Allied Warships

HMS Proteus (N 29)

Submarine of the P class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassP 
PennantN 29 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered7 Feb 1928 
Laid down18 Jul 1928 
Launched23 Jul 1929 
Commissioned17 Jun 1930 
End service30 Jun 1944 
History

Decommissioned on 30 June 1944 and used for shock trials.

Sold to be broken up for scrap to West of Scotland Shipbreaking on 26 February 1946.

 

Commands listed for HMS Proteus (N 29)

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

CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Randall Thomas Gordon-Duff, RN12 Dec 193826 Sep 1940
2Lt.Cdr. Lawrence St George Rich, RN26 Sep 194015 Apr 1941
3Lt. John Symons Huddart, RN15 Apr 194115 May 1941
4Lt.Cdr. Philip Stewart Francis, RN15 May 194129 Jun 1942
5Lt. Robert Love Alexander, RN29 Jun 1942Nov 1942
6Lt. Peter Minet Staveley, RNNov 194211 May 1943
7Lt. Anthony Robert Profit, DSC, RN11 May 19437 Aug 1943
8Lt. Henry Denys Verschoyle, DSC, RN7 Aug 194316 Apr 1944
9T/Lt. Percy Samuel Parmenter, RNR16 Apr 1944May 1944
10Lt. George Edward Lynton Foster Edsell, RNMay 194430 Jun 1944

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Notable events involving Proteus include:


The history of HMS Proteus 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 February 2018.

11 Oct 1939
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) was undocked at Singapore where she had been refitting since early July 1939. (1)

9 Dec 1939
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) completed her refit at Singapore. (2)

1 Jan 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) conducted engine trials of Singapore. (3)

2 Jan 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) conducted trials of Singapore. (3)

3 Jan 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) conducted torpedo firing trials of Singapore. (3)

4 Jan 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (3)

5 Jan 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (3)

11 Jan 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) departed Singapore for Hong Kong.

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

(3)

17 Jan 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) arrived at Hong Kong. (3)

23 Jan 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong. (3)

26 Jan 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (3)

29 Jan 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) was docked at Hong Kong. (3)

30 Jan 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) was undocked. (3)

31 Jan 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN) and HMS Scout (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Holmes, RN). (3)

1 Feb 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) and HMS Regulus (Cdr. J.M. Money, RN). conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Scout (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Holmes, RN). (4)

28 Feb 1940
HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN), HMS Danae (Capt. A.C. Collinson, RN) and HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) all conducted exercises off Hong Kong. (5)

29 Feb 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Pandora (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Linton, RN). (4)

2 Mar 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) departed Hong Kong for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Vladivostok.

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

(6)

21 Mar 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Hong Kong. It had been uneventful and no naval activity was observed. (6)

2 Apr 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) departed Hong Kong for Singapore.

HMS Proteus was to proceed to the Mediterranean.

For the daily positions of HMS Proteus during the passage from Hong Kong to Alexandria see the map below.

(7)

8 Apr 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) arrived at Singapore. (7)

10 Apr 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) departed Singapore for Colombo. (7)

16 Apr 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) arrived at Colombo. (7)

17 Apr 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) departed Colombo for Aden. (7)

25 Apr 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) arrived at Aden. (7)

26 Apr 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) departed Aden for Port Said. (7)

1 May 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) arrived at Port Said. (8)

2 May 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) departed Port Said for Alexandria. (8)

3 May 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) arrived at Alexandria. (8)

10 May 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) was docked at Alexandria. (8)

15 May 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) was undocked. (8)

17 May 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria with HMS Parthian (Lt.Cdr. M.G. Rimington, RN). (8)

21 May 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) departed Alexandria for her 2nd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the Anti-Kithera Channel.

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

(8)

31 May 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol (1st in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria. It had been uneventful. (8)

3 Jun 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria. (9)

7 Jun 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria with ORP Garland (Kpt. mar. (Lt.) A. Doroszkowski, ORP) (9)

8 Jun 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria. (9)

14 Jun 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) departed Alexandria for her 3rd war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off Kithera to guard the Kithera Channel and the Anti-Kithera Channel.

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

(10)

26 Jun 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) was ordered to proceed to Malta with despatch. She was to patrol off French North Africa in the western Mediterranean. (10)

28 Jun 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) arrived at Malta to embark fuel, lubricating oil, fresh provivions and fresh water. (10)

29 Jun 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) departed Malta to resume her patrol. She was to patrol off Oran.

The German B-Dienst intercepted a signal but mistook her destination for Marseille. (10)

2 Jul 1940

Operations Catapult and Lever.

Operations agains the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir.

Timespan: 2 to 6 July 1940.

Polical situation June / July 1940.

The situation created by the collapse of French military resistance in June 1940 brought to the forefront the question of the disposal of the powerful modern French Fleet. With France eliminated from the contest, Great Britain would stand virtually alone, separated only by the English Channel from the triumphant German Army and threatened by the largest Air Force in the World. On her command of the sea depended her very existence. Suddenly to lose the co-operation of the French Fleet would be a severe blow, but it was a matter of life and death that it should not be added to those of her opponents and used against her.

In circumstances of increasing chaos the marsh of events was swift. On 11 June 1940 the French Prime Minister and the French Government retired to Tours, and three days later moved on to Bordeaux. On the same day the Germans entered Paris.

It was the French Prime Minister who had declared ‘We shall fight before Paris, we shall fight behind Paris. We shall shut ourselves up in one of our provinces and if they drive us out we shall go to north Africa and, if need be, to our American possessions. It was the French Prime Minister who asked the British Government on 16 June to release France from her treaty obligations. The Cabinet refused to do so asked for French warships to be despatched to British ports and offered an Act of Union. The offer fell on deaf ears. The French Prime Minister (Mr. M Reynaud) was no longer in power. He had been displaced in the night of 16/17 June by a defeatist group headed by Marshal Pétain, General Weygand, Admiral Darlan, Mr. Laval, Mr. Baudouin and other politicians.

Negotiations with Germany were opened on 17 June, when Marshal Pétain, in a letter to Hitler, asked if he was ready to sign with him, as between soldiers after the fight and in honour, terms that would put an end to the hostilities.

The British Government, receiving the news ‘with grief and amazement’ refused to release France from her treaty obligations, and announced its intention to continue the fight. Every effort was made to persuade the French Government to order the French Fleet to British ports, or to sink itself before armistice terms were discussed. But the situation was very confusing and no guarantees could be obtained. At the same time it was determined that, if all other courses failed, action should be taken to prevent any important French ships falling into the enemy’s hands. British offers of assistance to the French authorities in arranging for an evacuation from Marseilles to North African ports were declined.

The terms of the armistice signed by France were not made public until 25 June, the day on which the hostilities ended. The clauses effecting the French sea forces stated that the French Fleet was to be assembled in ports under German or Italian control and demilitarized.

It seemed clear to the British Government that in these clauses the enemy had merely provided themselves with a pretext for keeping the whole French Fleet in a state of readiness for action against us when an opportunity accurred. The British Government had evidence, too, that from 20 June the Germans were in possession of, and were using, French naval codes.

The first reactions to the armistice terms of the French naval, military and colonial authorities indicated a determination to fight on. This attitude, however, in face of instructions was however soon abandoned. The British Government consequently decided to offer the French Naval Commanders the following alternatives: to continue the fight; complete immobilisation in certain ports; to demilitarise or sink their ships. By no other means could the French Fleet be prevented from falling into the hands of the enemy.

Reports received from various sources indicated that, the senior French Naval Officers had elected to obey their central government, most junior Officers desired to continue the struggle. The men, divided in their loyalties and lacking firm leadership, were chiefly influenced by the fear of reprisals to their families.

The French Fleet at Oran, coast defences, etc.

The bulk of the French Fleet was distributed between Toulon and the French North African ports in the Western Mediterranean. A squadron of one battleship, four cruisers and a few destroyers was at Alexandria; operating with Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham’s Mediterranean Fleet. The new battleships Richelieu and Jean Bart which had been completing at Brest had sailed a few days before respectively for Dakar and Casablanca. But by far the most important concentration of French warships was at Mers-el-Kebir, under Vice-Admiral Gensoul.

The shore defences of Mers-el-Kebir cosisted of a battery of two 7.5” guns on top of a hill to the west of the harbour. The harbour entrance was protected by an anti-torpedo boom and anti-submarine booms. A mine net stretched from Cape Falcon to a point one mile north of Cape Canastel. The breakwater (30 feet high) and Fort Mers-el-Kebir (100 feet high) afforded a certain amount of protection to the side armour of the ships inside the harbour from short range gunfire. Also in the vicinity of Oran there was a battery of two 9.2” guns at Cape Canastel.

Assembly of ‘Force H’ at Gibraltar.

In order to fill the Allied vacuum in the Western Mediterranean, caused by the defection of the French Fleet, the Admiralty decided to assemble a strong force, to be known as Force H, at Gibraltar. On 27 June Vice-Admiral J.F. Somerville was ordered to hoist his flag in the light cruiser HMS Aretusa and to proceed there to take command of ‘Force H’. His immediate task was to secure the transfer, surrender or destruction of the French ships at Mers-el-Kebir and Oran, so as to ensure that they could not fall into German or Italian hands. It was hoped that the employment of force would be unnecessary, but every preparation to use it was to be made. This was explained to him in an interview with the First Lord and the First Sea Lord.

The Vice-Admiral sailed from Spithead in HMS Arethusa on 28 June. During his passage to Gibraltar he was in constant communication with the Admiralty. On the 29th he received Admiralty message 0435/29, stating certain alternatives which it was proposed to offer the French. (a) to steam their ships to a British port. (b) to sink their ships. (c) to have their ships sunk by gunfire. Later in the day the Admiralty directed the submarines HMS Pandora and HMS Proteus to patrol off Algiers and Oran respectively in order to report any French movements, but not to attack. On the 30th they ordered the Vice-Admiral, Aircraft carriers (Vice-Admiral L.V. Wells) to establish a destroyer patrol 30 nautical miles to the west of Oran and that should the French battlecruisers Dunkerque and Strasbourg proceed to the westward, they were to be captured and taken to the United Kingdom.

Vice-Admiral Somerville arrived at Gibraltar on 30 June where he transferred his flag to the battlecruiser HMS Hood. He lost no time with discussing the matter with the Vice-Admiral North Atlantic (Vice-Admiral Sir D.B.N. North) and later with Vice-Admiral Wells, his senior officers and with two officers who had recently been attached to the French as liaison officers. All were strongly opposed to the use of force, believing that this would alienate the French completely and turn them from a defeated ally into an active enemy. So impressed was Vice-Admiral Somerville by these views that he communicated them to the Admiralty at 1230 hours on 1 July together with certain alternative proposals. He received a reply that evening that it was the firm intention of His Majesty’s Government that if the French would not accept (any of) the alternatives then being sent to him, their ships must be destroyed.

