Video: Launch of submarine HMS Severn at Barrow, 1934

Launch of River-class submarine HMS Severn (N57) at Vickers Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness on 16th January 1934. She was completed in 1935 and served in the Royal Navy throughout the Second World War.

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VIDEO: Sea Cat (1963)

A short newsreel from British Pathé.

Marry this with an archived 1963 edition of Flight International highlighting the new missile system.

OTDIH 6 September 1943

70-years ago today…

There were 72 U-boats at sea. The Battle of the Atlantic was most definitely not over.

U-617, a Type VIIC U-boat, on its 7th war patrol, Kptlt. Albrecht Brandi commanding, attacked HMS Puckeridge (L108) with two torpedoes approx. 40-miles east of Gibraltar. There were 62 killed and 129 survivors. Puckeridge’s wreck lays at 36º06´N, 04º44´W.

HMS Puckeridge, Hunt class destroyer escort, torpedoed and sunk by U-617 on 6 September 1943.

U-515, a Type IXC U-boat, on its 5th war patrol, Kptlt. Werner Henke commanding, after tracking the merged convoys OS-54 and KMS-25 for the whole day, closed in to attack but was sighted and had to dive. Accurate depth charging by the River-class frigate HMS Tavy (K272) drove the boat down to 820ft (50m), and caused severe damage. Henke managed to escape and broke off the patrol, reaching Lorient on 12 Sept.

HMS Tavy (K272), River-class frigate, attacked U-515 with depth charges on 6 September 1943.

HM submarines strike back in the Mediterranean.

HMS Sportsman (P229), Lt. R. Gatehouse, DSC, RN commanding, sank the Italian fishing vessels Angiolina P (39 GRT) and Maria Luisa B (37 GRT) with gunfire in the port of Aléria, Corsica, France.

HMS Sportsman (P229), S-class submarine serving in the Mediterranean, sank Italian shipping on 6 September 1943.

HMS Universal (P57), Lt. C. Gordon, RN, sank the Italian auxiliary patrol vessels V 130/Ugo (114 GRT) and V 134/Tre Sorelle (178 GRT) with gunfire west of La Spezia, Italy.

QF 3-inch 20 cwt deck gun.

OTDIH 31 July 1943

70-years ago today…

The bloody U-boat war dragged on:

U-572 (Oblt. Heinz Kummetat), a Type VIIC U-boat on its ninth war patrol, repelled an Allied air attack east of Trinidad.

U-199 (Kptlt. Hans-Werner Kraus), a Type IXD U-boat on its first war patrol, was sunk by a US Navy Martin PBM Mariner aircraft from VP-74 in the South Atlantic east of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There are 12 survivors from the crew of 61 and these are picked up by USS Barnegat (AVP-10).

HMAS Nizam (Cdr. C. H. Brooks, RAN commanding) picked up 6 survivors from the British merchant ‘Cornish City’ that had been torpedoed and sunk on 29th July.

In the Pacific:

USS Pogy (Lt. Cdr. George Herrick Wales, USN commanding), a Gato-class submarine on her second war patrol, torpedoed and sank the Japanese aircraft transport Mogamigawa Maru (7469 GRT) northwest of Truk.

USS Saury (Lt. Cdr. A. H. Dropp, USN commanding), a Sargo-class submarine on her seventh war patrol, was rammed by a Japanese escort in the Philippine Sea and, sustaining damage, was forced to return to Pearl Harbor.

HMCS St. Catherines (K 325), a River-class frigate built at Yarrows Ltd in Esquimalt, British Columbia was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy, Lt. Cdr. Herbert Coates Reynard Davis, RCNR commanding.

USS Aspro (SS-309), a Balao-class submarine built at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine was commissioned into the United States Navy, Lt. Cdr. Harry Clinton Stevenson, USN commanding.

USS Young (DD 580), a Fletcher-class destroyer built at Consolidated Steel in Orange, Texas was commissioned into the United States Navy, Lt. Cdr. George Bernard Madden, USN commanding.

USS Young (DD 580) off Charleston, South Carolina, 18 October 1943.

OTDIH 19th July 1943

On this day in history…

19th July 1943 was a yet another good day for HM Submarines…

HMS Safari (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSO, DSC, RN) sank the German barges Maria, Paula and the Italian armed yacht Margherita (88 GRT) with gunfire in the port of Favone, Corsica, France.

HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) sank the Italian auxiliary minesweeper V 131/Amgiola Maria C. (65 GRT) with gunfire off Porto Vecchio, Italy.

And a good day for US Navy submarines…

USS Porpoise (Lt. Cdr. C.L. Bennett, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese troop transport Mikage Maru Nr.20 (2718 GRT) south of Wake Island.

And a good day for the Soviets…

Soviet submarine S-56 torpedoed and sank the German auxiliary patrol vessel NKi 09 / Alane (466 GRT) off the Tanafjord near Gamvik, Norway. (Incidentally, S-56 is preserved as a museum ship in Vladivostok if you’re ever out that way.)

Also on this day…

The Tribal class destroyer HMCS Huron (G24) was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy under command of Lt. Cdr. H. S. Rayner, DSC, RN.

The River class frigate HMS Inver (K302) was commissioned into the Royal Navy under command of Lt. F. H. Gray, RNR.

The Edsall class destroyer escort USS Keith (DE 241) was commissioned into the United States Navy under command of Lt. D. Cochran, USN.