Allied Warships

HMS Unbroken (P 42)

Submarine of the U class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassU 
PennantP 42 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered23 Aug 1940 
Laid down30 Dec 1940 
Launched4 Nov 1941 
Commissioned29 Jan 1942 
End service 
History

HMS Unbroken was transferred on loan to the Soviet Union on 26 June 1944. Renamed B-2 by the Soviets. Returned in 1949 and scrapped at Gateshead on 9 May 1950.

 
Career notesBecame the Soviet submarine B-2

Commands listed for HMS Unbroken (P 42)

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

CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Alastair Campbell Gillespie Mars, RN18 Nov 194112 Apr 1943
2Lt. Bruce John Bevis Andrew, DSC, RN14 Apr 19438 Jan 1944
3Lt. Peter Langley Langley-Smith, RN8 Jan 194430 May 1944

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Notable events involving Unbroken include:


The history of HMS P 42 / HMS Unbroken as compiled on this page is extracted from the 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.

This page was last updated in August 2016.

28 Jan 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) departed her builders yard at Barrow for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(retired) R.H. Mack, RN). (1)

29 Jan 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) arrived at Holy Loch for a period of trials and exercises. (2)

22 Feb 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) departed Holy Loch for Gibraltar. P 42 was to proceed to Malta to join the 10th submarine flotilla based there.

Passage south through the Irish Sea was made together with HMS Oberon (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) that was to proceed to Portsmouth. They were escorted by HMS Felixstowe (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Corbet-Singleton, DSC, RN) until 1800/24.

For the daily positions of HMS P 42 during this passage see the map below.

(3)

3 Mar 1942
At 0656 hours off Cape St. Vincent, HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) stopped the Vichy French Caudebec (1471 GRT, built 1910) but released her upon examination. (3)

4 Mar 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. Some defects were to be made good before the submarine could proceed on a work-up patrol. (3)

21 Mar 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 1st war patrol (also 1st in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Alboran Sea.

For the daily positions of HMS P 42 during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

27 Mar 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) ended her 1st war patrol (also 1st in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar. (3)

2 Apr 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 2nd war patrol (also 2nd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Alboran Sea. (2)

3 Apr 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) was recalled from patrol and ended her 2nd war patrol (also 2nd in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar later the same day. (2)

11 Apr 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 3rd war patrol (also 3rd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Genoa and to carry out two special operations.

As Malta was not suitable as submarine base at the moment due to the continuous air attacks and resulting damage and the 10th submarine flotilla was going to be evacuated to Alexandria it had been decided that P 42 would be attached to the 8th submarine flotilla based at Gibraltar for the moment.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 42 during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

20 Apr 1942
During the night of 20/21 April 1942 HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) landed two SOE agents near Antibes, France. The patrol report does not shed light on the exact time and position. (3)

21 Apr 1942
During the night of 21/22 April 1942 HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) landed two more SOE agents near Antibes, France. One of the agents was Captain Peter Churchill who was later captured by the Abwehr and incarcerated at Sachsenhausen (near Berlin) but survived.

24 Apr 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) attacked a merchant vessel with three torpedoes about 20 nautical miles south of Genoa. A hit was claimed but this is doubtful. The target has not yet been identified.

(All times are zone -1)
1528 hours – Sighted smoke bearing 283°. Closed to investigate.

1530 hours – Sighted the masts of two ships. Ran in at speed.

1546 hours -Started attack. The nearest ship was seen to be a laden vessel of 4000 tons. Concentrated on this ship.

1623 hours – In position 44°07’N, 09°03’E fired three torpedoes from 7000 yards. After firing went to 80 feet and went off the torpedo tracks at speed. A torpedo explosion was heard at 1632 and two torpedo explosions were heard at 1634 hours. The first explosion was much louder than the other two and might have been a hit.

1640 hours – Returned to periscope depth. The ship attacked was seen to be down by the stern. The second vessel was not in sight. The target was last seen stern on with a list to port. Her HE was not heard after firing. Went to 80 feet.

1830 hours – Returned to periscope depth, nothing in sight. (3)

26 Apr 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) attacked the Portuguese sailing vessel Vale Formoso II with gunfire south of San Remo, Italy. Also two torpedoes were fired which missed. When it was finally seen that it was a neutral ship she was allowed to proceed.

(All times are zone -1)
0430 hours - Sighted a lighted ship in position 43°42'N, 07°58'E. Closed on the surface and prepared to attack.

0549 hours - Sighted a darkened vessel approaching. Dived. As daylight increased this second ship was seen to be a schooner. Decided to attack with the gun. After 5 rounds had been fired from 1400 yards the gun jammed. A Lewis gun was then used but this too was out of action after firing only one double pan. She had 2 small very dirty flags flying. These could not be identified. She hoisted a large Italian flag and altered course to port. By this time, she was practically stopped. A trap was suspected so 2 torpedoes were fired from 500 yards. The first passed ahead and the second was not seen to run and dived to the bottom. Its explosion was fairly severe, and put the Asdic set out of action.

