Italian submarines in World War Two
Archimede (AH, I.31)
|Class||Brin 2 (15)|
|Laid down||23 Dec 1937||Cantieri Navale Tosi di Taranto, Taranto|
|Launched||5 Mar 1939|
|Commissioned||18 Apr 1939|
|Loss date||15 Apr 1943|
|Loss position||3° 23'S, 30° 28'W|
|History||Was proposed for conversion as a transport submarine, code name "AQUILA VII". However, she was lost before she could be transformed in such a role.|
|Fate||Sunk on 15th April 1943 by US aircraft north-east of Recife, Brazil in position 03°23'S, 30°28'W.|
|Commander||Date from||Date to||Command notes|
|T.V. Mario Signorini||18 Apr 1940||30 Nov 1940|
|T.V. Guido Guidi||1 Dec 1940||4 Jan 1941|
|T.V. Marino Salvatori||5 Jan 1941||18 Nov 1941|
|T.V. Mario Violante||19 Nov 1941||20 Apr 1942|
|T.V. Gianfranco Gazzana Priaroggia||21 Apr 1942||10 Aug 1942|
|T.V. Guido Saccardo||10 Aug 1942||15 Apr 1943|
|Date||Commander||Ship hit||Type||GRT||Nat.||Loss type|
|1.||15 Jun 1942||T.V. Gianfranco Gazzana Priaroggia||Cardina||Cargo ship||5,586||Sunk|
|2.||9 Oct 1942||T.V. Guido Saccardo||Oronsay||Troop transport||20,043||Sunk|
Patrols and events
|Commander||Date||Time||Port||Arr. date||Arr. time||Arr. port||Miles||Description|
|1||Signorini, Mario||19 Jun 1940||1430||Massawa||26 Jun 1940||0840||Assab||991,6||Patrolled off Aden (or the French colony of Djibouti?). Mission aborted due to a failure in the air conditioning system. Six ratings died.|
|20 Jun 1940|
(0) Off Aden.
|During the day, several crew members of Archimede became sick. Initially, this was believed to have been caused by spoiled food. It was actually due to a failure of the air conditioning system.|
|26 Jun 1940||1000?||13° 15'N, 42° 55'E|
(0) At Assab.
|Archimede was anchored in Assab harbour when she came under attack by three Blenheim bombers. The nearest bomb missed by 20 yards and caused no damage.|
|Signorini, Mario||3 Jul 1940||1900||Assab||4 Jul 1940||1510||Massawa||257||Passage Assab to Massawa for repairs. The boat was ready to resume sailing on 31 August.|
|Signorini, Mario||5 Aug 1940||0645||Massawa||5 Aug 1940||1800||Massawa||65,5||Exercises.|
|Signorini, Mario||13 Aug 1940||0645||Massawa||13 Aug 1940||1800||Massawa||42,2||Exercises.|
|Signorini, Mario||17 Aug 1940||0700||Massawa||17 Aug 1940||1608||Massawa||39,5||Exercises.|
|Signorini, Mario||9 Sep 1940||0800||Massawa||9 Sep 1940||1745||Massawa||53,5||Exercises.|
|Signorini, Mario||18 Sep 1940||1150||Massawa||18 Sep 1940||1800||Massawa||38||Exercises.|
|2||Signorini, Mario||19 Sep 1940||2140||Massawa||23 Sep 1940||1320||Massawa||585||Patrolled between Gabel Tair and 19° North.|
|3||Signorini, Mario||5 Oct 1940||1030||Massawa||11 Oct 1940||1200||Massawa||502,5||Patrolled in southern Red Sea.|
|Signorini, Mario||16 Oct 1940||0735||Massawa||16 Oct 1940||1110||Massawa||25,5||Exercises.|
|4||Signorini, Mario||24 Oct 1940||1300||Massawa||30 Oct 1940||1040||Massawa||534,5||Patrolled in southern Red Sea.|
