Italian submarines in World War Two

Salpa (SP)

TypeCoastal / Sea going 
ClassArgonauta (20) 
Laid down 23 Apr 1930 Cantieri Navale Tosi di Taranto, Taranto
Launched8 May 1932
Commissioned12 Dec 1932
End service
Loss date27 Jun 1941
Loss position32° 05'N, 26° 47'E
Fate Torpedoed and sunk on 27th June 1941 near Mersa Matruh, Egypt, in position 32°05'N, 26°47'E by the submarine HMS Triumph.


CommanderDate fromDate toCommand notes
C.C. Antonio Biondo15 Dec 193925 Nov 1940
S.T.V. Filiberto Sturlese25 Nov 194014 Dec 1940
C.C. Emilio Berengan14 Dec 19403 Jan 1941
C.C. Guido Coscia4 Jan 194128 Apr 1941
T.V. Renato Guagni29 Apr 194127 Jun 1941

Ships hit

No ships hit by this submarine.

Patrols and events

 CommanderDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
1Biondo, Antonio6 Jun 19400713Taranto16 Jun 19400440Gallipoli1381Patrolled 10 or 15 miles South of Gavdo with the submarines Giuliani, Bagnolini and Tarantini, on a line 20 miles apart. Heard only H.E.

Biondo, Antonio16 Jun 19400940Gallipoli16 Jun 19401550TarantoPassage Gallipoli-Taranto in company of the submarines Tarantini and Settimo, escorted by the destroyer Zeffiro.

2Biondo, Antonio27 Jun 19401201Taranto3 Jul 19401400Benghazi1398Sailed for 33°46'N, 23°10'E on a patrol line with submarines Anfitrite, Ondina and Uebi Scebeli, from a point 15 miles southwest of Gaudio to a point 40 miles northeast of Derna. On her way to the patrol line, she was damaged by bombs and forced to go to Benghazi. HMS Dainty claimed to have sunk her in 35°24'N, 24°10'E ca. 29th June 40. Biondo was severely reprimanded for lack of aggressiveness when encountering a target on 29th June 1940.
  29 Jun 19400720-0820
0615 (e)
At 0640 hours, Salpa was proceeding in company with Uebi Scebeli to their respective patrol areas when a destroyer was sighted. Salpa immediately dived.

At 0722 hours, Salpa heard three explosions probably at a distance of about 100 meters and another six at about 30 meters at 0726 hours, more followed until 0820 hours but they were distant. The submarine escaped without damage.
  1 Jul 19401035-1500
1050 (e)
33° 46'N, 23° 10'E
(0) Approximately.
At 0930 hours, hydrophone effects were heard. At 1035 hours, a vessel passed above and dropped three depth charges, causing some damages to Salpa.

She had been detected by HMS Hostile and HMAS Stuart in the area where a line of four Italian submarines had been deployed (following information from captured documents on the Uebi Scebeli). HMS Hostile located the submarine attacking at 1030 hours, but only using the thrower depth charges as the trap had jammed. HMAS Stuart attacked with a full pattern at 1050 hours.

At 1050 hours, the vessel passed again and dropped about six depth charges, causing more damage, The submarine went down to 60 meters. Six more depth-charges were heard at 1500 hours and the submarine was forced to abort her patrol and go to Benghazi. British Naval intelligence believed the submarine was probably Uarsciek and that she was sunk

Biondo, Antonio16 Jul 19401230Benghazi19 Jul 19401325TarantoPassage Benghazi-Taranto. Return trip for repairs following damage by bombs on 29th June. Then repairs until 20th October 1940.

Biondo, Antonio22 Jul 19401350Taranto24 Jul 19401610Pola494Passage Taranto-Pola.

Biondo, Antonio21 Sep 19400840Pola21 Sep 19401818Pola56,2Exercises.

Biondo, Antonio25 Sep 19400806Pola25 Sep 19401609Pola29,7Exercises.

Biondo, Antonio29 Sep 19400725Pola29 Sep 19401258Pola36,2Exercises.

Biondo, Antonio8 Oct 19401015Pola10 Oct 19401607Taranto520Passage Pola-Taranto.

Biondo, Antonio12 Oct 19400931Taranto12 Oct 19401420Taranto21,8Exercises.

Biondo, Antonio18 Oct 19400835Taranto18 Oct 19401511Taranto30Exercises.

Biondo, Antonio20 Oct 19400900Taranto20 Oct 19401320Taranto20Exercises.

Biondo, Antonio22 Oct 19400812Taranto22 Oct 19401750Taranto20,7Exercises.

3Biondo, Antonio24 Oct 19401736Taranto26 Oct 19402155Brindisi275Sailed for patrol off Cyrenaica, between 34°20'N and 34°55'N, 23°30'N and 24°40'E but turned back because weather damage and battery problems. Repairs until December 1940.
  26 Oct 19401200
(0) Off Santa Maria di Leuca.
At 1200 hours, a battleship of the ANDREA DORIA class was sighted at 7,000 metres and fired two rounds at Salpa, as the submarine had been slow to respond to her signals. This was indeed Andrea Doria on transfer from Pola to Taranto, who checked her fire when the submarine made the proper recognition signal. The bad weather had forced her destroyer escort to turn back as they could not maintain a speed of 15 knots.

