Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Alberto Donato

Born  4 May 1914La Spezia
Died  26 Sep 1980(66)Rome


  T.V.Tenente di Vascello


20 Apr 1944 Croce di guerra al valore militare
4 Nov 1944 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
24 Dec 1944 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare
12 Apr 1946 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare

Career information

From 25.02.1940, served on the staff of 5° GRUPSOM (Leros).
BEILUL (T.V. First Officer): from 20.07.1940 to November 1940+.
ZOEA (T.V. First Officer): from 18.12.1940 to ?
From 13.09.1941 to June 1942+, served as T.V. (Capo Servizio T.) of 3° GRUPSOM (Messina).
DIASPRO (T.V. C.O.): from 30.11.1942 to 05.09.1943.
LUCIANO MANARA (T.V. C.O.): from 10.12.1943 to 15.04.1944.
CIRO MENOTTI (T.V. C.O.): from 15.04.1944 to 18.06.1944.

Commands listed for Alberto Donato

Submarine Type Rank From To
Diaspro (DS)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.30 Nov 19425 Sep 1943
Luciana Manara (MR)Ocean goingT.V.10 Dec 194315 Apr 1944
Ciro Menotti (ME, N.66)Ocean goingT.V.15 Apr 194418 Jun 1944

Ships hit by Alberto Donato

No ships hit by this Commander.

War patrols listed for Alberto Donato

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
1.Diaspro (DS)2 Dec 19420316La Maddalena4 Dec 19420006La Maddalena278,5Defensive patrol near La Maddalena, between 41°40'N and 41°55'N, and between 08°20'E and Corsican coast. Uneventful.

Diaspro (DS)6 Dec 19421745La Maddalena7 Dec 19421530Cagliari197,6Passage La Maddalena-Cagliari.

2.Diaspro (DS)12 Dec 19422345Cagliari24 Dec 19420925Cagliari1032,5Patrolled in Western Mediterranean between 38°00'N and 38°20'N, and between 08°20'E and 08°40'E.
  13 Dec 19420725At 0725 hours, three German aircraft were seen and exchanged recognition signals with Diaspro.
  13 Dec 19420930At 0930 hours, an Italian aircraft was seen and exchanged recognition signals with Diaspro.
  21 Dec 1942005538° 05'N, 8° 30'EAt 0055 hours, a vessel initially believed to be a submarine was sighted but may have been an A/S vessel. Diaspro submerged and heard explosions coming from the direction of the vessel.
  22 Dec 19422240-224538° 12'N, 8° 29'EAt 2245 hours, a submarine was sighted on a northerly course. This was perhaps HMS P 247 (later named HMS Saracen). Diaspro lost contact in a rain squall.
  23 Dec 1942025538° 12'N, 8° 27'EAt 0255 hours, a submarine was sighted on a northerly course at a distance of 3,000 metres. This was perhaps HMS P 247 again. Diaspro lost contact.

Diaspro (DS)1 Jan 19431457Cagliari2 Jan 19432110Naples271Passage Cagliari-Naples.

Diaspro (DS)20 Feb 19430836Naples20 Feb 19431401Naples17Exercises and trials.

Diaspro (DS)23 Feb 19431340Naples23 Feb 19431830Naples22,5Exercises and trials.

Diaspro (DS)24 Feb 19431343Naples24 Feb 19432030Naples25Exercises and trials.

Diaspro (DS)27 Feb 19431009Naples27 Feb 19431633Naples29Exercises and trials.

Diaspro (DS)20 Mar 19430820Naples20 Mar 19431747Naples21Gyrocompass tests and exercises.

Diaspro (DS)21 Mar 19431535Naples21 Mar 19431947Naples7Exercises.

Diaspro (DS)23 Mar 19431018Naples23 Mar 19431331Naples19Exercises.

Diaspro (DS)24 Mar 19431212Naples24 Mar 19431355Pozzuoli12,5Exercises.

Diaspro (DS)25 Mar 19430855Pozzuoli25 Mar 19431551Pozzuoli28Exercises.

Diaspro (DS)26 Mar 19430824Pozzuoli26 Mar 19431607Pozzuoli37Exercises.

Diaspro (DS)3 Apr 19431400Pozzuoli3 Apr 19431555Naples12,5Passage Pozzuoli-Naples.

