Italian submarines in World War Two

Scirè (SR)

TypeCoastal / Sea going 
ClassAdua (23) 
Laid down 30 Jan 1937 Odero-Terni-Orlando, Muggiano
Launched6 Jan 1938
Commissioned25 Apr 1938
End service
Loss date10 Aug 1942
Loss position33° 11'N, 34° 55'E
Fate Sunk on 10th August 1942 in 33°11'N, 34°55'E (off Haifa) by depth charges from armed trawler HMT Islay.


CommanderDate fromDate toCommand notes
T.V. Riccardo Lesca17 Oct 193823 Jun 1940
T.V. Adriano Pini24 Jun 194011 Sep 1940
T.V. Antonio Ursano3 Sep 19405 Sep 1940
C.C. Junio Valerio Borghese11 Sep 194029 Dec 1940
T.V. Antonio Ursano29 Dec 194015 Feb 1941
T.V. Teucle Meneghini2 Feb 19415 Feb 1941
C.C. Junio Valerio Borghese15 Feb 194128 May 1942
C.C. Bruno Zelik24 May 194210 Aug 1942

Ships hit

DateCommanderShip hitTypeGRTNat.Loss type
1.10 Jul 1940T.V. Adriano PiniCheikCargo ship1,057Vichy FrenchSunk
2.20 Sep 1941C.C. Junio Valerio BorgheseFiona ShellOiling hulk2,444BritishSunk
3.21 Sep 1941C.C. Junio Valerio BorgheseDenbydaleTanker8,145BritishDamaged
4.22 Sep 1941C.C. Junio Valerio BorgheseDurhamCargo ship10,893BritishDamaged
5.18 Dec 1941C.F. Junio Valerio BorgheseHMS ValiantBattleship31,100BritishDamaged
6.18 Dec 1941C.F. Junio Valerio BorgheseHMS JervisDestroyer1,695BritishDamaged
7.19 Dec 1941C.F. Junio Valerio BorgheseHMS Queen ElizabethBattleship32,700BritishDamaged
8.20 Dec 1941C.F. Junio Valerio BorgheseSagonaTanker7,554NorwegianDamaged

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Lesca, Riccardo10 Jun 1940La Spezia10 Jun 1940La SpeziaAt La Spezia.

Lesca, Riccardo14 Jun 19400720La Spezia14 Jun 19401400La Spezia48Exercises.

1Lesca, Riccardo14 Jun 19402100La Spezia19 Jun 19400835La Spezia245,5Patrolled 125° - Cape Noli - 10 miles, between Cape Noli and Cape dell'Arma (French border), to attack traffic coming from Toulon.

Pini, Adriano26 Jun 19400734La Spezia26 Jun 19401500La Spezia49Exercises.

Pini, Adriano26 Jun 19402235La Spezia27 Jun 19402035La Maddalena214Passage La Spezia-La Maddalena with Argo and Neghelli.

2Pini, Adriano3 Jul 19401412La Spezia6 Jul 19402050La Maddalena550Sailed with Neghelli and Diaspro and patrolled in 37°31'N, 08°25'E or 310º - 110 miles from Asinara Point. Uneventful.

3Pini, Adriano10 Jul 19400030La Maddalena12 Jul 19400500La Maddalena215Sailed for patrol with Argo, Iride and Diaspro initially 310° - Punta Scorno - 80 miles then 310° - Asinara Point - 54 miles.
  10 Jul 19401610
(0) West of Corsica.
At 1610 hours, a vessel was sighted at a distance of 16,000 metres on a southerly course at 10 knots.

At 1659 hours, Scirè had closed enough to recognise it as a 6,000-ton French ship but without being able to read the name and the attack was aborted.
  10 Jul 19402030
1930 (e)
41° 40'N, 7° 23'E
(0) 310° - Asinara Point - 54 miles (west of Corsica).
At 2000 hours, a vessel was sighted at a distance of 7,000 metres on a southerly course. As she appeared armed and her flag could not be determined, T.V. Adriano Pini decided to attack.

