Allied Warships

HMS Triad (N 53)

Submarine of the T class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassT 
PennantN 53 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered8 Dec 1937 
Laid down24 Mar 1938 
Launched5 May 1939 
Commissioned16 Sep 1939 
Lost15 Oct 1940 
Loss position38° 16'N, 17° 37'E
HistoryAt 0110 hours the Italian submarine Enrico Toti (C.C. Bandino Bandini) encounters a British submarine in position 38º16'N, 17º37'E described as of the Perseus class and they pass at close range on opposite course as the Italian submarine rakes his opponent with machinegun fire and fires three rounds of 4" with her deck gun claiming two direct hits. The British submarine fires back scoring a hit on the conning tower of Toti but this caused only slight damage and wounding two sailors. A torpedo misses the Italian submarine by a few meters. As the British submarine pulls away it submerges but by this time Toti has also launched a torpedo which makes a direct hit. It is almost certain that her victim was HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. George Stevenson Salt, RN). She will be the only British submarine to be sunk by an Italian submarine during the war. 

Commands listed for HMS Triad (N 53)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Ronald McClellan Powning Jonas, RN2 Apr 193927 Feb 1940
2Lt.Cdr. Eric Roland John Oddie, RN27 Feb 194015 Aug 1940
3Lt.Cdr. George Stevenson Salt, RN15 Aug 194015 Oct 1940 (+)

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Notable events involving Triad include:


The history of HMS Triad as compiled on this page is extracted from Triad's patrol reports and logbooks. Corrections and details regarding information from the enemy's side (for instance the composition of convoys attacked) is kindly provided by Mr. Platon Alexiades, a naval researcher from Canada.

16 Sep 1939
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) departed from her builders yard at Barrow for Portsmouth. She is escorted by HMS Shikari (Cdr. J.H. Lewis, RN).

18 Sep 1939
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) arrived at Portsmouth to begin a period of trials and training.

29 Sep 1939
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) departed from Portsmouth for Portland, where she is to conduct torpedo trials. She arrived at Portland later the same day.

5 Oct 1939
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) departed from Portland for Portsmouth where she arrived after a few hours.

8 Oct 1939
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) departed from Portsmouth for Dundee.

10 Oct 1939
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) arrived at Dundee.

14 Oct 1939
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) departed from Dundee for Rosyth where she arrived after a few hours.

At 1705 hours Triad departed Rosyth for her 1st war patrol. She is to patrol off the South coast of Norway.

5 Nov 1939
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Rosyth.

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


HMS Triad 1st war patrolclick here for bigger map

18 Nov 1939
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the South coast of Norway.

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


HMS Triad 2nd war patrolclick here for bigger map

27 Nov 1939
At 0015 hours, in very heavy weather and rough seas, HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN), while in position 58°45'N, 05°23'E, develops problems with her after hydroplanes. The result of these problems is that she was not under control. Repairs could not be made and after a few hours a signal was made to base requesting a tow and escort.

At 1100 hours three Hudson aircraft arrived on the scene and patrolled overhead.

At 1500 hours the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN) and HMS Maori (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN) arrived on the scene.

At 1615 hours Triad was taken in tow by HMS Inglefied, however at 1800 hours the tow parted and efforts to resume towing failed.

28 Nov 1939
Several attempts to connect a towline from HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN) to HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) were made but all failed due to the very heavy weather and rough seas.

At 0900 hours Triad was ordered to proceed astern up wind. A speed of two knots could be maintained.

At 0940 hours - Three Hudson aircraft arrived to provide cover.

29 Nov 1939
0900 hours - Triad was taken in tow by HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN) at a speed of 4 knots.

1140 hours - The Admiralty ordered the ships to proceed into Norwegian waters. Triad was to effect repairs in neutral waters.

30 Nov 1939
0545 hours - HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN), towed by HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN) and escorted by HMS Maori (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN) arrived in Norwegian waters in Mastrafjord.

Around 0730 hours all ships anchored in Mastra Fjord. After talks with Norwegian officials permission was granted that Triad could make repairs to her after hydroplanes.

1636 hours - Triad was taken in tow by a tug to Stavanger where she arrived at 2011 hours.

