HMS Snapper (39S)

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HMS Snapper (39S).jpg
Royal Navy Ensign
Class and type: S-class submarine
Name: HMS Snapper
Builder: Chatham Dockyard
Launched: 25 October 1934
Fate: Sunk February 1941
SNAPPER badge-1-.jpg
General characteristics
  • 670 tons surfaced
  • 960 tons submerged
Length: 208 ft 9 in (63.63 m)
Beam: 24 ft (7.3 m)
Draught: 10 ft 6 in (3.20 m)
Propulsion: Twin diesel/electric
  • 13.75 knots surfaced
  • 10 knots submerged
Complement: 39 officers and men

HMS Snapper was a Royal Navy S-class submarine which was launched on 25 October 1934 and fought during the Second World War. Snapper is one of 12 boats named in the song Twelve Little S-Boats.


Snapper spent most of her career in home waters. She was mistakenly attacked by a British aircraft when returning to Harwich after a patrol in the North Sea. Although suffering a direct hit, Snapper escaped damage. She went on to sink the small German tanker Moonsund, the German merchant Florida, the German auxiliary minesweepers M 1701 / H. M. Behrens and M 1702 / Carsten Janssen, the German armed trawler V 1107 / Portland and the Norwegian merchant Cygnus. She also attacked the German armed merchant cruiser Widder, but the torpedoes missed their target.[1]


The gun crew close up at their 3-inch gun on board HMS Snapper as she sits alongside a quayside.

She left the Clyde on 29 January 1941 to patrol in the Bay of Biscay. She should have arrived in her patrol area on 1 February. She was ordered to remain on station until 10 February and then to return with her escort. Snapper failed to make the rendezvous with the escort and was not heard from again. It is believed that she met her fate through a mine or that she was mortally damaged by a minesweeper which attacked a submarine in Snapper’s area on 11 February, although Snapper should have been out of the area by then.[2] Other sources report that the S-class submarine was depth charged and sunk in the Bay of Biscay south west of Ouessant, Finistère, France (47°25′N 5°47′W / 47.417°N 5.783°W / 47.417; -5.783) by the German minesweepers M-2, M-13 and M-25 with the loss of all 41 crew.[3][4]


  1. ^ HMS Snapper,
  2. ^ Submarine losses 1904 to present day, RN Submarine Museum, Gosport
  3. ^ [1],
  4. ^ [2],

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 58°53′N 10°43′E / 58.883°N 10.717°E / 58.883; 10.717