Battle of the Espero convoy. Part 14



Battle of the Espero convoy. Part 14


A submarine is surfacing near a life raft with six figures on board. On the life raft, there are two masts connected by a line. At one end of the line, a pair of trousers is hanging. Below the trousers is a figure standing up and waving both arms in the air.

Label reads “20”; signed by the author; caption reads “(14)… all‘alba del 10o giorno apparve un’idrovolante italiano, segnalammo con il fanale Donath, l’idro capi’, ci rispose ricevuto, e volò via. 11° giorno comparve un altro idrovolante, fece come il primo, e volo via. Cì sembrò una beffa del destino, soli nudi sul mare, affamati assetati senza speranza, al 12o giorno il mare si agitò. La barca andava alla deriva, scarrocciava nelle tenebre, in quella 13o notte dopo la battaglia, 6 superstiti isolati nelle tenebre sù quella vastità malefica. Cì giunse un rumore, come di un ventilatore di caldaia, sempre più forte, sempre più vicino, non credetti ai miei occhi, un sommergibile italiano, affiorava scuotendosi l’acqua di dosso… eravamo salvi, dopo 168 ore di mare. (dal racconto del capocannoniere Lo Mastro) 28 Giugno 1940 Mediterraneo orientale. FINE.”

Caption translates as: “(14)… On the tenth day, at dawn, we saw a seaplane. We made signals with the Donath lamp. The seaplane understood, responded ‘roger’ and flew away. On the eleventh day, another seaplane came into view. Did what the other had done the day before and flew away. We thought it was a mockery of the fate. We were alone, naked, at sea, hungry, thirsty, and hopeless. On the twelfth day, the water became choppy. The raft started to drift, drifting leeward in the darkness. On that night, the thirteenth night after the battle, six solitary castaways stood in the darkness on that hostile wilderness. We heard a sound, like a boiler’s fan, louder and louder, closer and closer. I could not believe my eyes: an Italian submarine surfaced, shaking the water off… we were rescued after 168 hours in the sea. From the account of master gunner Lo Mastro. 28 June 1940, Eastern Mediterranean Sea. The end.”

Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage




One tempera on paper, pasted on mount board


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Angiolino Filiputti, “Battle of the Espero convoy. Part 14,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 20, 2024,

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