Italian submarines in World War Two

Dessiè (DE)

TypeCoastal / Sea going 
ClassAdua (23) 
Laid down 20 Apr 1936 Cantieri Navale Tosi di Taranto, Taranto
Launched20 Nov 1936
Commissioned14 Apr 1937
End service
Loss date28 Nov 1942
Loss position37° 05'N, 7° 55'E
Fate Sunk on 28th November 1942 north-east of Bone, Algeria, in position 37°05'N, 07°55'E by depth charges and gunfire from the destroyers HMS Quentin and HMAS Quiberon.


CommanderDate fromDate toCommand notes
C.C. Fausto Sestini12 Oct 19392 Jun 1940
C.C. Benedetto Luchetti6 Jun 19401 Jul 1940
C.C. Fausto Sestini2 Jul 194017 Sep 1940
T.V. Ottavio Stampalia18 Sep 194022 Sep 1940
T.V. Adriano Pini23 Sep 194029 May 1942
S.T.V. Remigio Dapiran1 Jun 194213 Jun 1942
C.C. Gino Andreani13 Jun 194217 Jun 1942
T.V. Renato Scandola17 Jun 194213 Aug 1942
T.V. Alpinolo Cinti16 Aug 194219 Aug 1942
T.V. Alberto Gorini4 Sep 194228 Nov 1942

Ships hit

DateCommanderShip hitTypeGRTNat.Loss type
1.12 Aug 1942T.V. Renato ScandolaDeucalion?Cargo ship7,516BritishDamaged?

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Sestini, Fausto31 May 19401057Taranto31 May 19401125Taranto0,5Docked?

Luchetti, Benedetto14 Jun 19401115Taranto14 Jun 19401200Taranto0,5Undocked?

Sestini, Fausto26 Jul 19400752Taranto26 Jul 19401735Taranto62,3Trials.

Sestini, Fausto27 Jul 19401024Taranto27 Jul 19401210Taranto62,3Trials.

Sestini, Fausto31 Jul 19400933Taranto31 Jul 19401835Taranto43,7Trials.

Sestini, Fausto1 Aug 19400625Taranto1 Aug 19401705Taranto61,8Exercises.

Sestini, Fausto2 Aug 19400642Taranto2 Aug 19401215Taranto36,5Exercises.

1Sestini, Fausto3 Aug 19402220Taranto20 Aug 19401630Augusta1683Patrolled southwest of Crete, between 34°20'N and 35°12'N, and between 23°00'E and 24°00'E, with Dagabur in an adjacent area.

Sestini, Fausto22 Aug 19401010Taranto22 Aug 19401030Augusta0,7Docked?

Sestini, Fausto3 Sep 1940Time?Augusta3 Sep 1940Time?Augusta2,5Trials.

Sestini, Fausto6 Sep 19401225Augusta7 Sep 19400418Augusta131,9Trials to test hydrophones, at various depths, with the Porto Palo Station. Unsuccessful experiment.

Sestini, Fausto8 Sep 1940Time?Augusta8 Sep 1940Time?Augusta0,5Docked?

Sestini, Fausto9 Sep 1940Time?Augusta9 Sep 1940Time?Augusta0,5Undocked?

Sestini, Fausto10 Sep 1940Time?Augusta10 Sep 1940Time?Augusta1Trials?

Sestini, Fausto13 Sep 1940Time?Augusta13 Sep 1940Time?Augusta6,4Exercises?.

Stampalia, Ottavio18 Sep 1940Augusta22 Sep 1940AugustaAt Augusta.

Pini, Adriano10 Oct 19401358Augusta10 Oct 19401603Augusta7,8Exercises.

2Pini, Adriano23 Oct 19401015Augusta8 Nov 19400900Augusta1782Patrolled north of Gulf of Sollum, between 31°55'N and 32°40'N, and between 25°35'E and 26°35'E with Settembrini in an adjacent area.
  26 Oct 19401810
(0) Off Cyrenaica.
At 1810 hours, a vessel believed to be an Italian torpedo boat, was sighted at a distance of 1,500 metres. By precaution, Dessié dived. This was actually the submarine Settembrini.
  2 Nov 1940013532° 25'N, 25° 54'EAt 0135 hours, a submarine was briefly sighted in very poor visibility at a distance from 150 to 50 metres. It was believed to have been Luigi Settembrini, but she did not report any sighting and no British submarine operated in the vicinity.