P 42 then closed the schooner and the two small flags were seen to be the Portuguese and Swiss flags. The schooner was then hailed in Italian and Portuguese. It was found out that the schooner had sailed from Genoa and was out of position due to lack of wind. She was then allowed to proceed and was told in Italian to get much further to the southward.

0649 hours - Dived in position 43°35'N, 07°53'E and cleared the area. (3)

1 May 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) fired three torpedoes at the German submarine U-74 about 30 nautical miles south-east of Almeria, Spain. No hits were obtained. The U-boat had been ordered to the assistance of U-573, disabled by aircraft bombs, which took refuge in Spanish waters and was interned.

(All times are zone -1)
2318 hours - In position 36°32'N, 02°01'W sighted a U-boat at a range of 1300 yards bearing 210°.

Fired three torpedoes but the U-boat was already turing when the torpedoes were being fired so P 42 also turned and fired the torpedoes on the swing. When the 3rd torpedo was fired range had decreased to 600 yards. No hits were obtained. All three torpedoes were heard to explode at the end of their run. P 42 dived to 80 feet after firing the torpedoes. (3)

2 May 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol (also 3rd in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar. (3)

16 May 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) was docked at Gibraltar for repairs to her A/S dome. Also repairs to her battery were carried out. (4)

19 May 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) was undocked. (4)

2 Jun 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar together with HMS Traveller (Lt. M.B. St. John, RN) and HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN). (5)

3 Jun 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 4th war patrol (also 4th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to form a patrol line between Sardinia and Sicily with HMS HMS P 211 (Cdr. B. Bryant, DSC, RN), P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) and HMS P 44 (Lt. T.E. Barlow, RN) to cover operation Harpoon.

For the daily positions of HMS P 42 during this patrol see the map below.

15 Jun 1942
At 1945 hours, in position 38°00’N, 11°55’E, HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) sighted the masts of a cruiser squadron from a distance of 10 miles. This was probably Admiral Zara’s force retiring after the battle.

26 Jun 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) ended her 4th war patrol (also 4th in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar.

9 Jul 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) departed Gibraltar for passage to Malta where she finally was to join the 10th submarine flotilla.

As no log is available for this period no map of this passage can be displayed. (6)

20 Jul 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) arrived at Malta. (6)

30 Jul 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) departed Malta for her 5th war patrol (also 5th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol clockwise from Marittimo to Naples and then down the Calabrian coast in order to be west on Messina at the commencement of Operation Pedestal. She was also to operate against rail traffic from Naples to the south.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 42 during this patrol see the map below.

(6)

6 Aug 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) attacked an escorted merchant vessel off Capri Island with three torpedoes. No hits were obtained. This was the Italian Argentina (5085 GRT, built 1907) escorted by the torpedo boat Generale Achille Papa, they were on a trip from Naples to Messina. The three torpedo tacks were seen and the torpedo boat combed them and dropped fourteen depth charges.

(All times are zone -2)
1850 hours - When in position 150°, Campanella Point, 7 nautical miles sighted smoke through the Bocca Piccola. Then the funnel and masts of a ship steering approximately 235°. As she appeared to be going north of Capri diced to run to the west at speed.

1940 hours - Having run 3 nautical miles on course 260° the ship was observed to the north-west of Carena Point lighthouse (Capri) at a range of 8 nautical miles steering approximately 220°.

1957 hours - The ship altered course to 140°, putting P 42 in a good attacking position. The ship was of about 7000 ton. She was later seen to be escorted by a three-funneled torpedo-boat. Started attack.

2023 hours - In approximate position 40°35'N, 14°10'E fired three torpedoes from 2000 yards. No hits were obtained.

2031 hours - Counter attacked commenced. 13 Depth charges in all were dropped. None were close and no damage was caused.

2047 hours - The last depth charge was dropped.

2050 hours - Altered course to the westward.

2138 hours - Surfaced, made off to the south-west. (6)

8 Aug 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) makes a torpedo attack on the Italian merchant Algerino (1370 GRT, built 1921) off Capri. The target was not hit. According to Italian sources she was unescorted.

(All times are zone -2)
Coastal traffic was observed during the forenoon south of Cape Bonifati. Five ships were seen between 0900 and noon. It was decided to attack the last of these vessels, a coastal tramp of approximately 2000 tons. She was in company with a trawler of a modern type.

1223 hours - In position 39°23'N, 15°56'E fired one torpedo. No result was obtained. P 42 took avoiding action, but no counter attack developed.

In the afternoon the coast was inspected for a suitable place for gun action against the railway.

2244 hours - Carried out a successful bombardment of a southbound train between Fiumefreddo and Longobardi, latitude 39°13'N. [According to Italian sources the locomotive and a wagon were confirmed hit, two were wounded.] (6)

10 Aug 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) is detected and depth charged near Cape Milazzo. P 42 cleared the area and took up another patrol position. A position which later turned out to be a good anticipation on behalf of Lt. Mars. The submarine was hunted by a CANT Z.501 aircraft and then by the auxiliary submarine chasers Quarnaro and Francipane and the patrol boats MAS 547 and MAS 560.