Meanwhile a plan of operation had been drawn up, and the Admiralty was informed that the earliest date for it’s execution would be A.M. 3 July. The operation was named ‘Catapult’.

Admiralty instructions to Vice-Admiral Somerville.

At 0426, 2 July, Vice-Admiral Somerville received his final instructions from the Admiralty in dealing with the French Fleet at Mers-el-Keber. These may be summarised as follows:
A) Four alternatives were to be offered to the French:
(1) To sail their ships to a British port to continue the fight with us.
(2) To sail their ships with reduced crews to a British port from which the crews would be repatriated whenever desired.
(3) To sail their ships with reduced crews to a French port in the West Indies. After arrival there they would either be demilitarised to our satisfaction, if so desired or to be entrusted to U.S.A. jurisdiction for the remainder of the war. The crews would be repatriated.
(4) To sink their ships.

In case of alternatives 1 or 2 being adopted the ships were to be restrored to France at the conclusion of the war, or full ompensation would be paid if they were damaged meanwhile. If the French Admiral accepted alternative 2 but asked that the ships would not be used during the war, we would accept this condition for so long Germany and Italy observed the armistice terms. We particularly did not want to raise this point ourselves.

B) If the French Admiral refused to observe all the above alternatives and suggested demilitarisation of his ships to our satisfaction at their present berths acceptance of this further alternative was authorised, provided that the Flag Officer, ‘Force H’ was satisfied that the measures for demilitarization could be carried out under his supervision within six hours, so as to prevent the ships being brought to service for at least one year, even at a fully equipped dockyard port.

C) If none of the alternatives were accepted by the French, the Flag Officer ‘Force H’ was to endeavour to destroy the ships in Mers-el-Kebir, particularly the Dunkerque and Strasbourg, using all means at his disposal. Ships at Oran should also be destroyed, if this did not entail any considerable loss of civilian life.

As it was undesirable to have to deal with the French Fleet at sea, the Flag Officer ‘Force H’ was instructed to arrive in the vicinity of Oran at his selected time, to send emissaries ashore, and to take such action as he considered fit in the period before the given time limit expired.

A further signal timed 0108 contained the terms in which these demands were to delivered to Admiral Gensoul.

Plan for ‘Operation Catapult’.

A meeting of Flag and Commanding Officers was held during the forenoon of 2nd July, at which the orders for ‘Operation Catapult’ were explained and discussed.

Capt. C.S. Holland, of the Ark Royal, who had recently been Naval Attaché at Paris, had been selected to act as emissary assisted by Lt.Cdr’s A.Y. Spearman and G.P.S. Davies, lately employed as liaison officers. The destroyer HMS Foxhound was detailed to embark these officers. Captain Holland was instructed, if necessity arose, to question the French concerning their plan for demilitarisation at two hours’ notice which had been mentioned to Vice-Admiral North at Gibraltar, and to enquire whether the proposed measures would render the ships ‘ineffective for service during 12 months, even with dockyard assistance.’

The intention of the Flag Officer ‘Force H’, if he was obliged to use force was: a) To destroy morale, damage AA equipment and induce the French crews to abandon their ships by means of long range gunfire with the main armaments of his capital ships, assisted by aircraft spotting.
b) Bombing by the aircraft of HMS Ark Royal with the same object.
c) Torpedo attack by aircraft from HMS Ark Royal in order to cripple those ships exposed to torpedo fire.
d) Sinking of ships still afloat by demolition parties from destroyers.
e) The cruisers were to engage light craft or shore batteries as ordered.

The orders drawn up did not propose the laying of magnetic mines by aircraft from HMS Ark Royal, which was held to interference with the first two alternatives offered to the French but if needed this measure could be resorted to.

Attempts to Communicate with Admiral Gensoul.

At 1500 hours, 2nd July, destroyers sailed to carry out an A/S sweep in Gibraltar Bay and approaches and ‘Force H’ cleared harbour at 1700/2.

The composition of ‘Force H’ was as follows; battlecruiser HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.F. Somerville, KCB, DSO, RN), battleships HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), HMS Resolution (Capt. O. Bevir, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral L.V. Wells, CB, DSO, RN) [as Capt. Holland had been embarked on the destroyer HMS Foxhound, it was probably Cdr. R.M.T. Taylor, RN who was temporary in command], light cruisers HMS Arethusa (Capt. Q.D. Graham, RN), HMS Enterprise (Capt. J.C. Annesley, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN), HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Peters, RN), HMS Escort (Lt.Cdr. J. Bostock, RN), HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. E.C.L. Turner, RN), HMS Keppel (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) E.G. Heywood-Lonsdale, RN), HMS Wrestler (Lt.Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, RN), HMS Vortigern (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Howlett, RN) and HMS Vidette (Cdr.(Retd.) D.R. Brocklebank, RN).

The submarines HMS Pandora (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Linton, RN) and HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) were then nearing their patrol areas.

The operations orders referred to the possibility of interference but the only evidence of them being even remotely on the alert was that at 2247/2 in position 36°12’N, 03°05’W HMS Vortigern reported a torpedo exploding ahead of her. This was indeed an attack by an Italian submarine, the Marconi. HMS Vortigern and HMS Vidette hunted the submarine for a little over an hour but without success.

At 0300/3, HMS Foxhound was sent ahead and arrived of Cape Falcon at 0545/3. Communication was established with the Port War Signal Station and at 0620 hours the following message was passed. ‘To Admiral Gensoul, The British Admiralty had sent Captain Holland to confer with you. The British Navy hopes that their proposals will enable you and the valiant and glorious French Navy to be by our side. In these circumstances your ships would remain yours and no one need to have anxiety for the future. A British fleet is at sea off Oran waiting to welcome you.’

Permission for HMS Foxhound to enter the port of Mers-el-Kebir was received at 0742 hours. She anchored at 0805/3, outside the net defence, in a position 1.6 nautical miles, 115° from Mers-el-Kebir lighthouse. Five minutes later the French Flag Lieutenant came alongside and informed Capt. Holland that Admiral Gensoul was unable to see him, but would sent his Chief of Staff.

Admiral’s Gensoul refusal to confer with Capt. Holland was emphasized when at 0847 hours HMS Foxhound received a signal from him requisting her to sail immediately. She weighted accordingly, leaving Capt. Holland and Lt.Cdr’s Spearman and Davies behind in her motor boat. Meeting the French Flag Lieutenant off the entrance, Capt. Holland handed him the written British proposals to be given to Admiral Gensoul, saying that he would await a reply. It was around 0935 hours when they reached Admiral Gensoul. The French ships were reported by air reconnaissance to be raising steam. At 1000 hours the Flag Lieutenant returned and handed over a written reply from Admiral Gensoul. It stated the same that had earlier been said to Vice-Admiral North that the French Fleet would never be surrendered and that force would be met by force.

Then followed a further exchange of written statements and a discussion with the French Chief of Staff who came out at 1109 hours. As it was evident that Admiral Gensoul was resolved not to see Capt. Holland, the latter returned on board HMS Foxhound to communicate with Vice-Admiral Somerville.

Meanwhile ‘Force H’ had arrived off Mers-el-Kebir at 0910/3 and by means of projectors transferred the following message (in French) ‘To Admiral Gensoul from Admiral Somerville. We hope most sincerely that the proposals will be acceptable and hat we shall ave you by our side.’

’Force H’ then proceeded to steam to and from across the bay while HMS Ark Royal, with a destroyer screen, was acting independently for flying off aircraft.

At 1140/3 Lt.Cdr. Spearman was sent in with a message from the Flag Officer ‘Force H’ that the French ships would not be allowed to leave harbour unless the terms were accepted. It was at this time that Capt. Holland signalled to the French Admiral, from HMS Foxhound, information of the action taken by Admiral Godfroy at Alexandria to demilitarise his ships. HMS Foxhound then proceeded outside the outer boom to a position inside visual signalling range.

British delegate received and terms refused.

Admiral Gensoul’s reply reached HMS Hood at 1227/3 and Vice-Admiral Somerville considering that it was unsatisfactory and indicated an intention to put to sea and fight, gave the order to mine the harbour entrance. Five mines were accordingly laid by aircraft inside the booms guarding the entrance to Mers-el-Kebir harbour.

It was Vice-Admiral Somerville’s first intention to open fire at 1330 hours but the time for a final answer was extended to 1500 hours on the strength of air reports that there was no immediate indication of the French ships proceeding to sea. In order to ensure the least possible delay, a signal was passed to Admiral Gensoul requisting him to hoist a large square flag at the masthead if he accepted the British terms.

These measures appeared to be effective, for at 1440 hours Admiral Gensoul signalled that he would receive a delegate for honourable discussion. This message forstalled, only by a few minutes, the despatch of a signal from Vice-Admiral Somerville notifying that he would proceed to destroy the French ships at 1530 hours. Despite Vice-Admiral Somerville’s suspicion that the French Admiral was temporizing, he authorised Capt. Holland to proceed, and the latter, in the motor boat from HMS Foxhound and accompanied by Lt.Cdr. Davies, reached the Dunkerque at 1615/3.

Captain Holland’s reception on board the Dunkerque was coldly formal. Admiral Gensoul was extremely indignant and angry. A lengthy discussion ensued, in which he emphasised that the use of force would range the whole French Navy against the British, and that in effect he rejected all conditions proposed stating that he would only obey orders from his Government and Admiral Darlan. It was evident to Captain Holland that it was only during this discussion that Admiral Gensoul began to realise that force might actually be used.

Whilst the discussion was proceeding an Admiralty message was received at 1646 hours by HMS Hood instructing Vice-Admiral Somerville to settle matters quickly or he would have reinforcements to deal with. A signal accordingly passed by visual and wireless at 1715 hours to Admiral Gensoul informing him that if one of the alternatives was not accepted by 1730 hours his ships would be sunk. At the same time action stations was sounded in the ships of the British Fleet.

A summary of Admiral Gensoul’s final statement was passed by signal from Capt. Holland to Vice-Admiral Somerville. It read ‘Admiral Gensoul says crews being reduced and if threatened by enemy would go Martinique or U.S.A. but this is not quite our proposition. Can get no nearer.’

This signal was received on board HMS Hood at 1729 hours. As it did not comply with any of the alternatives laid down, the air striking force from HMS Ark Royal was ordered to fly off and the battleships stood in towards the coast.

Captain Holland left the Dunkerque at 1725 hours. As he left ‘Action stations’ was being sounded in the French ships, all of which were by that time in an advanced state of readiness for sea, with tugs standing by and control positions manned.

Meanwhile signs of movement of French ships in adjacent harbour of Oran having been reported by air reconnaissance, two mines were laid in it’s entrance, and the destroyer HMS Wrestler was ordered to relieve HMS Vortigern on patrol there.

