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On This Day - January 12

190C32Laid Down
192HMS VictoryHMS Victory was taken out of service afloat, entering Number 2 Dock in Portsmouth, the world's oldest drydock
193Severn (N52)Completed
193Trident (N52)Laid Down
194Unbeaten (N93)HMS Unbeaten torpedoes and sinks the German submarine U-374 south-west of Cape Spartivento, Calabria, Italy.
194Unshaken (P54)HMS Unshaken attacks the Italian merchant Campania north-west of Marettimo Island, Italy. All torpedoes missed.
194X7Completed
194Unruly (P49)HMS Unruly sinks a Greek sailing vessel with gunfire north of Syros Island, Greece.
195Truculent (P315)HMS Truculent sank with the loss of 64 lives

On 12th January 1950 HMS Truculent sailed from Chatham to carry out trials, having just completed a refit; in addition to her normal compliment she was carrying an additional 18 dockyard workers. The trials complete she set a course for Sheerness, which would take her through the Thames Estuary hat night. At 7 o'clock a ship showing three lights appeared ahead in the channel. It was decided that the ship must be stationary and as Truculent could not pass to the starboard side without running aground, the order was given to turn to port. At once the situation became clear as the cargo ship Divina came out of the darkness: the extra light indicated that she was carrying explosives. A collision was unavoidable. The two vessels remained locked together for a few seconds before the submarine sank.

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