Nazario Sauro (20 September 1880 - 10 August 1916)

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by liverpool annie, May 13, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Nazario Sauro (20 September 1880—10 August 1916) was an Austrian-born Italian irredentist and sailor.

    Born in Capodistria, in what was then the Austrian Littoral (today Koper, Slovenia), he took to sailing from a very young age, and became the captain of a cargo ship when he was only 20. Later, in 1910, Sauro became an employee of the shipping company Zuttiati, connecting ports in Istria and Dalmatia to San Giorgio di Nogaro and Cervignano del Friuli.

    When World War I erupted, Sauro's Italian nationalism made him capture an Austrian vessel which he then sailed to Venice, joining other refugees who had gathered in the city and were pressuring Italy to join the conflict on the Entente side. When Italy did join the effort in 1915, he was a voluntary in the Italian Navy, and assigned to a torpedo unit, accomplishing over 60 missions over a period of 14 months. In June 1916, he was promoted Sub-Lieutenant on the Giacinto Pullino submarine, and awarded a Silver Medal.

    On July 30 of that year, Sauro's ship was sent over to carry out a sabotage in the Hungarian port of Rijeka (known as Fiume in Italian), but it crashed into a rock in the Kvarner Gulf. The crew was intercepted by the Austro-Hungarian destroyer Satellit, and imprisoned. Sauro was recognized and placed on trial for his previous act of treason, and, after facing a military tribunal in Pula (known as Pola in Italian) was sentenced to death and hanged.

    He is remembered as a hero of Italy. Two ships of the Italian Navy were named in his honour:
    The destroyer Nazario Sauro, built in 1926 and sunk in 1941
    The submarine Nazario Sauro, built in 1980 and recently taken out of service

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