Balilla class submarine

Balilla class submarine

The "Balilla" class were the first submarines to be built for the Italian navy following the end of the First World War. They were large ocean going cruiser submarines designed to operate in the Indian Ocean based in Italy's East African colonies. The design was double hulled and based on the German UEII type U-boats, one of which, "U-120" was supplied to the Italians as a war reparation. A 425 hp auxiliary diesel engine was installed as an extra generator.

The boats were stationed in the Mediterranean in 1940 but proved too large to be effective patrol submarines. After 1941 they were used as transport submarines to supply Italian forces in North Africa. The surviving boats were scrapped after the war.


All ships were built by OTO in Muggiano.



The "Humaita" was a modified version of this design built for the Brazilian Navy in 1927. The ship was retired in 1951.


*Conway's All the world's Fighting Ships 1922-1946
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