SUBMARINE LOSSES 1904 TO PRESENT DAY - Page 16



X3

4 November 1942

Sank on exercise in Loch Striven

X3 sank on the 4th November due to a leaking engine room induction valve. Attempts made to pump the submarine dry proved fruitless and the 3-man crew made a successful escape.

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HMS Unbeaten

11 November 1942

Probably sunk in Bay of Biscay by RAF

While on passage to rendezvous off Bishop Rock, British aircraft made an attack on a submarine in the Bay of Biscay and sank HMS Unbeaten in error.

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HMS Utmost

25 November 1942

Possibly depth charged off Marittimo by Italian DE Groppo

HMS Utmost left Malta for a patrol in the Mediterranean in November 1942. On the 23rd she sank an enemy ship, on the 25th during her return journey to Malta she was located, attacked and sunk by the Italian patrol vessel Groppo.

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HMS Traveller

4 December 1942

Probably mined in Gulf of Taranto

On 28th November HMS Traveller was carrying out a reconnaissance patrol of the coast of Taranto as part of operation Portcullis (an attack on Italian battleships in Taranto Harbour using chariots) The submarine did not return from the operation and was probably mined on or about 4th December.

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HMS P222

12 December 1942

Probably depth charged off Capri by Italian DE Fortunale

HMS P222 left Gibraltar for a patrol off Naples on 30th November 1942. Messages were received from her on 7th December but after that no more was heard. P222 failed to arrive at Algiers on her due date of 21st December and the Italians claimed to have sunk a submarine by depth charging on 12th December. This is the most probable cause of the submarine’s loss but there has been no confirmation.

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HMS P48

25 December 1942

Probably depth charged off Tunisia by Italian DE Ardente

HMS P48 sailed from Malta on the 23rd December 1942; two days later she was attacked and sunk through depth charging by the Italian torpedo boat Audace north west of Zembra Island in the Gulf of Tunis.

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HMS P311

2 January 1943

Presumed mined off northern Sardinia

HMS P311 left home waters to join the 10th Submarine Flotilla at Malta in November 1942. On the 28th December the submarine left Malta to take part in Operation Principle - the attack, by chariots on Maddalena Harbour, Sardinia. P311 failed to make the rendezvous; her chariots were never launched and took no part in the attack. Wireless messages were received on 30th December but no further news was heard. The submarine should have returned to Malta on 8th January 1943. It is assumed that the submarine struck a mine and sank.

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HMS Vandal

24 February 1943

Foundered in Inchmarnock during exercise

On 22nd February 1943 HMS Vandal cast off from the depot ship HMS Forth to carry out a three-day exercise in the Clyde, which was to include a deep dive on the 24th. During the exercise the submarine was under no obligation to communicate with her base and no alarm was felt when she did not do so. On 24th February Vandal was observed leaving her anchorage just north of the Isle of Arran. This was the last seen of her.

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HMS Tigris

27 February 1943

Probably depth charged off Capri by German UJ2210

HMS Tigris sailed from Malta on 18th February for a patrol south of Naples. The submarine was last sighted at 0730 on the 24th February, 39 miles from Capri. On the morning of the 27th UJ2210, escorting a convoy six miles south east of Capri made contact with a submarine and carried out three depth charge attacks, the third attack brought oil to the surface and the contact was noted to be stationary. A forth attack of fifteen depth charges brought a huge bubble of air to the surface. On 6th March Tigris was ordered to Algiers but there was no reply to this signal and Tigris failed to return to harbour.

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HMS Thunderbolt

14 March 1943

Depth charged off Sicily by Italian CVT Cicogna

At 2210 on Friday 12th March the Italian merchant ship Esterel was torpedoed two miles north of Capo San Vito. Following the attack the torpedo boat Libra was ordered to seek out the submarine responsible - HMS Thunderbolt. The Libra made contact with the Thunderbolt that night and carried out seven depth charge attacks with no result. On Sunday 14th March the Italian corvette Cicogna obtained a contact and shortly after 0734 a periscope was sighted 2000 yards off the corvette’s bow. At 0845 the periscope was again sighted, this time less than 10 feet away. Depth charges were launched at once and the corvette increased it speed and turned for another attack when an explosion lifted the submarine’s stern out of the sea at an angle of 90 degrees. The submarine sank through a discharge of air and oil. A further two depth charges were dropped resulting in air bubbles, oil and smoke appearing on the surface were the submarine had sunk. The Cicogna remained on station for an hour but no further contact was made.

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HMS Turbulent

14 March 1943

Possibly mined off Corsica or Sardinia

On 23rd February 1943 HMS Turbulent sailed from Algiers for a patrol in the Tyrrhenian Sea. On 1st March she attacked and sank the Italian steam ship Vincenz. On the 11th she is known to have attacked the mail ship Mafalda. The following morning the anti-submarine trawler Teti II sighted the periscope and conning tower of a submarine and attacked, it is believed, without success. Turbulent did not respond to any further messages and did not return when expected on 23rd March. It is thought that Turbulent fell victim to a mine off Maddalena, Sardinia and the discovery of her wreck in this area has given credence to this theory.

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HMS Regent

18 April 1943

Mined in Adriatic

On 12th April 1943 HMS Regent left Malta for a patrol along the south coast of Italy. Sightings of a submarine on 13th, 15th and 16th off Calabria are thought to be that of Regent At 1545 on the 18th Regent fired a torpedo at the merchant ship Balcic but missed. This attack took place five miles north of Monopoli. That evening a large explosion was heard in the same area, which is believed to have been the Regent striking a mine.

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