Action against the French ships at Mers-el-Kebir.

At 1754/3 fire was opened at 17500 yards. Aircraft were spotting. The line of fire was from the north-west, so that fire from the French ships was blanked to some extent by Mers-el-Kebir Fort, and risk of damage to civilian life and property reduced.

The four French capital ships and aviation transport were moored stern-on to the mole in the following order, from north-west to south-east; Dunkerque, Provence, Strasbourg, Bretagne and Commandant Teste while the remaining ships were moored on the west side of the harbour. The destroyers, according to an aircraft report, were underway inside the booms.

The effect of the opening salvoes was observed from the Foxhound’s motor boat. The first salvo fell short. The second hit the breakwater, sending large fragments of concrete flying through the air, which probably caused casualties amongst the crews of the ships. The third salvo fell amongst the ships and the battleship Bretagne blew up, a column of orange flame leaping into the sky, followed by an immense column of smoke several hundred feet high. Another smaller explosion indicated that a destroyer had blown up (Mogador). By this time the harbour was shrouded in smoke from explosions and fires. Direct spotting was almost impossible and air spotting most difficult. The French shore batteries and Dunkerque and Strasbourg opened fire about a minute after the first British salvo. The shore batteries were promptly engaged by HMS Arethusa, the older guns of HMS Enterprise being outranged. Heavy projectiles were soon falling near the British battleships as the French fire, at first very short, began to improve in accuracy. The observers in Foxhound’s motor boat recorded several direct hits on the French ships, another explosion with a sheet of orange flame from a battleship, and a direct hit on a large destroyer as she was leaving harbour.

None of the French projectiles hit, though a number of them fell close to – and in some cases straddled – the British ships. Some splinters caused some minor superficial damage in HMS Hood and injured one officer and a rating. After thirty-six salvoes of 15” the fire of the French ships died down, but hat of the forts became increasingly accurate. To avoid damage from the latter, course was altered 180° to port together and the ships were ordered to make smoke.

At 1803/3 as the French ships were no longer firing, ‘cease fire’ was ordered. Vice-Admiral Somerville considered that this would give them an opportunity to abandon their vessels and as the entrance to the harbour had been mined they would make no attempts to put to sea. Repeated signals were being receive in HMS Hood from the shore visual and wireless stations requisting fire to be discontinued, to which the reply was made: ‘unless I see your ships sinking, I shall open fire again’. Vice-Admiral Somerville then proceeded to the westward to take up a position from which, if necessary, the bombardment could be renewed without causing casualties to men in boats or exposing the British ships to unduly fire from the forts. He also deemed it prudent to stand out to sea to avoid the possibility of a surprise attack by aircraft under cover of the clouds of smoke then laying between his ships and the shore.

When the pall of smoke over Mers-el-Kebir harbour cleared away, the scene viewed from HMS Foxhound’s boat showed the Dunkerque, which had slipped from the mole, lying stopped in the harbour. The Provence appeared to have been hit, fires were burning in the Commandant Teste, while nothing could be seen of the Bretagne. Clear of the harbour and gathering speed fast were the Strasbourg and two destroyers (thought to be Mogador-class), steering eastward close under the land.

Chase of, and F.A.A. attacks on, the Strasbourg.

Vice-Admiral Somerville received an air report at 1820/3 that one of the Dunkerque-class battlecruisers had put to sea and was steering east. This report was confirmed 10 minutes later. An air striking force of six Swordfish aircraft of no. 818 Squadron armed with 250-lb. bombs and escorted by Skua’s was flow off by HMS Ark Royal at 1825 hours to attack the ships in Mers-el-Kebir but they were then diverted to attack the fleeing ship which was accompanied by eight destroyers. ‘Force H’ altered course to the eastward at 1838 hours and commenced a chase.

During this period, HMS Wrestler, which was patrolling of Oran, was heavily engaged by shore batteries. At least 100 shells fell near her before she withdrew in accordance with orders.

At 1843 hours the cruisers and destroyers with HMS Hood were ordered to proceed ahead. Both battleships following behind at their best speed without a destroyer screen. Every ships worked up to full speed.

The bombing attack on the Strasbourg was well pressed home, and, although it was met with heavy opposition, was believed to have obtained at least one hit. Two Swordfish aircraft failed to return, but the crews were picked up by HMS Wrestler.

At 1914/3 HMS Wrestler picked up Capt. Holland and Lt.Cdr.’s Spearman, Davies and the crew from the motor boat of HMS Foxhound. The motor boat was then abandoned.

Between 1933 and 1945 hours a French destroyer, steering west close inshore, was engaged at ranges of 12000 and 18000 yards by the Arethusa and Enterprise. Later the Hood and Valiant fired a few 15” salvoes at her. At least three hits were observed before the destroyer turned back to Oran. The British ships were obliged to alter course to avoid torpedoes.

at 1950/3 six Swordfish aircraft of no. 820 Squadron, armed with torpedoes were flown off from HMS Ark Royal, with orders to press home their attack, making use of the failing light. They attacked at 2055 hours, twenty minutes after sunset. Approaching from the land, with their target silhouetted against the afterglow, they were able to deliver the attack unseen, only the last two attacking aircraft encountered some machine gun fire from the screening destroyers. The observation of results was rendered difficult by darkness and funnel smoke, but an explosion was seen under the Strasbourg’s stern and there was some evidence of a hit amidships. All the aircraft returned safely, through one came under machine gun fire from a group of destroyers seven miles astern of the target.

Chase abandoned and return to Gibraltar.

Meanwhile Vice-Admiral Somerville had abandoned the chase about half-an-hour before the torpedo attack took place. At 2020/3 the Strasbourg with her attendant destroyers, was some 25 nautical miles ahead of him. By that time the French Algiers force with several 8” and 6” cruisers was known to be at sea and was calculated to be able to join the Strasbourg shortly after 2100 hours.

Vice-Admiral Somerville considered that a night contact and engagement was not justified. His destroyers had not had recent experience of shadowing, and the French would be numerically superior. Besides that there were more reasons to disengage.

Accordingly at 2025/3 course was altered to the westwards and the Admiralty was informed that ‘Force H’ would remain to the west of Oran during the night with the intention to carry out air attacks on the ships at Mers-el-Kebir at dawn.

Between 1930 and 2100 hours French reconnaissance and bomber aircraft were fired on. These dropped a few bombs which all fell wide except for four bombs which fell close to HMS Wrestler. The attacks were not pressed home.

At 2150/3 the submarine HMS Proteus, which had been ordered to keep clear of ‘Force H’ to the northward during the day, was ordered to patrol north of 35°55’N off Cape de l’Aiguille or Abuja Point (15 nautical miles east of Oran). At the same time she and HMS Pandora (off Algiers) were ordered to sink any French ships encountered. The latter, which had reported six cruisers and four destroyers making to the westward at 1745/3, was warned that the Strasbourg might arrive off Algiers at 2300/3.

During the night of 3 / 4 July. ‘Force H’ steered to reach position 36°12’N, 01°48‘W (about 60 nautical miles west-north-west of Mers-el-Kebir) at 0430/4. It was intended to then fly off 12 Swordfish and 9 Skua aircraft to finish off the ships remaining in the harbour. Shortly after 0400/4, however dense fog was encountered. This rendered flying impossible. As Vice-Admiral Somerville had received a message from Admiral Gensoul the evening before (2250/3) stating that his ships were ‘hors de combat’ (‘out of action’) and that he had ordered the crews to evacuate them, Vice-Admiral Somerville decided to return to Gibraltar where ‘Force H’ arrived at 1900/4.

Review of the operation by Vice-Admiral Somerville.

Reviewing the operation, Vice-Admiral Somerville remarked that it was clear he committed an error of judgement in proceeding so far to the westward after ceasing fire, and gave his reasons for his decision.

He considered that the mines laid in the harbour entrance were sufficient to prevent any French ships from leaving and also he was under the impression that the French crews were abandoning their ships due to the signals to ‘cease shelling’ and the heavy explosions observed. The though uppermost in his mind was how to complete his task without causing further loss of life to the very gallant but ill-advised Frenchmen, and without exposing his fleet to damage by the shore batteries or to submarine attack. He was also under the impression that a torpedo flight, to complete the destruction of ships afloat, had either taken off or was about to do so. In fact, however, the repeated postponement of the attack by gunfire had, unknown to him, seriously upset the Ark Royal’s flying on and off programme.

Vice-Admiral Somerville went into question whether the use of force might have been avoided had Admiral Gensoul agreed at once to receive Capt. Holland. The French Admiral’s final offer differed, unfortunately, from the British proposals in the single proviso that the disablement of ships would only be carried into effect if there was a danger of the French ships falling into enemy hands. Admiral Gensoul maintained that this danger was not imminent, whereas we maintained that it was. Had more time been available Capt. Holland might possibly have converted Admiral Gensoul to the British point of view, but when he made his offer it was already too late, for the discussion could not be continued beyond 1720 hours as French reinforcements were approaching and the ordered of His Majesty’s Government were explicit that a decision had to be reached before dark.

’ I consider ‘ wrote Vice-Admiral Somerville, ‘ that Capt. Holland carried out his most difficult task with the greatest tact, courage and perseverance. That he failed in his mission was not his fault – that he nearly succeeded is greatly to his credit ‘.

Preparations to renew the attack on the Dunkerque.

After the arrival of ‘Force H’ at Gibraltar the ships were immediately completed with fuel and ammunition so to be able to carry out operations against the French battleship Richelieu at Dakar if required.

Vice-Admiral Somerville informed the Admiralty that it was not possible from aircraft observation positively to assess the damage done to the battlecruiser Dunkerque, but that she was aground. Consequently the Admiralty directed that unless Vice-Admiral Somerville was certain that the Dunkerque could not be refloated and repaired in less then a year, she was to be subjected to further destruction by bombardment. This was to precede any operation against the Richelieu.

To put this decision into effect, plans were drawn up for another operation (Operation Lever), and the Admiralty was informed that a further bombardment would be carried out at 0900/6 by ‘Force H’.

At 2005/4 a signal was received from the Admiralty. It contained instructions with regard to the attitude to be adopted towards French warships, which stated that ‘ships must be prepared for attack, but should not fire the first shot’. After confirmation at 2045/5 that this applied to the submarines operating of Oran and Algiers, the instructions were passed on to HMS Pandora and HMS Proteus. It was however already too late.

Proceeding by British submarines 4-6 July 1940.

When ‘Force H’ returned to Gibraltar on 4 July, the submarines HMS Pandora and HMS Proteus remained on patrol off the North African coast.

