top of page

Rescue operations

Admiral Oliva, Commander of the 7th Naval Division and embarked on the Eugenio di Savoia, finding himself in the queue of the formation and against the sun - therefore not having the possibility to see if and which ship, at the head of the formation, had been hit - sent with waves court, to Admiral Accorretti, at 16.01, the following message:

“From 7th Division command to Nave Veneto. Which ship is hit? "

160 hours 109

Admiral Biancheri (Duke of Abruzzi), realizing the tragic situation in which the battleship Roma found itself, ordered the destroyers of the 12th Squadron, Machine Gunner, Rifleman and Carabiniere, to "give aid to the CC.FF.NN.BB."

160709 hours


Admiral Accorretti (Vittorio Veneto), Commander of the 9th Naval Division, realizing that Rome had been fatally hit and having intercepted the messages sent by Supermarina, replied, with ultra short waves, to Admiral Oliva:

“From Vittorio Veneto to 7th Naval Division Command - I think ship Roma Struck. I propose to send two CTs to save people. Alt From intercepted it seems we have to go Bona 161009 ”.

161009 hours

The Rome, so badly hit, capsized breaking into two sections that sank vertically.

The shipwrecks of Rome, recovered by the naval units sent to their rescue, were six hundred and twenty-two, and of these five hundred and three were recovered by the destroyers Mitragliere, Fuciliere and Carabiniere, seventeen by the cruiser Attilio Regolo and one hundred and two by the torpedo boats Pegaso, Impetuoso and Orsa. Of the six hundred and twenty-two men saved, nine died on board our ships, sixteen at the hospital in Port Mahon, and one in Caldes de Malavella due to a car accident. The survivors of Rome were therefore five hundred and ninety-six.

161109 hours


The captain of the vessel Marini, embarked on the Machine Gunner and Commander of the 12th Destroyer Squadron writes in point 8 of his special report, compiled on 28 and 29 September 1943:


"I am the last of the 8 CTs that in reverse order precede the battleships. I am therefore the closest to the battleships. As soon as I notice the huge blaze on the Roma tower, I realize that the battleship is fatally doomed, I reverse the route without orders to go as soon as possible to his rescue. Rome is still noticeably bridged and I am in fact forced to take roughly a collision course to get closer as soon as possible and not to lapse downwind where visibility beyond Rome is nil due to the enormous production of smoke that develops from the tower. "

He docked at 08.30, with the units dependent on him, at the quays of Port Mahon.

bottom of page