HMS Tigris (N63)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Tigris.
HMS Tigris.jpg
HMS Tigris in Plymouth Sound in July 1942
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Tigris
Builder: Chatham Dockyard
Laid down: 11 May 1938
Launched: 31 October 1939
Commissioned: 20 June 1940
Fate: sunk by Axis forces, 27 February 1943
TIGRIS badge-1-.jpg
General characteristics
Class & type: British T class submarine
Displacement: 1,090 tons surfaced
1,575 tons submerged
Length: 275 ft (84 m)
Beam: 26 ft 6 in (8.08 m)
Draught: 16.3 ft (5.0 m)
Propulsion: Two shafts

Twin diesel engines 2,500 hp (1.86 MW) each

Twin electric motors 1,450 hp (1.08 MW) each
Speed: 15.25 knots (28.7 km/h) surfaced
nine knots (20 km/h) submerged
Range: 4,500 nautical miles at 11 knots (8,330 km at 20 km/h) surfaced
Test depth: 300 ft (91 m) max
Complement: 59
Armament: Six internal forward-facing torpedo tubes
four external forward-facing torpedo tubes
one external backward-facing torpedo tube
six reload torpedoes
4 inch (100 mm) deck gun
Service record
Commanders: Lieutenant Commander HF Bone
Lt. LW Napier
Lt.Cdr. GR Colvin(+)[1]

HMS Tigris (N63) was a T-class submarine of the Royal Navy. She was laid down at Chatham Dockyard and launched in October 1939.


Tigris had a relatively active career, serving in the North Sea and the Mediterranean.

Home waters[edit]

Tigris was active in the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay in mid 1940. She sank the French fishing vessels Sancte Michael, Cimcour, Charles Edmond and Rene Camaleyre, the French merchantmen Jacobsen and Guilvinec, and the German tanker Thorn. She unsuccessfully attacked a number of submarines, including U-58 and the Italian submarine Veniero and may have also attacked the Italian submarine Otario.[citation needed]

Tigris also succeeded in sinking the Italian submarine Michele Bianchi.[citation needed]

She was assigned to operate in the North Sea near the Scandinavian coast in mid-1941. Off the coast of Finnmark, she sank the Norwegian passenger/cargo ships Haakon Jarl and Richard With,[2][3] In the case of the Richard With, the ship sank in less than a minute, killing two of the three German soldiers on board and claiming the lives of 101 civilian Norwegians.[4]

Post-war, the Norwegian public was told the attacks had been carried out by Soviet submarines. She also attacked and badly damaged the German auxiliary submarine chaser UJ 1201 off the Rolvsøy Fjord. The bow of the ship sank but the stern was towed to port and the ship was rebuilt, entering service again in April 1944. In addition, Tigris unsuccessfully attacked the German merchant ship Bessheim and a merchantman of 3,000 tons; she also attacked a convoy, but missed her targets; the Norwegian merchant ships Mimona, Tugela and Havbris.[citation needed]

She was also one of the vessels assigned to track the German battleship Bismarck.[citation needed]


Tigris was reassigned to the Mediterranean, and was active there from late 1942. On the 6 December, she torpedoed and sank the Italian submarine Porfido,[1] for which her commander, George Colvin, was later awarded the Distinguished Service Order.[5] On 21 Jan 1943, she sank the Italian merchant ship Citta di Genova in the Strait of Otranto.[1] This ship was carrying Greek officers, who were being taken to Italy as hostages; many of them perished.[6]


Tigris left Malta on 18 February 1943 to patrol off Naples. She was last sighted at 0730 on 24 February, 39 miles (63 km) from Capri. On the morning of the 27th, the German submarine chaser UJ2210, escorting a convoy six miles southeast of Capri, made contact with a submarine and carried out three depth charge attacks, the third attack brought oil to the surface and the contact was noted to be stationary. A fourth attack of fifteen depth charges brought a huge bubble of air up. On 6 March, Tigris was ordered to Algiers but there was no reply to this signal. She failed to return to Algiers on 10 March 1943 and was declared overdue on that date. Tigris was most likely the submarine sunk on 27 February by UJ-2210 commanded by Otto Pollmann.[7]


The submarine had been adopted by the town of Newbury during the Second World War as part of Warship Week.[1] The plaque from this adoption is held by the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth.[8]

Each year there is an annual Remembrance Service for the submarine and the crew lost at St Nicolas Church, Newbury, Berkshire, on the Sunday nearest 27 February.


  1. ^ a b c d HMS Tigris,
  2. ^ Lawson, Siri Holm. "D/S Haakon Jarl". Retrieved 5 July 2009. 
  3. ^ Lawson, Siri Holm. "D/S Richard With". Retrieved 5 July 2009. 
  4. ^ "Forliset". Richard With, Direktøren og Dampskipet (in Norwegian). Riksarkivet. Retrieved 3 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "Royal Navy (RN) Officers 1939-1945 - CLAR to COLV". Retrieved 22 January 2011. 
  6. ^ Evangelos J. Macris (1896-1943),
  7. ^ Submarine losses 1904 to present day, RN Submarine Museum, Gosport
  8. ^ Warship Weeks: Adopting Naval Vessels in World War Two | Royal Naval Museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard


External links[edit]