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HMS P47.jpg
HMS P47 at Barrow in 1942 - note the large 'P47' on her conning tower
United Kingdom
Name: HMS P47
Builder: Vickers Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness
Laid down: 19 November 1941
Launched: 27 July 1942
Out of service: transferred to Royal Netherlands Navy
Name: HNLMS Dolfijn
Commissioned: 8 October 1942
Decommissioned: December 1946
Fate: Scrapped 1952
General characteristics
Class and type: U-class submarine
  • Surfaced - 540 tons standard, 630 tons full load
  • Submerged - 730 tons
Length: 58.22 m (191.0 ft)
Beam: 4.9 m (16 ft)
Draught: 4.62 m (15.2 ft)
  • Two shaft diesel-electric
  • Two Paxman Ricardo diesel generators + electric motors
  • 615 / 825 hp
  • 11.25 kn (20.84 km/h; 12.95 mph) surfaced
  • 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph) submerged
Complement: 27-31

HMS P47 was a Royal Navy U-class submarine built by Vickers-Armstrong. She was transferred to the Royal Netherlands Navy before completion and renamed HNLMS Dolfijn.


September 1942 - February 1943[edit]

Dolfijn spent the time between September 1942 and January 1943 carrying out trials with the 3rd Flotilla, in Holy Loch. In January she was assigned to the 8th Flotilla, at Algiers, and between November and December 1943, to the 10th Flotilla, at Malta. Whilst on her first war patrol she attacked a so far unidentified German submarine, but missed her. On 9 February 1943, she torpedoed and sank the Italian Perla-class submarine Malachite near Cape Spartivento, Sardinia, Italy. She went on to sink the Italian merchant ship Egle, the Italian auxiliary patrol vessel V50 / Adalia, the Italian sailing vessel Stefano Galleano and four other sailing vessels, including the Greek Hydrea and Theonie, as well as two small German vessels.

She also damaged the Italian merchantmen Humanitas and Sabia, and launched unsuccessful attacks against the German merchant vessels Oria and Leda (the former Italian Leopardi). The attack on Leda was foiled by the escorting German destroyer TA14. Dolfijn also torpedoed the wreck of the French merchant ship Dalny and attacked a small convoy with gunfire, firing 16 rounds and hitting the barge Vidi twice. Dolfijn was forced to break off the action and submerge due to swift return fire.

December 1943 - May 1952[edit]

Between December 1943 and March 1944, Dolfijn was part of the 1st Flotilla, at Beirut. She eventually returned to the UK with convoys, and was refitted at Dundee. After the war she became a training boat in Amsterdam between 1947 and 1952. She was decommissioned and nominally returned to the Royal Navy, but was broken up in the Netherlands in May 1952.


  • "HMS P47".
  • "P32 to P222". British submarines of World War II. Archived from the original on 11 July 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2007.
  • Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.
  • Robert Hutchinson: Submarines, War Beneath The Waves, From 1776 To The Present Day.