|5||Signorini, Mario||22 Nov 1940||1200||Massawa||28 Nov 1940||1000||Massawa||586||Patrolled in southern Red Sea.|
|25 Nov 1940||Date approx.||On about 25-26th November 1940, Archimede may have attacked an enemy convoy (perhaps convoy S.W.3, the same one attacked by Ferraris) in the Red Sea. No details are available as her patrol report has not survived.|
|Guidi, Guido||1 Dec 1940||Massawa||4 Jan 1941||Massawa||Refit at Massawa.|
|Salvatori, Marino||6 Jan 1941||0700||Massawa||6 Jan 1941||1430||Massawa||18,5||Exercises.|
|Salvatori, Marino||9 Jan 1941||0650||Massawa||9 Jan 1941||1130||Massawa||23||Exercises.|
|6||Salvatori, Marino||12 Jan 1941||1020||Massawa||16 Jan 1941||1110||Massawa||483||Patrolled in southern Red Sea.|
|7||Salvatori, Marino||2 Feb 1941||1000||Massawa||6 Feb 1941||0925||Massawa||495||Patrolled in southern Red Sea.|
|8||Salvatori, Marino||3 Mar 1941||0510||Massawa||7 May 1941||1645||Bordeaux||12730||Sailed for Bordeaux with Ferraris (Perla had sailed on 1st March and Guglielmotti sailed on 4th March). She reached the rendezvous point (25°00'S, 20°00'W) at 1200 hours on 8th April and started cruising at slow speed on her electric motors. She sighted Guglielmotti and Ferraris on 12th April 1941 and, at 1550 hours on the 14th, she finally sighted "Prairie" (this was the disguise assumed by the German supply ship Nordmark) which told her to change the refuelling point to 25°00 S, 26°00 W. The refuelling from Nordmark finally took place on 16th April 1941 in 25°S, 26° W.|
|4 Mar 1941||2038|
(0) Straits of Perim.
|At 2038 hours, a steamer was sighted on a westerly course and, seven minutes later, a light was also observed, C.C. Salvatori declined to attack as his orders forbade it.|
|4 Mar 1941||2115|
(0) Near Straits of Perim.
|At 2115 hours, a convoy of four ships was observed steering north. Again the attack was declined following the instructions received.|
|8 Apr 1941|
(e) 25° 09'S, 20° 00'W
(0) Enemy position at 0800 hours.
|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 Archimede and fired two torpedoes but missed. The attack was not observed from the Italian side.|
|8 Apr 1941|
(e) 24° 30'S, 20° 25'W
|The submarine HMS Severn sighted an Italian submarine which was again probably Archimede and but could not get into an attack position.|
|8 Apr 1941||1200||25° 00'S, 20° 00'W||Archimede was the first of the Massawa submarines to reach the rendezvous point with Nordmark. She cruised in the area awaiting to make contact.|
|13 Apr 1941||1400||25° 00'S, 20° 00'W||At 1400 hours, the submarines Guglielmotti and Ferraris were encountered and the three submarines cruised together, awaiting for the German supply ship Nordmark.|
Note: Archimede's patrol report mentions that the two submarines were sighted on 12th April, but does not give the time. The Guglielmotti's report gives the time as 1400 hours on 13th April.
