6000 yards. Started attack.

1021 hours - Fired 4 torpedoes from 4300 yards at the merchant vessel, a modern looking one. No hits were obtained and this is most likely due to the tracks being spotted and combed.

1030 hours - A counter attack began which lasted for 20 minutes. 8 Depth charges were dropped (4 depth charges according to the Italian action report) but none were close.

According to Italian sources Antonio Mosto reported being missed by a torpedo and immediately alerted Calino of the danger and the fast transport avoided four torpedoes. The escorting Cant Z.506 (Midshipman Budini) dived on the submarine and fired her machine guns to mark the position and later dropped two A/S bombs. MOSTO arrived on the spot and dropped two depth charges set at 50 and 75 meters respectively, followed five minutes later by two more, this time set at 100 meters before rejoining her charge. (4)

26 Oct 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) ended her 4th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean) at Malta. She was swept in by the British minesweeper HMS Hebe (Lt.Cdr. G. Mowatt, RD, RNR). (4)

3 Nov 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 5th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the North of Sicily, Italy to provide cover for 'Operation Torch', the Allied landings in North Africa. Later she was ordered to patrol East of Tunisia and even later she was sent to patrol to the East of Tripoli, Libya.

P 212 departed Malta together with HMS P 211 (Cdr. B. Bryant, DSC, RN) and HMS P 247 (Lt. M.G.R. Lumby, DSC, RN). They were escorted out by HMS Speedy (Lt. J.G. Brookes, DSC, RN). During the passage out they were attacked by German Me-109 fighters but no damage was caused to P 212.

As no log is available for November 1942 no map can be displayed. (4)

12 Nov 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) was ordered to patrol off Kerkenah, Tunisia. (4)

14 Nov 1942
At 1947 hours HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian transport Scillin (1579 GRT, built 1903) 10 nautical miles north of Cape Milazzo. The Scillin was transporting Allied prisoners of war, of which many drowned.

(All times are zone -1)
1929 hours - In position 35°14'N, 11°18'E sighted a darkened ship bearing 137°. Started attack. As it was seen that it was only a small ship it was decided to attack with the gun. The ship was brought to with 12 rounds from 1500 yards, 10 of which hit. The ship meanwhile transmitted an SOS.

1950 hours - Fired a torpedo from 750 yards which hit in the engine room. The ship sank in less than a minute. P 212 closed the scene and shortly afterwards shouts were heard 'British Prisoners of War'. Immediately steps were taken to pick up the maximum number of survivors and for the next 35 minutes 61 survivors were picked up.

2028 hours - A/S impulses were heard astern and a bow wave was seen shortly afterwards so made off from the scene at full speed. P 212 did not appeared to be detected.

From the survivors it was learnt that the ship was transporting 810 British POW's guarded by 200 Italian troops. The torpedo hit the hold in which the POW's were held and most of them were killed instantly. The survivors were 35 Italian soldiers and 26 British POW's many of them wounded. A signal was sent to Malta reporting the situation and course was set towards Malta.

Scillin carried about 114 Italians and 830 POWs (exact numbers vary according to different sources). There were 60 survivors (35 Italians and 25 POWs). Bromage had been ordered to attack Africa-bound ships and Scillin was northbound but he was excused as Scillin might have been travelling from Tripoli to a Tunisian port. Italian authorities also came under criticism as the POWs were not given life-belts, were over-crowded on this small ship and kept under lock in the holds, they had little chance of escape. (4)

15 Nov 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) arrived at Malta to land the survivors from the Scillin. She was swept in by the British minesweeper HMS Hebe (Lt.Cdr. G. Mowatt, RD, RNR). She then had to be cleaned before she could resume her patrol. (4)

16 Nov 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) departed Malta to resume her 5th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean). She was now ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Sirte. She was swept out of Malta by the British minesweeper HMS Rye (Lt. J.A. Pearson, DSC and Bar, RNR). (4)

25 Nov 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) ended her 5th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. She was swept into Malta by the British minesweeper HMS Rye (Lt. J.A. Pearson, DSC and Bar, RNR). (4)

7 Dec 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 6th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off Naples.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 212 during this patrol see the map below.


