Author Topic: HM Submarine Sterlet (1937 - 1940)  (Read 189 times)

Offline stuartwaters

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HM Submarine Sterlet (1937 - 1940)
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2021, 11:50:34 AM »

HMS Sterlet was a Group 2 "S" Class coastal patrol submarine built at the Chatham Royal Dockyard. The S Class was the most numerous British submarine ever built, with 62 boats being completed between the early 1930s and the end of World War Two. HMS Sterlet was the only vessel to bear the name and was the last of the Group 2 S Class submarines to be ordered.

HMS Sterlet was laid down on the No. 7 slipway on 14th July 1936 and was launched into the River Medway by Lady Talbot on 22nd September 1937. After fitting out at Chatham she commissioned on 6th April 1938. On completion, she displaced 670 tons surfaced and 960 tons dived. She was armed with 6 x 21in torpedo tubes in her bows, a 3in deck gun and machine guns on the bridge.

HMS Sterlet moored in the River Medway:

At the outbreak of the Second World War, she was based in Dundee and embarked on war patrols from there immediately before moving to the Royal Dockyard at Rosyth in October of 1939.

HMS Sterlet at sea:

The crest of HMS Sterlet:

She spent six months conducting uneventful war patrols in the North Sea from the coast of Norway down to the Netherlands until April of 1940.

On 8th April 1940, she departed Harwich to conduct a war patrol in the Skagerrak between Norway, Sweden and Denmark. On 12th April, she unsuccessfully attacked a German convoy consisting of 3 merchant ships and a destroyer. On 15th April, HMS Sterlet torpedoed and sank the German gunnery training ship Brummer in the Skagerrak, south of Larvik, Norway.

On 18th April, she was depth charged by the German anti-submarine trawlers UJ-125, UJ-126 and UJ-128. Whether that attack destroyed the boat or not is unclear, it may be that HMS Sterlet was lost to a mine. What is known is that HMS Sterlet and her crew were never seen or heard from again and she was presumed lost with all hands.

The Roll of Honour for HMS Sterlet can be found here:
"I did not say the French would not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Admiral Sir John Jervis, 1st Earl St Vincent.