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HMS Unbroken (P42)

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Title: HMS Unbroken (P42)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Operation Pedestal, List of ships of the Soviet Navy, Trento-class cruiser, P42, British U-class submarine, HMS Safari (P211), HMS Uther (P62), Index of World War II articles (H), Unbroken, Alastair Mars
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

HMS Unbroken (P42)

Ratings on shore watch HMS Unbroken as she enters Portsmouth harbour after eighteen months duty in the far east
Class and type: U-class submarine
Name: HMS Unbroken
Builder: Vickers Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness
Laid down: 30 December 1940
Launched: 4 November 1941
Commissioned: 29 January 1942
Out of service: transferred to Soviet Navy 26 June 1944
Fate: Scrapped May 1950
Name: V-2
Acquired: 26 June 1944
Fate: Returned to Royal Navy in 1949
General characteristics

Surfaced - 540 tons standard, 630 tons full load

Submerged - 730 tons
Length: 58.22 m (191 ft)
Beam: 4.90 m (16 ft 1 in)
Draught: 4.62 m (15 ft 2 in)

2 shaft diesel-electric
2 Paxman Ricardo diesel generators + electric motors

615 / 825 hp

11.25 knots (20.8 km/h) max surfaced

10 knots (19 km/h) max submerged
Complement: 27-31

4 bow internal 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes - 8 - 10 torpedoes

1 - 3-inch (76 mm) gun

HMS Unbroken (P42) was a Royal Navy U-class submarine built by Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow-in-Furness, and part of the third group of that class. So far she has been the only ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name Unbroken.


After work up trials in Holy Loch, Unbroken went out to join the 10th Flotilla at Malta, with a work-up patrol from Gibraltar. She would spend most of her wartime career in the Mediterranean. She landed saboteurs under the command of Captain Peter Churchill at Antibes in the south of France. She then proceeded to Malta to reform the 10th Flotilla in June 1942. She was the only submarine operating from Malta until United, Unruffled and Unrivalled joined. In July 1942, Unbroken attacked the main west coast railway line on the Italian mainland, and succeeded in blocking the line for 24 hours. However she was counter-attacked and sustained a hit on the battery, forcing her to return to Malta. She took part in Operations Harpoon and Vigorous, in June 1942. She was badly damaged in October 1942, by a counter-attack after hitting a tanker, and was again repaired at Malta.

During her time in the Mediterranean, she sank the Italian merchants Edda and Bologna (the former French Monaco), the Italian pilot vessel F 20 / Enrica, and the Italian auxiliary minesweeper No. 17/Milano. She also damaged the Italian sailing vessel Vale Formoso II, the German (former Norwegian) tanker Regina, and most significantly, the Italian heavy cruiser Bolzano and the Italian light cruiser Muzio Attendolo during Operation Pedestal. Bolzano was hit in her oil tank and ran aground; the Attendolo lost sixty feet of bow. Both were out of action for the rest of the war.

Unbroken also attacked the Italian merchant Algerino, but missed her with her torpedoes. She later damaged the Italian merchant Titania, north-west of Tripoli, Libya. The Titania was taken in tow by the Italian destroyer Ascari. The Titania was sunk early the next day by HMS Safari. Unbroken returned to the UK in December 1943.

Unbroken was transferred on loan to the Soviet Union on 26 June 1944, where she was renamed V-2. Sailing under Soviet flag she sunk the German sub.chaser UJ-1220 on 12/Oct/1944.[1] She spent four years in Soviet service before being returned to the Royal Navy in 1949. She was scrapped at Gateshead from 9 May 1950.

Lieutenant Alastair C G Mars, DSO, RN, commanding officer of HMS Unbroken


  1. ^

External links

  • Captain Sir Edward Archdale, Bt - Daily Telegraph obituary
  • Unbroken: The Story of a Submarine by Alastair Mars, an autobiographical account by her commanding officer.
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