Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Oscar Gran

Born  15 Apr 1909Trieste
Died  3 Jul 1976(67)Trieste


  T.V.Tenente di Vascello


  Cavaliere dell'ordine della Corona d'Italia
  Cavaliere dell'ordine della Republica Italiana
17 Aug 1942 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
17 Dec 1942 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
17 Dec 1942 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare
4 Jul 1943 Croce di guerra al valore militare
11 Apr 1946 Croce di guerra al valore militare

Career information

OTARIA (T.V. First Officer): from 18.08.1939 to ?
ARADAM (T.V. C.O.): From 29.07.1941 to 04.09.1942?
MALACHITE (T.V. C.O.): from 05.09.1942 to 05.10.1942 (refit at Naples).
In November 1942, took over command of the corvette DRIADE.

Commands listed for Oscar Gran

Submarine Type Rank From To
Aradam (AR)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.29 Jul 19414 Sep 1942
Malachite (MH)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.5 Sep 19425 Oct 1942

Ships hit by Oscar Gran

No ships hit by this Commander.

War patrols listed for Oscar Gran

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Aradam (AR)1 Aug 19410815Naples1 Aug 19411813Naples39,5Exercises.

Aradam (AR)2 Aug 19410751Naples2 Aug 19411431Naples33,1Exercises.

Aradam (AR)3 Aug 19410551Naples5 Aug 19411105Cagliari283Passage Naples-Cagliari.

Aradam (AR)7 Aug 19410730Cagliari7 Aug 19411231Cagliari16,8Exercises with the submarine Alagi, escorted by the minesweeper Balear.

1.Aradam (AR)7 Aug 19412345Cagliari9 Aug 19411447Cagliari331,9Patrolled in 37°50'N, 06°00'E, on the parallel between 05°E and 06°E. Uneventful.

Aradam (AR)15 Aug 19410801Cagliari15 Aug 19411340Cagliari20,4Trials escorted by the minesweeper Balear.

2.Aradam (AR)22 Aug 19411648Cagliari27 Aug 19411317Cagliari456,5Patrolled west of Galite Island.
  26 Aug 1941015937° 47'N, 8° 21'EAt 0146 hours, a dark vessel was sighted and appeared to be a large schooner.

At 0159 hours, a single torpedo (533mm) was fired from a bow tube at a range of 500 metres. It missed. Shortly after, an explosion was heard but believed to be from a depth charge. Later, the schooner was identified as Italian.

Aradam (AR)30 Aug 19410754Cagliari30 Aug 19411128Cagliari15,4Exercises.

3.Aradam (AR)4 Sep 19410905Cagliari17 Sep 19411246Cagliari820Patrolled off Cape Bon (zone K.1). Uneventful. Sighted only French ships.

4.Aradam (AR)25 Sep 19411832Cagliari2 Oct 19410843Cagliari800Sailed with Axum, Diaspro and Serpente for patrol between 39°20'N and 40°00'N, and between 06°20'E and 06°40'E. On 27th September, she was shifted 100 miles to the south. She returned to base by following the North African coast at a distance of 16 miles. NOTE: Gran was criticized for not mentioning the coordinates of the positions of ships encountered at 1405 hours on the 29th and 0020 hours on 1st October.
  29 Sep 19411405
(0) 010° - Cape Bougaroni - 26 miles.
At 0619 hours, two explosions were heard from the direction of Diaspro's patrol area. It was believed she had hit a vessel. This was the attack on HMS Gurkha, which had failed.

Noises were heard on the hydrophones off and on since 1211 hours.

At 1405 hours, five enemy destroyers were sighted at a distance 6-7,000 metres, steering 165°. Aradam attempted to close, but they passed out of range.

At 1649 hours, an explosion was heard and it was believed that Serpente, in the adjacent area, had scored a hit. This attack against HMS Legion had also failed.
  1 Oct 19410020
(0) Off Cape de Fer.
At 0020 hours, flashing lights was seen in heavy rain. It was believed these were perhaps the cruiser and two destroyers reported by MARICOSOM. Aradam steered toward them but visibility was poor. It was later recognised as a French vessel, probably "Toutquenois" (?) on passage from Bone to Marseilles.
  1 Oct 19410820
(0) Between Cape de Fer, Cape Serrat and La Galite.
At 0820 hours, a submarine was sighted. It was believed to be Diaspro who had probably sighted Aradam and submerged.

5.Aradam (AR)10 Oct 19411749Cagliari21 Oct 19411039Cagliari1078,1Sailed with Alagi, Serpente, Turchese and Diaspro for a patrol North of Cape Bougaroni, between 37°10'N and 37°30'N, 06°00'E and 06°20'E.
  17 Oct 1941190037° 01'N, 6° 16'EAt 1900 hours, a steamer was sighted at a distance of 12-14,000 metres, steering 280°. Aradam closed submerged and, at 1955 hours, surfaced for gun action at a range of 6,000 meters. The vessel turned away at full speed and disappeared before a shot could be fired.

