Laconia incident. Part 1



Laconia incident. Part 1


At night, the submarine U-156 launches a torpedo at the SS Laconia. A massive explosion causes large flames and black smoke to engulf the centre of the liner. Small flags are flying from the masts of the ship. A postcard with the caption “The New Cunarder “Laconia” – 20,000 tons” has been pasted onto the painting.

Label reads “64”; signed by the author; caption reads “(1) LA TRAGEDIA DEL LAKONIA [sic] 12 SETTEMBRE 1942. Il sommergibile “UI56” al comando di Warner Hartenstein [Werner Hartenstein] in navigazione notturna, alle oer [sic] 21 avvista il Laconia di 20.000 tonnellate in rotta dall’Africa agli Stati Uniti, carico di 1800 prigionieri italiani, più equipaggio e passeggeri. L’U156 lancia 2 siluri colpendo in pieno la nave, aprendo il piu terribile dei drammi del mare, di tutti i tempi. (in basso a destra, una rara cartolina del “Lakonia.)

Caption translates as: “(1) The Tragedy of the Laconia, 12th September 1942. The “U 156” submarine, led by Werner Hartenstein, was sailing at night. At 9 pm it caught sight of the Laconia, 20,000 gross register tonnage, en route from Africa to the United States. It was transporting 1,800 Italian prisoners, along with crew and passengers. The U156 shot two torpedoes, hitting the vessel, and starting one of the most terrible tragedies of the sea of all times. (bottom right-hand side, a rare postcard of the Laconia.)”

Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage




One tempera on paper, pasted on mount board


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Angiolino Filiputti, “Laconia incident. Part 1,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 13, 2024,

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