Allied Warships

HMS P 36 (P 36)

Submarine of the U class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassU 
PennantP 36 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered11 Mar 1940 
Laid down26 Jul 1940 
Launched28 Apr 1941 
Commissioned24 Sep 1941 
Lost1 Apr 1942 
History

HMS P 36 (Lt. Harry Noel Edmonds, DSC, RN) was wrecked by bombing at Malta on 1 April 1942. She was raised on 7 August 1958. Scuttled off Malta on 22 August 1958.  

Commands listed for HMS P 36 (P 36)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Harry Noel Edmonds, DSC, RN12 Aug 19411 Apr 1942

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Notable events involving P 36 include:


The history of HMS P 36 as compiled on this page is extracted from P 36'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.

This page was last updated in August 2016.

23 Sep 1941
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) departed her builders yard at Barrow for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR). (1)

24 Sep 1941
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch to begin a training period. (1)

14 Oct 1941
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) departed Holy Loch for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the North Atlantic to the south-west of Ireland on an anti-uboat patrol.

During passage south through the Irish Sea she was escorted by HMS White Bear (Cdr. (retired) C.C. Flemming, RN).

No log is available for this period so no map can be displayed. (1)

15 Oct 1941
During passage south through the Irish Sea HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) developed engine defects. She was ordered to return to Holy Loch. (1)

16 Oct 1941
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) ended her 1st (aborted) war patrol at Dundee. (1)

24 Oct 1941
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) departed Holy Loch for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the North Atlantic to the south-west of Ireland on an anti-uboat patrol.

During passage south through the Irish Sea she was escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(retired) R.H. Mack, RN) until 2000/26.

No log is available for this period so no map can be displayed. (2)

7 Nov 1941
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Portsmouth. The patrol had been uneventful. (2)

21 Nov 1941
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) departed Portsmouth to participate in A/S exercises off Dartmouth. (1)

22 Nov 1941
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) arrived at Dartmouth. (1)

23 Nov 1941
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) departed Dartmouth for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Bay of Biscay and to perform a special operation.

No log is available for this period so no map can be displayed. (2)

26 Nov 1941
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) attacked a German U-boat with two torpedoes south-west of Belle-Ile island in position 47°16'N, 03°20'W. All torpedoes missed their target. This was probably U-67 which had sailed from Lorient for an Atlantic patrol. The accack was not noticed by the Germans.

(All times are zone -1)
1529 hours - Heard HE bearing 020°.

1530 hours - Sighted a U-boat on that bearing. Enemy course was 180°, speed 14 knots. Started attack.

1543 hours - Fired two torpedoes from 3000 yards. Only two torpedoes were fired as there was no torpedo in No.1 tube due to routines being carried out and No.3 tube was not flooded in time. Both torpedoes were heard to run but no explosions followed. (2)

27 Nov 1941
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) conducted a special operation. In the evening four agents were taken off a French fishing vessel and stores were transferred to this fishing vessel. This was Special Operation Fighter (Valise III for SIS). (2)

30 Nov 1941
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Dartmouth. (2)

4 Dec 1941
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) departed Dartmouth for Portsmouth. (1)

5 Dec 1941
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) arrived at Portsmouth. (1)

18 Dec 1941
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) departed Portsmouth for passage to Gibraltar It had originally been intended for her to patrol in the Bay of Biscay and then to proceed to Gibraltar upon completion of the patrol but these orders were cancelled and she was ordered to proceed to Gibraltar directly.

P 36 was to join the 10th submarine flotilla at Malta.

For the daily positions of HMS P 36 during this passage see the map below.

(1)

27 Dec 1941
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. She was escorted in by HMS Hesperus (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Tait, RN). (1)

1 Jan 1942
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for her 4th war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Lions and to conduct two special operations (2 agents were to be landed). Upon completion of the patrol she was to proceed to Malta.

For the daily positions of HMS P 36 during this patrol see the map below. No position is known for 14 January 1942.

(3)

7 Jan 1942
At 2130 hours HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) abandoned the landing of agent 'A' due to the unfavourable weather condition and the time limit now having expired. (3)

9 Jan 1942
At 1920 hours HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) landed agent 'B' (Peter Churchill) from position 43°08'5"N, 06°56'8"E.

At 2100 hours, agent 'A' was landed from position 43°06'N, 06°54'8"E. Agent 'A' was keen on being landed instead of returning and after consulting with agent 'B' it was decided to land him in this location. (3)

16 Jan 1942
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) ended her 4th war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

22 Jan 1942
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 5th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the East of Tripoli.

No log is available for this period so no map can be displayed. (3)

24 Jan 1942
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) attacked an enemy convoy north of Khoms, Libya. Four torpedoes were fired but no hits were obtained. The convoy consisted of Monviso (5322 GRT, built 1941), Monginevro (5324 GRT, built 1940) and Vettor Pisani (6339 GRT, built 1939) escorted by the destroyers Ugolino Vivaldi, Lanzerotto Malocello, Antonio Da Noli and Geniere and the torpedo boats Castore and Orsa. The submarine was hunted by Malocello, Geniere, Castore and a CANT Z.501 of 196^Squadriglia.

(All times are zone -2)
0824 hours - In position 32°50'N, 14°20'E sighted the masts of three merchant vessels, later seen to be of 5000 tons each. They were escorted by 5 destroyers and 2 aircraft. Started attack. Closed at high speed to 4500 yards.

Fired four torpedoes at the two leading merchant vessels which were a length apart. It is thought that one hit was obtained. Went to 130 feet on firing and moved away on an opposite course to the convoy. The counter attack was carried out by four destroyers. About 30 depth charges were dropped but none were very close.

1010 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight. (3)

25 Jan 1942
In the evening HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) was ordered to patrol to the west of Tripoli. (3)

2 Feb 1942
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) ended her 5th war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

11 Feb 1942
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 6th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol south of the Straits of Messina.

No log is available for this period so no map can be displayed. (3)

15 Feb 1942
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) attacked the Italian heavy cruisers Gorizia and Trento, screened by the destroyers Ascari, Aviere and Camicia Nera, south of the Straits of Messina in position 37°36'N, 15°53'E. Four torpedoes were fired but no hits were obtained. The destroyer Ascari reported that a torpedo missed her astern.

(All times are zone -2)
0055 hours - Heard HE bearing 295°. Stopped the generators.

0102 hours - HE was reported to be drawing from right to left. Closed the range, keeping the HE 10° - 15° on the starboard bow, varying speed between 9 and 3 knots.

0115 hours - Sighted two cruisers and one destroyer bearing 265°. The destroyer being on the engaged bow of the cruisers. Started attack.

0121 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 7000 yards at the leading cruiser. No hits were obtained.

0122 hours - Dived as the torpedo tracks were fairy conspicuous owing to the phosphorescence.

0220 hours - Surfaced to pass enemy report. (3)

16 Feb 1942
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) torpedoed and damaged the Italian destroyer Carabiniere south of the Straits of Messina. Part of the bow was blown off.

The destroyer was screening the heavy cruisers Trento and Gorizia with her consorts Alpino, Fuciliere and Bersagliere. Twenty men were killed or missing and forty wounded (three seriously). She was taken in tow by the tug Instancabile and, escorted by the torpedo boat Generale Marcello Prestinari, was brought to Messina. The torpedo boat Pallade was sailed to take over the hunt of the submarine and dropped forty-five depth charges.

(All times are zone -2)
1240 hours - Heard destroyer HE bearing 110°.

1301 hours - At periscope depth. Sighted the Italian heavy cruisers Trento and Gorizia. They were escorted by about 8 destroyers and several aircraft. Started attack on the leading cruiser.

1307 hours - Shifted target to the second cruiser, Gorizia.

1315 hours - In position 37°42'N, 15°35'E fired four torpedoes from 1000 yards. It is thought two hits were obtained. P 36 went deep and took evasive action.

1318 hours - A counter attack started. This was carried out by 6 destroyers. During the first 45 minutes 105 depth charges were counted. None were uncomfortably close.

1534 hours - Returned to periscope depth. 3 Destroyers and 2 aircraft were sighted near the area of the attack about 3 nautical miles away. Nothing was seen of the cruiser. (3)

18 Feb 1942
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) ended her 6th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

21 Feb 1942
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 7th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the East of Tripoli to form a patrol line with HMS Upholder (Lt.Cdr. M.D. Wanklyn, VC, DSO, RN) and HMS Unbeaten (Lt.Cdr. E.A. Woodward, DSO, RN) to intercept an important enemy convoy. No convoy was sighted.

No log is available for this period so no map can be displayed. (3)

23 Feb 1942
In the evening HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) set course, as ordered, for a new patrol area to the West of Tripoli. (3)

1 Mar 1942
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) ended her 7th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

6 Mar 1942
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) was reported to have sustained damage to both her periscopes during an air raid at Malta. (4)

14 Mar 1942
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) departed Malta for her 8th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Taranto to provide cover for a convoy to Malta. Only destroyers and an E-boat were seen and they were not attacked.

No log is available for this period so no map can be displayed. (3)

29 Mar 1942
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) ended her 8th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean) at Malta. (3)

1 Apr 1942
HMS P 36 (Lt. H.N. Edmonds, DSC, RN) was bombed and sunk during an air raid over Malta, there were no casualties.

Sources

  1. ADM 199/400
  2. ADM 199/1833
  3. ADM 199/1224
  4. ADM 199/2561

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


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