Diaspro (DS)4 Apr 19430045Naples5 Apr 19430645La Maddalena250,2Passage Naples-La Maddalena.

Diaspro (DS)7 Apr 19430853La Maddalena7 Apr 19431747Ajaccio68,1Passage La Maddalena-Ajaccio.

3.Diaspro (DS)2 May 19432310Ajaccio17 May 19431215La Maddalena1076,2Patrolled in Western Mediterranean, between 39°00'N and 39°40'N, and between 05°00'E and 05°40'E.
  12 May 1943225138° 56'N, 5° 22'EAt 2251 hours, an aircraft was seen at 1,000 metres and the submarine dived. When it reached a depth of 50 meters, a leak was noticed, through the stern torpedo tube no. 6. Diaspro surfaced and at 0545 hours on the 13th, a rating donned a diving apparatus and managed to remove an obstruction from the tube door stopping the leak.
  17 May 19430630
(0) 058° - Porto Torres - 4.7 miles.
At 0630 hours, Diaspro came under fire from an Italian coastal battery when she was mistaken for an enemy submarine. Fortunately, the nearest round fell some 800 meters short and, after making recognition signals and displaying the Italian flag, the battery checked fire.

Diaspro (DS)27 May 19431100La Maddalena27 May 19431202Porto Palma3,5Passage La Maddalena-Porto Palma.

Diaspro (DS)28 May 19430925Porto Palma28 May 19431030Mezzo Schifo4Passage Porto Palma-Mezzo Schifo.

Diaspro (DS)6 Jun 19430920Mezzo Schifo6 Jun 19431010Villamarina2Passage Mezzo Schifo-Villamarina.

Diaspro (DS)10 Jun 19430455Cala Villamarina10 Jun 19430820Bonifacio21,5Passage Cala Villamarina-Bonifacio.

Diaspro (DS)18 Jun 19431342Bonifacio18 Jun 19431730La Maddalena23,5Passage Bonifacio-La Maddalena.

Diaspro (DS)22 Jun 19430855La Maddalena22 Jun 19431000G. Salina5Passage Bonifacio-G. Salina.

Diaspro (DS)24 Jun 19431030G. Salina24 Jun 19431104Porto Palma2,5Passage G. Salina-Porto Palma.

Diaspro (DS)26 Jun 19430507Porto Palma26 Jun 19430826Bonifacio23,5Passage Porto Palma-Bonifacio.

Diaspro (DS)28 Jun 19430755Bonifacio28 Jun 19431255Bonifacio20Exercises.

Diaspro (DS)1 Jul 19430830Bonifacio1 Jul 19431330BonifacioExercises.

Diaspro (DS)3 Jul 19430500Bonifacio3 Jul 19430732La Maddalena23,5Passage Bonifacio-La Maddalena.

Diaspro (DS)6 Jul 19430500Mezzoschifo6 Jul 19431220Ajaccio65,8Passage Mezzoschifo-Ajaccio.

4.Diaspro (DS)10 Jul 19430400Ajaccio16 Jul 19430630Naples753Sailed with Platino. Patrolled in Western Mediterranean in zone 99 [between 37°20'N and North African coast, and between 07°20'E and 07°40'E], off Cap de Fer (Algeria).
  11 Jul 19432141
(0) Near Sardinia.
At 2141 hours, a submarine was sighted on a southerly course at a distance of 5,000 metres. Shortly after, another submarine was sighted at a distance of 3,000 metres steering WNW. Diaspro took avoiding action.
  13 Jul 1943011337° 05'N, 7° 40'EAt 0000 hours, two shadows were sighted. The submarine closed to 5,000 metres and identified them as two 10,000-ton steamers. Shortly after, a destroyer was sighted in between them. At 0007 hours, the destroyer, closing on Diaspro, was now at 1,000 metres and T.V. Donato decided to dive to 60 metres.

At 0102 hours, the submarine surfaced and immediately sighted a large steamer escorted by two corvettes at a distance of 3,000 metres.

At 0113 hours, four torpedoes were fired from the bow tubes, at a distance of 2,500 metres, at the steamer estimated to be of 15,000 tons. Her speed was intially estimated to 15 knots, but later corrected to 8 knots. It was then realised that the vessel was perhaps going at a slower speed causing the torpedoes to miss. Diaspro now reverted course.

