Luigi Torelli file photo [31808]

Luigi Torelli

Ship ClassMarconi-class Submarine
Hull NumberTI
BuilderOdero Terni Orlando, La Spezia, Italy
Laid Down15 Feb 1939
Launched6 Jan 1940
Commissioned15 May 1940
Sunk16 Apr 1946
Displacement1,036 tons standard; 1,400 tons submerged
Length251 feet
Beam22 feet
Draft16 feet
MachineryAdriatico diesel engines (3600hp), electric motors (1500hp), two shafts
Speed17 knots
Range12,000nm maximum
Armament2x100mm Schneider guns, 4x machine-guns, 8x53.34 cm torpedo tubes, 12x Silureficio Italiano di Fiume torpedoes
Submerged Speed8.2 knots


ww2dbaseLuigi Torelli was built at the Odero Terni Orlando (OTO) shipyard in La Spezia, Italy. One of six submarines of the Marconi-class, which were laid down in 1938 and 1939, the Luigi Torelli was launched in January 1940. Designed as an ocean-going vessel, she was intended for operations both in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Atlantic Ocean. When Italy entered World War II in June 1940 the Luigi Torelli was still completing its training and shakedown period. Afterward, it conducted a short reconnaissance mission in the Gulf of Genoa, and was then dispatched to Bordeaux, France to serve in the Italian submarine flotilla there.

ww2dbaseBetween 11 and 29 September 1940, the Luigi Torelli was assigned to patrol an area just off the Azores Islands. On 5 October 1940, she reached Bordeaux. In the following weeks, the boat left port several times and made short practice missions.

ww2dbaseOn 15 January 1941 Luigi Torelli sighted a small convoy and sank the Greek freighter Nemea, the Norwegian freighter Brask and, on the next day, the Greek freighter Nicolaos Filinis. Two weeks later, she sank the British freighter Urla. In July 1941, she sank the Norwegian tanker Ida Knudsen. On 19 February 1942, she sank the British freighter Scottish Star and, on 25 February, the Panamanian tanker Esso Copenhagen.

ww2dbaseIn the early hours of 4 June 1942, the Luigi Torelli , under the command of Lieutenant Commander Augusto Migliorini, was found on the surface by a patrolling British Coastal Command Wellington bomber (flown by Wing Commander Jeff Greswell, the Commanding Officer of No. 172 Squadron) off the coast of Spain. Illuminated by the aircraft's powerful Leigh Light she was attacked with machine guns and depth charges, causing a complete loss of power, damage to compass and steering equipment and starting a serious fire in the battery compartment. Miraculously, the Italian submarine escaped, and was towed by Spanish tugs into a Spanish harbour for temporary repairs. On 6 June, she left this haven, only to be attacked twice by Sunderlands of 10 (RAAF) Squadron and further damaged. Putting into the Spanish port of Santander, the submarine was officially interned; yet a month later made a dash to freedom.

ww2dbaseIn 1943, after conversion into a long-range supply vessel with 150-ton cargo capacity, Luigi Torelli was renamed Aquila VI and sent to Japanese-occupied British Malaya. Upon the Italian capitulation, she was taken over by the Germans and operated out of Penang as UIT-25. While receiving repairs in Japan, upon the German surrender, she was taken over by the Japanese as I-504, making her one of only two ships to have flown the flags to have flown all three flags of the principal Axis nations (the other being Luigi Torelli's sister ship, Comandante Cappellini, which served as UIT-24 in German service and I-503 in Japanese service). At the end of the war, she was surrendered to the United States. Finally being scuttled by her ultimate (sixth) captain in the Kii Channel on 16 April 1946.

Martyn Chorlton (Editor): Vickers Wellington-The Backbone of Bomber Command (Kelsey Media, 2014)
Janes Fighting Ships of World War II (Studio Books, 1989)
Wikipedia - Italian Submarine Luigi Torelli

Last Major Revision: Mar 2022

Submarine Luigi Torelli (TI) Interactive Map


Luigi Torelli, 1940sLuigi Torelli returning to Bordeaux, France upon completion of her third war patrol, 4 Feb 1941

