Italian submarines in World War Two

Italian Commanders

Enzo Zanni

Born  10 Apr 1909Sassuolo (Modena)


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


22 Jan 1942 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare
5 Aug 1943 Medaglia d'argento al valore militare
31 Jan 1946 Croce di guerra al valore militare

Career information

From 23.04.1937, served on the staff of C.F. Francesco Padolecchia, acting as Grupsom Messina Uff. 4° GRUPSOM (Taranto).
NAIADE (T.V. C.O.): from 06.11.1940 to 08.11.1940.
MALACHITE (T.V. C.O.): from 18.11.1940 to 24.03.1942.
Promoted to C.C. in August 1942.
DANDOLO (C.F. C.O.): from 15.01.1948 to 31.03.1948.

Commands listed for Enzo Zanni

Submarine Type Rank From To
Naiade (NA)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.6 Nov 19408 Nov 1940
Malachite (MH)Coastal / Sea goingT.V.18 Nov 194024 Mar 1942

Ships hit by Enzo Zanni

No ships hit by this Commander.

War patrols listed for Enzo Zanni

 SubmarineDateTimePortArr. dateArr. timeArr. portMilesDescription
Naiade (NA)6 Nov 19401149Pola8 Nov 19401518Taranto516Passage Pola-Taranto.

Malachite (MH)28 Nov 19400815Taranto28 Nov 19401513Taranto35Exercises.

Malachite (MH)29 Nov 19400745Taranto29 Nov 19401815Taranto53Exercises.

Malachite (MH)30 Nov 19401235Taranto1 Dec 19401655Augusta314Passage Taranto-Augusta.

1.Malachite (MH)15 Dec 19401213Augusta30 Dec 19401327Augusta1257Patrolled off Cyrenaica with Smeraldo, between 33°10'N and the Libyan coast, and between 22°00'E and 22°50'E.
  15 Dec 19401515
? (e)
36° 00'N, 15° 36'E
(0) 111° - Cape Murro di Porco - 14 miles.
At 1515 hours, a Blenheim bomber was sighted at a distance of 2,000 metres. It closed to 700 metres but did not drop any bomb as Malachite opened fire with her machine guns. This was actually Maryland 1 of Air Reconnaissace Flight 431 (Flying Officer Adrien Warburton) which strafed the submarine with its front machine guns.

Malachite (MH)1 Jan 19410050Augusta1 Jan 19410902Messina77Passage Augusta-Messina.

Malachite (MH)20 Jan 19410805Messina20 Jan 19411645Messina62Exercises.

Malachite (MH)23 Jan 19410800Messina23 Jan 19411630Messina47Exercises.

2.Malachite (MH)26 Jan 19411800Messina27 Jan 19411330Messina120Defensive patrol (hydrophone watch) north of the Strait of Messina. Uneventful.

3.Malachite (MH)4 Feb 19411720Messina18 Feb 19411600Messina1563Patrolled off Cyrenaica within 60 miles from 33°10'N, 22°10'E.
  14 Feb 19410106
(0) Off Cyrenaica.
At 0106 hours, a dark silhouette, believed to be a cruiser or a destroyer, was sighted on an easterly course. Malachite attempted to close the range but, at 0100 hours on the 21st, the enemy vessel passed some 6 to 7,000 meters away and disappeared in the distance.

Malachite (MH)6 Mar 19410805Messina6 Mar 19411535Messina39Exercises, escorted by R.D.57.

4.Malachite (MH)9 Mar 19411800Messina24 Mar 19411540Leros1450Patrolled South of Crete within 20 miles from 33°30'N, 27°20'E on a NE-SW axis, then on 18 March shifted 235° - 50 miles and passage Messina-Leros.
  19 Mar 1941010933° 00'N, 26° 40'ESince the previous evening, noises had been picked up by the hydrophones without resulting in any visual confirmation.

At 0030 hours, hydrophone effects were picked up again. At 0055 hours, in heavy mist, a shadow was finally sighted,followed shortly after by another. They were believed to be a SOUTHAMPTON class cruiser and a destroyer steering 050°-040° at 18 knots

At 0109 hours, Malachite fired two bow torpedoes from the surface, at a range of 2,500 metres, aimed at the cruiser. They missed. A third torpedo was about to be fired when the destroyer suddenly turned toward the submarine. Malachite crash-dived. Two depth charges were heard, followed by two more.

The target was possibly the light cruiser HMS Gloucester escorted by the destroyer HMS Hasty on passage from Alexandria to Piraeus via the Kythera Channel and carrying General Blamey and 1,087 troops of the Australian corps.

