The Italian submarine Asteria left Naples on 11 February 1942 for her eighth patrol in the Mediterranean. On the night of 16/17 February, when in an area between Algiers and Bougie, the destroyers HMS Wheatland and Easton picked up an Asdic signal at a range of about 1,300 yards, which turned out to be Asteria steaming west at about 8 knots. The Italians spotted the two warships in poor visibility and the captain ordered diving stations. HMS Wheatland dropped five depth charges set to 50 feet, which caused some damage, and the hunt continued for about an hour until contact was lost for two further hours. HMS Easton then made a very effective attack which put all Asteria's motors out of control, eventually forcing the submarine to the surface, as shown here, and resulting in a surrender. All but four of the crew of fifty-two were rescued before the submarine sank at 0940 hours. Ref: ADM 199/2060

Bigbird, Nov 15, 2011
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