But let us return to the prewar years. The Admiralty did not intend to stay on the “In” and demanded new ones. Without further ADO, the designers “Vickers” continued gradual improvement already now own American “Hollands”. Type “C”, in fact, was the last descendant of the overseas “ancestor”. The improvement consisted mainly in another (this time very small) increase in displacement, with the goal of making the submarine a little more habitable and seaworthy. As in the case of type “b”, this process took place in two stages, creating two subtypes of a new type. Series II was envisaged from the outset, nasal horizontal rudders and a more extensive superstructure in the nose. Innovations like, and they are subsequently reproduced during conversion on most units of the first series.
In other respects they were typical of the descendants of “Hollands”, with all the same gasolinevin engines for surface running. However, the British made an attempt to improve underwater features, installing a more powerful electric motor and a huge number of batteries, the total mass was 20% of the displacement. However, this does not help too: full charge 66-ton (!) “battery” was only enough to keep the submarine under water during daylight, followed by float and charge the “banks” again. Accordingly, if the enemy appeared somewhere in the late afternoon, to attack him would be not to hand.
This time, the British swung widely: type “C” became the most numerous in the prewar period all over the world. The construction of 38 units of both series lasted for three and a half years, prior to 1910. And the last three representatives immediately after the commissioning went on a very long journey: they were intended for the defence of Hong Kong, who was then a major British base in the far Eastern waters. In July 1909-11 the victim has already become a sad tradition for the English boat incident. She “ran” the ship “Addison”, this time by night. The boat sank instantly, taking with them 13 members of the crew of 17. However, in relation to the crash series in General was more fortunate than its predecessor. A-11 a similar fate – the clash – suffered in 1913-14. This time there were no casualties and the submarine was raised and again put into operation.
With the outbreak of the great war boat type “C” started an intense and dangerous service. By the time they were, on the one hand, relatively new; the majority of units for the time being “fulfilled” only 4-5 years. However, on the other hand, the direct descendants of “the Hollands” retains all the drawbacks of a small “coastal” submarines of the first generation. But the Admiralty was able to find a “niche” for them. Shortly after the outbreak of hostilities the Germans first used tactics virtually unlimited submarine warfare. Their boat without hesitation and warning sank merchant ships. A brutal war of annihilation had to get the experience and the fishing trawlers that tried to continue fishing in the North sea. The German boat surfaced right in the middle of the flotilla of trawlers and drowned them with artillery fire. The result killed innocent civilian boats, and that much more sad, floating on their crews, often failing to get your usually the only boat.
In the face of such mass killings, the Admiralty had decided to take no less insidious measures. The British assumed that if one or two of the German boats left on “hunting” for trawlers, disappear without a trace, others will refuse to attack on such vessels. To implement the ideas perfect, and just one possible type of weapon was his own submarine; any other ship could alert the enemy before the attack. The easiest option was just to take the submarine in tow of the trawler. To transfer to “underwater hunter” conditional signal about the attack were attached to the tow line for communication between the commander of the boat, and the commander takes care of her fishing boat. (Due to the fact that the trawler, the tug became part of the Royal Navy, it was a team of sailors and officers, often senior in rank, compared to the submarine commander.)
Looked this system is a little frivolous, but nevertheless bore fruit. The first result reached C-24 Lieutenant Taylor, coming on June 23, 1915, at 200 m, towed at the stern of the trawler “Taranaki” under the command of Lieutenant commander Edwards. “A pair of ambush” was among other fishing vessels engaged in their work on the Dogger Bank. The British were very lucky. Surfaced right in the middle of the fishing fleet by German U-40 by a happy coincidence for them, chose as the first target is “Taranaki”! Enemy submarine gave a warning shot… and almost ruined the whole thing: on the C-24 took it for a blast signal of the cartridge corresponding to the instruction to emerge. Fortunately, Taylor decided to resort to the telephone and asked the Edwards confirmation of the order. Instead, however, he heard a welcome message that its proximity is visible to the enemy submarine. The commander of s-24 was ordered immediately to give the tow-rope, but “technology” has failed: the latch on the mount is stuck. The sailors on the boat tried in vain to cope with the capricious “closure”, and Taylor once again had to resort to phone and ask Edwards to immediately release the other end of the tow. “Taranaki” there was no problem, as a result, British submarine finally got rid of the “leash”. But nonstandard variant of separation has led to the fact that its fore end is now pulled down a hefty cut heavy rope.
C-24 has been in a tough situation. The trim on the nose are not allowed to use the periscope from which you can see either the sky or water in the immediate vicinity. The idea is that the situation could be eliminated by blowing compressed air differentional tank, but Taylor feared that the air bubbles will give the cunning “ambush”. And there has been a good training for British submariners who do not vain spent training and exercises, losing boats in peacetime. Driving motor, and rudders depth, the commander managed not only to raise the boat to periscope depth, but keep her on an even keel.
Periscope “earned”, and C-24 were able to get close to unsuspecting enemy submarine and release it in the torpedo from a distance of at least 500 m Followed by an explosion and U-40 instantly disappeared from the surface of the water. Left “harvest” of those German sailors who had to jump into the water. And then the “hunter” is once again in a helpless situation: on the screw shaft is wrapped around the telephone cable. As a result, managed to save only the commander and one of the petty officers of U-40. Remained afloat and “Taranaki”. All this complex history has passed for half an hour.
After a month of successful hunting from ambush again. On 20 July it was attended by a pair of C-27 under the command of Lieutenant-commander Dobson and the trawler “Princess Louise” Lieutenant Kent. If the last time was too stiff a tow-rope, now broken phone cable. Good luck, Kenti had to report that he sees the enemy around the boat and pointed out the direction. Dobson had to make a decision, it is not seeing the enemy. A few minutes later he heard shots and ordered to pay a tow-rope. In this case, everything went smoothly. Further – the attack itself -was, strange as it sounds, even easier. Looking through the periscope, the commander of the C-27, slowly, crept up to the enemy and fired the torpedo at about the same distance, and Taylor. The result became the hunter game U-23 immediately sank stern down. This time rescue efforts were more than successful: on Board C-27 raised seven people, including the entire command structure “Germans”.
Submarine type With series I, England, 1907
It was built by the firm Vickers in barrow. Type of construction – single -. Displacement underwater/surface 290/320 T. Dimensions: length 43,58 m, width: 4.11 m height 3,50 m hull Material: steel. Immersion depth up to 30 m. Engine: gasolinevin the engine capacity of 600 HP + motor power of 200 HP, speed, surface/underwater – 12/6,5 ties. Armament: two 450mm torpedo tubes in the nose (4 torpedoes). Crew: 16 persons In 1906 – 1908 built 18 units from C-1 to C-18. -3 blown up as a dig at Zeebrugge in 1918, With 11 killed in the clash in the summer of 1909, the others scrapped in 1919 – 1921
As it turned out was the reason that the success of the C-27 was the last for such an original “ambush” method. The British managed to keep secret not random part of the submarine. Of him already knew the fishermen, and saved by the crew of U-23 managed to communicate with the German “non-combatants” after the internment early in the war sent home via a neutral country. In the end, found out the German command. “Bots” have become more cautious And This method no longer was sunk no one boat of the enemy in the North sea. But the important result was still to achieve: the destruction of defenseless ships artillery ceased: because any of them could potentially “lead to a” deadly underwater avenger.
However, a victim of “casec” became an underwater Mensah UC-65 sunk by without the use of such “tricks”. In response, the Germans managed to sink only one-34. Succeeded commander with the characteristic name Hans on the U-52 is a Much greater threat to German steel mines, most of which, however, also raised underwater craft. They killed three submarines series II: C-29, C-31 and C-33.
However, the share of surviving dropped a lot of the truly dizzying situations, some of which deserve to become a story or adventure story, or a horror movie. What is the only story-25 Lieutenant Bella. At the very end of the war while patrolling on the surface near their own shores it got hit by five German seaplanes returning from a RAID on the port of Lowestoft. Divers could not even assume that it is the enemy, and deadly, and claim them as their own. Followed by bitter disappointment: turning, the aircraft flew directly into the boat, spraying it with lead from the guns. Victims of bullets immediately began the commander and two sailors, and one was seriously injured and fell down on the bridge. The command boat took the chief mate, but he didn’t want to throw the mortally wounded seaman, who begged me to leave him and save the ship. An officer with great difficulty dragged him through the narrow hatch into the Central post, which saved immediately died at the hands of his comrades.
Other members of the crew at this time frantically patched bullet holes in a rugged case on the spot carved wooden stoppers. Otherwise the immersion would be fatal – recall that boats, like all descendants of the first “Hollands”, was single-hulled. Like now you can go down and hide behind the layer of saving water. But at the last moment it turned out that you cannot close the hatch sponge: foot of one of the dead got under the cover. Meanwhile the Germans continued to drink the unfortunate boat fire. When you try to drag the corpse of the bullets fell two more. Then the first mate sent all of ventral post and using a knife, cut off the leg of the murdered sailor, and then finally batten down the hatch.
But, as immediately became clear, these bloody deeds were useless. S-25 still could not dive, since the motor also broke down because of hits. Devoid of any defensive weapons (again, remember, were armed only with torpedoes), the boat and the remnants of her crew, it seemed, were doomed. And then came miraculous help, and from “colleagues in the class.” Newer E-51 heard machine-gun chatter came and drove seaplanes fire sooh guns, after which took the s-25 in tow and brought home.
And yet, perhaps, the most unusual and risky Odyssey became one of the first units of type-3. Together with his “companions”-1 it was intended for lethal action in the RAID on Zeebrugge in 1918. Before the submarines put truly a suicide mission to crash into the viaduct connecting the mole, which landed British commando troops to the shore, and blow it up. The boat is literally stuffed with explosives and provided a kind of “autopilot”, which would give the possibility to pass the last two hundred meters after towing her vapor Trident gave the tow end. Then the team of nine volunteers under the leadership of Lieutenant Sanford had to ignite the fuse and escape on a tiny motor boat.
And they did it! Several hundred German soldiers at first watched spellbound from the top, with the viaduct as the submarine increases speed and cuts between supports, then the Sandford ignites the cord, and he and his men jump into the boat. The whole operation took literally seconds, after which the soldiers finally opened a furious fire. The water around the boat was literally boiling from the bullets. Screw the bullet-riddled boats refused to turn. A boat kept on the surface only because they had a few sealed compartments-the”cushions”. It seemed that the fate of the brave will be resolved within a couple of minutes: if they do not kill the arrow, then kill a monstrous explosion. However, the sailors found a couple of small oars and slowly and calmly sailed from the deadly “bomb” – style tour boat somewhere on the Thames.
Oddly enough, but they all survived, although one or more wounds received eight of nine. Saved their patrol boat, commanded the elder brother of Sandford. The Lieutenant received the highest award of Britain Victoria Cross. But the Germans had worse: several hundred kilograms of dynamite blow up the spans of the viaduct with a length of three to ten meters, together with were on it soldiers. Even after his “honorable death”-3 continued to inflict enemy losses. Hurrying to the aid of a Bicycle battalion flew in an unlit gap in the viaduct and, according to the British, almost all of the acceleration and crashed down. For example, if it is a strong exaggeration, glorious boats deserve the highest praise. But her colleague s-1 during the towing lost the rope and to take part in the operation have failed, leaving the whole death and all the credit to Sanford and his people.
A dizzying adventure, albeit in a different spirit, fell to the share of the “Quartet” dedicated to help “Eastern ally”, that is, Russia. We will tell you more about their history and the vicissitudes of the development of domestic submarines, their British “friends” and shared the role of both in the struggle in the Baltic sea in a future release.