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Ursula (N59)

Built By: Vickers (Barrow)
Build Group: U Grp1
Fate: Scrapped in May 1950 at Grangemouth.
Served with Russian Navy as B4 from 1944-49.

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Events

19-02-1937 : Laid Down
16-02-1938 : Launched
20-12-1938 : Completed
09-09-1939 : British HMS Ursula fired the first British submarine torpedoes of the war when attacking German U-35. The U-boat escaped
14-12-1939 : HMS Ursula was on patrol in the estuary of the Elbe and through her periscope her captain, Lt Cdr GC Phillips, sighted a German K?ln-class cruiser, the Leipzig, escorted by six destroyers. Though the waters of the Elbe estuary are shallow and to dive deep is a dangerous undertaking involving the risk of getting stuck on a sandbank, Phillips had either to take the risk or to miss his attack. His decision was instantaneous and he took the Ursula down to dive beneath the destroyer screen and get within range of the cruiser.

They were anxious moments, but fortunately the depth of water was just enough. On coming up again to periscope depth, Phillips found himself within point-blank range of the cruiser. He fired a salvo of six torpedoes and the two resulting explosions were so close that the Ursula herself was badly shaken. A quick glance through the periscope showed no sign of the cruiser that had been attacked, but it did reveal four of her escorting destroyers closing in at high speed to attack. One small escort, F9, had been hit and was sinking.

Once again, risking the sandbanks, the Ursula went deep and by skillful manipulation of his boat, Phillips managed to evade the inevitable depth charges.

Of the cruiser, Leipzig, no further trace was ever seen, but when Phillips brought the Ursula back to look for evidence, two of the destroyers were still in the area and engaged, apparently, in a search for survivors. Phillips was awarded the DSO and promoted
21-03-1940 : HMS Ursula torpedoes and sinks the German merchant Heddernheim in the Skaggerak about 10 nautical miles east-north-east of Skagen, Denmark.
22-02-1941 : HMS Ursula torpedoes and damages the Italian merchant Sabbia about 20 nautical miles east of Susah, Tunisia. Ursula was damaged by depth charges during a counter-attack by the Italian torpedo boat Generale Carlo Montanari.
06-05-1941 : HMS Ursula attacks the German transport ships Brook and Tilly L.M. Russoff Tripoli, Libya but the ships escape.
18-09-1941 : HMS Ursula fires three torpedoes against the Italian troop transport Vulcania off Tripoli, Libya. All torpedoes missed.
18-10-1941 : HMS Ursula torpedoes and damages the Italian tanker Beppe some 45 nautical miles west of Lampedusa Island.
11-11-1942 : HMS Ursula attacks but misses the German submarine U-73 off Cabo de Gata, Spain.
01-12-1942 : HMS Ursula sinks the Italian auxiliary submarine chaser V 135/Togo with scuttling charges some 15 miles south of Cape Mele, Corsica, France.
03-12-1942 : HMS Ursula torpedoes and sinks the German merchant Sainte Marguerite II near San Remo, Italy.
28-12-1942 : HMS Ursula torpedoes and sinks the German merchant Odysseus about 12 nautical miles north-west of Marettimo Island, Italy.


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