Italian submarines in World War Two

Guglielmotti (GI, I.30 or I.33)

Guglielmotti (USMM)

TypeOcean going 
ClassBrin 1 (14) 
Laid down 3 Dec 1936 Cantieri Navale Tosi di Taranto, Taranto
Launched11 Sep 1938
Commissioned12 Oct 1938
End service
Loss date17 Mar 1942
Loss position37° 42'N, 15° 58'E
Fate Torpedoed and sunk on 17th March 1942 off Cape Dell'Armi, Italy in position 37°42'N, 15°58'E by the British submarine HMS Unbeaten.


CommanderDate fromDate toCommand notes
C.C. Carlo Tucci21 Oct 193919 Nov 1940
T.V. Federico Tamburini20 Nov 194028 Feb 1941
C.F. Gino Spagone1 Mar 194114 Aug 1941
S.T.V. Virgilio Mandelli15 Aug 194131 Aug 1941
T.V. Federico Tamburini1 Sep 194117 Mar 1942

Ships hit

DateCommanderShip hitTypeGRTNat.Loss type
1.6 Sep 1940C.C. Carlo TucciAtlasCargo ship4,008GreekSunk

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Tucci, Carlo10 Jun 1940Massawa10 Jun 1940MassawaAt Massawa.

Tucci, Carlo18 Jun 19400700Massawa18 Jun 19401212Massawa29Exercises.

1Tucci, Carlo21 Jun 19401310Massawa23 Jun 19401100Massawa525Patrolled against enemy traffic and ordered to pick up survivors of submarine Macallé.
  22 Jun 19401110-1220
(0) Bar-Muss-Chebir Islet
From 1110 to 1220 hours, Guglielmotti recovered the survivors of the submarine Macallé, which had run aground on Bar-Muss-Chebir Islet. All were found except four. One had drowned and three others had managed to escape in a small boat.

2Tucci, Carlo12 Jul 19401430Massawa15 Jul 19400852Massawa432,5Patrolled in Red Sea.

3Tucci, Carlo26 Jul 19401139Massawa29 Jul 19401200Massawa383,6Patrolled in Red Sea.

4Tucci, Carlo2 Aug 19401245Massawa5 Aug 19401030Massawa435,5Patrolled in Red Sea.

Tucci, Carlo20 Aug 19400710Massawa20 Aug 19401255Massawa24,5Exercises.

5Tucci, Carlo21 Aug 19401235Massawa25 Aug 19401540Massawa504,5Patrolled in Red Sea.

6Tucci, Carlo3 Sep 19401404Massawa7 Sep 19400850Massawa490,5Patrolled in Red Sea ca. 16°50'N, 41°50'E.
  6 Sep 1940
1540 or 1200Z (UK) (e)
15° 50'N, 41° 50'EAt 1200Z hours, Guglielmotti fired torpedoes at the Greek freighter Atlas (4,008 GRT, built 1909).

She was a straggler from convoy BN.4 and was bound from Abadan (Iran) to the Piraeus. Because of her slow speed, she could not maintain station in the convoy. HMS Kingston had sent an armed guard on board and she was told to proceed independently.

Two torpedo tracks were observed, followed by two more and the last hit the vessel, which took a list to starboard. The explosion was rather small, which seems to indicate it was a 450mm torpedo. Her Captain and crew and the British guards took to the lifeboats (twenty-seven survivors, no casualties). Apparently a fifth torpedo (described as smaller than the 21" torpedoes, so was probably of 450mm type) was fired and was observed by the survivors in the lifeboats to be a surface runner. It missed, but the Greek vessel finally sank. The Greek survivors reached Kamaran Island at 0800Z hours on 8th September, the British arrived a few hours later.

The attack is not well documented on the Italian side as the submarine's patrol report has not survived.

7Tucci, Carlo19 Sep 19402130Massawa26 Sep 19401650Massawa617Patrolled in Red Sea.

Tucci, Carlo14 Oct 19400700Massawa14 Oct 19400730Massawa0,4Entered dock.

Tucci, Carlo18 Oct 19401830Massawa18 Oct 19401855Massawa0,4Exited dock.

8Tucci, Carlo19 Oct 19401410Massawa24 Oct 19400857Massawa559,6Patrolled in Red Sea.

9Tucci, Carlo1 Nov 19401432Massawa6 Nov 19400924Massawa445Patrolled in Red Sea.

Tamburini, Federico20 Nov 1940Massawa28 Feb 1941MassawaRefit at Massawa. change in command.
  5 Jan 19411300-1400
(0) At Massawa.
At 1300 hours, the Italian submarines at Massawa came under attack by three Blenheim bombers.

At 1400 hours, a new attack was made by two Blenheim bombers.

Guglielmotti was slightly damaged by near misses.

10Spagone, Gino4 Mar 19411757Massawa6 May 19412000Pauillac12424,5Passage from Massawa to Bordeaux. Reached the first rendezvous point (25°00'S, 20°00'W) at 1250 hours on 11th April and joined Archimede at 1400 hours on 13th April 1941. Sighted the German supply ship Nordmark on the following day, who told them to change the rendezvous to 25°00'S, 26°00'W. Refuelled from Nordmark on 16th April 1941. She was located by British aircraft at 0345 GMT on 5th May 1941 in position 45°30'N, 07°30 W.
  9 Mar 194115003° 40'N, 50° 08'WAt 1500 hours, a vessel was sighted at a distance of 20,000 metres. It was apparently travelling from Somalia toward India. As per her instructions, Guglielmotti dived to avoid being seen.
  5 Apr 1941223030° 08'S, 2° 10'WAt 2230 hours, a vessel was sighted steering 105°. Gugliemotti dived to avoid being seen.
  9 Apr 1941
1210 (e)

(e) 25° 07'S, 20° 05'W
Italian signals had been deciphered giving the position of the refuelling rendezvous with the German supply ship Nordmark. The Royal Navy had sent the Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Alcantara, the sloops HMS Bridgewater and HMS Milford and the submarine HMS Severn to intercept (operation GRAB). The British submarine sighted an Italian submarine which was probably Guglielmotti but could not get into an attack position.
  11 Apr 1941125025° 00'S, 20° 00'WAt 1250 hours, Guglielmotti reached the rendezvous point with the German supply ship Nordmark and cruised in the area.

