Italian submarines in World War Two
Marcello (ML, I.18)
|Laid down||4 Jan 1937||Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Monfalcone|
|Launched||20 Nov 1937|
|Commissioned||25 Mar 1938|
|Loss date||22 Feb 1941|
|Loss position||59° 13'N, 13° 54'W|
|Fate||Departed Bordeaux for the North Atlantic on 6th February 1941. Not heard from again. Cause of loss unknown. Perhaps sunk by HMS Periwinkle on 22nd February 1941.|
|Commander||Date from||Date to||Command notes|
|C.C. Luigi Donini||2 Apr 1940||29 Jul 1940|
|C.C. Alberto Carlo Teppati||29 Jul 1940||22 Feb 1941|
Ships hitNo ships hit by this submarine.
Patrols and events
|Commander||Date||Time||Port||Arr. date||Arr. time||Arr. port||Miles||Description|
|1||Donini, Luigi||5 Jun 1940||2003||Naples||10 Jun 1940||1930||Cagliari||853||Sailed for a patrol in area S1 between Cape Palos, Cape Falcon and Cape Tenes (western Mediterranean) with Dandolo. Early return because of a problem with the air conditioning system.|
|7 Jun 1940||PM||Seven men in the forward torpedo compartment suffered from intoxication due to Methylene Chloride fumes from the air conditioning unit. One would later die in hospital (Sergente silurista Adriano D'Andrea), the first casualty of the submarine war. The submarine had to abort the mission and turn back.|
|2||Donini, Luigi||22 Jun 1940||1910||Cagliari||24 Jun 1940||1304||Cagliari||326||Patrolled 25 miles northeast of Galite Island in 37°50'N, 09°20'E.|
|Donini, Luigi||25 Jun 1940||0806||Cagliari||26 Jun 1940||0615||Naples||Passage Cagliari-Naples.|
|Donini, Luigi||12 Jul 1940||0834||Naples||12 Jul 1940||1531||Naples||36,5||Exercises.|
|Donini, Luigi||15 Jul 1940||0941||Naples||15 Jul 1940||1609||Naples||31,5||Exercises.|
|Donini, Luigi||21 Jul 1940||0956||Naples||21 Jul 1940||1620||Naples||33||Exercises.|
|Donini, Luigi||23 Jul 1940||0718||Naples||23 Jul 1940||1131||Naples||47||Exercises.|
|Donini, Luigi||26 Jul 1940||0955||Naples||26 Jul 1940||1622||Naples||50||Exercises.|
|Teppati, Alberto Carlo||29 Jul 1940||0722||Naples||29 Jul 1940||1029||Naples||30||Exercises.|
|Teppati, Alberto Carlo||31 Jul 1940||0930||Naples||31 Jul 1940||1615||Naples||76||Exercises.|
|3||Teppati, Alberto Carlo||2 Aug 1940||1905||Naples||19 Aug 1940||0830||Naples||2432||Patrolled east of Gibraltar, between meridians of Cape de Gata and Cape Palos-Cape Ferrat.|
|9 Aug 1940||1340|
(0) Off Cape Palos.
|An unidentified hospital ship similar to Aquileia was sighted.|
|9 Aug 1940||1424|
(0) Off Cape Palos.
|A larger tanker of about 10,000 tons was first detected with hydrophones. She had a black funnel with a white star and was on a westerly course. The submarine aborted attack because of the long range and the belief the vessel was neutral.|
|14 Aug 1940||1352|
(0) Off Cape Palos.