At 1126/4, HMS Pandora, off Algiers, sighted three destroyers 065° about 1 nautical mile from the shore, but she was unable to get within range. Three and a half hours later (1458/4), however, she sighted a French cruiser thought at that time to be of the La Galissoniere class. In fact it was the sloop Rigault de Genouilly. HMS Pandora turned immediately to a firing course and at 1507/4 HMS Pandora fired four torpedoes from about 3800 yards. Two certain and one probable hits were obtained. The French ship stopped at once and soon after she was observed to be on fire. Closing in HMS Pandora saw that there was no chance this ship could be saved. At 1632/4 she was seen to sink by the stern and a few seconds later an extremely heavy explosion occurred, probably her magines blowing up.

For some time from 1718/4 HMS Pandora was hunted by aircraft and a destroyer or patrol craft, explosions of bombs and or death charges were heard at intervals.

The Admiralty expressed deep regret to the French Ambassy for the tragic happening, which was ascribed to the fact that on completion of the operation at Mers-el-Kebir on 3 July, the instructions that French ships were no longer to be attacked did not reach one submarine.

The seaplane carrier Commandant Teste was more fortunate. She was sighted by HMS Proteus at 1447/4. The weather was foggy and before an attack could be started the French ship altered course to the eastward and was soon lost out of sight.

At 2200/5, in obedience to instructions, HMS Proteus proceeded to patrol off Cape Khamis, about 65 nautical miles east of Oran. At 0243/6 a signal from the Flag Officer Commanding North Atlantic (F.O.C.N.A.) was received that French ships were not to be attacked unless they attacked first.

The Commandant Teste was again sighted at 1734/6. This time she was accompanied by two destroyers. Shorty afterwards HMS Proteus was ordered to proceed to Gibraltar.

HMS Pandora remained on patrol until July 7th when she too was ordered to proceed to Gibraltar.

F.A.A. attack on the Dunkerque, 6 July 1940.

Meanwhile ‘Force H’ sailed from Gibraltar at 2000/5. They first proceeded westwards but turned to the east at 2200 hours and proceeded at 22 knots towards Oran.

’Force H’ was now made up of the battlecruiser HMS Hood, battleship HMS Valiant, aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, light cruisers HMS Aurora, HMS Enterprise and the destroyers HMS Fearless, HMS Forester, HMS Foxhound, HMS Escort, HMS Active, HMS Velox (Cdr.(Retd.) J.C. Colvill, RN), HMS Vidette, HMS Vortigern and HMS Wrestler.

At 0250/6, Vice-Admiral Somerville received a signal from the Admiralty which instructed him to cancel the bombardment. He was ordered to attack the Dunkerque from the air until she was sufficiently damaged.

In position 36°19’N, 02°23’W (about 90 nautical miles from Oran) at 0515/6, the first striking force was flown off. The attack on the Dunkerque was made in three waves. The aircraft taking part were armed with torpedoes, carrying Duplex pistols, set for depth 12 feet, speed 27 knots.

The first wave of six Swordfish of no. 820 Squadron took of from the Ark Royal at 0515 hours. It made landfall at Habibas Island (about 20 nautical miles west of Mers-el-Kebir) and then shaped course at 7000 feet to keep 15 miles from the coast in order to gain up-sun position from the target as the sun rose. The attack achieved complete surprise, only one aircraftbeing fired upon during the get-away. As the first rays of the sun, rising above thick haze, struck the Dunkerque, the flight commenced a shallow dive in line ahead down the path of the sun. Coming in low over the breakwater, the aircraft attacked in succession. The first torpedo hit the Dunkerque amidships, glanced off without exploding and continued it’s run. It had probably been released inside pistol safety range. The second was thought at the time to have hit and exploded under the bridge on the starboard side. The third torpedo to have missed and exploded ashore and the remaining three torpedoes to have hit and exploded near ‘B’ turret. In the light of later information, it seems that no torpedo in this or subsequent attacks actually hit and damaged her. The first (as noticed by the British) glanced off without exploding. The second exploded underneath the stern of a trawler, the Terre Neuve, which – apparently unnoticed by the aircraft – was about 30 yards to starboard of the battlecruiser and sank the trawler. Of the remainder three torpedoes may have hit without exploding or run into shallow water, and one missed. One torpedo exploded ashore against a jetty.

The second attack was made by three Swordfish of no. 810 Squadron with a fighter escort of six Skua’s. They took off at 0545 hours. This sub-flight manoeuvred to a position up-sun at 2000 feet. At 0647 hours they tuned to attack in line astern. They came under heavy AA fire and had to take avoiding action during their approach and they made their attack from over the breakwater. The torpedo of the first aircraft was not released. The second and third torpedoes are thought to have hit the starboard side of the Dunkerque. During the get-away a large explosion was observed, smoke and spray rising in a great column over 600 feet high which was thought to have possibly been a magazine explosion in the Dunkerque. Actually, one torpedo hit the wreck of the Terre Neuve, detonating about 24 to 28 depth charges with which she was loaded, and thereby causing considerable damage to the Dunkerque. The other torpedo missed astern and exploded ashore. No enemy aircraft were encountered, but the 6” and 4” batteries from the east of Oran to Mers-el-Kebir Point kept up continuous fire throughout the attack.

The third wave was also made up of three Swordfish from no. 810 Squadron. These too were escorted by six Skua’s. They wre flown off at 0620 hours. They made landfall at a height of 4000 feet at 0650 hours over Cape Falcon. In line astern the sub-flight made a shallow dive with avoiding action as the Provence and shore batteries opened fire. This sub-flight then came in low over the town of Mers-el-Kebir for its attack. The first torpedo is reported to have struck the Dunkerque amidships on her port side but it did not explode. The second, which would have hit the ship, exploded under a tug close to her which blew the tug into the air. The third torpedo was dropped too close and did therefore not explode, although it appeared to be going to hit. While making its get-away this sub-flight was engaged by French fighter aircraft. The Skua escorts had many dog fights with the French fighters which easily out-manoeuvred our aircraft but they did not press home their attacks. One Skua, damaged in combat, had to make a forced landing on the water on its return. The crew was rescued by a destroyer. There were no casualties although several aircraft were damaged by gunfire.

Vice-Admiral Somerville was satisfied with the results as it appeared that the Dunkerque for sure would be out of action for more then a year. ‘Force H’, having completed its task returned to Gibraltar at 1830/6. After temporary repairs the Dunkerque arrived at Toulon only on 19 February 1942 having made the passage under her own power escorted by five destroyers. (11)

4 Jul 1940
At 1245 hours HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) was patrolling off Oran when the French seaplane tender Commandant Teste was observed but she disappeared into the fog before an attack could be carried out. (10)

6 Jul 1940
At 0815 hours HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) came within range (1000 yards) of two French destroyers of the Simoun class but she had just received orders not to attack French warships. Later Commandant Teste was again sighted but left unmolested and the submarine was ordered to proceed to Gibraltar (10)

9 Jul 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol (2nd in the Mediterranean) at Gibraltar. (10)

24 Jul 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar. (12)

26 Jul 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar. (12)

1 Aug 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) was visited by Vice Admiral Sir Dudley North (North Atlantic Station) and then departed Gibraltar for Malta. She had on board 13 RAF personnel and some RAF stores.

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

(10)

8 Aug 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) arrived at Malta. (10)

9 Aug 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) damaged her bow in a collision with tug HMS Andromeda, the latter sank. (10)

10 Aug 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) was docked at Malta. (10)

22 Aug 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) was undocked. (10)

23 Aug 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) departed Malta for her 4th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol to the south of the Straits of Messina.

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

(10)

12 Sep 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) attacked either the Italian submarine Uarsciek or Ondina with one torpedo about 40 nautical miles east-north-east of Tobruk, Libya. The torpedo missed. Neither of the Italian submarines reported being attacked.

(All times are zone -3)
0300 hours - When in position 32°21'N 24°39'E sighted suspicious lights bearing 150°. Closed to investigate. Soon an Italian submarine was seen on the surface. Started attack. The enemy however dived before an attack could be carried out.

0416 hours - Sighted a second Italian submarine. Turned towards and fired a torpedo on the swing from 1500 yards. It missed. Proteus dived on firing. (10)

14 Sep 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) ended her 4th war patrol (3rd in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria. (10)

26 Sep 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) departed Alexandria for her 5th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol south of the Straits of Messina.

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

(10)

8 Oct 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) proceeded, as ordered towards a new patrol area off the Calabrian coast. (10)

20 Oct 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) ended her 5th war patrol (4th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria. It had been uneventful, only aircraft were seen. (10)

25 Oct 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) departed Alexandria for her 6th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to to Ras El Tin (Libya), the true object of her mission is not known to us.

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

(13)

28 Oct 1940
Italy declared war on Greece and HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) was ordered to return to Alexandria. (13)

31 Oct 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) ended her 6th war patrol (5th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria. (13)

23 Nov 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) departed Alexandria for Malta. This was the first leg of the trip to the U.K. where Proteus was to refit.

No log is available for November 1940 so no map can be displayed. (13)

30 Nov 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) arrived at Malta. (13)

2 Dec 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) departed Malta for Gibraltar.

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

(14)

9 Dec 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (14)

12 Dec 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) departed Gibraltar for Portsmouth.

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

(14)

20 Dec 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) arrived at Portsmouth. (14)

30 Dec 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) commenced a refit at the Portsmouth Dockyard. (14)

17 Jul 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) ended her refit at Portsmouth. (15)

22 Jul 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted trials off Portsmouth. (15)

23 Jul 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted trials off Portsmouth. (15)

24 Jul 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. (15)

27 Jul 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed Portsmouth for Holy Loch. She was initially escorted by HMS Arctic Pioneer (Skr. G. Bryan, RNR) and HMS Kingston Topaz (Skr. W.M. Smith, RNR). (15)

29 Jul 1941
At 1957 hours (zone -2), HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN), made rendez-vous off the Lizard with HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN) that was to escort her north through the Irish Sea towards Holy Loch. (15)

31 Jul 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) arrived at Holy Loch to begin a training period. (15)

2 Aug 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted special RD/F trials in the Clyde area. (16)

3 Aug 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted special RD/F trials in the Clyde area. (16)

4 Aug 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted special RD/F trials in the Clyde area. (16)

4 Aug 1941
HMS H 28 (Lt. P.S. Skelton, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN). (17)

6 Aug 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted independent exercises in the Clyde area. (16)

7 Aug 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted independent exercises in the Clyde area. (16)

9 Aug 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted independent exercises in the Clyde area. (16)

11 Aug 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted noise trials in Loch Long. (16)

13 Aug 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted minelaying trials (from the torpedo tubes) in Loch Long. (16)

15 Aug 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HMS White Bear (Cdr.(Retd.) C.C. Flemming, RN), HMS Oberon (Lt.Cdr. E.F. Pizey, DSC, RN) and HMS Tuna (Lt.Cdr. M.K. Cavenagh-Mainwaring, DSO, RN). These included night exercises. (16)

16 Aug 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HMS White Bear (Cdr.(Retd.) C.C. Flemming, RN). (16)

23 Aug 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted independent exercises in the Clyde area. (16)

24 Aug 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted independent exercises in the Clyde area. (16)

25 Aug 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted special RD/F trials in the Clyde area. (16)

27 Aug 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted full porwer trials on the Arran measured mile. These were followed by attack exercises with HMS Breda (Capt.(Retd.) A.E. Johnston, RN) as the target. (18)

31 Aug 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (16)

3 Sep 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed Holy Loch for Gibraltar. During the passage south through the Irish Sea she was escorted by HMS White Bear (Cdr.(Retd.) C.C. Flemming, RN).

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

(19)

10 Sep 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (19)

12 Sep 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) was docked at Gibraltar. (19)

13 Sep 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) was undocked. (19)

14 Sep 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed Gibraltar for Malta.

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

(19)

15 Sep 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) returned to Gibraltar due to defective W/T equipment. After repairs she departed again for Malta later on this day. (19)

22 Sep 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) arrived at Malta. (19)

27 Sep 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted exercises off Malta. (19)

28 Sep 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed Malta for her 7th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the west coast of Greece.

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

(20)

1 Oct 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) attacked an unescorted enemy merchant vessel with three torpedoes in approximate position 38°03'N 20°21'E. No hits were obtained.

This was most probably the Italian passenger/cargo ship Donizetti (2428 GRT, built 1928) which reported missed by torpedoes in this area.

(All times are zone -2)
1343 hours - Sighted a 3000 tons merchant vessel at a range of 5 to 6 nautical miles. Started attack.

1404 hours - Fired three torpedoes from 2800 yards.

1415 hours - Went to 80 feet and retired to the south-west. Two explosions were heard and these two torpedoes were seen to explode on the shore. The target was by that time end on and retiring at high speed.

1500 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Saw an MA/SB coming approaching from Argostoli. Went to 150 feet. Was hunted for three hours by two MA/SB's that dropped four depth charges but these were not close.

1800 hours - HE disappeared. Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight. (20)

3 Oct 1941
While trying to attack an ememy convoy off the Levkas-Cephalonia Channel, HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) was sighted. She had to dive and the attack had to be broken off. (20)

6 Oct 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) developed serious mechanical defects that resulted in that the patrol had to be abandoned. (20)

12 Oct 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) ended her 7th war patrol (6th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria. (20)

23 Oct 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria. (21)

25 Oct 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria with HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN). (21)

26 Oct 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed Alexandria for her 8th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Aegean, Gulf of Athens area.

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

(22)

2 Nov 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) was detected while trying to attack an enemy convoy in the Gulf of Athens. She was depth charged but no damage was done to Proteus. Her position now compromised Lt.Cdr. Francis set course for a new patrol area.

The enemy ships consisted of Città di Alessandria (2498 GRT, built 1930), Città di Savona (2500 GRT, built 1930) and Città di Agrigento (2480 GRT, built 1930), escorted by the torpedo boats Sirio and Lupo and had left Piraeus for Crete. It was Sirio which had detected the submarine and dropped two patterns of seven depth charges then came back with ten more depth charges (three failed to explode), she then used a towing mine but without success. Proteus was later hunted by MAS 538 which claimed it as certainly damaged but this was not the case.

(All times are zone -2)
0025 hours - Whilst charging in position 160°, St.Giorgios lighthouse, 7 nautical miles, sighted three darkened ships. This was soon seen to be a convoy of three merchant vessels with two escorts. Proteus started an attack but at 0100 hours one of the escorts increased speed and came rushing towards. Proteus had been sighted.

0105 hours - Dived to 150 feet.

0110 hours - Depth charging commenced. A total of 14 depth charges were dropped. The first 6 were quite close.

0350 hours - Surfaced. As our position was now compromised set course for the Serpho Channel, the only channel within reach before dawn. (22)

3 Nov 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) torpedoed and damaged the Italian tanker Tampico (4958 GRT, built 1908) east of Andros Island, Greece in position 37°53'N, 24°30'E. Proteus was depth-charged by the Italian torpedo boats Monzambano and Castelfidardo but managed to escape.

Tampico was carrying 4000 tons of oil, Castelfidardo took her in tow but the tow line broke. Towing was finally resumed with the arrival of the tug Arddenza. The two torpedo boats were short of fuel and were relieved by their consorts Cassiopea and Lira and the escort was reinforced by MAS 538 and the German patrol boats 11 V 1 and 11 V 4 and the tanker reached Piraeus.

(All times are zone -2)
0945 hours - When in position 190°, Mandilou Island, 3 nautical miles sighted a 5000 tons merchant vessel. She was escorted by two destroyers or torpedo-boats and one aircraft. The merchant was steering a course of 190° through the Doro Channel. Started attack.

1000 hours - The targets course was now 235°.

1025 hours - Fired three torpedoes from 1000 yards. An explosion was heard 48 seconds after firing the first torpedo. Two more explosions were heard after about 3 minutes later. Proteus had gone to 180 feet on firing and retired to the eastward.

1028 hours - Depth charging commenced. A total of 26 depth charges were dropped, the first 6 were unpleasantly close.

1305 hours - Returned to periscope depth. The target was stopped five nautical miles away in approximately the attack position. One of the escorts appeared to be taking her in tow, the other was circling the target at high speed. The target was lower in the water but on an even keel. Two aircraft were circling overhead.

1400 hours - The tow was slipped and both escorts and four aircraft were now circling the target. Decided to close to finish the target off. During the approach Proteus was detected and again depth charged. A total of 16 depth charges were dropped. The first 3 or 4 were very close.

1715 hours - Returned to periscope depth. The target was still afloat with the escorts and aircraft still patrolling. (22)

10 Nov 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) torpedoed and sank the German troop transport Ithaka (1773 GRT, built 1922) 2 nautical miles south-west of Milos, Greece.

This was the first attack of the war by a submarine using radar.

(All times are zone -2)
9 November 1941
2030 hours - When in position 090°, St. Georgios lighthouse, 8 nautical miles, sighted a darkened ship to the westward at a range of 7800 yards according to RD/F. On closing to 6000 yards a merchant vessel and two escorts were visible. As Proteus had been sighted during the last two surface night attacks Lt.Cdr. Francis decided to make an end around and to attack from periscope depth at dawn.

10 November 1941
0320 hours - Dived to attack.

0340 hours - HE was picked up.

0345 hours - The target was visible through the periscope.

0405 hours - Fired four torpedoes from 600 yards. It is thought that three hits were obtained.

No depth charges were dropped following the attack.

[Ithaka was transporting 507 German soldiers of which 469 drowned. She also had 80 tons of ammunition on board. As Ithaka sank in only two minutes only 78 survivors were picked up. Ithaka was escorted by the German patrol vessels 11 V 1 and 12 V 4.] (22)

15 Nov 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) ended her 8th war patrol (7th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria. (22)

28 Nov 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed Alexandria for her 9th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the western Aegean.

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

(22)

29 Nov 1941
At 1750-1815 hours, twice HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) detected aircraft by radar at a range of about five miles. Perhaps the first instance of a submarine detecting a potentially enemy aircraft. The submarine dived after the second instance. (22)

7 Dec 1941
During the night of 6 / 7 December 1941, HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) was depth charged while closing an escorted enemy merchant vessel for a torpedo attack.

These were probably the German Bellona (1297 GRT, built 1929) escorted by the Italian destroyer Turbine on a trip from Piraeus to Suda.

(All times are zone -2)
6 December 1941
2330 hours - When charging batteries in position 36°41'N, 23°29'E sighted two dark objects, thought to be destroyers bearing 020°, range 5 nautical miles. Enemy course was 160°. As it was bright moonlight dived and approached at speed to investigate.

2345 hours - The objects were identified as a merchant vessel escorted by a destroyer or torpedo-boat. Continued to close at high speed.

7 December 1941
0006 hours - Range to the merchant ship was now 4000 yards. Range to the escort was 2000 yards when this ship turned suddenly towards and increased speed. Went deep as he probably had picked up our HE.

0010 hours - Depth charging started. The first of these was dropped quite close. A total of four depth charges were dropped.

0050 hours - HE had faded away so surfaced. Nothing in sight. (22)

8 Dec 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) sank the Greek caique PI 908 / Giorgios with scuttling charges north-north-west of the Kythira channel.

The Greek captain and a member of the crew were picked up and the remainder of the crew were given provisions for a day as the coast was fifteen miles away.

(All times are zone -2)
0124 hours - In position 36°33'N, 23°34'E sighted a dark object bearing 140°. Dived to investigate.

0140 hours - The object was identified as a caique. She was northward bound.

0155 hours - The caique passed close. She was of about 50 tons and fully loaded. Decided to engage with the gun.

0200 hours - Surfaced and opened fire. One 4" round was fired but the gun failed to run out.

0205 hours - Opened fire with a machine gun.

0207 hours - The crew started to abandon ship. Ceased fire.

0215 hours - Sent over the demolition party.

0245 hours - The caique exploded and sank. (22)

12 Dec 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) ended her 9th war patrol (8th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria. (22)

14 Dec 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) was docked at Alexandria. (23)

15 Dec 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) was undocked. (23)

22 Dec 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed Alexandria for her 10th war patrol (9th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the west coast of Greece.

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

(22)

30 Dec 1941
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) torpedoed and damaged the Italian merchant Città di Marsala (2480 GRT, built 1929) south-west of Argostoli in position 38°02'N, 20°22'E. Città di Marsala was escorted by the Italian destroyer Turbine.

Five men were missing and four were wounded and she was towed by schooners and beached at Argostoli. In July 1942 she was brought to Cattaro for repairs and resumed service in October of the same year.

(All times are zone -2)
0845 hours - In position 195°, Vardiani Island, 2.5 nautical miles, sighted one merchant vessel escorted by one destroyer leaving Argostoli. Enemy course was 180°, range was 3 nautical miles. Started attack.

0853 hours - The enemy had turned 90° to starboard.

0901 hours - Fired three torpedoes from 2000 yards. One hit was heard. Proteus had gone deep on firing.

0905 hours - The counter attack started. A total of 30 depth charges were dropped. Only the first 3 or 4 were close but caused no damage to Proteus.

1015 hours - Returned to periscope depth. The merchant vessel was still afloat. The destroyer was patrolling to her seaward. Also a flying boat was patrolling the area.

1105 hours - Had another look through the periscope, the target was very low in the water. The aircraft and the destroyer were still patrolling. When Proteus returned to the area shortly before dark the target was not seen and is thought to have sunk. This was however not the case as she was towed to Argostoli where she sank in shallow water the next day. (22)

5 Jan 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian armed merchant cruiser Città di Palermo (5413 GRT, built 1930) off Cape Dukato, Greece in position 38°33'N, 20°36'E.

She was escorting Calino from Brindisi to Patras. Rescue efforts were immediately organised and the torpedo boat Montanari, the tanker Sesia and the steamer Tergeste were directed to the scene. But of her crew of 150 and 600 troops on board only 300 were rescued.

(All times are zone -2)
0740 hours - Just as it was getting light heard HE bearing 300°.

0741 hours - Sighted two merchant vessel on the same bearing. Range was 7000 yards. Enemy course was 140°. Started attack. The ships were seen to be modern passenger vessel of about 8000 tons.

0756 hours - Fired two stern torpedoes from 600 yards. Both hit. The ship immediately took a heavy list to starboard und turned onto her beam ends.

0802 hours - The target was seen to sink. (22)

12 Jan 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) ended her 10th war patrol (9th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria. (22)

29 Jan 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed Alexandria for her 11th war patrol (10th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the west coast of Greece.

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

(24)

8 Feb 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) attacks ' what is thought to be ' an enemy submarine west of Lefkada Island, Greece in position 38°41'N, 20°30'E. It was however not a submarine but the Italian torpedo boat Sagittario. The ships collided and were both damaged.

(All times are zone -2)
0406 hours - In position 322°, Cape Dukato, 13.5 nautical miles, RD/F picked up a contact bearing 360°, range 2 nautical miles.

0408 hours - Sighted a dark object.

0410 hours - The object was identified as a submarine. As the range was now 1000 yards, decided to fire the stern tubes before turning round, as there was considerable risk of being sighted ourselves when we turned beam on.

0417 hours - Fired two stern torpedoes from 700 yards. Both torpedoes missed, turned hard to starboard to fire the bow tubes.

0422 hours - Fired tube 3 and 4. Range was 1000 yards. The gun crew was also standing by to close up.

0425 hours - The enemy turned towards. Lt. J. Nash, RN said that he thought it was a destroyer. Lt.Cdr. Francis now realized his mistake. Range was now only 300 to 400 yards. There was not enough time to dive and in a split second Lt.Cdr. Francis decided to turn towards the enemy in order to minimise the chance of being rammed by the enemy and to dive when the enemy had passed. When the ships met they passed only about 6 feet apart. The fore hydroplanes were turned out at the time and the port plane tore a very nasty hole in the destroyer's side before it snapped off. Proteus then dived to 180 feet.

0427 hours - Three muffled explosions were heard, most likely depth charges. The destroyers HE had stopped and as no depth charge attack developed it was thought that the destroyer must be badly damaged by the encounter. Proteus was also damaged the fore-planes were out of action and Lt.Cdr. Francis decided in the evening to abandon the patrol and return to Alexandria for repairs.

[Sagittario was indeed damaged to her bow. Temporary repairs were made at the Bay of Guiscardo (Fiscardo, north Cephalonia), she remained there until 5 March when she sailed at for Samos (Sami in Cephalonia, not the island of Samos) where she arrived later the same day. She left Sami at on 7 March and arrived at Argostoli later the same day. She sailed from Argostoli 8 March for Patras.

Full repairs were carried out at Teodo (now called Tivat, Montenegro) from 11 March to 2 May when she sailed for Brindisi and the next day to Taranto. She was fully operation again by mid-June.] (24)

13 Feb 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) ended her 11th war patrol (10th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria. (24)

26 Feb 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed Alexandria for Port Said. (25)

27 Feb 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) arrived at Port Said where she was docked. As there is no log available for March 1942 the dates are not known to us at the moment. (25)

9 Mar 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed Port Said for Alexandria. (26)

10 Mar 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed Alexandria for Port Said. (26)

12 Mar 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed Alexandria for her 12th war patrol (11th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off the west coast of Greece.

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

(24)

16 Mar 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) turned back towards Alexandria as her Commanding Officer had serious health problems for several days and they continued to deteriorate. (24)

17 Mar 1942
As the commanding officers health had improved HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) resumed course towards her patrol area. (24)

18 Mar 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Taranto by Capt. S.10 (Malta). (24)

25 Mar 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) was ordered by Capt. S.1 to patrol in the Straits of Otranto. (24)

26 Mar 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) was ordered by Capt. S.1 to patrol off the west coast of Albania and north-west coast of Greece. (24)

27 Mar 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) attacked what was thought to be a naval auxiliary with three torpedoes north of Corfu. No hits were obtained.

This was the auxiliary G 48 / R. Monfalcone (218 GRT, 1914) which spotted the three torpedo tracks [our thanks to Francesco de Domenico, Corto Maltese and Loligo of the AIDMEN forum for their help in identifying this vessel].

(All times are zone -2)
0840 hours - When in position 40°04'N, 19°33'E sighted smoke bearing 087° coming from Palermo. It was then seen to move up the coast towards Valona. Set course to intercept.

0910 hours - The ship was identified as a 1000 tons naval auxiliary. Started attack.

0940 hours - Fired three torpedoes from 1000 yards. All missed and exploded on the beach beyond. No counter attack followed but as Palermo was nearby and A/S craft would most likely be sent to hunt the submarine Proteus retired to the westward. (24)

28 Mar 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian troop transport Galilea (8040 GRT, built 1916) 9 nautical miles south-west of Antipaxo, Greece in position 39°04'N, 20°05'E.

She was in a convoy with Piemonte (15209 GRT, built 1918), Francesco Crispi (7600 GRT, built 1926), Viminale (8657 GRT, built 1925), Italia (5203 GRT, built 1905) and Aventino (3794 GRT, built 1907) escorted by the armed merchant cruiser Città di Napoli (5418 GRT, built 1929), the destroyer , Sebenico and the torpedo boats Antonio Mosto, Angelo Bassini and Catelfidardo and they were on a trip from Patras to Brindisi. Of the 1275 men on board, only 284 were saved. The Gemona battalion alone lost twenty-one officers and 630 other ranks.

(All times are zone -2)
2120 hours - When in position 38°55'N, 20°21'E sighted several dark objects bearing 200°, range 5 nautical miles. Turned stern on to investigate. The objects were identified as a convoy made up of seven merchant vessels escorted by two or more destroyers. Due to moonlight a surface attack was out of the question.

2225 hours - Dived to attack.

2232 hours - Five ships could be seen through the periscope.

2242 hours - Fired two torpedoes at one of the merchant vessels from a range of about 2000 yards.

2243 hours - Fired four torpedoes at two of the merchant vessels that were overlapping. Ranges were 1000 and 2000 yards. Proteus then went deep. It is thought that two hits were obtained.

2253 hours - Three depth charges were dropped but they were not close. It is also thought that a ship was heard breaking up.

0040 hours/29 - On surfacing a merchant vessel was sighted stopped in the position of the attack, four nautical miles to the eastward. Proteus retired to the westward to charge the batteries and reload the torpedo tubes. (24)

30 Mar 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Bosforo (3648 GRT, built 1929) off Sapienza, Greece in position 36°38'N, 21°15'E.

She was escorted by the destroyer Strale which dropped four depth charges before returning to search for survivors. Some men had already abandoned ship but Bosforo was still afloat and Strale attempted to tow her but this was not possible. Marimorea had informed her that the tugs Teseo and Valente were on the way but at 0740 hours Bosforo slid beneath the waves. In all thirteen men were killed or missing and ninety survivors were picked up.

(All times are zone -2) 2034 hours - When in positon 36°25'N, 21°16'E sighted a merchant vessel and a destroyer bearing 140°E. Range was 4.5 nautical miles. Started attack.

2120 hours - Dived to complete the attack from submerged.

2149 hours - Fired two stern torpedoes from 450 yards. Went deep on firing and started to retire to the westward. Two explosions were heard, both thought to be torpedo hits. After the second torpedo explosion another loud explosion was heard. It was hoped that something inside the merchant vessel blew up. HE of the target ceased immediately.

2155 hours - The first of five depth charges was dropped. None were close.

2230 hours - All HE had faded.

2315 hours - Surfaced about three nautical miles from the scene of the attack. Nothing in sight. Set course to return to Alexandria. (24)

4 Apr 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) ended her 12th war patrol (11th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria. (24)

11 Apr 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) was fumigated. (27)

18 Apr 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed Alexandria for her 13th war patrol (12th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Ionian Sea and the west coast of Greece.

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

(24)

26 Apr 1942
At 1500 hours HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) was in approximate position 36°35’N, 19°40’E when she was informed of the passage of a 3000-ton southbound tanker [this was Proserpina (4870 GRT, built 1926) escorted by the destroyer Emanuele Pessagno]. She moved westward to intercept but nothing was seen. (24)

28 Apr 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) attacked an escorted merchant vessel with two torpedoes in the Ionian Sea. No hits were obtained.

This was probably Capo Orso (3149 GRT, built 1916) which was on passage from Benghazi to Taranto escorted by the destroyers Ugolino Vivaldi and Freccia. The attack was unobserved.

(All times are zone -3)
2220 hours - In position 36°20'N, 18°21'E sighted three darkened ships bearing 165°, range was about 4.5 nautical miles. Turned stern on while investigating.

2224 hours - The ships were identified as a merchant vessel of about 3000 tons escorted by two destroyers.

2225 hours - Dived to attack.

2240 hours - Trim was lost. Proteus went to 60 feet.

2250 hours - Returned to periscope depth. A new attack set up was made.

2254 hours - Fired the first of two torpedoes but steering control was lost on firing this torpedo. Range was 3000 yards. Three minutes later a second torpedo was fired. Range was now 2000 yards. Both torpedoes missed.

2307 hours - A loud explosion was heard. This was possibly a depth charge but no counter attack developed.

2320 hours - Surfaced and set off in pursuit. Contact had not been regained by 0400/29 and the pursuit was then abandoned. (24)

2 May 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) torpedoed and damaged the German merchant Otto Leonhardt (3682 GRT, built 1911) west of Lefkada, Greece in position 38°41'N, 20°24'E.

She was in company with the German Hans Arp (2645 GRT, built 1926) escorted by the destroyer Solferino and motorboat Cariddi. Solferino laid a smoke screen to protect the stricken vessel from further attack and carried out a search towing an antisubmarine mine but it was fruitless.

(All times are zone -3)
0740 hours - While in position 38°39'N, 20°22'E sighted smoke bearing 350°.

0822 hours - Masts and funnels of a convoy of two merchant vessels escorted by a destroyer and a trawler were sighted. They were approaching Cape Dukato on a mean course of 150°. Started attack.

0910 hours - Fired five torpedoes at the leading merchant vessel from about 2000 yards. The merchant vessel was heavily laden and of about 2500 yards. Went deep on firing and retired to the northward. Two torpedoes were heard to explode and these are thought to the hits.

0913 hours - Depth charging started. A total of 51 were dropped during the next 40 minutes. The first 3 were very close.

1010 hours - Returned to periscope depth. The destroyer was seen to steam up and down in the area of the attack. Nothing else was in sight.

1230 hours - The destroyer could no longer be seen. (24)

3 May 1942
At 1320 hours (zone -3) HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) was detected at periscope depth by an ememy aircraft and bombed. Two bombs were dropped but they caused no damage. Position of the attack was to the north-west of Levkas Island. (24)

5 May 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) sank the Greek sailing vessel KAL 95 / Evangelistria (21 GRT) in the Gulf of Kyparissa in position 37°29'N, 21°33'E.

(All times are zone -3)
1415 hours - In position 37°29'N, 21°33'E sighted the sail of a small schooner northward bound up the coast. Closed to investigate. She was seen to be heavily laden and of about 60 tons.

1545 hours - Surfaced. A burst of Bren gun fire across her bow made the crew abandon ship as was hoped.

1548 hours - Opened fire with the 4" gun from a range of 500 yards.

1553 hours - After having fired 12 rounds the schooner sank.

1555 hours - Dived and set course towards Alexandria. (24)

10 May 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) ended her 13th war patrol (12th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria. (24)

24 May 1942
After exercising with a trawler and a “homing aircraft” [ROOSTER exercise], HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) departed Alexandria for her 14th war patrol (13th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Gulf of Sirte. Later she patrolled in the central Mediterranean to provide cover during a convoy operation to Malta (Operation Vigorous).

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

(24)

30 May 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Bravo (1570 GRT, former Yugoslavian Junak, built 1921) west of Bengasi, Libya in position 32°21'N, 18°54'E.

She was in company with the German Savona (2120 GRT, built 1934) on a trip from Tripoli to Benghazi escorted by the torpedo-boat Generale Marcello Prestinari. Escorting aircraft machine-gunned the area where the submarine was presumed to be and one dropped two bombs, the torpedo-boat dropped depth charges before returning to pick up thirty-nine survivors, two men were missing.

(All times are zone -3)
0626 hours - When in position 31°51'N, 19°26'E sighted two dim objects through the periscope bearing 225°.

0630 hours - The ships were identified as two merchant vessels escorted by a destroyer. Started attack on the leading merchant vessel.

0722 hours - Fired three torpedoes on the second ship as the first ship had already passed. Range to the second ship was 3000 yards.

0724 hours - Heard one explosion of a torpedo hitting. This was followed by noises from a ship breaking up. Proteus meanwhile was at 180 feet and retired to the westward.

0728 hours - The counter attack commenced. A total of 20 depth charges was dropped but none were close. As the sea was very calm and aircraft were also patrolling the area Proteus remained deep until well clear of the area of the attack. (24)

31 May 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis) torpedoed and sank the Italian merchant Gino Allegri (6836 GRT, built 1941) west of Bengasi, Libya in position 32°28'N, 18°52'E.

She was on a trip from Taranto to Benghazi escorted by the destroyer Euro. Only twenty-one survivors were rescued by Euro and by the torpedo boat Generale Marcello Prestinari which had sailed from Benghazi to reinforce the escort.

(All times are zone -3)
0520 hours - When in position 32°28'N, 18°52'E sighted two darkened ships bearing 300°.

0522 hours - Turned tail on and dived. It had been decided to attack from submerged due to the bright moonlight.

0530 hours - Sighted the enemy through the periscope. The two ships were seen to be a merchant vessel escorted by a destroyer.

0541 hours - Fired two stern torpedoes from 1500 yards. Went deep on firing and retired to the north-west. The target was the merchant vessel, a modern ship of about 6000 tons.

0542 hours - Heard two loud explosions of torpedoes hitting.

0548 hours - Heard a very loud explosion of ammunition blowing up. Proteus was badly shaken and this caused some minor defects.

0620 hours - Returned to periscope depth. The destroyer was seen laying stopped in the position of the attack, 2 nautical miles off. The merchant was not seen. The area was covered by black smoke. (24)

22 Jun 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Francis, RN) ended her 14th war patrol (13th in the Mediterranean) at Alexandria. (24)

30 Jun 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) departed Alexandria for Port Said. (26)

1 Jul 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) arrived at Port Said. (28)

6 Jul 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) was docked at Port Said. (28)

7 Jul 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) was undocked. (28)

17 Jul 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) departed Port Said for Beirut. (28)

19 Jul 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) arrived at Beirut. (28)

27 Jul 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) departed Beirut for her 15th war patrol (14th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol in the Aegean. She was also to perform a special operation.

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

(29)

3 Aug 1942
At 2200 hours, having entered Laconia Bay (near Kokkala, southern Peloponnese), HMS Proteus (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) began the disembarkation of five Greek officers and four other ranks [operation Water Melon, this was the SOE Thurgoland mission led by Major Ioannis Tsigantes who was instructed to organize the Greek resistance and block the Corinth Canal]. (29)

4 Aug 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) sank the Greek caiques SYR 267 / Marigula and VOL 239 / Panagia Kounistra with gunfire in the Gulf of Nauplion.

(All times are zone -3)
1715 hours - Sighted a caique coming from the northward. Shortly afterwards another caique was seen following the first one.

1933 hours - Surfaced in position 37°01'N, 23°10'E to engage with the 4" gun. A burst of Bren gun fire made the crew of the first caique abandon ship. The Greek crew immediately took to their small boat and pulled clear. The third round of 4" hit and a large number of men then appeared on the deck of caique coming from below. They jumped overboard. The caique was soon sunk. There was no time to identify the men in the water, as the second caique had to be chased, but they are thought to be soldiers [this was not the case, the caique was transporting Greek labourers].

1950 hours - Fired a round of 4" at the second caique from 3000 yards. Her crew abandoned her quickly. She was still under sail and was sailing away from Proteus quite fast but a lucky hit carried away her mast. Proteus then closed and sank the caique. In all a total of 50 rounds were expended on both caiques.

6 Aug 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) sank a Greek caique with gunfire west of the Doro Channel.

(All times are zone -3)
1830 hours - As no shipping had been sighted started to close a caique that was sighted earlier.

2050 hours - Surfaced and opened fire with the Bren gun from 800 yards. She then came towards while lowering sail. She was well laden with bales and boxes.

2107 hours - After the crew of the caique had abandoned ship she was sunk with 4" gunfire. 12 rounds were fired before the caique sank in position 37°52'N, 24°24'E. (29)

7 Aug 1942
A busy day for HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.L. Alexander, RN).

First she sank the Greek caique PI 948 / Agios Georgios with gunfire west of Serifos, Greece.

Later Proteus torpedoed and sank the German merchant Wachtfels (8467 GRT) about 10 nautical miles north-west of Milos, Crete in position 36°55'N, 24°10'E.

And finally Proteus attacked an escorted tanker in almost the same position. A possible hit was obtained.

(All times are zone -3)
In position 37°14'N, 24°04'E sighted a dark object. Turned stern on while investigating. The object was identified as a caique. At the same moment contact was obtained on the same bearing by RD/F at a range of 3300 yards. Altered course to work round down moon. When range was 400 yards opened fire with a Bren Gun. The caique had a small boat and it was hoped the crew would abandon ship. They did not do so and fire was then opened with the 4" gun.

0355 hours - The caique sank quickly. The crew of the caique was seen to climb on the wreckage. The caique was thought to be of 60 tons. A total of 13 rounds had been used.

0405 hours - Proceeded. Set course for Anti-Milo.

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

0740 hours - In position 36°54'N, 24°05'E sighted a large merchant vessel bearing 150°, range 10 nautical miles. Started attack. This ship was soon seen to be part of a convoy.

0821 hours - Fired four torpedoes at the largest merchant vessel from 3300 yards. Two torpedo explosions were heard after the correct running time followed by breaking up noises 10 minutes later. Proteus had gone deep on firing. A counter attack was started in which 16 depth charges were dropped but these were not close at all.

0930 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Sighted the Armed Merchant Cruiser (part of the convoy) stopped in the position of the attack. She made off after 5 minutes.

1000 hours - Commenced reloading the torpedo tubes.

[Wachtfels was in convoy together with the Italian (German flagged) merchant vessel Cagliari (2568 GRT, built 1905, ex French, ex Belgian Egypte) and the Italian merchant vessel Pier Luigi (2571 GRT, built 1895) and the small Greek tanker (German controlled) Elli (390 GRT, built 1878). They were escorted by the Italian Armed Merchant Cruiser Barletta (1975 GRT, built 1931), two Italian torpedo boats and the German auxiliary submarine chaser UJ 2106.]

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

1040 hours - In position 36°52'N, 24°07'E sighted an aircraft. Shortly afterwards sighted a destroyer and a merchant ship on the same bearing (245°, 8 nautical miles). Started attack. The merchant vessel was soon seen to be a tanker of 8000-10000 tons.

1121 hours - Fired four torpedoes at the tanker from 5000 yards. One minute after firing heard an explosion. This is thought to be the aircraft bombing the tracks. It is thought that a possible hit wes obtained as one torpedo was heard to explode at more or less the correct running time. A counter attack was started by the destroyer in which 21 depth charges were counted, none were close though.

1200 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Sighted the tanker still fairly close to the position of firing. 4 or 5 aircraft were now patrolling the area. Went to 70 feet and attempted to close her but range increased gradually to the attempt was abandoned. (29)

8 Aug 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) sank a small Greek caique with gunfire south of Naxos, Greece in position 36°49'N, 25°31'E.

(All times are zone -3)
1940 hours - Sighted a caique. Closed.

2030 hours - Surfaced at a range of 1000 yards. The crew of two needed no encouragement to abandon ship. Sank the 15 tons caique with 6 rounds of 4". (29)

14 Aug 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) ended her 15th war patrol (14th in the Mediterranean) at Beirut. Proteus had returned three days early due to engine trouble. (29)

13 Sep 1942
After repairs to engine defects had been made good, HMS Proteus (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) departed Beirut for Malta. This was the first leg of the return trip to the U.K. where Proteus was to refit.

Before proceeding A/S exercises were carried out in the sanctuary.

As there is no log available no map can be displayed for this passage. (30)

22 Sep 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) arrived at Malta where she disembarked 38 tons of oil fuel, 13 Mk VIII submarine torpedoes, 5 aircraft torpedoes and various stores. (30)

24 Sep 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) departed Malta for Gibraltar.

As there is no log available no map can be displayed for this passage. (30)

2 Oct 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (30)

5 Oct 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) departed Gibraltar for the U.K.

As there is no log available no map can be displayed for this passage / patrol. (30)

7 Oct 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) was ordered, by signal, to patrol off Ferrol, Spain.

This makes the passage from Gibraltar to the U.K. her 16th war patrol. (30)

19 Oct 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) ended her 16th war patrol at Plymouth. (30)

24 Oct 1942
HMS Proteus (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) was taken in hand for refit at the Devonport Dockyard at Plymouth. Her refit was completed in late May 1943. (26)

5 Jun 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Plymouth. (31)

10 Jun 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Plymouth with HMS White Bear (Cdr. J.F. Drake, RNR). (31)

11 Jun 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Plymouth with HMS White Bear (Cdr. J.F. Drake, RNR). (31)

13 Jun 1943
After two weeks in which trials were conducted off Plymouth, HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) departed Plymouth for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS White Bear (Cdr. J.F. Drake, RNR).

