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


HMS UNSHAKEN - U-class Submarine

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

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In early 1943 the Pennant Number P54 was replaced by this name as part of the policy change to give all submarines a Name and it was one not previously used by the RN. Attached to the Home Fleet in June 1942 this submarine was deployed off Bear Island in support of the passage of the ill-fated Russian convoy PQ17 to provide additional defence against German submarine attacks. Later in August during an interception patrol against coastal shipping off Norway she sank a supply ship.


Transferred for service in the Mediterranean with the 10th Submarine Flotilla she carried out a patrol off Oran to intercept Italian warships attempting to attack ships taking part in the allied landings in Algeria (Operation HUSKY). Patrol duties from Malta in 1943 were carried out to intercept supply ships on passage in support of military operations in Libya and Tunisia. She sank one mercantile during March that year and on 28th April torpedoed and sank the Italian torpedo boat CLIMENE which was hit amidships and broke in two. Her success continued the next month during a patrol in the central Mediterranean when she sank another supply ship. This submarine was deployed in the Adriatic off Taranto in June 1943 to carry out attacks in Italian warships which took passage after the allied landings in Sicily (Operation HUSKY) and later after the landings sank another supply ship. Patrol duties after the landings in Sicily and Italian mainland and submarines were deployed to attack shipping in eastern and western Mediterranean and some the 10th Flotilla were released from service in Malta and returned to UK.


After refit this submarine rejoined the Home Fleet and carried out patrols to intercept German submarines attacking convoys in the North Sea and on passage to the Atlantic from Norwegian bases. In addition patrols were continued off Norway to intercept shipping carrying supplies to the German garrison. In April 1944 she attacked and sank a supply ship off Lister Light during a coastal patrol. Home waters deployment continued until the end of hostilities without any notable successes. The Commanding Officer during Mediterranean service was Lieutenant J Whitton DSC RN. 


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