Allied Warships


S class

61 ships

The submarine HMS Sibyl (P 217) of the Royal Navy.

Technical information

Displacement640 / 927 BRT 
Length202.5 feet 
Complement4 officers + 29 men men 
Armament1 3" gun
6 21" torpedo tubes
12 torpedoes 
Max speed13.75 / 10 knots (surfaced/submerged)
EnginesDiesel / electric, 2 shafts 
Power1550 / 1300 HP  (surfaced/submerged)
Notes on class

The S class was a medium sized patrol submarine, designed with the proposed international restriction of 600 tons displacement in mind. Intended for use in north European or Mediterranean waters, they were highly manoeuvrable and fast diving with a heavy armament of torpedoes. This allowed large salvoes to be fired from long range in an effort to counter the improved A/S techniques.

This proved to be a very successful design that was put back into production during the war, 62 boats of this class being built. Some boats were partially welded and the later ones fully welded construction, improving the strength of the pressure hull and consequently increasing their diving depth.

The specifications as given above is for the first group.

Further specifications on the later groups; 2nd Group;
Same as the first group except;
Displacement: 670 / 960 BRT
Complement: 4 officers + 35 men.
Length: 208.75 feet
Sunfish had more powerful diesel engines 1900 HP instead of 1550 HP. Therefore her surface speed was 15 knots.

3th Group;
Same as the first group except;
Displacement: 715 / 990 BRT
Complement: 6 officers + 42 men.
Length: 217 feet
1 3" gun
7 21" torpedo tubes (6 bow, 1 external stern)
13 torpedoes
Speed: 14.75 / 9 knots
Power: 1900 / 1300 HP

4th Group;
Same as the first group except;
Displacement: 715 / 990 BRT
Complement: 6 officers + 42 men.
Length: 217 feet
1 3" gun
6 21" torpedo tubes (6 bow)
12 torpedoes
Speed: 14.75 / 9 knots
Power: 1900 / 1300 HP
The fourth group was actually the same as the third group but without the external stern torpedo tube. Although some early units of this group were fitted with the external stern tube.

Some ships in the third or fourth group carried a 4" gun instead of a 3" gun.

Submarines of this class that have detailed patrol info added are shown in bold in the list below.


All ships of the S class

Royal Dutch Navy Royal Dutch Navy (more on Royal Dutch Navy)

HNMS Zeehond (N 73) (ex. HMS Sturgeon)

First Group

Royal Navy Royal Navy (more on Royal Navy)

HMS Seahorse (98 S) Lost on 7 Jan 1940
HMS Starfish (19 S) Lost on 9 Jan 1940
HMS Sturgeon (N 73) (To the Royal Netherlands Navy as HrMs Zeehond)
HMS Swordfish (N 61) Lost on 7 Nov 1940

Fourth Group

Royal Navy Royal Navy (more on Royal Navy)

HMS Saga (P 257)
HMS Sanguine (P 266)
HMS Scorcher (P 258)
HMS Sea Robin
HMS Sea Scout (P 253)
HMS Selene (P 254)
HMS Seneschal (P 255)
HMS Sentinel (P 256)
HMS Sidon (P 259) Lost on 16 Jun 1955
HMS Sleuth (P 261)
HMS Solent (P 262)
HMS Spearhead (P 263)
HMS Sprightly
HMS Springer (P 264)
HMS Spur (P 265)
HMS Sturdy (ii) (P 248)
HMS Stygian (P 249)
HMS Subtle (P 251)
HMS Supreme (P 252)
HMS Surface
HMS Surge

Second Group

Royal Navy Royal Navy (more on Royal Navy)

HMS Salmon (N 65) Lost on 16 Jul 1940
HMS Sealion (N 72)
HMS Seawolf (N 47)
HMS Shark (i) (N 54) Lost on 6 Jul 1940
HMS Snapper (N 39) Lost on 12 Feb 1941
HMS Spearfish (N 69) Lost on 1 Aug 1940
HMS Sterlet (N 22) Lost on 18 Apr 1940
HMS Sunfish (N 81) (To Soviet Union as V-1)

Soviet Navy Soviet Navy (more on Soviet Navy)

V-1 (ex. HMS Sunfish) Lost on 27 Jul 1944

Third Group

Royal Navy Royal Navy (more on Royal Navy)

HMS P 222 (P 222) Lost on 12 Dec 1942
HMS P 81 (P 81)
HMS P 82 (P 82)
HMS P 83 (P 83)
HMS P 84 (P 84)
HMS P 85 (P 85)
HMS P 86 (P 86)
HMS P 87 (P 87)
HMS Safari (P 211)
HMS Sahib (P 212) Lost on 24 Apr 1943
HMS Saracen (P 247) Lost on 14 Aug 1943
HMS Satyr (P 214)
HMS Sceptre (P 215)
HMS Scotsman (P 243)
HMS Scythian (P 237)
HMS Sea Devil (P 244)
HMS Sea Nymph (P 223)
HMS Sea Rover (P 218)
HMS Seadog (P 216)
HMS Seraph (P 219)
HMS Shakespeare (P 221)
HMS Shalimar (P 242)
HMS Sibyl (P 217)
HMS Sickle (P 224) Lost on Jun 1944
HMS Simoom (P 225) Lost on Nov 1943
HMS Sirdar (P 226)
HMS Spark (P 236)
HMS Spirit (P 245)
HMS Spiteful (P 227)
HMS Splendid (P 228) Lost on 21 Apr 1943
HMS Sportsman (P 229)
HMS Statesman (P 246)
HMS Stoic (P 231)
HMS Stonehenge (P 232) Lost on 22 Mar 1944
HMS Storm (P 233)
HMS Stratagem (P 234) Lost on 22 Nov 1944
HMS Strongbow (P 235)
HMS Stubborn (P 238)
HMS Surf (P 239)
HMS Syrtis (P 241) Lost on Mar 1944

61 Submarines (64 names) of the S class. 19 of them were lost.

Strikeout means that ship was cancelled (not finished) - not counted in class figures.

Full wartime service history on this vessel.

See all Submarine classes.

S class ships hit by U-boats (1)

1 Aug 1940HMS SpearfishSunkU-34

Fighting Captain, The

Burn, Alan

Books dealing with this subject include:

Abandon Ship!, Newcomb, Richard F., 2000
Above Us the Waves, Warren, C.E.T. and Benson, James, 1971 (transl.)
Advance Force - Pearl Harbor, Burlingame, Burl, 2002
Air war over the nore, Jonathan Sutherland, 2010
Aircraft Versus Submarine, Price, Alfred, 1980 (transl.)
Airships vs. Submarines, Van Treuren, Richard G., 2009
Allied Submarine Attacks of World War Two, Rohwer, J├╝rgen, 1997
Allied Submarines, Watts, Anthony J., 1977
Allied Submarines of World War Two, Poolman, Kenneth, 1990 (transl.)
American Submarine War Patrol Reports: U.S.S. Wahoo (SS-238), McDaniel, J.T. (editor), 2003
American Submarines, Lenton, H.T., 1973
Assault on a Queen, Finney, Jack, 1959
Axis Submarines, Watts, Anthony J., 1977
Bacalao, McDaniel, J.T., 2004
Back from the Deep, LaVO, Carl, 1998

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