|14 Apr 1941||1400-2215||25° 00'S, 26° 00'W||At 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 1941||1400-2215||25° 00'S, 26° 00'W||From 1400 to 2215 hours, Archimede refuelled from Nordmark and took provisions.|
|18 Apr 1941||?||15° 45'S, 27° 23'W||During the day, a smoke and masts were sighted in the horizon. It appeared to be a tanker steering 040° at 12 knots.|
|22 Apr 1941||1600||0° 50'S, 28° 10'W||A smoke was sighted on the horizon. Its identity could not be ascertained.|
|23 Apr 1941||1200||4° 10'N, 28° 32'W||At 1200 hours, a steamer was sighted steering 130°. No action was taken.|
|30 Apr 1941||1625||32° 57'N, 31° 05'W||At 1625 hours, a steamer was sighted steering 160° at 15 knots.|
|Salvatori, Marino||26 Aug 1941||0900||Bordeaux||26 Aug 1941||1820||Le Verdon||62||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|Salvatori, Marino||27 Aug 1941||0745||Le Verdon||27 Aug 1941||1910||La Pallice||97||Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice with Ferraris escorted by the German patrol boats V-404 and V-411.|
|Salvatori, Marino||28 Aug 1941||0805||La Pallice||28 Aug 1941||1405||La Pallice||32||Exercises.|
|Salvatori, Marino||31 Aug 1941||0855||La Pallice||31 Aug 1941||1615||La Pallice||33||Exercises.|
|9||Salvatori, Marino||2 Sep 1941||1930||La Pallice||7 Sep 1941||1250||Bordeaux||853,5||Short antisubmarine patrol in Bay of Biscay, between 45°00'N and 45°30'N, and between 06°00'W and and 07°50'W (Grids 9454 and 9430).|
|Salvatori, Marino||18 Sep 1941||0840||Bordeaux||18 Sep 1941||1230||Le Verdon||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|10||Salvatori, Marino||18 Sep 1941||1900||Le Verdon||2 Oct 1941||1450||Bordeaux||2439||Sailed for Italy, but on 20th September the order was cancelled and she was diverted to patrol between 38°00'N and 40°00'N, and between 09°00'W and 11°00'W, near Lisbon. At 2200 hours on the 27th, Archimede received orders to patrol between 40°00'N and 42°00'N, and between 09°00'W and 10°00'W. Sighted only neutral vessels.|
|26 Sep 1941||2300||38° 59'N, 10° 03'W||At 2300 hours, an illuminated 4,000-ton steamer was sighted proceeding toward Lisbon.|
|28 Sep 1941||1750||41° 03'N, 9° 22'W||At 1750 hours, an illuminated 3,000-ton steamer was sighted steering 160°. Archimede closed but then recognised it as neutral.|
|29 Sep 1941||1145||41° 13'N, 9° 44'W||At 1145 hours, an illuminated Portuguese was sighted steering 070°.|
|Salvatori, Marino||16 Oct 1941||1310||Bordeaux||16 Oct 1941||1650||Le Verdon||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|11||Salvatori, Marino||16 Oct 1941||1850||Le Verdon||5 Nov 1941||0800||Le Verdon||3892,5||Ordered back to Italy, but at 2310 hours on 23rd October, when in 265° - Cape Spartel - 45 miles, she was ordered to suspend the transfer and operate against a convoy from Gibraltar (H.G.75) and to proceed 35°55'N, 11°25'W and thence to 35°35'N, 12°05'W. At 1010 hours on the 24th, she was told to shift her patrol 20 miles to the north More orders followed as the battle of convoy H.G. 75 developed. She was then recalled to Bordeaux for a long refit.|
|20 Oct 1941||0000||37° 40'N, 12° 14'W||At midnight, a Spanish vessel was sighted.|
|24 Oct 1941||0640||36° 18'N, 10° 00'W||Archimede had been ordered to intercept a convoy (H.G.75) which had sailed from Gibraltar.|
At 0640 hours, two destroyers were sighted at 3,000 metres. The submarine crash-dived but was not attacked, although depth-charges were heard in the distance.
At 2015 hours, Archimede surfaced.
At 2100 hours, the submarine received the order to be at dawn in 37°15' N, 13°05' W and proceeded toward this new position.
|25 Oct 1941||1220||36° 44'N, 13° 20'W||At 1220 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|26 Oct 1941||0415||37° 26'N, 15° 45'W||At 0415 hours, fireworks were sighted in the distance. Archimede assumed that this was the convoy and reported it, but the convoy was actually to the NW and the submarine's actual position further south.|
|27 Oct 1941||0915 (dawn)|
|39° 35'N, 19° 34'W||At 0915 hours (it was dawn), the convoy (H.G.75) was sighted steering 300°. Five or six merchant ships were observed escorted by four destroyers.|
At 0920 hours, Archimede was discovered by the escort and forced to crash-dive. This was followed by two pattern of five or six depth charges each. The submarine went down to 120 meters. More depth charges followed at 0940, 1012, 1037, and 1045 hours, the submarine suffering some damage.