At 2030 hours, a single torpedo (533mm) was fired from a stern tube at a distance of 600 metres. The torpedo struck the ship amidship and she sank immediately.

This was the French Cheik (1,057 GRT, built 1920) on passage from Marseilles to Algiers carrying 1,150 tons of cement.

At 2033 hours, the submarine surfaced and picked up ten survivors, including Lieutenant Lenci, the only surviving officer of a crew of twenty-three.

In 1945, the French Government wanted to prosecute T.V. Pini for war crimes as he had sunk the French ship without warning after the Italo-French Armistice. The British government opposed the motion as it was felt that its own submarines had also sunk merchant ships without warning and the case would be weak. Nevertheless, the attack by Scirè on a vessel in an area where most those encountered would likely be French or Italian left little doubt that Pini should have been more careful in choosing his targets.

4Pini, Adriano31 Jul 19402230La Maddalena1 Aug 19401512Cagliari167Sailed with Argo and Neghelli with brief stop at Cagliari to pick up her sailing orders before proceeding for patrol.

4bPini, Adriano1 Aug 19401535Cagliari11 Aug 19401055La Maddalena1228Patrolled south of Balearic Islands in 37°20'N, 06°00'E and 06;20'E, on a patrol line with Argo and Neghelli. Uneventful.

Ursano, Antonio3 Sep 19401845La Maddalena4 Sep 19401415La Spezia205Passage La Maddalena-La Spezia.

Pini, Adriano6 Sep 19401250La Spezia6 Sep 19401810La Spezia23,2Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio17 Sep 19400800La Spezia17 Sep 19401500La Spezia18,5Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio19 Sep 19400740La Spezia19 Sep 19401750La Spezia36Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio20 Sep 19400715La Spezia20 Sep 19401830La Spezia61,5Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio21 Sep 19400820La Spezia21 Sep 19401238La Spezia25Exercises.

5Borghese, Junio Valerio24 Sep 19400540La Spezia3 Oct 19401215La Maddalena1646Sailed with human torpedoes to attack Gibraltar, but was recalled 50 miles short of her objective when it was learned that Force H had sailed. The teams were T.V. Gino Birindelli/2° C.Pal. Damos Paccagnini, Cap. G.N. Teseo Tesei/Sg. Pal. Alcide Pedretti and S.T.V. Luigi Durand de la Penne/2° C.Pal. Emilio Bianchi plus in reserve: Ten. G.N. Gian Gastone Bertozzi/2° C. Pal. Enrico Ario Lazzari.

Borghese, Junio Valerio8 Oct 19401430La Maddalena9 Oct 19400845La Spezia207Passage La Maddalena-La Spezia.

Borghese, Junio Valerio19 Oct 19401500La Spezia19 Oct 19401755La Spezia25Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio20 Oct 19400924La Spezia20 Oct 19401205La Spezia3Exercises.

6Borghese, Junio Valerio21 Oct 19400515La Spezia3 Nov 19401930La Spezia2057Operated off Gibraltar (Operation BG 2). Launched three human torpedoes (she carried eight operators, two of them in reserve). Borghese received the Medaglia D'Oro al Valor Militare.
  27 Oct 19400210
(0) Off Almina Point.
At 0210 hours, a destroyer was sighted astern at a distance of 800 metres, apparently proceeding from Europa Point to Almina Point at slow speed.

The submarine crash-dived.
  27 Oct 19402345
(0) Off Almina Point.
At 2345 hours, a destroyer was sighted steering 080° at high speed.

The submarine crash-dived.
  28 Oct 19400000-0600
(0) Off Almina Point.
During the night, four destroyers were sighted on an A/S hunt. The submarine managed to escape by stopping all motors and letting herself drift with NE current.
  29 Oct 19400245-2035
(0) Off Gibraltar.
At 0245 hours, with batteries fully charged and air completely replenished, the submarine submerged and proceeded to enter the Straits of Gibraltar at 3,5 knots at a depth of 70 metres.

At 0410 hours, a destroyer passed exactly above the submarine, her propellers quite audible to the submariners' ears.

At 2035 hours, the submarine surfaced and proceeded on electric motors toward Gibraltar.
  30 Oct 19400121-0239
(0) Gibraltar.
At 0121 hours, the submarine reached the point established in the plan, and bottomed in 10 metres, 350 metres from the Spanish coast. The SLC operators began to prepare for the exit.

At 0219 hours, the submarine surfaced. Three minutes later, the six operators and the two reserve operators and their assistants (T.G.N. Gastone Bertozzi and Sergente Palombaro Ario Lazzari) exited and the submarine submerged again.

At 0239 hours, outside noises made it clear that the three SLCs had left.

At 0257 hours, Scirè surfaced and recovered the two reserve operators. The submarine began the return trip. Breathing was becoming difficult and on three occasion she had to surface to regenerate the air but she reached La Spezia without further difficulties.

The SLC attack failed. Only one torpedo (T.V. Gino Birindelli/2° Capo Palombaro Damos Paccagnini) managed to enter Gibraltar. The torpedo failed them when they were closing on the battleship HMS Barham. At 0705 hours, Birindelli was captured on the commercial mole and Paccagnini was picked up by armed the trawler HMT Empyrean. Their torpedo exploded at 0817 hours on the 30th, but caused no damage. The other two pairs, manned by Capitano G.N. Teseo Tesei/Sergente Palomboro Alcide Pedretti and by S.T.V. Luigi Durand de La Penne/2° Capo Palombaro Emilio Bianchi, were plagued by defects. They failed to penetrate the base and escaped to Spain.

Borghese, Junio Valerio9 Dec 19400942La Spezia9 Dec 19401633La Spezia51Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio15 Dec 19401430La Spezia16 Dec 19401615La Spezia82Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio17 Dec 19400920La Spezia18 Dec 19401630La Spezia86Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio26 Jan 19410936La Spezia26 Jan 19411343La Spezia29Exercises.

7Meneghini, Teucle2 Feb 19412152La Spezia5 Feb 19411307La Spezia236Patrolled off French coast, from 43°40'N, 09°00'E searching 20 miles south and 20 miles on 240°. Sighted only a small vessel proceeding from Cape Corse to Hyères Island.

Ursano, Antonio7 Feb 19411237La Spezia7 Feb 19411645La Spezia33Exercises, escorted by the torpedo boat La Masa.

Ursano, Antonio11 Feb 19411314La Spezia11 Feb 19411520La Spezia5Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio20 Feb 19411003La Spezia20 Feb 19411200La Spezia7Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio22 Feb 19411500La Spezia22 Feb 19411647La Spezia5Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio7 Apr 19410921La Spezia7 Apr 19411510La Spezia9,1Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio8 Apr 19410920La Spezia8 Apr 19411540La Spezia32Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio9 Apr 19410925La Spezia9 Apr 19411442La Spezia4Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio11 Apr 19410818La Spezia11 Apr 19411722La Spezia56Exercises, escorted by the auxiliaries Crotone and Capodistria and tug 55.

Borghese, Junio Valerio12 Apr 19410809La Spezia12 Apr 19411355La Spezia5Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio16 Apr 19410910La Spezia16 Apr 19411845La Spezia28Exercises with the tug Favignana.

Borghese, Junio Valerio18 Apr 19410845La Spezia18 Apr 19411133La Spezia6Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio22 Apr 19410805La Spezia22 Apr 19411837La Spezia62Exercises with midget submarine CB 1 and the tugs Torre Annunziata, Capodistria and Crotone.

Borghese, Junio Valerio23 Apr 19410710La Spezia23 Apr 19411720La Spezia66Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio5 May 19411045La Spezia5 May 19411455La Spezia2Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio5 May 19411930La Spezia6 May 19410808La Spezia1Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio6 May 19411134La Spezia6 May 19411425La Spezia2Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio6 May 19412016La Spezia7 May 19410742La Spezia2Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio8 May 19411410La Spezia8 May 19411945La Spezia19Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio9 May 19411100La Spezia9 May 19411505La Spezia2Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio9 May 19412005La Spezia10 May 19410808La Spezia8Exercises.

