1941 - 1958: V Class
In 1941, modifications were made to the design of the U Class submarines in order to quickly obtain a type of boat which while retaining the same characteristics, would be stronger but simpler and less expensive. The resultant V Class were slightly longer than the U boatsU Class and, because of a partly-welded pressure hull, had a greater operational depth - 300 feet as opposed to 200 feet. The electric welding of hull assemblies also gave a quicker building time.
The class were built exclusively at Barrow and the first eight submarines were ordered in 1941. Large numbers were planned, and 42 V boats were ordered between 1941 and 1943. However, with the capitulation of Italy in 1943 the need for coastal submarines in the Mediterranean decreased and 20 of the class were subsequently cancelled when the end to hostilities in Europe seemed imminent.
None of the 22 V Class submarines built were lost during the war, and the lead ship, HMS Venturer, distinguished herself by sinking two German submarines, one in November 1944, the other in February 1945. Venturer was transferred to the Norwegian Navy following the war, and many other V Class vessels served with Allied navies (particularly Greece, Norway and Free France) during and after the conflict. The last of the class in service with the Royal Navy, was scrapped in 1958.