HMS Undine (N48)

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Hms undine submarine.jpg
HMS Undine
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Undine
Builder: Vickers Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness
Laid down: 19 February 1937
Launched: 5 October 1937
Commissioned: 21 August 1938
Fate: Scuttled 7 January 1940
Badge: UNDINE badge-1-.jpg
General characteristics
Class and type: U-class submarine
  • Surfaced - 540 tons standard, 630 tons full load
  • Submerged - 730 tons
Length: 58.22 m (191 ft 0 in)
Beam: 4.90 m (16 ft 1 in)
Draught: 4.62 m (15 ft 2 in)
  • 2 shaft diesel-electric
  • 2 Paxman Ricardo diesel generators + electric motors
  • 615 hp (459 kW) / 825 hp (615 kW)
  • 11.25 kn (20.84 km/h; 12.95 mph) max surfaced
  • 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph) max submerged
Complement: 27

HMS Undine was a U-class submarine and lead vessel of her class, which is sometimes called the Undine class as a result. The submarine entered service in 1938. Undine performed war patrols during the Second World War and was scuttled after being damaged by German minesweepers off Heligoland on 7 January 1940.

Construction and career[edit]

Undine was built by Vickers Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness. She was laid down on 19 February 1937 and was commissioned on 21 August 1938 with the pennant number N48.

At the onset of the Second World War, Undine was a member of the 6th Submarine Flotilla. From 26–29 August 1939, the flotilla deployed to its war bases at Dundee and Blyth.[1]


Undine was on her fourth war patrol in January 1940 when her sonar failed due to a leak. At 0940 on 7 January, she sighted what was thought to be three trawlers 20 miles (32 km) west of Heligoland; but were in fact the German auxiliary minesweepers M-1201, M-1204 and M-1207. She unsuccessfully attacked the leading vessel, but the minesweepers counter attacked and forced her to dive. Undine was at 50 feet (15 m) and proceeding blind due to the loss of sonar. After five minutes with no further attacks, she raised her periscope. As she did so, an explosion shook the submarine, blowing her upwards and rendering the hydroplanes useless. Without the use of the hydroplanes, escape would have been impossible and the order to abandon ship was given. Whilst the crew entered the water, to be picked up by the minesweepers, Undine was scuttled.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rohwer, p.1
  2. ^ "Submarine losses 1904 to present day". RN Submarine Museum, Gosport. Archived from the original on 8 August 2007. 
  3. ^ "HMS Undine (i) (N 48)". Retrieved 9 April 2016. 


Coordinates: 54°5′53″N 7°24′17″E / 54.09806°N 7.40472°E / 54.09806; 7.40472