Iride file photo [19632]


Ship ClassPerla-class Submarine
BuilderOdero-Terni-Orlando Navy Yard, La Spezia, Italy
Laid Down3 Sep 1935
Launched30 Jul 1936
Commissioned6 Nov 1936
Sunk21 Aug 1940
Displacement691 tons standard; 858 tons submerged
Length197 feet
Beam21 feet
Draft15 feet
MachineryTwo diesel engines (1,200bhp), two electric motors (800hp), 2 shafts
Speed14 knots
Armament1936-1940: 4x533mm forward torpedo tubes, 2x533mm aft torpedo tubes, 12 torpedoes, 1x100mm deck gun. 1940: 4 manned torpedoes
Submerged Speed7.5 knots


ww2dbaseIride, commissioned into service in 1936, was a submarine of the Italian Navy. As a conventional fleet submarine, she participated in the Spanish Civil War, during which she engaged in combat with British destroyer HMS Havock off Spain; both escaped without harm. In 1940, she was converted into a carrier for manned torpedoes. In this role, while conducting a test with four manned torpedoes, she was discovered and sank (along with depot ship Monte Gargano and torpedo boat Calypso) in the Gulf of Bomba off Libya by British Swordfish torpedo bombers of carrier HMS Eagle. British Royal Marines Captain Oliver Patch was credited with the sinking; he would later receiving the Distinguished Service Order award for this action. A large number of Iride's crew were killed in the sinking.

Piero Crociani, Italian Navy & Air Force Elite Units & Special Forces 1940-45

Last Major Revision: Nov 2013

Submarine Iride Interactive Map


Italian submarine Iride, date unknown

Iride Operational Timeline

3 Sep 1935 The keel of submarine Iride was laid down at the Odero-Terni-Orlando Navy Yard in Muggiani, La Spezia, Italy.
30 Jul 1936 Submarine Iride was launched at La Spezia, Italy.
6 Nov 1936 Submarine Iride was commissioned into service.
31 Aug 1937 Italian submarine Iride attacked British destroyer HMS Havock off Spain, and HMS Havock responded with depth charges; neither incurred any damage.
12 Aug 1940 Iride departed La Spezia, Italy for Libya with four manned torpedoes on board.
21 Aug 1940 Iride, with four manned torpedoes on board intended for an attack on British ships in Alexandria in Egypt, was sunk by British torpedo bombers in the Gulf of Bomba off Libya.
22 Aug 1940 Three Swordfish torpedo bombers of 824 Squadron of HMS Eagle sank Italian submarine Iride, killing most of the crew of 45, and the depot ship Monte Gargano in the Gulf of Bomba, Libya. Italian torpedo boat Calypso was also damaged.

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More on Iride
» Borghese, Junio Valerio

Event(s) Participated:
» The Spanish Civil War

Related Books:
» Italian Navy & Air Force Elite Units & Special Forces 1940-45

Submarine Iride Photo Gallery
Italian submarine Iride, date unknown

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