Pini, Adriano21 Nov 19401343Augusta21 Nov 19401620Augusta13Trials.

3Pini, Adriano26 Nov 19400130Augusta1 Dec 19401200Augusta594Patrolled northwest of Malta within 15 miles from 36°30'N, 13°10'E to the westward.
  28 Nov 19400305
0315.5 (e)
36° 30'N, 12° 59'EAt 0302 hours, a naval squadron was sighted at a distance of 4,000 metres. It consisted of three large units proceeding in single file and steering 270° at 20 knots.

At 0305 hours, two torpedoes (one 533mm and one 450 mm) were fired from the stern tubes at a range of 3,500 metres, aimed at the second ship. Dessié dived upon firing and two hits were heard. In fact, both had missed.

The targets were the heavy cruiser HMS York and the light cruisers HMS Gloucester and HMS Glasgow. They also heard one explosion but this was probably a torpedo detonating at the end of its run. It must also be noted that these three ships heard two detonations at 0138 hours in 36°57' N, 11°37' E but these were probably from the attack by the torpedo boat Calliope.

4Pini, Adriano18 Dec 19401455Augusta27 Dec 19401240Augusta731Patrolled east of Malta on a line 10 miles south from 35°50'N, 15°40'E, with Serpente in an adjacent area. Uneventful.

Pini, Adriano16 Jan 19410900Augusta16 Jan 19411145Augusta12,5Exercises.

5Pini, Adriano19 Jan 19411800Augusta1 Feb 19411020Augusta1438Patrolled east of Malta to the Gulf of Sollum. Uneventful except for H.E.

Pini, Adriano17 Feb 19411330Augusta17 Feb 19411625Augusta10,5Exercises.

Pini, Adriano19 Feb 19410920Augusta19 Feb 19411820Augusta10,5Exercises.

Pini, Adriano7 Mar 19410715Augusta8 Mar 19411347Naples262Passage Augusta-Naples.

Pini, Adriano12 Apr 19411011Naples12 Apr 19411851Naples30,5Exercises.

Pini, Adriano18 Apr 19410828Naples18 Apr 19411710Naples59,5Exercises.

Pini, Adriano21 Apr 19410810Naples21 Apr 19411610Naples30Exercises.

Pini, Adriano22 Apr 19410807Naples22 Apr 19411336Naples27,5Exercises.

Pini, Adriano23 Apr 19411500Naples23 Apr 19411530Naples1,5Docked?

Pini, Adriano24 Apr 19411800Naples24 Apr 19411836Naples1,5Undocked?

Pini, Adriano25 Apr 19410906Naples25 Apr 19411612Naples33Exercises.

Pini, Adriano30 Apr 19410802Naples30 Apr 19411112Naples18Exercises.

Pini, Adriano2 May 19410804Naples2 May 19411135Naples30Exercises.

Pini, Adriano3 May 19410925Naples3 May 19410935Naples0,3Docked?

Pini, Adriano5 May 19410750Naples5 May 19410800Naples0,3Undocked?

Pini, Adriano8 May 19410803Naples8 May 19411237Naples31Exercises.

Pini, Adriano10 May 19411018Naples10 May 19411551Naples26,5Exercises.

Pini, Adriano13 May 19411944Naples14 May 19410110Naples32Exercises.

Pini, Adriano16 May 19411009Naples17 May 19411425Augusta277Passage Naples-Augusta.

6Pini, Adriano23 May 19412255Augusta8 Jun 19410850Augusta1725Patrolled between (1) 32°26'N, 27°54'E (2) 32°13'E, 28°13'E (3) 32°38'N, 28°48'E (4) 32°56'N, 28°36'E. On the way, was diverted to investigate the Bay of Messara, south of Crete in 34°50'N, 24°20'E or Grids 2418 and 2433. Heard only H.E.
  6 Jun 1941Time?35° 55'N, 20° 10'EDuring the day (probably morning, time not given), a derelict mine was fired upon (250 rounds of 13mm and 80 rounds of 6.5mm ammunition) but without sinking it.