(All times are zone -2)
0900 hours - In position 320°, Cape Milazzo, 4 nautical miles, a ship was sighted steering straight towards. P 42 went deep (80 feet) and speeded up to get off track. She appeared to be a naval tug.

0938 - 0953 hours - Five depth charges were dropped but none was close enough to cause damage.

0954 hours - Returned to periscope depth. The same ship was in sight bearing 059° going away.

1115 hoúrs - When in position 000°, Cape Milazzo, 4 nautical miles, sighted smoke bearing 070°.

1145 hours - A Cant.Z.501 aircraft was seen to circle round the smoke which was now seen to be a small ship (one funnel, one mast) zigzagging.

1211 hours - The vessel was seen to be a naval craft (similar to Crotone) and closing on a steady bearing, although still zigzagging. The aircraft continued to circle.

1222 hours - Went to 80 feet.

1225 hours - Depth charging commenced. Went to 120 feet. Attempted to keep stern on. After a pattern of depth charges was dropped burst of speed were used to get clear. Later a second vessel joined in and there may have even been more vessels present.

1448 hours - Depth charging ceased. A total of 50 having been dropped in this second attack.

1500 hours - Remained at 120 feet while steering 030°.

1821 hours - Depth charging recommenced (our position was now 353°, Cape Milazzo, 9.7 nautical miles) and continued until 1914 hours. 15 Depth charges were dropped in this third attack.

2000 hours - Altered course to 050°.

2228 hours - Surfaced in position 007°, Cape Milazzo, 17 nautical miles. Nothing in sight. In all 70 depth charges had been dropped, many near enough to shake the boat, but none so close that any cork fell down. As far as is known no damage had been done to P 42. (6)

13 Aug 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) torpedoed and damaged the Italian heavy cruiser Bolzano and the Italian light cruiser Muzio Attendolo in the Ionian Sea off the north coast of Sicily in position 38°43'N, 14°57'E. They were in company with the heavy cruisers Trieste and Gorizia (the latter was just moving away to launch a seaplane) and were escorted by the destroyers Ascari, Aviere, Camicia Nera, Corsaro, Fuciliere, Geniere, Grecale and Legionario.

Bolzano was hit in an oil tank and her magazines had to be flooded (nine killed and twenty wounded). She was beached at Panarea Island and refloated about a month later. Attendolo had a large part of her bow wrecked.

(All times are zone -2)
0730 hours - When in position 38°43'N, 14°57'E HE was heard bearing 230°.

0743 hours - Sighted a large number of ships bearing 230° steering straight towards. The centre column consisted of four large ships, two 8" cruisers and possibly two 6" cruisers. The escort consisted of 8 modern destroyers. Started attack.

0804 hours - Fired four torpedoes from yards at the nearest 8" cruiser. Two 6" cruisers were beyond the target and if torpedoes missed there was a good possibility of hitting the other ships beyond. P 42 went deep on firing and altered course 90° to starboard and increased speed for 5 minutes. It was thought two hits were obtained on the nearest 8" cruiser, and with luck the 'overs' may have hit one of the other cruisers.

0809 hours - Intensive depth charging started, went to 120 feet and crept away.

0900 hours - The 40th charge was dropped. By this time the enemy seemed to have lost contact, and to be drawing astern. However, depth charging continued for 8 hours and 31 minutes, the explosions becoming more distant and less frequent as time drew on.

1640 hours - The last depth charge was dropped at a considerable distance. The day's total came to 105. Only some superficial damage was sustained.

1900 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight. (6)

18 Aug 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) ended her 5th war patrol (also 5th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (6)

31 Aug 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) departed Malta for her 6th war patrol (also 6th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to destroy a railway bridge to the north of Taormina, Sicily. She was also to conduct a special operation off Crotone, Calabria, Italy.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 42 during this patrol see the map below.

(6)

3 Sep 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) arrived off the Railway bridge she was to destroy by firing a torpedo at its base. This was however impossible as the river was dry and the bridge was 200 feet inland from the shore. Also if the river had not been dry the torpedo most likely would have been deflected by the current. (6)

5 Sep 1942
During the night of 5/6 September 1942 HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) landed a raiding party (Captain R. Wilson, D.S.O., R,A. and Bombardier Brittlebank) to use miniature torpedoes on shipping inside Crotone harbour. At 2340/5 the folbot with the party was launched. At 0050/6 two flashes were observed inside the harbour. One miniature torpedo (actually a limpet with an electric motor) was released but the two men could not make their getaway in time and were captured. The experiment with miniature torpedo was not repeated. Soon afterwards a fast motorboat was heard approaching forcing P 42 to dive. The vessel was seen to be an 'E-boat' which then commenced a hunt. The enemy obtained contact but no depth charges were dropped. P 42 was therefore not on the surface to pick up the raiding party and they were not seen again. (6)

8 Sep 1942
In the evening HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) tried to bombard a railway viaduct near Starletti Point, Calabria, Italy. They tried to wait for a passing train but none showed up. While waiting P 42 had been set to the north and this had not been noticed. So when they tried to take the viaduct under fire they were out of position. Fire was then opened on a road but without success. [Italian sources reported no damage to the viaduct.] (6)

9 Sep 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) attacked an enemy convoy that had just left the harbour of Crotone. Two torpedoes were fired against a merchant vessel but no hits were obtained. These were Leonardo Palomba (1110 GRT, 1899) and Loreto (1055 GRT, built 1912) on passage from Crotone to Messsina escorted by the torpedo boat Giuseppe Sirtori. The torpedo boat attempted to hunt the submarine but without success.

