HMS Tarpon (N17)

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For other ships with the same name, see HMS Tarpon.
HMS Tudor.jpg
British T-Class submarine (example: HMS Tudor)
United Kingdom
Builder: Scotts, Greenock
Laid down: 5 October 1937
Launched: 17 October 1939
Commissioned: 8 March 1940
Fate: sunk 14 April 1940[1]
TARPON badge-1-.jpg
General characteristics
Class and type: British T class submarine
  • 1,090 tons surfaced
  • 1,575 tons submerged
Length: 275 ft (84 m)
Beam: 26 ft 6 in (8.08 m)
Draught: 16.3 ft (5.0 m)
  • Two shafts
  • Twin diesel engines 2,500 hp (1.86 MW) each
  • Twin electric motors 1,450 hp (1.08 MW) each
  • 15.25 knots (28.7 km/h) surfaced
  • 9 knots (20 km/h) submerged
Range: 4,500 nautical miles at 11 knots (8,330 km at 20 km/h) surfaced
Test depth: 300 ft (91 m) max
Complement: 59

The second HMS Tarpon (N17) was a T-class submarine of the Royal Navy. She was laid down by Scotts, Greenock and launched in October 1939. She is named after the large fish Tarpon; one species of which is native to the Atlantic, and the other to the Indo-Pacific Oceans.[2]


Tarpon had a short career, serving in the North Sea. She left Portsmouth on 5 April 1940 for Rosyth in company with HMS Severn. The following day they were ordered to Norway. On the 10th Tarpon was ordered to take up a new position. Tarpon was never heard from again.

It is asserted that there are a combination of British and German records which state that she was engaged by Schiff 40.[3] The records show that Tarpon had attacked the Q-ship Schiff 40/Schürbek, but her first torpedoes had missed. The Q-ship picked up the Tarpon on her sonar and her periscope was sighted. The ship dropped numerous depth charges in a sustained counterattack that went on most of the morning. Finally a pattern of depth charges brought wreckage to the surface. The Q-ship remained on the scene until 0500 the next morning when it became clear the submarine had been sunk. Tarpon was reported overdue on 22 April 1940.[4][5]


The wreck was found and identified in the Danish part of the North Sea, near the harbour town of Thyborøn, by a Danish commercial diver, Gert Normann Andersen of the company JD-Contractor and British marine archaeologist Dr Innes McCartney in March 2016.[6][7] The wreck was explored in a live TV program by Denmarks Radio on 28 August 2016.[8] The submarine wreck was found with two torpedo tubes empty; confirming it likely they were fired in battle before her sinking.[9] It is therefore still most likely she was then sunk by depth charges.[3] The wreck is submerged in 40 metres of water.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Colledge (2006), p. 344
  2. ^ ” Megalops atlanticus”,, 11 February 2010.
  3. ^ a b c "Sunken WWII-Era British Submarine Found off Danish Coast". New Historian. Retrieved 22 September 2016. 
  4. ^ HMS Tarpon,
  5. ^ Submarine losses 1904 to present day, RN Submarine Museum, Gosport
  6. ^ "Wreck of second world war British submarine found off Denmark". The Guardian. 5 September 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2016. 
  7. ^ Usædvanligt fund af ubåd fra anden verdenskrig fundet i dansk farvand, Jyllandsposten, 17 Marts 2016
  8. ^ "Live fra dybet". Retrieved 5 September 2016. 
  9. ^ "Mystery of the missing submarine". Daily Mail. Retrieved 22 September 2016. 


Coordinates: 56°43′01″N 6°33′00″E / 56.717°N 6.55°E / 56.717; 6.55