Ships hit by U-boats

HMS Royal Oak (08)

British Battleship

NameHMS Royal Oak (08)
Type:Battleship (Royal Sovereign)
Tonnage29,150 tons (one of the largest ships sunk).
Completed1916 - Devonport Dockyard, Plymouth 
OwnerThe Admiralty 
Date of attack14 Oct 1939Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-47 (Günther Prien)
Position58° 55'N, 2° 59'W - Grid AN 1610
Complement1260 officers and men (835 dead and 425 survivors).
Notes on event

At 01.16 hours on 14 October 1939 U-47 fired a spread of three torpedoes at HMS Royal Oak (08) (Capt W.G. Benn, RN) and the British seaplane tender HMS Pegasus lying at anchor in the harbour of Scapa Flow, then turned around and fired a stern torpedo at 01.21 hours. Prien claimed a hit on the seaplane tender, misidentified as HMS Repulse (34), but one of the torpedoes apparently hit the starboard anchor chain of the battleship and both targets were undamaged.

At 01.23 hours, the U-boat fired a second spread of three torpedoes which hit HMS Royal Oak (08) on the starboard side and caused a magazine to blow up. The battleship rolled over and sank in 19 minutes. 386 of the survivors, including the commander, were rescued by the drifter HMS Daisy II (Skipper John Gatt) which had been alongside as tender.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 1260 people who were on board

If you can help us with any additional information on this vessel then please contact us.

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)

Return to Allied Ships hit by U-boats

As an Amazon Associate earns a commission from qualifying purchases.