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


HMS UNSEEN - U-class Submarine

HM S/M United, sister-boat (Cyber Heritage, click to enlarge)

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B a t t l e    H o n o u r s




Identified by her Pennant Number P51 until renamed in early 1943 this submarine was first RN warship to bear this name. Deployed in Home waters until transferred to the Mediterranean in October 1942 she took no part in direct support of the allied landings in North Africa apart from taking a US Army General to meet resistance leaders to the Algerian coast before the assault.


During deployment with the 10th Submarine Flotilla based in Malta she carried out patrols to intercept ships on passage to and from Tunisian ports. She sank three supply ships on a patrol off Tunisia in January 1943 followed by another in the Tyrrhenian Sea in February. On return to patrol off North Africa the next month she continued her successes with two more sinkings. Before deployment as a Navigational Beacon for allied landings in Sicily she carried out a patrol in the central Mediterranean and sank two more supply ships. Her station during the HUSKY landings was off the east coast of the Pachino Peninsular for guidance of Ships of Force N to the BARK EAST Sector. In August and September she carried out patrols in the western Mediterranean to attack ships evacuating personnel from Sardinia and on 21st September sank the German Minelayer BRANDENBURG followed by the Night Fighter Direction Tender KRETA. She continued service with the Flotilla when it was transferred to Maddalena and carried out patrols in 1944 for attacks on enemy ships supporting military operations off the north west coast of Italy and southern France. Later in 1944 she was released from Mediterranean duties and returned to UK, presumably for refit


The award of the Battle Honour ENGLISH CHANNEL may have been made for interception of German U-Boats during the evacuation of bases in France. The Commanding Officer during Mediterranean service was Lieutenant M L C Crawford RN (later Captain, DSO*)


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