3 October 1943

Scuttled in North Sea after failed attack on Scharnhorst

On 12th September X10 departed Loch Cairnbawn under tow from HMS Sceptre to take part in the attack on the Scharnhorst. At the appointed time the operational crew took over from the passage crew and proceeded to where the Scharnhorst lay at anchor. A fire in the periscope motor prevented the X-craft from pressing home the attack and she had to withdraw and was taken undertow by HMS Stubborn on 28th September. On 3rd October the tow parted and only with great difficulty was the submarine brought back under control. That evening Stubborn received a gale warning and the order to scuttle X10 at the captain’s discretion. This was duly done and Stubborn returned to Lerwick.

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HMS Usurper

3 October 1943

Possibly depth charged in Gulf of Genoa by UJ2208

HMS Usurper left Algiers on 24th September 1943 with instruction to patrol of La Spezia. On 3rd October she was ordered to move to the Gulf of Genoa. No further contact was made and she failed to return to Algiers on the 12th as expected. The German anti-submarine vessel UJ2208 reported attacking a submarine in the Gulf of Genoa on 3rd October and it is believed that this may have been the Usurper.

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HMS Trooper

10 October 1943

Probably mined east of Leros Isalnd, Aegean

HMS Trooper sailed from Beirut on 26th September 1943 for a patrol west of the Dodecanese and later to the east of Leros. No signals were received and she failed to return on the appointed date, 17th October. Mining is strongly suspected.

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HMS Simoom

19 November 1943

Possibly mined in Northern Aegean

HMS Simoom sailed for a patrol in the Aegean on 2nd November 1943. On the 5th she received a signal to divert to the entrance of the Dardanelles. Ten days later she was sent orders to return to port. The submarine never arrived. On 15th November German radio broadcasts stated that a submarine had been destroyed in the Aegean and that several of the crew had been rescued. It is unlikely that this was Simoom, as it would have put her miles out of position. None of the claimed survivors stated that they were from Simoom. It is more likely that the submarine struck a mine or was lost through an accident.

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7 February 1944

Sunk in Pentland Firth following collision with HMS Syrtis

On 7th February 1944 X22 was involved in towing exercises with HMS Syrtis when heavy seas and gale force winds washed Syrtis’s Officer of the Watch overboard. The towing submarine immediately turned to rescue the officer and in doing so collided with X22. The small X-craft sank almost immediately.

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HMS Stonehenge

16 March 1944

Possibly mined north of Sumatra

On 25th February 1944 HMS Stonehenge left Trincomalee to patrol in the northern part of the Malacca Straits. Nothing further was heard from the submarine and she failed to reach Ceylon on 20th March as expected. It is believed that Stonehenge struck a mine, causing her demise although an accident cannot be discounted.

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HMS Syrtis

28 March 1944

Probably mined off Bodo, Norway

HMS Syrtis left Lerwick on 16th March 1944 for a patrol off the Norwegian coast. On 20th March she was ordered to an area near Bodo, some 70 miles inside the Arctic Circle. Two days later she sank the steamer Narvik with gunfire. On the 28th a signal was sent to Syrtis ordering her to return to Lerwick. This signal was never acknowledged and the submarine failed to return. German reports indicate the sinking of a submarine in the Bodo area at the time by shore batteries, but the most likely cause of her loss is a mine.

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HMS Sickle

16 June 1944

Probably mined in southern Aegean

HMS Sickle left for a patrol in the northern Aegean on 31st May 1944. On the 4th June she fired upon shipping in Mitylene Harbour and was engaged in a gun action with two German patrol vessels during which one member of the crew was washed overboard and taken prisoner. Sickle escaped the engagement and continued on her patrol. On 12th June the submarine signalled that she had spotted a convoy in the approach to Steno Pass. The convoy suspected the presence of a submarine and dropped two depth charges and, although it seems unlikely that this attack accounted for the loss of the submarine, no further contact was made with her. The most likely explanation for her loss is that she struck a mine in the Kythera Channel on 16th June.

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HMS Stratagem

22 November 1944

Depth charged off Malacca by Japanese destroyer

HMS Stratagem sailed from Trincomalee on 10th November 1944 with orders to patrol in the vicinity of Malacca where it was believed the Japanese were loading ships with bauxite ore. On the afternoon of the 18th Stratagem attacked and sank the tanker Nichinan Maru. On 22nd November a Japanese aircraft spotted the submarine and directed a destroyer to where it had dived. Just after midday the destroyer attacked, the first depth charge causing the submarine’s bow to strike the bottom. The submarine was plunged into darkness and the forward part began to flood. Attempts to shut the watertight door to the forward compartment failed and the crew were forced to make their escape.

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HMS Porpoise

19 January 1945

Possibly sunk off Penang by Japanese A/S aircraft

On 2nd January 1945 HMS Porpoise left Trincomalee to lay mines in the vicinity of Penang. The signal received from the submarine confirming that this had been successfully carried out was the last contact made. Japanese records show that a submarine was spotted and bombed by aircraft in the vicinity of Penang. Although not destroyed in this attack, the submarine was wounded and leaking oil that left a trail for the Japanese anti-submarine forces to follow as they closed in for the kill.

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6 March 1945

Sank after collision in Loch Striven

On the morning of 6th March XE11 was exercising in Loch Striven when she collided with a boom defence vessel that was laying buoys.

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