Luigi Torelli Operational Timeline

15 Feb 1939 The keel of Luigi Torelli was laid down at the Odero Terni Orlando shipyard in La Spezia, Italy.
6 Jan 1940 Luigi Torelli was launched at the Odero Terni Orlando shipyard in La Spezia, Italy.
15 May 1940 Luigi Torelli was completed and commissioned into service with Capitano di Fregata Aldo Cocchia in command.
11 Sep 1940 Luigi Torelli began patrolling waters off the Azores Islands.
29 Sep 1940 Luigi Torelli departed waters off the Azores Islands.
5 Oct 1940 Luigi Torelli arrived at Bordeaux, France.
7 Oct 1940 Capitano di Fregata Primo Longobardo was made the commanding officer of Luigi Torelli, relieving Aldo Cocchia.
15 Jan 1941 Luigi Torelli sighted a small convoy and fatally damaged the Greek freighter Nemea (17 lost) and sank the Norwegian freighter Brask (12 of 32 lost) in the North Atlantic Ocean.52.75, -23.983333
16 Jan 1941 Luigi Torelli sank Greek freighter Nicolaos Filinis in the North Atlantic Ocean, killing 3.
28 Jan 1941 Luigi Torelli sank British freighter Urla in the North Atlantic Ocean; all 42 aboard survived.
11 May 1941 Comandante Cappellini sighted fellow Italian submarine Luigi Torelli in the Atlantic Ocean at 1930 hours and exchanged recognition signals.
30 Jun 1941 Maggiore Baracca arrived at her assigned patrol position in the Atlantic Ocean at 0630 hours. At 1045 hours, orders for new patrol areas were sent to Italian submarines Luigi Torelli, Morosini, Comandante Cappellini, Leonardo Da Vinci, Maggiore Baracca, and Alessandro Malaspina. Maggiore Baracca was ordered to arrive by her new location by 3 Jul 1941. At 2115 hours, Alessandro Malaspina sighted Morosini and exchanged recognition signals.
21 Jul 1941 Luigi Torelli sank Norwegian tanker Ida Knudsen in the Atlantic Ocean about 400 kilometers west of Rabat, Morocco, killing 5 of 38 aboard; she was carrying 13,000 tons of fuel oil toward Gibraltar.
20 Sep 1941 Leonardo da Vinci sighted another submarine in the Atlantic Ocean at 0035 hours. She was later identified as fellow Italan submarine Luigi Torelli.
21 Sep 1941 Luigi Torelli was damaged by depth charges from destroyer HMS Vimy while attempting to attack convoy HG 73 in the Atlantic Ocean.
19 Feb 1942 Luigi Torelli sank British freighter Scottich Star in the Atlantic Ocean, killing 4 of 73 aboard.
25 Feb 1942 Luigi Torelli sank Panamanian freighter Esso Copenhagen in the Atlantic Ocean, killing 1 of 39 aboard.
3 Jun 1942 Luigi Torelli departed Bordeaux, France.
4 Jun 1942 Luigi Torelli was attacked and seriously damaged by a British Coastal Command Wellington bomber in the Atlantic Ocean. She was towed by Spanish tugs to Avil├ęs, Asturias, Spain to receive temporary repairs.
6 Jun 1942 Luigi Torelli departed Avil├ęs, Asturias, Spain. She was spotted in the Bay of Biscay by two RAAF Sunderland aircraft. Strafed and depth charged, she suffered two killed and one wounded. Her return fire damaged one of the aircraft. The submarine was later beached at Santander, Spain with a large hole amidships.
14 Jul 1942 Luigi Torelli secretly departed Santander, Spain one day ahead of the scheduled date of her internment.
15 Jul 1942 Luigi Torelli arrived in Bordeaux, France in the evening.
14 Jun 1943 Aquila VI departed Bordeaux, France with a cargo of mercury, stell, 800 Mauser MG 151/20 aircraft cannons, a 500-kilogram SG 500 bomb, torpedoes, and two W├╝rzburg radar sets on board. Her passengers included Colonel Kinjo Satake (trained with latest German telecommunications technology), Heinrich Foders (Telefunken radar engineer with W├╝rzburg anti-aircraft radar blueprints), and a number of German radar and shipbuilding engineers.
12 Aug 1943 Aquila VI made rendezvous with U-178 in the Indian Ocean and received diesel fuel. The two ships then sailed eastward together.
25 Aug 1943 Aquila VI arrived at Sabang, Sumatra, Dutch East Indies.
27 Aug 1943 Aquila VI departed Sabang, Sumatra, Dutch East Indies.
1 Sep 1943 Aquila VI arrived at Keppel Harbour, Singapore and began receiving repairs. Most of her crew were sent to Pasir Panjang village to rest.
8 Sep 1943 Aquila VI was interned at Singapore by orders of Rear Admiral Takaichiro Enomoto.
10 Sep 1943 Aquila VI was commissioned into the German Navy as UIT-25 at Singapore.
6 Dec 1943 Oberleutnant zur See Werner Striegler was made the commanding officer of UIT-25 at Singapore.
8 Feb 1944 UIT-25 departed Singapore.
10 Feb 1944 UIT-25 arrived at Penang, Straits Settlements.
13 Feb 1944 Oberleutnant zur See Werner Striegler relinguishes command of UIT-25 to take command of UIT-23. On the same day, UIT-23 departed Batavia, Java, Dutch East Indies with 135 tons of rubber and 70 tons of tin aboard for France.
14 Feb 1944 UIT-23 was sunk by torpedoes from HMS Tally-Ho in the Strait of Malacca. 26 of 40 survived, including the commanding officer, Oberleutnant zur See Werner Striegler, who was then brought to Penang, Straits Settlements to be made the commanding officer of UIT-25.
7 Mar 1944 UIT-25 departed Penang, Straits Settlements.
11 Mar 1944 UIT-25 arrived at Surabaya, Java, Dutch East Indies.
10 Jun 1944 UIT-25 departed Surabaya, Java, Dutch East Indies.
25 Jun 1944 UIT-25 arrived at Tamano, Okayama Prefecture, Japan and began receiving repairs at the Tama Zosensho shipyard.
17 Mar 1945 A German sailor assigned to UIT-25 was killed at Kobe, Japan during an American bombing.
10 May 1945 UIT-25 was taken over by the Japanese Navy at Kobe, Japan and recommissioned as I-504. She was attached to the Kure Naval District.
14 Jul 1945 Lieutenant Hideo Hirota was made the commanding officer of I-503 (formerly Comandante Cappellini) and I-504 (formerly Luigi Torelli).
30 Aug 1945 I-504 officially surrendered at Kobe, Japan.
30 Oct 1945 Lieutenant Chiaki Tanaka was made the commanding officer of I-503 (formerly Comandante Cappellini) and I-504 (formerly Luigi Torelli).
30 Nov 1945 I-504 was removed from the Japanese Navy list.
16 Apr 1946 I-504 was scuttled in the Kii Channel south of Kobe, Japan.

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