1 Dec 1939
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) is put on the slip, stern first, at Stavanger, Norway. As the slipway could not accommodate ships over 1000 tons, Triad is only partially out of the water.

2 Dec 1939
At 1315 hours, the submarine is visited by Rear-Admiral Diesen, C. in C. of the Royal Norwegian Navy who assures Lt. Cdr. Jonas that he has personally flown over the fjord to make sure that no German warships lurks in the vicinity. At 1422 hours HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) is put back in the water. She departed from for Rosyth immediately.

4 Dec 1939
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Rosyth.

5 Dec 1939
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) is docked at Rosyth for repairs.

12 Dec 1939
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) left dock.

13 Dec 1939
Upon completion of the repairs to her aft hydroplanes HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 3rd war patrol. This is a short patrol in the North Sea.

For the daily position of HMS Triad during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Triad 3rd war patrolclick here for bigger map

15 Dec 1939
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Rosyth.

16 Dec 1939
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) departed from Rosyth for convoy escort duties. She is part of the escort of convoy ON-5 from Methyl to Norway. Other ships of the escort force were HMS Afridi (Capt. G.H. Creswell, DSC, RN), HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN) and HMS Maori (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN). HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN) joined at sea on 18 December.

For the daily positions of HMS Triad during this convoy passage and short patrol see the map below.


HMS Triad convoys ON-5 and HN-5click here for bigger map

19 Dec 1939
Convoy ON-5 arrived in Norwegian waters. As convoy HN-5 was delayed for 48 hours the destroyers proceeded to Sollom Voe, Shetland Islands, to refuel. In the meantime Triad would patrol off the Fr?ysj?en Fjord.

21 Dec 1939
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) joins convoy HN-5 from Norway to Methil. Escort was provided by HMS Afridi (Capt. G.H. Creswell, DSC, RN), HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN), HMS Maori (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN) and HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN). HMS Escapade (Cdr. H.R. Graham, RN) later joined at sea.

24 Dec 1939
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) arrived at Rosyth.

14 Jan 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the South coast of Norway and in the Skagerrak / Kattegat.

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


HMS Triad 4th war patrolclick here for bigger map

28 Jan 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) ended her 4th war patrol at Rosyth.

11 Feb 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 5th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the South coast of Norway.

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


HMS Triad 5th war patrolclick here for bigger map

26 Feb 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) ended her 5th war patrol at Rosyth.

28 Feb 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) is docked at Rosyth.

2 Mar 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) left dock.

13 Mar 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 6th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the North Sea and Skagerrak.

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


HMS Triad 6th war patrolclick here for bigger map

25 Mar 1940
The German merchant ship Ostpreussen (3014 GRT, built 1920) is observed aground off Hirtshalls. She is in Danish territorial waters and cannot be attacked.

27 Mar 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) ended her 6th war patrol at Rosyth.

8 Apr 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 7th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Skagerrak.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Triad during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Triad 7th war patrolclick here for bigger map

11 Apr 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) torpedoed and sank the German troop transport Ionia (3102 GRT, built 1922) in the Skagerrak south of the Oslofjord, Norway in position 58°30'N, 10°35'E.

0630 hours - Commenced attack on 4000 tons merchant vessel in position 58°55'N, 10°32E'. Two torpedoes were fired, the second torpedo hit the target. She sank at 0705 hours after an attempt to take her in tow fails.

Triad was hunted by A/S trawlers during the whole day.

13 Apr 1940
At 1250 hours HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) is bombed by an aircraft while submerged at 50 feet. The sea is glassy calm but the submarine escapes damage (position is near 58°52'N, 10°20'E).

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At 2200 hours Triad sights two destroyers crossing her stern, she cannot turn fast enough to fire her torpedoes. The patrol report notes tersely 'the lack of a stern tube was keenly felt'. The targets may have been the German torpedo-boats Jaguar and Falke which have sailed from Kristiansand for Fredrikshaven but this would mean that the submarine was some 60 miles off position. Her log lacks precision due to the stress of working deeply in enemy waters so the error is not impossible. Otherwise, the vessels may have been enemy A/S trawlers.

