Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Giulio Contreas

Born  25 Nov 1910Formia (Latina)
Died   2009(98)Varese


  T.V.Tenente di Vascello
  C.C.Capitano di Corvetta


31 Oct 1941 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
29 Jan 1942 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
2 May 1945 Croce di guerra al valore militare
11 Apr 1951 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
11 Apr 1951 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare
5 Aug 1951 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare

Career information

ATROPO (T.V. First Officer): from 15.02.1939 to ?
PIETRO MICCA (T.V. resp.): from 14.09.1940 to 30.09.1940 (refit at Taranto).
ALAGI (T.V. C.O.): from 14.04.1941 to 19.01.1942.
Promoted to C.C. in March 1942
ARGO (C.C. C.O.): from 04.03.1942 to 16.05.1942.
From 15.06.1942 to at least January 1943, served as First Officer of the destroyer BOMBARDIERE.

Commands listed for Giulio Contreas

Submarine Type Rank From To
Pietro Micca (MC)MinelayingT.V.14 Sep 194030 Sep 1940
Alagi (AL, N.58)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.14 Apr 194119 Jan 1942
Argo (AO, I.26)Ocean goingC.C.4 Mar 194216 May 1942

Ships hit by Giulio Contreas

No ships hit by this Commander.

War patrols listed for Giulio Contreas

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Pietro Micca (MC)14 Sep 1940Taranto30 Sep 1940TarantoRefit.

Alagi (AL, N.58)16 Apr 19410935Venice16 Apr 19411615Monfalcone64Passage Venice-Monfalcone.

Alagi (AL, N.58)18 Apr 19410852Monfalcone18 Apr 19411604Monfalcone46Trials escorted by a tug.

Alagi (AL, N.58)30 Apr 19410911Monfalcone30 Apr 19411540Pola70Passage Monfalcone-Pola.

Alagi (AL, N.58)2 May 19410842Pola2 May 19410945Pola0,5Trials.

Alagi (AL, N.58)3 May 19410845Pola3 May 19410955Pola1Trials.

Alagi (AL, N.58)4 May 19410835Pola4 May 19411140Pola1Trials.

Alagi (AL, N.58)6 May 19410706Pola6 May 19411845Pola57,5Trials, escorted by the auxiliary San Giorgio.

Alagi (AL, N.58)7 May 19410830Pola7 May 19411259Pola18Trials, escorted by the auxiliary Gigliola.

Alagi (AL, N.58)8 May 19410800Pola8 May 19411455Pola15Trials.

Alagi (AL, N.58)9 May 19410945Pola9 May 19411118Pola5Trials.

Alagi (AL, N.58)10 May 19410750Pola10 May 19411840Pola73Exercises with the submarine Speri, escorted by the auxiliary San Giorgio.

Alagi (AL, N.58)13 May 19410747Pola13 May 19411850Pola73Exercises with the submarine Speri, escorted by the auxiliary Jadera.

Alagi (AL, N.58)14 May 19411100Pola15 May 19410309Pola90Exercises with the submarine Medusa, escorted by the auxiliary San Giorgio. Torpedo firing exercise followed in zone 4 escorted by the tug Tenace and using the torpedo boat Cantore as target.

Alagi (AL, N.58)15 May 19411135Pola15 May 19411150Pola0,5Changed anchorage.

Alagi (AL, N.58)16 May 19410800Pola16 May 19411833Pola81Sailed with the submarine Bragadino, escorted by auxiliary Jadera, in zone 5. Used the torpedo boat Cantore as target for torpedo firing exercise.

Alagi (AL, N.58)17 May 19411115Pola17 May 19411441Pola23Exercises with the submarine Axum, escorted by the auxiliary Parenzo.

Alagi (AL, N.58)19 May 19410855Pola19 May 19412320Pola72Exercises, escorted by the torpedo boat Cantore and the auxiliary Laurana.

Alagi (AL, N.58)23 May 19410204Pola25 May 19412020Messina659Passage Pola-Messina.

