Giuseppe Finzi's first war patrol was from Cagliari to the Atlantic, and lasted from 5 June to 10 July 1940. Finzi sailed on 7 September 1940 and passed the Strait of Gibraltar on 13 September for an Atlantic patrol to Bordeaux on 29 September. Admiral Karl Dönitz visited Finzi on 30 September to welcome Regia Marina sailors to the German base. The third patrol near the British Isles from 24 October to 4 December 1940 revealed that the diesel engine air intake was too exposed for North Atlantic winter weather.
The fourth patrol was near the Canary Islands from 10 March to 17 April 1941 and the fifth patrol was off Gibraltar in August. During the sixth patrol from 7 to 29 December 1941 Calvi, Finzi and Tazzoli rescued sailors of the sunken raider Atlantis. Finzi sailed for Operation Neuland on 6 February 1942 and returned on 31 March. Finzi returned to the Caribbean Sea for an eighth patrol from 6 June to 18 August 1942. On 26 November 1942 Finzi sailed for a ninth patrol to Brazil; but mechanical problems required return to base on 10 December. Finzi patrolled the west African coast from 11 February to 18 April 1943. Conversion to a transport submarine was never completed. Giuseppe Finzi was subsequently captured by German troops, renamed UIT21 and then scuttled at Le Verdon-sur-Mer in Bordeaux, France on 25 July 1944.
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