Volframio was a costal submarine of the Class Platino (also known as “Metalli”, or metals), “600” series, Type Bernardis. The boat, built by the Tosi shipyard of Taranto, was delivered to the Regia Marina on February 15th, 1942. On August 7th, the boat was sent on patrol between Algeria, Ibiza, and Mallorca, in an area between the meridians 1°40′ E and 2°40′ E. Three days later, he was ordered to report any sightings and to attack only thereafter. The British operation “Pedestal” had begun, which later resulted in the Battle of Mid-August, and it was necessary for the enemy formation to be attacked by packs of submarines. However, the Volframio was unable to attack.
Volframio alongside the Bronzo
Thereafter, the Volframio was deployed in Cagliari, with Lieutenant Giovanni Manunta as commander. The boat was then chosen for some special operations. The Volframio sailed from the Sardinian base on the evening of February 2nd, 1943, with a group of 11 saboteurs on board to be disembarked between Cape Carbon and Cape Sigli, Algeria. It arrived in the area set for the landing of the saboteurs on the night of February 6th but was unable to disembark the team immediately due to rough seas. On February 8th, the Volframio was detected by enemy units and bombarded with depth charges, however it managed to evade the hunt. On February 9th, unable to land the raiders because the weather and sea conditions had not improved, Captain Manunta was forced to return to Cagliari.
On March 30th, in the afternoon, the boat left La Maddalena to attempt again the failed prior mission. It was expected to arrive between Capo Carbon and Capo Sigli between April 5th and 8th and disembarked the eleven raiders. Again, the landing of the saboteurs had to be abandoned due to bad weather.
The armistice surprised the Volframio in maintenance in La Spezia. Unable to leave port, it was scuttled on September 9th, 1943, to avoid capture. Recovered by the Germans, in 1944 it was hit during an Allied air raid and sank again in the port.
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