5.Malachite (MH)8 Apr 19411720Leros23 Apr 19410900Augusta1258Patrolled in 33°55'N, 31°20'E on a NE-SW axis and passage Leros-Augusta.
  14 Apr 1941232734° 55'N, 24° 44'E
(0) Very approximately.
At 2327 hours, two liners (10,000 to 20,000 GRT), escorted by two destroyers, were sighted at 7,000 metres, steering 100°. Malachite could not close to the attack.
  15 Apr 19410110
(0) 100 miles North of Sidi Barrani.
At 0110 hours, two steamers estimated at 3,000 to 5,000 GRT escorted by two destroyers were sighted at a distance of 5,000 metres, steering 100°. Again, Malachite could not close to the attack.
  17 Apr 19410149
(0) Ca. 100 miles North of Sidi Barrani.
At 0149 hours, an enemy destroyer was sighted at a distance of 2,000 metres and she turned toward the submarine. Malachite crash-dived but the voice pipe had not been closed causing a large amount of water to penetrate the submarine. It was finally closed and the submarine went down to 80 meters and appeared to pick up sounds from a passing convoy on her hydrophones . She surfaced at 0212 hours but did not sight anything.
  17 Apr 19412000
(0) Ca. 100 miles North of Sidi Barrani.
At 2000 hours, information was received of a large heavily escorted convoy. Malachite altered course to intercept but nothing was sighted or heard.
  18 Apr 19412000
(0) Ca. 100 miles North of Sidi Barrani.
At 2000 hours, information was received of a large convoy steering 300°. Malachite steered west to intercept.

Between 1700 and 1900 hours on the 20th, Malachite was on her way to Augusta when a series of distant explosions were heard. This was believed to be from a convoy under air attack, but nothing was sighted.

Malachite (MH)10 May 19410800Augusta10 May 19411215Augusta2Exercises.

Malachite (MH)10 May 19411345Augusta10 May 19411815Augusta2Exercises.

Malachite (MH)11 May 19410815Augusta11 May 19411025Augusta5Exercises.

Malachite (MH)12 May 19410805Augusta12 May 19411215Augusta9Exercises with Smeraldo, escorted by a tug and MAS 529.

Malachite (MH)17 May 19410915Augusta17 May 19411145Augusta7Exercises with MAS 528 and auxiliary motor sailing vessel V.68.

6.Malachite (MH)18 May 19412118Augusta5 Jun 19410842Augusta1780Patrolled in Eastern Mediterranean, within 20 miles from 33°10'N, 28°20'E on a NE-SW axis, On 28 May, patrol was shifted between Gaidaro and the Cretan coast (34°40'N, 25°30'E?). Uneventful. Heard only H.E.

Malachite (MH)23 Jun 19410805Augusta23 Jun 19411111Augusta18Exercises.

Malachite (MH)28 Jun 19411425Augusta28 Jun 19411715Augusta7,5Exercises.

Malachite (MH)29 Jun 19410818Augusta29 Jun 19411118Augusta16Exercises by MAS 531.

7.Malachite (MH)30 Jun 19412030Augusta17 Jul 19410835Augusta1724Patrolled north of Ras Azzaz, between 32°25'N and 32°40'N, and between 24°40'E and 25°00'E.
  3 Jul 19412007
2110 (e)

(0) Off Ras Azzaz (UK: off Mersa Matruh).
At 1937 hours, Malachite was submerged when noises were picked up with the hydrophones. Nothing could be observed with the periscope, so she surfaced at 1946 hours.

At 1947 hours, two destroyers were sighted zigzagging and firing at aircraft at a distance of 6-7,000 metres. As they were closing toward the submarine, Malachite submerged at 1957 hours, but again nothing could be observed through the periscope. Surfacing at 2004 hours, she immediately sighted a DIDO class cruiser with two destroyers.

At 2107 hours, a single torpedo was fired from a bow tube at a distance of 2,500 metres aimed at the cruiser and the submarine crash-dived. Two torpedoes were intended, but the first had misfired. After 150 seconds, a loud explosion was heard and it was believed that the cruiser had been hit.

These were actually the destroyers HMS Defender, HMAS Stuart and HMAS Vendetta on their way to Tobruk. HMS Defender sighted the torpedo track and avoided it. HMAS Stuart sighted the submarine's conning tower and rushed to the attack, dropping two depth charges. HMS Defender hunted the submarine without success.

Italian Naval Intelligence had intercepted a signal from the light cruiser HMS Phoebe reporting an attack (she was actually operating off the Syrian coast) and deduced that she was undamaged but that possibly one of the destroyers had been hit.
  6 Jul 19412046+
(0) Off Ras Azzaz.
At 1943, hydrophones detected noises and Malachite steered toward them.

At 2046 hours, a destroyer was sighted at a distance of 7,000 metres, steering 250° at 30 knots. The submarine could not gain an attacking position.
  8 Jul 19410020
(0) Off Ras Azzaz.
At 0020 hours, the submarine Tembien was sighted at 2,000 metres. Malachite dived to avoid a case of mistaken identity.

Malachite (MH)21 Jul 19410830Augusta21 Jul 19411550Messina74Passage Augusta-Messina.

Malachite (MH)20 Aug 19410815Messina20 Aug 19411645Messina25Exercises.

Malachite (MH)23 Aug 19410837Messina23 Aug 19411715Messina27Exercises.

Malachite (MH)25 Aug 19410800Messina25 Aug 19411615Messina32Exercises.

Malachite (MH)29 Aug 19410805Messina29 Aug 19411645Messina35,5Exercises.

Malachite (MH)30 Aug 19410903Messina30 Aug 19411245Messina28Exercises.