Pini, Adriano26 Jun 19411007Augusta26 Jun 19411210Augusta6Exercises.

Pini, Adriano2 Jul 19411045Augusta2 Jul 19411347Augusta18Exercises.

Pini, Adriano4 Jul 19410800Augusta4 Jul 19411142Augusta21,5Exercises.

Pini, Adriano6 Jul 19410800Augusta6 Jul 19411137Augusta18Exercises.

Pini, Adriano7 Jul 19411525Augusta7 Jul 19411800Augusta9Exercises.

Pini, Adriano14 Jul 19410855Augusta14 Jul 19411141Augusta17Exercises.

7Pini, Adriano23 Jul 19411215Augusta27 Jul 19410910Augusta473Patrolled west of Malta within 15 miles from 36°30'N, 13°06'E or about 38 miles north of Linosa. Uneventful.

Pini, Adriano30 Jul 19412005Augusta3 Aug 19410900Leros618Passage Augusta-Leros. Uneventful. HMS Unique, patrolling near Augusta, was told of her departure from an ULTRA decrypt but was a little too far North to intercept.

Pini, Adriano20 Aug 19410824Leros20 Aug 19411220Leros30,5Exercises.

Pini, Adriano29 Aug 19410800Leros29 Aug 19411157Leros25Exercises.

8Pini, Adriano5 Sep 19411315Leros9 Sep 19410544Leros360Patrolled near Kandeluisa, between 35°50'N and 36°05'N, and between 26°43'E and 27°00'E. Ran aground due to an error in navigation.
  8 Sep 19410930
(0) Makri Sophrano Islet (southernmost of the Sopkrana Nisia group).
At 0930 hours, due to an error in navigation, Dessié hit a rock with some damage to her bow. T.V. Adriano Pini and two others received a reprimand.

Pini, Adriano10 Sep 19411500Leros10 Sep 19411522Leros0,3Docked?

Pini, Adriano17 Sep 19411129Leros17 Sep 19411150Leros0,3Undocked?

Pini, Adriano19 Sep 19410815Leros19 Sep 19411142Leros21,5Exercises.

9Pini, Adriano20 Sep 19410733Leros21 Sep 19410730Leros168Sailed for patrol between Cyprus, Egypt and the Palestinian coast, but turned back when it was realised she was leaking fuel (British Intelligence was aware of it through an ULTRA intercept).

Pini, Adriano21 Sep 19411005Leros21 Sep 19411112Leros3Trials.

Pini, Adriano23 Sep 19410733Leros23 Sep 19411221Leros27Trials.

Pini, Adriano25 Sep 19411312Leros25 Sep 19411333Leros0,3Docked?

Pini, Adriano27 Sep 19411012Leros27 Sep 19411031Leros0,3Undocked?

Pini, Adriano30 Sep 19410839Leros30 Sep 19411202Leros27Exercises.

Pini, Adriano1 Oct 19410813Leros1 Oct 19411207Leros28Exercises.

Pini, Adriano2 Oct 19410814Leros2 Oct 19411157Leros21Exercises.

Pini, Adriano5 Oct 19411055Leros5 Oct 19411114Leros0,3Docked?

Pini, Adriano9 Oct 19410926Leros9 Oct 19410947Leros0,3Undocked?

Pini, Adriano11 Oct 19410809Leros11 Oct 19411223Leros31,5Exercises.

Pini, Adriano20 Oct 19411353Leros20 Oct 19411415Leros0,3Docked?

Pini, Adriano25 Oct 19411034Leros25 Oct 19411121Leros1,5Undocked?

Pini, Adriano27 Oct 19410810Leros27 Oct 19411130Leros31,5Exercises.

Pini, Adriano1 Nov 19410824Leros1 Nov 19411217Leros21Exercises.

Pini, Adriano4 Nov 19410859Leros4 Nov 19411208Leros21Exercises.

Pini, Adriano13 Nov 19410806Leros13 Nov 19411130Leros21Exercises.

Pini, Adriano29 Nov 19410805Leros29 Nov 19411155Leros20Exercises.