At 0120 hours, the two stern torpedoes were fired at a range of 2,500 metres. Two hits were heard after 148 seconds but no such success is confirmed in British documents.

The target has not yet been identified.

5.Diaspro (DS)23 Jul 19432205Naples3 Aug 19430738Naples887,7Patrolled off Pantelleria and east coast of Sicily for operation ZETA.
  25 Jul 19430300
(0) Near Point M3 (near Cape Vaticano).
At 0300 hours, a hospital ship was sighted on a southerly course.
  25 Jul 19430310
(0) Near Point M3 (near Cape Vaticano).
At 0310 hours, two Italian steamers and a corvette were encountered on an opposite course. This was the convoy consisting of Viminale, Magliulo and Petsamo escorted by the torpedo boat Pallade, the corvette Gabbiano and the tug Forte and Tenax sailing from Messina for Naples. Pallade fired four star shells before recognising the submarine.
  26 Jul 1943022037° 38'N, 16° 38'EAt 0220 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  26 Jul 19432133At 2133 hours, a MTB was sighted and Diaspro dived to 50 metres.
  27 Jul 19430243At 0243 hours, a MTB was sighted and Diaspro dived.
  27 Jul 1943040536° 30'N, 16° 09'EAt 0405 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  27 Jul 19430440At 0440 hours, several aircraft were seen and the submarine dived.
  27 Jul 1943230836° 20'N, 15° 02'EAt 2308 hours, flares apparently dropped by an aircraft were seen and the submarine dived.
  28 Jul 19430232At 0232 hours, a MTB was seen and the submarine dived.
  28 Jul 1943171336° 22'N, 14° 40'EAt 1713 hours, an aircraft was seen when Diaspro was at periscope depth. She went deep.
  28 Jul 19432345At 2345 hours, a MTB was seen and the submarine dived.
  29 Jul 19430120At 0120 hours, a MTB was seen and the submarine dived to 50 metres.
  29 Jul 19432210At 2210 hours, a hospital ship was sighted and the submarine crash-dived, perhaps to avoid a collision.
  2 Aug 1943221539° 07'N, 11° 56'EAt 2215 hours, flares, apparently dropped by an aircraft, were seen and the submarine dived.

Diaspro (DS)11 Aug 19430800Naples11 Aug 19431257Naples7Exercises.

6.Diaspro (DS)15 Aug 19430830Naples22 Aug 19430725Naples335,6Patrolled north of the Strait of Messina between parallel of Stromboli and coast.
  18 Aug 1943005238° 41'N, 15° 20'EAt 0048 hours, two enemy destroyers were sighted, steering 149° at a distance of 8,000 metres.

At 0052 hours, Diaspro fired two stern torpedoes (533mm, S.I. type) at a distance of 5,000 metres. They missed.
  19 Aug 1943232338° 42'N, 15° 20'EAt 2319 hours, two destroyers were sighted steering 099°. Diaspro fired four torpedoes (533mm, G7e type) from her bow tubes at a range of 3,500 metres. Two were claimed to have hit. T.V. Donato believed he had sunk one and damaged the other.

At 0145 hours, an immobilised destroyer was sighted but the submarine had expended all her torpedoes and could not finish her off.

Unfortunately, the results were not confirmed. This was the last attack by an Italian submarine in the Mediterranean Theatre.

Diaspro (DS)28 Aug 19430920Naples28 Aug 19431604Naples37,8Exercises.

Diaspro (DS)29 Aug 19431350Naples29 Aug 19431555Naples10,3Exercises.

7.Diaspro (DS)3 Sep 19430131Naples5 Sep 19430852Naples231,1Defensive patrol in Gulf of Policastro.
  4 Sep 19430820At 0820 hours, a buoy similar in shape to a mine was sunk by machine gun fire.

Diaspro (DS)7 Sep 19431448La Maddalena12 Sep 19431239Cagliari474,3Sailed for patrol in Gulf of Salerno, when the Armistice ordered her to Bone (Algeria) but because of defects to her port side diesel, she had to go to Cagliari where she surrendered. She required repairs to be completed by the end of October but this was delayed until mid-December because of lack of spare parts.
  7 Sep 19432130at 2130 hours, a hospital ship was seen at a distance of 3,000 metres.