8Borghese, Junio Valerio15 May 19412000La Spezia23 May 19412345CadizSailed and crossed the Gibraltar Straits on 22nd May, to collect a Decima X.Mas team at Cadiz, from the supply ship Fulgor, to attack Gibraltar (Operation BG 3). The team consisted of nine men: T.V. Catalano, Sottocapo palombaro (diver) Giannoni, T.V. Vesco, palombaro Franchi, S,T.V. Visintini, Sottocapo palombaro Magro, Tenente G.N. Marceglia, Sottocapo palombaro Schergat, Capitano medico Falconata.
  23 May 19412345-0430/24
(0) Cadiz harbour.
At 2300 hours, Scirè secretly entered the harbour of Cadiz and at 2345 hours came alongside the supply ship Fulgor (known as Base "C") to collect nine divers of the Decima Flottiglia Mas. They had been flown to Spain on 14th May 1941. They were:

T.V. Decio Catalano
Sottocapo Palombaro (diver) Giuseppe Giannoni
T.V. Amedeo Vesco
Palombaro Amelio Franchi
S.T.V. Licio Visentini
Sottocapo Palombaro Giovanni Magro
Tenente G.N. Antonio Marceglia
Sottocapo Palombaro Spartaco Schergat
Capitano Medico Bruno Falconata.

8bBorghese, Junio Valerio24 May 19410430Cadiz31 May 19411855La Spezia2111Sailed with nine members of Decima Flottiglia Mas. Operated off Gibraltar and sent human torpedo attacks (Operation B.G. 3). The team members are T.V. Decio Catalano and S.C. Pal. Giuseppe Giannoni, T.V. Amedeo Vescoand, S.C. Pal. Amelio Franchi and S.T.V. Licio Visintini and S.C. Pal. Giovanni Magro. In reserve: Ten. G.N. Antonio Marceglia and S.C. Pal. Spartaco Schergat [mileage is for round trip].
  26 May 19412358
(0) Off Gibraltar.
At 2320 hours, Scirè had bottomed in 10 metres of water and the SLC operators began their preparations.

At 2330 hours, to the great disappointment of the operators, a signal from SUPERMARINA arrived informing them that the targets were no longer in port. The battlecruiser HMS Renown and the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal had sailed on 24th May to hunt the Bismarck.

At 2358 hours, the submarine surfaced, the operators exited and, two minutes later the submarine submerged to enable the departure of the SLCs.

At 0037 hours, the submarine surfaced to recover the two reserve operators and steered for La Spezia.

The operation failed again. The SLC piloted by Vesco broke down and had to be sunk. Soon after, that of Marceglia also had to be abandoned. Only Visintini attempted to attach his two charges to a tanker, but his maiale sank and the attempt was abandoned. The six men swam to the shore and were assisted by the local Italian organization. They soon rejoined Italy.

Borghese, Junio Valerio8 Jul 19410855La Spezia8 Jul 19411300La Spezia4Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio14 Jul 19410720La Spezia14 Jul 19411937La Spezia23,5Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary Torre Annunziata.

Borghese, Junio Valerio16 Jul 19410817La Spezia16 Jul 19411332La Spezia2Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio13 Aug 19410840La Spezia13 Aug 19411748La Spezia28Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio22 Aug 19411453La Spezia23 Aug 19411255La Spezia57Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio1 Sep 19411224La Spezia1 Sep 19411552La Spezia2Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio1 Sep 19412019La Spezia2 Sep 19410015La Spezia11Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio9 Sep 19411141La Spezia9 Sep 19411516La Spezia4Exercises.
  9 Sep 19412335
(0) Off S. Bartolomeo.
At 2335 hours, a defective SLC was launched to be repaired.

9Borghese, Junio Valerio9 Sep 19412250La Spezia10 Sep 19410015La Spezia2Sailed for mission, but turned back because of a defective S.L.C., which was launched off S. Bartolomeo to be repaired.
  9 Sep 19412335
(0) Off S. Bartolomeo.
At 2335 hours, a defective SLC was launched to be repaired.
  10 Sep 19411748
(0) Off La Spezia breakwater.
At 1748 hours, Scirè stopped to recover the repaired SLC.