10Pini, Adriano3 Dec 19411150Leros15 Dec 19410735Leros935Defensive patrol near Leros, between Nikaria Channel and latitude 38°00'N, and between 25°20'E and 26°00'E.
  7 Dec 19410430
(0) Off Cape Pappas.
At 0430 hours, a vessel was sighted at a distance of 12,000 metres, followed by another at 0457 hours. Dessié closed to investigate. These proved to be the Italian Bucintoro (1,273 GRT, built 1909) escorted by the auxiliary Canogli on their way to Leros. They exchanged signals and closed to voice range to ascertain their respective identities.

Pini, Adriano17 Dec 19410900Leros17 Dec 19410930Leros0,5Docked?

Pini, Adriano23 Dec 19411050Leros23 Dec 19411115Leros0,5Undocked?

11Pini, Adriano4 Jan 19421700Leros6 Jan 19420540Leros275Sailed for patrol off Tobruk in Grids 6285 and 3485 but turned back because of defects. Uneventful.

Pini, Adriano8 Jan 19420845Leros8 Jan 19421045Leros11Exercises.

Pini, Adriano11 Jan 19420800Leros17 Jan 19420815Augusta806Passage Leros-Augusta. Initially, on 10/1, the route was established as follows: (a) Point E of Stampalia (b) 36°06'N, 26°00'E (c) 36°05'N, 24°10'E (d) 35°45'N, 23°30'E, (e) 35°45'N, 23°00'E and (f) Point A1 of Augusta) then was altered to (a) Kaso Straits (b) 35°00'N, 26°44'E (c) 33°40'N, 26°20'E (d) 34°10'N, 22°40'E (e) Point A1 of Augusta. Uneventful.

Pini, Adriano18 Jan 19421040Augusta19 Jan 19421600Naples316Passage Augusta-Naples.

Pini, Adriano1 Apr 19421016Naples1 Apr 19421800Naples57Trials.

Pini, Adriano7 Apr 19420947Naples7 Apr 19421520Naples31Trials.

Pini, Adriano10 Apr 19420843Naples10 Apr 19421735Naples60Trials.

Pini, Adriano11 Apr 19421430Naples11 Apr 19421927Naples38,5Exercises with torpedo boat Achille Papa.

Pini, Adriano13 Apr 19420845Naples13 Apr 19422304Naples92Trials.

Pini, Adriano19 Apr 19420912Naples19 Apr 19422014Naples25Gyrocompass tests.

Pini, Adriano20 Apr 19421054Naples20 Apr 19421420Naples22,5Trials.

Pini, Adriano22 Apr 19421243Naples22 Apr 19421706Naples31Trials.

Pini, Adriano23 Apr 19420930Naples23 Apr 19421029Naples1,5Docked.

Pini, Adriano23 Apr 19421909Naples23 Apr 19421938Naples1,5Undocked.

Pini, Adriano24 Apr 19422042Naples25 Apr 19421843Trapani210Passage Naples-Trapani.

12Pini, Adriano4 May 19422100Trapani23 May 19420730Trapani2016,5Patrolled in Western Mediterranean, between 38°00'N and 38°40'N, and between 02°40'E and 03°00'E. Uneventful. Heard only H.E. and distant explosions.
  5 May 1942122138° 26'N, 9° 46'EAt 1221 hours, a derelict mine was sunk after an expenditure of 170 rounds of 13.2mm and 13 rounds of 9mm ammunition.
  22 May 1942175038° 21'N, 11° 00'EAt 1750 hours, a derelict mine was sunk after an expenditure of 90 rounds of 13.2mm ammunition.

Dapiran, Remigio8 Jun 19420729Trapani8 Jun 19421305Trapani21Trials.

13Andreani, Gino13 Jun 19420843Trapani17 Jun 19421635Trapani514Patrolled near La Galite, between 36°00'N and 36°00'N, and between 13°20'E and 13°40'E, on a patrol line with Onice and Aradam.

