Allied Warships

FR Minerve

Submarine of the Minerve class

NavyThe French Navy
Built byArsenal de Cherbourg (Cherbourg, France) 
Laid down17 Aug 1931 
Launched23 Oct 1934 
Commissioned15 Sep 1936 
Lost19 Sep 1945 
Loss position50° 31'N, 2° 27'W

Seized by the British in Plymouth on 3 July 1940.
Transferred to the Free French in September 1940.
Carried pennant number P 26 during the Second World War.

On 19 September 1945 Minerve ran aground after her tow line parted. She lies of Chesil Beach, Portland Bill (position 50°31'01N 02°27'06W) in 10 meters of water. She is reported to be badly broken up.


We don't have any commands listed for FR Minerve

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Notable events involving Minerve include:

19 Apr 1941
Minerve (Lt. P.M. Sonneville) fires two torpedoes against the Norwegian tanker (in German control) Tiger (3941 GRT, offsite link) north-west of Egersund, Norway in position 58°42'N, 05°34'E. Both torpedoes missed their target.

Oct 1941
19 Oct - 27 Oct 1941: O 14 patrols off Norway. No attacks are made. During this war patrol the weather is very bad. 19 Oct 1941 at 19:00 hrs: Together with the French submarine Minerve, and escorted by a plane and HMS Loch Monteith, the O 14 departed from Lerwick (Shetlands). At 61?36'N-00?02'E (90 nm North of Lerwick) the two submarines continue on their own. (1)

10 Oct 1943
Minerve was attacked by a Coastal Command Liberator, piloted by Mick Ensor on 10 October 1943. The rocket attack left two crew dead. The attack took place about 300 nautical miles west of Brest. Minerve was on the surface repairing a diesel engine when attacked. (1)

Oct 1943
Around the 10th of October 1943 HMS Wensleydale was ordered to first find and then escort the Free French Submarine Minerve (P26) back to port. Ken England remembers that "the submarine was transmitting the morse letter 'A' on a known frequency and by manning our MF D/F set we were able to get a fix on the sub's position". This submarine had been a victim of 'friendly fire' and was unable to dive. A Liberator, piloted by Mick Ensor spotted a submarine about 300 miles west of Brest. The submarine was attacked with eight 5"rockets. One 25lb rocket entered the starboard side just below the external torpedo tubes. Two men were killed. One by the rocket head and another by a fragment of the pressure hull. The submarine was off course and not reported in the area. Pilot Mick Ensor (see Enser's Endevour, by Vincent Orange) was cleared of any blame. The damage to Minerve proved very useful to navy intelligence. Many photographs were taken of the damage, angle of entry etc. The projectile was said to be virtually undamaged, but was unfortunately thrown overboard as it was considered likely to explode. (source: (2)


  1. Personal communication

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