HMS P 212 6th war patrol click here for bigger map (4)

12 Dec 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) was ordered to patrol off the Gulf of Tunis. (4)

14 Dec 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Honestas (4960 GRT, built 1920) about 30 nautical miles north-north-west of Cape Bon, Tunisia in approximate position 37°29'N, 10°46'E. She was carrying 1000 tons of ammunition and 50 vehicles and was travelling from Trapani to Tunis in company with Castelverde (6666 GRT, built 1921), escorted by the torpedo boats Ardito and Fortunale and several aircraft including Ju 88 and Me 110.

(All times are zone -1)
1215 hours - Sighted smoke and aircraft patrols bearing 030°.

1254 hours - Started an attack on 2 medium sized merchant vessels escorted by 2 Partenope-class torpedo boats. Several aircraft were patrolling overhead. Both torpedo boats were zigging in front of each of the merchant vessels.

1343 hours - One of the torpedo boats passed 1000 yards ahead. P 212 was not detected.

1350 hours - Fired 5 torpedoes at one of the merchant ships. It was hoped that the 5th torpedo might hit the other ship that partially overlapped with the target. One hit was obtained. After the attack P 212 went to 350 feet and retired to the Northward at 4 knots. 26 Depth charges were dropped in the next hour in patterns of 7, 7, 4 and 5 but none were really close and no damage was caused by them. HMS P 46 (Lt. J.S. Stevens, DSC, RN) meanwhile reported by SST that she had also attacked. That the other merchant ship had been her target, that it had changed course when our target had been hit and that this merchant had also been hit.

1538 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Noticed that both merchant ships were stopped in the vicinity of the attack. Our target was ablaze from the funnel to aft. Four aircraft were patrolling overhead and the escorting torpedo boats were to the Southward. Went deep again to reload the torpedo tubes.

1620 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Only one the merchants was seen, the other must have sunk. The escorts were still searching the area.

1648 hours - The other merchant vessel blew up with a terrific explosion so there was now no need to remain in the area to finish off the prey.

According to Italian sources most of her crew were saved. The attack was observed by a R.S.14 of 144^ Squadriglia at 1346 which dropped two bombs but they do not appear to have been close. The other ship was the Italian freighter Castelverde and was indeed sunk by HMS P 46. Fortunale reported a sonar contact and was ordered to hunt the submarine while Ardito (her sonar was not working) picked up the survivors. Fortunale carried out four depth charges runs and then returned to pick up survivors from both ships. Ardito picked up 174 and Fortunale 96. (4)

17 Dec 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) was ordered to patrol to the North of Sicily. (4)

18 Dec 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) was twice depth charged by enemy escort vessels West of Sicily, Italy.

(All times are zone -1)
0017 hours - Saw two destroyers / torpedo boats approaching. Went to 80 feet.

0030 - 0200 hours - 37 Depth charges were dropped by the enemy but none were really close.

0255 hours - Nothing in sight so surfaced and proceeded.

The attack was made by the Italian torpedo boat Orione on an A/S sweep with Cigno, Ardente and Sagittario, about 35 miles northeast of Bizerta. It was not directed at P.212 but at the wreck of the transport Sant’Antioco (sunk three days earlier by HMS P 46) which was mistaken for a submarine.

-----------------------------------------

1440 hours - Came to periscope depth in position 38°20'N, 11°58'E. Sighted 2 Partenope-class torpedo boats bearing 055°. Enemy course was 235°. Range was 7000 yards. Turned away and went to 80 feet.

1514 hours - One was heard coming up the Port side and one on the Starboard side.

1520 hours - A/S impulses were heard.

1527 hours - One of the destroyers / torpedo boats passed overhead.

1528 hours - A 6-charge pattern exploded unpleasantly close causing some minor damage. Went to 300 feet and altered course.

1535 hours - A 7-charge pattern was dropped. Not as close as before.

1545 hours - A 4-charge pattern was dropped.

1555 hours - A 5-charge pattern was dropped.

1615 hours - A 4-charge pattern was dropped. Every pattern became more distant.

1705 hours - No more A/S impulses were heard.

1810 hours - Surfaced and withdrew to the North-West.

The attack was made by the torpedo boat Calliope. She was carrying an A/S sweep with her sister ship Perseo when her sonar revealed a good echo at 1525 in 38°24'N, 11°57'E. She proceeded with a systematic attack and dropped fifteen depth charges then left Perseo to carry on with more depth charging. However sea conditions were not favourable for the sonar and at 1645 hours, having lost contact, they resumed the A/S sweep. (4)

20 Dec 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) attacked and damaged an enemy coaster with 3 torpedoes and gunfire to the West of Capo Milazzo, Sicily, Italy. This was Ist no.23 (ex Yugoslav, 336 GRT, built 1917) on a trip from Termini Imerese to Milazzo with a cargo of citrus.

