Operation Elisabeth

This was a German naval undertaking to bring the 6,338-ton Italian blockade-runner Pietro Orseola through the Bay of Biscay from the area of Vigo in north-western Spain to the Gironde estuary of south-western France (30 March/2 April 1943).

Damaged by a torpedo from the British submarine Shad, Pietro Orseolo was nonetheless brought into the anchorage off Le Verdon by destroyers of Kapitän Gottfried Pönitz’s 8th Zerstörer-Flottille with a cargo including 4,000 tons of rubber, 1,108 tons of tin, 2,369 tons of fats, 556 tons of tea, 15 tons of quinine and other goods. The flotilla’s Z 23 received limited damage from the impact of a torpedo, which did not detonate, from the same British submarine.