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RM submarine losses in the Mediterranean


There are two tables in Bragadin's The Italian Navy in World War II, 1957, that sort of answers your question

"Summary of Losses" at page 359, has 86 submarines sunk, with 65 in the Mediterranean and 21 'Beyond the Mediterranean"

" Causes of Losses" at page 360 has 44 sunk by surface ships, 17 by submarines, 2 by mines, 14 by aircraft, and 9 by "Miscellaneous or Unknown"
These are not allocated by area


Turbulent98, are you asking as to the actual cause of the loss of each submarine as answered in jbroshot’s reply or as why the Regia Marina lost so many submarines as opposed to other navies? This would relate possibly to doctrine, quality of equipment etc. There are two sites which have great detail of Italian submarines. Uboat net and Regia Marina net. Regards, Bob


I was wondering if there was any correlation between Italian and British submarine losses for example the often quoted clarity of the water.

There probably was a water clarity problem. Not all Italian boats that sank British submarines were equipped with hydrophones for listening, suggesting they simply saw the submarine below the surface (probably after a periscope sighting).

The common factor I found in both Italian and British submarine losses was in their diving depths. The greater the diving depth, the greater the odds of surviving depth charging. This was pretty much proven by German U-boat losses in the Mediterranean. They had twice the diving depths of either Italian or British boats and consequently, a much smaller loss rate.


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I can understand the water clarity problem if you are inshore and near some river estuaries especially in the Spring when the Winter snow has melted and produced a good outflow of fresh water but not much further out to sea.
The British were surprised when a captured German crewman let slip the depth capability of a U-boat and this is recorded in Periscope View by Captain Simpson of the 10th Flotilla and it took them a number of months to change their tactics.


Turbulent98, Italian submarines in The Med were large and very slow to dive. This undoubtedly lead to the sinking of some of them. This fault was immediately recognised when Italian submarines were transferred to the atlantic and compared with German submarines. The result was that a number of the Italian submarines had their conning towers reduced in size. I believe the quality of the submarine and crews improved during the war but then so did the allied counter measures.