View Full Version : Max depth Several classes of Subs in late-30s to 1945

Gerard Peels
16-05-2008, 18:01
Dear All

Reading several webpages about the technical specifications of subs it lacks information about the several classes of RN subs and their maximum depth.
Does someone has more details?



bob shayler
16-05-2008, 23:13
Hi Gerard,
Depends what classes you are referring to. Some examples are:
Grampus class (1935 - 1938 x 5): Designed diving depth - 300ft. Test Depth - 200ft.
Triton class (1937 - 1940 x 15): Operational depth - 300ft
Udine class (1937 - 1938 x 3): Operational depth - 200ft
'T' class (1941 - 1942 programmes x 22): Operational depth - 350 ft. Test depth - 400 ft.
If you want any more, I will reply tomorrow,

Gerard Peels
17-05-2008, 07:43
Thank you Mr Shaylor

Am I correct in assuming that the several densities of the waters has an influence as well, eg the salinity differs wether being in the Mediterranean or in the North Sea?


bob shayler
17-05-2008, 09:00
Hi Gerard,
My answer to your question is, to say the least, very unqualified, as I am no expert on Oceanography (hope I spelt this correctly).
Salinity in the Mediteranean would be higher than those in higher latitudes where salinity levels are reduced by lower evaporation rates and the dilution of sea water from melting ice.
I believe that changes in temperature and salinity levels can have a major effect on a submarines depth keeping abilities,

bob shayler
17-05-2008, 13:01
Hi Gerard,
Here are a few more operational depths of Submarines up to 1945,
S class 1941 programme - 33 boats - Operational depth - 350 ft
S class 1942/3 programme -17 boats-Study & Stygian-300 ft.Remainder 350ft
U class 1940/1 programme - 46 boats - Operational depth - 250 ft
U class 1941/2 programme - 22 boats - Operational depth - 300 ft
P611 class - 4 boats - 328 ft
A class - 16 boats - Design depth - 500 ft. Test depth - 600 ft (Designed for operations against the Japanese. None completed in time for war service. Many cancelled.

17-05-2008, 23:17
British submarines, as well as German, found they could descend to far greater depths than they were designed for. This was found out the hard way by attempting to escape from depth-charge attacks. The only people who could tell you how far down they got just before the hull cracked are on the sea bed.

You can get a guide by reading accounts of submarines that survived deep depth-charges and lived to tell the tale, in books and the web.

27-09-2008, 08:53
Hi All,

an old thread, but i worked with an ex submariner who served on the Australian Oberon Class subs and he spoke of depth ratings. He said they would change with the age of the submarine, but this would not be spread as common knowledge, as they wanted potential enemies to think they could go deeper. he spoke of 1000 feet for this class, but with age this was reduced to 800 ft and so on.

These are only my memories of my conversation with him on the subject, so i don't profess to be the expert here.

Cheers DB.

Uncle Albert
26-10-2008, 18:15
In much the same vein as 'Balticsubs', I had a pal who volunteered for subs and he told me that if a sub went into refit and the main pressure hull was breached during the refit, the operational depth was reduced by a set amount. He also added that one sub he was on (I think it was the last commission on a 'T' boat) should have been reclassified as an aircraft as its max operational depth was about 50 feet above sea level. I suspect it was a lamp swinger told at tot time.

26-01-2009, 20:38
last year I had a conversation with the former 1st Lieutenant of HMS Turbulent the late Vice-admiral Sir Anthony Troup.I asked him about transiting minefields and he based his tactics on that of Tubby Linton his former commanding officer and used a depth of 60-70 feet.The rationale was that there was less pressure on the hull at these depths if an explosion occurred.