The T-Class Submarine, The Classic British Design by Paul J. Kemp


————————-No SURFACE VESSEL can compete with the team spirit and camaraderie exuded by a submarine crew; neither can a surface ship provide the same sense of danger and excitement that underwater service offers. It was and remains a hostile, unnatural world requiring impressive technology and constant vigilance to ensure survival.Brought into service in 1937, the T-class led the way in British submarine design. Some 53 vessels were completed and served throughout the war in every theatre and in every type of submarine operation. The T-class proved to be very adaptable, accommodating new design features and technology as the boats became available. Such flexibility contributed to its length of service, which lasted until the 1960s when the onset of nuclear power led to its demise.The T-class were the most powerfully armed Royal Navy submarines of their day and grew yet more formidable as the war progressed.

——————-They accounted for the loss of several hundred enemy vessels totalling well in excess of 500,000 tons. In the Mediterranean, where the T -class suffered 50 per cent losses, the crews performed heroically, acquiring four Victoria Crosses. The boats supplemented their firepower with impressive range and endurance capabilities, attributes that helped compensate for their lack of speed. It was a T -class boat, Tantalus, which undertook the longest patrol of any British submarine during the war, some 55 days and 44,629 miles, during January and February of 1945. As well as sinking Axis shipping, they were used in support of clandestine missions by Special Operations Executive and the Office of Strategic Services throughout Europe, North Africa and the Far East.-

————————-Having performed admirably at war, the T -class was tasked with an even more aggressive role during the Cold War years. With the growing Soviet submarine threat to counter, the class was given a pre-emptive, anti-submarine brief in which silence was essential, lending itself to substantial conversion work. The boats emerged to mark a significant step on the road towards a dedicated ‘hunter-killer’ submarine class. The T – class was then streamlined and thus gained something its admirers had long wanted it to have but which it had hitherto lacked – speed. The fast ‘Super-T’s came into service in the early 1950s, the extensively reworked design becoming the most advanced conventional submarine in service; quick and quiet, it offered a deadly combination

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