13bScandola, Renato18 Jun 19420000Trapani21 Jun 19421705Augusta586Patrolled near La Galite, between 37°20'N and 37°45'N, and between 09°40'E and 10°20'E, but was recalled. Uneventful. At 0545 hours on the 21st, the torpedo boat Abba was met and escorted Dessiè, Aciaio and Alagi back to Augusta.
  19 Jun 19421920
(0) Near La Galite.
At 1920 hours, a Catalina aircraft was sighted at a distance of 8,000 metres. The aircraft did not sight the submarine and Dessiè remained on the surface.

Scandola, Renato26 Jun 19420031Augusta27 Jun 19420655Trapani297Passage Augusta-Trapani.

Scandola, Renato1 Jul 19420834Trapani1 Jul 19421510Trapani44Trials.

14Scandola, Renato16 Jul 19420130Trapani27 Jul 19421743Trapani829Patrolled in area K.2 (off Ras Mustafa), between 36°53'N and 36°57'N, and between 11°12'E and the Tunisian coast. Uneventful.
  18 Jul 19421755
(0) Off Kelibia (Tunisia).
At 1755 hours, the Italian steamer Saturno (5,022 GRT, built 1914) was sighted proceeding independently to Tripoli. T.V. Scandola observed that the torpedo-boat escort (Orione) was not present.

Scandola, Renato4 Aug 19421403Trapani4 Aug 19421810TrapaniExercises.

Scandola, Renato10 Aug 19420856Trapani10 Aug 19421152Trapani25Trials.

15Scandola, Renato11 Aug 19421220Trapani14 Aug 19420830Trapani352Sailed with Ascianghi and Alagi for patrol, between 37°20'N and 38°00'N, and between 10°00'E and 10°40'E, in the Sicilian Channel and off the Tunisian coast to operate against the PEDESTAL convoy.
  12 Aug 19421938
1956 or 2058? (e)
37° 38'N, 10° 25'EAt 1900 hours, the smokes of the convoy were sighted on the horizon. Ten minutes later, fourteen merchant ships and ten destroyers could be counted. They were steering 110° at 14 knots.

At 1938 hours, four torpedoes (533mm) were fired at 3-second intervals from the bow tubes, at a distance of 1,800 metres. After 100 seconds, two hits were heard. Between 1956 and 2127 hours, Dessié was hunted and escaped to a depth of 90 metres; 120 depth charges were counted, but none were near enough to cause damage. There was no opportunity for an attack with the stern tubes as it was hoped.

There is no absolute certainty that Dessié hit anything with this salvo. Some accounts credit her with hitting Deucalion (7,516 GRT, built 1930) but she was near-missed at 1315 hours by a bomb and damaged. Later, she was hit by a torpedo bomber and sunk at 2120 hours in 270° - Cani Rocks - 5 miles. Brisbane Star is also reported to have been torpedoed by aircraft at 2058 hours. Was she damaged earlier? There was great confusion in these hours and it is difficult to properly assess what transpired.

At 2212 hours, Dessié surfaced and witnessed two vessels on fire.
  13 Aug 1942175537° 35'N, 10° 24'E
(0) Off Tunisian coast.
At 1755 hours, Dessié was attacked in error by four German Junker 88 bombers despite her frantic signals. They each dropped four bombs. They missed by about 50 metres.

At 1935 hours, the submarine was attacked once again by German aircraft, this time she was narrowly straddled and damaged by near-misses. T.V. Scandola, three officers and three ratings were wounded, one rating was killed. The submarine had to abort her patrol.

Cinti, Alpinolo18 Aug 19421400Trapani19 Aug 19421620Messina260Passage Trapani-Messina.

Gorini, Alberto13 Sep 19421515Messina13 Sep 19421915Messina7,5Trials.

Gorini, Alberto27 Sep 19421330Messina27 Sep 19421741Messina7,5Trials.

Gorini, Alberto28 Sep 19421510Messina28 Sep 19421810Messina16Trials.

Gorini, Alberto29 Sep 19420813Messina29 Sep 19420905Messina3Trials.

Gorini, Alberto30 Sep 19420736Messina30 Sep 19421145Messina13Exercises.

Gorini, Alberto4 Oct 19420745Messina4 Oct 19421124Messina16Exercises.

Gorini, Alberto14 Oct 19420808Messina14 Oct 19421130Messina16Exercises.