|The French steamer Djebel-Amour (2,908 GRT, built 1931) was observed at a distance of 4,000 metres. She was on passage to Oran and was left undisturbed.|
|Teppati, Alberto Carlo||30 Sep 1940||0940||Naples||30 Sep 1940||1700||Naples||Exercises.|
|Teppati, Alberto Carlo||1 Oct 1940||0750||Naples||1 Oct 1940||1155||Naples||Exercises.|
|Teppati, Alberto Carlo||5 Oct 1940||0758||Naples||5 Oct 1940||1725||Naples||Exercises.|
|Teppati, Alberto Carlo||7 Oct 1940||0750||Naples||7 Oct 1940||1440||Naples||Exercises.|
|Teppati, Alberto Carlo||12 Oct 1940||0820||Naples||12 Oct 1940||1130||Naples||Exercises.|
|Teppati, Alberto Carlo||16 Oct 1940||0730||Naples||16 Oct 1940||1125||Naples||Exercises.|
|Teppati, Alberto Carlo||19 Oct 1940||0940||Naples||19 Oct 1940||1140||Naples||Exercises.|
|4||Teppati, Alberto Carlo||24 Oct 1940||0925||Naples||26 Oct 1940||1210||Naples||?||Sailed for patrol but early return due to weather damage.|
|4b||Teppati, Alberto Carlo||31 Oct 1940||0802||Naples||1 Dec 1940||2330||Le Verdon||Passage Naples to Bordeaux and patrol off Oporto and Cape San Vincente. Passed Gibraltar on 5th November 1940. Met Sperrbrecher III at 1200 hours on 1st December 1940 and escorted in.|
|6 Nov 1940||0010|
(0) 172° - Cape Spartel - 5 miles.
|An enemy destroyer was sighted at a distance of 600 metres, forcing the submarine to dive.|
|23 Nov 1940||1530|
(0) Off Cape St Vincent.
|A steamer on an easterly course was sighted. The submarine dived to make an approach, but could not regain contact. At 2100 hours, the submarine received a signal reporting a convoy and moved north to intercept.|
|25 Nov 1940||1200|
(0) North of Cape St Vincent.
|A vessel was sighted and the submarine closed the range for a surface attack, but aborted when the vessel was identified as the Portuguese Algol (349 GRT, built 1930).|
|25 Nov 1940||2000|
(0) North of Cape St Vincent.
|A vessel was sighted and the submarine closed the range for an attack but aborted when the vessel was identified as the Portuguese Angola (7,745 GRT, built 1912).|
|Teppati, Alberto Carlo||2 Dec 1940||1500||Le Verdon||2 Dec 1940||1935||Bordeaux||Passage Le Verdon-Bordeaux.|
|5||Teppati, Alberto Carlo||11 Jan 1941||0920||Bordeaux||11 Jan 1941||1400||Le Verdon||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|5b||Teppati, Alberto Carlo||11 Jan 1941||1700||Le Verdon||23 Jan 1941||1615||Pauillac||Sailed for patrol between 53°00'N and 54°00'N and 17°00'W and 20°00 W. Escorted on her return by M-6 and M-12.|
|17 Jan 1941||1410||A convoy of ten to twenty ships was sighted. The submarine tried to make a signal report but was forced to submerge at 1820 hours, when a destroyer was observed to turn toward her, dropping five depth-charges. The submarine finally surfaced at 2150 hours and made an enemy report.|
|20 Jan 1941||1335-1400|
|49° 50'N, 18° 15'W|
(e) 50° 00'N, 18° 45'W
|At 1100 hours, a vessel travelling alone was observed on an easterly course. The submarine closed and submerged at 1220 hours intending to move ahead of her for a torpedo attack. However, the hydrophones could not accurately pinpoint the course and the submarine had to surface at 1335 hours at a distance of 4,000 metres. The vessel was presenting her stern and opened fire with her gun as the submarine engaged her with both her deck guns. The sea was rough and Marcello had to break off the action after four gunners were swept away. Three were eventually recovered but the fourth, gunner A. Gregorio Mazzola, was never found. |
From the Axis side, there was much confusion as to the identity of the target. The Seekriegsleitung cited a Reuter report that this was the British tanker Cardita (8,237 GRT, built 1931). Another source reported her as the Belgian Portugal (1,523 GRT, built 1909) while Teppati claimed to have sunk the Greek steamer Eleni (5,655 GRT, built 1918). None of these reports were true, the vessel was, in fact, the British Thelma (1,593 GRT, built 1935), a straggler of convoy H.G.50 and she had escaped unscathed.
