Italian submarines in World War Two

Galileo Galilei (GL)

TypeOcean going 
ClassArchimede (8) 
Laid down 15 Oct 1931 Cantieri Navale Tosi di Taranto, Taranto
Launched19 Mar 1934
Commissioned16 Oct 1934
End service
Loss date19 Jun 1940
Loss position12° 48'N, 45° 12'E
Fate Captured off Aden, in position 12°48'N, 45°12'E by British ASW trawler HMT Moonstone.


CommanderDate fromDate toCommand notes
C.C. Corrado Nardi17 Nov 193920 Jun 1940

Ships hit

DateCommanderShip hitTypeGRTNat.Loss type
1.16 Jun 1940C.C. Corrado NardiJames StoveTanker8,215NorwegianSunk

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
1Nardi, Corrado10 Jun 1940Massawa20 Jun 19401100+CapturedCaptured in the Red Sea by HMT Moonstone and became HMS X2 then HMS P.711 (fifteen killed - including her C.O - forty captured) .
  16 Jun 1940
(0) Off Aden.
According to a survivor from the submarine (Sergente Meccanico Giovanni Chezzo),a reconnaissance aircraft repeatedly attacked the submarine but caused no damage.
  16 Jun 1940
0530 0615 (e)

(e) 12° 35'N, 45° 03'E
A single torpedo was fired at Norwegian James Stove (8,215 GRT, 1931), which hit the vessel but did not sink it. A second torpedo was fired and, this time the freighter sank. The thirty-four survivors were picked up by the trawler HMT Moonstone. There were no casualties. The Armed Boarding Vessel HMS Chantala sighted the submarine, but it submerged before she could intervene. The light cruiser HMNZS Leander launched a seaplane which hunted the submarine but found nothing.
  16 Jun 19400515
(e) 12° 35'N, 45° 03'E
The Norwegian James Stove (8,215 GRT, built 1931), on passage Singapore to Aden, was stopped by a warning shot. The crew was given 15 minutes to abandon ship.
  18 Jun 19401335
(0) 110° - Aden - 26 miles.
The Yugoslav Drava (3,594 GRT, built 1919) was stopped by a warning shot. She was neutral and was released upon examination. Following this interception, the submarine was located by an RAF fighter.
  18 Jun 19402200
(0) 30 miles SE of Aden.
Two enemy fighters attacked the submarine, who was first located by a Gloster Gladiator biplane of 94 squadron (Flying Officer Haywood), about 30 miles SE of Aden. The fighter shadowed and the submarine, which was apparently charging her batteries and made no attempt to dive.

At 1630 hours, a Blenheim of 8 squadron (Flight Lieutenant Goodwin) arrived. The sub fought back briefly with her deck gun before diving. Two A/S bombs were released, which did no serious damage, falling 75 yards off. The submarine was also strafed by the Gladiator as she crash dove. After the submarine was well down, a Vickers Vincent biplane, also of 8 squadron, arrived and bombed the site where the submarine had dived. None of these attacks did any damage, but her position was known and she was hunted during the night by the destroyer HMS Kandahar and sloop HMS Shoreham.

At about 2000 hours on 19th June, the submarine was ordered to move 20 miles to the East.
  19 Jun 1940
1230 (e)

(e) 12° 48'N, 45° 12'E
The submarine had been detected by the armed trawler HMT Moonstone at 1137 hours and a single depth charge was dropped at 1220 hours, followed by another at 1226 hours. Four minutes later, the submarine was forced to the surface and Moonstone smothered her with gunfire (4in gun, Lewis guns and even rifles) and scored two 4" hits (four were claimed) at point blank range and she surrendered at 1255 hours. Fifteen of her crew were killed including C.C. Nardi (three officers and thirty-seven ratings were captured). Later the destroyer HMS Kandahar arrived and the submarine was boarded with a prize crew and she reached Aden under her own power. From her sailing orders, it was found out that Galvani had also sailed for the Gulf of Oman and she was later intercepted and sunk. Note: it was found that one of her bow tubes contained an 18" torpedo but it was not known if this was due to the lack of supplies at Massawa.

6 entries. 1 total patrol entries (1 marked as war patrols) and 6 events.

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