Gorini, Alberto16 Oct 19421335Messina16 Oct 19421620Messina12Exercises.

Gorini, Alberto23 Oct 19420757Messina23 Oct 19421210Messina18Exercises.

Gorini, Alberto1 Nov 19421400Messina1 Nov 19421610MessinaExercises.

16Gorini, Alberto2 Nov 19422115Messina6 Nov 19420800TobrukSupply mission to Tobruk (19.5 tons of boxed ammunition). At 0430 hours on the 5th, she was to pass through 34°02'N, 22°12'E.
  4 Nov 1942075235° 55'N, 21° 00'EAt 0752 hours, an aircraft was sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  4 Nov 1942122035° 50'N, 21° 10'EAt 1220 hours, an aircraft was sighted at a distance of 8,000 metres and the submarine dived.

16bGorini, Alberto6 Nov 19421738Tobruk11 Nov 19420720MessinaReturn trip from supply mission to Tobruk, via 34°30'N, 22°20'E at 1200/7 then on course 297° through 36°36'N, 17°20'E.
  8 Nov 1942085534° 40'N, 21° 40'EAt 0855 hours, an aircraft was sighted at a distance of 8,000 metres and the submarine dived.

Gorini, Alberto14 Nov 19421200Messina14 Nov 19421620MessinaExercises.

17Gorini, Alberto18 Nov 19420730Messina28 Nov 19421400Sunk with all handsSailed for patrol off Philippeville via (1) 39°00'N, 15°15'E (Point M2) (2) 38°50'N, 13°10'E (3) 39°00'N, 10°20'E to area between 37°00'N and 37°20'N, and between 07°40'E and 08°00'E then orderered to investigate Bougie. She acknowledged reception of a message at 1912 hours on the 27th.

She had been advised, on 1st December 1942, to attack the French Eleonore Fresnel (150 GRT, lighthouse supply vessel) with naval personnel who had escaped from Toulon but she reached Algiers ca. 3rd December.

On 30th November, she was to leave her patrol at 1800 hours on the 30th, to return to Naples via (1) 37°20'N, 08°00'E at 1830/30 (2) 39°00'N, 10°20'E at 1100/1 (3) 40°00'N, 11°20'E at 1800/1 (4) Point C (Naples) at 0700/2. Sunk off Bone by the destroyers HMAS Quiberon and HMS Quentin in 37°04'N, 07°49'E (five officers and forty-two other ranks lost, no survivors).
  28 Nov 1942
1254-1533 (e)

(e) 37° 05'N, 7° 55'E
At 1212 hours, the destroyer HMS Quentin sailed from Bône, following a report from an aircraft that a submarine was sighted in the vicinity at 1145 hours. She was later joined by the destroyer HMAS Quiberon who sailed at 1318 hours.

At 1250 hours, the destroyer picked up an ASDIC contact at 2,000 yards.
At 1254 hours, ten depth charges were dropped, set from 100 and 225 feet.
At 1308 hours, ten depth charges were dropped, set from 150 and 385 feet.
At 1330 hours, ten depth charges were dropped, set from 350 and 550 feet (bubbles and oil were sighted).
At 1359 hours, ten depth charges were dropped, set from 50 and 140 feet.
At 1407 hours, ten depth charges were dropped, set from 150 and 385 feet.
At 1525 hours, HMAS Quiberon joined in the attack by dropping five depth charges set at 385 feet (more bubbles and a black object were seen).
At 1533 hours, HMS Quentin dropped a final pattern of ten depth charges set at 350 and 550 feet.

At 1356 hours, the U-boat broke surface, the bow emerging vertically. The bow disappeared and reappeared until the entire boat was visible on the surface. This lasted only a minute and a half before the submarine slid underwater, stern first, with the bow disappearing vertically. The destroyers had opened fire with 4,7" guns and smaller weapons, without scoring a hit. None of the submarine's crew appeared on deck or on the bridge.

There is little doubt that this was Dessié. There were no survivors. T.V. Alberto Gorini, four officers and forty-two other ranks perished.

121 entries. 117 total patrol entries (17 marked as war patrols) and 16 events.

All Italian submarines