Allied Warships

HMS Talisman (N 78)

Submarine of the T class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassT 
PennantN 78 
Built byCammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.) 
Ordered6 May 1938 
Laid down27 Sep 1938 
Launched29 Jan 1940 
Commissioned29 Jun 1940 
Lost17 Sep 1942 
History

HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. Michael Willmott, DSO, RN) left Gibraltar on 10 September 1942 with stores bound for Malta. She reported sighting a U-boat off Philippeville, Algeria on the 15th, but was not heard from again. She is presumed lost on Italian mines in off Sicily on the 17th. She was due to arrive on 18 September 1942.

 

Commands listed for HMS Talisman (N 78)

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

CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Philip Stewart Francis, RN1 Mar 19405 Mar 1941
2Lt. Michael Willmott, RN5 Mar 194118 Sep 1942

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Notable events involving Talisman include:


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

26 Jun 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed from her builders yard at Birkenhead for Greenock.

27 Jun 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) arrived at Greenock for a period of trials and training.

27 Jul 1940
With her trials and training completed HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed Rothesay for her 1st war patrol she is escorted by the ASW trawler HMS Lord Hailsham (Skr. F.J.J. Cannon, RNR). She was ordered to patrol in the Bay of Biscay.

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


Ver HMS Talisman 1st war patrol click here for bigger map

29 Jul 1940
At 1928 hrs, while still under escort and near position 50°06'N, 06°23'W, HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) was bombed by three German Junker 88 aircraft west of Land’s End, she dived to 120 feet and escaped damage.

3 Aug 1940
Between 0045-0145 hours, HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) carried out Special Operation A5/SL02, landing two SIS agents near Hourtin Light (Gironde estuary).

14 Aug 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Falmouth. She departed for Rothesay later the same day.

16 Aug 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) arrived at Rothesay.

6 Sep 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed Rothesay for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol West of the Hebrides.

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


Ver HMS Talisman 2nd war patrol click here for bigger map

13 Sep 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Rothesay.

14 Sep 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) proceeded from Rothesay to Holy Loch.

15 Sep 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed from Holy Loch for Portsmouth.

17 Sep 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) arrived at Falmouth.

18 Sep 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed from Falmouth for Portsmouth.

19 Sep 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) arrived at Portsmouth.

20 Sep 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed from Portsmouth for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the English Channel off Cherbourg, France.

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


Ver HMS Talisman 3rd war patrol click here for bigger map

23 Sep 1940
At 1910 hrs HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) sighted two German Leberecht Maas Class destroyers off Barfleur, France but they were too far to be attacked.

26 Sep 1940
At 1425 hrs HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) observed a 7000 ton tanker off Barfleur, France but again could not close within range.

27 Sep 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Portsmouth.

2 Oct 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed from Portsmouth for Holy Loch.

3 Oct 1940
At 0720 hours HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) is machine gunned by a German Dornier 215 aircraft near position 49°55'N, 04°53'W. The Officer of the Watch T/S.Lt. P.S. Thirsk , RNR was wounded by a bullet in his left foot. At 1050 hours he was transferred to an MA/SB to be taken to hospital.

5 Oct 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) arrived at Holy Loch.

6 Oct 1940
In very bad weather HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) runs aground at Holy Loch. She is refloated after almost six hours. No damage is sustained.

12 Oct 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed from Holy Loch for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Bay of Biscay.

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


Ver HMS Talisman 4th war patrol click here for bigger map

22 Oct 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) engages the Italian submarine Enrico Tazzoli with torpedoes and gunfire about 20 nautical miles North-West of the Gironde estuary. All six torpedoes fired missed their target. Four rounds were fired with the deck gun but these missed as well. Tazzoli meanwhile dived to safety.

0630 hours - In position 45°49'N, 01°43'W sighted a black object bearing 240°. Soon after the object was identified as an Italian submarine steering course 123°. Started attack.

0644 hours - Started firing a salvo of six torpedoes from tubes 1,2,3,4,7 and 8. Range was 3000 yards.

About 10 seconds after firing the first torpedo (and 3 seconds after firing the second torpedo) a violent explosion occurred close ahead of Talisman. The remaining torpedoes were fired with a 8 second delay. All torpedoes missed ahead as the speed of the target was over estimated.

0647 hours - Dived. A bad leak was discovered forward. Talisman hit the bottom at 159 feet. Lt.Cdr. Francis decided to surface to reduce the pressure of the incoming water. There was also a possibility that Talisman was unable to submerge again so it was intended to get clear to the Westward before daylight.

0656 hours - Surfaced. The enemy submarine was in sight bearing 165°, range 4000 yards. Engaged with the deck gun. Four rounds were fired before the enemy was seen to dive.

Continued to retired to the West. Soon after it was discovered that Talisman was not leaking forward but that a valve of one of the external torpedo tubes was leaking.

31 Oct 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) ended her 4th war patrol at Holy Loch.

16 Nov 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed from Holy Loch for her 5th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Bay of Biscay.

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


Ver HMS Talisman 5th war patrol click here for bigger map

25 Nov 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) attacks a tanker escorted by three A/S trawler with six torpedoes about 10 nautical miles West of Ile de Groix. The results of this attack are unclear.

1415 hours - Sighted smoke to the North-West.

1425 hours - The mast and funnel of a tanker could be seen. The tanker was escorted by three A/S trawlers. Range was 11000 yards, enemy course was 090°. Started attack.

1501 hours - In position 47°37'N, 03°51'W fired six torpedoes from 6000 yards (tubes 1,2,3,4,7 and 8. Went deep upon firing. Eleven seconds after firing the first torpedo (from No.1 tube) a violent explosion occurred. This was the second time this happened (see the attack on 22 October 1940). Lt.Cdr. Francis considered it likely that there was a problem with No.1 torpedo tube. Some minor damage was inflicted as a result of this explosion. No. 9 and 10. external torpedoes, were damaged in this explosion as the front doors of both tubes were open at the time of the explosion.

1507 hours - Heard an explosion.

1510 hours - Heard two more explosions.

1525 hours - Came to periscope depth. Saw the tanker stopped. Only two A/S trawlers were seen instead of the three present before the attack.

1550 hours - The tanker was still stopped when last seen. She did not appear to be lower in the water.

26 Nov 1940
At 1920 hours HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) captures the French fishing vessel Le Clipper (40 GRT) in the Bay of Biscay near Lorient in position 47°08'N, 03°49'W.

Five SOE agents under Lt. Minshull, RN board the vessel which is used to observe U-boat movements off the Gironde estuary (operation Shamrock) before being brought into Falmouth.

5 Dec 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) ended her 5th war patrol at Holy Loch.

17 Dec 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) is docked at Ardrossan.

20 Dec 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) left dock.

26 Dec 1940
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed from Holy Loch for her 6th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Bay of Biscay to intercept U-boats west of the Gironde.

No contacts were made during this patrol.

No map of this patrol can be displayed as there are no logs available for HMS Talisman for this period.

15 Jan 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) ended her 6th war patrol at Plymouth.

17 Jan 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) is docked at Plymouth. It is not known when she was undocked.

1 Feb 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed from Plymouth for Holy Loch.

3 Feb 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) arrived at Holy Loch.

9 Feb 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed from Holy Loch for her 7th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Bay of Biscay west of the Gironde.

No contacts were made during this patrol.

No map of this patrol can be displayed as there are no logs available for HMS Talisman for this period.

17 Feb 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) ended her 7th war patrol at Holy Loch.

6 Mar 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) departed from Holy Loch for Halifax, Canada. En-route she was ordered to several patrol positions to hunt the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau who are operating against Allied sipping in the North-Atlantic.

No map of this passage can be displayed as there are no logs available for HMS Talisman for this period.

12 Mar 1941
At 1937 hours, in mid-Atlantic, HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) sights two warships in position 54°02'N, 34°30'W. As the warships are thought to be the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Lt. Willmott dived and started an attack but the warships were soon recognised as British. They were in fact HMS Rodney Capt. Sir F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, RN) and HMS King George V (Capt. W.R. Patterson, CVO, RN). Lt. Willmott made a practice attack. At 2022 hours Talisman surfaced and identified herself.

26 Mar 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) arrived at Halifax, Canada. In the early morning hours she was to rendez-vouz of the Sambro light vessel with the Canadian armed yacht HMCS Otter (T/Lt. D.S. Mossman, RCNR). Talisman arrived at the rendez-vouz in thick fog, when the fog lifted HMCS Otter was seen to be on fire. Talisman closed and found her abandoned. 4 survivors out of 9 that were on a raft were rescued, the other 5 unfortunately drowned.

10 Apr 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) departed from Halifax for convoy escort duty in the North Atlantic. She is to escort convoy SC-28 for part of the journey to the U.K.

No map of this convoy escort mission can be displayed as there are no logs available for HMS Talisman for this period.

19 Apr 1941
At 1718 hours (time zone +3) HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) parted company with convoy SC-28 in position 53°34'N, 38°28'W and set course back towards Halifax.

26 Apr 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) arrived back at Halifax.

19 May 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) departed from Halifax for convoy escort duty in the North Atlantic. She is to escort convoy SC-32 for part of the journey to the U.K.

No map of this convoy escort mission can be displayed as there are no logs available for HMS Talisman for this period.

30 May 1941
At 2000 hours (time zone +1) HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) parted company with convoy SC-32 in position 47°35'N, 32°58'W and set course back towards Halifax. On the way back she was ordered through several positions to search for the German heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen.

9 Jun 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) arrived back at Halifax.

30 Jun 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) departed from Halifax for St. John's.

2 Jul 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) arrived at St. John's.

4 Jul 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) departed from St. John's for Gibraltar. Talisman is to join the 1st submarine flotilla at Alexandria.

No map of this passage can be displayed as there are no logs available for HMS Talisman for this period.

7 Jul 1941
After midnight HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) was informed that the British merchant City of Auckland was being shelled by a U-boat (U-109) and she was ordered to assist her. She reached the position (33°14'N, 31°21'W) on 10 July but did not see anything except a baulk of timber. In fact the vessel had managed to make her escape.

17 Jul 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. At Gibraltar Talisman is docked.

29 Jul 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) departed from Gibraltar for Malta. Before departing A/S exercises were carried out with HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN) and HMS Vidette (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, RN).

No map of this passage can be displayed as there are no logs available for HMS Talisman for this period.

3 Aug 1941
At 0445 hrs, South-West of Marittimo near position 37°55'N, 12°00'E, HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) sighted four destroyers of the Navigatori class on course 290°, 20 knots. Six tubes were readied but the submarine could not close to less than 6,200 yds and the attack was aborted. These were most likely the torpedo-boats Cigno, Centauro, Clio and Calliope; they had sailed a few hours before from Trapani to search for an enemy force.

5 Aug 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) arrived at Malta.

8 Aug 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) departed from Malta for Alexandria. Before departing exercises were carried out with HMS Jade (Boatswain W.J.H. Fellows, RN).

No map of this passage can be displayed as there are no logs available for HMS Talisman for this period.

14 Aug 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) attacks a submarine with torpedoes about 140 nautical miles north-west of Alexandria in position 32°41'N, 27°35'E. All torpedoes fired fortunately missed their target as the submarine attacked later turned out to be HMS Otus (Lt. R.M. Favell, RN).

(All times are zone -2)
1040 hours - In position 32°19'N, 27°51'E heard HE. Nothing in sight. Commenced attack on a submerged submarine.

After trailing the contact for a while three torpedoes were fired at 1253 hours. The course and speed of the submerged submarine were by now well known. No explosions occurred so the submarine must have been deep. Talisman continued to shadow the submarine until it surfaced.

1927 hours - The target surfaced.

1932 hours - Talisman surfaced and closed with gun crews at the ready.

2030 hours - Contact was lost.

2046 hours - The submarine was sighted again. While closing Talisman was sighted by the other submarine and challenged at a range of about 1000 yards by the Allied Private Signal. The reply was made and course was resumed towards Alexandria. The identity of the other submarine was not established until after arrival at Alexandria when it was learnt that it was HMS Otus.

Talisman was not aware that Otus was on passage from Alexandria to Malta. This was known so Otus was routed way to the North of the route of Talisman. An investigation showed that Talisman was way out of position.

15 Aug 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) arrived at Alexandria.

21 Aug 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) departed from Alexandria for her 8th war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Sirte and off Benghazi.

No map of this patrol can be displayed as there are no logs available for HMS Talisman for this period.

23 Aug 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) attacked a merchant vessel with three torpedoes about 80 nautical miles North-North-East of Tobruk, Libya. No hits were obtained. Talisman had to go deep because one of the torpedoes had a gyro failure.

(All times are zone -3)
1358 hours - While proceeding at periscope depth in position 33°35'N, 24°23'E sighted a merchant vessel of about 2500 tons bearing 337°, range 4.5 nautical miles. Enemy course was 157°, speed 12 knots. Started attack. No escort was seen.

1425 hours - Fired three torpedoes from 1000 yards.

1427 hours - One of the torpedoes passed Talisman due to a gyro failure. Went deep with all despatch.

1429 hours - The torpedo went overhead.

1440 hours - Went to periscope depth. Saw the target zig-zagging on a North-Easterly course. Range was now 3000 yards.

According to Italian sources this was the German Bellona (1297 GRT, built 1929) on her way from Suda to Bardia, she was unescorted as the Italian torpedo boat Sagittario had turned back to Suda a few hours before.`

26 Aug 1941
At 0530 hours (time zone -3) HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) a major defect is discovered on the Port engine. This engine was out of action for the remainder of the patrol unless in an emergency.

30 Aug 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) damaged two motor sailing vessels with gunfire about 5 nautical miles north of Benghazi, Libya. (It is possible that one of these was sunk).

(All times are zone -3)
1129 hours - Sighted two motor sailing vessels approaching on a course of 040°. Started attack. Position was 32°16'N, 20°06'E.

1154 hours - Surfaced to engage with the 4" gun and with the Lewis machine gun. Range was 1000 yards.

1203 hours - One of the sailing vessels was seen to be hit forward and aft. It was abandoned and low in the water. The other had increased the range and was proceeding inshore faster than Talisman could steam on one engine and motor trimmed down. She had been hit forward once. This sailing vessel opened fire with a light automatic machine gun. Talisman was hit but no casualties were sustained. Dived and retired seawards. 39 Rounds of 4" were fired in this action.

According to Italian sources these were actually the two auxiliary minesweepers S. Michele and Tenacemente. One Italian rating was killed and two wounded and the two vessels fled to Benghazi.

7 Sep 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) ended her 8th war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria.

20 Sep 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) departed from Alexandria for her 9th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Aegean. Before proceeding on patrol exercises were performed together with HMS Havock (Lt. G.R.G. Watkins, DSC, RN).

No map of this patrol can be displayed as there are no logs available for HMS Talisman for this period.

1 Oct 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) attacks an Italian convoy with torpedoes West of the Zea Channel missing the German merchant Arkadia (1756 GRT, built 1927) and the Italian Lauretta (938 GRT, built 1901). Following this attack Talisman was attacked by the escorting Italian torpedo boat Libra with 24 depth-charges. Although severely shaken Talisman was only slightly damaged.

(All times are zone -2)
0854 hours - Near position 37°35'N, 23°57'E sighted masts of a convoy. Brought six torpedo tubes to the ready. Three small one funnel A/S ships with the appearance similar to tugs were disposed a few miles ahead and on either bow. One destroyer or torpedo boat was astern of this A/S screen and zig-zagging violently ahead of the main target, a merchant vessel of about 4000 tons with a grey hull, buff upper works, black masts and funnel. Two floatplanes were also patrolling in the area. Started attack.

1000 hours - Fired three torpedoes from 2500 yards. Went to 210 feet. A loud explosion was heard after 2 minutes and 30 seconds. A possible hit was claimed.

1004 hours - Talisman was counter attacked for three quarters of an hour. In all 37 depth charges were dropped. Some were quite close but no damage was caused.

1155 hours - Came to periscope depth. Nothing in sight.

3 Oct 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) destroys the wreck of the German merchant Yalova (3751 GRT, built 1920) that is grounded at Agios Giorgios Island.

The Yalova was torpedoed and damaged by HMS Tetrarch (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Greenway, RN) on 28 September 1941. She was run aground to prevent her from sinking.

(All times are zone -2)
2 October 1941
1300 hours - Sighted a grounded merchant vessel beached on the West side of St. Giorgio Island near position 37°28.5'N, 23°55'E. One Italian armed caique was patrolling in the area.

1532 hours - Another caique was seen to secure alongside the beached vessel.

1600 hours - The caique was seen to cast off and set course towards Piraeus. Frequent air patrol was also observed in the area. Lt.Cdr. Willmott decided to wait till tomorrow to attack and destroy the ship as he hoped salvage vessels would be alongside and that these could also be destroyed in the torpedo explosion.

3 October 1941
1045 hours - Completed reconnaissance of the beached ship. One sailing vessel was patrolling 1 nautical mile to the South-West. Two steam vessels were seen alongside the beached ship. They must have arrived during the night. Lt.Cdr. Willmott decided to fire three torpedoes in the attack.

1207 hours - Fired the first torpedo. This torpedo had a gyro failure and exploded on the shore. The smallest of the salvage vessels immediately slipped and went full astern.

1211 hours - Fired the second torpedo. This one was seen to run towards the target before Talisman lost trim. The ship was later seen to have sunk on an even keel with the upper deck nearly awash.

1215 hours - Counter attacked with bombs and depth charges. Went deep.

4 Oct 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) torpedoed and sank the Vichy-French passenger ship Theophile Gautier (8194 GRT, built 1926) north-east of Kea Island, Greece in position 37°44'N, 24°23'E.

(All times are zone -2)
1754 hours - In position 37°48'N, 24°29'E sighted a convoy passing through the Doro Channel towards the Zea Channel. One large two funnel ship and one small tanker or coaster. Escort was provided by three destroyers / torpedo boats. No aircraft were seen. Commenced attack on the two funnel ship of about 9000 tons.

1835 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 1000 yards. Went deep to 210 feet. One hit was heard. The HE of the target ceased immediately.

1840 hours - Talisman was counter attacked for 1.5 hours. 29 Depth charges were dropped but these caused no damage.

Theophile Gautier was in convoy with the Italian tanker Torcello (3336 GRT, built 1892). They were escorted by the Italian torpedo boats Monzambano, Calatafimi and Aldebaran.

7 Oct 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) attacked the German merchants Salzburg (1742 GRT, built 1921) and Trapani (1855 GRT, built 1926) with torpedoes about 10 nautical miles north of Suda Bay, Crete, Greece in position 35°39N, 24°14'E. All torpedoes fired missed their targets. Trapani reported being only just missed.

(All times are zone -2)
1035 hours - Sighted a convoy, distance 9 nautical miles.

1110 hours - In position 34°45'N, 24°08'E identified the convoy as being two Navigatori class destroyers and two merchant ships of 2500 and 3000 tons. Two floatplanes were patrolling overhead. Started attack.

1158 hours - Fired one torpedo at the smaller target. Range was 2500 yards.

1159 hours - Fired two torpedoes at the larger target. Range was 3000 yards. Went deep to 210 feet.

1202 hours - Heard one explosion.

1209 hours - Counter attacked for 35 minutes. No damage was caused.

The convoy attacked was made up of the two merchants above. Escort was provided by the Italian destroyer Quintino Sella and the Italian torpedo boat Castelfidardo. They were en-route from Suda Bay to Pireaus.

12 Oct 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) ended her 9th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria.

20 Oct 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) departed from Alexandria for her 10th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean). She is to perform a special operation.

No map of this patrol can be displayed as there are no logs available for HMS Talisman for this period.

24 Oct 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) conducts her special operation. A team of 4 is landed to perform a reconnaissance of a landing beach near Ras-el-Hilal that was intended to be used for a later special operation.

(All times are zone -2)
0526 hours - Dived and closed Ras-el-Hilal for periscope observation.

0824 hours - Completed reconnaissance.

0830 hours - Bottomed at 145 feet in position 32°54.5'N. 22°11.5'E.

2028 hours - Surfaced.

2110 hours - Increased buoyancy to get out the folbots.

2115 hours - Trimmed down.

2210 hours - The party of four left Talisman in two folbots. The gun crews of Talisman were on deck to cover them in case they had to return. After 35 minutes it was considered that a successful landing had been made.

When Talisman left the area the party was seen to proceed inshore for half a mile. They were not seen afterwards. Between 0300 and 0400 hours on the 25th sounds were heard that were thought to be gunshots.

29 Oct 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) ended her 10th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria.

10 Nov 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott) departed from Alexandria with orders to perform a special mission. (This is the 4th Mediterranean War Patrol of HMS Talisman)

The nature of the special mission was to land party of commando troops was to be landed behind enemy lines to kill the commander of the German Africa corps. HMS Torbay also participated in this operation called 'Flipper'. For more information on Operation Flipper see this article on Wikipedia.

No map of this patrol can be displayed as there are no logs available for HMS Talisman for this period.

14 Nov 1941
On the night of 14/15 November commandos (No.11 Scottish Commando) from Talisman were landed some 250 miles behind enemy lines.

Talisman grounded during the attempt and only one boatload of commandos was able to land. Talisman had to retire from the area. Some of the commandos that were swept into the water by ground waves when Talisman grounded were recovered as the current had swept them out to sea.

20 Nov 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) ended her 11th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria.

27 Nov 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) departed from Alexandria for her 12th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean). She is to patrol off the Western entrance to the Aegean (Kythera area). During her patrol she is also diverted to the West coast of Greece.

No map of this patrol can be displayed as there are no logs available for HMS Talisman for this period.

1 Dec 1941
At 1920 hours (zone -2 or -3) HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) was ordered to a position South-West of Crete (34°50'N, 22°56'E) to search for survivors of a downed British aircraft. Talisman reached the position at 0217/2. A signal grenade was fired but no answering flare was seen. The search was abandoned at 0330/2.

5 Dec 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) attacks German U-boat U-371 West of Kythera, Greece. In all seven torpedoes were fired but none hit the target.

(All times either zone -2 or -3)
0256 hours - In position 36°15'N, 22°45'E sighted a U-boat to the North. Distance about 1500 yards. Course of the target was 050°. Started attack.

0301 hours - Fired five torpedoes from 1000 yards. All missed.

0306 hours - Fired a sixth torpedo, missed again.

0308 hours - Fired a seventh torpedo, missed yet again.

0310 hours - An explosion occurred, must be one of the torpedoes hitting land. The U-boat turned stern on she was lost out of sight shortly afterwards.

8 Dec 1941
About 10 nautical miles South of Argostoli, Greece, HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) fired three torpedoes at the Italian torpedo boat Orione, carrying gasoline from Brindisi to Argostoli, that they thought was an enemy submarine. Talisman also engaged with gunfire before the mistake was realised and she crash dived. Talisman was depth charged but only minor damage was caused.

(All times are zone -2 or -3)
2154 hours - In position 38°00'N, 20°28'E sighted a darkened ship thought to be a submarine.

2157 hours - Fired three torpedoes from 400 yards. A fourth torpedo was intended but the enemy was full astern at once so fire was withheld, the torpedoes fired missed ahead and / or ran under. Engaged with the 4", Bren and Lewis guns from point blank range.

2200 hours - The darkened ship endeavoured to ram, on missing Talismans stern by 50 yards it was seen to be a destroyer or torpedo boat. Crash dived.

2205 to 2315 hours - Counter attacked with 44 depth charges. Some lights were broken but no further damage was inflicted.

2351 hours - Came to periscope depth, nothing in sight so surfaced.

11 Dec 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Calitea (4013 GRT, built 1933) about 60 nautical miles west-south-west of Schiza island, Greece in position 36°23'N, 20°33'E.

(All times are zone -2 or -3)
1615 hours - In position 36°33'N, 20°34'E heard HE, sighted destroyer and merchant vessel bearing Green 40 distance about 6600 yards. Enemy course 090°.

1622 hours - Fired four torpedoes at the merchant vessel of 15000 tons. The silhouette was similar to Vulcania. Range on firing was 2300 yards. A fifth torpedo was fired in a misunderstanding.

1624 hours - Obtained four hits. Talisman was briefly hunted after this attack. The escort (Italian destroyer Freccia) dropped 15 depth charges before picking up the survivors.

14 Dec 1941
While on passage back to Alexandria, South of Crete, HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) attacks the Italian submarine Dagabur with gunfire South of Crete. A sinking was claimed but the Italian submarine received only minor damage.

All times are zone -2 or -3)
1952 hours - In position 34°05'N, 25°39'E sighted a dark object thought to be a submarine bearing 205°. Distance 800 yards.

1955 hours - Two torpedoes were heard passing Talisman by ratings in the fore ended (The enemy had indeed fired two torpedoes mistaking Talisman for a cruiser).

1956 hours - Talisman opened fire with the 4" gun. The second round hit the conning tower of the enemy about three feet above the casing as the enemy was seen to be diving at a range of about 100 yards.

1957 hours - As Talisman was passing the diving enemy it was seen that her hatches were open, she was thought to be diving towards her doom and a sinking was claimed.

Italian sources however state that the target (Dagabur) received only minor damage to her conning tower.

17 Dec 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) ended her 12th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria.

29 Dec 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) departed from Alexandria for Malta carrying passengers and kerosene.

She is to proceed back to the U.K. for a refit as the crack in the port engine was getting worse and could not be repaired, actually Talisman was only due to refit in the U.K. around April 1942.

No map of this passage can be displayed as there are no logs available for HMS Talisman for this period.

5 Jan 1942
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) arrived at Malta.

7 Jan 1942
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) departed from Malta for Gibraltar.

18 Jan 1942
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

21 Jan 1942
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) departed from Gibraltar for the U.K.

1 Feb 1942
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. Talisman started her refit at Troon early March. The refit was completed in early July. After a short work-up period Talisman was to return to the Mediterranean.

3 Aug 1942
With her refit and work-up period completed HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, DSO, RN) departed from Holy Loch for Gibraltar. She is to proceed to Beirut to re-join the 1st submarine Flotilla.

No map of this passage can be displayed as there are no logs available for HMS Talisman for this period.

9 Aug 1942
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, DSO, RN) is bombed by RAAF Sunderland aircraft E/461 (T9114) (P/O C.W. Steley) in the Bay of Biscay in position 44°20'N, 12°11'W. Four depth charges exploded very close causing considerable damage.

(All times are zone -1)
1354 hours - Surfaced in position 44°16'N, 12°11'W to intercept a U-boat in position 25°24'N, 10°56'W, enemy course 265°, speed 10 knots. This U-boat was sighted by aircraft. A signal was sent to Talisman by radio.

1411 hours - Sighted, and dived for, a Sunderland aircraft flying on a Southerly course, distance about 6 nautical miles.

1413 hours - Talisman broke surface and the Sunderland was observed to be attacking.

1414 hours - Straddled by a pattern of four depth charges. Talisman was at 47 feet at the moment the depth charges exploded. Severe damage was caused. The attempt to intercept the U-boat was abandoned and Talisman resumed course towards Gibraltar.

Talisman was in an area where she was 'protected' by bombing restrictions for submerged submarines. By surfacing to intercept the reported U-boat Lt.Cdr. Willmott took some risk that if he was sighted by aircraft he could be bombed, and that was just what happened.

13 Aug 1942
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

19 Aug 1942
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, RN) is docked for repairs at Gibraltar. It is not known to us when she was undocked.

10 Sep 1942
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, DSO, RN) departed from Gibraltar for Malta.

15 Sep 1942
HMS Talisman (Lt.Cdr. M. Willmott, DSO, RN) reports sighting a U-boat in position 37°48'N, 06°00'E. Enemy course 250°, speed 14 knots. This was the last signal received from HMS Talisman. She failed to arrive at Malta on the 18th and was probably mined in the Sicilian Channel.

The submarine sighted by Talisman was most likely the Italian Alabastro. On the basis of this signal a Gibraltar-based Sunderland of 202 squadron was sent and caught the Italian submarine on the surface and sank her, there were no survivors.

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The T-class Submarine

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