British V-class submarine

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V-class profile
HMS Voracious
Class overview
NameV class
Preceded byU class
Succeeded byAmphion class
Completed34 named (8 more never named) of which only 22 were completed.
General characteristics
  • Surfaced – 545 tons standard, 658 tons full load
  • Submerged – 740 tons
Length204 ft 6 in (62.33 m)
Beam16 ft 1 in (4.90 m)
Draught15 ft 3 in (4.65 m)
Propulsion2 shaft diesel-electric, 2 Paxman diesel generators + electric motors, 615 hp (459 kW) / 825 hp (615 kW)
  • 11.25 kn (20.84 km/h; 12.95 mph) surfaced
  • 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) submerged

The British V-class submarine (officially "U-Class Long hull 1941–42 programme") was a class of submarines built for the Royal Navy during the Second World War.[1]


Forty-two vessels were ordered to this design, all to be built by Vickers-Armstrong at either Barrow-in-Furness or at Walker-on-Tyne, but only 22 were completed. Note that seven of these vessels received 'U' names (conversely, four of the U class had received names beginning with 'V').

The V-class submarines were very similar to the preceding U-class (short-hull) boats, of which they constituted a linear development, but had 3/4-inch pressure hull plating instead of 1/2-inch for deeper diving, also a lengthened stern and fining at the bows to reduce noise and improve underwater handling.

They were sometimes referred to as Vampire-class submarines after HMS Vampire.[2]

It was one of this class, HMS Venturer (P68), that would go down in history as the only submarine to sink another submarine while submerged - that submarine was the German U-864.


The vessels which were ordered are shown below in their programme order (not all completed construction):

The first eight vessels were ordered on 5 December 1941 under that year's programme.

The next eighteen vessels were ordered on 21 May 1942 under that year's programme, but six of these were cancelled in early 1944.

A further six vessels were ordered on 17 November 1942 under the same year's programme, but four of these were cancelled on 23 January 1944.

  • HMS Votary (P29)
  • HMS Vagabond (P18)
  • cancelled
  • HMS Vantage, cancelled 23 January 1944 (never laid down)
  • HMS Vehement (P25), cancelled 23 January 1944 (never laid down)
  • HMS Venom (P27), cancelled 23 January 1944 (never laid down)
  • HMS Verve (P28), cancelled 23 January 1944 (never laid down)

Finally, a further ten vessels were ordered under the 1943 Programme, but all of these were cancelled on 20 November 1943; eight of these were never given names.

  • cancelled
  • HMS Unbridled (P11), cancelled 20 November 1943 (never laid down)
  • HMS Upward (P16), cancelled 20 November 1943 (never laid down)
  • Eight more unnamed boats


  1. ^ Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922–46
  2. ^ Vampire-class Submarines


  • Allied Warships – Submarine – V Class
  • Walters, Derek (2004). The History of the British 'U' Class Submarine. Leo Cooper. ISBN 1-84415-131-X.