Brin Submarine - Italian Navy World War II

June 07, 2009

Hello Gentlemen,

I was trying to look up my father's submarine "Brin" on the website as I looking at some of his war medals this evening. My father died in 1982 but his war records (the 'Matricola' for example) are perfectly intact.

He was a sailor on the "Brin" and, as I was growing up, he often told the tale of the time he helped rescue the vessel (it had some fault and he had to solder something or other on the outside.... ??)

Anyway, whilst searching amongst his things I found a photograph which he had taken whilst on the sub  -  He had taken the photo from one deck above and in the photo are,  Hitler, Mussolini and Eisenhower.

I have been told that this may be quite a valuable item but I do not know who may be interested in this.

If you get this email, could you please let me know if there is any organisation that I may contact.

I would really appreciate this, and thank you.

Laura Kaminskas


Here are some details of the Italian Submarine Smg Brin.

Could you please send me a copy of the photograph you refer to, and if possible a scan of  your Father's medals, we will add them to your story on AHOY.

Career (Italy)  
Name:  Brin
Builder:  Tosi (Taranto, Italy)
Laid down:  3 December, 1936
Launched:  3 April, 1938
Commissioned:  18 April, 1939
Out of service:  1st February 1948
Homeport:  Taranto
Fate:  Scrapped 1948
General characteristics
Class and type:  Brin
Displacement:  1,016 tons (standard)
1,266t (full load)
Length:  72.5 m
Beam:  6.7 m
Draught:  4.5 m
Propulsion:  (surfaced/submerged) diesel / electric , 2 shafts
3,200 hp / 1,200 hp
Speed:  17 / 8 knots (surfaced/submerged)
Range:  18,000nm at 10 knots (19 km/h)
Test depth:  

[1]Operational Diving Depth=73m
Emergency Diving Depth=117m
Crush Depth=183m
Complement:  58
Armament:  1 x 100 mm gun
4 x 13.2 mm anti-aircraft
8 x 21" torpedo tubes (4 bow, 4 stern)
14 torpedoes

The Brin was an Italian Brin class submarine that served with the Regia Marina during World War II.

When Italy declared war in June 1940, Brin was the sole vessel in the 42nd Squadron of the Italian submarine fleet.

At the end of 1940, Brin, captained by Luigi Longanesi-Cattani, became one of several Italian submarines that operated in the Atlantic, based in Bordeaux (BETASOM) under German command. In the early hours of 18 December, 1940, she was attacked by the British submarine HMS Tuna with torpedoes and gunfire in the Bay of Biscay, about 55 nautical miles (102 km) east of the Gironde estuary. Brin was undamaged and escaped.[2]

In June 1941, On the 13th, she made three torpedo attacks on convoy SL75, successfully sinking two ships, the Greek Eirini Kyriakides (3,781 tons) and the French Djurdjura (3,460 tons).[3] She performed five patrols from Bordeaux, sinking over 7,200 tons of allied shipping.[4]

In August 1942, Brin contributed to the axis opposition to the Pedestal convoy. During the action she brought down an allied Short Sunderland flying boat. While in the Mediterranean, she performed 17 patrols.

At the Italian armistice, Brin was part of the Italian Fleet that surrendered to the allies in 1943. She was subsequently used on training operations in the Indian Ocean for the remainder of the war.[4]


   1. ^ "Brin Class Submarine". Wesworld. Red Admiral. 27 June 2005. http://www.wesworld.jk-clan.de/print.php?threadid=1423&page=1&sid=f2188d1983b1f04772103a9bcf1da364. Retrieved on 2007-11-30.
   2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur (1995-2007). "HMS Tuna (N 94)". uboat.net. http://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/3495.html. Retrieved on 2007-11-30.
   3. ^ "Italian Submarine Operations - Atlantic Ocean". REGIAMARINA. 1996-2007. http://www.regiamarina.net/subs/actions/sub_ops_us.asp?area=A. Retrieved on 2007-11-30.
   4. ^ a b "DATABASE OF UNIT DIRECTOR OF MARINA IN SECOND WORLD WAR". Trentincina. 2001 - 2007. http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=it&u=http://www.trentoincina.it/dbsomm2.php%3Fshort_name%3DBrin&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=1&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dtosi%2Btaranto%2Bbrin%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dopera%26rls%3Den%26hs%3Dtl7. Retrieved on 2007-12-01.

Ireland, Bernard (1996). Warships of World War II. Glasgow: Harper Collins & Jane's. pp. pp.74-75.


