|Class and type:||S class submarine|
|Ordered:||7 April 1943|
|Builder:||Vickers Armstrong Barrow in Furness|
|Laid down:||10 August 1940|
|Launched:||September 20, 1941|
|Commissioned:||4 March 1942|
|Fate:||Most likely sunk off Capri, 12 December 1942 by Italian torpedo boat|
|Class & type:||S-class submarine|
|Length:||217 ft (66.1 m)|
|Beam:||23 ft 9 in (7.2 m)|
|Draught:||14 ft 8 in (4.5 m)|
|Range:||120 nmi (220 km; 140 mi) at 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph) surface; 6,000 nmi (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph)|
|Test depth:||300 feet (91.4 m)|
Design and description
The third batch was slightly enlarged and improved over the preceding second batch of the S-class. The submarines had a length of 217 feet (66.1 m) overall, a beam of 23 feet 9 inches (7.2 m) and a draft of 14 feet 8 inches (4.5 m). They displaced 842 long tons (856 t) on the surface and 990 long tons (1,010 t) submerged. The S-class submarines had a crew of 48 officers and ratings. They had a diving depth of 300 feet (91.4 m).
For surface running, the boats were powered by two 950-brake-horsepower (708 kW) diesel engines, each driving one propeller shaft. When submerged each propeller was driven by a 650-horsepower (485 kW) electric motor. They could reach 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) on the surface and 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) underwater. On the surface, the third batch boats had a range of 6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) and 120 nmi (220 km; 140 mi) at 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph) submerged.
P222 was armed with six 21-inch torpedo tubes in the bow. She carried six reload torpedoes for the bow tubes for a grand total of a dozen torpedoes. Twelve mines could be carried in lieu of the torpedoes. The boat was also equipped with a 3-inch (76 mm) deck gun.
Construction and career
HMS P222 built by Vickers Armstrong and launched on September 20, 1941. She was initially assigned to the naval base at Gibraltar to guard the entrance to the Mediterranean. On 27 July 1942 P 222 intercepted the Vichy French merchant Mitidja off Cape Palos, Spain. The Mitidja was boarded by the V-class destroyer HMS Wrestler and escorted to Gibraltar.
P222 left Gibraltar to patrol off Naples on 30 November 1942. She sent a number of messages on 7 December but after that date no further communication was made. She failed to arrive at Algiers on her due date and was reported overdue on 21 December 1942. The Italian torpedo boat Fortunale claimed to have sunk a submarine with depth charges on 12 December, south-east of Capri. This remains the most probable cause of the submarine’s loss but there has been no confirmation. Since she was sunk before her name could be formally assigned, she is known by her pennant number, P222.
- Chesneau, p. 51
- McCartney, p. 7
- Bagnasco, p. 110
- Chesneau, pp. 51–52
- Akermann, Paul (2002). Encyclopaedia of British Submarines 1901–1955 (reprint of the 1989 ed.). Penzance, Cornwall: Periscope Publishing. ISBN 1-904381-05-7.
- Bagnasco, Erminio (1977). Submarines of World War Two. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-962-6.
- Chesneau, Roger, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946. Greenwich, UK: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7.
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- McCartney, Innes (2006). British Submarines 1939–1945. New Vanguard 129. Oxford, UK: Osprey. ISBN 1-84603-007-2.