(All times are zone -2)
1822 hours - A ship was seen leaving the harbour. The ship soon turned to the south and was seen to be escorted.

1840 hours - A second ship was seen leaving the harbour. This ship joined the first ship and it's escort. Both ships were of about 2000 tons and were laden. They were escorted by an older type torpedo-boat.

1922 hours - Fired two torpedoes (old Mark II type) from 4500 yards at the second ship. No hits were obtained.

1950 hours - The torpedo-boat commenced a hunt. Four depth charges were dropped at considerable intervals.

2115 hours - All was quiet now.

2147 hours - Surfaced and retired from the coast. (6)

13 Sep 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) ended her 6th war patrol (also 6th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (6)

25 Sep 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) departed Malta for her 7th war patrol (also 7th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol near Misurata, Libya.

For the daily positions of HMS P 42 during this patrol see the map below.

(7)

4 Oct 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) ended her 7th war patrol (also 7th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. Only a convoy of three small vessels was sighted in low visibility and was not attacked. (7)

11 Oct 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) departed Malta for her 8th war patrol (also 8th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the east of Tripoli.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 42 during this patrol see the map below.

(7)

17 Oct 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) attacked the stranded and damaged German merchant Amsterdam (8673 GRT, built 1921) off Khoms with three torpedoes. No hits were obtained.

In the evening orders were received to proceed to the Lampedusa area to intercept a southbound convoy.

(All times are zone -2)
1300 hours - Received Capt.S10's 1159A/17 ordering P 42 to torpedo the ship beached off Khoms. Started to close Khoms.

1445 hours - Sighted a Partenope-class torpedo-boat and several aircraft patrolling up and down the coast off Khoms.

1500 hours - Sighted the beached ship in approximate position 5 cables north-east of Khoms main lighthouse. Due to shallow water and the patrol it was not possible to close much further.

1533 hours - Fired a torpedo from 5000 yards. No result was heard or seen.

1538 hours - Fired a second torpedo. No track was seen and it is considered this torpedo failed to run.

1547 hours - Fired a third torpedo from a range of 4000 yards. Again no result was seen or heard. Withdrew to seaward. (7)

19 Oct 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) attacked a convoy north-west of Tripoli, Libya in position 34°45'N 12°31'E. All the torpedoes missed. The target was Saturno (5022 GRT, built 1914) which had the first two torpedoes missing under her and manoeuvred to avoid the next two. She was in company of Titania (5397 GRT, built 1918) and Capo Orso (3149 GRT, 1916), escorted by the destroyers Ascari, Antonio Da Noli and Antonio Pigafetta. The Titania was sunk early the next day by HMS Safari (Cdr. B. Bryant, DSC, RN) east of Tunisia in position 34°45'N, 12°31'E.

(All times are zone -2)
1405 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 290°. Ran in to intercept.

1430 hours - The course of the convoy was estimated as 135°. Started attack. The convoy zigged twice first to 155° and shortly before firing to 175°. Three escorting aircraft were seen. The convoy consisted of one large merchant vessel of 7000 ton, a tanker of 8000 tons and a smaller merchant vessel. Escort was provided by fleet destroyers of which 3 (possibly 4) were seen.

1510 hours - Fired a salvo of four torpedoes. Two were aimed at the 7000 ton merchant, one at the tanker and one at the smaller merchant vessel. Range was estimated as being 8000 yards. Two explosions were heard 7m 10s and 7m 45s. These sounded like torpedo hits. P 42 went to 70 feet on firing and increased to full speed and altered course to get off the torpedo tracks.

1521 hours - An accurate and swift counter attack started. 20 Depth charges were dropped. All were close and caused serious damage to P 42.

1537 hours - The last depth charge was dropped.

1600 hours - The hunt by three destroyers continued although no depth charges were dropped.

1620 hours - No more HE or Asdic transmissions were heard.

1720 hours - Came to periscope depth. Nothing in sight.

In the evening P 42 set course towards Malta. The damage sustained by the depth charging was to great and the patrol had to be abandoned. (7)

20 Oct 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) ended her 8th war patrol (also 8th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (7)

15 Nov 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) departed Malta for her 9th war patrol (also 9th in the Mediterranean), she was escorted out by HMS Speedy HMS Speedy (Lt. J.G. Brookes, DSC, RN). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Genoa.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 42 during this patrol see the map below.

