Allied Warships

HMS Seal (37 M)

Submarine of the Porpoise class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassPorpoise 
Pennant37 M 
Built byChatham Dockyard (Chatham, U.K.) 
Ordered1 Jul 1936 
Laid down9 Dec 1936 
Launched27 Sep 1938 
Commissioned24 May 1939 
Lost5 May 1940 
History

Captured by the Germans on 5 May 1940 after being damaged by a mine the day before.

More information can be found here. and below in the events.

 

Commands listed for HMS Seal (37 M)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Rupert Philip Lonsdale, RN1 Nov 19385 May 1940

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Notable events involving Seal include:


1 Sep 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) arrived at Aden.

Seal is on passage from the U.K. to the Far East to join the 1st submarine flotilla based there.

5 Sep 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) departed Aden for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the southern entrance to the Red Sea.

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

9 Sep 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) briefly put into Perim harbour. She departed later the same day to resume her patrol.

12 Sep 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) briefly put into Perim harbour. She departed later the same day to resume her patrol.

14 Sep 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Aden.

19 Sep 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) departed Aden for her 2nd war patrol. Again she was ordered to patrol off the southern entrance to the Red Sea.

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

21 Sep 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) put into Perim harbour.

22 Sep 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) departed Perim harbour to resume her war patrol.

27 Sep 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Aden.

28 Sep 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) departed Aden for Alexandria. It had been decided that HMS Seal was to return to the U.K.

For the daily positions of HMS Seal during the passage Aden – Portsmouth see the map below.

3 Oct 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) arrived at Port Said. She departed later the same day for Alexandria.

4 Oct 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) arrived at Alexandria.

7 Oct 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) departed Alexandria for Malta.

10 Oct 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) arrived at Malta.

11 Oct 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) departed Malta for Gibraltar.

15 Oct 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. She departed for Portsmouth later the same day.

20 Oct 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) arrived at Portsmouth.

24 Oct 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) was docked at Portsmouth.

28 Oct 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) was undocked.

HMS Seal then departed Portsmouth for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the North Sea near the Doggerbank. She was escorted until 0420/29 by HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. Sir M. Culme-Seymour, RN).

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

7 Nov 1939
At 0750 hours (zone -1) HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) arrived in the rendez-vous position (about 40 nautical miles east of Harwich (approx. 52.00'N, 02.11'E) where destroyer HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Kingdon, RN) was already waiting. As HMS L 26 (Lt.Cdr. F.W. Lipscomb, OBE, RN) and HMS Cachalot (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN) had not yet arrived A/S practice was given to HMS Seal, while doing so a seaplane was circling then at distance of about 4 miles for half an hour. It then disappeared but returned a few minutes later and bombed them. No damage was done to either Seal or Boadicea though.

8 Nov 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Portsmouth.

11 Nov 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) departed Portsmouth for her 4th war patrol. She was to provide ocean escort for convoy O.A. 33 together with HMS Cachalot (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN).

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

23 Nov 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) ended her 4th war patrol at Halifax.

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

This was Seal's 5th war patrol.

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

14 Dec 1939
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) ended her 5th war patrol at Portsmouth.

2 Jan 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) conducted exercises off Portsmouth.

3 Jan 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) conducted exercises off Portsmouth.

5 Jan 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) conducted exercises off Portsmouth.

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

10 Jan 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) arrived at Rosyth.

21 Jan 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) departed Rosyth for her 6th war patrol. She was to patrol in the North Sea.

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

23 Jan 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) ended her 6th war patrol at Rosyth.

24 Jan 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) joined convoy ON 9 off Methil. The convoy was to proceed to Bergen, Norway where it arrived on the 27th.

At Bergen convoy HN 9A was then formed. This convoy was then escorted to Methil where it arrived on the 31th.

This was Seal's 7th war patrol.

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

31 Jan 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) ended her 7th war patrol at Rosyth.

4 Feb 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) conducted exercises off Rosyth.

5 Feb 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) departed Rosyth for her 8th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the Southern Norwegian coast and to capture a German iron ore carrier and sent her to Kirkwall. If this was not possible a neutral iron ore carrier was to be seized and sent to Kirkwall. Seal had embarked a boarding party.

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

23 Feb 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) ended her 8th war patrol at Rosyth.

27 Feb 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) was docked at Rosyth.

7 Mar 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) was undocked.

12 Mar 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) departed Rosyth for her 9th war patrol.

She is to patrol in the Skagerrak as a cover for Operation R.3, an attempt to intervene in Norway by using the pretext of assistance to Finland. The operation will be cancelled the following day when the news of an armistice between Finnish and Soviet forces has been signed.

HMS Seal remained on patrol.

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

25 Mar 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) ended her 9th war patrol at Rosyth.

A new battery was to be fitted to HMS Seal before she could go out on patrol again.

6 Apr 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) departed Rosyth for her 10th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off southern Norway between Egersund and Lindesnes. Later she moved to the Stavanger area.

8 Apr 1940
Late in the evening HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) collided with the Estonian merchant Otto (1954 GRT, built 1918) in thick fog. Seal sustained minor damage and was able to remain on patrol.

13 Apr 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) closed the harbour of Stavanger, Norway. No enemy warships or merchants were sighted inside the harbour. Seal then withdrew to seaward.

19 Apr 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) ended her 10th war patrol at Rosyth. She departed for Blyth later the same day.

20 Apr 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) arrived at Blyth.

21 Apr 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) was docked at Blyth.

The date of undocking is currently unknown to us.

29 Apr 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) shifted from Blyth to Immingham where she embarked a full outfit of mines.

30 Apr 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) departed Immingham for her 11th war patrol. she was ordered to lay a minefield (F.D. 7) south of the Swedish island of Vinga in the Kattegat, across a German convoy route to Norway.

4 May 1940
HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) succesfully laid minefield F.D. 7 (50 mines) in position 57°33'N, 11°35'E. Shorty after completing the lay she hit a mine herself and was badly damaged. She was put on the bottom until after dark when she surfaced and tried to make for Swedish waters but failed to do so due to the heavy damage.

At 0250/5 she was attacked by German He-115 aircraft from Aalborg, Denmark and then by a German Ar-196 seaplane, which also attacked. Joined by a second 'Arado'. Unable to dive, with her crew suffering from CO2 poisoning, Seal put up a fight but the Lewis gun jammed. At 0630/5 the auxiliary submarine chaser UJ-128 arrived on the scene. The crew of Seal then surrendered, expecting the submarine to sink, but it stayed afloat. All crew taken prisoner except for one casualty. Seal was towed to Frederikshavn, and later to Kiel.

5 May 1940
The small Swedish fishing vessel GG 256 / Almy hits a mine and sinks. The mine was laid by the British submarine HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) in the Kattegat in position 57°33'N, 11°35'E on 4 May 1940.

6 May 1940
The German merchant Vogesen (4241 GRT, built 1904) hits a mine and sinks. The mine was laid by the British submarine HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) in the Kattegat in position 57°33'N, 11°35'E on 4 May 1940.

28 May 1940
The Swedish merchant Torsten (1206 GRT, built 1880) hits a mine and sinks. The mine was laid by the British submarine HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) in the Kattegat in position 57°33'N, 11°35'E on 4 May 1940.

31 May 1940
The small Swedish fishing vessel GG 5 / Mode hits a mine and sinks. The mine was laid by the British submarine HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) in the Kattegat in position 57°33'N, 11°35'E on 4 May 1940. (see map)

5 Jun 1940
The Danish sailing vessel Skandia (183 GRT) hits a mine and sinks. The mine was laid by the British submarine HMS Seal (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Lonsdale, RN) in the Kattegat in position 57°33'N, 11°35'E on 4 May 1940.


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