Battle of the Espero convoy. Part 11



Battle of the Espero convoy. Part 11


At the back of a raft, a man dressed in a blue uniform is saluting. One semi-clothed man, wearing a red life jacket around his neck, stands to his right watching other men carrying out a burial at sea. The dead man has blood on his chest. An Italian flag is being handed to a man leaning over the deceased.

Label reads “17”; caption reads “(11)… Nel pomeriggio quelli della terza zattera, gridarono “terra! terra!” a ponente, e cominciarono a vogare, e gli altri della seconda zattera, dietro anche loro a vogare verso ponente, con remi e con mani, con la poca forza che restava loro. La mia zattera continua Lo Mastro, non suguì le altre, l’ufficiale che era a bordo sdraiato in fin di vita, ordinò di non seguire le altre imbarcazioni, “la terra non puo essere a ponente, dato il punto dove è avvenuta la battaglia, e affondato l’Espero, sono sicuro che la terra è a levante. Poco dopo l’ufficiale morì ci sentimmo ancora più soli e distanti, dalle altre zattere, nella desolazione delle acque. Dal meridione cì giungevano gli echi di un cannoneggiamento, nulla si vide. E ancora una volta discese la notte, buia notte, notte d’ansia, e di tremori. Il corpo dell’ufficiale morto calò in mare, trà il riverente saluto dei superstiti…”

Caption translates as: “(11)… In the afternoon, those on the third raft shouted ‘Land! Land! to the West”. They started rowing towards land, along with others on the second raft. Exhausted, they rowed using both the oars and hands. “My raft” said Lo Mastro “did not follow the other ones. The officer was lying on board, dying. He ordered not to follow the other boats, saying “Land cannot be to the West because of the location where the fire exchange took place and the Espero sank - I am sure land is to the East.” Shortly after, the official died and we felt even more alone and distant from the other rafts, amidst the misery of the sea. From South, we heard echoes of salvoes, but we could not see anything. Once again, the dark night came, a night of anxiety and trepidation. The body of the dead officer was buried at sea. The survivors saluted respectfully …”

Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage




One tempera on paper, pasted on mount board


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Angiolino Filiputti, “Battle of the Espero convoy. Part 11,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 18, 2024,

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