1.Alagi (AL, N.58)28 May 19411606Messina14 Jun 19411615Messina2078Patrolled between 34°20'N and the south coast of Crete, between 25°20'E and 25°40'E or Grids 2472 and 2484, until 4th June then off Egyptian coast near Ras Azzaz until 10th June.
  29 May 1941162536° 59'N, 17° 26'EAt 1625 hours, a derelict mine was sighted at a distance of 1,000 metres. An attempt to destroy it by machine-gun fire failed.
  6 Jun 1941032532° 10'N, 25° 20'EAt 0325 hours, a destroyer was sighted at a range of 3,000 metres, steering 100° at 15 knots. Alagi maneuvered on the surface at 7 knots to carry out a stern attack but was thwarted when a second destroyer appeared at 1,500 metres. She crash-dived and was not detected. In the following days she sighted only small fishing vessels.
  12 Jun 19411947
(0) Approximately.
At 1947 hours, a Sunderland was sighted steering 290°. Alagi was proceeding on the surface at 9.5 knots and T.V. Giulio Contreas elected to fight it out. The aircraft passed ahead at a height of 100 metres, flashing white lights and ineffectively strafing the submarine. Alagi's light and heavy machine-guns opened fire, claiming repeated hits. The aircraft came back and dropped two bombs, which fell astern of the submarine, without causing damage. However, this time its firing was accurate and hit the conning tower with 15 rounds, mortally wounding gunner Paolo Nuzzo and slightly wounding another. The aircraft was hit and disappeared trailing smoke. Contreas believed that it may have been shot down.

This was a Sunderland from Malta, but the report seems to have been lost.

Alagi (AL, N.58)4 Jul 19410850Messina4 Jul 19411647Messina59Trials, escorted by the auxiliary Castiglia.

Alagi (AL, N.58)8 Jul 19410825Messina8 Jul 19411141Messina14Trials, escorted by the motorboat Arcioni.

Alagi (AL, N.58)8 Jul 19412102Messina10 Jul 19410835Cagliari333Passage Messina-Cagliari.

2.Alagi (AL, N.58)16 Jul 19411710Cagliari19 Jul 19410820Cagliari444Sailed with Diaspro to form a patrol line between 37°40'N and 37°50'N and between 05°00'E and 06°00'E, near Cape Bougaroni. Uneventful.

3.Alagi (AL, N.58)21 Jul 19411508Cagliari27 Jul 19410942Cagliari727Patrolled north of Cape Bougaroni, between 37°30'N and 37°50'N, and between 05°00'E and 06°00'E, on a barrage line with Diaspro.
  24 Jul 1941175837° 45'N, 4° 50'EAt 1758 hours, an aircraft carrier and two destroyers were sighted at a distance of 15,000 metres, steering 085°. Alagi could not get within attacking range.

This was the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal carrying out operation SUBSTANCE.
  25 Jul 19411527
(0) North of Cape Bougaroni.
At 1527 hours, an aircraft carrier, two cruisers and several destroyers were sighted steering 030°, then moving westward. Alagi could not get into an attacking position, losing visual contact at 1643 hours and hydrophone contact at 1932 hours.

This was the aircraft HMS Ark Royal and other ships retiring westward (Operation SUBSTANCE).

4.Alagi (AL, N.58)30 Jul 19411934Cagliari5 Aug 19411530Cagliari737,3Patrolled in 37°50'N, between 05°00'E and 06°00'E, on a barrage line with Diaspro. At 0219 hours on 3rd August, she was ordered to 37°30'N, 05°30'E. Several reports were received of a naval force from Gibraltar but Alagi sighted nothing.
  3 Aug 1941232737° 33'N, 5° 03'EAt 0300 hours, information was received of an important convoy sighted, at 2220 hours on 2nd August, in Italian Grid 8327/5, steering 270° at 16 knots. Alagi was ordered to shift her patrol 20 miles south.

At 2327 hours, an illuminated vessel was sighted steering 325°. It was probably French.
  4 Aug 1941033037° 29'N, 5° 08'EAt 0330 hours, an illuminated vessel, probably French, was sighted steering 150°.

Alagi (AL, N.58)7 Aug 19410735Cagliari7 Aug 19411151Cagliari11Exercises with the submarine Aradam, escorted by the minesweeper Balear.

5.Alagi (AL, N.58)8 Aug 19410155Cagliari9 Aug 19410834Cagliari221Sailed for patrol west of Galite for a few hours, in 37°40'N, 08°30'E then ordered back. Uneventful.