The attack had been carried out by HMS Duncan who did not claim success. Archimede surfaced at 2030 hours and withdrew to effect repairs. Attempts to rejoin the convoy did not succeed and, at 1000 hours on 1st November, the submarine abandoned the chase and returned home.
|29 Oct 1941||1515||44° 30'N, 21° 30'W||At 1515 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|30 Oct 1941||1100||47° 30'N, 20° 16'W||At 1100 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|30 Oct 1941||1300||47° 30'N, 20° 16'W||At 1300 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|31 Oct 1941||0030||48° 44'N, 19° 48'W||At 0030 hours, three star shells were fired very near and Archimede dived.|
|Salvatori, Marino||5 Nov 1941||1430||Le Verdon||5 Nov 1941||1730||Bordeaux||Passage Le Verdon-Bordeaux.|
|Violante, Mario||19 Nov 1941||Bordeaux||19 Apr 1942||Bordeaux||Long refit.|
|Gazzana Priaroggia, Gianfranco||26 Apr 1942||1530||Bordeaux||26 Apr 1942||2020||Le Verdon||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|Gazzana Priaroggia, Gianfranco||29 Apr 1942||0910||Le Verdon||29 Apr 1942||1820||La Pallice||83||Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice and trials at Le Pertuis d'Antioche.|
|Gazzana Priaroggia, Gianfranco||30 Apr 1942||La Pallice||30 Apr 1942||La Pallice||Exercises.|
|12||Gazzana Priaroggia, Gianfranco||1 May 1942||1610||La Pallice||4 Jul 1942||1110||Bordeaux||10178||Sailed for patrol off the coast of Brazil between 36°00'W and 40°00'W, and between 02°30'S and the South American coast.|
|4 May 1942||1920||44° 24'N, 11° 50'W||At 1920 hours, the conning tower of a submarine steering 045° was sighted. Archimede turned 30° to port to avoid it.|
|13 May 1942||0020||At 0020 hours, the submarine received a report from Bagnolini that a steamer had been sighted in 14°45' N, 28°05' W steering 005°, 16 knots. Archimede altered course to 218° and reached the intercepting position and then steered 185°, but sighted nothing.|
|23 May 1942||0938|
|2° 10'S, 35° 55'W||At 0850 hours, the lookouts of Archimede observed a light on the horizon. The submarine closed and recognised it as a vessel on fire, led 500 metres ahead by an American destroyer of the MAURY class. The submarine maneuvered to position herself ahead of them when a large warship was sighted on the starboard beam at 2,000 metres. T.V. Gianfranco Gazzana Priaroggia opted to attack this warship.|
At 0938 hours, Archimede fired two torpedoes from bow tubes at 1,200 metres and immediately dived. 58 seconds later two explosions were heard. As the submarine had reached a depth of 60 metres, a depth charge exploded very near her. Gazzana Priaroggia took his boat to 110 and 120 metres. About 30 more depth charges were heard distributed in five patterns. At 1130 hours, the sound of the propellers faded away. At 1330 hours, Archimede surfaced.
The vessel on fire was the Brazilian tanker Comandante Lyra (torpedoed by Barbarigo) being towed by the seaplane tender USS Thrush. The light cruiser USS Milwaukee and the Brazilian tug Heitor Perdigao were also in the vicinity. It is unclear if the light cruiser was the target of Archimede but, both torpedoes missed and no torpedo wake was sighted. At 0736 hours, the destroyer USS Moffett
|23 May 1942||1450|
1025 or 1300Z (e)
|2° 10'S, 35° 55'W|
|At 1450 hours, a seaplane was sighted. It was similar to the Ro 43 and was followed at 1458 hours by a Catalina. The submarine kept them at bay by firing her deck guns and machine guns, but the Catalina attacked as two destroyers appeared on the horizon.|
The seaplane was an SOC (scout observation catapult) plane (Curtis Seagull) from the cruiser USS Milwaukee, unsuccessfully attacked earlier in the day by Archimede. The Catalina was P-2 (#7623) of VP-83 based in Natal, Brazil, piloted by Lt(jg) A.R. Waggoner.
At 1516 hours, the destroyers started dropping depth-charges, about a dozen exploded until 2245 hours. The submarine surfaced at 0030 hours on the 24th, sighted the two destroyers at a distance of 3,000 meters and turned away.
