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fighting ships of the world

ROYAL NAVY - UNITED KINGDOM

SUBMARINES

'H' submarines (H1 group) (1915-1917)

H11 1917

Name No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
H1   Canadian Vickers, Montreal, Canada 1/1915 4/1915 5/1915 sold 3/1921
H2   Canadian Vickers, Montreal, Canada 1/1915 1915 6/1915 sold 3/1921
H3   Canadian Vickers, Montreal, Canada 1/1915 1915 6/1915 sunk 15/7/1916
H4   Canadian Vickers, Montreal, Canada 1/1915 1915 5/1915 sold 11/1921
H5   Canadian Vickers, Montreal, Canada 1/1915 1915 6/1915 collision 3/6/1918
H6   Canadian Vickers, Montreal, Canada 1/1915 1915 6/1915 stranded 8/1/1916, to Netherlands 2/1916 (O8)
H7   Canadian Vickers, Montreal, Canada 1915 19/5/1915 6/1915 sold 11/1921
H8   Canadian Vickers, Montreal, Canada 1915 19/5/1915 6/1915 sold 11/1921
H9   Canadian Vickers, Montreal, Canada 1915 22/5/1915 6/1915 sold 11/1921
H10   Canadian Vickers, Montreal, Canada 2/1915 1915 6/1915 lost 19/1/1918
H11   Fore River, Quincy, USA 1915 12/6/1915 12/1915 (4/1917) sold 10/1920
H12   Fore River, Quincy, USA 1915 26/6/1915 12/1915 (4/1917) sold 4/1922
H13   Fore River, Quincy, USA 1915 2/7/1915 12/1915 (4/1917) to Chile 7/1917 (H1)
H14, 6/1919- CH14 (6/1919- RCN)   Fore River, Quincy, USA 1915 3/7/1915 12/1915 (4/1917) sold 1925
H15, 6/1919- CH15 (6/1919- RCN)   Fore River, Quincy, USA 1915 16/7/1915 12/1915 (4/1917) sold 1925
H16   Fore River, Quincy, USA 1915 26/7/1915 12/1915 (4/1917) to Chile 7/1917 (H2)
H17   Fore River, Quincy, USA 1915 26/7/1915 12/1915 (4/1917) to Chile 7/1917 (H3)
H18   Fore River, Quincy, USA 1915 14/8/1915 1/1916 (4/1917) to Chile 7/1917 (H4)
H19   Fore River, Quincy, USA 1915 25/8/1915 1/1916 (4/1917) to Chile 7/1917 (H5)
H20   Fore River, Quincy, USA 1915 27/8/1915 1/1916 (4/1917) to Chile 7/1917 (H6)

 

Displacement standard, t

 

Displacement normal, t

364 / 434

Length, m

45.8

Breadth, m

4.68

Draught, m

3.81

No of shafts

2

Machinery

NLSE diesels / electric motors

Power, h. p.

480 / 620

Max speed, kts

13 / 11

Fuel, t

diesel oil 16

Endurance, nm(kts) 1600(10) / 130(2)

Armament

4 - 450 TT (bow, 6)

Complement

22

Diving depth operational, m 30

Ship project history: In addition to the purchase of guns and armour for monitors, in November 1914 the Admiralty gave a contract to Bethlehem Steel to supply material for ten submarines similar to the US Navy's 'H' class. To get around the neutrality laws the boats were to be assembled by Canadian Vickers in Montreal, and a further ten were to be delivered 'after the war'. In fact the second batch were built at Bethlehem's Fore River yard, and were to be delivered unarmed to Canadian Vickers. The first ten boats were completed in May-June 1915, and their crossing of the Atlantic established a new record for submarines. The second batch was, however, subject to close scrutiny by the US Government, and it was made clear to the British that the boats could not be delivered, and they were held up until the United States entered the War in April 1917. In the meantime Bethlehem Steel had managed to send their engines, motors and other fittings to England for installation in the Vickers-built H 21 class, so completion lagged far behind the first batch. As the entire batch were built in secrecy, launch dates were not logged in Admiralty records, and many details remain obscure. They were single-hulled, and had a small reserve of surface stability as a result, much like the 'B' and 'C class. Nevertheless they gave good service. After America's entry into the war H11-20 were released but the Admiralty wished to compensate Chile for the ships requisitioned in 1914-15, and instructed the builders to deliver six of them to Chile. Operational diving depth was 30m, maximal 90m.

Modernizations: None.

Naval service: Some subs were lost: 3 (mined 15/7/1916 off Cattaro, Adriatic Sea), 5 (collision 3/6/1918 in Irish Sea) and 10 (lost 19/1/1918 by unknown cause in the North Sea). 6 8/1/1916 ran ashore at the Dutch coast, interned and soon bought by Government of the Netherlands.

Ivan Gogin, 2008-13