Luciana Manara (MR)11 Dec 19431515Brindisi12 Dec 19430925Taranto142Passage Brindisi-Taranto.

Luciana Manara (MR)16 Dec 19430640Taranto16 Dec 19431607Taranto49A/S exercises.

Luciana Manara (MR)22 Dec 19430845Taranto22 Dec 19431556Taranto33A/S exercises.

Luciana Manara (MR)29 Dec 19430655Taranto29 Dec 19431510Taranto36,3A/S exercises with torpedo boats Ardimentoso and Ariete.

Luciana Manara (MR)3 Jan 19440640Taranto3 Jan 19441425Taranto36A/S exercises.

Luciana Manara (MR)7 Jan 19440642Taranto7 Jan 19441730Taranto41A/S exercises.

Luciana Manara (MR)14 Jan 19440835Taranto14 Jan 19441156Taranto17Trials.

Luciana Manara (MR)18 Jan 19440640Taranto18 Jan 19441750Taranto58A/S exercises.

Luciana Manara (MR)21 Jan 19440800Taranto21 Jan 19441650Taranto41A/S exercises.

Luciana Manara (MR)28 Jan 19441645Taranto30 Jan 19440859Palermo367,8Passage Taranto-Palermo, escorted by the corvette Baionetta.

Luciana Manara (MR)1 Feb 19441000Palermo1 Feb 19441600Palermo29A/S exercises with the destroyer USS Charles F. Hughes (DD-428).

Luciana Manara (MR)4 Feb 19440728Palermo4 Feb 19441310Palermo29A/S exercises with the minesweeper USS YMS-15 and the patrol vessel USS PC-625.

Luciana Manara (MR)10 Feb 19440937Palermo10 Feb 19441304Palermo16A/S trials with hydrophones, escorted by the minesweeper USS YMS-21 and degaussing tests (which were not satisfactory).

Luciana Manara (MR)16 Feb 19440800Palermo16 Feb 19441208Palermo25A/S exercises with the patrol vessel USS PC-557 and the net tender USS Hackberry (AN-25).

Luciana Manara (MR)17 Feb 19440800Palermo17 Feb 19441232Palermo32A/S exercises.

Luciana Manara (MR)21 Feb 19440925Palermo21 Feb 19441300Palermo17A/S exercises.

Luciana Manara (MR)28 Feb 19441218Palermo28 Feb 19441400Palermo7A/S exercises.

Luciana Manara (MR)29 Feb 19440850Palermo29 Feb 19441300Palermo22A/S exercises with the destroyer USS Ericsson (DD-440).

Luciana Manara (MR)6 Mar 19441805Palermo7 Mar 19441722Augusta195Passage Palermo-Augusta.

Luciana Manara (MR)12 Mar 19440515Augusta12 Mar 19441638Malta105Passage Augusta-Malta.

Luciana Manara (MR)15 Mar 19440728Malta15 Mar 19441841Malta63A/S exercises.

Luciana Manara (MR)16 Mar 19440733Malta16 Mar 19442008Malta74A/S exercises.

Luciana Manara (MR)21 Mar 19440755Malta21 Mar 19441613Malta53A/S exercises.

Luciana Manara (MR)24 Mar 19441125Malta24 Mar 19441827Malta54A/S exercises.

Luciana Manara (MR)25 Mar 19441055Malta25 Mar 19441903Malta55A/S exercises.

Luciana Manara (MR)28 Mar 19441759Malta29 Mar 19440758Augusta110Passage Malta-Augusta.

Luciana Manara (MR)30 Mar 19440555Augusta31 Mar 19441048Taranto276Passage Augusta-Taranto.

Luciana Manara (MR)12 Apr 19440640Taranto12 Apr 19441540Taranto39,8A/S exercises.

Luciana Manara (MR)14 Apr 19440802Taranto14 Apr 19441619Taranto39Exercises.

Ciro Menotti (ME, N.66)15 Apr 1944Taranto18 Jun 1944TarantoAt Taranto. Change in command.

88 entries. 68 total patrol entries (7 marked as war patrols) and 27 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines