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Tempest (N86)

Built By: Cammell Laird (Mersey)
Build Group: T Group 2
Fate: 13th Feb, 1942 the boat was detected and depth charged by the Italian Circe in the Gulf of Taranto. Following an epic struggle the submarine was forced to the surface in heavy seas. The Italians botched the rescue and there were just twenty-four survivors.
Tempest (N86)
Tempest (N86)

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RN Submarines scuttled or captured in WWIIRead
Descriptions of the events in WWII that led to the loss of Royal Navy Submarines in actions where the submarines were sunk, usually by scuttling, with the captains and crew taken prisoner. Included are two variations - in one case the submarine was captured and in another the captain was killed in action.

Roll of Honour

Baines  Leading Telegraphist
Burns  Petty Officer
Cameron  Engine Room Artificer 4th Class Buried in Bari
Cavaye  Lieutenant Commander
Collett  Stoker 1st Class
Cope  Stoker 1st Class
Cronin  Able Seaman
Davies  Stoker 2nd Class
Eales  Able Seaman
Fiddes  Stoker Petty Officer
Frain  Leading Seaman
Gomer  Petty Officer Cook
Hardy  Stoker 1st Class
Jackson  Telegraphist
Jury  Leading Stoker MID
Kelly  Stoker 1st Class
Lavender  Stoker 1st Class
Loose  Engine Room Artificer 4th Class
Lowin  Leading Seaman
Meek  Able Seaman
Morrison  Stoker 1st Class
Neel-Wall  Lieutenant
Parsons  Leading Cook
Pritchard  Able Seaman
Rear  Stoker 1st Class
Sanders  Petty Officer Telegraphist
Shipley  Leading Steward
Spowart  Chief Stoker
Stevens  Chief Engine Room Artificer
Waddell  Leading Stoker
Wainwright  Stoker Petty Officer
Waugh  Able Seaman
Whitfield  Able Seaman
Williams  Able Seaman
Winter  Able Seaman


06-01-1940 : Laid Down
10-06-1941 : Launched
06-12-1941 : Completed
13-02-1942 : Lost

HMS Tempest sailed from Malta on the night of 10th Feb 1942 to patrol the Gulf of Taranto. On the evening of the 11th, Tempest was signalled that the Italians were aware of a submarine in her vicinity and that it should be assumed that her patrol had been compromised.

At 03:02 on the 13th, the Italian destroyer Circe sighted the submarine on the surface. Tempest had also seen the destroyer and began to dive. Circe moved in to attack , and at 03:32 began depth charging the area.

At 07:16 Circe still in contact with the Tempest began a second attack, resulting in oil being seen on the surface. The submarine had been crippled.

At 09:45 Tempest returned to the surface to be met with gunfire from the Circe. The order was given to abandon the submarine, the crew being picked up by the destroyer. The Italians attempted to board the abandoned vessel but were held back by rough seas.

By 13:00 the submarine had settled in the water and the demolition charges set by the crew had failed. With boarding of the submarine impossible due to bad weather, the Italian destroyer opened fire and, although more than a dozen direct hits were recorded the submarine refused to sink.

Finally the Italians attempted to take the submarine in tow. Two members of the destroyers crew boarded her and prepared the tow. As Circe Manoeuvered to take up the tow, Tempest suddenly started to sink, forcing those on board to jump into the sea. HMS Tempest slipped beneath the waves stern first with the bows disappearing vertically.


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