HMS Truant

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HMS Truant.jpg
HMS Truant
United Kingdom
Builder: Vickers Armstrong, Barrow
Laid down: 24 March 1938
Launched: 5 May 1939
Commissioned: 31 October 1939
Identification: Pennant number: N68
Fate: Sold for breaking up, wrecked under tow December 1946
General characteristics
Class and type: 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 (1,900 kW) each
  • Twin electric motors 1,450 hp (1,080 kW) each
  • 15.25 knots (28.24 km/h; 17.55 mph) surfaced
  • 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph) submerged
Range: 4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph) surfaced
Test depth: 300 ft (91 m) max
Complement: 59

HMS Truant was a T-class submarine of the Royal Navy. She was laid down by Vickers Armstrong, Barrow and launched on 5 May 1939.


Truant had a relatively active career serving in the main naval theatres of war - Home waters, the Mediterranean and the Pacific Far East.

Home waters[edit]

Truant's first major victory came when she torpedoed and damaged the German light cruiser Karlsruhe off Kristiansand, Norway, which disabled both engines and power stations. Karlsruhe had to be scuttled with two torpedoes by the German torpedo boat Greif. Truant later attacked the British merchant Alster, unaware that it had been recently captured from the Germans, but her torpedoes missed. She also intercepted the German merchant Tropic Sea. Tropic Sea had formerly been in Norwegian service, but had been captured by the German armed merchant cruiser Orion in the South Pacific. As well as 8,000 tons of wheat, she had on board the captain and 22 survivors of the British SS Haxby, which had been sunk by the raider, as well as her own Norwegian crew.[1] Tropic Sea was scuttled by the German prize crew in the Bay of Biscay. Truant embarked the captain and survivors of Haxby, and the master of Tropic Sea and his wife. The majority of the Norwegians were rescued by British flying boats.

Truant had a narrow escape when she was attacked by the River-class submarine Clyde, who had mistaken her for an enemy submarine. Fortunately, Clyde's torpedoes missed.


Assigned to the Mediterranean in mid 1940, Truant went on to sink a number of enemy ships, including the Italian merchant vessels Providenza, Sebastiano Bianchi and Multedo, the Italian tankers Bonzo and Meteor, the Italian auxiliary submarine chaser Vanna, the Italian passenger/cargo ship Bengasi and the German merchantman Virginia S. Truant also damaged the small Italian tanker Prometeo and the Italian torpedo boat Alcione, which was later declared a total loss. She also unsuccessfully attacked the Italian merchant vessels Utilitas, Silvia Tripcovich, Bainsizza and Arborea, the small Italian tanker Labor and the German merchantman Bellona.

Far East[edit]

Truant was assigned to operate in the Far East, against Japanese shipping in 1942. She torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant cargo ships Yae Maru and Shunsei Maru and the Japanese army cargo ship Tamon Maru No.1. She also attacked the Japanese light cruiser Nagara, but the torpedoes missed their target.[2] She was also prominent at the Battle of Badung Strait.

Post war[edit]

Truant survived the war and was sold to be broken up for scrap on 19 December 1945. She was wrecked in December 1946 whilst en route to the shipbreakers.


  • Innes McCartney (2002). Lost Patrols: Submarine Wrecks of the English Channel. 


  1. ^ His Majesty's Submarines, HMSO 1945 p27
  2. ^ HMS Truant,

External links[edit]