(All times are zone -1)
1639 hours - Sighted what appeared to be a coastal tanker of about 2000 tons against the cliffs. Range was 12000 yards. Started attack.

1708 hours - Fired 2 torpedoes from 1000 yards. Enemy course was 055°, speed 9 knots. No hits were obtained.

1713 hours - Surfaced for gun action in position 38°17'N, 15°10'E. The enemy had turned stern on. Range was 1500 yards. 20 Rounds were fired for 15 hits.

1720 hours - Fired 1 torpedo. It was seen to run under. The enemy was now seen to be a small coaster. Given its limited value to the enemy it was not considered wise to continue the action and close the coast any further.

The crew of Ist (Master Aurelio Ramacciotti) observed the two torpedoes run under vessel which turned away to make for the coast. The vessel was repeatedly hit from about 400 metres by the submarine and abandoned. The crew reached the coast and reported to the Milazzo authorities who ordered them back on board. Ist continued to move slowly without anyone on board. The crew boarded the minesweeper Squalo B. and sailed in search of their boat. The following day, at about 0700 hours, Ist who was on fire, boarded and taken in tow. They were also met by the sailing vessel San Lorenzo which helped with the towing until they reached Milazzo at 1130 hours. There the local firemen put the fire down, she had been hit by seven 76mm shells, no casualties were reported. Two A/S motorboats were sent to hunt the submarine but found nothing. (4)

25 Dec 1942
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) ended her 6th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers. There she rejoined the 8th Submarine Flotilla. (4)

5 Jan 1943
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Algiers. (8)

10 Jan 1943
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 7th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Genoa.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 212 during this patrol see the map below.


HMS P 212 7th war patrol click here for bigger map (9)

14 Jan 1943
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the German merchant Oued Tiflet (1194 GRT, built 1914, former French) about 20 nautical miles south-west of Savona in position 44°08'N 08°18'E.

(All times are zone -1)
1247 hours - Sighted a medium seized merchant vessel off Capo Caprazoppa. Started attack.

1305 hours - Fired 3 torpedoes from 850 yards. One hit was observed just forward of the bridge. 3 Minutes later she had a bow down angle of 45° and she sank in position 44°08'N 08°18'E in 10 minutes. P 212 then withdrew to seaward.

There were seventeen survivors, one was missing. Two torpedoes detonated on the coast. (9)

19 Jan 1943
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) is ordered to return to Algiers and to patrol along the West coast of Sardinia on the way back. Lt. Bromage decided to return to Finale, Italy first to bombard a large seaplane hangar he had observed their a few days before. (9)

20 Jan 1943
Around 0200 hours HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) bombarded a large seaplane hangar at Finale, Italy. 18 Rounds were fired of which 10 landed in the target area.

Italian sources state that the Pioggio establishment at Finale Ligure was hit and suffered some damage. The submarine was forced to submerge when coastal battery no.221 opened fire. (9)

21 Jan 1943
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank German U-boat U-301 in the Mediterranean west of Bonifacio in position in position 41°27'N, 07°04'E. There was only 1 survivor from U-301.

(All times are zone -1)
0821 hours - Heard HE on the Port beam.

0834 hours - Sighted a conning tower bearing 090°. Range was about 4.5 nautical miles. Enemy course was thought to be 165°. Started attack.

0842 hours - The enemy was now much closer. Course was now seen to be 215°.

0845 hours - In position 41°27'N, 07°04'E fired a full salvo of 6 torpedoes from 4600 yards. Three explosions were heard nearly 3 minutes after firing. The first and faintest explosions was thought to be a torpedo hitting, the second the torpedo exploding and the third possibly another hit. The hit(s) could not be observed but the column of smoke was very visible and HE stopped immediately. P 212 then surfaced and closed the scene of the sinking. One survivor, midshipman Wilhelm Rahn (19 years) was picked up suffering from superficial injuries and shock. He had been the Port lookout.

0905 hours - Dived. (9)

25 Jan 1943
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) ended her 7th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers. (9)

5 Feb 1943
HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 8th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the Lipari islands to the North of Sicily.

