R. Smg. Vortice

The boat was built by the Cantieri Riuniti dell’Adriatico in the Monfalcone shipyard and was launched on February 23rd, 1943, with delivery to the Regia Marina on June 21st of the same year. Under the command of Lieutenant Marco Revedin, it was transferred to Taranto, where it was engaged in crew training until September.

A rare photo of the Vortice

On 7 September 1943 the submarine, by then under the command of Lieutenant Giovanni Manunta, left Taranto for its first offensive mission, as part of the “Zeta Plan” in contrast to the imminent Anglo-American landing at Salerno: it would lie in ambush east of Sicily, in the Ionian Sea.

Lieutenant Giovanni Manunta

The next day, following the announcement of the armistice, Captain Manunta surrendered to the Allies at Augusta. On September 16th, at sunset, the Vortice left port with five other submarines, and, sailing submerged to avoid being accidentally attacked by Allied aircraft or ships, headed for Malta where she arrived the next day.

Italian submarines in Malta, September 1943

On October 6th, 1943, the Vortice left the island along with various other units (6 submarines, two torpedo boats, a destroyer and two auxiliary units) to return to Italy; the following day it arrived in Naples, where it was used to produce electricity for port facilities.

Due to its very late entry into the conflict, the Vortex had carried out just one patrol and two transfer missions. In February 1944 the unit was sent to Bermuda, with base in New London, and utilized in dangerous exercises for Allied antisubmarine units until the end of hostilities. Returning to Taranto in 1945, the Vortice was supposed to be handed over to France under the terms of the peace treaty, but France refused the transfer and ordered the unit to be scrapped. On 1 February 1948 the Vortice was decommissioned along with the rest of the Italian submarine fleet.

However, in the period 1953-54, it was subjected to radical modernization works. After modernization, the Vortex returned to service in 1954 as a training unit, and for antisubmarine training of surface ships and aircraft, operating intensively until its final decommissioning on 1 July 1967. The boat was finally decommissioned on 1 August, and then scrapped.

Operational Records

Patrols (Med.)Patrols (Other)NM SurfaceNM Sub.Days at SeaNM/DayAverage Speed
39392319 130.00 5.42