World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

River-class submarine

Article Id: WHEBN0004104464
Reproduction Date:

Title: River-class submarine  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of submarine classes of the Royal Navy, Fleet submarine, German submarine U-124 (1940), HMS Seal (N37), HMS Shakespeare (P221)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

River-class submarine

Class overview
Name: River class
Operators:  Royal Navy
Preceded by: S class
Succeeded by: Grampus class
Completed: 3
Lost: 1
Retired: 2
General characteristics
Type: Submarine
  • 2,206 tons surfaced (Thames 2,165 tons)
  • 2,723 tons submerged (Thames 2,680 tons)
Length: 345 ft (105 m)
Beam: 28 ft 3 in (8.61 m)
Draught: 15 ft 11 in (4.85 m)
  • 2 shaft diesel electric
  • 2 supercharged diesels 10,000 hp (7,500 kW) max
  • 2 electric motors 2,500 hp (1,900 kW)
  • 22 knots (41 km/h) surfaced
  • 10 knots (19 km/h) submerged
Complement: 61

The River class, or Thames class were a class of submarines built for the Royal Navy. Operating during the Second World War, the three boats of the class comprised Thames, Severn and Clyde. All the submarines were named after rivers in the United Kingdom. One was lost during the war and the rest taken out of service following it.


The River class was the last attempt by the Admiralty to produce "Fleet Submarines" that is submarines fast enough to operate as part of a fleet which at the time meant being able to manage somewhere around 20 knots (37 km/h) while surfaced. The previous attempts had been the steam powered K-class submarines and the large 12-inch (305 mm) gunned M-class submarines. The M class were K-class hulls re-engined with diesels and modified to take a single 12 in (305 mm) naval gun directly forward of the conning tower.

A design was drawn up in the late 1920s and three vessels were built by Vickers in Barrow, Thames in 1932, Severn and Clyde in 1935. The latter were a little larger than Thames. Initially 20 were planned but changes in thinking and cost limited the building to just the three.

The design compromised on diving depth to keep weight down and speed up. They had a safe diving depth of some 300 feet (90 m) compared to the Odin class before them which had managed 500 feet (150 m). They were powered by two diesel engines delivering 8,000 bhp (6,000 kW). Two Ricardo engines drove generators that supercharged the diesels up to 10,000 bhp (7,500 kW). This gave them a surface speed of 22 knots (41 km/h).

Operational history

During the Second World War they initially operated in the North Sea and Mediterranean.

Thames was lost off Norway on 23 September 1940. Clyde was used to deliver supplies to the besieged island of Malta in September 1941. Severn and Clyde were in service in the Far East when they were taken out of service in mid

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.