U Class (1937) SS
class were originally designed as training boats without armament. They were
of single hull construction, with internal fuel and ballast compartments.
Armament was fitted later.
Major construction took place in two groups, with group two being 5ft 6in longer than most of group one boats. Breadth and width were unchanged.
Boats were launched between 1937 and 1943.
Of 46 boats launched, 21 were lost during world war 2, 18 by enemy action, one foundered and two sank by accident of which one was later salvaged and recommissioned with a new name.
The following Vampire (V) Class were of a similar design and later U class and early V class names were arbitrarily allocated to the two named designs. This was similar to the V & W Class destroyers of World War 1.
The early boats were launched with a name beginning with U, e.g. Ursula. They were later changed to a number beginning with P, e.g. P31. Then later still the names of the surviving boats reverted to their original name. Later boats were launched with a P number and the survivors had their names changed to a name beginning with a U. e.g. P43 became Unison (see Submarine names)
This page last edited -
20 January, 2013.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.