In fact, the destroyer was again the USS Moffett (DD-362).
|25 May 1942||0330||1° 20'N, 35° 25'W||At 0030 hours, Archimede was informed that an American naval force was reported in 03°55' S, 35°00' W steering 330°, 15 knots and the submarine had altered course to 310° to intercept.|
At 0330 hours, the silhouette of a destroyer was observed but very quickly Archimede lost sight.
|25 May 1942||2030||1° 20'N, 35° 20'W||At 2030 hours, a tanker escorted by a destroyer was sighted steering 170°, 12 knots. Archimede was not in a favourable position to attack and, at 2215 hours, was sighted by the destroyer and forced to submerge.|
|2 Jun 1942||2350||1° 10'N, 38° 45'W||At 2350 hours, an illuminated Swedish ship was sighted steering 320°, 10 knots.|
|4 Jun 1942||1200||2° 05'N, 9° 00'W||At 1200 hours, a steamer was sighted zigzagging on a 300° course at 13 knots. Archimede chased it until 2330 hours, when contact was lost in a rain squall.|
|8 Jun 1942||0430||2° 25'N, 40° 00'W||At 0430 hours, an Argentine steamer was seen steering 300°, 9 knots.|
|12 Jun 1942||0740||1° 55'N, 45° 45'W||At 0740 hours, the Spanish steamer Cabo De Monroe (?) was sighted steering 300°, 8 knots.|
|12 Jun 1942||1840||2° 00'N, 45° 25'W||At 0840 hours, an Argentine steamer was sighted steering 300°, 9 knots.|
|15 Jun 1942||1630|
1145 or 1445 GMT (e)
|3° 55'N, 42° 40'W|
(0) Approximately. Submarine position at 1315 hours.
|At 1315 hours, in 03°55' N, 42°40' W, a steamer was observed steering 315° at 9 knots.|
At 1630 hours, two torpedoes (450mm) were fired from the stern tubes at a distance of 1,500 metres. One scored a hit after 78 seconds.
This was the Panamanian Cardina (5,586 GRT, built 1919) on passage from Buenos Aires to New York via Trinidad, carrying 7,000 tons of Linseed. According to T.V. Gazzana Priaroggia, she fired one round at the submarine's periscope. Survivor reports do not mention that gunfire was used. The torpedo had hit in hold no. 5 and the crew quickly abandoned ship without orders. However, as the ship did not sink, the crew returned aboard within the hour. Some repairs were made and an SOS sent although it does not appear to have been received.
In the meantime, Archimede had moved away, to a distance of 5,000 metres, to verify if the ship was sinking.
At 2400 hours, when the target did not seem to sink, a torpedo (533mm, S.I. 270 type) was fired from 300 metres and hit, making a large hole in her side. The submarine fired eleven 100mm rounds, three at least scored hits and she finally sank at 0045 hours.
The thirty-four survivors were distributed in four lifeboats and reached Salinas (Brazil). There were no casualties.
|17 Jun 1942||0455|
|6° 30'N, 41° 00'W||At 2130 hours on 16th June, a steamer was observed zigzagging on a very irregular course, varying from 350° to 170° at 12 knots. T.V. Gianfranco Gazzana Priaroggia requested from BETASOM the permission to attack. This was quickly authorised.|
At 0455 hours, having now determined that the vessel's true course was 350°, Archimede had been closing on a parallel course and fired a torpedo (533mm) from a bow tube at a distance of 200 metres. The torpedo wake was observed to miss the stern by a few metres.
This was the American steamer Columbian (4,964 GRT, built 1918), bound from Trinidad for Capetown. She opened fire on the submarine, firing two rounds (one was claimed a hit, but the submarine was undamaged) and machine gun bursts at the submarine who replied with her Breda guns and took some distance.
At 0935 hours, the submarine made one last attempt by firing a torpedo (533mm, S.I. type 270) from a bow tube at a distance of 3,000 metres. It missed and the submarine, short on fuel, gave up the chase.