Adm. Luigi LONGANESI CATTANI, decorated with German IRON CROSS, Commanding Officer of "Smg. Brin" in 1941, and of "Smg Da Vinci" in 1942.
Benedetto Brin (1833-1898), Italian naval administrator and politician.
Italian submarine Brin named after Benedetto Brin - also Brin class submarine.
18 Dec 1940
At 0430 hours HMS Tuna (Lt.Cdr. M.K. Cavenagh-Mainwaring, DSO, RN) attacks the Italian submarine Brin with torpedoes and gunfire in the Bay of Biscay about 55 nautical miles east of the Gironde estuary in position 45º28'N, 02º27'W. The Italian submarine escapes unharmed.

Benedetto Brin (May 17, 1833—May 24, 1898) was an Italian naval administrator and politician.

1. Biography

Born in Turin, he worked with distinction as a naval engineer until the age of forty. In 1873, Admiral Simone Arturo Saint-Bon, Italy's Naval Minister, appointed him undersecretary of state. The two men collaborated on major projects: Saint-Bon conceived a type of ship, Brin made the plans and directed its construction.

On the advent of the Left to power in 1876, Brin was appointed Naval Minister by Agostino Depretis, a capacity in which he continued the policies of Saint-Bon, while enlarging and completing the project in such way as to form the first organic scheme for the development of the Italian fleet. The huge warships Italia and Duilio were his work, though he afterwards abandoned their type in favor of smaller and faster vessels of the Varese and the Garibaldi class. Through his initiative, the Italian naval industry, almost non-existent in 1873, made rapid progress.

During his eleven years ministry (1876-1878 with Depretis, 1884-1891 with Depretis and Francesco Crispi, 1896-1898 with Antonio Starabba, Marchese di Rudinì), he succeeded in creating large private shipyards, engine works and metallurgical works for the production of armour, steel plates and guns.

In 1892, he entered the Giovanni Giolitti cabinet as Minister of Foreign Affairs, accompanying, in that capacity, King Umberto I and Queen Margherita to Potsdam, but chose not to act against France on the occasion of the massacre of Italian workmen at Aigues-Mortes.

He died while Naval Minister in the Rudini cabinet.

    * A battleship entitled to him was launched by Regia Marina in 1901.
    * The Italian submarine Brin was named after him.

Brin class submarine
Class overview
Name:  Brin
Builders:  Tosi
Operators:  Regia Marina
Preceded by:  Marcello class submarine
Completed:  5
Lost:  4
General characteristics
Type:  Submarine
Displacement:  1,016 tons (surfaced)
1,266t (submerged)
Length:  72.5m
Beam:  6.7m
Draught:  4.5m
Propulsion:  (surfaced/submerged) diesel / electric , 2 shafts
3,200 hp / 1,200 hp
Speed:  17 / 8 knots (surfaced/submerged)
Range:  18,000nm at 10 kts
Complement:  58
Armament:  1 x 120mm gun
4 x 13.2mm anti-aircraft
8 x 21" torpedo tubes (4 bow, 4 stern)
14 torpedoes

The Brin class submarines were five Italian submarines that served in the Regia Marina during World War II. All ships were built by Tosi. Two boats were replacements for Archimede class submarines secretly transferred to the Nationalists during the Spanish Civil Warin 1937. The class were partially double hulled. The deck gun was initially mounted in the conning tower (to enable surface action during Indian ocean Monsoon), The gun was re-sited on the forward deck later in the war in surviving boats and the large conning tower was re-built to a smaller design.

Ship  Namesake  Launched  Fate
Brin  Benedetto Brin  3 April 1938  Surrendered to the Allies in 1943, discarded Feb 1948
Galvani  Luigi Galvani  22 May 1938  Sunk by British sloop HMS Falmouth near Persian Gulf 26 June 1940
Guglielmotti   5 March 1939  Torpedoed by HMS Unbeaten 17 March 1942
Archimede  Archimedes  5 March 1939  Escaped from East Africa in 1941 to Bordeaux, Sunk by US Navy Catalina flying boat off Brazil 16 March 1943
Torricelli  Evangelista Torricelli  26 March 1939  Sunk in the Red Sea, 23 June 1940 by British Destroyers HMS Kandahar, HMS Khartoum, HMS Kingston and sloop HMS Shoreham, The submarine was commanded by Salvatore Pelosi


Ireland, Bernard (1996). Warships of World War II. Glasgow: Harper Collins & Jane's. pp. pp.74-75.

    * Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1947

Best wishes.

back to letters index


This site was created as a resource for educational use and the promotion of historical awareness. All rights of publicity of the individuals named herein are expressly reserved, and, should be respected consistent with the reverence in which this memorial site was established.

Copyright© 1984/2014 Mackenzie J. Gregory All rights reserved