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On This Day - May 23

1915E11Travelling up the Sea of Marmara, Ell sank a gunboat and several other small craft.
1935Spearfish (N69)Laid Down
1940Truant (N68)HMS Truant fires two torpedoes against the British merchant Alster off the Breidsundet, Norway. The German merchant Alster was captured in the Vestfjord off Norway on 10 April 1940 by the British destroyer HMS Icarus. HMS Truant was unaware of this but fortunately both torpedoes missed their target.
1941Upholder (N99)HMS Upholder torpedoes a damages the French merchant Capitaine Damiani east of Tunisia.
1944Sceptre (P215)HMS Sceptre torpedoes and sinks the German merchant Baldur off Castro-Urdiales, northern Spain.
1944Universal (P57)HMS Universal torpedoes and sinks the German auxiliary gunboat SG 15 off Genua, Italy.
1944Virulent (P95)Launched
1963Opossum (S19)Launched
19781937 - 1978: Maidstone (F44)After forty years service, she arrived at Inverkeithing to be broken up.
1981Sceptre (S104)Soviet submarine K-211 Petropavlovsk cruised quietly at 9 knots, 150 feet below the surface of the Arctic Barents Sea. At 19:51, the Soviet SSBN juddered as she sustained three short glancing impacts astern and from below, each lasting only a few seconds.

HMS Sceptre had been trailing K-211 for some time using her Type 2001 sonar when it abruptly lost its sonar contact. The British submarine continued cruising ahead when its bow smashed into K-211's tail from below. One of the Soviet submarine's five-bladed propellers chewed into the front hull casing of the Sceptre, tearing a 23 foot long chunk off its bow and ripping off the front of its conning tower.

Sceptre limped back to its home base of Devonport at night to conceal the damage, its scars camouflaged with a fabric shroud and black paint applied by the crew.

Except for a few accounts by sailors involved, the incident has was kept quiet for 40 years.

LossesSubmarine Badges