At 1310 hours, the submarine Ferraris was encountered.
  13 Apr 1941125025° 00'S, 20° 00'WAt 1400 hours, the submarine Archimede was encountered near the rendezvous point with Nordmark. She had been cruising the area since noon on 8th April. Archimede, Guglielmo and Ferraris were now together cruising in the area.
  14 Apr 1941155025° 00'S, 20° 00'WAt 1550 hours, the German supply ship Nordmark was met. She was disguised as the American steamer Prairie. As she had been earlier sighted by an aircraft (a seaplane from HMS Alcantara), the present rendezvous appeared to have been compromised. She informed the submarines to change the refuelling point to 25°00' S, 26°00' W.

They broke off the meeting to relocate at the new rendezvous.
  16 Apr 19412308-0740/1725° 00'S, 26° 00'WFrom 2308 hours on 16th April to 0740 hours the following morning, Guglielmotti refuelled and took provisions from the German supply ship Nordmark.

10bSpagone, Gino7 May 19411230Pauillac7 May 19411640BordeauxPassage Pauillac-Bordeaux.

Mandelli, Virgilio15 Aug 1941Bordeaux31 Aug 1941BordeauxRefit in Bordeaux. Change in command.

Tamburini, Federico7 Sep 19410715Bordeaux7 Sep 19412300La Pallice164Passage Bordeaux-La Pallice.

Tamburini, Federico8 Sep 19410725La Pallice8 Sep 19411605La Pallice40Exercises.

Tamburini, Federico9 Sep 19411005La Pallice10 Sep 19410140La Pallice66Exercises.

11Tamburini, Federico10 Sep 19411800La Pallice14 Sep 19411300Bordeaux674Sailed for training patrol, between 44°00'N and 45°00'N, and between 08°10'W and 10°00'W.

12Tamburini, Federico22 Sep 19410806Bordeaux16 Oct 19410930Messina2835Passage Bordeaux-Messina and patrolled off Melilla, between 35°50'N and the coast and 02°30'W and 03°20'W. Passed Gibraltar on 30th September 1941.
  30 Sep 19410440
(0) 169° - Cape Malabata - 6 miles.
At 0440 hours, a dark ship was sighted at 2,000 metres and Guglielmotti took avoiding action.
  1 Oct 1941022535° 59'N, 3° 46'WAt 0225 hours, three or four destroyers were sighted at 12,000 metres. Guglielmotti turned away.
  12 Oct 1941091035° 45'N, 2° 46'WAt 0910 hours, a submarine which could not be identified was sighted at a distance of 6-7,000 metres. Guglielmotti attempted to close but lost contact. This was probably HMS Porpoise on her way from Gibraltar to Malta.

Tamburini, Federico18 Oct 19411230Messina19 Oct 19410830Taranto258Passage Messina-Taranto surfaced, at 13 knots. Then refit until February 1942.

Tamburini, Federico18 Feb 19421315Taranto18 Feb 19421735Taranto28Trials.

Tamburini, Federico23 Feb 19420915Taranto23 Feb 19421210Taranto30Trials.

Tamburini, Federico25 Feb 19420840Taranto25 Feb 19421648Taranto74Trials.

Tamburini, Federico27 Feb 19421241Taranto27 Feb 19421703Taranto36Trials escorted by the auxiliary Germanello.

Tamburini, Federico6 Mar 19421337Taranto6 Mar 19421836TarantoExercises.

Tamburini, Federico8 Mar 19420925Taranto8 Mar 19421718TarantoExercises escorted by the auxiliary Germanello.

Tamburini, Federico10 Mar 19421345Taranto10 Mar 19421818TarantoExercises.

Tamburini, Federico14 Mar 19420914Taranto14 Mar 19421338Taranto200Exercises.

13Tamburini, Federico15 Mar 19421730Taranto17 Mar 19420640Sunk with all hands237Sunk with all hands, 22 miles south of Capo Dell'Armi, Calabria or 37°42'N, 15°58'E by the British submarine HMS Unbeaten, while on passage Taranto-Cagliari (seven officers and fifty-four ratings lost).
  17 Mar 1942
0640 (e)

(e) 37° 42'N, 15° 58'E
(0) 22 miles south of Cape Dell\'Armi.
Guglielmotti was proceeding on the surface when she was torpedoed and sunk by HMS Unbeaten (Lt. Cdr. E.A. Woodward, D.S.O., RN).

At 0634.5B hours, the British submarine had sighted Guglielmotti bearing 125° at 2,200 yards.

At 0640 hours, Unbeaten fired a dispersed salvo of four torpedoes from a distance of 2,000 yards and scored one hit. About twelve survivors were sighted but, tragically, could not be picked by her because of the arrival from an aircraft. The torpedo boat Francesco Stocco arrived on the scene at 1005 hours and dropped seventeen depth-charges, despite frantic signals from an aircraft not to attack because of the survivors in the water (at least three were seen). The torpedo boat picked up the body of a rating from Guglielmotti. There were no survivors. Seven officers and fifty-four ratings were killed.

41 entries. 33 total patrol entries (13 marked as war patrols) and 14 events.

All Italian submarines