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by Admiral (ret) Attilio Duilio Ranieri

This was the submarine after which the Brin class was named. Deriving from the Archimede class, it retained the previous class excellent characteristics and performances.

Amongst the improvements, the deck gun was installed aft of the cunning tower higher than the deck. This way, it was assumed that the use of the deck gun in wrought seas would be easier. In actuality, this solution ended up not being too practical thus, during the conflict, he gun was reposition forward of the cunning tower.

The Brin class were later added two new boats slightly different from the original three in both dimensions and displacement. While nearly completed, the Regia Marina transferred to the Spanish Nationalist Navy the “Archimede” and “Torricelli” of the “Archimede” class. To replace them, it was decided to lay down at the Tosi Shipyard of Taranto two new submarines. At the two new boats were assigned the names of the two units transferred to Spain, thus “Archimede” and “Toricelli”. Despite the few differences, they were still classified as belonging to the Brin class.

In peace time, the Brin completed training and in 1939 operated along the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. At the beginning of the conflict, Lieutenant L. Longanesi Cattaneo completed four was patrol in Mediterranean, however fruitless, and in 1940 the boat was ordered to the Atlantic at the base in Bordeaux.

On October 28th, 1940 the Brin left Messina to reach the French base and, on November 4th, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar. Having surfaced at 3:30 PM two miles off Cape Malabata, in Spanish territorial waters, it was attacked by two British motorboats which, although did not use firepower in Spanish waters, attempted to ram the boat, however failing, while this was entering the port of Tangiers.

The Brin remained in Tangiers the time necessary to repairs an issue with the batteries and, the night of the 12th, left port for Bordeaux along with the Bianchi. While approaching the Girond, the Brin was attacked by the British submarine Tuna which launched six torpedoes to which the Brin replied with two without any damage to either boat. Soon after midday on the 18th, the Brin entered the harbor.

In Atlantic the Brin completed five patrols obtaining good results. Amongst the most important successes it should be mentioned the action of June 13th, 1941 off the Azores Islands. Then, the Brin attacked a convoy on the surface and in a very short period of time sank the British steamer “Djukjura” (3460 t.) with a torpedo and the Greek steamer Kyriakides. Probably, it damaged two other ships, all belonging to “SL76” a convoy from Sierra Leon to Great Britain.

On August 20th, 1941 the Brin departed Le Verdon for the Mediterranean, reaching Messina on September 10th. Thereafter, it had intense activity but without scoring further successes. On September 8th, 1943 (Armistice Day) the Brin was at sea and, as ordered, it reached Bona surrendering to the British authorities which sent the boat to Malta. In October it returned to Taranto where it underwent refitting. In May 1944, it was sent to Colombo (then India) where it assisted in training British antisubmarine units. It returned to Taranto in December 1945 and on February 1st, 1948 was removed from service and later scrapped.

In Mediterranean, the Brin completed 17 patrols and 16 transfers between bases for a total of 26,426 nautical mils.

Translated from Italian by Cristiano D'Adamo

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