After the war, orders from many of the boats have not yet started construction, the Admiralty refused. Six units (numbered 14, 17 and 24 to 27) were completed as minelayers. And unfinished “L-23” Or “L-26” “L-27”, “L-53” “L-54 and L-69” was transferred to the state of the shipyard, where they build very slowly made an already-established peace-time, between 1923 and 1926 years. As a result, instead of six dozen in operation was composed of only 36 units.
Of these, only about half managed to complete before the end of the war, and the first “L” (note: not the best) entered the fleet only in the last months of 1917, and most of them in the last year of the war. However, some of the representatives of this series have been under fire. And not always the enemy: in February 1918, arrived “to strengthen” in Europe, the us destroyers mistakenly attacked and nearly sank the “L-2”. The greatest success achieved by “L-10 and L-12”. The first of them in October 1918 put to the bottom of the German destroyer “S-33”, but was herself sunk by the enemy destroyers. The second in the same month sank the German submarine “UB-90”.
On the fact world war ended, but fighting the British continued, now against his former ally, Russia (now Russian Federation). Three of the latest submarines, “L-12” “L-16” and a representative 3-series “L-55” in 1918 – 1920 were in the Baltic and took part in the operations of the fleet “mistress of the seas”, supported the whites and the Estonians in the attack on Petrograd. It was there, in the Gulf of Finland, concluded on 4 June 1919 his ultra-short career “L-55”. “Englishwoman” tried to attack with torpedoes by the Soviet destroyers, but popped up to the surface. It immediately fired back, and when you try to go under water “L-55” landed on their own (exhibited by the British) minefield. The result: instant death of the entire crew, and ten years later – the rise and rescue service and used as the “comparative sample” very young submarine fleet of the Soviet Union.
As for the rest, in 1920-ies of the last century, then the newest submarine type “L” became the basis of submarine forces of the Empire. Although initially they were designed primarily for operations against the Germans in the North sea, due to the lack at that time of any fundamentally more suitable for submarines, they had to work far away from this “herring puddles”. About half of the “L” was based on the other side of the world in the area of responsibility of the Chinese naval station, and the rest became part of the submarine forces of the British Atlantic fleet, after suffering losses in August 1923 during a Typhoon in Hong Kong sank with all hands “L-9”. A year later, the boat was raised, repaired and again put into operation. In principle, submarines of this type were too small for the huge Pacific ocean: they had insufficient cruising range, and their crews had a very hard time in the “cans” in the tropical heat. However, it is worth noting that such problems are faced and where the larger British ships, including battleships.
In the 1930-ies of the wear mechanisms and the commissioning of the units of the new series is noticeably thinned out a powerful array of type “L”. However, before the Second world war survived three boats of this type, numbers 23, 26 and 27. However, to participate in the fighting, they almost failed. Only at the very beginning they went Hiking; by the time Britain lacked more modern submarines, and the “old ladies” demoted to the training. And in 1944 all three crossed the Atlantic and settled in Canada, where they have found a major problem: they played the role of a submarine threat to convoys and were the learning goals for their escorts.
However, in any case, the “L” did a good job up until the very end for the Royal Navy. But this burden became … another “Hollands”. The fact that by the very end of the First world war, in 1917, the Admiralty suddenly wanted another strengthen coastal defense. The motive, at first glance, rather strange, because after the battle of Jutland the German high seas Fleet chose to sit in your own databases. But “bots” really created a very real and strong threat. The English admirals had tempting to have a large number of small and cheap submarines that could target both for the large surface ships of the enemy, if they still dare to come out in the North sea and enemy submarines. And ordered neither more nor less than the 34 points is not only outdated, but actually just ancient by the time the descendants of “the Hollands”.
It is clear that instead of “electric boat” to build them now they were on their own shipyards, fortunately, very simple design allowed us to include not only “notebook specialist” – “Vickers”, but other firms and government dockyard at Pembroke and Devonport. Yes, and they tried to somehow modernize. As the weapons remained four torpedo tubes in the nose, but now they had a caliber of 533 mm, which gave “the ladies” with a powerful volley in the nose prior to the entry into operation of the 2nd series of the type “L”. But to build a small submarine can be very fast. In addition, the submerged speed is 10 knots more than satisfactorily met the requirements of the time. Vitality slightly raised, dividing a single case into five compartments instead of four, have their direct predecessors of the “N-1”. All this has led to a slight increase in tonnage up to 400 tons with a little on the surface.
Oddly enough, but clearly outdated boats used quite popular among sailors. The submariners appreciated their ability to quickly dive, faster than any other units of the Royal Navy. For this quality, allowing time to escape from the air or surface of the enemy, team members manage to come into operation until the end of hostilities eight units were ready to endure in the service of tightness in the compartments of the boys. And the other representatives of this “ancient family”, entered the service immediately after the war, in 1919, was initially become an important element of the British submarine forces.
However, gradually they became less and less useful. The coast of Britain, threatened no one, and a small body and simple design of the original “Hollands” did not allow them to significantly upgrade.
(Hardly a major improvement the addition of a second hand(!) the Lewis gun.) In addition, the boats of this type in service often got unpleasant incidents; some of them became fatal. War veteran “N-24” in 1922 rammed during maneuvers its own destroyer “Vancouver”. Fortunately, it blew only the wheelhouse, and the crew managed to escape. Much less fortunate, “42”, drowned in the same year, a “sister ship” of “Vancouver” the destroyers “Versatil”. Monohull design with a battering RAM did the team members are the real bombers. And in the role of “killer” performed a variety of ships, including the submarine “L-12”. In collision with “N-47” and larger safe polutorakratnoe the submarine survived, but not representative of modern single hull draft (really, launched almost simultaneously with his “executioner”) went to the bottom, carrying the entire crew, except three sailors, who were in the wheelhouse. Two “Holland” actually died in strange circumstances: “H-41” -after ramming your own mother ship “Vulkan” even before acceptance by the Navy, and the “N-29” – right in the dock of Devonport in 1926.
It then rose, but in order to enter did not, which was a clear indication of the relationship to the coastal submarines, gradually becoming a burden for the ocean fleet. Them one by one taken out from the composition of the Royal Navy. However, before the Second world war lived nine units -three times more than far more perfect “L”. And, most surprisingly, in the first two years of action at sea they were used in combat formations. Despite the fact that “old lady” suffered greatly from the many “infirmities”; parts of the mechanisms was not on them when you shake literally crumbled wiring, leaving the submarine in a defenceless state. But the old enemy, the German Navy, and this war was very dangerous. However, in 1940, “the Hollands” managed to sink the hunter-submarine warfare and transport. On a whim, just both winners, “31”, “49”, never returned from military campaigns, and accurately known only to the fate of the last victim of enemy aircraft.
However, little “Hollands”, despite its amazing historical survival, in any case remained stalled on the road the total development of submarines of “mistress of the seas”, which is required to develop its own long-range Autonomous types of boats suitable for operations in any area, any sea or ocean. However, the postwar situation is not conducive to such development. Empire came out of the “great war” the formal winner, but, in fact, already embarked on a “reverse slope” that led her to the sunset. All this had an impact on the Royal Navy. The country simply did not have enough money for the maintenance of a colossal number of ships of all classes. This results in numerous cuts, held immediately after the war. And then active participation in the conference to limit naval armaments held in Washington and concluded with the agreement that bracket for all the major powers, first and foremost, the main force (as it seemed) – heavy surface ships.
As for the submarines, then, of course, the first Maritime trade country in the world most heavily affected by German “U-boats” and almost put them on my knees, tried to limit, but preferably completely ban the “barbaric weapons”. However, knowing that it is an impossible task, slowly the British themselves continued to think about the role that will play a submarine in the near future. Admirals and analysts agreed that the most preferred is the so-called “patrol” class of boats. Large, able to be at sea for a long time, and quite versatile, suitable for reconnaissance and for action against enemy ships. As previously presented such a promising “naval” and “cruiser” submarines, designed respectively for action together with the main forces and anti-shipping, departed on the second plan. In 1924, the Admiralty had adopted a new plan for its submarine forces, which ten years later was to consist of 60 patrol, 12 cruising, and only six naval units. However, this was the only estimates that are highly dependent on the situation in the world. So, break the Anglo-Japanese Alliance was immediately followed by a requirement to have a fleet in the far East only 70 submarines!
In any case, it was necessary to begin with concept. What did the British expect from their new “patrol”? Since the main danger at sea, from Germany, was now considered a thing of the past needed to improve many of the characteristics associated with the use of English submarines primarily in the waters of the North and Baltic seas, shallow and not particularly long. For the oceans they needed the longer range, and increased depth of immersion: you never know the reasons why the boat may need to lay low or at least not to be crushed by water in case of accidental excessive dive.
Submarine Oberon, England, 1927
Based on hovery in Chatham. Type of construction – polutorospalnye. Displacement underwater/surface – 1490/1890 t Dimensions: length – 82,21 m, width 8.53 m, draft – 4,73 m. immersion Depth: maximum design -150 m, practical – to 60 m. Engines: two diesel engines with a capacity of 2950 HP and two electric motors with a capacity of 1350 HP Speed surface/submarine project – 15/9 knots actual – 13,7/7,5 bonds. Armament: eight 533-mm torpedo tubes – six in the nose and two in the stern (16 torpedoes), one 102 mm gun, two machine guns. The crew of 56 people, the Prototype of a new subclass of “submarine patrol”. Originally had the designation “O-1”, the name received during the descent. Participated in the Second world war, scrapped in 1945, Two virtually identical units, “Oxli and Otway”, was built in the same year for Australia. “Oxly” died in August 1939, “Otway” scrapped in 1945
Submarine “Pandora” England, 1931
Based on hovery in Chatham. Type of construction – polutorospalnye. Displacement underwater/surface – 1760/2040 t Dimensions: length – 88,16 m with a beam of 9.11 m, draft – 4,84 m. immersion Depth: maximum design – 150 m, practical – up to 90 m. Engines: two diesel engines with a capacity of 4340 HP and two electric motors with a capacity of 1320 HP Speed overwater/underwater – 17,5/8,5 ties. Armament: eight 533-mm torpedo tubes: 6 – in nose and 2 in the stern (14 torpedoes or 18 min for setting using THAT), one 120-mm gun (three pieces of 102 mm, subsequently rearmed and the rest), two machine guns. The crew of 56 people. In 1930 – 1931 built six pieces: “Pandora”, “Partial”, “Perseus”, “Phoenix”, “Poseidon” and “Proteus”. All except the last one died: “Poseidon” – in 1931, after a collision, the other during the Second world war. “Proteus” and raised “Pandora” scrapped immediately after the war, in 1945 – 1946
Submarine Rover, England, 1931
It was built by the company “Vickers-Armstrong” in barrow. Type of construction – polutorospalnye. Features – as in “Partial” except: length – 87,56 M. Speed overwater/underwater – 17,5/9 uz. In 1930 – 1932 built four units: “rainbow”, “Regent”, “Regulus” and “the Rover”. Two more “Royalist” and “Rupert”, was ordered, but the order has been cancelled, and the “Royalist” was launched, and “Rupert” was not even laid. All except the last died in the Second world war. Rover scrapped in 1946
It should be noted that the British boats of the First world, in General, have not experienced the pressure of enemy ASW forces. The submarine had enough time to dive to a depth to be saved from death during the attack. Yes, the British lost the war more than fifty boats, however none of them was sunk by enemy ASW in a submerged position. But Britain is much more successful in the development of appropriate means of detection, such as sonar (the famous “Attic” played an important role in the fracture of a fight against “bots” in the last months of the war), and defeat of deep bombs. The Admiralty knew perfectly well that he will not be able to maintain a monopoly on these tools, especially because a lot were transferred to the allies, who now could be future opponents. And when you create a new underwater units had a direct sense such dangers into account in advance. So, it was necessary and more advanced equipment on Board the submarines, and a large body strength, and the best is its division into compartments, so that the boat could go very deep and kept fighting capability after it was “processing” the enemy depth charges.
It is undoubtedly positive aspects of the situation to the opportunity to take advantage of all the improvements and technical solutions introduced the defeated enemy and the undisputed leader in this case – Germany. We have already seen that in most of the countries-allies getting captured German submarines had caused a real leap in the development of their own: USA, France, Japan and Italy actively introduce German ideas and innovation. And Britain is not left behind from this process, adopting a lot of useful “little things”, notably improved their achievements.
In accordance with new ideas and changed the designation system of underwater units. Letter types original are preserved; the “new era” was planned to be considered from the beginning, but this principle has already been used for destroyers, “won the” letters “A” and “b”. To avoid being confused in messages and reports fundamentally different classes of ships, especially in a combat situation, decided to start with the letter “O”, to which the destroyers were still very far away. (As you know, they reached and even passed on, but only during the Second world war. But by the time the British submarines have already received personal names, the first letter of which initially are in strict conformity with “model” letter.)
“Hunting fees” were not fast. Finally, the program of 1923 – 1924 succeeded to include “patrol submarines”. But only one: type “O” while confined to the prototype, in accordance with the new rules, wore a beautiful Shakespearean name “Oberon.” This curious alloy of the previous “B” and German “U-boats” nominally had a very good performance. Most impressive for the English were cruising range: 10 thousand miles on the surface at an economic rate. Not less desirable for divers was and the maximum immersion depth is 150 m. Such quality is achieved primarily through thick 19-mm case of good steel. Body length was divided into seven compartments by strong partitions, which the project had to withstand the water pressure at considerable depths, which provides survivability in case of damage. Quite good, although without any claims on the records presented and the speed: 15 and 9 knots on the surface and under water, respectively. Looked great and the speed of immersion does not exceed 30 – 40 seconds, and the “Oberon” was already at a depth of 10 meters.
And all this at quite a decent arms submitted by eight torpedo tubes (six of them – “on the main line” – nose) with full additional capacity, and 102-mm rapid-fire cannon mounted in a rotating annular shield, similar to installing type “L”. Very nice look and equipment, which included “Attic” and very sensitive passive hydrophones, good radio equipment, and even own a radio direction finder. Improved periscopes, one of which now could be observed with both eyes. And their length is nearly 12 m guaranteed the boat from ramming almost any surface ship. Of course, for all of the innovations required a corresponding increase in displacement, but it remained in a fairly reasonable range: 1300 t – standard and t 1500 – full on the surface, and slightly less than 1900 t in the underwater.
In General, on paper, everything looked beautiful. But, despite the already extensive experience in designing and building submarines, “Oberon” was released not particularly successful. The prototype “did not” in almost all respects, except that the speed of withdrawal under water. Maximum safe diving depth did not exceed 80 m, even more rugged body began to crackle, and, much worse, a leak. The main reason was the method of fixing panels: they are, according to tradition, was prikladyvala. Despite careful embossing, rivets during service was a little loosened from the vibration of powerful engines and began to slowly leak water. Well, in the case of emergencies, such as explosions of depth charges, though in the distance, spouts of water from rasstavayas studs from nasty Julia. As a result, acceptance tests have limited dip around 60 – 65 metres. And still, riveted fuel tanks outside the hull is also actively leaking, leading to two very unpleasant consequences. First, the boat on the surface of the stretched clearly visible oil mark, the retrieving location, and secondly, the fuel was lowered without the use. And instead of 10 thousand miles “Oberon” could get barely 2/3, about 6.5 thousand
Problems were observed with the speed, which was about half a knot less than the project. The main reason was, as before, the main mechanisms of the national project and build.
6-cylinder diesels have not reached the “organic” power; at high speeds they are very much shaking, shaking the body and giving the place boats of the enemy “listener”. For some reasons, to blame the British workers, whose rights, first of all, wages in the years of the postwar economic crisis the offensive began. Solid and in Britain, even in traditionally as a solid shipbuilding industry there were even instances of deliberate sabotage, not to mention the decrease in quality. It is difficult to say how much the reproaches of the kind of fair, because the “mistress of the seas” gradually fell behind in technology and development.
Even before the prototype “submarine patrol” showed their “childhood diseases” (which never healed until the end of service!), it has launched a series of. Saving labour government in 1924 led to the decision to freeze construction of the base in Singapore, which is very worried Australians, which would satisfy the project specifications “Oberon”. They insisted on the construction of two such units for its fleet. “Oxli and Otway” almost the same prototype (with the exception of the shape of the stem), and, unfortunately, inherited the same “sores”. The first trek, to customers in Australia, ended up in Malta of diesel engine repair and strengthening of their foundations, and at the expense of firm-the Builder – Vickers pleaded guilty. And upon coming to the place of service of the dominion government immediately sent a brand new unit in reserve, even first turn. The reasons were, however, purely economic nature. Both times came in 1930, – tilasi year of the global crisis. Through the year, both the submarine again put into operation, but under the British flag: Australia didn’t have the money for their upkeep and had just give them to the metropolis.
A year later after the bookmark, the Australian “About” the British started to build their own. Had already revealed some shortcomings, “Oberon”, so that six units of the type – “Orpheus” (sometimes called the “One” – named after the first boat entered service) paid more attention to the quality of the riveting and diesel engines. The immersion depth of the test was increased to 90 m, but attempts to “Otus”, located over 100 m led to the deformation of the hull in the stern, where he had not so favourable an oval cross-section. And the 8-node underwater speed is not particularly comforting. Besides the measures taken have led to a slight increase in displacement, especially underwater, and had to abandon the spare torpedoes for the aft spacecraft. In General, the first serial embodiment patrol boats were not much better than the prototype.
As, however, and the next. Formally, the six boats with names that begin in English “R”, as if to match the new type, but, in fact, showed only slight differences with “On”. They were bulbous shape of the nose, which later became another distinctive feature of the patrol “England”, and even installing half units more powerful 120-mm rapid-fire guns instead of 102-mm. (“Berceuse” initially even tried to try an experimental gun unconventional for England caliber 150-mm German sample, but experience has recognized a failure.) Again slightly increased the range, but project 10 000 miles still has remained elusive: the fuel tank has continued to slowly leak.
Problem tried to radically solve the following type “R”. All designs outside the hull, including tank, significantly increased, doubling their thickness, is now reached the half-inch is 12.7 mm. But more important was the use of electric welding for cladding fuel storage. The first experience of its kind in the underwater shipbuilding Britain cannot be considered fully successful, although the range and speed underwater and the immersion depth is again slightly improved. It seems to be finally established and a 120-mm gun, but, actually, it was put into operation only the first three units of the six planned. Fourth, “the Rover”, has again received a 102-mm, which is allowed in the amount of ammunition and installation to save quite a “weighty” seven tons. Now this tool became the standard for English submarines, and they rearmed and the top three. And the last couple, “the Royalist” and “Rupert”, fell victim to the same economic crisis and the “great depression” of the 1930s: their construction just canceled all the same the labour party before the bookmark.
On that and ended the story of the first embodiment, a British patrol submarines. They are, of course, difficult to considered successful; in the course of successive improvements have not been achieved project performance, which in and of themselves was not something exceptional and pretentious. The first 15 postwar years saw the submarine forces of England are clearly the “gray years”, the years of saving and delayed development. Required a new leap, which, in turn, needed motives.