Scirè Honors Namesake’s Crew

At the end of an operational stop in the port of Haifa, in Israel, the crew of the Scirè Submarine (1st series “Todaro” class) wanted to pay homage to the boat of the same name which, during the Second World War, brought great honor to the Navy Military.

Near the point where, on 10 August 1942, the Royal Submarine Scirè was sunk, the current crew of the submarine of the same name commemorated the 49 sailors and 11 divers who made the ultimate sacrifice in those waters. fulfillment of their military duties.

The Royal Submarine Scirè was one of the 17 “Adua” series boats of the “600” class, whose name derives from the Ethiopian region of the same name, the scene of an important battle fought in the African theater in 1936.

During the Second World War it was subject to technical modifications to make it suitable for the transport of the so-called Slow Stroke Torpedoes (SLC) and repeatedly used as a “mother unit” to carry these vehicles, led by the men of the “10th MAS Flotilla” in close proximity to their targets. As part of these missions, the boat made 4 raids in Gibraltar which led to the damage or sinking of an auxiliary cruiser and 2 tankers.

The most glorious action, however, was the “Enterprise of Alexandria” when, in the night between 18 and 19 December 1941, the 3 SLCs released by the submarine not far from the port of Alexandria in Egypt managed to damage significantly two British battleships ( Queen Elizabeth and Valiant ), a destroyer (the Jervis ) and a tanker. After this action, in July 1942, the Scirèhe left the port of La Spezia to head towards the British port of Haifa, where he had to leave eleven “gamma men” who would have forced the port to apply explosive charges under some British ships moored there. The action was supposed to take place on the night of 10 August. Up to that moment, communications with the Rhodes base, where Commander Candiani, ground commander of the operation was located, had been ensured, but from that date the boat did not give any news.

Candiani himself, on 17 August, noted in his diary: ” At 10pm, I come into possession of a photograph taken from 9,000 meters above sea level. No damaged ships or traces of forcing the port. news, has not reached the release of the operators “. When the reality became evident, on 31 August he was declared missing at sea in action of war.

Only later was it possible to ascertain the fate of the submarine and its crew: the “Enigma” encryption system, used by the Germans and Italians, had been violated and allowed the British to locate the submarine during the approach. The Scirè , once near the mouth of the port, was attacked with depth bombs from the Islay corvette and the coastal defense batteries, until it was completely sinking.

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