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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2006


HMS P.311 - T-class Submarine

HM S/M Tantalus, sister-boat (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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Ordered in September 1940 as P91 it was intended that she be named TUTANKHAMEN when laid down in April 1941 but this was changed and she was completed with only her new Pennant Number P311 as her identity. After completion of trials and working-up for operational use she was fitted with a cylindrical container on the casing to enable two midget submarines to be carried.


This submarine was deployed in the Mediterranean and based in Malta for interception patrols. In December 1943 she was selected with HM Submarines THUNDERBOLT and TROOPER to embark Chariots to carry out attacks on Italian warships. She took passage from Malta to Maddalena with the two Chariots and their operators on 28th December for the execution of Operation PRINCIPAL. Nothing was heard from her after 31st December and it is believed she was mined when attempting to pass through the Straits of Bonifacio. Her distinguished commanding officer Commander Richard Cayley had been a most successful submarine officer with the award of a Distinguished Service Order and two Bars.


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revised 30/11/10
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