Italian submarine Axum

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Name: Axum
Namesake: Axum
Builder: CRDA, Monfalcone
Fate: Ran aground and scuttled, 29 December 1943
General characteristics
Class & type: 600-Serie Adua-class submarine
Displacement: 698 long tons (709 t) surfaced
866 long tons (880 t) submerged
Length: 60.18 m (197 ft 5 in)
Beam: 6.45 m (21 ft 2 in)
Draught: 4.6 m (15 ft 1 in)
Propulsion: 2 diesel engines, 2 electric engines
Speed: 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph) surfaced
7.5 knots (13.9 km/h; 8.6 mph) submerged
Range: 3,180 nmi (5,890 km) at 10.5 kn (19.4 km/h) surfaced
Test depth: 80 m (260 ft)
Complement: 46
Armament: • 1 × 100 mm (4 in)/47 calibre deck gun
• 6 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes (4 forward, 2 aft)
• 12 × torpedoes

The Italian submarine Axum was an Italian Adua-class submarine serving in the Regia Marina during World War II. She was named after the holy city of Axum, in Ethiopia. She was built in the CRDA shipyard, in Monfalcone. She formed part of the 7th Group - 71st Squadron of the submarine fleet.

Axum was ordered to intercept and block an Allied convoy to Malta, on 12 August 1942, north of Bizerta, Tunisia. The convoy formed part of the allied Operation Pedestal. The Axum succeeded in sinking the Royal Navy light cruiser HMS Cairo, and damaging the cruiser HMS Nigeria and the oil tanker SS Ohio with a single salvo of four torpedoes.

Axum was still in operation on 8 September 1943, when the Allies and Italy signed the armistice. Axum arrived in Malta the day after the armistice, and joined the Allies. On 29 December 1943, during a mission near Morea, she ran aground, and was scuttled.

Argo Axum.jpg