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


HMS TURBULENT - T-class Submarine

HM S/M Turbulent (Ship Pictures, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s




absit nomen:  'My (turbulence) be absent'


Another of the submarines of this Class ordered in September 1939 and the first warship of this type to carry the name which was introduced in 1804 for a Gun-Brig captured by the Danes in 1808. It was last borne by a destroyer launched in 1919 and sold in 1936 as part payment for the liner MAJESTIC required for naval use.


On completion of work-up in early 1942 she was deployed in the Mediterranean for interception of supply traffic to and from North African ports. The most impressive record of sinkings began during April 1942 when she sank two supply ships off Brindisi followed by three more off North Africa the next month. On 29th May she torpedoed the Italian destroyer EMANUELE PESSAGNO which sank almost immediately off Benghazi. On her next patrol in the Gulf of Sirte during June she sank another freighter but came under heavy attack from the destroyer PEGASO when attacking a convoy of three transports on 4th July. Although she sank the hulk of the Italian destroyer STRALE which had been stranded near Cape Bon after an air attack in June, her record was marred on 17th of that month when she torpedoed the Italian mercantile NINO BIXIO off Navarino. This ship was unmarked but was carrying 2,921 allied prisoners of war including many New Zealand and Indian soldiers from Benghazi to Brindisi. Over 400 were reported killed and the ship was remained afloat. It is not known whether the intended passage of this ship was known by decrypted signals.


During further patrols in the rest of the year three more supply ships were sunk and the submarine also took part in the allied landings in North Africa (Operation TORCH) when deployed to prevent any Italian intervention during passage of the assault convoys. Early in 1943 whilst based at Algiers for duty in the western Mediterranean she carried out a patrol in the Tyrrhenian Sea and added another three mercantiles to her list of successful sinkings. During her next patrol in this area on 14th March she was attacked and sunk by Italian torpedo boats. Her sinkings totalled 35,000 tons in nine months and her Commanding Officer, Commander J W Linton, RN was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.


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revised 30/11/10
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