Aradam (AR)4 Nov 19410815Cagliari4 Nov 19411318Cagliari35,7Trials with the minesweeper Balear.

6.Aradam (AR)10 Nov 19412308Cagliari16 Nov 19411129Cagliari648,6Patrolled northwest of Cape Bon, between Zembra and Cani Islands, the parallel of 37°40'N and a line 335° from Zembra. At 2100 hours on the 14th, she was ordered 37°30'N, 08°32'E to search for Empire Pelican.
  14 Nov 1941030437° 16'N, 10° 34'EAt 0304 hours, a submarine was sighted. It was believed to be Turchese. Bandiera of VIII Grupsom was also in the area.
  14 Nov 19412100At 2100 hours, orders were received to attack Empire Pelikan (sic, Empire Pelican) in 37°30' N, 08°32' E. Aradam steered toward the area.
  15 Nov 1941083037° 09'N, 8° 41'E
(0) 11 miles north of Tabarka (Tunisia).
At 0830 hours, a large oil slick was sighted but no signs of Empire Pelican.
  15 Nov 1941092037° 13'N, 8° 34'EAt 0920 hours, an aircraft was seen and the submarine dived.
  15 Nov 1941122037° 30'N, 8° 32'E
(0) Approximately.
At 1220 hours, information was received from MARICOSOM that an aircraft had seen at 1010 hours, a derelict vessel believed to be Empire Pelikan (sic Empire Pelican) and ordered her to pick up the survivors. Empire Pelican and Empire Defender had both been sunk by Italian torpedo-bombers.

Aradam looked for the survivors but without success. In fact, the twenty-five survivors of Empire Pelican had taken to four lifeboats and reached Cape Seurat the same afternoon.

Aradam (AR)22 Nov 19411400Cagliari22 Nov 19411650CagliariExercises.

7.Aradam (AR)26 Nov 19412250Cagliari8 Dec 19411055Cagliari1040,1Patrolled east of La Galite Island between (A) 37°20'N, 10°10'E (B) 37°40'N, 10°10'E (C) 37°40'N, 10°30'E (D) Zembra Island. Only French ships were sighted.
  28 Nov 19412342At 2342 hours, Aradam was informed of a merchant vessel sighted at 1015 hours, in 37°30' N, 05°30' E (Italian grid 1672/4) on an easterly course.

T.V. Gran estimated that the vessel traveling at a speed of 10-13 knots would cross his patrol area between 0400 and 0800 hours on 29th November.
  29 Nov 19410630At 0630 hours, another report was received which mentioned that a convoy was seen at 1500 hours on the 28th in 37°30' N, 08°50' E. Despite excellent weather conditions, Aradam did not hear or sight anything.

Aradam (AR)18 Dec 19410845Cagliari18 Dec 19411210CagliariExercises.

8.Aradam (AR)18 Dec 19412044Cagliari25 Dec 19410835Cagliari482,7Patrolled off Philippeville between 37°30'N and 38°00'N, and between 07°50'E and 08°00'E, on a barrage line with Turchese, Axum and Alagi.
  23 Dec 19412010At 2010 hours, information was received that, at 1715 hours, Turchese had sighted a squadron of two cruisers and four destroyers (in 37°21' N, 06°26' E, off Cape Bougaroni) and Aradam attempted to intercept.

The submarine sighted nothing and, at 2333 hours, gave up the chase and returned to her patrol area.

9.Aradam (AR)1 Jan 19421915Cagliari8 Jan 19421825Cagliari1125Patrolled between Malta and Pantelleria between 34°00'N and 34°20'N, and between 14°40'E and 15°20'E, on a barrage line with Axum, Turchese and Aradam to protect Libyan convoys.
  3 Jan 1942140235° 38'N, 12° 38'EAt 1402 hours, an aircraft was sighted at a distance of 3,000 metres, flying at an altitude of about 100 meters. Aradam was at periscope depth and dived to 60 metres.
  3 Jan 1942220535° 38'N, 12° 38'E
(0) Approximately.
At 2205 hours, a submarine was sighted at 2-3,000 metres. It was believed to be Alagi operating in the adjacent area.
  5 Jan 1942062234° 06'N, 14° 37'EAt 0622 hours, a hospital ship was sighted steering 040°.
  6 Jan 1942103035° 14'N, 13° 24'EAt 1030 hours, a floating body was found. Its decomposition state made it difficult to identify it but it was believed to be an airman. Honours were rendered by the personnel on the bridge.
  6 Jan 1942152635° 44'N, 13° 03'EAt 1526 hours, a derelict mine was sighted. Because of the heavy seas, no attempt was made to destroy it.

