Allied Warships

HMS Spearfish (N 69)

Submarine of the S class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantN 69 
Built byCammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.) 
Ordered18 Feb 1935 
Laid down23 May 1935 
Launched21 Apr 1936 
Commissioned11 Dec 1936 
Lost1 Aug 1940 
Loss position58° 07'N, 1° 32'E

HMS Spearfish (Lt.Cdr. John Hay Forbes, DSO, RN) sailed from Rosyth on 31 July 1940. The next day she was hit by 1 torpedo from the German submarine U-34 and sank about 130 nautical miles north-east of Aberdeen, Scotland in position 58º07'N, 01º32'E. U-34 was returning from her last patrol as a combat boat. She had only one torpedo remaining after a succesful patrol (already 4 ships sunk). The u-boat picked up the sole survivor from HMS Spearfish.


Hit by U-boat
Sunk on 1 Aug 1940 by U-34 (Rollmann).

U-boat AttackSee our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Spearfish

Commands listed for HMS Spearfish (N 69)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

1Lt. John Henry Eaden, RN17 Dec 193812 Nov 1939

2Lt.Cdr. John Hay Forbes, RNFeb 19402 Aug 1940 (+)

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Notable events involving Spearfish include:

24 Sep 1939
HMS Spearfish (Lt. J.H. Eaden, RN) was heavily damaged by German warships off Horns Reef. She was unable to submerge but nevertheless managed to escape. A rescue mission was undertaken by the British Humber force and Home fleet. Spearfish safely put in Rosyth on the 26th. Repairs to Spearfish were completed in early March 1940.

11 Apr 1940
While patrolling in the Kattegat HMS Spearfish (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Forbes, RN) torpedoed and damaged the German pocket battleship L?tzow 6 nautical miles north of Skagen, Denmark in position 57°50'N, 11°00'E putting her out of action for over a year as repairs were only completed in June 1941.

20 May 1940
HMS Spearfish (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Forbes, DSO, RN) sank the Danish fishing vessels S. 130 and S.175 with gunfire in the North Sea in approximate position 55°00'N, 03°30'E.

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor

Submarines versus U-boats

Jones, Geoffrey

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