HMS Turpin (P354)

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HMS Turpin.jpg
HMS Turpin
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Turpin
Builder: Chatham Dockyard
Laid down: 24 May 1943
Launched: 5 August 1943
Commissioned: 18 December 1944
Fate: sold to Israeli Navy as INS Leviathan in 1965
TURPIN badge-1-.jpg
Name: INS Leviathan
Commissioned: 1967
Fate: scrapped 1978
General characteristics
  • 1,290 tons surfaced
  • 1,560 tons submerged
Length: 276 ft 6 in (84.28 m)
Beam: 25 ft 6 in (7.77 m)
  • 12 ft 9 in (3.89 m) forward
  • 14 ft 7 in (4.45 m) aft
  • Two shafts
  • Twin diesel engines 2,500 hp (1.86 MW) each
  • Twin electric motors 1,450 hp (1.08 MW) each
  • 15.5 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: 61
  • 6 internal forward-facing 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes
  • 2 external forward-facing torpedo tubes
  • 2 external amidships rear-facing torpedo tubes
  • 1 external rear-facing torpedo tubes
  • 6 reload torpedoes
  • QF 4 inch (100 mm) deck gun
  • 3 anti aircraft machine guns

HMS Turpin (pennant number P354) was one a group three T-class submarines of the Royal Navy which entered service in the last few months of World War II. So far she has been the only ship of the Royal Navy to be named Turpin. She was sold to Israel in 1965 and commissioned into the Israeli Sea Corps in 1967 as INS Leviathan.[1]


Turpin was laid down at Chatham Dockyard on 24 May 1943, was launched on 5 August 1944 and completed on 18 December 1944 (although she had already been commissioned on 1 October that year).[2][3] Turpin was a Group 3 T-class submarine, of all-welded construction.[4]


As HMS Turpin[edit]

At the end of the war, all surviving Group 1 and Group 2 boats were scrapped, but the group 3 boats (which were of welded rather than riveted construction) were retained and fitted with snort masts. In 1955, Turpin was inside the arctic circle on an ELINT mission, listening for specific frequency bands of Soviet radars. Suddenly, the ELINT specialist noted an unusual signal that was from a very short range radar. The operator registered that they were about to be rammed by a Soviet Navy surface vessel, and a crash dive was ordered. The Turpin submerged below a cold water line which allowed them to evade Soviet sonar and escape.[5]

Turpin was sold to the Israeli Navy in 1965, and renamed Leviathan, after a biblical sea monster.

As INS Leviathan[edit]

The submarine was purchased by Israel, along with two of her T-class sisters, in 1965, HMS Truncheon and HMS Totem. She was commissioned into the Israeli Sea Corps in 1967.

She was eventually scrapped in 1978. A Dolphin class submarine named Leviathan was commissioned in 2000 to the Israeli Navy.


  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "HMS Turpin (P 354)". Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  2. ^ Blackman 1962, p. 276
  3. ^ "Turpin Returns: Transfers to Israeli Navy". Navy News (126). December 1964. p. 1. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  4. ^ Kemp 1990, pp. 20–21
  5. ^ Richard Aldrich, GCHQ, (London: Harper Collins, 2010), p. 171.