Malachite (MH)31 Aug 19412306Messina1 Sep 19410650Augusta70Passage Messina-Augusta.

Malachite (MH)6 Sep 19410815Augusta6 Sep 19411210Augusta18Exercises, escorted by the auxiliary minesweeper Tea.

Malachite (MH)10 Sep 19410815Augusta10 Sep 19411145Augusta21Exercises.

Malachite (MH)18 Sep 19410815Augusta18 Sep 19411200Augusta15Exercises.

8.Malachite (MH)22 Sep 19412115Augusta8 Oct 19410915Augusta1383Patrolled 20 miles north of Ras Amer on a patrol line with Tricheco. Uneventful.

Malachite (MH)11 Oct 19410025Augusta14 Oct 19411600La Spezia630Passage Augusta-La Spezia. Sighted only Italian vessels.

Malachite (MH)17 Oct 19410830La Spezia17 Oct 19411730La Spezia36Exercises with Veniero and Platino, escorted by MAS 572 and the auxiliary Capodistria.

Malachite (MH)19 Oct 19410730La Spezia19 Oct 19411230La Spezia37Exercises.

Malachite (MH)6 Dec 19410845La Spezia6 Dec 19411510La Spezia36Exercises, escorted by the auxiliaries San Marco, Crotone, Capodistria and Giasone.

Malachite (MH)11 Dec 19410800La Spezia11 Dec 19411500La Spezia36Exercises, escorted by MAS 510.

Malachite (MH)19 Dec 19410845La Spezia19 Dec 19411730La Spezia62Exercises with the submarines Da Procida and H.1, escorted by the auxiliaries Porto Sdobba, Crotone and Capodistria, MAS 507 and MAS 510. .

Malachite (MH)21 Dec 19410830La Spezia21 Dec 19411245La Spezia24Exercises.

Malachite (MH)22 Dec 19410805La Spezia22 Dec 19411730La Spezia40Exercises with the submarine Platino, escorted by the auxiliaries Porto Sdobba, Capodistria and Favignana.

Malachite (MH)29 Dec 19410940La Spezia29 Dec 19412125La Spezia55Exercises.

Malachite (MH)31 Dec 19410835La Spezia31 Dec 19411710La Spezia26Exercises with the submarine Colonna, escorted by the auxiliaries Capodistria and Crotone.

Malachite (MH)3 Jan 19421325La Spezia3 Jan 19421840La Spezia27Exercises.

Malachite (MH)6 Jan 19420900La Spezia6 Jan 19421810La Spezia21Exercises.

Malachite (MH)7 Jan 19421705La Spezia7 Jan 19422110La Spezia3Exercises.

Malachite (MH)10 Jan 19421705La Spezia10 Jan 19422110La Spezia25Exercises with the submarine H.6, escorted by the torpedo boat La Masa.

Malachite (MH)12 Jan 19421700La Spezia12 Jan 19422140La Spezia25Exercises, escorted by the torpedo boat La Masa.

Malachite (MH)14 Jan 19422330La Spezia17 Jan 19421600Augusta625Passage La Spezia-Augusta. Uneventful.

9.Malachite (MH)20 Jan 19421815Augusta31 Jan 19420945Messina1170Patrolled north of Cyrenaica between 33°00'N and 33°40'N and 21°20'E and 21°40'E in Italian Grids 9146 and 1546. On 16th January, she was ordered to Grids 7927 and 3327 or 31°20'N and 31°40'N?). Uneventful. Heard only H.E. Then short refit.
  20 Jan 1942024136° 30'N, 16° 30'E
(0) Approximately.
At 0241 hours, a submarine was sighted steering 320°. Malachite altered course away. This was Menotti returning to Augusta from a supply mission to Tripoli.

Malachite (MH)8 Feb 19420845Messina8 Feb 19421040Messina6,6Trials.

10.Malachite (MH)10 Feb 19421640Messina26 Feb 19420910Messina1762Was supposed to sail for exercises with patrol-boat Marzano (A.S. 67), but instead sailed for patrol north of Cyrenaica on the meridian within 8 miles from 34°00'N, 20°00'E on a patrol line with Topazio, Tricheco and Perla. On 13th February, she was moved 20 miles south. At 2000 hours on the 15th, following orders from MARICOSOM, she proceeded to a new position at 148° - 98 miles.
  11 Feb 19420029
0043B (e)
At 0029 hours, a submarine was sighted on an opposite course, at a distance of 1,200 metres. This was HMS Upright (Lieutenant J.W.D. Coombe, RN) who sighted Malachite at just 300 metres and immediately dived. Neither submarine could regain contact.
  11 Feb 19422147At 2147 hours, a submarine was sighted at a distance of 2,000 metres. Malachite turned away. Perhaps this was HMS Tempest who was lost two days later.
  17 Feb 19420620At 0620 hours, a derelict mine was sighted 200 metres away and was sunk by machine gun fire. It was not of Italian manufacture.

Malachite (MH)17 Mar 19421407Messina17 Mar 19421700Messina13Trials, escorted by the auxiliary Marras.

62 entries. 54 total patrol entries (10 marked as war patrols) and 15 events.

Italian Commanders

Italian Submarines