British V-class submarine

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HMS Voracious SLV Green 1945.jpg
HMS Voracious
Class overview
NameV class
Preceded byU class
Succeeded by Amphion 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 knots (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"[1]) was a class of submarines built for the Royal Navy during the Second World War.


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.