Aradam (AR)17 Jan 19420910Cagliari17 Jan 19421407Cagliari39,5Exercises escorted by the auxiliary Salvatore.

10.Aradam (AR)28 Jan 19421430Cagliari28 Jan 19421908Cagliari41Sailed for patrol between 38°00'N and 38°30'N, and between 07°20'E and 07°30'E, on a barrage line with Alagi, Brin, Turchese and Axum, but quickly recalled.

Aradam (AR)4 Feb 19421302Cagliari4 Feb 19421855Cagliari39Trials, escorted by the auxiliary minesweeper R.D.34.

11.Aradam (AR)9 Feb 19421505Cagliari21 Feb 19420855Cagliari1137,4Patrolled north of Cape Bougaroni, between 38°00'N and 38°30'N, and between 06°20'E and 06°30'E, on a barrage line with Axum and Turchese. On 18th February, she was shifted 20 miles to the south.
  10 Feb 19421407At 1407 hours, information was received of an enemy cruiser and destroyer sighted at 1205 hours in Italian Grid 6291 (32 miles NNE of Cape Bengut) , steering 090°, 20 knots. Aradam was too far to intercept, but nevertheless proceeded northward.
  10 Feb 1942163238° 15'N, 7° 10'EAt 1632 hours, a large aircraft believed to be a Dornier was sighted at a distance of 10,000 metres.
  10 Feb 1942204537° 45'N, 7° 35'EAt 2045 hours, hydrophone effects were heard and believed to be from an enemy naval force. Nothing could be seen and, at 2307 hours, Aradam made an enemy report.

12.Aradam (AR)27 Feb 19421304Cagliari4 Mar 19421205Cagliari602,8Patrolled southwest of Sardinia, between 37°50'N and 38°00'N, and between 06°20'E and 06°30'E. Uneventful. At 1402 hours on 1st March, she was ordered home, but, at 1949 hours the same day, the order was rescinded and she returned to her patrol area until 1412 hours on 3rd March, when she received a definite order to leave her patrol. At 2000 hours on the 3rd, she obtained a fix which showed she had been out of position by 45 miles.

13.Aradam (AR)27 Mar 19422227Cagliari1 Apr 19421200Cagliari486Patrolled north of Cape Bougaroni, between 37°50'N and 38°00'N, 06°20'E and 07°20'E, on a barrage line with Turchese.
  30 Mar 19421418
(0) Off Cape Bougaroni.
At 1418 hours, information was received of an enemy cruiser of 7,000 tons, 10 miles southeast of Galite Island, steering 270°, 20 knots. Aradam surfaced at 1452 hours and proceeded toward the south at maximum speed but sighted nothing.
  1 Apr 19420152
0045 (e)
38° 25'N, 7° 56'EAt 0152 hours, a submarine was sighted at a distance of 1,500 metres, steering 240°. It could have been Italian. Aradam steered away. It was actually the Dutch HrMs O 23 (Luitenant ter zee 1e klasse (Lt. Cdr.) Albertus Marinus Valkenburg), on passage direct from Gibraltar to Alexandria.

14.Aradam (AR)4 Apr 19420103Cagliari22 Apr 19421028Cagliari566,5Patrolled in zone Kappa 2 (K 2), off Kelibia (Tunisia), on a barrage line with Turchese (in zone K 1).
  6 Apr 1942031736° 47'N, 11° 05'EAt 0312 hours, the First Officer sighted a wake at a distance of 2,500 metres. It was very quickly recognised to be a destroyer and initially believed to be proceeding at a moderate speed of about 16 knots.

At 0317 hours, it was realised that the vessel was going faster (25 knots) than estimated. One torpedo (533mm, type H) was fired from a bow tube at a distance of 470 metres. The order to fire a second torpedo was not understood as the noise of the "senza bolla" (bubbleless) system covered the voice. The submarine crash-dived immediately and no hit was heard but it was believed that the torpedo may have struck the stern. In fact the torpedo had missed.

The target was the destroyer HMS Havock who was actually doing 28-30 knots. However, at 0358 hours, she ran hard aground in position 020° - Kelibia Light - 2.5 miles (approx. 36°52' N, 11°08' E or about 6 miles from Aradam's attack position). No explanation could be given on how the destroyer had beached herself near Cape Mirh (about 2.5 miles north of Cape Mustafa ) some 39 minutes later (according to the Italians which was accurate enough). The theory was that she was hit and managed 7 knots before beaching herself. In fact, either she was much further south than recorded or, the time was wrong.

