HMS Starfish (19S)
|Laid down:||26 September 1931|
|Launched:||14 March 1933|
|Commissioned:||3 July 1933|
|Fate:||Sunk 9 January 1940|
|Class and type:||S-class submarine|
|Length:||202 ft 6 in (61.7 m)|
|Beam:||24 ft (7.3 m)|
|Draught:||11 ft 11 in (3.6 m)|
|Range:||3,700 nmi (6,900 km; 4,300 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surface; 64 nmi (119 km; 74 mi) at 2 knots (3.7 km/h; 2.3 mph) submerged|
|Test depth:||300 feet (91.4 m)|
Design and description
The S-class submarines were designed as successors to the L class and were intended to operate in the North and Baltic Seas. The submarines had a length of 202 feet 6 inches (61.7 m) overall, a beam of 24 feet (7.3 m) and a mean draft of 11 feet 11 inches (3.6 m). They displaced 730 long tons (740 t) on the surface and 927 long tons (942 t) submerged. The S-class submarines had a crew of 38 officers and ratings. They had a diving depth of 300 feet (91.4 m).
For surface running, the boats were powered by two 775-brake-horsepower (578 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 13.75 knots (25.47 km/h; 15.82 mph) on the surface and 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) underwater. On the surface, the first-batch boats had a range of 3,700 nautical miles (6,900 km; 4,300 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) and 64 nmi (119 km; 74 mi) at 2 knots (3.7 km/h; 2.3 mph) submerged.
Construction and career
The boat sailed from Blyth for patrol on 5 January 1940. On 9 January, she sighted a German destroyer in the Heligoland Bight and attacked it. A communication problem caused the first attack to fail and as the submarine returned to periscope depth to carry out another attack she was attacked by depth charges. Further depth charge attacks forced Starfish to settle on the bottom and wait for the enemy to move on. At 18:15 Starfish returned to the surface, all confidential documents were destroyed and the submarine scuttled. The ship’s company were picked up by the waiting ships and taken as prisoners of war.
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