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M2

Built By: Vickers (Barrow)
Build Group: M
Fate: Foundered due to a leak in the hangar door on 26th January 1932

Started life as K19.

M2 and M3 had their large 12-inch guns removed in the late 1920s to conform with the Washington Disarmament Treaty, which stated that no submarine should have larger than 8-inch calibre guns. M2 was refitted with a seaplane hangar forward of the conning tower and a catapult to launch a small Parnall Peto seaplane.

Parnall Peto seaplane
Specially designed for M2's hanger, the Parnell Peto Seaplane had a 135 hp engine and an endurance of about two hours at 70 knots


This conversion was a success, and M2 could surface from periscope depth, open the hangar door, catapult the plane, close the door and dive again within five minutes. She was subsequently lost during exercises in the English Channel in 1932 when her hangar door was left open.

M2




Events

13-07-1916 : Laid Down
19-10-1918 : Launched
14-02-1920 : Completed
26-01-1932 : Foundered due to a leak in the hangar door on 26th January 1932

At 9 o’clock on the morning of 26th January 1932 HMS M2 left Portland to take part in routine exercises. At 1011 she signalled her intention to dive at 1030. This was the last communication with the submarine. The loss of radio communication did not cause any consternation until M2 failed to return to port as expected at 1615. Search vessels were dispatched but there was no sign of the submarine or her crew. No explanation could be found for her loss until the Admiralty received a report from the captain of the coaster Tynesider which reported seeing a submarine diving stern first off Portland. This had caused the Captain some anxiety but he thought he saw the same submarine a short time later. M2’s exact position remained a mystery for a week until the Destroyer Torrid picked up sonar sounds that indicated a sunken submarine; divers confirmed this to be M2 lying with her stern in the sand at a depth of 90ft

Two bodies were recovered from the wreck during the next week. A number of attempts were made to raise the vessel but all failed.


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