9bBorghese, Junio Valerio10 Sep 19411730La Spezia17 Sep 19412338CadizPassage to Cadiz, to pick up the Decima Flottiglia MAS operators from the supply ship Fulgor to attack Gibraltar (Operation BG.4). Several neutral vessels were sighted.
  10 Sep 19411748
(0) Off La Spezia breakwater.
At 1748 hours, Scirè stopped to recover the repaired SLC.
  17 Sep 19412338
(0) Cadiz harbour.
At 2135 hours, Scirè surfaced and proceeded toward the entrance of Cadiz.

At 2338 hours, she came alongside Fulgor and embarked the nine operators of the Decima Flottiglia Mas. They were:

T.V. Decio Catalano
Sottocapo Palombaro (diver) Giuseppe Giannoni
T.V. Amedeo Vesco
S.C. Palombaro Antonio Zozzoli
T.V. Licio Visentini
S.C. Palombaro Giovanni Magro
Capitano G.N. Antonio Marceglia
Palombaro Spartaco Schergat
S.T. Medico Giorgio Spaccarelli

At 0430 hours, Scirè sailed from Cadiz.

9cBorghese, Junio Valerio18 Sep 19410430Cadiz25 Sep 19412350La Spezia1994Operated off Gibraltar and launched human torpedoes (Operation BG 4). Several neutral vessels were sighted [mileage is for round trip].
  20 Sep 19410030-0110
(0) Gibraltar.
At 0030 hours, Scirè surfaced for the operators to exit.

At 0052 hours, Scirè submerged to 4.5 metres to allow the departure of the SLCs.

At 0107 hours, the SLCs were heard on the hydrophones to leave.

At 0110 hours, the submarine surfaced to recover the two reserve operators and steered for La Spezia. She was forced to dive by an enemy destroyer at 0637 hours on the 21st, but managed to evade it.

The Vesco/Zozzoli team attacked the Fiona Shell (2,444 GRT, built 1892) who was sunk with one casualty: a Spanish stoker. The two men reached the shore and were released after being briefly arrested by the Spanish police. The Catalono/Giannoni attacked the Durham (10,893 GRT, built 1934) who had to be beached to prevent her from sinking. Visintini and Magro attacked the tanker Denbydale (8,145 GRT, built 1941) who was seriously damaged, all men reached the shore and were recovered. The explosions occurred at 0742 hours (Denbydale), 0816 hours (Fiona Shell) and 0817 hours (Durham).

Following this attack, Borghese was promoted to Commander and the six men received the Medaglia d'Argento. On the afternoon of 8th October a Spanish diver recovered parts of a torpedo in position 346.5° - North Mole Light - 11 cables, a second one was recovered by Spanish divers on the morning of 13th October in 342° - North Mole Light - 12.6 miles.

In a memo dated 12th November 1941, British Naval Intelligence raised the possibility that the attack had come from one of the two Italian ships at Algeciras as big boxes were loaded on one of them prior to the attack.

Borghese, Junio Valerio5 Nov 19410910La Spezia5 Nov 19411612La Spezia57Exercises.

Borghese, Junio Valerio28 Nov 19410910La Spezia28 Nov 19411830La Spezia31Exercises, escorted by La Masa.

Borghese, Junio Valerio2 Dec 19411010La Spezia2 Dec 19411430La Spezia3Exercises.

10Borghese, Junio Valerio3 Dec 19411800La Spezia9 Dec 19412100Leros (Porto Lago)Passage La Spezia-Leros (Porto Lago) for special operation at Alexandria. She carried three SLCs (221, 222 and 223) and ten divers (including four reserve divers) and a medical doctor. The men were embarked at Leros.
  5 Dec 19412110
(0) Off Taormina (Sicily).
At 2110 hours, an enemy submarine was sighted at a distance of 6 miles. She answered her signals with a white light. She took a parallel course to Scirè at 2120 hours at a distance of 5,000 meters. The submarines HMS P 34 (later renamed Ultimatum), HMS Upright and HMS Unique were in the general area, but do not appear to have been involved, although they may have been stationed especially to hunt for U-boats.
  8 Dec 19411050 (IT)
1050 (e)
At 1050 hours, an enemy three-engine aircraft was sighted, which made a recognition signal. Scirè made a signal (green light) but was not answered.

