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After the sinking, the following units did their utmost to recover the shipwrecked:

"Machine gunner" group - senior commander in rank of CV Marini

Machine gun ship CV Giuseppe Marini

  • Fusilier ship CF Uguccione Scroffa

  • Carabiniere ship CF Gian Maria Bongiovanni

  • Regolo ship CF Marco Notarbartolo of Sciarra

"Pegaso" group - senior commander in rank CF Imperiali of Francavilla

  • Pegaso CF Riccardo Imperiali ship from Francavilla

  • Orsa ship CC Azzo Gino del Pin

  • Impetuous ship CF Giuseppe Cigala Fulgosi


The captain of the vessel Marini, embarked on the machine gunner and commander thereXII Destroyer Squadron he 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. "

The torpedo boats of the Pegasus Group broke away from the fighters and the Attilio Regolo, both because they remained engaged in combat against German aircraft, and because they had different speed and maneuver characteristics from the destroyers.

Therefore, two groups were formed among the rescue units:

  • the captain of the vessel Marini, as senior officer, assumed command of the group formed by the destroyers and the cruiser Attilio Regolo;

  • the Imperiali frigate captain remained in command of the torpedo boat group.


Both groups found themselves in the same operational conditions:

  • inability to contact the 7th Division and Supermarina, not receiving a reply to their messages;

  • interception of Supermarina's messages that demonstrated the impossibility of returning to Italian ports to disembark the wounded who were in urgent need of hospital treatment;

  • the need to reach the closest neutral coasts for the disembarkation of the wounded because, given their serious conditions, it was not possible to treat them on board;

  • reduction of stocks of naphtha and therefore of its own autonomy.


Therefore both the captain of the vessel Marini and the captain of the Imperiali frigate decided autonomously and independently to head to Spain, towards the Balearics.

Furthermore, considering that Spain was a neutral country, it was hoped that it would allow the disembarkation of the wounded and provide the necessary supplies of fuel and drinking water, without proceeding to internment the ships.

The Imperiali group headed to Palma de Majorca, while the Marini group found refuge in Porto Mahon, in Menorca: both were the object of complicated international intrigue, aimed at appropriating the Italian units.


The complicated affair had an immediate conclusion with the group of Imperials, which sank in front of Palma, while  the group of Marini was subject to a long period of internment; the Roma castaways found themselves for long months first in Mahon on the island of Menorca, then in Caldas de Malavella, in Cataluna, while the wounded, some horribly disfigured by burns, were first hospitalized on Isla del Rey in the bay of Porto Mahon , to then be sorted in hospitals on the Spanish mainland.

On the island of Rey, right in the ancient naval hospital, in the same rooms where the approximately three hundred wounded there were treated'Menorca Amica Associationcreated the Acorazado Roma Memorial Hall which presents visitors with images, documents, mementos and relics from the life of those men including the period of their forced stay in these islands.

Our Association actively participates in and supports the activities of the Museo della Battaglia Roma.


We strongly recommend, for an in-depth analysis of that period, the book written by Giuliano Marenco;"Italian warships interned in the Balearics after 8 September"for the characters of Lampi di Stampa.


While for the sad end of the Pegasus and the Impetuous, we suggest reading "The end of the Pegasus and the Impetuous" which is possibledownload here.

Anno 1944. Ufficiali delle navi internati a Port-Mahón, a bordo della Attilio Regolo.
Bongiovanni a sinistra, Scroffa al centro e Notarbartolo di Sciara a destra
Anno 1943. Ufficiali a bordo dell'ATTILIO REGOLO nel porto di Mahon.
Anno 1944, Porto-Mahon. Giorno della Vergine del Carmen, patrona dei marinai
Mahon, fautunno 1943
Caldes  inverno 1944
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