Built By: Vickers (Barrow)
Build Group: D
Fate: Used as a target and sunk on 23rd October 1918.

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Lt. Wm. McKinstry Maitland-Dougall, RCN, CO 6-Sept-17 to 22-Nov-17

The wreck of D1 has been given protected status. It was the forerunner to the Royal Navy's patrol submarines and was the secret prototype for the D class, the Royal Navy's first diesel-powered submarines.

D1 was assigned to protecting the coast of Dover from enemy invasion. In September 1917, joined the Portsmouth local defence flotilla and a year later it was relegated to training duties.

Weeks before the end of the war, it was decommissioned and scuttled off the Dartmouth coast. The submarine was later used as a target for Royal Navy training exercises involving the detection of enemy submarines.

The wreck, which sits upright and largely intact on the seabed, was identified by U-boat historian Michael Lowrey who was writing a book about First World War U-boat losses.

The submarine has now been granted protection by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England. Lead diver, Steve Mortimer, said:

This is a fascinating survival which deserves protection as an important part of our seafaring history. Every diver dreams of identifying a historically important wreck.

Expecting to find the remains of a German U-boat, we were thrilled to discover a ground-breaking British submarine instead. It's tremendous that D1 is now protected but divers can still visit.


14-05-1907 : Laid Down
16-05-1908 : Launched
01-09-1909 : Completed
23-10-1918 : Used as a target and sunk


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