6.Alagi (AL, N.58)22 Aug 19411605Cagliari29 Aug 19410910Cagliari951Patrolled on 37°30'N parallel between 5° E and 6° E (off Bougie) on a patrol line with Serpente.
  27 Aug 1941122438° 25'N, 7° 22'EAt 2233 hours on 26th August, MARICOSOM informed Alagi of the presence of three enemy merchant ships and she proceeded to intercept.

At 0011 hours, the submarine received the order to return to base.

At 1224 hours, a signal from MARICOSOM (1135/27) informed Alagi of a 10-20,000-ton transport in Grid 6580/6, steering 270° at 15 knots. T.V. Giulio Contreas thought that he had a chance to intercept and altered course at maximum speed (9 knots as one of his diesels had defects). From 1935 to 2035 hours, hydrophone effects were heard from this vessel, but it was faster than expected and contact was lost.

At 2245 hours, Alagi was informed of an armed steamer apparently damaged in 37°24' N, 06°54' E and ordered to attack it. This was Deucalion attacked by Bandiera.

  28 Aug 1941104037° 24'N, 6° 50'EAt 0013 hours on the 28th, the submarine was informed of an Italian aircraft shot down and ordered look for survivors.

At 1040 hours, a body was sighted floating in the sea and was recovered. It was T.V. Antonio Forni, naval observer. No survivors were found.
  29 Aug 19410845
(0) At entrance of Cagliari.
At 0845 hours, the body of T.V. Antonio Forni was transferred to the tug Vado.

7.Alagi (AL, N.58)2 Sep 19412241Cagliari4 Sep 19411844Cagliari380Sailed with Serpente for patrol in 37°20'N, 06°00'E, between 05°00'E and 06°00'E (off Bougie) to intercept a force from Gibraltar, but at 2015 hours on 3rd Septemeber (about an hour after reaching her patrol position), she was ordered back by MARICOSOM.

8.Alagi (AL, N.58)15 Sep 19411304Cagliari26 Sep 19411155Cagliari1049Patrolled in zone K.1 (between 37°14'N and the coast and between 11°00'E and Ras Iddà) [next to Smeraldo in zone K.2] off Cape Bon. Then ordered to zone K.3. Uneventful.
  20 Sep 1941101537° 08'N, 11° 02'EAt 1015 hours, an Italian 20,000-ton motor-ship escorted by four destroyers were sighted on a northerly course. Alagi had been informed of their passage and remained submerged at a depth of 20 meters, with one destroyer passing over her exactly seven minutes later .

This was the troop transport Vulcania escorted by the destroyers Da Recco, Da Noli, Pessagno and Usodimare travelling from Tripoli to Naples.

Alagi (AL, N.58)4 Oct 19411301Cagliari4 Oct 19411648Cagliari21Exercises, escorted by the minesweeper Balear.

9.Alagi (AL, N.58)16 Oct 19412358Cagliari21 Oct 19410030Cagliari530Sailed with Aradam, Serpente, Turchese and Diaspro for patrol North of Cape Bougaroni between 37°10'N and 37°50'N, 06°40'E and 07°20'E.
  17 Oct 1941084138° 25'N, 8° 15'EAt 0841 hours, an aircraft was seen at a distance of 7,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  18 Oct 1941050037° 17'N, 6° 32'EAt 0500 hours, a steamer was observed at a distance of 10,000 metres. Alagi could not close to investigate.

At 1405 hours, the submarine received a signal from MARICOSOM (1245/18) indicating an aircraft carrier, a battleship and six destroyers steering 090°, 14 knots at 1132 hours in Italian Grid 9319/5, about 120 miles away.

This was the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, the battleship HMS Rodney, the light cruiser HMS Hermione and seven destroyers carrying out operation CALLBOY.

The submarine altered course to intercept but could not make contact.

10.Alagi (AL, N.58)24 Oct 19412256Cagliari3 Nov 19411508Cagliari1050Sailed with Diaspro for patrol between 37°00'N and 37°15'N and 05°20'E and 06°00'E, north of Bay of Bougie and off Cape Cavallo near 36°56'N, 05°24'E. Uneventful. Sighted only French ships.

Alagi (AL, N.58)15 Nov 19411334Cagliari15 Nov 19411719Cagliari22Trials.

Alagi (AL, N.58)19 Nov 19410610Cagliari20 Nov 19411238Naples278Passage Cagliari-Naples, to change periscope.

Alagi (AL, N.58)24 Nov 19410710Naples25 Nov 19411200Cagliari271Passage Naples-Cagliari.