Sturlese, Filiberto3 Dec 19401250Brindisi3 Dec 19401607Brindisi21Exercises.

Sturlese, Filiberto7 Dec 19400959Brindisi7 Dec 19401110Brindisi0,3Entered dock?

Berengan, Emilio20 Dec 19400851Brindisi20 Dec 19401253Brindisi20,5Exercises.

4Berengan, Emilio21 Dec 19400945Brindisi30 Dec 19402315Augusta918Patrolled in Straits of Otranto in 39°40'N, 19°10'E. Uneventful. Heard only distant H.E. and explosions.

Berengan, Emilio31 Dec 1940Time?Augusta (outside)31 Dec 19400815AugustaMoved from anchorage to harbour.

5Coscia, Guido26 Jan 19411400Augusta27 Jan 19410907Augusta124Hydrophone Watch off Augusta. Uneventful except for H.E.

6Coscia, Guido31 Jan 19411710Augusta5 Feb 19411250Augusta585Sailed for patrol off Cyrenaica. Damaged by A/S craft, but turned back due to defects.
  3 Feb 1941020035° 50'N, 18° 48'EAt 0200 hours, three enemy destroyers were sighted and they hunted the submarine until 1600 hours.

Coscia, Guido5 Feb 19410744Augusta6 Feb 19411426Messina585Passage Augusta-Messina [mileage is from 31st January].

Coscia, Guido10 Feb 19410950Messina 11 Feb 19411515Taranto270Passage Messina-Taranto. Repairs until 20th March 1941.
  10 Feb 19411815
1752 (e)

(0) 278° - Punta Stilo - 5.5 miles.
At 1815 hours, two torpedo wakes were sighted on the starboard side. Salpa put the helm hard to port to avoid them.

This attack was made by the submarine HMS Rover (Lieutenant. Commander H.A.L. Marsham, RN). She had sighted a submarine of the PERLA class at a distance of 8,000 yards and, at 1752 hours, fired five torpedoes from a distance of 1,500 yards (a sixth misfired and Marsham believed it was the one that should have hit).

At 2300 hours, Salpa encountered a convoy (the Germans Arta, Heraklea and Maritza, all empty, on transfer from Bari to Messina) escprted by the destroyer Baleno and signalled the presence of the enemy submarine.

Coscia, Guido14 Feb 19410245Taranto14 Feb 19411220TarantoTrials.

Coscia, Guido24 Mar 19411128Taranto24 Mar 19411816Taranto36Exercises.

7Coscia, Guido31 Mar 19411645Taranto14 Apr 19411545Taranto1413,5Patrolled off Albanian coast in 41°50'N, 18°25'E on a SE-NW axis, off Cape Krio. Sighted MAS boats and heard H.E.

8Coscia, Guido25 Apr 19411837Taranto26 Apr 19411105Taranto88Hydrophone Watch in Gulf of Taranto. Uneventful.

9Coscia, Guido27 Apr 19412110Taranto28 Apr 19411048Taranto95Hydrophone Watch in Gulf of Taranto. Uneventful.

Guagni, Renato5 May 19411820Taranto6 May 19411625TarantoExercises with H.8, escorted by the pilot vessel Limbara.

10Guagni, Renato9 May 19411137Taranto25 May 19411145Messina2343Patrolled southwest of Crete, between 34°40'N and 35°20'N, 23°00'E and 24°40'E and from 14th to 16th May off Egyptian coast, between 31°20'N and 32°40'N, 28°00'E and 29°20'E. Uneventful except H.E.

Guagni, Renato12 Jun 19410830Messina12 Jun 19411650MessinaExercises, escorted by Arcione.

11Guagni, Renato18 Jun 19412155Messina27 Jun 19410811 (UK)Sunk with all handsSailed for patrol off Egyptian coast and Cyrenaica, between 31°55 N and Egyptian coast, and between 26°20'E and 26°40'E (according to German records between 32°40'N and 32°27'N , and between 25°00'E and 25°20'E) She had to proceed to Leros and was sunk in 32°04'N, 26°47'E by the British submarine HMS Triumph. No survivors, five officers and forty-three ratings killed.
  27 Jun 1941
0818+ (e)

(e) 32° 05'N, 26° 47'E
At 0757 hours, the submarine HMS Triumph (Lieutenant Commander W.J.W. Woods, RN) sighted what looked like masts of a small ships. Five minutes later, it was recognised as a submarine and she probably had just surfaced. Later it was identified as a PERLA class boat, steering 003° at 10 knots.

At 0811 hours, the British submarine opened fire from 1,500 yards. In all, 33 4" rounds were fired of which 5 were direct hits as well as 330 rounds with her Lewis guns.

This was Salpa on patrol off the Egyptian coast. The Italian submarine appeared to have fired back 5 rounds with her deck gun, but was now apparently almost stopped and sinking by the stern.

At 0818 hours, HMS Triumph fired two torpedoes at 600 yards. The first deviated to port, but the second squarely hit the target and she sank. A large pool of oil was seen but no survivors.

Salpa had gone down with all hands. Five officers and forty-three ratings perished.

33 entries. 32 total patrol entries (11 marked as war patrols) and 6 events.

All Italian submarines