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K1

Built By: Portsmouth Dockyard
Fate: Submarine K1 was sunk, deliberately, by gunfire from the Cruiser HMS Blonde on 18th November 1917. K1 was sunk after being damaged in a collision with K4 off the Danish Coast. The collision occurred when K1
last power after sea water instead of oil fuel was accidentally sprayed into the boilers after changing over fuel tanks. All of the crew-members were transferred to HMS Blonde before the submarine was sunk. There were no casualties.

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It was during U-boat hunting that K1 inconsiderately ran herself aground near Bow Rock. She was not seriously damaged but in accordance with the Navy's regulations her skipper, Charles Benning came up before a court martial charged with hazarding his ship. With a perfectly straight face Benning explained that rats had eaten the chart of the anchorage. And with equally straight faces the Board accepted his reason and dismissed the charge. It was a reason that only a K-boat captain could have got away with.

The Light-cruiser HMS Blonde was heading K1, K3, K4 and K7 in line ahead off the Danish coast when she was forced to turn sharply to port to avoid three cruisers, that crossed her bows from starboard to port. The abrupt change of course took the submarines by surprise and K1 and K4 collided. K1 had lost way due to salt-water, instead of fuel, coming through the sprayers and extinguishing the boilers. K3 passed close on the port side. K4, following K3, suddenly observed the red light of K1, and, although taking avoiding action, struck K1 a glancing blow abreast the conning tower. Water poured into the control room. Within minutes, chlorine gas was being released from the batteries. Blonde was signalled that K1 was sinking, and the cruiser closed, lowering two cutters. The rescue boats made five trips and transferred all 56 members of the crew to Blonde. A discussion was then held as to whether K1 could be saved, and it was decided to sink her.


Events

01-11-1915 : Laid Down
14-11-1916 : Launched
01-04-1917 : Completed
18-11-1917 : Damaged off Danish Coast after collision with HMS K4. Sunk to avoid capture


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K2