14 Apr 1940
While patrolling off the Oslo Fjord, an area that was heavily patrolled by German A/S vessels and aircraft, HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) attacks a convoy of two merchant vessel escorted by a destroyer and later a destroyer with torpedoes. Both attacks however failed to produce hits on the targets.

1748 hours - In position 58°49'N, 10°45'E fired two torpedoes against two merchant vessels escorted by a destroyer. Range was very long, 12000 yards. No hits were obtained.

2130 hours - Surfaced.

2204 hours - Sighted a destroyer in position 58°44'N, 10°19'E. Fired two torpedoes. Range was 2 nautical miles. No hits were obtained.

2205 hours - Dived. Another ship, possibly a cruiser passed overhead.

15 Apr 1940
While charging the batteries on the surface HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) is detected by an enemy surface vessel. Triad dived and was depth charged.

2312 hours - In position 58°43'N, 09°50'E two flares were fired into the air about one nautical mile away. Triad dived and was subsequently depth charged. Eight charges were dropped, all were fairly close.

0047 hours (16th) - Surfaced.

These events had most likely something to do with the sinking of the German gunnery training ship Brummer that was torpedoed and sunk by HMS Sterlet around that time. Brummer was escorted by the Torpedo boats Falke, Jaguar and the sloop F 5.

19 Apr 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) fires four torpedoes against a German convoy in the Skagerrak south of the Oslofjord in position 58°18'N, 10°49'E. All torpedoes fired however missed their target.

0445 hours - Sighted ' what was thought to be the German depot ship Tsingtao escorted by four A/S trawlers. Started attack.

0459 hours - In position 58°18'N, 10°49'E fired four torpedoes from 9000 yards. All missed.

The targets were actually M 581/Nautilus escorting Moltekefels (7862 GRT, built 1940), Hanau (5892 GRT, built 1921) and Porto Alegre (6105 GRT, built 1936) that were returning to Germany.

20 Apr 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) attacked a German convoy with six torpedoes. One or two hits were claimed.

0930 hours - Sighted a convoy of three ships escorted by four destroyers and one MTB.

1008 hours - Near position 58°14'N, 10°50'E fired six torpedoes from 2700 yards. Triad went deep upon firing. One or two hits were claimed.

1020 hours - Depth charging started. They were quite close causing some minor damage. Triad retired to the South at slow speed. HE slowly faded away.

Triad had now expanded all torpedoes.

According to German sources this convoy was made up of Togo (5042 GRT, built 1938), Pionier (3264 GRT, built 1934) and Ahrensburg (2988 GRT, built 1939). They were escorted by the torpedo-boats Jaguar, Falke, escort vessels F-5, F-8 and five R-boats. No torpedo hits were obtained.

23 Apr 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) ended her 7th war patrol at Rosyth.

6 May 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 8th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the North Sea to the North-West of the Dutch coast.

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


HMS Triad 8th war patrolclick here for bigger map

9 May 1940
At 0047 hours HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) sighted a submarine on the surface in position 53°22'N, 03°36'E. This was thought to be the French submarine Calypso (Lieutenant de Vaisseau (= Lt.) J.M. Petit).

In fact it was German U-boat U-7 that also reported sighting a submarine at 0145 hours (zone +1 = German time) in position 53?21N, 03?45'E.

15 May 1940
At 1200 hours HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) stops the Danish fishing trawler Siscator (33 GRT) in position 54°36'N, 04°00'E. (The Danish Siscator was fishing from the Dutch port of IJmuiden). After inspection she was allowed to proceed.

18 May 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) ended her 8th war patrol at Rosyth.

29 May 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 9th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the North Sea to the North-West of the Dutch coast.

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


HMS Triad 9th war patrolclick here for bigger map

12 Jun 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) ended her 9th war patrol at Rosyth.

15 Jun 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) is docked at Rosyth.

19 Jun 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) left dock.

27 Jun 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 10th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the West coast of Norway, near Trondheim.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Triad during this patrol see the map below.


HMS Triad 10th war patrolclick here for bigger map

28 Jun 1940
At 0855 hours HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) is bombed by a biplane believed to have been a German Heinkel 59 in position 57°24'N, 00°36'E. Triad escapes without damage.

3 Jul 1940
At 2330 hours HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) is bombed by a flying boat as she is charging her batteries near position near 64°53'N, 07°59'E. Triad suffers no damage.

7 Jul 1940
At 1930 hours HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, RN) is bombed by a seaplane near position 65°15'N, 08°32'E and sustains slight damage to the CO2 cooling system, lamps and telephones.

9 Jul 1940
HMS Triad (Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, DSO, RN) makes a torpedo attack on a so far unidentified vessel. The vessel had Swedish markings on her side but might have been a German Q-ship.

0525 hours - In position 65°29'N, 07°03'E fired two torpedoes against a vessel with Swedish markings on her side. The target was about the size of a large trawler. Range was 1000 yards. Both torpedoes were set to 4 feet and due to the heavy swell they may have been affected.

13 Jul 1940
HMS Triad (Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, DSO, RN) ended her 10th war patrol at Rosyth.

27 Jul 1940
HMS Triad (Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, DSO, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 11th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the West coast of Norway, near Bergen.

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


HMS Triad 11th war patrolclick here for bigger map

3 Aug 1940
HMS Triad (Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, DSO, RN) attacks German U-boat U-46 with gunfire. U-46 dived before hits were obtained.

2218 hours - Dived near position 58°33'N, 01°23'E. Almost at once picked up loud diesel HE. Shortly afterwards sighted a type 7 U-boat 1000 yards away.

2230 hours - Surfaced for gun action. Fired three rounds at a range of 3500 yards before the U-boat dived. The last shot was seen to fall close to the U-boat.

2235 hours - Dived and manoeuvred to attack with torpedoed or to ram. Contact was however soon lost.

4 Aug 1940
HMS Triad (Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, DSO, RN) ended her 11th war patrol at Rosyth.

8 Aug 1940
HMS Triad (Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, DSO, RN) proceeds from Rosyth to Dundee.

9 Aug 1940
HMS Triad (Cdr. E.R.J. Oddie, DSO, RN) is docked at Dundee for a short refit before she is to proceed to the Mediterranean.

18 Aug 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. G.S. Salt, RN) left dock.

23 Aug 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. G.S. Salt, RN) proceeds from Dundee to Rosyth. At Rosyth she is docked immediately.

24 Aug 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. G.S. Salt, RN) left dock.

29 Aug 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. G.S. Salt, RN) departed from Rosyth for Gibraltar.

As no log is available for this period it is not possible to display Triad's daily positions (on a map).

6 Sep 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. G.S. Salt, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

11 Sep 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. G.S. Salt, RN) departed from Gibraltar for her 12th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Tyrrhenian Sea to the South of 39°30'N.

The is no patrol report or log available for this patrol. The exploits of Triad during this patrol as thus unknown to us.

2 Oct 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. G.S. Salt, RN) ended her 12th war patrol at Malta.

9 Oct 1940
HMS Triad (Lt.Cdr. G.S. Salt, RN) departed from Malta for her 13th war patrol.

Triad has been assigned an initial position of 38°36'N, 17°02'E and from there in a rectangle area of 30 x 40 nautical miles delimited approximately by:
(1) 38°24'N, 16°51'E,
(2) 38°48'N, 17°13'E,
(3) 38°25'N, 17°55'E,
(4) 38°01'N, 17°32'E.

Triad was due to arrive at Alexandria at sunset of 20 October 1940. Therefore she had to leave her patrol area late on 14 October.

For the patrol area of HMS Triad during this patrol see the map below. Also plotted on this map are two position of attacks by Italian submarines.


HMS Triad 13th war patrolclick here for bigger map

14 Oct 1940
0014 hours the Italian submarine Santorre Santarosa(*) (Capitano di Corvetta Guido Coscia) which has sailed from Messina for a patrol off Crete, sights a submarine at short range, one torpedo is fired but misses. The enemy submarine replies with one torpedo which also misses the Italian submarine on the port side (position: 37°46'N, 17°35'E). This is about 15 miles outside HMS Triad's patrol area but it is not impossible that she was the submarine involved.

(*) To my knowledge, no one has ever made the connection of this attack with HMS Triad (Platon Alexiades).

Media links


The T-class Submarine

Kemp, Paul J.


Discharged Dead

Hart, Sydney


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