As no log is available for February 1943 no map can be displayed. (9)

10 Feb 1943
On board HMS P 212 (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) the 4th officer (T/S.Lt. N.T.O. Berry, RNR) shut the conning tower hatch on his fingers and was unable to use his hand and keep watch for the remainder of the patrol.

The next day the two other officers remaining to keep watch became sick. Now the Commanding Officer was the only officer that could keep watch. P 212 remained on patrol none the less and the Coxswain also kept watch.

On the 12th the 1st Lieutenant was sufficiently recovered to keep watch again. On the 14th however he went sick again.

Besides the officers a large portion of the crew was also ill. (9)

18 Feb 1943
HMS Sahib (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) damaged the Italian sailing vessels Francesco Padre (97 GRT, built 1933) and Santa Teresa no.233 (20 GRT, built 1937) with gunfire off Capo d'Orlando, Sicily, Italy.

(All times are zone -1)
1101 hours - Surfaced in position 38°09'N, 14°39'E and engaged a schooner with gunfire.

1110 hours - Dived after having fired 33 rounds for about 10 to 15 hits.

1137 hours - Surfaced to engage another schooner with gunfire.

1144 hours - Dived after having fired 41 rounds for about 10 to 15 hits. Sahib then withdrew to seaward.

Both schooners were left stopped and dismasted. Due to the strong winds it was thought likely that both would sink (this was however not the case).

According to Italian sources Francesco Padre was hit and immobilised, she was not seriously damaged but had to be towed. Santa Teresa had her wheelhouse destroyed and had four wounded. (9)

21 Feb 1943
HMS Sahib (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) ended her 8th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean) at Malta.

She proceeded to Malta because she was to dock there. No log for February 1943 is available so the dates of the docking are unknown. (9)

6 Mar 1943
HMS Sahib (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Malta. (10)

8 Mar 1943
HMS Sahib (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) departed Malta loaded with stores for Algiers.

For the daily and of HMS Sahib during this passage see the map below.


HMS Sahib passage Malta - Algiers click here for bigger map (10)

13 Mar 1943
HMS Sahib (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) arrived at Algiers. (10)

18 Mar 1943
HMS Sahib (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 9th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the North of Sicily.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Sahib during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Sahib 9th war patrol click here for bigger map (9)

24 Mar 1943
HMS Sahib (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the small Italian merchant Tosca (474 GRT, built 1908) west of Cape Calava, Sicily, Italy. She was on a trip from Termini Imerese to Messina.

(All times are zone -1)
1254 hours - Sighted one merchant ship coast crawling Eastward. She was escorted by an MA/SB. Started attack. The target was thought to be a 2500 tons tanker or water carrier.

1315 hours - In position 38°11'N, 14°54'E fired 3 torpedoes from 2500 yards and took avoiding action so the result could not be observed. One torpedo was heard to hit after just over 2 minutes after firing the first torpedo. 2 Much fainter explosions were heard about 15 seconds after the hit. It was thought the third torpedo had hit and that the first and second torpedo hit the shore beyond.

1345 hours - Returned to periscope depth. The target was observed stern down at an angle of 30°. The MA/SB was with her picking up survivors.

1355 hours - Went to 60 feet to reload and to withdraw to the West.

Tosca sank one mile from Cape Cavalla, there were four killed or missing. VAS 204 and VAS 205 were sent to hunt the submarine but the search was fruitless. (9)

27 Mar 1943
HMS Sahib (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) torpedoes and sank the Italian merchant Sidamo (2384 GRT, built 1895) carrying a cargo of salt and moored to south mole inside Milazzo harbour, Sicily, Italy.

(All times are zone -1)
1355 hours - Closed Milazzo to investigate if it was possible to fire torpedoes into the harbour. A heavily laden merchant vessel was sighted moored to buoys in the middle of the harbour. Decided to attack her.

1537 hours - Fired a torpedo aimed at the ships funnel. Sahib dipped on firing and by the time periscope depth was regained an explosion had occurred. The result could not be observed due to the smoke. Another torpedo was fired at the same target. After 45 seconds this torpedo was seen to hit abreast the mainmast. She then settled by the stern and was aground aft when last seen.

1540 hours - Fired another torpedo at a coaster and 2 schooners moored at the harbour wall. On firing Sahib went up to 15 feet and ran aground on the North breakwater. She came off quickly and retired from the scene. The torpedo was heard to explode 37 seconds after firing but the results could not be observed.

The motor cutter Maria Sacro Cuore which was next to her had her engine damaged by the explosion. (9)

30 Mar 1943
HMS Sahib (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) attacked with gunfire five sailing vessels on passage from Reggio (Calabria) to Milazzo near position 38°22'N, 15°25'E. She sank Santa Maria Del Salvazione (25 GRT, built 1928), San Vincenzo (29 GRT, built ?) and damaged S. Rita and Papà Giuseppe, the fifth one, Vergine di Pompei, escaped undamaged.

(All times are zone -1)
0800 hours - Saw 5 schooners to the West coming our way. One was well ahead and the others were behind in pairs. Decided to wait for them and then attack with gunfire.

1104 hours - Surfaced and engaged the rear pair with the 3" gun. After several hits on each of these and seeing them abandoned went after the next pair. The first of these gave a mild explosion and a lot of black smoke on being hit and sank by the stern. The other caught well alight aft and burned fiercely till it sank. The leading schooner was well away by now so turned to finish off the two that we first engaged. The first of these caught fire beneath her foremast and gave out a lot of white smoke before sinking.

1121 hours - Dived for an approaching aircraft which turned out to be a JU 52 transport plane. As it was expected that A/S aircraft would arrive shortly Sahib did not surface again to finish off the already damaged schooner. This schooner was seen sailing out to sea with one sail set but with no one on board. In all 70 rounds of 3" had been expended. Sahib then withdrew to the Northward.

In all, one was killed and six were wounded. (9)

4 Apr 1943
HMS Sahib (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSC, RN) ended her 9th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean) at Algiers. (9)

16 Apr 1943
HMS Sahib (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 10th war patrol (9th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the North of Sicily. (11)

23 Apr 1943
Around 1130 hours HMS Sahib (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSO, DSC, RN) sank the Italian tug Valente (ex French Michel Venture, ex Zeeland, 286 GRT, built 1915) towing a barge with gunfire 3 miles south of Cape Vaticano, Calabria, Italy. The tug was hit 45 times and the barge 25 times. The tug was set on fire and completely burnt out.

Valente and her barge managed to run aground. (12)

24 Apr 1943
HMS Sahib (Lt. J.H. Bromage, DSO, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Galiola (1428 GRT, built 1917) to the North-West of Capo Milazzo, Sicily, Italy. The Galiola was escorted by the Italian torpedo boats Climene and Angelo Bassini as well as the corvettes Gabbiano and Euterpe. Sahib was depth charged and damaged so that she was forced to surface. The submarine was then scuttled by her crew who were then picked up by the Italians.

Galiola was on passage from Reggio (Calabria) to Bizerta and was carrying 1000 tons of coal, 700 tons of stores and 37 tons of miscellaneous equipment.

According to Bromage, at 0450 hours he observed a convoy of what appears to be an old French merchant ship escorted by two corvettes and two torpedo boats, one of the Climene and the other of the Generali class. Eight minutes later, four torpedoes individually aimed were fired at the merchant ship from about 2800 yards. One hit was obtained and she sank in five minutes (position: 38°20.5'N, 15°11.9'E). The corvette Gabbiano, which had been narrowly missed by a torpedo, combed the track and at 0633 hours (Italian time was one hour ahead that of HMS Sahib) dropped 21 depth charges, three minutes later two escorting aircraft dropped two bombs. Sahib tried to escape by diving very deep, the needle got stuck at 270 feet so we do not know the exact depth that was reached. At 0636 hours it was the turn of Euterpe to gain contact and deliver 30 depth charges. At 0644 hours, the submarine broke surface at 6500 metres and came under fire from the two corvettes and from Climene. As they rushed to the scene, Sahib was abandoned and the whole crew rescued (six officers and 41 ratings) with the exception of Electrical Artificer 3rd class, Eric. C. England. The submarine sank quickly and there was no time for the Italians to board her. The torpedo boat Bassini was busy picking the survivors of Gagliola and did not take part in the sinking. (12)

Sources

  1. Personal communication
  2. ADM 173/17438
  3. ADM 173/17439
  4. ADM 199/1839
  5. ADM 173/17441
  6. ADM 173/17442
  7. ADM 173/17443
  8. ADM 173/17912
  9. ADM 199/1344
  10. ADM 173/17989
  11. ADM 199/1919
  12. Platon Alexiades

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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