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fighting ships of the world

ROYAL NAVY - UNITED KINGDOM

SUBMARINES

'A' submarines (1903-1908)

A3 1905

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
A1 (ex-No 6)     Vickers, Barrow 2/1902 9/7/1902 7/1903 collision 18/3/1904
A2     Vickers, Barrow 11/1902 16/4/1903 6/1904 wrecked 1/1920
A3     Vickers, Barrow 11/1902 9/3/1903 7/1904 collision 2/2/1912
A4     Vickers, Barrow 2/1903 9/6/1903 7/1904 sold 1/1920
A5 I15   Vickers, Barrow 9/1903 3/3/1904 2/1905 sold 1/1920
A6 I16   Vickers, Barrow 9/1903 3/3/1904 3/1905 sold 1/1920
A7     Vickers, Barrow 9/1903 23/1/1905 4/1905 lost 16/1/1914
A8 I18   Vickers, Barrow 9/1903 23/1/1905 5/1905 stricken 7/1916
A9 I19   Vickers, Barrow 1903 8/2/1905 5/1905 BU 1920
A10 I10   Vickers, Barrow 1903 8/2/1905 6/1905 sold 4/1919
A11 I01   Vickers, Barrow 1903 8/3/1905 7/1905 BU 5/1920
A12 I02   Vickers, Barrow 1903 8/3/1905 9/1905 sold 1/1920
A13 I03   Vickers, Barrow 1903 18/4/1905 6/1908 BU 1920

 

Displacement standard, t

 

Displacement normal, t

A1 - 4: 165 / 180

A5 - 13: 180 / 207

Length, m

A1 - 4: 30.5

A5 - 13: 30.2

Breadth, m

A1 - 4: 3.51

A5 - 13: 3.89

Draught, m

3.05

No of shafts

1

Machinery

A1 - 12: 1 petrol engine / 1 electric motor

A13: 1 diesel / 1 electric motor

Power, h. p.

A1 - 4: 450 / 80

A5 - 12: 550 / 150

A13: 400 / 150

Max speed, kts

A1 - 4: 11.5 / 7

A5 - 12: 12 / 8

A13: 11 / 8

Fuel, t

A1 - 12: petrol 7

A13: diesel oil 5

Endurance, nm(kts) 500(10) / 30(5)

Armament

A1: 1 - 450 TT (bow, 3)

A2 - 13: 2 - 450 TT (bow, 4)

Complement

A1 - 4: 11

A5 - 13: 13

Diving depth operational, m 30

Ship project history: A sixth improved unit of the 'Holland' class was so altered at the design stage that she became the prototype for the next class, the first all-British submarines. A1 was little more than a lengthened Holland, but from A5 onwards they were enlarged and from A2 carried a second TT in a side-by-side configuration. Another innovation was a proper conning tower, to avoid being swamped when running on the surface. Like the 'Hollands' their main defect was the small reserve of buoyancy. Although still largely experimental the 'A' boats were successful, and the survivors saw active service in 1914, even if only in the training role. Protracted trials with A13's Hornsby-Ackroyd vertical heavy oil engine led to the adoption of the diesel in due course, and the basic concepts remained unaltered for several years.

Modernizations: None.

Naval service: A1 was laid down before Holland No1 had completed her trials, and came into service in July 1903. Unfortunately she was the first submarine casualty, being rammed and sunk on 18 March 1904 by the liner Berwick Castle off the Nab. Raised on 18 April 1904 she was never recommissioned, and was sunk as a target. A2 was wrecked while on the Sale List. A3 was rammed and sunk by Hazard on 2 February 1912 but raised and used as a target. A4 was sunk in collision on 16 October 1905, and although raised was not recommissioned. A7 was lost in Whitesand Bay when she dived into the mud. A8 foundered and sank in Plymouth Sound on 8 June 1905 but was raised and repaired; stricken July 1916 and sold in January, 1920.

A11 1910s

Ivan Gogin, 2008-13