The submarines of the Royal Navy: the Alpino Bagnolini

(To Francesco Sisto)

THEAlpino Bagnolini it was a submarine of the Royal Navy - used in the Second World War - belonging to the Liuzzi class. Of the Liuzzi class (in addition to Bagnolini) were part: the royal submarine Consul General Liuzzi, the royal submarine Reginaldo Giuliani and the royal submarine Captain Tarantini.

the class Liuzzi it came from class Brin, but differed in size/range (larger) and different arrangement of the artillery pieces.

Il Bagnolini it was laid out and designed in December 1938 at the Tosi shipyards in Taranto. The vessel was launched on 28 October 1939 and was delivered to the Royal Navy on 22 December 1939.

It is worth remembering that it was the first Italian submarine to achieve success in the Second World War. In fact, on June 12, 1940 the boat torpedoed and sank the British cruiser Calypso [read article The cruiser Calypso (torpedoed and sunk by the submarine Alpino Bagnolini)].

In my opinion, it is important to underline that in June 1940 the underwater fleet of the Royal Navy was positioned, with its 113 submarines (of which more than 100 in the Mediterranean), in second place in the world, coming immediately after the US fleet in terms of overall tonnage. Therefore, after the Soviet one as regards the number of boats. However, the Italian submarines revealed themselves “too big and too little maneuvers for the Mediterranean basin, while the relevant criteria for use were not sufficiently renewed compared to those of the First World War, based on ambushes fixed”1.

Later, the Bagnolini was sent to the Atlantic for the war on merchant traffic; on September 18, 1940 she sank the steamer Cabo Tortosa (3302 tons). On 30 September 1940 she arrived at the Bordeaux submarine base (BETASOM).

On 28 October 1940, the boat left Bordeaux on a mission, but was forced to return due to damage.

On December 19, 1940 Bagnolini the British steamer sank Amicus (3660 tons).

The Royal Navy vessel - essentially - always operated in the Atlantic. In fact, from June 1940 to September 1943 the vessel carried out 11 war missions (3 in the Mediterranean Sea and 8 in the Atlantic Ocean).

With the capitulation of Italy on 8 September 1943, the submarine Bagnolini was captured by the Kriegsmarine; the boat was named ITU-22.

On March 11, 1944, the submarine was sunk by three seaplanes Consolidated PBY Catalina south of the Cape of Good Hope.

The submarines of the Regia Marina were able to sink in the Mediterranean Sea between 10 June 1940 and 8 September 1943 only "10 enemy warships - none larger than a light cruiser - and 15 merchantmen, at the disproportionate price of 66 boats". (ibidem A. Santoni)

The Submarine Alpino Bagnolini it had a displacement of 1484 tonnes submerged and 1166 tonnes on the surface. Her dimensions were 76,10 x 6,98 x 4,55 m.

Surface engine: 2 Tosi Diesel engines, power 3420 HP.

Diving engine: 2 Ansaldo electric propulsion motors, power 1250 HP.

The maximum speed on the surface was approximately 17,8/18 knots (33 km/h), while the maximum speed while submerged was 8 knots (14,8 km/h).

The armament consisted of 8 533 mm torpedo launchers, 1 100/47 mm cannon and 4 13,2 mm Breda machine guns.

The boat could count on a crew of 57 men.

1 A. Santoni, History and naval politics of the contemporary age, HISTORICAL OFFICE OF THE NAVY, Rome, 2003, p. 184

Photo: web