Naval History Homepage - and Site Search



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


HMS UNBROKEN, later Russian V.2 - U-class Submarine

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

return to Contents List 





 Frango infractus:  'I break but am not broken'


This submarine was launched as P42 and when renamed on 1st February 1943 it was the first use for an RN warship. On completion of working up in the Clyde she took passage to the Mediterranean on 22nd February 1942 to join the 8th Submarine Flotilla at Gibraltar.


Following a week under repair she sailed for a patrol off Alboran which proved uneventful. In April she landed an intelligence agent during a patrol off the French Riviera when she damaged a ship in a torpedo attack and a subsequent firing at a submarine failed before return to Gibraltar for routine docking and repair which was completed at the end of May. Her next deployment was to carry out a patrol in support of the passage of the HARPOON Malta relief convoy to intercept and attack any Italian warships attempting to intervene. On the completion she was transferred to join the 10th Submarine Flotilla based in Malta, joining on 20th July. Whilst on her first patrol from Malta off Maritimo and Naples she carried out an attack on two mercantiles both of which missed Her later bombardment of a train near Longobadi was more re-assuring but when she attacked another ship on 9th August this also was unsuccessful. However her fortunes returned when she damaged two Italian cruisers MUZIO ATTENDOLO and BOLZANO and survived the subsequent counter attack by the escorts to arrived back in Malta on 14th of that month. A special operation at Crotone during the following patrol off Sicily was not satisfactory but two shore railway bombardments were carried out on the 7th and 9th of September. The next missions in October and November included two attacks off Lampedusa and Maritimo of which only one ship was hit and two other ships in the later patrol were missed. On 20th December 1942 she sailed for a patrol off Naples and before return to Malta on 6th January had damaged the German mercantile FELIX 21 (ex-French DJEBEL DIRA) and bombarded a railway line NW of Policastro. Patrols in early 1943 off the coast of Libya included the landing of a party near Kaliba A torpedo attack on shipping in harbour at Sousse during March achieved no hits but at the end of March on her next patrol she was deployed off SE Sicily where an attack on an Italian cruiser off Calabria also missed. Before return to Malta she hit and damaged German tanker (ex-Norwegian) REGINA of 9,545 tons which had to be beached. Deployed off the North coast of Sicily in April she encountered a submarine but the attack failed Later she sank a small schooner on April 22nd and damaged a mercantile GIACOMO C of 4,638 tons on 26th. She carried out patrols off the Messina Straits in May when she sank a small tug and the mv BOLOGNA OF 5,1440 tons before return to Malta on 26th May. Her patrols in June was not remarkable and July she was deployed for patrol off Taranto to intercept any attempt by Italian warships to attack assault and follow-up convoys taking part in the allied landings in Sicily. Nominated for return to UK to refit at Blyth she sailed from Malta on 30th July.


Whilst in the Atlantic she was deployed for an anti-submarine patrol in the Bay of Biscay to intercept German submarines on passage to and from French bases but this proved to be uneventful and she arrived at Portsmouth on 26th August. Refit at Blyth was completed on 2nd February 1944 after which she worked-up with the 6th Submarine Flotilla before being deployed for patrols off Norway in March.


Following brief deployment at Blyth during April she was nominated for transfer to the Soviet Navy and handed over at Dundee on 11th June. Renamed V2 (B2 in Russian) this submarine served with the Northern Fleet until February 1942 when she was returned to the RN at Rosyth. She was placed on the Disposal List and laid up at Lisahally, Ulster until being sold for demolition at Gateshead where she arrived on 9th May 1950. The Commanding Officer in 1943 was Lieutenant AA Mars RN.


back to Contents List
or Naval-History.Net

revised 30/11/10
further editing and formatting is required