Allied Warships

HMS Narwhal (N 45)

Submarine of the Porpoise class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassPorpoise 
PennantN 45 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered15 Mar 1934 
Laid down29 May 1934 
Launched29 Aug 1935 
Commissioned28 Feb 1936 
Lost23 Jul 1940 
History

Lost in the North Sea or off Norway. HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. Ronald James Burch, DSO, RN) sailed from Blyth on 22 July to lay mines off Kristiansund, Norway. A German aircraft (Do-17, Lt. Karl Müller, 1/KF1Gr 606) reported attacking a submarine on the afternoon of 23rd July 1940 about 125 nautical miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland in position 56º50'N, 01º40'E, it was most likely this attack that is responible for the loss off Narwhal as she failed to return to base and was reported overdue on 1 August 1940.

 

Commands listed for HMS Narwhal (N 45)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Eric Roland John Oddie, RN18 Jul 193926 Feb 1940
2Lt.Cdr. Ronald James Burch, RN26 Feb 194023 Jul 1940 (+)

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Notable events involving Narwhal include:


The page for this submarine is currently (October 2014 and onwards) being updated.

4 Sep 1939
After completing a refit at the Devonport Dockyard HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) carried out trials off Plymouth.

Upon completion of these trials course was set for Portsmouth. She was escorted by HMS Shikari (Cdr. J.H. Lewis, RN).

5 Sep 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) arrived at Portsmouth.

6 Sep 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted exercises off Portsmouth.

7 Sep 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. This included laying six dummy mines.

14 Sep 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted exercises off Portsmouth.

15 Sep 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. This included laying ten dummy mines.

19 Sep 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted exercises off Portsmouth.

20 Sep 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted exercises off Portsmouth.

26 Sep 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted exercises off Portsmouth.

27 Sep 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted exercises off Portsmouth.

3 Oct 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) shifted from Portsmouth to Portland.

10 Oct 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted exercises off Portland.

11 Oct 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted exercises off Portland.

12 Oct 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted exercises off Portland.

13 Oct 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted exercises off Portland.

16 Oct 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted exercises off Portland.

18 Oct 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted exercises off Portland.

19 Oct 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted exercises off Portland.

20 Oct 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted exercises off Portland.

21 Oct 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted exercises off Portland.

26 Oct 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted exercises off Portland.

31 Oct 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) shifted from Portland to Portsmouth.

3 Nov 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) departed Portsmouth for passage to Rosyth. She made the passage together with HMS Snapper (Lt. W.D.A. King, DSO, RN). They were escorted by HMS Saladin (Lt.Cdr. L.J. Dover, RN).

In the afternoon they put into Sheerness to await a convoy for onward passage.

4 Nov 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) is ordered to return to Portsmouth instead of proceeding to Rosyth.

7 Nov 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) departed Sheerness for Portsmouth. At sea he joined HMS L 27 (Lt. P.J. Cowell, RN) and their escort HMS Saltburn (Lt.Cdr. G.E.C. Wood, RN).

8 Nov 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) arrived at Portsmouth.

11 Nov 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) was docked at Portsmouth.

14 Nov 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) was undocked.

15 Nov 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) departed Portsmouth for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to proceed to Halifax, Canada escorting convoy OA 36 part of the way.

19 Nov 1939
Convoy OA 36 was dispersed. HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) now proceeded to Halifax.

27 Nov 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Halifax.

29 Nov 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted A/S exercises with HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicolson, RN) and Canadian destroyers.

30 Nov 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted A/S exercises with Canadian destroyers.

2 Dec 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) departed Halifax together with HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN). They were to proceed to the U.K. escorting convoy HXF 11 en-route.

This was Narwhal's 2nd war patrol.

14 Dec 1939
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Portsmouth.

8 Jan 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) departed Portsmouth for Rosyth. She made the passage together with HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN).

10 Jan 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) arrived at Rosyth.

14 Jan 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted exercises in the Firth of Forth.

15 Jan 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) joined convoy ON 8 off Methil. The convoy was to proceed to Bergen, Norway where it arrived on the 19th.

At Bergen convoy HN 8 was then formed. This convoy was then escorted to Methil where it arrived on the 22th.

This was Narwhal's 3rd war patrol.

22 Jan 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Rosyth.

4 Feb 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) conducted exercises in the Firth of Forth.

5 Feb 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) joined convoy ON 10 off Methil. The convoy was to proceed to Bergen, Norway where it arrived on the 8th.

At Bergen convoy HN 10 was then formed. This convoy was then escorted to Methil where it arrived safely on the 11th.

This was Narwhal's 4th war patrol.

11 Feb 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) arrived back at Methil with convoy HN 10.

At Methil she joined convoy ON 11 that was to proceed to Bergen.

12 Feb 1940
During the night of 11/12 February 1940 HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) lost contact with convoy ON 11. Narwhal then returned to Rosyth where she arrived later this day ending her 4th war patrol.

17 Feb 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) joined convoy ON 14 off Methil. The convoy was to proceed to Bergen, Norway where it arrived with some delay on the 22th.

The convoy put into Kirkwall on the 19th as German surface ships had been spotted in the North Sea. The convoy departed again on the 20th.

At Bergen convoy HN 14 was then formed. This convoy was then escorted to Methil where it arrived on the 26th.

This was Narwhal's 5th war patrol.

25 Feb 1940
German U-boat U-63 tried to attack convoy HN 14, in doing so she was sighted by the British submarine HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN). The escorting destroyers HMS Escort (Lt.Cdr. J. Bostock, RN), HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN) and HMS Imogen (Cdr. C.L. Firth, RN) were warned. They located, attacked and sank U-63 with depth charges south east of the Shetland Islands.

26 Feb 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) ended her 5th war patrol at Rosyth.

3 Mar 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) joined convoy ON 17 off Methil. The convoy was to proceed to Bergen, Norway where it arrived 7th.

On the 4th Narwhal left the convoy to proceed to Scapa Flow to participate in direction finding trials.

This was Narwhal's 6th war patrol.

6 Mar 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow ending her 6th war patrol. At Scapa Flow Narwhal was to participate in direction finding trials. Narwhal was delayed for one day by very bad weather en-route.

10 Mar 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow.

12 Mar 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Rosyth. She made the passage together with HMS Swordfish (Lt. P.J. Cowell, RN) that was er-route from Scapa Flow to Rosyth. They were escorted by HMS Buttermere (Lt. E.G.P.B. Knapton, RN).

28 Mar 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) was undocked.

30 Mar 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) laid a dummy minefield south-east of the Firth of Forth, She then set course for Blyth.

31 Mar 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) encountered trawler Polar Prince (194 GRT, built 1915) fishing in the East Coast mine barrage. The ship was placed under arrest and was escorted by Narwhal to Methil.

1 Apr 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) arrived at Blyth. She departed later the same day for Immingham where she was to embark 50 mines.

2 Apr 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) arrived at Immingham. After embarking a full outfit of 50 mines she departed Immingham for her 8th war patrol. She was ordered to lay a minefield in the Heligoland Bight (minefield F.D. 1).

4 Apr 1940
Between 0413 and 0422 hours, HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) laid minefield F.D. 1 (50 mines) in the North Sea in position 54°37'N, 06°35'E.

6 Apr 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) ended her 8th war patrol at Blyth.

7 Apr 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) was docked at Blyth. The date of undocking is currently not known to us.

9 Apr 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) departed Blyth for Immingham to embark a full outfit of 50 mines.

10 Apr 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) arrived at Immingham. After embarking mines she departed later the same day for her 9th war patrol. She was ordered to lay a minefield (F.D. 5) off Skagen.

13 Apr 1940
Between 1628 and 1644 hours HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) laid minefield F.D. 5 (50 mines) north of Laeso Island in position 57°26'N, 10°45'E.

Later the same day Narwhal made a torpedo attack on a German convoy south of Skagen. No hits were obtained.

(All times are zone -1)
2131 hours - Sighted dark objects later identified as a large and a small merchant ship escorted by two torpedo-boats or trawlers. Started attack.

2158 hours - Fired 6 torpedoes from 6000 yards. No hits were obtained.

17 Apr 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) ended her 9th war patrol at Blyth.

20 Apr 1940
The German merchant Togo (5042 GRT, built 1938) is damaged when she hits a mine laid by the British submarine HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) on 13 April 1940 north of Laeso Island in position 57°26'N, 10°45'E

23 Apr 1940
The German auxiliary minesweeper M 1302 / Schwaben (436 GRT, built 1937) is sunk when she hits a mine laid by the British submarine HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) on 13 April 1940 north of Laeso Island in position 57°28'N, 10°46'E.

25 Apr 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) departed Blyth for Immingham to embark a full outfit of 50 mines.

26 Apr 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) arrived at Immingham. After embarking mines she departed later the same day for her 10th war patrol. She was ordered to lay a minefield (F.D. 6) off Skagen.

1 May 1940
Between 0727 and 0753 hours HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) laid minefield F.D. 6 (50 mines) in the Kattegat in position 57°30'N, 10°43'E.

Later the same day HMS Narwhal attacked a German convoy and torpedoed and sank the German troop transport Buenos Aires (6097 GRT) and torpedoed and damaged the German troop transport Bahia Castillo (8580 GRT) in the Kattegat in position 57°39'N, 11°03'E.

The Bahia Castillo reaches port but is declared a total loss.

(All times are zone -1)
1725 hours - Sighted 9 or 10 merchant vessels escorted by surface escorts and aircraft. Started attack in which 6 torpedoes were fired from about 1000 yards. All 6 were heard to explode. Several hits must have been obtained ofr sure.

Depth charging started after the 4th torpedo exploded. 75 Charges were dropped during the next 3 hours but they caused no damage to Narwhal.

3 May 1940
The German auxiliary minesweeper M 1102 / H.A.W. Müller is damaged when ship hit a mine laid by the British submarine HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) on 1 May 1940 in the Skagerrak south of Cape Skagen in position 57°30'N, 10°43'E.

5 May 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) ended her 10th war patrol at Immingham.

7 May 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) departed Immingham for her 11th war patrol. She was ordered to lay a minefield (F.D. 10) off Feistein Island, Norway (south-west of Stavanger).

9 May 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) received a signal cancelling minefield F.D. 10. Minefield F.D. 12 had to be laid instead near Bud, Norway.

11 May 1940
Between 1701 and 1730 hours (zone -1) HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) laid minefield F.D. 12 (50 mines) off Bud, Norway in position 62°58'N, 06°48'E.

14 May 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) ended her 11th war patrol at Blyth.

16 May 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) was docked at Blyth. The date of undocking is currently not known to us.

20 May 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) was docked at Blyth. The date of undocking is currently not known to us.

30 May 1940
The German armed trawler V 1109 / Antares (291 GRT, built 1929) sank on a mine laid by the British submarine HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) on 11 May 1940 off Bud, Norway in position 62°58'N, 06°48'E.

31 May 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) departed Blyth for Immingham to embark a full outfit of mines.

1 Jun 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) arrived at Immingham. After embarking mines she departed later the same day for her 12th war patrol. She was ordered to lay a minefield (F.D. 16) off Jaerens, Norway (south of Stavanger).

3 Jun 1940
Between 1937 and 2001 hours (zone -1) HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) laid minefield FD 16 (50 mines) off Jaerens Point, Norway in position 58°46'N, 05°25'E.

5 Jun 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) ended her 12th war patrol at Blyth.

5 Jun 1940
The German merchant Palime (2863 GRT, built 1937) and the German minesweeper M 11 (874 tons, built 1939) both hits mines. The M 11 sank while the Palime is beached and later declared a total loss. The mines were laid by the British submarine HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) on 3 June 1940 off Jaerens Point, Norway in position 58°46'N, 05°25'E.

9 Jun 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) arrived at Immingham. After embarking mines she departed later the same day for her 13th war patrol. She was ordered to lay a minefield (F.D. 19) off Haugesund, Norway.

12 Jun 1940
Between 2119 and 2217 hours (zone -1) HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) laid minefield F.D. 19 (50 mines) off Haugesund, Norway in position 59°26'N, 05°10'E.

Course was then set towards Utsire where Narwhal was to patrol during 13-16 June.

18 Jun 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) ended her 13th war patrol at Blyth.

29 Jun 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, DSO, RN) departed Blyth for Immingham to embark a full outfit of mines.

30 Jun 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, DSO, RN) arrived at Immingham. After embarking mines she departed later the same day for her 14th war patrol. She was ordered to lay a minefield (F.D. 21) off Kristiansund, Norway.

4 Jul 1940
Between 1025 and 1040 hours (zone -1) HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, DSO, RN) laid minefield F.D. 21 (50 mines) north of Kristiansund, Norway in position 63°15'N, 07°39'E.

6 Jul 1940
The German auxiliary submarine chaser UJ D / Treff VIII (356 GRT, built 1937) sank on a mine laid by the British submarine HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, DSO, RN) on 4 July 1940 north of Kristiansund, Norway in position 63°15'N, 07°34'E.

7 Jul 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, DSO, RN) ended her 14th war patrol at Blyth.

20 Jul 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, DSO, RN) departed Blyth for Immingham to embark a full outfit of mines.

Narwhal arrived at Immingham later the same day.

22 Jul 1940
HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, DSO, RN) departed Immingham for her 15th war patrol. She was ordered to lay a minefield (F.D. 22) north-west of Kristiansund, Norway near position 63º16'N, 07º13'E.

28 Sep 1940
The German merchant Clara L. M. Russ (1600 GRT, built 1927) is damaged when she hits a mine laid by the British submarine HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) on 3 June 1940 off Jaerens Point, Norway in position 58°46'N, 05°25'E.

13 Oct 1940
The German auxiliary minesweepers Gnom 7, Kobold 1 and Kobold 3 (all three small former Norwegian fishing vessels) sink on mines laid by the British submarine HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Burch, RN) on 12 June 1940 off the Osterfjord, Norway in position 59°26'N, 05°10'E.


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