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Diesel-Electric Ocean-Going Attack Submarine

Kingdom of Italy | 1938

"Dandolo was one of nine Marcello-class attack boats built for the Italian Navy prior to World War 2 - she served until the Italian armistice of 1943."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/02/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Nine Marcello-class diesel-electric attack submarines were constructed for the Italian Navy prior to World War 2 (1939-1945) from the span of 1937 to 1938. The work was handled by CRDA in Trieste. One of the sister boats became Dandolo and she was launched on November 20th, 1937. Her construction wrapped on March 25th, 1938 and, by the time of the war, she found herself in Mediterranean waters on active patrol for enemy targets of interest.

Dandolo was laid down as a single-hulled boat and developed with ocean-going endurance in mind. This gave her capabilities beyond coastal waters and strong sea-keeping qualities to deal with the rigors of an untamable ocean. When inducted into service with the Regia Marina, she and the class stood as one of the better submarines available to Italy.

As built, the vessel displaced 1,080 tons when surfaced and 1,335 tons when submerged. She held a length of 239.5 feet with a beam of 23.6 feet and draught of 16.8 feet. Installed power included 2 x CRDA diesel engines with 2 x CRDA electric motors allowing a top surfaced speed of 17.5 knots and submerged speeds of 8 knots. Range was out to 2,500 nautical miles at 17 knots and 7,500 nautical miles at 9.5 knots (surfaced). Internally she was crewed by 58 personnel. Armament was 8 x 533mm torpedo tubes with four facing the bow and four facing astern. 2 x 100mm /47 caliber deck guns were installed for surface work and 4 x 13.2mm anti-aircraft machine guns protected the vessel from aerial threats.

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Her early war patrols were unspectacular leading to her being stationed out of the French port city of Bordeaux - this gave unfettered access to Atlantic waters, a theater where, at this point in the war, there were more Italian boats than German ones active. On her voyage to Bordeaux (by way of the Strait of Gibraltar) on August 26th, 1940, she engaged the British freighter Irvington Court and sunk her, claiming over 5,000 gross tons. She also managed to damage another vessel during this time. Dandolo arrived at the French port city on September 10th.

Her Atlantic stint yielded the British tanker Pizarro on January 31st, 1941 - a vessel of over 1,300 gross tons. She left Bordeaux on June 26th, 1941 and returned to the Mediterranean Sea where she damaged a French tanker on November 4th, 1941 and sunk the Spanish freighter Castollo Oropesa on November 8th. She then torpedoed HMS Cleopatra on July 16th, 1943 which caused some damage but did not sink the enemy warship.

Dandolo was the only boat of her class to survive the whole of the war. She was sent to the United States following the Italian armistice of September 1943 and was scrapped after the war during the 1947/1948 period.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one sea-going vessel design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for Dandolo.
2 x CRDA diesel engines with 2 x CRDA electric motors driving power to 2 x shafts.
17.5 kts
20.1 mph
Surface Speed
8.0 kts
9.2 mph
Submerged Speed
7,499 nm
8,630 miles | 13,889 km
The bow-to-stern, port-to-starboard physical qualities of Dandolo.
239.5 ft
73.00 meters
O/A Length
23.6 ft
7.19 meters
16.8 ft
5.12 meters
Displacement (Submerged)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of Dandolo.
8 x 533mm (21") torpedo tubes (four bow-facing, four stern-facing).
2 x 100mm /47 caliber deck guns
4 x 13.2mm Heavy Machine Guns (Anti-Aircraft)
Ships-in-Class (9)
Notable series variants as part of the Dandolo family line as relating to the Marcello-class group.
Marcello; Dandolo; Mocenigo; Nani; Veniero; Provana; Barbarigo; Emo; Morosini
Global operator(s) of the Dandolo. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national naval warfare listing.
National flag of Italy National flag of the Kingdom of Italy

[ Kingdom of Italy ]
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Image of the Dandolo
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to seaborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
Dandolo Diesel-Electric Ocean-Going Attack Submarine appears in the following collections:
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