Italian submarine Scirè (1938)

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Turret of Scirè, 1941
Turret of Scirè, 1941
Career (Italy) Regia Marina Ensign
Name: Scirè
Namesake: the northern part of Ethiopia
Builder: Odero-Terni-Orlando, Muggiano[1]
Laid down: 30 January 1937[1]
Launched: 6 January 1938[1]
Completed: 25 March 1938[1]
Fate: depth charged, 10 August 1942[1]
General characteristics
Class and type: 600-Serie Adua-class submarine
Displacement: 698 long tons (709 t), surfaced
866 long tons (880 t), submerged
Length: 60.18 m (197 ft 5 in) (oa)
Beam: 6.45 m (21 ft 2 in)
Draught: 4.6 m (15 ft 1 in)
Propulsion: 2 × diesel engines, surface
2 × electric motors, submerged[1]
Speed: 14 knots (26 km/h) surface
7.5 knots (13.9 km/h) submerged
Complement: 46
Armament: 6 × torpedo tubes (4 bow, 2 stern)
12 × 533 mm (21.0 in) torpedoes on board
1 × 100 mm/47 caliber (3.9 in) deck gun

The Italian submarine Scirè (also known as Sciré or Scire in English) was an Italian Adua-class submarine, which served during World War II in the Regia Marina. It was named after the Ethiopian region of Shire, at the time part of Italian East Africa. At the beginning of the war, Scirè was commanded by Junio Valerio Borghese, and based in La Spezia. Early in the war, she was modified to carry three human torpedoes (maiali).

The Scirè accomplished many missions inside enemy waters. Among these, the most important was carried out on 3 December 1941. Scirè left La Spezia carrying three manned torpedoes. At the island of Leros in the Aegean Sea, it secretly loaded six crew for them: Luigi Durand de la Penne and Emilio Bianchi (maiale 221), Vincenzo Martellotta and Mario Marino (maiale 222), Antonio Marceglia and Spartaco Schergat (maiale 223). On 19 December, Scirè reached Alexandria in Egypt, and its manned torpedoes entered the harbour and sank in shallow waters the British battleships HMS Valiant, Queen Elizabeth and damaged the tanker Sagona and the destroyer Jervis. All six torpedo-riders were captured and the battleships returned to service after several months of repairs.

During one of these missions, on 10 August 1942, Scirè sank, damaged by depth charges dropped by the British naval trawler Islay in Haifa bay, about 11 kilometres (5.9 nmi) from the harbour.

The wreck of the Scirè, laying at a depth of 32 metres (105 ft), became a popular diving site and Shayetet 13 training location. In 1984 a joint Italian-Israeli Navy ceremony was performed, in which the forward section was removed from the submarine and sent to Italy to become part of a memorial.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 ""6110609" (Scire)" (subscription required). Miramar Ship Index. R.B. Haworth. Retrieved 8 March 2009. 

External links

Coordinates: 33°0′10″N 34°0′12″E / 33.00278°N 34.00333°E / 33.00278; 34.00333

it:Scirè (sommergibile) he:שירה (צוללת)