|Teppati, Alberto Carlo||24 Jan 1941||1540||Pauillac||24 Jan 1941||1810||Bordeaux||2453||Passage Pauillac-Bordeaux.|
|6||Teppati, Alberto Carlo||6 Feb 1941||1820||Bordeaux||22 Feb 1941||Sunk with all hands||Sailed with Otaria, escorted out by M-9, M-21 and Sperrbrecher 16 via 50°00'N, 15°00'W for patrol in area between 55°00'N and 56°00'N, and between 14°00'W and 17°00'W (zone D). Otaria was to operate to the south of this area. At 1220 hours on the 18th, both submarines were ordered to move further north. At 1710 hours on 19th February, she was ordered to Grid 4615/46 (58°30' N and 58°40'N and 11°50'W and 12°00'W) (zone B). On 20th February, she was ordered to a new position to the south, between 57°00'N and 58°00'N. At 0130 hours on the 21st, was ordered to 56°35'N , 15°25'W (2774/43). At 2330 hours on the 21st, Marcello, Bianchi and Barbarigo were ordered to carry a sweep on a 45° course at 8 knots. She did not answer a request by BETASOM to give her position (1000/24). At 1830 hours on the 25th, she was ordered to intercept a convoy in Grid 6199 or 55°00'N, 17°00'W. At 0200 hours on the 27th, she was told that the convoy had now dispersed but that two steamers were in Grid 5699/66 (between 53°50'N, 54°00'N, and between 17°50'W and 18°00'W) steering 270°, 4 knots and was ordered with Barbarigo and Bianchi to converge on it. Sunk, cause unknown, eight officers and forty-eight ratings were lost. Possibly sunk by the corvette HMS Periwinkle on 22nd February.|
The Swiss Red Cross reported that Marcello was torpedoed on 12th March 1941 and that seventeen survivors were picked up. Unfortunately, the information proved to be false.
|10 Feb 1941|
(e) 54° 21'N, 15° 50'W
|Sunderland 'A' (L.5798) of 210 Squadron piloted by Flight Lieutenant E.R. Barker sighted a U-boat at a distance of 12 miles. It submerged 2-3 minutes after the sighting and the aircraft dropped four depth charges. The first fell 60 yards ahead of the swirl, the second 90 yards ahead and the third 150 yards ahead, while the last was 160 yards ahead. The attack was believed to be ineffective but the U-boat was possibly shaken. There is a slim possibility that the submarine attacked was Marcello but as she was lost with all hands on this patrol, we shall never know for sure.|
|18 Feb 1941||1600||Marcello was ordered to intercept a tanker damaged by a bomber in Grid 6167/11 (between 55°00'N and 55°10'N, and between 16°00'W and 16°10'W). This was the Dutch Taria damaged in 55°20'N, 15°50'W.|
|22 Feb 1941|
(e) 59° 13'N, 13° 54'W
|HMS Periwinkle was proceeding steering 274° at 14 knots to rejoin HMS Montgomery, escorting Scottish Standard (from convoy OB.288) which was damaged on 21st February by a Focke Wulf Kondor [U-96 sank the Scottish Standard at 1549 hours]. At 1515 hours, Periwinkle sighted a submarine and closed. At 1610 hours, the U-boat was attacked with two 100-lb A/S bombs by a Sunderland 'M' of 10 Squadron (RAAF) piloted by Flying Officer D. Hodkinson. However, this U-boat was probably U-69 (KL Jost Metzler). Shortly after, Periwinkle carried out three attacks with depth-charges, but results were unconfirmed. At 1810 hours, she was joined by HMS Antelope, HMS Heather and Snowdrop, the latter carrying out another depth-charge attack at 2001 hours, in 50°49' N, 15°33' W (???). At 1000 hours, 21st February, the submarine Bianchi reported sighting a submerged submarine, which could have been Marcello, in 57°55' N, 17°40' W. The same afternoon, she heard 40 depth-charges coming from the same direction. It is possible that Marcello was sunk by HMS Periwinkle, but there is no certainty.|
33 entries. 25 total patrol entries (6 marked as war patrols) and 13 events.