French submarine Rubis (1931)

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Rubis in difficulty in a minefield off Norway
Name: Rubis
Namesake: Ruby
Builder: Arsenal de Toulon
Laid down: 3 April 1929
Launched: 30 September 1931
Commissioned: 4 April 1933
Struck: 4 October 1949
Honours and
Ordre de la Libération
Fate: Scuttled on 31 January 1958 to be used as sonar target
General characteristics
Class and type: Saphir-class
Type: submarine
  • 761 tonnes
  • 925 tonnes submerged
Length: 65.9 m (216 ft)
Beam: 7.1 m (23 ft)
Draught: 4.3 m (14 ft)
Installed power:
  • 2 × 550 shp (electrical)
  • 2 × 650 shp (diesel)
  • 2 electrical engines
  • 2 diesel
  • Surfaced: 12 kn (22 Km/h)
  • Underwater: 9 kn (17 km/h)
  • 7.000 nmi (12.964 km; 8.055 mi) (12.964 km) at 7,5 knots
  • 4.000 nm (7.400 km) at 12 knots
  • Submerged: 80 nm (148 km) at 4 knots
Test depth: 80 m
Complement: 42
  • 3 × 550 mm torpedo tubes
  • 2 × 400 mm torpedo tubes
  • 1 × 75 mm deck gun
  • 1 × 13.2 mm machine gun
  • 2 × 8 mm machine guns
  • 32 naval mines

The Rubis (H4, 202, P15) was a Saphir-class minelaying French submarine which first served in the French submarine pavilion, then the Free French Naval Forces (FNFL) during the Second World War and back with the French Navy. The boat was awarded numerous awards. Accordingly, in reason of the Rubis's service with the FNFL, the boat was made a companion of the Ordre de la Libération by a decree issued by général de Gaulle on October 14 1941.


After serving in Toulon with the 7th and later 5th Submarine Squadrons, in 1937 Rubis was transferred to Cherbourg.

During the Norwegian campaign, in May 1940, Rubis laid mines off the Norwegian coast; the boast's mines claimed four Norwegian vessels in May and June, and a further three merchantmen in July. At the time of the French surrender on June 22, 1940, the boat was in the port of Dundee, Scotland in the United Kingdom, where the boat promptly joined the pavilion of the Free French Forces. At that time, she was commanded by Capitaine de Corvette Georges Cabanier.

Whilst minelaying off Norway in mid-1941, Rubis encountered and torpedoed a Finnish merchantman. Later in the war, the boat laid mines in the Bay of Biscay, claiming three German auxiliary minesweepers, an armed trawler, and a Vichy French tug in 1942, and a fourth auxiliary minesweeper in 1943. Operating off Stavanger in September 1944, the bosat's mines claimed two auxiliary submarine chasers and two merchantmen. In October and November, Rubis continued in Norwegian waters, damaging but not sinking two vessels. On 21 December, however, the boat's mines claimed three auxiliary submarine chasers, a German merchantman, and a minesweeper.

Throughout the war, Rubis made 22 operational patrols, laying nearly 683 mines and sinking some 21,000 GRT of shipping. With 22 ships sunk (14 of them German, including 12 warships), the Rubis achieved the highest kill number in the FNFL.

From 1946 to 1948, she was used as a school ship for rigging in Toulon.

Rubis was struck on 4 October 1949, and was sunk on 31 January 1958 to be used as a sonar target. The wreck lies 41 metres underwater between Cavalaire and Saint-Tropez, and has become a popular diving attraction.

Ships sunk or damaged[edit]






See also[edit]


Coordinates: 58°21′N 6°01′E / 58.350°N 6.017°E / 58.350; 6.017