Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Libero Sauro

Born  14 May 1905Capodistria (Istria)


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


24 Mar 1942 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare
17 Aug 1942 Medaglia di bronzo al valore militare

Career information

ANTONIO SCIESA (T.V. First Officer): from 27.06.1939 to ?.
ATROPO (T.V. C.O.): from 04.08.1941 to 30.11.1941.
FRATELLI BANDIERA (T.V. C.O.): from 03.02.1942 to 15.03.1942.
LUCIANO MANARA (T.V. C.O.): from 04.02.1942 to 13.02.1942.
From 16.03.1942 to April 1942+, head of COMANDO STAZIONE SOMMERGIBILI.
Promoted C.C. ca. April 1942.
AMETISTA (C.C. C.O.): from 28.05.1942 to 06.06.1942.
VETTOR PISANI (C.C. C.O.: from 18.08.1942 to 19.08.1942.

Commands listed for Libero Sauro

Submarine Type Rank From To
Atropo (AT, N.51)MinelayingT.V.4 Aug 194130 Nov 1941
Luciana Manara (MR)Ocean goingT.V.4 Feb 194213 Feb 1942
Fratelli Bandiera (BA)Ocean goingT.V.3 Feb 194215 Mar 1942
Ametista (AA)Coastal / Sea goingC.C.28 May 19426 Jun 1942
Vettor Pisani (PN)Ocean goingC.C.18 Aug 194219 Aug 1942

Ships hit by Libero Sauro

No ships hit by this Commander.

War patrols listed for Libero Sauro

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Atropo (AT, N.51)5 Aug 19410732Taranto5 Aug 19411530Taranto30Exercises.

Atropo (AT, N.51)6 Aug 19410805Taranto6 Aug 19411434Taranto25,5Trials, escorted by the pilot vessel Limbara.

Atropo (AT, N.51)7 Aug 19411248Taranto7 Aug 19411720Taranto18Exercises.

1.Atropo (AT, N.51)12 Aug 19411230Taranto16 Aug 19412155Bardia1266,5Supply mission to Bardia with 44 tons of petrol. Uneventful. The German war correspondent, Wilhelm Brink, was a passenger. On 14th August, the diesels emitted smoke and, with the wind in their back, greatly impeded the forward visibility. The submarine arrived off Bardia during an air raid. Through ULTRA, it was known that an Italian submarine was expected in Bardia on the evening of 15th August. Consequently, five Albacore of 826 Squadron armed with torpedoes had been flown to Ma'aten Bagush, to stand by to attack it when this was confirmed. They took off the same evening with two Blenheim bombers of 113 Squadron and attacked Bardia, but Atropo arrived only the following evening. During the night of 15/16th, a Wellington of 38 Squadron bombed a supposed submarine in Bardia harbour.

2.Atropo (AT, N.51)17 Aug 19410240Bardia20 Aug 19411521Taranto1539Return trip from supply mission to Bardia (with a German passenger, the soldier Heinz Bollig on furlough). Uneventful.

Atropo (AT, N.51)9 Oct 19410825Taranto9 Oct 19411420Taranto35Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary Sparviero.

Atropo (AT, N.51)14 Oct 19410830Taranto14 Oct 19411800Taranto53,5Exercises.

Atropo (AT, N.51)15 Oct 19410900Taranto15 Oct 19411715Taranto65Exercises.

Atropo (AT, N.51)16 Oct 19411700Taranto16 Oct 19411850Taranto11Exercises.

3.Atropo (AT, N.51)17 Oct 19411237Taranto22 Oct 19410230BardiaSupply mission to Bardia with 57 tons of petrol (2987 x 20-litre cans).
  19 Oct 19410910
0904 (e)
34° 29'N, 22° 30'EAt 0910 hours, an aircraft was sighted on an opposite course at a distance of 3-4,000 metres. It was recognised as a Bristol Blenheim bomber and it flew over the submarine at a height of 50 metres and dropped two bombs, which fell under the submarine but failed to explode. Atropo replied with her machine guns. The aircraft made a second run, remaining at a distance of 1,000 metres just using its machine guns but its fire was short by 50 metres. The aircraft then flew toward Malta and when it was 5-6,000 metres distant, the submarine dived.

This was actually a Beaufort of 39 Squadron piloted by Pilot Officer Bone. Sighting the submarine steering 170° at 5 knots, it had immediately attacked and claimed a near miss by 2 yards. The aircraft fired at the submarine with its rear gun and was replied with machine guns and even the deck gun.

At 1005 hours, Atropo returned to periscope depth. No aircraft were sighted so she surfaced and resumed her course.
  19 Oct 1941114834° 15'N, 22° 50'E
(0) Approximately.
At 1148 hours, an aircraft was seen at a distance of 6-7,000 metres and the submarine dived.

4.Atropo (AT, N.51)23 Oct 19410715Bardia26 Oct 19411310Taranto1527Return trip from supply mission to Bardia. Uneventful (mileage total).

Atropo (AT, N.51)6 Nov 19410941Taranto6 Nov 19411145Taranto15Exercises.

5.Atropo (AT, N.51)13 Nov 19411040Taranto17 Nov 19411730Navarino (originally to Bardia but diverted to Navarino)Supply mission to Bardia (60 tons of petrol), but an accidental explosion of the battery forced the submarine to go to Navarino, escorted from 1700 hours on 17th by the destroyer Da Verazzano. An ULTRA intercept dated 15th November reported her going to Bardia.
  16 Nov 19410400
(0) Off Morea.
At 0400 hours, while Atropo was proceeding on the surface, there was an accidental battery explosion. Two ratings were killed and three wounded. The submarine was instructed by MARICOSOM to proceed to Navarino for repairs. SUPERMARINA ordered the destroyers Pigafetta and Da Verrazano to her assistance.

6.Atropo (AT, N.51)19 Nov 19410600Navarino20 Nov 19411433Taranto1254Return trip for repairs (mileage total).

Luciana Manara (MR)13 Feb 19420925Naples13 Feb 19421152Naples10Trials.

Fratelli Bandiera (BA)5 Mar 19420920Naples5 Mar 19421310Naples28Exercises.

Fratelli Bandiera (BA)10 Mar 19420813Naples10 Mar 19421726Naples30,5Exercises.

Fratelli Bandiera (BA)11 Mar 19420813Naples11 Mar 19421726Naples30,5Exercises.

Ametista (AA)28 May 1942Naples6 Jun 1942NaplesRefit in Naples.

7.Vettor Pisani (PN)18 Aug 19421918Pola19 Aug 19421930Pola152Anti-submarine patrol and ASDIC exercises with the destroyer Bombardiere in northern Adriatic in 40°31.5'N, 18°54'E. Report signed by C.C. Libero Sauro (who may have been in temporary command of the submarine as Fraternale was absent).

21 entries. 20 total patrol entries (7 marked as war patrols) and 3 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines