Eightieth anniversary of the sinking of the Royal Submarine Pietro Micca

(To Marina Militare)

Last September 10th, in the waters off the coast of Santa Maria di Leuca (Le), the crew of the submarine Pietro Venuti paid homage to the fallen of the submarine Pietro Micca, which sank at dawn on 29 July 1943 following an attack by a British submarine Trooper.

During the memorial ceremony, the crew of the Venuti placed a wreath in the sea on the exact spot where the tragedy occurred, three miles away from the Santa Maria di Leuca lighthouse, and where today, at about 80 meters deep, the remains of the Micca and its glorious crew rest.

On the morning of 29 July the Royal Submarine was supposed to rendezvous off the coast of Santa Maria di Leuca with an escort unit, the Bormio, but was spotted by the HMS Trooper who engaged it, launching a salvo of torpedoes at it which subsequently led to its sinking.

During that tragic event, 65 people, including 2 officers, 62 non-commissioned officers and sailors and 1 civilian worker lost their lives while only 18 soldiers survived, thrown into the sea following the ambush of the British submarine.

Launched in 1935, the boat, the only unit of its class capable of laying mines and at the same time usable as a normal attack submarine, remained in service for approximately 8 years, carrying out 24 war missions and sailing for over 23 thousand nautical miles.

Eighty years after that tragic day, the memory of the crew of the Pietro Micca and the extreme sacrifice in terms of lives remains indelible in the memory of submariners of all generations, silent protagonists, yesterday as today, of an indispensable role for the defense of national interests and the alliances of which the country is part.