H Class (1915) SS
Class were small coastal defence submarines. They were quite successful
during WW1 operations and popular in service.
They were built in three groups.
Because British shipbuilding capacity was insufficient the first group of 10 boats were built in Canada.
For the same reason the second group of 10 were built in the USA. But only the first two were handed over to the Royal Navy. The last 8 boats were interned and only released later when the USA entered the war. None of these were commissioned into the Royal Navy as two, H14 and H15 were given to the Royal Canadian Navy. The rest H13, and H15-20 were turned over to the Chilean Navy as part recompense for the Royal Navy having purchased two of their 28,000 ton dreadnought battleships (Almirante Latorre and Almirante Cochrane), which were under construction in Britain when the war broke out.
The last group were built in Britain to the same basic design but were slightly longer and with a bigger displacement. Also the 18in torpedoes were replaced with more powerful 21in units.
While most of the class were paid off during the 1920's and 30's, some boats saw active service during WW2 and were paid off near the end of that war.
This page last edited -
08 March, 2013.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.