(7)

17 Nov 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) was ordered to patrol to the North of Sicily instead of the Gulf of Genoa. (7)

21 Nov 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) attacked an enemy convoy to the north of Palermo, Sicily. Four torpedoes were fired but no hits were obtained. The target was the transport Liv (3068 GRT, built 1896, former Norwegian) in company with Favorita (3576 GRT, built 1916) escorted by the auxiliary Cattaro (1275 GRT, built 1933). The next day, Favorita was hit by a Wellington torpedo bomber and finished off by the submarine HMS P 228.

(All times are zone -2)
0756 hours - Sighted two CANT Z 501 aircraft.

0758 hours -Sighed smoke bearing 120°, closed.

0837 hours - A convoy of three ships was now in sight to the north-west. Started attack. Enemy course was 335°, speed 10 knots. The original plan of attack was spoiled by a zig (the first) of the leading ship, which turned out to be a small Armed Merchant Cruiser.

0930 hours - In position 38°20'N, 13°20'E fired four torpedoes at the two cargo vessels of the convoy. Range was about 2000 yards. No results. These ships were 4000-5000 tons in displacement.

0936 hours - A counter attack was started. Fifteen depth charges were dropped, none was very close.

1103 hours - The last depth charge was dropped. P 42 meanwhile was withdrawing to the west. (7)

25 Nov 1942
In the early morning hours HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) bombarded a railway viaduct immediately north of Cape Suvero lighthouse. A southbound train was just crossing this viaduct. Unfortunately, the gun jammed after the second round. The shoot had to be abandoned and retired from the coast. (7)

5 Dec 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) ended her 9th war patrol (also 9th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (7)

20 Dec 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) departed Malta for her 10th war patrol (also 10th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off Naples.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 42 during this patrol see the map below.

(7)

26 Dec 1942
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) attacked an enemy convoy south-west of Ischia Island. Four torpedoes were fired and the German merchant Djebel Dira (2835 GRT, built 1930, former French) was hit and damaged. She was escorted by the auxiliary Cattaro (1275 GRT, built 1933). The tug Titano was sent to her assistance and towed her to Naples.

(All times are zone -2)
1130 hours - Sighted smoke which soon turned out to be a convoy of two medium seized merchant ships, and one small merchant vessel, escorted by an armed merchant cruiser of about 2000 tons. Started attack.

1231 hours - In position 40°41'N, 13°47'E fired four torpedoes from yards. One hit was obtained on the leading merchant vessel which was of about 5000 tons. P 42 had gone deep on firing.

1240 hours - The counter attack of four depth charges was ineffective. On board P 42 they could hardly believe it, they usually got a much bigger pounding.

1310 hours - Returned to periscope depth and observed that the ship hit had about 50 feet of her bow missing and was stopped bow down. The AMC was escorting the other ship towards Naples while the third ship stood by the damaged one. The local schooner patrol had also arrived on the scene. P 42 cleared the area. (7)

27 Dec 1942
Just after sunset (1648 hours, zone -2) HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) surfaced to engage a rail viaduct over a deep ravine half a mile east of Pietra di Nante (position 40°07'5"N, 15°11'E). In 10 minutes 68 rounds were fired from 1000 yards. Twenty-three hits were observed on the viaduct or its supports. Seven hits were observed on the power house. Overhead wires were also brought down. In fact, the telegraph lines were cut, the bridge slightly damaged and a corporal was wounded. (7)

6 Jan 1943
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) ended her 10th war patrol (also 10th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (7)

16 Jan 1943
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) departed Malta for her 11th war patrol (also 11th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Gabes.

For the daily and attack positions of HMS P 42 during this patrol see the map below.

(7)

19 Jan 1943
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) torpedoed and damaged the Italian merchant Edda (6107 GRT, built 1924) near Gerba, Tunisia in position 33°45'N, 11°12'E. She was en-route from Tripoli to Sfax. She was escorted by the Italian torpedo boat San Martino and patrol vessel Eso. She was taken in tow by San Martino and later by the tug Ciclope but Edda and escort Eso were sunk later the same day by Allied aircraft.

(All times are zone -1)
1650 hours - Masts and smoke was visible bearing 150°. This was soon seen to be a convoy made up of a 5000 ton merchant ship escorted by two torpedo-boats. Started attack.

1748 hours - In position 33°45'N, 11°12'E fired four torpedoes from yards. One hit was obtained. The counter attack was slight and started 10 minutes after firing. In 12 minutes 7 single depth charges were dropped but none were close.

1808 hours - A periscope look showed both escorts, one hunting and one standing by the damaged ship which was in a sinking condition with her stern down.

1814 hours - The escorts could still be seen but no transport. Went to 70 feet as a torpedo-boat was closing. Withdrew to the seaward. (7)

21 Jan 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) was recalled as surface ships and MTB's are going to operate alongside the Tunisian coastline. (7)

23 Jan 1943
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) ended her 11th war patrol (also 11th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (7)

25 Jan 1943
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) departed Malta for her 12th war patrol (also 12th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to conduct special operation Felicity (or Felice) in the Gulf of Hammamet.

