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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2 - Summary by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2006


HMS TANTIVY - T-class Submarine

HM S/M Tantivy (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r




First RN use of the name when given to this submarine in place of Pennant Number P319. On completion of work-up in Home waters she took passage to join the 4th Submarine Flotilla in Ceylon as part of the Eastern Fleet This deployment part of the reinforcement of the RN presence in the Indian Ocean which had been agreed by the Admiralty in August of 1943 to increase the effectiveness of British submarines in the war against Japan.


She was primarily used to carry out patrol in the Malacca Straits area including Andaman and Nicobar islands and coasts of Burma and Siam where she began her operational service in late 1943. During her first patrols she had no remarkable successes and in June 1944 she carried out a minelay (Operation MLO11) in the Malacca Straits before providing an Air-Sea Rescue service during air attacks by the Eastern Fleet on Port Blair in the Andaman Islands with HM Submarine CLYDE. The submarine transferred with the Flotilla from Colombo to Trincomalee in July but continued patrols in the same areas. She later moved with the Flotilla to Fremantle which significantly lengthened the time taken on passage and involved refuelling at a new base in Exmouth Gulf. She sank a supply ship in the Malacca Straits during September and the next month on 22nd one of her torpedoes which had surfaced after running out of fuel after an attack caused sinking of a Japanese corvette which ran into the floating missile. On 26th of the same month she sank eight schooners carrying ore in the Malacca Straits. On a subsequent patrol in December she was deployed with the Dutch submarine ZWAARDVISCH for a patrol in the Lombok Straits and both submarines came under heavy depth charge attack by Japanese warships and had to abandon the patrol.


Her last patrol whilst with the Flotilla was in the Sunda Strait when she sank three small craft by surface gun attack but also ran aground in the harbour at Pajang, Java when she attempted to carry out attack on shipping. She was only able to come clear after discharging four bow torpedoes and extensive use of engines. The destruction charges had been placed and all Classified documents collected for destruction. This submarine arrived at Trincomalee after this alarming experience on 14th February 1945 and then returned to UK. The award of Battle Honour ATLANTIC 1945 requires investigation and possibly relates to an incident during passage from Gibraltar. Commanding Officer was Lieut. Cdr. HS Mackenzie RN.


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