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Undine (N48)

Built By: Vickers (Barrow)
Build Group: U Group 1
Fate: Depth charged by German minesweepers M1201, M1204 and M1207 in Heligoland Bight and scuttled 7 Jan 1940

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RN Submarines scuttled or captured in WWII
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.


19-02-1937 : Laid Down
21-08-1938 : Completed
04-10-1938 : Launched
31-08-1939 : HMS Undine departed Blyth to take up a patrol position in the Heligoland Bight. When war broke out between Britain and Germany this became her 1st war patrol.
13-09-1939 : HMS Undine ended her 1st war patrol at Blyth.

U-class boats commonly suffered from engine defects upon returning from patrol. Undine was out of action for about four weeks.
11-10-1939 : HMS Undine ran engine trials off Blyth.
14-10-1939 : HMS Undine departed Blyth for Rosyth where she arrived later the same day.
22-10-1939 : HMS Undine departed Rosyth for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the West coast of Denmark and in the Heligoland Bight.
07-11-1939 : HMS Undine ended her 2nd war patrol at Rosyth.
20-11-1939 : HMS Undine departed Rosyth for Blyth where she arrived later the same day.
23-11-1939 : HMS Undine departed Blyth for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the South-West coast of Norway.
10-12-1939 : HMS Undine ended her 3rd war patrol at Blyth.
12-12-1939 : HMS Undine was docked at Blyth.
23-12-1939 : HMS Undinewas undocked at Blyth.
31-12-1939 : HMS Undine departed Blyth for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Heligoland Bight.
07-01-1940 : HMS Undine was on her fourth war patrol in January 1940 when her asdic failed due to a leak. At 0940 on 7th January, Undine sighted what was thought to be three trawlers 20 miles west of Heligoland; but were in fact German minesweepers.

Undine unsuccessfully attacked the leading vessel; minutes later there was a large explosion followed by others as the minesweepers opened fire. Undine was at 50 feet and proceeding blind due to the loss of asdic.

After 5 minutes of no further attacks Undine raised her periscope as she did so an explosion shook the submarine, blowing her upwards and rendering the hydroplanes useless. Without the use of the hydroplanes escape would have been impossible and the order to abandon ship was given.

Whilst the crew entered the water, to be picked up by the minesweepers, demolition charges were set and the submarine scuttled.


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