For the daily positions of HMS P 42 during this patrol see the map below.

(7)

28 Jan 1943
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) landed a raiding party (Captain J. Eyre, Lieutenan P.H. Thomas of 4th battalion, the Bluffs, and six Fighting French commandos) that was to destroy a railway bridge near the town of Hammamet. The party was landed successfully but flares fired and gunfire on the shore made it obvious that they had been discovered. P 42 wisely retired from the area. The commandos were all captured. (7)

30 Jan 1943
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) ended her 12th war patrol (also 12th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (7)

12 Feb 1943
HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) departed Malta for her 13th war patrol (also 13th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol between Kuriat and Hammamet.

For the daily positions of HMS P 42 during this patrol see the map below.

(7)

27 Feb 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) ended her 13th war patrol (also 13th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. Only small vessels were sighted. (7)

11 Mar 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) departed Malta for her 14th war patrol (also 14th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Hammamet.

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

(7)

18 Mar 1943
At 1732 hours (zone -1) HMS Unbroken (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) fired a torpedo at shipping inside Sousse harbour. The torpedo ran correctly but exploded on hitting the boom. The targets were the German Skotfoss (1465 GRT, built 1917, ex Norwegian) and the Italian Orsolina Bottiglieri (883 GRT, built 1899). (7)

19 Mar 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) ended her 14th war patrol (also 14th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (7)

26 Mar 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) departed Malta for her 15th war patrol (also 15th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the south coast of Italy.

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

(7)

3 Apr 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) attacked the German destroyer Hermes (former Greek Vasilefs Georgios) with torpedoes about 20 nautical miles south of Cape Spartivento in position 37°46'N, 15°38'E. Unfortunately, the torpedoes miss the target.

(All times are zone -1)
1405 hours - Heard good HE bearing 110°. Nothing in sight although visibility was maximum.

1415 hours - Sighted masts of a warship on the bearing of the HE. Started attack. Enemy course was 262°. The target was thought to be an Italian Regolo-class light cruiser.

1501 hours - In position 37°48'N, 15°48'E fired a salvo of four torpedoes from 6000 yards. No hits were obtained. (7)

4 Apr 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) torpedoed and damaged the German (former Norwegian) tanker Regina (9545 GRT, built 1937) off Punta Stilo, Sicily, Italy in position 38°15'N, 16°30'E. She was with the Italian Carbonello A.(1593 GRT, built 1942) and escorted by the torpedo boats Angelo Bassini, Climene and destroyer Augusto Riboty. Hit by two torpedoes on the port side, she attempted to return to Taranto. The tug Vigoroso was sailed to assist her but she had to be beached near Punta Stilo. Climene hunted the submarine delivering a first attack with nine depth charges, followed by another with eleven more. Oil was observed coming to the surface and the torpedo boat assumed the submarine sunk but this was not the case.

(All times are zone -1)
1415 hours - Heard A/S impulses. Diving stations were ordered and the boat prepared for depth charging.

1428 hours - By now it was obvious that several ships were in the vicinity, so P 42 went to periscope depth in order to have a look at the opposition.

1429 hours - In a 10-second look through the small periscope. Lt. Mars was rather surprised to see two torpedo-boats on the starboard quarter and one on the port, three aircraft and right astern a very large tanker. Started attack.

1434 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 2500 yards. A torpedo explosion was heard 2m 24s after firing the first torpedo.

1436 hours - The counter attack started. The first depth charges were fairly close.

1457 hours - The counter attack was over. 25 depth charges in all had been dropped. (7)

7 Apr 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, DSO, RN) ended her 15th war patrol (also 15th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (7)

18 Apr 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 16th war patrol (also 16th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol north of Sicily.

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

(7)

21 Apr 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) attacked an Italian submarine with four torpedoes off Cape San Vito. No hits were obtained. There were no submarines in this area, axis or allied, the attack was a bogus one.

(All times are zone -1)
1052 hours - After having been deep for a while due to patrolling aircraft returned to periscope depth. Sighted a submarine proceeding close inshore round Cape San Vito. Started attack.

1100 hours - In position 38°15'N, 12°43'E fired four torpedoes at an Italian submarine from 5800 yards. No hits were obtained.

1230 hours - The submarine disappeared from sight round Cape Gallo. (7)

22 Apr 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) attacked the Italian auxiliary minesweeper No. 17/Milano (379 GRT) off Cape San Vito, Sicily, Italy in position 38°11'N, 12°45'E. The torpedo missed but, while avoiding it, the minesweeper ran aground accidentally.

(All times are zone -1)
1411 hours - Set course to close a large schooner seen during the morning.

1600 hours - In position 38°10'N, 12°46'E fired one torpedo from 900 yards. The torpedo hit and the target disintegrated. Unbroken then retired to the north. (7)

26 Apr 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) attacked but missed an Italian transport with three torpedoes off Palermo, no hits were obtained. This was probably Anagni (ex French El Mansour, 5818 GRT, built 1933) escorted by the torpedo boat Antares. They had sailed from Palermo for Leghorn.

