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Career RN Ensign
Name: HMS D3
Builder: Vickers Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness
Laid down: 15 March 1910
Commissioned: 30 August 1911
Fate: Sunk 12 March 1918
General characteristics
Class & type: D class submarine
Displacement: Surfaced= 483 tons / Submerged= 595 tons
Length: 163.0 ft (49.7 m) (oa)
Beam: 13.6 ft (4.1 m) (oa)
Propulsion: 550hp electric 1750hp diesel twin screws
Speed: Surfaced=14.0 kts / Dived= 10.0 (design) 9.0 (service)
Range: Surface= 2500nm at 10 kts / Submerged=45nm at 5knots
Complement: 25
Armament: 3x18 in (46 cm) torpedo tubes (2 forward, one aft, 6 torpedoes)[1] / 1x12 pdr (76 mm) QF gun[2]

HMS D3 was a British D class submarine built by Vickers, Barrow. D3 was laid down on 15 March 1910 and was commissioned on 30 August 1911.

During her career, D3 returned from the second Heligoland Bight patrol along with D2, E5 and E7.


William McKinstry Heriot-Maitland-Dougall Plaque, CFB Halifax

D3 met her fate on 12 March 1918. She was mistakenly bombed and sunk by a French airship AT-0 off Fecamp in the English Channel and lost with all hands. AT-0 was patrolling when at 1420 a vessel was spotted to her north east. The airship drew close for recognition purposes and according to her commander, Lieutenant (RCN) William McKinstry Heriot-Maitland-Dougall the submarine fired rockets at her. Four 52-kg bombs were dropped by the airship. The submarine disappeared but several minutes later men were seen in the water. Attempts were made by the airship to rescue the men but it proved too difficult. The airship withdrew to seek help but all the men had drowned by the time it arrived. It is clear that D3 was the victim of a serious identification error on the part of the French airship, with identification rockets being mistaken for aggressive gunfire.


  1. ^ Fitzsimons, Bernard. Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare (London: Phoebus, 1978), Volume 7, p.674, "D.1".
  2. ^ Fitzsimons, p.674.
  • Innes McCartney (2002). Lost Patrols: Submarine Wrecks of the English Channel. 
  • Submarines, war beneath the waves, from 1776 to the present day, By Robert Hutchinson
  • The Royal Navy Submarine Service, A Centennial History, by Antony Preston

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