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Appendix V: Complement, Armament, Periscopes and HP Air Bottles

The information given in this appendix applies to the first vessel of the class as first built. Changes were approved in some classes after first completion and carried out as Alterations and Additions.

For convenience the classes are divided into two sections VA and VB to cover:

  • Appendix VA - HOLLAND to J CLASSES
  • Appendix VB - K to PORPOISE CLASSES


  1. The actual complement carried originally was, in most cases, the same as the design complement. There were slight increases with the introduction of new equipment e.g. the introduction of ASDICS in the L Class increased the complement from 38 total to 4 officers plus 39 men.
  2. These are the design figures. There was however a restriction on the number of spare torpedoes actually carried in the HOLLAND to C Classes.
  3. The E Class minelayer carried 20 mines in lieu of the beam torpedo tubes and the L Class minelayer 14 or 16 mines in lieu of the beam torpedo tubes.
  4. Many of the earlier boats of the E Class and the S, V, W and F Classes were completed without a gun. See Chapter 28 Paras 5 - 8.
  5. See Chapter 22 for the type of periscope, elevation and training gear, etc.
  6. In the C boats with two periscopes, they could be of different lengths. The lengths given for the E to G Classes are to the nearest foot.
  7. The heights given in Appendix VA for the boats built at Vickers can be taken as reasonably accurate. The heights for all remaining classes have been estimated and must be taken as approximate only.
  8. Figures are 38 ft 11 in for D1, 38 ft 5 in for D2, 39 ft 4 in for D3 and variously between 35 ft and 37 ft for E9 - 56.
  9. W1 - 2 had upper deck torpedo tubes which were probably removed after completion. W3 - 4 did not have these tubes.
  10. J1 was fitted to discharge depth charges. It is not known whether this was retained or whether other boats of the class were so fitted. Some of the K Class, after completion, were fitted with depth charge throwers for anti-submarine surface work.
  11. The air pressure in the HP air bottles and system was 2000 lb/in² in the HOLLAND Class to C18 and 2500 lb/in² in C19 to the L Class. It was increased to 3500 lb/in² in the OBERON Class and probably started in XI and remained at this pressure in the following classes.
  12. Soon after completion one of the 4 - inch guns was removed.
  13. Some of the PARTHIAN and RAINBOW Classes, THAMES and PORPOISE were fitted with a 4.7 - inch gun.
  14. One 4 - inch gun was originally fitted in L14 and 17 but was removed later. L24 - 27 were not fitted.

Appendix V



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Appendix IV: Tanks and CapacitiesAppendix VI: Main Engines