15 Jun 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. She was now assigned to training duties. (31)

17 Jun 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Plymouth. (31)

19 Jun 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Plymouth. (31)

20 Jun 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Plymouth. (31)

22 Jun 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted torpedo firing trials/exercises in Loch Long. (31)

23 Jun 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Oberon (Lt.Cdr. J.W. McCoy, DSC, RN) and HMS White Bear (Cdr. J.F. Drake, RNR). Upon completion of these exercises HMS Proteus proceeded to Campbeltown. (31)

25 Jun 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area serving as target for HMS Sea Nymph (Lt. J.P.H. Oakley, DSC, RN). These exercises were followed by gunnery exercises with a target towed by HMS Blade (T/A/Lt.Cdr. S.T. Wenlock, RNR). (31)

26 Jun 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted night exercises off Plymouth. (31)

30 Jun 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) shifted from Rothesay to Larne escorted by HMS ML 234 (T/Lt. W.F.H. Mayo, RNVR). (31)

1 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises with aircraft off Larne. (32)

2 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Larne. (32)

4 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises with aircraft off Larne. (32)

6 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises with aircraft off Larne. (32)

7 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Larne with HMS Truant (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) and HMS Tally-Ho (Lt.Cdr. L.W.A. Bennington, DSO, DSC, RN). (32)

8 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Larne with HMS Waveney (Lt.Cdr. A.E. Willmott, DSC, RNR). (32)

9 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Larne. (32)

12 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Larne with HMS Vesper (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rodgers, RN) and HMS Campanula (Lt.Cdr. B.A. Rogers, RD, RNR). (32)

13 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Larne. (32)

14 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Larne with Escort Group B 5. (32)

15 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Larne. (32)

16 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Larne with Escort Group B 5. (32)

17 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Larne with HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, RN) and HMS Mallow (T/A/Lt.Cdr. H.T.S. Clouston, RNVR). (32)

18 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Larne. (32)

21 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) departed Larne for Holy Loch. (32)

22 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (32)

24 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HMS La Flore (Lt. F.W. Hayden, RN) and HMS Truant (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN). (32)

27 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) shifted from Holy Loch to Rothesay. (32)

28 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (32)

29 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (32)

30 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (32)

31 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (32)

3 Aug 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. She also acted as target for the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course) which was embarked in HMS Sealion (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR). (33)

4 Aug 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (33)

5 Aug 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (33)

6 Aug 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (33)

11 Aug 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (33)

12 Aug 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (33)

14 Aug 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (33)

15 Aug 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (33)

19 Aug 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. She also acted as target for the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course). (33)

23 Aug 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (33)

24 Aug 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (33)

25 Aug 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (33)

26 Aug 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (33)

27 Aug 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (33)

30 Aug 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (33)

31 Aug 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. She also acted as target for the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course). (33)

1 Sep 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (34)

2 Sep 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. She also acted as target for the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course). (34)

3 Sep 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (34)

6 Sep 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (34)

7 Sep 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (34)

8 Sep 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (34)

9 Sep 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (34)

10 Sep 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (34)

13 Sep 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (34)

14 Sep 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (34)

15 Sep 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. These included night exercises. (34)

16 Sep 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (34)

17 Sep 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (34)

20 Sep 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (34)

22 Sep 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (34)

23 Sep 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (34)

24 Sep 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (34)

26 Sep 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) was docked at Rothesay. (34)

29 Sep 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) was undocked. (34)

30 Sep 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners.

[No log is available for HMS Proteus for October 1943 so no details on her operations can be given for this month.] (34)

8 Nov 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (35)

8 Nov 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (35)

10 Nov 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (35)

12 Nov 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (35)

16 Nov 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (35)

17 Nov 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (35)

18 Nov 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (35)

22 Nov 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (35)

23 Nov 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (35)

24 Nov 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (35)

25 Nov 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (35)

26 Nov 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (35)

29 Nov 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (35)

30 Nov 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (35)

1 Dec 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (36)

2 Dec 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. She also served as target for HrMs Zeehond (Lt.Cdr. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN). (36)

6 Dec 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (36)

9 Dec 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (36)

10 Dec 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (36)

13 Dec 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (36)

16 Dec 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (36)

20 Dec 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. She also conducted exercises with HMS Sealion (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR). (36)

21 Dec 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (36)

22 Dec 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. (36)

23 Dec 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with a training class of new submariners. Later the same day she proceeded to Campbeltown. En-route exercises were carried out for the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course) with HMS Breda (Lt.Cdr. G.G. Slade, RN). (36)

24 Dec 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) returned to Rothesay. (36)

29 Dec 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) is docked at Rothesay. (36)

30 Dec 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) is undocked at Rothesay. Later the same day she proceeded to Campbeltown for night exercises. She was escorted by HMS Inconstant (Lt.Cdr J.H. Eaden, DSC and Bar, RN). (36)

31 Dec 1943
Upon completion of the night exercises during the night of 30/31 December 1943, HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) and HMS Inconstant (Lt.Cdr J.H. Eaden, DSC and Bar, RN) returned to Rothesay. (36)

4 Jan 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (37)

5 Jan 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (37)

7 Jan 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (37)

10 Jan 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (37)

15 Jan 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) was docked at Rothesay. (37)

17 Jan 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) was undocked. (37)

19 Jan 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (37)

21 Jan 1944
HMS Trusty (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.R.G. Harvey, RN) conducts attack exercises with HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN). (38)

24 Jan 1944
HMS Trusty (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.R.G. Harvey, RN) conducts attack exercises with HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN). (38)

25 Jan 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (37)

26 Jan 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (37)

27 Jan 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (37)

28 Jan 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (37)

1 Feb 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HrMs Zeehond (Lt.Cdr. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN). (39)

3 Feb 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (39)

7 Feb 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HrMs Zeehond (Lt.Cdr. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN). (39)

8 Feb 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HrMs Zeehond (Lt.Cdr. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN). (39)

9 Feb 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (39)

13 Feb 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises in the Clyde area with HMS ML 199 (T/Lt. F.C.G. Preston, RNVR). (39)

14 Feb 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Keppel (Cdr. I.J. Tyson, DSC, RD, RNR). (39)

15 Feb 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area in which she served as target for HMS Sealion (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR). (39)

16 Feb 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (39)

17 Feb 1944
In the evening HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area for the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course) with HMS Breda (Lt.Cdr. G.G. Slade, RN). (39)

18 Feb 1944
At 0139 hours, while conducting night exercises for the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course), HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) collided HMS Breda (Lt.Cdr. G.G. Slade, RN) which had to be beached and finally sank in 18 feet of water. There were no casualties. The submarine had only minor damage. (39)

22 Feb 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) was docked at Rothesay. (39)

24 Feb 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) was undocked. (39)

2 Mar 1944
HMS Sealion (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) conducted night attack exercises for the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course) in the Clyde area with HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN). These night attack exercises were follewed by attack exercises during which HMS Wrestler (Lt.Cdr. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN) and HMS Kingfisher (T/Lt. F.D. Betts, RNR) served as the targets. (40)

7 Mar 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (41)

8 Mar 1944
HMS Safari (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.R.G. Harvey, RN) conducted attack exercises for the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course) in the Clyde area during which HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR) and HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) served as the targets. (42)

13 Mar 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Safari (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.R.G. Harvey, RN). (41)

29 Mar 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted night exercises in the Clyde area. (41)

5 Apr 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (43)

5 Apr 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (43)

6 Apr 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (43)

10 Apr 1944
HMS Safari (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.R.G. Harvey, RN) conducted attack exercises for the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course) in the Clyde area during which HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) served as the target. (44)

11 Apr 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. H.D. Verschoyle, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (43)

17 Apr 1944
HMS Proteus (T/Lt. P.S. Parmenter, RNR) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (43)

18 Apr 1944
HMS Proteus (T/Lt. P.S. Parmenter, RNR) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (43)

20 Apr 1944
HMS Proteus (T/Lt. P.S. Parmenter, RNR) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (43)

21 Apr 1944
HMS Proteus (T/Lt. P.S. Parmenter, RNR) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (43)

27 Apr 1944
HMS Proteus (T/Lt. P.S. Parmenter, RNR) conducted night exercises in the Clyde area. (43)

30 Apr 1944
HMS Safari (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.R.G. Harvey, RN) conducted attack exercises for the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course) in the Clyde area during which HMS Proteus (T/Lt. P.S. Parmenter, RNR) served as the target. (44)

2 May 1944
HMS Safari (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.R.G. Harvey, RN) conducted attack exercises for the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course) in the Clyde area during which HMS Proteus (T/Lt. P.S. Parmenter, RNR) served as the target. (45)

16 May 1944
HMS Proteus (Lt. G.E.L.F. Edsell, RN) arrived at Ardrossan where she was prepared for shock trials. She was decommissioned on 30 June 1944. (46)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/15950
  2. ADM 173/15952
  3. ADM 173/16442
  4. ADM 173/16443
  5. ADM 53/112606 + ADM 53/111921 + ADM 173/16443
  6. ADM 173/16444
  7. ADM 173/16445
  8. ADM 173/16446
  9. ADM 173/16447
  10. ADM 199/283
  11. ADM 186/797
  12. ADM 173/16448
  13. ADM 173/16451
  14. ADM 173/16452
  15. ADM 173/16919
  16. ADM 173/16920
  17. ADM 173/16720
  18. ADM 16920
  19. ADM 173/16921
  20. ADM 199/1120
  21. ADM 173/16922
  22. ADM 199/1150
  23. ADM 173/16924
  24. ADM 199/1218
  25. ADM 173/17360
  26. ADM 199/2565
  27. ADM 173/17361
  28. ADM 173/17362
  29. ADM 199/1220
  30. ADM 199/1832
  31. ADM 173/17890
  32. ADM 173/17891
  33. ADM 173/17892
  34. ADM 173/17893
  35. ADM 173/17894
  36. ADM 173/17895
  37. ADM 173/18596
  38. ADM 173/19121
  39. ADM 173/18597
  40. ADM 173/18661
  41. ADM 173/18598
  42. ADM 173/18619
  43. ADM 173/18599
  44. ADM 173/18620
  45. ADM 173/18621
  46. ADM 173/18600

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


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