Italian submarines in World War Two

Marcello (ML, I.18)

TypeOcean going 
ClassMarcello (12) 
Laid down 4 Jan 1937 Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Monfalcone
Launched20 Nov 1937
Commissioned25 Mar 1938
End service
Loss date22 Feb 1941
Loss position59° 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.


CommanderDate fromDate toCommand notes
C.C. Luigi Donini2 Apr 194029 Jul 1940
C.C. Carlo Alberto Teppati29 Jul 194022 Feb 1941

Ships hit

No ships hit by this submarine.

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
1Donini, Luigi5 Jun 19402003Naples10 Jun 19401930Cagliari853Sailed 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 1940PMSeven 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.

2Donini, Luigi22 Jun 19401910Cagliari24 Jun 19401304Cagliari326Patrolled 25 miles northeast of Galite Island in 37°50'N, 09°20'E.

Donini, Luigi25 Jun 19400806Cagliari26 Jun 19400615NaplesPassage Cagliari-Naples.

Donini, Luigi12 Jul 19400834Naples12 Jul 19401531Naples36,5Exercises.

Donini, Luigi15 Jul 19400941Naples15 Jul 19401609Naples31,5Exercises.

Donini, Luigi21 Jul 19400956Naples21 Jul 19401620Naples33Exercises.

Donini, Luigi23 Jul 19400718Naples23 Jul 19401131Naples47Exercises.

Donini, Luigi26 Jul 19400955Naples26 Jul 19401622Naples50Exercises.

Teppati, Carlo Alberto29 Jul 19400722Naples29 Jul 19401029Naples30Exercises.

Teppati, Carlo Alberto31 Jul 19400930Naples31 Jul 19401615Naples76Exercises.

3Teppati, Carlo Alberto2 Aug 19401905Naples19 Aug 19400830Naples2432Patrolled east of Gibraltar, between meridians of Cape de Gata and Cape Palos-Cape Ferrat.
  9 Aug 19401340
(0) Off Cape Palos.
An unidentified hospital ship similar to Aquileia was sighted.
  9 Aug 19401424
(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 19401352
(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, Carlo Alberto30 Sep 19400940Naples30 Sep 19401700NaplesExercises.

Teppati, Carlo Alberto1 Oct 19400750Naples1 Oct 19401155NaplesExercises.

Teppati, Carlo Alberto5 Oct 19400758Naples5 Oct 19401725NaplesExercises.

Teppati, Carlo Alberto7 Oct 19400750Naples7 Oct 19401440NaplesExercises.

Teppati, Carlo Alberto12 Oct 19400820Naples12 Oct 19401130NaplesExercises.

Teppati, Carlo Alberto16 Oct 19400730Naples16 Oct 19401125NaplesExercises.

Teppati, Carlo Alberto19 Oct 19400940Naples19 Oct 19401140NaplesExercises.

4Teppati, Carlo Alberto24 Oct 19400925Naples26 Oct 19401210Naples?Sailed for patrol but early return due to weather damage.

4bTeppati, Carlo Alberto31 Oct 19400802Naples1 Dec 19402330Le VerdonPassage 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 19400010
(0) 172° - Cape Spartel - 5 miles.
An enemy destroyer was sighted at a distance of 600 metres, forcing the submarine to dive.
  23 Nov 19401530
(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 19401200
(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 19402000
(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, Carlo Alberto2 Dec 19401500Le Verdon2 Dec 19401935BordeauxPassage Le Verdon-Bordeaux.

5Teppati, Carlo Alberto11 Jan 19410920Bordeaux11 Jan 19411400Le VerdonPassage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.

5bTeppati, Carlo Alberto11 Jan 19411700Le Verdon23 Jan 19411615PauillacSailed 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 19411410A 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 19411335-1400
1130 (e)
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, Carlo Alberto24 Jan 19411540Pauillac24 Jan 19411810Bordeaux2453Passage Pauillac-Bordeaux.

6Teppati, Carlo Alberto6 Feb 19411820Bordeaux22 Feb 1941Sunk with all handsSailed 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
1447.5-1450 (e)

(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 19411600Marcello 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
1515-2001 (e)

(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.

All Italian submarines