|27 Jun 1942||1345||31° 35'N, 22° 35'W||At 1345 hours, a convoy of about twenty ships including a cruiser and ships with two or three funnels was observed at a distance of 18,000 metres, steering 170°, 14 knots. Archimede submerged at 1421 hours and tried to attack but could not close to less than 15,000 meters. When surfacing again at 1600 hours, it was realised that the convoy had changed course and was now too far to intercept.|
|27 Jun 1942||1815||31° 35'N, 22° 35'W||At 1815 hours, a destroyer was sighted steering 135°. Archimede dived.|
|27 Jun 1942||2130||31° 35'N, 22° 35'W||At 2130 hours, a destroyer was sighted on a northerly course. Archimede dived.|
|Gazzana Priaroggia, Gianfranco||31 Aug 1942||1030||Bordeaux||31 Aug 1942||1530||Le Verdon||50||Passage Bordeaux-Le Verdon.|
|Gazzana Priaroggia, Gianfranco||1 Sep 1942||0850||Le Verdon||1 Sep 1942||1515||La Pallice||65||Passage Le Verdon-La Pallice.|
|Gazzana Priaroggia, Gianfranco||3 Sep 1942||0830||La Pallice||3 Sep 1942||1315||La Pallice||30||Exercises.|
|Gazzana Priaroggia, Gianfranco||6 Sep 1942||1035||La Pallice||6 Sep 1942||1522||La Pallice||29||Exercises.|
|13||Saccardo, Guido||15 Sep 1942||1715||La Pallice||17 Nov 1942||1100||Bordeaux||9813||Sailed with Bagnolini (a U-boat equipped with Metox for the Biscay passage was to accompany them but turned back because of defects) and patrolled near Freetown between 02°00'N and 04°00'N, and between 09°00'W 16°00'W.|
|18 Sep 1942||1500||44° 15'N, 8° 10'W||At 1500 hours, a submarine was sighted. Archimede dived.|
|1 Oct 1942||1120||16° 15'N, 21° 30'W||At 1120 hours, smokes were sighted on the horizon, initially believed to be a convoy . Archimede made an enemy report, but it was not received by BETASOM. It was later proved to be only a lone steamer. The submarine closed submerged at 1553 hours but then recognised it to be the Spanish Mar Caribe (5,152 GRT, built 1920). The attack was aborted.|
|9 Oct 1942||0720|
|4° 08'N, 20° 57'W||At 0705 hours, in rainy weather, a large vessel was sighted steering 060° at a distance of 4,000 metres. Archimede attempted a snap attack with the stern tubes, but good not get a good position.|
At 0720 hours, two torpedoes (533mm, S.I. 270 type) were fired from bow tubes at a distance of 1,800-2,000 metres. After 140 seconds, one scored a hit on the starboard side.
This was the troopship Oronsay (20,043 GRT, built 1925), traveling independently, on a return trip from Capetown where she had landed troops with convoy WS 21P. She was carrying 466 passengers and crew.
At 0737 hours, another pair of torpedoes (533mm, S.I. 270 type) were fired from bow tubes at a distance 800-1,000 metres. Both missed. The first deviated to port and the second apparently missed ahead.
At 0803 hours, a stern torpedo (450mm, W 200 type) was fired from 1,000-1,200 metres. It hit on the port side, but the troopship remained afloat.
At 1008 hours, a pair of stern torpedoes (450mm, W 200 type) was fired from 1,000-1,200 metres. They both hit on the port side. The submarine observed about fifteen lifeboats and left the scene. Oronsay finally sank in the evening.
Only six men were lost. The destroyer HMS Brilliant picked up 321 survivors (HMS Boreas was also sent to pick up survivors). The French sloop Dumont d'Urville picked up 47 survivors, the French steamer Lipari picked up another 19 survivors.
|9 Oct 1942||2327|
|4° 05'N, 20° 15'W||At 2233 hours, a large vessel was observed in the rain at a distance of 4,000 metres, steering on a NW course at 16 knots.|
At 2327 hours, two torpedoes (533mm, S.I. 270 type) were fired at a range of 1,200 metres. T.V. Guido Saccardo believed he had scored at least a hit and the vessel was observed to move away at a reduced speed.
At 0014 hours, a third torpedo (533mm, S.I. 270 type) was fired from a bow tube at a distance of 500 metres. It missed astern. Archimede had her bow tubes empty and had no time to reload. The vessel escaped.