At about 1500 hours MAS 563 (T.V. Renato Castello) and MAS 564 (G.M. Francesco Luciano) from Pantelleria arrived on the scene and met the French minesweeper Héron who informed them that the crew of H.43 (HMS Havock) had been interned. The two Italian boats tried to examine the wreck, but when they were only half a mile from her, the forward part exploded and she was broken in two.
  9 Apr 1942051936° 47'N, 11° 07'EAt 2142 hours on 8th April, information was received that a cruiser and destroyer were expected to go through Aradam's zone at about 0100 hours on the 9th.

At 0519 hours on the 9th, the cruiser and destroyer were suddenly sighted at a distance of 1,000 metres. As they steered straight for the submarine, Aradam crash-dived. The two vessels passed so close that an attack with stern torpedoes was impossible.

This was the light cruiser HMS Penelope, proceeding from Malta to Gibraltar. ' HMS Pepper Pot ', as she had been nicknamed, was proceeding unescorted. Despite her damages, she had managed a very credible 29 knots, for a few hours, but was now proceeding at 20 knots as she closed Cape Bon. During, the day she was the subject of several air attacks, but reached her destination at dusk the following day, having averaged 27 knots for most of the journey
  18 Apr 1942150335° 50'N, 11° 08'EAt 1503 hours, a steamer was sighted at a distance of 1,000 metres. An attack was about to be carried out as the vessel had not been announced, when a CANT Z.506 was observed flying close to the steamer, so it was assumed to be Italian.
  19 Apr 19421006
(0) Off Cape Bon.
At 1006 hours, the Italian steamer Nino Claudio (2,571 GRT, built 1941) was sighted at a distance of 1,000 metres. She was due off Cape Bon at 1100 hours.
  20 Apr 1942050635° 45'N, 11° 06'EAt 0506 hours, a large steamer was sighted, followed shortly after by two smaller vessels. Since, the Italian steamer Panuco (7,751 GRT, built 1941), escorted by two destroyers [actually the destroyer Folgore, the torpedo boat Centauro and the tug Instacabile], were expected at 0320 hours, the attack was aborted.

Aradam (AR)30 Apr 19421200Cagliari1 May 19420900Trapani185,5Passage Cagliari-Trapani.

Aradam (AR)21 May 19420820Trapani21 May 19421215Trapani37,5Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary minesweeper R.D.42.

15.Aradam (AR)23 May 19422100Trapani9 Jun 19420935Trapani1465,5Patrolled near Cape Blanc and La Galite, between 37°20'N and 37°45'N, and between 09°20'E and 10°20'E. Sighted several Italian and French ships.
  7 Jun 1942205737° 45'N, 9° 37'EAt 2057 hours, an aircraft was sighted at a distance of 7,000 metres and the submarine dived.
  8 Jun 1942212038° 19'N, 10° 58'E
(0) Italian Grid 8701/5.
At 2120 hours, a column of smoke was observed, apparently a vessel hit. An Italian convoy had been sighted earlier, but T.V. Gran did not know if this was the same one. Aradam made an enemy report at 2239 hours, signaling three vessels steering 090°.

Aradam (AR)12 Jun 19421000Trapani12 Jun 19421330Trapani27Exercises, escorted by the torpedo boat Dezza.

16.Aradam (AR)13 Jun 19420846Trapani17 Jun 19421559Trapani264Sailed with the submarines Dessié and Onice, escorted by the torpedo boat Dezza until 1810 hours. Patrolled west of Malta, between 36°20'N and 36°20'N, and between 13°00'E and 13°20'E, to intercept an enemy convoy.
  15 Jun 1942100636° 12'N, 13° 13'EAt 1006 hours, an enemy biplane (Swordfish) was observed through the periscope at a distance of 2,000 metres. Aradam went deeper to escape detection.
  16 Jun 1942101635° 57'N, 13° 01'EAt 1016 hours, a submarine was sighted at a distance of 2,000 metres and believed to be Ascianghi.

Aradam (AR)19 Jun 19420900Trapani20 Jun 19420900Messina205Passage Trapani-Naples, but then diverted to Messina.

Aradam (AR)22 Jun 19420943Messina23 Jun 19420609Naples281Passage Messina-Naples.

Aradam (AR)29 Aug 19421340Naples29 Aug 19421750Naples21Exercises.

Aradam (AR)1 Sep 19421430Naples1 Sep 19421915Naples39Trials.

Aradam (AR)2 Sep 19421740Naples2 Sep 19422315Naples47Trials.

Malachite (MH)5 Sep 1942Naples5 Oct 1942NaplesRefit in Naples. Change in command

56 entries. 36 total patrol entries (16 marked as war patrols) and 32 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines