Allied Warships

HMS Ultimatum (P 34)

Submarine of the U class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantP 34 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered11 Mar 1940 
Laid down19 Jun 1940 
Launched11 Feb 1941 
Commissioned29 Jul 1941 
End service 

Sold to be broken up for scrap on 23 December 1949. Scrapped at Port Glasgow in February 1950.


Commands listed for HMS Ultimatum (P 34)

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1Lt. Peter Robert Helfrich Harrison, DSC, RN12 Jun 194112 Nov 1942
2Lt. Desmond Samuel Royce Martin, RN12 Nov 19423 Dec 1942
3Lt. Roger Cresswell Bucknall, RN3 Dec 194227 Jan 1943
4Lt. William Hedley Kett, RNR27 Jan 194327 Dec 1944
5Lt. Charles Henry Hammer, RN27 Dec 19445 Feb 1945
6Lt. Peter Dove Courtenay Bennett, RN5 Feb 194511 Jun 1945
7Lt. Alan Flockhart Esson, RNR11 Jun 194528 Jun 1945
8Lt. John Oldham Coote, RN28 Jun 19454 Sep 1945
9Lt. Roger Cresswell Bucknall, RN4 Sep 1945Oct 1945 ?

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Noteable events involving Ultimatum include:

25 Jan 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian passenger ship Dalmatia L. (3352 GRT) south-west of Capo dell'Armi in position 37°45'N, 15°30'E.

23 Feb 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) fires 4 torpedoes against the Italian merchants Ravello (6142 GRT) and Unione (6070 GRT) about 80 nautical miles east of Tripoli, Libya in position 32°48'N, 14°50'E. All torpedoes fired missed their targets.

14 Mar 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian submarine Ammiraglio Millo (offsite link) in the Ionian Sea off Punta (Cape) Stilo, Calabria, Italy in position 38°27'N, 16°37'E.

24 Jun 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) makes a torpedo attack on German U-boat U-77 south of Crete in position 34°20'N, 24°09'E. All torpedoes fired however missed their target.

7 Sep 1942
HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN) fires four torpedoes against the Italian merchant Luciano Manara (6060 GRT) in the central Mediterranean about 45 nautical miles south-west of Schiza Island, Greece in position 36°17'N, 21°03'E. All torpedoes fired missed their target.

30 Oct 1943
On this day HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) attacked a German U-boat the Mediterranean southeast of Toulon, France, in position 43°04'N, 05°57'E. This attack was against U-73 but it inflicted no damage. HMS Ultimatum is often credited to have sunk U-431 in this attack. However U-431 was sunk with all hands on 21 October 1943 in the Mediterranean off Algiers in position 37°23'N, 00°35'E, by depth charges from a British Wellington aircraft (Sqdn. 179/Z). U-431's fate was revised in November 1987 by the Foreign Documents Section of the British Ministry of Defence.

5 Apr 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) sank a German sailing vessel with gunfire off Suda Bay, Crete, Greece.

2 May 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) shells the harbour of Kalamata, Greece. Two sailing vessels were sunk, five were destroyed on the slips and one was damaged.

3 Jul 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) fires two torpedoes at the German auxiliary patrol vessel Uj 6073 / Nimeth Allah off Toulon, southern France. The torpedoes however miss their target.

At 0059 hours Ultimatum sighted a white light flashing morse bearing 340°. Five minutes later two darkened ships were made out steaming on a course of 200° distance 2000 yards. As the vessels were at close range and were signalling, Lt. Kett thought he might be sighted. He turned his submarine stern on to watch events unfold.

At 0109 hours the vessels were identified as a destroyer and a UJ boat, and as they showed no sign of taking action against Ultimatum Lt. Kett altered course to attack.

At 0114 hours four torpedoes were fired. 40 seconds later one torpedo was seen to hit causing a column of water rise 50 feet into the air completely enveloping the target (this actually was not a hit, the torpedo exploded prematurely). Six seconds later a second torpedo was heard to explode but this was not observed as the submarine was now diving towards 150 feet.

27 Jul 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC, RNR) fires four torpedoes against a group of small German vessels. The German barge F 811 is hit and sunk of the coast of southern France in position 43°03'N, 05°34'E.

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