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HMS B6 in the solent viewed from behind
HMS B6 in the Solent
United Kingdom
Name: HMS B6
Builder: Vickers
Launched: 30 November 1905
Completed: 3 March 1906
Fate: Sold for scrap, 1921
General characteristics
Class and type: B-class submarine
  • 287 long tons (292 t) surfaced
  • 316 long tons (321 t) submerged
Length: 142 ft 3 in (43.4 m)
Beam: 12 ft 7 in (3.8 m)
Draught: 11 ft 2 in (3.4 m)
Installed power:
  • 600 bhp (450 kW) petrol
  • 180 hp (130 kW) electric
  • 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph) surfaced
  • 6.5 kn (12.0 km/h; 7.5 mph) submerged
Range: 1,000 nmi (1,900 km; 1,200 mi) at 8.7 kn (16.1 km/h; 10.0 mph) on the surface
Test depth: 100 feet (30.5 m)
Complement: 2 officers and 13 ratings
Armament: 2 × 18 in (450 mm) bow torpedo tubes

HMS B6 was one of 11 B-class submarines built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. The boat survived the First World War and was sold for scrap in 1921.

Design and description[edit]

The B class was an enlarged and improved version of the preceding A class. The submarine had a length of 142 feet 3 inches (43.4 m) overall, a beam of 12 feet 7 inches (3.8 m) and a mean draft of 11 feet 2 inches (3.4 m). They displaced 287 long tons (292 t) on the surface and 316 long tons (321 t) submerged. The B-class submarines had a crew of two officers and thirteen ratings.[1]

For surface running, the boats were powered by a single 16-cylinder 600-brake-horsepower (447 kW) Vickers petrol engine that drove one propeller shaft. When submerged the propeller was driven by a 180-horsepower (134 kW) electric motor. They could reach 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) on the surface and 6.5 knots (12.0 km/h; 7.5 mph) underwater.[1] On the surface, the B class had a range of 1,000 nautical miles (1,900 km; 1,200 mi) at 8.7 knots (16.1 km/h; 10.0 mph).[2]

The boats were armed with two 18-inch (45 cm) torpedo tubes in the bow. They could carry a pair of reload torpedoes, but generally did not as they would have to remove an equal weight of fuel in compensation.[3]

Construction and career[edit]

B6 was built by Vickers at their Barrow-in-Furness shipyard, launched 30 November 1905 and completed 3 March 1906. The boat was deployed to the Mediterranean soon after the outbreak of World War I. Due to the lack of spare parts this group of submarines were not used after September 1915. In 1917 the Italian Navy converted B6 into to surface patrol boat S6 to serve in the Adriatic. The boat was sold in 1921 to Messrs. Francotosti, Malta.


  1. ^ a b Gardiner & Gray, p. 87
  2. ^ Akermann, p. 123
  3. ^ Harrison, Chapter 27