C Class (1906) SS

The C Class (1906) submarines were the final development of the Holland class boats and the last class to be wholly powered by petrol engines on the surface. They were a large class of 38 boats built in two groups, to a similar design, although some had minor variations.

They were coastal submarines with limited endurance and had low reserves of buoyancy - only 10% of surface displacement.

Internally they had only one compartment and had no thought to crew comfort.

As a class they gave great service during WW1, with four U-boats sunk by them. 

Four boats were towed around the North Cape to Archangel and transported by lighter to Kronstadt in the Baltic through the White Sea Canal. They were based at Revel (now Tallinn) and operated in the Gulf of Riga.  One ran ashore and was blown up. The three survivors were scuttled after Russia signed a peace treaty with Germany to prevent their capture by the Germans.

C3 was expended in the Zeebrugge raid of 23-Apr-1918. 

Most of the remainder were operated in the North Sea for coastal defence, based at Leith, Harwich, Hartlepool, Grimsby and Dover. 

Four were based at Hong Kong from 1911.

With the exception of C4 which was used for trials, all the boats which survived WW1 were paid off at the end of the war.


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This page last edited - 07 April, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.