According to Admiral Cunningham's diaries, a RAF reconnaissance plane (possibly a Blenheim bomber of 203 Squadron, 201 Group) sighted the submarine at 1050 hours on the 9th (Scirè gives the same time but dates it as the 8th), correctly described it as similar to Gondar and apparently equipped with "one-man submarines".

10bBorghese, Junio Valerio14 Dec 19410700Leros (Porto Lago)21 Dec 19411900Leros (Porto Lago)Operated off Alexandria and launched human torpedoes (Operation G.A.3).
  18 Dec 19412047
(0) 356° - Ras El Tin Light - 1.3 mile
At 1840 hours, Scirè was at the bottom, in only 17 metres of water, in a position 356° - Ras El Tin - 1.3 mile. She then moved slightly southward.

At 2047 hours, the submarine surfaced. The six operators and the two reservists came out. The sea was very calm. The submarine bottomed at 15 metres.

At 2128 hours, the submarine surfaced to recover the two reservists Ten. D.M. Feltrinelli and S.T. Medico Spaccarelli (Medical Officer), but the latter was brought in unconscious, showing very serious symptoms of asphyxia. He was only revived at 0100 hours after vigorous artificial respiration attempts.

At 2133 hours, the submarine submerged and steered for Leros.

The three teams entered the harbour of Alexandria, assisted by the fact the boom was left opened for the return of the 15th Cruiser Squadron. Della Penne reported almost rammed by the leading destroyer of a group of three entering harbour. We know that HMS Sikh, HMS Maori, HMS Legion arrived at that time. They managed to sink their SLC next to the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capo G.N. Antonio Marceglia and Spartaco Schergat with SLC.223) and HMS Valiant (T.V. Luigi Durand della Penne and Capo 3rd class Emilio Bianchi with SLC.221) and the tanker Sagona (7,554 GRT, built 1929) (Capo A.N. Vincenzo Martellotta and Mario Marino with SLC.222).

At 0547 hours, an explosion under the stern of the tanker Sagona seriously damaged her and the destroyer HMS Jervis' bow suffered damages from the same explosion.

At 0606 hours, the battleship HMS Valiant suffered a massive explosion under her "A" turret and sank in shallow waters.

At 0610 hours, the battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth [flagship of Admiral Cunningham) was rocked by an explosion in the boiler room and also sank in shallow waters. The six Italian divers were all captured.

SUPERMARINA advised the submarine in its TG of 2115/20.12.1941 that Air Reconnaissance had reported the two battleships hit. This was revealed by the oil leaks around them.

10cBorghese, Junio Valerio23 Dec 19410800Leros (Porto Lago)29 Dec 19411100La Spezia3506Return trip from special mission to Alexandria [mileage is for round trip].
  25 Dec 19411245
1240 (e)
At 1245 hours, a three-engine bomber in kaki colour was sighted and made an attack from the stern. Scirè opened fire with her machine-guns at a distance of 800 metres. The aircraft dropped five small bombs, which fell in a single line about 80 metres astern of the submarine and then flew away.

This was Blenheim 'P' of 203 Squadron. It had sighted the submarine steering 270° at 6 knots. The bomber climbed to 1,800 feet before diving to the attack. The submarine's antiaircraft fire failed to inflict any damage. The aircraft actually dropped four 250lb A/S bombs, the closest of these fell 80 yards astern of the submarine.

Zelik, Bruno27 Jun 19420753La Spezia27 Jun 19421815La Spezia46Exercises.

Zelik, Bruno30 Jun 19420815La Spezia30 Jun 19421755La Spezia16Exercises.