This was the British troopship Nea Hellas (16,691 GRT, built 1922) on return trip from convoy WS 22 (Capetown to Glasgow). She made an SOS, her signal mentioning that she had been hit in No.3 and No.4 holds. The crew was ready to abandon ship. It was realised that she was not hit and that torpedoes had passed astern so the signal was cancelled. It is probable that the magnetic pistols had detonated prematurely. The destroyer HMS Brilliant was ordered to the area to hunt the submarine and escort Nea Hellas to Freetown.
|11 Oct 1942||1802||6° 20'N, 23° 35'W||At 1802 hours, a German U-boat was sighted and exchanged recognition signals.|
|19 Oct 1942||1400||7° 30'N, 19° 12'W||At 1400 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.|
|14||Saccardo, Guido||14 Feb 1943||Date???||Bordeaux||14 Feb 1943||Date???||Bordeaux||The submarine sailed from Bordeaux for Le Verdon with Da Vinci (?) and Bagnolini according to her lone survivor, but turned back due to defects.|
|15||Saccardo, Guido||26 Feb 1943||Evening||Le Verdon||15 Apr 1943||2140||Sunk||?||Sailed for patrol off the Brazilian coast. Carried sixteen torpedoes (ten 533mm and six 450 mm, the latter all astern). Sunk by two PBY-5A Catalina aircraft of 93rd Patrol Squadron (which belonged to the U.S. Navy Patrol and were part of VP-83) in 03°23'S, 30°28'W or 180 miles east of Fernando Noranha. Only one survivor was found after 27 days by Brazilian fishermen. According to her survivor, the submarine carried 10 x 533 mm torpedoes (made in Naples), six electric (G7e) and four magnetic, and 6 x 450 mm torpedoes (2 x 533 mm electric and 6 x 450 mm were aft, the remaining eight 533mm torpedoes were forward). Only sighted three neutral ships during her last patrol.|
|5 Apr 1943|
|At 1700 hours, a Brazilian A-28 aircraft piloted by Tenente Ivo Castaldoni, while sweeping the area behind convoy TC-9, sighted an object believed to be a submarine and attacked with depth charges. Following the attack, some debris and an oil slick were seen.|
It was initially thought that this may have been Archimede (who did not return from her patrol), but later it was believed that the Brazilians had attacked the wreck of the Swedish Industria, sunk by U-518 (KL Friedrich-Wilhelm Wissmann) on 25th March.
|15 Apr 1943||2140|
|3° 23'S, 30° 28'W||At 2140 hours, Archimede was surprised on the surface by two PBY-5A Catalina aircraft of 93rd Patrol Squadron (U.S. Navy). They were piloted respectively by Ensign T.E. Robertson, USN and Lieutenant Gerard Bradford Jr., USNR.|
The submarine was first sighted at a distance of 8 miles by Ensign Robertson. He made a stern attack and it was observed that the submarine was putting up antiaircraft fire. The Catalina dropped two demolition bombs and made a second run, dropping another pair of demolition bombs and two depth charges from a height of 2,000 feet. The submarine kept firing with two machine guns, one on the conning tower and one abaft the conning tower. The detonation of the bombs and depth charges completely hid the submarine from view. When the smoke cleared, the submarine circled for 15 minutes before resuming a straight course. The Catalina now circled the submarine at a distance of six miles while signalling other aircraft to home in. The submarine was now using her forward deck gun (100mm) to fire at least ten rounds at the Catalina.
The Catalina flown by Lieutenant Bradford arrived on the scene and made two runs, dropping two depth charges each time. Ensign Roberston was about to make a third run when the submarine's bow was observed to take a 050° angle before disappearing. About thirty-five or forty survivors were observed struggling in the water and the Catalina dropped a seven-man raft in their midst and flew away.
A raft with only a half-demented man landed on the Island of Bailique (western shore of the Amazon River) after 27 (or 29?) days at sea and was rescued by Brazilian fishermen. Giuseppe Lo Coco was the only survivor of Archimede. He had been in a life raft with ten survivors (according to his Italian report, although during his interrogation by the Americans, he had mentioned they were thirteen ). He had also seen another life raft with six survivors, including T.V. Saccardo. Survivors in his life raft had succumbed one after the other. Nine officers and fifty-one ratings had perished. Lo Cocco was brought to Belem by the Brazilian gunboat Risiner on 6th June 1943.
83 entries. 40 total patrol entries (15 marked as war patrols) and 51 events.