11.Alagi (AL, N.58)26 Nov 19412300Cagliari8 Dec 19411100Cagliari1116Patrolled north of Cape de Fer between 37°40'N and African coast and 07°10'E and 07°40'E.
  5 Dec 1941204037° 38'N, 7° 27'EAt 2040 hours, a submarine or antisubmarine vessel was sighted at a distance of 4,000 metres. Alagi was not in a favourable position and T.V. Contreas elected to submerge.

Alagi (AL, N.58)17 Dec 19410813Cagliari17 Dec 19411305Cagliari24Exercises with auxiliary Balear.

12.Alagi (AL, N.58)18 Dec 19412055Cagliari25 Dec 19411210Cagliari731Patrolled off Cape du Fer between 37°30'N and Algerian coast, 07°20'E and 07°30'E. Sighted several French ships.
  19 Dec 1941100037° 44'N, 7° 38'EAt 1000 hours, a submarine similar to Aradam was sighted steering 070°. Alagi dived immediately.

13.Alagi (AL, N.58)1 Jan 19421835Cagliari8 Jan 19421725Cagliari1225Patrolled with Axum, Aradam and Turchese, between Malta and Pantelleria, between 34°00'N and 34°20'N, and between 15°20'E and 16°00'E, forming a patrol line as a submarine screen to protect Italian convoys to Libya.
  6 Jan 1942100034° 55'N, 13° 17'EAt 1000 hours, a derelict mine was seen 300 metres away. No attempts were made to destroy it as the heavy seas made the aiming difficult.

Alagi (AL, N.58)18 Jan 19420803Cagliari18 Jan 19421206Cagliari22Trials escorted by the tug Salvore.

Argo (AO, I.26)2 Mar 19420924Naples2 Mar 19421300Naples16Trials.

Argo (AO, I.26)6 Mar 19420900Naples7 Mar 19421725Naples46Trials.

Argo (AO, I.26)8 Mar 19420800Naples8 Mar 19421615Naples26Trials.

Argo (AO, I.26)9 Mar 19421215Naples9 Mar 19421905Naples41,9Trials.

Argo (AO, I.26)17 Mar 19420728Naples17 Mar 19421655Naples49Exercises.

Argo (AO, I.26)24 Mar 19420725Naples24 Mar 19421746Naples51Exercises.

Argo (AO, I.26)26 Mar 19420735Naples26 Mar 19421849Naples53,5Exercises.

Argo (AO, I.26)28 Mar 19421306Naples28 Mar 19421852Naples44,5Exercises.

Argo (AO, I.26)29 Mar 19421500Naples29 Mar 19421903Naples32,5Exercises.

Argo (AO, I.26)1 Apr 19421835Naples1 Apr 19422225Naples37Exercises.

14.Argo (AO, I.26)2 Apr 19421955Naples22 Apr 19422305Cagliari1796,5Patrolled between 36°20'N and 36°40'N, and between 01°40'W and 00°40'E, southeast of Cape de Gata, southeast of Cape Palos, West of Cape Falcon to attack traffic to and from Gibraltar. On 13th April, was ordered in Grids 6366 and 4566. One of the longest Mediterranean patrol for an Italian submarine.
  10 Apr 1942060536° 39'N, 0° 40'EAt 0605 hours, a cruiser or large destroyer was sighted at 3,000 metres. The submarine maneuvered to pass ahead of the enemy vessel to fire the stern tubes at less than 1,000 meters, but C.C. Contreas believed he had been detected and went down to 120 meters. No counterattack followed.
  15 Apr 19420224At 0224 hours, the Portuguese schooner Pádua (665 GRT, built 1925) was sighted at 1,000 metres.
  19 Apr 1942131036° 04'N, 1° 50'WAt 1310 hours, an enemy destroyer was sighted at 6,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  20 Apr 19420800At 0800 hours, two small French steamers were sighted at a distance of 10,000 metres.
  21 Apr 19421910At 1910 hours, a vessel was sighted and the submarine was in a favourable position and dived to the attack. This was the French ship Djebel Nador (3,168 GRT, built 1938) and the attack was aborted.

Argo (AO, I.26)13 May 19420800Cagliari13 May 19421500Cagliari22Trials.

65 entries. 54 total patrol entries (14 marked as war patrols) and 21 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines