L Class (1917) SS

The L Class (1917) submarines were a large class overseas patrol submarines. They were planned under the Emergency War Programme as an improved version of the E Class (1913) submarines. But due to the number of changes made to the design they were given a separate class designation.

They were built in three groups. Only those in group 1 and the first four boats of group 2 were commissioned in time to see action in WW1. 

Armament was increased in groups 2 and 3 with the replacement of the 18in torpedo with the 21in.

Just over half of group 2 and two thirds of group 3 were cancelled before they had been completed.

Most of those which were completed served during the inter war years, being progressively paid off during the 1930's.

However a few survived to be used as training boats during the early years of WW2.

L55 had the distinction of being the only British submarine to be sunk by hostile Soviet vessels.


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This page last edited - 05 March, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.