(All times are zone -1)
1545 hours - Sighted a 6000 ton merchant vessel escorted by a modern torpedo-boat and two aircraft leaving Palermo. Started attack.

1617 hours - In position 38°13'N, 13°26'E fired the last three torpedoes from 5500 yards. Unbroken went deep on firing. No hits were obtained. (7)

30 Apr 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) ended her 16th war patrol (also 16th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (7)

13 May 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 17th war patrol (also 17th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol north of Sicily.

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

(7)

19 May 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian pilot vessel F 20 / Enrica (269 GRT, built 1913) three nautical miles bearing 260° off Pizzo Calabro in position 38°45'N, 16°00'E. It was towing the pontoon Titano from Messina to Palermo. An Italian seaplane alighted and rescued the eight survivors, thirteen were killed or missing. Three minesweepers were sent to the scene and Titano was taken in tow.

(All times are zone -1)
1500 hours - Sighted a floating sheer-legs towed by a large tug close inshore proceeding north. Started attack.

1547 hours - Fired two torpedoes from 3000 yards. 2m 6s after firing a hit was heard followed swiftly by breaking up noises. On returning to periscope depth the tug had sunk. The sheer-legs appeared to be beached. The escorting seaplane landed and picked up the survivors. (7)

20 May 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) attacked a tug with two torpedoes north-west of Longobardi, Cosenza, Italy. No hits were obtained. This was the tug Costante (100 GRT, built 1914) towing dockyard machinery. She opened fire on the periscope.

(All times are zone -1)
1030 hours - Sighted tug towing a large square object proceeding south close inshore. Closed.

1117 hours - In position 39°14'N, 16°01'E fired two torpedoes at the tug. These missed ahead. The tug's crew manned their gun forward and fired at the periscope so gun action was not considered practical.

1129 hours - Withdrew to the north-west. (7)

21 May 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Bologna (5439 GRT, built 1917, former French Monaco) 8 nautical miles bearing 210° of Cape Vaticano in position 38°34'N, 15°44'E. She was proceeding from Naples to Messina with Siena (ex French Astrée, 2147 GRT, built 1921) and Polluce (1949 GRT, built 1917) escorted by the torpedo boats Groppo and Orione.

(All times are zone -1)
1655 hours - Sighted smoke of a convoy made up of three merchant ships and two destroyers. Closed.

1744 hours - Fired four torpedoes from about 3500 yards at a 4000 tons (the largest) merchant vessel. An explosion was heard 2m 21s after firing. Unbroken had gone to 120 feet on firing.

1753 hours - Depth charging commenced but they were dropped a good way off. Withdrew to the north-west.

1834 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Saw one of the destroyers stopped in the position of the attack, possibly picking up survivors. The other destroyer was hunting. The two smaller merchant vessels could still be seen but there was no sign of the larger one.

26 May 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) ended her 17th war patrol (also 17th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (7)

6 Jun 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 18th war patrol (also 18th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Squillace and the Gulf of Taranto.

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

(7)

16 Jun 1943
In the morning HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) attacked an A/S schooner with one torpedo. It missed. This was the armed schooner Misuraca.

In the evening Unbroken attacked what was thought to be a medium seized tanker with four torpedoes off Crotone. No hits were obtained and it was later thought that the target was an A/S vessel instead of a tanker. Possibly this was the naval ammunition transport Vallelunga (1071 tons, built 1924) escorted by the torpedo boat Sagittario, they had sailed from Crotone for Messina.

(All times are zone -1)
0715 hours - Sighted an A/S schooner. Closed.

0940 hours - The schooner was seen to be stopped in position 39°19'N, 17°21'E. Fired one torpedo from 850 yards. The torpedo ran under and exploded at the end of its run. The target was not considered worth another torpedo.

---------------------------------------

1943 hours - Sighted smoke to the northwards.

2052 hours - Sighted a torpedo-boat (a modern one) steering south towards Crotone. About 3 nautical miles off the harbour stopped and was joined by what was thought to be a medium seized tanker. The torpedo-boat joined up ahead and both ships moved south towards Unbroken. Started attack.

2114 hours - In position 39°04'N, 17°17'E fired four torpedoes at the tanker from about 2500 yards. It was almost dark and the target was not very clear. No hits were obtained. Unbroken had gone deep and retired from the scene. After the attack it was thought that the target was not a tanker but a much smaller A/S vessel. (7)

20 Jun 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) ended her 18th war patrol (also 18th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (7)

27 Jun 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) was docked at Malta. It is currently not known to us when she was undocked.

3 Jul 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 19th war patrol (also 19th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Taranto as part of a patrol line of five submarines to provide cover during Operation Husky, the Allied landings on Sicily.

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

(7)

18 Jul 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) ended her 19th war patrol (also 19th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. It was uneventful. (7)

30 Jul 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) departed Malta for Gibraltar. Passage was partly (until Algiers) made in the 'Nitwit' convoy. From Algiers to Gibraltar Unbroken was escorted by HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. G.W. Rayner, RNVR).

Unbroken was to proceed to the U.K. to refit.

For the daily positions of HMS Unbroken during this passage see the map below.

(7)

4 Aug 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (7)

8 Aug 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for passage to the U.K. En-route she was ordered to patrol off the north-west coast corner of Spain and later to conduct an anti U-boat patrol in the Bay of Biscay making this passage her 20th war patrol.

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

(7)

25 Aug 1943
At 0815 hours rendez-vous was made with FFS Rubis (Lt.Cdr. H.L.G. Rousselot) and escort Chasseur 11. They then proceeded to Dartmouth where the arrived later the same day. (7)

26 Aug 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) shifted from Dartmouth to Portsmouth where she ended her 19th war patrol. She was escorted by Chasseur 11. (7)

15 Sep 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) shifted from Portsmouth to Yarmouth. (7)

16 Sep 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) departed Yarmouth for Holy Loch. She made the passage together with HMS Safari (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSO, DSC, RN). They were escorted by Chasseur 5. In the evening they were joined by HMS Whalsay (T/Lt. F.J.S. Crawford, RNVR) and HMS Mangrove (T/Lt. J.K.M. Warde, RNVR) who took over the escort. (7)

19 Sep 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (7)

21 Sep 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) departed Holy Loch for Scapa Flow. She made the passage together with HMS Stoic (Lt. P.B. Marriot, DSO, RN) and HMS Varangian (Lt. J. Nash, DSC, RN). They were escorted by HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr.(retired) C.M. Norman, RN). (7)

23 Sep 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow. She departed later the same day for Blyth. Passage was made together with HMS Uther (Lt. P.S. Beale, RN) that was to proceed to Dundee. They were escorted by HMS Scalby Wyke (A/Skr.Lt. C.A. Grimmer, RNR). (7)

24 Sep 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) arrived at Blyth where she was to refit. (7)

29 Sep 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) commenced refit at the Blyth Dry Dock Co.

8 Feb 1944
HMS Unbroken (Lt. P.L. Langley-Smith, RN) shifted from Blyth to South Shields.

9 Feb 1944
HMS Unbroken (Lt. P.L. Langley-Smith, RN) shifted from South Shields to Blyth.

Unbroken was now assigned to training duties.

16 Mar 1944
HMS Unbroken (Lt. P.L. Langley-Smith, RN) departed Blyth for Lerwick. The Admiralty was under the impression that the damaged Tirpitz might be leaving Norway for Germany to effect repairs. So a whole lot of submarine were sent to patrol off Norway including several submarines from training flotillas including HMS Unbroken. (7)

17 Mar 1944
HMS Unbroken (Lt. P.L. Langley-Smith, RN) arrived at Lerwick. Later the same day she departed for her 21th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the Norwegian coast to the north of Bergen.

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

(7)

19 Mar 1944
At 0847 hours, in position 60°56'N, 04°37.1'E (entrance of Sognefjord), HMS Unbroken (Lt. P.L. Langley-Smith, RN) struck bottom at a depth of 70 feet. (7)

21 Mar 1944
HMS Unbroken (Lt. P.L. Langley-Smith, RN) was recalled from patrol and was to return to Lerwick where she arrived later the same day ending her 21th war patrol. (7)

24 Mar 1944
HMS Unbroken (Lt. P.L. Langley-Smith, RN) departed Lerwick for Blyth. She made the passage together with HMS Unbending (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) and HMS Trusty (Lt. M.F.R. Ainslie, DSO, DSC, RN). They were escorted by HMS Loch Monteith (T/Lt. K.W. Richardson, RNR). (7)

25 Mar 1944
HMS Unbroken (Lt. P.L. Langley-Smith, RN) arrived at Blyth. She now resumed her training duties. (7)

5 May 1944
HMS Unbroken (Lt. P.L. Langley-Smith, RN) departed Blyth for Rosyth.

6 May 1944
HMS Unbroken (Lt. P.L. Langley-Smith, RN) arrived at Rosyth.

30 May 1944
HMS Unbroken (Lt. P.L. Langley-Smith, RN) was decommissioned on this date and loaned to the U.S.S.R.

10 Jun 1944

HMS Unbroken departed Rosyth for Dundee where she arrived the same day.

She was loaned to the Soviet Navy and renamed as B.2 (phonetically V.2) and, manned by a Russian crew, sailed from Lerwick on 26 July. She was one of four such submarines, the others were B.1 (ex Sunfish), B.3 (ex Unison) and V.4 (ex Ursula). During the trip to Northern Russia, B.1 was sunk in error by a RAF aircraft. B.2 arrived at Polyarnoe on 3 August. During her career under the Soviet flag, she sank the German submarine chaser UJ 1220 on 12 October 1944. She was returned to the UK in 1949.

Media links


Unbroken

Mars, Alastair, D.S.O, D.S.C. and bar.

Sources

  1. ADM 199/424
  2. ADM 199/2573
  3. ADM 199/1222
  4. ADM 173/17400
  5. ADM 173/17392
  6. ADM 199/1225
  7. ADM 199/1826

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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