Allied Warships

HMS Unity (N 66)

Submarine of the U class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassU 
PennantN 66 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered5 Nov 1936 
Laid down19 Feb 1937 
Launched16 Feb 1938 
Commissioned5 Oct 1938 
Lost29 Apr 1940 
Loss position55° 13'N, 1° 19'W
History

At 1730 hours on 29 April 1940 HMS Unity (Lt. Francis John Brooks, RN) sailed from Blyth to patrol off Norway. The visibility was down to 300 yards as Unity moved out of the harbour in the main channel, where the Norwegian ship Atle Jarl was proceeding on her way from Scotland to the Tyne. A short while later visibility was down to 100 yards and neither vessel was aware of the other until the submarine spotted the ship at 50 yards and on a collision course. There was just time to shut the bulkhead doors and order the engines astern before the Atle Jarl smashed into the submarine. The order to abandon the submarine was given and Unity sank only five minutes after the collision in position 55º13'N, 01º19'W.

 

Commands listed for HMS Unity (N 66)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt. John Frederick Beaufoy Brown, RN15 Jun 193920 Apr 1940
2Lt. Francis John Brooks, RN20 Apr 194029 Apr 1940

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Notable events involving Unity include:


The history of HMS Unity as compiled on this page is extracted from the logbooks and patrol reports of this submarine.

This page was last updated in November 2012.

31 Aug 1939
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) departed Blyth to take up a patrol position in the Heligoland Bight. When war broke out between Britain and Germany this became her 1st war patrol.

For the daily positions of HMS Unity during this patrol see the map below.


View HMS Unity 1st war patrol in a larger map (1)

13 Sep 1939
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Blyth.

All three U-class boats suffered from engine defects upon returning from patrol. Unity was out of action for about four weeks. (1)

11 Oct 1939
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) conducted engine trials off Blyth. (2)

12 Oct 1939
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) conducted engine trials off Blyth. (2)

13 Oct 1939
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) conducted engine trials off Blyth. (2)

14 Oct 1939
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) departed Blyth for Rosyth where she arrived later the same day. (2)

15 Oct 1939
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) departed Blyth for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the West coast of Denmark.

For the daily positions of HMS Unity during this patrol see the map below.


View HMS Unity 2nd war patrol in a larger map (1)

27 Oct 1939
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Rosyth. (1)

5 Nov 1939
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) departed Rosyth for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Skagerrak.

For the daily positions of HMS Unity during this patrol see the map below.


View HMS Unity 3rd war patrol in a larger map (1)

21 Nov 1939
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Blyth. (1)

28 Nov 1939
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) departed Blyth for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to cover the retreat of the damaged HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN).

No log or patrol report are available so no map can be displayed. (1)

2 Dec 1939
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) ended her 4th war patrol at Blyth. (1)

13 Dec 1939
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) departed Blyth for her 5th war patrol as large German warships had been sighted. Unity was recalled the next day.

No log or patrol report are available so no map can be displayed. (1)

15 Dec 1939
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) ended her 5th war patrol at Blyth. (1)

21 Dec 1939
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) departed Blyth for her 6th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the West coast of Denmark.

For the daily positions of HMS Unity during this patrol see the map below.


View HMS Unity 6th war patrol in a larger map (1)

5 Jan 1940
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) ended her 6th war patrol at Blyth. (1)

12 Jan 1940
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) was docked at Blyth.

Undocking date is not known but this was most likely on or around 24 January. (3)

7 Feb 1940
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) departed Blyth for Portsmouth. (3)

8 Feb 1940
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) arrived at Portsmouth. (3)

25 Feb 1940
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) departed Portsmouth for Harwich. (3)

26 Feb 1940
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) arrived at Harwich. (3)

29 Feb 1940
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) departed Blyth for her 7th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Norway.

No log is available so no map can be displayed. (1)

11 Mar 1940
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) ended her 7th war patrol at Blyth. (1)

24 Mar 1940
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) departed Blyth for her 8th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Skagerrak.

No log is available so no map can be displayed. (1)

30 Mar 1940
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) ended her 8th war patrol at Blyth. (1)

2 Apr 1940
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) departed Blyth for her 9th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the West coast of Denmark and later in the Skagerrak.

No log or patrol report are available so no map can be displayed. (1)

5 Apr 1940
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) attacked German U-boat U-2 with three torpedoes in the North Sea in position 56°03'N, 06°35'E. The torpedoes however miss the target.

0837 hours - In position 56°03'N, 06°35'E sighted a outward bound uboat. There was a very rough sea and a heavy swell at the time, making depth keeping extremely difficult. The uboat, which appeared to be of the 250 tons class, was first seen at a range of 3000 yards. The four internal bow tubes were brought to the ready but the outer door of no. 4 tube could not be opened so t could not be fired.

0848 hours - Fired three torpedoes from 2000 yards. Two torpedo explosions were heard one at 0856 hours and one at 0902 hours. HE of the target was still heard after the first explosion but owning to the state of the sea the target could not be seen. It was feared the attack was not succesful. (1)

9 Apr 1940
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) was hunted and depth charged by what was thought to be a German 'Q-ship'. Unity managed to escape without damage.

1600 hours - Unity surfaced for a sun sight in position 55°58'N, 06°33'E. Upon surfacing a vessel was sighted hull down to the Northward. Dived and set a course to close.

1650 hours - The vessel was now at only 1000 yards range. The Asdic operator reported that she had stopped her engines. Shortly afterwards two depth charges exploded close by. Unity now tried to get into an attack position as this vessel was now cleary hostile. The attempts however failed as the target kept bows on.

1710 hours - The attemps to get into a firing position were now abandoned and Unity retired slowly to the West.

1724 hours - Speed was now increased. This was immediately followed by four depth charges.

1726 hours - Four more depth charges were dropped.

1728 hours - Six more depth charges were dropped. The enemy was heard to steam up and down.

1755 hours - Three more depth charges were dropped.

1840 hours - Two more depth charges were dropped. These were not very close.

1930 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight. (1)

17 Apr 1940
HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) ended her 9th war patrol at Blyth. (1)

Sources

  1. ADM 199/1814
  2. ADM 173/16243
  3. ADM 199/2573

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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