Waterbodies & Maritime => Submarines => Topic started by: Bilgerat on April 05, 2012, 22:36:27

Title: HM Submarine Sturgeon
Post by: Bilgerat on April 05, 2012, 22:36:27
HMS Sturgeon was one of the first group of S class coastal patrol submarines built for the Royal Navy between the World Wars and was the only Group 1 S Class boat to survive the Second World War. The S Class went on to become the most numerous class of British submarine built, with 62 boats.

Laid down on No 7 slip at Chatham on 1st January 1931 and was launched into the Medway by Mrs Little on 8th January 1932. She fitted out at Chatham and was commissioned on 15th December 1932. In common with all her sister-boats of the S Class, Sturgeon was armed with 6 21" torpedo tubes in the bow and carried a 3" deck gun. She displaced 640 tons on the surface and 935 tons dived and was 202ft 6in long. In this video of the launch of HMS Swordfish, Sturgeon is the submarine under construction next to her on the slipway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZGNUOiCF5M (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZGNUOiCF5M)

On the outbreak of the Second World War, HMS Sturgeon was sent to patrol the North Sea with Lt G D A Gregory RN in command. It was there on 14th September 1939 that the first sinking of a British naval vessel in a friendly fire incident almost occurred when Sturgeon mistook Swordfish for a U-Boat and fired three torpedoes at her. Luckily, all three missed.

On 14th October 1939, Sturgeon fired three torpedoes at another submarine, this time correctly identified as a U-Boat, U23. Again, all torpedoes fired missed. She had more luck on 20th November, torpedoing and sinking the German armed trawler Gauleiter Telschow. This was the first successful attack on an enemy vessel by a British submarine during WW2.



On 2nd September 1940, HMS Sturgeon torpedoed and sank the German troopship Pionier off Skagen, Denmark. By this time, Lt Gregory had been awarded a DSO. On 10th, she unsuccessfully attacked another U-Boat, U43.

HMS Sturgeon and her crew in 1940

(https://i.imgur.com/Ur0NTtK.jpg?1)By 3rd November 1940, Sturgeon had a new commander, Lt-Cdr D St Clair Ford RN. On that day, she torpedoed the Danish merchant vessel Sigrun off Larvik, Norway. Three days later, she torpedoed and sank the Norwegian merchant vessel Delfinius.

By 12th August 1942, she had another commander, Lt M R G Wingfield. Lt Wingfield had previously commanded the ill-fated Chatham-built submarine HMS Umpire. On that day however, Wingfield and the Sturgeon had more luck when they torpedoed and sank the German merchant vessel Boltenhagen off southern Norway. Lt Wingfield is shown here at Sturgeons periscope.


In April 1943, whilst in refit at Devonport, she was loaned to the Royal Netherlands Navy and was renamed Zeehond. She was commissioned into the Royal Netherlands Navy on 11th October 1943 and remained in their hands for the rest of the war. In Dutch hands, she had a quiet career and was decommissioned from the Dutch Navy on 14th September 1945 at Dundee. She was formally returned to the Royal Navy and recommissioned as HMS Sturgeon on 17th November 1945.

Sturgeon and her surviving S Class sister-boats were too small to be modified along the lines of the bigger T and A Classes and their post-war careers were relatively short. Sturgeon herself was sold for scrap in 1946 and was broken up at Granton in Scotland in 1947.

Title: Re: HM Submarine Sturgeon
Post by: cliveh on November 01, 2012, 15:00:04
A short film clip of the launch:


Title: Re: HM Submarine Sturgeon
Post by: Bilgerat on November 11, 2017, 09:12:26
Pictures restored