Zelik, Bruno1 Jul 19420825La Spezia1 Jul 19421720La SpeziaExercises.

Zelik, Bruno6 Jul 19420830La Spezia6 Jul 19421135La SpeziaExercises.

Zelik, Bruno9 Jul 19420935La Spezia9 Jul 19421715La SpeziaExercises.

Zelik, Bruno10 Jul 19420839La Spezia10 Jul 19421435La SpeziaExercises.

Zelik, Bruno16 Jul 19420830La Spezia16 Jul 19421820La SpeziaExercises.

Zelik, Bruno24 Jul 19422315La Spezia24 Jul 19420230La SpeziaExercises.

11Zelik, Bruno27 Jul 19421830La Spezia2 Aug 19421920LerosPassage La Spezia-Leros. The sortie was known through ULTRA.

11bZelik, Bruno6 Aug 19420752Leros10 Aug 19421610Sunk with all handsMission to attack Haifa with human torpedoes (Operation S.L.1). She was sunk by the armed trawler HMT Islay.
  10 Aug 1942
1110 (e)
At 1110 hours, a Walrus (W.2789) of 700 Squadron, piloted by Sub Lieutenant R.A.J. Lea, sighted a submarine at half a mile. It was partially submerged, with only the conning tower and the wire cutters showing above the water. It appeared to be diving and steering 250°. The aircraft made an attack from the stern, releasing two depth charges from a height of 20 feet and set to a depth of 25 feet. They exploded about 30 yards ahead of the swirl, probably above the target. No result was observed.

There is little doubt that the submarine was Scirè. British Intelligence had been informed of her passage to Leros as early as 30th July and was aware that the submarine had been involved in the special operation on Alexandria the previous December. Another special operation was to be expected to follow soon.

Following this report, the motor launches ML 348 and ML 354 were dispatched from Beirut and the escort destroyer HMS Tetcott was detached to assist.
  10 Aug 1942
1545-1610 (e)

(e) 33° 11'N, 34° 55'E
At 1545 hours, the armed trawler HMT Islay sighted a submarine on the surface just off the Haifa swept channel. She attacked it with gunfire and depth charges.

This was Scirè and she was sunk with all hands. C.C. Bruno Zelik, four officers, forty-four ratings and eleven passengers of the Decima Flottiglia Mas perished.

Two bodies were washed ashore a few days later (Captain Egil Chersi, who was to be the leader of attack, and 2° Capo IEF (Petty Officer) Eugenio Del Ben. This may lead us to believe that the submarine was caught in the process of launching the attack or some men attempted to escape from her wreck. Why was she caught on the surface, in broad daylight, near an important enemy base is a mystery. Perhaps Scirè had developed defects or had suffered serious damage from the previous air attack which made it difficult to complete her mission and C.C. Zelik had decided to launch the attack in daylight.

The eleven men of the Decima Flottiglia Mas were:

2° Capo Inf. Aurelio Morgan
2° Capo IEF Eugenio Del Ben
Serg. Nocchiere Delfo Caprili
Serg. Can. Lauro Manzoni
Sotto Capo Can. Erminio Fioravanti
Fuochista O. Luca Ricciardi
Motorista Paolo Baronchelli
Cap. Comm. Egil Chersi
Serg. Pal. Rodolfo Beuck
S.T. Medico Pietro Gnecco
Fuochista Guido Fontebuoni

The wreck was later located in 32°54.5' N, 34°58' E and examined by divers (depth of 32-34 meters), artifacts being recovered after the war. An attack by Maiali appeared to have been expected but the target appears to have mistakenly been considered as Beirut instead of Haifa and, CS.15 decided on 15th August.1942, to send HMS Aldenham to Beirut to reinforce the A/S defences.

On 24th August 1942, examination of the wreck revealed that all three cylinders were empty (only frogmen were to be used). In 1984, the Italian rescue ship Antea recovered the remains of forty-two of the crew and passengers as well as some artifacts.

83 entries. 74 total patrol entries (11 marked as war patrols) and 21 events.

All Italian submarines